Day 315-Flash Fiction Friday-A Child's View

Cindy Lou woke up, climbed out of bed and after donning a romper, tip-toed out the front door, reveling in the feeling of the soft, cool grass on her bare feet. She had no cares about what might be in the grass, she was just a little kid. Flies and bugs didn’t bother her as she cartwheeled her way across the lawn. Mommy would be out here soon enough, bothering her to put her mosquito spray on, lest she got bites that swelled the size of fifty cent pieces.

Her dream, at the ripe old age of six, was to be in the Olympics as a famous gymnast. Mommy had enrolled her in a summer program where she and her big brother would get to go tumble and jump their days away while Mommy worked at the store. It was so cool, they got to have snacks when they took a break, and she could watch her brother do his exercises across the gym from where she and her group practiced somersaults and cartwheels. Cindy Lou loved every minute of it, almost as much as she loved going to school, but that was over for a while Mommy said, she would get to go back next year and start the second grade.

Donny was eight, he had been in gymnastics already for two years, he was so much more advanced than she, sometimes at home though, he would show her some of the neat tricks she would be learning if she stuck with it. This year, they would get to watch the Olympics on tv, the timing could not have been more perfect. Watching the others that were already living their dream, would inspire Cindy and her brother and make them work that much harder in the gym. Mommy said for them to have fun with it, just don’t get their hopes up, going to the Olympics took lots of money. Cindy didn’t understand any of that, she just wanted to tumble, run and jump her way through summer and do the best she could in her classes.

Cindy had a sweet coach named Brianna, she would gently teach her all the moves and then Cindy and her team were supposed to copy her. Once they completed all the exercises Brianna showed them, they got to jump in the foam pit. That reward was better than candy! They all loved jumping into the huge blocks of foam, bouncing around and then climbing out. They looked forward to doing it so much, they tried extra hard to performing the moves she gave them perfectly. If they performed well, sometimes Brianna would give them extra time to play around in the pit, or even let them jump on the trampoline. Man, she loved this place! Maybe some day, when she got really good, she would get to jump from the trampoline into the foam pit…that would be epic!

Cindy Lou looked up from her spot in the yard to see Mommy walking out the front door. “Cindy Lou, did you spray first young lady?” She replied, “No ma’am. I was just wanting to practice my cartwheels a while and I forgot, I’m sorry.” Mommy snatched her up out of the grass and inspected her legs. “Oh my goodness, let’s get you in the house before you swell up like a balloon! Just look at the welts already!” Cindy Lou knew what was coming next, a dose of that yucky medicine that made her super sleepy and pink lotion splotched legs for the rest of the day. Thank the stars it was Saturday since she would be napping pretty soon and thank goodness Mommy came out in time to scoop her up before she went into anaphylactic shock, she was allergic to mosquitos after all.

Day 263-Flash Fiction Friday-Finally Paradise

Photo credit: Unsplash

Sitting on the front  porch sipping a  delicious homemade lemonade Kendra thought to her self “now this is my idea of heaven.”  Looking out over the dunes she could see the waves slowly lapping  at the shore and felt such a sense of peace.  For the moment anyway.   In an hour all of their friends will be arriving, peace will be gone and in its place will be raucous behavior, game playing and partying on a level meant only for vacation.

Carl and Kendra had been anticipating this vacation for months and had made all the necessary arrangements, moving things around on their calendars and getting all of their friends to do the same so that they could all be together and enjoy one  blissful week in paradise. This was the trip they looked forward to every year,  only this year they decided to do something different and everyone agreed Hawaii would be the bomb. They decided on Oahu and rented two beach cottages at Kailua Beach that each slept four people. This trip was going to be epic!

It had been a monumental task getting four couples to clear their schedules, pool their money, and secure  the plane tickets necessary to get them to this place.  Upon arrival, Carl and Kendra looked around at the beauty of the palm trees and the never-ending ocean, the  turquoise water and white sugar sand, pinched each other and said “Yes this is paradise!”  Kendra was so excited to be here, they had worked so hard to earn the money – Hawaii is very expensive.  She knew it would be worth it to finally see the place of her dreams and was now ready for the fun to begin.

Walking back inside the cottage, Kendra began to prep the kitchen for guests, putting groceries away while Carl checked the status of the outside amenities. He needed to ensure the grill was working and the furniture was sturdy for their rowdy guests. Looking up from his task, he could see the beach was just a short stroll away from their cottage, all he could think about was getting done so he could head that way. Just the thought of fresh fish on the grill was making his mouth water and more than that, he was ready for an ice cold beer. Everything out back was ready, so he headed in to ask Kendra if she was ready for some beach time.

