Amy J. Hawthorn, Berengaria Brown, Erika Reed, erotic, excerpts, flash fiction, JC Szot, Jorja Kish, Kalissa Wayne, Layla Wolfe, Lori King, Lori King Author, Mackenzie Williams, Mardi Maxwell, Michelle Roth, NSFW, picture capture, R.E. Butler, Susan Hayes, Tymber Dalton
April Picture Capture! 14 Inspired Shorts Based on the Same Photo!
Capturing the moment is every authors goal. We want to express emotions so clearly that the reader’s impacted when they put the book down. So I’ve brought you a collection of authors who are all using the exact same photograph to inspire a short scene. They are capturing the picture with their words.
As always you’re welcome to give it a go and post your story scene in the comments, in fact, I encourage you to try it! Here’s how to do it…
This months picture prompt
Use the prompt to write a 350 word scene.
Let your imagination go wild.
Alongside every entry, is the authors contact links, and most recent book cover.
If you like what they did, please leave a comment or even better, buy a book!
So, here is what the authors came up with this month….
Jorgi’s ass had passed numb at least three hours ago. It felt like they had been on the road forever, and yet looking out at the great expanse of South Dakota nothingness, there was no end in sight.
“Are you praying that a McDonalds will suddenly appear on the horizon?” Chord Laughlin asked as he stepped up behind her, his leather jacket crinkling as he zipped his pants up.
The September wind was chilly on her skin, as she pushed her hands into the back pockets of her jeans. Seriously, her ass was completely numb. Now would be a great time to have that liposuction she’d been dreaming about. Alas, it was tricky to do surgery on the back of a motorcycle in the middle of bum-fuck nowhere.
“More likely a Waffle House. Are you done taking a piss, Princess?” she asked, arching her brow at her best friend.
Chord flipped her off. “Do you want to walk to Sioux City?”
Standing at six foot four, Chord was linebacker tall, but built like a runner. His wide shoulders narrowed into slim hips that barely held his pants up. Despite his difficulties with putting weight on, her friend was gorgeous. An angular jaw set the stage for his full lips and wide set blue-gray eyes. Atop his head, sandy brown hair was covered by a black bandana, but she knew if the cloth was removed, it would fly wild and curly. Beautiful, arrogant, and explicitly gay, he was the only man Jorgi let get close to her. He was also her newly minted, fresh out of the package, husband. “How much farther?”
“Does it matter?” he asked flippantly, handing her her helmet. “Are you excited or something?”
“Of course, what woman wouldn’t be out of her mind with anticipation knowing that she was going to her gay best friend’s parent’s farm, to play his blissfully happy wife.”
His laughter boomed off of the empty blacktop road around them, “Get back on the bike, and I’ll buy you a Big Mac if we see the Golden Arches, wifey.”
Riding down the old dirt road, Savannah pondered the reason for coming home. Granny May had known early that she’d had a wanderers soul and had encouraged Savannah to explore beyond the boundaries of LaGrange, Montana. Coming home to bury her Granny was hard, but only part of why she was returning. Savannah was ready to settle and put down roots. LaGrange was her home, no matter where she’d been living since college. The only person Savannah felt any trepidation about seeing was bad boy Jonas Quinn, her first and only lover. Just the thought of him sent her heart racing.
A siren blaring right behind her made her pull her bike to the side of the road and shut the engine down. As Savannah climbed off and turned, she saw a County Sherriff’s SUV pull in behind her. Wondering what was going on, she pulled her helmet off and tossed it to the ground near the kickstand. This road was little used since the only ranches on it were Granny’s and Old Man Johnson’s. The officer sat behind the wheel speaking into his radio but with the dark tint of the vehicles windows and the sun’s glare off the windshield, she couldn’t make out who was behind the wheel. Even as she watched, the drivers door opened and out stepped a mountain of male. His face was hidden as he put his Stetson on, but when he looked up, Savannahs heart stopped in her chest.
Mirrored Ray-Bans covered the upper half of the man’s face, but the chiseled jaw and cheekbones, the broken-at-least-once nose, and the full lower lip were on display. The officer turned to slam the door and the black braid hanging down his back brushed against the utility belt wrapped around his thick waist. There wasn’t an ounce of fat on that giant frame because the uniform shirt was stretched tight across broad shoulders, thick arms and even thicker chest. Savannah’s eyes roamed farther down, observing the uniform pants straining around huge thighs before falling around a dusty pair of cowboy boots.
