Amy J. Hawthorn, Corinne Davies, erotic, excerpts, flash fiction, Gracie Meadows, Jade Belfrey, Lori King, Lori King Author, Lynne St. James, NSFW, picture capture, R.E. Butler, Raven McAllan, Sherri Hayes, Suzette Cauler
May Picture Capture!
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….
Her foot made a hollow sound as it tapped down on the white tiles of the subway floor. She was impatient today. She was supposed to be waiting for the train to work and not specifically waiting for him. Lately it had become increasingly difficult for her to differentiate between the two.
The train would come soon enough. The sparse four minute ride together would be over far too quickly and then she’d be forced to back to her real life. Not that her life was bad – quite the opposite actually. She had a good family, great friends and a well paying job that she didn’t mind. But her life was missing that little something extra that made a woman excited to get out of bed in the morning. Although if her fantasies were reality, she’d never want to leave her bed or the sexy man in it.
She frowned as she straightened her scarf. A woman of her age shouldn’t be having girlish fantasies about a man she had never spoken to before. Her curse was people watching. It was a habit she couldn’t break. A month ago he had walked onto her train. Since then the best part of her Monday to Friday was spending her entire ride covertly observing him.
She looked up just as he rushed onto the platform. His hair dark hair was a little askew, and although he wore his usual pressed dress pants and crisp white shirt, something was definitely off.
When their eyes met, he strode towards her with purpose. She gasped as his leather back loafers rushed towards her.
She felt his arm grasp her elbow and wrench her to her feet. Kate turned to him shocked. “Walk.” He ordered as he rushed her down the platform towards the exit. She tripped over her own feet as she hurried attempted to comply.
She pulled away as soon as they were up the stairs and outside of the terminal. “Do you mind telling me what’s going on?”
He frowned and reached for her arm again. “There’s a bomb on the subway, Kate.”
What now, she thought. How could she move on from something like this? Each day Mary went about doing the same thing, never once stopping and changing her routine. How could she have thought it would cost her the one thing that meant the most to her?
Leaning against the wall she stopped to take a moment and look around her. So many people, so many lost in their own world. Not sure what to do, Mary just sat there hoping that the pain would stop as she watched the clock tick by. Life was simple for Mary, it was work and home, nothing in between.
She smiled at the couple that walked by as they swung their small child to and fro between them. She would never have that. She wouldn’t have anything ever again. Unable to stop the pain that raced in her heart as stood, and started walking down the tunnel, leaving all thoughts on Rosy.
Her daughter with brown curly hair and chipmunk cheeks. Her reason for living. Each day it was work and home to Rosy. The sweet smile, and the childish laugh made life brighter. But her everyday routine, and being lost in her world cost her all of it.
“Mommy, mommy.” The musical voice of her child rang in her ear. Turning her head she saw the car racing for them, all time stood still as she rushed to stop it, to save her Rosy as the light grew brighter and brighter.
“Mommy’s not hear anymore Rosy.” Her mother’s voice spoke behind.
“I want mommy.” Rosy cried.
“Your mommy’s with the angels.”
“Mommy saved me,” her sweet little girl clung to her mother’s neck weeping.
The light came again, then time Mary wasn’t afraid and walking into it. It wasn’t her that lost Rosy, it was Rosy that lost her. She had saved her daughter, and now Rosy will grow to have a wonderful life. With one last look at the baby girl she turn to embrace the life she needed to live now as Rosy guardian angel.
Just a moment. It’s all she needed. Or, truly, it’s all she’d allow herself. She stooped, allowing the wall to take her weight.
Fear. Worry. Suspicion. A dark danced swirled in her head until she grew dizzy, losing focus.
If only she could find one person she could place her trust in. Blake claimed he wanted to be that person and as badly as she needed that, the part of her who’d only relied on herself for so long refused to let go.
Car horns blared as drivers engrossed in their own worlds nearly collided then returned to their own lanes. The larger world spun on as her heart broke into a hundred jagged shards.
She needed him.
And now that she’d faced and accepted the truth, she didn’t know where to find him, or even if he still wanted her. As many times as she’d spurned him, refused to give him her trust, he’d probably written her off.
Exhaustion won. Her knees trembled then gave up the fight and collapsed, dumping her to the ground. She tucked her head to her knees and fought back tears. There she sat, alone and broken, fighting back her tears. She’d allow herself the knowledge that she couldn’t go this dark, dangerous path alone, but she would not allow herself tears until she found shelter.
If only she’d chosen a different path all those years ago. In her twenties a life of danger had sounded like one grand adventure after another. Now? It was nothing more than a new peril-filled nightmare after another.
She didn’t know how much more she could take.
