Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 3) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #10.
Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 4) by Karen Ingalls and 5) by Jan Sikes.
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.
This contribution by Karen Ingalls
Every 4th of July, our family spent a week at Caribou Lake in Minnesota. I remember running down the old wooden pier and jumping into the water. Swimming in the safe water, our cabin nestled among the pine and aspen trees, and the long days.
By the time, I was fourteen I was an accomplished swimmer so my parents did not worry about me. My sister, Joan, who was one-year younger hated the water and never learned how to swim.
“Come on in, Joan. The water is great.” Watching her shake her head, with her arms folded across her chest, I’d yell, “You are a scaredy-cat.”
She would just stick her tongue out and holler back, “I’m going to tell Mom that you called me a name.”
“I don’t care. When you tell Mom that makes you a tattle-tale.” I laughed at her childishness and called her sissy, namby-pamby, and chicken making clucking sounds. I watched her run up to the cabin slamming the door behind her.
I swam further out into the lake enjoying the warm water that July day. With each stroke, I thought of how different Joan and I are. She is a red-head and I am a brunette. She is short and I am tall. She is a little plump and I am skinny. She is scared of spiders and other such critters. She struggles with math which I find to be easy.
Lost in my thoughts I did not realize how far I had swum nor the large, gray clouds now blocking the once bright sunshine. I turned back towards shore and the old wooden dock and began to swim. All too soon, my arms and legs felt heavy and weak. I shivered from the now chilly water. My heart was pounding and my chest hurt with each breath.
“Oh, God. I’m not going to make it back. I’m going to drown.” Those were my thoughts as I frantically searched the distant shoreline and surrounding water for help, but I saw no one. My cries for help went unanswered. I rolled onto my back, closed my eyes, relaxed my tired body, and hoped I would float to safety
“Rebecca, you are strong. Do not give up.” I heard these words but did not know where they came from. I looked up into the clouds where a shaft of light had broken through the clouds.
. “We are here to help you.”
I saw two angels swoop down through that shaft of light and surround my tired body with golden light. Soon I felt stronger, my legs and arms were no longer weak, and I could breathe normally. I swam toward the old dock and in what seemed only a few minutes my hands reached up to the rickety old ladder. I climbed up and stood looking around to say thank you to the angels, but they were not there.
The gray clouds were now dark and thick and thunder rumbled in the distance. I ran up the hill to our cabin shivering from cold, exhaustion, and elation.
As soon as I entered the cabin, Mother asked me if I had called Joan some names. I looked at my sister and saw her differently. I realized how my words hurt her. “I am sorry, Joan. You are not any of the things I called you.”
The next day while we were eating our breakfast, Joan said, “I wish I liked the water, but it scares me. I’m afraid I will drown.”
“I understand. The thought of drowning is scary, but I will always be by your side to help you.”
She agreed to let me teach her how to swim. We soon became swimming buddies, enjoying the water together.
We also became closer and our differences were less important.
The angels saved me for a reason and I learned a powerful lesson: live my life with kindness.
Karen may be contacted here …
5) This contribution from Jan Sikes.
AN EMPTY PROMISE
Emily poured a fresh cup of coffee and strolled to the end of the rickety wooden dock for the hundredth time. Where was he?
She sipped the hot coffee and stared across the tranquil lake, searching intently for any sign of a boat.
A twinge of guilt crawled up her spine. Leaving a note was a piss-poor way of saying goodbye. But the thought of a confrontation and one more fight with Malcolm was more than she could handle. When he’d left for work that morning, she’d packed her suitcase, left her keys, checkbook and a note by the door.
It hadn’t been hard to walk away from a twenty-year marriage. In fact, it had been one of the easiest things she’d ever done.
She’d skipped and twirled like a giddy school girl when she’d arrived at Levi’s cabin, where she’d visited many times over the past few months.
Lying in the circle of his strong, tanned arms, Emily found her center. He made her feel like a beautiful goddess, and when they made love, the earth tilted on its axis.
She sighed deeply and tugged her soft sweater closer. Despite the warmth it provided, she shivered.
“Where are you, Levi?” She paced the length of the dock. He should have been here hours ago.
She checked her cell phone for the umpteenth time.
Malcolm would be home by now. How would he react to the note? She could picture him sinking into his favorite chair and dropping his head in his hands. Well, she’d set them both free, and he should thank her.
“Levi will be here,” she said to no one. “He just got hung up somewhere.”
She thought about the first time she saw him. Desire stronger than anything she’d ever felt swept the length of her body, leaving her knees weak and the sweet spot between her legs moist.
It had been a girl’s night out. The crowded club was the perfect backdrop for Levi to saunter onto the stage and serenade the ladies.
He was a gorgeous specimen of a man. Long legs, tapered waist, bulging biceps, and the most striking blue eyes she’d ever seen. And when a lock of his wavy brown hair fell over those mystifying eyes, women swooned.
She wanted him.
That had been three months ago.
Now she’d walked away from her stable life. The home she’d built with Malcolm meant nothing anymore. She’d traded it all to be with this tanned god who made her feel alive.
The sun began to drop below the horizon, and she turned back toward the cabin.
“Surely, he’ll be here soon,” she told the birds. “He promised.”
Minutes ticked by, turning into hours.
Emily wrapped a soft blanket around her shoulders and lay on the sofa. Her eyes took in every detail of the love nest where she’d spent many blissful hours.
A lump of dread formed in the pit of her stomach.
Something had happened.
Maybe he’d gotten cold feet. Or, perhaps he’d met someone else younger, prettier and richer.
Emily thought back over every conversation, searching for a clue.
She tried for the thousandth time to call him. It went straight to voice mail.
What to do now? She couldn’t go back home to Malcolm.
Bitter bile rose in her throat. What a fool she’d been to believe she’d found true love.
While her life crumbled around her, she squared her shoulders and walked the length of the dock one last time.
A plunge into the icy waters would end it all.
Her cell phone buzzed, and she grabbed it.
The text lit up the screen.
That was all she got? What a piece of shit! She sprinted down the dock, grabbed her suitcase, and tossed it in the car.
She stared hard at the cabin. A can of gasoline on one corner of the porch caught her eye. Without hesitation, she doused the dried wood, lit a match, and drove away.
Never again would she believe an empty promise.
CONTACT JAN SIKES:
All books are available at http://www.jansikes.com
Thanks so much for stopping by. The Week #11 Image Prompt is now up.
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