Happy belated Friday, Readers! Another week, come and gone. Now it’s time for Friday Fictioneers! Thanks to Rochelle as always, for hosting, and this week to Marie Gail Stratford for our photo. Enjoy this 100 word story! Today’s title and story was inspired by this hymn (Bring Flowers of the Rarest).
Flowers of the Fairest
“Yes, Sweetheart?” her mother answered, not pausing in washing the dishes.
She dutifully turned, hands still in the soapy water. A grinning, curly-haired five-year old girl held up a fistful of fresh roses for her mother to see. “I even used the scissors like you do, Mommy!”
The mother turned back to peer out of the kitchen window. Sure enough, her diligently cared for roses were picked clean. She lifted her eyes to heaven, took a deep breath, then turned back around with a smile. She grabbed a towel. “They’re beautiful, honey. Let’s get a vase.”
Their bed was cold when he woke, blearily looking at the clock. 4:08 A.M.
His wife was sitting bundled in a blanket in front of the patio door, gazing out at the snow. A mug of tea sat on the floor beside her, still faintly steaming. He came up and sat behind her. She leaned back so she was nestled between his legs and against his chest.
“Couldn’t sleep?” he murmured.
“I just wanted to watch the snow,” she whispered. “It’s beautiful.”
She smiled softly and nestled further into him, and they stayed that way until dawn.
He helped her carefully onto the dock, holding her waist to steady her as she stepped out of the canoe. The look on her face was like a storm cloud, dark and ready to burst. The corners of his mouth twitched.
She took a few steps and deliberately wrung out her shirt and hair, not saying a word. He took that opportunity to appreciate the glimpse of her bare stomach and the way her clothes clung to all her curves.
“Well, you did say you would probably tip us over.”
She glared and stomped her foot. “You pushed me in!”
Happy Friday, Readers! I have returned with a brand new Friday Fictioneers. As per usual, thanks is given to Rochelle for hosting this weekly prompt, and to J Hardy Carroll for providing this week’s photo. Enjoy this short story!
Hot and Sweet
“I’m a mess,” she laughed, holding up her sticky cotton candy fingers for him to see.
“When aren’t you?” His eyes crinkled with his smile. She laughed again, shrugging.
“Let’s get you cleaned up.”
Then her fingers were in his mouth. The tinkling carousel, the noisy crowds, the crackling country music blaring over the loudspeakers; all faded under the thunder of her heartbeat in her ears. Neither said a word until he finished. The hot July air around them thickened unbearably.
He spoke first. “Race to the fun slide?”
The tension broke. She grinned and took off running in answer.
Happy Friday, Readers! Sorry to leave you hanging with my last story (Emmeline is a spy? Who knew?) but we’re making a jump back in time this week with Friday Fictioneers. We’re visiting a scene from Emmeline’s past. But don’t worry, I’ll return to the present soon. Enjoy!
Happy Friday, Readers! We’ve made it through another week! Now it’s time for Friday Fictioneers (which again, I am so sorry for skipping last week). Back to Nick and Emmeline’s story. I am sorry (not sorry) to say the cliffhangers are just going to keep on coming. Special thanks to Rochelle for providing the prompt, and to J Hardy Carroll for this week’s photo. Enjoy!
P.S. For those of you who celebrate it, Happy Michaelmas!
Price, Emmeline Price
He’s a what?”
Nick stared at Emmeline, mouth open. She squeezed his hand again. “Stay calm, dear. Whatever I tell you, just react as if we were having a normal conversation over breakfast.”
He took a large sip of his coffee and scaled his tongue. Wincing, he said in lower tones, “How the hell did you get mixed up with an Armenian weapons dealer?”
“It’s a long story.”
“We have time.”
“Then I guess I’ll start at the beginning.” She gazed at their entwined hands, but didn’t say more.
Readers…I skipped last week’s Friday Fictioneers! I’m sorry about that. To make it up to you, here’s a continuation of Nick and Emmeline’s story using WordPress’s Daily One Word Prompt: Focused.
The usual Friday Fictioneers post will follow after.
Nick couldn’t get another word out of her until they reached the little bakery a couple blocks down the street. Emmeline smiled and laughed and leaned on him when her injury gave her pain, looking for all the world as if she hadn’t just told him someone was trying to kill her.
He quickly gave up asking her anything about it, but watched her closely. She smiled with her usual brightness, but her eyes had a sharpness in them he hadn’t seen before. She scanned every street corner, window, doorway and alley. Though she leaned on him, she seemed poised for flight.
The arrived, and he helped her into her chair before ordering them both a coffee from the bubbly waitress. As she hurried away to fill their order, he took Emmeline’s hand in his and smiled. “Now, are you going to tell me what this is all about?”
Emmeline returned his smile and gave his hand a squeeze. “I don’t think I have much choice.”
Nick’s smile faltered, but he recovered quickly. He stared into her eyes, searching for an explanation. “I don’t understand,” he said, half to himself.
“I know, and I’m sorry,” answered Emmeline. She released his hand as the waitress returned with their coffee. “Constantine is a man from my past. A man with a grudge. I thought I had lost him, but it seems I was mistaken.”
“Can’t you just go to the police?”
“They won’t help.”
“Because I can’t prove any of this.”
Nick shook his head, baffled. “What about a restraining order?”
Emmeline gave a short laugh. “We’d have to find Constantine first, and trust me, no one wants to do that.”
Nick ground his teeth. “What kind of ex is this guy?” His voice rose in volume.
Emmeline covered his hand with hers. “He’s not an ex. I told you.”
Nick took a deep breath through his nose. “Then what is he?”
Emmeline hesitated for a few moments and Nick braced himself, certain he wasn’t going to like whatever she said next. Her eyes again darted to the surrounding buildings and street, and the tables next to them with old men reading the paper and hipsters taking pictures of their coffee for Instagram. She bit her bottom lip and studied Nick’s face, as if trying to come to a decision.
Just when Nick could hardly stand it any longer she leaned forward and said calmly and in soft tones, “He’s an Armenian weapons dealer.”