“Greta? Love?” A muscled arm scooped beneath her knees and the other worked its way behind her back. “Baby. You’re killing me. Whatever it is, Greta, you’re going to tell me. I won’t take no for an answer. We’ve got to get to safety first. They’re on our tail. I feel it.”
The first sob broke free as Blake tucked her against his chest.
“My name’s not Greta.”
“My name’s not Blake. But hearts matter, not names.”
Millie, fresh off her shift taking tokens for the shuttle, was startled when she first saw the woman crouching against the wall of the terminal. She waved her hands in front of the woman’s face and had seen a spark behind the pupils, but then the spark went out, and Millie realized she was staring at a broken android.
“You call for security?” Johns, one of the security officers who patrolled the station, asked.
“Someone left this droid here; I think she’s broken.” Millie touched the synthetic skin of the android’s cheek. She was most likely one of the Glasir Company’s housework droids.
Johns pushed the droid’s head forward and pulled up the panel at the back of her neck, revealing an array of wires and tubes. “Looks like the battery is dead. I’ll call for a pickup.”
“Wait, there’s something in her hand,” Millie said as she extracted a tightly rolled piece of paper. My name is Fiona. I am a Housebot 7.2 and my owner cannot afford to replace my battery
“It’s not trash; it’s abandoned property. The paperwork is going to take me hours.”
Millie smiled at Johns. “I’ll take her.”
Millie shrugged. “I know someone who could use some help around the house.”
He glanced at his watch. “Fine. I’ll give her a jolt with my taser and that should juice up the battery for a couple hours.”
“Aw, you’re the best.”
“If I’m the best, then go out to dinner with me.”
She laughed. “Alright. Tomorrow, though.”
Fiona’s body jerked and gears grinded to life as her eyes sparked when he touched the taser to the battery. As Johns closed the panel, Fiona stood and smiled “How may I assist you?”
“I’m Millie. My dad needs some help since my mom passed away.”
“I am at your service.”
“Don’t forget dinner,” Johns said with a wink.
“I won’t. Maybe Fiona can cook for us.”
Johns laughed as she led her droid out of the station. “It’s a good day, Fiona. A very good day.”
Nothing ever changed.
She walked the same walk every day, breathed chilled artificial air designed to keep the masses awake and alert on their way to the predetermined positions. No one spoke to her, nor did she speak to anyone as she focused on her destination. One step every second, fourteen hundred and sixty five steps from the front door of her residence to her cubicle at the Tech institute. The same steps she made every day except for Fridays, her designated day off. She lived alone having eschewed the typical domicile agreement that many people her age tended to gravitate to. There was no need to share her routine with anyone as she had nothing to share.
But, today was different.
She wasn’t the same person she was yesterday. One small, almost insignificant change in her routine had revealed a brief glimpse of something beyond her realm. She’d looked out the window of the bridge that connected her employment building to the travel tubes and had been snapped her out of the routine haze she’d existed in for the last twenty years. A violent splash of colour in the monochromatic world she lived in, a whispered promise in a stranger’s gaze that had foretold of unexpected deviation.
Her gait faltered on step nine hundred and five.
The white tile felt cold against the back of her head as she truly decimated her routine. No one stopped to inquire of her welfare, they all moved, one step per second towards their destination. During her rest cycle she’d dreamt of the wilds. Bright flashes of colour so intense it shocked her monotone senses and disrupted her slumber.
She looked back. Her next step would dictate the rest of her life.
People passed by her oblivious as to the epic blow she’d received earlier that day. The letter she’d tucked into her coat pocket felt as if it weighted twenty pounds instead of mere ounces. Why had her mother chosen to tell her after all these years? Why now?
She knew the answer to that. Guilt.
It was amazing what death brought out in people. Seeing someone lying there in a casket was a stark reminder of our own mortality. All those things we haven’t done are brought to the surface.
Not one of the dozen people who had walked by her in the last fifteen minutes had any concept of how her world, her knowledge of herself, had been shattered by a single piece of paper. She had no idea what she was going to do…what she was going to say to her mother the next time she saw her. There were so many emotions swirling inside her. She was angry. Hurt. But most of all, she was confused.
Rising, she resumed her movement through the tunnel. Moping wasn’t going to get her anywhere.
The more she thought about her mother’s words, the more she wondered why. Why had it taken her mother so long to tell her? Her father…or the man she thought was her father…had been dead for over five years.
She neared the end of the tunnel, and she could see the sun light up ahead. It was time to confront her mother. She needed some answers. She needed to know why her mother waited until she was standing over the casket of a man she barely knew to tell her that he was her father.
She hunkered down and smoothed her coat to try and keep it out of the gutter. Not that this particular gutter was mucky.
