Father of the Year

2014-11-03-bw-beacham“He certainly had quite an attitude!”

The mechanic knocked on the front bumper of Dave’s pickup. “Can you blame him?”

“It was only a joke.” Dave smiled, lightly kicked the mechanic’s knee.

“I don’t know. That were my boy . . .” The mechanic lay back on the skateboard and rolled under the hood of the truck.

“The spray paint will come off. And the teeth are just cardboard.”

“You chased him five blocks!” The mechanic’s voice was muffled under the hood.

“I’d hardly call driving 1 mile an hour chasing.”

“And the way your motor pops and rattles, it already sounds like a goddamn monster’s roar.”

“So can you figure out what’s wrong with it?”

“Other than its driver being a somabitch?” The mechanic rolled from under the truck, his face smudged with oil. He tossed a gold Rolex watch at Dave’s feet.

“So that’s where it . . .”

“Looks like your boy knew it was you all along.”

—Nortina

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Grandma’s Confessions

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photo by Barbara Beacham

“Little did we know that Grandpa was a collector.” Jessie read, wiping tears.

“Would you believe we only did it once?” Grandma, drunk, smacked her lips. “That’s how we got your Mama.”

I didn’t want to tell her to shut up, but we were on the front pew, and Bishop Jorge kept looking our way.

“He left his screwdriver in my panty drawer once.” The whisky was hot on her breathe. “I thought it was one of those toys you kids fondle yourselves with.”

“God, Grandma, too much information!” I shrieked.

Bishop Jorge stood and tapped Jessie on her shoulder. “Mrs. Winklestaff, is there something you’d like to add?”

“Sure do!” Grandma’s legs wobbled as she walked to the podium. Jessie glowered at me for interrupting her eulogy she’d spent all night writing.

“Hubert was good with his hands.” Grandma’s lips nearly touched the microphone. “But I wouldn’t know. He spent all his time working on his damn trucks.”

word count: 150

—Nortina

Buried Treasure

Do you remember that old saying, ‘X marks the spot?’ “  Theo pointed to the trail of clouds in the sky. “Let’s go get that treasure!” he said.

“Teddy, how exactly do we get buried treasure from the sky?” Jenny asked sarcastically.

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photo by Barbara Beacham

Theo wrestled his keys from his pocket and cranked the engine. “We’re going to find what’s directly below that X.” He turned the pickup a sharp left into the field behind her parents’ house. Their bodies bounced and swayed as the tires unevenly hit dirt mounds amongst the patchy grass.

They were half a mile from the house when he leaned over the dashboard to look at the sky. “This is it!” He put the gear in park and disappeared in front of the hood.

“Teddy?” Jenny stepped out, coughing from the dust kicked up by the speeding truck. She gasped when she saw Theo on his knees holding the velvet ring box, the sparkle of a diamond inside.

—Nortina

Superman

The people waved at him from the bridge below, unaware of his current danger. He was several miles off course. The others had already landed safely in the designated field, shouting their triumph into the microphone in his helmet.

“I don’t see you, Mike. Dude, are you still on the plane?” Blaine asked.

He yanked the drawstring for a third time. The parachute would not expel. If he spread his arms and legs, the rushing wind would billow the excess fabric of his oversized jumpsuit and slow his descent. Still, it wouldn’t save him from the sharp-edged rocks in the shallow creek below.

“I’m having technical difficulties.” He gasped as air filled his lungs. “I’m gonna aim for a tree, but if you hear a crash . . .”

“Shit, man.”

He stretched his arms forward and reached for a thin, leafless top branch. As he swooped over the bridge, he heard a child scream, “See, Superman is real!”

word count: 147

—Nortina


2014-10-13-bw-beachamI’m not quite ready to let Mondays Finish the Story go, so to get a bit of closure, I’m revisiting all the prompts I missed. Check out the first if you’re interested.

Revelations Lost at Sea

The team headed toward the island not sure what they would find when they arrived. 

A race to the buoys anchored in the crystal blue waters just offshore of Miami had turned into two days adrift in the Bermuda Triangle. They’d run out of gas at the end of day one.

