#writephoto — Columns

25DD45BB-7F6E-42B9-8F00-96A15AB9FE56“Let’s explore this place,” Frank said.

“Go ahead,” Johnny said, “Be my guest. You’ve always had a genuine infatuation with the architecture of old buildings like this.”

“Aren’t you coming with?” Frank asked.

“Sure, why not?” Johnny said. “It’s not like I have anything else pressing to do.”

“Okay, good,” Frank said. “Be careful, though,” he added. “It rained last night and these old marble floors may be a bit slippery.”

The two boys, in their late teens, started exploring the building, looking at the parallel rows of columns on the inside of the breezeway contrasted with the archways with the squared off exterior columns.

“I have to admit that this place is pretty dope,” Johnny said.

“Hey Johnny,” Frank called out. “Come take a look at this.” Frank was pointing to a small crevice in a wall next to one of the exterior columns.”

“What is it?” Johnny asked, seeing something stuck deep inside the crevice.

“I’m not sure,” Frank admitted. “Do you have a pen or something I can use to try and get it out?”

“I have a my Swiss Army knife.”

“Perfect, give it to me,” Frank ordered. With the knife in hand, Frank opened up the long blade and carefully stuck it in the narrow crevice. He wedged it between the side of the crevice and the item stuck inside and painstakingly began to pry it out.

“What is it?” Johnny asked when Frank managed to remove it from the crevice.

“You’re not going to believe this,” Frank said, handing it to Johnny.

“Holy shit,” Johnny said.

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt, and for these one- word prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (guest), Word of the Day Challenge (infatuation), Ragtag Daily Prompt (slippery), and Scotts Daily Prompt (crevice).

#writephoto — Extreme

3CECBC09-B523-41C7-9170-E1D3FDC785FC“There it is,” Brian said, barely able to contain his excitement. “Virgin snow!”

Bob looked across to the other side of the valley, where Brian was looking. “Are you sure about this?” he asked. “How do we even get to the top?”

“We hike,” Brian said. “The slope to the right of the summit is gradual. It will take a few hours to hike to the summit, but once we get there, you’ll see that it will all have been worth it.”

Brian had convinced Bob that there was nothing more thrilling than extreme skiing. “Skiing down a slope of virgin snow that no one has yet been down is the greatest skiing experience of all,” he told Bob.

“Aren’t extreme skiers usually flown to the summit in a helicopter?” Bob asked.

“That’s one approach for those who have tons of money,” Brian said. “But regular guys like us, we hike.”

Bob was already tired and they easily had another few hours just to get to the base of the mountain. Brian said that once they got there they would pitch their tents, camp there for the night, and then start hiking to the summit first thing the next morning. Bob was tempted to head back to his car and drive home, but he knew Brian would be pissed, so when Brian picked up his gear and started toward the mountain, Bob did the same.

The sun was starting to set when they reached the campsite, so they quickly pitched their tents and ate some beef jerky and protein bars before turning in for the night.

The next morning, as Brian had said they would, the two men rose early, ate some more jerky and a few energy bars, and then started hiking up toward the summit.

Bob was exhausted when they finally reached the summit, but Brian was totally energized. “Just look at this amazing view,” he said to Bob. “It’s truly breathtaking.”

“I need to rest here for a while,” Bob said. “You go on ahead and I’ll meet you at the bottom.”

Brian had already changed into his ski boots and put on his skis. “Sounds like a plan, buddy,” he said. “See you at the bottom.” Brian virtually flung himself off the summit and started flying down the hill. He let out a loud primal scream as the adrenaline surged through his body.

And that’s when the avalanche began.

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.

#writephoto — The Apparition

549D5FE6-461F-4A4B-AB7D-9A517CA9C204Sean came back to this site every year since the incident five years earlier. As it was almost every time he came here for that auspicious anniversary, there was a thick mist hanging in the air. He stared at the point where he had last seen her and tears of regret filled his eyes.

His last view of Wendy was etched into his brain. She had walked to the land’s edge and was staring down at the waves crashing into the rocks far below. “Be careful, hon,” he remembered calling out to her. “Don’t get so close to the precipice.” And then she was gone.

I can’t believe how oblivious I was, Sean thought. I totally missed all of the signs. Her sister had warned Sean that something was wrong, but Sean thought her sister was a drama queen and was seeing things that weren’t there. But her sister was right all along. Clearly Wendy was suffering from a serious depression and Sean, preoccupied by his own issues, was distracted.

