When I get stuck on a project, or bothered by the news, or I’m in between ideas or I just want to have some fun with writing, I pick an image off the internet and write a story. Here’s one inspired by the image at the end. I love how one minute there’s nothing, then the next, a whole new story exists. Enjoy…
John loved blackberrying when it was the season. He pedalled hard along the bridle path, eager to get to his usual spot. Skidding to a stop he put his foot down, in front of him a bank of black jewels glimmered from behind their protective thorns.
He leant his bike against a slender oak sapling and started to pick. He dropped one into his mouth and popped it with his teeth, the bitter-sweetness tingling on his tongue, making his face crumple. One for the basket, one for him, two for the basket, three for him. Slowly, both the basket and John filled up with ripe, squishy fruit.
“What d’you think you’re doing?”
John jumped and spun round towards the voice.
It was a man, his face a thousand creases and so tanned that his skin looked more like bark. He was dressed in earthy clothes, trousers a soft mossy-green and a long coat which hung around him like willow fronds.
“I’m, um… picking the blackberries,” stuttered John. He’d been sure he was allowed to.
“So, you like blackberries do you?” asked the old man.
“Want to know a better place to pick them? A place with ten thousand more blackberries, and them the size of conkers.”
“Oh yes,” said John. His mother would be pleased with him if he brought home enough for a pie and bramble jelly.
“Follow me,” said the man. John went to get his bike. “No, leave it. You’ll never get it through. Where we’re going is thick with brambles.”
John left his bike, leaning against the young oak and followed the man into the trees.
When his mother came looking for him at the spot where she knew he liked to blackberry, all she found was his bike against the oak sapling.
The people of the village scoured the area, calling John’s name, looking for any clue as to where he’d gone. After a few days most people went back to their lives, shaking their heads at the disappearance of young John.
John’s mother left his bike leaning on the oak, should he ever come back and need to cycle home.