The challenge for this week’s Writing Prompt Wednesday was to create a short story using the image below as inspiration and based on the following criteria:
- Two characters (ages must differ by at least ten years)
- One animal (unless your two characters are animals, then add one person)
- Time period in the past or future
- At least one line of dialogue
As promised, here is my original creation. What were you inspired to create?
Marie parted ways with her companion ten days ago and yet there he stood as though time remained unchanged.
She watched from a distance, the rushing wind silencing her thoughts and distracting her from the truth of the moment. He’d abandoned her along their journey despite her pleas for assistance. She’d felt his distance long before he set off running, though she can only admit it through this new perspective.
The chatter built in intensity as the crowd increased in number, and the dissonance set Marie’s head to pound. Like a theater-goer captivated by the action on-screen, she couldn’t look away yet knew she shouldn’t stay unseen for long.
The ivory trim of her ankle-length gown danced in the breeze, and she bowed her head in appreciation. The path ahead would soon be dimmed by the sunset, so she called for strength and received confidence instead.
With each step, her painted feet connected with the land and sent shock waves through every inch of her being. The destination grew in clarity and vibrancy as her gaze stayed fixed on the man now cleansed of the soot and dirt that covered him ten days earlier. The black and white tuxedo gave him the appearance of formality though it didn’t suit him.
“You are disguised,” she declared, “though the setting is all wrong.”
He turned as though her words were heard yet she understood that to be impossible. His stare met hers and she stood trapped in imaginary quicksand. He smiled then, a knowing grin that both confused and challenged Marie.
She continued her trek, listening to the leaves flap and the birds call. Marie suspected that her presence was already felt but would it be seen through the smoke and mirrors? The trees that lined her path invoked pangs of guilt and comfort, neither helpful at present. She focused instead on the music around the bend, imploring her to keep moving forward.
Her father’s emerald eyes welcomed her to the starting line of her new journey. The music ceased and the crowd hushed as Marie listened to the voice silenced ten days ago.
“My life ended in body but continues in spirit. Do not cry for me any longer. This is a joyful day, one that not even the coal mine could take from me.”
She bit her bottom lip and inhaled the familiar scent of cigar and whiskey.
“Love, my child. With everything you have and with all that you will become. That is what I give to you and to the man who loves you as much I did your mother.”
Her father’s figure faded like a movie’s conclusion, leaving but a kiss on the veiled forehead. Where once a soul stood next to her a spirit animal now soared above. She watched the hawk head for the horizon before turning towards the petaled path and nodding to welcome her future.