Friday, May 24, 2019

#fotoflash May 24 2019: The Alley

My contribution to Friday Foto Flash Fiction...

Lettie dug the hand drawn map out of her purse, turned it left and right, trying to make sense out of the instructions. Looking ahead, all she saw was an alleyway that seemed to get narrower. She had tried to ask directions at the cafe earlier but the language barrier was too steep. Dead phone battery meant no Google translate.

Stuffing it away, she sighed and trudged onward, hoping to see something familiar. After all, how difficult could it be to find the family home? She'd seen pictures and listened to stories about the neighborhood for years.

A beeping sound startled her and she turned around to face someone on a little scooter.

"I'm sorry," she apologized as she moved to the side.

"Grazie," a deep masculine voice responded but didn't move.

Taking a chance, she asked, "Mi puoi aiutare?", hoping she was saying it correctly. No response so she added, "Do you speak English?"


She pulled the map out again and showed it to him. "I want to find this place." She pointed to a spot on the map. "Do you know where it is?"

"Sì." Then in heavily accented English, "Get on back. I take you."

Glancing around and seeing no one else who could help, she shrugged and climbed on board.

"Hold on," he commanded as they motored down the alley.

She didn't need to be told twice, the cobblestones made for quite a bouncy ride.

Twenty minutes later, they were still winding down alleyways. The sun was setting and she was getting worried. Tapping him on the shoulder, she shouted, "Are we almost there?"

"Soon, cara signora! Soon."

"Okay." She felt drowsy and closed her eyes. The screech of brakes startled her awake. The sun was gone and a smidgen of moon lit the sky. Rubbing the sleep from her eyes she asked, "We there?"

"Sorry, signora. I got us lost. This friend house. We stay. Tomorrow we go your house."

With no good alternative, she agreed and entered the tiny stone house. She gasped. The inside was charming. A roaring fire warmed the rustic but cozy room. A wizened lady came forward and took her arm. As she offered her name, she realized she had never introduced herself to her driver. She turned but he was nowhere in sight. "Where-"

The woman put her hands beside her cheek and simulated sleeping. She pulled her into a tiny room and nodded at the single bed and pointed to her. "Letto. Vai a dormire." She left and closed the door.

The sun peeking through the curtains woke her. She stretched and tried to remember where she was and why she was there. A knock on the door accompanied by a deep voiced good morning, brought her back to reality. She tossed on her clothes and opened the door.

"Lady of the house, she said your house gone."

"That can't be! She's mistaken."

"No mistake. Boom! No more house."

"I guess I have to go home."

"No, stay. Guest. Welcome here. New home!"

She smiled. "My new home. Italia!"

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  1. I love your take on the photo - twisting plot drew me in. And it was playful too, leaving me wanting to hear more! Nice job, Donna!

    1. Thanks, Shelley. I started to go dark at the end but opted for a smile instead. Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. I'm glad that you didn't go dark at the end; sometimes I really enjoy a happy ending. I love the photo. It brought back memories of walking through such alleys in Italy, and I enjoyed your story too. Donna.

    1. Yay, glad you enjoyed it. One of my favorite movies is "Under the Tuscan Sun". Always makes me want to visit there.

  3. I feared it might end badly, so the conclusion came as quite a relief! Absolutely delightful Donna.

    1. I do like a dark twist but decided to play happy with this one. Thanks for dropping by AND for participating!! I think you'll like next Friday's photo!

  4. I wonder if he just friendly and helpful or he also doubles up as a tourist guide, cleverly guiding tourists in bed and breakfasts ;-)
    Either way looks like she is getting a good break. Now I wast to travel to Italy.

    1. Now that's a fun thought...I might take this story further at some point. That would be a great twist! Thanks so much for stopping by and taking time to read & comment. Hope to see you again!

  5. I walk around Vietnam all the time, while motorbikes and scooters whiz past me. It's not uncommon here for a stranger to offer a ride. You just need to be sure to negotiate the price before hopping on!

    1. Every country is very different. Here in the US, I don't think anyone would accept a ride from a stranger!

  6. The situation started out bad, but she was lucky.

  7. First step into a blog journey. Not sure if it worked or if I have given you the right link! GREAT picture though! Had fun with this and look forward to the next!


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