Your Time Has Come

Written as part of a challenge called Flash Fiction for the purposeful practitioner, details are available at, https://rogershipp.wordpress.com/2016/07/20/fiction-for-the-purposeful-practitioner-week-28-2016/

Eugene looks at his lifelong companion.   The silver pocket watch.  

On his twentyth birthday, Mrs Dupree handed him the watch.   Her smile was like the Sun.  She was easily fifty yeasts older than he was but he was convinced she was younger.   He did everything to help her, his mother told him to look after her because she was all alone.

“Eugene, you will live to be 90 years old.  On August 1, 2016 your time will come at 8:25 PM. Enjoy your days. Only your hand can change this.”  Mrs Dupree’s voice still rings in his ears.

August came in with a flurry. On your last day twenty hours goes quickly.   Every one and everything can’t be done at last minute.  Not at 90 years old. 

Eugene planned.   Noone took him took seriously.  At 8:21PM, he looked at his watch.   So many ties left undone. There are not enough hours left.   He could have enjoyed the day. 

But the last words heard came from local government past.

“Eugene, you will live to be 90 years old.  On August 1, 2016 your time will come at 8:25 PM. Enjoy your days. Only your hand can change this.”  Mrs Dupree’svoice still rings in his ears.

Advertisements

Race to the Bridge

image

Written as part of a challenge called Flash Fiction for the purposeful practitioner, https://rogershipp.wordpress.com

“It was really dark last night, but I’m pretty sure this is the place.” Joe starts to explain the condition of his brother’s Camaro. “OK it happened like this….”

“”The one lane bridge!   First to cross gets fifty!”  Bradley says

He was leaning against the windshield of his mom’s Mustang. He pried up the lid of a faded cap to look at his friend.

“You ain’t got no fifty bucks!  I bet you ain’t got fifty cents. Just a bunch of lint!”  I yell at him sitting in the driver’s side of your Camara. 

“If you ain’t gonna lose, you ain’t got to pay!  That thing won’t make the bridge!   Hey, let me call my little sister.  Natalie on her banana bike could take you.”  he pulls that hat back down and smiles.

“OK, chicken little.  You just wait for the sky to fall.  I’m going to take a run at the bridge.  You sure to don’t want to get your ass beat?!”  i rev the motor.   The engine roars through headers and very little exhaust.  A cloud of blue grey smoke billows from behind.  He laughs the excited teen laugh “Bug control, baby!”

He slides down the hood. “I’ll take your money.   You better have it, scum bag!”

We line up side by side .  The curving road, about mile to the bridge.

“OK, start of next song!”  I yell over.

He nods.

We are off.   Mustang in left lane jumps quicker.  He cuts over in front of me.   He makes 50 by the first turn.  I come wide of him on left.  He’s barreling into it, tires crying as they wiggle the back side of the Camaro.  Bradley keeps him in the lane.   The Mustang even with the door of the Camaro.   We approach second curve.  It turns left.  I need to come out ahead to make the bridge. 

Tire screech.  Speedometer climbs to 70.  The road is getting the best of the Camaro.  It swings out.  He moves in a bit.  He sees he losing control at the front corner of his Mustang. His eyes catch a spot of blue by the bridge.  He locks up the brakes.  I go flying across the front of him.   Spinning into the grass sliding to the creek.

Then a blue pickup crawls out of the bridge.  The old farmer smiles.  He sees at me balancing on the edge of creek.  He is frozen to the wheel with ghost white,skin and black boles for eyes.

“What you racing for boys?” The farmer rubs his grey beard as he talks.

“What? We were screwing around.  You ain’t telling my mom, are you?” He asks knowing the farmer is two doors down.

“I said, ‘what wereyou racing for?’  Back in the day, we races chariots for clams. So what is it boys?”  The smile of the old farmer grows wider.

“Fifty!  We were going for fifty, sir.”  I yell from a stalled car.

“Fifty gets you pulled out then.  We all win.  Noone finds out nothin.”  The wicked smile of the farmer flashes as he drives on to the grass. ” I got chains, if you got cash.”

We dig for funds.  It cost us $47.85.”

