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Author Topic: ~ Picture of the Week ~  (Read 595 times)

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Offline JustricTopic starter

~ Picture of the Week ~
« on: November 02, 2018, 08:26:32 PM »

One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.
What Words Will You Choose?

Another writing challenge brought to you by your loving Elliquiy mentors, Picture of the Week is exactly what it sounds like. Once a week (most likely on Fridays), your Mentors shall be posting a single image from a collection of thousands. Sometimes the pics are from our own personal collections, other times we shall be combing the depths of various threads to find images that tickle our fancy. Once posted, then YOU (yes, you, the person reading this) are challenged to write something about that image. Do this three times, and you shall be awarded a special badge for your signature as a symbol of honor to declare both your passion, perspicacity, and patience! "What badge?" we hear you ask?  This one!

Those completing the challenge shall also receive accolades in the forms of a private message of congratulations and also public acknowledgment via the PoW Wall of Fame!  (Soon to be added, pardon our construction dust.)

But like any contest or challenges, there are... rules...
  • Only assigned staff and mentors may post pics. Please don't take it on yourselves.
  • Discussion regarding images and written materials should be posted in the associated "Discussion Thread" and not here.
  • All posted material must be PG-13. (You can still write sexy-romantic and keep it PG13, trust me. Just don't go sexy-graphic!)
  • Posts based on a particular image must be posted that week. Once the new picture is up, that week is closed and no longer counts.
  • No one-liners!  You can write whatever you want based on the weekly picture: lyrics, poem, prose, essay, script, political diatribe... whatever floats your boat. But it must be at least three full sentences. Anything less will not count (but will be appreciated nonetheless.) This is an exercise to flex your writing skills!
  • When posting your contribution, please (pretty, pretty please) make sure to quote the weekly image that you're using for easy reference
  • Have FUN with it!

And so with the rules made clear and the purpose explained, we present to you for your captivation and entertainment...

« Last Edit: Yesterday at 09:11:18 PM by Justric »

Offline JustricTopic starter

Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2018, 08:36:08 PM »
Picture for Nov. 2nd to 8th, 2018

« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 11:16:06 PM by Justric »

Offline Nico

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Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2018, 11:55:57 AM »

Picture for Nov. 2nd to 8th, 2018

The Hunt

For as long as she could remember, hunting had been a part of her culture. Deeply rooted within the history of her people, tied to their very essence, even. Ballads had been written, glorifying and honouring the most successful hunters of all times, making them immortal. Still sung by the oldest to their offspring. The ancestors had left drawings in blood, somewhere into the old, almost forgotten caves deep in the woods. Perhaps they waited to be discovered anew. Even poems told of the heroic tales from the shrouded pasts. Almost forgotten. Will it ever be like this again?

From a very early age, children would learn how to prey on their chosen victim, how to make not even the most quiet of sounds, how to use the wind to their advantage and remain hidden until it was too late.

It was a frosty winter morning that drew her outside into the northern woods, just before the break of dawn, the freshly fallen snow crunching beneath her boots. Too loud, almost. No bird was chirping, yet, only the icy wind creating its very own tune. Whistling through the treetops high above. Her breath rousing the morning air, adding to the symphony of nature. Quiet now. Any moment an opportunity could present itself. It always did, it was merely a question of time. She would not return home empty-handed. She will have her trophy.

And then, the village already far behind.


Stains of blood, impossible to miss on the pure, white snow. A wounded animal? Or, better yet, a wounded enemy? The latter was always more rewarding, all things considered. A wounded animal was dangerous, a wounded enemy? Ah, what a prize. One that was meant to increse her status and honour among her people. It always had been like this. Those who dared to thread the northern woods knew of the risks, knew of her people. Guardians, perhaps. In the end, it hardly ever mattered because it was what it was. Nature could be cruel, if one was inclined to believe that. 'Just' others might call it. Her people certainly did.

