#writephoto — Bad Trip

CB0889F6-B8AA-48DB-ABE4-162EB415C9F2“We were on vacation in Ireland and decided to take a spontaneous drive to the countryside one day,” Cal said.

“So we found this delightful old church that seemed like a great place to stop,” Ed added. “We decided to each drop a tab of acid to get our psychedelic on.”

“We had some wine, bread, and cheese while we waited for the acid to kick in,” Cal noted.

“Yeah, and then we started exploring the church grounds and that’s when we came across these really narrow stone steps,” Ed said. “We almost missed them because of all the dried leaves on the ground and the tall grass and weeds all around.”

“We were really tripping at that point and we started slowly descending those steep steps,” Cal said, “when we saw a freakin’ werewolf at the bottom.”

“Yes,” said Ed, “and this monster looked up at us with these fiery red eyes and huge fangs and growled at us.”

“We ran like hell to get out of there just as the huge werewolf lunged at us,” Cal said, “and got to the rental car just in time to save our lives. But before we ran from the steps, I took a picture of the werewolf with my iPhone. Look.”

Cal handed his phone to Jack, a classmate, who looked at the photo and then looked at Ed and Cal and shook his head. “You two assholes must have been having a bad trip. You took a picture of a black cat,” Jack said in a brusque manner. “I can’t tell you how much you two clowns annoy me at times. I honestly don’t know why I put up with you both.”

Written for this week’s Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent. Also for these daily prompts from yesterday: The Daily Spur (vacation), Word of the Day Challenge (spontaneous), Daily Addictions (Day), Ragtag Daily Prompt (psychedelic), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (brusque), and Your Daily Word Prompt (annoy).

brusque psychedelic spontaneous vacation annoy day

#writephoto — Nuclear Winter

175B1F15-AE11-4B2A-A14E-84EF4BA680A5Back then, almost everyone was concerned about climate change and global warming. Scientists around the world had warned about the potentially catastrophic effects of rising temperatures. Summers were getting hotter, storms stronger. Fires were ravaging the planet’s critical ancient forests, while glaciers were rapidly melting, causing sea levels to rise precipitously.

But world leaders and politicians didn’t listen to the scientists. It was too inconvenient, too burdensome, too expensive to address the threat to our existence that climate change posed. And so we continued to burn fossil fuels and to deforest the planet for development and mining.

As a result of inaction on the part of those in a position to address and reverse the impact of climate change, more frequently and significantly stronger hurricanes and typhoons, propelled by warmer ocean waters, began to pummel islands and coastal regions around the globe. When the President of the United States proposed nuking these massive, devastating storms while they were still out to sea, everyone thought he was making a joke. But he wasn’t. He was deadly serious.

Having effectively taken full control of the American government, Trump, against the advice of the world’s scientific community, unilaterally implemented his insane plan and ordered the military to drop nuclear bombs in the middle of hurricanes, secure in his belief that doing so would break up these storms and save the lands and property in their paths.

Instead, these nuclear explosions churned up and heated up the ocean waters significantly. They also spewed high levels of lethal radiation into the Earth’s atmosphere and polluted most of the planet’s potable water, resulting in the painful deaths of billions of people and of many animals. Fires consumed forests across the globe, and between the smoke from the fires and the atomic clouds that resulted from dozens of nuclear blasts, the planet ultimately was engulfed by thick, gray clouds that choked out the sun, creating what scientists warned would be a nuclear winter.

Dozens of years later, one of the sentries of a small band of human survivors went to the surface to take atmospheric and temperature readings. Amazed by what he saw, he descended quickly down the deep chute and excitedly reported to the elders. “The clouds have parted,” he shouted. “The sun is rising on the horizon.”

This dystopian post was written for this week’s Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent.

#writephoto — True Nature

9E1BF740-AC0F-4023-85C2-93B5EEA070AAAs a child, the little princess had always been a handful for the king and queen. Once she turned eighteen, her parents decided that the best way to deal with her would be to find a suitable prince and to marry her off. “Let her be someone else’s problem,” her father, the king, lamented.

And so the king and queen sent the word out far and wide that they were seeking a suitable suitor for their daughter’s hand. She was, after all, royalty, and along with her came a royalty-sized dowry.

The princess, eager to get out from under the clutches of her controlling parents, welcomed the opportunity to be swept off of her feet by some charming prince from an exotic land far away. But as time went by, she was introduced to no potential suitors and grew quite impatient.

On her twenty-first birthday, the princess confronted her parents. “It’s been three years and you have yet to introduce me to a single suitor. Surely at least a few have been suitable.”

