Flash Friday – ‘Ram’

Krak des Chevaliers/Qalat al-Hosn, Syria. CC photo by Jon Martin. Image sourced: flashfriday.wordpress.com

Krak des Chevaliers/Qalat al-Hosn, Syria. CC photo by Jon Martin.
Image sourced: flashfriday.wordpress.com

Ram

It’s my fault.

After less than a day, her skin turned pink and her hair started clinging to her neck in sweaty loops, but she was still beautiful. So beautiful.

It’s my fault.

We’d eaten. There’d been wine. I just asked her, right there, by the side of the road. One knee, and all, but no ring. No ring.

She said ‘yes’, and everyone around us clapped.

It’s my fault.

She spotted a junk-stall across the road. Tourist tat, souvenirs, that sort of thing – and rings, plastic ones with fake gems. A modern woman buys her own bling, she’d laughed as she dashed out.

She forgot which way to look.

It’s my fault.

Now I am the besieging army, and I am the fortress wall. I shore up the cracks as quickly as I make them, but the assault never stops. It can never stop. I will not let it.

It’s my fault.
It’s my fault.
It’s my fault.

**

This week’s Flash! Friday challenge was to take an image of the beautiful fortress of Krak des Chevaliers – which I’ve long yearned to visit, though sadly it’s not in a very accessible part of the world – and a marriage proposal, and put them together to make a tiny story no longer than 160 words. It was also hinted that it might be good to look outside the box a little, and so this story was born. I lingered for ages over the end, and also over the title, but when you’re under a certain amount of time pressure (a good thing, of course!) you have to make decisions. I’m not sure I’ve quite achieved what I wanted with this wee tale, but I enjoyed the challenge of thinking about a fortress that wasn’t simply a fortress, and a siege that wasn’t simply a siege, and walls that crack but can never break.

My success in Flash! Friday has been negligible, if by ‘success’ you mean ‘winning’; I’ve been Honourable Mention a few times, and runner-up once or twice. My average isn’t great. I try to take this not as a sign that I’m terrible at writing flash, but that I just don’t seem to ‘get’ the prompts in a unique enough way to appeal to the judges – and that’s no reflection on my writing. With any luck, at least. I’m not going to hope for glory this week, either, but I’ve pleased myself by trying to see something different in the image, and that’s success enough.

So, it’s the weekend. The United Kingdom is still united. I’ve managed to squeeze a story out of my desiccated brain. All’s good with the world. Salut, friends – we’ll talk soon.

 

6 thoughts on “Flash Friday – ‘Ram’

  1. thaliatiagraves

    I doubt I’ll ever win any of these things. I rarely enter them anyhow. I do enjoy reading what others have written, though.
    I think perhaps we all wall ourselves up in a protective fortress to some degree. At least I have found this true of most of the people I resonate with.

    Reply
    1. SJ O'Hart Post author

      Yes – it’s fun, and instructive, to take part even if you never get anywhere. I learn a lot from others’ stories, and that’s reward enough.

      I’m sure you’re right about walling ourselves up, too. This ol’ life thing can be hard. Thank you for reading and commenting. 🙂

      Reply
  2. elainepeters5

    This is such a sad little story, and I’m amazed at what you’ve got from the picture. I’m not sure I would be any good at a picture prompt, but maybe one day I’ll give it a go!

    Reply
    1. SJ O'Hart Post author

      Thanks, Elaine. Sometimes I’m not sure where stuff comes from, either! That’s the beauty of writing stories, though; it can feel like your brain is haunted. 🙂 (This is a good thing, by the way).

      Reply
  3. Maurice A. Barry

    I’m always amazed with how you do it. Notwithstanding your previous answer to my previous question (and thank you for that) I am not sure at all I could do anything like it without a little help from some mushrooms or something 🙂

    Reply
    1. SJ O'Hart Post author

      Hahaha! Well, I can assure you I don’t use ‘shrooms. Coffee is about the extent of my drug use. Thank you. Perhaps you should try it; you might surprise yourself! 🙂

      Reply

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