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 256-Flash Fiction Friday-Angels of Arvada-Part 7-Addiction

Weeks went by and Amanda heard nothing more from Julian. Saddened and a bit depressed, she decided to immerse herself in work and getting Ethan more involved with extra curricular activities. He was old enough now to start playing some kind of sport, and seemed exited about the prospect of soccer or T-ball. Night time was her nemesis, however, and given too much time to think, she found herself drinking more and more.

It had started so innocently, a glass of wine a couple of nights a week which turned into a glass most nights and then she found herself really pouring it on come the weekends. Sometimes, she and Sandy would go into town and have margaritas at the local taqueria, Los Gordos. These became more frequent the more Sandy saw that Amanda was pining over Julian. She thought she was helping her feel better, she was really enabling her addiction.

Amanda never saw herself as addicted, rather that she had a mild “drinking problem” and knew it was getting worse. To combat this, she busied herself and Ethan, getting him started with soccer since that was his choice, and tried not to think about Julian and got on with living. Life has a way of throwing you curveballs, however, and she kept finding herself in social and non-social situations involving drinking. She would take Ethan to soccer practice and next thing you know, she had a drink in her hand with the other soccer moms who hung out behind the bleachers. At night, she curled up on the couch to read or watch tv once Ethan was in bed and never realized how many glasses she drank before finally turning in herself. She never considered she was avoiding something.

Guilt is a strong emotion. Amanda felt guilty for even thinking about another man, much less lusting after him. She felt guilty that she didn’t give her full attention to her work, nor to Ethan, even though she was trying to do her best. She needed help, yet refused to ask for it. She was losing it, and needed a change, a change of scenery maybe or some new friends at the very least. She reached out to Anthony’s parents, but Mrs Clark didn’t really know what to say, she’d been known to tip a few back herself.

Then came the call she never expected and Amanda felt a ray of hope open up in her bleak existence. It was Julian! She didn’t want to appear too anxious or needy, so she tried to play it cool, once her heartbeat slowed a little. “Hey, what’s up?” Trying to sound nonchalant as she sat on the couch, gripping the cushion with her free hand to steady herself. Julian came back with “Oh, you sound busy, I can call back later if you like.” Amanda wasn’t about to let that happen but wanted to sound aloof, she replied “Nah, I’m just puttering around the cabin really, cleaning up before I take Ethan to soccer practice.” Julian chuckled and said “Well, I happen to be in town, maybe I could join you. I just so happen to have company, would it be ok if I brought her to watch Ethan practice?” Amanda thought, ‘Really, he wants to bring a date?’ then once she reconsidered she realized who he was talking about and said excitedly “Absolutely! She would really love to watch the kids I’m sure!” “Alrighty, then-when and where should we meet you?”

Amanda gave him directions to the soccer fields and hurried to get them ready. She felt a renewed sense of urgency and excitement and could not wait to get Ethan to practice. “Maybe this is just what I need” she thought to herself. Then, trying not to look like a typical soccer mom, she rushed around getting herself ready, freshening her makeup but not to the point of looking like a model or anything. Pulling on her best jeans and newest shirt, she donned her coat, grabbed Ethan and walked out the door to meet her date with destiny. Walking out on the porch, she was about to say something to Ethan when she felt what could only be described as a tug on her left arm. She had time to see the look of horror on her baby’s face, and then she never felt anything again. The bear carried her off and Ethan scrambled back inside and ran to call 911.

Fortunately, his mother taught him well, what with them living alone in the somewhat wilderness, and he knew this was an emergency and what he needed to do. As he waited with the operator on the phone until help arrived, he tried to be brave and not think about what he just saw. He knew his mom was probably gone, however, and panic started to set in. He answered the technician’s questions and she then realized he was all alone and sent CPS to the scene, along with the ambulance and police. Meanwhile, Julian got tired of waiting at the ball fields and could not get through on the phone to Amanda. He grabbed his daughter Lisa and together they headed for the cabin.

I sincerely appreciate all of you following along with this series and hope you have enjoyed it. If you would like to provide suggestions, alternate endings or chapter revisions, please let me know. I welcome all comments and feedback and may even compile the series into an ebook for publication. 

Day 235-Flash Fiction Friday-Angels of Arvada Part 4-Fed

Part 4

Fed

The sounds of scraping can be heard now as the man and a team he has rounded up are attempting to dig through the snow to reach the windows. Amanda runs to Ethan’s side on the window seat and watches as the men get closer to setting them free. Luckily, Her car is in the extra shed, so at least it was protected, even if it can’t be accessed right now. She hugs her son, relishing his warmth and remembers the fire needs to be stoked. Telling Ethan to stay put, she moves to put another log on and stokes the fire back to life.

