Posted in Fiction, postaday, writing

Wednesday Whatever! ~~ A Short Story

Hello, People!

Today for Wednesday Whatever! I’m doing a short story that came about after I saw the picture below when I was looking for something else. You know how that goes. Go searching for something on the internet and come up with something else. Like grocery shopping!

This picture that was done by an amazing graphic artist just spoke to me. Almost immediately I came up with an idea for a story piece. I know it’s been a long time since I posted something that had to do with creative writing. I’ve been going through a bit of a dry spell. I think it’s raining words again and the dry spell is broken! Hope you enjoy it.

 

abandoned town

 

 

 

The crouching figure shifted slightly to the left and one hazel eye peeked around the building’s corner. Nothing was moving on the cracked sidewalk except a few overgrown weeds that swayed in the breeze that whistled down through the empty streets.

The figure shifted back and settled itself more comfortably in the darkness of the shadows. Fingers dug inside the backpack next to them and pulled out a chocolate bar. Peeling the wrapping off of it the figure bit a piece off and savored the slightly bitter taste on its tongue. Chocolate was getting harder and harder to come by.

With the devastation of dozens of major natural disasters after some fool world leader pushed that damn red button because he wanted to show other leaders he was the biggest badass around; a lot of things became harder to come by. Including clean water, food and civilization. Now it was everyone for themselves. The ones that were left anyway. Which weren’t many.

She was one of the survivors.

Her ears picked up movement close by. She froze, listening intently, hand hovering over her weapon. She saw something move and relaxed. A rat. A big one, but just a four-legged rat. Not the two-legged variety. It must have smelled the chocolate. With that thought, she wrapped the candy back up and stuffed what was left in her backpack. She’ll save it for later.

She settled back into the shadows and thought back on how she got to this point. Alone. Waiting for a stranger that left word they knew where some of her family were. Her hand settled on her weapon as she put it in her lap. She chuckled soundlessly. Her, with a gun. Before all this happened to the world she didn’t even know how to load a gun, much less shoot one. Now she could take one apart and clean it in the dark, load it in seconds and shoot with deadly accuracy. Strange how life turns out. World disasters will do that. And wanting to survive.

Mostly wanting to survive.

It had only been a year. One short year since the world was blown to bits and those who were left had to survive best they could. The world changed a lot since then. The weather was different also. You never knew one day to the next what was going to happen. It could be ninety degrees one day, then change to twenty below the next week and then back again. How can a person grow anything in weather like that?

No electricity, no running water, no conveniences. What few people who were left you couldn’t trust. Well, most of them. She had met a few good ones. They came and went in her life. Just as she came and went in others. She never stayed in one place too long. That was dangerous.

When the disasters struck she had been on vacation. She had gone on a retreat. She had always wanted to do that. After her divorce, she decided she deserved it. So off she went.

Then everything went to hell. She still didn’t know why she survived when so many others didn’t. There were many days she wondered what the point was. Then came the first time she almost was killed and she found out quickly…She didn’t want to die!

As her mind went back to that terrifying encounter with those two strange men she heard footsteps slowly approaching her hiding spot. Her mind quickly left those black memories as her hand tightened on her weapon.

She quickly looked around the corner of the building and spotted a large bald man. He had stopped about a quarter of a block away. He stood under a wide leafy tree. He didn’t look her way. He just stood still under that tree and waited.

It looked to her as he was listening to something or someone. He nodded his head once and then looked straight at her.

His dark brown eyes stared into hers as she rose from her squatting position. His face remained passive as she stepped from the shadows.

“Hello, Marisa. It’s time for you to join me.”

 

 

Posted in Fiction, Flash Back Friday, writing

Flash Back Friday

Hello people!

For today’s Flashback Friday, I didn’t go too far back. Only as far as Feb of last year. I thought I would dust it off and display it once more. It’s still one of my personal favorites as far as stories go. Hope you enjoy it!

I wrote this story as part of WordPress’ Weekly Writing Challenge. We were to write a 1000 word story based on a picture. This is the picture my story is based on.

Source: Cheri Lucas Rowlands
Source: Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Juanita’s Joy

 

Juanita trudged up another hill, carrying her paints and brushes in sack over her back. No one seemed to know Juanita’s exact age, not even Juanita herself. She had been orphaned at a very early age, left to fend for herself in a hard climate, sparsely populated.

