The Power of Longevity

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When he asked me to go camping, I looked at him as if he were a stranger. We’d been together for more years than I could count. For more years than I wanted to count. Camping? I love nature, but when it comes right down to it, I love nature on day trips. At night, I’m a room service kind of gal.

He wanted us to have a new experience. There was a campfire. That helped. When I left the tent, there was a coyote’s eyes looking at me from the edge of the darkness. I felt safe with him.

Photo Prompt Jan Wayne Fields

 

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The Homeless Veterans

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Every morning they were there. All the jars with hot drinks in them. It was starting to get cold in the city. The season was changing from fall into winter. There was a man in an army jacket who came long before dawn and set up the jars. He took great care with them.

David was homeless and usually tried to sleep in a cubby hole he’d found in the park. Since the man had been setting up the hot drinks each morning, David sat in the shadows and watched him. David was a veteran of the Army. The Vietnam War. There was something familiar about the man.

The homeless people in the area always came with a cup right after dawn. David joined them. The coffee tasted wonderful and was hot. It warmed them, their bodies and their souls. The man kept coming with refills.

David looked up at him and their eyes met. They both started to smile. They had been in the same platoon in the war.

170 words

On Her Own

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“Charles, I hate for Adelaine to be stuck in that boarding house.”

“She needs to test her wings, Esther. That’s how young women do it in this day and time. They get a room and a job.”

“But that secretarial position, darling. It seems so demeaning for our daughter,” Esther said.

“Now, now, Esther. Adelaine thinks she can live on her own. Let her try.”

“She needs to be meeting respectable young men in our home.”

Adelaine already had a respectable young man very much in love with her who called on her nightly at the boarding house.

Historical Fiction

98 words

Right Place, Right Time

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“Janice, you did it again,” Stan cried.

“I’m sorry, Stan,” Janice said. “I didn’t mean to overfill the cup.”

Stan, the cook, was thinking that he was going to have to fire Janice. She just was not a good waitress.

The diner was full for lunch. Many professional people grabbed lunch at Stan’s Diner and he liked for his service to be impeccable. Janice was sloppy with her work, but she was not an experienced waitress. He was just giving her a chance because she couldn’t find any other job.

Meanwhile, Janice was embarrassed. She really needed this job. She was serving a woman in a booth alone. She was so nervous, afraid she would do something wrong. Suddenly, the woman she was serving spoke to her.

“Young woman, could I speak with you?”

“Yes,” Janice replied.

“Is this your chosen career?”

“No. I was an English major in college and can’t find a job.”

“I’m a writer,” the woman said. “Why don’t we talk about you working for me?”

Janice started to smile.

 

174 words

A Solitary Life

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Janice was glad to get out of the house. Her weekly trip to volunteer at the Red Cross was one of her only activities where she actually went somewhere. Not only did she feel useful there, but she had other people to talk to.

Janice had caught the city bus at the bus stop near her home. She lived alone. Janice’s husband passed away two years ago. She had little extended family and they didn’t have much interest in her. She had some friends, but she didn’t expect them to babysit her. She tried to fill her time the best she could. She didn’t even know her neighbors.

When she got to the Red Cross office, she sat down at her desk and started doing the administrative chores she was assigned. It was rewarding. As volunteers came in and out, she got to talk to her friends. One of her friends asked her to go to lunch later in the week. She happily accepted.

She took the bus back home at the end of the day and resumed her solitary existence. She was a reader, a writer, and she did beautiful needlework. She supposed it was enough.

Compassion

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Ben said, “I’ve rounded up the last of the flowers. I just stuck them in these containers.”

The employees of the flower shop were resting in the back room at the end of a busy summer weekend. Every flower in the shop had sold except these two arrangements.

 

The door opened and a woman walked in, crying.

“My mother is so sick. She loves flowers. Do you have anything? The cases are empty.”

The employees all looked at each other and Ben walked to the back. He got the arrangements and handed them to her.

She left the shop, smiling.

 

Photo credit to Dale Rogerson

 

Progress

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The announcement in the newspaper said to meet in the school if you wanted to help The Foundation raise money. A large group of students and community members met at the designated spot, by the old pay telephone. They had collected pledges of money from sponsors. The first three finishers in the race would donate to The Foundation.

When they finished the race, they were to meet back at the telephone and call a designated number.

Two hours later, John, Felicia, and Barb finished the race and dialed the phone. No one had remembered pay telephones didn’t work anymore.

Photo Credit to J. Hardy Carroll

 

 

The King’s Legend

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“Ian, I’ve always loved the coast of Brittany,” she said as the sailed along in their boat. There was no wind at that time. They were in a deck chair, relaxing, as the Captain they had hired took care of the boat. She was in Ian’s arms and had never been happier. The sea, the bay, and Ian.

“Can we stop and see the Merlin and King Arthur sites?” she asked.

“Of course,” he replied, as he directed the Captain.

Ian and the girl met up with a tour group going to the forest of Painpont, all that’s left of King Arthur’s Forest. A mystical, magical place. A small group was going to the Merlin site, where the wizard was imprisoned by Viviane in a stone. What they found was a shrine to Merlin and a feeling that seemed spiritual.

The group of five felt drawn to the stone. They reached out and touched it. When they did, there was a curl of smoke and they were all gone.

169 words

Photo credit to The Storyteller’s Abode

 

The Starfish on the Ceiling

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After the yacht capsized in the storm, only four of the passengers were able to make it to the inflatable raft. The storm was violent and the ship went down too quickly. The three men and one woman were lucky to grab on to the raft, climb aboard, and hunker down until the storm passed.

The yacht went down close to a rocky coast in the Mediterranean. They were too traumatized by the storm and the sinking of the yacht to realize the raft could be slammed again those rocks any second.

The four of them awakened as dawn broke. As they looked up, they saw a huge sea cave in a rock formation towering above them. They were able to tie up, scramble up the rocks, and go inside the cave. Collapsing on the floor, they talked about what to do now and studied the ceiling, which was covered with starfish.

Armand remarked, “Starfish on the ceiling?”

They all looked at each other, knowing that meant water must have been in the cave.

Wally said, “Look!”

They turned and saw the raft rising up to the level of the entrance right before the sea water started pouring in.

 

Fire in the Hole

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“Honey, I want you to be really careful. This is your first solo trip in the car.”

“Dad, I promise I will follow all the rules of the road,” Gail responded.

“That’s not enough. You have to drive defensively.”

Gail got in the car to go see her friends.

She zoomed out of the driveway. She saw a stoplight ahead and realized she was driving too fast. She didn’t look behind her and had to slam on the brakes. The car behind her hit her and, since the engine was in the back, the entire VW went up in flames.

Photo Prompt by Kent Bonham