Roots

 

The memories come like a yester-year slide show.

Eww mom, this place if crawling with bugs. I can’t stay here.

If this place is good enough for your father and me, it’s good enough for you. Just because your some big city lawyer now, don’t forget where you came from.

Ugh, the respect-your-roots speech again!

*

Come stay with me mom, you can’t live alone.

I spent 52 years with him. Do you think I can leave him now?

But…

*
She lies beside him now.

The place is still crawling with bugs.

Somehow they seem inconsequential.

 


Written for Friday Fictioneers with photo prompt by Shaktiki Sharma

Chimineas

She loved the holidays – the anticipation, the planning, decorating the house, cooking a special meal, laughter with family and friends.
But this year Tony was away on an important business trip. He was really apologetic about missing family time. If he could have rescheduled he would have, but some things are unavoidable.
She understood.
And that was why she was taking the party to him.

Her first stop was the supermarket where she quickly and efficiently ticked off her shopping list. Some ornaments and candles, the costumes from two years back could be recycled so that was not required, and a few ingredients for a quick meal. Fortunately he was in a studio with a kitchen, but she was not foolish enough to expect a lone male to keep it stocked.
Outside the store she had even chanced upon these queer looking pumpkin shaped chiminea. Well, since they couldn’t lounge by the fireplace at home, this would be a small substitute.
With this she was good to go.

Having trudged up with all her paraphernalia, she excitedly knocked on the door.
“Who is it?” he called out.
Determined to surprise him, she answered, “Housekeeping.”

His secretary answered the door – in a bathrobe.

 

04-dawnmiller-2-lingering-visions-5-march-2017


Written for the Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge based on a photo by Dawn Miller.

The White Lady

Baby-sitting an acres large property out in the wilderness – as a poor near starving student on a sabbatical this was a dream job. The old caretaker/conservationist had passed on and till a new one was appointed, this was to be my gig.

The quarters were actually a quaint old cottage perched on a clearing near the woods, run down, but the stuff on postcards none the less. The isolated road lead up to a rock wall cottage that had ivy creeping up its walls, with little violet flowers peeping from between. There were hedges and vines and honeysuckles all around. A little dirt path with pebbles led down to the forest at the rear. The windows were rickety and the insides sparse, a tiny stove, two small wooden chairs, a circular table, a not-so-large mattress and that was all. But there was heat and electricity and it was a tired yet happy camper who went to bed that night.

When my eyes opened it was sometime really early, like before daybreak. I was not one of those wake at the crack of down from sheer ingrained habit types, so I knew it was something that had roused me. Suddenly there is a rattling on the windows and I look out to see hundreds (OK maybe a little less) of golden eyes looking in on me. I let out a scream, which I knew was pretty futile. I mean, it’s not like there was another person within screaming distance. The eyes disappeared. I sat there rocking myself, awake, desperately needing to pee, but too terrified to get out of bed. I mean, who knew what lurked under the bed in this crazy place.

Years passed, although my watch showed it as just an hour, and I finally got the courage to get up and go to the bathroom. But as I passed by the window I glanced out. Hanging gracefully from the tree with her unblinking eyes focused on me was a white almost translucent form. A white lady!
That was when I pissed myself.

*

Eventually the sun did come out to disperse the shadows and restore a fraction of my courage and reasoning.
I was a student of science. I did not believe in ghosts and ghouls. I was not a coward who was going to cry spook and give up a very comfortable paying job, especially not when I had spent a part of the salary upfront.
With those words of self-motivation I resolved to venture out into the woods.

Prudence made me stick to the pebbled path which eventually led to a grove of old trees that appeared to encompass what was probably a sink-hole. Curiously enough the area around the grove had been cleared, as if people had frequently walked about.

bathole

There was nothing special about the trees, so logic dictated that it was the sink-hole that attracted visitors. I looked around, picked up a pebble and with great temerity aimed for the opening.

Before I could fathom what was happening, with a great big whooshing sound that seemed to arouse the entire habitat, a furious Swarm of creatures charged out. I was knocked back on my butt and just about managed to curl up in a fetal position with my arms over my face. Around me there was furious wind and storm. What had I unleashed? Would I even survive this? Dang, I was far too young to die.

