Spikes #SundayPhotoFiction

Lakshmi Bhat

Hog built the spiky fence to keep the bears out. It was easy enough to do, he took some tall logs, hammered bits of wood in which he then shaped into spikes. Finally, Hog dug holes and stuck the logs in around his cabin.

He didn’t mind the bears, but they could be dangerous and bothersome. Hog didn’t want to hurt them but he had to defend himself. This idea of training them to stay away with the pain of the spikes, had come to him one afternoon when he had seen a bear stealing honey from a beehive and getting stung but the angry bees.

Days of work later, the fence complete and with a gate so he could get by, was done. Hog admired his hard work then went into the forest to check his rabbit traps.

When Hog came back, he saw a bear sniffing the new logs. He held his breath and watched as the bear brushed up against the spikes, felt the pain and stumbled away.

Hog smiled, his fence had worked! Feeling happier then he had in the last few months, he went inside and had a good meal of rabbits and vegetables.

 

(Inspired by; https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2019/06/15/sunday-photo-fiction-june-16-2019/ with thanks).

 

Big Art #100WW

The art competition was under way. Artists had started at first light, sketching their master pieces on the closed road. The crowds had gathered, stopping to stare, talk and point. The judges made the rounds, muttering to themselves.

Jason sat back from his grizzly bear holding a rainbow tuna. He had finished and felt, with a glance at the nearest paintings, that he was in with a good chance of winning. And what a prize! A nice payout, his paintings in the gallery and a boost to his name.

The judges came by and Jason held his breath whilst they decided.

 

(Inspired by; https://bikurgurl.com/2018/08/22/100-word-wednesday-week-85/ with thanks).

The Bear

animal-1283347.jpg

Deep inside the cave the bear slept winter away. He dreamed of spring when the snow would melt, the grass would be green and the air warm. He splashed through the great river chasing salmon and searching for fruits. He meet other bears, fought them and found a mate. He had father cubs, but he’d never met any of them. He roamed the forest, searching for more food and avoiding the humans. Then he felt the season’s change and knew it was time to get ready for the long sleep. The dream slipped away and the bear dreamt of other things deep within his cave.

Postcard #27

Time Lapse Photography of Falls Surrounded by Trees

Babe,

Today, I found the most wonderful, magic place in the whole of this forest. It made me feel better about not getting any bear photos! I think I’m going to give up there and just carry on taking whatever else I find. I know what my editor really wants, but who actually wants to see someone getting mauled by a bear?

This place is just, wow. The river has been drawing me for ages now and today I followed it and found some awesome waterfalls and large pools. The fall is just making it feel more magical. The colorful leaves that everywhere just add this brightness and like clothes to the forest. That sounds kinda silly, but you get it right?

I wish you could be here with me. You’d love seeing all the little critters getting ready to sleep and having birds wake you every morning. I know the nights seem scary, but they’re not really. Once, I shut the door of the cabin, I sit by the window and just look outside for ages. Last night, it felt like I was the only man left on earth and I so wanted you there so we could experience that together.

I’ve only a week left now. And yeah I know my editor’s not going to get his photos, but he’s going to get something at lest! And we’ll be back together and I can tell you more about my adventures.

Love, Tate. x

Out There

Roy stood on  a large slippery moss covered boulder and looked at the raging river water threatening to splash against his hiking boots and pants. He could see nothing below the foaming white tops and dark blue rapids. He rose his head and took in the scene before him, his eyes and mind still not able to fully take in the magical beauty that surrounded him.

A gentle wind was blowing the early morning mist through the tops of the pine trees, making the landscape before him seem taller then it actually was. Roy could just make out the faint outline of the rising cliffs he had climbed through yesterday as they shadowed out of the low grey clouds.

Roy bent down and dipped his first canteen below the waves. His skin pricked at the cold water’s touch before growing use to it once more. Raising the leather bottle out again, he screwed on the lid and grabbed for his second. A low growling brushed his ears and he froze.

Ever so slowly, Roy eased his head up to looked. Directly across from him, having appeared out of the too close pine trees and scrub was a brown mother bear and her cub. Roy’s breath caught and his heart skipped a beat. The bear was large, but looking thin and her coat was damp with the dew and brush off from the leaves. Her cub couldn’t have been older the two months, he was tiny yet looked identical to her as he nestled against her front leg.

Roy gradually lowed himself to the floor. A few times he paused to stop the rattling of the three canteens at his side and pull up the straps on his shoulder. He felt the splatter of water against him and was thankful for his water proofs. He felt the hard stone against his knees then risked another look up.

The mother bear was still there, watching and judging him, deciding if he was a threat or not. Her cub was yowling, his voice carrying even above the sounds of the raging river. He clearly was not happy to stand still for long.

Roy looked away again, trying to keep his breathing steady and the eddies of panic in his stomach down. A part of him desperately wanted to flee and he weighed up the option of doing that carefully. Would the river make her think twice about chasing me?  It wouldn’t stop her if she decided to. Her cub would be swept away though, there’s no way he’d make it through there. No. It’s best just to stay and wait. If I don’t move, she’ll know I’m no threat. She probably only came down for a drink. The water looks too rough for fishing.

Roy flowed the cresting waves over to the rocky shore and saw the massive claws and paws of the mother bear. The cub was skittering around, playing with the loose stones he was now kicking up. The mother started to move, her black nose sniffing the air greedily. She reached the water’s edge and her cub charged up beside her and almost into the water. The shock of cold against his face brought him to a halt and cried wildly out then snuggled into her leg.

A small smile curled on to Roy’s lips and he wished he had his camera to hand. It was back with his tent and other gear on the grassy nook he had set camp up on last night. He had feeling though, this would stay in his memory a long time. Without warning, the mother bear turned away and began lumbering up the rocky shore. Her cub scrambled after her, crying his dismay loudly.

Roy finally took a deep enough breathe the fill his lungs completely. He stretched his stiff and now aching limbs as he stood. His eyes tracked across the river and he saw the fleeting end of the bears. He took another few breathes, feeling himself becoming totally calm again.

He turned and got halfway back up the boulders when he he suddenly remembered what had been doing. He turned back again and hurried down to the river, his canteens rattling loudly at his side.

New Start

Country bedroom with a view over a comfortable double bed to a window overlooking a leafy green garden

The new place was being to look a lot more homely. Sal looked over the bedroom and decided with a few more finishing touches it would be sorted. She drifted to the window and looked out at the small patch of back garden.

Her fingertips brushed the top of an old teddy bear causing her to look down. A wave of memories all of which showed her curled up, clutching the bear to her chest and crying flashed by. She shut her eyes, breathed deeply and vowed not to let the past beat her down again.

The soft voice of her toddler daughter called to her over the TV. Sal let go of the bear and walked out of the room. She still had a lot to live for.

Polar bear

Writing prompt:

Zoe pressed her face against the cold glass and stared into the water. She could see air bubbles floating through the too blue water and a swirl of movement on the surface above. Clutching, Barley, her favourite teddy bear and strongly aware of her parents with her baby brother, Alex, standing behind her, she awaited eagerly.

A crackle of static over a nearby loud speaker caused her to jump. Zoe looked up as a boisterous female voice began speaking through the hiss of white noise. The voice welcomed them all to the Arctic Zone and to the Polar Bears, then carried on reeling off a speech that Zoe could only half understand. She let the voice slip into the background noise that was all around her and carried on staring through the window before her.

The water suddenly seemed to cave in on itself and Zoe gasped loudly, drawing the attention of her parents. They carried on watching as the water divided apart and a dead fish dropped into view quickly being chased by a large white bear. Zoe, squeezing Barley tighter, stepped back and her heels catch her daddy’s feet. She felt his large hands press down on her shoulders reassuringly, but she couldn’t take her eyes off the polar bear.

The bear opened his large black mouth and snatched the fish up before it could hit the floor of the tank. With larger than life legs and paws, the bear stretched and swim back up. He’s ice white fur moved like a mermaid’s hair with a life of its’ own. His paws swirled the water around him and he disappeared back up.

Zoe rushed back to the window, tucking Barley into her elbow as she pressed both her hands to the glass. She looked up and saw the belly of the polar bear almost above her. She heard him break the surface of the water and even felt a little splash of wetness on her face. Zoe sank down to the little ledge jutting out and put her head all the way up. Her view was distorted by the turbulent water, but she could make out the polar bear getting out and scrambling onto the fake iceberg land.

The water took a long time to settle and the voice over the loud speaker was still going on. Zoe bite her lip and wondered if the polar bear would return. She wanted to ask her parents, but was too worried that she’d miss seeing him again if she did so. Hugging Barley in both hands, she watched the hypnotic dancing of the air bubbles.

When the water began surging again, Zoe held her breath. She saw a paw then the rest of the polar bear. He seemed to be swimming towards her. A tremble of fear shot through her and she felt frozen to the ledge. The bear was getting closer and closer. She could see his shiny black nose and eyes, which seemed to be watching her.

Zoe twisted Barley in her hands and let out a small squeak of fear. She felt a brush of warm air from behind her and her daddy’s soft voice in her ear. She felt his hand on back and he was whispering to her not to be afraid. The polar bear wasn’t going to eat her, he was looking for more fish. Zoe’s lips quivered, but she couldn’t speak nor take her eyes off the mighty white bear.

Another dead fish dropped into view behind him and Zoe thought her daddy was right. The bear would go for the fish, he just needed to turn around. Still holding that breath, she waited. However the bear didn’t turn, but dropped to the floor and actually walked the few steps towards the window.

Zoe felt the urge to scramble away, but her body had turned to jelly. Instead, she focused her attention on not crying and repeating her daddy’s words. Her mommy’s voice excitedly called them to turn for a photo. Zoe give a little shake of her head then became aware of her mom using the camera anyway. She felt her daddy trying to turn her around, but she wasn’t sure she could.

Finally, she turned her head, painfully aware of the polar bear pressing his face and paws to the window and gave a ghost of a smile to her mommy and the camera. Photo taken, she snapped her eyes back to the glass and met those of the bear. A scream shot to her throat, but she swallowed it as her Daddy hushed her with calming words. Zoe bit her lip and tasted the bitterness of blood. She raised Barley to her face and hide behind him. From the corner of her eye, she saw her daddy signalling her mommy over and her leaving Alex in the push chair to join them.

Her mommy scared her why she was so scared? The bear couldn’t hurt her, he couldn’t get through the glass. Zoe, sucking on her lip, mumbled something that her parents missed. Her daddy tried to wrap her into a hug, but she wouldn’t move. Her mommy rubbed her arms and tried to comfort her. Zoe pressed Barley into her face and chocked on the sob.

Her daddy won the battle of moving her and swept her up into a hug. She moved Barley out of the way and pressed into his shoulder. Zoe took breaths and felt herself getting calm again. Slowly, she pulled her head up and looked over to the window. The polar bear had gone leaving a swirl of water in his wake.

Church (Chapter 1, Part 4)

Continued from Church Part 3, which can be read below as well as Parts 1 and 2.

The bare trees and star speckled sky seemed to frame the clearing. I caught my breath and clutched my sword tighter, knowing they were re-grouping behind me and fearing their number. I let no plan form in my mind as just the urge to defeat evil was enough for me. Their laughter grew from the shadows and there was a rustling of leather wings. I prepared myself.

‘Scared, Angel? You should be, you see true power now,’ the daemon called out.

‘True power? All I see is a coward hiding behind his friends,’ I shouted back, still without turning, ‘why don’t you face me yourself?’

The daemon chuckled and it was echoed by the others, ‘I shall. That’s why we’ve come here. You wanted Death and I brought you to him.’

‘What?’ I whispered, turning with confusion tumbling through my mind and face. I could see them all there now, lingering at the treeline. There must have been twenty of them or so. They ranged in size, with the first daemon being the largest. Most of the others looked like him, though others were more dragon or bat like. Their eyes were hungry, but they seemed unusually edgy.

‘You have soul?’ the daemon hissed, his tongue flicking around.

I frowned.

‘Everything has one.’

‘What is this?’ I cut in, ‘just come and fight me. Stop with your games!’

The daemon chuckled and seemed to nod towards the space behind me. Around him the smaller ones were becoming more agitated and moving away. The others weren’t trying to stop them and seemed themselves fearful. I had never seen them behave this way and worry crept into my thoughts. Quietness filled the clearing then the trees began to sway as if a giant’s hand was pushing them aside. I glanced over my shoulder, trying to keep one eye on the daemon, whilst seeking for the sudden presence I had felt behind me.

‘I lied,’ the daemon giggled.

‘What?’ I spun back, my sword raised, but he and his companions had taken to the air and were out of reach. Something large hit me from behind and threw me into the undergrowth. Branches and thorns scrapped across my skin and robe, whilst my sword sank into a tree. A monstrous roar shook everything and I saw against the night sky the faint clear outline of a large beast.

I paused and stared up, trying to figure what it was. However, it was invisible to my eyes expect for when the sky gave it lines. Above me the daemons chortled and took a chant of ‘kill, kill, kill.’ They understood what it was, so did that make it a daemon? I pulled my sword out and tried to estimate where it was, but I couldn’t put dimensions to it. I was no fool to flay my weapon around, so I took cover and watched the lines I could see.

‘Ha, ha, pitiful Divine can’t see!’

I looked up and the daemon was sat in a branch above me. His eyes glowed, his tail whipped about and he bared fangs. With a claw, he pointed in the direction of the demonic beast and in a sickly sweet voice said, ‘would you like to see?’ He flapped off, without waiting my reply and I saw him land on the outline of the creature. He seemed to be absorbed inside and was then gone.

Straight away I saw it, a gigantic Demigod bear with icy white and blue swirling fur. Large black eyes fixed on me as the even larger snout sniffed and the jaws opened to rows of pointed teeth. Massive paws armed with razor claws began to stomp over. Fear froze me and all I could see were those eyes coming for me.

