Monday, July 18, 2011

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

*UPDATE 8/1/2011* My nephew and I won this writing contest! Yay!  Thank you to all who voted.

I'm back from vacation and ready to get into the swing of blogging. I hope everyone is enjoying a great summer so far. One of the highlights of my summer vacation has been working on an entry for Heather Howland's PW1k writing contest with my 16 year old nephew, Jaidyn. 

We were asked to write a young adult story about this photo in 1000 words:

How fun, right!

Jaidyn and I sat on the beach and kicked ideas back and forth for an entire afternoon.  The following story resulted from his amazing creativity. So a big round of applause goes to my very cool nephew!

If you'd like to vote for our story (and we'd love it you did), please click here and vote for entry #4. 


“Ma’am,” A commanding voice clamored above the ringing in my ears. “Ma’am, are you injured?”

I struggled to lift my aching head off the dirty ground, as a groan slipped through my lips. My vision came into focus revealing a good lookin’ face with sapphire eyes looking down at me.

He signaled an eager wave before he barked, “Fetch me a blanket!” at a young guy dressed like Dudley Do-right.

“Yes Sir, Chief Tristan,” Dudley replied from the porch of a gigantic log building.

Chief? He couldn’t possibly be older than me, 17 at most.

Tristan crouched his fine self beside me and carefully folded a piece of the tattered cloth I’d landed on over one side of my body before placing his hand gently on my shoulder. “Don’t worry, Ma’am. We’ll get the rest of you covered right quick.”

Where am I? How’d I end up sprawled across a forest floor? I tried to get my bearings while I shifted my weight and wiggled limbs to evaluate my physical condition--A little banged up but no permanent damage.

“Can you speak, Ma’am?” Tristan’s voice, husky and soothing, strangely calmed my uneasiness.

As I cleared my throat to offer an answer, a foggy steam drifted through the air and the smell of rotten eggs assaulted my nose. “It’s Aurora,” my voice barely pushed a whisper. “What’s that smell?”

“That’s Old Faithful, Ma’am. You’re smelling the sulfur in the erupting geyser.”

Geyser? Damn it, Larz! Could that boy ever get my transport coordinates right? The cool gold chain of my timepiece slipped between my fingers, as I grasped the antique pocket watch in my palm. Rotating the face into my view, I clicked open the circular glass cover and then placed my thumb on the center. The watch face faded, revealing a small monitor that displayed my current location.

Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone National Park, July 17, 1914

Oh, I am so not taking Larz out for pizza when I get back! Time travel may not be an exact science, but Larz was 74 years from a graceful landing at an alternative nightclub in 1988. Glancing down at my black tank mini-dress, I let out a scoff as I thought; He was probably tweeting while operating the transporter controls again. Idiot.

I heard a twig snap 20 yards to the east and darted my eyes in that direction. Three cowboys were trying to get a glimpse of me.

In an attempt to shield my skimpily dressed body, Tristan leaped to his feet, grasping the grip of his pistol as he warned harshly, “I say, you men avert your eyes. Don’t come any closer.”

Slowly raising my knee, I grazed my fingertips over the weapon strapped to my leg. I pressed down on the outer shell of the weapon’s holster, activating my tracking device. If Larz knew what was good for him, he’d get me the hell out of here, pronto.

The weight of a heavy wool blanket draped over me. “What happened to her, Chief?” Dudley asked.

Seriously? I’m lying right here. Hello.

“I don’t know. She hasn’t said much.” His attention danced cautiously between the cowboys and me. “I reckon she’s one of the traveling performers staying at the inn.”

Dudley took a good hard look at me and then commented in a confidential tone, “Chief, she looks so much like…”

“I know,” Tristan cut him off with a warning glare and then glanced down at me wearily, almost grief stricken.

My peripheral vision caught incoming movement. The three cowboys had made their way within 10 yards of us. Tristan’s stance became rigid with alarm. He narrowed his eyes as he hollered, “I told you boys to get on out of here!” Motioning a nod to Dudley, he ordered, “Escort those men off the property.”

“Yes, sir,” Dudley replied.

I reached down, impatiently smacking the tracker on my leg a second time. Come on, Larz. Time to hone in on my signal and beam me up.

Dudley cocked his six-shooter and confronted the cowboys. All hell broke loose. Dudley fired off one round. The bullet bounced off the cowboys like rubber, causing their bodies to flicker like static interrupting a hologram’s transmission.

Black Hole Trolls! Dread stirred in the pit of my stomach. What are they doing here? My landing had been a mistake, so they couldn’t possibly have followed me.

Tristan kneeled in front of me, aiming his gun at the three trolls cloaked as cowboys. “Drop your weapons,” he shouted, his voice quaking with adrenaline.

The lead troll raised a deadly laser-blaster, no bigger than a tube of lipstick, and pointed it directly at Tristan. Crap! He’s gonna disintegrate us both!

“Move!” I grabbed Tristan’s waist to shove him aside, pulled my weapon and fired two lethal rays, eliminating two of the trolls.

“Aurora?” Tristan stared at me in confused shock. He grabbed my wrist, wrapping his fingers around my silver bracelet, my only possession that connected me to my unknown past. Time seemed to come to a halt as a rush of visions flooded my mind--The warmth of Tristan’s soft lips, the tingle of his touch. Impossible images, yet they played like memories as real as the heart racing in my chest.

“It can’t be,” the words passed under Tristan’s breath in total disbelief. “You died.”

Vaporizing into a time warp, I catapulted from the past to the future, arriving back at Base Station One.

“Dude, I am so sorry,” Larz pleaded. “Dork here,” tipping his head to our friend Kyle, “bumped my elbow as I was guiding your last landing—screwed up the whole transport.”

“Can you just shut up for a second and get back behind the controls? I need you to send me back.”

“Back? What are you talking about, Aurora?”

My pulse raced as I worked to slow my breathing, “I have to help Tristan.”

“Who’s Tristan?”

I paused, brooding, “I think he’s the one we’ve been looking for.”

Thanks, everyone! I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as Jaidyn and I enjoyed working on it.

~The Lemonista

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