Faded Memories

After Mom died, Daisy and Jonas had the overwhelming job of sorting through almost 90 years of accumulated stuff. Mom would have called them memories, the building blocks of her life.

Shoe boxes filled with snapshots in black and white, 70 years and older. Some were cracked, yellowed and faded beyond recognition.

Mom as a war bride, aged 16, sitting proudly by her sailor who would ship out a month after they married. Her hair and makeup made her look older, but knowing her as Daisy did, she could also see the fear and dread in Mom’s eyes.

It was a long war.

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Just Wait!

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

They spoke just above a whisper. “How long do we have to wait?”

“Shhh!” answered her older brother. “Just wait. Be patient. They’ll come, I promise you.”

Missy sighed, bursting with impatience as the sun slowly, ever so slowly, sank beneath the horizon. “Now, Jimmy?”

“Not quite. Just a few more minutes. It has to be almost dark. You know, DARK dark.”

MIssy’s eyes caught a sparkle Then another, and another; blinking, drifting, blinking.

“Ah, here they come!” Jimmy’s voice rose with glee..

“Fairies?”

“No, Silly. Lightening bugs. Fireflies.”

“They’re grand, Jimmy. Like fairies.”

“Well, okay.”

Waiting. . .

The soggy shoppers were determined. Nothing would make them leave, get out of the rain, allow anyone to get in front of them. Mostly, they were civil. There was tension in the air though, and very few would meet the eyes of anyone they didn’t know.

One woman confided in her friend that she was wearing adult incontinence underwear. She also carried a boatload of snacks. Just in case.

One man had two super-sized bodyguards with him. Their eyes were cold.

A passer-by asked his companion, “What on earth is going on?”

She sighed. “The new iPhone is out.”

Hung Over

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Leaia gazed upward, feeling nausea rising as she watched the utensils floating free. Why were they floating? A sifter doesn’t float.

She squeezed her eyes shut, surprised at how hard it was to open them again. Sticky, gummy, itchy. Hot. So hot. Swallowed. Pain, heat, never swallow again. Ears throbbing, head pounding, nose closed up and making her a mouth-breather.

Eyes open. Floating sifters, floating colanders, floating strainers, floating . . .

Nausea. Bitter, sour, rising, hurting her throat. Keep it down! Can’t! Throat-searing, stomach heaving. Sick, so sick.

Never again. Never ever. Just not worth it.

A Random Conversation

PHOTO PROMPT © CEAyr

“What are you reading, Dear?”

“The Ambassadors. By Henry James.”

“Ah. Never had the nerve to pick that one up. Too deep for me.”

“Charles, did you know Karl Marx is buried at Highgate Cemetery?”

“No, Love, I didn’t. Is that significant?”

“I suppose not. Just wondering why a German revolutionary landed here in London for his eternal rest.”

“Maybe Germany wouldn’t accept him back Rather like George Soros. I understand Hungary won’t let him back into his country. Odd sort of man, really.”

“Hmmmm. Maybe it’s not true that the best things in life are free.”

The Plant

“Mommy, that’s not a plant. It’s . . . something. . . else. Something awful.”

“Don’t be silly, Pumpkin. It’s just a plant. I just need to trim it back.”

“You can’t. You’ll see.”

“Of course I can!”

“No. It’s reaching up to find a way through the ceiling to my room. I’ll be gone one of these days.”

“Oh, my word! What an imagination you have! I think you’d better stop watching The Twilight Zone.”

A couple of months later, Pumpkin disappeared overnight. The neighbors thought Mommy went insane when she shredded the plant–until the shreds began to grow and reach and stretch. . .

Silly Kids

PHOTO PROMPT © Linda Kreger 

They picked up momentum as each person joined in the effort of getting Grandma up a tiny little hill. The older of the two brothers; then Big Bear, then their wives, laughing so hard they could barely walk.

People stopped to watch, taking pictures with their iPhones.

Grandma was laughing with them. All just good fun.

Then a palace guard approached, seriously commanding them to HALT!

“Are you aware that there’s a very steep descent at the top of this hill? Slow down, now!”

As he turned away, they erupted into laughter again, including the guard.