I took the following photo on a country road near my house. It was late at night. I’m not sure how I feel about the photo. Tell me what I should feel.
Your Story is a SethSnap series in which you get to decide the story behind the photos. You can write a story, a poem or even just one word. You decide.
the ambient light is great, although the foreground is too empty in my opinion. Movin the horizon way lower and the photo IMHO would be more interesting
I like it, and have a story starting in my head.
Yeah! Can’t wait to read it.
A woman’s face stared up from the pavement. (Left side of the photograph, in case you don’t see it.) Barely visible, she questioned if she would remain unseen. The tree that stands alone where she had met her fate; but few ever ventured to the tree, so she decided that her soul should gaze upon roads travelers by embedding herself within.
One evening, a man was walking the deserted road – questioning the value of his life. What was his worth? What had he to offer? Contemplating his fate, he let out a cry of agony. No one to hear but the trees, the sky and the cracks in the pavement.
Overwhelmed and distraught, he dropped to his knees. His tears fell into her eyes. Someone was listening.
She prayed he had the strength to see the good within himself. No life is meant to be thrown away. She thinks, “who better to confirm it”…as she relives the night she drove her car into the tree.
Whoa! busymindthinking! That’s dark! But I love it! I also love the photograph…will let you know tomorrow, seth snap…but for now, know that i think the colour of the sky is magical!
Hi there. Yes, it was very dark (not my usual writing)…reading the word deserted evoked the thought. That said, I love a great sky; for indeed it is always great…always changing and always beautiful. Thanks so much and have a terrific day.
busymind, you think just like me…
Thanks ever so kindly, I take that as a compliment. Nice to speak with you. Belinda
Wow, great writing. I didn’t see the face until you mentioned it!
That’s what I love about vision…we still all see things so differently. It’s beautiful!
I feel anticipation. I’m holding my breath, holding, holding, something is near, undefined,.. I am calm and excited, anticipating something . . . I like this photo!
Breathing in the cleansing that follows a summer storm, he hesitated before crossing the highway into his father’s land.
Frank cursed as he walked the concrete pavement to town. Why had he let his no-account friend borrow his car? Jim never refilled the gas tank.
It was two miles to the nearest gas station. Heat, humidity, and bugs made it worse. “Stupid! Stupid! Why, was I so damned stupid?”
Frank slung his work shirt over his shoulder, resigned to his fate. A half-mile from town a beat up pickup truck stopped and offered a ride. Frank gladly accepted.
Oh.. I hope it was nice folk who offered a ride.
Your image, of the wide expanse of Midwestern countryside at dusk, brought back a personal experience. The real names were tweaked a bit.
Haunting picture! I put my story on my blog. ~Ari
Thanks Ari! Let me go see.
The wood of the old tree, the first tree to stand in the field has been given over to build fires in the farmhouse. Often, a girl would sit under the tree, waiting. An offshoot of the old tree stands in the same place. The young shoot has been left to grow to maturity. It has given shade to the sun-burnt men who plowed the fields behind teams of horses. These boys of the farm–the turners of the black soil–have lived in the nearby farm for nearly two centuries. This tree is their tree.
This tree is their cenotaph.
As they were called away to fight wars, on our own soil in the 1860’s, or in far away pastures of France or Belgium, they felt the call to arms as young men have done for millennia. But, they had to wait until the last cutting was complete. Their parents and sisters had to eat during the upcoming winter. The corn had to be tied into the shocks and the hay had to be baled. That was when the young men–and the older boys–felt free to go to war.
The call from the other fields, the killing fields, was a strong one. They took little time to pack. They didn’t even return their sickles to the barn.
No, they hung the blades in the crook of the tree branch.
The tree grew and began to enfold the rusty iron edges. The tools began part of the tree.
Many of the sickles were never returned and the old trees held them like protective parents.
Many of the men never came home. The sweat of their palms on the handles washed away long ago.
Or, did the rain and wind and the countless seasons really cleanse the traces of young hands?
Today, people drive by and glance at the tree. They don’t see it. It’s one of a million.
Just like the souls of the young men that still wander the fields looking for the old tree and the old house. And for the girls, the loves of their youth.
Beautiful piece, simply beautiful.
Nice imagery there. Thanks for sharing.
I echo busymindthinking and anthonystevens! Great writing.
Seth had an idea this would make for an interesting photo. So did the many others he had taken that night. The difference was the others seemed more interesting. “What was I thinking?” he asked himself. The best was to keep it in the archive. Eventually the idea behind this photo would return to mind. May be. If not, it would for an interesting idea on Halloween with all those colors and moody scene.
Thanks David, I think. 😉
The isolated tree takes centre stage
Disrupting the plain flats under the purple hue of an astronomically beautiful night sky.
Like Majeika and the Doc its crazed branches echo the hair of an eccentric scientist trying to make his experiment work.
