#writephoto — The Monastery

img_1416Janet was cold and miserable, her feet torn, bleeding, and wet from running through the rough brush as fast as she could. She could see the clouds of her breath plume into the wintry air as she paused to look back at the old monastery where she’d been imprisoned for more years than she could count.

After her parents died in the war, Janet was taken in by her mother’s brother, an orthodox monk. She felt blessed that, at her young age, she was not left to fen for herself in the war-torn city streets. She was warm, well fed, and had the run of the huge monastery.

Taken under the wing of the abbot, Janet learned much about the monks of this sect, including their vows of chastity, poverty, obedience, and stability. She felt comfortable and secure in her new life.

But as the years passed and she transitioned from a young girl into a young woman, Janet noticed that the attention she was receiving from the abbot was changing. He took a keen interest in her developing body and it soon became apparent to her that his vow of chastity was less important to him that his demand for her obedience.

She told her mother’s brother about what the abbot was doing to her, but instead of coming to her aid, as she had expected, he went to the abbot and told him of her disobedience, which only made matters worse.

The abbot beat her, restricted her movements around the monastery, and continued to have his way with her. At one point he began to allow other monks to abuse her. The life she once thought to have been blessed had become cursed.

After weeks of searching for a way out, Janet managed to sneak out of a basement window and to run for all that she was worth, hoping to escape her hellish nightmare.

Taking one last look back, Janet turned around and continued to run down the the large hill until she reached the village below. She ran up to the first person she saw, a kindly looking woman, and asked for help. The woman agreed to take her a place where she could get help and seek refuge.

She escorted Janet to the back door of the Catholic church in the center of town. When she saw the priest, Janet gasped. He looked down at her and said, “Hello, Janet. I’ve been expecting you. I received word from the monastery where my twin brother is the abbot. He said that you were unhappy there, but you are welcome to sanctuary in our church.”

Janet turned to run away, but the priest grabbed her, pulled her close, and whispered, “Don’t worry, Janet. I’ll take very good care of you.”

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

#writephoto — The Young Earth

img_1351Jason’s kids spotted the two large boulders, ran over to them, and started climbing on them. “Be careful, kids,” he yelled after them.

When Jason caught up with them, they asked him how the boulders got to be in this lush, green, semi-tropical forest surrounded by brush and trees. They seemed to be strangely out of place.

As an amateur geology buff, he was happy to explain. “Geologists believe,” he said, “that the boulders were deposited around here back when the planet was going through the ice age. That was about two and a half million years ago. Huge boulders like these were pushed south ahead of the massive, migrating glaciers.”

“That can’t be right, Daddy,” said Michael.

“Yeah, Daddy,” chimed in Susan. “Mommy’s boyfriend told us that planet Earth is only six or seven thousand years old.”

“Right,” added Michael. “That’s what Peter told us. He says that the Bible says so.”

“I see,” said Jason, irritated that his ex-wife was allowing her new boyfriend to fill his kids’ heads with this young earth bullshit. “Well,” Jason said, “some people believe in what is called the ‘young earth theory.’ But there is no science behind that theory.” The Earth was actually formed more than four billion years ago.”

“Peter said that the scientists are mistaken,” Michael said. “He said that, according to the Bible, God created the Earth, which is the center of the universe, just six or seven thousand years ago.”

“And he said that because the Bible is the word of God, it must be true and the scientists are wrong,” Susan added.

“Okay, kids,” Jason said, “we can talk more about this later. Go ahead and play for a few more minutes and then we’ll have to start heading back before your mother starts wondering if we got lost on our hike.”

When the kids were out of earshot, Jason pulled out his cellphone and called his ex-wife. When she answered, he simply said, “Jane, we have to have a serious conversation.”

Written for this week’s Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent.

#writephoto — Big Splash

img_1277The four friends were hanging out by a small pond at their favorite, relatively isolated section of the park. “I’m bored,” announced Eddie. “What should we do to for some excitement?”

“I have an idea,” Tim said. “Let’s see which one of us can create the biggest splash.”

“I’m not jumping into that pond,” said Arnie. “No way.”

Tim laughed. “I don’t mean by us jumping in,” he explained. “I mean by throwing something into the water. Like a large rock or something.”

“I like that idea,” said Carl. “I’m going to go look for something heavy to toss into it because I’m going to win.”

Each of the boys ran off in different directions after agreeing to meet back at the pond in 15 minutes. Once they were all assembled back at the pond, each took a turn at throwing something into the water to generate the biggest splash.

Tim tossed in a large, gray cinder block, which produced a moderately sized splash before sinking out of site.

Eddie tossed an old tire into the water, but rather that generated a splash, it just plopped over, filled with water, and started to sink. “Well, that was a bust,” he said, laughing.

