Kreative Kue 358 asked for submissions based on this photograph:
“So, where did you get this washed?”
“It was the boy scouts.”
“The boy scouts?”
“Yeah, there was a troop doing a car wash.”
“So you had them do it?”
“I have to wonder how you pulled that off?”
“Was easy. I looked, and there they were.”
“I mean how you got to them.”
“Oh, that.” Yeah, it was tricky.”
“I’m not sure they did a good job.”
The windshield does seem a bit streaky.”
“Where was this again?”
“In a church parking lot.”
“So you really had room.”
“Piece of cake. You see that tree line, right?”
“I nearly do, but yes.”
“You know we need to put more distance between us and the ground.”
“Yeah, I’m climbing now. It’s a wonder no one complained.”
“You landing a helicopter in a church parking lot.”
“Well, there was one complaint.”
“The minister. He lost his wig.”
“‘Flipped his wig,’ you mean?”
“No. He had a wig, and it blew into the trees. I gave him your number.”
“I’m sure it wasn’t costly.”
“An expensive one would have stayed on his head.”
“Comforting for sure. Call ATC and get us cleared to 1000 feet. Those electric lines might be a problem.”
Rainy day by Raymond Walker © 2022
It was always raining in the forest and I both hated and loved it for that reason, few walked the same roads as I when the rain fell. Aside from some hardy dog walkers few wandered the depths of the forest in this weather. I revelled in being alone in such a wild place, I imagined myself the child of some wood nymph or dryad whilst my perfectly normal mother and father sat at home warming feet by the fire and keeping out of the rain. The scents of the forest are drawn by the rain which accentuates them. The sap of the pine and herbs that grow in the leaf mulch even the deer shit, all wonderful to me. I am at home here.
Deeper and deeper into the forest I am drawn, the ground now a morass, the scents a miasma of all living things. My boots cling to the peat and compost; each step carrying more soil and detritus upon the moulded ridged rubber soles. Each step grows heavier than the one before, but I am young and fit and so continue into the heart of the forest. I have worn clothes suitable for such a trek; waxed jacket and waterproof trousers, a backpack containing the necessities for this trip and a few extras. But I am soaked to the skin and feeling the cold.
I walked for a long time, the trees growing closer, denser, the ground porous and pulling at my boots, the rain falling with ever more strength.
A hollow sits before me, empty of trees, only the fledgling shoots of new grown trees survive there, in the dark heart of the forest. Comfort overcomes me as I walk into the centre of the hollow bole; I feel warmth suffuse me and even wading in the mud and mulch I am comfortable. Standing still in the heart of the forest I look up at the sun overhead. It is partially obscured by the treetops, but I stand there staring upwards as the mud settles around my boots. Tendrils and roots weave unknown ways through the lace holes of my boots, and up over my ankles drawing me tight to the mud and mulch. I should have been frightened, in a way I was, Terrified, I suppose, but resolute. No one takes my nephew without retribution.
Just a child Simon had wandered into the forest enjoying nature in just the way I did. He never came back. I took me a while to figure out why, but I did.
I could feel the roots, the snakes of vegetation entering my legs and soles as I unslung my backpack and laid it on the ground before me. Pulling out magnesium flares, an oxygen tank and tinder. The burning started close to me but grew and spread despite the rain, the light wind blowing it from tree to tree. You should never fuck with a scientist even if you were a forest.
In the end there was no forest but in the bole at what was once the centre of the woodland stood a new tree grown from the leaf mulch, it seemed to grow through a pair of hiking boots.
My effort was:
On a dour and dismal morning
From the cockpit of our plane,
The clouds looked dark and heavy,
The sky was filled with rain.
We circled once, surveyed the land,
Then flew around again.
“We need to find somewhere to land,”
I said, and shed some height,
“It may be a bit bumpy,
So make sure your seat-belt’s tight.”
My mate, Jim, started panicking;
I somehow thought he might.
“I know you’ll do your best for me,”
Jim blubbered through his tears,
“We’ve been through worse than this,”
I said and tried to quell his fears,
“We’ve known each other how long, now?”
He mumbled, “Many years.”
“That’s right,” I said. I touched his hand,
And gave a gentle squeeze,
“We’ve dealt with far worse weather
And we’ve handled it with ease.”
He smiled and whispered timidly,
“Just do it once more, please.”
Just then a bolt of lightning
Exploded ‘cross the skies,
It’s not what I expected
And it took me by surprise.
For a moment I was blinded
As the light flashed through my eyes.
And then a clap of thunder came
As loud as it could be,
We even felt it rolling
Like a wave upon the sea.
It shook the plane so much, I fear
I had a little wee.
I thought I heard a mouse squeak
But ’twas only my friend Jim.
“Will we be able to put down?”
The question came from him.
I didn’t have the heart to say
Our chances were quite slim.
And so I took myself in hand,
And risking tempting fate,
I simply said, “No problem,
We’ve had worse than this lot, mate.”
I hope I sounded confident
Though I didn’t feel so great.
We passed over the woodland
And, keeping our eyes peeled,
Looked far into the distance
And out there, well concealed,
We saw what looked like heaven:
A tarmac landing field.
As I called up the tower
And lined up our approach,
Jim looked at me through squinting eyes
And said, with some reproach,
“Next time I’ll fly commercial
And I might even go coach!”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org before 6pm on 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 time.