January Photo-prompt Round-up

Stefan Keller

Thank you to everyone who participated! I felt warm all over reading your responses despite the image’s wintry chill. Below is the round-up of all the January poems, flashes, short stories, and some artwork too! If I missed yours for some reason, please add a link in the comments and I’ll happily reblog. I invite everyone to enjoy some unique stories and meet some wonderful writers. I’ll post February’s prompt tomorrow!

 January Round-Up

Jerry Packard – Ice Dragon

Dawn – Frozen Giant

Balroop Singh – A Craving

Jomz Odeja – The Sacrifice  

Teagan Geneviene – Ice Dragon

Sue Vincent – Even Mountains Mourn

Geoff Le Pard – Little Helpers

Pensivity – Untitled

Dorinda Duclos – Frozen in Time

Carol Forrester – This Terrible Thing Called Hope

Fandango – The End of the Gods

Robbie Cheadle – Glass Mountain

Trent McDonald – Cold War

Anita Dawes – Ancient Evil

Anneberly Andrews – Kalaallit Nunaah

Kelvin Knight – Iceman

Barbara – No Guts – No Glory

Sheri Kennedy – Winter’s Pilgrims

Nick Rowe – Ice Mission

Cepcarol – Banished

Marje Mallon – The Old Man of Snow and the Snow Snake

Chelsea Owens – Directions from a Druid

Jordan Fasheh – Ice Giant Gnuri, A Creation Myth

Violet Lentz – Dragonlord

Venkyninja – Mission Gandalf

Relax – Playing Along

Colleen Chesebro – The Polar Shift

Helene Vaillant – Illusion

Virinchi – Star Wars, The Kyber Quest

Jane Dougherty – The Third Coming

Michnavs – Hey!

Cosistories – The Cold Alone

Tora Ellis – Gaiana

H.R.R. Gorman – A Missive from Dr. Stokes of Attenhold University

Jan Malique – Shambhala

Jessica Bakkers – Of Stone and Ice

Suzanne – Forgotten Stories, Forgotten Voices

Louise Brady – Fall of the Ice Giant

Greg, Almost Iowa – The Oracle

Himani Kaushik – The Creator

Bob Fairfield – The Titan Muse

Kerfe, Method to Madness – Near

D. Wallace Peach – Dead Planet

 

And a couple of bonus posts by inspired writers:

Pamela Wight – Do We Dare…?

Robert Goldstein – Haiku One: A Blue Grey Day 

And a straggler who missed the deadline but is worth the visit:

Hugh Roberts – The Riddle of Twelfth Night

 

Diana’s January Story: Dead Planet

via Pixabay by Stefan Keller

Dead Planet

Our planet died, for no living thing can thrive forever beneath the grinding thumb of neglect. But the blue squalls and wind-carved rime weren’t the first to herald a long overdue demise. We endured fires, then the parched ash and dust of rainless drought. Snow seemed almost a blessing until summer never returned.

Now we trek south, burdened only by the essentials, all luxuries of the past abandoned along the way. Lighten the load. Always lighten the load. Learn to survive with less because that’s become the single, intentional goal. To survive.

I wonder, do the southerners trek north? Will we meet in the middle and goggle at each other, our doom reflected across the narrow gap separating our frozen breaths? These are the things I ponder as my snowshoes cut a jagged groove through the crust.

We reach the mountains’ divide. Finally. Ahead stretches a white tundra, a wind-scoured wasteland. The moon hangs in the sky, thin as spilled milk. Far ahead something unnatural rises from the barren land, and I take it as a sign, an assurance of progress. I aim my feet in its direction.

A small chuckle escapes my chest, a white cloud of warmth. Despite my misery, I still nurture a spark of hope deep in my heart, a promise as bright as midnight fire. Even amidst the endless days of frost and cold and muted color, the world is beautiful, and I long to believe that the gods haven’t forsaken us. Our ancestors cursed us, and we have made mistakes indeed, but salvation must lie ahead. This can’t be the end of everything, can it—our planet a sparkling blue orb, spinning onward, devoid of life?

I sweat beneath my coat and yet my toes are numb, both portending danger. But I cannot die. Not with the gods watching over me. Not with the prayers that I drop like cairns along my trail. The bodies we have left in the snow say otherwise, but I will not accept it. I cannot.

The distant monolith draws nearer, a pale blue mountain, sharp as a dog’s tooth. Its final shape eludes me, but I know it is something unnatural, something fashioned by man. I should rest, tend to my feet, but I quicken my pace. The others lag behind me, but my tracks are simple to follow. If I possessed the strength, I would run.

