‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #20 Entry 8) By Jan Sikes @JanSikes3 #IARTG #WritingPrompts #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 8)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #20.

Today I’m featuring the contribution from entry 8) by Jan Sikes.

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.

A Message from Jan.

This is my contribution. I want to give you a little background on this poem. When my late husband was dealing with such a difficult physical decline, during one of the many hospital stays, he developed pneumonia and I feared he might not live until morning. I held vigil throughout that long night and this poem came to me. I remember searching for pen and paper to get it down, and I remember the tears that fell as I scribbled it. I felt that I had to give him permission to let go and I did it through this poem. He lived for a few more weeks after this incident and did recover from the pneumonia.

I cannot tell you the reason this image invoked this memory, but it did, so I am sharing.

Surrender

There is no shame in surrender when it is time

Like General Lee, you’ve known when to lay low

and when to climb

I’ve watched you suffer for so many years

Your life seemed destined to one of pain and of tears

Yet you fought on – the valiant soldier in fierce battle

You sang your song, rode tall in the saddle

You’ve now come down to the last battle call

You’ll hang up your sword, tired and weary you’ll fall

But know that you’ve left many good marks behind

While you learned how to love and how to be kind

Taught lessons to all who shared your many paths

That will be remembered long after you have passed

There is no shame in surrender when it is time

~~~~

CONTACT JAN SIKES:

All books are available at http://www.jansikes.com

Amazon

On Twitter

On Facebook

Thanks so much for stopping by.  The Week #21 Image Prompt will be posted later this morning.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #20 Entry Part 1) By John Howell @HowellWave and Suzanne Burke @pursoot #IARTG #WritingCommunity #FlashFiction #WritingPrompts

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

 Twitter:

Author Blog Fiction Favorites:

My own Contribution

DESPERADO.

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.”

“I’m sorry.”

“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.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #18 Entry Part 7) by Karen Ingalls @KIngallsAuthor #IARTG #WritingCommunity #Tanka

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 7)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” WEEK #18

Today I’m featuring the contribution from Karen Ingalls.

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 and Karen’s Tanka.

***

Here is my Tanka poem based on the photo prompt below. This was an especially inspiring photo, because I love classical music and as a child I watched and listened to my grandmother play such music on the piano. I invite you to listen to this beautiful waltz as you read the blog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=1s9oM_vNlyY

STRAUSS WALTZ AND ROSE
STRAUSS WALTZ AND ROSE
 
Mozart wrote many
Nocturnes, Waltzes, and Preludes
But none could compare
To the Strauss composition,
Roses from the South, a waltz.
 
A Strauss rose exists
Inspired by this special waltz
With blooms like his love
For Adele Deutsch, his wife,
Pure and sweet forever more.
 
The pink bloom is strong
As graceful fingers hold it
Fragrant and perfect
The Strauss waltz and rose flower
Fill our souls with joy and peace.

As you listened to “Roses from the South” waltz, were you smiling, swaying, or did you get up and dance? Did you envision couples dancing in a large circle with women in their swirling dresses and men in tuxedoes? I hope it filled your soul with joy and peace. Please let me know how you reacted to it.

Karen may be contacted here …

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook

***

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

‘Fiction in A Flash Challenge’ Week #17 Entry Part 6) by Jacquie Biggar @JacqBiggar #IARTG #WRITINGCOMMUNITY #WritingPrompts

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 6) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #17.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Jacquie Biggar.

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’s the image prompt and Jacquie’s contribution.

Message In A Bottle

By

Jacquie Biggar

The sand is cool and grainy under my toes, a refreshing relief from the warmth of the sun on my shoulders. I’ve been walking this mostly deserted beach for hours, lost in memories of happier times.

I arrived as a visiter, but for the last twelve years this has been home. I’m not sure how I’ll survive without the wash of the waves, the briny scent, or the crimson sunsets, but I must. It’s up to me to continue the search.

Something green glints in the shallows and I pad out to investigate. It’s a bottle, half-buried in the wet sand, its cork pointing toward the North Star sparkling brightly in the evening sky.

Heart pumping, I tug until the sand gives up its treasure with a pop and carefully carry the fragile glass up the beach. Upon closer inspection, I spot a roll of paper inside the luminous green bottle.

“Sam, is that you?”

A wavery voice from my past jerks my attention away from my find.

Could it be?

The woman I never thought to see again, picks up her skirts and runs toward me, her silver hair flowing like a moonbeam.

With a joyous bark, I bound toward her, the aches and pains in my old bones forgotten. She came back.

“Oh, Sam,” she cries, falling to her knees to wrap frail arms around my neck. “I can’t believe I found you.”

I want to tell her I’ve been searching and searching for her, too, but of course I can’t. Instead, I whine and lick her chin in greeting, my tail swishing the sand.

“It was the cancer, boy. I’ve been in the hospital all this time. I thought I’d lost you.” She puts her head to mine and weeps.

A long while later, she slowly rises and, with a hand on my back, follows me over to the green bottle.

“What do you have there, Sam, a treasure?”

I already found my treasure tonight, but I bark and push the bottle toward her.

“Okay, okay.” She chuckles. “I get the message.”

She carefully works the cork from the bottle and tips the paper into her hand. Unrolling the missive, she reads, “Whoever finds this note, know this; there is no greater gift than love.”

As my old friend and I make our way down the beach, I sigh, contented for the first time in months. The bottle is right, love soothes the soul.

