The Gift

 

They didn’t mean to.

They had to think fast.

“What in God’s married name is that?!”

Gary glanced at Gloria. Mom only used the expression when the you-know-what was about to hit the fan.

“I told you this was stupid,” Gloria hissed as they ran to the door. “It only made it look worse!”

Gary shot her a “shut-up-and-let-me-handle-it” look.

“Hi Mom,” he announced and swung the door open so that (hopefully) only the taped side was visible. “Do you like it? It’s a Christmas tree duct tape art. To remind you of the holidays!”

 

 

For Rochelle’s FridayFictioneers

 

Memory Jar

Photo prompt: © Priya Bajpal

 

“Can I take one now?”

“Breakfast first.”

Deena sighed. She ate her oatmeal and drank her milk, but her eyes kept returning to the seashell table Dad had gotten for Mom. Before. To the jar that usually stood on the mantel. Since.

Finally, Grandma rose and put her mug in the sink.

Now that it was time, Deena hung back. She remembered filling the jar, with Grandma, after the accident, when memories were fresh and both their hearts were broken.

Grandma took her hand. “Come. Reach in. Pick one, and you’ll see – the right moment with them will find you.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

The Fence

Photo: © Russell Gayer

 

“We don’t go There,” Mama always warned. “Ever.”

“There” was beyond the fence. Where the embankment locked in perpetual shadows and where the yellow cliffs rose shining in the sun and where the scary things lived and mortal danger was certain to find you.

As a child I never questioned the relative flimsiness of the wire fence and how it possibly prevented such pervasive awfulness from invading the compound.

It wasn’t until much later that it occurred to me to wonder whether both the fence and its electric bite were there to keep us in.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

A Kid’s Rock

Photo: © Randy Mazie

 

“She insists on coming,” he noted without raising his head and even though I hadn’t worded my question.

The quiet breathed and a soft breeze rustled the leaves and made shadows caress the stones.

“She stands by the gate and belts until I take her,” he added and continued to wipe his already spotless glasses. His fingers trembled, from palsy or emotion or both, I didn’t know.

“She misses her, you see,” he glanced at the goat. “Rejected by her nanny, this kid was. My Mary hand-raised her. She was this kid’s rock. Now all that’s left is this headstone.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

Tomorrow’s Memory

Photo: Adam Ickes

 

“They do not remember who they are.”

The old man’s voice was somber without judgment. A skill born of patience shaped by the combined weights of history and time.

“It is why I brought them here.”

The elder regarded his visitor. His dark eyes pools of wisdom deeper than the lines upon his skin.

A silence stretched.

“They will not find it in this place,” Sorrowful Skies said finally.

Disappointment filled the woman’s face.

“They will sleep in the lodge tonight,” he added. “Tomorrow, they will walk like their ancestors. In bare feet on breathing land. Then they will remember.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Relative Safety

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

“Should be safe to rest here,” Ron lowered Percy’s carrier. The straps left red gouges on his shoulders. The boy was too big to be carried but we had to leave the wheelchair behind.

Ron rolled his neck, glanced at the underpass’s puddle, and reached for the tablets. “I’ll purify some water.”

“Will they find us, Mama?” Percy put words to my heartache. He’d endured silently through miles of jarring terrain.

“We’ve been careful,” I looked into his worried eyes as I massaged the contracted limbs. “Also, new laws or not, we won’t let you be taken by Leave-Only-Abled-Children raids.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers