...because fiction is our greatest escape from reality...

Scene From a Picture- Snarky Reader’s Style.

Not so long ago, I posted this strange picture and asked the readers here to come up with a plot, story, line… whatever. Just to let the pic inspire.

I’m going to gather them up here for easy reading along with a link to that reader’s blog. I have another writing challenge for you guys at the end…

From Kelli McBride Kelli Blogs
Here’s the last line of the story:

And as the ancient mythic Hippie slipped into the icy oblivion of the water, he flashed the peace sign one last time.

From X-Dell: The X Spot

Jacob Blackhand bathed twice a week in a modest-sized cement tub. But one day, after lying down on his back and letting the warm, soapy water bury his chest and face, Jake emerged to find that the rest of world had shrunk.Worst yet, he was no longer in his white-tile and porcelain bathroom. Somebody had demolished his house. Instead of the cozy privacy of his privy, he was now in the middle of what seemed to be a park.

He climbed out of the tub, before he realized he didn’t have anything on. Wouldn’t you know, one of the city’s finest arrested him for public indecency. Fortunately, the cops didn’t have a jail cell large enough to keep him, so they gave him a $75 summons, and sent him on his way. They found a few canvas tents and a parachute in storage, and these sufficed for clothes.

Jake viewed the tent and the chute as temporary attire only. But many of the trendier sort dug the look. Soon canvas and silk became the rage.

Knowing an opportunity when it reared its head, Jake opened up a haberdashery specializing in just this sort of haberdash. He found an article on a blog called the 23rd-Mandalation written by someone named Rinda Elliot about tall women, and found himself a wife (who secretly confessed to being a distemperate Nordic goddess in a previous incarnation).They lived happily ever after–or, at least, reasonably so.

From Laura Mad Below My Feet

After spending the entire morning working on the script for his new film, Kong For Prez, Kong decided to head over to the Hudson for a little swim. He hung lazily from the embankment, dreaming of his lovely Jane. As he moved to pull himself out, he caught sight of a fetching young orangutan. He had never seen such beauty before. That firey red hair, that magical smile… But wait. No. He was with Jane…

From Betty: Dishin’ the Dirt with my Friends

It should have been a simple baptism. Dunk. Say a few proper words. Come up for air. When Harry emerged, the chorus of the faithful had vanished. Was this Heaven? he wondered. But as he looked around he began to suspect something had gone terribly awry.

From Rayke Rayke: Uncensored

Joseph is taking a tour of his new neighborhood. He is being assisted by a ditzy teenage woman, Bianca, who just sold her deceased parents house to Joseph.
“This the park. Duh! [Ditzy laugh]. Do you have any kids??”…asked Bianca.

“Umm. No. Said Joseph. But I like the pond. I could get some good inspiration for some new material here.”

“Uh. Yeah. Sure. Whatever. Anyways, People like to come here and…”

Joseph lost his train of thought as he looked back over at the pond. A pair of hulking, dark, hands emerged from the water. A giant creature unlike anything he had ever seen pulled itself out of the water, and stood for a second. No one had seemed to notice. Almost as if it happened regularly…

“Umm. HELLO?! Mr. Inspiration! Right here! I am trying to tell you about the raddest malls we got around here!”…Bianca rudly cut in.

“What…What the hell is that??”

“Oh. You don’t recognize her?”

Joseph shakes his head as the crature walks away.

“Oh come on! What are you, a communist or something?!”…Bianca announces.

Joseph looked at her awkwardly. Knowing that her comment made no sense whatsoever.

“Star Jones, DUH! She lives around here and likes to swim in that cesspool of a pond. Gawd. You are sheltered…”

Joseph was put at ease.

From Me:
“Were you high?”Willy shook his head.

“Sick? Like flu sick?” Mark eyed the crater-deep footprint. “Like really, really bad flu sick?”

Willy bit his lip, lifting his hands palm up. “No, nothing like that.”

Mark looked for something, anything, to suggest this small, skinny and pale man harnessed power like this. There was nothing. Willy was a man people passed on the street. A blender.

Which until now, made him the perfect re-animator.

Too bad. Willy’s life was about to explode into more chaos than his absentminded personality could handle. “What are you going to do?”

Willy just shook his head again, long greasy hair swinging stiffly.

Mark rolled his eyes. He grabbed the other man by the shoulders and shook him. “Snap out of it! Find a place in your brain that works faster than a slug and think! You raising a handful of human zombies last night was one thing… but f*cking King Kong?”

So, here’s another intriguing photo. Go with that first gut instinct or let it simmer a little while… Have fun!! I can’t wait for all these creative minds to let loose. 🙂

Image by Coda digicam.coza – Personal – 2004 – 04.01.04 – tate modern Need detail? If you click on the picture, it’ll come up larger in a new screen.


  1. May 17, 2006    

    How fun. What great pictures and clever stories.


  2. May 17, 2006    

    Feel free to add your own. I will gather them up after a week or so and post them along with links to your site. 🙂

  3. May 17, 2006    

    Enjoyed all of them, but X-Dell and Laura were the two who had me cracking up the most.

    That photo of sun & building is awesome. Let me think on this.

    …and thanks for stopping by and saying hello earlier. *grin*

  4. May 17, 2006    

    “Bugger keeps shining his flashlight in here,” said Flying Dorito Man. “How are we supposed to get any rest with those brats peeking every 10 minutes?”

    “Who’s this one looking for?” asked Too-cool Transient Tracy.

    “Hobo Hero Harry.”

    “Uck! That guy stinks.”

    Fly – as his friends called him – leaned his head back against one of the metal bars lining the Grand Central PlayStation.

    “Yeah,” he said, “I think the kid uses him to bug one of his sisters.”

    Tracy sighed, shielding her eyes from the giant flashlight. “Why did the Jolly Green Giant have to have so many effing kids?”

  5. May 17, 2006    

    Susan and Walter spent all of their time either at work, or going to work, or coming home from work. To each life represented a whirring drudgery with little differentiation from day-to-day, or from task to task, especially since the merger of all archetecture and construction firms into Kellog, Brown and Root, which occured sometime in the fifties, rendered every late-twenty-first century building more or less identifical. The task of marking some clear sense of time and place proved even more difficult, for they telecommuted from home after work. Sometimes, they could swear they did their most productive work during their sleep–either at the computer terminals in their living room, or the ones at work.

    Walter, for one, often couldn’t remember, when passing through the courtyard, whether he was off to the office, or coming home. Susan knew, of course, for she had worked out in her mind the little clues to distinguish one time of day from another. She heard wild rumors about these things called digital watches that told you whether the hour was am or pm, and how they were common in the previous century. An intense investigation of the urband legend led her to antique jewelers, where she bought her beloved Timex.

    Othertimes, she could tell the time of day by how relatively warm it was. She also made a habit of carrying with her the last newspaper she had bought, so that she could compare the date on it to the one in the newspaper vending machines outside both of her buidlings.

    Susan never forgave Walter for borrowing her newspaper one day, for he absentmindedly left it at his computer terminal. Unfortunately for them both, he couldn’t remember if it was the computer at work, or the computer in the living room. Neither could she.

    She felt a gentle breeze, and estimated the temperature at about fifteen degrees celcius. Problem was, she couldn’t remember what month it was, because the paper wasn’t handy. She then found, to her horror, that the LCD readout of her watch had gone blank. Walter had no clue about either their time or destination, and this didn’t sit well with Susan.

    She could see the sun on the horizon, but neither of them could tell east from west. But, assuming (correctly) that everyone had pretty much the same schedules, she decided to ask strangers if they knew whether they were coming home or going to work. Such was a pretty daunting task, for people usually traveled alone, or like Walt and Sue, with their spouses, and they preferred it that way. Most regarded approaching strangers as threats, malevolent intruders wanting little more than to sell them a joint or something else illegal; or hand out dangerous political leaflets, or anything else that might get one fired.

    Susan remained confident that she could find at least someone who would be willing to help a stranger in need. Indeed, the first person she asked, a bearded gentleman in a triple breasted cotton suit, seemed at least willing to hear her out.

    “Do you know the time?” asked Sue, hopefully.

    A look of confusion clouded the stranger’s face. Worse yet, because of he beard, she couldn’t rely on something so obvious as five-o’clock shadow to give her a hint.

    “Sometimes,” offered the man. “When I buy a paper.”

    After scaring a couple in matching black pinstripe, she gained the notice of a police officer, a young muscular woman whose blonde locks were clipped almost to her skull.

    “Do you know the time, officer?” Susan asked.

    The cop looked at Susan with obvious disdain. “Time for what?” snorted the blonde. “A meetin’? A singalong?”

    “No, I just. . . .”

    “Are you carrying an explosive device?”

    “Certainly, not–”

    “Sorry, officer,” interjected Walter, whisking his wife away. “She’s just confused. It happens. That time of the month. You know how it is.”

    The policewoman gave them both a cold, hard stare, not a word leaving her lips.

    “I’ve got to know what time it is!” insisted Susan, once they were outside of the cop’s ear range.

    “Does it matter? We’ll find out when we get there.”

    Susan nodded, sighed, and took Walter by the hand as they resumed their walk towards the sun.

    “You know you’re never touching my newspaper again,” she spat.

  6. May 18, 2006    

    I just love seeing how your minds work. I’m going to leave it up another day to see if we get anymore. Since I’ve been working on a post for the 23rd on Vampirism, I haven’t even started on this pic.

    Thanks for playing!

  7. May 18, 2006    

    He hated the lower level of any large building, where shadowy figures reminded him of another Ground Zero. He could see the sun once the smoke had cleared, but back then nothing had moved. All was stationary, quiet, reeking of smells he’d never encountered, visions he hoped never to see again.

    It was the last time he’d seen her, spoken with her, touched her. Back then the sun had remained hidden after the explosion.

