(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.
“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.
No one would steal his car on the streets of Tijuana. It made the search so much easier. He wondered what one of them would say, when finally found – the girls whose pictures he tucked in the door. He flicked his thumb around the edges of the latest addition. A girl called Rita. No parents, no friends to miss her.
He’d been a California detective for thirty years. Each one of the faces on his left had disappeared on his watch. It was another day off, and another day following the trail.
Photo credit belongs to Beth Carter, fellow Friday Fictioneer, for this amazing photo!
I first thought of Tijuana, Mexico when looking at this photo because of the experience my parents had when visiting a health clinic there. Needing a ride over the border from San Diego, they got a “taxi” that was anything but shiny and yellow (although not as bad as this!). The driver explained that his car was specifically for this purpose, as any nicer vehicles soon lost their hubcaps, radios, and anything else that could be appropriated.
Many thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting the Friday Fictioneers! Each Friday brings a new photo prompt and the challenge to write a story in just 100 words. Follow the group on FaceBook or via Twitter – #FridayFictioneers. Please visit more Fictioneers for some Friday Flash fun!