Flash Fiction

(The word pearl was a prompt given at a writing session. A strong female character came to mind and her story enfolded.)

Pearl

The last time I saw her, she was young; youth sparkled in her eyes. Now the sparkle is gone, the jade blue color diminished by time; her convictions etched in lines across her face. Her once narrow nose is broader, broken from standing up for others. Her chest sunken with anger, not there the first time we met.

“Pearl is that you?” I inquire.

She strains to turn towards me, her range of motion greatly compromised.

“Yes, I’m Pearl,” Her voice recalls dignity, and she pauses to ask, “Have I had your acquaintance?”

It was 1971; we got on the Concourse Avenue bus in the Bronx, each with a child in hand. She took notice of my bruises and we became friends.

I take the seat alongside her and gently touch her forearm, “Pearl, it’s me Rosa . . . . Rose, remember. . . .” I expect her to ooze with gladness, say, “Lordy, Lordy, Rose, how are you?”

Instead, she says “Rose? Can’t recall a Rose, refresh my memory child.”

If she remembers me, she would never mention beatings, and hiding in safe houses. I remind her of Bainbridge Park; how we would meet after lunch, let the children play in the sand box then walk them to sleep in strollers.

“I remember sunshine and playgrounds, how is your boy . . . ?”

“Danny, Dan, he’s at Fordham University; studying to be a lawyer.

Danny was five when I made the decision to leave the morning after a beating. I phoned my sister, asked her to get him from school, and left a note for John saying I didn’t want a divorce, and wouldn’t fight him for our son.

I worried about leaving Danny behind. Pearl said, “Don’t fret; your boy be fine,” and hooked me up with people.

John was a New York City Police officer and protected by his brothers, but the force would not ignore his beating a child.

Sill, I moved every four months with a new identity.

Three years later, the Richmond Virginia Newspaper reported the hunt for the killer of John McGill, a NYC Police Officer shot in the line of duty. I went home; stood next to his coffin, widowed with a pension; my eight-year-old son at my side.

John had never mentioned I was gone to anyone on the force.

Now Pearl dozes next to me, and her head bobs from side to side startling herself. “What was I saying?”

“We were talking about the time we brought the boys to the Bronx Zoo and rode the train around the park ten times. You packed potato salad and fried chicken; a stranger asked to buy your picnic lunch.”

The mention of potato salad crystallizes in her milky eyes, “I remember the day you left, bruised and wearing borrowed clothes; it broke my heart knowing I’d not see you again. How you been?”

“I never got to thank you, Pearl. . . .” She interrupts my attempt at gratitude and explanation of regret .

“Hush, Woman . . . tell me something that will make me smile.”

* * * just saying

(Originally posted on November 23, 2014)

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Autumn — claudiajustsaying

Autumn In New York Autumn In New York I missed the first day of Autumn or Fall or the Northern Equinox, whatever you call it these days. In Florida we don’t experience the typical indicators that cooler weather is coming. The temperature did drop, but not significantly; it feels cooler because it’s less humid. What […]

Autumn — claudiajustsaying

Juxtaposte

Two spoons balancing on each other. Isolated on white background. High key

Two spoons balancing on each other. Isolated on white background. High key

Daily Prompt

There were two thoughts in his head, set side by side in juxtaposition and he did not enjoy the feeling. They nagged at his sense of well being like two conjoined twins complicating separation. If one was true than certainly the other false unless both where false and consequently why connected. He look in the mirror, his face growing old with deliberation of whether to love or hate her.

 

 

Memorial Day Ceremony

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Daily Prompt

Today our local paper’s feature story is about Hal Kushner, a U.S. Army veteran and the keynote speaker for this afternoon’s Memorial Day ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Kushner known from “The Vietnam War,” a ten-part documentary series aired last September is 77 years old, still works as Ophthalmologist, and was a five-year POW. I was pleased to see the News-Journal coverage of his story and several articles sharing other veteran’s stories.

Reminiscing,  Earl Tingle Jr. said ‘I wanted to go,’ ‘I feel a sense of tragedy’  Dr. Frank Farmer explained  and Neal Coates expressed gratitude saying,  ‘I was blessed to come back.’

Each tell poignant stories, however the caption, ‘This one will be different’ above Hal Kushner front-page picture struck a chord. He was referencing today’s ceremony and intrigued as to why his experience would be different continued reading.

Kushner says speaking has taken on a “personal difficulty” and he thinks as we age have less control over our emotions and are more emotional.

I cannot help thinking he is a lucky man and wish I was attending the ceremony.

.  .  .  .  Seriously just saying


<a href="https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/ceremony/">Ceremony</a>

 

Assumption

Daily Prompt

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Assumption, false or true

You believe says more about me, not you

Tell me the truth

Is that the real you?

Yes, I am pointing a finger

Because the outside suggest a different view

Are you being dishonest hiding the truth

Then with  good excuse, take your hurt feelings and cry boohoo

                                                

                                                                                                     .  .  .  .  Seriously just saying

Disappear – Really?

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Daily Prompt

Saturday unable to view my WordPress blog, I did not think much about it. We were having dinner company, I should be setting the table and besides there would be time in the morning.

