Friday, May 29, 2015

The Drop Off

A greeter dressed in white stood atop the ladder to assist lakeside arrivals. Edna approached the bow as she prepared to disembark for the much ballyhooed Ladies Tea at the Garden.

Ed was mesmerized by all the sleek, expensive watercraft queuing up before the rocky landing. His 1981 angler pontoon boat seemed out of place. He maneuvered close to the ladder, allowing the faded bumpers hanging over the side to cushion the slight impact. The greeter cringed.

Edna smiled at Ed as she stepped off. 

She loved that old pontoon boat and wouldn’t want to arrive any other way.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the May 27 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to write a story using the following photo as a prompt. Photo and story prompt by +Charli Mills.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

In the Cloud

“Please stop that.” Ed gets annoyed when Edna looks skyward as he tries to explain how her digital music files are stored in the cloud.

Ed finally convinces Edna that cloud storage saves valuable space on her smartphone and makes her entire playlist—all twelve songs—accessible anywhere, anytime.

Edna seems to be catching on as she reads about other apps storing data remotely. “It does make sense,” she says. “Even your financial and tax apps are storing data in the cloud.”

Huh? What? Let me see that.” 

Ed’s eyes widen as he reads.

Now he’s the one looking upward.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Penny

“Uh oh.” Ed’s heart sank as he felt the depths of the bottom drawer of his dresser—a place he hadn’t explored in decades. He knew immediately as his fingers touched the small, square cardboard and cellophane cover. 

The 1909 S VDB wheat penny was the crown jewel of his coin collection—until Edna accidentally threw it out. At least that’s what Ed has claimed for the past forty years. And he’s never, ever let her forget it. 

“Whatcha doing?” Edna asked unsuspectingly.

“Oh. Uh. Just straightening up these old drawers.”

“Find anything . . .”

“Nope,” Ed interrupted, perhaps too quickly.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the May 20 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story about an old mystery in the current time."

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wine Connoisseur

“It’s a special occasion, Edna. We’re ordering a bottle of fine wine with dinner.”

Edna smiles, knowing Ed is clueless when it comes to fine wine—or any other kind. 

Ed points to an entry that he can’t pronounce on the wine list. The waiter delivers the bottle, displays the label, removes the cork, and pours a taste. Ed nods at each step.

Ed raises the glass and visually inspects the contents. He takes a sip, swirls it around his tongue, closes his eyes, and contemplates its flavor and texture.

Finally, Ed gives the waiter his assessment.

“That’s definitely wine.”

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Power of Science

Ed stared at the weathered concrete wall still standing behind the Science Hall patio. His mind drifted back nearly five decades.

A power outage had sent the class outside. Ed sat on the wall facing the professor. A cute coed plopped down next to Ed—it was the only spot left.

“This stuff’s impossible,” she said.

“Tell me about it,” Ed replied as he mimicked the current assignment: Calculate the magnetic flux density of a parallel plate capacitor when completely submerged in a homogeneous isotropic dielectric.

They agreed to try to figure it out together.

Her name was Edna.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the May 13 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story that shows a hard place and a connection." 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Five Dollars

Ed smiled at his pensive granddaughter. "A penny for your thoughts?" 

Ellen smiled back. "How about five dollars?"

"That's a little steep, isn't it?"

“Depends on how badly you want to know,” the nine-year-old responded with a grin.

Ed looked at Edna, who suddenly remembered she had something on the stove.

Ed forked over the five bucks. "OK, let's have it."

Young Ellen paused. "It's just something Grandma said."

Ed grew impatient. "Spill it out already."

"You won't be mad?" Ellen pleaded.

"I won't. I promise."

"She said I should try to trick you out of five dollars."

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hot Dog Stand

Ed and Edna spotted the vendor’s cart on the side street.

“Two, please,” Ed said, salivating at the picture on the sign proclaiming Jesse’s Hot Dog Cart.

“Two what?” was the curt reply from Jesse. “King Deluxe? Max Fire? Cheesy Dog? Slaw Southerner?”

“Just two regular hot dogs,” Ed pleaded.

Jesse rattled off his list of specialties again as three hungry construction workers entered the line. Ed became flustered and hesitated.

“Move it or lose it,” Jesse said abruptly without ever making eye contact.

Edna remained calm as she took charge.

“We’d like to speak with someone in Customer Service.”

Friday, May 8, 2015

Signs of Spring

"Let's see," Edna said, always glad to help granddaughter Ellen with her homework. What are signs of spring?

"Here's my list so far," Ellen exclaimed proudly. "Blooming flowers, greening grass, chirping birds, rain showers."

"Good!" Edna said to the third grader. “Does Grandpa have any ideas?”

Ed started to speak but abruptly stopped, holding up his index finger as if to say "Just a sec." Edna handed him a handkerchief to wipe his runny nose. Ed hesitated again, letting out a loud ACHOO that startled Ellen. He coughed repeatedly but was finally able to speak. 

"Earthworms on the driveway."

This 99-word story is my contribution to the May 6 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story that is a snapshot of spring."

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Golf Victory

"How'd it go?" Edna asked as Ed unloaded his golf clubs.

"I won," Ed declared.

"Awesome! What did you shoot?"

"I shot 88. Miller had 77, Charlie 84, and John 95.”

Edna scratched her head. "Huh? Then how did you win?"

"Simple. Miller cussed up a storm every time he missed a putt. Charlie whacked his driver on a tree trunk after a bad shot, and John complained all day about the group ahead of us playing too slow. Me? I just enjoyed the beautiful day and had fun."

Edna considered what she'd just heard. Gosh, Ed really did win.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Third-Grade Lesson

"I'll trade my jello for your pudding," Ellen said to Huong. Quanesha giggled. 

Ed and Edna were enjoying Grandparents' Day at Bayview Elementary. Their granddaughter Ellen and her best friends—the three amigas—laughed and gulped their food before skipping out arm in arm.

The sudden silence was awkward as the three sets of grandparents remained at the lunchroom table. Eyes glanced upward and downward as the elderly guests seemed to be inspecting the ceiling and floor. "Nice weather," Edna finally offered.

Mercifully, the bell relieved them.

As they left, Ed and Edna knew the kids have it right.

This 99-word story is my contribution to the April 29 Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge to "write a story that tackles racism."