#writephoto — Serenity In the Midst of Madness

4217516E-452E-4D41-9B94-1FA7922107B2Michael sat on the wooden bench by the side of the calm stream, hoping to find that, in what is arguably the most bountiful nation on the planet, there was yet a trace of humanity left.

He had been under a tremendous amount of stress since last night, when yet another mass shooting in America took place. It’s not as if there were no warning signs that such a tragedy would occur. This latest one, in Thousand Oaks, California, was the thirteenth mass shooting — where four or more people were shot — in the United States in the twelve days since (and including) the attack at a synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 27th. Thirteen mass shootings in twelve days.

How many more interviews would Michael, an investigator for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, (aka, the ATF), have to conduct with the survivors of these shootings and of the next of kin of those whose lives had been tragically cut short?

Michael sat on the bench by the stream, tears in his eyes and a profound sadness in his heart, wondering if he could ever find any serenity in the midst of all the madness.

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt. Also for these one-word prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (trace), Daily Addictions (bountiful), Scotts Daily Prompt (warning), and Word of the Day Challenge (kin).

#writephoto — High Times

AE905F8A-D7C2-4572-B557-999E77C24FF0“Are you feeling anything yet?” Archie asked.

“No, not yet,” Willie said. “But it usually takes about an hour to kick in.”

Archie looked at his watch. “We got here about 45 minutes ago, so it should hit us soon, right?”

“Do you see the way the water is bouncing off the rocks?” Willie said. “It’s kaleidoscopic, dude.”

Archie started laughing. “Kaleidoscopic? Is that even a word?”

“Of course it’s a word, dude,” Willie said. “Don’t you see all of those complex patterns of colors and the diamond-shaped prisms of light? It’s a freakin’ kaleidoscope, dude.”

“Damn, Willie,” Archie said. “I think those tabs of blotter acid we each took have kicked in for you, that’s for sure.”

“Look at those ferns, dude,” Willie said. “Have you ever seen ferns that color? What color is that, anyway? Is that what they call fuchsia or tangerine or something?

“And the look at the moss on the rocks, man,” Archie said. “I see blue and green and purple. That’s really intense.”

“The waterfall is like a fireworks show,” Willie said. “Look at the explosion of colors.”

“Hey Willie, are you feeling anything yet?” Archie asked.

“You’re kidding, right?” Willie said.

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt

#writephoto — Sailors’ Delight

5687711A-6C60-4520-993E-1714237C40D1“It’s spectacular, isn’t it?” Marion said. “Like a painting.”

“What makes the sky look like that?” Julie asked her father. She never asked her mother questions like that because whenever she did, her mother would simply say, “Ask you father.” And so she did.

“It’s the sun’s rays glowing from just below the horizon and being reflected in the clouds,” Burt answered. “When the sun sets, sunlight has to pass through more air than in the daytime. When sunlight travels through more atmosphere, it provides more molecules to scatter the violet and blue light away from our eyes.”

“Oh,” Julie said, not really understanding what her father had told her. “But what does it mean?”

Burt looked at his daughter and said, “Red sky at night, sailors’ delight. Red sky in morning, sailors’ warning. That’s an old saying because sailors used to use the setting and rising sun to gauge the weather.”

“How?” Julie asked.

“Because weather moves from west to east, which means storm systems generally move in from the west,” Burt said. “So when you see a red sky at night, it means that the setting sun is sending its light through a high concentration of dust particles. This usually indicates high pressure and stable air coming in from the west. Basically good weather will follow.”

Julie gave her father a questioning look, but he ignored her expression and continued, “But a red sunrise can mean that the good weather has already passed, indicating that a storm system may be moving to the east. A morning sky that is a deep, fiery red can indicate that there is high water content in the atmosphere. So, rain could be on its way.”

“Mom?” Julie said, looking at her mother for help.

“Just look at the sunset and, as your father said, take delight in it for its beauty,” Marion said. “The rest of what your father said is just him showing off.”

Written for today’s Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent.

#writephoto — Birds of a Feather

img_1531They say that birds of a feather flock together. So when she saw a large, blue feather float down from above and land on the sidewalk right in front of her, Amanda instinctively looked up to see where it might have come from.

It was hard for her to see much as the sun was almost directly overhead, but when her eyes adjusted, Amanda was able to see a large flock of bluebirds overhead. But what struck her most was that there were other feathers, similar to the first one she saw on the ground, now spiraling down all around her.

At first it was just a few, but then the volume of feathers increased until the ground was literally covered with blue feathers. Amanda had never seen anything quite like this before, and as she was wondering about it, she heard something hit the ground behind her with a plop-like sound. When she turned to see what it was, much to her shock and surprise, it was a bluebird, dead on the ground and missing many of its feathers.

A few more plop sounds near her, each another bird falling to its death from above. One hit her on the shoulder, bounced off of her and onto the feather-covered sidewalk.

In a panic, Amanda looked for the closest door she could find and ran inside the lobby of an office building. Other people were in there, looking out of the large, plate-glass windows, wondering, as was Amanda, what the hell was going on.

“It’s all over the internet,” someone who was staring at his smartphone yelled. “Twitter is down. It’s been hacked and its little bluebirds are falling down out of the cybersphere.”

Written for yesterday’s Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent. She actually posted two intriguing pictures and this is the second of the two images. If you’re interested, here’s my response to the first image.