Blogger Sethsnap often posts photographic story prompts, where followers are invited to take an image he has taken as inspiration for a story/poem/creative writing outlet. I often read the contributions but have never taken part myself, until now. It was a fun little exercise which I recommend, whether you want to break Writers’ Block or have fun trying your hand at something creative.
The original post: http://sethsnap.com/2013/01/28/your-storykeep-out/
Crestfallen, she ran her hand through the unruly halo of hair that tumbles down her back. It wasn’t there before, honest Teddy. Hopping from foot to foot, she chewed her bottom lip indecisively. ‘KEEP OUT’. The words taunted her from a foot above her head. She hugged Teddy to her chest, pulling the scarf wound around her thin neck tighter. ‘PRIVATE PROPERTY’. Glancing around, she sighed. Why? It’s not fair! No-one ever comes here, not anymore. Her coarse boots barely made a sound as she crept forward, the snow muffling her footsteps into a dull, softened padding. She had been down this track a thousand million times, twirling with autumn leaves and singing the springtime bird calls. But now, in the biting wind desolation of winter, her playground was forbidden. The land was no longer anonymous, and this sign built a barrier between her path home and her path to serenity, found in the deep, cave-like knotted undergrowth. Her heart pounded in her chest. She had never broken the rules before, at least not like this. Of course, she had swiped chocolate from the pantry and stayed up past bedtime before, but this was different. Big, scary world kind of different. Temptation snaked into her mind. She had been here every day for a nearly a year, one sign was not going to change that. Full of resolution, she took a step forward.
Behind her, a flock of birds screamed into the air suddenly, a cloud of distress fleeing from an unknown disturbance. Startled, she crouched like a tribal hunter, alert, poised and steady. Eyes wide, they scanned the shadows, but though they found nothing, she did not feel at ease. Her chest heaved with nerves, the bellows to the fire of fear. There was no way she was going back home now, not past those trees. She had seen a fox once, evil beady eyes staring at her while his tongue flickered across pointed teeth, and she had screamed, scaring it away. She didn’t want to see one today, not a fox, or, or worse. Facing the track once more, she glanced at the imposing sign with a deep breath, before darting with the agility only a frightened child could possess into her familiar haven. A puff of snow kicked up a wake behind her as she ran, leaving the sign at its watchtower as she disappeared deeper down the track. She didn’t hear the snap of twigs. She didn’t see the sliding shadow gliding from the tree-line to the track. She didn’t see the dark silhouette facing of the entrance to her beloved forest. She only saw her breath rising before her, the twists of the path guiding her further until it turned sharply to the right. She didn’t keep following it. She pushed herself straight on, tearing through the lower branches of skyscraper trees until her den came into view. Trembling, she slipped between the boulder and the tree stump into the dipped den, pressing her stomach to the frosted dirt floor. She leant her forehead on Teddy, praying each punch of her heart didn’t reveal her hiding place. She’d be safe here, right?