Tag Archives: VisDare

Hidden in Plain Sight – VisDare

What’s this under all the dust?  Why, there’s still a bit of life left in this computer after all!  It’s been far too long between postings.  Part of that is due to spending more time on larger projects, but a large part is just, well, the challenges of life.  I’ve missed flash fiction, though, and always seem to be a better version of myself when doing it.

I managed to get to the VisDare prompt this week.  As always, the picture has many stories that it tries to tell.  Here’s the one that I heard.  It’s probably because I believe there’s more to the world around us than we know or admit to.  Did the creatures of fairy tales get better at hiding, or did we just stop looking for them?


(Photo by Benjamin Godard)

Hidden in Plain Sight

“Hey, man, got a cigarette?”

Walter’s attention was jarred from his concerns to the train platform, and to the homeless woman speaking.

“No. Don’t smoke. Sorry.” He tried to soften his response by meeting her eyes and giving her a small smile.

“That’s okay, man, thanks anyway. Careful of the animal people.”

Before he could stop himself, “Animal people?”

“Yeah. They were here first, and they usually look like us. They’re not, though, not at all.” The woman then drifted away through the crowd.

Walter settled into his thoughts until the train came to exchange dozens of people. Just as the doors closed, a young man leapt on and stood against one of the handrails. Only Walter seemed to notice that the man’s head was that of a large rabbit, and he spent the trip downtown trying to decide whether the woman was crazy, or if he was.


Rejection – #VisDare

It’s been some time since I’ve made the time to participate in the wonderful Visual Dare flash fiction prompt. The summer storm raging outside is bringing a breath of cool new energy, and just as with the brown grass of the season, fresh growth goes on inside as well.

Woman with Cracking Mask

At the edge of her perfect face, the tiny edge of a crack catches the candlelight. Brilliant as a star, his eyes are drawn to it across the elegant table. The crystal wine glass in his hand is momentarily forgotten, and she knows.

Bowing her head, she knows her veneer has failed. She feels the flakes of the crumbling facade falling away. Her crumbling rosy cheeks reveal the imperfections she had glossed over. All the years of living, wounds, and mistakes being revealed. She had tried so hard to make the right impression.

Seeing her distress, he rounds the table and takes her hand in his. With his other, he brushes her cheek kindly and gently raises her head to look into his eyes. He sees the flaws in detail, finally viewing the complete woman underneath the mask. In that moment, he kisses her, and his eyes hold no rejection.

Defiance – VisDare

It’s been some time since I’ve been able to post anything here, for several reasons. There have been some changes in my life over the past few weeks, as well as a bit of being under the weather.

Additionally, and on a brighter and crazier note, National Novel Writing Month has kicked off, and I’m giving that a try. Writing a novel of at least 50,000 words in a month is the goal, plus there are social elements to it as well. Succeed or fail, it’s a good way to practice some longer writing.

I don’t intend to leave off the Flash Fiction, though. It’s a lot of fun, and likely a needed break. In that vein, this week is a Visual Dare triple picture prompt. The pictures seemed to lead to a story from one to the other.

Rowboat in Cave

There is a saying that a King must be able to hold his own, or the title means nothing. That is especially true today, as my soldiers, my friends, lie either at my feet or lost to the sea. My armor was tossed into the treacherous ocean lest it drag me down. Salt water crusts my hair, curling it like the innocent curls of my daughter sleeping in her cradle. Only the steel blade of Cinniuint, forged long ago and passed King to King remains. While I yet stand, my land shall not be defeated.

Salvaging a rowboat, I press up a stream coming out of a cave. Lined with razor sharp boulders, the way itself conspires to keep me from my victory. Crystals and waves reflect the sunlight, swirling it into dripping rainbows of colored mist. Moss tugs at the paddles, striving send me toward the sea.

Finally, the path yields to patient will. The cacophony of light fades, replaced by warm sun and blue sky. Just ahead, the stream widens into a smooth pond. I leap onto shore, the rage of my people echoing in my challenge. The cry is answered by a series of ripples in the smooth liquid mirror. Three figures in robes, rise out of the water, and can only be the Water Druids themselves. Tassels on the robes dance in the water like seeking vines. The hoods show no sign of ever being submerged. Ancient runes line the shoulders and chests of each figure. As I step forward to spring and strike them down for all that they have inflicted, the central one lifts his head and speaks.

