Below is my offering for week 83′s challenge word, which is ‘Rusty’. As you will see from the relevant blog post, the challenge is to write between 33 and 333 words of fiction, non-fiction, poetry or prose, based on the 3rd definition from the Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary. This week the 3rd definition of ‘rusty’ is:
3a : of the color rust
b : dulled in color or appearance by age and use <rusty old boots>
Here’s my offering below – I hope you like it! Please check here for the other entries!
– Twenty Six –
You could tell the difference between this institution and the others in the sector because of the paint on the walls. Our other discoveries had been painted a dull green – even the staff private quarters followed this uniform pattern. Here and there, we found abandoned traces of individuality. In one employee’s room, we had found the desiccated remnants of letters from friends and relatives, in another cellophane sweet wrappers had been taped to the windows creating rainbows on the grimy walls within. I remember touching the shimmering patterns, chasing the shadows.
Here, it was different. I shivered, despite the relentless heat of the sun, magnified by the vast wall of windows at the far end of the room. The people who ran this place clearly felt no urge to hide what they were doing – there were no buildings for miles, the terrain was desolate, no roads led here. It was as if we were standing in a figment of a twisted imagination, soon to disappear on the opening of its owner’s sleeping eyes.
I touched the rusty red walls. Even the floor had been given the same treatment. I sensed rather than noticed the neat holes in the floor, the walls, the ceiling. All equipment had been removed slowly, methodically, without hurry. Withdrawal from this place had not been urgent. They had not feared discovery.
I opened my notebook, clicked my pen into action, feeling the vibration as the spring released from its housing inside. I paused, glancing around the room, forcing my emotions to a small, dark place. It was time to record, not react.
‘Statements of the surviving inmates noted a wall of windows, intense heat, walls painted the colour of old blood. I believe we have located Establishment 26.’
I scraped a flake of wall paint into an envelope, sealed it. I hoped I was wrong.
I seem to be hungry right now, and not just for food. I’m hungry for external inspiration for short pieces of writing. It’s a good job that Alastair’s Photo Fiction is here to curb the gnawing!
Alastair is both a writer and a photographer, so the image he provides each week as inspiration is also one of his own – visit his photography and writing blog to take a look!
Here is my offering this week, inspired by Alastair’s black and white image below. Why not take part?
It had been her dream to live here. As a child she had imagined standing at the edge of the cliff, her grown-up self silhouetted by a setting sun, shawl wrapped tightly against the cool breeze. Solitary, not lonely.
Yet, she had been careless as she wove her dreams, crafting her future as she slept. In her innocence, she had forgotten to wish for pristine oceans, perfectly balanced as nature intended. Now, as the waters boiled far below, whipped by the winds of an approaching storm, their sterility broke her. The last whale had beached itself in desperation two nights ago, blanched and blistered by the chemical seas. She would never dip her toe and shriek at the cold, never run ecstatically through the surf, never dive into the white horses crashing on the silvered sand.
She had waited for perfection. Now, everything was tainted.
In some respects, I’m a creature of habit, so I have a feeling that this is the second entry of many into Trifextra, one of the Trifecta writing challenges.
This weekend’s Trifextra challenge is to write exactly 33 words on the idiom ‘third time’s the charm’. Here in the UK, we use the alternative ‘third time lucky’, but I’ll stick with the original. I hope you enjoy it, and all the other submissions!
He felt a thrill of schadenfreude as he stared at the printout in his hand. Years of work to confirm what he knew: