I Always Wear Red – Flash Fiction

Time again for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. This week’s photo prompt is provided by wildverbs. Thank you wildverbs! Please click lil froggy for other stories.

Here is the photo and my entry:

I Always Wear Red

“Is that you, Millie?”

“Yes, Mamma.” I leaned over and brushed my lips against her cheek.

Fading glimmers of late afternoon sun filtered into her room.   The walls were a barely blush pink. The window was foggy.  Lace panels were flapping.

“Your Daddy just left.”

I sat on the easy chair next to Mamma. It broke my heart to see her this way. Daddy’s been dead 15 years.

Maybe she really knows it’s me. I’m wearing the bright red sweater she gave me long ago.

Ellespeth

Not Much Left To Guard – Flash Fiction

Time again for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.  So grateful to PJ for hosting this weekly challenge. This week’s photo prompt is provided by J.S. Brand. Thank you J.S.!

Please follow lil froggy for more stories:)

Here is the photograph and my story:


Not Much Left To Guard

Mama and I were sitting in a small cafe overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. We had just returned from the last day of cleaning up our family home after the hurricane.  There had been hours spent piling, into a garbage heap, 200 years of our family’s history.

An elegant egret stood as sentry to our grief. Still and noble and ever there.

“I used to think the world ended here and after,  there was nothing else,” Mama said.  She waved her hand into the near distance.

I put my arms around her shoulders and gently pulled her close.  She seemed, for the first time, delicate to me.  About to shatter.

Beyond the egret, shrimp and deep-sea fishing boats were finding their way back to the bayou. The air was crisp and clear.  Fall would come and then winter.  We did not know what spring would show us.

Ellespeth

A Two-Step For My Baby – Flash Fiction

Time again for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.  So grateful to PJ for hosting this weekly challenge. This week’s photo prompt is provided by Elaine Farrington Johnson. 

Here’s the photograph and my story.  Please follow lil froggy for more stories.

A Two-Step For My Baby

So many attended me, but I didn’t speak for days. People all around the room were speaking. Speaking to me. Touching me. Smiling sadly at me. Sometimes they spoke to each other. It didn’t matter though. Words seemed meaningless. An echo never-ending.

I’d drawn the shades against the light until one bright dawn seared its way into my life. That morning, in the chapel, there were whispered prayers for love and forgiveness. Vigil candles flickered beneath the statue of St. Agnes.

I knew my baby had been like a little lamb that night. Kicking up a two-step. Perhaps she was a sacrifice, but to what?

Ellespeth

The Softness of Kudzu – Fiction

This piece is submitted for Friday Fictioneers.  Thanks to David Stweart for our photo prompt and to Rochelle  for hosting this weekly photo challenge.  Please click on the lil froggy – at the end of this piece – for other stories.

david-stewart2The Softness of Kudzu

There’s just a rusting iron fence remaining. The grand antebellum house is gone. Kudzu vine covers its foundation.  I drove here today because Mother is dying and, when this was a home for single mothers, she’d taken us to live here.

Daddy was in hospital, then, being treated for some mysterious illness Mother’s family had whispered about – as though a curse had come true.

Sister Agnes greeted us and showed us to our room. It was a small room with four cots. “Thank you, Sister,” Mother said.

I remember, just outside the French doors was a balcony and banana trees and Heaven’s sky.

Ellespeth

This is a photograph of Kudzu vine:

Old Lace & Bay Windows – Fiction

Time for this week’s Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers.   It takes place each Wednesday.   100-150 words more or less.  I’ll put the link to this week’s stories at the end of this piece.  Drop by to read or write or both 🙂  Thanks to PJ (Priceless Joy) for hosting this challenge.  Here’s the photo and my story (175 words):

bay windowsOld Lace & Bay Windows

Mother always says I’m crazy. Since I know that opinion clearly depends on her definition of crazy, I’ve never paid much mind to her assumptions of me.

About 20 years ago, I moved out west. According to mom’s outlook on life,  everyone out west is probably crazy. That could be why I like it so much here. I’ve never tried to run away from my craziness as much as I’ve tried to tone it down just a tiny bit.

I bought a small town house in the Haight. The previous owner  had flattened the signature bay windows. I’ve hung old lace panels and strung crystals from the curtain rods. All around me glows magic and rainbows.

Mom and I talk on the phone each week.

“When do you think you might be coming out, Mom?” I’m always asking.

“Soon. Maybe. Are you happy, Polly? And you like your place?” Mom sometimes asks.

“I do like it, Mom. It really stands out from the other buildings. You’d just love it,” I always say.

Ellespeth

other stories can be found here: this week’s stories

photo prompt Copyright Vanessa Rodriguez

What We Never Knew – Fiction

Time for another installment of   Friday Fictioneers  hosted by Rochelle.  100 words or so based on the image below. Click on the froggy link (after this piece) and come join us!

