“Long Shadows” – Flash Fiction for Friday Fictioneers

This story was written for Friday Fictioneers.  Each week, Rochelle gives us an image and 100 words to tell a story.  She also inspires us with a story of her own.  This week, she included an excerpt from her forthcoming book, As One Must, One Can.  This week’s prompt image comes from Peter Abbey – thanks!  Click on the blue frog below to read more stories that correspond to this prompt and to add your own.

Friday Fictioneers–those of you on Twitter might also like participating in the daily #VSS365 prompt from @FlashDogs!  Tweet a story inspired by the prompt and include the #VSS365 hashtag!

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Image copyright Peter Abbey

Long Shadows

(99 words)

Hannah walked Josie home using the footbridge over the river.

Hannah pointed at the graffiti.  “From the H-C Gang.  Don’t come here without me—they might get you.”

Josie stared, silent.

“See the chain-link sides?” Hannah added. “They’re to keep people from jumping.”

Josie didn’t understand, but her dreams were full of black paint and people jangling the chain link, trying to get out, to jump.

Years later, Josie stood on the bridge, pulling her sleeves down over her wrists.  She knew there probably hadn’t been an H-C Gang in their little town.  Some dangers, though, were real enough.

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“Old Games” – Flash Fiction for Friday Fictioneers

This story was written for Friday Fictioneers.  Each week, Rochelle gives us an image and 100 words to tell a story.  She also inspires us with a story of her own.  This week’s image comes from Claire Fuller.  Click on the blue frog below to read more stories that correspond to this prompt and to add your own.

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Image – Copyright Claire Fuller

Old Games

(100 words)

“We played with this for hours.”

“This?”

Emma held up the tightly-coiled metal, pulling it apart and letting the center section droop.

“Yes, a slinky,” her mother said.  “It was—Ralphie’s favorite.  He’d wait for a quiet moment, and then you’d hear it come down the stairs.  Everyone would laugh.”

Her mother wiped tears away.

Emma let the slinky trip down the stairs, fascinated that this had belonged to a dead boy, younger than her, who was her uncle.  Then, she forgot about it.

That night, when everyone was asleep, she heard the unmistakable sound.

“Hi Uncle Ralphie,” she whispered.

 

Poem for Visiting Walden Pond in 2016

We leave the crowded, paid lot

and migrate with others

in their assorted  groups,

speaking assorted tongues,

across a highway

and down to a rocky beach

where a few are swimming,

even in October.

*

Our daughter’s favorite thing

the whole day

is this beach:

she clutches stones in her hand

feeling their heft,

she kicks her feet back and forth in the sand,

creating half sand-angels as she sits,

and she holds up leaves, sticks, and stones

to see if they will make a sound

when joined by her hands.

*

We join a path around the pond,

and pass people in both directions.

How strange it is,

and I’m sure I’m not the first to mark it,

that so many gather here

with family, friends, cameras

to see a place famous

for solitary communion.

There were moments of that quiet.

People gazed upon the granite markers

of Thoreau’s invisible cabin,

and read the words of his placed

here and there.

And there are places to see a cormorant,

close up and unconcerned,

used to the pilgrims who visit.

And there are moments when we look through the tree trunks

and see only the pond in the sunlight.

*

Resuming our walk on the path,

I press my palm against tree trunks

and feel their bark, individual,

full of life.  Our little one fusses,

and I sit on a stone

and breastfeed her in a moment

both private and not private.

*

We bring her to the beach,

once more before we go,

and she concentrates,

experiments,

hypothesizes,

and improvises

with nature’s bits and pieces.

*

We breathe the scent of the pine needles in.

We feel the sun on our faces.

We change our daughter’s diaper

in the trunk of the hatchback,

and drive home.

“Legacy” – Flash Fiction for Friday Fictioneers

This story was written for Friday Fictioneers.  Each week, Rochelle gives us an image and 100 words to tell a story.  She also inspires us with a story of her own.  This week’s image comes from C.E. Ayr.  Visit his site for more “sound bite fiction,” as he terms it, and click on the blue frog below to read more stories that correspond to this prompt and to add your own.

Legacy

(99 words)

Visiting Granny Penny was always frightening.  First, you had to wait at the far end of the woman-made lake for the boat.  You had to ignore the snapping of the prehistoric alligators as you boarded.

She’d be on the dock, watching to see if you flinched disembarking from the boat.

Her house was a maze of hallways and locked rooms.   Granny herself was silent as a ghost, appearing suddenly around dark corners.

Now, she’s left the house to me.  Why, when there were other grandchildren?  I don’t know.  What will I find?  What will I do?  I don’t know.