Forgotten Power

brenda-cox-merry-go-round

 

She took another sip of coffee. A small one. To make it last.

A dreary morning meant the outdoor cafe wasn’t busy. Still, the waiter would surely clear her table as soon as her cup ran dry. He’d already deposited the check to flutter underneath the saucer. Hastening her to remove the eyesore of tattered bags and unkempt hair from the establishment.

Her chest tightened and her hand trembled. She forced in a deep breath.

She used to own the place. In better days.

She could still see it, riding through her mind’s eye. Her colorfully beloved Flower Power Cafe.

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: © Brenda Cox

 

The Better To See You

roger-smapshot-1

 

They were almost at their hotel when they decided to explore one more alley. The afternoon light painted shadows on cracked asphalt and colored the buildings sepia-toned.

How apt, Barbara thought, for an antique shop.

Phrenology skulls stared blankly through incongruous shades. Ancient radios stood amidst forgotten family photographs.

“Shall we check it out?”

Avigdor shuddered. “I feel watched.”

Barbara’s arm hairs raised at the thought. Or was it more? She giggled, a bit too loudly. They wouldn’t, would they? Not all the way here?

Avigdor turned to leave. The neon glasses blinked.

“Won’t you come in?” a skull voiced.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: © Roger Bultot

The Bet

 

“Stop the car!”

Milly hit the breaks and hid her smile. They’d wondered how long it would take Pappy to notice what they’d done.

Only two days … Which meant she won the bet and Ben will be raking leaves all autumn.

When Pappy climbed back into the vehicle, there was wetness on his cheeks.

“Your doing?” he whispered.

“And Ben’s.”

It had taken considerable begging and a promise to maintain the church’s lawn, for the pastor to agree to put Granny’s beloved weather vane atop the bell tower.

Pappy chuckled. “She always put on a good spin, didn’t she?”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo by: Dale Rogerson

 

On The Road Again

 

All those of little faith who did not think he’d go for it!

They must be turning in their graves or keening over walkers. Also the doctors who shook heads at him. The nurses who fussed with his linens as if treating him as an invalid would have him forget that he’s a grown man who had lifted others and carried them first across burning sands and later out of burning buildings.

He always knew that where the rubber meets the road is where he’d meet his maker.

He’d left the Rolex.

The aide can always get another motorcycle.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Lisa Fox

 

When It Died

 

It was a sad day when It died.

They gathered around the carcass. Inert now that the spark of life had left.

It looked abandoned. It looked suddenly old and unintelligent. Younglings who had tiptoed by its parking, suddenly sped by in wheeled exuberance, impervious to the loss.

It was the way it was, perhaps.

The way of time.

Still the closest friends held a sort of vigil. They hummed a monotone of song, in memory of speed’s potential and of what could no longer be ignited.

Then they left. To let It be. Disjointed. Parted. Never to move on.

 

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Ted Strutz

 

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