“It’s always darkest before the dawn.” That old quote popped into her head at 4 a.m. It wouldn’t be daylight soon this morning since the Earth was spinning toward the shortest day of the year. She was still awake at this ungodly hour, as she often was, yearning for the light.
She couldn’t sleep until it was daylight. The old dreams, the terrible dreams of her childhood, haunted her, and she knew she couldn’t sleep until dawn when they would subside. She remembered them when she awoke, screaming, but only for a few seconds. Only the light chased them away.
“Don’t you think it’s obvious to rub the fog off in one spot, Stan?”
”No, Joe, I think it would be more obvious if he saw two guys sitting here in a car on a side street just hanging out,” Stan replied. “It would look like we’re on a stake out.”
”This guy is a nasty piece of work, Joe. Plus, he’s smart. He and his buddy had to have real smarts to pull off that bank heist.”
”How smart can he be? He’s covered in that red stuff from the marked money.”
The two men noticed a man in a business suit walking down the street. No car was around. It was many blocks to the business section of the city. The man kept looking around.
After the man walked a block up the street, Joe and Stan started the car and slowly followed him. He started to run. Joe jumped from the car and ran after him. He pulled out his gun, started to shoot, and Joe dropped to the ground.
Thanks to Priceless Joy for the prompt and wildverbs for the photo!
It was 1943 and World War II was raging. His Destroyer Escort had docked in New York City after a long stint in the Atlantic. She was a girl from Appalachia who had left home for the first time. She had traveled on the train to the City to meet him, her new husband, when his ship docked. They had three weeks together to look forward to. He had rented a tiny apartment.
It was her first time out of the hills of Kentucky. The bright lights of the City astonished her. Her husband and his Navy buddies pooled their money and decided to treat their wives, who had spent months not knowing if they were dead or alive. They bought tickets to see The Rockettes.
She thought the show was the best she’d ever seen. Afterwards, clutching her new husband’s hand, they all went to a club and danced the jitterbug. She was star struck.
They knew their happiness was fleeting. The ship would soon pull out again to go back to war. They returned to their apartment and made the most of their time together, knowing it might never happen again.
Thanks to Susan and #sundayphotofictioners for the prompt!
Against her own will, she takes a different route than usual for her morning walk. It is bright and sunny outside. One of the first sunny days after a brutal winter. It seems that the weather has jumped from the dead of winter right into summer. It even seems hot. She vows to cut her morning walk a little short.
Then she sees a tree-lined avenue to her right. Its beauty astounds her. Her feet take her toward the avenue and she spots park benches all along the way. She craves the shade-lined portion of the avenue. She sits on one of the benches. Recently, she hasn’t enjoyed the sun. She feels the sun reveals too much about her. The tired face, the slumped posture, the aging. Those are private things. She doesn’t want anyone to look too closely. They might figure her out.
Beyond the shade is the wondrous sunny part of the avenue. It’s lined with cherry-blossoms. The scent wafts toward her and is sweet. People are meandering along the sunny avenue admiring the cherry trees. She doesn’t feel she has a right to the cherry blossoms, to the sunny portion of the avenue. That is for the young, the people with life ahead of them. Those who still have hopes and dreams. Not someone like her. Someone whose hopes and dreams have been stolen away.
She sits and enjoys the shade for a while. She pulls herself up and starts for home. That’s where she belongs. Behind the draperies. Where the sun doesn’t shine.
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.