(Photo by Kent Bonham)
The beggar crouched in his doorway, unmistakable once you knew it was there. He watched the crowds swell and dwindle with each market day, jingling his cup if any passersby looked his way. The children raced bicycles up the stone ramps where proud men once guided carts full of herbs, spices, dried figs, zaatar bread – all the smells he remembered from long ago.
He was old. Older than anyone imagined.
The hawkers cried out, “Fresh pomegranates! Strawberry marzipan! Finest rugs and throws!”, but always the beggar lifted one ear for the call that would surely come one day.
“New lamps for old!”
Today’s flash fiction is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, with photo prompt by Kent Bonham. Kent’s beautiful photo from Jerusalem turned me into a slightly more Arabic bent, and I was reminded of the tales of Aladdin. What might happen to an old trickster, waiting to regain his power? The Friday Fictioneers strive to produce a 100-word story each week, and you can read more of them right HERE.
The Cracker Jack drawer was my favorite.
The cupboards built under the stairs were as old as the house itself, and required much pulling and coaxing to surrender their treasures. I rooted through trunks and armoires during my summer week with grandparents. Once I discovered the bin of yesteryear’s prizes, I barely missed television or neighborhood kids.
A lick-and-stick tattoo,
a plastic party snapper,
miniscule magnifying glasses …
the detritus of an old woman’s love for caramel corn and a hoarder’s sense of preservation. These remnants considerately left in an accessible bottom drawer for children to discover anew each season.
I didn’t even mind the silent dinners.
Many thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting the Friday Fictioneers group. Each week a photo prompt is given with a request for 100-word stories. You can read more flash pieces by visiting the site and clicking on the collections link. As my interests include both flash fiction and creative nonfiction, my contributions vary in genre. I trust you will find even life itself to be a good story.
“Look at that. It’s not even finished, but we’re using it as an observatory already.”
“For what this house cost, it should dial Mars and deliver pizza from Pluto.”
“It’s certainly a dream house.”
“Mmmm. Too bad Barbie and Ken couldn’t keep it together long enough to live in it.”
“I don’t regret a thing.”
“I regret everything.”
“They’re almost here. They’re going to make us get down now.”
“I suppose you want to go first, like always.”
“No, that’s fine. You go ahead. I’d like a little more time up here.”
“We can always skip the ladder. Go at the same time.”
“Well, it’s one way to stay together.”
Thanks to David Stewart for contributing the photo inspiration, and to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog. You can read more 100-word stories based on this photo HERE.