Perfect View

aerial photography of tree surrounded with fogs

Photo: Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

 

“There!” Angelo pointed.

“There what?” Payton panted

“There if you bother to lift your head.”

Payton scowled but was more occupied with getting oxygen into his lungs than wasting it on responses. He was sure that Angelo-The-Braggadocio had set the punishing pace deliberately to get him gasping. Not everyone climbed mountains for recreation!

The stitch in his side finally subsided enough to allow him to remove his fists from his thighs and straighten to take in the “amazing vista” Angelo had promised.

Dense fog. Vague tree tops. Milky air.

“There goes nothing,” Payton grouched.

Angelo chuckled and the saturated air softened the sound into something almost vulnerable.

Payton glanced at his friend. Glanced again. Was the wet on Angelo’s cheeks mist or liquid feelings?

“It is the perfect view,” Angelo murmured, his oft guarded face as open as a child’s. “To be inside Big Sky is to revisit Heaven.”

 

 

For What Pegman Saw: Big Sky Montana

 

 

Netted

Photo Copyright –Douglas M. MacIlroy

 

“Looks like a tennis ball on steroids,” Linda squinted at the gray blob.

Ethan rolled his eyes and turned the screen so it faced him again. “Definitely not a tennis ball.”

He shouldn’t have caved and showed her. Not that he ever did manage to withstand her pleading. Linda’s persistence could persuade a zebra to do away with its stripes.

“A cement globe?” She pressed.

Ethan shook his head.

“Am I at least getting warmer? Oh! Is it a post-global-warming thing?”

He sighed. It was hopeless. Might as well give it up.

“It’s Pluto, barely netted by the Sun.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

Late Dance

dance OsnatHalperinBarlev

Photo: Rega’im Menatzhim

 

Things were winding down. Most tables had been cleared and many guests had left for home. Only the hardiest (or closest kin) still remained. Sated and a bit deflated with fatigue, they lounged, gossiped, tapped phones, and not-so-surreptitiously checked the time. Several small children slept on makeshift cots of pulled together chairs.

Music still played but with more inertia than conviction.

The celebration was officially over, though not for everyone: two boys, oblivious to the late hour and overall exhaustion, danced on.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Celebration (82 words)

 

Trestle Wrestle

rr-tracks-at-harpers-ferryc - Dawn M. Miller

Photo Prompt: Dawn M. Miller

 

“Stop it!”

Harry’s voice ricocheted off the cliffs. He could feel reverberations from his running traveling through the wooden trestles underneath his feet. Other thuds shook the bridge as well.

The figures didn’t even pause. Gordon swiped a leg under Thomas and the larger man went to the rails but grabbed hold of Gordon’s clothing. They rolled and the men would’ve tumbled off the tracks if it weren’t for Gordon’s belt catching on a spike.

Harry bent mid-stride to grab a stout stick.

It seemed he’d have to knock the two unconscious to stop them from killing each other.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

One More Swim

breakwater2 NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

“Time to go.” Ari shook the ground-cloth.

“One more swim to the breakwater and back!” Deni pleaded.

Ari eyed the sky, the flagpole buckling in the wind, the jellyfish tumbling in the surf. “Another time,” he turned to fold their sun-umbrella.

Behind him he heard Deni’s running steps. He reached for the vinegar. That girl never did listen.

 

 

For Sammi’s weekend writing prompt: Breakwater in 58 words

 

 

The Chief’s Command

Ethiopia OfirAsif12

Photo: Ofir Asif

 

“They are not welcome here,” the Chief decreed.

His eyes regarded the troop that was his to protect. The land was plentiful, but his soul recalled the stories of Times of Famine, when many had been reduced to skin and bone and many more had died. Legend had it that The Others had brought it on, had taken more than was their share, and angered rain from falling, seeds from growing.

He sensed Bannu’s discontent. Chiefs didn’t have to grant permission for anyone’s opinion. Life showed him, however, that good Chiefs balanced silencing with persuading.

“Bannu?” he grunted.

“What if they return with more of their kind?” The youngster’s sparse ruff bristled apprehension.

The Chief nodded. Foresight was rare. The youth had potential. It also made him someone to watch out for.

“If they challenge us,” the Chief bared teeth and growled an answer and a warning. “We fight.”

 

 

For What Pegman saw: Ethiopia

 

Aladdin’s Ally

PHOTO PROMPT © Nick Allen

 

He didn’t find it yet, but failure was just motivation to keep trying.

People said playing the lottery was folly. Yet some people won that … and laughed all the way to the bank.

He wasn’t going to let those of little faith dissuade him.

Sure, let them think he was into antique oil and kerosene containers. It kept badgering to a minimum and lent him some credibility in scouting flee markets.

No one needs to know that what he’s really after, is an authentic genie lamp.

He’ll find it, and laugh all the way to the bank.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

No Chicken, No Egg.

bridal_veil_falls_sign_in_provo_canyon

Photo: An Errant Knight @ Wikimedia Commons

 

“The sign says not to hike beyond this point.”

“Signs can’t talk,” Jerry guffawed, “and anyway, that’s just legal butt-covering.”

Robert looked at the icy terrain. It looked awfully slippery. It was getting late and they still needed to hike back. He didn’t think they should continue. He also hated being Nagging Grandma. He shrugged.

Bennett elbowed him and pushed to the lead. “Well, I’m no sissy. All the fun’s up there. Road less traveled and all that.”

Robert’s neck warmed at the insult. Bennett always had to make things a competition, including who was Jerry’s ‘real’ friend and who the fifth-wheeler.

“You coming or you chicken?” Bennett sniggered.

“Last one up’s a rotten egg!” Jerry grinned.

The two barreled ahead.

Robert trudged below them, full of dread.

Later he would wonder how to tell their parents that chicken and rotten egg were the last words they ever said.

 

 

For What Pegman Saw: Bridal Veil Falls, Utah

 

Night Light

nightlight1 AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

“Almost there!” she sighed.

What had been an orange halo of illumination at the horizon of their climb finally crystalized into evidence of habitation.

She could hear Merri’s labored breath behind her.

“Not long now,” she cajoled to mask her wariness.

Will they be welcomed or will they be turned out again? The other two places were small towns. This was a big city. Perhaps they could blend in. Hide in plain sight.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Illumination in 73 words

 

Outdoor Sunday


Photo prompt: © Dale Rogerson 

 

“This is perfect,” Juliette leaned back onto her elbows and let the sound wash over her.

“Uhhumm…” Doug scraped mud off his pantleg. His fingers yearned for his phone but he had almost no battery left. He wondered for the hundredth time how long before they returned to the car.

Juliette smiled. She knew Doug found nature torturous. The quiet bored him. He disliked pebbles, creepy-crawlers, wind, and grass-stains.

She also knew her brother tolerated their periodical “Outdoor Sunday” just because he loved her … And because he understood better than anyone how much she’d lost when floods took the homestead.

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers