Belated Goodbye

Copyright Sandra Crook

 

“This was your family’s restaurant?” Erica asked.

I nodded, silent, reliving that horrible night: My fiance Haydn’s pushing me into the cellar and commanding me to keep silent, no matter what.”

Erica understood. “You never saw him again?”

I shook my head. “Two survivors said he’d been captured. But I never could find out.”

“Look!” Erica grabbed my arm. “Someone’s in the upstairs window — looking at us.”

“Some scavenger,” I said, brushing away tears. But then I looked more closely, catching my breath.  “It can’t be,” I whispered.

“What?”

“It’s him!”  I waved frantically: “Haydn!”

He waved, smiled, and in the same moment, vanished. I looked at Erica. Her shocked face assured me I hadn’t imagined  him.

“Finally … after all these painful years … we’ve said goodbye.”

 


Friday Fictioneers writing challenge

 

 

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How About a Glass of Wine?

photo copyright: Sarah Ann Hall

 

“What the heck are they?”
“They look like candle holders to me.”
“Hmmm, I don’t see any candles. Hey this one is open down to the bottom … and so is this one. Maybe they’re fancy vases.”
“Well, they sure wouldn’t hold many flowers. Wonder why Aunt Enid left them to us.”
“Honey, you know Aunt Enid. When she’d had her daily wine quota, she was liable to do almost anything.”
“That’s it!  That’s what we’ll use them for.”
“Huh?”
“At our next dinner party, we’ll use them as wine glasses.”
“Well, that’s one way to start conversation. Let’s get ’em washed.”

 


Friday Fictioneers Fun.

 

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The Journey – Friday Fictioneers 9/8/17

FF - DANNY BOWMAN LANDSCAPE
Copyright: Danny Bowman

 

Created by feet of Shoshone buffalo hunters, the trail had eventually become a stage coach road. But today, Hiram Baker plodded it alone – hungry, thirsty, bone-weary. His horse had given out two days ago, and all that kept him going was the love of a blue-eyed woman waiting for him beyond that mountain range. Cecilia had promised to marry him as soon as he was released from prison. Eight years could change a woman’s heart … but he knew Cecilia. Her heart could feel his, and those blue eyes would see him as he crossed over the summit.


 

Follow this link to participate in this week’s Friday Fictioneers and share your own 100-word story.

Weekly Smile 85

Sometimes it’s the simplest things that make our life happy. Each time I look at this picture of the donkey, I find myself smiling. I wrote this story some time back in response to a flash fiction challenge, but I found myself thinking about this picture as I pondered my “smile” this week, so I decided to share Clover’s story here.

DONKEY

Clover nuzzled the sweet-smelling ground cover that had inspired her name. She lived here now, on Old Jake’s homestead, having stumbled onto it by accident – or by Divine intervention – after being beaten by her previous owner and barely escaping. Limping through the stormy night, she’d eventually collapsed  in this sweet-smelling field.

Next morning, Jake had found her, huddled in pain and traumatized by her injuries. He’d bathed her wounds, fed her, petted her, and made her his own. She had the run of the farm, but her favorite spot was this field of sweet clover where she spent quiet days being grateful to Old Jake for his love.


 

To participate in ‘Weekly Smile’ visit “Trent’s World.”

 

 

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Friday Fictioneers 7.28.17: “Love On The Line # 2”

This week’s Friday Fictioneers picture prompt reminded me of a delightful and heart-melting true story that I read about several years ago. It took place during WWII, and involved a real U. S. serviceman, the woman who was the love of his life, and a tender-hearted, romantic telephone operator. I was so touched by the story that I told it (changing names, etc.) in a poem on this site about four years ago. That poem, however, in order to tell the whole story properly, took much more than 100 words.

But when I saw the picture today, I just couldn’t get away from that love story, so I’ve tried my best to squeeze it into the requirements for our FF challenge. I’m still 14 words over the limit, but if your romance outweighs your legalism, you might enjoy it anyway.

