Monday, February 22, 2016

Don't Panic Picture Prompt: February 22

Okay, ladies and gentlemen!  Where are some takers for this challenge?  Is it really that hard?  It's just a measly 500 words or less of whatever you want inspired by the picture!  I even give you a week to work on it.  We'll try this one more time.  Post your blog links or your responses to the picture in the comments by 11:59 pm CST on February 28th.

Here's your picture:

A tree at Big Cypress National Preserve taken
on my recent trip to Florida


  1. I've been meaning to give the picture prompts a shot! It's been a while since I've done one. Here's what I came up with:

    453 words

    1. Not sure why the comment formatted funky, but I love this piece! Thanks for giving this prompt a shot!

  2. This was fun! Thanks for offering this. My response is on my blog.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it and glad to have your response! Your piece had so many layers to it. It was a powerful piece to read.

  3. 253 words
    As the arrows whizzed by his head, he ducked. He didn't feel like being target practice today. He realized that he was only an insigno and therefore rendered useless, but that didn't mean he wanted to die.

    "Stop moving!"
    "But you almost got me that time."
    "I was no where close to hitting you. Now stand still. And hold the apple on your head. I have my Age of Flight, tonight.". She demanded of this insolent being who didn't know how to treat her with respect.
    She pulled the arrow back, narrowed her field of vision as she tried to focus on the center of the apple. Tonight she was going to become a woman. Tonight she was going to stand in the ring of fire, waiting for her wings to harden. And tonight she was going to show the whole village, but especially her father what a good hunter she was. There was only one hunter for the whole village and tonight she would prove that she was the one. So as the arrow left her bow she was met with yet more disappointment as the arrow flew over the apple and landed in the tree behind the insigno. She stomped off and hissed at the tree. The insigno yanked the arrow out of the thick bark and followed behind her, keeping his head bowed. He wanted to speak, but knew it was forbidden to speak unless spoken to. So he silently walked several feet behind her, eating the crunchy apple.

    1. Very interesting! I think you have an intriguing dilemma being set up here. Nice job and thanks for playing!

  4. In the shadows of the forest stood a woman. She was slight, with grey hair that reached down to the bottom of her waist. Her shaking hands clutched at a piece of aged paper, worn thin and crumpled with deep creases from repeated unfolding. This was the place the letter had told her to go, today at precisely 1pm.

    It was quiet, but the air was thick with a tension that made her heart race. The branches on the trees jutted chaotically, greatly juxtaposing it's surrounding calm water. She had visited here once, many years ago, with her love. Annie's mind was filled with the fog of old age, but she could remember it as clearly as though it were yesterday. Here, next to the very tree she now stood... His hand had enveloped hers, strong with youth, whilst they spoke of what the future might have held for them.

    She could still recollect everything about him. John was incredibly charming. He had smelled of mint and tobacco, and wore a crooked smile that complemented his smart suits. In the summer they had met, they had spent much time here together, with John often singing songs he had written her. Could it have really been 30 years since she had last seen him?

    “Annie.” His voice called from a thick throng of trees.

    She looked to see him shuffling towards her, gripping a walking stick and wearing his hair sleeked in the same way her used to. As their bodies fell into one another, it was as if they had never been apart. They were finally home.

    1. Interesting. I love the idea of the swamp as their special place. Thanks for joining up this week!

  5. "I found it."

    Ever stopped what he was doing. His eyes rolled as he took in his sister's disheveled state. "You really shouldn't go running around in the swamp by yourself, Katya." He returned to his weeding without a second thought.

    Her bottom lip quivered. "But I found it!"

    "Humph." Ever sighed as he leaned onto his heels. "You have five seconds starting now. One..."

    "The fur tree! I found it!"

    Ever shook his head and pulled a large weed from the garden. "There's no such thing. It's only a legend. Instead of chasing after legends, you should be helping me clear the garden. You want to eat, don't you?"

    Katya's nose rumpled as she eyed the weeds. "No. I'm tired of cabbage. I want something else."

    "Starve then. You know the rules. One vegetable per garden, per family. Someone will want to trade for cabbage eventually, but only if we clear the weeds first."

    "There's food in the forest, Ever. Let me show you." She tugged on his arm, but he resisted.

    "Nothing in the forest is clean, not after the war. We can't eat it."

    Katya's eyes fell. "You're wrong. That's just what they want you to believe."

    "I don't know, but since I'm the head of our family now, I can't take a chance. I don't want you eating it, either. Now help me, and maybe Willis will give us some rice tonight."

    She sunk to her knees knowing arguing would get her nowhere. She pulled a few weeds begrudgingly, adding small sniffles as she worked.

    Ever threw a weed to the ground. "Stop! If I let you go, will you stop sniveling? Please, just stop!"

    Katya kept the smile from her lips as she leaped up in victory. Without a word, she ran back into the forest. Within seconds, her voice drifted back to Ever in song, and he smiled. He knew his sister hated weeding, the one vegetable law, and especially cabbage, but he had to stand firm for them to survive. He could never let on that her foraging through the forest made things easier for him, and he knew how happy it made her. He finished the weeding for the day, harvested a small head of cabbage, and started a boil in the community fire pit. It wasn't Friday, but perhaps others would toss in something too, and they would have a decent feast tonight.

    "Katya!" His eyes searched the treeline. She never strayed far. The sun slept and she still hadn't returned. "Katya!"

    Their neighbor popped his head out the nearest doorway. "What's wrong?"

    "Katya hasn't returned yet."

    "She's been late before. She'll turn up. You should grab a bowl while there is still some left."

    Ever stared into the forest. Nothing. "I don't know, Petrie. She went on about the fur tree today, convinced she'd found it. She doesn't know the real story."

    Petrie laughed. "You mean the fake story the grownups used to tell us to keep us out of the forest? You're letting your mind get away from you. She's just late. She'll turn up."

    Ever stared at Petrie for a moment and turned back to the treeline. "Katya! No cabbage tonight! Come on!"

    They both listened to the silence. She was not coming. Fear wrapped tentacles around Ever's heart.

    "I'm going in there. Maybe she's hurt. She'd never turn down dinner, cabbage or not."

    "Want me to come with you?" Petrie stepped onto the small step in front of his doorway.

    "No. You're my witness in case I don't return."


    Ever shook Petrie's hand. "Legend, man, legend."

    1. Nice! I love the way you sprinkle bits of information in. Never enough to seem out of place, but just enough to really want to know more. This is a great piece! Thanks for joining this week!