Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Parts 1) and 2) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021. Week #41.
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.
“When I said ‘let go of the tether,’ Rosco I didn’t mean let it go.”
John Howell can be reached here …
Visit at Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell
Here is my own contribution.
Ryan Callahan arrived at the location already questioning his decision to do this tour. Could this help him make the choice to accept the new position he been offered out here? It would be easier to decline the offer and stay in New York on familiar territory.
He parked the Humvee, grabbed his backpack then walked over to a striking looking woman making notes on a clipboard.
Ryan pulled a card from his pocket, “Hi! I was told to speak to Sam Taylor.”
“You’re speaking to her.” She grinned at the look of his face, “I’m guessing you thought I’d be a man?”
“Guilty. Sorry. I shouldn’t have made that assumption.” He extended his hand, “Ryan Callahan. So, Sam’s short for Samantha? Is that Miss, Ms, or Mrs.Taylor?”
“It’s Miss, but I prefer Sam.” She said returning the handshake. She checked her clipboard. “You’re signed up for the solo package. We need to get moving. The weather couldn’t be more perfect, and I don’t want you to miss a moment of what’s waiting.”
Sam ran through the safety requirements she insisted her passengers follow. She showed her client where to access wet weather gear if it should be needed, and shortly after they began the ascent.
Ryan had his focus directed on what now lay fast receding below them.
“Okay, Ryan, this tour is meant to help you utilize all of your senses. I want you to try something for me. Close your eyes for a moment and listen carefully. Then tell me what you hear.”
He shrugged and complied. He closed his eyes and listened. It was an absence of something that caught his attention first. “What is that? It’s not so much what I am hearing. It’s that I’m not hearing something familiar.”
Sam laughed with pleasure, “There is no white noise up here. No familiar hum of all the electrical equipment we are surrounded by on the surface. No sirens, blaring car horns, and neighbors next door partying a bit too hard. Now listen more deeply.”
“I hear the wind slapping across the canvas and the leather straps letting out a low moan as they carry us upward.”
“What do you feel?”
He lifted his face to the air, “I feel the wind on my skin, and the cane weaving on the basket under my fingers.”
“Now open your eyes, then tell me what you can taste on the air.”
Ryan inhaled and exhaled, then sniffed at the air. “It’s crisp. There are no petrol fumes. There’s that smell that soil gives off just as rain touches it, only it’s more intense. It’s almost like drinking a glass of champagne.”
As he spoke, they crested the mountain. Sam touched his hand. “Now look at it with all your senses engaged.”
Ryan gasped audibly at the sky now stretched above and below him, “Oh sweet Lord, could anything be more beautiful?” The black velvet curtain above was scattered with the brightest diamonds of light he’d ever witnessed. The horizon touched by the warm glow of sunrise as mother nature began breathing life into the new morning.
Sam smiled happily as he grabbed her hand to share in the moment. “I have no words.” Ryan whispered.
“Sometimes words are unnecessary.” Sam checked the time. “Now we’ll land in our spot near the river. My team should have breakfast and a warming drink waiting for us. I’d like to hear why you came on the flight in the first place. Yes?”
Ryan enjoyed the bacon and eggs and had drunk more than his share of good coffee. He sat back from the fire. “I live and work in New York, have done for a few years now. I can’t remember the last time I woke up looking forward to the day ahead. Long story short, I’ve been offered a job here. They want my answer by the end of the week.”
“So, this is an opportunity for change in your life. Is change what you are after.”
“ It’s time.”
“You’ve made your decision?”
“Yes. I’m accepting the job. You helped me with that. Thank you.”
“My pleasure, Ryan.” She looked at his face. “If you’ve decided why do you look troubled?”
“Well, I was wanting to ask you out. But where does a guy take a girl to impress her, when she spends her days on the edge of heaven?”
Sam laughed delightedly, “I’m a pushover for a night of good pizza and old movies up on my large screen television. You supply the pizza and a good wine, and I’ll supply all the old movies you can handle. Deal?”
“You had me at pizza.”
Ryan sat quietly and smiled as he acknowledged to himself that the bacon and eggs had just nurtured his body and this woman would help him nourish his soul.
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