Strong winds blew summer away, everything became colder and darker but colour bloomed in the changing leaves which danced to the ground.
Strong winds blew summer away, everything became colder and darker but colour bloomed in the changing leaves which danced to the ground.
The twigs appeared like a trail down the middle of the road. It could have been caused by the storm yesterday but Carrie thought not.
Pulling her horse, Sasha, more to the side to avoid any sharp bits of wood, Carrie cursed the council clearing team. They were always leaving a mess behind them after being out here and it wasn’t good enough.
After returning home and stabling Sasha, Carrie went onto her laptop and wrote a complaints email. She doubted nothing would come to it but if she threaten to sue if Sasha got injured maybe they would listen this time.
(Inspired by; https://crimsonprose.wordpress.com/2019/08/28/crimsons-creative-challenge-42/ with thanks).
The trees moved violently as if stuck by a giant when the chopper flew close to them. The noise of the whirling blades blocked out all of sound but then the emergency bleeping went off.
People watched in horror as the helicopter failed to land and crashed into the forest.
(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2019/08/06/twittering-tales-148-august-6-2019/ with thanks).
They say family roots run deep but how does that apply to an orphan? Especially one in his fifties who’s only just found out that his parents weren’t actually his.
Sitting down in the root maze, under my favorite trio of trees in the park, my thoughts were clouded by betrayal and lies. My ‘parents’ had never told me and now they had both passed, the lawyer had been the one to break the news.
Sitting in the leather chair, a huge desk between us, I had read the looks on the lawyer’s face and decided he was going to tell me some super bad news. Like; ‘your parents had nothing to leave you. Or your parents left everything to a cat charity.’ But no, it was; ‘James you are adopted. Margret and William were not your biological parents.’
I didn’t know what to say or then did he have the right family? Was this the last joke of my father? Funny man he was, always up for a laugh and a prank. But no, it was all true. Here was accounts from a police officer and social services and newspaper cuttings too; Baby Boy Found Abandoned In Park; Police Appeal For Parents To Come Forward.
The lawyer said no one knows who my parents were but Margret and William created a paper trail if I wanted to try and find out. The lawyer give me a box file then my not parents’ house, money and everything else. I left numb and not sure what else to do I came to the park and the trio trees.
Reading through the some of the papers, it interested me to note that I was actually found close to here, in a yellow blanket. Perhaps, that’s why I had always been drawn to here or maybe it was just one of those things. Whatever it was, wasn’t important right now.
I felt myself slipping away, everything I had known no longer felt true. Who actually was I? I felt like an actor playing the role of James McBride who had forgotten his true self.
I shoved everything back into the box file and looked up. The sunlight was dancing through the leaves of the trees, like disco lights. I shut my eyes.
I was still me.
My parentage didn’t change anything.
(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2019/05/09/thursday-photo-prompt-rooted-writephoto/ with thanks).
Yoicks; a fox hunter cry urging on the hounds.
The peacefulness of the woods was shattered by the sounds of many dogs barking and horses’ hooves stomping. Animals fled, running for hiding places but it was the fox who burst through the bushes that was being chased.
The loud cry of a hunting horn pieced the air followed by the led man’s voice urging the hounds forward. The dogs crashed through the undergrowth, eagerly searching for their prey.
The fox, full of blind panic tripped into a muddy pool. He sank to the bottom before struggling up the surface. He swim across, leaving waves behind and came out on the other side coated in mud.
Slower now he made his way in between two trees and stopped by a large stone trove. It was deep enough to hide in but not to be come trapped in. He looked down and saw a leave covered bed at the bottom. Slipping in, he found a chest high level of stinky, collected rain water under the leaves but since he could stand, he settle, letting the leaves cover him listened and he listened to the noise above.
The hounds had followed the trail to the pool where the spent a few minutes sniffing around. This give the hunting party time to catch up, the men in red coats milled around on the backs of their horses, waiting for the hounds to re-find the trail. Once the dogs did, they give howls of joy and set off again.
The scent of the fox was weak though and now as the hounds came towards the stone trove they found the fox smell had gone again. The dogs sniffed; earth, rotting vegetation, stagnate water, decomposing autumn leaves, the smell of each other, horses and men but no fox.
Desperately the dogs search, wondering a bit further away each time, letting their noses led them. The horses and riders joined them, coming to a stop again but some of the men could see the dogs had lost the trail.
The led hunter rallied the hounds, encouraging them to find the fox. The dogs did as he asked but they became more and more stressed at the vanished prey.
Deciding to press on, in the hopes the scent was found again, the hunting party left the area.
After a few minutes, making sure the sounds of dogs and horses were in the distant, the fox climbed out of the stone trove with a struggle. He was weighted down by mud and slimy water, he smelt bad but it had saved his life.
Walking back through the trees, he went to the muddy pool again. He swim across, shook out his coat then trotted off into the undergrowth, leaving the hunting party far away in the opposite direction.