Ah, there. In the distance. Movement between the old, groaning trees. Or were it desparate cries for a miracle in the distance? Who was to say. Her eyes sharp, trained by years of practice. It was her territory. One step. Then another. Following the shadows on the trees, hiding, blending in with her surroundings. The slowly rising sun in her back aiding her task just right. The crimson track left behind almost made it too easy for her this morning.

She should have chosen the bow today...
« Last Edit: November 03, 2018, 02:03:04 PM by Nico »

Offline Eva

Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2018, 08:50:47 PM »
Picture for Nov. 2nd to 8th, 2018

Marika, Bessa’s daughter stood watch at the gates of their village as the hunting party strode away. Her fists were so tight upon the haft of her spear that her knuckles seemed like little bone spurs piercing her flesh. “I should be with them”, she snarled to hide the tears that wanted to choke off her voice.

“You are not old enough,” said a kind voice behind her. Marika did not turn though her face crumpled and the threatening tears pressed their advantage.

“I am as old as Lenska,” she shot back as she watched the group of women fade into the gloom of the forest where the silver light of the slivered moon could not reach them. “And older than Winna.”

“This is true,” said the voice, its kindness and implacable cruelty behind her. “But you are not a woman yet and girls do not go on such hunts as these.”

With a snarl Marika spat on the ground and whirled, brushing past the hulking, bearded form and into the hide tent that was her home. Blinded by tears, envy, and fury she chucked her spear down onto the ground before throwing herself onto her sleeping mat where she pulled the covers up over her head. Tightening herself up into a ball she fought to still her breathing, forcing it into an even pace that mimicked sleep. Though she managed it long before the chinking of Baren’s chains entered the tent, he was not fooled. Marika heard him moving about. He picked up her spear without saying a word and set it into the rack by the door as she should have. She listened to the sounds as he put wood upon the fire and the soft clatter as he lifted the lid of the pot which sat in embers to add herbs to their morning stew. Any other night the domestic sounds would have soothed her and lulled her into sleep, but this night was too bitter to allow such.

“I know this isn’t easy,” Baren said, his voice breaking the silence. “Your mother would say the same thing, you are not ready.”

“But she isn’t here,” Marika sobbed, giving up all pretense of pretending to sleep. “She isn’t here and I cannot live as I have been. I am the woman of this house, I should go on a hunt.” 

There was a long pause and Marika could feel the weight of the man’s gaze on her, even through the blankets. She knew she was being foolish. She knew that there was a reason for all the rules she currently hated. She just wished things were different. She wished that her body was doing what it was supposed to do. Why had the goddess withheld her blessings from her for so long?  She was the last girl in her hunting group. All of the others were women, even the younger ones. In the morning she would begin hunting with the younger group, the ones who had seen but a dozen summers, though a few were older. It was galling, especially when in all other ways she was ready.

“I know little one,” Baren said. “I know.”  She felt his big fingers brushing the locks that spilled from underneath her covers, red-gold hair the same color as his. Then she listened to him settling into his own bedroll, which had once also held her mother.

The moon was still high when Marika slipped out of her tent and into the still of the night. It had been but a few hours, but the even breath of Baren and the distant coughing of old Risba were the only sounds that filled the night. She made a care not to disturb the silence as she padded down the well trod paths and around to the south gate which was barred from within and not guarded in this season. It was a matter of moments for her to lift the bar and set it aside and then swing the wooden gate open on the leather hinges she’d greased earlier that day. She felt a pang of guilt for leaving the gate unbarred and the village vulnerable, but she could not stay. She had lost enough time that she did not linger or let her guilt slow her down. She was Bessa’s daughter and the wind was her friend. On silent feet she ran through the snow up the embankment and into the woods where she circled the village and took shortcuts. She knew where the party was going, she knew where their quarry bedded down for she’d been there often enough spying and plotting. She hadn’t been the only one. They’d all gone, laying flat on their bellies on the outcropping that overlooked the den of their prey, picking out which one they would take. Which one was strong, which one had a fine pelt, which one looked easiest to catch, or in Markia’s case, which one looked the hardest. She knew which one she wanted. Older and a little gray, he moved with confidence and strength. Furthermore, she was certain she’d seen him gazing in their direction, as if he sensed he was being watched by hunters. She’d felt a rush of excitement fill her. She marked him in her head and her heart as her prey, certain that when the moon was right, when the hunt went out, she’d be with it.

