DISCUSSION THREAD -- October 2022 -- 300 Word Writing Challenge #47

Congratulations, Victoria! Commiserations to the runners-up!

Regarding my entry, as I was floundering for a story -- a be-a-light-against-the-storm idea not gelling -- I remembered a news article earlier in the year about a causeway across to one of Palmerston's follies in the Solent which is the site of a "traditional" mass walk in August St Helen's Fort Walk: Walkers ignore warnings to make crossing Serendipitously, I discovered that St Helen's Fort actually was once used as a lighthouse -- the National Trust site has a brief piece about it here (you need to read down the page a bit) St Helens Duver | Maritime history
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Thanks for the shortlist / mentions to @sule, @AnRoinnUltra, @M. Robert Gibson, @Starbeast, @Parson and @Phyrebrat.

A special thanks to @BT Jones, @THX1138, @Peter V, @Cat's Cradle, @Elckerlyc, @nixie, @Jo Zebedee and @Wayne Mack for the votes.

My story's protagonist was based on our own garrulous mongrel, Buster, who lived until the ripe old age of 18. We found her as a wandering six-month-old stray in 1972 and she died in 1990. She was a hopeless guard dog - we had to teach her how to bark - but had a wonderful mothering instinct. It's only in recent years looking back at photographs of our children from the 70s that, in practically every one, Buster is sitting next to them keeping a watching eye.

On those cold, wet and windy days she would stand with her toes on the edge of the doorstep, lean out to sample the conditions and then turn and look at me as if to say 'You expect me to go out in this?'.
Congratulations to Victoria for the wonderful story and thrilling victory (I think that is your second 300 worder of the year, maybe?)! And congratulations to paranoid marvin, Daysman, and Phyrebrat for the wonderful stories, and for keeping it so close, right to the end. Congratulations, too, to everyone who participated. A good Challenge.

I always envy the people who have a terrific story of the derivation of their entry. Mine just come into mind... monsters from the id, I guess.

Huge thanks to The Judge, and Bren G for the late listing, and vote. :) The next 300 worder begins on January 1st, looking forward to working with everyone again, CC

ps - @mosaix, Buster sounds as though he was a wonderful creature. We're always so lucky to have had these animal partners in our lives.
Congratulations Victoria Silverwolf
@Victoria Silverwolf

@paranoid marvin & @Phyrebrat Silver Metal

@Daysman Bronze Metal

Plus a ginormous WELL DONE to everyone else for their awesome entries.

Get Well soon @Perpetual Man

& a huge THANK YOU for all who mentioned my tale.

My Story: I based my submission on an exceedingly vivid dream I had. I was the guy who protected the family. Except for the cigars, everything I wrote was exactly like my dream. When I awoke, I felt like I was charged with positive energy and strength filled my limbs. I stood up, looked out a window and smiled, then thanked thee almighty for testing my faith against evil. My sister-in-law said that my dream represented me destroying my negativity. Both answers I feel are correct.

Plus I do often have vivid dreams that are in color.
Mine was a return to childhood thinking, where every sea cave is a secret submarine pen and there are always spies on a night sleeper train.
I enjoyed writing it. It was there straight away, before we had finished voting on the images, so even without the lighthouse photo winning it was going to happen.:)
My story was a surprise both to me and in the ending. I was pretty sure from the first time I saw the picture that I wanted that lighthouse to be a spaceship that was just waiting for someone to wake it up. I was really happy with the conversation that the main character had with control but I wasn't sure how to end the story. And then in a wild hair moment the thought came to me, I'll make it a joke. The story probably suffered from that ending, but it brought a smile to my face and even got a mention or two and one precious vote. Thanks @M. Robert Gibson. I'll count that a success every time.
Congratulations @Victoria Silverwolf on the victory

Thanks to @Luiglin, @JS Wiig, @Christine Wheelwright, and @chuckroc73 for the votes, and thanks also for mentions/listings/whatnot from @BT Jones, @johnnyjet, @Starbeast, @Cat's Cradle, @Phyrebrat, and @The Judge (I think that's everybody). Considering I looked at my story a day or two after posting and immediately saw a few spots I could have improved it, I'm pretty glad with that response.

A few notes about my story. Been thinking a lot about loss lately. Went to two funerals this summer, one for a friend from university who passed suddenly and unexpectedly in his mid-thirties (I was told brain aneurysm), and another for my aunt who finally succumbed to cancer after 7 years. There was also a trilogy of music videos put out about a month ago really focusing on the dark side of loss (aptly titled Pain Remains) that have been making metalheads cry, and the songs and videos are really well done and have been rattling around in my head (the videos come with a trigger warning, I'll add them under a spoiler tag here). These are deathcore songs (think extreme metal), so I'd wager few of you might enjoy the music (and likely none of you will enjoy the vocals!) and it comes with a big trigger warning for self-harm and suicide; I find parts of it pretty hard to watch. But if you're interested, somebody stitched together all three official videos, and added subtitles, here:
On the flip side, one of the people who spoke at my aunt's funeral spoke at length about the great love that she had for her family and those she cared about, and how he could feel that love was still there so she wasn't really gone. At some point while trying to think of a story for this challenge it clicked for me that the love and pain that remain after a loss like that are two sides of the same coin, and I decided I wanted to write something focusing on the love, rather than the pain. It was harder than I thought; I had several pretty good ideas focusing on the darkness before what eventually became my story came to me. I've been seeing my uncle a fair bit since the funeral (they'd moved to be closer to family shortly before her health took a sharp turn for the worse) and though he doesn't always show it, I think he's been struggling a bit; who wouldn't after losing their spouse of 50 years. I think part of me wanted it to end on a hopeful note because I want to be hopeful for him. In any case, this one was more for me than anybody else.