Pictonaut Short Story Challenge for March: ‘Going for a Walk, Going for a Walk, Going for a Walk’…

It’s the end of the month, ’cause time marches on and March is right on into April which is a brighter month full of fools, budding flowers and showers (all of which make a nice change from frigid bastard cold March. Seriously, confound you Winterish March. I’m flipping you off, flipping the clock forward and leaping forward to have fantastically fun sunshine-blast of a Spring).

With it being the end of the month it’s time to finally file my Pictonaut challenge effort which – as set by supreme future ruler of 1/7th of the Milky Way, Sifu John Steele – is titled ‘Going For a Walk’. Basic go-over the rules again: John picks an image and challenges people to write a short story about it. I accept the challenge every month, enjoy doing it and recommend it as a nice writing exercise.

This month’s Pictonaut inspirational image was a photograph taken by Simon Friedland. It’s a photo of 4 people crossing a bridge in the Soviet state department store of Moscow in 1930. It got me thinking and I grappled with the question of how to tackle this and turn it into a wordascope. Possibilities came to mind and I started to write a story about the Moon colony of Novoye-Moscow and its eccentric, homesick ruler who’d totally erased all traces of modernity to make his own Old World Space Museum. That idea got junked and the Fake Moscow Moon colony became an elaborate sham in which performance artists pretended to be the Tsar (long dead back on Earth) and made public appearances at specified times. These routine moments were part of the big con to convince the brainwashed refugees that they were still living on Earth and that the Grand Russian Empire was still going strong, winning the war against the Khanate revival or something.

That one was aborted as well. I’ve murdered many imaginary Moon Russians over the past month. Nevertheless, there’s still a story to be told and that’s the tragic tale in the link below. The photo raised a few questions, some horrible life possibilities and some general concerns about the human condition and the nature of reality. I saw something Sisyphean and dystopian in the monochrome captured moment and typed up the following short strand. It’s a bit bleak for Easter but, hey, you’ve got chocolate to cheer you up if it brings you down. I hope you enjoy reading it, if only to ensure that all those Moon Russians didn’t die in vain. Here’s my Pictonaut challenge short story for March then, titled ‘Going for a Walk, Going for a Walk, Going for a Walk’

(Click the link to read the whole thing. If you missed it, here it is again: ‘Going for a Walk, Going for a Walk, Going for a Walk’.)

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