Friday Fictioneers – Portent

PHOTO PROMPT © Shaktiki Sharma

Between the Pharaonic pillar and the insect there is a terrible connection. My heart batters its bone cage and my breath comes in gasps. Between the bug and the finial of the balustrade there is also a connection. The locust bestrides the ornate globe, moving up from Africa. Selling insurance is my trade, but even I know we’re in the presence of a portent.

A plague, a Biblical plague, is coming. I seize Seymour’s hand as the sky darkens with a million tiny wings.

“What is it, honey?” he says.

“Don’t you see them?” I say. “Don’t you hear them?”

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here.

Fancy sharpening your skill with writing exercises? The Scrivener’s Forge offers a new exercise every month to hone one aspect of your craft. Take a look at this month’s exercise on character, desire, and suspense here

65 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Portent

  1. The plagues of Egypt.I did a locust story the last time we had a grasshopper picture for FF. This one is is really tense…nicely done. One of my favorite locust swarm stories was in Lonesome Dove, but Steinbeck probably takes the prize.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nothing scarier than seeing a whole swarm of grasshoppers headed towards your fields. Horrid. Saw it once many years ago when I was fostered at a farm. To this day, I’m still terrified of them.

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  3. They are terrifyingly destructive when they swarm and deserve their dreadful reputation. Nicely done, suitably portentous tone and nice build of tension. Love the bone cage image too!

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  4. My heart batters its bone cage Love this line.
    One summer I experienced a grasshopper plague. The little monsters ate all the leaves off the sagebrush (I was in Eastern Washington doing archaeology) and the screening on my canvas tent. The tic-tic of their bodies on – well everything – was the worst. You caught the horror of an oncoming plague nicely.


      1. I’m so glad you said this! I read this as a fantastic description of madness – all those connections made my head buzz. The precise language that accompanies the disintegration is wonderful!

        Liked by 1 person

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