Back at the window a few minutes later, she and Ethan sip hot chocolate as they wait for rescue. She hears a sound at the front door and goes to see what it is. “Hello?” comes a call through the crack. “Senorita? We will have you out soon. Stay by the window.” Amanda yells back, “Ok, thank you so much, what is your name?” She wants to make sure she gets it so she can thank him later for getting them out of their predicament. “Julian” comes the reply. “Alright senor, er, Julian…We can see you from the window.” She races back to Ethan’s side and watches for the man to show his face. There, she sees him wink from the top of the snow line, which is about halfway down the window now. Goodness, he is quite handsome, she thinks to herself.

Not that she is thinking of romance at the moment. A person can still notice a good looking man in any circumstance though, right? Sure, sure she chides herself. She feels guilty even having the thought, Anthony has been gone less than a year. Maybe it’s the shot of peppermint schnapps she added to her hot chocolate that is making her warm in places she hadn’t thought of in a while. Anyway, goodness! Amanda snaps out of it and looks around, thinking about what she can do right now, while they wait.  She needs to take stock of what they need, so when Julian reaches them, she can ask him to take her to get supplies. She can hear the sounds of snowplows clearing the roads now, along with all the scraping and digging outside the doors and windows. She thinks it’s about time, yet she is aware that avalanches and blizzards cause massive slowdowns, even in the best prepared situations.

By now, Ethan is hungry so she tells him to stay put while she goes to peel him a boiled egg, she at least had plenty of eggs on hand, some fresh and some boiled. She tries to feed Ethan a healthy diet most of the time, but can’t resist making him cookies every once in a while.  When she does, she tries to make them as wholesome as possible, with almond flour and the kind of chocolate chips that use less sugar. She throws in some nut butter too, usually sun butter but other times almond butter. Geez, she is becoming hungry herself, but she is loathe to leave the window for too long, in case they need her to open it from her side. She snags an extra egg for herself and hustles back to the window.

Ethan is excitedly bouncing up and down on the window seat, seeing the men have reached the window sill. Julian taps on the window and asks her if she can open it now. Amanda reaches up and unlocks the latches and tries to budge the window, it takes a few minutes and then like opening a new bottle of pickles, the seal breaks and the window is open, cold air rushing in from the outside. “Good morning eh, what was your name señorita?” “It is señora Amanda sir,” but added as soon as she saw his crestfallen look, “But I’m a widow now. That’s why my boy and I are here alone.” He replied, “Well, it’s very nice to meet you both. My team and I were checking houses along our service route and saw the smoke from your chimney. I was hoping you were alright in here.” “We’ve been better,” Amanda replied,  “it’s so nice of you and your team to dig us out! Let’s get you all in here and warmed up, hot chocolate anyone?”

Julian and his men carefully enter the house through the window and close it back again. In moments, they are gathered around the fire, sipping warm beverages and listening as Amanda tells them of the avalanche and how the last two months have gone. After helping her check the provisions, Julian sends the men to start working on getting the front door open so they can get them to a store for more supplies. “You really are a godsend Julian, thanks again, I don’t know how I’ll ever repay you.” Julian looks at them both and smiles saying “Just keep in touch, maybe we can go have coffee soon, I’d love to tell you about my little one. Ethan, you would love her, she’s almost the same age as you!” Amanda thinks to herself that sounds like a nice plan and excuses herself to go get ready to leave this cabin for the first time in months. Grabbing Ethan’s hand she says to Julian, “Be right back.” Julian smiles and nods, sitting back down by the fire. “I’ll be right here.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 200- Flash Fiction Friday-Gone Too Soon

Flash fiction is described as a short story between 300 and 1500 words.   img_0777 In light of that, and the recent events that have taken place, i.e.; my husband losing his aunt this morning, further complicated by an invitation to happy hour at Frijoles (thanks to my brother) my submission will be short…if not sweet.

Raking leaves was one of Millie’s favorite “jobs”, she loved to get a pile raked up and just as she was finished, her two brothers, Greg and Tommy, would jump in, spreading leaves in every direction. How could she know at the time, that her life would end the exact reverse of that, accumulating a wealth of love and knowledge, just to have it erased, bit by bit, until she did not even recognize her own two brothers, much less the well wishers that visited her at the nursing home’s rehab facility.

