Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 1) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #20.
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.
John Howell’s One Line Contribution.
“Keep the faith Trigger. You’re bound to remember where you pitched her off.”
John Howell can be reached here …
Visit at Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell
Author Blog Fiction Favorites:
My own Contribution
Lucy stood at the window and watched the sky blaze out its goodnight then turned to her mother. “Can you light the fire. Hank’s back. He’ll be in soon.” She crossed to the bar, poured herself another glass of red wine, glanced at her mother and flinched at the look she received. “Mom I have to do this. I’m bored to death here. I need more than this. I miss the clubs and my old life. I can move back in with the girls from college and you’ll soon find an apartment.”
The other woman’s eyes filled with tears, “You have it all worked out, don’t you? You’ve barely been married to Hank for six months! You haven’t even tried to make this work.”
“I have, I just hate it here. Hank’s just too old to understand.” Lucy shrugged her shoulders.
“I’ve watched that man bend over backwards to give you everything you insisted you needed to be happy. He warned you this place would be nothing like living in the city. He’s not old, he’s my age. But he’s been alone for his entire life. You already know his father died young and his mother ran off with some guy when he was just fourteen. The land is what’s sustained him and kept his hopes alive. He didn’t expect to fall for a city girl. How can you be so damned selfish?”
“I just want more.”
Her mother shook her head sadly. “He thinks you love him, and that’s the hell of it. But make no mistake, he’d be prepared for this to happen. Be very certain of what you want. I can’t advise you beyond that.”
Hank hung his hat on the rack and shrugged off his coat. He gave his mother-in-law Jenny a warm smile as he joined her in front of the fire. His bottle of whiskey waited, and he poured one for the two of them, then settled back to enjoy the warmth and the comfort, waiting quietly for Lucy to join them.
“We’re in for a bad winter.” Hank said as his wife seated herself. “The signs are clear already.”
The women remained quiet. He flicked them a look. “So, what’s wrong? Did I miss a birthday or something?”
Jenny stood. “I’m not really hungry tonight. I’ll give you two some privacy.”
Hank turned to her. “Please stay, Jenny. I’m guessing you already know what this is about.”
He looked at his wife, “Talk to me. What is it?”
Lucy reached for his hand. “I’m sorry, Hank, but I can’t live out here like this anymore. I thought I could. But you must know I miss the city. This isolation is boring me to death. I want to move back to New York.”
“I see.” He poured a double shot of whiskey. “I told you what to expect out here. I believed you when you said you could handle it. Seems I was wrong.”
“Are you asking me to come with you, Lucy?”
“What? No! I mean … you wouldn’t like it there.”
“Ah, I see. So, it’s me you’re leaving, not just the ranch?”
“Well … I, um …”
Hank stood then and retrieved a pack of Marlboro from his pocket. “I’m heading outside for a smoke. Are you leaving too Jenny?”
“I kinda thought you’d insist on it.”
“No, you’re welcome to stay for as long as you like. Tell me, what did you say when she told you that she was going?”
“I told her to be absolutely certain of what she really wanted, ‘cause I knew there’s be no takin’ it back once she said it.”
“Uh-huh. I’ll sleep down in the bunkhouse with the ranch-hands till one or the both of you move out.”
“That can’t be all you have to say, surely.” Lucy pleaded.
“I hope New York works out for you. My attorney will be in touch.”
One year later.
Hank sat by the fire and poured two glasses of whiskey and handed Jenny hers before speaking. “So, I don’t think this winter will be as hard as the last one.”
Jenny smiled across at him. “I’ll drink to that.” She raised her glass.
He looked at her for a long moment, “So, I’ve been wanting to ask you, what made you stay?”
“I guess I figured it was high time somebody in your life did.”
He looked surprised for a moment, then grinned at her. “So, something sure smells mighty good, what’s for supper?”
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 …
My author page on AMAZON.