Picture Prompt 09/06/17

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Here is another of my Instagram picture prompts for you to get creative with. I invite you to have a go at writing a sentence/paragraph/short story to accompany the picture. Remember to link your post back to me, so I can read your creations and spotlight them in the next picture prompt post.

You can find me on Instagram by following this link.

Writer Spotlight:

Two writers picked up the last prompt and invented their own story from it.

Check out Dana’s interpretation over on Instagram, and give her a follow while you are at it! Dana Fraedrich on Instagram.

Gabriel also created a brilliant piece. Check it out here in the comments of my last post:  Gabriel’s Interpretation. Head on over to Gabriel’s blog and follow follow follow: A Little Me, Apparently.

This Week’s Prompt:

K.J. CHAPMAN(5)

*This picture is of the old lifeboat station at Lizard Point, Cornwall.*

Jack is a secretive type. I know him, and yet, I don’t. We met by chance when he saved my life when I was caught in a rip current. Since then, we have met up every evening at the beach, but he always rushes off after our meetings, especially if my brother and my friends are due to turn up. Tonight, I was adamant that I would follow him. Keeping a good distance between us, I follow him onto the coastal path. I dont recall any residential buildings on the cliffs, and it’s quite a way to walk to the neighbouring port. He wouldn’t make it before dark.

I’m contemplating turning back when he diverts from the coastal path and heads down the slip to the old lifeboat station. Ignoring the warning signs, he brazenly sprints across the rickety platform. I watch him disappear inside. Could he be living here? Is that why he’s embarrassed to meet my friends, or tell me much about himself? By confronting him, I hope to ease some of his worries. He’s a good guy, a gentleman, and if its help he needs, perhaps I am the one to give it to him.

Slipping and sliding my way down the seaweed covered slipway, I gingerly make my way over the platform. A blinding light glares from within the station, but only for a moment. The noise of Jack clanging around inside disappears, and I have the oddest sensation of being totally alone. The hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.

“Jack?” I call, the heebie jeebies getting the better of me. No reply. “Jack?”

Rushing inside the old station, I clamber over bits of drift wood and good knows what else in search of the man I saw run in here just moment ago. “Jack! This isn’t funny. I know you’re in here. If you’re embarrassed–”

Another flash of light burns at my retinas. I stumble backward, sprawling over the mounds of debris. Jack reappears out of thin air, only now, he is accompanied by two men. The three of them tap at the metal bands on their wrists; the metal band that Jack always wears, and I thought was a bracelet of some kind. What the hell is happening? Where did they come from? Jack isn’t comfortable around these people. I can sense the hesitation in his body language. I’m too frightened to move. My mind is swimming with questions, and trying to think up a logical excuse for three people to just pop out of thin air. I should have minded my own business and kept well away.

I shrink back as they pass, trying to make myself as small as possible. One of the strangers shoves Jack ahead of him, nearly toppling him in the process. As he rights himself, his eyes meet mine. The shock on his face is quickly replaced with worry. Placing a finger to his lips, he pleads with his eyes for me to remain quiet.

“You’ve been posted here for a month, and you’re telling me that you’ve not even managed to talk to the girl?” The other guy asks him.

Jack’s eyes flit to my hiding spot. “I don’t think she’s the one, Franky. I did some digging, and her Dad died in a machinery accident when her Mum was pregnant with her.” My stomach swoops. He’s talking about me. “There’s a grave and everything–”

Franky clouts him around the head. “Oh, you’ve done some digging. Did you dig up that bloody grave? Did you find out who, if anyone, is buried there, because it sure as hell ain’t her old man?” Jack recoils from him, positioning himself between them and me. “You’ve spoken to her, haven’t you?” Franky says, gripping at the scruff of Jack’s top. “You’re protecting her.”

Jack pulls himself free. “I won’t let you take her back to him.” The pair laugh, but Jack draws himself up taller. “If Lana was here right now, I’d tell her she is in danger, and to get to that clear space at my nine o clock. Trust me.” He whispers those last two words. Franky and the other guy look at him bewildered. “Now, Lana!” Jack shouts.

I have to do what he says. Every fibre in my body urges me to move. Jumping up from my position on the floor, I hurdle the debris and land in the open space beside Jack. He turns on his heels, sprinting toward me, tapping at his watch as he runs. The two men draw guns, but they don’t have the time to use them. Jack body slams me, wrapping his arms around me, and then shouts at me to close my eyes. Another final blast of light ignites the air around us, and in the next split-second, we sprawl onto a cool, metal floor. As Jack hoists me to my feet, my first sight is the most spectacular and daunting sight I have ever seen. I’m looking at the Earth from space.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

 

 

Picture Prompt 29/05/17

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Here is another of my Instagram picture prompts for you to get creative with. I invite you to have a go at writing a sentence/paragraph/short story to accompany the picture. Remember to link your post back to me, so I can read your creations and spotlight them in the next picture prompt post.

You can find me on Instagram by following this link.

Prompt:

K.J. CHAPMAN(4).png

“There is a shrine of sorts upon the cliffs. I saw it this morning when I was walking. There are dates carved into the wood,” I say, helping myself to a cup of milk. Something bristles in my cousin, Lizbeth, but she composes herself before turning back to me, offering a smile.

“Oh, you mean The Wrecking Post. Yes, that is a shrine to the ships and boats wrecked on the rocks below. The date of the wreckage is carved into the wood, and a piece of debris is added to the collection.” She takes a cup from my outstretched hand, and despite her smile, her hand shakes.

“But there is so much there: ropes, drift wood, pieces of metal. How many ships have been wrecked upon those cliffs.”

“Many,” she replies, taking her shawl from the hook and hurrying out of the door. “I shall be late if I stand conversing about shipwrecks, Jenna.”

“Then, tell me why my asking has affected you so.”

She stops in her tracks, her back going rigid. “Do not speak of this again, Jenna. Hold your tongue on this subject with the villagers. It is not something talked of in an informal fashion.”

“Lizbeth, my stomach has sunk like a stone. Why have there been so many wrecks on those rocks? You must answer me.”

She sighs heavily, rubbing a hand over her face. “How do you think this village has flourished, Cousin? Your father was one of the first group of men to partake in such acts. It has become necessity. You mustn’t judge, for you have benefitted as much as the rest of us over the years. You were just never made aware, living with Aunt April in the city.”

I feel faint, slumping into my chair with all the grace of a sitting heifer. “Oh, Lord. We are a family of wreckers,” I say.

“We are a village of wreckers,” Lizbeth corrects.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

Picture Prompt 09/05/2017

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Here is another of my Instagram picture prompts for you to get creative with. I invite you to have a go at writing a sentence/paragraph/short story to accompany the picture. Remember to link your post back to me, so I can read your creations and spotlight them in the next picture prompt post.

You can find me on Instagram by following this link.

Prompt:

K.J. CHAPMAN(2).png

When I was a child, I would sneak out of the farm on a full moon and run all the way through the woods to the lake. As an adult, I still do. Not because of the way the moonlight reflects off the calm water, or the majestic sound of the owls calling to the night, but because of the strange crafts that rise out of the depths in the middle of the lake and fly off into the stars. I have been watching them for twenty one years, and tonight is the first night that I’ve signalled to them using my torch. Why? Because it seems I’m not the only one who has been watching them, and now, they’re in danger.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Picture Prompt

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Here is another of my Instagram picture prompts for you to get creative with. I invite you to have a go at writing a sentence/paragraph/short story to accompany the picture. Remember to link your post back to me, so I can read your creations and spotlight them in the next picture prompt post.

You can find me on Instagram by following this link.

Writer Spotlight: The talented Katie Masters tried her hand my last picture prompt. Find her enthralling story in the comments of the last post.

Picture Prompt:

K.J. CHAPMAN(2).png

The view from the cottage offers the first sighting of any ships and boats heading toward the coast. Everyday, for hours on end, I stand at the bottom of the garden, watching the horizon span out from the jut of rock that shields the cove. Alfred no longer scolds me for my time wasted in such a task, and where he’d once reprimand me for standing in the rain, hail, and gales atop the cliff, he now merely brings a a blanket without a word.

I await the Black Whisper. It has been fourteen months since she left under attack, leaving me here with Alfred. Fourteen months of me acting the lady with no family save an elderly manservant. I long to shun the corsets and petticoats for my britches and coat. I wish to not have to keep my gun and sword hidden in case of visitors.

Alfred fears she will never return, but that doesn’t stop him from watching and waiting in the night. I know she will return, for the captain would not abandon us…me.

“Supper is ready, Lass.” Alfred’s frail hand on my shoulder startles me. “As I am a soul, you’re wet through.”

“I shall be along, Alfred.”

“Tis misting today. You shan’t see a bloody thing unless it is upon our door. How shall I explain to the Cap’n, when he does return, that you caught your death upon the cliffs? He’d tie me to the rope and use me as the fecking anchor!”

Turning foot, I head into the cottage. “Your skinny arse as anchor, pah!” Wisecracks are what get us through the long days. Alfred’s rebuffs are so sharp and witty, yet he says nothing. “Alfred?” Still nothing.

