#writephoto — The Great Outdoors

c4f26af9-3fc6-4e23-a7e4-7c6c8f2a3a65“What a stunning sunset, Josh. Isn’t it beautiful?” Sara asked. “Look at how much dimension there is to the sky with that layer of clouds. It’s so dramatic.”

“This is pure madness, Sara,” Josh said. “It’s cold and damp and it’s nothing short of crazy to go tent camping in the beginning of January.”

“Oh come on, Josh,” Sara said. “Let’s think of this as an adventure.”

“Spring, summer, or fall would be a good time for a camping adventure,” Josh said. “Look at those bare, spiky tree branches. That, and the freezing temperature, doesn’t exactly inspire spending a night in the great outdoors.”

“Grab some of the tree branches that are on the ground and let’s build a fire,” Sara said. “Once we light it up, we can cuddle together in front of the fire and it will keep us nice and toasty.”

“Nothing like igniting a fire in front of a tent on a cold, wintry night to generate a little warmth,” Josh said, smiling for the first time that evening.

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt. I know Sue described this picture as having been taken at dawn, but it fit better into my story as being taken at dusk.

Also written for these one-word prompts: Nova’s Daily Random Word (dimension), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (madness), Daily Addictions (damp), Ragtag Daily Prompt (spiky), and Word of the Day Challenge (ignite).

Take a Hike

209A5B54-4223-4D8E-B9A9-ECFB14DC4B5B“So here’s what I’m thinking,” Jason said. “Let’s plan a hike along the Appalachian Trail. Imagine the camaraderie we’d experience if we spent two weeks hiking and camping out in the wilderness.”

“How did you come up with this little bit of brilliance?” Stan asked.

“Oh come on, Stan,” Bill said. “Not only will it be invigorating as we commune with nature, we’ll be able to learn more about the Appalachian culture.”

“The Appalachian culture?” Mark said. “Seriously, dude. All I can picture is that movie ‘Deliverance,’ with Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty.”

“Well count me out,” said Stan. “No way I want to spend two weeks sleeping on the hard ground, swatting giant mosquitoes, fending off rattlesnakes, and dealing with hillbillies when I can stay home in my nice, air conditioned apartment, sleeping in my own bed, and with a Starbucks on every corner.”

“You are such a wuss, Stan,” Jason said.

“Cut him some slack,” Mark said. “It’s not like doing this is mandatory.”

“Yeah, that’s true,” Bill said. “So, really, there are no Starbucks along the Appalachian Trail? That could be a dealbreaker for me, guys.”

“Hmm,” Jason said. “Okay, guys, how about two weeks lounging on the white sand beaches of Bermuda?”

Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (trail), Word of the Day Challenge (camaraderie), Ragtag Daily Promot (brilliance), Scotts Daily Prompt (cultural), and Your Daily Word Prompt (mandatory).

Never-Never Land

firefly-light-2When Jason was a lad, his family would take a week-long vacation every summer where they would camp deep in the woods, away from civilization. Jason loved these camping trips and roughing it in a tent and sleeping bags. But it was the thousands of fireflies that he loved most about these trips. He believed that they were twinkling little fairies lighting up the night sky. He never saw them back in the city where they lived.

His father called them “lightning bugs,” but he preferred his mother’s name for them, “fireflies.” Each year he’d bring a large mason jar to catch the magical insects. His father would poke small holes in the metal top so that the bugs could get some air.

At night, once darkness fell, Jason would be outside and would carefully catch as many fireflies as he could and gently place them into the mason jar. When it was time to got to sleep, he would put the jar next to his head and pretend that the fireflies were little Tinkerbells and he would have a fantasy that he was Peter Pan seeking Never-Never Land with all the Tinkerbells until he fell fast asleep.

Written for the Three Things Challenge from Teresa over at The Haunted Wordsmith. The three words today are family, fireflies, and fantasy.

And speaking about fireflies….

#writephoto — Beautiful “Sunset”

img_1496“Is that glow from a fire on the other side of the hill?” Samantha asked, pointing towards the hills to the west just across the creek. “Maybe we need to get outta here before it spreads this way.”

“I don’t smell any smoke and I don’t hear any sirens,” Marc noted, “so I think it’s just a very striking sunset with the rays of the setting sun behind the hills and lighting up the sky beneath the cloud.

“Yeah,” Samantha agreed. “The breeze is blowing in that direction. besides, if there was a fire, we’d surely be able to smell the smoke from here.”

“True,” Marc agreed. “I’m going to light the campfire so that we can grill those fish we caught today.”

“Yum. And then, after we clean up, we should get into the tent and hit the sack, since we need to leave early tomorrow morning if we’re going to get home before nightfall tomorrow,” Samantha said. “It’s a long bike ride.”

Or we can make mad, passionate love before we ‘hit the sack,’” Marc said, winking at Samantha.

“You’re such a wicked, wicked man,” Samantha said, laughing.


Marc awoke to the sounds of voices outside their tent. He sat up and glanced at his watch. 2:10 am. “What the fuck?” he said. Samantha sat up and asked what the matter was. Marc slipped on his pants and opened the tent flap.

The acrid smell of smoke filled the tent. Samantha screamed. A park ranger ran to the tent and told the two of them to grab their things and head toward the truck. “The winds shifted last night and the fire jumped the creek and is heading down to the valley in this direction. We need to get you two outta here pronto.”

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.

FFfAW — The Scene of the Crime

1B7C8338-86D5-4487-AF01-15D64C9B560CSince he was the last person to see her alive, it didn’t surprise Aaron that he was, at first, a person of interest in her disappearance.

He told the police at the time that he and Amanda were camping near the bay and, after a romantic night of wine and watching the sunset, they went to their tent, made love, and fell asleep in each other’s arms. But when he woke up early the next morning, she was gone.

Five years had already passed since Amanda disappeared. No one knew what happened to Amanda, and her disappearance was now a cold case. Now Aaron was back, yet again, at the same spot by the bay looking at the same sunset.

As Aaron gazed at the sunset, he remembered how she told him that she wanted a divorce. The fight that ensued became violent, and before dawn broke, he disposed of Amanda’s body.

They say that the criminal always returns to the scene of the crime. Aaron did — every year at this same time.

(174 words)

Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers from Priceless Joy. Image Credit: Footy and Foodie.