Struggling with a large, heavy rock, Arnie stepped up to the pond and gave the rock an alley oop toss into the pond. It generated a large splash. “I think we have a winner!” he exclaimed.

“Wait!” shouted Carl. “It’s my turn.” He ran behind a tree and rolled out a large, metal barrel and placed it by the edge of the pond. Then he used a crowbar to pry off the top of the barrel and a transparent, yellowish liquid poured out of the barrel and into the water, causing an enormous splash. Carl proudly announced that his splash was the largest and that he won.

“Ew, gross,” said Tim, covering his nose. “What’s that awful smell?”

The three boys, all holding their noses, looked over at Carl. “What was in that barrel?” Eddie asked.

“I don’t know,” said Carl. “I found it behind the factory and rolled it over here. The four boys went to the barrel and that’s when they noticed the markings on it.F4993A80-9F71-4192-BF20-EC298101277C“Damn, Carl,” said Eddie. “What the hell did you do?”

“I didn’t see it, dude,” Carl answered, “but I’m getting the hell outta here!”

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Writing Prompt.

#writephoto — The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Footprints

img_1204“This is weird.” Pointing toward the rocks, Jon said, “These footprints in the sand seem to start over there at rocks, but they end right here in front of us.”

“Not only that,” Jon’s buddy, Steve, said. “But look how far apart they are. It’s like the guy who made them was running.”

“But what could he have been running from?” Jon asked. “This place seems to be deserted. I haven’t seen another soul all day.”

“They’re pretty large footprints,” Steve observed. “They are from a man’s shoes.”

Both young men looked around, concerned that perhaps they weren’t alone on the island.

“What happened to him? Why did the footprints disappear?” Jon wondered aloud. “It’s not like the high tide washed them away. We’re too far from the water’s edge for that to have happened.”

“I think we need to head back to the boat and get off this island. Something weird is going on here,” Steve said.

“Fine by me,” Jon responded. “I’m thirsty, anyway.”

As the two started heading to where they had left their small boat, they noticed a whirring sound coming from overhead. They both looked up simultaneously to see a strange looking, cigar-shaped object hovering above them. “What the hell is that?” Jon asked.

But before Steve could answer, two beams of light engulfed the two men and they suddenly found themselves becoming elevated and carried up toward the cigar-shaped object.

At some point later Jon awoke to find himself strapped to a table with some strange looking creatures staring down at him. He looked over to his right and saw Steve similarly strapped down. Steve was also waking up.

“Well,” Jon said. “I think the mystery of the disappearing footprints has been solved.”

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

#writephoto — Wake Up Dead

8AFD1E23-EDDF-43C3-AF60-9427B33D9C05“It’s going to be a frigid night tonight,” Dave said. “We really need to find a place to hold up in until this cold weather passes if we don’t want to wake up dead.”

Annie had to laugh. “Dad,” she said, “you can’t wake up dead. If you wake up, you’re not dead. And if you’re dead, you won’t wake up.”

“Aren’t you a smarty?” Dave smiled at his daughter, but the smile belied his concern. It was April. Usually the temperatures at this time of year were still cool, but tolerable, even up here in the hills. But this year, at their annual father-daughter camping trip, it was unusually cold. He knew that with this sudden drop in temperatures, it could be dangerously cold.

One option was to start back to where they’d parked the car, but there was no way to make it there by nightfall. So the only other choice was to find a protected site and hunker down for the night.

“Grab your pack and let’s see if we can find a place that’s protected from the wind,” he said. “We’ve only got a few hours of daylight, so let’s get a move on.”

Dave could see that Annie was starting to get tired, cold, and maybe a little scared. “When I was in college,” he said, “we used to sing a silly drinking song. You’d start out singing ‘99 bottles of beer on the wall, take one down, pass it around, 98 bottles of beer on the wall.’ You keep singing those versus until you get to no bottles of beer on the wall. Of course, we’d never get to zero because we’d all be too drunk before then.”

Annie looked at her father and said, “we don’t have any beer, Dad.”

“No, honey, we don’t,” he said. “So we can pretend and count how many bottles we go through until we find a place to camp out for the night. So while we’re singing and walking, keep your eyes peeled, okay?”

They were at 42 mythical bottles left on the wall when Annie squealed. “Look, Dad. Look at that pointy hill over there. There’s a cave in it.”

“I see it,” Dave said. “Let’s head over and see if we can climb up into it and get out of the wind and cold. “I’ll get a fire going, we can eat our sandwiches, and be nice and toasty for the night.”

Annie smiled. “And we won’t wake up dead, right?”

This is a twofer. It’s written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt and for today’s WordPress one-word prompt, “frigid.”