Here be the Dragons

image

“The first one was a surprise…” his voice breaks down.  The mix is part agony, part excitement.

“We thought the fresh bone…well it was fake.  Plenty of dragon stories.  Myths, centuries old.   Even the movies,  the Lost World to Jurassic Park.  Dinosaurs, dragons, scary monsters living off in some dark corner.  Never did one mean finding several.   All intact, all with DNA inside.”  His voice goes again.

“Sir, am I asking what happened to Dr Tollivar?!  I don’t want a history lesson.   Where is he? And explain why you are covered in his blood.”  Deputy Phillips glares at him.  No scientist is passing on a living dragon story in his county.

“I told you.   It’s a dragon!   This is one of the forearm bones.  The ulnar, just like yours here.  They’re out there.  Feeding on each other to too!”  Professor Dewey is lead away in cuffs.

He doesn’t seem to notice.

https://rogershipp.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/5826/

Girl in the Backseat

https://rogershipp.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/flash-fiction-for-the-purposeful-practitioner-week-17-2016/

image

“I’m sure that the little girl in that back seat was signing us.” Jesse keeps repeating this over and over.

“Jessie! We heard you the first ten times.   When we were young we would wave at every car hoping they would beep at us.   It’s what normal kids do!”
I give the dad look in the mirror.

“You didn’t beep!  Why did you say that if you didn’t beep…. I do think like it.   What if she is in trouble? You’re just going to let them drive her and hide her way!  What if it was me?!  I could be gone forever..” Jesse works her six year old magic on us.

“Well, Mom should we give her to them too? I mean it would be a shame for the other girl to be alone.”  I smile looking at Mom.  Apparently, humor is in short supply today.

Stone Walled

image
Photo credit: Pixabay

Written as part of a challenge called Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner, https://rogershipp.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/flash-fiction-for-the-purposeful-practitioner-week-16-2016/

“Those are the directions…” Michael looks at Jackson.

They look around.  The GPS states you have arrived at your destination.  The shopping mall looks nothing like “Garden of the Gods”.

“I think Siri heard Olive Garden!” Jackson points to a chain restaurant.

“Remember the map.  You folded it.  It had streets and highways.  Green colors for parks. Hey, why don’t we ask directions?” Michael ponders throwing an apple as far as it will go.

Watching Waves

Written as part of a challenge called Flash Fiction for the purposeful practitioner. Details can be found at https://rogershipp.wordpress.com/2016/03/31/flash-fiction-for-the-purposeful-practitioner-week-15-2016/

“Stop saying ‘It’s just the circle of life’.  I mean it makes no sense.   Plain stupid, if you ask me.” Oliver splashes water over at Gabriella.

“It is.  The small fish eat the big fish.  They die and get picked apart by small fish.  The plants get eaten by cows.  The cows feed us.  The waste is cycled back as fertilizer.  Everything completes the cycle.”  She ignores her younger brother and talks to the sea.

“So I get ate by a shark,the little fish pick at me after I become shark meat.  Right?” Oliver can’t find a better way to aggravate sister.

“No, Oliver. You would be shit out and the kelp would be fertilized.  The little fish would eat the kelp.  The shark gets to eat twice.”  Gabriella’s smile shows how much thought she put in her response.

Oliver decides to watch the waves instead of talking to his sister.

The operation

image

“We have visuals!   The subject’s in sight.  Copy.” Radios click on and off.

“Audio is a negative.   Can we adjust those?” The response comes

“We are balancing white noise out.   We have drones in reserve.  Proceed with caution.   We are partially blind here without sound.”  Identical voices volley back and forth.

“We have moved into position.   Sixty feet from target.  How are those audio tracks coming along?”

“We have mini drone deployed.   Sound will be in ten seconds.  We will perch number 2 on branch to their left.”

“Roger that.  We see the deal is going down.  We have view of money being exchanged.   Subject 1 has target green box, Subject 2 has received $20.”

“Be advised unrelated target engaging your position”

A half drank cop of pop drenches a secret operative.

“We have taken a hit.   Electronics are failing.   We have to maneuver decoy back to the van. Repeat, we need to return to van!”

“Negative!  We can’t risk losing these subjects!   Sit tight.”