I hope people will also enjoy the afterthought I’ve added to this piece…the music that inspired me:

walking trailWhat We Never Knew

The museum came to number objects in the house for their Dust Bowl exhibit. Grandpa hadn’t changed much since Grandma had disappeared.  The farmhouse and barn they’d built was as Midwest as ever.  It’s all a Bed and Breakfast now – west of Topeka.

I was spending one last night at the old place.  I was sitting cross-legged on an old feathered guest bed reading Grandma’s last letter home to Grandpa:

…I know you’ll never understand the workings of my frail mind, dearest love.  I’m sorry.   I’m not strong enough to stay.  Stella refused to come with me…

Your loving,

Charlotte

Ellespeth

**I’ve been trying – for a year or more – to write something, anything, to show my totally lost feelings for the  words to this song – and these images.  These words and these images so relevant to us – always.

I’ve read that, during the Dust Bowl,  women hung themselves over the impossibility of living up to the expectation of keeping a clean house.  As a woman, this fact won’t leave my mind.

Here is the song that inspired this story.   Thank you for reading and listening.
E

 

photo prompt Copyright Dawn Landau

When Mom Died – Fiction

This is a piece  I’ve written for Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers – a weekly photo prompt for writers.  Write 100-150 words (give or take 25 words).  The purpose is to have fun while improving our writing skills.  Yay to that and thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting this weekly prompt.  Please drop by to read and/or participate…it’s a great help to many of us to have these sorts of prompts and a great deal of work for the host.  Thank you so much, PJ.

When Mom Died

The day we buried Mom was something love is made of.  I was twelve years old.  Uncle Jim spoke so magically about her. He proclaimed her to be the only woman he’d ever truly loved.

Uncle Jim’s partner was seated beside me. Uncle Karl. He looked down at me uncomfortably. I sensed his gaze and took his hand. I squeezed it tightly and looked up into his face.

Later, at Uncle Jim’s and Uncle Karl’s condo, I approached Uncle Jim.  He looked at me. It must have been the saddest look I’d ever seen cross his face. There were tears on his cheeks. He motioned to Uncle Karl.

“Why don’t I just start calling you Dad?” I asked.

Uncle Jim and Uncle Karl exchanged questioning glances.

“Mom told me right before she died,” I said.

Oh!, What an after party there was then! We were all so carried away by a joyful peace.

Ellespeth

other stories for this prompt

Image Credit: Dawn M. Miller

When Mae Ella Died – A Story Poem

Another installment of   Friday Fictioneers  hosted by Rochelle.  100 words or so based on the image below. Click on the link (after this piece) and come join us!

Thank you for this photograph, Rochelle, and the chance to write these words.

***I’ve changed this (two words worth) a bit since it first went up.  This piece still doesn’t feel done to me…I’m going to keep it up, though. That’s just the way it goes sometimes…***

balcony

When Mae Ella Died

In the end, I couldn’t believe it.
The package arrived
the day after we lost father

the day before …
the day before…what mattered?
Then died my Mammy.  The only true mother
I’d ever known.

This evening
in the center of the enclave
we remembered her
my sisters and my brothers
my mother and I.

I brought forth the package
sent by my Mammy.
Inside
nestled in the softest strands of silk
laid our father’s baby locks.

Everybody smiled.
Everybody cried.
Everybody drank a little bit.

Ellespeth

photo prompt ©Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

One Afternoon Downtown – Fiction in 100 Words

One Afternoon Downtown

“Have you quit your day job yet?” he asked.

“No. Not yet.” I felt my heart sinking.

I was in the editor’s office. Mr. Editor was handing me my manuscript. “We’re going to publish this,” he told me. “And then, if you’re interested, we’d offer you a two-year fellowship at Writer’s Lodge.”

It took another hour to say ok and thank you and catch the trolley home.

“And then what?” my mother asked. She had almost fallen off her chair listening to my story.

“I said I’d have to ask my mother.”

“You said what?”

We hugged and laughed.

Ellespeth

At The Birthday Supper – Fiction

I wrote this for this week’s   Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle     100 words  (or so)  based on the photo prompt below.  Come join us!

saltAt The Birthday Supper

It was Mother’s birthday. She was 85.  Maybe she’d remember it was her
favorite restaurant.

“Where are all my things?” she asked.

“What things, Mother?   Those things that you didn’t want to leave when you were 50?”

“I remember that birthday.  You took me for supper then, too. I  don’t know why I never left him. Do you remember?”  Mother was cutting an asparagus spear.

“I guess, like he said, he thought you were ethereal and that meant something no one else could ever understand.”

“At the end, he wouldn’t even hold my hand.”

“Don’t look back, Mother.” I squeezed her hand.

Ellespeth

photo Copyright – Dawn Q. Landau