“Hello Savannah. Long time no see.”
Savannah raised an eyebrow. Bad boy Jonas Quinn was the sheriff? And when had the boy she knew turned into a mountain of a man?
Tracey hadn’t expected it to look the same. Ten years since she’d last seen this view, and nothing had changed. Seas of wheat ripening in the sun, the wind whispering through the stalks like a hundred gossiping church ladies after Sunday service. The town was barely visible in the distance, not much more than a darker smudge against the never ending fields of gold.
She stood beside her bike and stared down the road. The warm breeze offered no relief from the sun, and the view offered her nothing to help ease the pain in her heart. She’d been young, angry and broken when she’d turned her back on this place and everyone in it.
She’d come home for her mother, Abby. To make her peace and say goodbye before it was too late. Not that Abby had been the one to tell her. No, of course not. It had been Jack Tanner. Sheriff Tanner now. He’d left the message telling her that her mom had cancer, stage four. It was bad, and she was fading fast. Tracey had no idea how he’d even found her number.
It wasn’t fair that he’d been the one to call her. Hearing his voice had torn right through the scarred, empty husk of her heart and made her remember the day she’d left. She could still remember the throb of her battered body, lips swollen and split. Her stepfather had been a bastard, violent and vicious as a rattlesnake. After that beating, she’d tried to get her mom to leave him, but Abby hadn’t been strong enough. So she’d sent her only daughter out into the world at seventeen and told her to never look back.
Terrified but determined, Tracey had gone to see Jack. She loved him so much it had hurt back then, and it still hurt now. He wouldn’t leave with her. Couldn’t walk away from his family farm or the people who needed him. So it had been Tracey who walked away. Alone, heartbroken and scared. Now, she was coming home.
And she wasn’t scared of anything. Not anymore.
As Rylee stared down the road that led her to the town she once grew up in, she knew the time had come to face her parents and the man that she hadn’t seen in for over five years. She had vowed never to return after the night she had run away from the man she loved and wanted to share the rest of her life with.
Rylee stood on the side of the road, next to her bike and remembered the night as if it were yesterday. It was summer after graduation when she and Randy had made plans to make love for the first time. They had agreed to meet at the old barn by the lake after her parents had fallen asleep. What she didn’t anticipate was her father waking up with the flu that night and her mother having to stay up with him most of the night caring for him.
She tried numerous times to reach his cell phone to tell him she couldn’t get away, but she knew cell reception wasn’t always good by the lake. By the time she finally showed up, Rylee was shocked to find Randy making out with his ex girlfriend Tracy in the back of her car. Feeling hurt and deceived, she ran off without any confrontation. When Rylee got home she packed her belonging and left her parents a note next to her cell phone saying she was leaving and not to worry about her. She mentioned in the note that once she got settled somewhere she would call them. Finally, Rylee sent one last text to Randy letting him know that she never wanted to speak to him again after seeing him with his ex.
That was the night Rylee hopped on her bike and never looked back. If it weren’t for the urgent call from her father informing her that her mother had fallen deathly ill, she would have never returned home. Today was the day she had always dreaded, coming home to see her parents and possibly the man that she had never really gotten over.
The path straight and open
Vast space beckons
One that waits
My feet kick up dust
Hesitation pulls me back
The collar of despair cinching tighter
A noose of misery
What is feared is unclear, often unseen
The great seducer
Blackening a future
Dictating it with lies
Feeding a weariness with renewed faith
The powers of another realm
A familiar voice cures a starved soul
Nourishing it with hope
Wanting a corner to hide behind
My path illuminated
Bright rays guide me
What was stunted, now grows with fresh vibrance
What was dark is now flooded with light
A vacant space smiles
Greeting me, engulfing me with promise
Memories of love warm through my cold, abandoned layers
Settling in my core
Fear of the unknown slips from my shoulders
Shrugged off like an old coat worn and torn
A voice that couldn’t stay still speaks, forever singing in my ears
An immortal symphony
I travel on, my desolate now clear
Decorated with glamor
His greatest gift
No matter how far she went, Lizzy heard Ben calling her name. She pulled over then put the kickstand down on her motorcycle. Irritated, she walked around for a few moments, then stopped and looked back down the road. The setting sun looked as if it was setting on the road several miles away. Eyes burning, she looked down, unsure if she was crying or if the blazing sun had brought the tears to her eyes. The dust from her passing was still settling back into place and on either side of her the wind blew the crops in the fields until they were almost vertical with the ground. She kicked a rock and watched it hop along the dirt shoulder then off into the ditch.
