Friday Fictioneers – Italian Stars

cafc3a9-terrasse-dale-r

Photo courtesy – Dale Rogerson

Italian Stars

Word count:  99

 

“Can you close them?” Penelope pointed upward.

The waiter looked nonplussed.

Chris cleared his throat, “Ombrello vicino?”

The waiter snorted. “No, no…ees beeyooteeful, no?  No ombrello vicino, scusa.”

Penelope watched the waiter sashay away, disappointed that the Italian stars would elude her.

“It’s okay, honey.” Chris patted his girlfriend’s hand. “We’ll go for a stroll around the square after dinner.”

His other hand sought the box in his trousers pocket and patted that gently, also.

Later, as promised, Penelope marveled at the night sky, and at the new diamond ring on her finger held aloft among those Italian stars.

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Friday Fictioneers – Martha’s Mind

Dale Rogerson

Photo courtesy – Dale Rogerson

Martha’s Mind

Word count:  100

 

Martha inhaled deeply, held it momentarily then exhaled slowly.

She repeated this twice before settling into practice.  It was a warm evening with low humidity so she took the opportunity to meditate on the back deck while the mosquitoes were preoccupied.

The sun warmed Martha’s face; eased her frown lines, and smoothed her crow’s feet.  The cushion beneath cupped her bottom with ease which promoted a relaxed attentiveness.

Bird evensong and faraway car sounds floated by for her consideration but she paid them no mind.

For thirty minutes, Martha simply was.  Nowhere to go.  No-one to be.  Nothing to do.

When there was nowhere else but down

Seven or eight years ago, life had become very difficult for my little family.  I could try to explain the whys and wherefores but the events are past tense.  To try to break it down, make it coherent, and string everything together would require more time than I care to give on the subject.  Suffice to say, things were a mighty struggle all around.

Local news today of a father who shot his wife and three young children before shooting himself reminds me of a day or two during that time when I had considered doing the same thing.

The man’s motivation appears to be that of concern over his marital problems and likely, the knock on effect it would have on the relations with his children.  But I presume; I do not know the truth.  I only know sorrow for the situation and relief for my own.

The details were loose.  I didn’t own a gun, and I didn’t know how to get one; I certainly didn’t have money to buy one.  But I remember standing in the living room of our little, rented house staring at the curtains in front of me.  Just standing and staring.  My husband was at work and our children, at school.  I had been crying.  Heartbroken.  My soul wrung out.  I felt desperate.  As if there was no way out.

In hindsight, I think I had a small breakdown that day.  I believed that if we weren’t here, the burden would be lifted.  I imagined if I had that gun, I would kill the kids first, upstairs, then I’d shoot my husband when he came home in the wee hours, and then I’d shoot myself.  I actually visualized it.  I visualized wrapping the kids’ bodies in blankets and waiting for my husband.

So disconnected was I from myself that I thought it would be easy.  I didn’t visualize the  fact that I’d witness my children’s brains scatter, or watch my husband’s body fall, or the last thing I’d see would be the barrel of a gun.  I didn’t pay any mind to family and friends who would be so shocked and saddened. I only visualized a world where our own struggle and suffering ended.

Dark times, indeed.

I am grateful for my own inner strength which pulled me through when my body and soul were limp.

And I hold this dear family in the light today.  I wish the Dad had found some tiny thread to help pull him through.

Friday Fictioneers: Alan’s Apathy

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Photo courtesy:  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Alan’s Apathy

Word count:  100

 

Alan’s finger idled through the bar chimes.  He stared at the wall and wondered what he might have for dinner.

Two months ago, Rachel had pouted in the doorway:  “I want something Beatle-esque.”

Then, she’d eyed the room with distaste.

“And, I want this room back after we’re married.”

She had flounced off to continue preparations – buying the dress; choosing the bouquet; finding the location, and deciding who sat where.  His only job (except to show up) was to create the music for them to exit the church to.

Alan sighed.  The only song that provided inspiration was “Yesterday”.

Friday Fictioneers: Venetian Vixen

Fatima Faker Deria

Photo courtesy:  Fatima Fakier Deria

Venetian Vixen

Word count:  100

 

Sylvia cupped her chin in her hands and watched Louis.  Her elbows rested on the window sill while her bottom smooshed against the end kitchen cabinet.  It was a small kitchen in a small apartment.

Louis would visit this evening after he had finished unloading the barge, and his clothes would smell of fruit and vegetables.  She would help him remove his shirt then press her mouth to his warm, damp skin.  He would taste divine.

Across the street, Martha watched from her window.  She was not interested in her husband; only in the woman who had stolen his affection.

Friday Fictioneers: Over Easy

Jean L. Hays

Photo courtesy:  Jean L. Hays

 

Over Easy

Word count:  100

Damn bird.

Sherry said it was a quail, and cuz their hippie neighbor had ‘em, they should too.  She’d cried about the chickens in cages but hadn’t minded eating their eggs all her life.

Larry watched it ponce around the back garden.  Two months they’d had it, and still no eggs.  How did birds get eggs anyway?  Did they have sex with another bird?  And how come eggs didn’t have baby birds inside?

Larry didn’t know, and he was tired with Sherry looking for a life that didn’t belong to her.

So he left.

Didn’t bother with a note, neither.

Friday Fictioneers: Mother-in-claw

bowl-and-leaves

Photo courtesy:  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Mother-in-claw

Word count:  100

 

“Is that the bowl I sent you for Christmas?”

Meredith knew what was coming.

“Why’s there a plant in it?”

Her mother-in-law scooped it up, opened the trash can and dropped the ivy in.

“It’s not a vase, Meredith.”

She pawed through drawers with piggy fingers until she found the kids’ candy, and refilled the bowl.

“Honestly Meredith.  I wasn’t going to say anything but since my dear Albert died, I’ve been thinking of selling the house to move closer to you lot.”

Meredith’s husband arrived in time to catch the bowl before it struck his mother’s head.