Danica wondered if her plan was such a good idea after all. It had seemed to make perfect sense when she’d plotted, earlier in the week. Now? Not so much.
However it was too late to do anything else.
Did you become invisible when you did something like this? Pose such a threat, that passers by walked on the other side of the tunnel?
Did no one actually look at you, and wonder why? Why is that person sitting there? What’s wrong? Or even can I help?
It seemed not.
Nobody approached her, no one looked her in the eyes. It was a strange feeling. Usually she was noticed everywhere she went.
Not today, not now.
She stared down the tunnel and watched as an influx of people got closer.
One tall, dark haired guy had a guitar slung over his shoulder. He winked as he drew close.
“Shall we?” He unslung the guitar and adjusted it over his shoulder.
Danica stood up and cleared her throat.
Leon played the chord she needed.
Her voice was strong and clear. Leon’s playing a perfect compliment.
People began to slow down. To stop and listen.
Then the whispers and the chatter began.
“I think so?”
“Oh wow, I wonder why?”
“Hey look who it is.”
Leon played the last note and Danica grinned at him.
The applause was deafening.
They waved, linked hands and ran to the entrance like a pair of school kids scared they’d get caught for doing something they shouldn’t have done.
“So, it proved your point?”
“I guess so. It’s scary. I was a nothing. No one looked, stopped or asked how I was. I could have been dead for all they cared. Not me, not part of us. Nothing.
“Once we sang and people realised it was Elegance singing it all changed.”
“So we donate all the profits to the homeless shelter then?”
“Where is he?” Jen wondered as she waited for Mark to show up. Leaning against the subway tiles, coolness seeped through her jacket and made her shiver. Checking her watch and decided she’d give him five more minutes and then she’d have to leave.
They’d met in that passageway six months ago when she’d been hurrying back from lunch and texting instead of looking where she was walking. Smiling at the memory, he had been so pissed off. She crashed into him and knocked them both to the ground. He was all about telling her off but then they made eye contact. A bolt of electricity seemed to fly between them and silently he helped her up. She apologized profusely and with a timid smile and a blush she raced back to her office to make her 2 p.m. meeting.
The next day she noticed him again and each day after that, at first they just nodded their heads in acknowledgement. Now six months later it was a daily meeting for them. They only knew each other’s first names and to be in that location at 1:40 p.m. The meetings were always brief, ten minutes while they walked the length of the passageway–not much but enough for now.
She’d been burned often in the past and avoided dating since her divorce four years ago. Her friends gave her grief constantly. Should she tell them about Mark just to get them off her back? Could their meetings be considered dating?
Checking her watch she grew impatient. Where was he? Like clockwork they hadn’t missed a day since they’d had their initial collision. A frisson of fear slid through her settling in the pit of her stomach creating a big knot.
Jen stood up and gazed down the passage one more time. She needed to get back to the office–another meeting was waiting for her. As she stood up she heard him call out to her.
Turning she saw him. Blood ran down the side of his face as he hobbled towards her. “Oh my God, what happened…”
Nora leaned against the wall and slid down, grateful that no one took much notice of her. She didn’t want anyone to ask if she was okay or even offer a greeting. She was there to remember, to finally put the past to bed. Hopefully, it would stay there.
She’d met Keith there so many years ago. A friendly smile, a random comment, a joke, and she’d fallen hard. Before Keith, she’d been going through the motions. He’d helped her start living.
Nora had let Keith become her entire world, and for a while she’d been his. But then something happened. They went wrong in ways Nora still didn’t fully understand. Keith had become withdrawn–distant, and she’d done everything she could think of to help him. Nothing had worked, though, and gradually he’d gone from barely there to mean–the ugly sort of mean that hunts happiness, hope, and vibrancy, then kills it. She’d learned to live in fear of displeasing him. Worse, she’d become afraid to enjoy anything for fear that he’d find a way to spoil it.
For years, she’d been beaten by Keith’s vicious tongue and sometimes his fists, feeling like a failure—like less than nothing. But somewhere along the way, a wildflower had bloomed in the wasteland he’d made of her spirit, and Nora had found the strength to walk away. She’d left him behind, finally realizing she didn’t need him to keep her world in balance or bring light into her life. She could do that for herself.
Returning to the place where it all began was Nora’s way of saying a final goodbye to the man she’d loved. He still lived yet he’d died inside. She’d expected to cry, coming back to this place, but she had no tears left to shed. Instead, Nora could only look forward to the future and a life on her own terms. She didn’t care that it might not be easy. In fact, she hoped it wasn’t. Working for the life she wanted would make her joy that much sweeter.
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 June 30th with another one!
As always Live, Laugh, and Love like today is your only chance!~Lori
From → Picture Capturing