~~~

Jacquie may be contacted here …

Blog: Jacquie Biggar- USA Today Best-Selling Author

On TWITTER

Books On Amazon.Com

Thank you so much for stopping by. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. I’ll be posting further entries as I receive them.

I may be contacted here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #15 Entry Part 9) by Karen Ingalls @KIngallsAuthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 9)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” WEEK #15

Today I’m featuring the contribution from  Karen Ingalls.

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.

lost-places-3035877_1920

This Contribution By Karen Ingalls

A SHATTERED LIFE

My life before you

Was in shambles and lonely

But now it’s healthy

 Because your love and goodness

Give me strength, joy, and courage.

~~~~

Karen may be contacted here …

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook

***

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’ll be featuring all entries as they are received.

 

 

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #15 Entry Part 6) By Jacquie Biggar @JacqBiggar #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 6) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #15.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Jacquie Biggar.

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’s the image prompt.

lost-places-3035877_1920

This Contribution by Jacquie Biggar

The Stories These Walls Could Tell.

The wallpaper hangs in jagged strips from the walls, faded jacquard prints of a more dignified time. Cobwebs drape from the dilapidated ceiling, and I try not to imagine how big the spider is that created them.

Tom and I won this house at auction, before…

The floors creak beneath my sneakers and are gray with dust and grime, but they look original to my weary eyes. The drive took hours and all I can think about is a warm bath and soft bed- neither of which I’ll find here. I’ll go back to the small town I’d passed through soon, but first I need to finish what I started.

“We did it,” I tell my husband, sure he can hear me wherever he is.

The baby moves beneath my breasts and I gently rub the spot, my throat tight when I feel a tiny heel. Tom wanted this child so much. That and the home he’d grown up in. It’s bittersweet to know we’ve succeeded.

“It’s everything you said it was,” I say, continuing my one-sided conversation. “The fireplace is huge. No wonder you thought Santa got stuck up the chimney.” I trail a finger along the mantle. “Baby’s stocking will look lost on here.”

The tears that are never very far away wet my cheeks. It’s been five months, but I miss him still.

I always will.

With renewed determination, I climb the surprisingly sturdy staircase and enter the first room on the right- Tom’s childhood bedroom. A warm sensation flows over me and my tears dry as peace descends. He’s here, I can feel him.

The room is empty, other than an old blue chest shoved under the stained window. My heart flutters wildly and I’m suddenly scared of what I’ll find.

“Go,” a ghostly voice intones, his breath warm on my ear.

I startle and stumble forward. “Always so bossy,” I grouch with a smile.

The lid is heavy. I have to work to get it up, and then I sneeze as a musty fog rises from the interior. “Geez, Tom, you could have warned me.”

He chuckles from over my shoulder. I can almost feel his arms around me and baby.

His baseball hat from seventh grade sits on top the pile of memorabilia. My fingers tremble as they trace the Saints emblem. Who would have thought he’d go on to have a successful career in the NBL?

Alongside the hat, lay an autographed baseball bat, and below that, the reason I’m here. A leatherbound journal. My husband’s thoughts and dreams in his messy script fill the pages, front to back.

The house will be baby and my future, but this journal? It’s my link to the past and is truly priceless.

The baby rolls, creating a wave across my stomach and my dearly departed husband laughs.

His family is home.

