If you’re joining us in the middle of the story please read I Dare You part 1 and I Dare You part 2.
The shadow disappeared into a thicket of hemlock trees. Did you see that? I whisper. It’s way too big to be the cat. Not taking our eyes away from the spot where we saw the shadow we move slowly away this part of the trail until we reach a point where we turn to run. Just as we make a break for it we can hear something large crashing through the forest. The sound of twigs snapping and branches breaking is accompanied by heavy footfalls on the bare earth on the trail behind us. I scream “He’s gaining on us!” You glance back up the trail to see a large humanoid shape. His long stride gives him a great advantage in the chase but our adrenaline is making up the difference. With the pounding of our hearts beating in time with our pace we run to a point where the trail goes downhill. My toe catches a exposed tree root. As I try to regain balance I crash into you and we both go down. We land just off the trail and come to a stop in the high weeds. The light goes out from the impact but in the moonlight we see the shape of our pursuer rush past us. He’s still on the chase. He didn’t see us fall. You observe. We continue the hide in the weeds until we can no longer hear the footfalls. “You and your dares” you mutter as we pick ourselves up from where we landed. The light is broken but we can see that trail ends just ahead. In the distance we can see the old derelict mansion in the moonlight.
You can now jump to part 4 to see how the story ends 🎃
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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Echoes In The Mists” and is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using the Contact Form on my website.
4X6 – $5.00
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With Halloween occurring in a few days the hobgoblins are beginning to gather and roam the countryside looking for whatever they can devour. Usually a pillowcase full of chocolate is what’s needed to ward them away. I have have also seen plenty of superheroes patrolling the neighborhoods but I wouldn’t count on them. I’m pretty sure that they are in cahoots with the hobgoblins. Never the less, they will require a few bits of candy for their services as well. You’ll know for certain that it’s a conspiracy when you spot Iron Man, Batman, the Devil and a horde of zombies meet on the corner to discuss which houses have the sugary sweet chocolate awesomeness and who’s handing out the ever dreadful and stale popcorn balls.
Then there’s the other Halloween tradition. The pranks. Older kids who are up to mischief. One of the less harmful pranks was to rub a bar of soap on the windows of those houses that were “fuddy dudies”. The soap made just enough of a mess that something had to be done but yet not enough of a mess as to lead to legal action. I was only caught once and the responding officer was content to supervise us as we cleaned up our own work to his satisfaction. (The takeaway lesson their is that mild infractions can be handled creatively).
Eventually this leads to the dare. (Queue dramatic music) The dare was the inspiration for tonight’s feature image. In every town there’s the place that’s taboo. Nobody wants go there no matter what time of year. Sometimes the path leads to an abandoned graveyard. Sometimes it’s the abandoned house or an old factory. In West Virginia there is even an abandoned amusement park. Whatever is out there it always at the end of some foreboding path. The trail seems open enough at first but then the trees seem to close in on you. Thick vines trail along the way like tentacles that just might grab you and drag you into the underbrush. Do you take the dare or face the teasing on the next day? Okay then, I knew you’d be the type who wouldn’t back down. Go ahead. I’m right behind you. Cautiously we step onto the pathway slowly walk. What was that in the shadows? Something is moving parallel with us. Shine your light off to right. Did you see it? Was that… eyes shining back at us? Suddenly the eyes are gone deeper into the shadows of the thick bush. We’re to far away from the group to head back. Whatever it is might chase us or drop from one of the trees. We’re going to have to keep moving. The trail should open up again soon. Shouldn’t it? No sooner do we start moving forward again that the sound of something in bushes starts again. Instinctively you turn the light towards the source of the noise. The eyes are back. Brace yourself. I’m going to flush it out whatever it is. I bend down slowly without looking away from the eyes and pick up several small stones from the trail. The first one is not much larger than a marble. I gauge the position of the glowing eyes and toss the stone. Suddenly it leaps out onto the trail. It’s just a cat. A black one and it’s just crossed our path. Not a good sign. After catching our breath and with a sigh of relief for not having been eaten we get back to our mission to find out where this trail ends. To be continued on part 2.
Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. Please also consider following Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook. If you don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website at the bottom of the Welcome Page.
Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “I Dare You ” and is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using the Contact Form on my website.
4X6 – $5.00
8X10 – $15.00
May require some cropping.
I also want to remind you that I am available for portrait sessions by appointment. Rates will vary depending on the type of session and you can use the message button on Facebook or contact form in the links above.
Jump to part 2 of I Dare You here.
One by one colors fall from the sky. There’s a rainbow in the wind. The forest takes on a different scent and the sounds change as well. For a moment I paused to take in the change and feel the bite of the oncoming cold weather. There’s a loud thump behind me. Cautiously I turned to face whatever beast stalks me. Emptiness. Only the falling leaves and the bare trunks of the trees. Perhaps it was just a branch that had pruned itself in the breeze. A few more steps down the pathway and this time I definitely hear the dry leaves crunch behind me and move to one side. I stepped behind a large yellow poplar as the crunch moves closer. I peek out from my hiding place and then I see the noisiest creature in the woods. A grey squirrel comes bouncing towards me. How a one pound bushy tailed tree rat manages make more noise than a Sasquatch in a dance off is beyond me. But they do. When I step back out the squirrel realizes that his prankster antics are over and in one last leap he disappeared up his own tree. Amused by the fluffy little rascal as he moved from branch to branch I smile and thank God for the beautiful fall day and the warm thermos of coffee back at my big blue truck. It time to leave the squirrel to finish stashing away his winter supplies.
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Tonight’s Feature Image is from Beartown State Park in West Virginia. Titled “Spilled Colors”
Hello Friends, before I continue my prehistoric fiction story inspired by the rocks at Beartown State Park in West Virginia I wanted to invite you to make sure that you read Part one first. The Hunter (part 1)
The hair on the back of the hunter’s neck stood up . He strained his eyes trying to penetrate the shadows as he prayed for strength. The thumping of his his heart was so loud it was drowning out the growling and hissing from the back of the cave. His voice cracked as his prayers grow more audible. He moved slowly as he leaned to the right and groped the dark cavern floor for the shaft of his spear. He could not break the lock that the beast had with his eyes. Instinct told him that if he looked away that the creature would pounce. He kept his movements subtle and deliberate. Finally he felt the bite of the spears stone tip against the palm of his hand. He drew the shaft forward projecting that razor sharp obsidian blade towards the danger. With his main tool now in place he braced the butt of shaft with his foot and waited for the terror in the shadows to make its move. His eyes widened as a shrieking howl burst forth. The noise sounded almost like the screaming of a woman. The eyes moved lower as something slinked his direction and paused. Another scream shattered the cavern air and the hunter tightened his grip on the spear. As the firelight fell on his opponent his worst fears were confirmed. The jet black cave lion drew it’s hind legs in tight and sprang forward. The hunter gasped as the cat became airborne and for a split second it seemed to hover in mid air. The hunter felt the full impact of the cat’s weight as it fell motionless across his body. His spear had found it’s mark at the last second. The cat was nearly as large as he was. His muscles strained as he pushed the animal off of himself. He he quickly scanned the cave to make sure that there was no mate to avenge the first cat. Satisfied that he was once again alone he picked up his discarded flute and renewed his song of thankfulness to the creator.
Friends, I hope that you have enjoyed the photo and the story. If you’re new to my blog let me take a moment and let you know that prints of any of my photos are for sale. You can message me for details about how to purchase either with the message button on Facebook or you can use the Contact Form on my website. Simply enjoying my daily posts is free and always will be. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. Please also consider following Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook
You climb in and slip behind the wheel. The key is already in the ignition and the engine roars to life. The ground shakes in time with the pulsating pistons. The sheer power rumbles throughout your body. One hand on the wheel and one on the stick as you feather the gas pedal and drag the clutch.
A young girl steps out between the two cars and shakes the bandana from her hair. You glance at your opponent only long enough to make eye contact and then back to the bandana raised high in air.