Sunday morning, however, I still could not view the site, only the W on an empty page. The login box was gone, disappeared. That is impossible I told myself, it is here just invisible, un-seeable, view-less.

So I typed the URL http://www.claudiajustsaying.com in the tool bar and bingo, my posts appear and relief fanned off panic, however there is still no login box. It does not appear! It has disappeared!

Well if the WordPress front door is shut perhaps, a back door was left open and I attempt to like another blog posted on the Daily Prompt site and cannot.

I recently upgraded my WordPress account and have a promise that the Happiness Engineers will chat with me but that is not working because I need a login box to tell them I am in distress. I search the help option reading answers to many questions that do not HELP ME!

The login box has disappeared.

Perhaps I have been hacked so I change my password and sent a security code but when everything is said and done cannot get in, a login box will not appear.

Desperate I open my receipt email for payment of the upgrade, send a reply email to Owen at WordPress, and go to bed.

With my head on a pillow and unable to sleep, rather than mourn the loss of eight years of blogging I force myself to replay the happy Royal Wedding of Megan Markle and Prince Harry and image what I would have done to Prince Charles had I been Lady Di.

Thankfully in the morning there was a response from Owen asking for a screen image and instructions on how to do this, which impressed with myself was able to. His follow up suggested using another browser, and I did with success, the disappeared box appeared.

The problem was with my search engine and it took another hour exploring their help button to get things working.

Seriously, I am extremely grateful to Owen and the other Happiness Engineers in helping the disappear to appear.

.   .   .   . Seriously Just Saying

Daily Prompt: Captivating

5571e884-8d93-4fd6-ad1b-3b8dbd05cc82Captivating

Alluring, irresistible, fascinating or at the least intriguing, is what she wanted to be, not this reflection in the mirror; a short chubby woman with bed hair, wearing a worn blouse, a large watermark decorating her breasts. In front of a Dyson hand dryer, she held the shirt up to watch the water stain shrink and wished she could too.

Once back at the sink, searched for styling gel inside her handbag then applied the right amount to bring some curl into her hair. Unbuttoning the top button on the blouse changed the too tight look to voluptuous .   .   .   .    applying hot red lip-gloss made her closer to  captivating.  

 

. . . . Seriously Just Saying

via Daily Prompt: Captivating

Compromise

Daily Prompt Compromise th

Just when I think I am not going to compromise, I do.

Lucky are the few who never have to, or should that be too?

Compromise, a tendency so strong I am confused.  

Is it about having my way, winning or being sore?

I prefer not to sit down to dinner at 4:30 or 5PM, but I do,

Because it suits you!

There is so much more to compromise, you haven’t a clue

Do you?

 

 

 

Silent Passenger

Daily Prompt

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I was the last passenger to arrive and quickly slid into the remaining seat on the bus. The driver closed the door, check both side mirrors for traffic then pulled out of the driveway of Betty’s Shuttle Bus Service. Although It was an eight-passenger van, there were seven of us. The man behind me took up two seats. I wondered if he had paid for two, making the fifty-mile trip to the airport express, or if we would be topping along the way to pick up a finale passenger. The girl next to him, a Laura Dern lookalike, squirmed in her thin body staring out the window.

 At 6:35 AM, the sun was just rising and promised a hot day.

In the way back was a teenager dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, plugged into his cell with an mostly empty backpack on his lap. Along side of him could be his girlfriend or sister. They pushed against each other with their arms in a familiar but not too happy manner. The passengers in the middle seat, significantly older, could be a couple; a man and woman about the same age looking like each other.

No one spoke as the radio blared Kenny Rogers’ song, “Know When to Hold Them.”

However, heads began to shake disapprovingly with a news report of President Donald Trump’s latest tweet. The lead in; Trump lashes out again at Morning Joe host.  

The elderly man in the middle seat removed his Yankee baseball cap, scratched his head, and turned to the woman along side of him, “What is wrong with that man?” he asked.

She crossed her arms around her thick waist and gave her breasts a supportive boost, “I don’t even know what a tweet is, but I’m embarrassed for him.”

“He’s a bully!” The Laura Dern lookalike stated emphatically.

The man taking up two seats wiped rolling down beads of sweat from his brow with a dirty cloth handkerchief with a grunt.

The kid way back removed his ear buds and called out, “Dudes, Trump’s cool, that’s what people do, no worries.”

I rummaged through my tote bag looking for nothing.

 

. . . . Seriously Just Saying

Gooey Snack

 

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Daily Prompt

     Remember the days of mushy white wonder bread spread with margarine and sprinkled with real sugar, that was a snack after we changed out of school clothes into play clothes (woolen Jamaica shorts, argyle socks and white Keds.

     It was the time of hot dogs, English muffin pizza, Bologna sandwiches, cool aid, powdered milk, and the introduction of frozen vegetables.

     My all time favorite snack, however, was crackers smeared with gooey peanut butter and of course grape jelly.

     Today I indulged in that with an afternoon cup of coffee and found myself in heaven.

 

. . .  Seriously just saying