Thursday photo prompt – Violet sky #writephoto


The sunset suggested a hot day tomorrow. We dreaded it as the search had taken its toll already with several searchers overcome in the heat of the day.

So we gathered for our now familiar evening briefings. So far there had been scant findings in terms of where the family had disappeared to.

The outback is a huge place and so much of it looks like the last bit you searched. Hot, dry, rocky and unfriendly.

On the fourth day we found their car parked under an old spinifex tree the only shade as such for a long way. But no bodies were there. So we knew they had done the one thing we all knew you shouldn’t do. Leave your car and try to make it on foot. Usually because you don’t know how far help is and many people perished thinking they could walk to the nearest help.

Tomorrow it was planned to widen the search and I would take the track to the south in the unlikely event they had an idea to walk in that direction. So laden with extra water, radio and GPS I set out. By now the search team had dwindled and I was on my own as it was felt it was unlikely the family would have gone in a southerly direction.

An hour into my trek I found a doll, then a shoe belonging to a child. I radioed in my findings and soon the team were with me.

A flash of light away on the horizon was our beacon to hone onto.

We headed towards the light, hoping that despite their recklessness in leaving their car they knew the best way to survive was by flashing a mirror into the sun as the reflection would go beyond the horizon.


A week later I received a note from the father saying his thanks and gratitude for us finding him and his family, very sunburnt but alive.



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13 Responses to Thursday photo prompt – Violet sky #writephoto

  1. Lyn says:

    Very glad this tale had a happy ending Michael. It wouldn’t be the first time people have been lost in the outback or in the Australian bush. Can’t understand why people leave their car and go off on foot. For some reason the story of little Steven Walls came to mind — remember that song, Little Boy Lost? It’s 55 years ago now.

  2. willowdot21 says:

    Great story, well written, you got my interest immediately, and a happy ending! 😊

  3. kim881 says:

    Hi Michael! This is an intense story.
    And by the way, I am nominating you for the ‘three days, three quotes’ challenge. have a great weekend!

  4. Mandy Smith says:

    This is one of those stories where you hold your breath waiting for the end, trying to brace yourself for the worst but praying for an outcome like this story had. Where I live in the U.S., it seems we have several stories like this each year, only instead of the heat it’s the snow and cold that people get lost in. I know “staying put” would be so difficult when you believe no one is looking… Thank you, Michael. This was a heart-grabber.

  5. Sue Vincent says:

    A lovely story, Michael! Thank you!

  6. Pingback: Photo prompt round-up: Violet Sky #writephoto | Sue Vincent – Daily Echo

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