Posts Tagged ‘sunday photo fiction’


The gentleman stood in the sands, a clay pipe stuck in his mustached, gaunt face. His three-piece suit was entirely wrong for the heat of the Egyptian sun, but his only concession to this reality had been to undo his shirt cuffs and loosen his cravat.

“The treasure has been secured?” he asked. “And the mummy?”

“There were…” The soldier hesitated, a hitch in his accented voice. His face was covered with scars and one eye was made of glass, gleaming in the sunlight. “Complications.”

“Deaths?” the gentleman asked.

The soldier nodded. “Two locals. And one of ours.”

“A shame.” The gentleman let out a tobacco-laced breath. “But we have what we came for.”

“This thing…” The soldier shook his head. “We should leave it to the sands. It is not for us.”

The gentleman laughed. “And how will the sands appreciate it? No, we take it back. For the Empire. So that all the world will see.”

That night, in his bunk on the boat, the soldier dreamt of worms wriggling in an endless night, swallowing the stars, their wails like the wind in the desert.

He woke to the sound of laughter, echoing in the dark.

Word Count: 198

For Sunday Photo Fiction.




Susan’s heart thudded in her chest. It would be the story of the year – of the century! – and it was all hers. She checked her tape recorder. It was working perfectly, ready to capture every word ready for tomorrow’s front page.

A cold wind blew through the car park and she looked out over empty spaces and abandoned cars. There was no sign of her source.

He had called her the night before, a deep, rasping, distorted voice on her phone. He’d said he was on the President’s staff and knew secrets that would topple him for sure. She’d leapt at the chance – any journalist would – but now, standing here alone amongst concrete and fluorescent light, she wondered if she’d been tricked.

“Over here, Susan.”

The voice came a shadowed figure in a trenchcoat and fedora. It was a lot less deep and rasping than it had been on the phone.

And a lot more familiar.

She stared. “Are you serious? You’re the source?”

The figure coughed. “I don’t know what you’re–”

“Take off that silly hat!” she snapped.

He did, revealing a face everyone in the country would know.

“Please,” the President said. “I just want it all to be over.”

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction.


Mister White said he loved the forest. Regina wasn’t sure he knew what forests were.

“It is one of the finest specimens of its kind,” he said, guiding her through the room on his ship. The grass was wet under her feet and in the sky, she could see clouds massing around steel arches, hiding the distant ceiling from view. “Every tree was grown from an Earth-born seedling. They represent an astounding variety.”

He rattled off species and subspecies, from trees to grass to lichen, but Regina didn’t listen to him. She listened to the deafening silence, to the hollowness of his artificial world. There was not the tweeting of a single bird, not the stirring of a squirrel.

Microscopic silver shapes flew low over trimmed grass. Dropped needles and leaves were carried up, into a neat little wheelbarrow.

There was an order to this place that went down to its steel bones and stolen DNA. It wasn’t a forest. It a garden, a vanity, a lapdog playing at being a wolf.

She picked up a single leaf and flicked it into the air.

A drop of chaos in the system.

Word Count: 191

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Photo credit to Dawn Miller.


Adisa was the most beautiful woman in the world. Her eyes were as dark oceans, her skin as polished jet. For her, princes went down on their knees in worship, yet she turned them all away.

One was not to be refused. He was Azutan, sorcerer of the west, who held ten demons in rings. Azutan forced her to wed him, though she wept all through the ceremony.

Life in Azutan’s palace was bitter, though all the halls were full of diamonds and each meal was as a king’s feast day. One day, she saw out the window the laborer Obi, his bare back lashed red, and fell in love, swift as a bird struck with an arrow.

In secret the lovers met under moon and stars. Yet one night Azutan followed her and saw them embrace.

“A curse upon you, Obi,” he snarled, and twisted one of his rings. “You shall stand forever before her window, always seen and never had.”

Obi’s flesh turned to cold grey, spreading from his fingertips to his wide eyes.

“No,” Adisa vowed. “You shall not part my love from me.”

She pressed her lips to his and froze there, never to move again.

Word Count: 200

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Photo credit to Eric Witlund.


Night after night, day after day, the old soldier rode across the hills on his grey warhorse. White scars scattered across his lined brown face and his mail was full of holes and broken rings.

Villagers and travelers asked him why he rode and if he would not stay a night, rest a moment.

He would not, he always answered, for he sought the demon Teridaxo, the rider in black, who did not tarry for even a moment. In the heart of war, he had first seen the demon, a laughing face in the smoke, but the soldier’s blade could not pierce his side. Ever Teridaxo danced across moonlit nights, a flicker of movement in the dark.

And so he rode on, always chasing, always just behind. Teridaxo moved even as he did, slipping through his fingers and between the branches of dead, grey trees amidst villages of tumbled, ash-black stones.

Then the hills ended. The land gave way to sharp white cliffs and the expanse of foam-crested sea.

There Teridaxo could run no more. The old soldier looked to his side and there, upon his horse of darkness, was the rider in black.

There was his shadow.

Word Count: 198

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Thanks to C E Ayr for the prompt photo!


A thousand doorways hung in the air around her. Some were of oak, some of steel, some of jet-black night. Behind each was a moment, a moment that could not be undone, could not be touched, could not be altered. A moment frozen like pictures in a scrapbook.

She opened a door trimmed in crumbling stone and ivy, felt the cold air upon her skin, and looked into the eyes of the snow leopard. The last snow leopard, moments from its end, teeth bared, pale fur matted and stained.

How those eyes burnt. Like stars, raging against the night. They would not go out.

But they must.

This was just an instant before the end: a cold, senseless bullet cutting short a majestic life. Those eyes replaced by glass marbles.

She couldn’t change it. Those were the rules.

“Rules,” she whispered, “were made to be broken.”

She stepped through the doorway and into the freezing air, between hunter and prey. The snow brushed her cheek, snail-slow. Time was shaking itself free.

She pulled the barrel of the gun to the right. A few degrees, but all the difference.

By the time the finger tightened on the trigger, she was gone.

Word Count: 200

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction.



Castle walls cast long shadows. Stones seeped in history stretched in long battlements upon the coast. You could almost see the soldiers watching over the channel for white sails over dark seas.

Sometimes the locals swore it was more than almost.

A baker saw a gaunt face in her misted window. He pressed his finger to his lips and was gone.

A party of five laughing men walked into the pub. They took a table and ordered drinks, telling stories over pints of ale. When the young bartender asked them to pay the tab, they gave her coins marked with strange faces. The coins vanished in the morning, leaving only grains of strange white sand.

There was a legend they told, of another castle, built in the same place to watch the same waters, but in another world, a world of mist and shadows. Sometimes soldiers from one castle passed over to the other, recruited to keep the watch, lured by the promise of faerie gold.

And if you looked at the walls when twilight fell, when the mists hung low and golden light danced on the waters… Maybe you could see that castle, just for a moment.

Word Count: 198

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Photo credit to A Mixed Bag.