The house at the end of the rainbow

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby…

You’re going to love it, honey. A week at a remote home-stay, out in the middle of nowhere, living the life of a farm-hand, free of pollution or technology.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true…

They don’t even have cellular coverage, so no urgent messages from the boss. And it’s so cheap. He said that we are his first guests and he’s planned everything perfectly.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me…

Why are you doing this? Please. We’ll give you whatever you want. Just let us go. Don’t touch her. I’ll do whatever you want. STOP. STOP.

Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me…

NO. NO. O GOD. NOOOooo

If happy little blue birds fly beyond the rainbow
Why oh why can’t I?

In response to the 150th Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge.
This week’s photo prompt is provided by @any1mark66. Thank you Mark!

The story is intertwined with the lyrics of Judy Garland’s “Somewhere over the rainbow”. My thanks and apologies for the same.

The World’s Best Brother

He adored her.
To him, she was the world’s best sister. Anything she wanted, she got.

When they were four, mama asked her, “What do you want for Christmas, Annie?”
“A doll house for me, and a tea set for Adam.”
“Don’t you think Adam should choose his own gift!”
“A tea set for me,”
Adam affirmed.
“You’re the world’s best brother,” she said, giving him one of her bear-hugs.

For her 8th Christmas, she got a pink bike, while Adam got one in red. When she decided that his was better, he swapped without hesitation.
“You’re the world’s best brother,” she swore.

Before her 12th Christmas party, he spent the entire day with her at the mall, helping her pick her special dress, and accessorizing it.
“You’re the world’s best brother,” she squeezed his hand.

On her 16th Christmas, she caught him wearing her favourite red lace panties.
“You’re a sick freak,” she screamed. “Get out of my room.”

They did not celebrate Christmas next year.
Mama went to the cemetery after church. Dad just stayed at the bar.


© Eric Wiklund

In response to the December 10th Sunday Photo Fiction challenge

Dear Daddy

Dear Daddy,

Do you remember the day I left home? You held me in your arms and whispered – “Go where your heart leads you, but always remember that this is your home. Your safe harbour in a storm. We will always be here for you.”

Daddy, I had many adventures, and just like you said, some were good, some were hard. But why didn’t you warn me about the pirates? Cause they do exist.
He came without warning. I was foolishly unprepared. He looted and plunder and left me for dead without even a backward glance.

You thought your baby was a big strong ship sailing out to explore the world. But daddy, in truth I was a feeble little sail boat, pushed by the winds, dragged by the currents. I set out to find new worlds, but ended up just bobbing out at sea.

I’m lost now.

All that I have is the memory of your promise, of my lighthouse, my safe harbour.

I’m tired and weather-beaten daddy. Please take me home.

Your daughter.

P.S. My address follows…


In response to the Sunday Photo Fiction challenge of November 26th 2017

Helpless

You’re sick, you need help,” he screamed as he stormed off, the slamming door a slap across my face.

If you know that*, then why wont you help me. Why wont you stay. Instead you walk out. You leave me alone. Just like every body else. Everybody who I ever loved did just that. Like I don’t mean anything to them. No one needs me. I’m not worth staying for. Too much of a problem to love. If you love me, you wont say things like clear out the trash or I’ll clear myself out. I’m trying. Can’t you see that. But every time I pick something up, I freeze in panic. What if I need it some day and then it won’t be there. How can I get rid of these things? I need them.
Please. Please don’t leave me. Not you too. Come back. I swear I’ll clean up this place.
Soon.


In response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers challenge of 24th November 2017

*Hoarding Disorder is a form of OCD, and can be quite debilitating, seriously and adversely affect the person’s health and social functioning.

The under world

Deep down below the surface, all the way down in the sewers, a party is about to start.
Red eyes keep watch through the sewer grate. “The baker has gone to the back room.”

Suddenly the hole in the pavement comes alive, as they start popping out, like the undead clambering out of the ground.


