Three Line Tales : Frost coming

three line tales week 136: camping

photo by Tyler Nix via Unsplash


At midday the heat would drive Denny lumbering from the van to shelter under the makeshift lean-to. The mirror in her compact was broken which was a blessing – she didn’t relish seeing her reflection, the boiled ham flesh where once were hollow cheeks.

Still, she was grateful for the sun on her skin. Soon enough the scrub would be dusted with snow, glittering with frost. There were no trees to burn out here and few shrubs, she was down to her last canister of gas. She could freeze one night and only the coyotes would find her this side of April.

But even that wasn’t the most terrifying thought. Because the baby could come any day now, slip out of her like an eel onto a dry river bed. What if he hadn’t returned by then? What if she was alone?


Written for Three Line Tales. See the pic and write a story.


33 thoughts on “Three Line Tales : Frost coming

      1. Quite visceral…I would have commented more but the text is white when I type on my phone and I’m pretty sensitive about misspellings!


  1. Such a foreboding turn for what seemed at first like an optimistic photo, but you sucked me into that mood immediately! What a precarious position to be in, even without a baby on the way; shiver!

    I’m sneaking away from my vacation to comment, so I won’t be around much this week or two. Listening to the surf pounding on the shore outside my window here in Honolulu, everything dark and quiet before sunrise…


    1. Ooh, what a lovely picture of Honolulu you paint there – sounds glorious. There’s that sea again … Have a lovely holiday and come home refreshed and invigorated. And thank you for the lovely comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It has been very lovely. But apparently hurricane Olivia is going to hit us tomorrow, so it’s about to get… interesting. That hasn’t stopped all the people sipping cocktails at the beach bar below my window while listening to some guy crooning smoothly to his guitar, while the surf continues its own incessant beat.


      2. Hi, Joy. Hope the storm wasn’t too awful – if it’s left you yet, that is! I saw it had been downgraded but it still must have been very wet and windy there. Hunker down and enjoy those cocktails 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. We got rain and some wind for two days, but nothing that bad where we were — we escaped the worst of it, and went right on having a lovely vacation! Sadly, now I’m home… So much to catch up on!


    1. Haha! And alone too! I was thinking of all those women through history, frontiers women say, who had to cope with that pain and fear without a medical team and a hospital on hand. And all those women who still do the same thing today. Terrifying thought. Thank you for reading Jane

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Although there are gaps between reading, I like to catch up with everything you write. Since I began taking poetry seriously, yours is the only flash fiction blog I consistently follow. I love your careful choice of words, your imagery and how skilfully you lead the reader down false paths. You make your characters so real that I often find myself reading their unwritten stories.


      2. Ah, thank you Jane. That’s really the loveliest comment. I’m glad you’ve stuck with me, despite me lacking a single poetic bone! I always enjoy reading your blog – and the banter, always coming back for the banter 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ha! I like the idea of poetic organs, whispering rhyming couplets to each other through their natural squeaks and grumbles and squirting sounds. Or is that just me being odd again? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes, it’s you being odd. You should get that seen to 🙂 Or no – it shows what an active imagination you have. Maybe if you didn’t write them all out, the thoughts overfill your brain, and it would explode.


      5. Haha! My son’s favourite saying at one point was, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ – aimed at me, of course. But then, children expect their parents to behave/ be respectable/ to not say peculiar, rude, controversial things. I’m sure I’m not as odd as he thinks I am 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      6. For your benefit, I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of oddities. If none of these describe you, you’re not odd.

        1. ALWAYS wearing sticky pink lipstick and pink clothes.

        2. Voting Tory when you don’t have two ha’pennies to rub together.

        3. Going to Bingo/Line dancing.

        4. Hoovering every day – once every couple of years should be enough.

        5. Subscribing to the “Shop till you drop” ethos. Why? I mean, really, why?

        6. Wasting time talking to me when you could be doing something fun like spraying graffiti on walls or standing in the high street, doing a John Cleese-style silly walk.

        I was going to include multiplying square-numbers in the head, but I do that, so it must be normal 🙂


      7. Haha! I must be pretty normal then, because I fail at your top 5. The only one on which I get close is number six and I don’t count that as time wasted, can’t grafitti to save my life and am far too short and squat to mimic John Cleese. Who hoovers every day? They should be sent to Bedlam, along with anyone who irons bras 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Haven’t used an iron. 🙂 Not entirely true. I think I did have one my mum gave me when I first left home but it was pretty old and broke very quickly. Probably 25 years since I owned an iron. Fortunately, neither I or other half need to be smart for work – I’d hate to be stuck to an ironing board for hours, getting ready for a week’s work in an office

        Liked by 1 person

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