Might As Well

sandra-crook

 

“They don’t know how to park around here.”

Gail rolled her eyes. Just like Stella to find something to criticize, instead of taking in the big picture. And this was big! “How old are those?” she pointed at the castle’s remains on the hill. The walls stood sentry still. Empty windows portals to the past.

Mom consulted the guidebook. “11th Century. Even older foundations.”

Gail opened the window. The warm air smelled of old stone and fresh bread.

“Close that thing,” Stella groaned. “It’s probably full of plague.”

“Too late, then. Might as well stop for lunch before we’re dead.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: Sandra Crook

 

Bill’s Bull

bill-r-12

 

“What a dump.” Larry kicked at a holey plastic disk on the dusty ground.

“Perhaps,” Bill acquiesced. “But it is my dump.”

“Fit for a match,” Larry snickered. The place stunk.

Bill regarded his cousin. He recognized the green-eyed monster behind the hooded eyes. “Perhaps,” he replied finally, “but I foresee another kind of match.”

“Like what?” Bill had the Midas Touch. It drove Larry nuts, but maybe this time he’d get some of it to rub off on him. Could use some green.

“Plastic sheeting, sprinklers, plants.”

“Bullshit.”

“Already got plenty here!” Bill laughed. “Used to hold animals, that.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Bill Reynolds

 

Into The Void

fleur-1

 

“What are you staring at?”

Tallulah did not move.

“Earth to Tallulah!” Maritza hissed. This professor had antennae in the back of his head, and she did not wish to flunk. Again. Also, if Tallulah had the audacity to skip class, and for vacation, no less, the least she could do is entertain her bored-to-death friend.

“It’s endless,” Tallulah whispered. Her eyes appeared locked onto the cafe’s table.

Maritza shuddered. “What exactly did you order?” Tallulah was so maddeningly naive that who knows what ‘house special’ she might agree to try.

“The universe,” Tallulah breathed. “The lights in the deep.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: © Fleur Lind

 

Tall Tell

dales-stop-sign

 

“Why this thing?”

“They don’t like pancakes.”

Stella frowned.

Stephan chuckled. Too serious for her own good.

Her stare continued. He wanted dessert. He demurred.

“Bad accident last year. Someone got run over.” He slapped his palms for emphasis. “Totally.”

She kicked his shin.

“Ow!”

“Not the Stop sign, the lamppost! Too tall.”

Stephan’s eyes traced up to her manicured nail.

“Ah, they had to.”

Stella lowered her glasses. Warning or curious? He couldn’t tell.

“That family of giants down the street? Any shorter and the lamp ignites their hair.”

Forget dessert.

Her glare incinerated what chance he had left.

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo by: © Dale Rogerson 

 

A Hundred Sleeps

spinning-wheel

(Photo: © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields)

 

It will only be a hundred sleeps. They said.

What length a sleep would be, they didn’t speak.

She will awaken once the sleeps are done. They said. With eyes that darted and rounded shoulders that hid words and fingers that kept fiddling with the thread.

Nothing, she observed, of how she’d be upon awakening. What she might become. Who would tend her.

If she’d dream.

Will she still know herself? Know them?

“Only a hundred sleeps,” they said.

She turned sixteen.

They pressed her finger to the quill spindle.

Blood bloomed. Dark came.

The curse.

A yarn. A spin.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

Nana’s Will

floral-truck

 

“So how exactly will this work?” Maria scanned the detritus left by the fire. Remains of a lifetime of work and investment. Gone. Shards and a handful of charred pots. Is all.

“We start from seed, as it were,” Steve pressed. “We get Dad’s old truck out of the garage. Use it as a wheeled nursery.”

Maria sighed. It could work, but was she even up to it? Where there’s a will there’s a way, Nana had always said, and it matters most where there’s little will with which to find a way.

“A willed nursery…” Maria nodded. “Nana’s way!” 

 

 

For Friday Fictioneers

Photo by: © Jan Wayne Fields

Bookended

lr-prompt

 

She stood back to appreciate her handiwork.

A mix of tidiness and lived-in disarray. The books. The pillows. The cozy afghans on the couch.

“She’ll love it,” he said from behind her, and she jumped. She hadn’t heard him enter.

She leaned against his chest. Felt the thrumming of his steady heart.

“How do you know?” she fretted.

“Because it’s not about perfection, but about having enough support so that no matter how you wobble,” his hand rose toward the bookshelves, “you’re bookended by love.”

She kissed his palm.

“Let’s go get our new daughter, then. Bring her home.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s FridayFictioneers

Photo: Dale Rogerson (thank you for the homey, inviting photo prompt inspiration! This room makes me wanna curl up with a good book on the couch. xoxo, your NYNF)

 

 

The Tallest Tears

Flowers-NaamaYehuda 2022

(photo: Na’ama Yehuda)

 

The tallest flowers caught her eye, but it was the withered daffodils that caught her breath and pressed a fist into her heart.

His favorites.

The stalwart sentinels of spring.

Outnumbered now. Outshone. Outdone.

As was he.

After utterly too short a time.

Her throat constricted. A reflex of holding what she’d learned would be a solitary cry.

“Look, Mama!” a child trilled. “The daffodils are tired!”

“Yes, darling,” a woman’s voice returned. “They did excellent work and are resting now, sleeping till next spring.”

Tears slid. It was something he’d say.

She should have known he’d send a messenger.

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers.

Thank you, Rochelle, for using my photo for the prompt this week. And, for all who manage loss, especially of those taken too young in all manners of war – may you know that we remember, and we listen, and we will not forget.

Out-Strutted

 

ted-strutz-street

 

They knew they’d need some help. They knew where to find it.

They weren’t very good at building anything, even less at securing it to withstand the snow, the winds, the cops.

Or so they hoped.

It was better to make use of what was already present.

What others, who had better skill and quite possibly better sense, had built.

Sure, some called it squatting. Some found them vagabonds.

But why not when the struts provided good foundations?

It was a pity, really, that so many did not understand.

The cops raided one night. Tossed the tents.

Kept the struts.

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Ted Strutz

 

 

For Now

kananaskis-cafe

 

They didn’t know where she was. She preferred it that way.

The windows were all missing. No doors. Graffiti covered the shell of building.

It was far from town, but sometimes travelers stopped to stare, and some used the empty rooms for all manner of unsavory business.

She spent most days in the nearby woods. Foraging. Snaring. Keeping watch.

At night, she kept to the relative shelter of the basement, hanging bits of chain on entryways to serve as warning chimes.

She dreamed of restorations. Of locks on doors.

She wanted more.

But it was home enough.

For now.

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: © Carole Erdman-Grant