Another superberific Wednesday Writer’s Blog Hop Photo-Prompt Flash Fiction challenge hosted this week by the indomitable Leanne Sype at: Writings and Ruminations!
The rules are simple: The photo below and all five words must be featured in the piece that is to be no longer than 500 words.
Wagon Shark Navel Bulb Banana
Damn the Dorsal
Laughter, carefree and innocent, brought him back to the present. Whatever it was that had taken his attention before he couldn’t remember.
He heard Caroline shriek with joy as her brother pushed her around the backyard in the old Red Flyer wagon.
Her voice startled him. He spun around.
She was standing by the window.
He hadn’t expected her. He swallowed the growing lump in his throat.
She smiled at him.
He couldn’t hold back. His throat tightened, his eyes misted—he tried to stop it—then his body shook with violent sobs.
“Oh..!” The word escaped like a moan, and he cradled his head in his hands. Once spent, he wiped his eyes, and looked up.
She was gone.
“Cynthia..? No … please don’t go. I miss you.”
He dropped to the floor, overcome by wave after wave of agonizing memories, his own immeasurable love for her bursting his heart again and again until there were no more memories left at all, only pain; all-encompassing anguish, like a pure primordial emotion drawn from the very navel of the Earth.
He raised his teary, mucus-smeared face from the floor.
The twins stood by the door holding hands, as they always did.
“Hey, Bumblebees.” He tried to smile.
“You saw mommy.”
He nodded. Tears flowed again.
Both children held their grieving father. They pet his head and rubbed his back with all the pure love that children possess.
“You need to stop this, Daddy.”
“I know, son.” he said, trying to compose himself.
“Michael means it, Daddy.” Caroline affirmed. “We can’t stay any longer.”
“Stay..?” He raised his head.
They were gone.
” You need to be strong now, Daddy.”
The floor collapsed beneath him, and he screamed as he plummeted down into an abysmal darkness.
He sat up in bed with a shout. Sheets clung to his sweat-drenched body. Tears still ran down his careworn face that showed evidence of alcohol abuse.
He rubbed his face, then climbed out of his squeaky bed. He pulled off his soaked undershirt, throwing it across the room to land on the radiator of his tiny studio. He thought to move it—could start a fire—then decided he didn’t give a shit.
He went to the fridge. The flickering bulb revealed two beers, a black, half-eaten banana, and something overrun with mold. He pushed the science experiment out of sight, then grabbed a beer and the banana.
He sat on the edge of the bed and alternately took bites and swigs.
He hadn’t had a bad one like that in weeks. It was always there though, like a shark lurking in the dark just below the surface, you never knew when it was going to strike.
Cynthia had died bringing the twins into this world. They were killed six years later, holding hands and skipping home from school as they always did.
He downed his beer.
That’s what they were doing now, he was sure; holding hands and skipping home.
Word Count: 500