The Last One

https://rochellewisofffields.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/naamas-winter-pic.jpg

(Photo prompt © Na’ama Yehuda)

 

They passed through the neighborhood with trucks and flags and camouflage uniforms.

Clean-up crews. Of sorts.

Sterilizers, they called themselves.

They traveled under the cover of night, removing festivities, restoring streets to what they saw as law and order and conformity.

They gave no warning.

“Better,” they were told, “to ask forgiveness than to get permission.”

It also prevented protests, dodged chaos, and avoided the otherwise inevitable secreting.

They were ordered to “take everything.” To make it fact.

And they did.

To the last one.

Or almost.

Because walking the dreary city after the Holiday Decorations Ban.

She saw.

One.

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers. Also, thank you for using my photo for this week’s prompt. Curious to see where people will take it!

 

Not Having A Ball

 

“I found it!”

Minerva sighed. She never did do well on conveyances. “Found what?” she mouthed, careful to not move her head.

“The perfect place!”

Minerva attempted to open her eyes, but the world whizzing by, combined with her daughter’s bouncing on the seat while turned in the opposite direction to the train’s travel, was too much. She clamped her eyes shut and groaned.

“Mom! Just look! We’ll pass it!”

One eye. A blur. Space under an overhang. Speeding rails.

“For what?”

“For the ball!” Swinging arms. “Can’t you just see us waltzing?!”

The bag! Where was the barf bag?!!!

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: © J Hardy Carroll 

 

 

Stumped

 

“We shouldn’t do this.”

Laura pulled the ax out of her backpack.

“Stop! It’ll hurt the tree!”

Laura directed a querying finger at the wormy stump before planting her feet and lifting the tool.

Monique stepped closer.

“Don’t be daft,” Laura sighed. But she did lower her arms and gave her little sister a long look.

Monique’s eyes glittered. The gal was going to cry. Over a tree stump.

Then again, she’d bawled over a crushed ant and pouted for a week after Laura ate the goose’s egg.

“The bark will compost.” Laura tried. “And … we need fire wood.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo: © Sandra Crook

 

 

Hopeless Case

 

“Just how long has this been parked?”

The youth’s shrug managed both disinterest and disdain.

Edith pressed her lips. Inhaled. Her students had called it her “Schoolmarm Face.” They didn’t know it was just as effective at getting her own body to comply.

She pointed at the wheels.

“Grassy stuff,” the youth noted. “It grew.”

Edith knew a hopeless case when she saw it.

“Well then,” she thrust her purse at him.

For the first time, he looked marginally awake. “Um…, Ma’am?”

“Hold it.” She rolled her sleeves. “And help these old knees down. Someone’s got to check the undercarriage.”

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Russell Gayer

 

Not All

 

“We must cancel!” Ruth’s voice was reedy with tension.

“We must not!” Tomas retorted more sharply than he’d intended.

Ruth flinched and turned away. Her shoulders trembled.

Tomas wanted to kick himself. “I’m sorry, Love,” he tried.

Her head shook, but she turned back to him and buried her face in his chest.

“It is all ruined,” she sobbed, pointing at the storm’s devastation.

“Not all,” he wrapped arms around her.

A long breath shuddered, then Ruth’s eyes, glistening, found his.

“No, not all,” she repeated. Breathed.

His own knees weakened. His Ruth of Awe and Fire.

His bride. Today.

 

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Brenda Cox

 

Spot

 

 

They dug a hole and placed him in it. They shoveled dirt atop. They nailed a plaque onto a post.

They stood and mumbled words.

They bowed their heads.

They shed some tears.

They did it the way it was done.

The way friendships were supposed to close.

And still it did not feel right. That kind of burying. The post with painted plaque. The tidy mound of dirt over their spot.

The next day they lugged the old doghouse and placed it on him.

For rain.

For moss.

For bones.

Even for rot.

After all, Spot loved the lot.

 

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

PHOTO PROMPT © Alicia Jamtaas

 

Partially Installed

 

“So it’s full of juice?”

Robin rolled her eyes. Her brother was too thick for his own good.

“No, Dufus. It is hollow. Or mostly.”

The boy’s eyes stared glassily.

“Don’t know what hollow means, do you?”

He shook his head and tugged on her hand pleadingly.

Robin sighed. Little brothers should come with language already fully installed.

“It means it has space inside. Like a balloon. Sort of. Only it won’t pop.”

Donnie glanced at the sphere and the concession stand at its bottom. “A juice balloon?”

Robin snorted. “Can you imagine?”

Donnie grinned.

Apparently, they both could.

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo: © Dale Rogerson

 

Long Term Parking

 

 

She let them think she didn’t mean it.

Though she had.

If she no longer could drive, then none of them were going to be able to.

At least not with her vehicle.

Sure, it was (another) way of shooting herself in the foot.

No doubt it was petty.

But petty was all she felt that she had left.

If she were to still be noticed.

Life was putting her in long-term parking.

Fine.

She was not going to let others earn more freedom by it.

So she drove the car into the fence, and left it.

And them.

Hanging.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Liz Young

 

Off Balance

 

“The key is balance,” Dotty bobbed delicately, defying wind and gravity.

The rest of us clung frantically with all six, desperate to return to lower elevations.

Why did I ever sign up for Advanced Balance?!

If we were meant to be acrobats, we’d have been born in the circus.

“When you’re ready,” Dotty intoned, “be one with the cable …” She lifted a leg on each side to a two-thirds perch.

Insanity.

A wind gust blew me off the bridge. I tumbled, helpless, to be one with the canopies.

Lofty Dotty probably lingered.

Pox on her, the lordly lanternfly!

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers.

Photo prompt: © Miles Rost

 

Lady In Waiting

naama-lady-liberty

(Photo: Na’ama Yehuda)

 

If he could make it there, he’d make it anywhere.

It was the axiom he had placed everything on.

He held on to the promise when his body hurt from beatings. He played the image of it in his mind when emptiness of heart and stomach kept him from shut-eye. He whispered small encouragements to himself to drown the insults that insisted he was nothing.

For he was. Someone.

He had to believe.

The words she said.

About where he could be.

Himself.

If he lived.

So he did.

And lit beneath storm clouds, she stood, waiting.

For the day.

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers (Thank you for using my photo as a prompt this week!)