Tonight’s argument with Ben had been the last straw. Ever since he’d returned from overseas he’d shut her out. Night after night, she went to bed alone while he watched TV and refused to talk to her. When she’d suggested they see a marriage counselor he’d stormed out of the house. The screen door had slammed behind him and she’d stood there and watched him stalk across the ranch yard toward the barn. Right before he disappeared inside she’d yelled at him, “Right, go talk to the horses. They don’t want to know what’s bothering you.” Ben hadn’t even acknowledged her words or glanced back at her.
Fed up, she’d packed a bag and fired up her Harley. If he didn’t want her then she’d leave and see how he liked being truly alone. Just him and his beloved horses.
Dejected, she made the decision to move on, but the sound of her name on the wind drew her attention back to the end of road. A tiny dot appeared in the middle of the setting sun. It gradually grew until she could make out an arm waving a hat in the air. She heard her name again, followed by the sound of hooves hitting the hard shell road. Tears glazed her eyes, and her lips trembled, as Ben drew closer to her.
Nikki stood on the hot dry highway wondering just how her life had ended up here. Why was she in the middle of nowhere staring at the horizon? Her heart and her head had two different answers to that question. Nikki’s heart was trying to convince her that the love of her life was heading towards her, just over the next hill. Nikki’s head told her she was an idiot.
The journey that had brought her here had started six months ago. Nikki was a waitress at a diner on the outskirts of Las Vegas. She had graduated high school a few months earlier and felt lost. She didn’t have any future plans besides getting as far away from her mother and stepfather as possible.
Nikki loved her mother but the man she had married a year earlier was another story. He just made her feel so uncomfortable. It was like he was a sleazeball on a timer, waiting to go off. Nikki couldn’t put her finger on what gave her this feeling, only that it was strong.
Despite her lack of direction in life or maybe because of it, Nikki had no hope of halting the hand of fate the day the mysterious rugged looking man walked into her diner. He had told her his name was King. When Nikki giggled and asked for his real name, King had just stared at her.
The only other details he had given her was that he was undercover with a local biker gang. Nikki wasn’t stupid. She tried not to believe him and she tried to stay away. She just couldn’t. Their physical relationship started quickly and turned heavy almost immediately. King was the kind of lover Nikki had only read about in her erotic love stories. He was forceful yet gentle. He took but also gave.
Everything was near perfect for two months until one day King was just gone. The only thing he left for her was a note with a date, time, and mile marker. So here she was. Waiting for her King to come for her.
These were the right coordinates.
Dixie Cooney dismounted from the saddle of her Sportster and checked her GPS app for the hundredth time. She even shook her smartphone, as if that would knock some sense into it.
Yes, same coordinates. She was in the right spot.
The old Highway 72, before they built the new six-lane bypass six years ago. Weeds grew through the cracks in the asphalt, the road not maintained since it led to exactly nowhere now. No one even had to take this section down to Mormon Lake anymore, since a shiny new Mormon Lake Road got one there much faster, and with more Burger Kings and gas stations.
As she’d expected, she was the only motorcycle for miles. She took the binoculars she’d brought and sighted down the crumbling highway. No one. What was I thinking? Was I expecting him to actually remember? I was only Tad’s old lady for six months before my job transferred me to Chicago. I’m sure he’s married now.
They’d come down this highway on a poker run eight years ago to the day. That was the day they’d sat here and made the pact. No matter where they were in eight years, they’d drop everything and return here.
Even if Dixie’s law firm transferred her, as they’d been hinting they would do.
They’d drop everything and come back here to remember who they were, where they’d come from. They’d see how far they had come and marvel at their successes.
Dixie had been planning to do it, planning for months, years. The strange text a week ago containing only GPS coordinates had just clinched her determination. She hadn’t even texted back or called the number. No. She had to have faith.
She took a cold Bud from her cooler and cracked it. She barely had time to blow the foam off the rim before she heard him. The distant buzzing of his Harley, the same ride he’d had when they’d done the poker run.
Tad was coming. He hadn’t forgotten. Dixie replaced the beer in the cooler and raised the binoculars. Yes. Tad.
