Beyond the mighty mountain

I watch the mighty mountain at the end of the wilderness. The road that leads there is so long, and I am just a young lass.

“Where is mama,” I had asked papa.
“In heaven.”
“And where is heaven.”
“Beyond the mighty mountain.”

Soon I’m going to be old enough to walk the long road and go beyond the mighty mountain. My mama will be waiting for me in her pretty pink dress, arms wide open, smelling of vanilla and bread. It’s all going to be so beautiful.

I see the picture in my mind’s eye whenever papa comes to my room at night.


In response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers challenge of 8th September based on a photo by Danny Boweman.
It’s a work of fiction that I pray is never true for any little girl, ever.

The shop at Columbus Circle

“I’ll take it,” she announced, walking on with a nonchalance that belied the fact that she was about to spend almost the GDP of a small country.

She did not understand art. She did not really care. All she knew was that this was the place to buy, and anything that had such an outrageous tag on it would make for great conversation.

That particular piece was going in his study. Being a man of simple minimalistic taste he would hate it. But she didn’t care. He would simply shut up and endure. He always did.

According to her psychologist she was pushing him to a breaking point because subconsciously she felt unworthy of him. Whatever. It wasn’t as if that woman came cheap either.

“I’m sorry madam,” interrupted the cashier, “it appears that all your cards have been cancelled.”


In response to the 130th challenge of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers based on a photo by Jade M Wong.

Date Night

Camping, star gazing, candle light dinner, all the little romantic gestures that had brought them together. Yes, this was what their marriage needed.

It was natural. The mundane becomes the humdrum. It takes effort to keep a relationship alive. A few surprises would spruce it up.

She had called his office to confirm. He would be home by 9. Her little notes would direct him to the backyard where she would await him under the moon light, in her sexy ‘barely-there’ lingerie.

The languid moon traversed it path across the sky. It was only the mosquitoes who came to partake of her naked body.


In response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers’ prompt of 25 August, based on a photo by Jan Wayne Fields.

When morning breaks

The steady beat of his heart calmed her tumultuous mind, and wrapped in the heat of his embrace, she fell asleep knowing she had made the right decision.

Her father was never going to accept their love.

“That low-life, gold-digger only wants your body and my money,” he had snarled. “Even that old pendant around your neck costs more than he can earn in a year. It’s easy to talk about true love when you are living in comfort. Two days without these luxuries and all that true love will vanish. Puff! ”

That night she had come to him. “Take me away right now,” she had wept. With a gentle smile he had taken her into his arms and made sweet hungry love.

*

She awoke shivering in the cold spiritless morning. Reaching for a blanket she realised there was nothing there. Nothing but her clothes lying in a heap. He was nowhere to be seen. Gasping she reached for the familiar comfort of her mother’s necklace. Even her neck was bare.

 


In response to The Sunday Photo Fiction‘s challenge of 2nd July based on a photo prompt by A Mixed Bag 2011

Corporate Games

“Why is the bitch presenting our report?” Tia hissed beside me.
My phone rumbled next.
“She’s trying to take credit again”
“Should not have allowed her to collate the reports”
“Our account”

We were in the middle of our quarterly meeting with the department heads. Despite being as irritated as Tia, I couldn’t just interrupt the presentation. However I won’t say I was surprised. I was not new to corporate games.

Quietly I gave Tia’s knee a comforting squeeze and mouthed “Trust me.”

The bitch continued droning until she reached the slide titled ‘Profit Predictions.’
Suddenly there was a distinct energy spike in the room as the department heads perked up. This was what the vultures were after. Everybody stared expectantly at some promising graphs.
Now the bitch floundered. The graphs were there, but without any data.

“Can we see some actual numbers?” the financial head prompted.
“Eh…,” she stuttered, fiddling with the presentation to no avail.
Eventually she looked over to us saying, “I’ll let the actual team give you those numbers,” and sat down.

I calmly rose, requested Tia to pass around the hardcopies I had been carrying, and stepped forward to take back our presentation.

In response to the Sunday Photo Fiction of June 11th 2017‘s photo prompt by A Mixed Bag 2012

The break

The thing with small towns – everybody knows everybody’s business.

I had ridden to the next town just to buy a pregnancy test kit. For seven stressful days and seven sleepless nights, I had kept the results to myself, almost as if I were an unwed mother. Eventually I made myself a promise. This was my decision, my responsibility. My baby would always have a family. There was no going back.

