Sunday Photo Fiction 5-15-2019

SPF 10-28-8 Fandango 4
Photo Credit:Fandango

Sunday Photo Fiction


Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree…

J RR Tolkien

“And down the street and past the drug store and across the mall to the Ice Cream Parlor….” There were trees, yes, but no rocks.

He settled under the red flowing tree.  Why weren’t there any rocks? The song said over rock and under tree. Okay, he was under a tree but… no rocks.

How was he going to get home without rocks?

“John? It is time to go home now.”

“No rocks.”

“No, look,” the nurse called, holding up a bag of rocks. “Here they are.”

His eyes widened as he scrambled to his feet.

Rocks!

He could finally go home!

Sunday Photo Fiction 4-28-2019

Reena Saxena
Photo Credit:Reena Saxena

Sunday Photo Fiction


Thirty Seconds

Really, the having a tea behind a curtain thing was way overdone and, frankly, stupid, but when in Rome. He stared at his tea for a moment before taking another sip, feeling confined in the tiny space of his table and the curtain dividing him from the world.

If he wanted to be divided from the world, he wouldn’t be sitting there. He’d be out doing something totally useless and unproductive. Then again, that might be thought to be connecting, so he didn’t know what he would be doing, but he would be doing something, of that he was certain. Not sitting behind a stupid curtain sipping ice tea – which, by the way, he didn’t want any more……

“Right this way, Prime Minister,” a voice said from beyond the curtain.

He set his tea down and pulled out a tape recorder.

Sunday Photo Fiction 4-24-2019

SPF Export (1 of 1)Photo Credit:Susan Spaulding

Sunday Photo Fiction


The bicycle lady sat under her umbrella. Nobody came to buy her flowers, but she didn’t come to the corner every day to sell flowers. She came to sit and watch the world go by.

Men stood on the Pharmacy steps, chewing and telling tales. Women and children waited for buses. Every day, the owner of the pharmacy brought her a cold drink in the morning and afternoon, lunch at noon.

She drew pictures of their lives in her head, sparked by a word or a walk, a gesture.

She belonged.

Until, one day, she didn’t.

Sunday Photo Fiction 4-17-2019

Steampunk
Photo Credit:Susan Spaulding

Sunday Photo Fiction


 

“It don’t think this is right,” Nathan said, leaning so far back, eyes searching the balloon above them, Bridgett thought he might fall out of the basket. “Are you sure this is where they told you to come?”

“Yes,” she replied, the same answer she had been giving for the last two hours. “At 1410 the lattice-work will open and we’ll float up into the atmosphere.”

He straightened. “Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“This isn’t some sneaky trick by the enemy to take us out?”

“Really? Are you that paranoid?”

“No.” But he was. “So what happens then?”

“The space ship collects us, mission complete.”

Nathan frowned. “I don’t like it.”

“What could go wrong? Stop being a worry-wart.”

He didn’t say anything, but there were a lot of things which could go wrong and he thought he knew them all.

A moment later, she slipped over the side of the basket. “I’ve got to go to the bathroom. I’ll be right back.”

He looked at his watch. “But… it’s 1400.”

“I’ll be back.”

At the bottom of the rope ladder, she stood, watching the lattice-work open and the balloon float upwards.

Space ship; really? She laughed.

 

 

Sunday Photo Fiction 4-8-2019

CE AYR 3
Photo Credit: C.E. Ayr

Sunday Photo Fiction


He sat on the ledge of the support column, watching the water rushing beneath his dangling feet. He wasn’t sure, now he was here, if he could actually do it, but it had been hard enough climbing down. He would be dead, not because he wanted to die, but because he couldn’t climb back up.

Irony, something his family would never understand. Mike might, but then he understood more things in his world than the real world. And this was definitely not the real world.

He laughed, a strange and hollow sound.  This felt like one of those dreams where you fall forever and never hit ground. Or where something is chasing you, but you can’t run.

What was he trying to escape? Life in this boring town? A drunk mother and an absent father, thing his friends though were cool because he could do whatever he pleased.

He looked up, but the supports seemed to be growing taller and taller and taller, dark against the blue and white dappled sky.

In the dream, he rose, staring down at the swirling water, mesmerized, one foot inching towards the edge.

Sunday Photo Fiction 3-26-2019 on 4-9-2019

SPF 11-11-18 Pensitivity
Photo Courtesy of pensitivity101

Sunday Photo Fiction


 

“Look good,” he said though he hated tomatoes. “Are they supposed to be green or red when you eat them?”

“These? Red though there are green tomatoes.”

“How do you tell the difference?”

“How… they are different varieties.”

“But don’t they all look like tomatoes?”

“Yes, but…”

“So how do you tell?”

Clenching his jaw, John replied, “They are either red or green.”

“Ah, makes sense, but I still wouldn’t eat them.”

“why not?”

“Poison.”

“You think somebody has poisoned my tomato patch?”

“No, no, tomatoes are poisonous.”

“Bullshit.”

“It’s true.”

“Says who?”

“Wikipedia.”

“Oh, then it’s the God’s truth all right.”

Pause.

“Are you making fun of me simply because I told you something you don’t want to believe.”

“Believe me, no. ”

“It is in the nightshade family, you know.”

“No, I didn’t.”

They stood for a few moments, before Danny walked off, mumbling ‘stupid tomatoes,’ as he left.

John watched him for a moment and shook his head.  Stupid tomato.

