Glacial #WeekendWritingPrompt

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The ice was melting fast and Steven was trying to slow it down. As he trekked back to the scientific base, he spotted something rising up from the coast. Getting closer, he saw the remains of a city. Awed, he realised he had just discovered something for more important then stopping the melting.

 

(Inspired by; https://sammiscribbles.wordpress.com/2019/06/15/weekend-writing-prompt-110-glacial/ with thanks).

 

 

Melting #FlashFictionChallenge

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The wooden ship creaked as the ice finally broke away. The crew hung over the sides, eagerly watching the results. They had been trapped in the iceberg for three months now, surviving on half rations and whatever fish and birds they could catch.

The ship seemed to sink a little into the water and the first tiny waves lapped around the bow.

‘Shall we unfurl the sails, Captain?’ the first mate asked.

The Captain, who hadn’t been keen on this exploration trip to the Arctic, nodded.

The crew set to work quickly, finally feeling like they had been saved.

 

(Inspired by; https://carrotranch.com/2019/05/23/may-23-flash-fiction-challenge/ with thanks).

 

 

The Land That’s Not Green #Pegman

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The boat bobbed through icy water, sliding past icebergs that drift on the sea.

Lola took a few photos then turned to look for her sister. Other tourists blocked her view but she spotted Rey at the bow. Going over, Lola joined her.

‘Isn’t Greenland just something else?’ Rey spoke.

‘It is but it’s not very green,’ Lola answered.

The girls smiled at that on going joke.

A blast of sea spray fell like harsh snowflakes on their faces and drew them both to look over the side. Below, large creatures were breaking through the bow waves.

‘Whales!’ Rey cried.

‘Amazing!’ Lola added.

 

(Inspired by; https://whatpegmansaw.com/2019/03/09/greenland/ with thanks).

Chilly Day #1linerweds

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There was only one spot on the pond not frozen over and all the birds were crowded into it trying to keep it that way.

(Inspired by; https://lindaghill.com/2018/03/28/one-liner-wednesday-chilly-day-for-a-swim/ with thanks).

Thundersnow

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From his window, safe and warm in his house, Peter watched a mixture of hailstone and snow falling. In a few blinks, everything was icy white as if someone had dropped lots of tins of paint. Cars slide across the road and people tried to battle against the snow storm.

A bright flash of light nearly blinded him and Peter looked up, confused. Had that been lightening? He listened, but could hardly hear the rumble of thunder that followed. Two storms at once? he wondered. Searching, he soon saw another lightening strike but this time he didn’t hear the thunder.

He searched his mind and recalled something, he had once heard on the news in another country; thundersnow. It happened in winter, during a snow storm and the lightening was brighter then normal due to reflection off the snow and the thunder was quieter. Was this what he was seeing now? Peter wasn’t sure, but it seemed possible.

Blue #writephoto

It was nice to sit by the lake, watching the lapping waves and the cold blue evening sky above. A dusty layer of snow lay on the ground and at some of the lake’s edges thin ice had formed. Winter’s chill was heavy in the air, promising more snow in the night but for the moment it was safe to be outside.

There was hardly any noise, just the distance sound of late dog walkers, joggers and cyclists, like myself. I could hear the soft cracks of the ice as the water moved underneath. Looking at a patch close by, there was a glazed spider web pattern of crazing across the smooth surface. It seemed almost artistic.

Turing my face to the sky, I wondered how badly it would snow tonight. The clouds were slowly coming in, turning everything darker. I felt a drop of wetness then it started to sleet. Balancing on my bicycle, I watched the icy rain fall into the water. Little ripples bobbed on the surface and on the ice the sleet seemed to start sticking.

It was time to go home.

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2017/12/28/thursday-photo-prompt-blue-writephoto with thanks).

Ice Tree #FridayFictoneers

It had only been a stupid school playground game; who could lick an icicle and get their tongue stuck? However, things hadn’t gone to plan and the four boys had ended sat in the staff room for the afternoon waiting for the icicles attached to their tongues melt.

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2017/12/06/8-december-2017/ with thanks).

Cracked Ice

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Mark threw a stone into the iced over lake. There was a loud cracking sound followed by a few smaller ones. He moved closer to the edge, crunching over the frosted grass.

The other six children gathered around too and looked at what had happened to the smooth white surface. Large lines cut there jagged way across and small sections had broken away. Water bubbled slowly upwards and over the ice chucks.

‘It’s not safe to skate on,’ Mark declared.

The children groaned. They had hurried out of school, gone home to get their ice skates then rushed to the lake. Their were cheeks were flushed red with the cold and they were all eager to have some fun. Now their hopes had been dashed.

Mark dropped his shoulders and looked further out across the lake. Being the oldest he felt he should come up with an idea of what to do now. However, nothing came to him. He looked up at the already darkening sky.

‘Maybe tomorrow,’ he said in a quiet voice, ‘it looks like it might snow properly.’

‘Then we can skate?’ one of the youngest girls called out.

‘Maybe,’ Mark answered.

He turned away from the lake and led the children back to the bridge. From there they could see the large cracks the stone had made more fully. Water was now lapping around the tiny ice floats and making them bump together.

‘Everyone should go home,’ Mark spoke.

With loud mutterings, all the children turned and began heading off to their houses. Mark lingered. He looked over the bridge once more, watching the sky changing color. Giggling voices drew his attention away and he watched as two teenage girls appeared at the edge of the lake.

Without really knowing why, he ducked down and watched them putting on their ice skates. A part of him knew he should shout over that it wasn’t safe, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. The girls went on the ice and began skating and Mark spied on them, but even if they had noticed him they were too busy.