Everyone was dehydrated, tempted to drink the water on which they floated, only for the concentration of salt to further dry their tongues.

After vomiting three times into the Atlantic while straddling the back of Ryan’s jet ski, Misha had revealed to Thomas that she was seven weeks pregnant, and he in a fit of anger tackled Ryan into the ocean.

“I know it was you!” he’d shouted, gurgling water. “I’m sterile!”

As they drew nearer to the island, the men abandoned the boats and swam for shore, towing the women behind on one boat while Misha doubled over, praying for food.

“We’ll find help.” Brielle patted her knee. “We’ll feed your little one.”

word count: 150

 —Nortina


2014-10-1-bw-beachamLike Sonya over at Only 100 Words, I’ve truly missed Barbara Beacham and her MFtS challenge. So as a way to remember her, I’ve decided to join Sonya and do all the prompts I missed, starting with the first one. 🙂

Remembering Mondays Finish the Story

Last week, we said farewell to a fellow blogger. Barbara Beacham, facilitator of Mondays Finish the Story and owner of My Life in the Foothills, sadly lost her battle with cancer.

My deepest condolences go out to her family. We’ve all been affected in some way by this tragic disease, and it never gets easy. She was a strong woman, continuing to post on her blogs even through the health complications. While I didn’t know her for very long, I’d come to look forward to her Mondays Finish the Story prompts and cherish her sweet comments on each post. Kisses to you in heaven, Barbara!  Be well, my friend. ^..^

I don’t know if anyone will try to continue Mondays Finish the Story, or if this will be the final post, but I’d like to take the time to remember Barbara by sharing two of my favorite stories from the challenge. I welcome everyone to join in and share their favorite stories as well.


Tall Tales From Kitchen Stools

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When it came to a challenge, Jim Smiley just had to jump right in!” Grandpa said. He sat on the edge of the stool, and we sat around his feet, crisscross applesauce, elbows on knees, chins in palms, giving him our undivided attention.

Grandma stood over the stove stirring chicken and rice. She snorted. “Don’t go tellin’ ’em chil’ren tales.”

“If I’m lyin’, I’m dyin’,” Grandpa said. “We was down in Mississippi at dis ol’ white bar.”

“How y’all get in? Y’all darker den coal!” Grandma said, her hands on her hips.

“Hush, now!” Grandpa waved her off and continued.

“We just got back from de river. Found a bullfrog along de bank. Jim had it in his pocket, and it was just a wrastlin’. A big gal wit bigger breasts was uncomfortable wit us bein’ dere. Got her ol’ man to make us leave. Now, I was chicken. I ain’t put up no fight, but ol’ Jimmy boy, he toss dat frog in de air and it land right in between her cleavage!” Grandpa guffawed, slapping his knee. “And we ran so fast de soles on our shoes was burnt by de time we got home!”

We laughed and clapped as Grandpa stood to take a bow.

“Alright,” Grandma said, “Story’s over. Now get on back, chil’ren, ‘fore lightenin’ strike all y’all dead!”


Blue Skies, Bloodshot Eyes

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“On March 9th, 2015, three objects were reportedly seen in the skies over the Borracho Todos los Tiempos Vineyards.”

Javier, the town wino, had broken into the winery. He rolled a stolen wine barrel up the hill overlooking the vineyard, pried off the lid, and dunk his head into the wine, lapping it up with his tongue like a dog. When he raised his head for air, that’s when he saw them. Three pairs of stars shining brightly in the hazy, mid-afternoon sky.

He told the winery owners who had him arrested for stealing and contaminating their product. He told the police officers who wrote him off as a babbling, idiot drunkard and threw him behind bars. He told his cellmate, Silvano, who, the minute he was released, went straight to the local news, but it was too late. The town had been infested by a race of drunken aliens who had abandoned their dry planet in search of water, and crash landed on top of a winery instead.

—Nortina

Wishing For Emily

She lived a life that some would describe as being on edge.

Reckless, they called her. An irresponsible mother.