Today’s thought-provoking prompt comes to us from J. Hardy Carroll.

 

LOVE ON THE LINE

“Operator, I’m calling Susan Wheeler, St. Louis.”
“This blizzard may interfere with connection, sir.”
“Please try, my 2-day leave is almost gone.”

“Hello.”
“I have a call for Susan Wheeler from Bill Meadows in Boston.”
“This is Susan.”
“Hold please. Go ahead sir.”
“Susan! Sweetheart!”
“Oh, Bill, I was getting worried.”
“Honey, the blizzard’s too bad for me to get there, but I must ask you something important.”
ZZZZmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
“Sorry sir, we’ve lost your connection.”
“NO! Please. I’m trying to propose!”
“It’s no use sir.”
“Noooooooooo!”
“But she can hear me. Shall I relay your question?”
“Yes, please; I have to know! Ask her if she’ll marry me.”

“Great news, Sir. She says yes!”


If you’re interested enough to get the more complete version, here’s a link to the poem.

 

 

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Friday Fictioneers: 7/14/17

To participate in this week’s Friday Fictioneers, visit Rochelle’s site. The picture prompt below is the property of  Janet Webb.

 

BETRAYED BY TECHNOLOGY

He’d done it. He smiled at the perfect job. He’d left her lying across the bed with the pill bottle in her hand. And she hadn’t even suspected that he’d doctored her drink.

She did love to drink, and that had made it so easy. He smiled again as he leaned back in his easy chair savoring his success. Leaving the lone candle burning was an artistic touch. And his fake alibi was so tight, he’d never be suspected.

Now, to call Bernard and report his success. Reaching into his pocket, he froze. Where the hell was his cell phone?

 

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Daily Post Prompt: Jangle

The jangling of the bells gradually seeped into Garret’s unconsciousness and began to nudge him into a little clarity.  He listened for several moments before trying to open his eyes. When he finally lifted the heavy lids, the light seemed blinding and pain shot through is head at the entrance of that light. He immediately shut his eyelids again and groaned.

Unfortunately, the groan itself caused more pain in his head. He was lying flat on hard ground, and he tried to lift his right arm to touch his head and see if he could determine what was wrong. He did manage to get his arm up, but it felt so heavy, he didn’t bother to take it all the way to his head.

The jangling sound was coming closer, and he wondered why the sound itself didn’t cause him more pain. Maybe because it was very low-toned and rhythmic. It reminded him of something, but he couldn’t think what.  In fact, he felt as if he couldn’t think much of anything.  That scared him, but before he could delve into that problem, a gentle voice spoke to him, and a soft hand touched his shoulder.

“Mister, are you alive?”  The voice sounded young, but masculine. He opened his eyes again and, in spite of the pain, managed to roll his eyes to the side enough to see a young boy — perhaps twelve or thirteen — kneeling beside him on the ground. He spoke again. “Oh, you are alive. Thank goodness. Can you move?”

Garret put all his strength into slowly moving his head toward the boy and forcing out the words. “A little.”

The boy heaved a sigh of relief. “You’re not far from my house. I’m on my way home with our cows now, and I will tell my father. He will come for you and help you.”

Garrett gave a small nod of his head, but stopped immediately. Too much pain. So he croaked out his thanks and closed his eyelids again. The young boy patted him on the shoulder and rose, calling to his cows.  As he did so, the jangling sound, which had been intermittent during the conversation with the boy, now began its rhythmic music again as the herd evidently obeyed the boy’s command.

During the wait for the boy’s father, Garrett slipped in and out of consciousness, but his periods of lucidity were longer now and more clear. The pain had dulled a little, and when he heard an engine approaching, he took heart and even lifted his head slightly to look that direction. Pain seared him, but he took courage when he saw the old truck.

The farmer had his young boy with him, as well as another grown man. They stooped down and the second man spoke. “I was a medic in the army, sir, and I’m going to try to check you before we try to get you up.”

