Bayou Bridged

City Park (New Orleans) - Wikipedia
City Park, New Orleans (Photo: en.wikipedia.org)

 

They always met in the park. There were spirits there, too, of course: The drowned. The lost. The desperate. The abandoned young. However, these tended to be the milder spirits, mellowed by moss and rain and the freedom to roam on whispery winds. House spirits were harsher, meaner, and angrier. They carried histories of rape and whippings and the smaller everyday murders that chip at a soul until there is nothing left but agony and bitterness.

It was better to meet in the park, on a bridge between this world and the other, chiseled by masons, anchored by time.

She lowered herself onto the top stair and waited. She’d hear him come, but she would not turn. He did not bear to be looked upon.

“I will take him across,” he’d said when they last met. And he had. It was a gentle death.

Now it was her mother’s time.

 

 

For What Pegman Saw

Bottomless

Bottomless lake NM Photo-New Mexico Tourism Department

Photo: New Mexico Tourism Department

 

“Which one was it?” Mark peered into the screen and jiggled the joystick for the drone.

“I don’t know,” Jake panicked. “It looks different from the ground.”

“We really should call 911,” Sherlock fretted.

“Shut up and live up to your name, will ya?” Jake snapped. Worry and guilt made him mean.

Sherlock turned beet red. In two months he’d finally be old enough to rid himself of this kick-me-name. Not that he trusted it’ll matter to those who already knew him.

Mark maneuvered the drone over the blue circle. He scanned the rocky edges. Ted was only supposed to pretend to jump in, so they could post it online for the new “Dive In” Internet challenge, but he either lost his footing or decided to show off.

A ripple in the watery surface had him zoom in closer.

The drone tilted, wobbled, splashed into the sinkhole, and disappeared. Like Ted.

 

For What Pegman Saw: Roswell, New Mexico

 

The Loophole

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

“Why would anyone choose this tomb?”

Sally’s voice ricocheted in the clearing. I felt my face flush and dug my nails into my palms to keep from responding.

“I realize they don’t need light, but what do they have against air?”

“They’re blind, you know, not deaf,” Mark noted dryly. I could’ve kissed him.

Sally shrugged. She leaned forward and slapped the wall. “Thick walls. I bet they’re as good as.”

“Or not.”

Sally boomeranged off the wall as if electrocuted.

A hand waved out of an arrow slit, two inches from her waist.

I grinned.

“Come right in. Dinner’s ready.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

Waiting for Panav

hyderabad-2707439_1280

Hyderabad, India (Photo: Pixabay)

 

“Can you see him?” Aashi danced on the balls of her feet. “Is he here?”

Her sister slowly passed the binoculars over the crowd.

“Maha!”

Maha sighed and adjusted her sari. She had taken Aashi to the roof because the girl’s incessant buzzing got on Dādī’s nerves. Grandma was anxious enough for Uncle Panav’s arrival without her youngest granddaughter upsetting the chapati.

“He’ll be here soon,” Maha allowed. She didn’t really think she’d be able to spot him. Still she kept the binoculars trained on the market hive below.

Heat rose from the street, stirred by hawkers’ calls and drivers’ horns and the indistinct hubbub of people that had made Hyderabad home.

Aashi’s bangles jangled. Some were Maha’s till this morning.

She touched her nose ring. A gift from Uncle Panav, who will be Chaacha no more. Her chest tightened. Tomorrow, after they wed, she’ll call him Pati.

 

 

Hindi Glossary: Chaacha – uncle; chapati – unleavened Indian bread; Dādī – Grandma; Pati – husband

 

For What Pegman Saw: Hyderabad, India

 

The Gift

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

 

She left him a gift.

She knew he wasn’t likely to acknowledge it. It was possible he wouldn’t know or care where it had come from. It didn’t matter. Or perhaps it did – and terribly – but she could do nothing to change it. Where others sought connection and cultivated relationships, her father’s world revolved around rocks, shells, sticks, pebbles, stones. Those he caressed, inspected, studied, catalogued.

She’d learned to expect nothing. It was the only way to lessen heartbreak.

She left the coral piece on the table. Perhaps if he kept it, it would be as if he saw her.

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

The Interview

The Broadmoor in Crowthorne Berkshire "opened in 1863 as the first building in England built as an asylum for the criminally insane." Today it houses dangerous criminals including the Yorkshire Ripper and the Suffolk Strangler.  There is now talk of turning this building into a luxury hotel.

 

“How did I get here? Too many times of the world painting life in bleak pain and despair,” her wrinkled hand passed over a face lined with history and sorrow.

I looked down at my own hands, fingers marked with blots of ink. I never managed to learn how to hold writing implements far enough from the tip.

Mrs. Glendale leaned forward and her hand touched my knee. The attendant didn’t flinch but I held my breath and wondered, again, what made me choose the asylum for the criminally insane for my project.

“Whatever happens, child,” she whispered, “remember it is best for your heart to brandish hope, not revenge.”

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt

 

Horse Spirit

Photo: Palaeolithic art at Foz Côa’s Archaeological Park, Portugal 

 

“Why do you hit the rock with sharpened stones?”

Golin quaked under The Elder’s frown. It was forbidden to harm The Rocks That Shelter. The big stones protected them from biting teeth and snarling maws. They stopped the wind. They held back scorching sun. They reflected heat from fires.

And let flames paint shadows, Golin thought.

“He will drive away Horse Spirit and we will starve,” Morsen scowled predictably.

“Let him answer,” The Elder said.

Morsen seethed. The old man always favored Golin.

“The Rocks That Shelter do not anger when the fire lives in them,” Golin pointed at the dancing reflection on the wall.

“He makes no sense,” Morsen pouted. A few others nodded but The Elder’s stony gaze did not leave Golin’s face.

“They draw the fire near,” Golin stressed. Couldn’t they see? “Perhaps The Rocks That Shelter will welcome Horse Spirit and call it here.”

 

 

For What Pegman Saw: Douro, Portugal

 

The Service


PHOTO PROMPT © Yvette Prior

 

All was set for the service.

Programs lounged on chairs in the next room. The adequately melancholy music played. Discrete tissue boxes rested at either end of the first row.

She waited as heels clicked on marble and black fabrics swished and the somber faces of acquaintances, rearranged for the occasion, nodded at her. She endured the hugs and shoulder pats and too-long handshakes. She breathed through the words.

The room quieted.

She rose and stared at the ornate urn on the dais before turning to face the living.

“You should know,” she began, “that Dad was not a good man.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

Worse Off Than A Monk


Image result for Goizueta, Navarra, Spain

Photo: Mapio.net; Goizueta, Navarre

 

“I am not going!”

They cannot send him to that miserable hut where there’s no electricity, no running water, creepy crawlies, and no internet. Even monks have internet. He was going to be worse off than a monk!

His father sighed. “Aitona Antton needs help and Osaba Alesander is still recovering from his motorcycle accident.”

“So I need to lose a leg to get out of this?” Danel grumbled.

His father’s sharp inhale told him he’d gone too far.

He shrugged apology. He was in enough trouble. Ditching school, hanging out “with the wrong crowd.” It was exile or jail.

“He’s your great-grandfather,” his father sounded tired, and not just from spending nights at Uncle Alesander’s bedside. “You used to love visiting him.”

“Before Birramona died …” Danel stopped. The remote homestead was awfully quiet without his great-grandmother. How much more so for Aitona-handia?

He sighed. “At least I like goat-cheese.”

 

 

For What Pegman Saw

(Basque glossaryAitona: Grandfather;  Aitona-handia: Great grandfather;  Birramona: Great grandmother;  Osaba: Uncle)

 

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