“I guess we could go for a quick dip before they get here” Kendra agreed, so they went to don their swimsuits and run down to the beach.  As Kendra was getting her suit on, Carl couldn’t help but admire her body. Some days he just couldn’t believe that she was really his, she was so perfect,  her body was truly a gift from God.  Kendra  caught him staring at her body and approached him for a kiss, the next thing they knew, they were tearing each other’s clothes off and ravaging each other on the bed. Kendra believed that vacation sex was the best.  It was probably best they take advantage of the time they had before the guests arrived.  Now that they had enjoyed the romp, they quickly re-dressed and ran out of the cottage and down to the beach.  Kailua Beach was rumored to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and looking around they saw it was true.

While Kendra and Carl were exploring the beach, Macy and Greg arrived, bypassing the cottage completely and heading down to the beach to join their friends.  They had purchased a rolling cooler and were toting their camp chairs. A few minutes later everyone was enjoying a cold one and laughing about how amazing this place was. There were so many people with sailboats and kayaks, yet there was plenty of room for them to enjoy some time in the water. For tonight they just wanted to relax and chill, there would be plenty of time for water sports tomorrow. Macy and Kendra took their beers and beach chairs down to the shoreline for some catching up while the water lazily lapped at their toes. Tomorrow the waves promised to be kickin’ but currently, they were calm. Kendra couldn’t wait to try her skills at surfing, Macy was more the “sit and watch” kind of girl.

Within the hour, they were joined on the beach by their other four friends, Jeff and Cheryl and Eddie and Beth, now their group was complete and Kendra really started to relax. “Who wants burgers and hotdogs?” Carl began to make his way back to the cottage, the rest of the pack following up the sandy pathway, hugging each other and laughing all the way there. Everyone separated to their chosen cabins to put away belongings and get ready for their first fabulous night in paradise. Kendra pinched herself again, just to make sure she wasn’t just dreaming.

 

 

Day 207-Flashback Friday-Life on the River

Sunny loved the water, it didn’t matter whether it was summers at the lake, vacationing by the ocean or the occasional trip to the Guadalupe River, she just wanted to be near the water whenever possible. Which is why she was shocked when she discovered how close her new house was to the Neches River three weeks after moving there.

She had been on a walk to get out of the drudgery of unpacking boxes and looking at the walls of her tiny new rental in the small town of Port Neches, when she came upon a large park. Curious, she noted the park’s name was Riverfront Park and kept walking, now excited at the prospect of water so close to her home. Cresting the small hill, she saw the parking area first, where boats, trailers and the boat launch greeted her widening eyes. Oh happy day! She could just imagine future picnics, fishing and the sheer joy of simply sitting by the river, watching the water ripple and ships floating in between it’s banks, on their way to get loaded with crude oil at the local refinery.

As soon as her husband returned home from work that evening, she drug him back out to join her in another trek to the river and happily gushed about all the fun they would have, especially now that she’d learned of a four day festival the locals called Riverfest, which featured food, carnival rides and a boat race, all set next to this wonderful waterway that lead to Sabine Lake and eventually the Gulf of Mexico. She could not contain her excitement at the possibilities afforded to them now, especially if he was to buy a boat. He had previously discussed this idea with her, and she was all for it. As long as it fit into the budget, of course.

Bo and Sunny had always wanted to move to the coast, Houston was so busy and congested,  they longed for peace and quiet and the when the opportunity came up for Bo to transfer to a refinery in Port Neches, they jumped at the chance for the life they had been dreaming of. They packed up the ten years of accumulated belongings and obtained a rent house until they could purchase a bigger home, and when the day came for them to move, they happily set out for what was to be the next adventure of their young lives. Sunny anxiously awaited the day the festival would arrive.

Bo arrived home from work thirty minutes prior to the gates opening to the festival. They made the decision to walk since the park was so close, that way finding parking would not be an issue. Upon arriving, they purchased tickets and were delighted to see a cordoned off area called a beer garden right next to the main stage and along the river. Oh, the sights they were seeing, people of all ages and manner of dress-one man was sporting camouflaged overalls and no shirt underneath. He must have thought he was dead sexy. The Cajun music was playing warm up to the first band and many people were already cutting a rug, or dancing a jig, Sunny wasn’t sure what they called it. As they got a drink and settled in to an empty picnic table, she was about to tell Bo that this was her idea of Heaven, when just as she turned to him to do so, an enormous tanker ship was lazily floating by. Sunny’s eyes widened at the sight of such a huge ship, so close she could almost touch it! She could hardly believe that something so large could keep afloat, especially on the river.

Later on, while making new acquaintances and dancing the night away, Sunny mused on how much she was going to enjoy this new life, she loved the food, the people, the quaint little town, but especially their proximity to all that water. Yes, life on the river was going to suit her just fine.

 

Day 159-Flash Fiction Fridays-

Welcome to Flash Fiction Fridays, where I will attempt to regale you with a tale of my own creation.  Flash fiction is gaining popularity among writers, from what I’ve been reading, and can be defined as a story which is told in under 1000 words, some editors preferring the length to be no more than 750. Here is my first attempt.

