Miriam settled on the beach for the final time trying to keep the fond memoires fresh in her mind. She never expected to be here, much less take back such treasured memories. It was all a mistake, her being here. First there was the mysterious invitation she received in her email. But it was from Bradley, the guy she lost her heart to as a freshman at the university. Any chance to re-board that train was one she would take.
How could she know it wasn’t from him but from his roommate, Eric, who had loved her from afar for the whole time the trio worked their way through their courses. She liked Eric and wondered why he always complicated her efforts to be with Bradley. Only this weekend did she learn the truth of his affections. Eric had begged Bradley to create the opportunity.
Now as she sat holding his hand she wondered what her new reality could be.
Elyse Begley watched her subjects as they reacted to her latest test cycle. There was a good variety of needs represented in her two dozen patients. None of her colleagues ever admitted trying an alternative treatment such as this, but that did not deter Elyse. She embraced technology such as virtual reality glasses as a regular component of her psychology work. Her assistant, a new graduate student, watched in amazement as the experiment played out.
“What are they seeing?” Kelsey asked.
“It depends. Every mind is different. Plus there are different medicines at work in every brain.”
Elyse was especially interested in the experience of Les. He was her most troubled patient. She really wanted this to help him. He needed to be able to function again. The world knew him by his pen name, H.A. Marcum. His claim to fame was a series of best selling mysteries that kept the world breathless every three months when another rolled off the press. But it had been almost eight months since his last success.
Bill Turner was tired. Tired of doing the same old stories every year. He was the senior reporter for the Beacon Herald and had covered every story coming out of Penley River for thirty-seven years. Included in that number was twenty-seven times that he covered the Woodchuck festival. Everyone loved to rib him with the old joke “How much wood could a wood chuck chuck?” Bill really didn’t care. It was his final time having to endure this, so he sucked in a deep breath and headed off to do the work.
Bill made his way through the usual jumble of furry creatures eager to show off their skill. He gradually wound through the crowd to find a couple of sheets tied between two trees. When he parted the sheets he was met with a huge round of applause.
There was a wooden statue of him to the right and a brand new wooden fishing boat like the one of which he dreamed. Several woodchucks stood smiling as they watched the crusty newsman wiping his tears.
“For treating us like equals!” the wood chuck spokesman said.
I always told Rita if the was twenty-five years younger I would have swept her off her feet and marry her within 24 hours. She was comfortable with the decision to be alone. But that didn’t mean she wasn’t still willing to find my one true love.
I found myself looking for Table 19 when I arrived at the diner for my 4th Rita arranged date. I settled in to grab a menu so as to not look so conspicuous as I waited.
“Why is he at my table?” I heard a woman shriek. “I always eat at 19!”
Rita tried to reason with the woman, but she was unmovable.
Free food, a stack of coupons, nothing Rita offered seemed to satisfy the demands.
“Ma’am,” I said. “Please excuse the inconvenience. I was meeting a blind date, but I am sorry to cause you trouble.”
“Okay Kelsey, you can come,” the woman said suddenly different.
I turned to see a gorgeous girl approach.
“I’m her gatekeeper, and you pass my test”
Professor Cranston was tough. He was so old that the history he taught was current events when he was just a toddler. The technologically savvy members of the class had spent untold hours looking for some way to peg his age. There was even a running pool in the class supplemented each week of the semester no one successfully guessed his age. If no one could figure it out by the end of the class today the six hundred dollar pot would be disbursed back to its origins
For the eighth time this semester the class was back where Cranston’s ancestors wagon still sat, mired in mud. The wagon looked authentic, so the class believed him when he said it was. Everyone’s eyes glassed over as Cranston ended the last class with this lecture.
Then he smiled broadly as he reached under the wagon and retrieved an envelope. From within he retrieved a yellowed document. He turned the document to his class and let them see the words Birth Certificate.
“Thank you so much for the $600 contribution to my retirement fund!”
Thanks Maria for offering this week’s prompt.
“I know their is a skeleton down there. I saw it during the dry season. If you jump in that area you will land on it.” Sherry said panic in her voice and etched on her face.
“A skeleton? Really Sherry, how many horror movies did you watch this week?” Bram joked. He continued to slide off his shoes and socks before he attempted the double somersault he had declared would be his showcase dive into the cool refreshing pool.
“Bram I mean it. If you jump in there I am leaving. I don’t want to see you die here.”
“Okay. First of all, if there is a skeleton it is inanimate, not a chance it will try to harm me. If I land on it the skeleton will disintegrate and then you can follow me in.”
Sherry look anxiously at the water. She breathed hard as she considered his words. She was nearly sold until he dove in and came up holding something that resembled a leg bone.
Neither Anna or Neil had ever witnessed the awesome power of a volcanic eruption, so trying to gauge the amount of terror they felt as they heard the mighty Mount Kelly belch out the super-heated lava and acrid black smoke was meaningless.
There, that tree,” Neil said.
“Seriously? That twig?” Anna protested.
“When I choose between saving or sacrificing my life I don’t get picky,” Neil shouted over the deafening roar.
“Of course. You are right. I just am so scared I cannot think straight.” She shuddered as she stole a look at the ominous natural disaster at her back.
Neil fashioned a lasso out of the length of rope he fished from his back pack. Their whole future rested on three things: his ability to lasso the tree, its strength and the estimation of how far it was from this ledge to the one that promised an escape.
While I am deep into reading others A to Z Challenge posts I still want to offer up my regular fiction photo prompt responses. I enjoy the creativity and brevity of making a story pop with just a few words. Come along for the fun, you can find out how here: FFfAW.
“Well. I can tell you it is early twentieth century in origin,” the expert began. He continued to expound on the wherewithal of the piece as Kate’s mind wandered. She had coveted this day for years. Finally the Antique Roadshow was close enough to tote her mother’s prized possession over for a looksee. This old painting had hung over the fireplace in their home for her whole life, all seventy-three years.
“The style tells us this family was well to do, maybe even aristocratic,” the expert continued. Kate could imagine now, just as she had countless times the sound of the piano as the man allowed his fingers to find the keys needed to support the woman’s singing. Kate managed to fit many of her old classical favorites into this scene. This was something from her childhood she vowed never to part with.
“OH MY!” the expert said when he squinted at the artist’s signature.
“What?” Kate asked.
“Would you consider selling this? I’ll give you two million!”
Burke chided himself silently as he tuned his guitar. He could hear the words of his mother saying “you always speak before you think son.” Impetuous, she had called him. Burke felt he was spirited, eager or some positive adjective. Either way he was in another predicament. This one wouldn’t kill him any quicker than most adventures he lived.
This jerk in the bar put down $1000 to say Burke could not continue to make music on his own without repeating a song for twelve hours. Burke wasn’t sure he could, but when the guy began to verbally abuse Sydney, Burke’s dream girl who was a waitress in the bar Burke’s lot was cast.
Now he scrambled to think of what songs he could play between now and 7 pm tonight.