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Gems Of Time - My Response to Billybuc's Story Challenge # 2

Updated on February 5, 2020
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Nikki is writer of many short stories. Flash Fiction is another form which Nikki is exploring now.

Bill Holland (billybuc)'s Picture Prompt

This flash fiction is a response to Bill Holland's picture prompt to write a story related to the photos. Billybuc is such an impressive soul and a God-gifted writer. If we get stuck at some point, Bill is always around the nook to assist us out of the mess. I do relish his articles and guidance all the time.

He recently posted a challenge to write according to the photos, he gave to write about. And word-count should be not less than 1000.

It is quite intriguing and thrilling idea of writing the story on. He has said to follow the cycle of photos and illustrate them in the saga.

There is no rule to follow as he says it. But still, I would like to add all of the five pictures in order and would explain them somehow.

Let's see how it blathers on.

My New Boot Camp
My New Boot Camp

Gems Of Time

My mind is kicking me out of this territory. Another daylight brings back some assignments were left unfinished. I was almost snoozing yesterday over my work desktop with all the white papers around me. Such things never happened before though. Old age Micheal Downings, I guess. This work has been my passion and each love needs devotion. This is what I have given it, my whole life. Did nothing else.

What an accomplishment!

I am sitting here today in this new Boot Camp, trying to accomplish a new task given to challenge my nerves and strength of my brain. All I can see out of the window is a white thick layer of silver flakes falling from the angry sky. The atmosphere is slowing down my bony structure. The red blood of my vessels is freezing to death under this frigid huge rusty wooden roof of this big barn. A complete apprehended suicide mission. Nothing should be left behind to repent of.

I wear my full uniform once more today. In love with my service souvenirs. They are perfectly decorated on my chest. I look a complete army man in the mirror hanging on the wall. This is my pride and lifetime performance. Not a bad reward.

I never knew my life would bring me to this twisting point where there is no departure. Though I have seen many ups and downs, this horrific caption is on top of all. Not a damn option.

Snowy Mountains
Snowy Mountains

I have an awful feeling about today. Something isn't right. My sixth-sense, nothing more. I pat my head to focus.

There isn't enough oxygen gas inside this farm. My lungs are working hard to get some of it. They are taking my wind away slowly. Running for life is quite a difficult protocol. But you have to when you can't breathe. I pull up a high wooden chair on one corner of this barn and unscrew the metal hook of a big glass window. No point of dying inside having no air. Better to take in some outer moistures through my nose. I opened it as wide as I could.

A gush of chilled aura makes its way through my chest. Melting my cartilage to freeze off. My breathing gets on track to run again. The view is quite romantic out there. I can see those half-covered snowy mountains far away. They look like large claws brushing the water of downpour passing by. The scenery is impressive to watch but it requires a glamorous heart. I have got nothing in my faded palms. Barely some broken tales to tell and a few recollections of the time.

Ahh! My wife left me long ago. Though she vowed to stay with me always. Yes, I have my son, David who loves me so much and I love him even more. But, Lisa's place would be here forever. Closer to my heart. Life is too short to make up for every moment. Many desires never get fulfilled.

Elegant Landscapes
Elegant Landscapes

I still feel the warmth of the day I met Lisa, my love. I was sitting on that peak which was leading to the downriver when I saw her very first glance. I failed to blink my eyes. My heart was pounding so fast. It fell for the goddess of charm. She was asking me the way to the town centre. Her face was gleaming like the sunshine. I walked with her all the way up to the top. There was something very fascinating about her. She was pure in her conversation. Soon we were friends and got married in no days.

We often used to visit this place to adore our first meeting. And hence, the most important minute of my life came when I held those little fingers of my son, David. He gave me the motive to be alive. I promised to give him all the pleasures and protection, he required. But nothing stays on forever. I had to make one choice. Either family or my kingdom. I hope, I made the right one.

You pay the price for your joys. This is the existence!

Walking by the Forest!
Walking by the Forest!

My memories have left behind those scenes now. There is a large aperture where my heart is. Blood is spurting through it like the sprinkling water of a fountain. Lisa is here to take me for a forest ride beside the stream. We both walk through the tall green trees. Hands in hands. Laughing and giggling. The birds are tweeting over those trees. Delighted and joyful. The rose aroma has infused the essence of the whole wilderness. One moment just hit my brain. I look behind and find my body lying motionless on the floor. A cold and peaceful Army official.

My enemies found me somehow and shot in the middle of my heart through that window. I paid the price for my services to my country. Perhaps this is in the best interest of me and my nation.

Waterfront to sail off!
Waterfront to sail off!

As I look at my corpse, the only thing comes into my mind is my promise to Lisa that one day we would get rid of all the agonies. I would hire a large boat named, Lisa. And we would sail off from the seafront to the faraway soils. Never would look behind.

One day, yes. One day. We will live our dreams!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Nikki Khan


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    • nikkikhan10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nikki Khan 

      15 months ago from London

      Thanks for your visit and such a generous comment, Sharan. Glad you liked it.

      Blessings to you, my dear.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      15 months ago from New Delhi, India

      An absrbing and intriguing story, which touches the hearts and keeps the attention of the readers till the end.

      I liked your response to the picture prompts.

      This story, very beautifully relates to those men, who willingly make sacrifices for their country.

      Well narrated. Thanks for sharing.

    • nikkikhan10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nikki Khan 

      15 months ago from London

      You have always been a stimulant for me, Chris. Thanks so much for this factual portrayal of my story. I try to let the readers watch the scene rather than telling it. Looks like getting around there.

