Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 1) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #10.
Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 1) by John Howell. And Entry 2) 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.
JOHN HOWELL’S ONE LINER FOR WEEK 10
“I thought you were just saying the name when you wanted to go to Milk Lake.”
Contact John here…
Visit at Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell
2) My Contribution.
“Are you asking for my professional opinion, Ellie?”
“Yes, Martin. I am.”
“Mike is in superb shape. You and his physical therapist have both made certain of that. He’ll incur no physical harm from a weekend away.”
“I hear a but?”
“But, in my personal opinion, you’re taking on more unnecessary emotional pain for yourself by going back there. You need to accept that his memory of his past may never return.”
“It’s that may that I cling to, Martin. He has no sign of any mental impairment, nothing identifiable with dementia or Alzheimers. It was the trauma of the accident injury that stole his memories. You said yourself that it may return in part or even fully.”
“Ellie, dear. That was almost a year ago. Each day that passes makes the likelihood of that happening more doubtful.”
The slender woman stood and patted the neurologist’s arm, “I know you’re concerned for both of us, Martin. You needn’t be. You know I’ll never start a conversation with Mike that begins with the words ‘ We used to …’ and I will not ask ‘Do you remember …?’ I can’t force the memories back. But hey it’s a special occasion and just maybe he’ll like the new memories we’re making.”
The man looked at her with worried eyes. “Please, be gentle with yourself, and I wish you happy fishing.” He opened the door and showed her out of his office.
Ellie climbed from the RV and stretched her weary bones, she inhaled the sweet tang of the air and waited for Mike to join her.
They stood together taking in the view, and Mike broke the silence, “I wonder how old the pier is. That view across the lake is quite something, isn’t it?”
“Oh, yes. That it is.”
“Is that where we’re fishing?”
“Yes.” She turned back toward the RV. “I’ll need a hand to carry stuff.”
He smiled, walked over, and slung the blanket and the picnic basket from his shoulder. Ellie grabbed the flashlight and the tackle box and tucked the old cassette player under her arm. They made their way down to the end of the dock.
Mike spread out the blanket and removed two hand-held lines from the tackle box. He looked out across the water and then selected sinkers and hooks and began fixing them to both the lines. Ellie held her breath, this was something Mike had always done, he’d say she took far too long to do it herself and shake his head with a smile.
She took hold of herself, this kind of ritual had been deemed learned behavior as was his ability to read, even though he had no memory of how he’d learned to do it.
They caste their lines out and settled down on the edge of the dock. Almost but not quite touching.
The sound of rolling thunder echoed in across the hills, Mike sniffed the air. “Rain’s coming. But not too soon.”
Ellie placed her line on the deck and turned to open the picnic basket. she took out the bottle of Chardonnay and two paper cups. “Drink, Mike?”
“Uh-huh. Sounds good.”
She poured them both a good measure and watched Mike sip his with pleasure. “Nice drop.”
Ellie nodded as she sipped on her own and tried not to keep reading things into Mike’s behavior that just weren’t there. So, he still loved Chardonnay. No biggie.
The daylight hours slipped by comfortably with long conversations unnecessary between them.
They’d eaten their fill of the cold roast chicken and freshly baked bread and had begun on the cheese platter.
The thunder roared again almost overhead, “It’s gonna rain sooner than I thought.” Mike said.
Ellie smiled, “I like the rain. Can we just get ourselves under the blanket and stay?”
“I don’t see why not. I’ll grab the cassette player and the flashlight.”
“Oh, that reminds me … I’ll only be a minute. I need to grab the music.” Ellie hurried off to the RV and smiled shortly after as she picked out ‘Sitting on the Dock of The Bay” from her music collection. If this was to be the last time they ever came here then at least she’d be listening to one of their favorite old songs with him alongside her.
Ellie headed back down the pier and then stopped in her tracks. Mike was standing now and he was humming away to music that only played in his head. He turned towards her and smiled through the tears that now coursed down his cheeks.
“That tape had better be Otis Redding, young lady.” His voice was tight with tears.
“Oh, God! Mike? You remember.”
“Damn it, Ellie girl, where did you go?”
“I’ve been right here waiting, my love.”
She hurried into his arms and they sang together through tears and laughter, “Sittin’ in the mornin’ sun, I’ll be sitting when the evenin’ comes.”
They welcomed the rain and danced in it. It was a truly memorable fiftieth wedding anniversary.
Writing this piece linked me back to sweet memories of another pier in another place when I too danced in the rain. Here’s Otis Redding “Sitting On The Dock of The Bay.
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Thanks so much for stopping by!
Tomorrow I’ll be featuring entries Part 2) by Gwen Plano and Mae Clair.