I’ve long had a flirtation with photography. I’m not very good at it, but I enjoy taking walks and clicking whatever interests me. Those who really know me know that my head isn’t flipping from side to side because I’m distracted and I don’t hold my head down on these walks because I’m depressed — I’m always looking at things from different angles and perspectives. I’m also always thinking of what things could be, merging fantasy with the very real-world settings around me.
A few months ago I started flirting with taking some of these pictures as inspiration for a quick story or scene. I wanted to make things as short as I could make them and somewhat relevant to the picture, yet their own world, as well. This first one is from my deviantArt.
“You pass under those trees, lad, and there will be no comin’ back. I brought you out here to warn you, not to encourage you.”
The youth shrugged his shoulders and tried not to look too eager or too hungry. His curiosity had always been his undoing. “What lies beyond the arch, Father?”
The elf sighed, knowing that by asking that one question his son was already lost to him. “The mortal world, such as it is. It wasn’t like in the old days. You wouldn’t be welcome, or even feared. We aren’t the Good Neighbors anymore. We aren’t even Neighbors.”
The boy leaned forward on gangly legs, his long auburn hair that had caught many a maid’s eye gleaming in the sunlight. He had such a bright future ahead of him, and now his attention was turned. Even if he went back home now he’d dream of nothing else and eventually deny all food and drink, wasting away at the draw of the temptation.
“The adventure isn’t worth the price, son,” the elf lord sighed, though the warning was half-hearted. The boy was already walking, already doomed.
“I just want a peek,” the son said to himself. “Just a look at the other side of things. I’ll just lean through, have one foot in and one foot out.” He chuckled at his cleverness, though deep down he knew it was a lie.
“Good-bye, my foolish lad. Be careful,” his father whispered.
As he stepped under the bowed limbs he was momentarily cooled by their green canopy. The grass under his soft leather boots gave way to something hard, a path that had not been there moments ago. A strange crackling buzzed around him. His stomach dropped and an overwhelming fear grabbed him round the throat.
He turned. There was no forest, no familiar village hidden among the trees. Only the path. He turned back and kept walking towards the little fence and the giant, unfamiliar-looking dwellings that were nowhere near as fine as what he was accustomed to. From somewhere he heard the laughter of children, though none of their words were familiar to his ears. Even the air smelled different and he shook as it hit him fully how unprepared he was to make his fortune in this foreign realm.
The elven youth turned and took stock of his surroundings and thrust his chin out sharply, defying his trembling hands. “Well then,” he murmured to himself. “I suppose this is how stories start, isn’t it?”