Only she wasn’t.

She didn’t know what she was going to do. To hunt as she was, no matter that she had a dozen and a half summers to her name, was to fly in the face of her goddess and all the traditions her people held sacred. But she could not stand by and let her sister hunters take down the prey she had marked as hers. So she ran, praying that when she caught up, a plan would come to her.

All night she ran stopping only to greet the dawn as was customary. She did this only because she knew her sister hunters would as well, thus costing her none of her hard-won progress. It was one hour past dawn when she saw them. She was just running along the top of an esker when she spotted them running in a fan across the meadow below. She nearly whooped for joy at the sight but held her tongue lest she give herself away. She leaned against a tree, catching her breath as she bent over with her arm wrapped around her belly. She’d run so far so fast that a cramp wracked her stomach. She would not let it stop her. She pushed off of the tree and doubled her pace. She shadowed them towards the hunting grounds and was careful not to overtake them because she was still not certain what she was going to do when they got there. She could not join them, but maybe she could make certain her prey was not taken. There was no guaranteeing that he would make it another season. No certainty that he would be there when she was able to hunt, but at least she would not see her sister-hunters take him from her. She could see them now, fanning out further apart as they neared the spot. There was movement ahead of her sisters as their prey went about eating, drinking, and pissing, unaware of what was coming towards them. Marika could see the hand gestures fly between the women. The were the same ones she’d practiced with them. She saw Lenska direct the others and watched as the others obeyed. Marika bit her lip and felt hot tears searing her lashes as she watched. Did she see her chosen prey? 

She darted towards a high point on the ridge.  It was in a clear spot and might expose her but she was certain her sisters would not be looking back. She certainly wouldn’t if she were with them.  She would be looking forward, trying to make out her chosen prey.  She made it two steps before something made her stop. Marika looked back behind her but no one was there. She shook her head and was about to resume her run when she stopped again and looked back. This time she looked down. Crimson dotted the snow here and there, following the trail of her footsteps.

Marika clapped her hands over her mouth to hold in the sob that ripped through her. No, no, it couldn’t be. It seemed impossible. With trembling fingers she reached down and touched her thighs. They were wet. Still she didn’t believe it until she lifted her fingers up and saw the evidence of her eyes. Crimson gleamed on her fingertips, crimson which blurred through the wash of her relieved tears. It had come. She was woman enough now to hunt with her sisters.

Across the snow-covered meadow she heard the war cries of her sisters as they closed in on the village where their prey waited unsuspecting. Without hesitation Marika let her own cry rush out to meet theirs. She was a woman. She was a huntress, the best in her village and across the small span of a meadow lay her prey, a man with slivered temples and eyes that saw much. She would catch him and he would tend to her hearth as Baren had when her mother was alive and in time he would take care of their daughters until they were old enough to hunt.

Offline JanesAddiction

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Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2018, 06:05:31 AM »
Picture for Nov. 2nd to 8th, 2018

The woman standing before him had a fire in her eyes that contrasted starkly against the cold snow. He was peering from behind a tree, his breath slowly and quietly creating bits of shining fog in the morning sunlight. If given an option he would choose anyone else from the village to have been his pursuer. Though it was ironically a fitting test for him. His goal was to kill his old self and become stronger for it. He wasn't going to stay under the foot of a self righteous ruler! He was going to become strong enough to lead himself. Now with his chest bleeding and heart throbbing he had two choices before him. Either kill the woman he loved, or die by her spear.

