Day 24 – At The Precipice – A Visual Prompt from C. MKCane

Write a story using this helpful prompt from Julie Duffy

The Prompt

Two people standing, silhouetted on a ridge with sun and blue sky breaking through clouds

Try to incorporate this visual prompt into a pivotal moment in a story.

Perhaps these two people are adversaries or a couple.

Consider the location: this could be a real trail in the mountains or on a whole other planet.

C. McKane

Cee is a nursing student, writer, photographer, and family herbalist who loves micro fiction and Italian poetry. She is currently exploring Notes on Substack:

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34 thoughts on “Day 24 – At The Precipice – A Visual Prompt from C. MKCane”

  1. I enjoyed working with this prompt today. I also noticed something about how I put writing on the schedule, it’s usually a “first I need to” kind of thing. (There are some things which must be done, but it made me stop to think about it.) When I prioritize writing and cast some “could do this” things aside, there’s an initial gut reaction of pressure, of “having” to write. I’m not going to overthink it but I’m interested to see if that disappears a little as I keep writing.

    1. That is a fascinating observation. It’s such a good idea to capture this emotional/mindset stuff as you attempt to make chances to your practice.
      I used to try to ‘earn’ my writing time too, by doing all the ‘shoulds’ beforehand. I noticed that if I flipped the order, the buzz from having-written made the less-fun obligations go by that much faster. Hope that comes true for you, too.

  2. My Vulcan secretly on Earth and his human wife have raised their adopted children. They hike to the top of a ridge in the wilderness preserve the family runs – and make the momentous decision to retire and see the world.

    I really enjoyed this one.

  3. I had a fun time with this prompt. My pair started out as semi-adversaries, though more along the lines of being annoyed with each other than actual enemies. They then got lost during a hike and had to rely on one another, before a hint towards the end shows that they might have caught feelings.

  4. I’m not happy yet with my draft but it is about a psychic twin – her twin doesn’t believe in “that stuff” – and she sees her sister’s murder and is trying to protect her. Since her twin doesn’t believe, there is some conflict and mean things said about the psychic sister being “crazy.” Because of their conflict, it actually drives the vision to happen but the psychic sister deus ex machinas the story. The twins walk away from the empty grave with a better bond and understanding and respect for each other. Needs work.

  5. I have the start of a story and the rest planned out. My people are witches, an old one and a young one. There’s an important ritual the young one needs to do atop the ridge, but she is finding it very hard to accomplish. I’m pleased I found an idea, as I had to brainstorm this one for most of the day.

  6. This brought out the goof in me–

    The Last Ridge

    “I told ya,” my sister said. She clung to my hand, as if an eight year old boy could save a five-year-old sister. She pointed off with her sucking finger at the empty horizon. How she knew this was the end of the world amazed me. Probably Daddy told her that the world was flat, or maybe she got it out from Mommy’s raging. Whatever, she pulled me out of bed to watch the sunrise this morning. “It’s there, d’you see?” she asked. She pointed to the flash of red at the foot of the cliff, the edge of the earth.
    I sucked in my fear. “Do you know what this means,” I asked her, understanding that I was not brave, but that I was the older brother and I was supposed to know everything.
    “No more crazy Mommy? Daddy stop ranting? What?” she looked up at me, hopeful. Not afraid.
    I nodded. “All of that, and so much more,” I answered.
    “We goin’ to Nana’s, then?” She liked it at Nana’s, and so did I. It was the only peaceful place we had, the only place where we didn’t get yelled at, or hit, or messed with.
    I had no answer for her. Getting away from Mommy and Daddy was always the plan. Nana even told us to come whenever we could. Out of spite, I think, Mommy wouldn’t let us, and Daddy hated Nana, because she was so nice.
    But the red–I knew what that was. That was the end of the world, at least as we knew it. We were just kids, but we could see our futures from the edge of the ridge. There was no other side to this volcano, no other piece of world beyond. Just the nightmare behind us.
    I hated myself for doing this, but I saw no other choice. “Hey, sis, what do you think? You think we could run away to Nana’s house?”
    “Too far.”
    “Yeah,” I agreed. “But I didn’t say we was gonna run away by foot.”
    My sister’s eyes widened, and her finger went back into her mouth. “What you mean?” she asked around it.
    I gave her a sly look. “I been watching Daddy, when he drives. You think….” I wasn’t sure myself if I could do it. The peddles were so far down, but maybe Sis could help me with that. “You think you could help me?” I asked.
    My sister pulled her finger from her mouth and smiled.