Sunday Photo Fiction 3-18-2019

BicyclesPhoto Courtesy of Susan Spaulding

Yellow

Bicycles? And yellow bicycles at that?

First fact, he hated the color yellow as much as he hated sunflowers, rubber duckies, butter, lemons and chickens, the babies at least. Adult chickens were okay, but mean as hell.

Frankly, he just hated the color yellow and everything it entailed.

“I’m not riding a yellow bike.”

“Really?” asked with a groan.

” Nope.”

“Okay, have a nice walk.”

“You are going to walk with me, right?”

“Hell no. I’m riding the damn yellow bike.”

“You can’t.”

“Why not?”

“Well… I don’t like yellow bikes.”

“So. I do.”

“But….”

“Nothing,” Darcy finished for him, grabbing one of the bikes and swinging his leg over the saddle.

“Will you get the tickets for me?”

“No.” He looked back at Mike. “You have to get them yourself.”

“But I won’t get there in time.”

Darcy shrugged, pushing off and heading down the street. “Get on the bike!” he shouted over his shoulder.

With an angry shout, Mike started to run after his brother.

 

 

 

Sunday Photo Fiction 3-12-2019

Lakshmi Bhat

Photo Courtesy of Lakshmi Bhat

He watched the little girl – assuming girl due to the pink – waddle down the shaded path, idly wondering where she belonged. It was something to do as he sat on the tiny patio drinking iced tea. Kids weren’t his thing. He assumed he had nieces and nephews, but he’d never seen them and they probably didn’t even know he existed.

Glancing at his watch, he looked back at the little girl, following her tottering steps with his eyes. If that little girl disappeared, she would be missed, unlike himself. Maybe that was what was wrong with him.  Maybe if he’d been missed by somebody, he wouldn’t be at this exact place at this exact time.

A woman came down the path, calling for the little girl. Finishing his tea, he rose, falling into step behind the woman.

She reached the little girl and lifted her up onto her hip, laughing.

He shot her in the back of the head.

Would it go the other way, he wondered, walking away. Would the little girl even remember to miss her mother?

 

Sunday Photo Fiction 3-7-2019

Train StationPhoto Courtesy of C.E. Ayr

Sunday Photo Fiction


It had been fifty years since he’d taken the train, since their honeymoon, and he was equally parts excited and scared. What if it wasn’t the same? What if he didn’t get that same feeling of wheels on the tracks? What if…..

There were no good ‘what ifs,’ in life. He’d learned that after his wife died. What if he’d insisted she go to the doctor sooner? What if he’d known something was wrong? But they didn’t bring her back, those what if’s, and they didn’t salve the pain of his loss. In fact, they increased the pain, thinking he might have  somehow saved her.

Within minutes, the train pulled up to the station and he boarded, finding a seat in a mostly empty car. As the train pulled out of the station, he relaxed back into his seat, the click-clack of the wheels lulling him towards sleep.

“What do you think the Plains will look like?” she asked, bouncing in her seat. “I can’t imagine flatness forever.”

He was buried beside her on a rainy day in November, train whistle raw in the distance.

(187)

A Funny… Weird… Sad Thing Happened on the Way to the Armchair 12/12/2019

And no, I don’t mean funny ha ha. I mean funny as:

“differing from the ordinary in a suspicious, perplexing, quaint, or eccentric way: peculiar” as quoted from the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

And maybe, I don’t even mean that.

Maybe I mean weird in the same “suspicious, perplexing, quaint or eccentric way.”

To be honest, I am not sure. My brain hasn’t processed enough to understand something which is, ultimately, not understandable.

I do know I mean sad. As in the sadness and shock of my world being changed in an instant.

Yesterday, in the middle of a normal, everyday, day, a co-worker with no health problems, no signs of anything wrong, collapsed at the office. After getting her heart started again three times, the rescue squad spirited her away.

She didn’t make it.

I only knew her as a familiar voice on the phone over the years I have been at my job, both at the hospital and now at my current position. She was always happy and friendly. Happy, I guess, just to be alive. Phone co-workers, phone-friends, even if we never met face to face.

Until last week. Last week, I spoke with her on the phone and discovered she works in the same office building as I do, just around the corner. I asked where she sat so I could come say hi. You see, I’d seen her at the office, but I never put the name to the face. At the end of the week, she walked by my desk and waved. “I’m Betty(not her real name).”

Now she is gone and something inside me is gone, too. Maybe not forever, but pushed down by the shock in which I’ve been moving these last hours.

How does this happen? How can somebody be there one minutes, fine and whole and healthy, and the next, gone? I don’t understand and I don’t like it.

The truth is, none of us are safe. Our lives can change in an instant, both because of those around us and us ourselves. Life is not forever. Life is a butterfly soaring on fragile wings until that one moment when a wing breaks and all is over.

Should we hold those dearest to us close and never let them go. Should we remember to show our love in every day and in every day? Should we never take anything for granted?

Yes, yes and yes. We should do all this and more. I should hug my child every day and tell him I love him. I should call my child living an hour away and do the same. I should call my father, my sister, my friends.

So why don’t I?

Because, in the end, we all willing wear blinders to hide us from the truth. Not out of indifference, but out of fear. We are afraid of death and afraid of the vacuum left behind at another’s death.

I am feeling this sadness because of the suddenness of her death. It was another day, just any old another day, so how could it change so fast?

I don’t have that answer. Maybe, I never will.

Right now, I need to hug my son and my puppy and my cats. Right now I need to celebrate being alive…..