At the moment, I’m deciding to keep the Flash Fiction Friday challenges. Fridays are usually a little low on creative juices for me, so it’s a good way to spark them up again, especially since I’ve been getting Fridays off lately (blissful!), and I’d love to get a lot of catch-up work on my RoW80 goals today. So here it is, a picture from the fantastically beautiful Five Minute Get-Away, followed by a five-minute (or so) flash fiction to accompany it. Of course, I encourage anyone to take up the challenge and write their own, too, either in their own blog or in the comments, because it’s always fun to share!
Today’s photograph is not the most inspiring one on the page today; it’s not the most beautiful or fetching (not to me, at least), and that’s part of why I’m sticking with it. It was the first one and sometimes, you have to push past the easy ones for something a little more challenging. According to the credits, the castle is located in Northumberland, England, and I will continue to be envious of places in this world where there are just castles sitting around, being all beautiful and stuff. I don’t think driving around Oak Brook and Hinsdale and seeing houses big enough to be castles can count…
Building the bridge stone by stone, he straightened, stretching out his aching back and brushing the damp hair out of his eyes. The island, the sentinel of a castle perched upon it, seemed close enough that he could almost reach out and touch it, open his hand and close his fingers around it and bring it in close to his heart, but he could only look across the channel that separated him from it wistfully. He sighed, reaching into the wheelbarrow for another rock, dropping it lazily. It clattered against the others, rolled into the water without so much as a splash.
“That’s the last of them,” he announced, brushing his hands against each other, then against the salty stiffness of his pants. “Let’s call it a day.”
“This is ridiculous,” said his friend, surly and sour with his stooped shoulders and scowling face. “We’re never going to make it across this way, not until we’re old men, bent and crippled. And by then, your princess won’t even want you, George, and you may not want your princess.”
Despite the harsh words, George gave his friend a small, faint smile. “I will always want my princess. And she will always want me. This must be done. Black stones to lead the way and, once I am across, the great waters will take the stones away, and she and I will be kept safe in our stronghold until the end of time.”
George’s friend shook his head, turning away, ready to be finished with the work and his friend’s lunatic ravings, muttering under his breath. Everyone knew the castle was empty, had been for centuries, and yet, as he drifted and the sun turned red with the bleeding of the setting sun, George lingered, staring at the highest pulpit of the tower. It was shrouded in shadows, but he liked to think, if he looked closely enough, he could see a flash of the white of a handkerchief, the princess waving to him, surrendering to her hope that, one day, the bridge of black stone would be complete, and they would be together once more.
Have at it, friends! Also, wordpress tells me that the fantastic Lauralynn Elliott has subscribed to my blog, which….I thought she already had. So I don’t know if she was just really good at catching up with me and only just now subscribed, or if wordpress is just being a little funny right now, but, either way, she’s definitely deserving of an extra shout out anyway. So, hi, Lauralynn! Thanks for subscribing and keep being awesome.