Left Behind

 

They walked around, eyes wide, not touching anything.

“It’s like a museum,” Lilly breathed.

“Only with ghosts,” Samantha shuddered.

Lilly shot her a warning glance and slid her eyes toward Mikey. As it was the boy woke up screaming every night.

This was the first intact house they’d seen. Well, almost intact. It had a roof, walls, and shutters that had protected some of the windows. It even had a wood-burning stove. They needed the shelter more than any ghost might, and Mikey didn’t need additional terrors.

She forced a smile. “Let’s find some water and make tea, shall we?”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

Perpetuity

a channel of water flowing out to sea, with the sun reflecting on the water.

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

“You know,” she said, “this will be home.”

I looked around. Marsh and bog and semi-dry patches that high tide or rain were sure to turn completely water logged. It looked a misery.

“It will, too,” she added, even though I hadn’t said a word. She always knew to read my body’s thoughts, even when I voiced no words and moved not a muscle.

Some days it made me hate her. For my utter lack of privacy.

Other days I felt indebted beyond measure for not having to find ways to explain when words had never been accessible enough to match my thoughts with meaning. And for being seen by her when no one else seemed able to or cared to try.

“Wanna know how?” Fiona pushed a heavy lock of hair off of her eye and I knew then that she already had a plan, and that the plan was sounder than the muddy ground we stood on. I knew that gesture, that flowing move of clear-eyed determination that carried with it more than just a touch of crazy. For neither one of us was sane, but Fiona was nuts enough to get us out of scrapes I did not see a way out of. Somehow my sister, younger by three minutes and wiser by ten decades, thought ahead in moves others did not appear capable of anticipating. It had saved us, more than once, of certain death.

She was about to do so now.

“How?” I asked, though I knew she didn’t need me to.

“Stilts.”

She yanked a twig out of the soggy ground and scratched a diagram into the patch of godforsaken earth in the end of nowhere anybody, that an hour earlier I did not know existed, let alone that it belonged to us by ancestry through crumbling deeds that no one since an ancient relative had made use or taken any heed of.

“They thought the place too wet,” my sister noted as the outline of an elevated house rose like a phoenix from the lines she etched into the dirt. “But not Friar Felix. He saw the same potential that I see. The fish and clams and seaweed. The crabs. The cattails by the spring that makes the stream that gurgles out to the sea. A place to be.”

She glanced up at me and the hazel in her eyes reflected the sun’s rays along with something far older. Like a memory not of hers that nonetheless also held on to our own desperate need for belonging.

“I don’t know if he knew, Finley, but Friar Felix had bequeathed the deed to this land to his sister’s children, and to their children’s children in perpetuity.”

My sister turned her gaze onto the water and her voice dropped to a whisper in the wind.

“We are those children’s children’s children, Finley. This is our home. It will be home. You’ll see.”

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto Challenge

 

 

Thailand Playground

Playground2 AdiRozenZvi

Photo: Adi Rozen-Zvi

 

It does not matter

Where you are:

Jungle, mountain

Old or new,

Plastic, wood

Or bamboo, too.

There is play here

To be had

If you wish to …

And you do.

 

 

For Terri’s Sunday Stills: Playground

 

 

Not For The Amenities

Photo prompt © Jean L. Hays

 

“Lush, ain’t it?” The sixteen-year-old shivered in her short jacket.

Frosty patches dotted the monochrome shrubbery. She nudged one with her sneaker. “So, why exactly did you choose this godforsaken nothingness for your midlife crisis? Couldn’t have been the view, or the amenities.”

It’s fixable, Branden thought but said nothing. He’d worry more if Lizzie didn’t quip. And anyway, he knew she knew why they’d had to move.

Lizzie sniffed. He offered a tissue but she leaned into him, seeking a rare hug.

“Mama would’ve loved it here,” she whispered. “Even if we hadn’t lost everything to the medical bills.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers Challenge

 

 

Essentially

bridge over quiet water SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

“Essentially, it should just be a matter of putting one foot in front of the other,” Dan noted, raising a mischievous bushy eyebrow and staring meaningfully at the assembled group of aspiring hikers. “Only that for some of us this might be an impossibility, seeing that … well …”

The participants laughed.

The six youngsters had barely five feet between them, let alone the assumed two per beating heart.

Dan had none.

“So,” the bearded guide waved a muscular arm over the skateboard that supported his legless torso. “We do something better.”

He pointed at each of the youngsters and their varied modes of conveyance. “We glide, we slide, we roll, we hop, we drive. We do whatever is necessary, and …” he chuckled, “because lunch will be served at the end of this path, we best get started or we’ll also end up doing it hungrily.”

 

 

For the SoCS challenge: ends with -ly

 

Through The Night

nailed amitaiasif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

They gazed forlorn

Into the light,

Into the lumber

Burning bright.

All that they’d known

Before this plight,

Now kept them warm

Through heartache’s night.

 

 

For Sunday Stills: Night

*Dedicated to all who’d lost homes, lives, memories, and loved ones in fires and other disasters.

 

Mountain Charm

Photo: Priscilla du Preez via Unsplash

 

They did not need a rink when the lake made one for them. They did not have a coach but their skates learned to guide them. They were one with the ice as the pucks flew around them. They played in the cold while the old mountain charmed them.

 

For Three Line Tales: #146