Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 2) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #7.
Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 3) John Howell and 4) My own Contribution.
Last week I set the following Challenge:
Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.
Here is the image prompt.
Entry #3 A Micro-Flash Contribution by John Howell.
“Who would be knocking at this hour?”
John can be reached here:
Visit at Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell
Entry #4 My contribution.
Tracey shivered. It was dark now and bitterly cold, and she’d been walking for hours. She wished she’d paid attention to where she was going. A warm and welcoming light beckoned her just ahead. The signage out front read ‘Gallery Serpentine Art On Display. She peered through the window at the small band of art lovers browsing the works.
She hesitated briefly and turned to walk away, but something urged her forward, she slid open the door and walked into the warmth. The bar set up in one corner looked inviting and she drank three J. D’s before she stopped shaking. She looked around the large room watching the guests exchange their views about the artwork. She’d grown accustomed to avoiding groups of people. It felt strange to be in company again.
The images drew her nearer. She stopped in front of one piece titled ‘Seeking the Light’ it captured her and held her a grateful prisoner. Tracey lost track of time. A gentle tap on her shoulder jolted her back to the present.
“I’m sorry, but we’re closing now. Can I arrange a cab for you?” The man looked at her tear-drenched eyes and stepped back a little. “I’m sorry, you’re clearly distressed. I … I, um, I can fix us both a coffee. It’ll give you a chance to get yourself together a little and decide what you need to do to get home safely.”
Tracey swallowed to regain her composure, “That’s very kind of you. Coffee would be good. Thanks.” She offered her hand. “Tracey Cooper”
“Donovan Kildare. This is my Gallery.”He responded as he shook her hand.
They sat in awkward silence sipping on the coffee. Donovan took a breath and opened the conversation, “Can I ask about your reaction to ‘Seeking the Light’? I’ve seen a lot of folks react to it, but never quite that intensely.” He caught the look on her face and went on quickly, “I didn’t mean to offend you. I’m so damned clumsy in social situations. It’s just that your reaction was profound, and I’d like to know what it was about the piece that caused that. Did it remind you of someplace you’ve been?”
Tracey looked into his face and sighed, “No, not a place. A person.” She hesitated briefly and smiled as she continued, “He was like that lighthouse; I mean he was sturdy and strong and faced everything with dauntless energy. He kept me calm and centered. If I looked like floundering on the rocks, because of silly choices I’d made, he’d bring the light to guide me back to safety.”
Tracey’s brown eyes filled with tears as she responded, “Not my father. Jamie was my husband, my friend, my lover, my life.”
“You said was. Aren’t you together now?”
“No. There came a time two years back when Jamie’s awesome light began to flicker and dim. I couldn’t do a thing to stop it! I couldn’t be the miracle it needed to see him live for another six months. I was with him the night the light died. My lifelong guide was gone, and I’ve been stumbling around in this eternal darkness ever since.”
“He’s gone home to the source of his own light,” Donovan whispered.
“He always held his beliefs dear to him. He always said that God gave us each a purpose for being.”
“Do you believe that, Tracey?”
“I know that he believed it, and that gave us both comfort as the ending grew closer.”
Donovan remained quiet and thoughtful for a few moments, he reached over and lifted Tracey’s chin to have her meet his eyes. “Tracey why were you here in this part of town, was it a conscious decision?”
“No … no, it wasn’t. I just needed to get outside and into the cold to see if I could still feel anything at all. I had no idea where I was going.”
“What attracted you to my gallery first? Was it the sign out front?”
Tracey thought back a few hours and answered, “It was the light. The light guided me here.” She took a deep breath, “Do you believe in fate, Donovan?”
Donovan smiled as he poured her another coffee, “I prefer to call it destiny.”
Tracey smiled through her tears, “But why here, and why now?”
“I believe we’ll know that soon.”
One year later Tracey and Donovan were married. The light had guided them safely home.
Thanks so much for stopping by. Tomorrow I’ll be Featuring Part 3 entry 5) @pokercubster 6) @gmplano 7) @MadameGsTeaRoom and 8) by John Maberry
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