Fast Break

Providence RI

Photo © Paul Plath via Google Photophere

Tiri ignored the wizard, gulping at his sister’s incomprehensible words. Everything the elders taught–that mortal magic was tainted, that only god magic was good–upended in one conversation.

The wizard glanced uphill. “Let’s go, Moro. They’re coming.”

Tiri sobbed. “We’ll explain it to them. That you aren’t really…”

Moro’s eyes melted. “But I am. Really.”

Cursing, the man gesticulated. Orange explosions lit the woods, sparking screams from their pursuers. “That won’t hold them long.”

Moro kissed Tiri’s forehead. “I love you.”

Tiri wanted to keep her here, pretend this wasn’t true. Then he realized what the elders would do. He dropped, rolling in moldy leaves. “Quick, hit me.”

Moro’s punch stung, but he smiled.

“Now, run.”

Tiri shouted, masking their crashing footsteps. “Help! He took my sister!”

When the mob arrived, he limped. “That way!” He pointed in the wrong direction, using all his will to not look back.

Word count: 150. Written for this week’s What Pegman Saw challenge. Big thanks to Josh and Karen for hosting this fun challenge! This week, Pegman takes us to Providence, Rhode Island. I enjoyed “touring around” and seeing such lovely woods and parkland, along with some gorgeous views of the ocean. But I couldn’t pass up the oddity of this particular shot (which is really a large number of jack-o-lanterns). Click the link above to see the scenes that other participants found, and read the stories they inspired. And feel free to join in and add your own, everyone’s welcome!

Note that the story’s title mainly refers to how Tiri’s close tie to his sister is quickly sundered by this shocking news that she’s leaving and might never return, and also to the sudden break between his naïve childhood and the realization that the elders cannot always be trusted. But I can also see what the wizard is doing as similar to the basketball strategy with the same name, which I only just learned about, when searching for this phrase. Learn something new every day!


28 thoughts on “Fast Break

    • Thanks Josh, glad you liked it! And yes, I can usually find images of trees or grass or water that are Eneana-friendly, but whenever I find a really unusual image, I feel like I need to use it. I can always do another story set in a forest or field next time. 😉


    • Thanks for the nice comment, Karen. As so often happens, the theme emerged to me only about 90% of the way through, when I had apparently already written it in without realizing it.


  1. I like what you pull from the photos you are presented with. For this week’s, the sight seen can be so widely interpreted. My first thought was a swarm of night time drones or a distributed alien being pulling together its distributed parts for a new purpose. Imagination is really amazing…

    Since I know you spend a lot of time building on your world that you’ve been so kind to share with all of us, do you ever see a photo that doesn’t fit? Or if it’s really different, does it trigger in your mind a new area of your world that you just fit into place?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I found the image pretty ambiguous too — that’s why I liked it! The great thing about the What Pegman Saw challenge is that it doesn’t present you with a single image. Each week, the prompt goes to a particular location on Google Maps. Participants are encouraged to look all over that area for images that inspire them, either from Street View or 360 tPhotospheres that individual photographers have posted . This gives me SO much more flexibility than other photo prompt challenges, where the images are almost never consistent with Eneana’s world building and technology — they almost always include modern devices, or English signs, or recognizable symbols of real-life cultures. That means I have to search online for some other photo that’s somehow equivalent but Eneana-friendly. Which is harder to do many times than it sounds! But with Pegman I can always find some shot of nature — trees or seashores or mountains — or occasionally a stone ruin. And every once in a while I get a shot of something modern that is blurry or otherwise ambiguous enough that I can pass it off as a magical effect, what fun!


  2. Poor man’s just had his life’s assumptions shattered. And yet, his instinct is still to protect his sister rather than kick against what she’s told him – I suspect he might have had an inkling all along. Told with energy and a vivid touch, Joy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the great comment, Lynn — glad you thought so! I think you can tell a lot about a person by how they react to information that refutes their long-held assumptions. This younger brother seems to be more open-minded than most, and has put his trust in the right place.


    • Thank you for the kind comment, Penny. I’m so glad it moved you! And yes, I’m glad the importance of that bond between the siblings came across. Although it sounds like you haven’t been reading the good fantasy stories — the good ones make me cry on a regular basis!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hmm, that’s a good question. They’re all over the place, I’m afraid, not one specific author. I enjoy most of what Neil Gaiman writes, such as Neverwhere and Anansi Boys. Some of the more moving fantasy stories are actually aimed at younger audiences: I recently cried at the funny but touching Hat Full of Sky, one of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. Then there’s the other direction: Dale Bailey’s In the Night Wood, which deals with a couple dealing with the loss of their child and a new supernatural threat. Engine Summer by John Crowley is one of my favorite all-time books and gets me every time; that’s technically science fiction but it has a real fantasy vibe.


  3. An intriguing image, and what a great scene you’ve woven from it. I can feel the emotions of the two characters as well as the tension as the angry mob draws closer. So well written.
    I also agree with what you’ve said to penny, above. The best (and most memorable) stories for me are always the ones that make me cry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Millie! I just re-read it to remind myself what it was, and it made me cry again! This is definitely one of those snippets that feel like they should be part of a longer story. And who knows, maybe someday it will be!


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