Sunday Photo Fiction – A Break in the Weather


Baking hot winds forever whistle east to west through the arid, lifeless valley floor. The rusting vane on the clock tower steadfastly points south to north. The hands of the clock face move slowly; at times they move backwards – in other moments they stay still, vibrating with angst ridden indecision. Not a single bird ever flies over head. All forms of life seem to avoid the town, those already here never leave.

In the town square the lonely figure of Mr McAfferty stumbles painfully through the swirling dust. From the north the sounds of thunder roar. The red skies suddenly turn a worrisome ash; flashes of lightning streak across the darkening horizon. Mr McAfferty pauses to remove his hat and spectacles as heavy droplets of rain sink from sundered heavens. Steaming water runs through his once thick black locks; a wizened tongue reaching out to taste the moistened air. A subtle smile cracks his wrinkled face.

The old fool finally goes on his way, an extra skip in his occasionally arthritic gate. Ned McAfferty swore the autumn rains made you younger. Some still say he is mad,  maybe he is; however, after 173 years people have started to believe him.


These words form my entry into this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge. Must confess I sat down and wrote this off the top of my head with no idea of the story, other than the wind vane pointing the wrong way. This may explain why it’s a bit weird!

14 thoughts on “Sunday Photo Fiction – A Break in the Weather

  1. faycinacroud

    I think old Ned is onto something. Now, if he could bottle it up, could he sell it? Or does one have to be in the cursed town for the magic to work?
    Loved this speculative bit of writing!

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks, Fay. Think the town holds the key. Let’s face it, any place where a wind vane blows the wrong way has to be a bit strange 🙂

  2. J. Raven

    Had a Stephen King feel to it – painted a vivid picture but you’re not sure, at first, where it’s going. Nice job~


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