Photo Fiction: The Graveyard

I shall do it!

The plan: Wait for the toll of six. Look to the east for Aio’s flare. Run. Get under the C-O car. Grab the gun.

And wait.

If Sabra got hit, then the others would have to start again from Garkrok.

I shall do it.

I shall do it for Echo.

The ground was soft under her knees. She shifted her body backward and rested against the camperdown. Echo would sit there for hours, reading and writing the things of a dulcess.

I shall do it for Paapa.

Her mother had gained the Council’s favor and refused to return to the Everbrush. She didn’t look at Sabra as she walked away. Paapa was prostrate, pleading as his daughter suffered the punishment.

Sabra blinked back tears.

I shall do it for Fin.

The graveyard, they had called it. Trains without tracks. Old metal beasts that came alive with the midnight company of friends. Fin said he fell in love with her there.

The last time she saw him, his arms were thrashing, his fists clenched, and his face enraged. But he would not speak to them.

When he fell, they made her watch while his blood flowed and mixed with the dirt.

She hated the rust.

She spread her hands and saw it there. It laid on her jacket and colored her socks. It clung to her hair. She tasted it with every rush of the wind.

The sky looked like late afternoon. Soon the sun would pass.

She leaned against the shackle. From her pocket, she took the note, carefully unfolding its delicate state. She had memorized the words long ago, but looking at the torn, thin parchment reminded her of how they came to be her own.

She closed her eyes and moved her lips: “For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.”

I shall do it for Him.


Nightfall and a cloud-filled sky. She moved under the coupler and held tight to the rung. Beyond the drumming of the rain she heard laughter and breaking glass. Inside she felt like she’d soon explode.

I shall do it because it must be done.

Sound. Light.


On Writing: I wrote this story yesterday for no other reason than to have fun writing from an image. When I saw the photo, my first thought was “A person is hiding here.” If you’re a writer, then you know how strange things can happen between the first and the last words of a new story. This story ended up far from what I planned. Quite a mixture of things. And that’s what makes fiction writing so enjoyable. Sometimes you just go with the flow.

Have you ever written a story from an image?

I found the photo after being referred to a photo blog, BlueEyesBrown. Click here for more great shots from her abandoned train photo shoot. Also, visit my Writing Prompts board on Pinterest to see the images I’ve collected so far.

The Bible verse that Sabra reads is Psalm 27:10, the one that changed my life when I first read it, about 20 years ago.

Darla McDavid

I'm Darla, a writer of stories about family, friends, goodness, and God. I love cats, coffee, gardening, and tall stacks of books. Click here to subscribe to my blog. You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram. In my other life, I'm an administrative professional and a Sunday School teacher for preschoolers.

2 Comments Write a comment

  1. Great job, Darla! I loved the way you defined the graveyard! “Old metal beasts that came alive with the midnight company of friends”—GREAT line!


    • Oh, I’m glad you enjoyed that one. It just rolled out of me and I was hoping it worked. Also, thanks for recommending BlueEyesBrown’s blog to me. I never would have found the photo if you hadn’t sent me there.


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