Where the hell was he? Mac had been right behind her the last time she’d looked in her mirror and it hadn’t been more than ten minutes. She doubted he’d had an accident. He was too skilled a rider for that and there was next to no traffic on these back roads. It was equally doubtful that he’d had mechanical trouble. That bike was his pride and joy.
Something was wrong. She knew it. Knowing full and well he’d throw her over his knee for turning back, she threw a leg over her own bike and turned the ignition. She pulled down her shades and followed her tracks.
The low rumble reminded her of the night they’d met.
She’d been at her friend’s wedding reception. Mac had introduced himself and asked her to dance. Unable to look away from his deep brown eyes, she’d done something she never did. She’d put her hand into his and accepted the clean cut, suit and tie wearing man’s invitation. Tall and lean with strong features and not a single visible tattoo he’d been light years away from her type.
But when he’d put his hands at her hips and drew her close she hadn’t been able to make herself care. She’d danced four songs in a row with him before she’d known it. They hadn’t said much but when he drew her to the bar, bought her a drink and then pulled her out onto the patio she’d let him.
There, away from the crush of bodies they’d talked about everything and nothing until the sky darkened and the reception had emptied.
Then for the first time in her life she’d allowed a man she’d barely known into her home. Mere minutes after he’d shut the front door, their clothes flew everywhere.
That was when she’d seen the tattoo and known.
In one fateful second she’d found the man of her dreams and lost him.
That tattoo belonged to her club’s rival. He’d instantly become forbidden fruit and even then she hadn’t been able to make herself turn away.
Where was he now?
Jes looked at his mate as she stood silently, staring down the road. His brother had left on his bike a few hours ago to find someplace that would have a tow truck. It wasn’t often that Jes cursed out loud, but when the engine had started sputtering he’d let loose with a string of words that would make a trucker blush. He’d wanted their trip to be uneventful, but his bike dying on this empty road was just one of many delays.
Annie glanced over her shoulder, a frown marring her pretty face. “He should have come back by now, right?”
Closing the distance to her, he pulled her into his embrace. “Dek’s fine, baby. He probably had to drive further to find someplace. We’re just about in the middle of ass-nowhere.”
She snorted a laugh. “I just want to get there.”
“Me, too,” he rested his cheek on the top of her head and stared down the road.
Their future lay miles down the road, where no one would judge them for choosing to mate as a threesome. Annie, a were-tigress of royal birth, ignored her pride’s demands she mate a tiger of equally impressive lineage, instead choosing Jes and Dek, werewolf brothers of no royal lineage whatsoever. It would be there, somewhere in the distance, where they would start over again, shedding the chains of their pasts and beginning a new life together.
“I see him!” She said suddenly, drawing Jes from the past to the present. She stepped from his arms and stood near the bike, watching down the road as a small cloud of dust moved closer. Squinting, Jes could make out a bike leading a tow truck.
She looked over her shoulder at him and he smirked, saying, “I told you.”
She stuck out her tongue. “Sue me for worrying.”
He joined her and waited at the side of the road, glad that they’d soon be on the way to their future home where he and Dek could finally be free to love Annie the way that they craved.
She stared at the distant horizon. They’d received no news, no travelers, from that direction in nearly eight years.
No one had dared venture past the hills just beyond their town.
Everyone remembered the strange clouds that preceded the silence from around the world. Those clouds had lingered for days off to the distance, never growing closer to them as they all held their breath as the world went dark.
Finally, they’d been able to relax as no more bluish-green, roiling walls of mysterious silence grew closer. The clouds to the distance eventually withdrew.
They withdrew from the world.
Now, it was time for her to explore. To see what, if anything, still lay beyond the hills. She was the only one brave—or foolish—enough to try it.
She was tired of people complaining about things they used to have, medicines, everything. Their small town had survived only because of the refinery, the farms on the outskirts, the dairy, the river.
She’d turned eighteen, barely able to remember the world before the clouds.
As she turned back to her motorcycle, she couldn’t hide the smile. She’d show them all what lay beyond the hills.
That it was far more than fear and death and loss.
That it was hope.
Damn. I knew I should have turned left couple of miles back, but the instructions said there would be a signpost.
Trying to earn a living as a motorcycle courier wasn’t as easy as it looked. Everyone thought Evelyn had an easy job, riding around the city, stopping for coffee whenever she felt like it. The truth was quite different. Like today. Heading out of town to some small town to deliver a parcel. A small town so small it didn’t even have a signpost indicating where she should turn to get there.