Maybe it’s to conduct some lighting, produce fellow trees, foliage and beautiful flowers in close proximity. Or simply entice the far away estuary bank of luscious green forest a little closer
A beautiful prose poem.
Thank you Patrick, I really loved your story, M
Lovely! Thanks so much.
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Deserted – A Travelers Respite
I don’t know why my car stopped.
The gas gauge showed more than half. There were no ominous sounds or smoke. The engine died and I coasted to a stop.
This was all I needed after another hellacious day at the office. With a quarter of the staff out sick with the flu, one manager on vacation, and the owner’s semi-literate son throwing temper tantrums, I was at wit’s end.
After more than thirteen hours of playing referee during the office politics games, OwnersSon decided I was the perfect choice to go out of my way to deliver a package.
This left me on a deserted blacktop in the middle of nowhere when I should have been in bed.
I sat and waited a few seconds, then tried to start the car again. The lights dimmed and I became worried about the battery. I pulled my phone to call a wrecker. No bars!
The flashlight was where it belonged, so I took it, popped the hood latch, and stepped out.
I pressed the button and nothing happened. The flashlight batteries were dead.
Fatigue had me shaking, despite the warm summer evening, and I leaned against the fender, eyes closed, head bowed, arms folded.
My eyes opened and my head snapped up. “Hello? Who’s there?”
The half-grown field whispered at me as a ghost of a breeze slid by. Cautiously, I turned, looked around, and saw no one. I raised my voice a little. “This isn’t funny. Show yourself.”
“Oh my! Aren’t we nervous tonight.”
I spun back and standing next to my car, was a young woman. She wore a simple sun dress with a floral pattern, was barefoot, and smiled softly.
“Sorry. I didn’t see you come up. My car died and I need a lift.”
“What you need is to stop and look around. It’s a beautiful night and you are way too tired to be racing down this stretch of road without taking a moment to enjoy the gifts you’ve been given.”
“What gifts? For Pete’s sake, woman. My car is dead, no flashlight, I just finished a double-shift…”
“Shssss!” A slender finger to her lips. “Just stop and look around.” She gestured at the field beside us and leaned against the fender.
I shook my head, folded my arms, and followed suit.
“This road has been here for ages. It started as a trail between giant trees, worn down by generations of hunters. Later on, great beasts hauling wagons, widened it. Now, it has been hardened to smooth the way for machines as well as the children of men.” She paused and looked wistful. “One thing has held true over the ages. When someone is troubled, here, they are granted peace, if only for a little while.”
As she spoke, my gaze followed the distant tree line. First, I noticed the faint glow of city lights, then a sparkling of farm yard lights as branches moved with the wind. I closed my eyes for just a moment, then opened them to enjoy the way the breeze flowed like waves over the field. As my eyes grew accustomed to the moonlight, what I first perceived as stark and foreboding was revealed as warm, golden tones, accented by shadows. Without thinking, my arms dropped and I placed my hands on the warm fender. I leaned farther back and took a deep breath. Then another. And slowly, I felt the tension drain from me. A single tree, standing proudly in the middle of the field, became a focus. The dark form became clear and distinct, with shades of green and brown, fading to black shadows. It was welcoming.
“Yes. You’ll do.” She interrupted the whispering night sounds.
I nodded and smiled, then stopped and shook myself. “Do for what?”
She was gone.
I shook myself again, blinking rapidly, and realized it was much lighter. The first glimmer of false-dawn lightened the eastern sky. How could I have been here all night?
I sat back down in the car to collect my thoughts. Mostly on reflex, I turned the key and the motor started. I let it idle for a second and checked my phone. It showed four bars. That was plenty of signal. It didn’t really matter.
There were no other cars around as I put the car in gear, I realized I felt better than I had in ages. Somehow, a bit of fresh air and an unplanned nap, had refreshed me more than I had thought possible.
As Patrick has said, great job!
This, to me, was not an unplanned nap. It was a guy meeting the uber Urban Legend of all Time: The Girl in Lavender (or pink, or red…). A wonderful and atmospheric piece that fits in with my favorite genre…Well done, sir!
Thank you, sir.
Like a lone soldier standing in a field, the tree reached its branches upward and outward. It was beckoning to all who drove by “Stop, take a look at my beauty! Come and rest under the shade of my arms. I am here for all to enjoy!” And yet everyone, busy in the chaos of their lives didn’t notice. No one stopped. No one enjoyed the beauty that was waiting. And so as the day was nearing to a close the tree took a moment to stop itself and enjoy the beauty of the evening sky! It said “Tomorrow. Perhaps tomorrow someone will come by and enjoy the beauty and love I wait to give to all. Tomorrow. But for now I will stop and appreciate for myself all the beauty that surrounds me!”
Thank you! This is might thought too. My favorite tree. 🙂 I stop and enjoy it as much as I can.
Nicely written. Peaceful and beautiful.
Purple Haze. That’s the color I see in the sky in this photo. Though I may be color blind…lol
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