Among The Pines

Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – Prosery #1  (posted by Bjorn)

“As I told you during the last Pubtalk we are now ready to go on with a new updated writing prompt.

We want to challenge you a little bit on the subject of flashfiction. For everyone acquainted with this, it’s a very short piece of prose telling a story.

As you all know any story consists of a beginning and an end and something in between.

So what do we want to do differently when we do flash-fiction here?

First of all we know that a catchy name makes sense… and with dVerse being a poetry pub we thought we’d call it Prosery (Kim’s idea).

The second is to have a word limit and I thought we should use 144 words. 

The third is to give you some constraints in the same manner as we have done in the Quadrille, and in this case we will not just give you a word but a complete line from a poem, and you have to use that complete line somewhere in your story.

You can use any genre you want. Horror, sci-fi or fantasy.

For the first Prosery prompt:

Write me a story using maximum 144 words that has to include the following line:”

“When far away an interrupted cry”

taken from the poem acquainted with the night by Robert Frost.


On a cool night, autumn winds blowing chill,
Julian treks through a familiar pine forest. Inhales
that fresh dewy scent. He is determined to convince
his girlfriend, Blair–she of cement sidewalks, high heels,
and fear of bugs–to take a stroll with him one night soon.

An unseen owl hoot-hoots from a tree branch. Julian’s
shoes scuff up dust from the trail. Pine needles lay
a carpet for him. He wonders if the differences
between Blair and he, once so charming, are beginning
wear. Time will surely resolve this one way
or another.

He rests his hand in deep pockets that jangle with change . . .
when far away an interrupted cry startles him. Perhaps
a loon, except the distressed voice sounds human
and terrified.

Prosery #1

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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12 Responses to Among The Pines

  1. Anna says:

    I like how you use the animal cry to bring in the idea of something more frightening. When I lived in the Rockies it was surprising how many animals would make strange noises in the night. The mountain lion sounded the most like a woman screaming but I was tricked by a fox, an elk, a bear, and a raven a couple times. I definitely never wandered about our forest in the middle of the night.


  2. I wonder if this is the end of his efforts… or maybe Julian will see Blairs fascination with asphalt in a clearer view now.


  3. Grace says:

    You leave us with our own ending, thanks. I will be too scared to walk out alone at night. I am guessing a not good ending for both of them.


  4. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar says:

    …Blair ventured out and got scared by an innocent animal – I hope that’s it 😉


  5. memadtwo says:

    Perhaps not as familiar as he thinks…(K)


  6. Just Barry says:

    I hope that’s not Blair crying out in the distance! Nice, suspenseful opening. I’m left wondering where this will lead.


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