Not All

 

“We must cancel!” Ruth’s voice was reedy with tension.

“We must not!” Tomas retorted more sharply than he’d intended.

Ruth flinched and turned away. Her shoulders trembled.

Tomas wanted to kick himself. “I’m sorry, Love,” he tried.

Her head shook, but she turned back to him and buried her face in his chest.

“It is all ruined,” she sobbed, pointing at the storm’s devastation.

“Not all,” he wrapped arms around her.

A long breath shuddered, then Ruth’s eyes, glistening, found his.

“No, not all,” she repeated. Breathed.

His own knees weakened. His Ruth of Awe and Fire.

His bride. Today.

 

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Brenda Cox

 

Aftermath

bricks CrispinaKemp

 

“This is all that’s left.”

Marshall nodded and surveyed the area, hands clasped behind his back in a show of control that did not quite hide his devastation.

Danielle caught Sandy’s eye and the latter blinked acknowledgement. Marshall’s white-knuckled grip and the way he rocked ever so slightly on the balls of his feet communicated volumes. Danielle didn’t think he trusted his voice.

The moment stretched.

“We did find some items scattered farther on,” Danielle pressed, distressed by his unnamed grief.

“Mostly parts of items,” Sandy clarified. Won’t do to raise hopes when they already knew nothing was salvageable.

Marshall lifted his head and gazed at the path of destruction the freak storm had left on the barrier island. A quietude spread inside him. An ebb and flow of sorrow and release.

“Thank you ladies,” he told the county’s disaster inspectors. “Mother Nature had spoken. I will not rebuild.”

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Cleanup Crew

 

“Well, that’s not too bad,” Irvin scratched his chin. The scruffy look added credibility, but the cost in itchiness was high.

Darwin nodded. Looked bad to him, but he wasn’t gonna say nothing. He always ended up sounding stupid and he’d heard enough evolution jokes. Thank you Mom and Dad.

“You get the rake and the bin. Start scraping,” Irvin ordered. “I’ll go check the inside.”

Awning roof sure slants funny, Darwin thought, but didn’t say. Just made sure he was on the far side of the van when the corrugated metal screeched.

Survival of the fittest and all that.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

(Photo prompt © Sandra Crook)

 

Let Spirits Fly

kacper-szczechla-U2L0qbBw9Jo-unsplash

Photo: Kacper Szczechla on Unsplash

 

Then

Came just the perfect time

For snowy charm

To let its spirits

Fly

On high,

And make the wind bend

Trees and

Set tardy leaves to

Sway

Astray,

As Fair Folk sprinkle

Flaky frost and

Set aflame a winter’s

Dance.

I am

Entranced.

 

 

 

For the dVerse Quadrille Challenge: Spirited

 

 

The Grimace

silas-baisch-WY14uiLYMFA-unsplash

Photo: Silas Baisch on Unsplash

 

It was not quite a smile.

It was born not in joy

Nor in any enchantment,

But in desperate

Hope

To forestall

Shame

As it loomed,

A storm

In the fast shrinking distance.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Grimace in 33 words

 

 

In The Gray

https://sonyca.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/tltweek171.jpg

Photo: tltweek171

 

Most had left already. Evacuation was taken seriously after the previous storm had wiped out a dozen residents and many homes. Sam stayed. Life couldn’t get much grayer with Meg having drowned. He’d survive or join her. Either way was okay.

 

 

For Three Line Tales #171

 

Warp and Heft

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

“All houses bow with time,” Agnes fanned herself. The heat lay on the garden like a leaded blanket. Even the shade of the great oak offered only small respite, though their stifling rooms would be far worse.

“Yet not all houses must endure an Edmund,” Joan giggled behind her fan before frowning at her serving-woman for daring a grin. That girl ought to learn her place! Mockery of Edmund’s evident over-fondness for sweets and mutton was for his equals only to indulge in. It would not do to have the servants ridicule their superiors, or who knows who they would dare disrespect next!

At least the obstinate girl had manners enough to blush crimson and lower her eyes.

Agnes tilted her head mildly. “The estate out-dates our dear cousin by two centuries.”

“And may or may not last this one if he does not move his quarters,” Joan deadpanned but only with half-a-heart. Her wit was wilting. She wriggled two fingers and a woman stepped forward with a glass of mead and a linen square to dab the sweat off of her mistress’ forehead. Her own coif and underarms were dark with moisture. Joan sniffed the sachet at her wrist.

Insects buzzed. The minutes lingered. The house brooded heavy against the colorless sky.

“I wish the air would move,” Joan sighed. Her embroidery lay disused in her lap.

“I wish same.” Agnes’s ivory skin bloomed pink patches in the heat. Her needle, too, lay indolent. She gestured with her fan toward the horizon past the house. “Perhaps these clouds would soon shift the wind before them.”

A distant thunder rumbled as if in answer.

Behind the ladies, one of the serving-women squeaked.

Joan frowned.

“What is it, Marianne?” Agnes inquired, not unkindly.

“The house, My Lady,” the young woman’s curtsy was tense and her finger shook as she pointed it at the lattice work on the third story.

“What about the house?” Joan hissed. She found Agnes far too tolerant of serving girls’ dramatics.

A loud groan answered and the air itself seemed to shimmer. Or warp. Or weave.

A silence fell.

Joan felt the hairs at the back of her neck stand on end.

The insects. They’d stopped buzzing.

Even before her thought completed, lightening split the sky and sliced the roof, the latticework, the heavy beam, the second story window, and the chevrons on the wall, knifing deep into the ground.

Another bolt seared her eyes as it hit the oak.

Sudden wind rose and the air fled, taking with it any memory of the burning house against the raging sky.

 

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt: Monochrome WritePhoto

 

 

Till The Cows Come Home

cow in snow AtaraKatz

Photo: Atara Katz

 

Trudge on home

In the dampness,

Put the hooves

To slush and ice.

Dream of warmth,

Of troughs of oats,

The dry barn filled

With hay so nice.

 

 

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Cold