Tag Archives: story

Splash – #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is the seventh exciting episode of The Mad Quest!  You can start at the beginning, go to the previous chapter or to the table of contents.


After the dragon left we reentered the cabin and filled our empty sacks with dried food.  There was plenty to choose from, but with a sigh we knew better than to grab anything that was messy, heavy or perishable.  We didn’t know how long our journey would take.

Once back in the open Silriend gave us the lay of the land.

“We want to avoid the desert.  The only reason we survived was through the help of the Ghosts of the Hidden.  To the north there are the untracked Snowy Mountains, to the south the Deadmans Swamp, so named because nobody has ever entered and come back alive.  I think our best chance is to skirt the swamp to the north, staying on the fringes between the desert and marsh.  Let’s go this way.”

There was a well-marked path through the light forest just south of the desert.  The traveling was easy.  We spent most of the day with easy walking and stopped at a convenient spot for the night.  The next day we started again.

“This is too easy,” I said, half to myself.

“Oh hush up,” Merla said.  “You are always the glass is half full and the longer we talk about it the more evaporates kind of guy.” Continue reading

Carved – #writephoto


Photo By Sue Vincent

Note – this is the second exciting episode of The Mad Quest!  You can start at the beginning or to the table of contents.

“Do you need anything?” the little man asked.

“No, we are set,” Merla said.

We were in a room carved out of living stone.  Chairs were carved into the walls, some at the wee-folk height yet some that could fit us full grown humans.

“Good.  I am glad to meet you in person at last, Merla the farseeing and Lorunce the abled ear.”

I was about to ask how he knew our names, but Merla began to speak.  She was quicker in the brain than I was, so I let her be the leader, though typically our people are more male dominated.

“The pleasure is ours.  What should we call you?  Perhaps Silriend, Lord of the Small folk?”

Our host smiled.  “At your service.  I see that my reputation has proceeded me, as yours has you.  Good, good.  I think we will work well together to overcome our common enemy, no matter what our past may have held.”

Merla smiled and did a short bow in his direction.  Continue reading


Turkey Vulture

“Maybe if I went into Boy Scouts as a kid,” Dave thought.

He forced himself to take a few more steps into the cool woods. The hot sun over the little meadow had made him disoriented.  He tried to spit the taste of vomit out of his mouth, but there was only foam on his lips.

He had found a plant that smelled delicious.  Or he thought it did, but after days without food, perhaps anything would have smelled good.  He had no idea what was good or safe, but he had to eat something.

His stomach had rejected it almost immediately, leaving him even more hungry than before.  Even though he had emptied what little was in his stomach almost an hour ago, he still felt nauseous and dizzy. Continue reading

Scattered – #writephoto


Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is part of the story, Towards the Light.  Click here for previous.  Go to the Table of Contents. Or start at the beginning: (click here for part 1 – The Tunnel)

— —

I watched the scattering of stars through the patchwork clouds and wondered what I should do.  Although I had only recently learned of the existence of Blavour, I now found myself there, a land that was supposed to be evil.  There were no more voices and I had never felt more alone.

I began to see lights much closer at hand than those distant stars.  Watchfires were scattered around the countryside.  And one light was headed straight at me.

In a minute, I was face to face with a strange being.  OK, maybe face to belly button because the guy (gal?) was only about half of my height.  In stature, this thing reminded me of a dwarf before they became “Fair Folk”, but this creature was not fair in any way.  OK, it was “fair” in that it was pale, but it was the ugliest thing I had seen in my life.  No, it was even uglier than that. Continue reading

Alone – #writephoto – Towrds the Light


Photo by Sue Vincent

Note – this is part seven of the story, Towards the Light.  Click here for previous.  Go to the Table of Contents. Or start at the beginning: (click here for part 1 – The Tunnel)

As we waited for the Watchers to decided our fate, I studied the rock enclosure.  It felt odd that in the place of the Watchers, nobody was paying attention to me, leaving me alone.  The place we were seated was more than just a widening of the chasm we had followed.  It was created were two of the fissures crossed, with four massive corners.  The sun had long ago set deep down in our culvert, but the sky up above was still glowing orange and red.  As I looked, I realized that someone was looking back.

At each of the four rock corners was a face.  Looking closer I saw that they were triple faces carved by nature into the living rocks. Continue reading

Lyndsey 2 (Part 1) – The Old Mill

Mill Building

(This is the latest installment of the series that starts with The Old Mill.  The previous chapter was  Sean (Part 2).  The Table of Contents is here)

(Note – this is part 1 of a two part chapter.)

— —

I took my eyes off of the road for a second to glance at Lyndsey.  Her face was slightly illuminated in the dark by the dashboard lights.  A surge of emotion ripped through my body, feelings I hadn’t felt since the early days of my relationship with Becky, almost 15 years in the past.  My right hand slipped off of the steering wheel and onto Lyndsey’s thigh.  I could see the smile out of the corner of my eye.  She put her own right hand on mine and caressed it while threading her left arm under my arm and putting her left hand onto my thigh.  Her left hand lightly squeezed my thigh in rhythm to the music.

