Friday Fiction: 100 Word Challenge

Friday Fiction: 100 Word Challenge

Friday Fiction: 100 Word Challenge

A quote: “Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.” ~~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

I’ll start with a story …

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A nurse looks up from mom’s bedside, a slight nod at me and retreats.

In the bed the tiny remanent of mom seems swallowed in soft white pillows and sheets like a little girl in a snowstorm. Her eyes open to find mine.

“And?”

“Found it, right where you said it was.”

Dad had courted her, first with anonymous notes, later gifts of things like polished stones and books of poetry.

I press into her hand the small, carefully dried wildflowers that had been his proposal, reach over to wipe a tear from her cheek and to kiss her forehead.

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Now, it’s your turn.
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. featured image, cropped, Adobe Stock standard license.

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6 Comments
  • Cameron says:

    There was no way Old Earth would trace our group to this planet and we set about building civilization. We were happy but I could see the sadness in my wife’s eyes.

    It was sheer chance I found one of the photos she’d hidden away. I studied for several minutes and an idea formed. I called one of the fabricators and we got to work.

    When she’d finished her shift as a teacher, I’d already been making dinner. She looked outside at my insistence and saw the gardening shed and the watering can. The sadness left her eyes that day.

  • Pettifogger says:

    “May I hold her?” I asked.

    “Of course,” my wife said, passing our infant daughter to me. “Be sure to support her head.”

    She fit on my forearm, her head in my palm. “Joy” is inadequate. Rapture, perhaps. A new life. In my arms, our new daughter, our first child. Life would never be the same. It would be better.

    From the perspective of 43 years, that is still so. My life is richer than I could have imagined before. And yet a second daughter came. Then a grandson. No man deserves as much as I have.

  • Fletch says:

    Well see, there’s these girls from China you can order through the catalog.

    You know me, how my hands are knobby and my teeth all snaggled up. Weren’t no girl wanted me. But it gets lonely on the farm, so I just, I… decided to take a chance.

    She ain’t no looker, I’ll tell you that. Her face is wide and her nose is flat.

    She couldn’t speak no English, so I taught her. She did things around the house, like putting a bow on the bucket or curtains in the Windows. Little things… nice things.

    It’ll be our 20th anniversary come September. We, both of us, are a little knobby and snuggled in the tooth. And, well, I couldn’t imagine my life without her.

  • Navig8r says:

    Daughter had long dreamed of a ladder-window elopement and simple hillbilly wedding. Wife wasn’t having it. Finally a compromise was reached. Daughter would get her themes, but it would be a Hollywood production worthy of Cecil B. DeMille.

    Ladder- rented, extra.

    Window set- rented, extra. In weathered wood- extra.

    Pseudo-army boots (as in your mother wears)-rented, extra. In formal white- extra.

    Fathers of brides learn that almost everything to do with a wedding is rented and extra.

    Father of the bride’s shotgun- not rented. Formal white powder coating, extra, but I will have it for many winter goose hunting seasons.

  • Leigh Kimmel says:

    The package arrived at Sparta Point by a roundabout path that involved a dead-drop post office box and two trusted couriers. However, the return address left no question in Elaine’s mind that this was a family matter.

    She opened it with equal parts anticipation and trepidation. Under the sheaf of pages covered in legalese was a small metal vessel with a long spout. The enamel designs of flowers and vegetables remained visible under the encrustations of rust, which were more extensive than she remembered.

    “Oh my God.” The words caught in her throat.

    Spartan rested a hand on her shoulder. “What is it, love?”

    “It’s, it’s Grandma Miller’s watering can.” Memories came pouring in, of childhood visits to the old home place on her mother’s side of the family. Of walking alongside her grandmother, helping tend the various flowers and ornamentals that grew all around the big old farmhouse and trying to imagine Mom or Aunt Kate being her age and living here.

    How could she explain to her husband, who’d never known any of his grandparents, his parents having both been orphaned amidst the turmoils that had gripped their native land in those days? Would telling only remind him of his own truncated family tree?

    His expression shifted from curiosity to sympathy. “Now she’s gone, and you never got to say good-bye.”

    Elaine nodded, too choked up for words. At that moment the children came running in to see what the commotion was.

    When they saw the old watering can and heard its story, they immediately became excited. “Let’s go out and water the garden.”

    Elaine tensed, holding it tight to herself. Spartan inclined his head. “Your grandmother gave it to you to be used, not to sit on a shelf like a museum piece.”

    With that they all walked outside together to tend the gardens of Sparta Point.

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