She carefully examined the fresh blood in between the tracks in the snow. It seemed her target was close at hand, and running out of steam. Soon she would plunge her spear into his heart and break it just the way he had broken hers. His betrayal had come unexpected by everyone. For this their leader now lay dead at the entrance to his hut. One man had managed to wound the traitor before loosing his life as well. The trail of blood ensured the huntress that these tracks were the ones that would lead to her quarry. Her vengeance was nigh, and hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Her gaze lifted from the snow, following the tracks to the tree. The man stood and walked plainly into view before her. One hand clutched his sliced chest while the other held a bloody axe. He smiled and she snarled. Something about the noise caused a light chuckle to escape his lips "Come on then Indra. You always had a one track mind, there's no helping it now. We should just hurry up and settle this."

She didn't reply except to grip her weapon with both hands and narrow her eyes. His smile brightened and seemed to reflect the morning light as he rolled the shoulder that held his weapon. He didn't say anything else to his love as they observed each other. A drop off blood rolled down his arm and dropped onto the snow below with a light wet crunch. Both fighters rushed towards each other prepared for victory and defeat, but both knew either would mean death.

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Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2018, 05:24:28 AM »

Picture for Nov. 2nd to 8th, 2018

The instant her teeth grazed his neck she knew she would be unable to stop. Eva had long fed on the weak but when she fell in love with a human she knew that one day she would have to make a decision, this decision. Thomas had loved her for the last 6 years. He had loved her with all that his human heart could give to her. Unfortunately, for Eva and for Thomas, his human heart was not enough. She wanted his blood. His blood sang to her in the deep recesses of her mind. At times the sound was so defeafening that her mouth watered for the taste of that beautiful sound.

This night, Eva drank of him until she saw the life drain from his eyes. Her guilt was indescribible. She wrapped him in beautiful burial clothes and she dressed herself in her hunting gear. Eva picked Thomas up and gently threw his lifeless body over her shoulder. While Thomas weighed a decent amount, his weight was nothing to her. What was she? she often asked herself this question. As she ran into the woods and up the mountain, Eva pondered what she had done. She wondered why this was how things had to end?

She ran for hours in the direction of the highest peak on the mountain. Eva had to give Thomas the burial he deserved. She offered his body to her Goddess as a final act of love for him. After the ritual was completed she descended the mountain toward her cabin. It was a small cabin nestled into the edge of the mountain.


The Romanian mountains could be brutial this time of year. In over 200 years of living in her small cabin she had never seen another living soul, apart from the ones she brought here or the animals that she normally fed on. However today was different, upon her descent she smelled fresh blood. Not animal blood, human blood. She had just feasted but the smell caused her mouth to water in anticipation of her next feast.

Eva found a group of trees where the smell was the strongest. She saw a man hunchered down behind some large brush and did nothing to try to hide her approach.

The snow was red with his dripping blood. He had obviously tried to make it up the embankment and decided against it. She called out to him, "Do you know you are trespassing?" There was a silence that fell over the woods as he offered no response. She gave one final attempt to be 'hospitalible', "I can see you are injured. If you would prefer to stay here and allow the wolves to offer you help, then so be it." She shrugged her shoulders and began to walk away. After about ten steps she heard a weak, "I did not know I was trespassing." A smile slowly spread across her lips. Eva smile had faded before she turning around and said, "Allow me to intruduce myself, I am Eva Tomanoff and this is my land. Would you allow me to tend to your wounds?" There was a speedy response this time, "Yes, yes, please. I am Christoff Stefanescu."

As Eva walked closer she promised herself that she would not fall in love with, 'this one.'

Offline JustricTopic starter

Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2018, 11:17:55 PM »
Picture for Nov. 9th to 15th, 2018

« Last Edit: Yesterday at 11:17:35 PM by Justric »

Offline DeMalachine

Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2018, 07:18:56 PM »
Picture for Nov. 9th to 15th, 2018

Life Ascends on Vectris IV

Kendrick knew that Laurenson was having difficulty assimilating to life on Vectris IV, by the simple fact of the numerous instances of near insubordination she'd had to let pass. One such example had involved a loud and lengthy protest at the necessity of leaving the local flora untouched by human hands, claiming that a study of the plants would surely yield the fruits of discovery if not those of food. Kendrick, for her part, had attempted to mollify the subaltern by pointing out how some of the obscurer directives of the exoterran codes held the preservation of emergent lifeforms as sacrosanct. These worlds have every right to evolve as they see fit, she had explained. Remember, we are here in the spirit of anthropology. We observe and do not interfere. Placated only by her persuader's superiority of rank, Laurenson's temper had barely abated afterwards, and that was but one time out of many. Kendrick's alarm, therefore, was acute when she chanced to see the woman packing a spark-kit in her latest foray to the threshold bay. This was one incidence of insubordination which could not be accommodated.