      But, there is still long path to lead.

      Gratitude, my friend.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      15 months ago from Traverse City, MI

      Nikki, it is exciting to read your stories. Your descriptive writing is getting better and better. Stories are supposed to move us emotionally and sad endings carry a lot of emotion. But this ending really isn´t so sad. Michael Downing experienced a good long life of service and family. But it was sad that he died by an act of violence. Good writing, Nikki.

    • nikkikhan10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nikki Khan 

      15 months ago from London

      Glad you liked it, Bill. Thanks for leaving such an incredible comment.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      15 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Talk about being drawn in, Nikki. You held my attention to the end.

    • nikkikhan10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nikki Khan 

      15 months ago from London

      Thanks, Manatita Ji. Blessings to you.

    • manatita44 profile image


      15 months ago from london

      A beautiful piece of writing and a gem, all right. Bill would be proud of you Nikki. Nuff respect!

    • nikkikhan10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nikki Khan 

      15 months ago from London

      Thanks, FlourishAnyway. Glad you liked it.

      Blessings, my dear.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      15 months ago from USA

      That’s a very dramatic story you offer up and a steep price to pay. Thanks for sharing it here.

    • nikkikhan10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nikki Khan 

      15 months ago from London

      Thanks, Devika darling. I really appreciate your note. Namasty Ji!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      15 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      This is an amazing take back on the challenge. You wrote an intriguing story and great reflections.

    • nikkikhan10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nikki Khan 

      15 months ago from London

      This is a tragic story, Linda.

      A tale of those who are born to safeguard their countries in return of triviality.

      I am proud of them.

      Thanks for your opinion!

    • nikkikhan10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nikki Khan 

      15 months ago from London

      Liz, I am much obliged to you for this testimony.

      Thanks for your time, my friend.

    • nikkikhan10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nikki Khan 

      15 months ago from London

      I compliment your remark always, Ruby Girl.

      Thanks for being there for me.

      Blessings to you!

    • nikkikhan10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nikki Khan 

      15 months ago from London

      Thanks, Doris for stopping along, sweetheart.

      I really appreciate your wonderful feedback.

      Blessings to you!

    • nikkikhan10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nikki Khan 

      15 months ago from London

      Many thanks, John for this considerable statement.

      I wanted to write an unusual tale, happy to accomplish my objective.

      Blessings, my friend.

    • nikkikhan10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nikki Khan 

      15 months ago from London

      Ann, thanks so much for this huge consideration.

      I am honored to get this from an outstanding dramatist and author as you are.

      My readers should feel and watch it when I write it. This was my main interest when I was writing it.

      I am glad to touch it somehow. Thanks for your valuable comment, darling.

    • nikkikhan10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nikki Khan 

      15 months ago from London

      DreamMeg, I really feel the suffering of those special individuals who serve our country. They fight and get killed, so we can have a sound sleep.

      More than that, their family ordeal this trial of their lives for us.

      Wether they regret their family time or not, they are prepared to sacrifice all for the sake of their country.

      I salute them all and their families.

      Thanks for your visit, my friend.

    • nikkikhan10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nikki Khan 

      15 months ago from London

      This is an enormous acknowledgement from an incredible author like you are, Bill.

      I have bought your book on Amazon. But it's bought on my husband's ID. I haven't read it thoroughly. I would leave a review when I completed it.

      Thanks for always be on my side, My friend.

      Blessings to you and Bev always.

    • nikkikhan10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nikki Khan 

      15 months ago from London

      Verlie, fresh breath is much needed in this frosty season.

      Thanks for visiting, my dear.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      15 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting story, Nikki. It contains some sadness, but it was nice to see a hopeful sign at the end. I enjoyed reading your response to Bill's challenge.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      15 months ago from UK

      This is a fascinating imagination trip. You show great creativity.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      15 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Interesting read. You met the challenge head-one, and even more, it was uniquely different. Great story!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      15 months ago from Beautiful South

      So sad, and yet so hopeful. Great imagery, Nikki. I enjoyed your response to Bill's challenge.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      15 months ago from Queensland Australia

      An interesting and quite touching story, Nikki. Rather tragic, but you met the challenge very well.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      15 months ago from SW England

      Dramatic, hard-hitting and some great imagery. I loved reading this even though it had some sadness. You used such fresh phraseology, Nikki and I was right there in that barn. A totally different take on the 'life flashing before my eyes' thing. Yet it was upbeat at the end.

      Great job of responding to Bill's challenge with a unique take on it. Well done!


    • DreamerMeg profile image


      15 months ago from Northern Ireland

      He knew it was coming and so did we, yet it was still a surprise. How many of us at the end of life will wish we had given even more to our work or will we regret our lost family time more? Very thoughtful piece.

    • nikkikhan10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nikki Khan 

      15 months ago from London

      Eric, I am pleased to know that. Reflections do play vital part in building your heart from scrape.

      Thanks for being always there to comment.

      How's your health getting on?

    • nikkikhan10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Nikki Khan 

      15 months ago from London

      Thanks, Rosina darling.


    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      What a wonderful piece of writing...suspenseful, tense, melancholy, you managed to arouse quite a few feelings with this fine piece of writing. Well done!

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      15 months ago from Canada

      I love this Nikki. So poetic. A breath of fresh air.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Heavy duty. Great writing. This will have me reflecting. And good job on the challenge.

    • surovi99 profile image

      Rosina S Khan 

      15 months ago

      Beautiful narration with a tragic ending. Good work, Nikki.


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