C is for Cavern Cascade

Day 3 of the challenge!

My theme is NIFTY NUGGETS. Little nuggets of writing based on a photo, a phrase and an object, which is designed to encourage lean, tight writing. I’m aiming for a word count of under 300 words.

Thank you to L.Diane Wolfe for providing the beautiful photo prompts.  You can visit her blog to check out more pictures.



PHRASE – what the cat dragged in

OBJECT – post-its

Tabby cat brings home odds and ends. Today it’s a battered hat. Tomorrow a cardboard box. The next day, who knows? The weekly what-the-cat-dragged-in game has been a long-standing tradition in our household.

The day Tabby brought home a pink mitten, the vigil stopped. The post-its disappeared from the bulletin board, the fridge and every other available space where they’d normally make an appearance as part of the ongoing search, trying to make sense of the nightmare.

The post-its seemed to offer some sort of consolation.

It was something constructive.

At least we were trying. Each little square represented a piece of the puzzle.

Let me tell you about the vigil.

Picture fingers of misty sunlight streaming from above. Dappled shadows dancing on granite rocks, bathing the hollow area in a ghost-like mist, wrapping the meditative figure in a cascade of light. That’s the image of my beloved wife that haunts me the most… well, besides the one or two occasions when she’d return from her cavern vigil (as we referred to it) haggard and dishevelled…

The flood of light…

A flood of post-its…

Both abandoned now. Tucked far away, buried in a special place together with the unspeakable memory of the day they came to take her away…


  1. L. Diane Wolfe on April 3, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    That went in a direction I didn’t expect.

    That photo will always be one of my favorites, and now I will think of your haunting tale every time I look at it.

    • Alex Hurst on April 3, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      That is a gorgeous photo. The sunlight looks so close to water I had to stare at it for some time to make total sense of it.

      • Michelle Wallace on April 5, 2015 at 11:16 am

        I agree Alex. It’s totally captivating.
        Diane is a great photographer!

    • Michelle Wallace on April 5, 2015 at 11:15 am

      I think this one is my favourite… or close second… not sure…
      There are so many beautiful pics! 🙂
      Thank you Diane!

  2. Elise Fallson on April 3, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Oh how sad, but beautifully written. Love the cascade of light, Diane takes such great photographs.

  3. Alex J. Cavanaugh on April 3, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    They took her away? How sad.
    Another beautiful photo.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 5, 2015 at 11:17 am

      “They” took her away.
      But I’m not revealing who “they” represents…

  4. Patricia Lynne on April 3, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    That was a sad piece of writing. Beautifully written though.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Member of C. Lee’s Muffin Commando Squad
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  5. Hilary on April 3, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Hi Michelle – fantastic photo – I thought it was a waterfall – I wasn’t concentrating .. but how sad a tale .. haggard and dishevilled … and then they came to take her away .. desperate times – no wonder the memories are buried ..

    Cheers Hilary

    • Michelle Wallace on April 5, 2015 at 11:19 am

      Some people bury painful memories as a coping mechanism… easier that way…

  6. Jen on April 3, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Beautiful photo and beautiful tale. Very haunting and sad…brrr…that one will stick with me for a while!

    • Michelle Wallace on April 5, 2015 at 11:20 am

      I love your response, Jen! 🙂
      You’ve made me happy.
      Thank you.

  7. C. Lee McKenzie on April 3, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    I teared up on that one, Michelle. Beautiful story and Diane’s image is perfect.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 5, 2015 at 11:21 am

      That’s the best compliment ever!
      Thanks Lee! 🙂 🙂

  8. Allison on April 3, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Beautiful story… It’s the kind of story I want to sit with a while, beautiful and haunting.

  9. Ara the Booksnake on April 4, 2015 at 2:21 am

    Whoa! 🙂

    • Michelle Wallace on April 5, 2015 at 11:23 am

      Love it!
      That stopped me in my tracks (so to speak…) 🙂
      Perfect response!

  10. Shannon Lawrence on April 4, 2015 at 5:56 am

    What a sad, but intriguing, story. The photo is gorgeous. Now I want to go there (preferably pink mitten free?)

    • Michelle Wallace on April 5, 2015 at 11:27 am

      Definitely a beautiful spot… perfect for “pink mitten free” moments of meditation. 🙂

  11. Rosie Amber on April 4, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Love the idea of what the cat dragged in.

  12. J.L. Campbell (@JL_Campbell) on April 4, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Michelle, you have such a poetic way with words. Lovely picture too! Kudos to Diane.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 5, 2015 at 11:28 am

      Thanks Joy!
      Maybe I need to concentrate more on my poetry too…. 🙂

  13. Susan Gourley on April 4, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    It started out as if a cute story but quickly goes into a dark, haunting place. The picture is perfect for it.

  14. LaShaunda on April 4, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Beautiful picture, sad story. Love how it evolved from the image.

  15. Mary Aalgaard on April 4, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Ooo. Misty memories.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 5, 2015 at 11:34 am

      “Misty water-colored memories” is a line from The Way We Were, by Barbara Streisand. When last have I heard that song.
      Thanks for jogging my memory… 🙂

  16. Chrys Fey on April 4, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    That photo is amazing! Gives props to L. Diane.

    Cute and dark stories are my favorite. 😉 Well done, Michelle!

    • Michelle Wallace on April 5, 2015 at 11:34 am

      Cute and dark.
      Another commenter also said that.
      Thanks Chrys. 🙂

  17. Celine Jeanjean on April 4, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    That is a beautiful and sad story, I really enjoyed it. You really got a haunting quality to it that was wonderful.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 5, 2015 at 11:37 am

      Glad you were “haunted” but in a good way, of course.

  18. Nadine Feldman on April 4, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Oh my, oh my, oh my. A phenomenal photo followed by a story that will stay with me.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 5, 2015 at 11:38 am

      Thank you, Nadine.
      What a wonderful compliment! 🙂

  19. Julie K Pick on April 5, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Michelle, You always write the best stories where darkness is looming! An excellent job making this stunning image come to life!

    • Michelle Wallace on April 5, 2015 at 11:40 am

      I’m so glad that my words could do justice to Diane’s photo. This pic is one of my favorites!
      (Hope I can deliver on all the pics…) *worried*
      Thanks for visiting, Julie!

  20. Beverly (@Bevimus) on April 5, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    I agree with the consensus- one of the most beautiful photos I’ve ever seen outside of a museum. And with the statement that story took an unexpected turn. It started out so light and playful and turned dark and confusing so quickly. Gorgeous photo, gorgeous writing.

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