Evelyn climbed off the motorcycle and stood staring into the distance. Maybe she should just give up the job, and ride. Ride to the horizon. See what was over the other side. Keep riding until she found a new home.
Or maybe not. With her luck she’d run out of gas miles from the nearest gas station.
But would that be so bad? Freedom. The freedom to just climb on her bike and ride whenever she felt like it. The freedom to come and go as she pleased without always having to be nice to customers. To sleep late some mornings if that’s what she wanted, and to ride toward the open sky ahead of her as far and as fast as she pleased.
Damn that sounds good.
Evelyn climbed back on her motorcycle, gunned the engine and kept riding. Toward the horizon. Toward her future, whatever it might bring.
Kara watched as his truck disappear down the road until she could only see a small dot on the horizon. She didn’t even know his name, but she would never forget the way his hands felt on her body. She could still feel the scrape of his stubble over the tender skin of her inner thighs. Just the thought of it sent another tremor through her system.
She’d been so relieved to see the other vehicle pull to the side of the road. She’d run out of gas hours ago and had been stranded. At least she wouldn’t be stuck out here after night fall, she thought, walking back to her motorcycle.
As she slid the helmet on, she remembered the way her body had hummed to life. It had been years since she’d felt that sharp spike of arousal. One look at his dark, ruggedly handsome face had been all she needed. She’d gone on this trip looking for an adventure. She supposed he’d certainly qualify.
“You break down?” he’d asked, gesturing to the bike.
“No,” she’d said, “Out of gas.”
She had watched as he’d moved to the back of his truck and plucked a small gas can from the back. Moving toward the bike, he’d opened the gas cap and filled it.
“That should get you to the closest station. About five miles that way,” he said, pointing west.
Putting her hand on his arm, she’d said, “Thank you.”
He must have seen the pure lust in her eyes because he’d pulled her roughly up against him and asked, “But that’s not all you need, is it?”
“No,” she’d said, shaking her head. “It’s not.”
He’d given her everything she needed and more. There wasn’t a place on her body that his hands and mouth hadn’t touched.
As she saw his truck headed back up the road towards her, she realized that the adventure wasn’t over yet.
When he pulled over, she said, “You’re back.”
“Yeah,” he said. “I don’t think I’m nearly done with you yet.”
A cold shiver trailed down her back despite the protection of well-worn leathers that Lucas gave her earlier. Her nose wrinkled from the fumes of trash that still burned behind her. Thessalynn fought the urge of taking one last glance at the shack she once called home. Did she want that last memory of Lucas burn in her mind too?
She trembled before narrowing her colourless eyes and clenching her jaw with frustration. Shaking her head, wincing from the tightness of her dark braid she muttered harshly,
“Damn fool, he knew better than to get involved.”
The odour of rotting cherries filtered through the fumes, triggering her enhanced senses. She hissed through clenched teeth as she shifted her booted heels farther apart. A portal just opened behind her and she caught the growing shadow on the loose dirt from the corner of her eye.
“I wondered when you’d get here, Hepsibeth. You’re too late. Lucas won’t be able to help you. It’s a shame though. I really liked him,” she paused, shifting slightly, exposing the weapon attached to her utility belt before she continued softly, “He was sweet.”
The scrap of metal from a scabbard was barely audible. Thessalynn dropped grimly to one knee and shook out the thin wire blade from her belt. She smoothly pivoted to face the Charl assassin and flashed a wolfish grin.
“You should have killed me at the diner.”
A low hiss, a flash of silver and a heavy thud stirred the loose dirt on the ground. It was the only movement before the broad sword clattered on the road. Sightless alien eyes surrounded by translucent skin stared back at her as she stood and toed the severed head with her boot. Sighing she shook the ebony blood from her blade and carefully attached the deadly weapon to her belt.
A frown marred her features as she stared at the growing cluster of clouds on the horizon. A storm was coming, tasting the ozone on her lips. She sauntered to her silver motorcycle and climbed on.
“I’m sorry, Lucas.” she whispered regretfully.
Thank you so much to all of the authors who participated! I hope you’ll encourage us by letting us know if you would like us to continue our specific stories. Just leave a comment for us in the comment section. We’ll be back May 31st with another one!
As always Live, Laugh, and Love like today is your only chance!~Lori
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