Under the Apple Tree

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Babs perched on the hard bench in the musty bus depot, hands folded, knees together, shoulders back–just as she had been taught. She could have purchased a lunch combo for only $2.99, but her stomach rebelled.

It was beautiful outside. A perfect summer day. But she was too nervous to move, afraid to miss any moment of his return.

“Don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me. . . .” the radio blared. A fat tear gathered in the corner of her eye and rolled down her cheek.

His grave would be under the apple tree. . . . . .


The Janitor


Zing and Zang read the words on the marquee, but they didn’t understand.

“Do you think it’s where you go to purchase a box?” questioned Zang.

“I don’t know. Maybe a factory that makes boxes. Let’s ask someone.”

“Don’t forget, we’re invisible. We’d better hide before we switch.”

They found a dark corner and flicked into visibility. They opened the door under the BOX OFFICE sign and saw a man sweeping.

“Right, youse two. Think you’re funny, huh? I’ll show you funny!” He raised his broom. They flicked back to invisible.

“Gotta stop drinkin,” muttered the janitor.

Airport Confusion

Zing and Zang are feeling overlooked. Several of the comment in the past few weeks have mentioned my favorite little aliens, and this week Kelvin nudged me in that direction. What better place to take these two than an international airport? Therefore, my second offering, better late than never 🙂

Zing and Zang perched invisibily just outside a departure gate. There were swarms of people. People sitting, walking, reading, sleeping, engaging in acts of affection that made Zing and Zang blush—which of course no one could see, so that’s all right 🙂

“Zing, this place is HUGE! And look at the size of their air transports! I wonder if they’re all going to the same place?”

“I don’t know, but I don’t understand why they don’t just teleport! Ready?

“Ready. To infinity and beyond!”

Circling the Earth

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Holding a Kindle in her lap, Mrs. Honnicut had a hard time concentrating. Real life was much more interesting. Airports were full of people from Everywhere, Earth, Galaxy Milky Way.

They were all different. Skin colors, hair colors, eye colors–all different. Clothing often revealed the country of origin. And sometimes a lot more of the body than was necessary. One man nearby read a Bible. Most younger people sported earbuds and glazed eyes.

They were all the same. Coming, going, parting, greeting. Weary, excited, tired, disheveled.

Each a part of the paths that circled the earth.

A Woman’s Work

PHOTO PROMPT © Valerie J. Barrett

The wood stove was stoked, already red hot. Anna had filled the kettle with water. The steam indicated it was time to pour the water over the coffee she had ground at sunrise. She looked forward to sitting down for a few minutes, savoring the richness of the brew.

The old iron was heating, nearly ready to attack the sprinkled laundry waiting to be pressed to attention.

Later, she would use the ladle to stir her apple butter. The aromas of coffee, freshly ironed shirts, and apple butter would lull her to sleep later, a day well-lived.



Old Patrick kept the house in shipshape order. The blue shutters and railings reminded him of the sea, and the flowers cheered him on a rainy day.

People stopped to admire his place, even taking pictures with their cell phones. Never occurred to them to get his permission.

Neat and orderly, a place for everything. Until one day he lost his jacket. Not in the appropriate closet, not anywhere.

To his utter dismay, he found it when he went down the front steps, hanging on the railing post. Right where he’d left it.

But he couldn’t remember leaving it there.

Never Surrender!

PHOTO PROMPT © Susan Eames

Haruki stayed hidden in his cave on the island for many long days. He lost track after a while, and when he knew he would die if he didn’t find food, he began to venture out every few days.

The quietness bothered him. For endless months there had been bombs, screaming, bleeding, and rifle fire. Now, the silence was eerie.

One day, he dared to climb a tree that leaned far out over the water. He watched for hours. Nothing. No Japanese, no Americans.

Back in his cave, sleep eluded him.

Was the war over?

Note: The last known Japanese soldier to be found was Hiroo Onoda. He walked out of hiding in 1974, nearly 30 years after the war ended; he died in 2014 at age 91. He stayed hidden rather than to risk the total loss of face in being captured by the enemy.

Note #2: I chose to see him as peering through small binoculars rather than using a cell phone. A cell just wouldn’t have worked in my story 🙂