Picture It & Write

Again the people over at Ermilia’s blog have posted another Picture It & Write article. For those who don’t know what this is, they post a picture and then write a brief story about the image. They then ask for you to join in, your can either carry on their story or write your own. You can also do poetry and even something in another language (providing there is a translation posted along with it). I encourage everyone to give it a go because it helps get the “creative juices” flowing. My entry is below the image.

The wine sat untouched, it had been there so long it had become stagnant. A thin layer of dust coated the glass, bugs living and dead floated in the liquid.

Suddenly flames erupted in the corner of the room, a couple of youths and a jerrycan filled with petrol. The lads laughed as they committed this insane act of arson, with no true purpose other than destruction. The flames licked the drapes that hung from the wall, eating the fabric like a ravenous beast.

The boys laughed and hooted as their work took hold of everything flammable, spreading but soon their laughter died as they began to realise their mistake.

The flames were creeping to the only exit to the room.

“Oi, get the can we need to get out of here.” Said one of the lads. His friends called him ‘Tommo’.

“Fuck this, the fire will get rid of any evidence.” There was five lads to start off with including Tommo, but with this statement three ran to safety not caring about evidence.

Tommo and one other lad remained. Just those and the inferno that had began to take a hold of the dry wooden floorboards below them.

“Come on, we need to go just leave it it’s too late,” Tommo yelled.

The other boy stopped what he was doing and headed to the door, Tommo taking the lead. Tommo yanked the door open and ran through. It slammed shut behind him.

Tommo was almost three seconds ahead of the other lad when suddenly a crashing, shreaking sound behind Tommo made him spin around. Through the window in the door he saw a look of horror on his friends face before flames erupted up in torrent barring any escape. Tommo could only freeze in shock. He reach out to the door handle and instantly pulled the hand back as skin touched burning hot metal.

*

“Unto Almighty God we commend the soul of our brother departed, and we commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust…”

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2 thoughts on “Picture It & Write

  1. I like a story with a twist in the tail. Here’s my short contribution:

    The audience was getting restless. The fat lady in the front row had twice tried to steal one of the wine glass from the table and the elderly gent in a cashmere coat had started to mop his forehead with a silk handkerchief. A tall, skinny man in a paisly shirt and cordoroy trousers frowned and scibbled something on the clipboard resting on his knew. Marianne knew it was now or never.

    She stepped closer to the table, lifted her slender baton, cleared her throat and hummed the highest note her nervous throat could muster…and then the baton hit the rim of the first glass and the sweetness of the crystal’s voice filled the room. The theme tune to “The Third Man” floated up to the ceiling, where it enveloped the ears of the golden angels and numphs looking down on the audience with feigned interest.

    “Aaaaahhhh,” said the fat lady with a thirsty expression on her face.

    “Marvellous,” whispered the elderly gent in the cahsmere coat, no longer mopping his brow.

    “Passable,” wrote the man with the clipboard on the piece of paper in front of him. This year’s competition for artists with unusual musical instruments was off to a flying start.

  2. What a beautiful picture! What about this?

    Illya stares at the row of glasses mesmerized by the golden reflections of the million beans of light over the shinny, translucient surface. “It’s heavenly!” she whispers to herself. Everything has come out perfectly in the end despite all the last minute drama usually involved in throwing a party this size.

    “Murphy’s law may not be avoided, but it can certainly be thwarted” she tells her boyfriend José raising her voice over the music coming out from the next room, her voice full of smug self-satisfaction.

    “Told you before, babe! Moses had to divide the Red Sea all by himself because you weren’t around.” Illya chuckles and tilts her head to the right. José moves closer and kisses her neck. He holds her closer by the waist and looks straight into her eyes. “Who else could make a male name sound so hot!” Illya feels the burst shaking her within. “I love this old hit! Let’s dance!”

    He leads her by the hand to the center of the dance floor. He knows she’ll tune out in a sec while she lets the music carry her. He doesn’t mind though; it is worth it just watching.

    Illya starts swinging and swaying, letting the beat command her body. Her mind starts wandering. She sees the pulses of light hitting her at a zillion speed from a million directions and each brings a full image. One after another. The golden reflections over the glasses; she bribing the Environmental Security officer to let her plug triple the charge allowed. It had required a whole bottle but it was necessary. “We, people, love artificial light.” she says to herself. The bass beat reverberates within her chest and the chorus makes her turn around. The “Ahhhhhh” at the beginning of the bridge brings an image from her childhood. She and her brother scavenging around the monstrous energy plant, their faces covered with tattered handkerchiefs trying uselessly to avoid the oily, acrid fumes that hanged in the air like a film. She sees her brother’s watery, red, smiling eyes over the covered nose. “See Annushka! We’re training to become fish. And we’re doing it thoroughly. Nothing of training in water. Fish’d die if put into a sea of water. No, sir! It must have the appropriate amount of contaminants in order to ensure survival”. Illya, my beloved Illya! Killed in the Water Wars for nothing! Stupid idealist! He should’ve listened to me. Look where she’s now. She catches José’s shape with the corner of her eye and she’s brought back. Just then, the irony finally clicks into her mind. Harsh irony; the last humane emotion allowed for survivors. She dances around José while singing to the fullest of her lungs along with INXS’ song:

    ” We run, we hide. We want, the good life
    Oh sure, you’re right. This ain’t, the good life”

    José joins her singing, happy to be included in her private world. Both dance around each other, singing and smiling, getting closer until they embrace. When Illya’s mouth is next to José’s ear she sings quietly along the line:

    “If your spirit is fine, why don’t we make it rain like we used to…” but the tone of her voice sells her out. She’s not being sardonic any longer. That instant, she’s the little sis again, asking the all almighty big bro why life isn’t simple and kind and good.

    “What?” answers José startled pushing her away gently to look into her eyes. Illya recovers herself from the past and laughs back. “Pancho! I think it’s time for the toast.” They walk towards the podium and stand up under the bright spot. The music fades and waiters start delivering the glasses with the delicious liquid. At 1,000 dollars the bottle, those fragile containers are the real epitome of their social standing.

    “Friends!”, calls out José. “Let me propose a toast for a splendid night and a splendid host.” Murmurs fill up the room as glasses motion and cheers are spoken in a hundred different tones. He looks into Illya’s eyes and drinks the content of his glass up. “Pure, pure, fresh water! What an elixir! From the Gods’ … to the Gods”, says José soflty to Illya with a wicked smile. Illya hugs him and says mischievously in turn: “Oh, Dear! This might be considered IN X S; but we’re certainly elegantly wasted.”

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