Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 1) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” first Image for 2021. Week #30.
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.
This one-line contribution by John Howell.
“Hey, Frank. You know what this lever does?”
John Howell can be reached here …
Visit at Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell
Here is my contribution.
Elizabeth Banning made her way to her seat in Business Class, she placed her laptop in the overhead locker, then seated herself comfortably and looked up as the passenger with the window seat joined her. The man gave her a brief glance before he sat alongside her.
Elizabeth nodded politely.
The cabin attendants gave their spiel about safety onboard, and Elizabeth heard her companion mutter. “I wonder why that little speech never leaves me feeling optimistic.”
She laughed at the expression on his face, “I hear you. I always send up a prayer that the pilot’s not having a bad hair day.”
The man’s laugh rang out and he extended his hand “Luke.”
“So, I take it you don’t enjoy flying either, Elizabeth?”
“About as much as I enjoy a visit to the dentist.”
He grinned at her. “I still haven’t found a way to get past it. It’s a damned nuisance. I need to do quite a bit of traveling from coast to coast. And you? Business or pleasure trip?”
“One kind of depends on the other. I have a job interview tomorrow, if it goes well, I may have cause to celebrate. The company even insisted on covering my travel expenses and had my ticket waiting for me this morning. If I’m unsuccessful it’s back to New York, at least for the time being.”
The plane had built up speed and they were climbing. Elizabeth noted Luke’s hands clenching his armrest until the knuckles were white.
Elizabeth gently touched his arm, “Try taking a few slow deep breaths. In through your nose, hold it for a count of five then blow it out through your mouth.”
The man focused on what she was saying and did as she’d suggested. A few moments later her gave her an embarrassed grin, “I must be wearier than I thought. Sorry if I alarmed you. That breathing thing helped. Is that what you do to get through take offs and landings?”
“Pretty much every time I fly. I just keep myself distracted. Sometimes I people watch and play my game of guessing what they do for a living.”
“Speaking of what they do for a living, what line of work are you in? What position are you going after?”
“I’ve worked on Madison Avenue for Transit Advertising since I graduated college. That’s coming up on ten years now. I’m being interviewed in L.A for the job of personal assistant to the head of a film studio, I’ll also be expected to give input on their advertising agenda.”
“Dream Chaser. ”
Luke nodded. “Do you know their work?”
“I was surprised with just how many of their productions I was familiar with and had enjoyed without giving any thought to the studio that made it. I hope to help the public become more familiar with the people behind what they enjoy paying good money to see. Like a brand name people seek out deliberately before trying anything else on the market.”
“You clearly love what you do. So why the move? I mean relocating from New York to L.A is quite an undertaking and starting a new position at the same time will be challenging at best. Do you handle stress well?”
“Apparently I do. As for why the move? It’s time for me to leave my comfort zone and take on something that stimulates me again. I’m single and rent a furnished apartment, so the move wont be too horrendous.”
“It’s a big step.”
“I know, but it beats just standing still.”
Laughter and easy unforced conversation flowed between them throughout the flight, and both were surprised to find that they were about to land at LAX. Luke followed Elizabeth out to the taxi stand, he extended his hand once more, “It’s been a very real pleasure meeting you, Elizabeth. I’m sure the interview will go well.”
They said their farewells and Elizabeth shifted her focus back to the present with difficulty.
Dream Chaser Studios 4.00 p.m.
A secretary showed Elizabeth into the office of the studio head. “He’ll be with you shortly. Can I get you a coffee, soda, anything?”
“No, thank you.”
A voice from behind them sounded oddly familiar, “I’ll have my usual, thanks, Becky.” Luke focused his smile on Elizabeth, “The look on your face is simply priceless!”
Elizabeth laughed out loud. “Hello again, Luke. So, I take it that yesterday was my interview? Smart move. How did I do?”
“You need to start as soon as possible. Because I refuse to fly again unless you’re with me. Let’s have a drink to celebrate! What can I get you?”
“I’ll have whiskey neat. Make it a double. You’re full of surprises, Luke. I’m thinking I’d better get used to it.”
“I’ll drink to that.”
I had fun with these two characters. I’m planing on extending this one for an anthology I’m working on.
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 …