The old man splutters, but no words surface. Instead, he points to the mist. Sails break through as if cutting at the air. The Black Whisper sails into the cove with a familiar, burly figure at the bow.

“The Cap’n has returned for the lass who waited,” Alfred guffaws.


 

 

Week Three: Fictional Flashback February 2017

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This month, I am taking part in #FictFBFeb17 hosted by Faith Rivens. You can find Faith and this challenge on Twitter and Instagram~ @faith_therivens.

This challenge allows us to take an indepth look at our characters, and offers readers insight into their stories. I have chosen to feature Teddie Leason from the EVO Nation series, and Dagger, the protagonist from a novella I am currently working on, Zombie Playlist. Each day is a different theme, so for the next month, keep your eyes peeled for my contributions.

I shall do a weekly summary of my posts on my blog, so if you miss my Twitter/ Insta posts, you can always find them here.

Day 15: Familiar

Day 16: Forward

Day 17: Feel

Day 18: Fringe

Day 19: Fling

Day 20: Fever

Day 21: Follow


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Picture Prompt

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Here is another of my Instagram picture prompts for you to get creative with. I invite you to have a go at writing a sentence/paragraph/short story to accompany the picture. Remember to link your post back to me, so I can read your creations.

You can find me on Instagram by following this link.

Writer Spotlight: Check out Jacky’s interpretation of the last picture prompt over on her blog: Jacky’s Journey.

Picture Prompt:

K.J. CHAPMAN(7).png

“And no one knows what’s on the other side?” I ask.

The pastor shakes his head. “Only those chosen during the Storm Festival take the steps. It’s an honour, Lacey. You get to fulfil your destiny. The Gods only favour us with prosperity if the chosen take the steps. They will reward you, my child.”

“But no one ever comes back.” I glance at the mountain with its thousands of steps that disappear into the clouds, and then picture my mother’s crying face. I’ve been training for years to be able to tolerate high altitudes and have the fitness levels to make the trek. Ten of us are selected from the clans for every birth year, and only two will make the climb on their eighteenth year. Myself and a guy called Mal from a fellow clan won the title of ‘Climbers’ during the Storm Festival. I can see Mal in quiet conversation with his pastor.

“Thank you for your sacrifice, Climber Lacey,” my pastor says, kissing my forehead. He steps aside to allow me to greet Mal for the first time.

I shake his hand, introduce myself, and stand beside him. It’s hard to disguise my trembling as anything other than fear. The steps loom in front of us, and the crowds cheer behind. I daren’t turn to search for my mother for fear of breaking down.

“Ready to see what’s on the other side?” Mal asks.


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman
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Picture Prompt

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Here is another of my Instagram picture prompts for you to get creative with. I invite you to have a go at writing a sentence/paragraph/short story to accompany the picture. Remember to link your post back to me, so I can read your creations.

You can find me on Instagram by following this link.

Picture Prompt:

k-j-chapman6

“Do you hear that?” Reggie pushes his ear to the side of the large drum. “Music…”

Pushing my own ear against the damp metal, the quiet but definite sounds of music emit from within. There is also a voice; a soft hum of a voice singing along. “Someone lives here,” I whisper. With that, the music vanishes and is replaced with an eerie silence.

“How? It’s an old vat or…wasn’t this a sewage works? I bet it was some kind of filtering system. God,the stuff that was probably stored in there.” Reggie makes a vomit noise in his throat.

A twig snaps from the treeline, then another. The Trackers are close. Reggie’s face betrays his fear. “If they find us they’ll drain us,” he says, the words sailing out on a shaky breath.

A panel bursts opens between us. A greying man with a wispy, white beard, crouches through the hole. “Get in here!” he shouts. “Hurry, before they see you.”

We have little choice. Reggie climbs in first, taking my hand and pulling me through. The man brushes at the dirt with an old rag, destroying our tracks, and then he pulls the panel back into place and secures it. Placing a finger to his lips, we sit in silence, listening to the Trackers scouting right outside.

After a few long minutes, we hear them move further into the woodland. “How did you know we were safe?” Reggie asks the man. “We could have been Trackers?”

“You were worried about being drained,” he says, tapping his ear. “If you still have your own, human blood in you, then your fine by me. Besides, it was worth the risk. I haven’t spoken to another living soul in two years. You don’t get many visitors when you live in a shit tank.”


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

 

Picture Prompt

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Here is another of my Instagram picture prompts for you to get creative with. I invite you to have a go at writing a sentence/paragraph/short story to accompany the picture. Remember to link your post back to me, so I can read your creations.

