Kreative Kue 278

Kreative Kue 277 asked for submissions based on this photograph:

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John W Howell is a multiple nominated and award-winning author who blogs at Fiction Favorites. Details of John’s books can be found on his Amazon author page

Duck and Cover by John W. Howell © 2020

“Now, I have to ask.”

“Go ahead.”

“Why the jacket over your head? You been arrested?”

“No. Nothing like that. It’s this new camera.”

“What about it?”

“I can’t see the subject because the light is too bright.”

“You seem to be the only one with that problem.”

“So is everybody looking at me?”

“No narcissistic one. Everyone couldn’t care less about you.”

“That is good news.”

“Why are you so concerned?”

“Well, there is another reason I have this jacket over my head.”

“I certainly hope so. For the amount of money you paid for the camera, it should do everything, bright light or no.”

“Yeah, it’s not the camera. It’s me.”

“So, are you going to tell me?”

“I’ll show you. Make sure no one is looking.”

“Okay, the coast is clear no one is looking. OMG, what happened to your nose?”

“It grew.”

“I can see that. How did that happen?”

“I’m not sure. I was telling that young lady over there about picture taking, and it started to grow.”

“Wait a minute. Slow down. What were you telling that young lady?”

Uh…about my lens.”

“What about your lens?”

“That it takes great portraits.”

“Uh-huh.”

“And that being a professional photographer …”

“Hold it. Is that when your nose started to grow?”

“Not that I noticed.”

“I think I have the cause of the problem.”

“What is it?”

“It’s called the Pinocchio Effect.”

“What’s that?”

“Just one more question.”

“Go ahead.”

“Did you ask her to model for you?”

“Well, I er…”

“The nose knows.”

“What should I do now?”

“Go tell her you are not a professional.”

“Pretty embarrassing.”

“You’d rather have that nose?”

“Good point.”


My effort was

It is.

Setting this up demanded a great deal of effort and the cooperation of a number of people from various bodies and agencies while maintaining absolute secrecy.

Almost twenty years had passed since I first saw it through my spotter scope, and it has been clear to me since that day that what I was about to devote my life to following was and is a creature of great intelligence. I have been maintaining a watching brief since that first encounter.

I knew, or rather I sensed at that first meeting that not only had I seen it and recognised it for what it was, but also that it had noticed me and was somehow alerted to my interest in it. What I didn’t know on that occasion was the extent to which it had divined the nature and extent of my  interest and the purpose behind my observation of it.

It knows me. Somehow it knows me intimately. I have lost count of the number of times I have been to this spot and seen it. Hundreds, nay thousands of others have visited this place armed with telescopes, binoculars and cameras sporting the longest lenses available and yet not one of them has seen it. At one time I even started to doubt that I had seen it and yet whenever I come here alone its head rears above the surface of the lake and its gaze fixes on me – only for it to descend beneath the water as soon as I get my camera out. That’s right, I have no photographic evidence that I’ve seen it. All I know for sure is that it only appears if it knows that I arrived alone.

That said, you may be wondering why I am here with others now. Let me explain. On some of my recent visits I have noticed that a small number of people have been in the area observing an eagle’s nest across the water. This needed them to focus their equipment in the opposite direction to where I routinely see it. On some of these occasions it has briefly appeared to me, only to dive again as soon as anyone attempts to look in its direction.

I have also noted that it is aware before it surfaces that I am on the shore. It is, I therefore surmise, using a sense other than vision to detect my presence. Hence the covering. I’m guessing it will know by some means which individual is me – I am also pointing my scope in the direction I expect to find it. The other devices are pointed in a different direction, as though they are scanning the distant eyrie. I’m hoping it will spot that, but not notice that they have mirrors in their lenses that permit them to appear to be looking at 90 degrees to their actual target.

This could be it.

This could be the day of my vindication, when the world will know I’m not a deluded crank, that it does exist and that it lives in this lake.

I need it to surface now, to show itself to someone other than me, maybe even to be photographed as indisputable proof of its existence and of my sanity.

I just hope it doesn’t spot those two news helicopters hovering up there!


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On to this week’s challenge: Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at keithchanning@gmail.com before 6pm next Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here.

Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries next Monday.

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