“And what do you plan on doing with that?” Kendrick asked, her tone brittle. Spark-kits were fire generators, reserved solely for emergency survival situations. Whatever Laurenson was thinking of using it for, it was unlikely to be anything good.

“I'm burning the fucking weeds. Those ones out on the shore of Sector Four-Forty-Three.” Despite Kendrick's expectations, Laurenson didn't drop the kit. Today she was all defiance, her eyes unblinking, her jaw firm. Judging by the gleam of perspiration on her forehead and a distinct jitter in her voice, she seemed scared too – and not, as far as Kendrick could appraise, of her senior officer. “I saw them yesterday. They were – they were forming shapes. Like us. Like humans.”

“Ah,” said Kendrick. “You've seen -”

“I know what I saw,” Laurenson snapped, taking her commander's reply as the humorings of a psychologist. “Those weeds are forming themselves into people. I've never seen anything like it. Men, women - just like us. And I'm not going to assume they'd be -”

Kendrick raised a placating hand. “Wait. You've not been briefed yet.”

Laurenson halted, her gaze narrowing. “What?” she murmured.

“Okay. Yes - it's no delusion. But it's not what you think.”

Laurenson responded with the kind of silence that seemed accusatory.

Kendrick folded her arms. “We should have briefed you earlier. I'm sorry. It's just so strange, we usually prefer to ease new recruits into the idea of it before...well, you know. A field venture. Either way, we hadn't expected to see them in Four-Forty-Three. Not yet at least.”

“What are you talking about?”

Kendrick smiled, noticing – finally - a tincture of genuine intrigue in Laurenson's tone. “Come with me to Sector Four-Twenty-Seven,” she said. “You'll understand.”

* * *

“Oh, but this is beautiful,” said Laurenson. She was right, of course.

It was known that the weeds of Vectris IV moved. Not quite so widely known was that the weeds also changed. On the lakeside shore of an area designated Sector Four-Twenty-Seven by its human visitants, expansive green swathes toiled and churned under a twin moon sky. What the strands worked for was as luxuriant as it was variegated: close to the two women, coils of verdancy knotted and entwined to forge the form of a man, with the torso, head and arms seeming to emerge from the morass like a tired swimmer crawling free of his pool. Nearby, other threads wove themselves into the shape of a recumbent female, who rose in a gentle ascent with her face heavenward and hands crossed against her chest like the effigy of a saint. Not too far from her – more figures, some of which had already taken to full and unbridled animation: a woman, naked yet furnished with protean tattoos that shifted across her body like starlings in flight, waded out of the water, combing her hair with her fingers; the male side of something akin to a classical Janus, like a man and a woman fused back to back, appeared to pray while the female called to the horizon in an unknown language; another woman stooped to gather weeds to herself which transmuted, handful by handful, into an ivory dress. Here, a winged sylph walked; there, a being with veins that glowed like embers swam. In all, marvels abounded, avidly catching a strange flare of life and holding to it in the spirit of playfulness and unfettered adventure.

The wonders did not begin and end with anthropoids, either. Laurenson gasped when she saw birds coalesce from a wet carpet of skeins and flutter into the air like an illusion after Escher. She laughed when she spied breeze-bourne bubbles caught in a game of tag and listened with quiet reverence at the haunting song of a creature shaped in the manner of an equine leviathan whose skin was as polished opal. Eventually, she managed to turn away from the spectacle and deliver to Kendrick the moist-eyed beam of a grateful penitent.

