So, the ladies over at ermiliablog put on a bit of a challenge every week. On Sundays they offer a new installment in what they call Picture It and Write. Simple stuff. They post a picture and a paragraph of fiction inspired by said photo. Then they ask you to do the same.
I like this stuff. I like it a lot.
Being prolific in your writing is incredibly valuable. Write the novel, the short story, the flash fictions. Not only does each test and build a different skill set but also its like diversifying your stock portfolio.
More than one basket for your eggs? Good idea.
Usual I post right there on their blog but this week, I think it might have ended up being a tad longer then expected. So instead of stomping over to their blog and eating huge amounts of screen space in the comments section, I thought I’d just post it here. Keep it tidy.
The shoulder of the highway was where the two boys stopped. A lonely howl swam through the air around them, drifting over tree tops, across the road and into somewhere beyond.
“I don’t like the sound of that.” said the first. He pulled the straps on his backpack tighter.
“Me neither.” said the second. “It’s getting dark. And it’s time for dinner already.”
A pair of headlights drifted around the corner and floated past them, a white mechanical steed ushering someone else toward home.
“We could take a shortcut.”
“You don’t know any shortcuts.” said the first.
“Of course I do. I know these woods like the back of my hand.” And with that, the second burst into the treeline, the sound of wood dragging against cordura echoing out behind him.
The first shook his head as he debated following after. “Someone could get hurt.” he called. There was no response. As usual. He hesitated a moment. Then followed after.
The trees were easy to make out at least. The glow of the moon lent a cool, blue hue to everything around them. He found his companion waiting.
The two followed a dirt path that twisted around the silent pines, and crossing an old stone bridge before climbing up the hill that betrayed that this was the way home. Ahead the town lights painted the november clouds a rusty orange that stood out harshly in the night.
“Come on.” The second boy urged from the crest of the hill.
The first lumbered up after him. He could see why his companion had stopped. The hill fell steeply into a depression littered with stones and broken bits of branches.
Now there were all sorts of things he thought about saying.
“Can we actually climb down there?” was the first thought.
“Can we go around?” was a close second.
But as the second boy pushed him over the edge he lost that train of thought. Surprise, surprisingly rushed in and took over. Not anger or even truly fear. Nothing but pure, unrestrained surprise. His thoughts scattered from there.
As his leg was caught, briefly between two stones, he considered calling for help. But as the force of his tumble broke the ankle, freeing his foot from its temporary hold, that train departed as well.
When he finally came to a crashing stop in the center of the cluttered depression, he realized that there are in fact, no branches littered about and confirmed to himself that yes, he was just shoved down here.
“You pushed me.” he said as he strained to sit up. The action highlighted the injury to his foot and pain forced him to lay still. “It’s broken. I know it, it hurts. Why did you do that?” the first shouted through freshly welling tears.
“Why?” the second looked genuinely confused. That’s when the first noticed they weren’t alone. Beside his former companion, at waist height, a pair of amber eyes. And now that he could see them, they were everywhere.
Four, eight, sixteen, more.
“I told you.” said the second. “It’s time for dinner.”