#writephoto — Sailor’s 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, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s 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.

#writephoto — Tales From the Crypt

img_1530The tour guide was explaining how these catacombs were once used as dungeons where the king would house enemies of the state and the skeletal remains on display are the actual bones of some of the prisoners.

“Oh, if these bones could talk,” Becky heard an eerie voice say in a hushed whisper.

“Did you hear that?” she said to her twin brother.

“Hear what?” Ben asked.

“Never mind,” Becky said, guessing her sometimes overactive imagination was getting the best of her.

The tour guide led the group to the next display, and as Becky was about to follow, she heard, “The tales they would tell.”

Becky ran up to Ben, who was a few steps ahead of her. “Ben, wait,” she said.

“What now?” Ben asked.

“I know you’re going to think I’m crazy, but that skeleton,” she said, pointing to the one they had just passed, “was talking to me.”

“Did you hit the bong before we came on this tour?” Ben asked.

“No, Ben, I’m serious,” Becky said. “It was talking to me, telling me of the tales it could tell if it could talk.”

And then Ben heard the soft, eerie voice. “Oh, if only these bones could talk,” followed by, “The tales they would tell.”

“Holy shit,” he said, grabbing his sister’s hand and pulling her as they ran to catch up with the rest of the tour. When they reached the group, they heard hysterical laughing coming from behind them. The tour guide walked over to them, shaking her head. “I’m so sorry,” she said. Then she called down the hall to the area from which they heard the voice. “Henri, you must stop doing this!”

Ben and Becky looked at one another and back at the tour guide. “My ten-year-old brother, he is such an imp.” she explained. “He hides behind the crypt and then plays his tape recorder to make people think the skeleton is talking. But,” she added, “he only does it to people he likes.”

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

#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.