Miami Summers

A drop of sweat dripped down my neck before I even exited the air conditioning. Once the sliding glass door opened, the barrage of humidity caught in my throat and made it hard for me to breathe. A single step outside the airport terminal was enough to remind me why I left this city in the first place.

Miami in August was not kind.

When I first left my hometown my hands peeled. The flakes falling from my palms caused my head to rush with all sorts of ideas – illnesses, allergies, maybe even a curse.

It took a month for me to realize that my body missed the humidity. It had grown accustomed to the wet heat I now resent. Without it, my skin sang a parched lament in the form of peeling hands. The cracks on my legs and itch along the creases and folds of my body soon followed.

I was a Miami baby down to the cells of my skin, but still the humidity caught in my throat and suffocated me whenever I returned.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “In the Summertime.”

The Storyteller

BEEP BEEP – Entering optimal visual coordinates for planetary mass 4926, alias: Earth.

Human 6.21046 picks up his tablet and taps a finger on the page, “From afar, the planet is blue but as we travel closer the mass turns into a barrage of colors: green and white, the yellow sun casts half the planet into shadow. I must move closer to fully investigate.”

BEEP BEEP – Entering the atmosphere of planetary mass 4926, alias: Earth.

He grips the tablet as the ship catapults forward. “Closer now, landmasses form. There is an infestation of crop fields and, in other areas, patches of grey. Hovering over them as I continue my descent, the blue of the planet almost disappears.”

BEEP BEEP – Entering ground level of planetary mass 4926, alias: Earth.

He stands when the ship lands, one hand pressed against the metal door and the other clutching his tablet. He writes, “My entrance has caused a disturbance. Humanoids are backing away from me in what appears to be fear. I tell them that I am a human as well. I assure them that I’ve traveled across the galaxy, from across time. One fearful humanoid vomits up his food ration.”

Human 6.21046 takes a step forward.

“I’ve come to write your stories.”


Written for today’s FlashFriday

Twofold prompt: Character must be a writer and include this photo –

Buster Crabbe as Flash Gordon, promotional still from 1936.  Public domain photo, sourced at flashfriday.wordpress.com

Buster Crabbe as Flash Gordon, promotional still from 1936.
Public domain photo, sourced at flashfriday.wordpress.com

Goals

“Balance,” his mother said to herself. The shopping bags slipped from her shoulder, he reached out to take one but she shook her head. “I got this.”
“What about me? What can I do?” He asked her, still eyeing the bags.
“I set out to be a good mother to you and a good CEO for them. I know what I want so I work for it.”
“And how does this relate to you carrying too many shopping bags?” He asked.
“This is my exercise– I have to stay fit so I can continue mothering you well into my eighties.”


It’s Warmup Wednesday over at FlashFriday – Base a 100 words story off of this image; include a lifelong dream:

Olympic Games, 1896; the athlete Herman Weingartner, horizontal bar champion. Public domain photo by Albert Meyer.

Just a Taste

“My Father had a profound influence on me.
He was a lunatic, can’t you see?
Now I’m up all night
Trying to bite
Everyone who pays the entrance fee.”

“Is she telling the truth?” The guard asked his companion, Ms. Jones. She was a veteran in an institution where the staff rarely lasted more than a year.

The prisoner laughed from behind the bars. “Step closer blue-eyes and you will see.”

The guard stepped forward without thought, just a mix of instinct and curiosity. Ms. Jones hand shot out, grabbing his freshly pressed uniform shirt. The prisoner behind the bars cackled.

“Oh my, oh my, oh my, aren’t you a pretty one.”

“We should be moving along,” Ms. Jones declared.

The white of the prisoner’s eyes glinted with moisture, a single tear fell down her cheek. “Oh but Ms. Jones, he looks so tasty can’t I just have a…”

Her words trailed off and a feeling the guard tried to suppress stirred instead with interest. It was only his second day on the job. He could feel the sweat forming on the back of his neck as the woman -no, the prisoner- reached her hand out. Her fingertip felt strangely soft against the hard curve of the guard’s knuckle –when had his hands reach out to touch the bars?

“Just a little taste!” The woman -no, the prisoner- moaned.

“That’s enough Inmate Limerick,” Ms. Jones demanded. “We should move along.”

The guard stepped back, shaking his head to break the trance. He eyed the inmate cautiously, worry coursing through his veins. It had been much too easy to fall under her spell.

“Yes, let’s go,” The new guard agreed.

“Go! Go! Go!” The inmate squealed. “But you will soon return, for once I bite I never surrender. My father had a profound influence on me….


Written for this week’s #FinishThatThought

The Challenge of the Ice Bucket

“I don’t think we should do this,” Harold stopped himself from biting his peeling lip. It felt like some of the hanging bits of skin were his oldest companions, these days.

Samuel sighed. “It’s not that big of a deal, they do it on the internet.”

“So that means it’s okay? Did we imitate every act on the Johnny Carson show? No. Why is the internet any different?”

“Oh, the internet is very different. It has images of beautiful beaches from all over the world, lots of panda videos and even the occasional young lass in very revealing clothing. Let me tell you about this one website I found-”

“I’m aware of the internet,” Harold said through a groan. He braced his hands on his knees, groaning again as he lifted from his seat. “I merely disagree that we should do this to Max.”

Samuel kicked the bucket of ice. “But it’s for Lou Gehrig’s disease!”

“Max doesn’t even have that disease.”

“He has something; can you smell him through that vented windbreaker?”

“Cause you smell like freshly cut roses,” Harold chastised.

“Oh come on,” Samuel whined, almost sounding like his five year old grandson. “We already brought the ice down here.”

Harold looked from the bucket of ice to their nearby friend. He remembered the last time Max stole the pot of poker winnings from right under his nose. That sealed the deal.

“All right,” Harold relented. “Let’s do this.”

Embedded image permalink

Tuesday’s Photo Challenge #6

Home

I know this drive. I lie in bed during late, sleepless nights and run it through my mind like a film on repeat. The seemingly endless road between who I am now and who I once was – they say you can never go home again.

My high heels hit gravel as I close the door of the rental. This is when momma would run out onto the porch, screen door almost slamming daddy’s face as he followed. He’d catch my eye over momma’s shoulder, smiling while she pressed me close.

The wind blows gravel over my heels, scuffing them. The screen door shakes in the breeze; it’s worse than silence. I shouldn’t wait for the warmth of her hug or the comfort of his laugh –

Flashes of the twenty-four hour news cycle burn through the memories. The train crashing, the fire absorbing the cars, I cringe and try not to imagine them screaming as heat chars their skin and takes them away. I try and fail.

The weathered wooden porch creaks under my heels and for a moment my hand pauses on the doorknob. The house, the porch, the drive, the hometown – it’s all too different, it’s all exactly the same.


Written for last week’s FlashFriday

Tea Time with Erika

“Now, you sit right there. We have to wait for my mommy to bring the tea out.”

Erika the doll sat at the miniature mosaic table, waiting. She kept an impatient eye on her own mother.

“Because- just cause I’m your mommy doesn’t mean I’m big enough to boil water. My mommy said so.”

Erika’s head slumped forward, her eyes automatically blinked closed with the movement.

“I know you want your tea Erika, but you’re just going to have to wait patently like good little girl.”

“It’s patiently, dear.” A voice calls from the kitchen.

“Stop listening, Mommy! I’m teaching her lessons.” She leans in close, whispering into the tiny plastic ear. “I mean patiently, you have to wait patiently. Just like me.”

The weight of Erika’s head, already bending towards the ground, pulled the tiny body off the tiny chair and onto the floor.

“Now that’s very dramatic!”

Erika stayed face down on the carpet, not moving a muscle. A tray of steaming water and tea bags arrived on a metal tray.

“That’s not how a good girl gets her tea.” The mommies say in unison.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Toy Story.”

Trapped

URBAN, was the theme of my project. So I gathered my camera bag and a snack for the ride. The nearest city was hour’s away but as grassy fields turned into suburban sprawl, it seemed like a different country entirely.

I didn’t expect it to turn out this way.

“Name?” The guard had asked.

“John,” I replied. “I’m here to take photos.”

“Go on, but be careful,” he warned, not looking up from his magazine. Who still reads magazines?

My first clue, had I paid attention.

As a trapped soul in a mirrored room, the guard’s words make sense now.

They see me as they ride, forever a reflective legend.


Written for last weeks Micro Bookends – where they supply the first and last word and you write the rest

Three Line Stories –

It’s Thursday! Head on over to Not3LineThursday for some fun. Here’s my last two submissions for a taste:

Prompt –  Wherever you are sitting, look up, write about something that you see ahead of you.

Wooden planks connect white cinder blocks,
In this uniform work cage.
I will soon be free; only to return tomorrow.

Prompt – The second person you loved.

You quoted Harry Potter and it was easy to say yes
to the date you asked me on. Then I tripped into you
during our first kiss; you petted my hair and laughed.

 

Silent Awakening

Excitement bubbled inside her belly as her fingertips trailed along the velvet seat. It was worn, a telling sign of many tales told. It may even be the exact seat she sat in when she first saw this silent film many, many, years ago.

Agnes had been about ten, then. Going to the theater had been a privilege that her father bestowed only when she had behaved her best. She remembered how her hand felt in his larger one as they crossed the street to the shining lights of the movies. The bulbs had dimmed in the years; the painting had chipped as well. Her father had passed away decades prior.

Agnes had read of the re-release of A Heart’s Love in the newspaper – the most interesting thing she had read in the papers in over a decade. Her own heart had raced just from the two lines of text because she easily recalled his face, his laugh, his Hollywood smirk. The actor on screen that had taught her exactly what a man could do to a girl’s pulse.

In that moment many, many, years ago, Agnes had learned what attraction meant.

The lights dimmed. Agnes held onto the velvet seat and fell in love, again.


Written for this past week’s FlashFriday. The prompt was twofold – (1) Set in a theater and (2) incorporate a black and white photo of an attractive man.