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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My Boss, “Handsome Johnny”

This poetic story was prompted by the following image:

Coliseum in Rome. CC2.0 photo by Vlad.
Coliseum in Rome. CC2.0 photo by Vlad.

Whisking me off my sensible feet, Mr. Roselli took me out to play–

So giddy–I didn’t know he even felt that way!

This morning he called at eight, arrived at three,

Thrusting brusquely past our janitor to get to me.

My top button suddenly felt too tight,

My shy smile grew wide; inside I soared like a kite.

Just yesterday I was well-coiffed, pinned-down,

But in his penthouse my hair was ruffled under Sinatra’s soothing sound.

“It’s Secretary Day!” Roselli cried with glee,

He moved the years of imaginary employee’s flowers to pass me a key.

My trembling hands, forever smelling of our office soap,

Inched to open his envelope.

My blood rushed as I squelched my dreams,

Although my heart-wrenching wanderlust burst at the seams!

Hopefully glancing at my board, pinned with snapshots from afar,

I was distracted by the window framing his car.

Crestfallen, instantly my nerves were grating,

While he cooed, “My dove, why are you waiting?”

A relic from his travels, a scratched postcard from ancient Rome,

Scribbled on the back it said “Just call before visiting my home!”

Nuzzling my neck, he pressed the key into my palm.

I glared at the Marilyn Monroe in his Maserati, centering my raging calm.


Written for Flash! Friday flash fiction

Compare A.Ravenel Clay’s story, The Bastard’s New Job, written with the same prompt

Manny-Claus

This short story is based on the following image:

Creative Commons License  Kevin Dooley via Compfight
Creative Commons License Kevin Dooley via Compfight

 

“Red hat down!”

“Scruffy and bloated!”

“Sleepy, ugly bruises on cheeks, blooming.”

 

That is how they describe me, warning the little mousies. As if I am criminal and they are the saints.

 

All I did was fluff their beds, cuddle their baby, and drink leftover milk, gorging on the cookies they had colored with sugar all night long.

 

But now I see my face on every newspaper and screen. It seems the public has an odd fascination with my infamy.

 

I didn’t mean to start a thing–I just thought I would leave a present or two (or three). You know, to make them smile when they awoke and found me missing cold. The stockings were for laughs, the tooting train was just an excuse while I lay in wait for the headlights to come back up the drive.

 

Unfortunately for me, I had to be the best babysitter ever.

 

This story was inspired by Flash! Friday flash fiction prompt. 

Welcome ElectrAliens

This short story was prompted by the following image:

 

Chef at the Trans-Siberian rail wall, between Moscow and Khabarovsk. CC 2.0 photo by Leidolv Magelssen.
Chef at the Trans-Siberian rail wall, between Moscow and Khabarovsk. CC 2.0 photo by Leidolv Magelssen.

 

Never before has the wind whipped like cream and the ocean churned like butter as much as it did this time, in their new device.

 

I don’t believe in magic; fate either. But electricity–now that’s the hummer. I’d been a big fan of Tesla’s back in the day, yet now we electricians are considered old-fashioned. Biology dug its heels in the terraform, botanists growing tree-hanging flank-steaks and zookeepers corralling hybrids (I’ll never understand why they innovated Dragonflaorillas).

 

They must have come to me first–no less than eighteen times–because I’m loyal to The Currents. Nothing else could explain their quick-with-thunder appearances. And how else could the foreigners speak without talking into the circuitry of our brains?

 

Which is why I’ve stood as an “x” marking the spot, waiting the return of the electric geniuses to reveal their lighting, reverberating in glory from the stars. I’ll bridge this gap, assuring the masses they aren’t invaders but mentors. (They might even be gods.)

 

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Written for Flash! Friday fiction

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These Brave Birds

Joe’s New Bed

Falling For The Oceanographer and Halo-Shoe Narrative #3427

Average Advocate page of stories

 

These Brave Birds: A Very Clever Story

This short story was prompted by the following image:

Georgian writers Ilia Chavchavadze and Ivane Machabeli playing chess, 1873 St Petersburg. Public domain photo.
Georgian writers Ilia Chavchavadze and Ivane Machabeli playing chess, 1873 St Petersburg. Public domain photo.

 

Winter came upon them like a rainbow; their minds had been dancing in preparation.
Finally they found themselves in the “Coughing Lair” as they called it, cigar fumes so rich and red.

 

Taking their seats they wondered, “Why do all these fellows always think they’re the best?” Their fingers alternated pushing pieces and twiddling their facial hair, making it rather crooked. The laughter molted-off them as in silence they smirked.

 

Perchance they weren’t pitted equally, but it was doubtless who’d win. One move, one stop closer, the previous partner moping onward to the bar. Then they plowed forward and through the next, exchanging glances over the mossy hair.

 

Finally, at the table they met. “Can’t they tell we’re sick of being nestled in homes, with no right to vote? It’s not as though everyone births babies by the click,” the women guffawed. One loosened her binding and the other slammed her drink back, silent shock reverberating through the men’s lounge.

 

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Written as part of Friday Flash Fiction

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Similar Posts:

Joe’s New Bed

Falling For The Oceanographer and Halo-Shoe Narrative #3427

Tunic in the Night 

Or go to the Average Advocate page of stories

Halo-Shoe Narrative #3427

The following story is inspired by this image:

Typhoon Maid Thursday. CC photo by Shuji Moriwaki.
Typhoon Maid Thursday. CC photo by Shuji Moriwaki.

