This one is a picture prompt response to this weeks image below. I want to continue the story of Lottie, the troubled teenager from Monday’s six-sentence story, who has been repenting for her sins, but hasn’t quite managed to get them all…

Lottie looked up the street from the passenger’s side of her mother’s car, and felt a fission of fear  go up her spine as she recognized the buildings around her.  They were almost there, almost at church. 

There was a time that thought would have thrilled her, but that was when church was a place she felt welcome, and she was young and innocent.  Now she had sinned, and this is the place where she would be judged for that which she had done.

Each week it was worse, as the wrath she felt grew from a tiny ember to a raging inferno with each day at school fueling the ever-growing flame.  She had managed she shed her pride, her envy, and battled her sloth daily, but the wrath she knew now was her one great weakness. 

As it was fed from the cruelty of her classmates, it had gone from being a timid thing to a monster that she could barely control, and she knew that one day it would be let loose upon the world.  That would be a day of reckoning, not for her and her trespasses, but for all those who trespassed against her.

For now she would bide her time, give them the chance to earn their salvation, while she knew for her that time had passed.   She would sit in the pew, bow her head, pretend to pray, and hope that no one would notice her falseness….


The word of the week is SIN, and this is the direction my mind went.  Follow the story of Lottie, who feels like she is being punished for her sins, and must repents, because after all, that’s the only option….or is it?

Lottie sobbed as she looked down at her ruined clothing, knowing that the blood wouldn’t come out, and that there wouldn’t be any new clothes until Christmas.

It was her own fault, her own sin of pride that had made this happen, and the bloodstains she would be forced to wear would be just as much a punishment as the bleeding.

If she was honest with herself, and she should be if she wanted to repent, there had been quite a bit of envy, wrath, and greed that had led to this as well, to the day of her reckoning.

She should have known better than to try and leave her place, to rise above the station she was granted, but she had always thought that she could do better, be better, if she tried.

Maybe she should add sloth to the list, as her mother was always telling her she was lazy, that she wasn’t doing enough, and that if she just applied herself she would excel, but it seemed she never got there.

There was a part of her that felt guilt for her trespasses, but there was another part, a deeper, darker part, that looked out at all those people laughing, giving her mocking or pitying looks, and felt a smouldering rage that with each incident was being fanned up into a fire that could consume them all, or maybe just her, but only time would tell which way it would go.

Trip of a Lifetime

I actually think I might have written a story by this name before, but this week it’s a response to the challenge of writing a story with the words “Typhoon, Vacation, Mask, Teller”. This is the strange little story I came up with. Its weird, dark and unhappy, with a spot on fortune teller!

Lynn gripped the arms of her seat with desperation as the plane dropped another few feet. She knew it was serious when the airline attendants buckled in, and the pilot hadn’t even tried to soften the blow with a “minor turbulence, nothing to be concerned about” announcement.

The luggage flying out of the overhead bins was followed by the dropping of the oxygen masks, and she wasn’t sure which one was causing more panic among her fellow passengers. As pried her fingers from the arm rest to secure her own mask, she thought back to how she had gotten here, on the last plane out before the typhoon hit, wondering how it had all gone so wrong.

It started, strangely enough, at a fair, with her playing good Auntie with her youngest sister’s two kids. They were 9 and 11, just tall enough to go on the rides, and young enough to find spending the day at the fair with their aunt, awesome.  It was Brandy’s idea to go to the fortune teller, and upon hearing that Lynn would “win something she hadn’t expected to” in the next month, it was Brandy who insisted she enter the contest that won her the vacation she was on now.

To Brandy, it seemed like proof that the woman they saw was a true psychic, while Lynn suspected it had more to do with Brandy making her enter every sweepstakes, radio contest, and raffle within an hour’s drive. Between that and the half dozen lottery tickets she had purchased in the month following the prediction, she was bound to win something, but the awe was adorable, so Lynn played along.

Her first reaction to getting the phone call saying she had won the grocery stores “get-away” contest had been to hang up the phone, and the second, but the third call the lady begged her not to hang up, so she listened to the spiel.

It helped she remembered this particular contest, making her niece do the skill testing question in the name of math skills, and when they didn’t need any of her personal information on the line, agreeing to do it through the air line, Lynn ended up accepting.

Getting the time off was surprisingly easy, her boss ate the fair/sweepstakes story, and all but demanded she go.  

So she went, and for the first three days of the trip it was amazing, a little hot and humid for her tastes, but well, it was a vacation she never would have been able to afford, the air fare alone was outside her meager budget. 

Then the weather changed, and it took two more days, and then a google search to figure out exactly what a typhoon was.  She still had 3 days left on her all-inclusive, but she packed her bags and headed for the airport.  She expected to have to pay for the flight, but the agency was surprisingly accommodating, and after being bumped three times she was finally seated on what she found out shortly before take-off would be the last flight out. 

She thought that she had been lucky, but as the plane plummeted through the air, she thought back to the second part of the reading she had all those months ago, “something wonderful will turn into a tragedy”, and she thought that the woman might have been psychic after all.

A Dream Realized

This is a response to The Writer’s Mess’s weekly Friday Picture prompt which I was going to post Monday, when I realized something was already scheduled for Monday… Read along about the story of a young Mermaid finding her way to the forbidden surface, and not quite finding what she expected…

She closed her eyes against the intensity of the light, the pain of not water flowing into them only registering seconds later.

She opened them again slower, blinking away the stinging this not water gave. She couldn’t look directly at the sun, it burned her eyes, even as it dimmed late in the day.

Now that she could focus she looked around, quickly, eyes darting.  She knew she couldn’t stay long, not without risking being caught in the above.

The law was swift, the penalty would be harsh, but she had risked it, her need to know greater than her fear of punishment.

She circled again, and then again, and with a growing sense of disappointment she realized that this was it.

The sun was not the shape she had known, but other than that there was nothing.  The colors of the not water were muted, the most vibrant as dull as dead reef.

The surface of the water was flatter than expected, and everywhere else there was nothing, not a plant or animal in sight…

She looked around for a few more minutes, desperate, and then she allowed herself to sink back into the water, slowly heading for home.

When she returned to her school on Monday, her friends were dismayed to hear of the vast nothingness that was above, and she wished more than anything that she hadn’t looked.  That she hadn’t destroyed the dream of above with reality, and now she had to live with it.