Today her gray hair was swept back in a ponytail, her clothes ragged but clean. Her face lined by the harsh sun until you couldn’t distinguish one line from another. Her toothless mouth wide in a smile of pure joy. She loved her life, hard as it was. She knew nothing else, so was content with what  she had.

She taught herself to paint  early in life after she found a few used brushes and paints behind a small shop. Years passed and she became better and better at her chosen work. She sold a few paintings to the frequent tourists to provide food, clothing and her precious paints and brushes.

One day she saw an old abandoned building, sitting alone and forgotten. In her mind, she saw a blank canvas, a beginning of something beautiful. So she started her painting. She loved her old town, the people in it as they had been kind to her all her life. She wanted to give something back and all she had were her paints and her imagination.

She wanted to give the old building life again. With her vivid blues, reds, yellows, greens and purples she painted from sunrise to sunset. Soon the townspeople began to come and watch her paint. They would drop off pitchers of water and baskets of food.

They watched her paint and sometimes heard her sing softly to herself as she painted life into something that was left for dead. That building even got a new person to live in it, as Juanita painted a man in the window content with his work.

When someone saw she had run out of a certain color, a new jar or tube would show up on the doorstep the next morning when she trudged up that hill to the building. Juanita would just smile, and continue with her work.  Her painting was the talk of the town and they would ask the other, “Have you seen what old Juanita is doing to that old building? It is a work of beauty!”

Juanita painted what she knew about life, what she enjoyed. Her neighbors plowing their fields in the hot sun. Ribbons the color of the rainbow gently swaying in the wind. Oxen and cactus and the rare flowers of the desert. She painted them all in a mural that was a beacon to everyone who came through her town.

The townspeople began calling the building “Juanita’s  Joy.”

One day someone noticed Juanita did not show up to paint on her building. They got some friends together and went looking for the old woman. They found her in her old ramshackle hut. The town doctor said she died peacefully in her sleep. The always joyous heart, giving out as she slept.

They gave her a fine funeral, buried her under a large tree near her beloved painted building. The whole town mourned a quiet woman who always looked at life with eyes full of color. The owner of the old building donated it to the town in Juanita’s name. They put her paintings inside for all to see and it was run as a gallery for young and old artists.

One day a beautiful sign showed up on the building.

Juanita’s Joy

A place for all to enjoy beauty in all its glorious colors

 

Posted in Blog challenge, Blogging, Fiction, postaday, Serial story, Uncategorized, writing

Picture Writing Prompt ~~~ Part 2

Hello out there in blog world! Today is the second installment of my ongoing story based on pictures that you voted on!

The pictures that were voted on can be found here.  The first installment of the story can be found here. 

At first I was going to write separate stories for each of the winning pictures (there was a 3 way tie!). Then as I wrote the first story I knew I needed to keep going with it. So I decided to incorporate all the pictures in one ongoing story. Each segment would be posted on Tuesdays. Smart hey? Well we’ll see!

Today is part 2 of the story. I suppose I should have a title too, right? Hmm, how about:

On The Run

Now on with the story.

http://wprasek.com/
http://wprasek.com/

The rain had finally stopped. Amber folded up her umbrella without breaking stride. She wanted to be home. Safe and warm and dry. She slowed her steps to one of a fast walk. Her shoeless feet hurt and she was soaking wet, but she kept walking. Every now and then she turned and gave a quick look behind her. Still nothing.

She just wished she would see some people. Amber thought there would be less chance of the man she knew as Donnie doing anything to her if there were people about. She was coming up to the park that was a few blocks from her apartment. Her steps quickened as she knew there was always someone at the park, it was a popular place to sit and visit. Amber also felt relieved that she was that much closer to home.

Amber hadn’t thought much about how she would get into her apartment, as she left her purse and keys at the shop. Maybe she could tell the manager that she lost her keys and he would let her in without too many questions. After that, well she would think of something.

**************************************

Edith and Myrtle sat on their favorite bench in the park. It had been raining earlier but now the rain had stopped. The two women had been fast friends since the second grade. Now they were older, grayer, but still best friends fifty years later.

Every day they took a walk through the park. Rain or shine the two friends never missed a day. They liked to sit and talk about family and friends. Or other people in the park. They loved to gossip, though they never called it gossiping. They were just catching up with each other. After all, talk amoung life long friends couldn’t be gossip they said. Even if they sometimes talked about people they didn’t even know.

