Unleashed – Picture it and Write

Picture It and Write is a weekly writing challenge, posted every Sunday by Eliabeth, the author of Ermiliablog. The challenge is to write a piece of fiction or a poem in response to the photo prompt supplied by the host.

Here is this week’s photo . . .

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and this is my story . . .

The river roared across the unsuspecting land like an unleashed beast: a raging, untamed torrent, devouring all in its path. The mid-March air had lost its penetrating bite, snowmelt in the hills resulting in the river’s angry swell.

Sweating after miles of rapid flight, Culann stared at the frothing water, the stepping stones engulfed by vengeful, swirling eddies. There was no possibility of him going back – nor was there any way of crossing.

He jogged on, following the river upstream, the land gradually rising as he neared the hills. The first sounds of the tracker dogs intent on ripping him to shreds reached him …

Panic surged and he bolted, ignoring the painful stitch in his side. As the gradient steepened the river plunged over a series of rock-strewn rapids, but beyond, the stream narrowed and became shallower, its flow less turbulent. Culann removed his shoes, tucked them under his arm and scrambled down the grassy bank. He waded in, gasping at the water’s glacial embrace, and headed slowly upstream.

Sharp pebbles gashed his bared feet and after only thirty yards he could bear no more. He clambered up the opposite bank, careful to leave no indication on the grassy slope.

Confident that the baying hounds would lose his scent, he embarked on the twenty mile trek to the coast. He just needed to convince the master of an outgoing ship that an extra hand would be useful …

The fat purse stolen from his brutal master sat comfortably at Culann’s belt. It ensured his passage home.  And freedom: like that of the unleashed river.

If you would like to read other entries click on the link here.

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About milliethom

I am a reader and writer of historical fiction with a keen interest in the Earth's history and all it involves, both physically and socially. I like nothing better than to be outdoors, especially in faraway places, and baking is something I do when my eyes need respite from my computer screen.
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25 Responses to Unleashed – Picture it and Write

  1. draliman says:

    A very dramatic scene you’ve set, with wonderful descriptions.

  2. Wow! Excellent Millie! I felt like I was right with him on his flight and through those rushing flood waters, heart pounding at the sound of the dogs. I think I even felt the sharp stones on the bottoms of my feet!

  3. scrapydotwo says:

    This kept me reading till the end. Very forceful and full of suspense! Glad he reached the other side. Not happy with the robbery but what can you do if you had a boss like theat

  4. afairymind says:

    Great story, Millie. 🙂 Beautiful descriptions. I hope Culann makes it home safely..

  5. Dave says:

    Ooh, the classic Fugitive approach, never even considered that one. Well done!

  6. John Yeo says:

    Wow! I was glued to this while the vicious hounds were baying in pursuit ~ I am glad the story ended with hope of freedom ~ Hard earned pay in the purse I think ~ Well done Millie 🙂

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you, John. Like you, I really loved that picture. I almost wrote a story about the construction of a new dam, too. I only changed my mind late this afternoon. 🙂

  7. Sonya says:

    Oh, I love how Culann compares himself to the unleashed river in the end. You paint a vivid picture of the raging water – it’s slightly terrifying, I half-expected him to drown. Glad he didn’t 🙂

  8. Eliza says:

    I really liked how these few paragraphs captured a moment, but hints at the whole story itself (i.e. what happened before, and what will happen after). That’s something I can’t do 😛

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you, Eliza, for the lovely compliments. If you haven’t been writing for long you shouldn’t feel bad about not being able to find a story from the prompts. It just takes time to get used to writing short pieces, particularly the hundred word challenges. All I can suggest is that you keep having a go. The feedback really helps. When you see a prompt, look at it carefully and ask yourself what it shows. Ask who, what, where, why and how. Sometimes it helps to get a story into your head. Think of a character or characters and ask yourself what could happen to them in that scene. I hope I haven’t confused you completely because I’d love to help you. I’ve already written two books, so I think I could share a tip or two. Hope you do keep doing the challenges. 🙂

  9. Norma says:

    The description is so well done Millie. It made me feel as I was a part of the scene. My eyes raced from the beginning till the end of the story.

  10. Your imagination is brilliant!

  11. The story started with a challenge for him, but glad he got his freedom at the end. Otherwise, it would leave me tears without seeing a happy ending 😛

  12. Ermilia says:

    Wow, very powerful last line. So happy to have you join the prompt this week. Hope to see you back!

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