This story today is written for a writing challenge hosted by Adam Ickes. Welcome to Storybook Corner, a monthly flash fiction prompt held on the 21st of each and every month.
The challenge, for those of us who choose to accept it, is to write a story based on the prompt provide below. The goal is to end up with a story with a beginning, middle, and end that falls anywhere between 300 and 500 words in length. Make every word count, but don’t fret too much if you can’t hit the word count. Sometimes stories refuse to be constrained. Sometimes those are the only stories worth telling.
Try to read as many of the other stories as you can in the time you have available. We all work hard on our stories and like to share our work with as many readers as possible.
I enjoy writing multi-part stories, so this is the first part of The Hike Through Time. I will add to the story each month in this prompt but I don’t know how many parts yet.
This month’s prompt will be the following image:
“We’ve never hiked this far in before,” said Kelsey.
“I know. It is such a beautiful day and when I looked at satellite photographs of the area, I noted a lake that I wanted to explore,” said Joe.
“Was it the one you mentioned last week? The one kind of shaped like a heart?”
“Yes that’s the one,” said Joe smiling at his wife.
“As romantic as that sounds, you know we forgot one of the first rules of hiking. We didn’t tell anyone where we were going. I’ll call the kids.” Kelsey lifted her cellphone into the air but couldn’t get a signal. “Try the radio, Joe.”
Joe took the radio from his pack and turned it on. Getting no power, he removed the cover from the battery compartment and discovered it empty. “It looks like our grandson, Joey cannibalized our batteries again. I didn’t pack any spares.”
“Hey Joe. It looks like there used to be a road here. Look at the rusted stop sign leaning against the tree. It looks like the road leads to that area covered over with foliage and brambles.
Exploring further, Kelsey and Joe found a path leading through the overgrown woods but as they passed along the path there was a flash of light and the couple fell to the ground unconscious. When they came to, they opened their eyes to a different world.
Reaching for her husband, Kelsey looked around with both fear and wonder. “Toto. I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more.”
“I would laugh but my fear is too strong,” said Joe. “Look at us. We started out the day a middle aged couple in our fifties and now we look like we did twenty-five years ago.”
“Not to mention these strange costumes. We look like we’re at a Renaissance Faire but I know we are not.”
“Let’s continue along the path and see if we can find other people,” said Joe.
Further along the path, the trees cleared and a medieval keep came into view.
“Now I know I’m not in Kansas,” said Kelsey.
With trepidation, Joe and Kelsey approached the door and entered the castle grounds. Inside the wall, they found a beautiful green garden but still no people. At one corner of the courtyard, there was a small castle structure.
Climbing to its top, Kelsey and Joe looked out over the surrounding area.
“Well I don’t see your heart shaped lake but it looks like we’ve come to a coastline. There is definitely not a rocky beach like that in central United States.”
“It’s getting late. We don’t know what is happening to us but we need to find a place to spend the night. Maybe things will become clearer in the morning.”
“I guess this castle is just as good as any where. Let’s see if we can find anything to eat in the woods and settle here for the night.”
Come back next month, to see what happens to our hikers.