“Thanks,” Garrett managed to whisper. The young man began to feel Garrett’s arms and legs and press on his abdomen, checking for broken bones or internal injuries. As he worked he reported that he was fairly sure Garrett had a concussion, and that one leg was broken and a shoulder dislocated. But with the help of some splinting materials he had brought along, he felt it was safe to get Garret up and into the truck. They had already phoned the doctor before leaving the house, and he’d promised to come out to the farm when he was finished with hospital rounds.

During the transfer to the truck, Garrett lost consciousness again, but when he was finally lying flat and had a cold cloth on his head, he came to. “Can you tell us your name, Son,” the farmer asked, as he sat beside Garrett in the truck bed for the trip.

Garrett opened his mouth, but nothing came out. He couldn’t find a name — no name at all. He couldn’t find any identity in his conscious mind. He turned fear-filled eyes to the farmer.  “No sir,” Garrett said.  “I don’t know my name … I don’t know who I am ….”



Daily Post Prompt: Jangle

 

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‘After the Storm’ – Friday Fictioneers 6/16/17

Photo Prompt:  Copyright Dale Rogerson

 

AFTER THE STORM

“Ouch! Hey, watch where you’re stepping!”

“Sorry. I was taking pictures of the moon breaking through.”

“What’s the big deal? The moon’s out every night.”

“Not bursting through the center of heavy storm clouds. Aren’t you glad that vicious storm’s over?”

“That storm destroyed my home and killed my dog. The moon won’t change any of that. Now move!”

He shoved past, and she froze, remembering how, years before, Hurricane Katrina had robbed her of her home, her husband, and her son.

Suddenly, she looked up and refocused her camera. It was important to remember that storms didn’t last forever.


To participate with your own 100-word story, visit Friday Fictioneers host at this link.

 

 

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Friday Fictioneers 6/9/17: ‘The Gardener’

It’s been a while since I’ve had opportunity to participate in Friday Fictioneers, but this week’s photo just pulled this little tale right out of me. If you’d like to join in the fun, visit Rochelle at the link above.

This week’s photo is courtesy of Sarah Potter. There was no link for Sarah on the host site. Sorry. But her photo is below, and my story follows that.

summer house

Photo © Sarah Potter


THE GARDENER

There it was: the jar labeled plant food. Just as I’d left it when they’d handcuffed me and carted me off. It looked innocuous amidst the heinous overgrowth of Hilda’s desk-top garden. Everyone knew plants were her life, and a jar of food drew no attention at all.

The police finally released me; no trace of evidence I had poisoned her. The doctor identified the fatal stuff with some multi-syllabled word, but nothing pointed to my having any of it.

Now … to mix a drink for these damned plants with the rest of that powder.

 

 

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Friday Fictioneers 1/27/17 – The Date

This week’s Friday Fictioneers 100-Word challenge was hard for me. I just couldn’t get “connected” with those antique cars. But finally, thanks to Orville and Julie-Bell, I managed to come up with something. If you’d like to join the fun follow the link and get the details.

My story is below Al’s photo prompt.

PHOTO PROMPT © Al Forbes
Copyright Al Forbes

THE DATE

 

“Orville! Stop pretending we’re out of gas, and get me home!”

“But – ”

“Stop. Aunt Pearl always said never trust any man who drives a crank-up machine with no top.”

“Oh, Julie-Bell … Honey,” Orville cooed, wrapping his arms around her. “Just one little kiss.”

Julie squirmed, blushed, fluttered her eyelids. “Well …”

“That’s my girl.”

Just as Orville’s lips settled firmly in place, the sky burst open, and drenched the lovers.

“Now look what you’ve done,” Julie wailed.

Orville hopped out and went to crank the motor. “Well, at least I can skip the cold shower when I get home.”

