The Stories These Walls Could Tell- #FictionInAFlash #WritingCommunity @pursoot


Soooz Burke has found a wonderful photo for this week’s challenge! You can read more and join in below:

The wallpaper hangs in jagged strips from the walls, faded jacquard prints of a more dignified time. Cobwebs drap from the dilapidated ceiling, and I try not to imagine how big the spider is that created them.

Tom and I won this house at auction, before…

The floors creak beneath my sneakers and are gray with dust and grime, but they look original to my weary eyes. The drive took hours and all I can think about is a warm bath and soft bed- neither of which I’ll find here. I’ll go back to the small town I’d passed through soon, but first I need to finish what I started.

“We did it,” I tell my husband, sure he can hear me wherever he is.

The baby moves beneath my breasts and I gently rub the spot, my throat tight when I feel a tiny heel. Tom wanted this child so much. That and the home he’d grown up in. It’s bittersweet to know we’ve succeeded.

“It’s everything you said it was,” I say, continuing my one-sided conversation. “The fireplace is huge. No wonder you thought Santa got stuck up the chimney.” I trail a finger along the mantle. “Baby’s stocking will look lost on here.”

The tears that are never very far away wet my cheeks. It’s been five months, but I miss him still.

I always will.

With renewed determination, I climb the surprisingly sturdy staircase and enter the first room on the right- Tom’s childhood bedroom. A warm sensation flows over me and my tears dry as peace descends. He’s here, I can feel him.

The room is empty, other than an old blue chest shoved under the stained window. My heart flutters wildly and I’m suddenly scared of what I’ll find.

“Go,” a ghostly voice intones, his breath warm on my ear.

I startle and stumble forward. “Always so bossy,” I grouch with a smile.

The lid is heavy. I have to work to get it up, and then I sneeze as a musty fog rises from the interior. “Geez, Tom, you could have warned me.”

He chuckles from over my shoulder. I can almost feel his arms around me and baby.

His baseball hat from seventh grade sits on top the pile of memorabilia. My fingers tremble as they trace the Saints emblem. Who would have thought he’d go on to have a successful career in the NBL?

Alongside the hat, lay an autographed baseball bat, and below that, the reason I’m here. A leatherbound journal. My husband’s thoughts and dreams in his messy script fill the pages, front to back.

The house will be baby and my future, but this journal? It’s my link to the past and is truly priceless.

The baby rolls, creating a wave across my stomach and my dearly departed husband laughs.

His family is home.

35 Comments

  1. What a poignant and heart-warming story. I love your take on the prompt, Jacquie 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Harmony. I’m on the way to read yours soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the depth of this photo and you’ve nuanced it perfectly. The busy-ness on the floor, the old door and walls, the wonder what is out there. Nice.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, this photo really got my old creative juices flowing. I might use it for a book one day!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Pink Roses says:

    That was so good! Loved the pic as well.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. D.L. Finn, Author says:

      This tugged at my heart, Jacquie:) I want to know what happens next.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you, Denise. I think this would make a good story- hmm 🙂

        Like

  4. What a touching story, Jacquie. A wonderful ghostly presence. I thought you were going somewhere dark and just loved the ending! This would make a great book!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Diana! DH and I lived in my grandma’s house for a time after she went into long-term care and I gained a lot of comfort from being there ❤

      Liked by 3 people

      1. The story was very sweet with a touch of melancholy. You captured that comfort well.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Jina Bazzar says:

    Hmm, I’m not sure if that was a happy piece or a sad one. It evoked both… like bittersweet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly, Jina. She’s lost her husband, but thanks to a house filled with memories she’s not alone.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. balroop2013 says:

    A lovely story Jacquie! Though the house looks vandalized but Tom’s presence is vividly portrayed…I could see his bedroom and the journal. This story has a lot of potential, as the journal could contain many thoughts and plans.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agreed, Balroop. It could turn into a good storyline 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Inkplume says:

    Loved this!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Gwen M. Plano says:

    Wow…great story, Jacquie. It carried tones of sadness, but also signs of happiness…all captured beautifully in this dilapidated home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Gwen. I would love to find one of these old places on the market- and be able to afford the renovation! lol

      Like

  9. Soooz says:

    Thanks so much for the moving contribution, Jacquie. I agree with so many others, this would make an amazing novel. I have just had the pleasure of featuring this on the Challenge site. Thanks again for taking part.

    Like

  10. Joan Hall says:

    Absolutely beautiful, Jacquie. Tugs at the heart strings.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s nice to hear- it’s what I was aiming for 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Mae Clair says:

    This positively brims with emotion, Jacquie. An absolutely stunning take on the story prompt. I loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Mae. This is such a wonderful photo- so inspiring ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  12. What a lovely piece, Jacquie. I can see why you write romance. I have the most gruesome idea for this picture and hope to find some time to write it up today.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lol, I’ll watch for it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Yes, even though he was not there, but he was there! This story warms my heart, Jacquie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Miriam!

      Like

      1. You’re welcome, Jacquie!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. What a creeping, creaking tour of words that draw upon the sceneries of sheer speculations. The title is so eavesdropping. LOL! This is a humdinger. Sending fun, sweet, creative dewdrops for your coffee!☕️☕️☕️☕️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, thank you 🙂

      Like

  15. Wow, Jacquie. What an awesome, moving job you did with this picture. I’ll share.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Marsha, thanks for stopping by the blog!
      This picture inspired so many great stories- Suzanne Burke is a wonderful hostess.

      Like

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