Readers on Deadline (ROD) is a monthly Deadline Dame feature where we post an intriguing image and invite readers to be inspired and share the results in up to 250 words right here in the comments.
There’s a two week deadline, so entries will have to be in by midnight when Dame Rinda posts her next regular Deadline Dames post, which is midnight August 11th. The Dames will pick the entry that most intrigues us, post that entry in the next month’s ROD along with a link to that writer/reader’s site-if there is one. And you get a prize!
( We’d like to add a request for our readers not to re-post pictures. Some are stock photos and those are fine, but quite a few of them are used with written permission from the artist. Thanks! )
The winner of ROD #17 is Karen! This entry was wonderful! Full of intrigue and imagery. Congratulations! Email us at the address in the sidebar with your address and Dame Jackie will get your copy of SHADES OF GRAY in the mail.
He lived under the stairs.
I can’t say I blamed him. It was a good choice – cool and dry. He didn’t ever have to worry about the sun touching his skin and turning him to stone. The building was filled with shadows where he could hide him from prying sunbeams and curious eyes.
Sure, the skaters came with their loud music and their devil-may-care attitude. Some of them even knew he was there. They would slip into the building and whisper his name. And he would shuffle to the edge of the shadows to talk.
They brought him things. Candy. Cigarettes. Worn old sneakers.
He loved the sneakers. He hung them from the exposed beams overhead and he would laugh as they moved in the breeze – shoes with no feet going somewhere that only he knew.
Sometimes the skaters would come at night with their boards and beer. They would build a fire beside the crumbling walls. He would sit under the shelter of the stairs just out of the firelight and tell them stories of the way the world used to be.
Before technology erased our kind.
When people still believed.
Sometimes I imagined myself joining them. I would walk right over and sit down beside him, take his old leathery hand in mine and urge him into the light where they could truly see him. See me.
But if I did that, he wouldn’t be there anymore. Safe from the sun.
He wouldn’t be anymore.
This next image is a stock photo donated by our own Dame Kaz. I just love this.
The winner of ROD #18 will receive a very special ARC of Dame Devon’s new book of short fiction, A CUP OF NORMAL, to be released in September. It has 22 stories of fantasy, science fiction and romance! Here’s the fantastic cover.