They never spoke when she was being beaten every day. She only heard crickets those nights she went to bed with a black eye, woke up the next morning too sore to bend her body or sit in the tub and heal her wounds in water and suds.

They testified on his behalf when she filed for custody. She had no job, she left a surgeon, a good man. There was no evidence of such abuse. Where were the police reports?

Their daughter collected coins with custom backs. Quarters for all fifty states. Nickels paying homage to the old frontier. The bottom of the wishing well was littered with coins, none like these. She pressed the five cent buffalos against her closed eyelids, lay in the shallow blue water as the sprinkles from the fountain rained down on her, and wished for Emily.

word count: 150

—Nortina


2015-11-02-c2a9-2015-barbara-w-beachamMondays Finish the Story: a flash fiction challenge where we provide you with a new photo each week, and the first sentence of a story. Your challenge is to finish the story using 100-150 words, not including the sentence provided.

He Can’t Hide

I watched the vulture looking at me hungrily as I lay on the ground bleeding and injured.

She’d missed my head, possibly losing her nerve; or maybe a small part of her cold, black heart still skipped a beat for me, causing her to shift the gun slightly to the right before pulling the trigger.

The passion we’d shared for one another once burned hotter than the flames of a forest fire. I remembered her electrified kisses, how they sent sparks down my spine. I could still feel her warm, naked body against mine as I held her for the last time. Before she opened my laptop to look for movie times. Before she saw the pictures of perky breasts, the videos of bouncing, bare bottoms.

***

My numbing hand is too weak to stop the blood flow gushing from my neck. They say the last place you look before you die is the sky, but I don’t want to see the vulture when it spreads its wings.

word count: 150

—Nortina


2015-10-26-c2a9-2015-barbara-w-beachamI understand serials are frustrating for some bloggers, but this opening line for Mondays Finish the Story was begging me continue on from last week’s post. If it’s any consolation, you really don’t need to read part 1 to get the story. 🙂

He Can Run

Not knowing what to expect, he made his way into the dark of the forest. Under the shade of the towering trees and setting sun, he was certain she would lose him, but as soon as he entered the forest, he tripped over a raised root and tumbled to the ground, scraping his face against the dirt and collecting grass, pinecone fragments, damp clay, and pebbles inside his mouth.

He felt a quick breeze as a projectile whooshed by above his head and slammed into the pine tree in front of him, drilling a hole in the bark, hurling the flimsy tree back, then forward as the branches shuddered and the green needle leaves cascaded to the ground.

“Be a man and face me!” Her voice echoed throughout the forest, bouncing against the surrounding tree trunks, coming at him from all directions.

“J-just put the gun down!” he screamed into his chest.

The barrel was hot on his temple.

“Give me a reason,” she said.

word count: 150

Nortina


2015-10-19-c2a9-2015-barbara-w-beachamMondays Finish the Story: a flash fiction challenge where we provide you with a new photo each week, and the first sentence of a story. Your challenge is to finish the story using 100-150 words, not including the sentence provided.

Fixing Disney Plot Holes

Few knew about the castle hidden inside the island…

“That’s what you’re starting with?” Allie asked.

“It’s the only way it makes sense!” Jason said. “How is there a castle a couple miles up the road and the villagers know nothing about it? What is he a prince of? The water?”

“The bigger question is what kind of beautiful fairy curses an eleven-year-old boy?”

“And where were his parents?”

“And do they really expect us to believe Chip is Mrs. Potts’ kid? She’s like twenty years post-menopausal!”

“I bet he’s really Lumiere’s kid.”

“With that duster, French maid?” Allie nodded. “Mrs. Potts probably just took him in so the girl wouldn’t look like a slut.”

Jason typed frantically, his fingers like spider legs crawling across the keyboard. “Do you think a producer would buy this movie?”

“Are you kidding? Beauty and the Beast with a twist? They re-did Sleeping Beauty, Snow White. Why not this one?”

word count: 147

—Nortina


Mondays Finish the Story: a flash fiction challenge where we provide you with a new photo each week, and the first sentence of a story. Your challenge is to finish the story using 100-150 words, not including the sentence provided.

Click the froggy icon to read other stories and add your own.

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