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

 

 

Tommy’s Sign

(Photo prompt © Roger Bultot)

 

She was never going to be ready. There was never going to be the ‘right time.’ He tried. He really tried. But he couldn’t stand it anymore.

When she left to visit her mother, he took it downstairs. The recycling truck should pass before her return, and by then it will be done. It was for the best. She’ll come to understand.

The key in the door in the morning. “I took an earlier flight. And, can you believe it? Someone tossed a highchair just like Tommy’s! I know it is a sign from him to hold on to ours!”

 

 

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The Tour Guide

Photo prompt © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

“They really keep people out?” Millie could not see the logic.

“Yep.” Brendan smirked. People’s reactions were priceless. Not quite the tour’s highlight, but almost.

“But why?” came the expected follow-up.

“Because they don’t want anyone inside their store.” He answered.

There were two main reactions: sputtering disbelief or shake-the-head-at-the-morons. He predicted Millie as the former, and as always, he was right.

“So they’re traders who don’t want to trade?!”

Wrinkles made tracks in her makeup. She probably shouldn’t try. Then again, perhaps she would look worse without it.

“Yep!” he glanced at his watch. “Now, to our haunted library…”

 

 

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Another World

Photo prompt: © CEAyr

 

“See the lamppost?”

Nick nodded.

“See that reflection?”

Another nod.

“You walk into that store and you’ll be in another world.”

The younger boy shook his head, hair so severely cut it almost looked shaven. Ruben fed him, but everything had a price. True in the orphanage. True on the streets.

“Your loss,” Ruben shrugged. “If you prefer life as it is now …” he drew the last word out.

Nick tried to see through the window. It was like a mirror. He didn’t like what he saw.

“I’ll go,” he said.

“Hat on. Bring out something good. Don’t get caught.”

 

 

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Not Just Anywhere

Photo prompt: © Ted Strutz

 

They found the photo in his wallet. No address on its back. No date.

“This could be anywhere,” Deena said.

Neal sighed. He hadn’t seen Dad for years. The reclusive elder had been an aloof parent, and while Neal had yearned for more connection, it always took so much work … with scarce actual return.

“I know where it is.” Aunt Leah fingered the yellowed photograph. “It’s the Mendelsons’ house. I always suspected he and Meir had a thing. Such secret it had to be.”

She sighed and shook her head. “Such a shame. To have to hide love this way.”

 

 

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The Two Towers

PHOTO PROMPT -Copyright-Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Photo prompt: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

“He’s gonna do WHAT?!!”

Oh oh, never should have said nothing. I swallowed and inspected my sneakers. Found a stain. Hopefully mustard.

Mom grabbed my shoulder.

“Marcus Anthony Jeremiah Rivera, what did you just say your brother was up to?”

Her face told me it’d be as bad for the messenger if I didn’t confess. I was toast. Benito was gonna beat me up soon as she was done with him.

“See those towers?”

Her eyes narrowed.

“Benito saw a big rope between them and he said it’s perfect for zip-lining.”

Way Mom ran, she should’a been in the Olympics.

 

 

 

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Not Much

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Photo prompt: © Jennifer Pendergast

 

There was nothing left to stay for.

Not much to pack, but still he managed to stuff the duffel with odds and ends. More for feel than for utility.

He won’t be coming back.

The empty cars stood, cooling, on the rails. There was an echo in his bones even with no movement. Even without any sound.

He scanned for danger. One never knew, and he had had enough surprises.

When nothing stirred, he climbed aboard. The metal floor smelled of pee and rats, but at least he’d sleep with a wall at his back tonight, a door barred shut.

 

 

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Gone Swimming

Photo prompt © Jean L. Hays

 

She spent the day swimming, buoyed by the swell and fall of waves, kissed by the spray of salt, caressed by playful bursts of wind as silvery bodies and slick flippers dipped and slid and spun beside her.

The sun warmed the top of her head, then the tip of her nose and the crests of her knees as she turned to rest and float and face it.

It was like living in a dream.

And it was. A dream.

The stained glass in the open door a portal to what was. The ventilator sighed. She could no longer swim.

 

 

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Blending In

Photo prompt: © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

She knew from the moment she walked in that she was way out of her league. Her virgin palette was blinding amidst the well-worn, paint-that-will-never-come-off-anymore held by others. She felt blush suffuse her face and an even deeper shame at raised eyebrows and feigned disinterest. Apparently she did not even warrant curiosity. An outsider. A wannabe.

She almost up and left.

But she’d saved for months to afford the class, and she spent her last on paints and brushes.

The need to create pulsed in her blood.

She stood her ground.

Blending in or sticking out, she’d stay. She’ll paint.

 

 

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Special Delivery

the-gate JeanLHays

Photo prompt: Jean L. Hays

 

The car honked twice then twice again before the tires crunched on gravel and the vehicle left in a puff of midday dust.

She smiled.

She could always count on Henry.

There was a time when he could ring her bell. When she could offer him a glass of lemonade.

Not now, so close to her transplant date.

She waited a moment before venturing to the gate, and smiled again when she saw he’d taken the card she’d left. She knew he’d made a special trip.

He brought the birthday cake from her daughter, still cold, wrapped in fancy tape.

 

 

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