Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 1) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021. Week #31.
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.
“I said we should have left earlier for the park. Like in April.”
John Howell can be reached here …
Visit at Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell
Here is my contribution.
Leanne Carpenter awoke suddenly and sat up. Her husband Kurt responded to the unaccustomed movement and turned his worried face towards her. “Sweetheart, what is it? Are you okay?”
“Yes, darling, I’m okay. I just had the strangest dream, at least I think it was a dream.” She placed her hand on his arm, “I could feel her in the room, Kurt. I can’t explain it, but I know she was here. Our little girl wants us to go to the park, to the swings she loved so much. Please don’t look at me like that. I know it sounds crazy, but please, honey. We need to do this.”
“Oh, sweetheart. Of course, we can go to the park, if that’s what you need us to do. It’s just that you haven’t left the house now in over six months, not since Sally’s funeral, and it’s winter now, and bitterly cold.”
“I’ll dress warmly, and make us up a thermos of coffee to carry with us. I’m not sure why it’s suddenly so important, it just is.”
“I’ll make the coffee while you get dressed.”
“Thank you, my love.”
Kurt held tightly to his wife’s gloved hand as they seated themselves on their favorite bench nearest the swings.
Their breath frosted in the cold air. They looked out at the ice and snow covered ground, on this still, grey, silent morning. Leanne snuggled into her husband, “You were right about how cold it is, but at least there’s no wind, that always make it seem so much colder.”
Kurt placed his arm around her, “The last time we were here it was the end of summer.”
“I remember. Sally played with her friends, and we had a picnic lunch. And she squealed with delight as you pushed her on the swings. God, how she loved those swings.”
The man smiled in memory, “She always waited for the one to the right to be free, she said she was sure it went higher than the other one.”
“She used to called out to me while you pushed her, I remember the smile on her face as she said, “Look, momma, daddy’s pushing me all the way up to heaven.” The woman’s voice broke, “I need to know she’s peaceful now. I need to believe that so very badly. I have to know that the pain of the cancer is gone.”
It took a while for her husband to speak, “Tell me about the dream.”
“It was so clear in the moment. I felt her close to me, and she was happy, Kurt. I swear I could hear her laughing. I recall I had a feeling that we just had to come here. I don’t pretend to understand the why of it.”
“It gave you back to me. I was so afraid I had lost you too.”
“Darling forgive me, please. I didn’t mean to abandon you and leave you to grieve alone. It was selfish of me. I’m so sorry. I just shut down. I couldn’t face a world without her in it.”
“You’re here with me now,” he smiled. “That’s all that matters. We’ll get though it together.”
They sat quietly and sipped on the hot coffee. Neither of them needing to say more for the moment.
Kurt suddenly stiffened, and sat forward. Leanne followed his gaze. “Oh, my sweet Lord!”
Sally’s favorite swing had begun to move without assistance. The couple held each other close as it swung ever higher.
Tears poured down their faces as the sun broke through the grey of the morning. They could hear Sally’s wonderful laughter and the sound of her voice comforted them, “Look, momma, daddy’s pushing me all the way up to heaven.”
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 …