You can find me on Instagram by following this link.

Picture Prompt:

k-j-chapman4

Two hundred and eight days of solitude. Two hundred and eight days of my own company; nothing but an internal monologue to get me through each day. I can’t be the only one left. Seven billion people on the planet have all just poofed into non-existence. I’ve decided that today shall be my last. As the cliffs loom in the distance, and it dawns on me that I have walked the length of the country, I prepare myself to take my final dive.

Removing my shoes, I take a last stroll along the waters edge. The sand is soft and warm under foot; a sharp contrast to the hard, cold reality I face. It takes all my strength to turn away from the rolling waves, but the time has come to put myself out of this misery. Making my way back to the coastal path, something catches my eye a little further down the beach. The closer I get, the more my heart races. A stone sculpture stands proudly from the sand. The sea-weathered stones are postioned with a beautiful artistry. Dropping to my knees, I wipe away the sand drift from the boulder at the base of the sculpture and press my forehead into the sand as tears shudder from my body. The rock is inscribed with a message- the best message I have ever read.

“I search for survivors every Thursday. Do not leave this point. Look out for my yacht. Hang in there, you lucky sons of bitches.”


Content belongs to K.J.Chapman

Fortnightly Picture Prompts

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Over on my Instagram account, I post fortnightly picture prompts that I have snapped because they inspire me in my writing. I invite you to have a pop at writing a sentence or paragraph to accompany it. You can find me on Instagram by following this link.

If you do not have an Instagram account, but would like to join in, you can post your sentence/ paragraph in the comments, and I will feature them in the next Picture Prompt post right here on my blog with links back to you.

Picture Prompt:

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Here is my paragraph inspired by this picture prompt:

They call it ‘Hangman’s Tree’. I know where it is, but I daren’t venture into the woods to see it first hand. The noose is for those who cannot contribute, and fail to complete the training or the tests. It’s either ‘The Noose’ or ‘The Walk’. No one wants to make that walk, or suffer the separation after. The Elders actually encourage The Noose- they say that The Walk is a great dishonour and those who fail should bring mercy to their families. My brother took The Noose only twelve months ago. I feel no mercy- all I feel is hatred toward the regime; a regime I shall burn to the ground.


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman

10 Weeks, 10 Prompts, 10 Minutes #8 (Prompt Me Special)

The purpose of these writing exercises is to take a prompt a week for ten weeks and allow myself ten minutes to expand on it. All the prompts are taken from my writing prompt eBook: Prompt Me.

To check out my list of ten prompts, and maybe have a go yourself, follow this link.  Go with the flow, take the prompt literally, or just allow elements to inspire a totally different story. It is up to you. Link back to me, so I can have a read of your creations.

The Prompt:

They said that I was insane and that I never had a sister. They even went as far as to edit her out of my photographs. I know they did because they missed one- the one I keep in my locket.

They hold us in some kind of secure facility with hundreds of others. We aren’t treated badly, but we aren’t free either. Words such as cure, hope, and future are continuously brandished about, as if words can persuade us to cooperate. If you take away a person’s freedom, you take away their basic human right. Once that’s gone, then it’s a one way street- we’re prisoners and they’re our captors. Cure, hope, and future, feel very very far away.

Every day I ask for Georgina. Every day they say the same thing- ‘she is a figmant of your imagination. An imaginary friend you created as a way to get through the fifteen months you spent on the outside without another soul to talk to.’ Georgina is real. She is not my friend. She is my older sister, and they know more than they’re letting on. Why are these people trying to make me believe I’m crazy?

Jenson, the big boss, enters in his full military get-up; combat clothes, black shiny boots, and cap. He glances around us all like we’re nothing more than rats in his elaborate test, and then he waves his hand to beckon someone into our tent. A teenage boy, similar in age to me, steps into the tent. His hair looks filthy, he has cuts on his knuckles, and his eyes are sunken.

“Tent 98, this is your newest occupant- Harry Mave.” Jenson pushes Harry further into the tent, before leaving without so much as a goodbye.

Harry grips his rucksack to his chest and glances around all of our faces. This isn’t the friendliest tent, and the majority of the occupants are middle aged and have an adversion to kids and teenagers. Finally, after eyeing every inch of him, I call him over to me. The bunk above mine is empty, and hell, it’ll be nice to have someone my age to talk to.

“I’m Nell,” I say, holding out my hand. He looks at it, but doesn’t shake it. “You can have the top bunk.”

“I’m not staying,” he mumbles. “Where are the showers?”

I came in with the same fighting spirit, but that was quickly sucked out of me. “The shower tent is directly behind here. If you have anything of value take it with you.”

