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

 

 

Fall Festive

 

It was barely fully fall but the weather seemed intent on ensuring none of them would be able to ignore the coming winter. Morning frost. Freezing rain. Evening flurries. Weekend snow.

“So much for global warming,” Moise moaned.

“It’s Climate Change, Pops,” Ben interjected. “It makes mayhem to let us know how much we’d messed things up.”

“Whatever it does,” the older man waved at the window, “it is not as it should be.”

“Perhaps,” Bernice entered with arms full of pine bows, lights, and tinsel, “but we can still make it as festive as we want in the interim.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

Better Happy Than Sad

 

“You think he’ll win?”

Shlomi shrugged. Elections or not, he was distracted by the scents wafting from the cart across the stone-paved alley. His wife would kill him if he drank any of the juices. Diabetes would kill him, too. So it was just a matter of whether it’ll happen on his terms.

Or not.

He sighed.

“Get that pomegranate juice,” Abdul urged. “You know no one makes it like my father does.”

Better die happy than sad.

“Abu Abdul,” Shlomi called across the narrow alley. “One pomegranate?”

“For sure, Habibi,” the old man grinned. “Want that fake-sugar in there?”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers 

 

 

Not Invisible

 

He crouched by the lockers.

Feet swarmed by. Sneakers, sandals, loafers, tennis-shoes. The hallways rang with voices and a smell wafted from the floor. A mix of sweat, old puke, and industrial cleaner. The smell of school.

It was odd. To be invisible.

Not literally, but still. A new kid in a city with more kids in this one building than in the whole town he’d come from.

“Hey, you,” a foot in a shiny Mary Jane nudged the edge of his bag.

He looked up.

“You Mark?”

He nodded.

“Cool. Come with. I’m Clara. Welcoming committee. Show you around.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers 

(Photo credit: J Hardy Carroll)

 

Dining Duo

 

“Remember when we used to come here all the time?” Lisa rested her chin on her palm, elbow propped onto the tablecloth, and dreamy eyes gazing out the diner’s window.

Her mother nodded, throat too full of ache to speak. She signaled for the check. Lisa looked so much like Gloria in that posture. The two had the same mannerisms, the same coloring and freckled cheeks, even the same tone. The niece’s resemblance to her aunt had been a source of joy. Still was. Always will be. But there was loss there, too.

Now that Gloria was gone.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

(photo prompt – © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields)

 

The Catch

 

“What’s with the basket?”

Sharlynn’s lip curled up. “For the catch.”

Robert raised an eyebrow. “Thought you went vegan.”

“I did,” Sharlynn grinned. “But Bertrand resists, and I thought I’d shock him and prepare fish for his birthday dinner. It’s not every day that a man turns half centenarian.”

Robert groaned. At forty-nine, he was next in line.

“So,” Sharlynn’s eyebrow matched her brother’s. “May I come aboard?”

“Sure,” Robert waved in half-invitation, half-defeat.

“Don’t look so worried,” Sharlynn laughed. “I’m gonna clean’em up myself. Also, Bertie’s getting kale quiche. What I truly hope to ‘fish’ is some fresh seaweed.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers  (Photo prompt © C.E.Ayr)

 

 

 

Cleanup Crew

 

“Well, that’s not too bad,” Irvin scratched his chin. The scruffy look added credibility, but the cost in itchiness was high.

Darwin nodded. Looked bad to him, but he wasn’t gonna say nothing. He always ended up sounding stupid and he’d heard enough evolution jokes. Thank you Mom and Dad.

“You get the rake and the bin. Start scraping,” Irvin ordered. “I’ll go check the inside.”

Awning roof sure slants funny, Darwin thought, but didn’t say. Just made sure he was on the far side of the van when the corrugated metal screeched.

Survival of the fittest and all that.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

(Photo prompt © Sandra Crook)

 

Definitely Not Pie

 

“Is that where it goes in or is that where it comes out?”

Shirley thought it was obvious, but it was true one should not assume, let alone when something appeared to be mundane but could be the exact opposite. She took a step forward and leaned closer.

“Step back, you fool!” Daniella pulled her neighbor away from the bin that had just manifested onto their shared driveway. She should have known Shirley would be impulsive. The woman once cut into her own potentially-prize-winning rhubarb pie before the contest was even over. “Are you trying to get abducted?”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Rowena Curtin

 

 

Take No Chances

 

It was best she took no chances. She knew how it could all turn on the smallest thing. The tiniest omission could spell disaster. Wait, better not even say that word. Best not forget the salt. She did not want to let misfortune in.

She hurried to and fro, assembling, braiding, tossing, turning. Now, where was that garlic? Best peel a few more cloves.

Whatever bad things had potential to upset this, she was not going to allow them to. Not on her watch. Not in her house.

Not when her in-laws were coming to dinner for the first time.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers