Another prompt, another round of great stories to choose from. Check the stories out below and vote for your favorite!
The Shape of Some Memories
He occasionally looks at one of the very few pictures he has of her. And even then, he doesn’t actually have a picture of her that he can hold in his hands.283 words by Bill Engleson (@billmelaterplea)
It’s an online world isn’t it? That’s how he knows Sarah. No other way, really. He was too self-absorbed to ask his father about her.
And really, what would he have known?
When Sarah was fifty-six, one of her daughters died. That daughter was the mother of his father. He was barely three months old when his mother died, a result mostly of a childbirth gone wrong and whatever the failings were of medicine in 1915.
Sarah, who had twelve children, took the baby in as her daughter’s widow had their other children to raise. They were still youngsters but could help on the farm.
That was one of the purposes of children back then.
Even if they were loved, they were also little workers.
The ones that survived.
For some reason, the war in Ukraine resurrects these recollections of Sarah. Though not Ukrainian, he like so many in the world, are privy to the social media agony of war throughout Ukraine and even Russia.
There are hordes of refugees fleeing the onslaught. Mostly women and children.
It seems to him that many older women of Ukraine are staying behind to fight, to spit in the eye of Putin, to represent the values of their people.
He imagines that Sarah would stand with them, these older women of tradition, of family, of the homeland.
She did her duty as do they.
It’s odd to consider, he thinks, how memories take shape.
“Well, what do ye think?” Caitlin Nicole Kinnery signed eagerly.
Mererid tilted her head dubiously. The low slant-wheeled chair at the water’s edge was certainly interesting to look at. Elegant, even. For a surface contraption.
“What is it?” The mermaid signed, tentatively aware of the tendency for her girlfriend’s enthusiasm to lead to trouble.
“It be a wheelchair!” The petite pirate captain beamed. “Picked it up in the Fiernace Empire. Mr. Smith got one too; says after a while, he forgets he’s even using it. Much better than what we have locally.”
Mererid smiled supportively at her feline-featured surface-dwelling girlfriend. They were from different worlds but were able to meet at the ocean’s surface thanks to Cat’s shipbound lifestyle.
“Well, are ye going to try it?” Cat prompted, cat tail twitching.
“I, what do you want me to do?”
“Get in. Ye’ll be able to explore the land easily with this, an’ yer adaption suit.”
Mererid sighed. She had serious doubts about how far the contraption could take her. Still, she pulled herself up out of the water and into the chair that Cat held immobile for her. Turning herself around in the seat, she was surprised to discover the hole in the back accommodated her dorsal fin comfortably. The chair even felt customized for her tail.
Cat stepped around to point out the chair’s features. “Ye can strap yerself in with these belts, an’ push or pull these rims to move around.”
The mermaid gave the push rims a tentative test. They did respond well. Maybe she could follow Cat inland with this.
“Mr. Rahal an’ Mr. Smith reckon they can come up with some exciting customizations,” Cat continued. “So, what do ye think?”
“I like it,” Mererid nodded happily.291 words by David A Ludwig (@DavidALudwig)