“At last, you have finally come.”

Adore – VisDare

Unfortunately, it’s been about a week and a half since I’ve done any writing, much less put anything up here for the world to see. There are a myriad of reasons for that, ranging somewhere between being busy with great things and people and getting down to a place where even words weren’t coming out. There are the first beginnings of autumn here, though, so here’s hoping the cooler weather can help me keep up good habits.

This week, barely, I did manage to catch the Visual Dare prompt. It’s a great picture, and again, I’d love to know more about what’s going on in it. Since I don’t know that story, I’ll just have to make up my own, as usual.

Happy woman with flowers

This afternoon, I saw an old man giving flowers to an older woman on the street corner. He looked at her with such love and affection, hands shaking as he handed her the bouquet. Her eyes, downcast from the burdens of a lifetime full of strife, lit with the delight of a schoolgirl. He touched her cheek with the tenderness of a new lover, seeing clearly the love he had proposed to on that same street long before and still adored. Time had given them both wrinkles, and taken the color from their hair, yet despite all that, she remained his dearest love. After all the life that they had shared, he craved seeing her golden smile just once more, in case it’s the last time.

As I thought about the bickering that I’d done with my love, over little things, I turned around and walked into the flower store.

Trajectory – VisDare

Unfortunately, I was too slow on writing this week’s Visual Dare flash fiction piece and couldn’t submit it to the site. However, it’s an interesting picture, and since I’d already finally gotten an idea together, it seemed a shame to not let it out into the world at all. It was a difficult idea to come up with, and I just can’t let those go to waste.

Walking amongst angles

Looking down over the launch complex, George sees the ramp moving into place. Time travel trajectories are so precise that the entire apparatus is marked with the proper angles.

He wonders if what they are doing was right. Scientists calculate alternate events, and then agents step through the portal to make small changes. They just step out of a blue flash and rewrite the world to suit us. Dr. Schnellewitz says that we are the scalpel that heals time, but some of the missions seem self serving.

This mission involves a wagon train in the 1840’s. One child grew up to be a politician, but eventually declared martial law and started several wars. Their orders are to kill the family and bring back the gold they’re carrying.

As preparations continue, a blue flash lights up the morning, and he knows that his own history is coming to an end.

Implore – VisDare

The last few days have seen a number of examples of synchronicity that lead me to believe, as one good friend put it, that I am indeed on the right path for me. Out of the blue, in the middle of a conversation within a khaki tower, one of my newest coworkers said they were looking for community and teachers, exactly the same sort of community and teachers that I’ve been connecting with. Also, gummy bears have shown up approximately a dozen times in person or conversation this last week, although I have no idea whatsoever how that could be meaningful.

As part of the path, though, I’m still trying hard to keep up with the weekly flash fiction prompts, such as the Visual Dare each week. Sliding in this time just under the wire, I had some fun with this one. As always, there are several other great ideas by other writers that are absolutely worth reading, and I encourage you to read as many as you can.

Most people don’t find themselves dangling from a skylight in a vault on date night. Their loss. As my husband lowers me, I pivot around the infrared lasers vigilantly protecting the art. I’m soon hanging near a lifesize bronze dancer. Amused at the positioning, I look up her tutu while disabling the alarms and attaching the sling.
I hold my breath as the statue begins to move. This is the most delicate part, where we actually learn if I was successful. Rising through the air like ascending angels, his voice comes on the radio.
“I want a divorce.” At first, my heart sinks from the shock, but shortly it’s clear that I’ve stopped rising.
“Let’s talk after we get out of here? Honey? Are you still there?” I implore, trapped above the ground. The police find us there some time later, one broken dancer and a bronze statue.

Fearless – VisDare

There has been a large amount of change this week in the corner of the world that I’m in. Exciting things are building up, but as is often the case, not all is smooth sailing. In the midst of all that, though, I had the pleasure of introducing several people to a local rock shop and gem store. One of them is a young man about 8, I believe, and seeing him enthralled by the crystals and dirty old rocks reminded me to try to take in every adventure with wonder and joy, no matter any sharp edges we may encounter.

