One More Time

 

It was going to be a stretch, but the alternative was silence.

And they could not. Not with the possibility that someplace, someone, was still listening.

After all, you never knew what people managed behind closed doors with all kinds of inventions that obscured their virtual footprints from those who’d mine their minds for false and profit.

Hadn’t there been exploitation in them, too? In their own broadcasts?

“We hold to truth,” Boss said.

And fastened onto truth, they nodded.

“Good evening, folks,” they said with tight smiles flickering. “We have the news. After which we will bid you goodbye.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

Reality Check

 

The audience filed in. Excitement filled the air. A buzz of swishing coats and hushed conversation. Flash of cameras.

A few fans sidled reverently to the still-empty stage.

“I see his water bottle!” Millicent pointed.

“I know!” Brenda answered breathlessly.

The two grabbed hold of each other, starry-eyed with anticipation.

Their idol.

They could hardly believe they were about to breathe the same air as he.

A curse sounded. A figure stumbled into sight. Two men rushed behind to all but drag it back offstage.

“Could it…?” Brenda whispered, crestfallen.

“No!” Millicent demanded. “He won’t. Let’s find our seats.”

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

All Things Considered

 

All things considered, she had everything she needed.

More than she thought was there, really. More than some might consider necessary.

She leaned back in her chair, then leaned forward to straighten a stray implement. Adjust another.

“Orderly desks make orderly minds,” Papa always said. Pointedly.

She might not manage to get much order in the latter, but she sure could try to tame the chaos of the former.

And it did look better organized, she had to admit.

Now, if only the desk could fill loan applications. Or order funds to her account so she could pay the bills.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: Jan Wayne Fields

 

 

 

Seeking Silver Linings

Looking up NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

It wasn’t about giving up. It was about silver linings.

Or about looking for them. At least.

Better than seeing the mess inside her mother’s house. The junk that kept arriving, accumulating, suffocating. Better than listening to the endless arguments between her parents. Or to the cries of the neighbor from across the street. The police there every other week. Mostly on payday, when the neighbor’s husband was drunk. Fancy neighborhood. Broken lives.

So, she curled up by the window, eyes to the sky, watching fluffy clouds drifting by.

Perhaps the silver lining will ride in on the next one.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers (I mean, how could I NOT participate when Rochelle chose to use one of my photos today?! Happy, healthy, and a BETTER 2021, everyone! And to all the children in homes-of-crisis: Hang in there, it gets better, you are worth it, you are seen!)

 

Not Forgotten

 

It was his favorite saying, so of course it was the one they chose. Never mind that no one else would understand the meaning. “Others,” he’d say, “have their own stories to hoard or trim or bloat or be rid of.”

They knew that no matter how far Heaven was, he’d see this and smile.

He’d taught them to let go of what held them down.

“Gone!” he would announce, tossing fistfuls of dirt to the wind to aid the transformation. “You’re free of this. You can move on!”

His motto gleamed above the desert sand.

Gone, but not forgotten.

 

 

Photo prompt © Trish Nankivell

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

Unintended Consequences

 

“This is the stuff of nightmares.”

Nina grinned and admired her handiwork. “This is the idea.”

Daniel shuddered. This thing was creepy even in full daylight. He could only imagine how it would appear in twilight or moonlight or through a flashlight’s beam. “Did you have to make it so KKK?”

Nina’s grin slipped and quivered but returned. “Not the intent, but perhaps the effect will nonetheless be meaningful.”

Daniel scratched his afternoon whiskers. Itchy stuff, all that growing up. “How so?”

“A dilapidated, pathetically-desperate-for-a-shower bully racist figure protecting a multi-racial, pluralistic graveyard is perhaps quite apt. Don’t you think?”

 

 

Photo prompt: © Sandra Crook

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

Waiting To Travel

 

He left the house each morning as he always had, a bag with his lunch slung over a shoulder.

The harbor was no longer where he had to be, but work never was just an employment. It had been his world. Even more so since Marissa left to roam the realms beyond this world.

To him her current travels were as real as the ships that left for unseen places only to return with goods that others had stacked for his crane to unload.

One day he will sail to where Marissa was.

Till then, he watched each day unfold.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers 

Photo prompt: © Roger Bultot

 

Evidence Of Hope

 

“Aha!”

Nate looked at Mr. Banks. The tall man was bending forward, willowy limbs almost touching the pavement, round-rimmed glasses testing gravity.

“Aha, as in what?” Nate asked.

“As in I believe we have a lead.”

Nate felt his eyes fill. False hope was the worst. The desperation with which he clung to the possibility.

“And?”

The detective straightened. He pointed at the photo, then the pavement. “See her ponytail? See this? Her hair tie broke. Runaway or not, she would have tried to get a replacement. The pharmacy across the alley is the closest. They may well have footage.”

 

 

Photo prompt: © CEAyr

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

Worse Things

 

“At least you got a day off and a pedicure out of it.”

There was no mistaking the jealousy in Marianne’s voice, and Belinda glanced at her scowling co-worker before returning her gaze to her toes. She had an urge to wiggle them but thought the better of it. It’ll hurt.

“I guess I did,” Belinda responded. No use adding that she ‘got’ pain out of it, too, and the sorrow of forgoing dancing at her sister’s wedding. Marianne will only make it a competition of misery.

There were worse things than torn ligaments.

She could’ve been born as Marianne.

 

 

Photo prompt: © Susan Eames

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

All Color Gone

 

They will not be coming home.

She paced the few steps from her door to the deck’s edge and back again. She gazed up at the washed out sky. Watched as the shadows encroached on the small lawn to blanket the rocks in the graying garden. Her breath was heavy in her chest.

They will not be coming home.

With every blink, the hues were fading. Taking with them memories of laughter, of pitter-patter, of wet wool and hot cocoa steaming by the fire.

The telegram emblazoned in her mind.

The boys will not be coming home.

All color gone.

 

 

Note: Dedicated to all those who knew and know such loss.

Photo prompt: © Sarah Potter

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers