Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 1) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #28.
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.
This one-line contribution by John Howell.
”Couldn’t have just asked for directions, could you, Mr. I know this road like the back of my hand?”
John Howell can be reached here …
Visit at Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell
My own Contribution.
The Turning Point.
“No! Are you kidding me?” Steve McPherson pounded the steering wheel in utter frustration. He turned to his wife, “Now what the hell do we do, Beth?”
“Let’s calm down and talk with the others, hon. It’s not just our decision to make, this affects all of us.”
Steve patted her knee and gave her a grateful smile. “That’s the same tone of voice you use when you’re pacifying the kids.”
“It worked though, didn’t it?”
“Like a charm.
Beth was distracted for a moment, “Looks like we’ve got company.”
Steve climbed from the vehicle and walked across to where a young man in a dune-buggy had just slid to a stop. “You okay, mate?” The newcomer asked.
“Wasn’t expecting the road to be closed. We planned on spending Christmas day at the beach.”
“You’re an American? How long you been down here, mate?”
“We only flew into Sydney from New York three days ago.”
“So, you’d be heading to the old McPherson place? You must’ve been driving for the best part of a day. I’m guessing you’re the family he left it to when he passed?”
Steve extended his hand, “Yup. Steve McPherson.”
The younger man shook his hand vigorously, “Tod Anderson. I’m not here alone, my brother Larry’s here on his buggy as well.”
“What happened with the road?”
“Flash flood washed it out between here and the beach.” He looked over at the two vehicles. “There’s no chance these cars will manage the terrain. But you know what, me and my brother could take you in on our buggies. How many of you are there?”
“Four adults and three children. Plus, we carried everything we’d need with us. We didn’t know what would be available here. The foods all on ice.”
“We can do a few trips. The beach-house isn’t far across the dunes. I’ll just give my brother a call.”
Tod finished his call and gave the thumbs up to the waiting man. “Not a problem.”
“That’s incredibly generous of both of you. Thanks so much. Come on over and meet the rest of the family.
Steve raised his Heineken, and called for silence, “Here’s to our rescuers!”
The two Australian men just grinned, nodded their thanks and sipped the ice -cold drink. Then they stood, “We best be getting back. Enjoy your Christmas tomorrow.”
“We will thanks to you. So, are you getting together with family?”
“Larry and I are all that’s left of our family. We’ll be together same as always.”
Beth spoke up from behind them, “We’d be honored if you’d care to join us here for lunch. There’s way too much food, and I’d hate to waste it.”
The brothers just looked at each other and were both smiling as Tod answered. “Yeah, yeah that would be great. We’ll bring some real Aussie beer. You haven’t tasted beer until you try a Victorian Bitters.”
The McPherson family were awakened by the unfamiliar sound of Kookaburras welcoming the hot new day in with their contagious laughter.
The morning flew by and midday was approaching as their guests arrived. The laughter that had begun the day continued as stories were shared about past Christmases in two different hemispheres. Presents were opened and lunch had been laid out under the shelter of the wide verandah. Hands were joined around the heavily laden table, and Steve led them in prayer.
The late afternoon found them on the pristine stretch of beach, the children squealed out their enjoyment as they swam and played in the surf.
Late evening found the adults sitting quietly around the fire-pit. The children had succumbed to the unaccustomed exercise and the heat and were sleeping with happy smiles on each of their faces.
Steve moved away from the fire and looked up into the dark velvet canopy of an unfamiliar night sky. He nodded as Tod joined him. “I expect this is a lot different to where you’re from?”
“And then some.”
Tod pointed to the southern sky. “That’s our Southern Cross.”
“You can clearly see why it was named that. You know something, I can’t remember the last time I actually bothered to just take a deep breath and look up at the night sky back home.”
“I can’t imagine not looking up at night. It keeps me grounded.”
“Something tells me I’ll be doing it a lot more often from now on.”
“Then that’s the gift this Christmas has really given you.”
“That and the gift of some marvelous new friendships.”
“A truly memorable Christmas for all of us.”
Thanks so much for joining me here today. I look forward to seeing your comments. I will as always featuring each new contribution as I receive them.
I may be reached here …