#writephoto — Safety Be Damned

AAC4CE1B-4250-412B-8AA0-64F477A0D112“This is remarkable,” Donna said. “What a transformation.”

Steve beamed. “Yeah, we gutted the place,” he said. “Took it down to the studs, reconfigured the layout a little for a better flow, and created an open concept for the kitchen, dining area, and family room.”

“Wow, just wow,” Donna said. “You did an amazing job, that’s all I can say.”

“Thanks,” Steve said. “We also added a powder room on this level and created a master suite upstairs by combining two of the four bedrooms. It has an en-suite bathroom and a huge walk-in closet.”

“So when are you putting it on the market?” Donna asked.

“I still need to stage it, but probably next week if all goes well,” Steve said. “I spent just north of a hundred grand on the renovation, and I think I can clear twice that on the flip.”

“That’s fantastic, Steve,” Donna said. “But I am wondering about the exterior. I see you didn’t clean out the weeds growing out front or do anything about the badly worn steps.”

“I will get rid of the weeds and prune the plants, but I can’t touch the steps,” Steve said.

“Why not?” Donna asked. “Aren’t they a tripping hazard?”

“I thought so, too,” Steve said, “but this community has a restrictive covenant. You can do whatever you want to the interior of the homes, but you can’t make any changes to the exterior. They insist on maintaining the ‘original character’ of the neighborhood.”

“Safety be damned, I guess,” Donna sighed.

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.

#writephoto — The Uprising

BE13989E-F468-40E6-8373-38E094EA27DCStorm clouds began to hover over the land. They grew thicker with each passing day and soon the world, as far as the eye could see, was enshrouded in darkness. But while the sun and the stars had disappeared from the sky, the clouds brought with them no life-sustaining rain. Soon the land began to become parched and what had once been green fields began to turn a dry, rust color.

With so little water available for the livestock, many of the animals humans used for food began to die off. And with nothing left for irrigation, most of the crops began to fail. Faced with starvation, the people became desperate. In their need to find sustenance where little existed, they turned to violence. The darkness was slowly replacing civilized society with lawlessness.

And then a man stepped into the breach. He preached that he, alone, could fix things; that only he could restore law and order to an out-of-control society. He said he was going to clear the clouds and make our lands and our lives great again. He took on god-like qualities as he promised to bring about a new beginning for everyone. And the people believed him. They cheered and embraced him. They allowed him to do his bidding virtually unchecked, believing that he was the answer to all of their prayers.

But he was the answers to the prayers of only the wealthy, of his friends and his family, and of those who needed the least, rather than of those who needed the most. By the time the people realized what he was doing, it was too late. Those with the most had enslaved those with the least.

Until the uprising.

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt. Photo credit: Sue Vincent.

#writephoto/3TC — The Beginning or The End

170EAE13-38F3-4AED-B0E5-D1CCD192B525The past six months had been brutal. Carolyn lost her parents and her grandmother to the virus. She was laid off from her job when her employer closed its doors due to the pandemic. And she just got the results back from her own COVID-19 test and it was positive. Her life, she felt, had hit a metaphysical wall.

As she stared out at the glistening water, she thought about her options. One would be to slowly walk into the surf and literally drown her troubles. Having lost almost everything of meaning in her life, she felt there was nothing left to lose, and nothing left to live for.

On the other hand, she could turn around and give herself a clean break from the past and start her life anew. She was young and, aside from testing positive for the virus, she was healthy. It wasn’t necessarily a death sentence as it had been for her parents and grandmother.

Carolyn was at the crossroads between an end and a new beginning. She looked, once again toward the sea. Then back behind her toward the dry land. It was time for her to decide, and with her usual resolve, she made her choice. She chose her option. And she walked slowly in that direction.

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt and for Di’s Three Things Challenge (been, wall, clean). Photo credit: Sue Vincent.

#writephoto and 3TC — Pastoral Vista

A22F08CE-D842-4877-A86C-751DDB0B4E26“So where are we exactly?” Dan, looking at the pastoral vista of the valley below them, asked Jim.

Jim pulled out his compass. “This is not normal,” he said, a sense of dread in his voice

“What do you mean by not normal,” Dan asked.

“The bearings are all fucked up,” Jim said. “It’s like there’s some geological phenomenon going on.”

At that moment, the earthquake hit, swallowing up the two hikers.

Written for the Three Things Challenge from Di at Pensitivity101. The three things are “normal,” “exactly,” and “bearings.” And for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.

#writephoto — Is That OZ?

5B1DBCB6-5D3C-471E-A1FA-112BA50D9C17Lizzy stopped and let go of her father’s hand. “No, I’m not going.”

“Lizzy, we have to keep moving, sweetheart,” her father said.

“No,” she insisted. “I saw this before. This is the field that Dorothy, Toto, the tin man, the scarecrow, and the lion went into and they all fell asleep for a long, long time. I’m not going in there.”

“Oh Lizzy, that was make believe,” Her father responded. “Besides, that was a field of red poppies. This is a field of purple heather. You have nothing to worry about.”

“Are you sure, Daddy?”

“Yes, sweetie, I’m sure,” he said as he grabbed her hand.

Lizzy pointed toward the hills in the distance. “Is that Oz?” she asked.

“No, honey, it’s freedom,” he answered. “Now let’s hurry before the secret police or the state security forces catch up with us.”

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt.