picture prompt

FFAW: The Fan

I had never thought this was a good idea. Testing urban legends was foolishness. Chester and Robin, my closest friends, convinced me otherwise.

We met outside the abandoned warehouse at midnight, checked our flashlights and double-checked our resolves. This was supposed to be the warehouse of horrors. The story had started when a bunch of homeless people had gone exploring it. Only one of them made it out. He spread the tale. Since, the bodies were never found; the adults brushed the tale away as the ramblings of a mad man. However, it became a popular story among us kids. We stepped inside and shone our lights around. All we could see was the fan. It was huge. However, for some reason it looked lonely. It wanted us to join it, become friends with us. We saw three ropes lying right below the fan, inviting us.

I looked at Chester and Robin, and smiled. We were going to join the fan, and together we would stay.

Forever.

 

This was written in response to FFfAW Challenge-165th

Thank you, Yarnspinnerr for the prompt!! 🙂

Friday Fictioneers: Fire

Finally, he had found it. It was exactly as he had seen in his visions – A pathway of steps leading to cabin in the woods. It was all for her. It had been a week since he had first seen her in his vision. Dressed in a black gown, she climbed the pathway, ever so gracefully. Midway, she looked behind her back, giving him a glimpse of her pale face and her fiery blue eyes that would pierce his soul. His intense desire for her had led him here.

Those blue eyes. They had set his heart on fire.

 

Head over to Friday Fictioneers to check out the prompt! 🙂

 

 

FFFAW: The Workers

Image Courtesy: Ellespeth

 

He watched them from the top of the hill. The two straw-people were working hard, doing their assigned chores. He watched them every day – toiling away in the sweltering heat. He often overheard their laments: how their masters were heartless and how they were being exploited. They shared their joys and sorrows with each other. He could see how when one of them got tired, the other one would lend aid.  The rigours of their lives were extreme.

Looking at them, he felt sorry. He felt sorry for himself. He was an older model -the scarecrow model – no moving parts. All he could do was to continue standing on top of the hill and observe them. He felt bad that he could never have any friends.

 

Word Count: 128

 

FFFAW Photo Prompt Challenge #164

Bokeh

“Bokeh, Bokeh!”

I still remember my Sensei’s words. He would whack me hard on the head every time I committed a mistake. I remember hating it. It made me very angry. I was training in the art of Kyūdō. I never had any say in it. My family forced me to do it and so I did it. As an inquisitive child, I had asked Sensei what bokeh meant.

“Little one, it means blur.”

“But Sensei, don’t you want me to focus?”

“Yes, I do. One can only truly focus on the target if the rest of the world is blurred. Thus – Bokeh.”

It had sounded like sound wisdom back then. So, I had accepted it without question.

Sensei’s concept of Bokeh trained me well. By the time I was a teenager, I had achieved mastery in Kyūdō . It was time for me to join my family business. Within a month of my joining, I had my first kill. I belonged to a family of assassins. Killing came naturally to me. However, killing with such a skill and precision was unseen even in my family. I never missed my targets. Whether it was a crowded street, a speeding car or quiet office, my targets never escaped. They were the only things I saw. They were the objects in the forefront. The rest was just a blur. However, I had no idea that the concept that was the source of my assassination skills, would serve to undermine me. I found it out the hard way, two years ago.

It was a routine assassination. Of course, no assassination is really a routine – every target, every scenario is different. However, after you have killed as many people as I have, it all feels like a routine. I get information and half the money up front. I study the area and find a good spot. I camp over there and wait for my target. Once the target appears, I take one shot and get away. I get paid in full the following day, and that is the end of business. However, two years ago, not all of these things happened. After I took the shot and saw the target fall to the ground, I knew something was wrong. They were expecting it. They had wanted me to take the shot so that they could find me, and find me they did. I had been so focused on my target, that I missed the bigger picture. I was apprehended.

It has been two years to that day now. I have been rotting in this prison. Sometimes, I feel Sensei trained me too well. All I can focus on are the walls holding me in, the lights of freedom are Bokeh.

 

-x-x-x-x-x-

This story was inspired from the picture prompt:

Screenshot_2018-04-24-14-37-55-358_com.android.chrome_1524565459423.png

Would love to hear your thoughts on the story and your interpretation of the picture!

Cheers!

The Unknown

Ahumai hastened towards The City. His team had discovered an unknown, the first discovery in over a decade. It was big news. His team mates – Dalila and Jidlaph followed him, trying to keep up. They were Ahumai’s blood-sworn and were tasked with watching his back. It had been a long mission and they were tired. However, they knew that even though they were out of dangerous waters, they could not afford to ease up. Enemies could be lurking behind any coral, waiting to ambush them. Ahumai was not making their task any easier. He had abandoned all vigilance and was making a straight dash to The City, and who could blame him? The mission had been an astounding success. Clutched in his hands was a safety packet and within it resided the unknown. They had given up trying to slow him down and instead focused on surveying their surroundings to the best of their ability, without losing sight of his swishing emerald tail.