Millie’s life began in a small suburb of Houston, having been adopted by a couple looking to improve not only their lives, but those of the southwest area of Houston. One in seven hundred children in the US are born with Down’s Syndrome, Millie was one of the fortunate few. The Cowart’s other children, Greg and Tommy, seemed perfectly normal, except for their propensity for large leaf piles. Millie’s life was an also happy one, save for the difficulties those with Down’s syndrome experience, like the short stature, facial deformities and “accelerated” aging. Yet she got along with her brothers just fine, and they adored her in return, protecting her with a fierceness.

In her 26th year, Millie’s family started noticing a change in her, like the inability to locate everyday items like her hairbrush, or her beloved coffee cup. Before long, she could barely recall the names of her kitty cats, much less her important information-previously she could rattle off her drivers license at the drop of a hat. Her mother became more concerned when her appetite decreased and she cried all day for no apparent reason.

Unfortunately, Millie was all too well informed of the details regarding her disease, including early onset Alzheimer’s, therefore she had her parents secure a do not resuscitate order with her lawyer and physicians in charge of her care about the age of twenty. When the situation became so dire that Millie forgot how to eat, her parents sought the aid of hospice to make her comfortable and her brothers stayed close by in case she needed them. She was placed in a rehab ward of the local nursing home Healing Hearts Nursing Facility, where she received the best care possible.

Millie passed from this life to the next with her family by her side, flowers and balloons on the side table and shelves of her tiny room at the nursing home. She was 28 years young. Her parents knew how rare this occurrence was, so they set up a foundation in her name, hoping to educate others dealing with Downs’s Syndrome that the possibility existed for their children to become angels at an early age. In 1990, the Gone Too Soon foundation was born, Millie Cowart being credited as founder.

I Had No Time To Hate Because

by Emily Dickinson

I had no time to hate, because
The grave would hinder me,
And life was not so ample I
Could finish enmity.

Nor had I time to love, but since
Some industry must be,
The little toil of love, I thought,
Was large enough for me.

(Millie’s favorite poem, picked out by her and recited at her funeral by her brother, Tommy)

 

(This is a work of fiction, any similarities to events or real life incidents are purely coincidental)

Day 179-Flash Fiction Friday- In An Instant

img_0745It was a sunny afternoon, the rare winter day in Texas when the air was cold, yet the sunshine had a way of making you feel warm in spite of the chill. Ella had gotten off work a little early and was on her way home to check in with the family before making a trip to the hobby shop. She’d been sneaking a taste from a bag of gummy bears when one fell in her lap, and in the space of two seconds, her life changed forever.

Driving was a thrill for Ella, always had been, and she sort of took her skills for granted, knowing she followed the rules, and she had become quite cavalier in her attitude when behind the wheel. Most of the time she paid attention to the road, kept a sharp eye out for children and animals, yet sometimes had experienced a close call or two. Like one time while driving through the neighborhood, a cat had run smack into her tire, Ella glanced in the rearview mirror, thinking she ran over a stick and, to her horror, saw the kitty go tumbling in the street behind her. Thing was, she never even saw it! Had it been her mistake, or just bad timing?

Luckily, the kitty made it, yet Ella was certainly traumatized and never went down that street again. On a separate occasion, she had been humming along to the radio, very much in her own world, when out of nowhere, a child’s soccer ball rolled out in the street in front of her. Her quick reflexes caused her to see it and break in time, but now she avoided school zones like the plague. She was careful not to text and drive, loving the fact that she could receive phone calls through the car’s audio system, and frowned at driver’s who always seemed to be on the phone.

While what happened to Ella while driving that day could happen to anyone, in that moment, she had the incredulous feeling that this could not be real. She was in shock, and barely could bring herself to face the nightmare waiting outside her car. In that two seconds she had glanced down at her shirt to find the fallen candy, a young boy had chosen that precise moment to step out from behind a truck, and Ella had struck him. Finally gathering her wits, she flung open the car door and rushed to his aid. He was bleeding, oh God, he was bleeding so badly! She screamed for help and ran back to her car to grab her phone. Hurrying, she rushed back to the boy’s side, calling 911 in the process. It was all she could do not to get sick herself, mustering the strength to murmur “I’m sorry” over and over in his ear, trying to comfort him as best she could.

Evidently, someone had called the EMS before she had, the glorious sound of the siren’s wail could be heard and Ella pleaded with the boy to just hang on, help was coming. “I’m here, I’m right here with you. Please, hang on”, tears streaming down her face. By now, there were other neighbors running to join them, the boy’s mother among them. “What did you do???” she screamed when she saw Ella, leaning over her son. “I just looked down for a second, I swear! He came out of nowhere! I’m so sorry!” The mother was inconsolable, as was Ella. The police and ambulance arrived simultaneously, while the paramedics attended to the boy, the police questioned Ella, once she had calmed down enough to give them her statement.

