Tuesday Tales Photo Prompt: Eliza’s Trek

TT banner photoIt’s Tuesday Tales time! This is the first week I’m participating with this exciting, talented group of writers. Every week we get a word prompt to write from and once a month is a photo prompt. My first week out we got this fascinating photo. There are so many directions one could go with this.

Of course, when I saw this nostalgic downtown scene, I had to work in a story with one of my Athelstan women from the quilt squares. Photo prompts are limited to 300 words, so here’s the “shortened” version. A lot of details got cut to stay under the limit, but I was having so much fun with the story, I may expand it later.


May 2013 photo prompt

Eliza’s Trek

Eliza Jane drifted along the dusty road towards town. Shimmering light waves obscured her vision, as when heat radiates up from hot asphalt roads. Yet, she wasn’t overheated. Eliza felt marvelous with nary an ache or pain from the rheumatism that had plagued her for years.

Her vision troubled her. She couldn’t see clearly. It was like a gauzy veil surrounded her world. ‘Probably cataracts,’ she murmured out loud.

Eliza enjoyed her daily walks into Athelstan. She was born here, goodness, so many years ago. Have 80 years passed? The thought startled her. It seemed like it was yesterday. The days blurred together. Now I’m talking to myself, like the doddering old ladies I used to laugh at.

She entered town and stopped at Burt’s Market. She peered through the front window.

Who was that strange, pasty-faced young man behind the counter? He wasn’t familiar. Where was Burt? He was always there; a beefy sentry standing guard over his mercantile.


It wasn’t the same since Georgia and her husband sold the general store to Burt. I always enjoyed sitting by the stove and chatting with the townsfolk who stopped in for mail, or to barter extra eggs or milk for goods.

Thinking of Georgia, did I even see my daughter today, she wondered. I don’t recall. I don’t remember when I saw her last. My memory is so befuddled. It’s as foggy as this misty view I have.

 A rush of whirling air and chattering voices moved past, interrupting Eliza’s monologue.

 “Nellie, Doris!” Eliza called out.

 They entered the market, oblivious to her presence.

 That’s odd, they ignored me.

She reached for the door knob, to follow. She couldn’t grasp it. Looking down, she saw her handless arm protruding through the frame as if the door didn’t exist.


Thanks for stopping by. For more great stories, follow this link back to Tuesday Tales blog!



  1. Intriguing … I wonder whether “she exists” ….
    Welcome to TT !!!

    • Thanks Iris! What fun Tuesday Tales is. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. OMG! Is she dead?? It’s a bit eerie, I think, but I love the descriptions. Welcome to Tuesday Tales.

    • Thanks Jean. Thanks for all the work you do in coordinating Tuesday Tales. Thanks for welcoming me to the group.

  3. Welcome to Tuesday Tales! Does she exist or doesn`t she? Well done!

    • Thanks Vicki. When I saw that wonderful photo Jean posted I couldn’t help but thinking of my set of old quilt squares. Eliza Jane did live & die in Athelstan and I kept thinking of her making her daily walk into town, while she was alive … and still.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Oh wow! Is she a ghost? I must know more. What a wonderful take on the prompt.

  5. Intriguing, is she dead or are her friends?

    • Thanks for stopping by Sherry. Hmmmm, I was so focused on how to tell Eliza’s tale, I didn’t think of it the other way either. Mind whirling with new possibilities.

  6. I was grabbed from the start and love the twist at the end.

    • Thanks Lindsay! Wow, I’m so impressed with the writing of the TT group. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Carolyn Gibbs

    Well done. I really liked the surprise ending. Sounds like a good story coming.

    • Thanks Carolyn! I haven’t made it through the whole group yet, only half today. I’ll get to the other posts tomorrow. Great stories here all around.

  8. How enchanting to see the view from an elderly person’s POV! Love it

    • Thanks Dawne. It just seemed that this was Eliza Jane’s story from the start.
      I only made it half way through the posts today, will catch up with the second half tomorrow.

  9. Tricia

    Wow – what wonderful imagery! I am dying to know is Eliza there…or not. Welcome to TT!

    • Thanks Tricia. And actually, Eliza WAS. Maybe still is? She lived in Athelstan, Iowa and died in 1938.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Now that is an awesome hook… Can’t wait to know more…x

    • Thanks Rosalind. This is a talented group of writers.

  11. Great ending, I wonder how you are going to deal with the next part.

    • Thanks Stefan! I knew where I was going to go next, but it certainly didn’t include a library or train. So now I’m trying to figure out how to incorporate those words into the next scenes, or to skip to something else.

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