When he heard he was becoming a father, he was proud enough to buy the entire pub a round and pleased enough to permit me to work. The baby had to be provided for, and honestly, I was more than willing.

Smart, friendly, helpful, my princess was perfect. When she looked at me, like I was the most important person in the world, I determined that she was not going to waste her life like me. It didn’t matter if my back ached or my eyes burnt, her hug could cure everything.

Time passed like the bling of an eye and soon it was time for her to go to college. Tuition was expensive, but I had been saving up ever since she won first prize in middle school.

It was when I logged in to pay that I discovered I was down to minimum balance. It had to be a mistake. Definitely a mistake! I rushed to the bank. I had signed no cheque. I had withdrawn no money. And that’s when I realised the rumors had been true. He had debts, great big gambling debts.

Nothing moved him, not her tears, not my pleas. He just left for the pub like it was just another day.

I meant to follow him to continue pleading. I never realised that I had accelerated until I rammed into the tree.

The coroner came for him. The cops came for me. No questions were asked.

That’s the thing with small towns – everybody knows everybody’s business.

creative-statues-interesting-sculptures-2
Written for Michelle’s Photo-Fiction #90 challenge

Ash and Soot

 

Teaching concepts like racism and gender inequality are meaningless here, and it’s not because we have become more enlightened. When the water lines to the girl’s toilet were cut, we quietly made our way to the river. When our school went up in flames, all we voiced was relief that no one was inside. We are already living the chapters.

The politicians had come to inaugurate the school, to laud the milestone in social equality, to promise protection. Such a class act!

I should have known. If the serfs start to question, then the despot could lose his kingdom.

“An earthly kingdom cannot exist without inequality of persons. Some must be free, some serfs, some rulers, some subjects.”
– Martin Luther

In response to Friday Fictioneers challenge of 26 May 2017 based on photo prompt by J Hardy Carroll

When the bough breaks

We were more than sisters. We were two halves of a whole. The neighbourhood called us the twins and considering how inseparable we were, we might as well have been conjoined. Whether it was playing, shopping, movies, or school, I can’t recall a time when we were not together. The summer when I fell of that stupid tree, broke my leg, and was stuck at home, she skipped camp to stay back with me. When her father left, it was me she came too. Only I knew that she knew what had happened and we pinky swore that no one else would ever know.
Life was perfect. We were happy. Then Robert Smith walked through the school gates.

Now all she thinks about is him. “Robbie loves this… Robbie likes that… Robbie’s taking me to this movie…”
Robbie… Robbie… Robbie… How could this guy who landed up just yesterday know her better than me? And now she’s doing the School Day play with him! With him!

Well if she wants to be left alone, I’ll leave her alone. Let’s see how she feels about these pictures on Facebook. When the School Play’s gone, and Robbie’s gone, let’s see whom she comes to when she’s all alone.


Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge of 21 May 2017 based on photo prompt by A Mixed Bag 2009

Diner natter

Sam’s chatting up the IT girls as usual. He has a way with them. From boss woes to boyfriend woes, from designers to sales, Sam gossips like he’s one of the girls. Which works for me; cause when the day’s done and we’re cleaning up, he’s rambling off to me. Who has a boyfriend or not, and whose going to be home and whose not.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a perv or anything. Have my own missus at home and she treats me real fine. But information is a useful thing to have.

Sam’s good people, but he doesn’t exactly pay a fortune, and the missus likes a few pretty trinkets every now and then.

 


Written in response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers of 19 May 2017, with photo prompt by Roget Bultot

Through frosty path

Frosted leaves with their delicate ice buds sparkle in the brilliant wintry light, for there is no weather today, no wind, no clouds. The slippery path glistens like white quartz, and I wonder at the irony of all this beauty over everything dead. Spotting his headstone I pause, my breath rising in rapid puffs, and I have to remind myself that he is gone. “You will always be mine,” he had said, right before the day of the fatal car crash. Sadly the break wires had snapped.

I close the gap between us and then I see the rails put up beside him, around the freshly dug open grave. “O honey, you’re getting company,” I say.
The idea suddenly strikes. I step across the rails, taking out the greasy gloves I needed to dispose. Down they go.

“I told you. You will always be mine,” I hear Frank hiss behind me. Startled, my foot slips and I’m falling. My head hits something and then…


In response to Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, 115th Challenge
Photo prompt by loniangraphics