There is a point in most lives, I think, when we must accept our failures. When we realize there is no turning back the hands of time, no do-overs, no choices but to recognize that our wishes are as ephemeral as our breath. I reach that moment of clarity when I come close enough to decipher the frozen shape. Our gods too have perished in this desecration. I hang my head and march onward, knowing I will die before sunrise.

**

This is the last of the January stories.
Sorry to end on such a dreary note!

Stay tuned for the February prompt on the 1st.

Near

The last poem from the January prompt is by Kerfe and includes artwork also inspired by the prompt. As often with her posts, the two are a pair. Enjoy!

method two madness

near stitched s

The end is
calling—ice spiders
weaving nets
blanketing
the unrelenting blueness
with crystal cold

Stripped down
to sheer form, chanting
syllables
bleak, bitter–
ancient songs of Boreas–
untranslatable

Gods become
disassembled bits
and pieces,
illusive
fabrications floating on
seas of sinking air

like final
notes of silence pitched
into the
void, cutting
holes with each unspoken word,
unthreading needles

Failing to
transform, to be borne
or reborn–
the years spin,
contracting—the lines
fall, disconnected

A poetic response to the January prompt at Myths of the Mirror, above.  Somehow working in blues always leads me to stitching…in this case I painted two circles and cut the smaller one up and stitched it on top of the larger one.

near close up 1s

Also linking to dVerse Open Link Night.

near close up 2s

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The Titan muse #photochallenge

A poetic response from Bobby. Enjoy. 🙂

Writing, events, competitions and even some self-penned bits

khione

Under dark skies and Luna’s gaze

I pause, reflecting on my fate

for traitorous act condemned, to hold

the world of man upon my shoulders

I burn each day in Helios’ fire

to suffer Khione’s ire by night,

when men no longer think of us

power is lost for such as Zeus

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I won the Terrible Poetry Contest!

pixabay image

I’ve posted about Chelsea Owens’ Terrible Poetry Contest before. It’s ridiculously fun, and I try to participate every chance I get.

Well… this week I WON. Finally. After weeks of terrible effort. I’m so honored to be chosen as the terriblest poet among a bunch of astonishingly terrible poets. The prompt was annoying sounds (or something like that).

And now, on to the winning terrible poem, which I’m honestly embarrassed that I wrote (not really):

Poots

There once was a hairy old coot
Who loved to squeeze out a poot
It was stinky and smelly
Gurgled like jelly
And popped off a sound like a toot

But he wasn’t close to the worst
My granny caught poots in her purse
She saved up the sound
For when grandkids came ‘round
Then out of her purse they would burst

Now MY poots are dainty as roses
No trouble for delicate noses
They make a small putter
Wheeze or soft flutter
But they won’t curl your hair or your toeses

**

I encourage anyone who loves to read or write terrible poetry (or just loves to laugh) to follow her and give her contest a try. 🙂 Plus she has a great blog. Thanks, Chelsea!

THE CREATOR- JANUARY’S #WRITING PROMPT

Another take on the prompt from Himani. I hope you enjoy. 🙂

Books&Sstuff

fantasy-2925250_960_7201 (1)

Stefan Keller at Pixabay

They say God is omnipresent, but we cannot see him around in his real kind. Maybe they say is true, maybe not. If what they say is true, is he around me at present, can he see me? I feel if I would see him I might get scared maybe. He must be giant, rugged, wild and for sure not so ordinary like us.

“Aaaarghh! my thoughts, why was I constantly thinking about him during my entire trek to the Mount Everest and now that I have reached the zenith I should be feeling happy and celebrating it with my trek companions but why am I still feeling there is somebody missing amongst us who was constantly there with me throughout the trek and I didn’t notice him but felt his presence next to me all the time. Was it him? The Creator, who is omnipresent.”

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The Oracle

Get ready to laugh out loud with Greg’s story. Enjoy.

Almost Iowa

Written for: D. Wallace Peach’s January Speculative Fiction Writing Prompt

fantasy-2925250_960_7201

If you could ask one question and have it answered with absolute wisdom and total knowledge, what would it be?

That itself was the question that drove The Great Race to the Oracle in 1900. An expedition couched in secrecy and kept secret ever since – because the answer was too embarrassing.

It all began with the discovery of the oracle itself. An entity that has snoozed since the beginning of time in the farthest reaches of the Antarctic.

In 1899, a hapless expedition to the South Pole drifted off course and discovered the oracle resting in frozen silence on a wind swept mountain of ice.

Propped beside one foot, stood a Rosetta stone written in Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Han Chinese and Mayan that explained how the oracle slept for ten thousand years at a time and only awoke to…

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