Over time, the fortress crumbled and the crows took over, fighting battles of their own over the parapets. Ordinary people, no longer as valiant or as bloodthirsty as the ones who had thundered across the hills, built houses, cheery green and yellow boxes everywhere. The railroad men drove their tracks boldly right below, and people climbed on and off the train as if nothing had ever happened.
But the stationmaster always shook his head when asked about tours up the hill.
“Up there? Nar. I never goes up there.”
As the 4:17 started to chug its way, his feet felt the vibrations. Felt them as always, continue long after the cars had blurred across the fields, continue underneath, as if something there was just waiting.
*Based on a 100 word flash fiction prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, based on this photo by Sandra Crook.
Gentle Readers: today’s entry is my annual/semi-annual Fiction entry. This was in response to a Chuck Wendig challenge to write a story about “going against authority…middle finger up…Chaos and Rebellion….” I confess it turned out longer than requested (but it’s me, so who’s surprised?) and also to be gentler in the end than the challenge suggested, although I’m not always as grim as I appear to be, either.]
Miz Berenson was the meanest, strictest, recess monitor that ever carried a steel whistle onto the playground. The asphalt at Robert Taft Elementary School was her territory, and woe betide anyone who broke her rules. No gum chewing. No going up the slide the Wrong Way. No Boys vs. Girls contests. And she was super strict about how we lined up to go back to class.
She would end recess like ten minutes early just to allow enough time for the line to meet her standards. There had to be eighteen inches between students. There had to be No Talking, silence, people. There was to be no what she termed Horseplay. If she didn’t like it, she’d make us line up again even if we were late to class. Or, she would make us spend part of our lunch hour lining up.
[Gentle Readers: This week’s blog is a short work of fiction for a rare change. I have started a writing class and hope to provide the next new and improved normal nonfiction entries, after receiving instruction and feedback. Meanwhile, one class suggestion for this week was to reimagine a fairy tale, and I thought you might get a kick out of my submission. As always, I welcome YOUR feedback as well. ]
The Grand Ball was the big event of the season, a chance for the duchesses and baronesses to display their most extravagant gowns and jewels to trap the eye of eligible bachelors. Silk brocade swished through the air as the dancers whirled through the intricate steps of Empire waltzes. The music swelled as the violins approached a crescendo, propelling the whirling dancers into their fastest turns, and drowning out the sound as the poisoned darts hit home.