After-Party

Prompt photo: Pixabay

 

They were going to put them there to remember, they said. To frame the recollections of the community, so none of what had happened be forgotten. That’s what they said.

It was meant as a memorial of sort, they said. A referendum of the eye. Intended to draw the faces upwards and lend a sense of a somber chaos, carefully controlled.

Perhaps it was all that. Yet it was so much more.

For the installation was also meant to keep the chairs out of reach. To take away the possibility of seating. To have people stand and look and move on, rather than linger or make themselves oh-too-comfortable. Again.

Because it was the idleness – those in power believed but did not say – that had led to the gatherings and speeches and protests and that weekend party-turned-riot. People got too comfortable in using public spaces as if those were a right rather than a privilege. They sat. They lingered. They huddled together and began to think they should have the power to decide how they passed their spare time, where and who with they sat. Mutiny, it was.

The police were sent to squash it.

And put all the chairs up.

 

 

For Donna’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt

Light Ahead

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

After weeks of gray and thistles and ceaseless wind that scraped her raw, there was light.

She could scarcely believe it at first.

The cloud cover had been so complete for so long that she’d began wondering if there was even a real sun still behind it. The revolutions of soupy daylight and inky nights felt equally murky as every step became oppressive. She had waking dreams of being lost inside a massive warehouse, a mouse in a maze, endlessly seeking an exit yet seeing none.

She wondered whether there was still use in trying. She was oh so tired.

Now there was a break. The sky spawned a cavity and the leaden heavens began to dissipate. She could discern a layer of ease in the distance.

And light, streaming like caressing fingers ahead. Showing the way home.

 

 

 

Note: Dedicated to the all-too-many who are staggering through their personal wilderness, caught in the molasses of gloom, and thinking of giving up — keep on, hold on. There’s light ahead, and we’re leaving it on for you.

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto challenge

 

 

Pharaohsaurus

Pharaohsaurus NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

“It looks like a pharaoh,” the boy commented.

“Hmm …” the girl leaned her elbows on the display case to take a photo. Dinosaurs weren’t Pharaohs, but her little brother was obsessed with anything Egyptian, so it was easier to agree. Took long enough to drag him out of that wing of the museum and into what she really wanted to see.

“Do you think the pharaohs saw one of these and it gave them the idea?”

She sighed. “There were no dinosaurs left at the time of pharaohs.”

“It’s not what I meant!” His nudge made her take a photo of a piece of plaster instead of the fossil bones. “Maybe they found something like this one.”

“Stop it!” She hissed. They’d be told to leave if they fought.

“Sorry.” He was, only sort of. “Is it called a ‘pharaohsaurus’?”

She rolled her eyes.

“Well, it should!”

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Museum in 147 words

 

 

Forget The ABC

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

“If you knew where it goes, would you follow?”

Efran peeked down the leaf-strewn stone shaft and rough steps. “I can see where it goes,” he pointed. “There.”

Jerow shook his head. It could be difficult to know with Efran, whose disposition tended to be ebullient to the point of daft, whether the lad was deliberately vexing or totally clueless. “Yes, you see what looks like the bottom of the stairs, but what’s behind it? Where does it go?”

Efran took anther step and leaned closer to the crack between the stones, absentmindedly pushing back the locks of hair that forever escaped out of his braid. “Well, only one way to know.”

“Wait,” Jerow reached for Efran’s arm. He glanced behind him toward the encampment they’d wandered away from. The trees obscured it. Unless others were stretching restless legs while the elders deliberated the day’s route over morning tea, no one would know where they are. “Shouldn’t we tell someones?”

“Why? So they open a whole new round of discussions about who should be allowed to go down there first and at what auspicious hour?”

Jerow had to admit Efran had a point. If the elders knew about this, they’d probably find reason to forbid it, and if they didn’t know about this, they’d forbid it all the more. Probably claim ABC and CBC.

“Advice Before Carelessness” and “Caution Before Curiosity” were endlessly drilled and just as often resented. How was anyone to learn anything new or do anything exciting if inevitable delays always took precedent to investigation?

Still, he wondered if in this particular case there was merit to at least asking before launching oneself into a crack in the ground. They were, after all, in what everyone knew were haunted territories. He looked around again, almost hoping for someone to stop them.

“Forget the ABC!” Efran dropped his feet onto the steps and used his arms to brace against the narrow walls. “I want to see! Stick to your letters or come with me!”