“Oh, this used to be one of Jess’ favorites,” she said as a new song came on the radio.  She hummed along for a minute.  “Thinking of Jess.  I was met her for breakfast this morning and she was the old Jess.  I always wonder why sometimes she is so, well, present, and other times it’s like, well…”

“It’s like someone pretending to be Jess,” I said.

“Exactly!  It’s like someone going through the motions of being Jess so that nobody would know that it isn’t her.”

“I have a theory about that.”

“Ha!  I knew it.  Does it have something to do with Martha or the Goode mansion?”

“Uhm, yes.” Continue reading

A Leaf

Drawing of a leaf in ice, a human body can be seen in the leaf

Consciousness slowly flowed into Seb, like the tide over the sand flats.  Nothing is there, and then you notice the waves coming closer.  Eventually the water is at your feet.  Seb noticed the glow long before he became aware that he was awake.  Hearing and feeling, like his consciousness, faded in a bit at a time.  First it was a numbness that admitted “numb” was not necessarily “nothing”.  It slowly grew to cold and pain, while the slight ringing in his ear grew to a ringing roar.

In the back of the roar Seb could hear the continuing battle.  He could feel the ground shake from the concussions.

“But Mother,” Seb said, “You always say things like that.  You call me special, and yet every child of every mother is special.  If we are all special, then none of us are.”

“Ah, but to a mother they are all special,” she said.  “And you are.  You, Seb, are extraordinary.”

“No, I am a nothing, a nobody, like everybody else.”

Seb thought back.  He tried to understand how he ended up face down in the cold field. Continue reading

The Goode Mansion – The Old Mill


(This is now part 4 of this series.   The previous story was Mrs Adams.  Check out the Table of Contents)

When I finished work, I walked downtown.  I wasn’t consciously seeking out Galvin, but I have to admit that is exactly what I was doing.  Normally I’d try to avoid him, but on a rare occasion he is a wealth of information.

I walked into Strickland’s.  Bob Strickland was something of an institution.  His store had been there for over sixty years and had become the main gathering spot for male gossip around the village.  If I had been after anything that had happened since he’d moved into town, he’d have been the first person I’d ask.  But I was looking for older answers.

“Hey Gill,” Bob said.  ‘Watcha up to?”

“Oh, nothing much,” I said.  “I was going to go over to Maude’s to grab a cup of coffee and was looking to see if anyone was around who might want to chat.”

“Well,” Bob said, with a wink, “you can always take Galvin.”

“Ah, I bet Gill is sick of me today,” Galvin said.  “I chewed his ear off already.”

“No, why don’t you go with Gill, give me time to clean up before I close for the day,” Bob said.

“Sure, why don’t you come, Galvin,” I said.  “I’ll just ignore you if you get on my nerves.”

“What’d be new about that, then?” Galvin said.  “OK, Gill, let’s go.  Gee, ya guys are harsh around here.” Continue reading

Teddy (Frogs)

(This is part three of the “Embers” series which started with Over the Embers and continued with Derek (Luck) )

detail - boy portrait

“About 480 million years ago, the North American plate started moving and it made the mountains raise up, like the snow in front of a plow.”  Teddy had been talking almost nonstop since we had started walking.  I used to do the same thing when I was his age if I was around people I knew.  Like me at that age, he was shy around strangers and was beginning to withdraw into himself as an introvert.

“After it gained speed and pushed the ocean plates out of the way, bam! It hit a continental plate and things got interesting.”  He was a lot like me in many ways.  Watching him gave me a glimpse of my younger self.

“Then Africa joined the party, making Pangea, with the Appalachians rising out of the middle, higher than the Himalayas.”

“Uh uh,” Derek said.  “The Himalayas are huge and the Appalachians are wimpy.  The Rockies are much bigger and then there are the …, uhm, hey Dad!  What are the mountains in South America called?”

“The Andes,” I said.

“Yeah, the Andes.  They’re bigger than the Rockies, yet they’re tiny compared to the Himalayas.”

“Maybe now,” Teddy said.  “The Appalachians have been eroding for hundreds of millions of years.”  I wondered what 250 million years meant to an eight year old.  “They’re ancient and worn down.  Heck, there are parts of the mountains that were created by the washout of the main chain.  Isn’t that all right, Dad?” Continue reading

Over the Embers #writephoto


Photo ©Sue Vincent

I glanced around the glowing embers at the three dower faces.  The boys were shivering in the cold, each lost to their own thoughts.

“Hey,” I said, “let’s tell some stories, ok?”

“What?  Are you crazy?” Derek, the oldest at 14, always had a cynical side, but the cold had sharpened it considerably.

“No,” I said.  “it’s better than just sitting here, isn’t it?  When I was a kid I used to spend quite a few nights sitting around a campfire telling stories.  You should have heard some of the tales we used to tell.  Oh, the mystery, the wonder, the… never mind, I think there are even more stories I’m glad you never heard.  But it was great fun at the time.  What about it, any stories?” Continue reading