The daemons’ chittering broke the spell and I dodged the first paw with a roll. Shooting back to my feet, I took a swing, meaning to slice right across that paw, but the other one came down behind me, knocking me and tossing me away, much like a cat with a mouse. Undergrowth rushed to me and I landed in a tangle of brambles, my robe ensnared. Struggling against them, I heard deep rumbling laughter and looked up to see the bear paused above me and him speaking, ‘what a weakling, but his soul is holy. Very tasty and powerful.’

‘I’m not weak!’ I screamed and tore myself free.

The colossal maw came together in a black lined smiled, ‘but you are.’

Wheeling my sword, I brought it down in the bear’s face and it easily cut through the smile. The Demigod roared as the blessed blade left a red streak in its wake. The bear raised a paw and rubbed its burning flesh. I darted further into the trees, only intending to create room between us whilst I planned my next attack. However, the bear had other ideas and sprinted after me. Trees were thrown aside and the plants flattened. The other daemons took higher to the air, their chatter silenced.

‘God protect me!’ I bellowed and dodged a flying tree.

‘Your God shall not!’ the daemonic voice rumbled close behind me, ‘He’s forsaken you!’

‘He would never! I am His knight!’ I threw over my shoulder.

The bear chuckled, ‘then why doesn’t He come?’

My feet skidded to a halt and I spun. The bear padded up in front of me, head down and eyes fixed on my own. I felt the evil power radiating from him and his question hanging in the air. I gripped my sword in both hands, steadied my feet and controlled my breathing. Silently, I prayed and called on God and the other Angels. There was no way I could face this alone and I didn’t want to die! My soul would be consumed by this evil and I’d never get back home.

The bear growled, still waiting my response.

‘He will come,’ I answered calmly, ‘at my darkest hour as my last hope, a guiding light.’

Sniggering filled my ears as the jaws opened and the teeth chopped together, ‘such spirit,’ the Demigod sighed, ‘but no one is coming to save you,’ and he swept out his head, capturing me in his mouth. I screamed and plunged my sword down, slicing through lip and fur. The bear shook in pain, causing me to struggle for balance. I tugged out my sword and aimed it at the roof of his mouth. His body suddenly trembled, the teeth knocked together and I felt an electric charge fill the air.

I paused, torn between digging my blade in or jumping free. The mouth was shaking around me like an earthquake and the bear seemed to be moaning in pain. The teeth fall together, the tongue tip poked my boot as if pushing me forward and then I fell out. Air rushed around me before my back hit the ground. Pain rocked through me and my head spun. I felt my sword still in my grasp and my mind screaming at me to move.

I pushed up and shuffled backwards, dragging my sword with my sight fixed on the fallen Demigod. The large eyes were closed and he appeared to be fading away. No sound or movement came from him. I stopped moving and looked up. A shadow was standing in-between the bear’s ears. I squeezed my eyes shut then opened them again. The shadow figure was still there and a crackling laughing ripped the air.

A wave of terror like nothing I had ever known curled around me. Whatever that was seemed worse than the Demigod bear. Everything screamed to run, but my body was achy and sore. In a flash the shadow moved and came before me. I tried to shuffle away, but my body was numb, my breathing quickened. I clutched my sword and raised it before me.

The figure gave the impression of a head tilt as if unsure about me or the movement. Then as if allowing me too, the figure made itself clearer and I saw what appeared to be a black masked and caped ninja in front of me, with a curved tip katana pointed at the floor. However, some reasoning inside of me knew this could be so and that this figure was something more.

‘What are you?’ I asked in a shaky voice.

The figure pulled the mask and hood down, revealing the soft face and bouncing brown hair of a woman, ‘I’m Rain.’

***************************

Author’s Note:

Hi, I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading Church as much as I’ve been enjoying writing it. I had been thinking of a number of different ends, but I couldn’t settle on one and since I’ve been liking it so much I’ve decided to carry on with it and see what happens. At the minute, I’m not sure if I’ll be posting any more of it up, since I thought that these four parts might form the first chapter of a novel. However, if people are interested and let me know through likes/comments, then I will look at posting some more. I’m really interesting to find out more about Rain, what she and Blaze are now going to do and if he’ll ever get back into Heaven. Hope you feel the same!

If you’ve enjoyed this story and my blog please follow or like or comment. You can also:

Join the Facebook group at:  https://www.facebook.com/thestoryfiles?ref=bookmarks

Follow on Twitter at: ironmaidenfan9

Donate at: http://www.patreon.com/user?u=327832

Lastly, if you want to know more about me, my writing and this blog check out my About Page: https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/about/

Thanks for reading and supporting my short stories, Hayley.