 

 

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Saturday Mix – Lorraine

Lorraine is the challenger for this week’s Saturday Mix. She has offered three possibilities to stir up our writing egos. I was most drawn to the 25-word challenge based on the picture. But you may enjoy the other two as well. So if you like writing and want to stretch yourself a little, take a look at the details of the challenge here.

My story is below the picture.

untitled-4
Photo copyright: Lorraine

FROM THE CELLAR

A twelve-year-old, I gaped at the twister roaring toward us, tossing houses and livestock like matchsticks. From the cellar, I watched my world change forever.

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Saturday Mix 1/14/17 – ‘Last-Minute Decisions’

This week is the first time I’ve taken part in the “Mindlovesmisery” writing challenges. This week we are to write a story in 100 words or less. The host site offered a picture for inspiration, but I put that aside because the idea I wanted to work with didn’t fit that particular picture. To take part you can visit here.


wedding-cakeLAST-MINUTE DECISIONS

The auditorium was full of guests, the organist waiting for her cue. The best man stood at the door, ready to enter as soon as the groom came back inside. He’d just stepped out for some air. Where the heck was he?

Suddenly Carter hurried into the room, passed by his best man, and entered the auditorium. Looking at the guests, he took a deep breath and spoke:

“Sorry folks. Seems my bride eloped with someone else.” He laughed. “She took the car I’d arranged for my own last-minute escape.”

 

 

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Friday Fictioneers 12/23/16: Dear Diary

To get involved in this week’s 100-word story challenge, visit Rochelle’s site.  This week’s photo is courtesy of Roger Bultot. My story’s below the photo.

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Dear Diary,

Tonight after play practice, Sheila, Janice, and I drove to Rudy’s Drive-In for burgers and root beers. We’d planned on going inside, but as soon as we drove up, I recognized Jimmy’s car. He was with Roberta!!!

I talked the girls into settling for curb service so that I could scrunch down in the back seat and watch Jimmy’s car. He and Roberta were totally absorbed in each other – laughing, having a great time. When our burgers came, I couldn’t swallow a single bite.

 

 

 

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Adoption – flash fiction

I wrote this story almost two years ago for a flash-fiction writing challenge, and I’m not sure why it’s been on my mind and heart the past few days. But it has been, and I figured that was a good reason to give it another few minutes in the spotlight. 

small-brown-dog-pub-dom-raincarnation40
raincarnation40 / pixabay

Hair bristled on my neck. I was bein’ followed. I whirled ’round and found Zanzibar ploddin’ behind me, head down, tail draggin’.

“Hey, boy,” I said, squattin’ down. “Where’s ol’ Toby?”

Zanzibar whined, licked my hand, whined again. Somethin’ was wrong. Zanzibar and that ol’ hobo were thicker’n fam’ly. They came through here first week of ever month. Stayed ’till the coal train came through and stopped at the crossin’. But this weren’t the first week. Where was ol’ Toby?

I hunted three days for Toby; no luck. Reckon that lung problem finally got ‘im. Zanzibar’s tail’s still draggin’, and he won’t let me out of ‘is sight. Reckon I got me a dog.

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Friday Fictioneers 12/2/16: Solitary Confinement

I’m determined to participate in this week’s Friday Fictioneers. The prompt for the 100-word story is the picture below, compliments of Jan Wayne Fields.

PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Wayne Fields
Copyright Jan Wayne Fields

 

SOLITARY CONFINEMENT

He crossed out the date. Two years now – and only a little crazy. The symptoms had abated, but government doctors weren’t negotiating about his exile.

“Sorry, Nigel,” they’d said at the last visit, looking through the visors of their protective headgear and patting his arm with their sterile gloves. “Lessening symptoms don’t mean anything. The disease won’t die out – until you do. There’s still no cure. Total isolation is still mandatory to avoid spreading. We appreciate your obedience in staying strictly within the circle painted around your camp. The cameras show you’ve been diligent about it.”

He sat now staring at those cameras. He’d rigged them to cover for him, and so far no one suspected a thing.

 

 

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