‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #13 Entries Part 8) By Miriam Hurdle @mhurdle112 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 8)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #13.

Today I’m featuring contributions from 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.michael-dziedzic-1bjsASjhfkE-unsplash

This Contribution by Miriam Hurdle

The Key to Unlock the Mystery

“Mom, thank you for telling me about the adoption. I appreciate you and Dad. I still have this strange feeling of belonging to someone else.” Clara frown.

“I understand, Clara. Your dad and I wanted to have a family, but I couldn’t conceive, so we adopted.”

“How did you decide where to adopt?”

“Most of the countries listed the criteria of children being adopted. Many orphans had major physical or mental handicaps. We were not equipped to handle those problems. The orphans in China were either abandoned or given up for adoption because of the one-child policy. We hoped to adopt a healthy child.”

“Your document helped me to locate my birth parents. I want to meet them. This seems to be a good time for me.”

“What do you want to do when you find them?”

“I don’t know. I was always curious about living with them.”

“We support you whatever you do.”

“My flight is tomorrow night and arrives on the third day. China is fifteen hours ahead.”

“Message us and send us many pictures.”

“I will, Mom. I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life.”

~   ~   ~

Clara met her driver and translator at the airport. The city welcomed her with heavy smog covering the mountains in a distance. The sky had no trace of blue. She could gaze into the sun with a patch of light and fuzzy layers of haze.

The concrete buildings with hanging signs stretching out into the streets slowly disappeared. The sight on both sides of the car turned into scattered cottages and fields. The car bounced on an unpaved narrow road.

A small village with about fifty two-story narrow houses came into sight. The red bricks crumbled from the roofs and the fences between the houses.

“We arrived, miss.” The driver announced.

“Xiè xiè!”1 Clara surveyed the surrounding.

The driver led her to a doorway where a weathered face woman dressed in grey top and black pants waiting.

“Nǐ hǎo?”2 The woman dropped her clasped hands and nodded at Clara.

“Nǐ hǎo? Hěn gāo xìng jiàn dào nǐ.”3 Clara reached and held her arms.

“Huān yíng. Qǐng zuò.”4 The woman extended her hand toward a chair.

“Xiè xiè.”5 Clara nodded and approached the chair.

After greeting the woman, Clara had the conversation with her through the translator.

“I’m here to learn about why you gave me up for adoption.”

“I had no choice. The government only let each family to have one child. We wanted to have a son because the son carries the family name and passes down the generations. Many women had abortions when they found out they had girls. Some of them were into seventh months of pregnancy. I didn’t know you were a girl until you were born. The only way we could have a second chance to have a son was to send you to an orphanage.”

“Did you have a son?”

“I did. My mother watched him for twelve years. My husband and I went to the big city to work in a garment factory and sent money home to my mother. We came home every three months to see our son.”

“It must be difficult not to see your son.”

“There was no work in the village. The factories are in the big cites. When our son was twelve, he got in trouble with other boys and didn’t want to go to school. I took the last train ride to come home to take care of him. I didn’t go back to the big city.”

“I’m glad I came to see you. Here is some money gift. I’ll write letters to you when I go back to the America.”

“Thank you for coming to see me. I’m happy for your bright future.”

“Xiè xiè, Ma. Zài jiàn.”6 Clara hugged the stiff woman.

“Zài jiàn.”7 She grinned and nodded.

~   ~   ~

“Clara, welcome home. Tell me about your trip.”

“It was an eye-opening journey, Mom. I had the mystery locked up for so long. Understanding was the key to set it free. I now have the balanced perspective of my past and present, and the appreciation of you and Dad for giving me a better life.”

~   ~   ~

Footnotes

1 Thank you?

2 How are you?

3 How are you? Very glad to see you.

4 Welcome. Please sit.

5 Thank you.

6 Thank you, mother. Goodbye.

7 Goodbye.

Miriam Hurdle can be reached here…

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.

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By Email.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by! I look forward to seeing your comments.

 

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #13 Entry Part 7) by Michele Jones @chelepie #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 7)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #13. Today I’m featuring a contribution from Michele Jones.
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.

