Lovers come to the bench.
The teenagers spy.
Ephemeral. Unmoving. Only their heads peek ’round the hedge.
None speak. They simply watch.
Tommy ponders the smoothness of women’s skin.
Annabelle enjoys the muscles rippled across men’s backs.
Susanne resents everything about the couples. Would stop them if she could.
For the siblings will never feel such things, make such sounds
or hear the words, “I love you.”
Suffocation should have put an end to anticipation and hope.
But, they feel the need to return. Night after night.
Year after year.
Century upon century.

Today’s Photo Prompt was provided by Liz Young 

This week, Pegman transported us to Peleliu, a WW II battlefield. Thanks for an inspiring place to write! I’ve never heard of this island or its history. Ah, so much to learn, so little time. (P.S. “Urasai” means “Shut Up”)

“I don’t know who these kids think they are! Trash on the altar!”
“Kozue, they mean no harm.”
“Hush! You know nothing! They come, laugh at the statues, fornicate on the steps, play loud music and dance! They show no respect for those who died here.”
Realizing his wife will drone on for a very long time, Hideshi allows her words to fade to the far recesses of his mind even as unwelcome memories float before his eyes: Blood Tears Broken limbs Missing limbs. And into his ears: Screams Threats Commands Gunfire Gunfire Gunfire rat-a-tat-tat. Over and over and over. And the smell of death: Festering wounds Urine Excrement Blood.
Ah, to have memories of this ungodly battlefield replaced by thoughts of beautiful young girls making love with curious boys, the smell of perfume, the scent of too much aftershave, the glorious sound of laughter, music, and sighs . . .
“Kozue! Urusai!”

Wow! Wednesday-Friday is here again. Thanks to Magaly Guerrero for the fun photo. And to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for posting it so our merry band of Friday Fictioneers can each create a 100-word tale.

Me and them shoes been pals for a long time.
Yes indeedy. A long, long time.
Went to our first dance together.
Got married together.
Them shoes took me to the hospital when my Sara was born.
Carried me to the graveyard when she passed.
Yep, we got us some history.
When Burt left, them shoes took me to the bus station.
Went all the way to Kansas together
then on to New York city.
Joined us a chorus line.
Danced until we was both too old.
Got to pack them shoes away now.
We’re leaving for a better place.

This is my 150-word submission to What Pegman Saw on Saturday in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The memories you have of that boathouse
When you were

Angelic, some said
A demon, a vixen, a harlot
A saint
A savior
The Madonna herself
Names did not concern you

You expected
You waited
and hoped

Time was not on your side
You had all the time in the world
Shadows were your friends
and counted among your enemies
Darkness hindered
Darkness helped – when candles were involved

They came to you in droves
One at a time
or as couples with children
and without
Some cried when they saw you
A few laughed in panic
and surprise

They mouthed
Help us!
Save us!
Thank you!
Here! Take this!

You did not accept money
or hugs
Merely shoved them into
drift boats

Not now
Be silent
Go! Go! Go!

How many did you save?
Ask them
You never counted


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The Guy

Posted: April 12, 2017 in Friday Fictioneers

Thanks to Dale Rogerson and Rochelle Wisoff-Fields the Friday Fictioneers get to go on vacation with a wild and crazy guy.

What did I do last night? Whose cosmetics are these?
Not mine! Hey! I’m a guy.
I don’t drink wine. I don’t wear red panties.
And I certainly don’t eat pizza. Red meat or nothin’.

What I remember: A conga line. Paper umbrellas. Clinking ice.
This guy drinks scotch on the rocks and wears Speedos,
’cause real guys don’t wear Jockey for Men.
Now, back to the question that hasn’t been asked, “Where am I?”

“Rog, darling!”
Who? What? Damn my head hurts.
And there she is, in all her pink-skinned glory.

This guy is happy!

(100 words)

This 150 word piece is for What Pegman Saw – in Dubrovnik.

Let’s say Tanya and Stewart had an affair.
Met at the bottom of the stairs
to grope one another in the dark.
Her whispering, “But my husband!” like a mantra
even as her clothes dropped on the cobblestones.

Scratch that. Stewart was a painter, Tanya his student.
They despised one another.
Still, they shared ideas about color and texture and the effects of wine.
And, after too much wine, they…?
You decide.

Or perhaps they were siblings –
they certainly looked alike –
with a deliriously dark secret
about what their father did at night.
Tanya’s room? Stewart’s? Both?
And that twisted them until they had no one but each other?
Alas, there are no definite answers to these questions, either.

What do we know?
At 5 a.m. both were found dead beneath the paintings.
Clothes flung across the cobblestones –
wine sloshed between them –
holding hands and smiling.
No signs of a struggle.

“No one is to go out after dark!”
“I won’t go out, Mama.” Not until you sleep.
Bicycle wheels squeak squeak squeaking, Jan rattles over the cobblestones.
His back aches from constant jostling, his eyes burn from glaring into the moonless night.
The gun on his shoulder seems to weigh twice as much as it did when he started five miles before.
Still, he goes on. It’s his last chance. “I can’t be late.”
The Troja Bridge. A motor car. The right motor car.
Jan drops the bicycle, steadies his gun.
Reinhard Heydrich’s face comes into focus.
Then disappears.

Thanks to Rochelle and Jellico’s Stationhouse, we once again have the perfect photo prompt for a Wednesday/Friday. The bike reminded me of WW II – why? It’s not what you look at but what you see. I looked up Reinhard Heydrich, and he seemed like the perfect recipient for a sniper’s bullet. This isn’t exactly what happened, but . . .