The Loophole

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

“Why would anyone choose this tomb?”

Sally’s voice ricocheted in the clearing. I felt my face flush and dug my nails into my palms to keep from responding.

“I realize they don’t need light, but what do they have against air?”

“They’re blind, you know, not deaf,” Mark noted dryly. I could’ve kissed him.

Sally shrugged. She leaned forward and slapped the wall. “Thick walls. I bet they’re as good as.”

“Or not.”

Sally boomeranged off the wall as if electrocuted.

A hand waved out of an arrow slit, two inches from her waist.

I grinned.

“Come right in. Dinner’s ready.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

The Gift

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

 

She left him a gift.

She knew he wasn’t likely to acknowledge it. It was possible he wouldn’t know or care where it had come from. It didn’t matter. Or perhaps it did – and terribly – but she could do nothing to change it. Where others sought connection and cultivated relationships, her father’s world revolved around rocks, shells, sticks, pebbles, stones. Those he caressed, inspected, studied, catalogued.

She’d learned to expect nothing. It was the only way to lessen heartbreak.

She left the coral piece on the table. Perhaps if he kept it, it would be as if he saw her.

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

The Service


PHOTO PROMPT © Yvette Prior

 

All was set for the service.

Programs lounged on chairs in the next room. The adequately melancholy music played. Discrete tissue boxes rested at either end of the first row.

She waited as heels clicked on marble and black fabrics swished and the somber faces of acquaintances, rearranged for the occasion, nodded at her. She endured the hugs and shoulder pats and too-long handshakes. She breathed through the words.

The room quieted.

She rose and stared at the ornate urn on the dais before turning to face the living.

“You should know,” she began, “that Dad was not a good man.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

In Case Of Rain

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

 

It was their anniversary, and once again he was late.

The office manager held him up for nonsense that could’ve easily waited for tomorrow. Mr. Billings often did so when Gary was in a rush. It was a cruel little game he played, knowing that with previous ‘insubordination’ records in his file, Gary could not afford even the slightest reprimand. No job, no health insurance.

His phone buzzed as he rushed to the restaurant. A text.

“Lost?”

Mary. Gary’s heart sank. He ran faster. His phone vibrated again.

“I’m under a blue umbrella. You know, in case of rain.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

Bedtime for Luna


PHOTO PROMPT © Gah Learner

 

“So, remember,” her hand on the door’s handle. “Bedtime at 9, only one treat, brush your teeth.”

“And no opening the door for anyone,” he intoned.

At least it got him a smile. There weren’t many of them of late.

She tucked an errant lock of hair behind an ear and suddenly he couldn’t stand it.

“When will you be back?” He knew. He had to ask.

She glanced at the window. The court-order weighed heavy on her mind.

“When Luna goes to bed behind the mountain, I’ll be home.”

For the last time.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

Gramma’s Right

PHOTO PROMPT © Nathan Sowers

 

“You can come with me,” she insisted.

“Mazie,” I sighed. “You’re old enough to know not to take Gramma’s stories literally.”

The seven-year-old shrugged, and the new pixie cut she’d insisted on and which took away the curls I so adored, glinted in the light.

She glanced at the dilapidated building, then at me. Her face was inscrutable. Was she hesitant or exasperated? Perhaps both?

The moment stretched.

“Gramma’s right,” she sputtered. “You’re too stubborn for your own good.”

And she stepped through the mirror, onto grass, and disappeared into the shack.

 

 

For Friday Fictioneers: August 31 2018

 

Green Machine

PHOTO PROMPT © Ronda Del Boccio

 

“Bah,” they taunted. “Your resolutions never last.”

She stewed.

When her twin brothers showed up for their monthly siblings’-dinner, muscles and righteous bravado rippling under too-tight shirts, she knew what they were expecting: Frozen pizza or boxed mac-and-cheese. The usual Candace-can’t-cook stuff.

They sprawled on her couch and let her putter in the kitchen.

“When’s the pizza ready, Sis?” Brian called. “We’re starving.”

She smirked. He and Bobby lectured her alright, but she knew they secretly looked forward to their junkfood fix.

“Oh, no pizza,” she brought out the shot glasses. “Wheatgrass!”

 

For Friday Fictioneers, August 10, 2018

 

Not All Is Lost

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

 

They were always getting blown out of their homes. She couldn’t stand it. She knew how it felt to be homeless, especially for a youngling. And she’d seen the devastation of parents who’d returned to find some force had swept their babies off to unknown and worse places. She knew about being lost.

She was going to stop it.

At least for them.

Surely if she built it, they will come.

She kept checking and almost despaired, but one morning … there they were.

“Welcome home,” she whispered to the first eggs laid.

 

 

For Friday Fictioneers, August 3, 2018

 

Mendel’s Messengers


PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

 

She waited.

Three teens passed, faces glued to lit screens. One murmured “sorry” when he almost bumped into her. He didn’t look up.

A mother hurried in the direction of the car park, harried by a whining toddler.

Long minutes passed. She’d walked from the bus and her legs weren’t what they used to be. She leaned onto a lamppost and closed her eyes.

“Ma’am?”

A bearded face leaned toward her. Another man behind.

“Will you help me cross the street?”

“At your service!” Both men offered their hands.

She smiled. “Mendel sent you. It’s what he used to say.”

 

 

For the Friday Fictioneers Challenge

 

A Global Warning

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

 

They said it would get warm, but they didn’t say how quickly or how relentlessly. He thought it would take decades.

He was wrong.

Trees still foliaged but most other plants withered. Same for people.

It killed the young, old, weak, and callous. The talking heads had babbled about it before TV stopped. They couldn’t justify cooling the studios when the grid struggled to air-condition hospitals. Not that the latter did much good.

He sighed and retreated from the window. Ignored his daughter’s empty bed. They were warned. By the time they deigned to listen, it was already too late.

 

 

For the Friday Fictioneers Challenge