~~~

Jacquie may be contacted here …

Blog: Jacquie Biggar- USA Today Best-Selling Author

On TWITTER

Books On Amazon.Com

Thank you so much for stopping by. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. I’ll be posting further entries as I receive them.

I may be contacted here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge Week#15 Entry Part 4) by Mark Bierman @mbiermanauthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 4)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #15.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Mark Bierman.

 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.

lost-places-3035877_1920

This Contribution by Mark Bierman.

“Grandma, are you sure you want to go up there? They’re in bad shape, and your hip.”

“Oh, pish posh,” Rosemary waved dismissively. “Should have done this years ago and those were built when quality counted.”

“That was seventy-seven years ago. This place has been abandoned for—”

“Twenty years, other than some vandalism, the bones are solid.”

“Maybe, but yours aren’t. Please, just let me have a look. The third floorboard from the back wall of the closet, right?”

Rosemary patted Emily’s hand. “I need to do this myself, with a bit of help from you.”

Emily wiped a tear and hugged her grandmother. “I understand. You were eight and you’ve waited this long. It was your only hope. All these years . . . ” Her grief soaked the purple shawl.

“Shh . . . I’ve made my peace. This must be done before I see him again. I pray God will allow it in Heaven. Father has the other half, that’s why they never found it on him.”

Rosemary’s eyes stung but she must show restraint, be the brave girl that her father had said she was just before he left for the Great War. “Let’s continue, shall we?”

“Yes, I’m sorry.” Emily broke her embrace and took the tissue from Rosemary.

“But you must let me check each tread before you step on it and let me guide you. Those are my rules, I’m sorry. I love you too much to lose you.”

Rosemary nodded. “Agreed.”

They moved ahead, arm in arm, with Emily sweeping away the debris with her foot to clear a path. At the base of the stairs, she tested the railing and was satisfied.

“You see, built to last. The stairs will be the same, though the third step might creak. I learned to avoid that one when I’d sneak downstairs after bedtime to grab an extra cookie.” She pointed to the room they’d just left. “My parents would be sitting in their chairs, Mother with her nose in a book, while Father would be asleep. I never got caught, but sometimes I think Mother knew.” Rosemary smiled.

The stairs proved to be every bit as resilient as promised, but every tread protested the disturbance.

The hideous orange and white floral-patterned linoleum flooring installed by the last tenants had chunks missing and revealed the hardwood underneath. Decay wasn’t always bad.

Emily gingerly walked her grandmother across the tripping hazard to the first room on the left. Time had left only a thick layer of dust, cobwebs, and a musty smell in the barren room.

“Hmmm . . . used to be a lot bigger,” Rosemary said. She blamed her watering eyes on the dust and mold. “I loved this room, but after Father was gone, well, we had to move.”

She sighed deeply and shuffled towards the tiny closet. Emily’s hand went to grab her arm, but she brushed it off. “I’m good for now, but I’ll need you to help me kneel.”

The old woman reached the closet and Emily helped her to her knees.

Rosemary struggled to remove the floorboard and Emily offered to help.

“No! I must do this!” Her face softened and her tears splattered into the floor dust. “I’m sorry, dear, I didn’t mean to snap. This arthritis is making it hard. Did they nail it down?”

After what seemed an eternity, the board yielded, and was hoisted with a collectively  held breath. Would it still be there?

Emily handed over the flashlight. The small beam illuminated only cobwebs and dirt. Rosemary dug frantically to clear them, and the light reflected off a silver object lying in between the floor joists.

Rosemary picked up the necklace with shaky hands. Emily gasped, for there it was, the legendary object that she’d heard about since early childhood.

A heart, with one half missing, the other half perhaps lay on a faraway battlefield.

Rosemary clutched the jewelry to her heart, and then wept loudly. Emily rushed to her side and tried to console her grandmother through her own tears.

It took several moments to recover, and Rosemary showed her the inscription in the heart. Because of the shape and the missing piece, it read, ALW TOGE . . . Always Together.

“Oh Grandma, is that true? Do you really believe that?”

