Lina looked at the aging blossom in her balcony, eagerly sucking up every drop of rain nature had to offer. The edges of its petals were dark and she could see small holes in the rose. But, it persistently held on. Lina did not know how long she could persist. She thought back to when she was healthy, young, and idle. Now she wanted to make everyday count, no matter how numbered her days were. Determined, she limped painfully from her coffee table to her laptop. Even the morose Robin of the Willow sang with unusual energy and vigor.
“Was this the mail you were reading?” the young lieutenant passed a letter to Henry.
“Thank you,” Henry took it and wondered if he was expected to salute the lieutenant
The lieutenant hesitated, “I found this under the wires. It probably fell from your pocket.” Henry looked at the bruises in the lieutenant’s hands where the barbed wires had cut him. He took the crumpled photo of his girlfriend. “Thank you,” he said, quietly.
The lieutenant saluted him and walked away. Henry stared at his back, then walked back to his tent to join the other prisoners of war.
This was written for the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes a sugar report. Use its original meaning of a letter from a sweetheart to a soldier, or invent a new use for it. Go where the prompt leads!
“Wait here. I will be back,” he told me as he walked inside the house, coughing. He stumbled and I heard a loud crash. I wanted to check on him, but he had asked me to wait. I heard a voice sobbing softly. People came and left, wooden-faced. That evening, I smelled lilies and heard the wail of terrifying silence. Everyone from his house came out, except him. I knew where he was kept. Should I follow him? But, he had said he would be back. I waited in the garden, amongst the daisies. He always kept his word.
Peter turned off the alarm clock in haste. It was 9. In 15 minutes, he was in the living room, ready for office. However, there was no sign of breakfast. “Maisy, where is my breakfast?” She stared at him and turned away. Peter had slapped her yesterday and she was acting up. The next day was the same and so was the next. If he made extra food, meaning to save some for the night, she ate everything. Anger rose in him, but he thought of its consequences. “Maisy,” he began in a low voice, “I am extremely sorry.”
“I want to thank my parents for encouraging me.” Cheryl’s eyes scanned the nooks and corners as she spoke what she had memorized before the concert. “A special thanks to my music teacher…” Aunt Thelma was huddled in a corner, her eyes shining. She had taken Cheryl to her piano lessons every alternate day, learned piano for her and practiced with her. But, there was no mention of her in the speech prepared by her dad and supervised by her mom. “Thank you, Aunt Thelma” whispered Cheryl. Thelma could not hide her tear-streaked cheeks and a subtle, victorious smile.
Vimmi felt the caressing breeze and inhaled the scent of pine trees. “What does the Kumaon Valley look like?” she asked. “Fabulous.” He replied, guiltily. She had always wanted to come to Nainital for their honeymoon, but Vikas had refused marriage for 7 years, citing his career. Vimmi backtracked after her accident, but Vikas refused to go away. He had not realized her love for nature and her fervent desire to visit Nainital until now. “Why don’t you take a walk while I wait here?” she smiled. “I am scared.” He replied, helping her up. “You lead the way.”
Fali looked out of his cabin window. He recalled his dad’s toothy smile, their old boat, and his simple childhood as a fisherman’s son. He still heard his dad’s wild laughter, echoing in the sea. Now nobody around him laughed loudly and neither did Fali. They smiled out of necessity. However, one thing did not change. The waters had ruled his father’s life and now they ruled his. “Sir, the Captain’s cocktail party begins in 10 minutes.” A young officer stood there. Captain Fali Dastur nodded his head without bothering to smile. He followed the officer to the deck.
Tough-looking muscled men chopped the trees, cutting nature’s artwork to make way for furniture. Loud women worked with them, chatting and laughing. The little one hid behind the trees, glad that she had no legs. She was scared that they would find her out. She nibbled on the cakes and fruits they had left in the corner. It was the same every year; she longed for new cream cakes and pastries. She paused, startled. A man came quite close to her. If the little one had a heart, it would have thudded. But, she had died 5 years ago.