“They're being creative,” she said. “Like they're making art.”

Kendrick nodded.

Laurenson steepled her fingertips at her mouth and glanced down to the spark-kit beside her feet. “God. And I thought they were -”

“Never mind about that.” Though the moment seemed to call for the reassurance of a gentle hand at Laurenson's shoulder, Kendrick kept her arms behind her back, standing in a military at-ease style. “I was alarmed too, at first. We all were. But then we saw the beauty of them, as you do now.”

“Yes,” said Laurenson, looking once again at the remarkable and flourishing vista. She spoke nothing more and only observed, rapt. Kendrick, satisfied that her subordinate would no longer prove any trouble and all too fully aware that the glimmering, weed-born characters had finally noticed the presence of an audience, moved away.

There was scant danger for either of them. Kendrick, however, understood that the closeness of her own kind had stirred the want of communion in her flesh. Making her way back to the shuttle, she took note of her palms, and how the skin there was breaking into thin, green striations. In a short while, things would be fine – for both herself and Laurenson, who would surely have no difficulty assimilating now.

Offline Blythe

Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2018, 08:33:54 PM »
Picture for Nov. 9th to 15th, 2018


Flush and emergent from the ebb and flow
covered in the green hair of the ocean's soul

The ocean's song calls and calls
Between storms and dreaded squalls

He slipped into the sea with a smartphone
broken dreams and a plan to never go home

The gulls screamed on the wounded shore
At the place he had slipped past once before

Under the waves he met a man
with aqua scales and skin so tan

That man breathed into him
gills fluttering, urging him to swim
grasped his limbs
hummed an ocean hymn

He pulled him back to that haunted shore
The place he had slipped past twice before

He said 'You may not yet join me in the sea
You are not ready to be truly free
There are bonds and chains to keep you here
despite the secret darkness that you fear
but when you return to my ocean mire
When you are old and wrinkled and so very tired
I will take you to my palace of ivory and pearl
between the soft ocean swirls
I will crown you with gold and make you anew
in my kingdom so deep and black and blue'

The man rested there on the shore
The place he had slipped past twice before

He listened to the triton's words
through vision painful and blurred
It struck a chord in him, mild and soft
made his heart soar aloft

Home we went and home he stayed
But sometimes he hears oceansong played

And thinks of the triton beneath the darkest waves
and wonders how many people he saves
« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 08:38:08 PM by Blythe »

Offline JustricTopic starter

Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2018, 05:54:14 AM »
Picture for Nov. 16th to 22nd, 2018

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Re: ~ Picture of the Week ~
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2018, 01:52:55 PM »
Picture for Nov. 16th to 22nd, 2018

Over a hundred years ago, war terrorized the continent.
Kingdoms rose and fell as quickly as mushrooms popped out of the ground.
Villages where burned, castles were raided, towns were sacked.
No one was save as dead was everywhere.
Even their order was being attacked just because they believed in another deity.
In an attempt to save his brethren, the abbot sacrificed himself.
Willingly he went out of the safety of the monastery and offered his live to the invading army.
In the center of the grass fields, right in the view of all the monks inside the monastery, he was beheaded.
And sadly his sacrifice was in vain as the barbarians still attacked the monastery and tried to kill everyone inside.
A lucky few managed to get away and thus the order survived.

When the war was finally over and they returned to rebuild their monastery, they found something unexpected.
Right on the place where their abbot had been beheaded, a small sapling was growing.
However this sapling was unlike any other they had ever seen. It's leaves and the grass around the leaves were bright red.
As if it had sucked up the blood of their fallen brethren.
Deciding that this tree was the legacy of the heroic deed of their abbot, they started to build the new monastery around it.
When it was finally finished, the center of the monastery was where the tree stood.

Because of the symbol and the story behind it, their order grew and grew.
Even now as it has been many years ago and people only know about the story because it has been told to them.
They still come to say prayers every morning and every evening around the tree.
Because it is their symbol, that even in the darkest of times there was hope.
That beauty could be born from tragedy.