    1. WOW! I love this!

      Side note: I sucked my left index finger. My youngest sucked two fingers on their right hand. I really related to this detail!

  7. Getting Lost On Top Of a Mountain To Find Love

    My story is from the POV of a woman who wanders off a trail in the mountains and gets lost. She has been lonely for four years now since her husband died.

    After three days of trying to find her way out of the mountains and finding water to drink but having run out of snacks, she meets a man on top of one of the hills who is lost too; or so he says. He leads her on and she believes she has found love. He shares his food with her for two more days, then miraculously finds a way out of the forest. He had brought a tent along and also had a gun so she felt protected. After they go back to their lives they meet up until she finds out he’s married. She wants nothing to do with him but he stalks her. When she tells her male co-worker, the co-worker confronts the stalker and gets shot, but survives. The stalker gets jail time and she and her co-worker end up together.

    Addendum or Addumbdumb: I’m not sure if this plot is too dumb or not but at least I did the assignment.

    1. I don’t think anyone should judge a plot in isolation. It’s all about the execution. I mean: policeman, who hates water, takes a job in a coastal community for a quiet life only to find the beaches terrorized by a man-eating shark, SOUNDS pretty dumb, but turned out to be a pretty great movie (and probably book too, but I haven’t read it!)

  8. Like Fallon’s, mine was dialogue-only (except for one action tag next-to-last, to force a pause). Two hikers on a ridge over the Susquehanna valley, one of whom insists on referring, as obscurely as possible, to “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer,” the other of whom just wants to appreciate the beauty of the scene.

    One more week!

    1. I’ve been finding myself doing a lot of dialogue-heavy writing this month.
      You sound relieved that there’s only a week left (not offended. Totally understand!)

  9. I wrote a 247 words dialogue only story of Ronan facing the antagonist, and him thinking he deserves forgiveness after everything he’s done, and their reaction to that.

  10. I didn’t have time to write a complete story today. I had looked at the prompt before I went to bed last night.
    This morning I wrote out an outline where Jack and Jill go up the hill and come to the edge of a flat world and are looking down into the abyss.
    Spoiler alert: it is just a dream.

  11. I wrote a 421-word scene from my novel. Due to prior commitments, she has to go home, two thousand miles away. How will they handle a long-distance relationship until she can return?

  12. (Another tempting and unputdownable kinda prompt. I couldn’t help writing another story.)
    Search For A Soulmate

    Sweta dismissed the very idea summary. She was not going to make friends with this Manjoy or whatever at Sumit’s wedding. Agreed, at 25 she was still single when most of her close friends had been married years ago. But she had always been an independent, ambitious girl. She had her crushes and flings no doubt, unfortunately her Mr. Perfect never turned up.

    She remembered having told her mom to find someone for her once.
    “Can’t you see that I’m the only spinster left in our neighborhood? I found Meera expecting her second baby on FB. She was my junior at school, wasn’t she?” Sweta stopped before venting out,” What’s wrong with me? Am I ugly? I don’t think so. I’ve always heard my friend praising my looks. At 25, I am already a Programmer at one of the most topmost companies in the world. I’ve my own apartment, car, enough in the bank to help me make a world tour every couple years. Why ain’t I married then?”

    Nita, her mother, kept the coffee on the table before saying,”Sabure mewa phaley.” (Patience pays off). She herself was surprised though that her daughter, one of the most lively, responsible, caring daughters anyone might have, was still single. She liked her last boyfriend, Asik a lot when Sweta introduced him to her one afternoon.
    “He is very much into you. Such people make good hubbies. I don’t mind you marrying someone like him.”

    But that turned out to be the reason why Sweta ditched him in the end. He was so caring that while travelling together by bus, if she felt thirsty, Asik would get off the bus to buy a bottle of water for her at any cost!
    Nita was disappointed when her daughter told her of dumping Asik, but left the matter at that.
    So, at 25 Sweta still remained a spinster.

