Storied Stories

childrens-library-ted-strutz

 

They climbed in silence, single file, the occasional foot scraping a bare concrete step.

Lindon pressed his lips. It helped stop the trembling. This was his first ‘trip’ off the ward and he wanted to look around. To look at others for their reactions. But new or not, he’d learned enough to understand that it was better not to. He kept his head low.

A scent hit him. Like Grandma’s house. Last month. Eons ago. He blinked.

The stairs ended. He looked up. His eyes grew.

His heart, too.

A room of books.

Stories. Escape.

He knew he would survive.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Ted Strutz

 

 

When The Weather Allows

https://rochellewisofffields.files.wordpress.com/2022/01/hawaii-from-bradley-harris.jpg

 

“When will they come home?” Lizbeth’s voice penetrated Mauve’s daydream. It was rare to find rest in the middle of her day, and Mauve couldn’t help a touch of resentment at the interference. Guilt smothered it. The wee bairn could not help wondering. She missed her brothers as much as Mauve did her sons.

“When the weather allows it,” Mauve gazed at the sea. The maker and breaker of everything. She loved it. She loathed it. She couldn’t see a life without it.

“Tonight?” Lizbeth pressed against the rail.

“More possible tomorrow,” Mauve swallowed a sigh. “So we shall hope.”

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Bradley Harris

 

Wall Flower

 

Shoppers swirled through the market, ebbing and flowing and streaming and trickling and never stopping. Never silent. Not a pause.

Jiao wanted to crawl out of her skin.

Jiang’s head remained peacefully bowed over his scroll.

“Delicate like your name,” Grandmother would say, more reprimand than compliment.

For Jiao, the viscous Chi of others had always been an unwanted second skin. It weighed her down.

“Let it flow around and past you,” Jiang’s paintbrush danced undisturbed.

Easy, Jiao sighed, when you are the flow.

She tried to focus on the paints. The flowers. A quiet wall on which to hang.

 

 

 

Jiang – (male’s name) “river”

Jiao – (female’s name) “delicate, beautiful, charming”

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Brenda Cox

 

 

Mama’s Trees

 

“So, we go?”

James nodded. Better than pretending that all was as it had been. Nothing ever will be.

“It’s cold,” Maria held out two scarves. A third was wrapped around her neck.

“So, we go!” Benjamin pulled a hat over his head. “You take the middle, Maria and I will go top and trunk. We’ll trade.”

They’d walked a tree home one year when Mama lost the car. They all had cars now, but she would never drive again.

James reached for the first tree. Glanced at their list of in-need homes.

In Mama’s memory, a Christmas Walk-a-thon. 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: Dale Rogerson

 

The Reunion

 

The house was unassuming. Outdated decor and mild neglect, but nothing to write home about. That is, till they took the stairs to the basement, passed through what appeared to be a closet and headed down another and much longer flight into a stone walled damp. The steps ended with a heavy door: creaky metal hinges, old timbers, and the smell of aged oak.

Gabe’s heart threatened to sink.

Excitement was fine. Dungeons? Not so much.

How well did he know this man? College reunion be damned.

“Ta-da!” Bart flicked a switch.

A shrine.

To wine.

Just like old times.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo promot © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Attired

Claire Fuller (7)

 

“You aren’t seriously going to do that.”

One could debate which was opened wider, Bella’s jaw or her eyes. She did have enormous eyes. People sometimes said they took half her face. I used to think it an exaggeration, but looking at her now, I was no longer so sure.

“Am too,” I kicked one of the tires. Part for emphasis. Part to check the resistance.

Definitely Bella’s jaw. Definitely more than half her face.

“Good for the planet. Also, if a gal can make a dress out of meat, another gal can make a prom dress out of tires.”

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: – Claire Fuller

 

Necessary

 

“So the lower level is buried under and the upper level is inaccessible. Apt. Shouldn’t it say ‘Dung View’?”

Darlene chuckled. Mom wasn’t shy about imparting opinions. Darlene was not all that different, even if she didn’t always find words to be necessary.

Necessary. The double meaning turned her giggle into a guffaw.

“What?” Mom insisted. She hated being left out.

“Nothing necessary…” Darlene’s laughter intensified. She clasped at her belly and tried to point. “Or … perhaps it is…”

Mom eyed the outhouse. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

“Drop your snow-pants. I’ll dig you a chamber pot.”

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: © LIsa Fox

 

Best-Laid Plans

dales-woodpile

“So, you’re averse to having daylight in the basement,” Sandra noted.

Doug raised an eyebrow.

“Or fresh air.”

“What’s air gotta do with it?” Doug blurted, annoyed at himself for taking the bait. “I made sure the window opens.”

It was Sandra’s turn to raise a brow. He hated when she did that. It left him wondering whether his face had looked as condescending.

“You mean, can open to invite all the creepy-crawlies in?”

He glanced at the woodpile. An enterprising spider was already spinning a thread over the window’s frame.

“Know what?” Doug huffed. “Next time you do the stacking.”

~~~~

Continue reading

Their Homecoming

teds-eye-view

 

The seas were rough but that did not deter them. Wet ropes dug deeply into palms, the ripples in rough fibers matching the wiry muscles that strained in their necks, shoulders, arms.

Endlessly, the night dragged on. The ocean swelled and sunk and breathed and coughed all around them.

Still they kept their posts, secured to heaving decks with belts and makeshift harnesses.

When darkness finally waned and dawn returned, the contours of the mountains rose alongside them.

They shook the salt from reddened eyes and readied for the final passage.

Their boat was broken, but their hearts were home.

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Ted Strutz

 

 

The Scene Setter

jennifers-legos FF

 

“And then what happened?”

The soft-spoken woman in ugly tweeds shifted in her chair, and Thomas knew he was in trouble. He almost told. She expected him to. She was nice so he’d do what she wanted.

They all wanted to trick him. Especially those pretending to be nice. So he’d do stuff. Make mistakes. Be punished.

Thomas fiddled with the pencil. He wanted to pull Santa’s head off. Instead, he drew circles. 

He hated circles.

He put toys inside them.

Made the toy-boy lie down. Ran him over. 

“Well,” the woman sighed, “perhaps you’ll be more talkative tomorrow.”

 

 

 

Note: Dedicated to the brave children who find a way to tell, even when they tell without words, even when those around them may not see that they are, indeed, trying. May you find someone who understands.

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo: © Jennifer Pendergast