(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2019/04/25/thursday-photo-prompt-shade-writephoto/ with thanks).
Xylophile; Someone who loves forests.
The cold river water rushes over my bare feet and legs. I feel small stones against my toes and move slightly to be more comfortable. My hand are flat on the rock I’m sitting on and I can feel the slightly damp moss brushing against me. I shut my eyes and just listen to the sounds of the water, the trees and everything else around me.
A few minute later, I feel the natural energy gathering. It’s hard to describe, but it feels like a warm wind wrapping around me then sinking into me. I feel little electric charges dancing across my skin, they go and I feel calmness, sleepy almost. I drift, dozing on and off, letting the wind and water carry me away.
Time passes, I’m aware and not aware of it at the same time. I just feel the magic filling me up and the sense of the river against my feet and the mossy rock under my hands are not there anymore. Dizziness makes my head swim and I lay down on the rock to make sure I don’t fall. I don’t sleep but I’m not fully awake either. I’m just drifting in and out, around the energy that takes over.
When I next open my eyes, I lay there and listen. I can hear the trees whispering to each other. They are having conversations and telling stories but I can’t make out their words clearly enough to understand.
The river laughs and tickles my feet. The water is happy to tumble down the waterfall and around the rocks. The river asks me to give it sticks and leaves to race with.
I slowly get up, make my way back to the grass bank and in a daze, I find anything that will float. I collect a few sticks, leaves, bits of things and place them into the river, above the waterfall. I watch the river play with the things, turning them and making them race through the tumbling water. The river laughs loudly like a child enjoying a good game.
Going to a near by tree, I sit down. I hear the tree talking, the leaves above moving not by the wind but by the energy of the tree itself. The tree tells about the owl that lives in a hallow high above and the two baby owls inside the nest. The tree says it is happy to give the owl and her babies a home.
I touch the bare earth, my name sake, that the tree has disturbed with it roots. The earth tells me to take it’s energy and to use some of them to anchor myself down, like the earth does to everything.
I breath deeply, filling my lungs with the energy. I hear then feel a spring rain began to fall. The drops patter onto the trees and plants before reaching my skin. It feels like warm, soft kisses on my skin.
Getting up, I walk out from under the tree and stand in the rain. It’s soft and warm. I let the rainfall wash me and from it I take more energy; the elements of air and water.
I feel better and like I can face my problems again. It’s hard to leave the forest, the place of my birth and where I feel most like myself, but I must do. I have to get back to things but I’ll keep returning, drawing the energy and making the magic until the day I return to nature and am buried under the soil here to await re-birth.
Spring had been getting stronger over the last few days, but today as I walked my foster dogs in the woods, I noticed that it officially had become. The birds were singing as they built their nests, there was green everywhere, broken by bright flowers, the trees looked alive once more and the mud puddles were drying up.
I stopped under a row of trees and looked up at their budding leaves. The sun shone through dappling the ground in small spot lights. I felt a gently, lovely warmth on my face that made me smiled.
Spring was the best season.
(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2019/03/28/thursday-photo-prompt-bright-writephoto/ With thanks).
The island was use to all kinds of storms which was why I had decided to move here to study them. Newly waving my degree and happy to be finally striking out on my own, I was naive to adulthood and the overall consequences of surviving storms.
My first one was an evening thunder and lightening storm out at sea. I sat on the roof of my new bungalow house with my binoculars, camera and notebook in hand, watching and recording the fascinating scene of lightening bolts striking large waves.
After that, there were tropical storms which whipped the wind and rain into a frenzy that crashed down trees and damaged houses. A violent sea storm that causes a cliff to fall and low down houses to be flooded. More thunder and lightening, including one that started a fire in a patch of woodland.
I studied them all, publishing reports and making my wages at the weather station. Of course, I felt some of those storms’ effects but I was never threatened. However, six months in and there came a report from the mainland about a possible hurricane hitting us.
I was the one who picked up the message and brought it to my supervisor to read.
‘Chances are it’ll miss us, like the last two,’ he said then took the report to the boss.
So, no need to worry then.
Throughout the month, more and more warnings came in and with a week to go, the hurricane wouldn’t be ignored anymore. We had been putting out the word, recommending that people prepared for the worse and should think about leaving for safer mainland cities.
I excited, my first hurricane! decided not to bother returning home except to collect somethings then moved into the accommodation next door.
Whilst everyone else was protecting their homes by putting up wooden boards or metal sheets, stacking sandbags, then stocking essentials and either leaving their homes or hunkering down in storm shelters and basements, I was in my element watching the hurricane growing.
When it hit, something finally clicked in my body and the urge to flee grew so much I had no choice but to go and join the other weather station employees in the shelter. The winds were over 100 MPH causing trees, houses and everything else to be tossed around, I could here these constant sounds of the wind roaring and things crashing. The rain pelted down like stones. I could also make out the sound of the sea in the background, which was swelling around the island as if trying to claim it back.
