L is for Leafy Luster

Day 12 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. Iā€™m aiming for a word count of under 300 words.

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



PHRASE – patterns traced on paper

OBJECT – trunk

Doctor Martin was no fool. He set about creating an elaborate greenhouse which would be the norm for a wealthy upper class and aspiring botanist.

Anything to the contrary would be foolish, and draw unnecessary attention to the piece of land. With this in mind, he set about devising the transformation, with the utmost care.

The regulated interior temperature was set to nurture the leafy luster of hundreds of plants. The humidity had to be perfect. After months of detailed care, the plants flourished and the eminent doctor heaved a sigh of relief.

He was satisfied with the end result.

Now he could turn his undivided attention to the real project, at the centre of the greenhouse.

A trunk containing a variety of old documents, including an ancient scroll, had been unearthed.

Highly classified results arrived via private courier.

Expert analysis concluded that the high quality parchment dated back to the 1600s. It also bore faint marks that formed a sort of pattern or code.

He opened the handbook and turned to the section which dealt with humidity. The sub-heading glared at him: factors to be considered in determining an optimum level of relative humidity for the display and storage of parchment.

Tomorrow they would continue digging…

It was only the beginning.


  1. L. Diane Wolfe on April 14, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    A parchment that needs just the right conditions to be read – it’s like a mystery.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 15, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      Mystery and suspense… including the element of humidity…

  2. Jemi Fraser on April 14, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    That’s so fun! Love your imagery as always šŸ™‚

  3. Liz Brownlee on April 14, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Oooh. How exciting. Will this story continue, or is it a flash fiction? ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

  4. Alex J. Cavanaugh on April 14, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    What else will they find digging?

  5. Patricia Lynne on April 14, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Interesting ending.

  6. Alex Hurst on April 15, 2015 at 2:11 am

    I like the idea of the parchment needing moisture to be read, like magic ink. Cool concept, and lovely photo!

  7. Rosie Amber on April 15, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Just look at that water droplet on the leaf, amazing to catch it like that. I’m intrigued by the discovery, where will it lead, I think you have the beginnings of a book there.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 15, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      That picture is STUNNING!
      Really gorgeous. šŸ™‚
      Beginnings of a book? Something to think about.

  8. Wendy on April 15, 2015 at 11:19 am

    I like your theme and the self-imposed restrictions. Selecting just the right words to capture meaning briefly is more challenging that writing a lot.
    ~Visiting from AtoZ

    • Michelle Wallace on April 15, 2015 at 9:44 pm

      It’s quite a challenge. But I’m really enjoying it.
      Thank you, Wendy!

  9. Stephen Tremp on April 15, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Now I’m inspired to dig some holes. Wifey may not like that so much.

    Stephen Tremp
    A to Z Cohost
    M is for Movies

    • Michelle Wallace on April 15, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      You never know what’s waiting in those holes… wifey MAY just surprise you and approve… šŸ™‚

  10. Mary Aalgaard on April 15, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Ooo. How fun, digging up old documents. The preservation process.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 15, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      At first, the idea seemed strange, but then it all came together… there IS a specific humidity condition required for the display/storage of parchment.

  11. Christine Rains on April 15, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Ooh, finding treasure is fun! And what a clever way to preserve the scrolls.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 15, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      The preservation of scrolls idea has an element of fact.

  12. David P. King on April 15, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Never hurts to have a little mystery in your life. And this is the best kind! šŸ™‚

    • Michelle Wallace on April 15, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      I love mystery/suspense involving codes… šŸ™‚

  13. Peaches Ledwidge on April 15, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Love the ending. Thought it would be about a tree trunk.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 15, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      I did consider the “tree trunk angle” but couldn’t get it to work out.
      Glad you were caught by surprise.

  14. Susan Gourley on April 15, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    I have to wonder if it’s the start of something good or evil. Ancient parchments are always one or the other.

  15. Nicki Elson on April 15, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Ooh, intriguing. Love the idea of a greenhouse as subterfuge.

    • Michelle Wallace on April 15, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      I struggled a bit to work in all the prompts, but then the “greenhouse subterfuge angle” came to me… šŸ™‚

  16. Nicki Elson on April 15, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    P.S. Gorgeous image by L.Diane!

  17. Celine Jeanjean on April 16, 2015 at 3:10 am

    I love how this hints at more to come!!

  18. Celine Jeanjean on April 16, 2015 at 3:11 am

    (are you going to continue that story and see what else is unearthed?)

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