Sean heard a voice calling his name. It was Wendy’s voice, calling him to come over to her. He looked toward the edge of the bluff and saw Wendy standing there in the thick mist, looking down at the water far below. “Sean,” he heard her say. “Sean, come to me, come be with me.”

In a trance-like state, Sean walked toward Wendy. As he approached the cliff’s edge, Wendy was gone. Sean moved cautiously toward the edge and he heard Wendy’s voice calling him from below. He peered over the edge and saw her standing in the surf. “Come to me,” he heard her say to him. “Come be with me for eternity.”

Written for Sure Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.

#writephoto — Treasure Hunt

30701D0E-07B2-406D-8452-D9F6FCCB87BFTodd unfolded the old map he’d found buried beneath a log down by the creek, being careful not to tear the fading, yellowing parchment on which the map was drawn. He showed it to his brother, Tim, and looked around at the trees surrounding them. “I think we’re at the right spot,” he said.

“I think you’re taking us on a wild goose chase,” Tim said. “We’re not going to find any buried treasure here.”

“I feel it in my bones,” Todd countered. Looking up at a specific tree, he pointed at it. “That’s the tree shown on the map. The one with the gash in its curved trunk.” On the map, in a cryptic, old fashioned script, were the words, “At precisely three o’clock on the afternoon of the twenty third of August, follow the beam of light that will shine through the gash in the curved tree trunk.”

“It’s almost three o’clock,” Tim said, looking up at the tree. “I guess we’ll find out if this map is real or if you’ve been hoodwinked.”

“Synchronize our watches,” Todd said. The teenage boys waited a few minutes until 3:00 arrived. Sure enough, a beam of sunlight shining through the large gash landed on a spot maybe 20 yards from the tree. The brothers ran to the point where the sunbeam led them, pulled out their shovels from their backpacks, and began to eagerly dig.

The August heat and humidity was taking its toll on the brothers. Both were covered in sweat and dirt after half an hour of hard digging. Other than rocks and roots, they had nothing to show for their labors.

“I told you this was a wild goose chase,” an exhausted Tim said.

Todd took a sip of warm water from his canteen and handed it to Tim. “Let’s keep going for another fifteen minutes,” Todd said. “If we still have nothing, we’ll call it a day.”

“Fine,” Tim said, looking at his watch. “Fifteen more minutes, but then I’m outta here.” Tim then stuck his shovel deep into the pit and was surprised when he heard a tinny sound as his steel shovel hit against something that wasn’t a rock.

“Cha-ching,” Todd screamed. “I told you this map was legit.” The two boys feverishly dug deeper until they unearthed a fairly large, very rusty metal lockbox. They carefully pulled it out of the pit.

“It’s locked,” Tim said.

“No worries,” Todd said, pulling out a large screwdriver and a hammer from his backpack. “As they say in the Boy Scouts, ‘be prepared.’” Using the tools, Todd was able to break the lock. He slowly opened the lid.

“Holy shit,” the brothers cried in unison, jumping back in shock at what they saw inside the metal box.

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.

#writephoto —The Plan

C5BF9C68-F5DE-47DD-86D3-556F8E8EF439Malcolm slowly walked into the clearing and sat down on the largest of the rock formations, which was encircled by smaller rock outcroppings. It had been several hundred years since he last visited this holy site and he wasn’t sure what kind of reception he would receive in these modern times.

A deep fog descended upon the clearing, so deep that Malcolm could barely see the hand that he held up in front of his face, which vexed him, as he didn’t have time to waste. But as the fog began to dissolve, Malcolm could see visages of the five summoned spirits hovering over each of the outcroppings.

“Why have you assembled us here, Lord?” one of the spirits asked.

“It has been a while since you reached out to us,” another said.

“These are dark days,” Malcolm said. “We must take advantage of these troublesome times in order to carry out our ancient charge.”

“What is your command?” the third spirit queried.

“Yes, Master, what would you have us do?” the fourth asked.

“The human forms are bound and determined to destroy this planet and one another,” Malcolm said. “Having assumed their appearance and having lived amongst them, I have learned the best way of setting things back on the right path.” He beckoned the spirits to hover next to him while he quietly shared his plan.

“Sire, that plan carries great risk,” the fifth spirit said.

“Yes, it does,” Malcolm admitted. “But it’s worth the risk to avoid total annihilation and devastation if we do nothing.”

“Lord,” the five spirits said in unison, “your wish is our command,” before they floated away and disappeared into the night.

Malcolm smiled, stood up, and left the clearing.

Written for these prompts: