Emerging: it took me a while to find inspiration for this one. Well, it just took me a while to find inspiration. I’m attempting to start or find an idea for three different projects at present, so I didn’t give much attention to the fourth. Shamed into doing this after reading Rebecca’s haiku, since she has far better excuses to skip than I have, I studied the photo a while longer, and came up with 370 words.

emerging

Thanks as always to KL Caley at New2Writing.com for continuing the #writephoto meme, and this week to the guest photographer, Geoff Le Pard. Great work, people!

Emerging from the commute

I walked along that road, every day, morning and evening, Monday to Friday and occasionally Saturday. The alcoves in the wall added some sort of mystery to the bleak exterior, even if the bricks were encrusted with lichen, dirt, graffiti, and the grime of ages. Some of it was probably fossilised soot from the time when the tube trains above were powered by steam. 

The thing about commuting: eventually you do all of it on autopilot. Even crossing the road is not a conscious choice. You look both ways, and around the corner, ‘alert’ for a maniac or two driven to knocking you down. “It was her fault, officer, she never looked.” I looked, and always saw, and reacted, but never in my conscious brain. That only came to when I reached the office. Or if I picked up a Metro newspaper and did the Sudoku. And that was easy enough to do on automatic.

Something tingled in my brain though. Something different.

Was it a stranger in a strange place?

Had there been a taxi, heaven help us, actually waiting for a fare?

Had the man who wore bow ties worn a cravat?

No. It was before the station.

I walked home in the dark of the early autumn; rain-slicked pavement, leaves sticking where they shouldn’t. There! Something was different. As I passed one of the alcoves, I could feel it. I stopped, looked. Nothing. 

I walked on. Imagination. Work was getting to me. Work wasn’t getting to me. I needed a holiday. 

I slept well enough.

Next day, I saw the alcoves. Looked and saw. Smelled the rain lying in the corners, in the creases of the bricks. Felt the decay of the leaves in my bones. 

Nothing.

I whirled on my heels as something leapt out behind me, but ran away. I relaxed. No danger.

But what was it?

A youngish, greenish man, turning bronze and gold with the leaves. Not wearing much. Funny head-dress. 

Maybe I did need a holiday.

Just like the man in the car insurance advert, who’d collided with a knight in armour, chasing after his horse.

Must look up intersections of ley lines, and see if there’s one around here.

© J M Pett 2021

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Emerging | #writephoto Flash Fiction
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11 thoughts on “Emerging | #writephoto Flash Fiction

      • 4 October, 2021 at 4:08 pm
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        Jemima , I really don’t know where Sue came from. I knew I was talking to you…..all I can say is it’s my phone playing tricks on me or our Sue (Vincent) having a laugh at my expense… Bless. Sorry Jemima honestly 💜

        Reply
        • 4 October, 2021 at 5:35 pm
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          That’s so funny! It was probably something about the writephoto – and I’m honoured, really! That was a wink on my comment 😀

          Reply
          • 4 October, 2021 at 5:54 pm
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            Yes I saw the wink , how strange that Sue’s name appeared … A nice strange though. ☺️

  • 4 October, 2021 at 4:28 pm
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    I feel embarrassed to have been a goad to you, especially as your result is so much better! I confess to whipping mine out in a hurry last night just to have a post.

    Your last lines left me expecting to see Sir Woebegone running after that green man 😀

    Reply
    • 4 October, 2021 at 5:40 pm
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      I’ve whipped out a haiku at the last moment many times 🙂
      No, really it was good to get something of a push, because I was sitting wondering what to do with these four projects and just sat down and started. Then I sat down and wrote the WEP project, with one of the other projects crossing into it.
      The main thing is, if you start putting words down, more follow, don’t they? Wonderful stuff, writing.

      The advert was a really good one – a man in a sort of interrogation situation (nominally the insurance office cross-examination) explaining about this horse in a dress that made him swerve, and the man in the knight’s armour ‘not the sort of thing you expect to see’… and the disbelieving insurance person – then the switch to the onboard camera (which was probably the point of the advert) Obviously a joust was going on nearby and these two had parted company!

      Reply
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