“Yes, Emily, all of my life I knew he was there, and soon I will get to see him again and this heart will be whole.”

~~~

Mark can be reached here …

Twitter

Blog Mark Bierman Adventures in Writing

Amazon.com

***

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’ll be posting further entries as they are received.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #15 Entry Part 1) John Howell @HowellWave and Suzanne Burke @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 1)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #15.

Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 1)By John Howell and Entry 2) My own contribution.

This is the 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.

lost-places-3035877_1920This ONE-LINE Contribution by John Howell.

“Daddy’s home.”

John Howell can be reached here …

Visit at Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

 Twitter:

Author Blog Fiction Favorites:

***

MY CONTRIBUTION.

lost-places-3035877_1920

The Pulse of The City

By

Suzanne Burke

Virginia Alden briefed her camera crew, downed her third cup of coffee, and began her morning.

The live show began. She started walking through each of the broken, damaged, and abandoned rooms of what once was a neat four-bedroom home in a family-friendly neighborhood.

She spoke into the camera. “Good morning, and welcome to this week’s edition of The ‘Pulse Of The City’ Let’s begin today’s journey in the sitting room. This room would have born silent witness to most of the dreams and plans of three generations of the one family that lived here. Living with mutual love inside what once were warm and comforting walls. This room now lay bent and broken by layers of decay and the odor of rotting ideals.

This house once expanded with all the warmth of its occupiers. There was once laughter shared here until the world beyond their safe barricades intruded.”

She moved through into the kitchen, “The aroma of joy still lingers in a room that saw over thirty Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts being prepared with care and love within its boundaries. The grandfather always carved the turkey. He had been such a proud and positive man. He’d taught his children and grandchildren the gift of patience. He’d prayed that he’d also taught them how to be resilient. He doted on all of them and loved spoiling his young granddaughter. But the lessons counted for nothing when two of his grandsons went off to serve their country on far off foreign soil. One returned emotionally shattered and the other came home in a flag-draped coffin. The outspoken voice of the grandfather fell silent.”

Virginia inhaled deeply and walked up the stairs.

“The master-bedroom ceased being a place of soft whispers shared in the night. It became a battleground, as a man destroyed by the loss of his youngest son began diving into a bottle of whiskey. Until his only coherent thoughts centered on where his next drink was coming from. The woman who’d born him those children held on for as long as she could. She began working two jobs in an attempt to hold what remained of their family together. The bank foreclosed on their overdue mortgage. It finally broke her spirit.”

The camera revealed the sadness now exposed on Virginia’s expressive face as she continued walking along the upstairs hallway. “This small bathroom was busy in those early days, the daughter was always given her way on those far away mornings, her brothers giving in to their kid sister’s sweet smile and granting her first access. The death of her older brother seemed to make the bathroom almost redundant for a father too drunk to care about hygiene, and one surviving sibling who could no longer bear to look at his own unclothed and damaged body.”

She pulled herself together and the crew readied themselves as she walked through a small hallway and out to the yard.

“Here in the corner is where the bodies of all the pets that had shared their loyalty and love with the family are buried. And over this way is where the pergola once stood with ferns sheltered from the hot summer sun, the family had sat here in the shade and drank down the sweet homemade lemonade the mother was so proud of.”

Virginia cleared her throat, “Let’s take this back inside to the living room, folks.”

She looked directly into the camera.

“And now, on a personal note. So many of our viewers have commented on the excellent research apparent in all our shows. Please know, I had no need to research this show, for this house was my family home. This was the home I grew up in. It’s such an easy thing to pass judgment and affix convenient labels to people we’ve never met. Perhaps we all need to ask ourselves what would happen if we had to walk a mile in their shoes. Would your own hopes and dreams remain intact? My dreams did. I have just purchased the house back and I will rebuild it in loving memory of the people that once shared its walls. This will be my new home and my dreams will grow within it.”

“I am Virginia Alden, and this has been “Pulse of The City’ I thank you for joining me.

The scene grew silent as the director called cut. Virginia walked back through the house to stand in quiet reflection as the echoes from the past wrapped themselves like a blanket around her. She smiled as she cried.

