Friday Fictioneers – The Storm

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz (the blue frog) on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

FF - The Storm 180418

PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy

The storm

Sunrise gave the distant hills sharp outlines.

Gaffer Lawrence shook his head.

“Gonna rain buckets,” he said.

The heaven was lacquered blue at noon. The pigs lay still in their pen, panting. The farmer tasted the air, whistled up his dogs and brought his stock under cover.

The horizon steamed. Clouds came out of nowhere. The light faded and the darkness was stifling. Sounds were distorted, submarine. The sweet smell of the cattle cloyed.

Then, as flames of pink lightning flickered on the hills, the first heavy drops fell.

By midnight, the bridge down the valley had been swept away.

78 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – The Storm

  1. Oh, Penny! This is my absolute favourite this week. Pitch perfect all along, from Gaffer Lawrence’s name, to the one line of dialogue all through the descriptions of colour and smell, those panting pigs. You have absolutely captured that feeling as dry air grows heavy and gives way to torrential rain. Just lovely

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Sascha
      Thank you for reading and commenting. We’ve lost a lot of country lore over the last 100 years, but there are still places where traditional knowledge is handed on.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Moon
      Thank you for reading and for your lovely comment. ‘Mesmerised’ is an interesting choice of words. I tried to evoke a sense of stillness before the deluge; I wonder if that was what you felt?
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was too absorbed in the beautiful descriptions but I did realise that the farmers were getting ready for a heavy rain shower amidst my meditative adoration of your words. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Linda
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad you felt the story was clearly drawn. I did several edits, each time swapping words for more precise ones until the whole thing felt right.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved the slow buildup of this. I could feel that storm coming. I especially liked this line, “Sounds were distorted, submarine.” I’ve felt that before. It’s an apt description. A terrific piece.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear EagleAye
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m really pleased you liked the description of the distorted sound. It’s something I’ve only experienced a few times, and I think it’s a weird feeling!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Irene
      Thank you for reading and for your helpful comment. I always appreciate it when someone takes the trouble to check my description against their own experience and lets me know what they think. Even if they think I’ve got it wrong, it’s so good to know because then I can improve.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The writing is so rich, I can feel the tension before the storm building up until it is released. The matter of fact statement, ‘raining buckets’ is the perfect contrast to the scene.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Gabi
      Thank you for reading and commenting so kindly. I’m glad you liked the way the tension built. I love the different ways different localities refer to very heavy rain. In my own location in Devon we have “Comin’ down stair-rods” and “Leakin’ wet”. “Rainin’ buckets” is more a Midlands/North variant.
      Such richness in the English language!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Anurag
      Thank you for reading, and for such a lovely comment. I put a great deal of effort into editing this story, trying to choose precisely the right word, and I’m so pleased that you noticed.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Penny, I think this is one of your best! I could feel atmospheric pressure through your descriptions: the pigs, the farmer tasting the air (wow!), then whistling up his dogs and bringing his stock under cover . . . LOVED this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Alicia
      Thank you for reading and for your very kind comments. I spent hours agonising over the prompt, which didn’t inspire me at all, until I thought “Bother it! I’ll write about the clouds” So I did. Then I spent hours editing, and re-editing, all the time aiming to find exactly the right detail, the right phrase, the right word. And I felt very doubtful about it when I’d finished. So your comment that it’s one of my best is very encouraging – thank you so much!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

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