Monday, April 2, 2018

A to Z: B - Barnstormer & Baggage

My A to Z Challenge: Flash fiction written using two words and a photo for inspiration. How did I chose the words? First I brought up a noun list for each letter, then averted my eyes, scrolled the mouse down, stopped and double-clicked. That was the word! The second word was chosen the same way but from a dictionary list of words.
NOTE: Photos are from free to use photo sites such as Pixabay.com and Morguefile.com. No attribution necessary.



"Look at what I got at the auction!" Cheryl opened the lid of the antique trunk, displaying a variety of old, musty items.

"Phew, it stinks." Her younger brother Ray held his nose as he peered inside. 

"I'll let it air out here on the screened porch. It'll be better tomorrow."

"Maybe. Maybe next week. Why you'd buy this old piece of baggage anyway?"

"C'mon, it's a piece of history. Doesn't that excite and intrigue you?"

Ray shook his head and headed off to work but not before hollering back, "Wear gloves!"

Cheryl snickered. "Gloves, shmoves...I'm not waiting." She slowly peeled back the first layer of netting, trying to not send the dust flying. She sneezed anyway and she chuckled. "Maybe a mask would be a good idea." 

Layer by layer, she removed things from the trunk and laid them on the floor. Men's and women's clothing from decades past, a few photographs and a leather bound journal. She picked up one of the photos and studied it. Two people standing beside an old bi-plane. "Hmm, wonder if one of them owned this trunk?" She flipped the photo over and tried to read the inscription. "Jules, Julia, um, Julian and.." She leaned closer towards the sunlight, "Julian and Emily!"

She picked up the journal, setting the photo down with the others. The leather was worn, marked with years of use, and the pages were yellowed. She flipped through several pages and stopped to read the page marked by another photo tucked in, maybe acting as a bookmark.

It took several minutes before she could read the handwriting, the cursive letters seeming to swim around, making it hard to read. She stopped reading, closed her eyes, and took a deep breath before continuing.
February 14, 1921
My darling Emily, I write this as I sit here alone in Georgia, contemplating our future. I understand the concern of your parents. I am too old for you and they do not condone our relationship. I fear it is my career as a barnstormer has influenced them to think poorly of me. My hope is to make enough money this year to open my own business back home with you.
With the greatest affection, Julian
She picked studied the photo that had been tucked in between this page and the next. It was a portrait style picture of a young girl. On the back someone had inscribed Emily Smythe, age 17. The next entry was dated April of the next year.
April 21, 1922
My dearest Emily, I have been remiss in journaling but for good reason. I have made enough money barnstorming in Georgia and Florida that I am now able to fund my own business. But I fear I have lost you. When I returned home to Albany, the first and foremost item was to call on you. Your parents informed me you were gone and I would never see you again. When I inquired as to your whereabouts, your mother sobbed and your father directed me to the local graveyard. You are lost to me until we meet in another time and place. You are my one and only, my heart. I will go on without you to honor you, but with protest.

Devotely yours, Julian.
She put the journal in her lap and picked up the original photograph of the two lovers.  How tragic. To love so deeply and lose it all so young. She closed her eyes, the sun warming her as she dozed off, dreaming of the two lovers and wishing someone would love her as deeply as Julian loved Emily.

A sound in the distance startled her awake. She rubbed her eyes, trying to clear her fuzzy thoughts. Julian. It was all about Julian. But what about him? She closed her eyes and concentrated. Nothing. She opened them and looked around. She was on a sun porch, sitting on the floor beside a new trunk. Packing! I was packing for travel. She stood and brushed the dust off dress. He'll be here soon. We have to leave before Momma and Poppa get home. She smiled as she put the last of her clothes inside and closed the lid.

She watched the stream of dust rise from their long drive as the old Model T sputtered towards her. She covered her ears to block the squeal of the brake as the car rolled to a stop. A handsome young man got out, slapped the dust off his legs and waved his cap at her.

"Allo there! Are you ready for our grand adventure?" He pulled her into an embrace at the top of the steps. "Are you ready to be my wife, dearest Emily?"

"With all my heart, Julian."

Stay Calm and Read Flash Fiction!

  


28 comments:

  1. Wait, was Cheryl transported to the 1920s or was that some sort of flashback?

    Check out my post for today!

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    1. "...dreaming of the two lovers and wishing someone would love her as deeply as Julian loved Emily."

      Thanks for taking time to stop by and read my post!

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  2. Interesting story! I think I need to go back one and see what you had yesterday...

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    1. Ahh, thank you. Appreciate the time you took to stop by, read and comment.

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  3. Nothing like a well-written love story to warm the heart, and we sure need heartwarming. Thank you, Donna.

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    1. It was a fun write...initially I had no idea where I was going with it. Glad you enjoyed it.

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  4. Replies
    1. I enjoy trying to find the odd twist at the end...this one made me smile.

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  5. A timely still life photo...silk stockings and all. What a great 'dreamy flashback'. Well done, Donna.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

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    1. I found all my photos at Pixabay.com. Great site!! Thanks for stopping by, Sue. Appreciate it!

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  6. I'd have loved to think that Julian and Emily were reborn, but that would be just too corny. This is such a well written story, Donna.

    B is for Boss

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  7. Replies
    1. Awww, thank you Denise!! It feels good to be writing some flash again!

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  8. Loved this post! It is simply brilliant :)
    Check mine out @ https://thedreamgirlwrites.wordpress.com/2018/04/02/barnacles/

    Cheers,
    Dream

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    1. Thanks so much for dropping in and reading/commenting. Much appreciated!

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  9. Hello, Nice Blog! Good Luck on the A-Z challenge! Zulu Delta

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    1. Thanks for taking time to read and comment!

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  10. What a fun story. I hope to be back for more!

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    1. Thank you, Marcy. Glad you enjoyed it and hope you will drop by to read some more.

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  11. I had to consult Wikipedia to find out what a barnstormer is and I enjoyed that history almost as much as Julian and Emily's love story. Well written.

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    1. Thanks, Hester. Barnstormers are a part of US history for sure.

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