Another Fun Fantabulous Flash Fiction Photo-Prompt Challenge, brought to us by Nicole Pyles, at the World of My Imagination.

The rules are simple:

1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story.

2) Keep your word count 500 or less.

Inangahua Junction bridge after the 1968 earthquake

Train       Tsunami       Tower        Snake        Carpet



“Run.” Father ordered.

So Ky’Ree did.


Ky’Ree’s long legs obeyed, sprinting now.

The tree stopped him instantly.

He awoke with the cold, moist carpet of dead leaves under his back, and a head wound throbbing.  He could feel Father tower over him, frowning down.

“Do you walk into trees?” Father asked.

“No, Father.  I sense them … the life.”

“Then why do you run into trees?”

“It’s too fast I…”

“No.  It is the same.  Walk or run, it is still here.”  He slaps the trunk.  “Again…”

Ky’Ree stood on wobbly legs.  Nausea washed over him like the wave of a tsunami.  He fell and vomited.

“Have you finished?”

Ky’Ree stood in answer.

Father patted Ky’Ree’s sinewy thighs, “Run,” then touched Ky’Ree’s forehead, “but allow your mind to walk.”

Ky’Ree nodded, then took off again.  He could feel the trees and shrubs now.  They zipped by as he dodged around them at speed.

“Yes!” Father shouted as he ran behind.

Ky’Ree laughed aloud at the pour joy of it.  He could accelerate his body while slowing his mind.  It was amazing, exhilarating, freeing!

He sensed something else ahead, angry and menacing.


He dove and rolled under the branch from which the vipers hung by their tales.

He stopped and turned.  They writhed unnaturally.  They were tied there.


Presently, Father cut them down, thanking each snake as he freed it.  “My gratitude, lords of stealth, for aiding my son in his lessons.”

“You put them there!  They could have…”

“They did not, Ky’Ree, nor will they ever after today.  Come…”

They walked back to the boat, then rowed upstream for hours, farther than Ky’Ree had ever gone.

Ky’Ree heard the waters lapping against many objects ahead but could not “see” them.  They moored the boat to one.

Ky’Ree reached out and felt the cold, rough surface of something large and cylindrical.  Metal “ribs” protruded from a large crack.  “It’s dead…”


“What is it?”

“An ancient bridge.”

“The Leavers..?”


“Is it big?”

“All Leaver things are big.  I’ll show you.”

They pulled the boat on shore, then climbed up to the broken road.  Ky’Ree stumbled again and again.  He only sensed the earth, not the dead tarmac six inches above it.

Father walked onto the bridge.  In Ky’Ree’s mind, Father looked like he would walk off a cliff, but instead he walked on the air, with the river flowing beneath him.

“Father, how..?”

“You do not sense it do you, the bridge I walk on?”

“No, I can sense none of these dead things.”

“Then we will train until you can.”  He continued on across.  “Come…”

*             *             *             *             *

Lying on a cot, drenched in fever sweat, Ky’Ree moaned, “I’m scared, Father.  I can’t see it … I can’t see!”

“Shhh…” The young woman hushed him, wiping his brow with a wet cloth.  She regarded him a moment.  “My poor Fish-man.”  She wiped his brow again, then kissed it.


Word Count: 498



Leave a comment


  1. Haha. We would love to expand the blog hop. But there’s time. And participation factors. And time. 😉

    This is fantastic. I love this section of the story, of how he came to be after experiencing him how he is. And the father who wouldn’t let him quit, wouldn’t let him accept not seeing as an excuse not to be.

    • Christopher Shawbell

       /  April 5, 2013

      Thank you. I missed a week. Internet on my laptop is goofing up. I hope to get it sorted out soon.

  2. It took me the whole week to finally comment. Sorry for the delay!
    I love this part of the story, Chris. It’s always nice to have insight into the background story of characters. This was intense both in Ky’Ree’s training and in his relationship with his father– tough love, yes? There was vulnerability permeating from Ky-Ree as he worked to hone his senses trying to stay safe. I could feel it!

    Nice work as always! I’m still so curious as to who they mystery girl is. 🙂

    • Christopher Shawbell

       /  April 5, 2013

      Thank you. My laptop is not receiving my wifi signal. I hope to have it working for this week’s entry. IPhone no good for the task. : (


    • Christopher Shawbell

       /  April 5, 2013

      Internet up! WooHoo!

  3. WOW Chris, that was awesome. I saw and heard everything.

    • Christopher Shawbell

       /  March 26, 2013

      Thank you, Lyn. I’m glad you had a fun experience with the continuation. This week maybe we will get to know who this young woman is who has rescued Ky”Ree.

  4. Christopher Shawbell

     /  March 20, 2013

    A whole week to wait now! I can’t stand it! Can we do a Weds, Fri, Sun Blog Hop?!? : )

  1. WWBH BlogHop Photo Prompt – Wednesday March 27, 2013 | Jottings and Writings
  2. Blog Hop Photo Reveal | Writings and Ruminations


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