Windowed

cuba11 inbarasif

Photo: Inbar Asif

 

“They’re all old,” the guide gestured, “but some are worse off than others, for they are windowed.”

“Age does not make a building old,” he explained. “Even if sooner or later years form spider webs of fine cracks on every wall, those are just realities built by time. The product of life.”

“But these ones,” his hand rose in half-salute, half-point toward a row of especially dilapidated shutters, “they are windowed.”

When our faces must have told him we still hadn’t the story he’d wanted be told, he sighed and took pity on us. So privileged we had to be to not have lived what would have let us understand the depth of meaning in his words.

“Rooms empty of everything but ruined dreams. Windows widowed of hope. Houses like these go beyond broken relics. Some had gone so long bereft of young ones to gaze through their portals in a waking dream, that short of a miracle to breathe life back into them, they are windowed: dried to the bone of sound, stripped of souls, ready to fall.”

 

 

For V.J.’s Weekly Challenge: Windows

 

Treasure Hunters

SPF-10-14-18Joy-Pixley-3

Photo Credit: Joy Pixley

 

It had been a long trek on an oven of a day in what had to be a replica of hell. I was parched half-way to mummification and about as lively as the end result, but Mark seemed as bouncy as a pixie in morning dew.

He checked the map. “Twenty more feet!”

Either he didn’t notice the forest of thorns (and its likely residents) or didn’t care. He was in his element. I definitely was not.

I’d joined THOR (Treasure Hunters Of Renown) a month prior, on the rebound from a breakup. The local chapter was small but Mark’s enthusiasm was contagious and the prospects were exciting. We compared topography maps with old mining records and discussed unsolved mysteries of lost gold from the bandit days of the Wild West. Hunting treasure sounded alluring. It made me feel brave. From the AC.

“I’m not going in there!” I croaked with a drywall tongue as my mind filled with images of scorpions and my ears strained for rattlers. I was sure I’d heard the cackle of ghosts.

If I made it home alive, the only treasures I wanted were a cool drink, my couch, and my remote.

 

 

For Sunday Photo Fiction

 

Around The Bend

tltweek150 JanGenge via Upsplash

Photo: Jan Genge via Upsplash

 

They ran around the metal that machines had bent

And right across the bend of time

Into handmade medieval.

 

 

For Three Line Tales

 

New Wings

tltweek149

Photo: Boris Smokrovic via Unsplash

 

She clung to the flower and whispered, awe shuddering through with each beat:

“I didn’t even know to imagine how it would feel to stretch wings,

to sense the blood pumping through to the tips, edges fluttering free with the wind.”

 

For Three Line Tales #149

 

Trestle Wrestle

rr-tracks-at-harpers-ferryc - Dawn M. Miller

Photo Prompt: Dawn M. Miller

 

“Stop it!”

Harry’s voice ricocheted off the cliffs. He could feel reverberations from his running traveling through the wooden trestles underneath his feet. Other thuds shook the bridge as well.

The figures didn’t even pause. Gordon swiped a leg under Thomas and the larger man went to the rails but grabbed hold of Gordon’s clothing. They rolled and the men would’ve tumbled off the tracks if it weren’t for Gordon’s belt catching on a spike.

Harry bent mid-stride to grab a stout stick.

It seemed he’d have to knock the two unconscious to stop them from killing each other.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

Hold The Rainbow

April Pearson

Photo credit: April Pearson

 

She’s always loved rainbows. Even if they’d signaled more endings than beginnings and more lost pots of golden dreams than she could count. Perhaps that’s why rainbows were so colorful: They distracted you from the fact that they weren’t much more than a trick of light, air distorted through the sheen of still held tears. Would double rainbows herald double sorrow or a chance at joy?

“I wanna hold it, Mama!”

She glanced down at the curly head and her eyes followed the small hand that pointed at the docks across the narrow inlet. “I wanna hold it!”

“You can’t hold a rainbow, Marly.”

The finger remained trained on the colorful arch, and Laurie didn’t needs to see the toddler’s face to know the little girl was scowling. She recognized the full-body-speak from memories in her own bones.

“Come.” She bent and scooped the child into her arms. She was going to make sure life was different for this one. “Such a pretty rainbow, isn’t it? We can’t hold it, but I can hold you, and,” she reached into the go-bag that held everything they still possessed since they escaped, “you can hold your unicorn.”

 

 

For the Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge

 

Dastardly Display

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Photo Credit: Rick Spaulding

 

“Which one’s yours?”

Mary shrugged.

“C’mon, which one?”

There was a moment’s hesitation before she shrugged again, and I grinned. Perhaps she wanted me to guess.

I took another look at the display. Mary was talented enough to create any of those pumpkins, but she wasn’t one to think outside the box. So maybe not the clown or minion. Did she even know about ninja turtles? I pointed at the shark.

She shook her head, and I was about to guess again when I noticed how tightly she held on to the edge of her blouse. Mary was taciturn but not prone to nervousness.

“Is everything okay?”

Her chin was halfway into a nod when she paused and her upper lip trembled.

A ball formed in the center of my chest. She’s scared, I realized as my body mirrored hers. Suddenly all I wanted was to get her out of there.

“Forget the silly display. Let’s get some air and you can tell me what happened.”

“But it is the display,” Mary murmured, her eyes darting to the table. “I’d made a unicorn. I came early to set up and…” she shuddered, “… I saw the clown eat it.”

 

 

For the Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge