Distant Hills – Sunday Photo Fiction

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge presented by Susan Spaulding, who has taken over this great weekly prompt from my old friend Al Forbes.
This week she provides as a prompt a spiky photo by the delightfully unspiky Joy Pixley.
The idea here is to write a short story (200 word max) inspired by what you see in the picture (below).
Click on this link to enter your tale, and see what others have written.

© Joy Pixley

Click here to hear the author read the tale:

Distant Hills

The hills look impossibly distant.
The desert is vast and dry.
It feels like it hasn’t rained in a couple of centuries.
Here and there are forlorn cactuses.
Or do I mean cacti, I never know this.
If I ever get clear of this hell-hole I will find out, I promise.
But for now I just keep walking.
My horse trails behind me, his reins loose in my hand.
He has the same chance as I have of getting out of here.
Almost none.
I doubt if he has the strength to carry me even a few steps.
But I can’t leave him, can I?
Far to my left I see dust rise.
It might be the wind.
I turn my head.
To the right, behind me, there appears to be more wind.
I sigh.
They will be here soon.
And, after what I have done, they will be understandably unforgiving.
I have a few bullets left, but I know this is not a fight I can win.
There is no cover, nowhere to hide.
And I can’t run.
Far ahead I see another dust cloud.
I cannot imagine they are coming to rescue me.
The hills look impossibly distant.

About ceayr

A Scot who has discovered Paradise in a small town he calls Medville on the Côte d'Azur, C.E. Ayr has spent a large part of his life in the West of Scotland and a large part elsewhere. His first job was selling programmes at his local football club and he has since tried 73 other career paths, the longest being in IT, with varying degrees of success. He is somewhat nomadic, fairly irresponsible and, according to his darling daughter, a bit random.
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16 Responses to Distant Hills – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. I wonder, did he deserve that? Karma has the answer, I guess.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Almost Home – Friday Fictioneers | Sound Bite Fiction

  3. Piyali says:

    It’s delightful to listen to you read your lines. The words and the way you spoke created a hopeless, desolate picture in my mind.

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Thank you, Piyali. As I have said elsewhere I sometimes wonder if my readings are a waste of time, so your lovely comment makes it all very worthwhile again. Happy you enjoyed the whole show.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A bleak and dreary tale to complement the bleak and dreary picture. His hopelessness, and acceptance of the same, is palpable.

    Like

  5. Abhijit Ray says:

    They are coming from every direction. Tired man and his horse are doomed. Why not play dead and hope storm will blow over? What exactly has he done, to deserve such a reception?

    Like

  6. Mike says:

    Within this I see bad guys riding to kill a good guy. Interesting, wishing you well this Hogmanay.

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      I wonder why, Mike, as the narrator makes no such claim.
      Interesting, indeed.
      Is it the Attenborough syndrome, where we follow the wildebeest, hoping they escape the lions, then next week follow the lions, hoping they can feed their young?

      Like

  7. Violet Lentz says:

    Somber!!! Especially when I listen to you tell it!! Excellent write CE!!

    Like

  8. Susan says:

    I feel the humanity of your character, despite what he may have done. As impossible as it seems, I hope he survives

    Like

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