The two women grew up together, never lived more than a block away from each other. They married in the same month, the same year. Edith had three kids, Myrtle two. When Edith lost her husband last year, Myrtle was by her side through it all. She comforted and  helped with the funeral arrangements.

Their kids grew up together and used to joke about their mothers finishing each other’s sentences. That’s how close they were.

Edith was the first to spot Amber. She recognized the young woman as a tenet in the same apartment building she lived in.  Amber lived on the floor above Edith, but the older woman knew all about her. Edith knew about all the people in her building. And what Edith knew, Myrtle knew.

“Look Myrtle, isn’t that…..”

“Amber? She’s the one that lives above you, right? Wonder why she is so ….”

“Wet! Look at her Myrtle, she’s even…..”

“Barefoot! Why, where is that child’s shoes Edith? She looks like she’s…..”

“Afraid! Why she looks like she is terrified! Wonder what the…..”

“Trouble is? Maybe we should offer our…..”

“Help! You are always wanting to help others my dear. Such a good person you are. Not sure what…”

“We could do? Why we won’t know unless we ask.”

***************************************

Amber sat on the park bench. There were people around, even though it had rained. She was so very tired, she just had to sit a few minutes. Amber felt safe enough with other people around to rest  before she ran the next few blocks home. She kept her eyes circling the park, on the lookout for Donnie. She wanted to make sure he wasn’t around when she sprinted to her apartment.

She spied the two old ladies purposely moving towards her. She recognized one of them as the tenant below her in the apartment building where she lived. What was her name again? Edith! That was it. She had talked to her a few times, seemed like a nice old lady. A bit nosey, but then wasn’t most old ladies?

“Hello Amber! See Myrtle, I told you it was…….”

“Amber, yes my dear, and you are right. So child why are you…..”

“Barefoot and wet? Can we…..”

“Help in any way child? You look like you’ve seen a ……”

“Ghost! Yes you do, you are so pale. If you are on your way…..”

“Home, we can walk with you dear!”

Amber felt she was watching a tennis match as her head swiveled from one lady to the next. Fascinated she listened to them finish each others sentences and almost forgot Donnie and the danger she was in.

She was soon brought back to earth as she spotted a man next to a tree. It was Donnie! She was sure of it! Even though she had just caught a brief sight of him in the alley behind the store, she knew in her gut it was Donnie. It didn’t seem he had spotted her yet, as Myrtle and Edith were momentarily blocking his view of her.

That had to be Donnie though. Amber was positive it was. The man had stopped, he looked like he was as out of breath as she was. He stood with fists on hips and stood looking around the park. There was a frown on his face as he dug a cell phone from his jacket pocket. No doubt calling for backup. She had to get out of here!

Glancing up at the old ladies, she thought quickly. Donnie would be looking for a single female. With an umbrella. Not three women and only the two older ladies with umbrellas. As she stood to accept Myrtle and Edith’s offer of help, she casually pushed her umbrella off the back of the park bench where it fell to be hidden within the pile of fall leaves.

“Ladies, I would be so grateful for your help. Please may we go home now?” Amber asked as she hooked her arms in theirs and steered them toward her apartment building.

She kept the ladies close to her side as they walked out of the park. She glanced back briefly and watched as Donnie walked toward the other end of the park, cell phone to his ear. He didn’t look happy either.

“Of course dear. We’ll be glad to walk with you. Maybe you could tell us…..”

“What kind of trouble you’re in dear Amber. Myrtle and I would love to help in any…..”

“Way we can! That goes without saying Edith!”

“Thank you ladies for your offer of help. The trouble I’m in might be dangerous and I couldn’t ask you to put yourselves in danger.” Amber told them. She would figure out what to do next herself.

“Don’t worry about us dear! Why we could tell you some…..”

“Stories of when we were growing up! Edith and I were quite adventurous in our youth. Why we…..”

“Quite put the gray in our parents’ hair back in the little shanty town we grew up in! I remember….”

As the two old ladies reminisced about their youth, Amber half listened while she tried to think what she could do to keep Donny and his boss Alesky from finding her.

(This is my stopping point this week! I will continue the story next Tuesday. See you then! I love feedback and comments, so please let me know what you think!)