This week’s photo prompt brought to mind the horrendous terrorist attack in Manchester on Monday night. I am so overwhelmed with emotions about this, that it has rendered me mute with regard to such atrocities. Therefore, I’m going to avoid the subject of explosions and move forward to the year 2183 and write about a ruin instead.
This is another chance for you to meet Morag in my not-yet unpublished novel Counting Magpies. On the previous occasion she was in York, having trouble with her decrepit bicycle (A Rare Specimen). This time, she’s in the Highlands of Scotland in a village that has some of the letters missing from its signpost.
Come on, you clever clogs. Let’s see who’s going to be the first to fill in those blank letters (each em dash stand for two missing letters and the hyphen for one)…
Genre: Dystopian speculative fiction
Word count: 100
~~THE ANCIENT SCHOOL AT “D–WH–N-E”~~
I pick my way through the rubble, tripping once and almost twisting my ankle on a rusted kettle.
At first I mistake the bundle for a heap of rags, until I prod it with the plank and turn it over. The thing has a face, or rather bones with empty eye sockets and a gaping jaw. I let out a reflexive scream, despite knowing a skull can’t harm me. The rest of the skeleton is clothed in rags covered in mildew.
Who was this person with unusually long leg and foot bones and narrow hipbones? Perhaps it was a man.