Looking Through the Archives For Inspiration

Time Jumping to 1917
Ok, so I don't get far from home (who does with fuel prices nuts like this, eh?)
But! I do travel through time and wanted to take you all with me.
Here is a 1917 photo from the public archives at work.
I love it, but what are these poor souls doing?
Anyone got any ideas that might kick off a really great story?

Well, it inspired me. Here's my little story to go with it.

How to Fight a Lightning God
We were all lined up, arms out, as if we might break out in a game of Red Rover at any moment. Truth was, we didn't play games anymore, not since the war anyway. Not that the war was a problem for us out here in Saskatchewan, no, it was the bugs and the damn gods that made our lives hell.

We stood our ground, like the priest taught us, waiting for the lightning god to stop threatening us. I did my best to ignore the skeeters, but when one got up my nose, I slapped it. Freddy panicked and grabbed my sleeve as if I might abandon him.

If one us was hit, we were all goners anyway. Jimmy looked fearless, even little Michael kept his jaw firm. Annabelle didn't give away her emotions either way. I glanced at the convent. The priest was palming his rosary. Lot of good that did me, I was the idiot in the middle. If one of these guys let go, I was going to get the full jolt. Maybe this was my punishment for that sip of fire whiskey I stole last week. I told Jimmy that shit was gonna end with us in hell.

"Hold tight." Jimmy hollered as the skies darkened and I suddenly understood what my brother meant in his last letter. There are some things we just don't ever need to see. Was he caught in a war between gods, too?

When The God of Lightning showed himself-- all dark and stormy-- Jimmy swore. Can't say I blamed him. I would have too, but to be honest, I had no more use of my tongue. Only thoughts in my little pea brain were that if this god wants his land back, we should hit the fields.

But then something magical happened. The winds picked up. The priest, he took a step forward. "The wind goddess has arrived. Stand strong." Did we have a choice?

Whatever the priest saw made his eyes bulge and he dropped the rosary that never left his hands. Damn, I was tempted to look, too, but the sting of her icy wind forced my face forward. We were gonna die.

I have to give those guys credit, not one of them let go. Not even after the lightning god retreated. 

Huh. The priest was right, our strange formation summoned The Goddess of Wind and she got rid of the jerk storming our lands. 

Nine in a line. Who would have thought something so simple could be so powerful? Until that moment, I thought the priest was nuts. How much did he know about these gods?

The wind blew and blew across the prairies, and still, we held on.

LOL. Poor souls. By the amount of wind we have around here lately, they're still holding strong! But it works- no lightning at all!

Do you have any idea what they were doing?

Where do you look for inspiration?


Anonymous said...

Hi Tanya,
Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I like the picture and the story. I don't think I would have come up with a lightening story. But I do get inspiration from pictures quite often. :)

Ruth Schiffmann said...

I love using picture prompts. This is a great photo. Thanks for sharing it.
Interesting story, too. Well done!

Shallee said...

Love the picture, and the story! I love looking at pictures for inspiration, too.

S.P. Bowers said...

What an interesting picture. Love how it inspired you.

Richard said...

They're trying to show who caught the biggest fish.

Jess said...

This is great! I really should do more free writing based on photos, etc. It's such a good exercise! I tend to flip through magazines (National Geographic is a good one) to get my mental juices flowing.

Tanya Reimer said...

Hey welcome Linda! You never know what can trigger an idea, eh?

Thanks Ruth, Shallee, and S.P!

Hahaha! Richard I hadn't thought of that! Not much for fishing out on the prairies, it would be quite the feat. Maybe they were measuring something though... Or practicing. ??

Yup Jess NG is my fav for ideas. Gosh they are incredible.

Tammy Theriault said...

ha, that was pretty good interpretation! i love old photos. red rover part made me smile, but i would have to say exercise. back then they did a lot of that outdoors, not like the structured p.e. we have now where we play sports.

Valentina Hepburn said...

Maybe they're measuring something. Marking something out. It was funny when I first saw this photo, Tanya, because it reminded me of something I saw in a film. If I can remember what it was I'll let you know. For some reason I keep thinking of hay and horses. Or maybe it was just a weirdy dream after too much wine!

E.J. Wesley said...

Fabulous pic, and I LOVED the story! :-) Fiction is much more entertaining than reality, and I love the idea of those people being in the middle of some kind of eternal clash of gods--as opposed to playing Red Rover or something. :-D

Anonymous said...

I had the same idea as Valentina: measurement. I thought they might otherwise be doing calisthenics (a word we no longer use but seemed fitting for 1917).

Love your lightning god story and it's as good an explanation as any!


Erin Kane Spock said...

That was so much fun. Loved the pic. I use everything for inspiration, but most frequently a line from a song will strike me. I also use astrological charts when fleshing out a character.