    So, when the marriage proposal came quite unexpectedly from a friend, Sumit’s friend, Sweta made light of it. Manjoy was an entrepreneur with his own ranch some six hour’s journey from Sweta’s home town, Malda. He had seen Sweta’s photo and taken a keen interest in her.

    “What! This friend of yours studied in a school in Hasimara! Where in heaven’s name is this place? Never heard of it! Do you think I’ll ever be happy getting married to this rustic friend of yours?” She asked Sumit, her classmate, teasingly.

    Anyway, Manjoy got to meet Sweta ‘for knowing her better’ when she decided to attend Sumit’s wedding at Alipurduar.
    Amidst the glitter, grandeur and the cacaphonous ceremony of the wedding party, both Manjoy and Sweta found themselves in each other’s company often.

    It was on the night before she was to return home that Manjoy made an offer to Sweta in the presence of Sumit, his newly-wedded bride and a couple other friends.

    “I just want you to come to Palashgaon once. You don’t have to come there if you don’t want to. But I just want you to have a look at it from a distance in the mountains. I can guarantee you that you’ll love it. Some villages in the mountains are maddening, you know..”

    Initially, it looked like the most outrageous proposal to Sweta. But when you have friends like Sumit, you have to do things against your will at times. On the day, when Sumit should have been home arranging the Boubhat (throwing the Welcome Party to the bride’s people) at home, Sweta, Sumit, his bride, Arnab and Bidisha, their school-mates, and Manjoy left for Palashgaon, some two hours journey from Alipurduar.

    By the time they reached Hasimara, it was nearly one in the afternoon. They had sung in chorus, screamed at the top of their lungs and laughed to their heart’s content, all the way through. Manjoy, who was behind the wheels, was an expert driver. He stopped the car near a roadside dhaba for lunch. There was something about the tanduri rotis and spicy mutton. And finally, when the Punjabi cook brought the steaming milk-tea in a tray for them, the very aroma of it drove Sweta crazy.

    Palashgaon, situated inbetween New Mal and Hasimara, was still some thirty minutes journey. By the time, Manjoy perked his vehicle near a roadside garage, and they had all started the hike up the hills, the view all around was breathtaking.

    They were having a dig at Sumit’s fondness for his new bride, Arnab-Bidisha’s trend-setting live-in relationship and so on. Soon Manjoy and Sweta found themselves walking side by side, (or, was it a ploy of the friends?) talking about common friends, childhood, Manjoy’s reclusion (his mother had run away and his father died when he was in his teens) and so on.

    Sweta had looked behind to see that the new bride sitting with the others far away on the wayside. Manjoy, by then, had started telling her why he hadn’t married yet in reply to her question.
    “How can you say that? No one can stay single all their lives? What about old age? Who will look after him?”
    “I guess you are right, Sweta. Most probably, I am not the marrying type or let me put it like this – I haven’t met my soul mate yet…”
    But Sweta wasn’t listening any more. Manjoy, with his hand around his waist, deliberately led her a few steps away from the trail they had been walking on. From there, Sweta first looked up at the blue sky with the white clouds floating all over. There were some black clouds towards her left hinting at the untimely rain.

    When she lowered her gaze, she was greeted with the most amazing site in her life. In the midst of all the mountains, there was a picture-perfect village with a stream gurgling by. Its light blue water matched perfectly with the greenery of the village. The paksh trees all over, justified its name and hinted at unimaginable peace and prosperity.

    She stood beside him like that for how long she didn’t know until she heard Sumit calling out to them from afar before it started raining. The call brought Sweta out of her stupor. She cast a sideling glance at the handsome man with his hand still around her waist before saying :
    “Is that Palashgaon where you stay? It’s so awesome!”
    Sumit, without saying anything, smiled lovingly at her before heading back towards the trail.
    “Sumit, I’m sure my search for a soul mate has finally ended. When will you take me to Palashgaon?”
    The end

  13. I wrote a 214-word-piece.
    I put a couple on a dike (not a mountain) and let the clouds divide the sky, mirroring the decision they are facing.
    A nice task, showing me again that I can find a memory spark from my own life to almost every prompt so far.

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