First up, the photo . . .
That’s a photo was taken in Port Huron, Michigan. The place served as a convenient rest stop when we ventured into Canada, and as a destination when just out for a drive. This was one such occasion. We had a leisurely drive up there from our home in Franklin, and planned to eat at the Thomas Edison Inn before walking along the shoreline.
With stern visage and focused gaze, these guys stood atop a lamp post, guarding against the encroachment of marauders (a common occurrence in waterside towns). I called them The Guardians (and actually sparked the idea for the similarly titled short story elsewhere on this blog).
It’s one of my favorite photos.
And now, the Flash Fiction. Once again it’s in response to one of Conrad’s Writing Prompts. Specifically . . .
The prompt reads thus:
. . . attempt a flash fiction to short fiction piece about getting ready for an impending storm. It doesn’t have to be shipborne. For that matter it doesn’t have to be a literal storm. It is all up to you. This is a “man vs. nature” story so focus on that and have fun.
The Dark Approaches
By E. J. D’Alise (Disperser)
Copyright March 2013
Ed stood on his porch, looking out toward the foothills. Already he could barely distinguish details, and watched as the shadow spread. A sudden gust of wind disturbed what had been still air, and the corresponding chill made him fold his arms.
“Already? I need to prepare.” He turned, rubbing the goose-bumps from his arms, and stepped through the threshold, closing the door behind him. He took a moment to jam the brace against the handle, checking that it was secure.
He yelled out to Lea, reminding her it was time. She started in the lower level, while he did the same at the ground level. Checking the locks on each window, making sure they were fully engaged, then drawing the wooden blinds tight, lest some darkness could creep in. After each one, he turned on the corresponding lamp. When finished, he looked around. A few shadows, but they were faint; The Dark would find no refuge here.
Lea came up just as he was about to go down and help her. She looked around, then at him. She nodded, and he responded in kind.
Then he noticed it. From one of the blinds . . . a red glow, faint at first, but then increasing. His breath caught! “No! Is it possible?”
“Leave it.” Lea’s voice had a hint of desperation to it.
“I can’t. You know I can’t.” Ed rushed to the bedroom, and put on some protection. A heavy jacket that still allowed some freedom of movement. Next, he went to his equipment bag. His weapon of choice would not do . . . he needed something capable of covering more area. But, too wide, and it would not be effective. Finally, he made his choice.
Ed stood, noting the disapproval in Lea’s eyes. He walked over to her.
“I won’t be long.” He reached toward her to give her a kiss, but she offered her cheek instead.
Ed hesitated, and almost changed his mind. But no . . . a man had to do what a man had to do.
He steadied himself, opened the door, stepped out quickly, closing the door behind him. The door faced away from the source of the glow, and he contemplated moving to a more advantageous position. Making up his mind, he went for it.
Reaching it, he turned . . . and stood speechless at the spectacle. It covered the whole sky, red, and orange, and tinged in black. He felt insignificant before it, and although he thought it futile, he raised his arms, aiming at it.
Lea knew Ed would be overwhelmed, still she cracked the blinds, wanting to see for herself.
“It is beautiful!” She begrudgingly thought.
Closing the blind, she mentally prepared herself for the onslaught of sunset photos Ed will want to share. It’s not that she did not appreciate it, but did he need to photograph every sunset? Could he not let one go, and spend a bit more time with her? Apparently not. Luckily, he had not expressed interest in sunrises, but she knew it was just a matter of time.
I wrote that in about 30 min, mostly as an in-joke for Melisa. Sure, it offers up stylized glimpse into a small portion of my life, but I thought it lacked drama, commitment, and Nutella. Most of all, I’m not sure it met the requirements of the prompt.
Of course, now that I gave it away, I can’t write a story with Nutella . . . but, I can write another small offering . . .
~ ~ ~ o ~ ~ ~
By E. J. D’Alise (Disperser)
Copyright March 2013
In danger of having it’s integrity destroyed by the buffeting forces of the swirling, it activated its armor. It took only a few seconds for its surface to harden, and now was in search of a landing place. Without a propulsion device, it relies on riding the increasingly violent air currents.
It had never done this, but the key was to offer little resistance, and to use gravity in conjunction with the forces of the swirling masses of air. Lacking any kind of sensors, it had no idea how far it had to fall before reaching the ground. Had it the wherewithal to notice such matters, it would have realized it was coming close, as the wind directions became more erratic . . . a warning would have been nice, but instead the impact was sudden and violent.
“Ouch!” George scratched his head. The quarter-sized hail had barely grazed his head, but still stung.
George briefly tried to identify the offending piece of ice, but it was lost among the hundreds of other pellets peppering the sidewalk. He lost interest as he tried to make for cover. Above him hundreds more armored themselves for the eventual impact. Some were going to hurt.
~ ~ ~ o ~ ~ ~
OK, I just finished the second piece. I think it fits a bit closer to the prompt. Maybe not (Conrad can judge it), but 15 minutes is all I had to spare on it.
Anyway, if you enjoyed reading this story, please tell everyone you know. After all, why deprive your loved ones, your friends, and your work colleagues, of the joy associated with the discovery of these little gems?
BUT . . . If you did not enjoy reading it . . . please don’t tell anyone.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.