Green #writephoto

The river was good at keeping secrets. Though sometimes it decided to give them up; a broken arrow from a hunt, a lost ring from a lovers’ quarrel, a human body. A few secrets though, it would never give up.

 

(Inspired from; https://scvincent.com/2017/05/11/thursday-photo-prompt-green-writephoto/ with thanks)

The Bookworm

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I don’t know what was going through Kim’s mind that day. Only that she wanted to be left alone. My old gran would’ve said that girl was away with the clouds and why couldn’t I find someone normal to have as a girlfriend?

I didn’t want normal though. I wanted the unexpected and unusual. I wanted more excitement then a cheerleader – who were way out of my zone anyway and more beautiful then the geeks and nerd girls. Saying that though, Kim was a bit of a geek. Though she always denied it.

We were meant to have a date that evening. But as we left school, Kim told me it was off then left without another word. I pondered as I walked home if that meant we had broken up, but Kim would have said that. She was a girl of few words and when she spoke it was only to say what she meant.

The late afternoon was pleasant enough, for the end of March. There’d been a lot of rain recently, but it was a mostly dry and sunny day. I didn’t much feel like going home. But I was feeling stuffy in my uniform. So, I headed there to get changed.

There was plenty of things I could do, like homework or playing on my Xbox, maybe seeing if anyone else was up for hanging out. I wasn’t in the mood though. Kim had put me off and my thoughts were fixed on her.

What was her reason? She’d never cancelled on me before and we’d been dating for five months or so now. Yes, I wanted to sleep with her, but I was willing to wait. If she’d been ill or busy with something else, why didn’t she just say? It had been simply, ‘I can’t meet tonight. Sorry.’

I could text or call her, but Kim wasn’t one for phones. Instead, I decided to go and see if I could just find her by wondering about. A crazy, long shot of an idea, but it had worked before.

Grabbing a jacket, I left and walked around our small town. I checked Kim’s house, but there was no one home. I checked the school, but it was now locked for the night. I searched shops, the library, the little parks. Finally, I walked out to the woods.

There were a handful of dog walkers, a jogger and some school kids from the other high school dotted around. I was about to give up, maybe she’d gone out of town? Some emergency she couldn’t tell me about? Other ideas popped into my head and my feet came to a stop.

I was facing the river. The water was flowing gently, causing the grass and tree branches which dipped in to move also. It was a pretty spot. I looked further to my right watching the river moving past me. Something caught my eyes. There was a large branch stretching over the river and laying on it was Kim!

She still had her uniform on, but she had let down her long black hair. There was a book covering her face and her school bag was hanging up close by. She seemed to be asleep.

I walked over and lent around the tree. It was easy enough to climb up and walk over, but I didn’t want to. Instead, I said Kim’s name gently and tried to wake her. It took a few attempts.

‘Go away, Dustin,’ Kim said.

‘Why? What are you doing?’ I asked.

‘Communicating with this book,’ she replied.

I frowned, ‘why?’

‘Because it’s hard and I’m trying to understand it. Now go away!’

‘Is that why you cancelled our date?’ I asked.

‘No,’ Kim answered.

I waited, but she didn’t say any more. I rubbed my fingers over the bark of the tree and felt how rough and dry it was. Kim just lay there, book still over her face.

‘Then, why?’ I pressed.

‘Because I wasn’t in the mood,’

‘Oh.’

I put cheek to the tree trunk and stared at her. Kim had really nice legs. She wasn’t wearing tights or leggings today, a sure sign the weather was getting warmer. Her skirt was knee length though and give her the cover she needed. Her blouse was still tucked in and I could see it swelling around her chest when she breathed in. Even though I hadn’t seen them yet, Kim had small boobs.

I couldn’t decided what to do. From her demeanour it was clear I should go, but I didn’t want to. There was enough room on the branch for me if I wanted to sit close to her feet. Or, I could sit at the foot of the tree. What was the point in waiting for her when she’d made it clear she didn’t want me though?

‘I guess, I should go,’ I said, a little too loudly.

Kim finally took the book off her face and looked at me.