    Just now, however, he could stare at the flaming orb and wonder. If he stared with enough intensity, might he find her again?

    Or was it he, not her, who was lost?

  8. May 19, 2006    

    Oh Lyn. Nice. Very nice.

    These are so good! Since we have a ton of people at conventions, this one won’t have as many responses, but I’m thrilled with the ones so far. I will post all the results in a week or so.

  9. May 19, 2006    

    I wondered where they buried King Kong.

    I’m guessing receding waters aren’t the disguise of choice for rigamortis of the monkey digits?

  10. May 19, 2006    

    The hungover vampire said,

    “Oh shit.”

  11. May 19, 2006    


    You holding up okay? Stupid flood.

  12. May 20, 2006    

    Pac-Man looked one last time at the dots below him, desperate for just one bite. But time had run out on his game, and as he ascended to video arcade Nirvana, Pac closed his mouth and relaxed, ready to be reborn into a higher caste: the emoticon. :-0

  13. May 20, 2006    

    Attendance at the Temple of the Sun had dwindled. Most congregants had transferred their allegiance to the Moon Goddess and the incandescent new crystal temple that had been erected in her honor. It was beautiful beyond all imagining. Her feasts were opulent, her festivals raucous and seductive. She required none of the stringent discipline and self denial demanded by the jealous Sun God.

    Today, the third day of Raj and dedication ceremonies to El Sol, had begun quietly, like any other, but none of the flagellants had bothered to turn out for the 5 a.m. pilgrimage through the streets up to the alter of the God.

    Millicent knelt casually with a group of friends, chatting and making plans for the holiday. The once active temple was climate controlled and a relatively quiet place for quiet conversation these days. It was a quarter past the hour when the stinging current began to whip through the vast emptiness and people milling around the Solar Plaza.

    “Ouch! What the…” The hair on the bodies of her and her friends stood at attention as the electrical charge sparked and arced between them. It singed their hair and seared their clothes until the stench of charred cloth began to fill the room. The white hot scourge flamed as it slammed into walls and solid ground, ricocheting off of them till it came to the eastern end of the room and exploded with a thundering blast into the large copper disk that hung from the high alter as an icon to the sun.

    Millicent shielded her eyes from the glare as the disk began to glow as bright and hot as the sun itself.

    “Bow before me, you ungrateful swine.” The deep voice roared surrounding them from every direction. But no one moved, not even Millicent. Someone was obviously pulling some kind of prank. “I am Sol. Bow before me and repent your evil ways,” the voice boomed again.

    Sol? Everyone knew the Gods were products of imagination. What kind of craziness was this?

    “You dare to defy me!” he bellowed. A lightening bolt shot from the disk into a small gathering of people standing on the walkway that crossed the center of the plaza. A small puff of smoke rose from each incinerated person as if it was one of those magicians tricks at the Cirque. But the heat and stench it left behind felt all too real.

    An arc of fire flared out from the disk sending flame and sparks into the adjacent wall and showered the people seated below it. Screams began to echo within the hollowness of the building. Millicent glanced at her companions. It took only a nod from the eldest of the group and in unison they fled behind the nearest pillar and began to make their way to the exit that stood four pillars away.

    “You have angered me for the last time,” the voice continued. “Today you die!”

    As Millicent ducked past the final pillar, the prophecy of the coming war of the Goddess and the God filled her mind. It had been long considered a myth, like the existence of the deities themselves. As the form of the crystal temple of the Goddess appeared on the horizon, she knew what she had to do. She gasped for breath , taking the steep pathway toward the Temple of the Moon as fast as she could. Why hadn’t she paid more attention in Mythology classes? Violent. Bloody. The destruction of all life. She could remember those parts of the story.

    Had the prophesy been true?

    Were the end times upon them?

    If so, they were all doomed.

  14. May 20, 2006    

    Obviously a very rough draft. I should have at least proofed it for repeated words and typos. Ah well. Next time.

  15. May 20, 2006    

    Hi 🙂 I’m one of Betty s friends. here is my idea for the hands…

    Poseidon was finally getting a day off. It only took Zeus forever to remember he was sitting in the depths of the ocean bored out of his mind.

    ‘I should go visit Dionysus. He’s usually good for a few laughs.’

    Poseidon grasped the edge of the cement wall and pulled himself up. The breeze against his water shriveled skin caused him to shiver. He started walking and from one stride to the next he went from a naked, sodden, prune to a well dressed perfectly groomed man.

    The God rubbed his hands together and enjoyed the smells and sounds of the area as he scanned for the park’s nearest exit. This was going to be a night the world would remember for aeons.

  16. May 21, 2006    

    Betty, Lyn, you guys are just showing off:-)

  17. May 21, 2006    

    I love it!

    This is too fun. You guys are great for playing. Hope more ideas spark!

  18. May 21, 2006    

    Big welcome to Shay. She is a writer and a student at the college where I work. I thought she would make a good addition to our little group.

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