#writephoto — Table

“It’s the location,” Pete said. “We’re in the middle of nowhere.”

“I think it’s the weather,” Joan said. “You know how iffy the weather can be even in late March.”

“I’m sure it’s the pandemic,” Uncle Dave said. “A lot of folks are still reluctant to go out until the majority of people have been vaccinated.”

Becky started crying. “It’s because everyone hates me.”

“No, sweetie,” Grandma Rose said. “Nobody hates you. It’s because your mother waited too long to mail the invitations.

“Grandma Rose is wrong, sweetie,” Joan said to Becky, flashing her mother-in-law a dirty look. “I mailed them in plenty of time.”

The family members all stared at the empty table. Eight year old Becky put her hands on her hips, stomped her right foot hard onto the ground, and said, “Worst birthday party ever!”


Written for KL Casey’s #writephoto prompt. Photo credit: KL Caley.

#writephoto — Transition and Renewal

Time goes by and, due to various circumstances, transitions must happen. A few years back, Helen Vahdati hosted “Song Lyric Sunday,” but illness forced her to step back from that prompt and Jim Adams took it over. After Hélène Vaillant sadly passed away, Sadje picked up her “What Do You See?” prompt. When Teresa Grabs closed down her “The Haunted Wordsmith” blog, Paula Light took over Teresa’s “Three Things Challenge” prompt for a while, until Di (Pensitivity101) picked up the baton. Another of Teresa’s prompts, “Fibbing Friday,” has been carried on by the aforementioned Di, who alternates with Frank (PCGuyIV) to keep that fun prompt going.

Now, due to illness, Sue Vincent is handing over her popular “Thursday Photo Prompt” (aka #writephoto) to KL Caley, who plans to carry on Sue’s popular prompt. Thank you, KL, and all the best to you, Sue.

Here is this week’s #writephoto prompt from KL, with a photo from Sue Vincent’s library.

At seventeen years old, Beatrice had led a very prim and proper life. Her behavior was always what was expected of a young lady of the manor. She never behaved in an outlandish way and she was always doing what was mainstream for a member of her station in life.

Now Beatrice had reached the age in her life where she was growing curious about the world outside of the tall stone walls that surrounded the manor. She had never been beyond the walls and felt that it was time to taste a flavor of living she had yet to experience. From books she’d read and stories she’d been told, she’d created her own visual image in her mind’s eye of life outside of the walls.

She was particularly curious about the peculiar oval door in the wall. All the other doors in the manor and around the stone wall were rectangular and adult sized. But not this one, and Beatrice wanted to know why.

One day she asked her older brother about it. He advised her to stifle her curiosity until she reached the age of 21 and would have her coming out extravaganza. “You’ve got a good thing going here, Beatrice,” her brother said. “Don’t jinx it by asking too many questions.”

“But just tell me why that door is small and oval, when all other doors are tall and rectangular,” Beatrice pleaded with her brother.

Her brother sighed. “Let’s just say that that particular door was designed to fit those who use it.”

Beatrice was still confused. “I don’t understand,” she said. “What do you mean?”

“You’ve led an insulated life here in the manor and some of the beings in the fairytales you’ve grown up with are not make believe. The world outside of these walls is not just populated by humans. I suggest you leave it at that, at least until you turn 21 and are introduced into society outside of the manor.”


Also written for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (prim), Your Daily Word Prompt (outlandish), The Daily Spur (mainstream), MMA Storytime (flavor), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (visual), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (jinx).

#writephoto — Into the Deep

Craig was the adventurous one. Alan was more cautious. So naturally, Craig had to cajole his older brother, to call him a pussy and a wimp, in order to get him to walk to the edge of the ravine and to look down at the dark, swirling water far below.

“Feel like going for a swim, bro?” Craig teased. “It’s so damn hot and I bet diving into the chilly water would be really refreshing.”

“No way,” Alan said as he backed away from the edge. “You’d have to be crazy to jump in the water from this height. If you want us to go swimming to cool off, let’s hike back down the path to the water’s edge at the bottom of the ravine.

“I can’t believe my big brother is such a wus,” Craig said. “You go ahead and hike back down there, Alan, and call up to me when you get there so you can witness my feat of heroism and athleticism.”

“Craig, you’re nuts,” Alan said. “You don’t even know how deep the water is at this spot. Please, I’m begging you, come with me. Don’t do it. It’s not worth getting hurt or worse.”

“Sorry, Alan,” I’m not a wimp like you. I’m going to dive in now.” Craig took a deep breath, moved to the precipice, gave a Tarzan-like shout, and dived.

******

Alan couldn’t shake the tremendous guilt he felt for not being able to talk his kid bother out of his reckless act. Tears streamed down his eyes as he sat at Craig’s funeral three days later.


Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt. Also for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (swim), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (chilly).

#writephoto — The Prodigal Son

After Richard graduated from high school, he realized that, unless he followed in the footsteps of all the males in his family for generations, he had no prospects for employment in the small company town in West Virginia. He could not abide by the thought of working in the coal mine, the town’s only real employer for able-bodied young men.

Richard’s departure had been sudden and unexpected to all but himself. Even though he didn’t know where he would go or what he would do, he did know that he needed to embark on his journey of self-discovery. And so Richard quietly packed up his meager belongings and disappeared before dawn one morning.

He figured that no one would miss him. He was, after all, a loner. He had few friends and even his parents complained that he had been a cold, aloof child. He was never quite sure if he was that way because it was just in his nature to keep his distance from others or if he acted that way because that’s how everyone told him he was. In the end, though, it didn’t matter. He left and didn’t look back.

Although he vowed that he would never return, Richard found himself standing on the ridge of the hill looking down at the small town where he had been born and raised. It was hard for him to believe that five whole years had passed since he’d last been to the place he used to call home.

During his absence, Richard had finally discovered who he was. He was still a loner, still aloof, but now he was okay with being that way. Those were the characteristics that gave him the self-sufficiency and confidence to make it on his own. And now it was time for the prodigal son to go home for a long overdue homecoming. It was time to reintroduce himself to his family.

If they would have him.


Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt. The idea is to use the photo above and this week’s prompt word, “return,” to write our story. And speaking of return, I’m so happy that Sue is feeling well enough, after having been seriously ill, to return to posting brand new #writephoto prompts.

#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.