The Jetty

My own photo-taken on the jetty 

Just to be on the jetty again was such a thrill, sharing the same space with the seagulls and egrets was her idea of Heaven. By the time the excursion was over, Kelly Butler would realize just how close she’d come to becoming an angel.

Salty waves rolled over her toes as she searched the beach for the coveted shell de jour. Sand dollars. That was what Sherry wanted for her next project and Kelly was determined to make it happen. Sherry Campbell was her best friend in the world and Kelly just loved her creations. Restoring other’s cast-offs was her specialty and Kelly had been the lucky recipient of more than one of her home made treasures. Assisting her locate the perfect shell insured her chance the project would possibly grace a spot in her home.

It had been ages since she’d been back here in Nueces County and the smell of the ocean, along with the sound of the waves gently lapping at the shore had her feeling somewhat giddy. The beach was yielding no treasure at the moment though, so Kelly made the decision to explore the rocks that made up the jetty for a spell. Sherry seemed reluctant, wading and watching as Kelly wandered off, content to do things her own way-at her own speed. Kelly knew the jetty boat would return soon, however, and was filled with a sense of urgency at the thought of not finding the prized specimens in time.

They were on the beach side, so Kelly felt safe peering down through the cracks and crevices the jetty created, careful not to slip on the slimy algea and mosses that grew there. Finding nothing but hermit crabs and sea trash had her fearful the day’s quest would go unfulfilled, when Sherry suggested they try the inlet close to where the jetty boat docked. Game for adventure and eager to please, Kelly followed her down the long, cracked and somewhat crooked sidewalk atop the rocks that made up the jetty. Just as she was about to snap a photo of a great white egret, it flapped its mighty wings, startling her and causing her to slip over the side of the jetty.

Sherry turned in time to see Kelly, feet airborne as she slipped into the rocks and waves below. Shrieking, she ran to the edge and stepped down to the driest boulder available. As soon as the waves receded, she dove into the ocean, clearing the rocks and diving down in search of Kelly. Another round of waves crashed under the dock where Kelly had drifted, limp and unconscious. Sherry broke through the surface of the water, flailing and struggling to avoid the rocks as the waves continued to pound against them. Internally, she was freaking out, anticipating the arrival of the jetty boat about thirty minutes away.

Fighting the urge to struggle, she tried frantically to see any sign of Kelly as the waves kept pushing her toward the giant slabs of granite. Out of peripheral vision, she saw the strap of Kelly’s hot pink bathing suit top and started trying to swim in that direction. She had to reach her before she went under and was lost forever. Adrenaline took over then and with the next wave, her foot struck the rock and she pushed off of it, launching herself sideways, towards the dock. Luckily, at that moment, a lull in the waves allowed her to reach the support pilings, which she clung to for dear life. With one hand grasping the the wood, she reached out and grabbed Kelly’s floating foot with the other. Kelly’s head was bleeding profusely, but she had her and she refused to let go.

As she tried desperately to hold on to Kelly while holding the dock support, she saw the first of the other island visitors approaching the landing, as it was nearing time for the jetty boat to arrive. Sherry screamed “Help” for all she was worth and luckily, one of the beachgoers heard her cries and ran to the dock. After what seemed like forever to Sherry, a human chain had been constructed, leading from the jetty down to the closest boulder breaking the water’s surface. The next thing she knew, an arm encircled her waste and hoisted her and Kelly onto the rock’s edge. The next person in the chain took charge, grabbing Kelly from her arm as another person grabbed Sherry’s bathing suit straps and held on as she turned to climb up the next rock. The gentleman who had rescued Sherry held tight to her waist as he tried to hoist himself onto the rocks next to her.

The waves were relentless, threatening to drag them all back into the sea as they desperately clung to each other while simultaneously trying to make their way back to the safety of the jetty walkway. An exhausting fifteen minutes later, Kelly and her rescuer were at the landing, her rescuer attempting CPR. Sherry and her savior and the remaining beachgoers were alternately sprawled across the walkway, panting and shaking from the effort to climb their way back to safety. As the jetty boat approached the dock, the captain viewed the chaotic scene. Before he exited the craft, he radioed for assistance from the coast guard and grabbed his first aid kit. Docking the boat, his first mate jumped off the bow and onto the landing, racing to reach Kelly’s side.

Kelly awoke hours later, at the medical center, confused and disoriented, but alive. She tried to think but her head was pounding her limbs felt weighted down. As the room slowly came into focus, she saw Sherry standing at the rail of the hospital bed, a look of concern and worry on her face. “I thought you were shark food” she said and that’s when realization dawned on her and she asked her what all had transpired. Sherry told her of the saviors that had rescued them both and how all the beachgoers had pitched in to help. Kelly’s eyes brimmed with tears and she reached for Sherry’s hand. Sherry grasped it, and leaning over the bedrail said to Kelly, “I didn’t need the sand dollars that bad girl!!”

 

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