In between final tweaks to Brienne and Draxton, building a very tiny diorama (check my Instagram for the finished project), screwing up a post here forcing me to repost it, and choosing the couple for Izabel, I carved out a moment for a tiny piece of flash fiction. The prompt came from the same location as the others and isn’t a very happy story. So, if you’re not in a good place right now, maybe wait until you’re ready for it.
Summer, 2016 is based on the image below with the prompt “Who are these girls? Sisters, friends, a couple? Where are they and what are they doing?” I’m not that great with photo prompts featuring people, so I did as before and turned the photo into just that. A photograph. The original didn’t have the faux-Polaroid frame or the date, thank you Paint Shop Pro, but it fit for the story.
As always, if anyone else wants to play along, feel free to paste yours in the comments below, link to your own site, or on my Facebook page.
I cradle the photo in my hand and try not to cry. Try not to remember. We’d planned the trip for months, scraping and saving every spare penny and dropping it into a jar. Other things went there, too. Ideas for where to go. URLs to interesting places. Scraps of a time and place where everything was going right, even if it wasn’t going well. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we had each other. That was enough. It had always been enough.
We never even made it out of the county. Debris on the road took out a tire. We took it as a sign. That the universe was telling us ‘not yet.’ We needed to wait. So we sat in the back, told ridiculous stories about the Trip That Wasn’t, and waited for a tow. The driver took the picture. He said it was the happiest he’d ever seen one of his clients.
It didn’t last. It couldn’t. The cracks grew with every lean meal, every decision on which bill had to be paid and which could wait, every denied pleasure because it strained an already anemic income. Until finally, it shattered. Love doesn’t always survive when survival itself is hard.
I cradle the photo in my hand and try not to cry.
I fail at that, too.