Three. Tighten your grip on the wheel
Two. Find that sweet spot in the clutch and rev the engine.
One. Release the clutch and give it all she’s got.
Thick clouds of smoke roll out from the tires and the smell of hot rubber saturates the air. The inertia holds you tightly in the seat and you become as much machine as you are human. The wind whips through your hair as you check the mirrors. The car in the mirror fades into a tiny dots as the motor winds out to full power. You have already passed the finish line.
You allow the car to coast a little before brakes are applied. You turn the car around and meet your opponent still coming the other way. The sportsman like thing to do is congratulate him on a race well run and wish him better luck next time however you’ve beaten him so bad that it would be like rubbing salt in an open wound.
He avoids eye contact and it’s just as well. Back at the starting line the crowd cheers as you exit the vehicle and collect your prize. A single kiss from the girl with the bandana.
The September sky was crystal blue and the time of the Equinox signaled an end to Summer’s warm carefree days. The sun hangs low on the horizon. She meets him by the boat launch as her father and brother packs the camp. The last weekend is nearly over. This is last hour of their summer romance. Here on the edge of the fading lake they embrace beneath the sun and moon. Like the celestial bodies above they can only share the same sky for a short season. The lake boy looks deep into her eyes which are the same color blue as the sky. She noticed how the summer sun has left it’s golden tone on his skin. They continue stare silently into each other. Memorizing every line of the other’s face. Every freckle on his face and every colorful fleck in her eyes. The summer was a time when two worlds met and joined as one. But like the sun and moon the forces of nature will only allow the sharing of the sky for so long. As the embrace for summer’s last kiss, he reaches into the pocket of his shorts and pulls out a small box. “Close your eyes” he whispers. She’s a little bit nervous about what comes next but she trusts him and does as he asks. He places a golden chain around her neck. Suspended from it was a locket. It was small but elegant. Inside was the picture of the two of them on the local fishing pier. Her brother had taken the snapshot when they wasn’t looking. “Don’t let me be forgotten” he whispered once more as he clasped the necklace about her neck. A single tear rolls down her cheek and she thanked him for the gift. By now her family waits patiently in the packed car. “I’ll be waiting here for you next summer” she replied with her voice cracking. “True love is faithful no matter how long and cold the nights to come will be.” She added. With no way to delay their parting any longer the young lake boy stepped aboard his day cruiser and drifting off of the shore. He watched with anguish as she got in the car and went home for the school year. Throughout the coming months they would call, text and even attend prom together. The following summer they met again in the same spot by the boat launch. And never parted ways again.
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I exited the highway and slowly drifted down the muddy road. A few days prior I’d spotted the tunnel. The entrance is dark and foreboding. The Virginia Creeper vines hang across the opening as if they’re daring me to step within reach. Just on the other side the light falls gently on a peaceful looking forest. This is a mystery. My mind harkens back to my childhood and games of dungeons and dragons. What will happen if I cross the threshold? Will the vines try to grab me and pull me up into some primeval jungle? Will I find out the peaceful scene on the other side is just an illusion as I’m transported to an alternate reality by some mystical gateway? Will I find an angry axe wielding ogre waiting to squish me into jelly? My sense of fantasy and adventure begins to run wild. I began to recall hours of solving puzzles and riddles with my college friends in a world where one’s fate was controlled by the roll of a 20 sided die. It was pure escapism. Magical swords, cursed rings and legendary beasts all awaited us on Thursday nights in the student lounge.
The best games were the ones where we bent the rules just a little to keep the story going. I was tempted to temp fate and enter the tunnel for a few minutes. I quickly checked my pocket and found my trusty Victorinox Swiss Army Knife to fend away the vines. However, I remembered that the 20 sided die was lost to a wild roll and an open floor vent in 1988. Unwilling to face any axe wielding ogres without my lucky die, I opted to stay in the real world…for now. I turned my big blue truck back towards the open road and my day job where the vines don’t try to eat you. However, I am a little suspicious of the ficus in the corner of the office. 😉