Gregory, our resident kleptomaniac growls at me. I just glare back, inviting him to say something. Go on, you scummy thief, so I can make a scene and search your collection for my shoelaces and hair scrunchie.

“I’d stay away from ‘Crazy Baby’ if you want to fit in here,” Gregory warns Harry. The tent gave me that nickname because of Georgina. “Sees things. Hears voices. Fucking nutjob.”

I give Gregory the bird in response. Harry grunts in acknowledgement and heads straight out of the tent. Not missing a beat, I follow him.

“This place is a fortress. You won’t get out,” I call after him. Harry doesn’t even turn back. “I should know. I tried…and tried…and tried.”

“I have people on the outside who need me. Staying here isn’t an option.”

“If they left people behind when they picked you up, it’s because they are infected.”

Now, he spins to face me, anger written all over his face. “Bullshit! My sister was not infected, and they still left her behind. We’re here because we have something they need.”

My heart pangs at the mention of his sister. “What do we have?” I ask.

He shrugs. “Something… I don’t know. Something so important that they tell me that Hannah isn’t real. They’re trying to make me think I’m crazy.”

“They said it to you too?” I grasp my locket, stepping away instinctively.

An arm encloses around my shoulders. “Nell, are you pestering the new boy?” asks Jenson. “Harry, you were placed in the wrong tent- clerical error. Bring your stuff and I’ll take you to Tent 23. It’s the other side of the camp.”

“Away from me you mean?” I ask Jenson. His eyes bore into my soul. “Harry, she’s real. Hannah’s real.” Jenson lifts me from my feet, but I fight with every ounce of my being. “She’s real, Harry. Don’t let them make you forget! Never forget!”

Jenson’s hand encloses over my mouth. “You see why her tent call her ‘Crazy Baby’?” He half laughs, squeezing the air out of my lungs as I kick and wiggle against his torso. “Stop this, Nell. Have you been taking your meds?” More military staff race over, helping Jenson to restrain me. I’m pinned to the floor and injected in the neck with a sedative. Instantly, my body feels heavy.

As Harry is escorted away, he looks over his shoulder at me. “Don’t forget,” I mouth before my eyes close.

***

Someone shakes me awake. My mouth is dry, and my limbs feel stuffed with lead weights. From the musky, body odour stench, I know I’m back in my tent. Gregory snores in the bunk beside mine, and someone farts.

“Nell, wake up,” whispers Harry. I jump fully awake in shock. He covers my mouth with his hand and shakes his head. “Stay quiet.”

I can’t move; the sedation hasn’t fully worn off yet. Harry stuffs my few belongings into my tatty rucksack and swings it onto his shoulder with his own. Then, taking me under the thighs and arms, he lifts me.

The air outside is bitterly cold, and it brings me to my senses a little. Harry skims around the side of the tent, coming to a stop behind our shower tent, and lowers me onto the damp ground. It is a dark night without moonlight, and my eyes have to adjust to see his face in front of mine.

“How?” I ask.

“I’m good at what I do.” He pulls me to sitting, and brushes my tangled hair out of my face. “They call you ‘Crazy Baby’ because Jenson has made you look crazy?”

I nod. “And they’ll do the same to you if you’re not careful.”

“How can I be sure that you’re not just crazy?”

“Why’d you come and steal me from my bed if you thought I was making it up?”

He rolls his eyes. “I need something, Nell. Before I risk my life to get us both out of here, you need to give me something to believe in.”

Pulling my pendant from under my t-shirt, I hold it in my clenched fist. “They edited her out of my photographs. They didn’t just destroy them. I suppose that would make it look like they had something to hide. This way, they can make it look like I just made her up. I didn’t make her up, Harry.”

“Who?”

Taking off my necklace, I hold it out to him. “Everyone thinks this is a pendant, but it’s a locket. They never thought to check it.” Harry feels around for the minute clasp, and opens the delicate locket. He shines his torch over the small picture inside of me and Georgina. “That’s my sister. Her name is–”

“Georgina,” he interrupts. My heart skips a beat. “You are the one I’m here for. Can you walk? We have to get to the back fence by 3am.”

“Wait? What? You know my sister?”

He smiles at me. “You could say that. Georgie is my boss- the leader of the resistance- and we’re getting you out of here.”

“What about your sister? Hannah?”

Harry takes my face in his hands. “I’m an only child. I needed to make sure you were who I thought you were. This is all for you, Helena.” My breath catches in my throat at his use of my full name; a name not even Jenson knows. “Georgie says, ‘sorry she took so long.'”

 


Content belongs to K.J. Chapman