This was no cat, or squirrel and Ella would never be able to recover, she thought. After a long night first at the police station and then the hospital, after she was charged and released, Ella went home with her family, they had joined her at the hospital. By the grace of God, the boy had only minor injuries, all the blood had come from a laceration on his head when Ella’s car just grazed the side of him. As for Ella, there would no longer be joy in driving again. In fact, she could not bring herself to drive at all.  Months went by during which she got therapy to deal with her feelings of guilt. The boy’s mother had forgiven her, but she would never be able to forgive herself. Through her church she found a sense of peace, after a time, and her family was supportive, though she secretly wondered if they were just placating her-scared she might harm herself.

Some months later, she joined a support group, and with their help, she gained some strength and got back her confidence. She found solace in helping others, and soon sought out a job at a crisis center, where she could give back to her community. It didn’t totally erase her guilt and shame, yet one day she thought, through her actions a life might be saved, and that was a comfort she felt she could live with.

Day 173-Flash Fiction Friday-Floundering For Fun

img_2360

Heading out over the choppy water towards the causeway, Devin and Kaly prepared themselves for a fine day of fishing on the Neches River. The air was cool and Kaly pulled her coat tighter around her and bent her head down to stay out of the wind. Not wanting to miss anything, however, it was back up shortly, tears streaming down the sides of her face as the wind tore at her eyes, even though she wore sunglasses. She loved being on the water and whether fish were caught or not, loved any chance at going for a ride in Devin’s boat.

Devin had purchased the twenty foot,  center console Fishmaster fishing boat back in the summer and they had already taken it for several eventful trips. She was sure this day would prove no different, when she and her Devin were together, it was an adventure waiting to happen. Peering over the side of the boat, she watched the water rippling as they cut through the waves, Devin was making the turn now that would take them to the part of the river known as the “flats”-one of the best places for floundering they had found so far. It wasn’t bad for reds either, but that was for fall fishing…although not completely out of the realm of possibility. Kaly herself had caught reds at different times of the year, so she knew it could happen.

When they made their home in Port Neches, they were excited about all of the waterways, beaches and bayous available for every type of fishing and set out to do as much as possible. Every weekend they were free from work or some other obligation, they were at the beach, or one of the many parks that fronted a particular body of water. There was Port Neches park, right along the Neches river, or they could take a twenty minute drive and be at Umphrey’s Park, close to the causeway into Louisiana. There were others, of course, and Kaly’s personal favorite thing to do was to surf fish for reds in the fall, so far, she had the family record for the biggest one caught yet.

The flat cold water flounder was what they were after today though, and Kaly stopped her daydreaming just as Devin pulled the boat to a slow, sidling up next to a large tree trunk that rose up out of the lake like body of water they now found themselves in. He asked her what their depth was, and answering that they were in a safe six foot, she readied her fishing pole with a chartreuse worm and got up from her seat. Standing on the bow of the boat, she cast out next to the stump, and just as the lure flew out over the water, she felt a slight resistance and the next thing she knew, she was staring at her brand new fishing pole as it hit the water! It had flown right out of her hand, the line having caught up somehow in the rigging of the pole. Devin could not believe his eyes as she looked at him, mouth agape in horror, and said “How the heck did that just happen?” Embarrassed and devastated, Kaly hung her head and said “I have no idea! One minute I was casting and the next, I was watching my pole go in the water. I’m sorry Honey.”

Not one to make waves, Devin assured her it was no big deal and turned to ready another pole for her. Sheepishly, she thanked him and tried her luck again, making sure to hold on tight this time. She knew she would be in for some righteous teasing from this day forward, and promised herself she would take it and not say a word. Devin was first to get lucky, however, and hollered as he pulled up a nice, flat fatty, hoisting to the edge of the boat and Kaly went to grab the net. “Nice one Babe” she said as he dumped it in the live well. Not to be outdone, she at once turned to cast again, aiming for a spot to the left of the tree stump. As she felt the lure drag the bottom, a small tug clued her in that she had a bite, and she jerked on the rod, setting the hook. “Fish on” she shouted and Devin clambered over to her side of the boat with the net at the ready. Only there was no fish, and as she pulled harder and tried to reel, she realized she was caught on some roots or branches from the stupid tree. She could not believe her misfortune, she was the one who usually had the best luck catching fish, now here she’d been out smarted again.