 

Halo-Shoe Narrative #3427

 

There wasn’t ever the sweet grass prairie when she dislodged her aviators. Dee always found herself somewhere fantastical: a foreign landscape, some pounding club, or a colonist’s ballroom. She’d sigh, hike-up her stockings, and embrace the plot.

 

This time wasn’t any different; she stood proud on a mute slab’s edge. Relieved, she wasn’t scared of this cement. An expert judge, Dee already knew here was too idyllic to be another futuristic dystopian.

 

Instead, her attention was silently screaming at the rope swinging with dead-weight. Not again. Dee hated bringing calamity with her. But she ceased premature blame-casting, for who knew when he’d jumped the brink?

 

Story commenced; she nudged her toe at the coil, hoping to uncover a clue. No reason to keep her shoes clean, for the scarlet sequin-sparkle had shed-off literally ages ago.

 

On cue, her aching companion flared–that gut-wrenching longing–for her blasted, world-warped, clicking heels take her to where Em’s apple pie is served with cheddar:

 

Home.

 


Read E. S. Johnston’s story based on the same image here.

Rejected

(Note: this following image is the prompt for this story)

Krak des Chevaliers/Qalat al-Hosn, Syria. CC photo by Jon Martin.
Krak des Chevaliers/Qalat al-Hosn, Syria. CC photo by Jon Martin.

 

He had melted into the bed for an hour by now, surely. Actually, it could have been hours, thirty of them. Those decades had passed in a blink, would he know if the hours had played the same game?

 

The sun was a hazy ball on the horizon. He felt his gaping chasm acutely, head pounding from the ache where his heart had laid.

 

To pass time’s lack of essence, he listened to the refrigerator’s tinks. A whole colony of miniatures lived there. With top-hats, tails; frilly dresses and bonnets– holes cut for ears.

 

He heard the minis scurry up and down the railings, the stairs and the elaborate castles they build in the mound of cooling rejected pastry. They had made exquisite pillars of the champagne bottles.
He considered folding himself into a jerky square, hiding in the frozen room. He imagined delighting in their revelry almost as much as he hated himself in this eternal moment dragging on.

 

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This was written for this Flash! Friday fiction contest.

 

War Legs

1896 Olympic marathon. Public domain photo by Burton Holmes.
1896 Olympic marathon. Public domain photo by Burton Holmes.

(Note: this above image is the prompt for this story)

 

War Legs

Run. Run faster.

 

They galloped east. They skittered west. Now they trampled south.

 

Let those legs fly!

 

It always got tricky when they ran south. The dark trees spiked from the ground, a landscape barren but full of what mattered most- terra firma.

 

As their feet pounded down, the powdery dirt collected their energy. It was genius, really. The equation was this:

Directional Movement x Strength Expended = Fight Power

 

(As if a war was won any other way.)

 

And so they ran for their children and their mothers. Their sweet sweat translated into security. At least, as long as they could bound on.

 

Eventually, when they reached the power of ten in all four directions, the ground would shake, earth tumbling over itself, thrusting the enemies aside.

 

Only then would the land rest at peace and these inhabitants– in garbled socks and wool trousers– kick-up their feet, pull their daughters into their laps, and enjoy iced mint tea once more.

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This was written for this Flash! Friday fiction contest.

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Colossus Stymied

Darkroom

Wormwood, Fool-Struck, and Burn to Fly

Colossus Stymied

St Kilda, Scotland. CC photo by Neil Wilkie
St Kilda, Scotland. CC photo by Neil Wilkie

Colossus Stymied

Princess be rollin’ down my hill again.

I laugh, ‘cuz Princess gives me tickles when she goes a-hillin’.

I call her Stellalina. We’uns need to be a’namin’ the princesses. But the others say I be a baby, cryin’ on, making pets out nuthin’ but fleas.

I sing, “It don’t matter what they say, I be layin’ here all day–  Stella’ be my Special!”

Princess be tired.  Princess be hiding in Molehole when she be tired, tossin’, turnin’, and givin’ me the itches. But I don’t want to scratch or she be dead. No more Stellalina.

My sweat coils in thick steam down towards Molehole. I hope it be fresh– I want Stellanlina to love my luscious expanse and stay.

I might just be a giant carcass of land. But if I ever pry-up from my stone prison, I’d still carry this little’un with me, trompin’ worlds. And if she like, I’d let her go a’hillin’ and giggin’ whenever she want.

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This was written for Flash! Friday Fiction–Vol 2 – 39

 

Darkroom

 

Gemini V, August 29, 1965. Public domain photo courtesy of NASA.
Gemini V, August 29, 1965. Public domain photo courtesy of NASA.

Darkroom

 

I swore vehemently at the ruined print, damaged by my sticky fingers. I knew Doc’s sensors were off; I didn’t want a beating– even if only telepathically.

 

I was on a slow-track to finish my dissertation, so I still had to “play worlds” with Doc in the lab until he signed-off. Only then I could finally start galaxy manipulation.

 

In the meantime, I was stuck managing the lower-life. For example, the earthlings in this series. They were just tip-toeing into orbit now! Talk about procrastinators.

 

I cocked my head as I studied the spoiled black-and-white under the red glow. On second thought, maybe I’d tweak this one on re-entry. I conjured up a new print, immersed it in developer, waited, and carefully pulled it out to put into the next tray, then the next.

 

As it dried, creating history, I smiled. I just gave these guys a fighting chance. Maybe in a few eons our descendants could finally meet.

 

This 160 word short story was written for Flash! Friday Fiction Vol 2-38

 

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