When I first met Flick, it didn’t occur to me that he was a strange creature. He had a pair of jet black wings sprouting from his back, beautiful golden eyes, and a mouth that never smiled. All I saw was a sad little boy who needed my help. His wing had been injured and his shining eyes had a haunted look that always stayed with me. I was only seven then, and I had spent two lonely months out in the middle of nowhere, desperate for a friend.
I gathered supplies and helped him doctor his wing while I told him about my boring summer vacation in the country. In return, he solemnly told me of beautiful places beyond the clouds that he was afraid he’d never see again.
By the end of that day, we were laughing together as we ate freshly baked cookies and drank cold milk. That night, I dragged sleeping bags and pillows to my treehouse to make him comfortable. I told my parents I was making a fort and wanted to camp outside. They were relieved I was out of their hair, so they let me. Flick and I ate our midnight snack, bundled up in the sleeping bags, and fell asleep snuggled together under the stars.
She sat in a stained cotton chemise, half a moth-eaten blanket wrapped about her shoulders for warmth. Outside her cabin, the wind gusted, pulling free the reddening leaves and leaving bare branches in its wake. Her dress lay crumpled in her lap as she carefully stitched sleeves onto it. The worn fabric tore from too many years of carefully removing and replacing the sleeves. Each rip brought with it a fresh wave of tears.
Her sister fell ill at winter’s end last year and she wasted away for months before succumbing to death’s embrace. When the flies brought summer’s plague, she lost her mother who had never quite regained her will to live after burying her eldest daughter as she had her youngest years before. This winter she was alone. This winter she had no one to huddle against for warmth at night on her lumpy, straw mattress. Continue reading
They say that an angel fell here. The story has passed throughout this apple grove from picker to picker. A guardian angel–beautiful, they say. Her hair is as red as the peel of the red delicious. Her skin is as white and pure as the juiciest fruit that this orchard grows.
Fifty years ago on this day, if you believe such things, the angel spied on a young picker as he sat in the shade eating his lunch on the hottest day of the year. There, glistening in the hot sun, his shirt caked in salt, the young man reached up and picked the perfect apple. He took as large a bite as his jaw would allow, letting the juice of the ruby red fruit run down his chin. Continue reading
Kate checked the clock on the wall for the seventh time in the last hour. It ticked too slowly for her racing heart. She pulled the note out of her pocket, its edges worn from being folded and unfolded so many times, even though he had only given it to her that afternoon.
Meet me in our field, just before sunrise. – Nate
Pulling the curtains back, Kate searched the sky for signs of sunlight. It was too early – only 4:21 AM – but she couldn’t help feeling like she should leave now. She ran through every possibility in her mind.
What if she got lost in the dark?
What if one of her siblings woke up and caught her before she got out the door?
What if someone followed her and stopped her before she could get there?
What if she went through all of this trouble and Nathan never showed?
He’d been acting strange for weeks: canceling their plans at the last minute, never returning her calls or texts, skipping class, making weak excuses for everything. She knew he had been under significant stress between school and working nearly 30 hours a week. Kate had watched as his responsibilities piled up, leaving cracks in his façade. She was afraid that this time, the cracks ran deep enough to break him in two.
A crow cawed outside, not three feet from her kitchen window and Kate nearly jumped out of her skin. She looked at the clock again. 4:26 AM.
Screw it, she thought. Kate grabbed her coat and walked out the door.
The Confabulators are always looking for different types of prompts to fuel our creative endeavors. Thus far, we’ve used both themes and specific words for our stories. We thought we’d try something different this month. For May, we are using a photo prompt.
The Confabulators have played with the idea that a picture is worth a thousand words before. This time, we all wrote a story in response to the same picture. The internet fairies chose this photo for us to write about.
Enjoy this month’s stories, and think about where you might have taken a story based on this photo.
Join us every Monday in May for new fiction. You can find the schedule below:
Monday, May 4: “Molting” by Christie O. Hall
Monday, May 11: “One Last Harvest” by Jack Campbell, Jr.
Monday, May 18: “When Dawn Breaks” by Eliza Jaquays
Monday, May 25: “The Boy with the Golden Eyes” by Sara Lundberg