Eventually the sounds subsided and I meekly uncoiled to look around. It was then that I saw the sign board…

The Bat Cave & Conservation Foundation – Bat Hole No. 2

***

To see The White Lady please click here

Photos Courtesy Monfort Bat Cave & Conservation Foundation

Derelict

100ww

She wondered who owned the derelict building and why it was neither demolished nor refurbished. The nightly flicker of lights had given away the squatters. Rumour had it that a profitable Goody’s trade flourished within selling everything from weed to heroine.

Stepping through the unlocked door she looked around. Old frames still hung tenaciously amidst cobwebs advertising the perfect Kodak moment. Her mind searched for a happy memory, something to cling on to, but each one was attached to a plethora of bad ones.

As she broke into her rasping cough she conjectured this is what dying of a broken heart felt like.


Written for Bikurgurl’s 100 Word Wednesday with photo by Frank Jansen

A fool called Andy

Picking up the telephone extension without noticing the blinking red light had been his undoing.

Is that what she really felt? Why didn’t she ever tell him instead of complaining to her friend? And all those times….O Lord she had been faking it. He was the fool for believing that they had the perfect marriage.
Fool…fool…fool.
Fool for loving her… Fool for trusting her. All the times he had dropped her off at the yoga studio, happy in the knowledge that yoga made her happy. But it wasn’t the yoga, it was the damn yoga instructor! And what did that make him? A pimp and a damn fool.

He needed to get out of the house, get away from her, get away so that he could think again. Plan. But his stupid brain was not cooperating. It kept reliving that overheard conversation again and again.
Boring. She had called him boring.
The buzzing was beginning to give him a full blown headache, his insecurity growing steadily until it dominated his emotions.

Andy got into his car and started driving.

He was no bore. He would show her. He was a sexy virile man and just because he had taken himself off the market did not mean that he was no longer desirable.

What started out as a timid placation became a continual chant, I am not boring, my life is not boring, a chant so strong that he resolved to break out of his comfort zone, do something uncharacteristic, hit the bar perhaps, get drunk, and maybe, yes maybe even pick up a girl.
Yes, that’s what he needed. One night of debauchery to make him feel like a man again.

At the outskirts of town he spotted the perfect little bar. Cheap and sleazy. Not the kind of place where he would have to worry about bumping into anyone from work, the kind of place where the girls looked easy. Perfect.

Perched on a barstool, he ordered a vodka straight, and looked around. It was a rustic country bar, old blues music played, smoke permeating the air, couples making out unabashedly, and then he saw her. Blond hair, shy smile, a plunging neckline making her almost transparent top look even sexier, short skirt, and legs that went on forever and ended in 6 inch fuck me heels. Drop dead gorgeous.

She sashayed up to him, shot him a coquettish smile, and perched on the stool beside. I’ll have what he’s having, she told the bartender. For the next hour they drank, and flirted, and eventually when it looked like he was never going to summon up the courage to make a move, she decided to take matters into her own hands. Are we ever going to get out of here or do you just want to pass out drunk with a sexy woman next to you?

Despite the blood rushing to his groin, Andy hesitated. This was not him.

Until he remembered the phone conversation and the chant started playing in his mind again. I am not boring. My life is not boring.

With that the decision was made.

They got into his car and he couldn’t hold back any more. Like a man possessed he grabbed her hair and pulled her forcefully towards himself, meeting her mouth in a frenzied clash of lips and teeth, breathing in her aroma, tasting the sweetness of a willing woman after a long long time. His eyes closed tightly he was lost in his desperation when suddenly he heard the bang of the rear door. Startled, he jerked around to see the man who had simply plopped into his car.

“What the hell man, this is not a cab you just get into. Get out. This is my car.” Andy screamed.

“And now it’s my car,” was all he heard.

He didn’t hear the gun fire. He didn’t see the blood. He never even realised that she was the one who had pulled the trigger.

Poor Andy! He lived a boring life, but at least he saw an exciting end.

Smoking gun

Making friends at the farm

I stare with dismay at my morose 7 year old sitting by the fence, headphones obstinately embedded in his ears, oblivious to the beauty around him.

Anne’s excited squeals as she helps milk the cows assure me that visiting a farm was a good idea. But Adam…

Suddenly he unleashes a panicked scream.

He’s staring towards the pen at his headphones which are hanging from a calf’s mouth! The young one had obviously sneaked up on Adam and yanked them off.

Now both of them were in some kind of standoff.

Adam cautiously reached forward, but the calf start nodding vigorously and Adam beat a hasty retreat.

Few minutes pass.

Adam makes another attempt. This time the prize is dropped and a hoof placed over it.

Predicament.

Hesitation.

A hand is warily extended.

This time it is met by a wet nose.

Retreat.

Retry.

Wet nose again.

And now something wondrous happens. Gamut of expressions pass over Adam’s face – surprise, excitement, shock, curiosity, glee.

He steps forward and starts stroking the calf’s nose and head.

The headphones are forgotten.

 


In response to Flash fiction for aspiring writers with photo prompt by MajesticGoldenRose

The Tempest

sundayphotofiction

I awoke still hogtied in that grey concrete room, to the putrid smell of blood, vomit, and feces. How long had it been? I had lost count. All that I knew was that I was on fire. My stomach cramped, my throat burnt, my skin burnt, even my eyeballs hurt. My lips were cracked and dry, and my tongue like sandpaper. Someone had skinned me and left me under the scorching sun. My entire body was parched, my head throbbed and it hurt even to breathe. It was a thirst like I’d never known and all I could think of was finding something to quench it with.

Suddenly the door opened and someone walked in; a different man, another tormentor. He placed a glass of water down upon the table.

The entire world blanked out and all my senses, my sight, my smell, my mind, were singularly focused on that one glass of liquid.

GIVE. ME. NOW.

I knew I was screaming. I couldn’t hear myself do so but I could feel my organs ripping apart as I screamed.

“Just tell me what I want to know and this glass is yours,” he smirked.

 

Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.
– Shakespeare (The Tempest)

Written for The Sunday Photo Fiction for a photo by A Mixed Bag

 

A fall from grace

fridayfictioneers

The snow alighted on Macy’s face softer than her mother’s kisses and just as cold as those memories. She pulled her flimsy coat tightly around herself ignoring the icy winds wrapping around her like a shawl woven from the snow. Her fingers were numb and she was losing all sense of time. How long had she been standing? All she wanted to do was get out of here, to some place with a little heat, a warm room or even a heated car. Right now she would have gone with anyone who offered her that, even if it meant being used again.

 


Written for Friday Fictioneers in response to photo prompt by Sarah Potter

The midnight party

100ww

A bang and a shriek woke me up. Hobbling out as fast as my old legs would permit, I stumbled upon the obviously interrupted party. O yes! Jane’s midnight surprise for Peter.
The candles were lit, the cake cut, but where were they…

I was startled once again by shrieks and laughter. Dear me, I suppose passions had flared and moved the party upstairs.

The question remained, what was I to do? Pretend that I had never heard them? Leave the mess on the table! Or clean up and make breakfast awkward?

Lord, the kids really needed to get a place of their own!


In response to the 100 Word Weekly Writing Challenge with image by Bikurgurl 2016

Shopping for an angel

fffaw

I could feel the little palm in my hand vibrate with excitement as she rambled on…

“O mama, it’s so beautiful. Look, the angels are glowing, as if they are welcoming us to heaven. I’m sure the stores are going to be just that, heavenly. Mama I feel enraptured. Do you like the word ‘enraptured’, mama? I learnt it at school today. I thought it was so poetic that I’ve been waiting to use it all day. Anne says everything can be improved upon by imagination, but this is so perfect, I don’t think I could even imagine anything prettier.
I’ve brought all my pocket money. Daddy did say I could spend it. Well except for the ten dollars that I promised Jesus I would give in the church after service. I’m going to buy a little angel broach to match with Diana’s, because she’s my best friend in the whole world. But I might buy mine in emerald. Hurry mama, Diana warned me that there were not too many left. Come on mama, let’s run.”

I heard them, heard the roar of their motors, so many of them. But not before she started darting across the road.

 


Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Photo prompt by Sunayana with MoiPensieve.