Photo by Michael Dziedzic

This Contribution from Michele Jones

Phyllis stared at her grand-parent’s old house. So many memories. Jacks on the porch (Grandma cheated), Hi-Ho! Cherry-O, cards. Grandpap listening to the radio. Her family sitting on the porch talking and laughing. She missed stopping with her friends and Grandma giving them snacks and drinks. Anyone who stopped would be treated with something homemade and a cup of coffee.

Everything had changed after the riots in ‘67. Homes were burnt to the ground. Building were vandalized and needed to be torn down. Farms were scourged. Rioters attacked anyone outside, pets, even people trying to get away in cars. It wasn’t safe to leave your house, yet it wasn’t safe to stay.

Local police had their hands full. It took months, but order had been restored. However, nothing was the same. Sadly, her small town suffered a huge loss.

She longed for the happy days she experienced on her Grandma’s porch, sitting around the dining room table at the holidays, laughing in the living room with family. Phyllis needed to go back inside Grandma’s house.

If only—

The hidden key had long since disappeared. The porch that was once so inviting looked as if it would fall apart if a leaf landed on it. Yet the house called to her. Maybe she’s get lucky. Maybe the key fell was around here somewhere. She crunched over the dead leaves, making her way to where Grandma always kept the spare key.

A tear rolled down her cheeks as she crossed the yard to look around for the key. How she missed her grandparents. Looking up she said a quick prayer for success and continued to scour the ground for any signs of that key.

Each step made her anxious, getting her hopes up. Phyllis remembered the smell of fresh bread that wafted from the windows, the turkey, sauce, and cookies. Now the only smell was dead leaves and burnt wood. Nothing she wanted to remember.

Finally, she reached the planter. The dead plant reminded her of the riots. Yet she couldn’t explain her feeling of hope. Using a stick, she pushed the dirt around, her hope fading with each push. It wasn’t there. The key was gone. Just as she knew it would be.

Phyllis squatted down, then sat on the ground cross-legged with her head in her hands. She could feel the damp through her jeans. As she pushed the hair from her face, she caught a glimpse of something a few feet to her left. A reflection inside a leaf pile. Her heart beat faster. She stood, brushed the dead leaves off, walked over, and bent down to check it out.

She couldn’t believe it. The missing key. The key to her past. She stood holding it, staring at it. Something didn’t feel right. She’d looked for that key so many times, only to find nothing. Now, when she wanted it so desperately, it appeared?

********

Michele can be reached here …

 Twitter

URL: http://www.michelejones.com
Email: icoachgirls@gmail.com
Whois: http://whois.arin.net/rest/ip/70.90.235.33 (IP: 70.90.235.33)

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 #13 Entries Part 6) by Roberta Eaton Cheadle @RobertaEaton17 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 6)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #13. Today I’m featuring a contribution from Roberta Eaton Cheadle
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.

Contribution … THE KEY – A POEM by Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

michael-dziedzic-1bjsASjhfkE-unsplash

There is no key

Secret or otherwise

To unlock a mind

That has gone awry

Stretched to breaking point

By three wretched visitors

Stress, the spirit suppressor

Anxiety, the spirit disabler

Fear, the spirit destroyer

There’s no front door

No easy access

You need to delve

Take the time to explore

To test and experiment

Following the clues

Traveling the paths

Half formed and rutted

With your tiny hammer to hand

Built of unconditional love

You must chip away

At the filters and barriers

Unraveling the maze

Breaking down the walls

Removing the debris

It could take months

Or even years

There is no way of measuring

Its unfathomable presence

You have to persist

Until you find your way in

And the healing can begin

By Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Contact Roberta Here …

Roberta Writes Blog.

TWITTER

AMAZON.COM

***

Thanks so much for stopping by! I look forward to reading your comments.

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

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By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #13 Entries Part 5) By D.L.Finn @dlfinnauthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 5)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #13.

Today I’m featuring a contribution from D. L. Finn.

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

This Contribution by D.L Finn

 

I had a heck of a time choosing the poem to post here. I ended up with several poems but narrowed it down to two. One was full of images and a connection to the soul, but the other one reminded me of a favorite poem, “A Road Less Traveled” by Robert Frost. Here’s the one that narrowly won out.

image 13 challegne

 TREASURE

I searched day and night

For this promised treasure.

Given no map or guidance

Only a family quest to fulfill.

