The long neglected boards of the path moaned like a ghost in torment under his boots. This was no longer the real world or at least the one he lived in. Ahead, perched on a rock outcropping was the owl, but not quite an owl.
“Who? Who? Who are you?” Its cry was only slightly human.
“You called me? You said I could see them.”
The old man got closer to the rocks and his host.
He climbed up next to the eldritch creature and looked beyond into the pool. It was water and then it wasn’t.
Noah Davidson couldn’t rescue his grandchildren, but he was allowed to briefly watch them crossing the frozen tundra in the company of a guide not much older than his granddaughter Mandy.
“When will they return home?”
The owl shook its head in a very human manner.
Noah looked back into the vision. “Your Mom and Dad are waiting for you. Come back soon.”
Last night, Noah’s son and daughter-in-law were in a car accident and both were badly hurt. The children were in the car with them but when first responders arrived, all five of the kids had vanished.
I wrote this for the Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge of February 25th 2018. The idea is to use the image above to inspire writing a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 200.
I’m actually trying to write a novel involving the adventures of the Davidson children, first with Gerliliam and then with Shay and Dani. I’ve posted bits as pieces of it, including “after tales” on this blog.
In today’s tale, I’ve created a situation where the five Davidson children’s Grandpa has made some sort of “deal” to be able to see, but not communicate with the kids. I’ve also hinted at part of what happened to them that resulted in their being whisked to a strange and mythical land and what they have to return to after their long adventures end.
The story most related to this one is Mr. Covingham’s Secret, however you can find other “clues” to this universe in stories such as Where Did Our Home Go?, The Whisperer Expanded, and Adventure’s Bitter Memories. To find out about some of the other children mentioned in this story, read She Treats Us Like Her Children.
If you’re curious about Gerliliam, here’s a sketch I made of him some months ago.
To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.