I lent off the tree and got ready to make a move.

‘You don’t have,’ Kim said, ‘I’m bored anyway.’

She sat up and shuffled along the branch. She put the book in her bag, tugged it down and put the strap over her head. The she clung on to the tree trunk and slowly climbed down. I helped her over the last bit then give her a hug.

‘What’s the book about?’ I asked.

‘Seventeen century witches’ plays,’ she added.

‘Witch plays?’

Kim held my hand and we began walking.

‘Yeah, because people in the sixteen hundreds loved witches.’

I nodded, noticing the sarcasm in her voice. Kim swung our hands and we headed down a quiet little path.

‘Maybe, you can help me figure it out later?’ she said.

‘Sure. Does this mean we get to have our date after all?’ I asked.

‘I guess…You’re going to pay for dinner, right?’

I shook my head, unbelieving that and Kim laughed at me.

Bridge

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The troll had lived under the bridge for a long time, however he had finally decided it was time to move. The river was too polluted and the smell was making him sick. Every morning, the troll would sit at the edge of the river and watch rubbish floating by. Sometimes he would pull things out; a bent bike, a rusting shopping trolley, a dead dog. He would add all these things to his collections and in the afternoon he would make art.

The troll enjoyed bending metal, snapping wood and breaking other things up to constructed his sculptures. Then he would leave his art in random places so that passersby would see them. His favorite pieces were; the owl made out of wire netting and car parts. The horse made out of shopping trolleys, bikes and wood. The armless mannequin who’s dress was made out of plastic bags and coat hangers.

That morning, instead of sitting by the river and collecting things, the troll began packing. He dug out two huge suitcases he had dragged from the water and ponder what he would take with him. He emptied the broken wardrobe of his clothes, – he enjoyed being fashionable- the cupboards of his kitchen equipment, – he liked cooking tasty meals- his shelves of books, – the troll was a great reader- his chest of drawers full of trinkets, – he liked shinny things- and finally he took his paintings from the wall, – the troll enjoyed experimenting with different mediums.

Putting on his huge coat and large hat, the troll picked up the suitcases and left home. Waves of sadness washed over him as he left the bridge and sculptures behind. Of course, he hadn’t been able to take any of them with him for they were all far too big. Trying not to think any more about it, the troll walked and walked.

Hours later, he arrived at the seaside. He took in deep lungfuls of fresh salty air and decided he liked it here.

(Inspired from; https://scvincent.com/2017/02/23/thursday-photo-prompt-bridge-writephoto with thanks)

The Bear

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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.

Frost

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Jack Frost opened his eyes and raised his head up. Around him, in the small underground cave he called home all the dead leaves with covered in ice. He rolled over, stretched and feeling -but not feeling as it- were the chill of the air around him. He rested back, putting his long pale blue arms across his skeleton chest and interlocking even longer fingers.

Looking up at the soil and roots above him, Jack listened to the earth. He had half hoped he’d been wrongly awoken, but no, autumn was coming to an end and it was time for him to go to work. He wiggled his long pointer toes then rolled back over and got on to his hands and knees.

He climbed out of his home and using the roots of the tree above, stood up. He could see the woodland floor was covered in leaves and mud, the tree branches above were bare and the sky was a dark grey wash. He began walking, leaving a trail of shiny white frost behind.

Jack reached his long fingers out and began touching the tree trunks and tall bushes. The icy spikes began to spread and he left them to cover everything. He walked down to the river’s edge and though there was little he could do to make the whole thing ice over, he tried anyway. It just wasn’t cold enough yet though and he could only form small ice patches.

He wandered on, trailing his fingers everywhere and leaving the frost behind him. Jack became lost in thought and sometime later he stopped and looked up at the sky. He could see the coming dawn.

How much longer until Santa arrives and brings the snow with him? Jack wondered.

He could never tell, only he knew it when he felt it.

He walked to the top of a hill. The highest one in the woods. He rose his hands to the sky and sent out waves of frost. Small snowflakes fell about him, telling Jack his frost was on its way to places. Yawing, he saw that dawn was tinting the sky yellow. He walked slowly back to his home, crawled inside and curled up to sleep again.

