In Case Of Rain

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

 

It was their anniversary, and once again he was late.

The office manager held him up for nonsense that could’ve easily waited for tomorrow. Mr. Billings often did so when Gary was in a rush. It was a cruel little game he played, knowing that with previous ‘insubordination’ records in his file, Gary could not afford even the slightest reprimand. No job, no health insurance.

His phone buzzed as he rushed to the restaurant. A text.

“Lost?”

Mary. Gary’s heart sank. He ran faster. His phone vibrated again.

“I’m under a blue umbrella. You know, in case of rain.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

It’ll Do

three line tales, week 137: an abandoned asylum

Photo: Nathan Wright via Unsplash

 

Never mind the mildew and dirt, the echoes in corridors of sad stories they knew.

There’ll be roof over heads and a shelter for those who lost all yet pulled through.

We will clean it all up. Make a home for these kids. It’ll do.

 

 

For Three Line Tales, Week 137

 

Home View

Bamboi

 

He huddled at the cupola and waited.

Sirens blared and klaxon warnings bleated in time with the flash of red strobe lights and a monotone woman’s voice repeating: “Evacuate! Evacuate!”

He shook his head at the cluelessness of programmers. Who chose this particular word for the code-red recordings?

Evacuate to where?

The wall behind him warped and heaved, and it was as if the very apparatus was gasping for air. He slowed his own breath and tuned out the scream of bending metal and the meaning of the accelerated frequency of the voice commands.

He glued his eyes to the view. Finally.

His finger traced the line of green against blue and traveled inland to the approximate spec that was Bamboi.

Was anyone home looking up? They’d been so proud. The first of their own at the space-station, and … for at least another moment, the last astronaut alive.

 

For the What Pegman Saw Challenge: Bamboi, Ghana

 

The One Thing


PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

 

“It’s the one thing I want.”

His siblings’ squabbling over their late mother’s items woke memories he preferred to not revisit. He wondered if not leaving a will was her way to continue their jockeying for her perceived affections even after she was gone.

Linda fixed her suspicious gaze on him. “Why?”

He shrugged to feign indifference. “I find the carvings interesting, and,” he pointed at his black clothing, “it’s kind of Goth.”

He wasn’t going to tell them about the hidden compartments. Or their contents. Grandpa had shown him. “Black sheep need help, Son. In case of hard times.”

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

Bedtime for Luna


PHOTO PROMPT © Gah Learner

 

“So, remember,” her hand on the door’s handle. “Bedtime at 9, only one treat, brush your teeth.”

“And no opening the door for anyone,” he intoned.

At least it got him a smile. There weren’t many of them of late.

She tucked an errant lock of hair behind an ear and suddenly he couldn’t stand it.

“When will you be back?” He knew. He had to ask.

She glanced at the window. The court-order weighed heavy on her mind.

“When Luna goes to bed behind the mountain, I’ll be home.”

For the last time.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

As The Crow Flies


Image result for Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island; http://www.cityofmi.org/

 

“Thar she is,” the captain pointed.

She stared at the lighthouse across a desert of stacked ice shards and patches of wet cold.

“How far are we?”

The grizzled man lifted a hand against the horizon as if measuring. “Ah, ’bout a mile, as the crow flies.”

Might as well be ten thousand, she thought. Years, too.

He’d left the engines idling but refused to get her any closer. Would not lend her a kayak, either. “Too chocked up,” he’d said.

She reiterated her urgency but still he would not be swayed.

“She’d give up her ice soon,” he nodded at the lake. His attempt at kindness.

Soon would be too late. She swallowed bitterness. The estate was scheduled to be liquidated the next morning. Without photo proof of her early childhood scrawls in the lighthouse’s attic, she’d lose the inheritance. Illegitimate in a whole new way.

 

For What Pegman Saw

 

 

All There Is

three line tales, week 135: students in the New York Public Library

Photo: Davide Cantelli via Unsplash

 

She would learn everything about it, she promised herself, and details will no longer catch her unaware. The books soldiered on, and she with them. By closing-time she was educated and heartbroken: She knew what it was. She knew it was incurable.

 

For Three Line Tales, week 135