“We are looking for a young man of high moral character, integrity, honesty, who is pure of heart, and who possesses a strong and sense of responsibility. Only then can we determine who is worthy to be your husband,” the king explained. “But none of the potential suitors have met our requirements.”

“But how do you know these things after only one interview?” the princess asked.

“We have our ways,” the queen said. “You must trust us, daughter.”

The frustrated princess stomped off to her room and sat on her bed crying hysterically. Her lady in waiting came into the room and tried to comfort the anguished princess. The princess explained why she was so upset. “I probably shouldn’t tell you this,” the lady in waiting said, “but the king and queen take each prospective suitor to a secret pond deep into the woods and they make the suitor gaze into the pond’s still waters. The mystical pond is supposed to have a mirror-like surface and when anyone looks into the pond, what is reflected back shows the person’s true nature.”

The princess was livid that her parents could be so stupid as to manage her fate by using some mythological pond to screen potential suitors. The next morning, the king and queen were found dead in their bedroom, apparently the victim of poisoning. The princess was immediately crowned queen of the realm, and her first order of business was to be taken to this pond that could allegedly reveal the true nature of anyone who gazed upon its mirrored surface.

The knight of the queen’s guard reluctantly led her to the pond, but knowing the princess, he begged her not to look at her reflection in the pond water. She pushed him aside, stood at the edge of the pond, and looked down to see her reflection.

The new queen’s chilling screams could be heard for miles around.

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

#writephoto — The Fool on the Hill

AC40970F-B894-48C5-A7FA-ABE5222E1C15Day after day, the man on the hill slowly walks alone with his walking staff in hand. Nobody knows who he is, or why he walks the hill day in and day out. He walks there all day long until the sun goes down, watching as the world spins around and around.

Most of the townsfolk refer to him as the fool on the hill. Some of them have tried to talk to him, but he never listens to them and he never has an answer to their questions. In fact, he never even seems to notice them. He just smiles with what they call his foolish grin. Hence, nobody wants to join him.

He knows that they don’t like him and they really don’t want to know him. They think he is just a fool with his head in the clouds. But he doesn’t care about them. He actually feels sorry for those townsfolk, who live their hectic lives without making the time to explore nature and to appreciate all that it has to offer.

They may think of him as the fool on the hill, but in his heart, he knows that they are the real fools.

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

#writephoto — The Fog

72AE3B0D-C449-49EE-BCC7-AEC7CD234053Ted was taking his early morning jog along the paved path that cuts through the center of the park. He loved this part of his run, with the trees on either side of the path and a canopy of green leaves overhead. At this time of the year, the rising sun was casting long shadows across the path.

Like every other morning, there were just a few other regulars jogging in the opposite direction who Ted would acknowledge with a head nod or a hand wave as they passed one another.

Ted noticed an unusual mist up ahead. More than a mist; a fog bank, actually. He chalked it up to the morning dew condensing and didn’t give it much thought until he saw one of the joggers heading his way out of the fog. The man was stumbling a little and was clutching his chest. The man finally fell to his knees and Ted thought he might be having a heart attack.

Rushing over to the man, who was still on his knees, Ted could see a look of desperate panic in his eyes. “Is it your heart?” Ted asked.

The man, who was having difficulty breathing, shook his head, pointed back to the fog from which he had just emerged, and, in a raspy voice said, “Turn around. Run.” With that, the man fell flat, unconscious.

Ted pulled out his cellphone and dialed 9-1-1. “There’s a man on the path in the park who needs emergency assistance. Please send someone immediately.” Knowing that there was nothing further he could do to help the man, Ted stood up and moved slowly toward the mist.

As he got closer, he could see the bodies of a few other joggers along the path. They all seemed lifeless. His instincts told him to turn around, but his curiosity drove him forward.

Within minutes he was surrounded by the dense fog and his breathing becoming labored. He saw some sort of dark, shadowing figure with red eyes coming toward him through the mist. He squinted his eyes to try and decipher what he was seeing, but what he saw didn’t make any sense to him.

Ted tried to turn around and run, but his body was frozen in place. Then he heard what he could only describe as some strange, piercing, banshee-like scream, just before losing consciousness.

Waking up in a what appeared to hospital room, Ted found a call button and pressed it. Three dark figures with red eyes floated into the room.

“Ah, you’re finally awake. We thought we lost you,” one of them said.

“The lesson learned is that we will have to limit our agents to no more than one year of infiltration,” another said.

“Exactly,” a third one said. “You were there for two Earth years, THRG, and we almost lost you to the human life form you were inhabiting. Fortunately, our extraction team pulled you out just in time to save you.”

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