Each morning started the same…

Through the pines, cedars, and dogwoods

I followed my path.

My eyes scanned the hushed forest.

And when the filtered sunbeams departed…

So did I.

I repeated this ritual daily, never changing my course

Until that one day…

A shimmer sparkled between two large sugar pines.

Encouraged, I veered off into the unknown.

I soon found this careless choice difficult…

Leaving me conflicted…

And scraped and bruised from this uncharted territory.

But the small light beckoned me forward…

Until the sunbeams dissipated…

I turned to go home.

That’s when I saw it… shiny, bright, and golden.

I knew it was the promised family treasure

Quickly I swooped up the old key, studying it.

It was exactly as described down to the three holes,

But it offered no answers, only more questions.

I carefully tucked it away in my pocket.

All I had to do was… find the lock.

Here’s where my next journey began.

I’ll continue until I find what I seek…

The lock that my treasured key opens…

And what exists beyond.

D.L.Finn can be reached here …

Blog site:

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:

On TWITTER:

On FACEBOOK:

Thanks so much for stopping by! I look forward to reading your comments.

I can 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 4) Karen Ingalls @KIngallsAuthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 4)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #13.

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.michael-dziedzic-1bjsASjhfkE-unsplash

This Contribution from Karen Ingalls.

This week’s photo prompt created many stories and poems in my mind, but I finally chose to write a Tanka poem about magic, healing, and the beauty of nature. A Tanka poem is one flowing, unbroken line with 31 syllables separated into 5/7/5/7/7 parts. The actual photo prompt is nestled in the lower right corner of the larger photo.

WALKING IN THE WOODS

I SEE A MAGICAL KEY

 ON THE FOREST FLOOR

THAT WHEN MY FINGERS TOUCHED IT

MY DISEASED BODY WAS HEALED.

 

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

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By Email.

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

 

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #13 Entries Part 3) By Gwen Plano @gmplano #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 3)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #13.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by  Gwen Plano.

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.

michael-dziedzic-1bjsASjhfkE-unsplash

Entry 4) by Gwen Plano.

When I saw the photo of the key, I thought of walking in the woods and discovering this artifact. I superimposed the image on a forest scene and then hiked the imaginary path. A prayer/poem emerged, which I share as my contribution to this week’s Fiction in a Flash Challenge 
Gwen Plano can be reached here …

 

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 #13 Entry Part 2) By Harmony Kent @harmony_kent #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 2)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #13.

Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 2)  by Harmony Kent.

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

The Undoer

By

Harmony Kent

Millennia ago, they believed they’d destroyed the key.

Millennia ago, they entrapped The Undoer.

Millennia ago, such evil as you’ve never seen nearly undid the whole world.

The demon slithered into the mind of the mage responsible for melting down that small brass piece that would ensure the monstrosity remained contained. Instead, the confused old man swallowed the key. At some point a few days later—for, in his dotage, his movements happened but seldom—he shat out the magic-forged metal. A few hours later, with a mew of disgust, some young acolyte tossed out the waste.

Centuries passed. Magic disappeared from the world. And a vast, deep forest grew all over the land. Eventually, man grew clever in the ways of commerce, hoarding, and building. The natural ways fell into disrepute, and anyone who claimed extraordinary abilities suffered mockery and denigration.

Into this cold, uncaring, and disconnected modern world, a girl was born. An angel made flesh. A blank slate, ripe for the picking—finely balanced on the razor’s edge that lay between the Light and the Dark.

Molly adored adventure and running in play through the dwindling woods around her home. The squirrels and the birds and all the small creatures made friends with her. Oftentimes, they could be found in a fast game of Catch-Me-If-You-Can.

Long forgotten, The Undoer had grown strong. With his newfound motivation came restlessness. Over time, the demon contrived to erode the soil until, one day, the innocuous-looking little brass key lay atop the mulch and foliage of old growth. Waiting.

A hidden root tripped Molly, and she fell headlong onto the forest floor. Her dainty fingertips splayed mere millimetres from the key. Curiosity lit a flame behind her eyes. Molly reached out for the intriguing trinket.

Time stopped.

Preternatural silence thickened the air, as though all of life held its breath.

With a shudder of revulsion, Molly flicked the key away. Horrified, she brushed the contamination off on her frilly pink skirt, along with the dirt and mulch. Existence stretched and then snapped back, much like an elastic band. The Earth breathed out. A sudden tremor rattled Molly’s teeth. A gaping chasm opened, swallowed the key, and then convulsed shut once more.

In his prison, The Undoer let out a roar of rage. Finally, he knew the name of defeat.

Copyright ©Harmony Kent 2020

CONTACT HARMONY HERE …

Website: https://harmonykent.co.uk and Story Empire (Co-authored)

Harmony’s Amazon Author Page: author.to/HarmonysBooks

Twitter: @harmony_kent

LinkedIn: Harmony

Goodreads: Author Page

***

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

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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 #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.

On Twitter.

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By Email.

‘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.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #12 Entries Part 6) @dlfinnauthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 6)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #12.

Today I’m featuring a contribution from D. L. Finn.

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

D. L. Finn

I gently shifted my weight in the chair, trying to pry my bare legs off the brown vinyl. Several deep breaths did nothing to relieve the tension in my shoulders. I pulled my sweater tightly around me with the realization it wasn’t wise to be dressed for a hot summer day while sitting in a cold hospital room. There had been no change in the last few hours. The constant beeps continued, and the oxygen flowed in and out with a gentle whoosh.

I shook my head at the tragic irony of a man needing me after how he treated me growing up. My father had an undiagnosed mental condition. He hid it well, so only those who lived with him knew his explosive violence under the shrewd mask of a family man. No one saw the marks; they were never on my face. He was careful even when he had lost control. The war and his parents had hurt him so deeply that when it bubbled to the surface – it hurt us. He never seemed aware of his faults, so there was never an opportunity for him to seek any help. My family spent every waking moment, trying not to upset him in the hopes all would be well. It wasn’t.

I sighed loudly and took the protein bar out of my purse. Though I wasn’t hungry, I didn’t want to pass out and end up in a hospital bed, too. I washed the crunchy honey oats down with a bottle of water. The nurse entered the room right after I finished. I pretended to be asleep. There was nothing new she could share with me.

Finally, she was gone, and I sat up staring at the lump of a once proud and cruel man. We were the only two left from my family. Alcohol and drugs took everyone down, except me. I knew when to quit. The man lying in bed had upped his intake of drinking until it was all he did. Today I watched them remove twenty-one bottles of liquid from his abdomen, relieving his labored breathing. He had no idea it was happening.

A flash of light caught my attention, and I quietly got up to investigate. It was coming from the nurse’s station where someone had placed a small golden clock that looked like a holiday ornament. It was the same as…a chill shot through me.

It looked exactly like the clock from my dream last night where I was boxing up my father’s belongings. My only thought had been he wasn’t dead. Then, in one box, was this device. It had a clock face on all four sides as it gently spun in a circle playing my father’s favorite Hank Williams Jr. song.

“Can’t be,” I whispered, hoping I’d seen it the day before.

A loud conversation cleared that up.

“Did you see what that patient in 202 left us today, Sissy?”

“I’ve never seen a clock like that before. How sweet of him.”

I gulped when I saw the time was the same as my dream. Unsure what to do, I stood there frozen until a sudden warmness wrapped me in its wisdom. I quietly closed the door and stood over my father.

“I forgive you, father, even after all you did to us. You weren’t happy here on earth, and I hope you’ll find some happiness where you are going. Please know I’m doing this in love, and I believe it’s what I’m meant to do. Rest in Peace.”

I picked up the extra pillow and held it tightly over his face. He never struggled, but at the last moment, his bloodshot eyes opened. I saw approval in them, as the machines went silent. His eyes closed. I put the pillow back and pushed the nurse’s button right as they threw the door open. Mercifully, they couldn’t revive him.

Later, when I left his room, I hurried past the clock still set at the same time, 11:53. After a long wait for the elevator, the clock began playing my father’s favorite song. I held back a smile when I saw the hands had moved to noon, which only justified my actions.

No one knew what I did that day. I was okay with that because he was free, and so was I.

***

D.L.Finn can be reached here …

Blog site:

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On FACEBOOK:

Thanks so much for stopping by! The image prompt for Week #13 is now live. I look forward to reading your comments.

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.