Walls

Brick by brick he boxes himself in.

There is a hammer in my hand and I’m tempted to strike at those walls, but experience has taught me a lot. Hammers reinforce. For every strike, he builds up another layer.

I must be like flowing water. Calm, soothing, undemanding, persistent; wearing the walls down so gradually that even the brick doesn’t know.

His counselor and I have managed to open a few windows. The playful light beams dance about keeping him from plunging into the total dark.

But there are other hammers. Hammers that I neither wield nor control. My eyes do not hold enough water to sooth their blows away.


In response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers challenge of 12 October 2018, based on a photo prompt contributed by her.

Annie’s

I watch him watch me from the corner of my eyes.
He thinks I don’t see the subtle shake of his head, the disappointment in his eyes.

She’s cleaning those shells again,’ he whispers. Probably complaining to Dr. D!
Bless the good doctor. If it wasn’t for her, they would have tried to take these away too. She’s good people. She understands a mother’s responsibilities. When Annie comes back, she’s going to ask for her shells. They may say that she’s never coming back. But I know better. She never goes anywhere without her shells.

Oh Lordy, I missed a spot.


In response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneer’s challenge based on a photo prompt submitted by Sandra Crook

La ville colorée

I stare at the map in my hand.


Photo Prompt © Dale Rogerson

This was the address.

After the miles of wilderness, I had driven through to get here, this entire town was a riot of colours. I could just as well have been in Legoland. All the houses were either Brick Red or Royal Blue or Crimson Yellow. The doors were decorated with ornaments and string lights.

I reach the fountain with its beautiful translucent corals and turn right. Even this narrow alley has colourful umbrellas flying above, as if the starless sky was much too bland.


Photo Prompt © Bikurgurl

I look around, wondering if I was on the set of some film, seeking out the hidden cameras. All I see are the pedestrians walking in pairs, always in pairs…


So I am cheating a little here, combining two prompts.
The first is
Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers prompt of 21 September 2018 based on a picture by Dale Rogerson, and the other, Bikurgurl’s 100 Word Wednesday: Week 89 prompt based on her picture taken at the Seattle Aquarium.

The unfortunate wait of Mr. Chron

JHC Clock

Mr. Chron’s mind travelled to the past, to when he was a gentleman of importance. When he stepped into the room, his arrival was marked by pomp and created quite a ripple. At Mr. Chron’s word, eager mothers would hush their little ones, while the gentlemen would set down their tea and get to pursuits of more imperative nature.

With automation, his role became more ceremonial. Yet heads turned, eyes shone, and little ones clapped in greeting.

Now, he’s just window dressing. He’s been staring at the room in silence, waiting for someone to wonder why he won’t retire to his chambers any more.

Its been a rather long wait.


In response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers challenge of 14 September 2018, based on a photo contributed by J Hardy Carroll.

The Mirror

I sit here, before it, wondering…

At first I thought it might be dirty. That could not be. That should not be. I clean every square inch of this house myself. An immaculate home and hearth are a woman’s pride.

I did not see it in the morning, but I dared not dwell. There were meals to be cooked, boys to be dressed, school runs to be made…

If I had the time to comb my hair then perhaps I might have wondered earlier, but who has time for vanity. Like he says, I’m just a store keeper, not the window dressing.

And now that the day is done I sit here wondering…

Why can I not see my reflection in the mirror? Has the light faded, or have I ceased to exist?


In response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers challenge based on a photo prompt by Nathan Sowers

Sitting on Rooftops

I climbed onto my rooftop expecting to escape the crazy drama at home. I never expected you.

At first it was creepy, someone staring at me. Then it got annoying. Whatever made you think that I was going to jump, and even if I were, did you really think that some total stranger waving about wildly two streets over, could talk me out of it? But your attempt at sign language, and your face morphing through those million different expressions, that was really amusing.

Now I look forwards to our game of charades everyday.

Sitting on the roof, sharing silence and the occasional nod with my nameless companion, has become the most relaxing part of my day.

Thank you my friend.


In response to the Friday Fictioneers challenge of 20 July 2018, based on a photo by Dale Rogerson

The kitchen sill

Her fingers circled the lid in a slow hypnotic motion. Hardly anyone ate the pickles any more. Certainly not the kids. Her Indian pickles had too much oil and spice for their palate. With Ravi’s escalating reflux problem, it had become a rare sinful indulgence. And yet…

She couldn’t imagine her window sill without those jars. It was a treasured recipe passed down from generations. Her lingering connection to the women of her family who lived no more. She smiled thinking of how appalled her grandmother would have been had a meal been served without the auspicious pickle.

Some traditions were not about logic, they were about comfort.


PHOTO PROMPT © Jean L. Hays

In response to The Friday Fictioneers challenge of 15 June 2018

Chaos Games

She liked crowds. Better yet, she liked distracted crowds. She especially liked distracted tourist crowds. Tourists tend to carry their passports on them. Easy pickings.

Phase 1 of the exercise was simple. Ten passports in fifteen minutes. A breeze.

Phase 2, was the challenge. Return the passports. Well, kind of! You might think that would defeat the entire purpose of lifting. But it was not about the spoils. It was about the thrill.

When all ten people landed up at the police station, in possession of each others’ passports, wouldn’t that be fun. Keep the cops on their toes.

Hey, even a retired thief needs to have some entertainment.


In response to the Friday Fictioneers challenge of 8 June, based on a photo by Roger Bultot

The Perfect Wife

She blushed, tucking the truant lock of hair behind her ears, as the last guests bid farewell.

You’re a lucky bastard,” Daniel slurred, “perfect career, perfect home, perfect wife”. “And you’re the drunk sleeping on the couch tonight,” Jill chided, dragging her boisterous husband away.

Dinner had been a resounding success. From the delicious food to the elegantly set table, compliments has rained down all evening. God, at least four people had asked for her soufflé recipe. The hours of slogging had been worth it.

The blow came as a shock. “Useless bitch. You want to humiliate me in from of my colleagues? You want people to think I can’t afford fresh flowers!


PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

In response to The Friday Fictioneers challenge of 25 May 2018

Yearn

Around the lamp post we spun, you and I, as the rain came down drenching us in magic and merry oblivion. We made promises of eternal love and togetherness, vowing never to stop dancing in the rain.

Then the sun came out, drying out the rain, obliterating all traces of our childishness, and in the harsh light of day we saw only practicality. Life happened as life does.

Yet even now when the rain is falling and the night twinkles, a little child peeps out from her hiding place, and yearns to dance around that lamp post again.


PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

In response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers challenge of 15th December