Up And Away

Photo prompt © Ronda Del Boccio

 

They’d waited as long as they could, but in the end had to leave without her. Or lose the opportunity.

There would be hell to pay, of course, but they should not all have to suffer the consequences of Mathilde’s tardiness. Not today.

“She’d be furious,” Wanda bit her lip.

“Yep,” Tanya confirmed. She felt bad but not sorry. Sure, Mathilde liked to make an entrance. She liked to keep others on pins and needles. Not today!

Today, for Tanya’s birthday, they lifted to the sky, burners roaring.

Was that Mathilde’s car, tiny, racing at the edge of their horizon?

 

 

 

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Enough To Share

Photo prompt © Ted Strutz

 

“I kept some for you.”

She offered the crumpled paper reverently.

“Why, I thank thee!” he bowed.

He unfolded the checkered waxed napkin to reveal two potato chips, one small bite of pickle, a tiny sliver of bacon, a dot of olive, a slightly bigger dot of pepper, and a few crumbs of tuna. There was even some mayonnaise for condiment. A feast.

She squatted and rocked back on her heels in satisfaction as he devoured the food. Her greasy fingers left marks on her slacks. She was oblivious. Mesmerized.

The elf licked long skinny fingers. Burped. “No beer, eh?”

 

 

 

 

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Out Of The Blue

Photo prompt: © David Stewart

 

The streets still shone with wet but the dome of sky stretched clear above. The wind had swept away the clouds.

She shivered even though the air was warm. Perhaps it was the damp that had her reaching for her shawl.

She hugged herself and wondered if she’d ever know whether he had left because he wanted to or because he had no other choice or because he did not know any better.

“Where are you?” she whispered.

She jumped when the fountain unexpectedly came to life and bathed the roundabout in blue.

It felt like a hello. From Hugh.

 

 

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Look Again

 

“Can you see her?” Emma rose on tiptoes and lifted her chin to add inches to her five-foot frame.

I smiled. What Emma lacked in stature, she made up for in sheer stubbornness. She felt tall.

We had parked on the far side of the marina and were approaching from behind the stage, facing the crowd. A sea of heads corralled by masts.

“She isn’t in the first row,” I noted, puzzled. Aunt Tilda was a front-row fixture in all local concerts.

“Look again,” Emma insisted. “If it’s free, you bet she’d staked her claim since the day before yesterday.”

 

 

 

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Just A Hat

Photo prompt © Jan Wayne Fields

 

She could not decide.

She knew the others were getting impatient. That they believed she ought to have made up her mind.

“It’s just a hat,” Marissa hissed, a bit too loudly to have wanted to keep Betty from hearing.

“It is,” Betty whispered. Her voice shook but she couldn’t help it more than she could stop blush from traveling across her cheeks and down her neck to meet her chest.

And yet … Mom had asked for pink … How?

Her breath hitched. No way she could admit color-blindness and not get kicked out of the new Hue You Artist Colony.

 

 

 

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Not What You Think

Photo: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

“We must hire someone to remove this eyesore,” Carolina’s nose wrinkled in distaste. “Never could understand hillbillies approach to disposal.”

“We could …” Stewart noted, “but …”

“But what?” Carolina hated it when he got cryptic. If there was something people ought to be, it was clear. Riddles were for children.

“… we’d have to get something else in its stead.”

Carolina’s chest rose to magnificent proportions, but Stewart knew better. He kept his eyes on her face.

“It is a shelter entry. See? Water proof. Air tight. Easily cleaned. Earlier doors kept getting flooded. You’ll want it here, dear, come stormy times.”

 

 

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No Shoveling!

 

“I’ll just be a minute,” Benito shooed his family ahead. “Don’t want you catching cold.”

He rubbed his gloved hands together. The temperature had dropped over twenty degrees in the last few hours.

“Especially you, Junior!” he pointed at his youngest. The boy had weak lungs and had just finished another long course of antibiotics. “In you go.”

“Oh, no, you’re not!” Maria planted her feet in front of her husband. “You are coming in with us. Right now. There will be no shoveling by you today. Boss Manuel insisted. Today you are a guest. After all, it is your birthday!”

 

 

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Elbow Grease

Photo prompt © C.E.Ayr

 

“It’s been a while since they lived here.”

I nodded. The place was filthy. A bit stinky, too.

“Nothing a little elbow grease won’t fix.”

I wished she would shut up. The property manager’s eagerness to sell the place was obvious. Her neglect of the place was, too. She might’ve spent a bit of elbow grease before showing the space.

No matter. The sorry state of the cottage might lower her price to my range.

“Why aren’t these garbage bins outside?” I ventured.

“Oh,” she fidgeted, “those are … um … kind of urns. They’d wanted to be buried in them, indoors.”

 

 

 

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From The Rooftops

Photo prompt: © Roger Bultot

 

It was going to be epic.

He could hardly sleep. His feet itched. His toes tingled. His fingers yearned to move.

“Count sheep,” his girlfriend grumbled. His tossing and turning was keeping her up, too.

“I can’t,” he breathed into the nape of her neck. Smelling shampoo and a hint of laundry softener.

When dawn finally neared, he crawled out of bed, exhausted and exhilarated, both.

He checked the locks and clocks. He stretched. Warming up.

His dream was coming true. The details. Permits. Plans. It had felt insurmountable. Yet here was the final countdown for the City-wide Rooftop Dance.

 

 

 

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The Spectrum

Photo prompt: © Jeff Arnold

 

She always saw the half-full of the cup. He always saw the empty.

She saw the rain’s potential. The green to manifest. The flowers. He saw mud and wet and ruinous showers.

She saw the sun and warmth. He saw the cancer.

She pointed out the good. He, the plausible con-men in every alley.

She laughed. He frowned.

She hugged babies and puppies, while he kept both at warning distance.

“We’re like the rainbow,” she explained, when others wondered how she kept sane in the face of constant pessimism. “Our perspectives of mist and light blend a full spectrum’s beauty.”

 

 

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