Which, of course, leads straight to this week’s Visual Dare prompt. I can’t even imagine what it must have taken to frame the specific picture we had to use, but that is certainly one fearless sheep.

Sheep on a table

Peeking through the keyhole, Brigitte watched the Dean’s Council dinner being set up. Meticulous details were precisely measured as shining silver symbols of order and precision were laid out all according to course and dish. Crisp linen and elegant placards draped the seats for the chosen few to dine, cement their political ambitions, and collaborate with alumni on the balance of power worldwide for the next year.
Neither Brigitte nor her woolen friend was invited to this myopic menagerie of misogynistic mongrels. Neither was the friend she had brought with her. Capitalizing on a moment when the servants were out of the room, she cracked the door just enough.
Her last glance before closing the door was a sheep standing on the table, chewing contentedly on a centerpiece, trampling placemats and scattering silver.
She’d show every last one that pretend power can be easily toppled.

Indifferent – VisDare

I’ve recently started a new adventure that has me in the downtown area of a large city often. It’s no coincidence, of course, that this week’s Visual Dare prompt fits that setting perfectly. The thing that amazes me the most as I walk those streets is how close everyone is to each other, and yet how very distant they seem to make themselves.

Ladies in the Rain

Life as a muse is very frustrating, at times. Today, people pass me by, completely indifferent to the world around them. Each one, lost in their problems, hiding dismally underneath an umbrella, trying to create distance from the city they are part of. Each holds the solution to each other’s problems, yet they just need a reason to interact, to care again. There, a blonde man in a suit desperately needs a job, and matches the accounting position that this lady still in yesterday’s blue dress has been trying to fill. They just need a push to talk to each other.
Walking up to them through the crowd, I clutch at my chest and fall helplessly between them. This may be the 13th time this week that I’ve died, but it’s still important to concentrate on the little details.
Inspiration is such a demanding business.

Undecided – VisDare

This week’s Visual Dare prompt finds me away from home, adventuring a little bit. I’ve met several wonderful people, and have explored a bit. One of the best arguments for travel and adventure, not that there is any argument in my opinion, is to see how other people live, and contemplate the choices we make and look deep at why we do things.

For today, though, it’s more than enough to get a chance to do some writing and share it.

Refracted Woman

I finish the test and slide it to the center of the cold metal table confidently. It must be a stress test, since there’s no link from ancient Phoenician trade to a security job. The beautiful woman sitting across the table must be a test, too. Dark silky hair, with deep knowing eyes that read into your soul. A water glass is between us, making a strange refraction effect seems to split her in half. It actually is hard not to giggle.
“Thank you. That will be all.” A male voice speaks, seemingly from the other side of the table. The woman hadn’t moved, or even blinked.
“We’ll be in touch. As of now, we are…undecided if you meet our needs.”
As I leave the steel room, I look at the woman staring at me. The half of her in the water glass smiles just as the door hisses shut.

Basking – VisualDare

Tonight was a wonderful opportunity to visit with some great writers. I’ll describe it further in another post, but it was very wonderful to be accepted in the conversation, and I learned some great things. Being me, it was almost just as much fun to hear the accents and voices of people from Scotland, Canada, and different parts of the States.

In the meantime, the Visual Dare prompt this week was a fun one. I’ve never been to a square with a huge bronze statue, but it would likely be a great place to rise above the crowd.

Lion Statue Seat

Every day I sit, basking in the ambiance and guarding over my land and my people. I remain vigilant against any enemies that may come. In the meantime, I do thoroughly enjoy the millings about in the square around me. Every bright spark of life that passes is a splash of color against the dismal grey clouds.
Every once in a while, though, some foolish soul tests my patience. Centuries of watchfulness, and some ignorant peasant climbs up atop my head. Me! Guardian of the realm for 150 years, and some scruffy tourist uses me as a chair.
It’s all right, though. There’s a young child with balloons across the way, and a little loss of dignity is worth not having to spoil her day.