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto

 

 

Fixer Upper

Photo prompt: © Penny Gadd

 

“It that better?”

“No! You made it worse!”

“Sorry. What direction?”

“To the right! No, the left. I mean, to my right, not your right! There. No! Stop! You over did it. Now it’s worse again.”

“Fine. I’ll go slowly. Tell me when.”

“When. I mean, not yet. Stop! No, a little more.”

“Are you sure it isn’t straight? You’re a little lopsided yourself. Have a sip of water, maybe.”

“I’m fine. Stop micromanaging me. I’m concentrating. Shush and let me see …”

“Go ahead. Take your time. Don’t mind me. I’ll just perch here and twiddle my vines.”

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

Driving Mrs. Mama

Photo prompt: © Linda Kreger 

 

“Hope the driver remembers.” Ella fretted.

Lynn shrugged. “He’ll have to run us over if he forgot.”

“You two, line up already and stop the chatter!”

“Shush, Jerry! Let us cherish the fruits of our labor.”

Your labor?! Who manned the table saw and has more splinters than a cactus?”

“Poor Bearded Baby … I sanded them all! Quiet, here she comes!”

The van stopped at the cul-de-sac. The driver walked around to the rear and wheeled Mama down.

“Welcome home, Mama Jean!”

“Hey, Ella, ditch the camera! No slackers till the Driving Mrs. Mama Home Train clears the ramp!”

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

Prepositionally Prepared

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Photo: Tucker Good on Unsplash

 

Before first light was when she meant to leave, and working through the night she made sure to have everything she needed with her. When that was done, she double checked that all other items were stuffed into bags or packed inside boxes or sorted into their respective containers. It mattered to her that things maintain their places: on shelves, by couches, under cabinets, in canisters, outside on the terrace, underneath the eaves up at the attic, even stacked along the small shelves that she’d tucked between the twin beds of the guest room or strung across the top of the door-frame inside her closet. She believed it important for one to have whatever they needed near at hand while at the same time not letting life be scattered all over toward disorder.

It wouldn’t do to seek something and not find it untill after it was too late to be of any use. Or worse, redundant instead of necessary.

She was leaving and had no plan for or intention of return. But when they found the place, she wanted whomever it was to know that she had made arrangements on their behalf and had been on top of things to ensure their life, too, could be sufficiently organized.

 

 

(Just went to town and had some prepositional fun with that, I had … )

For Linda Hill’s SoCS prompt: Preposition

Whale Of A Time

Photo prompt: Dale Rogerson

 

Finally.

They sent the younger children on their way. They cleaned up after breakfast. Hung the wash. Made the bed. Picked up after the husband, the father in law, the older sons (who in almost all cases were sprawled, asleep, with an empty plate of this or that by their side, as boys of certain ages seem to be).

The market waited. And the dinner to start. But for the next hour, there was just them. Their gossip. Their shared stories of the minutia of struggles and laughter.

It was their sanity’s lifeline, midday at Juanita’s “Whale Of A Time.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

The Keys To Happiness

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Photo: Alfred Schrock on Unsplash

 

Two years, and he could hardly remember how he’d managed to survive before.

The rush. The never ending tasks. The constant worry. The being pulled a million ways by demands and the dreams of others.

He’d run on fumes for months on end, then crash and burn in ways that hurt not only himself but also the ones whose lives were closest. All those bridges he’d burnt.

It was the last burnt bridge that had paradoxically saved him. It became a light from burning embers. He’d flown out to care for an ailing uncle, but in truth just to escape the consequences of another interpersonal disaster. He expected to discover his uncle, who’d been the family’s previous pariah, on death’s door. What he did not expect was to find him so content.

“Live here,” were his uncle’s last words. “Need little. Use less. The Keys saved me. Claim your turn.”

 

 

For What Pegman Saw: Florida Keys

 

For A Comb

https://paleotool.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/tinsmith.jpg

 

“For all the Gods!”

“What is it?” I startled. This was the closest I’d heard Papa get to swearing.

He lifted the milking-pail to reveal a wet stain on the earthen floor. A defiant fat drop fell, confirming.

It was our only pail.

I emptied the soup-pot into our bowls. “I’ll scrub this, Papa. It’ll cool and do till the morrow, when I’ll take the pail to the tinker. He’ll repair it for my comb.”

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Tinker in 75 words