Traffic had become unbelievable lately. Daryl would sometimes eat lunch during the commute, to maintain his stamina. He’d even started packing extra food and water, just in case.
Today the traffic was worse than ever. The clock in the truck didn’t work, and the jam stood locked in place so long that Daryl lost all track of time.Seasons passed. Civilizations had toppled and rebooted. Children had stepped into the shoes of their ancestors. That’s what it felt like to Daryl at least. Forever plus one day. Of course he was overreacting.
The land, willed to my father, had been in our family for generations. Everybody considered it useless and unbuildable. His dream became constructing something wonderful on the eroding bluff, somehow overcoming the treacherous pull of gravity. Every portion completed required constant reinforcement afterward. Even as the lowest levels crumbled away, more rooms and terraces were added on top. He was certain that one day a magnificent castle would stand atop this land.
When the land was willed to me, his dream became mine. Someday there will be a castle here.
I just hope I live long enough to witness it.
This week’s entry for the Friday Fictioneers, a 100 word story based on the photo prompt above.
Both the pilot and copilot had taken ill. The doctor deemed it food poisoning. Ted looked out the window at the earth below, wondering if he could get the plane back on the ground. Nerves had ended his career as a pilot and he’d developed a severe drinking problem. He looked at the cocktail on the tray in front of him, wondering if it would calm his nerves or rattle them more. The doctor looked at him with gravity.
We’d been driving all day by the time we pulled into town, and my dad was even more pissed off than normal. We were all hungry and tired. The motel sign read no vacancy, and the only restaurant still open was a hole in the wall Chinese joint.
“What the hell is this?” he asked. “First no fries or cheeseburgers, and now this shit?”
“They’re chopsticks, Henry,” my mom said. “Use them to pick up your food, like this.”
“I don’t do friggin chopsticks,” he said, stabbing his orange chicken with one chopstick. “Now, pass me that dang Chinese ketchup.”
After my mom died we realized the extent of her hoarding. Rooms stacked with boxes in boxes, years worth of newspapers, closets that spilled out like avalanches when opened. Most items made no sense.
My wife suggested a dumpster. It felt a shame to throw it all away, a lifetime of memories tossed. In one room we uncovered a forgotten memento from my childhood that I wanted to keep. My wife called the glass eyes creepy.
No way, she said, we have zero room at home, but I knew there was always space for one more thing.