Welcome to the new and improved word sprint writing prompt series – #SwiftFicFriday!
After some feedback and more consideration, I’m updating the rules to give more people a chance to participate! Instead of 30 minutes or just an hour, I’m opening the prompt up to FOUR hours: 8:30PM-12:30AM on the east coast.
Other things to keep in mind:
– Include social media links/handles/anything you want to promote (Twitter, FB, etc) & word count in the comment with your submission.
– Submission must be between 150-300 words.
– All stories are property of the authors.
– Winner will be determined via reader votes over the weekend.
Ready, set, write!
Prompt: Scrolling through Pinterest, I came across this picture and thought it was neat, so here you go!
7 thoughts on “#SwiftFicFriday – Week 37 Prompt”
My camera turned itself off, and I knew the battery was drained. As I wasn’t done taking pictures of the damage yet, I pulled the drained battery out, and put in the last of my spares. Six batteries, drained, taking pictures of this site.
“There’s a pattern in the damage,” was all I could think. “A pattern that repeats.” Pictures tend not to lie, especially unedited pictures, captured straight to film. Not like digital images where you can change everything. It’s why I used film for the research.
“Same damage as the other seven sites in the state.” The tension in my jaw made my teeth ache, and I wondered if I’d crack another tooth from the stress. “Breathe, damn-it. Breathe.”
The damage wasn’t to destroy the structure, or the framework of the building. It was designed to lower the value of the building. To make it ugly, and unmarketable. It was always focused on surfaces. Taking down walls, leaving the maximum amount of debris, destroying stair rails, but leaving the stairs in place, pulling down the ceiling, showing the framework, cables, pipes, and insulation.
The framework of a building was the least expensive part, relatively speaking. What made it expensive was the appearance. Wreck the appearance, and the price of the building plummeted.
A second aspect of the damage, people stopped visiting the damaged places. Business inside went under, closed, left. No one wanted to shop amid the damage. No one wanted to watch a movie, or a theater performance in a wrecked place. Didn’t matter how big the place had been. The damage killed it.
With enough pictures, from enough sites, I hoped to show the damage was deliberate. Someone wanted the framework to use for themselves. That was obvious. What was not obvious was who.
LikeLiked by 2 people
“Are you feeling well, Roxanne?” Ambrose tried to reach her before she skipped up the stairs. Damn, humans are fast little creatures.
She’d already reached the first landing before he’d climbed a few steps.
“Come on, Ambrose. It’ll be fun. Don’t you want to see what the other rooms look like?”
But she darted up the next flight, as nimble as a fawn at the height of Beltane. He made his four feet move faster, but he kept a keen eye on the crumbling steps. “Sweet Epona, guide my way.”
He managed to reach the next floor without mishap, but he couldn’t find his sister-in-arms. Although, let’s be fair, here. You don’t think of her as your sister. He grimaced against his inner voice’s blunt honesty. No, he didn’t think of Roxanne as his sister. He didn’t think of her as anything other than a traveling companion. She was human, for the Goddess’s sake, and he a centaur. That was never gonna happen, and he definitely didn’t want to think of the logistics.
“Ugh.” He stopped and rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands. “No. Just, no.”
“What’s no?” Roxanne appeared out of nowhere beside him and laid a hand on his arm. “Are you okay? Did you get something in your eyes?”
Again, her touch brought surprising heat and pleasure, and all his uneasy thoughts vaporized. His voice went with them and he could only stare dumbly at her.
“Here, come over to this bench and sit down.” She dragged him closer to an old rotted velvet cushion, but he finally found his voice and balked at getting close.
“Centaurs don’t sit.”
“Of course not, dork. It’s for me so I can see into your eyes. I’m not as tall as you, remember?”
299 #Siren Words
LikeLiked by 1 person
Ooo! I like this. And it fits with a WIP I’m trying to finish.
Maroshek stepped around broken bricks and shattered glass. Bits of wood scattered throughout were charred and crumbling. So much gone in the blink of an eye. He’d been gone for just a week. And he’d come home to this. Everything in ruins.
He looked up at the peeling, broken, blue ceiling. Tears threatened to spill down his tanned face at the ruined sight of what had been his mother’s pride and joy.
“My Lord, your presence is requested at the hospital.” The guard’s voice seemed loud in what remained of his childhood home.
Maroshek took a deep breath and one last look around, knowing he would never return. It would never be the same, anyway. He turned and followed the guard to the hospital. It was one of the few buildings untouched by the second wave of raider attacks.
“Burn them all,” Maroshek muttered to himself, knowing his mother would scold him for cursing but not able to muster energy to care.
The guard showed him to the door of a tiny room at the end of a hall. Maroshek hesitated before stepping into the room. Seeing his father—his strong, military leader father—lying motionless wrapped in so many bandages felt like a slap.
When Maroshek reached Lord Kerhan’s side, his father turned his head to face Maroshek.
“Is it done, son?” Lord Kerhan’s voice rasped out the words in a whisper.
“Yes, Father. The Pledging is complete, even though Lady Jaylen is only six years old.”
“Good. This is now your most sacred duty. You must not fail in this.”
Maroshek shook his head. “I won’t, Father, I swear.”
“I love you, Maroshek. You’ve made me proud.”
“I love you, too, Father.” Maroshek took Lord Kerhan’s hand. A moment later, Maroshek became the new Lord of House Phoenix.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Death glided up the crumbled staircase, following the sounds of sobbing further within the mansion. Old lamps were busted along the hall, shattered glass littering the floor. It didn’t make a sound underfoot. The sobbing came from a spare bedroom. Furniture covered in white sheets that long since had collected layer upon layer of dust.
He stopped in the doorway, surveying the scene before him. A middle-aged woman kneeling over the lifeless form of a younger child, a boy. He couldn’t have been more than six.
“Mother. Mother! Don’t cry. I am right here, mother. Answer me, please!” The boy was shaking the shoulder of the woman, small hands going right through her.
The darkness within Death’s hood stirred with a whirlwind’s force. These bridges hurt the most.
“Mother? Mother! Why won’t you answer me?”
“She can’t hear you, son.” Death’s voice grabbed only the boy’s attention. The woman’s sobs still filled the empty room with despair, unaware of the touches of spirit around her. Confused and uncertain brown eyes looked up to him and Death held out a bony hand. “Come with me.”
“But… But you are Death. I cannot go. I am not dead!”
“Son, I am afraid you are. Come with me, now. I will show you your ancestors. Grandmother. Great-grandfather. Your lost cousin.”
Sadness began to fill the boy’s gaze, looking down to the body his soul once inhabited, to a grieving mother who should never have to bury her first born. “But…my mother,” he whispered.
“Will find peace in time. She will cherish the memories and the quilt she made you. Your mother will heal, and you may watch over her as she does. I am afraid it is time to go though. You cannot stay upon this plane. You cannot heal here.”
298 #Embermyst #backstory words
LikeLiked by 1 person