As writers settled in for their sleep, visions of words danced in their heads. This is what could be, what is and what was, the words scrawled in time said. Without vision the people perish; yet some have perished to become a vision. Writers explored visions best remembered, the visions of characters and visions for the future.
All the stories collected here are based on the December 24, 2014 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a vision. May these visions entertain and inspire you as we all step into the New Year and its blank page ready for your story to unfold!
Retreat on Elmira Pond by Charli Mills
An osprey dropped to the pond and retrieved a trout. Blue heron gronked on his log. A group of writers watched from a deck overlooking the pond. They were journaling morning pages, delving deeper into their writer’s truth, observing and capturing what it revealed. A few nibbled on fresh peaches from a nearby orchard. A rooster crowed and someone pointed to the goats on the sod-roof of the B&B. They gathered under the apple tree for a discussion of yesterday’s writing with the author and retreat host who was smiling in her gauchos, turquoise boots and broad buckaroo hat.
The Monastery of St Gall, in Glastonbury? by Tally Pendragon
The towers either side of the church rose high in Vanda’s path, blossom on half-grown trees planted last year already beginning to fall from young green boughs in pretty pink clouds. As she did her rounds of the buildings, from the infirmary to the many and various experimental archaeology workshops, via brewery, winery and cheese shop, hospitality and education suites, livestock barns, funny little round hen houses, kitchens and refectory, she smiled. They’d really done it, rebuilt the monastery that should never have been built – with a little help from an excellent plan. Whatever would they do next?
What Direction? by Irene Waters
“Economics, economics. That’s all we ever talk about in this country. Well let me tell you. It’s not working.”
“We inherited a bad state of affairs.”
“If we could get the budget to show a surplus the people would be happy.”
“You reckon. I don’t. We’re sliding in the polls and you know why? It ain’t economics. It’s human rights, women’s rights, how we treat the lower paid and our youth’s education. It’s everything other than economics. What we need is a debate to see what direction this country wants to go. What we need is vision.”
The Vigilante by Pete
Will held a silver pistol in his hand, weighing his Christmas bonus against the $450 price tag. Watching the riots on the news, he and his friends said the same thing: it was only going to get worse. He had to be vigilant.
Will’s next stop was the police station. They were all in agreement. He put down his $450.
The first annual Pineridge Police Basketball tournament took place downtown. Will sat unnoticed in the crammed bleachers, feeling the warmth of body and spirit as he watched officers instruct the young basketball players.
It was a bonus well spent.
The Winning Shot? by Roger Shipp
This was no different than every other time.
“Develop a routine. It will help you in the rough spots.” I could hear Coach in my mind.
I had a routine. Three dribbles. A firm two-handed grasp. Lift my arms. Align the elbow. Stroke and release.
Behind the backboard it was bedlam. Stomping, Screaming. Even three metallic whirly-jigs.
I had seen them the last time I was here.
I knew the score. Overtime was inevitable- unless I made this shot.
“Just visualize. Visualize.”
So I shut my eyes. Three dribbles. Grasp. Align. Push. Stroke.
Suddenly, there was incredible silence.
The Power of “No” by Norah Colvin
It was grey.
For as long as anyone could remember.
They moved about, comfortable in the familiar, avoiding the unknown.
Shadowy shapes beyond incited fear: a threat to all they knew?
Lives lacked definition, blending to sameness, conforming to rules.
“But why?” The tiny voice shattered the stillness.
All eyes turned. Bodies stiffened.
Whose was this unruly child?
“Shhh!” the hapless parents failed to hide their offensive produce.
Again! No one moved.
“Because!” was the parents’ definitive reply.
They breathed. “Because!” they confirmed in unison.
Defiantly the child pressed the dust-covered switch and flooded the world with light.
Sarah’s Vision by Charli Mills
Christmas Eve and Sarah watched fat snowflakes fall and wood-smoke billow from the stone chimney. It was cold in the solitude of the barn, but she had to escape the oppressive bustle of Mary’s kitchen and excited children. She found a black cat hunkered down in the loose hay. Black with white chest and boots. Mr. Boots, her escort to the Christmas ball. The horses nickered and transformed into gay and welcoming guests who asked after her health and happiness. Best of all, Mr. Boots was a bachelor with no wife or children. Sarah smiled and accepted the vision.
New Year’s Resolutions by Sarah Unsicker
Cecilia wiped her hands on her apron and answered the phone.
“Hi, how are things?” Cecilia asked.
“They’re falling apart here. I’m supposed to babysit for Chelsea and my house is already a mess. And she’s a messy kid. I have to get this house cleaned once and for all. That is gonna be my New Year’s Resolution.”
“Do you need help?” Cecilia and Gloria were polar opposites with organization.
Gloria sighed. “Would you mind?”
“Be there in fifteen minutes.” The cookie dough would keep in the fridge.
“By the way, what’s your New Year’s Resolution?”
“To lose weight.”
The Job Interview by Larry LaForge
“Young man, where do you envision yourself in ten years?”
The brash new college graduate saw his opportunity to impress. “Sir, I expect to be in your job within ten years.”
After a cold stare, the interviewer smiled. “That would impress me were it not for the utter lack of substance in your record.” He pointed out the mediocre grades and absence of evidence indicating initiative, creativity, leadership or work ethic. “Perhaps someday you might learn the difference between true vision and false bravado.”
The interviewer stood, pointing toward the door. “Good day young man.”
“Good day Mr. Trump.”
The 100-word version of this story is posted at larrylaforge100words on Flash Fiction Magazine.
Vision Across a Crowded Room by Pat Cummings
Crowded room, tangled with people and conversations; she sees him at the far side, gesturing with a sandwich as he talks.
Him! Love of her life, man at her side through all the long years. The one who matters most to her, who answered all her youthful dreams. He who loves her despite graying hair and increasing waist, with all her faults.
She smiles and turns back to the party tray, builds her own sandwich. The host taps her shoulder. “Gwen, I don’t believe you’ve met Robert…”
She turns. It is Him. “I am so pleased to meet you!”
Visions by Sarah Brentyn
He stood breathless in his tux staring at her figure moving toward him—her white gown almost glowing.
She was a vision.
He knew that as he scanned the slick road. Chunks of metal and shattered taillights littering the pavement. He knew but he tried talking to her anyway, asking if she could hear him. She nodded and started crying. “I’m sorry,” he choked, “I’m sorry, love. It’s my fault.”
She spoke but no sound reached him. “You,” she mouthed. “You are the vision.” She pointed to a body on the ground. It was a man in a tux.
The Rockery by Geoff Le Pard
Paul approached Mary, standing by the rockery. He said, ‘All clear. We can sell your dad’s house at last.’
Something in her stance made him hesitate. He noticed the strewn rocks. ‘What happened?’
‘I thought I’d have one last look at the garden.’ She stifled a sob.
Paul squeezed her shoulder.
‘… I saw him. Just there.’ She pointed at the earth.
‘I know it wasn’t really him. But then I saw these rocks had fallen. I went to put them back and…’
Paul looked where she pointed. Small bones poked out of the ground. ‘Bloody hell.’
Arctic Vision by Anne Goodwin
It was days since he’d felt his feet and the midnight glare had left him all but blinded, but still he trudged on. His stomach gurgled incessantly yet meat, when they could catch any, only made them retch. When the cabin boy took his final step they hadn’t the strength to pierce the ice for a Christian burial, but at least he hadn’t ended up on their plates, like the dogs.
On the far horizon sat a ship in full sail. Was it a vision of salvation or a cruel conspiracy of sun and ice, the prelude to death?
What’s in your imagination?
New prompt on Wednesday. All writers welcome.