A Work Of Art

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“Grand, isn’t it?”

Grand indeed, Sebastian nodded, too distracted by the elegant turn and glowing skin of Maruska’s neck to care about the stained glass in the ceiling.

“Sebastian!”

Sebastian averted his eyes skyward and felt warmth rise under his collar to color his cheeks. The realization made him blush harder. He hated how his face became an open book.

Get a grip! he admonished himself. She’s taken! In fact, they were waiting for Alexander to join them. The rock on her ring was surely intended to outshine any other splendor.

“A work of art,” Sebastian murmured. And meant it.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo: © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

Storied Stories

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They climbed in silence, single file, the occasional foot scraping a bare concrete step.

Lindon pressed his lips. It helped stop the trembling. This was his first ‘trip’ off the ward and he wanted to look around. To look at others for their reactions. But new or not, he’d learned enough to understand that it was better not to. He kept his head low.

A scent hit him. Like Grandma’s house. Last month. Eons ago. He blinked.

The stairs ended. He looked up. His eyes grew.

His heart, too.

A room of books.

Stories. Escape.

He knew he would survive.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Ted Strutz

 

 

Sheltered

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(Photo: Michal Ico on Unsplash)

 

She trudged up slopes in ice

And cold

The wind bent chilly fingers down

Her coat.

Till finally she saw

Up top

A cave indenting

Ancient rock.

She crawled in,

Grateful,

To take stock.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Cave in 34 words

 

When The Weather Allows

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“When will they come home?” Lizbeth’s voice penetrated Mauve’s daydream. It was rare to find rest in the middle of her day, and Mauve couldn’t help a touch of resentment at the interference. Guilt smothered it. The wee bairn could not help wondering. She missed her brothers as much as Mauve did her sons.

“When the weather allows it,” Mauve gazed at the sea. The maker and breaker of everything. She loved it. She loathed it. She couldn’t see a life without it.

“Tonight?” Lizbeth pressed against the rail.

“More possible tomorrow,” Mauve swallowed a sigh. “So we shall hope.”

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Bradley Harris

 

The Gall

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(Photo: Abigail on Unsplash)

 

She steamed and paced and stomped and stewed.

The temerity. The audacious liberties he’d taken.

It was one thing to sell the house.

Another, to have removed her name from the deed.

To have kept the change hidden.

Her parents’ house, no less.

The place of hers – not his – childhood.

Cruelty was why she’d left him.

But this?

He, vacationing on islands.

She and the children, homeless.

 

 

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Temerity in 69 words.

 

 

Wall Flower

 

Shoppers swirled through the market, ebbing and flowing and streaming and trickling and never stopping. Never silent. Not a pause.

Jiao wanted to crawl out of her skin.

Jiang’s head remained peacefully bowed over his scroll.

“Delicate like your name,” Grandmother would say, more reprimand than compliment.

For Jiao, the viscous Chi of others had always been an unwanted second skin. It weighed her down.

“Let it flow around and past you,” Jiang’s paintbrush danced undisturbed.

Easy, Jiao sighed, when you are the flow.

She tried to focus on the paints. The flowers. A quiet wall on which to hang.

 

 

 

Jiang – (male’s name) “river”

Jiao – (female’s name) “delicate, beautiful, charming”

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Brenda Cox

 

 

Frozen In Time

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“What’s he doing there, Papa?”

“Serving his time,” he didn’t need to look to know what his granddaughter was pointing at. He could see it with his eyes closed. In his sleep. Seared into his very dreams.

“What time?” the innocence in the child’s voice returned him to the present. She could not know. So many died so she would not need to.

“His time in war,” he explained.

“To fight?” the green eyes were round under the cascade of unruly hair. The girl never could abide any hair-ties. Her mother despaired. He found it enchanting. He’d forgotten what it was to have hair

He nodded.

“But he’s just watching,” the child noted.

“Yes,” he nodded.

“Forever?”

He looked up at the man frozen in time. So many of them were.

“I hope not, child.”

She pressed his hand.

“I shall bring him a blanket,” she said. “And a pup.”

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

Mama’s Trees

 

“So, we go?”

James nodded. Better than pretending that all was as it had been. Nothing ever will be.

“It’s cold,” Maria held out two scarves. A third was wrapped around her neck.

“So, we go!” Benjamin pulled a hat over his head. “You take the middle, Maria and I will go top and trunk. We’ll trade.”

They’d walked a tree home one year when Mama lost the car. They all had cars now, but she would never drive again.

James reached for the first tree. Glanced at their list of in-need homes.

In Mama’s memory, a Christmas Walk-a-thon. 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: Dale Rogerson

 

Robin’s robin

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“Tell me again, Grandma,” the child burrowed into the bedclothes.

“You heard it a million times,” she ruffled the girl’s curls.

“But it’s my favorite story, Grandma!”

The woman smiled. Begging was part of the ritual. Their dance of love. She made herself comfortable and felt the small torso snuggle closer.

“Remind me again how it starts?…” she teased.

“Grandma!”

“Silly me. Of course I remember… So, there you were, born early and a little wrinkled.”

“A lot wrinkled!”

“Yes, a lot. And with a howling mouth ajar like a hatchling calling for a juicy worm …”

“Eeew …”

“And we didn’t know what to call you …”

“Till you saw my hair …”

“Which was as rusty as a robin’s bib.”

“And …” the child wriggled with anticipation.

“And it is clearly the right name, because a robin has been nesting in the tree outside your window ever since!”

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

On The Bright Side

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(Photo by Anton Darius on Unsplash)

 

The party rocked. Music thrummed through her soles and the edges of her vision blurred.

I’m buzzed, she thought. Tipsy. Perhaps even drunk.

It did not matter that there was no alcohol in the bowl.

The cheer was what intoxicated her.

The brightly colored joy.

So much better than last week’s funeral, she thought. That energy had depleted her. Dark. Gray. Thirsting.

For another sip.

She smiled to let the pavonine life-liquor of the child’s birthday party pour right into her. 

 

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: pavonine in 81 words