I don’t know why it took till that moment, huddled on a camping bed under a sleeping bag, wide awake, watching the electric lights flicking then finally dying that true knowledge of my situation kicked in. A million thoughts flooded me and the flight instinct screamed but there was nowhere to go. I reasoned with myself, eyes fixed on the metal door, that if I went out there death awaited whilst in here there was a chance of surviving.
I felt terrified, sick and emotional all at once, shakes racked my body, the noise wouldn’t stop in my head. I bolted up, hands over ears, screaming and screaming. It didn’t help though because I could still hear the hurricane.
Everyone tried to calm me down but I was beyond human contact. My supervisor sat with me, repeated talking. I guess tiredness made me stop in the end. Everything was damp with my tears and loud with my panic. Blinded, deaf and numb, I just remembered, my supervisor getting me to drink water and take some pills.
‘Those will calm you and these make you sleep,’ he explained.
Like the electricity, I was out for the rest of the hurricane.
When I came to, I was alone and silence pressed heavily on me. I got up went to the bathroom, had a shower and brushed my teeth. Dressed, I walked out of the shelter and saw that everything had changed.
Trees broken in to bits, lay across everything and things underneath them; houses, cars etc were crushed into almost unrecognisable pulps. The weather station was gone, blown apart as if hit by a bomb. Most of the other buildings looked the same, as if they had been wiped away. Those that still stood were flooded and only fit to be knocked down.
Boats that been in the harbour were now on land, sticking out from the remains of houses and trees or laying in lakes that had once been fields. Roads had given way, creating dead ends and blockades to places. Rubbish and peoples’ belongs were scattered everywhere that it would be impossible to reunite things when the clean up began.
I walked slowly, trying to pick patches of dry and clear-ish to step. My mind was reeling, I had only seen scenes like this in photos and on TV. There was just too much to take in and I could smell the sea so harshly my nose was sore.
I reached a small group of people, picking things out of the remains of the weather station. My supervisor waved me over.
‘How you feeling?’
‘Okay,’ I muttered.
‘Look at all this!’ he said picking up a piece of twisted metal, ‘oh, well. When we rebuild, more hurricane proofing is needed.’
‘Rebuild? How can you?’ I cried, ‘everything is just…gone!’
‘Not everything. We are still here.’
He had a point.
‘Don’t let this put you off,’ he added, ‘it’s not all bad.’
I nodded and with nothing else to do, went and helped where I could.
From that moment, I give storms greater respect and I made my job more about helping people survive them then just studying them.
(Inspired by; https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/tale-weaver-209-rebuild-7th-february/ with thanks).
When autumn comes it’s time to turn over a new leaf, to began a new as the trees turn colour.
George didn’t know why it had taken him this long to find what he was looking for. He guessed it was because he had been looking too hard and thus not noticed it before. Sitting down on the bench he looked passed the two beech trees that created a nice frame and watched the sun began to set.
Everything felt so peaceful in this lonely corner of the park. The birds were singing evening song at their loudest and best, the hum of people and cars was hardly a distant sound and George felt the happiest he had done in months.
He took a few deep breaths, relaxed and saw the blue sky and white clouds being washed by colours of pink, yellow, orange and a dash of purple. George couldn’t remember the last time he had seen the sunset but that and everything else seemed not to matter right now. He was in this moment and that was all that was important.
The old peoples’ home where he lived was far from his mind and so was the bed he had just spend weeks being ill in. All the smells he had grown to know were go and replaced with fresh air, the blooming of flowers, cut grass and earth.
He knew if he just shut his eyes, he could pretend to be young again; a boy out playing after school, a teenager enjoying a break from exams, a young man wooing a lady with a evening stroll. It was all there in his head, that past life of his, that seemed so far away and almost like it belonged to someone else.
George didn’t shut his eyes though, he kept them fixed to the sky, wanting no other thoughts or feelings right now expect for peace. He had been in pain – emotionally and physically – for so long and he just wanted to be free of all that. He needed to move on now and live the final chapter of his life.
The warmth that had been surrounding him dipped away, leaving George feeling cooler. Above the sun was fast setting, the colours becoming darker and the sky turning grey. The tree tops turned black and a near by lamp flickered on.
It was time to go back, even though he didn’t feel like it. If he could stay, he’d sat through watching the night but he was too old now to cope with the creeping chill of the air. The idea of a hot cup of tea and a cosy bed was calling to his achy body.
Unsteadily, George got up and walked slowly away, leaving the sunset behind him.
(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2018/06/14/thursday-photo-prompt-beginnings-writephoto/ with thanks).
Life is make believe, fantasy given form
Dark vampire fantasy. Because dangerous fiction is sexy.
A man with dyslexia writing about this and that and everything else!
Crimson's prose, poems and photos