Thanks so much for joining me here today. I look forward to seeing your comments.

I may be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #13 Entry Part 1) @pursoot & @HowellWave #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity.

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 1)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #13.

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.

michael-dziedzic-1bjsASjhfkE-unsplash

ENTRY 1) One line contribution by John Howell.

“So give me the key, Richard, and keep an eye out for that giant Python while I open the chest.”

John Howell can be reached here …

Visit at Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

 Twitter:

Author Blog Fiction Favorites:

***

Entry 2) My Own Contribution.

michael-dziedzic-1bjsASjhfkE-unsplash

If ever I would leave you.

By

Suzanne Burke

Annie stood on her front porch gazing out at the pouring rain, she sighed and resigned herself to forgoing her walk this morning. Then she smiled and reminded herself that she still had plenty to do in the kitchen before the family arrived.

She lit a welcoming fire in the sitting room, enjoyed two cups of coffee in front of it, then dressed and pulled on her favorite apron.

The sounds of the cars coming up the long drive a few hours later had her hustling out onto the porch to greet them.

Her two boys pulled her into their bear hugs and her daughters in law smiled on and gave her their own loving greeting.

“C’mon in out of this cold, my darlings. Lunch won’t be too long, grab yourselves a freshly brewed coffee and sit by the fire.”

Her twin grandsons gave her a smile, “Do we have time to go down by the lake, Grandma?”

“There’s always time to do that. So long as your folks are happy with it. But you’ll need your gumboots it’s a might muddy out there.”

The boys pleaded successfully, and their father told them to be back inside half an hour.

Annie lovingly declined all the offers of help in the kitchen, and her sons and their wives settled down to talk comfortably in the living room.

***

Thirteen-year-olds Thomas and Travis skipped stones across the lake, happy as always to be in each other’s company. Travis looked at his watch, “We need to head on back, don’t want dad havin’ to come get us again.”

His brother grinned at him and said something, but Travis was distracted, “Hey, what’s this?” He said as he stooped to pick up the shiny gold key.  “I think this belongs to Grandma.”

His brother nodded, “She must have dropped it on her daily walk. Let’s get back. I’m betting she doesn’t even know she’s lost it.”

***

The boys went in through the mudroom, removed their gumboots, and entered the kitchen, “Hey, Grandma. We found this down by the lake. You must have dropped it this morning.”

Annie smiled at them and shook her head, “But I didn’t go on …” She stopped mid-sentence as she recognized what Travis was holding out to her. She reached for it and held it without speaking.

Thomas glanced at her with a worried frown, “You’re not gonna cry are you, Grandma?”

She sniffled as she responded “Oh, no, my darlings. I’ve been peeling onions. Thank you for returning this to me, now scoot and wash up ready for lunch.”

***

The adults were laughing with pleasure as the men shared memories of their escapades here at the lake house with wives who smiled on indulgently as though they hadn’t heard the stories before.

Daniel stopped laughing and turned toward the kitchen. He put a finger to his lips and whispered, “Hush … Listen.”

Annie’s sweet soprano voice carried out to the room as she sang.

Daniel felt his throat constrict with tears, “Oh, God. She’s singing. I haven’t heard mom sing like that since dad passed. I believed I’d never hear it again. This is a good day.” The smile lit up his face.

***

The hours that followed were joyous and it was late when the sleeping boys were roused, and everyone headed off for home.

Daniel kissed his mother’s cheek, “I’ll call you tomorrow, mom. It’s been so great today. Thank you.”

Annie gave them all a hug and waved her farewells from the porch.

She inhaled deeply and finally removed the key from her pocket.

She climbed the stairs to her bedroom, lit the fire, then slowly walked across to the dresser, and removed the ornate box from its safe place. Henry had given her this on their wedding day, ‘We each hold the key to the other’s hearts safe in our keeping, my darling.” He’d said.

Annie held her breath as she opened the box. One gold key lay in its red velvet place, but the space beside it was empty. Henry had been carrying his key on a chain around his neck as he’d done for forty years. He was wearing it when he left the house on the day he passed. Annie had searched for it everywhere and hadn’t been able to find it.

Her hands shook a little as she lovingly replaced the key alongside her own where it belonged.

The record player beckoned, she removed the old LP, cleaned it, and gently placed the needle down on the track she wanted.  They’d danced to this at their wedding. The haunting sounds of ‘If ever I would leave you’ from Camelot lit her face with a sweet sad smile. Henry was right here still watching over her. Today had indeed been a good day.

