short story, story promptZoe keeps seeing strange, fuzzy outlines of buildings and fantastical creatures. No one else seems to notice them, until she meets a boy in the park. Does he know what’s going on?


Zoe flicked through the pictures on her phone as she slowly made her way home from school. Her pace slowed even further as she used the touch screen to zoom in on one of the pictures.

“There is definitely something strange going on,” she muttered to herself. The picture showed her friends posing for a photo. In the background, the blurry outline of buildings was only just visible, barely noticeable. It was almost like they were formed of smoke, about to be blown away by the wind. She knew there were no buildings in that area, only parkland.

She flicked to another photo, one she’d taken a few weeks ago, when she’d been in the park by herself. Meandering through the trees had been what she’d originally thought was a white horse. It had only taken her seconds to realise that it had a long horn on its forehead. She’d snapped a photo seconds before the animal had mysteriously disappeared into thin air.

She tapped a finger thoughtfully against the side of her phone. These weren’t the only instances when she’d noticed something odd, but they were the only times she’d been able to get photographic evidence.

A low rumble of thunder brought her out of her thoughts. Frowning, she glanced up at the clear blue sky. There were no clouds to be seen. She froze as she spotted a faint shadow in the sky above the park.

It was happening again!

She took a quick photo, before dashing towards the park. She was determined to get to the bottom of these strange events.

It took her barely a minute to make it to the park. It was deserted, apart from a boy who looked about her age, standing under a tree. She tried to act casual as she scouted around for any evidence.

“Lost something?” a voice asked.

She jumped. Turning, she offered an innocent smile to the boy who’d been under the tree and was now standing in front of her. “No. I just enjoy a walk through the park.”

He seemed to be scrutinising her. “You can see it, can’t you?”

She blinked. “See what?”

“The Blur.”

“What blur?”

He shook his head impatiently. “The Blur. The strange, fuzzy outlines of objects or glimpses of otherworldly places and animals.”

She gaped at him. He could see it too?

Before she could decide what to say, he grabbed her arm and yanked her behind a tree.

“Wh-” He clamped a hand over her mouth before she could say anything else.

“Quiet! Don’t you see that?” He slowly removed his hand and pointed at something beyond the tree trunk.

Zoe peered around. Sure enough, a faded impression of elegant towers shimmered not far away. Seconds later, it was gone.

“What is it?” she demanded of the boy. “What are these visions?”

He shrugged. “We don’t know exactly. We’ve been trying to find out for a while now. The best theory we have is that we’re getting glimpses of another world, one that is parallel to our own. When the barrier between our worlds weakens, these blurry outlines are visible. We call it the Blur.”

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