The three blood-sworn belonged to the Selachii Kingdom, one of the many Sea-folk kingdoms. The City was the capital of Selachii Kingdom, and the birthplace of the three.  After a swift and arduous swim through the azure waters of Selachii, the trio finally gazed upon The City. It was city of pale golden colour, masterfully architected with a slew of magnificent minarets towering over each other. A crystal-clear purifier dome separated the city limits from the outer Azure waters. It was truly a sight to beholden, and no matter how many times Ahumai saw it, he always fell in love with its pristine beauty. The three made their way to the city entrance, swimming alongside shoals of persimmon coloured fish. The guards positioned at the entrance saluted the three as they entered. Ahumai was used to salutes because he was the younger Selachii prince, but he had never liked them. However, today for a change he acknowledged the salutes whole-heartedly. For the first time, he felt as if he had earned them. He had after all discovered an unknown.

As soon he entered the city premises, he spotted his older brother approaching. It was difficult to miss his muscular frame. It was even more difficult to miss his bright acid green tail. Ahumai was gleaming with joy when his brother was close enough to look at the safety packet.

“Ahumai, is that an unknown?”

“It sure is, Pachu’a. The first one found in so many years.”

“Very good. Take it directly to the Science Center. I want to know if it can be used as a weapon against our enemies.”

Ahumai hated this about his brother. He was only concerned with warfare. If something did not aid in increasing his own power, it was of no interest to him. He had no inclination towards history at all. In contrast to his older brother, Ahumai loved knowledge. Even the discovery of simple trivial knowledge excited him, and this was an unknown. He was eager to know what stories it held. However, he could not say all this to his sibling. Ahumai nodded.

“Yes, I will take it to the science center.”

Pachu’a placed his burly right arm on Ahumai’s shoulder.

“Good. We need to strengthen ourselves as much as we can, little brother. Our enemies are many and we need all the advantages we can get.”

Ahumai bowed his head. His companions followed suit and kept their heads bowed until the heir to the Selachii Kingdom had passed them. Ahumai turned to face Dalila and Jidlaph.

“Well, as my brother told us, we are going to the Science Center. But, after we meet Grandpa. I want him to see it before the other scientists.”

Dalila shook her head.

“I knew this was coming. You always have to undermine your brother in some way.”

Jidlaph grunted in agreement.

“Come on, it is not about that. At least, not this time. Grandpa always has something interesting to share. I want to know what he thinks before the other war-hungry scientists look at the unknown we found. Are you both coming?”

Jidlaph shrugged his shoulders. Dalila opened her mouth to argue and closed it after a split second. She realized Ahumai was not going to change his mind. She beckoned Ahumai to lead the way. Ahumai smiled to himself.

Making their way through the busy streets of The City, the trio reached Grandpa’s house. The house was ancient, which was quite visible to any onlooker. Before Ahumai could place his palm on the door to let Grandpa know he had visitors, the door slid open. The trio heard Grandpa’s gruff voice.

“Come on in, kids. This house may be old, but I assure you the technology on which it runs is cutting edge.”

The three blood-sworn entered. They swam past the meeting area and into Grandpa’s study. Ahumai held up the safety packet as soon as he saw Grandpa. Grandpa’s jaw dropped.

“My dear boy! Is that an unknown? Did you really find one?”

The trio chimed in unison.

“Yes, Grandpa!”

“Where did you find it?”

“We were scouting the brooding caverns. Found it in a small unclaimed chest.”

“That was mighty lucky. Well then, let us see it. Quickly now.”

Ahumai opened the lock on the safety packet and removed the unknown. It looked like a covering of some kind much like the gauntlets worn by Selachii soldiers, but they were flatter in shape and their material unlike any that had been encountered before. Each side of the unknown was marked by similar markings.

“Have you ever seen this mark, Grandpa?”

“No, I have not. Maybe it is an ancient language.”

Ahumai nodded. To his eyes, the markings looked like the outline made by his thumb and his index finger, when he stuck them both out. Maybe, they communicated with their fingers. Ahumai observed that Grandpa looked pleased.

“Grandpa, what are you thinking? You seem happy.”

“You see, child, I have been working on a theory for many years now. This might be the first proof supporting this theory.”

“What theory is that?”

“I believe that many millions of years ago, the world was not entirely submerged in water. In those times, our ancestors lived on land. They probably had limbs that aided them in moving around on land. This unknown may be a gauntlet of sorts for their lower limbs. And then after some time, due to some reason, the entire world flooded.”

The three blood-sworn gaped at Grandpa. He burst out laughing.

“Kids, it is just a theory. I know it sounds absurd – areas without water and our ancestors living in such areas.”

 

 

 

*The names used in the story, are all connected to water in some way.

Ahumai : A meadow of waters

Dalila: Water bearer

Jidlaph: He that distills water

Pachu’a: Feathered water snake

Source

 

**Those who found the description of the markings confusing, this is what I intended to convey :

RJ62DEg.jpg

 

 

If you like stories related to the Sea you may want to give the Sea of Blood series a read!