The Darkroom: Up in the chairs

The Darkroom: Up in the chairs
December 3, 2015 4 Comments The Darkroom, Writing Prompts Tara R

Welcome to the Darkroom where we open our photo album to you to help spark your creativity. Each week we offer a new photo, but the story is yours to write.

The Rules, because there are always rules:

1. The photo is here to spark your imagination. Use it as the landscape for your story, to remind you of a moment in your past, or the punch line to a joke. Use the photo as inspiration in any way you want.

2. Your submission can be fiction or nonfiction, memoir, poetry, dark or humor – your pick.

3. Please no adult content, no racial or political posts. Also, where applicable, please include a trigger warning introduction.

4. Keep your word count between 700-1000. (Don’t worry if you go over, or under, we won’t count.)

5. Link to your submission’ s post URL in comments. If you don’t have a blog, you can add your entry to the comments below.

6. Link to this page’s URL in your post.

7. Limit one entry per person.

8. Submission deadline is Wednesday, midnight CST (Thursday, 5 a.m. GMT)

This week’s prompt:

cane chairs


Tara R Tara Roberts (pronounced Tar-ah and with a southern drawl) lives and plays on the Florida Gulf Coast. A former print news and online media reporter, she now spends her days roaming the woods and beaches of the Panhandle talking to herself, penning eclectic fiction, and taking photographs. She can be found most days at “Thin spiral notebook” trying to quiet the voices in her head.
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  1. 4 Comments

    Stephanie Ayers

    They sit, silent spectators to the room beyond them. They congregate together, their invisible faces changing with the observation of the people milling about. Four kings of the castle, each related to the other, this is their domain. They remain silent for fear they will be forced to leave. The worst is the vandals who come to spray symbols and words on the once-glistening walls. Too much decay, yet the chairs remained. A far cry from their velvet thrones, but at least the castle still stands.

    The air is different today. Dust shimmers in the sunlight filtering through the open doorway. The atmosphere is uncommonly quiet. The kings delight in the serenity until a small figure enters the room. A boy stops just beneath the chairs. His downy head tilts and his blue eyes glide slowly from one chair to the next before returning to the first chair again. His feet move silently forward, and he stops against the wall beneath the chairs.

    “What are you looking at?” A woman says to him. The kings didn’t see her enter.

    The boy’s head cocks sideways, and he stares into the chairs again. He points upwards, still silent.

    “They are chairs. They probably hold important history to the castle which is why they are nailed up there.”

    The boy’s eyes blink, never leaving the chairs. He shakes his head. Wind rustles his hair as the kings sigh collectively. The boy knows they exist. The woman steps closer, her matching blue eyes scanning the chairs.

    “There’s nothing there.”

    This time the boy nods. His finger ticks the air four times in secession. The woman’s eyes scan each chair, searching but not seeing.


    The boy nods. The kings clasp hands, united in their fear. They do not wish to leave. Another set of eyes penetrates them.

    “Yes, four. Kings by the looks of them.” The woman turned at the sound of the voice.

    “David, I didn’t hear you come in.”

    “You can’t see them?”

    “No, but I felt them. Alex had no problem, though. He didn’t even look at anything else in the room.”

    Alex still stares at the chairs, not moving, not talking. The kings exchange glances, each observing the boy in their own way. “He’s mute,” one says.

    “He is,” David answers. “He is gifted. He sees and comprehends things others don’t. This is why we are here.”

    The woman frowns. “Why can’t I hear them?”

    “She is not gifted.” Another king says.

    “No, but she has learned. Your silence has stumped her, but never Alex, never me.” He smiles at the woman. “Honey, it’s okay. I can hear them. They are not evil, just suspended between worlds. I don’t think they have any desire to move on.”

    “You are correct,” a third king says. “Why are you here? Do you wish us harm? We have never hurt anyone.”

    “Not in this form, anyway,” the first king interjects. “We have no plans to.”

    Alex moves. He exits the room only to return with a small step. He sets it down beneath the second chair, steps on it, and grabs the bottom rung of the chair. He turns to David and points upwards.

    “Interesting.” David’s fingers disappear behind the small triangle of brown hair on his chin. “Are you sure?”

    Alex nods. His fist curls tight around the rung. His other hand grabs the opposite rung, and he dangles.

    The king in the second chair screeches. “No!” The other three kings fly from their chairs as he disappears.

    “What have you done?” The three kings speak in unison as their own spirits fade away.

    Alex smiles as he climbs into the first chair. David joins him and pulls the woman up beside him.

    “I thought they’d never leave,” Alex says.

    1. 4 Comments

      Tara R.

      I loved this! Your imagery was wonderful.

      1. 4 Comments

        Stephanie Ayers

        Thank you!

  2. 4 Comments

    Tara R.

    Here is my submission: Unhappily ever after


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