November 2018 Photo Flash Fic

I hope the weekend was a fab one – I spent most of it being lazy. Gotta do that once in a while. 🙂 It’s time for November’s photo flash fic. This is the photo we’re working with:

“Mom? What’re we doing out here? Where are we going?”

This was not how I expected to spend my thirteenth birthday. Sure, we’d had the cake and ice cream, but we didn’t even get to the presents before my mom took my hand and pulled me outside with her. Now, she, my older sister, Petra, and I were walking through the woods. I was freezing, and it was just creepy out here. It was dark and foggy, and I could barely see where we were going. So, yeah, not exactly the birthday of my dreams.

Mom stopped suddenly. “We’re here.”

I looked around. Where was here? This peice of woods didn’t look any different than any we’d walked through already. I glanced at my sister but she was staring in the same direction as my mom was, and her jaw was tight. Good, at least someone else wasn’t happy with what was going on.

“It’s almost time,” Mom murmured then she turned to me, with a smile even I could tell wasn’t real. “Baby, you’re thirteen, now. It’s time for you to know.”

“Know what?”

“The women in our family have a gift -”

Petra snorted. “Gift? More like a curse. At least be honest with her, Mom.”

“Stop it,” Mom snapped. “You have only known for three years. One day, you will see this for the gift it is.”

Rolling her eyes, Petra shook her head. “Don’t count on it.”

With a sigh, Mom turned back to me. “Elena, this is a gift every woman in our family connects with on the day of their thirteenth birthday. It can seem scary, and it may be difficult to see it as a gift, especially when you’re so young, but it is. It’s a part of you, and part of why you are so very special.”

I shivered, not from the cold but because I had a feeling what was coming was going to change everything. And I didn’t want anything to change.

“What are you talking about?” I asked.

“Look.” She gestured ahead of us. “What do you see?”

“Trees. We’re in the woods.”

“Look harder,” she said firmly, her fingers squeezing mine. “Focus.”

“On what?” I muttered. There was nothing there. It was trees and bushes and fog and– My eyes narrowed, and my breath caught. There was somthing there, something big…HUGE…in the mist. I jolted when cold fingers wrapped around my free hand. I turned to look at Petra and met her gaze. Her dark eyes glittered in the mist-muted moonlight… Was she crying?

“You’re not alone,” she whispered then faced foward, again.

As I turned back, my heart thundered, hurting my chest. Suddenly, it was as though the woods around us disappeared. Melted away to be replaced by gardens with pointy trees, like the kind on those big historical estates we visited on our last vacation, and beyond that a massive brick… House was too plain a word. It wasn’t quite a mansion, but it was much bigger than most of the houses around here.

I was about to ask my mom what the heck was going on when movement caught my attention. I blinked several times, and took half a step forward. People. There were people walking around the gardens, some close enough I could almost touch them. And they were all dressed…in costume? No, it was more like those people dressed like they were part of a reenactment or something.

“Mom?” I choked out. “What is this?”

“The past,” she said simply. “Our gift is our connection to the past.”


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Siobhan Muir

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