Posts Tagged ‘sunday photo fiction’

Across the chessboard, their eyes meet.

His are green ringed with amber, sharp as knives.

Hers are so deep a brown they’re almost black, an endless void.

Victoria slides a pawn gracefully onto a black square. Her opponent’s white teeth glint. The game is begun.

The clock hands raced like horses and she watches his face for signs of weakness.

“What’s your goal here?” she asks. “Prove you’re clever than me? What does that get you?”

He says nothing and makes his move.

She watches the screen overhead: red and blue wires, ticking numerals, little clay-smooth lumps of explosive packed together. Ten faces stare at her, hoping for salvation.

“Nobody has to get hurt,” she says. “Just stop this.”

His green eyes flicker with fire.

“Play,” he hisses.

She plays. Calculations dance through her head, a graceful ballet of probabilities.

He’s good. His every play is masterful.

But Victoria’s better. She knows this as she knows that the Sun will rise.

His King topples, the round base rolling and rolling.

He nods.

“Stop the countdown,” she says. “Now.”

He presses a button. The clocks stop.

“I just needed to know,” he says.

Word Count: 192

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


First contact had not gone as planned. Two dozen dead littered the forest, lying amongst fallen leaves. Rivers ran with their blood.

Only six crew remained, their minds trapped in the heat of battle. She’d been left in charge, the only senior officer left standing.

“Sir,” a crewmate asked, “what’s our objective?”

She looked through the looming shadows of the trees to where the ship was perched on the mountain, its sweeping white lines looking delicate as glass. To get to it, they would have to walk through a mile of unknown territory.

“Forward,” she ordered. “And eyes on the trees.”

They crept on. Rifles swung at the slightest sound. Even their own footsteps made them cringe.

She kept her chin up. She couldn’t let them know she was as terrified as they were.

The trees gave way to the mountain path, the safety of the ship. They all sighed in relief as the hatch opened.

The aliens descended upon them, white teeth shining in crescent mouths, pink, tan, and brown skin gleaming with sweat, five slim fingers clutching rifle triggers.

She struggled, but they were too fast, their weapons too deadly.

The humans showed her crew no mercy.

Word Count: 199

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


Nine days.

That was how long she sat on the throne she’d been forced into, how long she had held all the power and none of it. Each night she had woken in a sweat, knowing that it could all only end one way.

There had been one moment, sitting beside her husband, when it all felt real. For an instant, Jane Grey had imagined her England, an England ruled with kindness and justice. She imagined children, grandchildren, a future.

And then they came, Mary and her supporters, and Jane was thrown in the Tower, staring at grey stone. Each day she felt the shadow of the axe over her. Each day she waited for it to fall.

Wyatt’s Rebellion was the death sentence. Mary knew she could be lenient no longer. She could permit no other queen to live, not even a Nine Day Queen.

They brought Jane out into the green and she felt sunlight on her face even as she saw it glinting on the axe. She bowed her head and remembered that moment when she thought she’d have it all: family, throne, future.

She was seventeen years old.

The axe fell.

Word Count: 195

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction! Thanks to A Mixed Bag for the photo prompt!


“Last night,” the woman said, “Miss Amelia Edwards went missing immediately after leaving her office.”

Victoria leaned forward, studying her two visitors: one man, one woman, both in black suits. Government service was written all over them: the office-chair postures, the cut of their clothes, the silenced pistols tucked into their coats.

“And you want me to find her.”

“No,” the woman replied. “We found her two hours ago, floating in the Thames. We want you to find her phone.”

“How critical is the information it contains?”

The man slid a cheque across the table and Victoria raised an eyebrow.

“How did she die?” Victoria asked.

“Drowning,” the man said. “No signs of force. No chemicals in her system. Whoever did it was clever.”

“That would be beyond clever,” Victoria replied. “To show no signs of force at all, not even the smallest bruise…”

“What are you implying?” the woman asked.

Victoria sighed. “The phone may be beyond my skills to recover.”

“You can’t tell us where it is?”

“I can tell you exactly where it is. The bottom of the Thames.” She shook her head. “The thing about murders that look like suicides is that sometimes, they’re suicides.”

Word Count: 199

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Thanks to A Mixed Bag for the prompt photo!


Thin legs twitching, the fly rested upon the keys, among the mountains of letters and the canyons between them. Its compound eyes reflected the figure of the man lying in the chair over and over, like funhouse mirrors: the slight separation of the breathless lips, the stillness of the closed eyes, the ragged, bloody bullet holes in the shirt.

Scarlet streaks crossed the black and white keys, blood scattered in a fury of typing as the wounded man tried to do what he needed to do before it was too late, before the wounds took their toll.

A soft ping echoed through the room that had become his tomb. The screen lit up – a notification, the first response to the email he’d sent out, sent to as many people as he could.

His death had been certain from the moment he had turned on his employers. The Agency a shadow in the night, a whisper in the wind, and its masters didn’t care to have light shone upon them.

After what he had learnt, what he had been part of, he no longer cared.

They had tried to silence him, but he had made sure everyone would know the truth.

Word Count: 200

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction! Thanks to A Mixed Bag for the photo prompt!


Brick-by-brick, the gardener built his wall, remembering the days when a white picket fence had been enough.

There was a flutter of wings and he turned, brandishing his trowel like a sword. A bluejay cocked its head to one side, looking at him in what he thought was a very judgmental way, especially for a bird.

“Sorry,” he muttered, lowering the trowel. “Thought you might be something else.”

The bird’s head shifted as if to say “And now you’re talking to a bird.”

“Well, what do you know?” the gardener grumbled. “You’re just a bird.”

He smoothed down the mortar and gently lowered a brick into place. It landed with the heavy thud of a slamming door.

The gardener brushed his hands and smiled.

“I’d like to see them get through that!”

He gathered his tools and trundled off, wheelbarrow toddling behind him like a young child being led by the hand. When he’d gone, the bird let out a chorus of song.

Over and under the vines crawled, winding limbs of green slithering in. A hundred glimmering wings filled the air. In the distance, a horn sounded.

The faerie folk were coming into his garden, wall or no wall.

Word Count: 200

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Thanks to John Brand for the prompt photo!


There once was a world made of clockwork, of ticking gears and gleaming bronze, made by hands old as the stars, hands that turned first to bone and then to dust, scattered upon the winds over an endless desert a thousand ages before the clockwork people began to think.

All things begin to think if you leave them long enough. They dream simple things – dreams of turning, dreams of whirring – those simple things become complex as a spider’s web, and then the thinkers Are.

A clock as tall as a mountain sat at the heart of this world, surrounded by a city of rising rings where each and every object was in motion. Upon the turrets of the clock, over the numbers of the moon-round face, rested the dragon. All the clockwork people feared the dragon, for death was in its rusting breath and its ruby-bright eyes.

All save one: a clockwork knight of shining steel.

The knight feared nothing, for that that was how he had been built, and he braved rust-breath with cutting sword and gleaming shield.

Day after day, knight and dragon fought, their duel without end, until the day when all gears will run down.

Word Count: 199

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Thanks to Jade M. Wong for the photo!