“Audio confirming deal. … ‘sir would you like to buy some cookies for the scouts’  We have a wrap.   They have no license for distribution.  Leave the trash can and apprehend the subjects! “

The depth of a view

image

The churning, clicking sounds flood the mill. The long lines of antiquated machines thrust needles into fabrics.   Dust, linen and lint swirl through the air.   The breaking dawn paints it all golden.

“Lily, run to the office.  We have a shut down on line three.” Betsy looks st her little charge.   Younger legs are far better.   She remembers back when her school was traded for the mill.  She sighs.  Families have to eat.

Lily runs across the outside hall.   Sunlight streams through the windows above the workroom floor. She stops to peer out to the world beyond. 

A school distance by feet but lifetimes away.   Girls like her giggle.   They chase each other.   The carelessness is overwhelming.   Her world is alien to them, too.

A bell and chimes hours of behind her.   Her trip to the office continues.

Written as part of a weekly challenge called Flash Fiction for the Purposeful practitioners. https://rogershipp.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/flash-fiction-for-the-purposeful-practitioner-week-10-2016/

Way Back

image

Nothing is ever as easy as it looks.  My mind fills with… realization.

I sit in a pint sized chair.   My favorite Tonka truck in my hand.  I’m way too old for this.  I survey the place.   First memories were here.  Betty, Kiel, Suzie, Joe and Miss Miller.  I’m at Castle Day Care.  I started fifty years in the future.   The toys, books, walls and people are all the same.

We’re surrounding a black and white tv.  Mr Peabody and his boy Sherman.  

“Oh no!  It can’t be! Just can’t be!”  I yell.   My hands throws the truck across the room.

I stare into the eyes of an angry Miss Miller.  She wants answers.   She wants them now!

How do I explain that I will invent the Way Back Machine.  I’m four outside, decades older inside.   The building will become condos at the time I travel here.

“Miss Miller, you got to believe me!   I will invent a Way Back Machine!  Really!”  Hotels words grin a little kid.

“Sherman, today we are going back fifty years.  We will see the start of the War to End All Wars! ”  fron the tv, Mr Peabody sets the machine for 1912.

“No! No!  I’m the one from fifty years in the future! ” I plead to both the tv and Miss Miller.

“Someone’s going to the corner or nap time!”  Miss Miller demands. “When you are ready to tell me the truth, then we will talk! ”

My nightmare begins.

Written as part of a weekly challenge called Flash Fiction for the Purposeful practitioners, https://rogershipp.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/flash-fiction-for-the-purposeful-practitioner-week-9-2016/

The Royal Path of Life

image

There it was. You could see the corner of the folded yellowed parchment sticking out of the torn lining of the battered book. Its letter from Auntie telling Timothy about knowledge.

Timothy carefully places the old tome on the counter.

“Miriam,  lovely to see you again. I was wondering if you could help me with something?”  His big smile accents a well worn face.  His features craved by years of hard living.

“Well, sir.  What can I do for you today?” Miriam has no idea who he really is.  Bank tellers just smile, small talk them away.

“I would like to inventory the Franklin’s, Grant’ s and Jackson’s in your drawer.  Oh, sorry, how are your three kids? And how do you ever get then in that Prius?” Timothy quietly responds.  He teaches up and taps on the book.  “If you’re quiet, then I’m quiet. No dye packs, no daycare visits.”

“Sir?! Is this a..”

“Yes, its a lovely day.  Hate to ruin it for others.”  The book tapping gets loud

She gulps hard.  Eyes never leave his unguarded face.  Fingers find bills and a blue change bag.  Alarm button goes unpushed.  Thoughts of those children smiling in that picture beside her.

“Thank you Miriam!   I hope you have a great day.   Auntie told me learned people can use books to get ahead in thus world. She was right.” He picks up the bag and book turning for the door.

Outside the sun shines on his face.   No alarms. No pursuers.   The police station across the street is quiet.

Truly the book is correct, “The Royal Path of Life”

Written as part of a weekly challenge called Flash Fiction for the Purposeful practitioners
https://rogershipp.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/flash-fiction-for-the-purposeful-practitioner-week-8-2016/