Sanctuary #Writephoto

I shook off the transportal’s disorientation and trembled with the cold. Authentic cold. Maybe not what I’d expected, but a clear signal that I’d arrived. I’d grown sick of my shipbound existence, the sensory constancy, the monotony of routine, the same faces, same pastimes, same food. The same, same, same. After six cycles, the head of Assimilation approved my placement. And here I stood.

Time to face my new world, my chosen sanctuary, I squared my shoulders, hauled in a breath, and marched through the gray arch into a landscape felted in white. I halted. Warning bells clanged in my head and reality punched me in the chest. Something had gone wrong.

In a panic, I checked my chrono. I had minutes before the ship barreled out of range. Hands fumbling, I opened my comdeck, desperate for a connection.

“Connection established. Audra receiving. You have one chron before communication terminates.”

“Audra, this is Cloe. There’s been a mistake. You need trans me back to the ship.”

“Cloe? Give me a second.”

“Hurry!” I pleaded. A gray-haired alien in a charcoal coat strolled between the white trees, and I turned my back, hiding my dread.

“Your entry was a success.” Audra’s voice crackled with interference. “…didn’t show one irregularity. What’s the matter?”

“This planet,” I whispered, “it’s not the one I approved.” Tears blurred my vision, and I couldn’t stop shivering. “The locators guaranteed an 89% match to my parameters. I saw the images. They sent me to the wrong place!”

“I’m sorry, honey. You certified your choice. The portal’s closing.”

“Audra, you have to help me. Don’t leave me here!”

“All right, I’ll try. Tell me what’s wrong with it? I’ll issue a…” The comdeck fizzled and died.

I throttled the useless thing and smashed it on the stone steps. Face raised to the milky sky, I shouted, “I wanted colors! You sent me to a black and white world.”

The gray-headed alien in his charcoal coat glanced up from where he threw black seeds on the white ground. Gray-feathered birds pecked around his black shoes.  “That’s what you get for arriving in winter.”

I frowned at him. “Winter?”

He angled his head toward the gray buildings in the distance. “They didn’t tell me either. Let’s get a cup of coffee, and I’ll fill you in on something called spring.”

***

Another gorgeous photo and fun Thursday prompt from Sue Vincent. Join the fun. 🙂

156 thoughts on “Sanctuary #Writephoto

  1. Love it! You managed, Diana, to turn this photo — and the story it inspired — into an ode to both winter and spring! One of my favorite visual delights is Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, because it’s basically a black-and-white movie; it was shot on color film stock, but the production design is almost entirely devoid of vivid color (save the red of the blood and orange of the pumpkins), and it conjures a very dreary, ominous autumnal atmosphere.

    I love all the seasons, because each one makes you grateful for the wonders of the next…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sean. I’m a season lover too, all seasons. But, I’m so happy right now that the shades of blue and gray have surrendered to green. I had fun with this prompt. If I can, I turn everything into speculative fiction. 😀 Happy Writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. shutterbug says:

    Funny, I was just thinking the other day how lovely it will be when the snow melts to show a bit of green. This story made me laugh. I want color too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, I must have missed this when I was away. I love it, Diana, especially “something called spring”. Great story! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ooh! I totally love this, Diana!! I want to read more of this story!!! What a great twist at the end! Just awesome! 😊💕

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Khaya Ronkainen says:

    What a lovely sanctuary! The imagery and choice of words make for a delightful story. Your writing is always mesmerising, you’re such a wonderful storyteller. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A perfect story for this photo. I can’t wait to see spring.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I LOVED this. I could imagine it as a novel 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Please tell me this will turn into a novel that I can read! You always have such amazing detail in your writing and this one was very exciting as well! Right up my alley!! I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

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