The Last Trip Down Beach Lane

This short story was prompted by the following image:

Old Woman. CC2.0 photo by Giorgio Grande.
Old Woman. CC2.0 photo by Giorgio Grande.

Mademoiselle Villeneuve and her companion creaked, shuffling down the cobblestone towards the end of the road. One step, one roll. One drop mirroring past beginnings in Mademoiselle’s eye.

“Félicitations pour ton diplôme! Bonne chance dans le monde!” echoed behind them as she threw her cap in the wind, riding towards the future.

Sunbeams cast wickers of flame on the coastal path, a golden gleam to guide them. One step, one roll. One shared memory of love from the heart.

She sat on the blue bars giggling, flying towards the moon. He dragged his feet on this same beach lane, slowing them just enough so he could kiss her neck.

Mademoiselle’s clog skimmed sand, choking the grout, and their bony frames shuttered. One step, one roll. One more movement reminding them they were now broken and bald.

They carried meager paychecks together, then wine and bouquets. They skidded from uncounted fights; pedaled towards countless friendships. Children, then grandchildren twirling their wheels.

Mademoiselle and her partner had arrived. She held to his frame so tightly as they stood one last time gazing at their shore.

Peeling off her wig and clothes, she rested them and her beloved bicycle against the junkyard’s gates. Then without a backward glance, Mademoiselle Villeneuve maneuvered through sand to surf, burying her bruised body under the salty sea.


This was originally written for Flash! Friday flash fiction contest

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On Her Own Two Feet

This following story was written based on the following image as a prompt:

Jeanne d’Arc, 1876. Painting by Eugène Thirion. Public Domain.
Jeanne d’Arc, 1876. Painting by Eugène Thirion. Public Domain.

 

The stone might be dusting her toes, but Joan can stand on her own through a little dirt.

What I’m concerned about it whether she war away the sticks and stones. Can she fight off heartbreak? A friend’s betrayal? Cruel laughter or an enemy disguised as her boyfriend?

She was always a tender reed, an unlit wick in my arms. I’d wonder how one so thirsty–needy–could be one so strong. She used to giggle adorably when I’d use our lamb skin to hide my face. Even then, with a chubby grasp on the leather, she wasn’t scared when her protector was out of sight.

Pigtails and arrows, swimming holes and swords; braver than I, but I’d hold her to comfort while enveloped in the dark.

Despite the plague, despite the wars, she was her own but she was everyone’s–especially mine.

Then one day, my fragile girl flew away.  Joan handle the world, I’m just not sure I can.

 

This story was written for Flash! Friday flash fiction contest.