The Stone Soup Novelist

I have a great idea for a novel. You know what would make it even better?…

A Scene: Something on the Horizon

Smoke rose from the top of the icy mountain as Joshua and Clovis reached the ridge.
“I have seen strange things,” said Joshua. “And I’ve been away too long. Watching an airship come into port would set my heart right.”

Clovis pointed to the eastern horizon, and Joshua followed his gaze to a gray dot hovering over the Cloud Sea. The speck dipped suddenly into the clouds, and reappeared. “Ships don’t fly that way,” said Joshua, “but it’s too big for anything else.”

The distant shape came closer. Joshua shook his head and whispered “They died a long time ago.”

This short scene is for the Friday Fictioneers flash fiction meme.  Every Friday a bunch of online writers write 100 words on a given topic.  In this case, the picture above.  Then we link and comment on each others’ posts. Check it out here.  Links to other peoples’ fiction should start appearing in the Comments to this post as well.

Criticism is invited!  Tell me what you think of my prose.  How can it be tightened up?

To read more about the novel in which this scene will be set, look under “The Story” tab at the top. If you’d like to contribute ideas for my book, just drop them into the Comments and I’ll work them in as best I can.


35 responses to “A Scene: Something on the Horizon

  1. Kaitlin June 1, 2012 at 2:18 am

    Interesting. Always have to love airships and mountains!

    • dbfurches June 1, 2012 at 6:58 am


  2. Lady Marilyn Kay Dennis June 1, 2012 at 2:39 am

    Ah! What is going to happen? Suspense! I liked this. Mine’s at if you would like to read it.

    • dbfurches June 1, 2012 at 6:58 am

      Thanks for coming by! I’ll comment on yours later today.

  3. Linda June 1, 2012 at 2:58 am

    Gosh, this has all the makings of a moment when someone realises that the old myths are true – really enjoyed it thank you and I hope there’s more to come 🙂

    Here’s my attempt this week: Here’s mine:

    • dbfurches June 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      Thanks. There is!

  4. TheOthers1 June 1, 2012 at 3:47 am

    Is it a dragon?? My goodness, I don’t know why, but I really wanted it to be a dragon. I have no critique to offer at the moment. To my untrained eye it is a decent story. 🙂

    My attempt:

    • dbfurches June 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm

      thanks for your comments!

  5. theforgottenwife June 1, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Wait, what is it? Is it a dragon or something? I definitely want more!! Maybe you could give us a bit, just a tidbit more??

    Here’s my try at it:

    • dbfurches June 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      thanks a lot!

    • dbfurches June 2, 2012 at 8:17 am

      And this scene is actually part of a novel I’m writing, so there will be a lot more. Check out “The Story” tab at the top of the blog to see what there is so far.

      • theforgottenwife June 2, 2012 at 10:35 am

        I will! You have definitely drawn me in!

  6. erinleary June 1, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Ooooh….now I’m left wondering who “they” are. Interesting take on the prompt – I enjoyed it!

    Mine is here:

    • dbfurches June 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm

      I appreciate it!

  7. N Filbert June 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    very nice. provocative of a novel!

  8. readinpleasure June 1, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    What can it be? Suspense, thy name is ‘killing’ Mine is here:

    • dbfurches June 1, 2012 at 2:46 pm

      thanks for your comment!

  9. Nifti June 1, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Hmm. Interesting one, my imagination runs wild…

    • dbfurches June 1, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      Thank you!

  10. dmmacilroy June 1, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    This was spooky good. I loved the place names and the way your piece flowed blended seamlessly with the photo prompt. (I wanted to replace ‘won’t’ with ‘don’t’ in the ..ships flight description. Minor point, but my train of thought was derailed at the station and I had to read that sentence again.) Great story overall.



    • dbfurches June 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm

      Thanks Doug. Good advice!

  11. Brian Benoit June 1, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    This sets up a lot of expectation, a lot of suspense — though I’m with Doug on changing ‘won’t’ to ‘don’t’. I especially liked the cadence of Joshua’s speech; it has an authentic touch, but still seems artful. Well done!

    Brian (

    • dbfurches June 1, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      Thanks for the kind words, and especially for the constructive criticism!

  12. yaralwrites June 1, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    I wanted to know if it was a dragon as well. Nicely done
    here is mine if you are interested

    • dbfurches June 2, 2012 at 8:19 am

      Thanks Yaral. Not a dragon, but so I won’t disappoint everyone too much, I think I’ll make it breathe fire. I can do that!

  13. rich June 2, 2012 at 1:43 am

    does “they died a long time ago” mean that ancient people have come back?

    • dbfurches June 2, 2012 at 7:38 am

      Hi Rich. Not in this case. I’ll be adding more later, but look at the pages under “The Story” at the top of the blog for more background on this world and these characters.

  14. Jeffrey Hollar June 2, 2012 at 8:04 am

    I have to admit this one left me stumped and craving more of the story. In my mind’s eye I think I see a dragon inbound but that’s just me. The tale leaves lots and lots of room to fill in the blanks as the reader desires.

    • dbfurches June 2, 2012 at 9:36 am

      Thanks Jeffrey. Not a dragon, but due to popular demand, I’ve decided to make it breathe fire!

  15. Kwadwo June 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I wonder what happened before the climb and after they realized all the people were dead.
    Your story makes one wonder…

    Here’s mine:

    • dbfurches June 2, 2012 at 8:45 pm

      Thanks Kwadwo!

  16. Kathy McClure June 3, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Shades of the steampunk I read with my son. Very enjoyable and gave me enough to be in the story with no effort. I was picturing a giant flying whale, by the way.


    • dbfurches June 3, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      Thanks Kathy. Giant flying whale is indeed the correct answer! Now if I can figure out how to make them breathe fire, I’ll be able to make everyone happy!

  17. Sonia Lal June 3, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    interesting. what happens next?

    • dbfurches June 4, 2012 at 6:51 am

      Thanks for your comments Sonia. I’ll be adding scenes every week. And if you look under “The Story” tab at the top of the blog, you can read more about the novel in which these scenes are set.

By posting this comment, you are granting me permission to use the words and ideas expressed below in my novel. You will not sue me when it becomes a bestseller. This is totally legally binding.

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