Tomorrow he would awaken again and create more frost.

Moonlit

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The full white moon hung in the ink black sky looking down upon the still village. Anyone walking past or through would believe the buildings to be abandoned. There were wooden boards nailed at windows and doors. Crosses, often makeshift ones, hung about and the air smelt strangely sweet.

Plant pots of blooming purple flowers were close to every door as well as mistletoe. Small green trees, turning gold by the autumn season, were also growing very close to the sides of the houses as well as in the surrounding fields. It was easy to see that the only thing this village planted was rye. The gold grain grew tall in the fields and looked almost ready for harvesting. Also, if anyone choice to walk around the edges of the village, they would find the river had been made to circle around the fields. So, it seemed the villagers had decided to become islanders.

But why?

Anybody who even made it out to the remote village in the valley would wonder what the reasoning behind it all was. However, the chances of finding a coachman and a team were impossible tonight. Anyone who had been a foot was now safe behind barred doors with their fires and candles almost out.

As the midnight hour arrived, a lone wolf howl echoed off the mountains.

 

Story inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2016/10/13/thursday-photo-prompt-moonlit-writephoto/ With thanks.

Jump

Person Standing on a Brown Wood Log Floating on a Body of Water

Looking into the clear water, I avoided her eyes as her announcement hung in the air. A group of small fish passed by, battling the strong river current. I faked interested in them to give me time to think hard, which I then couldn’t do. Her words were totally unexpected and heavily weighted.

I wanted to ask her so many questions; why? How? Who?

But nothing would form. It was if the English language had left me completely and I was a dumb foreigner in a new country. The fish passed by, going wherever they were heading to up river. Gentle waves lapped at the soil banks and around the posts of the old wooden bridge. I saw a clump of grass and a long twisted stick pass by. It all seemed so normal.

‘Rory,’ she whispered my name like a ghost on the wind.

I didn’t turn to her, I couldn’t.

‘I’m sorry,’ she added as if that would make it any better.

A breeze shook the just turning autumn leaves of the surrounding forest trees. A few leaves came loose and fluttered down into the water. They landed lightly, causing only a few small ripples, then the river carried them away.

And still, I couldn’t face her or the truth of her words. It felt like this was happening to someone else. A different version of me that was here at another time. I hope that Rory acted better.

I heard her stand up. The rustle of clothes, the jiggling of her backpack. All I could think about was this was why she had brought me here, to tell me that. She knew it would be easier out here whilst I was captivated by the magic of the forest instead of inside a cafe or a house. She could slip away perfectly now, vanish into the pines and the hollows without worrying I’d chase after her.

She sighed and lingered for a few moments. I just knew she was waiting for me to say something. What did she want? For me to beg like a dog? Plead that if she took the words back I’d promise my eternal love like some Greek hero? Perhaps, she had known all the long that this would happen. That the weight of her words would sink me like the stones we had sometimes thrown into the river.

My silence stretched. I heard her light footsteps moving away then she paused again and I think she almost wanted to say something to me. Even if I’d wanted to look at her, I couldn’t move my head and perhaps if I had it might have changed things. Or maybe, it wouldn’t have made a difference.

She left me watching the flowing water and thinking about jumping in.

Postcard #25

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I sit here in this darkened hotel room and look out across the river. Lights reflect across the water, reminding me of the way you danced into my life and then out of it again. Why did you leave? The question has burned within me for so long now, I fear the fire may never go out. I know you are out there somewhere and perhaps one day you will read this. Till then though I’ll keep leaving these notes behind and hoping you’ll find them.

River

Green Trees Beside Body of Water

The river was so reassuring in it’s constant movement. The sound of water flowing over rocks and tree roots as it passed through the forest was like the drum beat that kept everything else going. It was in fact the core of the circle of life but it could also symbolism so much more. Power, determination, cleansing and unity. The river did not seem to care about it’s small beginnings or it’s eternal joining of the sea, it just followed the set path before it and allowed it’s voice to be heard by anyone who would listen.

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.