~~~

 

As so often happens with these prompts for me, the image conjures music I haven’t heard in a very long time. I enjoyed hearing this again. I hope you enjoy it too.

Thanks so much for joining me here today. I look forward to seeing your comments.

I may be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge.” Week #12 Entry 7) By Miriam Hurdle @mhurdle112 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to the final entry for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #12.

Today I’m featuring The Clock by Miriam Hurdle.

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.

bryce-barker-cIcX_aO9LPo-unsplash

 

The Clock

By

Miriam Hurdle

“I had a wonderful time with you this weekend. Thank you for inviting me over for all the meals. Both your mom and grandma are excellent cooks.”

“We could have gone out to eat, but I know my mom and dad would love to have you around as much as possible. You surprised me by taking a third serving of the Mixed Berry Crisp pie.” Michelle giggled.

“I was just eating fruits. Berries are rich in antioxidant. Your grandma made it with no crust, so there was not so much carbohydrate.” The saliva rushed out under Dave’s tongue.

“I know you’re an expert in the food business. My mom and grandma were happy when you appreciated their cooking. Grandma is making desserts only these days.”

“Dessert is the best part of the dinner.”

“I’ll tell grandma you liked her dessert. I know you told her already. She’d like to hear it again.”

“Your grandma always has a pleasant smile. She seems to be content.”

“Yeah, nothing seems to upset her.”

“Where’s your grandpa?”

“Well, he left Grandma before I was born, so I’ve never met him. Grandma was retired when I was four and Rob was six. She moved in with us and watched us kids after school. It was when both mom and dad were working”

“I’m sure she loves you and it makes her life happier to be with you kids. Did she ever talk about your grandpa?”

“She didn’t when we were younger. We didn’t know the difference anyway. She talked to me when I got older. She said Grandpa was in love with someone at work and they went away.”

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Your grandma must be mad at him.”

“She said she was sad but not mad.”

“Were they married long?”

“I would say it was a long time. Twenty-five years.”

“I can’t imagine what it was like. Did she talk about being lonely or think about remarry?”

“After marrying Grandpa for twenty-five years, she didn’t think she could love anyone else the same way.”

“She gives all her love to you and Rob. No wonder she is so happy.”

“Grandma is honest. She shared with me about how she worked on forgiving Grandpa. To forgive someone is not an overnight thing. She had to stop blaming Grandpa or herself. She had to get rid of the unhealthy emotions and let go of Grandpa. Once she let go of him and let him be responsible for whatever happened, her heart felt light and happy again.”

“It was an incredible story.”

“I know. I wish you could stay and be here for her 70th birthday party. It’s a holiday tomorrow.”

“There were a few things to do tomorrow before the office opens on Tuesday. I hope she likes the birthday present I gave her.”

“Yeah, I’m sure she will, but I want you to meet the rest of the family.”

“Christmas is coming up. I’ll be back for the party. Okay, I’m walking toward the gate right now. Can I call you after I arrive?”

“Sure.”

Dave went up to the counter at the gate.

“Hi, I’m late. I wasn’t looking at the clock.”

“Oh, sir. Yes, you’re too late for the boarding.”

“I’m sorry, would you call to hold the door for me?”

The ground attendant talked on the phone, then turned to Dave and said, “Sorry, sir. The captain said the door was closed. I can reschedule the flight for you, so you won’t be charged for the cancellation and re-booking.”

“Okay then. Do you have the same schedule tomorrow?”

“Mmm, yeah, I do. You’re all set. You should receive an email with a new confirmation number.”

“Thanks.”

Dave pressed a speed dial number.

“Hi, Michelle. It’s me. I’m turning around. I’ll be at your grandma’s birthday party tomorrow.”

“Great! But what happened?”

“I missed the flight.”

~   ~   ~   ~   ~

Author Links and Contacts

Amazon Links

Amazon UK Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07K1S47W9 

Amazon.com Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K1S47W9 

Contact Links

Website: https://theshowersofblessings.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Miriam-Hurdle/e/B07K2MCSVW?ref=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mhurdle112

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miriam.hurdle.1

***

I may be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by! This is the final entry for week #12.

The new image prompt for week #13 is now live.