After cutting the line, Devin declared she had better get one soon, the tide was changing and soon they would have to go back in. Kaly was cold anyway, but refused to be denied, pouting the whole time Devin readied another hook and lure for her. He handed it over saying it was her last chance and with that, she tossed the line out over the shimmering water once again. Bobbing the line in short, quick jerks, she wanted patiently for another bite. Scanning the water, watching the sunlight play off the waves, she felt a sense of calm overtake her and she relaxed, deciding if nothing happened, it had still been a fun day on the water. Just taking a boat ride was half of the joy for her, and spending time with her man was what brought a smile to her face. She could even put up with the cold when she knew they would be going fishing, it was their favorite thing to do. Devin once again brought her out of her reverie shouting “fish on” again! She just could not believe this! This day was turning out to be her nemesis, and she was about to put down her pole and go to his aid when she felt a tug.” AHHH, fish on here too” she shouted and then they were both fighting to reel, reel, reel each of their catches in. Hers was small enough that as she caught site of the fish about to break the water’s surface, she gave one last huge pull, and it flopped over the side of the boat and landed at her feet. Throwing down her pole, she grabbed the net and sidled up to Devin, scooping it under his massive flounder. “That’s the biggest one yet” she announced as he beamed with pride. “Well, at least you didn’t get skunked” he said as he surveyed her little flatty. “Fish is fish, you’re right” she said, and dumped him unceremoniously into the live well.

Feeling somewhat victorious, they put up their gear and got ready to head back in. Settling back down in her seat, Kaly gathered a towel around her legs and got out her iPhone to snap some pictures to commemorate another successful trip, as they glided across the water toward the causeway once again. She mused about the simple things in life they shared and how much joy it brought her, just a happy couple cruising through life from the starboard side.

 

Day 166-Flash Fiction Friday- The Dinner

img_0715 The water was crisp, with a tinge of lemon. She set it back down on the table and picked up her fork, staring down at the food on her plate. Suddenly filled with dread, she glanced up at her boyfriend across the table from her, he nodded his encouragement, and she took her first bite. Nervously, she began to chew, fighting back the nausea threatening to make her put the fork back down and forget the whole thing. “You have to try” Jonas said to her as tears filled his eyes. He felt so sorry for her, watching as she struggled to get a bite of salad to stay down. Sherry sat there, scrunching the white napkin in her hands, nervously observing all of the food on her plate. She had been fighting her disorder for a year now, she knew she was on the verge of a breakthrough but didn’t know yet how to get past this. She recalled the memory that brought her to this particular time and place, sitting in this little Italian restaurant and her, determined to make it through their first real dinner since leaving the treatment center.

It all started one morning as she was picking clothes out for school. Her mom passed by her room just as she was struggling to pull on a slightly tight fitting pair of blue jeans, she’d gained a few pounds over the winter break. Her mom had made the innocent comment that she might need to go shopping for some new clothes for school and suddenly Sherry was looking at herself in a whole new way. Was her mom saying she was fat? Maybe she was, maybe that’s why her jeans were getting tight and her shirts were riding just a bit higher than they had been. Her mother’s words had stung, but still Sherry knew she was right, and decided right there and then she would do something about it. Maybe she would go on a diet. She’d been hearing other girls at school talking about how you could make it all day, just eating a few pieces of celery and some crackers. They also claimed that doing sit ups and walking would flatten out your stomach. She chose some better fitting clothes and finished readying herself for school. She’d make her mom regret saying those things…even if it killed her.

Now, as she sat across the table from Jonas, it all came rushing back, everything she had been through that year. The hospital visits, the therapy, the doctors force feeding her through a tube. She’d gone too far, exercising like a maniac and eating less and less until finally, she weighed about eighty seven pounds- at five foot three, she was perilously close to death at one point. The doctors said she had anorexia, but she didn’t believe them. She only knew she was petrified of gaining weight now, staring at her reflection in the mirror, all she saw was fat. Even though her ribs were visible and her face had sunken in, she still thought she saw love handles on her hips, but they said it was all in her head.  She had finally gained around five pounds, with Jonas helping her every step of the way. She loved him, didn’t want to hurt him and saw how much he loved her as he now stared into her eyes. “Please, you can do it Sherry. Just eat the salad if you want.” Tears threatened to fall from his eyes as he pleaded with her. “Okay” she nodded and pierced a juicy red cherry tomato, slowly bringing it to her mouth. Everyone wanted her to get well, she knew it, but the knowledge didn’t make it any easier. Still, she knew she had to try, and with that, she swallowed her second bite.

 

I crafted this story with a first line prompt I found online, I hope you enjoyed it.

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!!”

 

i