Harla pulled the laundry off the poles, frowning at the sun. It was touching the mountains and Elran still wasn’t home. Her irritation was transitioning to worry when he appeared, panting and tousled. And not, she noticed, carrying the mushrooms he’d been sent for.
“Sorry I’m late, mother, but I was attacked!”
Stirring the potage, Harla sighed. “Oh, were you? Has the dragon returned? Or maybe a striped rhinoceros this time?” Elran’s imagination had grown ever wilder since his father died.
Elran flopped onto the pallet. “It was a one-eyed frog.”
“A frog? Sounds terrifying.”
The words tumbled out. “Then I saw this giant round thing floating in the air, like a ship, only alive, with one eye, like the frog, searching all around, and I knew it was looking for me!”
“How did you escape?”
“I hid until it left.”
Laid down for a nap, more like. “So that’s why you’re late. Did the floating frog-ship eat the mushrooms?”
“I forgot.” To his credit, he blushed. “Should I go back?”
Something ribbited outside the window. A one-eyed frog. Another jumped closer, then another. They stared.
Shivering, Harla yanked the shutters closed. “Better stay in tonight, just in case.”
Word count: 200. Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge. Big thanks to our stalwart host Al Forbes! See the original photo below. Your guess is better than mine as to what it is, but I think Elran’s story is probably close enough for horseshoes. (Update: I’m told it’s the London Eye. That doesn’t seem to explain the pink eye-looking thing in the middle, though.)
For word count sake, I had to cut a line where he described seeing people inside the floating frog-ship, captured and trying to get out. His mother asked how he could see them if they were inside the ship, and he said there were windows, which of course she didn’t believe, having never seen glass — empty holes in the side of a ship? They’d just fall out!
Photo © Al Forbes at A Mixed Bag