Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 5) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #9.
Today I’m featuring a contribution from entry 6) by Gwen Plano & 7) by Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie.
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.
As I thought about the photo, I imagined a child looking out a window, and so my story begins.
“Grandma, I see a cabin in the trees.”
“You’ve not seen it before?”
“No. Was it there?”
“Yes. Your granddad built it.”
“He did? Why?”
“When he got home from the Vietnam War, he decided to build a house in the trees.”
“He said he wanted to be near the birds.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Your granddad kept hearing things that he didn’t want to hear.”
“Like what, grandma?”
“Explosions, gun shots, yelling. At first, he’d climb into the trees and sit there by himself.”
“What did he hear up there?”
“The birds. He told me he never heard a bird sing when he was in Vietnam.”
“And, he missed them?”
“I suspect so, but I also think their songs helped him with the other things he was hearing.”
“Can I go up to the cabin, grandma?”
“Well…I guess so. I’ll go with you. I haven’t been up there for years.”
The child grabs hold of her wrinkled hand and walks with her through the grassy field behind the house to a clearing. She brushes aside the overgrowth as she steps onto a suspension bridge. They silently walk across the bridge to the cabin. Once inside, she takes a deep, slow breath. Not much has changed, she thinks.
The child rushes to a pile of papers and picks up an old photograph. “What’s this, grandma?”
“Oh my. I’ve looked many times for this old picture.” Pointing to the three men in the image, she explains. “The middle one is your granddad. The other two were his best friends. They never came home.”
“They were killed in the war. Sometimes your granddad thought he could hear them when he sat outside. Shall we go out to the deck and listen?”
The two walk outside the cabin to the old metal chairs, now covered with mold and bird droppings. Grandma uses her apron to wipe them off.
“This is where granddad sat?”
“Yes. Sometimes I joined him.”
“What did you talk about?”
“Nothing and everything. Let’s be quiet and listen. You just might hear him whisper.”
The child looks over to grandma. She has closed her eyes and tilted her head upwards towards the sky. Following her lead, he shuts his eyes and listens. After a while, he smiles.
“Grandma, I heard it.”
while birds sing nature’s glory
be still and listen
Gwen may be contacted … here
7) Contributed by Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie
No one had mentioned the tree house all day, which was odd because it had been the main subject of discussion for weeks. She knew they had finished building it and awaited the nonstop nagging to get her to inspect their handiwork.
They expected her to climb the rickety ladder and walk along the crazily swaying bridge, but that idea filled her with dread.
She had been watching their hair-raising efforts all summer, as each piece of timber was carefully maneuvered into position, risking life, and limb to reach the platform so high up in the trees.
Now the tree house was finished, it looked dark and menacing, creating shivers that ran down her spine like cold water. She loved the forest, and when walking among the trees she felt free and safe, but she knew instinctively that wasn’t what the tree house offered.
She wouldn’t be able to go up there now anyway, her conveniently twisted ankle made sure of that…
Contact Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie Here .
Thanks so much for stopping by. The Final Entry for this week, number 8) by Miriam Hurdle will be posted later today.
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