Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Parts 1) and 2) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021. Week #43.
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.
“Who’s the blighter leaving the bathtub unplugged again?”
John Howell can be reached here …
Visit at Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell
Here is my own contribution.
Offices of Clinical Psychologist Tina Walters.
The secretary smiled across at the woman, “Dr. Walters will see you now, Ms. Ortega.”
Isabella Ortega returned the smile and walked on through to her therapist’s office.
“Ah, Izzy, come in and take a seat.”
Isabella settled gracefully into the chair and waited for the Doctor’s questions to unearth something of value.
Tina Walters looked closely at her patient. The dark circles beneath her large brown eyes answered her first question before she asked it. “You look weary, Izzy. Still not sleeping?”
“No, at least not for long. The dreams won’t allow me to sleep.”
“The dreams have altered recently. Can you share the most recent one with me?”
“As always, I’m out on Eagle Point as a fierce storm breaks. I’m cold and the rain and lightning are lashing the coastline. I’m wearing this shawl again, and I can’t move to seek shelter.”
“How does that make you feel?”
Isabela thought the question over, “I’m calm. I know I won’t be out in the storm much longer.”
“Take me there with your memory. Are you aware of the noise from the storm?”
“Oh, yes. The thunder’s roar makes the ground vibrate beneath my feet, and the rain and wind howl out a warning.”
“Why do you remain there?”
“Because I know the storm will break. The wind will turn to the west, and I’ll hear that sound again.”
“Yes. It’s so beautiful. It carries across the water as the sky lights up again, the sound of a flamenco guitar wraps around me and I began to feel warm as if the sun was shining down only for me. And now I hear a man’s deep voice calling me, ‘Te estoy esperando querida Isabella’.”
“Translate that for me?”
“It means ‘I’m waiting for you, my darling Isabella’.”
“Then I see the galleons, the lead one has turned and is heading in toward Eagle Point.”
“Did you wake up then as always?”
The young woman looked at her and nodded. “I want to stay asleep and finish it. Is it ever going to give me an ending, Doctor? Do you understand how disconnected I feel? Can you imagine what’s it’s like for me to walk around feeling like I’m a book that someone has deleted the last chapter from? I’m not complete.”
“I can’t promise you a fast recovery, Izzy. But I can promise you that we will keep working on it together.” She put her head on one side, “These dreams don’t make you fearful, do they? You’ve never once referred to them as nightmares.”
“Oh, no. No, I’m not fearful. I’m simply impatient.”
Doctor Walters’s concern for her patient was growing.“I’d like to see you again on Friday, 10.a.m if possible?”
“Sure. I’ll be here.”
“Good. Remember to take your medication, and to practice those breathing exercises I taught you. I’ll see you in a few days.”
Friday: 10.30 a.m.
Tina Walters checked the time once again and buzzed her secretary. “Isabella Ortega hasn’t called about not attending her appointment?”
“No. I’ve tried her cell but she’s not picking up, it goes straight to voicemail.”
“Give it another hour and then try reaching her at the bait shop. She may have just got caught up at work and forgotten her appointment.”
Friday 5.00 p.m.
“Doctor Walters, I have an urgent call for you. Line one.”
“Who is it.”
Tina Walters felt a chill run through her as she answered the call.
“Billy, what can I do for you?”
“Sorry to call you at work, Tina. We need you to come down to the sheriff’s office. Look um … Isabella Ortega has, ah … has been reported missing, by her father and her employer. We’ve found her shawl and her purse with your business card in it, and we’re hoping like heck you can tell us why she was up on Eagle Point in the middle of that crazy storm we had last night.”
Four weeks later.
The memorial service for Isabella Ortega was over. Tina Walters attended, then headed back to her office and tried without success to focus on her work.
She’d been avoiding the need for closure that hammered at her days and pounded into her now sleepless nights.
Isabella’s shawl and her purse had been found on a rock ledge at the edge of the cliff face. No trace of Isabella’s body had been found.
Tina gave in to the urge and drove out to Eagle Point after work. She grabbed the flashlight and followed the walkway up to the point lookout. A storm was brewing out on the horizon. As she turned to leave the wind swung around to the west and lifted her hair away from her face. The soft sweet sound of a flamenco guitar washed over her, she felt tears on her face and knew deep in her soul that at last Isabella’s final chapter had been completed.