Image courtesy: Channel 4 News

By the time the baker comes out, his shop is infested with them.
Sunken red eyes stare out of bony face, some snorting out of bags at their mouth, pumping slowly like a black heart. The smell and rashes are unmistakably. Sickening.
Sewer people.

He backs away. They pick up what they want and return to their living graves.

Down below the music continues thumping. Syringes are passed around. The candle is blown and the cakes reached for.

Some start vomiting. Some break into seizures. Some fall to never rise.

Above ground the baker waits. Sickness was taking too long. The cyanide should expedite matters. Just some long overdue pest control.



In response to The Sunday Photo Fiction challenge of 12th November 2017


In 2014, Channel 4 News reported that “Deep under the streets of Bucharest – in Europe, in the 21st century – there is a network of tunnels and sewers that is home to hundreds of men, women and children stricken by drug abuse HIV and TB.”
Due to Ceausescu strict policy against birth control, there were tens of thousands of orphans and children in state care. After his fall, and the ensuing chaos, some moved into the tunnels underneath Bucharest. Drug addiction is rife, some have had children of their own.
The entrance to this underworld are holes in the pavements or sides.


Image courtesy: Don’t Panic Online Magazine – The lost boys of Bucharest

Heaven on a tray

I wake up to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, roses and chocolate, to the sight of my handsome husband bashfully holding heaven on a tray.

Placing it down gently, he leans in for a kiss.

“Morning breath,” I warn him.

“Don’t care,” he whispers, as his mouth softly meets mine, lingering, his tongue sweeping across my lips seeking entrance.

I open for him, tasting coffee mingled with traces of whisky.

Nature calls, and I eventually make it to the toilet.

Undressed, I examine my reflection.

The blue and violet bruises on my arms will be easy to cover up. How do I conceal the impression of his fingers on my cheek.

“I’m waiting babe…” he calls out.


In response to Bikurgurl’s 100 Word Wednesday: Week 40 challenge based on a photo by Brooke Lark.

The Valedictorian

She doubled over as her stomach cramped again. No. No. She was late. It was graduation. She was Valedictorian. She had to be there. If she could just get across that bridge.
But it hurt…

Years of hard work, dreams, hers, her parents’, they were finally coming to fruition. Everyone was happy. She was happy. She had to be happy.

Just one blip, one moment, she should simply forget it. Maybe it was nothing. Maybe she was over reacting. One moment shouldn’t overshadow a million other.

She should keep her focus on the path, on moving one foot in front of the other. Why wouldn’t they move? It was like someone had filled her insides with lead…

As she cast her eyes upwards, her breaths became gasps, her heart thumping, like seeing a traitorous foe who had once been a lover, and she crumpled down. A used rag. A broken doll. All she could recall was that one moment, that one moment playing in loop, blanking out all other.

A party. Her short dress. Too short. So loud, the music was so loud. Everyone was drinking. She was drinking. Why did she wear a thong. Laughter. Jeers. It hurts. He was her boyfriend. They were her friends. O God, it hurts…
It hurts…


In response to Sunday Photo Fiction of September 17th, based on a photo by John Robinson

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.

Shit luck

“Urgent delivery. He promised a generous tip if you make it in half hour.”

My day had been really shitty so far. The alarm had not rung, and despite getting dressed in record time, I had missed the bus. I was starving and cranky. I need cheering up. Like a generous tip!

I rushed to grab a bike.

But it simply wasn’t my day. I tripped, fell, twisted my ankle. No cycling for me. Shitty fortune continues!

Sam calls me next morning. “You lucky bastard,” he screams.

“My ankle hurts like a bitch. How is that lucky?”

“Andy made your delivery. Customer was a psycho. He shot him. Andy’s dead man.”


In response to Bikurgurl’s 100 Word Wednesday, week 35 prompt based on a photo by Zachary Staines

Despoiled

Decapitated heads, bed’s wet, cuticles bleeding,

Dark secrets buried beneath hopeless eyes.

Innocence mutilated, humanity decimated.

 

In response to Sonya’s Three Line Tales prompt of week 69 based on photo by Carson Arias via Unsplash