The girls’ scarfs and loose hair flew about as they spun. They laughter rose and fell. Mark recognised them from school, not that he had ever been as close to them as he was right now. He liked the red-head the best, Rose was her name, but her friend, Beth, with the darker hair was also pretty.

Mark heard a massive crack and before his eyes the girls disappeared. A large hole appeared in the middle of the lake and water was splashing up from it. Without thinking, he ran over the bridge and down on to the lake. The ice held his weight, but he was slipping everywhere.

He reached the hole, even though the ice was breaking up around him. He tried to reach out for the girls as they hands were reaching up from the water. He could hear them both struggling to breath and stay a float. He grabbed hold of one of them and tried to pull her out, but she was too heavy.

Fighting down panic that he would fall in too , he tried harder and managed to drag Rose out. She lay face down on the still cracking ice then tried to get up. Mark moved on to help her friend, but as he reached out for that hand, it slipped from his and down into the water.

‘Beth can’t swim!’ Rose cried.

Rose joined Mark and their hands both dipped into the freezing water in search of the other girl. Mark’s hand only meet water. From underneath them came more cracking sounds and instinct kicked in.

‘We have to get off!’ Mark yelled.

‘No! We can’t leave her!’ Rose gasped, water dripping off her.

‘We have no choice!’ Mark answered back.

He grabbed Rose and started pulling her away. She tried resist, but her ice skates made it easier for Mark to move her forward. They reached the bank as a handful of adults arrived and came to meet them.

‘There’s a girl still in there!’ Mark shouted and pointed across the lake.

The adults rushed into action, Mark turned his attention fully to Rose, who knelt on the snow crying and shaking. He helped wrap her in a blanket and get her to her feet.

As they were walked away by two adults, Mark looked back over his shoulder. The other adults were pulling the girl from the lake. He could see them trying to help her, but it was too late.

 

Story prompt from: https://scvincent.com/2016/12/01/thursday-photo-prompt-cracked-ice-writephoto/ with thanks.

Winter Wanderer (Part 1)

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Beck kept his head down as the snow storm whistled around him and urged his black stallion, Nightstorm on. Grabbing the reins tighter with his numb leather gloved covered fingers, he prayed the old warhorse didn’t stumble. Breathing deeply, Beck risked peering out of his dark green cloak’s deep hood and took in the winter swept forest around him.

Trees were frozen above him, their branches clawing at the dark grey sky in desperation. He couldn’t help but think that they were praying the winter to be over, just like he was. To the left of them the river was iced over and snow covered. Deadly treacherous for man and beast.   Beck blinked away snowflakes and looked down at the edge of the river. He could hardly see it, but worried Nightstorm might get too close, he steered the horse away and closer to the trees.

The warhorse snorted and stomped off to the side as he carried on forward. Beck patted Nightstorm’s long neck and tried to search through the trees. He couldn’t see anything but white peppered tree trunks and freshly falling snow. The forest offered them no protection at all, but Beck knew that somewhere close by was an abandoned elf outpost. He urged Nightstorm on and tried to spot any arrows sticking out of trees or anything else that would signal the way.

The snow crunched loudly under the heavy horse and Nightstorm came to a sudden stop. Beck rose up from the saddle and looked around, but he couldn’t figure out where they were. He swing down and threw the reins over so he could lead his only friend through the blizzard. Nightstorm neighed softly and nuzzled into his leather padded shoulder. Beck patted the horse’s nose and tugged the reins as he started walking.

‘I know it’s around here somewhere,’ Beck mumbled and the wind snatched his words away.

Easing his hood back for a clearer view, he regarded the forest once more. Frowning, he slowly looked in all directions, but the snow blocked his keen eyes and ears. Nightstorm breathed a hot breath on him and Beck rubbed the warhorse’s forehead. He moved up and scratched his ears, Nightstorm’s long black mane tangling around his fingers.

‘Good horse,’ Beck breathed, ‘come on.’

Tugging the reins again, Beck led Nightstorm into the trees, hoping they were going in the right direction. A few feet in and the trees thinned and shorted a little. A smile crept onto Beck’s face and he urged his warhorse on. Something flapped from a tree in the distance and Beck almost slowed Nightstorm down, but then he saw it was only the tattered remains of an old flag.

They walked under it and Beck saw the elf outpost in the distance. Pushing through some struggling saplings that were being dwarfed by their parents, Beck picked up his pace and hurried to the neatly hidden stone building. As he came closer and even through the snow, he could see how hard the elves had tried to hide the structure. Of course that hadn’t worked thirty years ago when goblins had raged in the forest and taken over.

Beck brought Nightstorm to a stop outside the broken wooden door. He tried to listen to see if there was anything hiding inside, but the wind was too loud. Pushing against the heavy door, Beck led Nightstorm inside then tried to fix the door back into place. A soft crying sound made Beck stop and he peered through the darkness of the open ground floor room.

‘It could just be the wind,’ he muttered.

In the gloom, he patted Nightstorm and ran his hands down the side of the saddle. He felt his wrapped up great sword, bow and quiver then a large leather satchel. Beck dug through it and pulled out an old lantern. Next he found his flint and lit the candle inside. Holding up the small flicking light in front of him, Beck caught sight of the blood splatted walls. Pulling out a short sword at his belt, he made the light dance off that instead.

‘Hello?’ he called.

He heard a small female gasp and the crying stopped.

‘Who’s there?’ he called.

Shuffling in the darkness then nothing else, except his and Nightstorm’s breathing and the snow storm outside. Beck waited then moved slowly across the stone floor. He searched the room but found nothing. He came back, checked the horse was well then climbed up the worn stone steps in the corner, knowing he wasn’t alone.

To Be Continued…

 

 

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.