She hitched her bag back over her shoulder and stepped off the path. Hidden in the ferns, she had time to think. Was there another way to get to the hill? Could she wait it out? Should she confront it?
A million more questions plagued her, comforted her, kept her still in body, if not mind.
She was stuck in the safety of not moving on.
The rock was fairly small for a boulder in these parts, wasn’t it? Or was it large? She didn’t dare peek, relying on the accuracy of memory.
Fear danced with reality and the rock became a boulder, then three, then a wall. Late morning shadows stretched before her, creating shapes of all that the obstacle could be.
Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath, another, another… On opening them, she saw the dark shape of the ferns. Felt the fear of the woman waiting in them. She stepped out from behind the stone, reached out her hand, and walked with her to the hill.
Here is my attempt at #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent. (So pleased Sue was feeling able to bring #writephoto back. Please do visit and write a little something.)
She got a Disney princess dress for Halloween two years ago. Now she wears that stupid costume, and crown, every day.
We’re the Lemond twins but, in our neighborhood, we’re known as the Lemon Queens. And it’s because of my sister. She turned a serious business into a joke. And I hate her.
After the cards, cakes, and casseroles stopped, I opened a lemonade stand. I made the drinks myself. People said it was tasty. It wasn’t. I smiled. They knew we needed money and I knew to be nice, so we both pretended.
She never had that screen installed and cursed herself for it now. Nothing stood between them. “Aren’t you going to invite me in?”
She shifted, torn, wondering if she should relent or fight. Quickly dismissing her chances winning, she thought of running. How far could she get? Her eyes darted to the back slider, the yard beyond stretching into dense woods.
“It’s cold out here. You going to make me push my way past you?”
“What? Oh, sweetie, you caught me off guard,” she smiled, shield up. “Come in, please. What a pleasant surprise.”
Outside, wind howled, rain pounded our windows, but that was nothing compared to what was happening inside.
In our kitchen, my brother’s storm startled me even more than Mother Nature’s.
It arrived with a force that sent my dog running. I wanted to follow but I stayed, frozen, under my mother’s glare. I had to stay, always, so as not to make my brother feel bad.
Him. We don’t want him to feel bad. Because, with changes in routine, like pizza being delivered with mushrooms alongside the pepperoni, he struggles. But, standing near his pizza-fueled rage, I struggle, too.