A Window into Another World

I captured this window view in Assisi, Italy. Things aren’t always what they seem. The view in the window is actually a view from the window. Or is the view from the window a view into the window. A close inspection reveals the truth with all its illusions. A close look at the cat reveals the truth.


Fifty Shades of Coffee (Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers)

(Photo: Copyright Schivamt25, 2017)

“It matches the color of your eyes,” Shawna smiled. Her gaze shifted back and forth between her coffee and him.

“Yeah, but I’m sweeter,” Jack returned.

She let loose a schoolgirl laugh.

A playful air enveloped them. The song ‘Closing Time’ wafted overhead as various implements of the baristas chimed in with perfect accompaniment.

Shawna looked up from the swizzle to study Jack.

He felt her gaze reach inside him. 

She stealthily shifted her feet under the table, stroking the inside of his calf with her open-toes.

“My it’s warm in here,” he baited.

“Damn hot,” she insisted.

Jack’s pheromones surged.

“Perfect for a day that’s sunny and old,” the woman half his age slipped.

Instantly, the coquettish air fizzled out. An awkward silence ensued before her animal instincts took over.

She grabbed his hand and whisked him to her car. In route to her place, the sun’s glare reminded Jack of his sunglasses back at the table. He instinctively wrote them off. It was better to replace them than risk the moment. (173 Words)

Submitted as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers–a story in less than 175 words based on the photo prompt.

The Fall (Sunday Photo Fiction)

(Photo: Copyright A Mixed Bag, 2013)

There’s a burst of energy that accompanies death. Stars grow a hundred fold just before their light extinguishes forever. Unimaginable the sense of betrayal that surely accompanies such expansion.

Sights, sounds, and smells of the fall ring true of this phonemon. She is adorned with trees cloaked in vibrant colors, leaves rustling the applause of angels, and air filled with sweetness.

Scores of times I have paid witnessed to the passing of the season. Not once have I found the consolation I desparetly need. The richness she brings would surely be unforgettable if not for the harshness of the cold which follows–scourging my senses of any remnants of her vitality.

Year in and year out, at the peak of autumn, she invades my psyche. Memories of her curves, the timbre of her voice, and traces of the sweetest perfume encroach upon me. There was a glint in her eyes that last night–a burst of brilliance before death I mistook as her eternal yes. Oh the betrayal Alicia unleashed on me as I stood there alone on the altar. The fall was followed by a brutal cold that batters me still.

Submitted as part of Sunday Photo Fiction, a story in less than 200 words based on the photo.

Monday’s Loaf of Bread: Small Miracles

Today, our group is visiting the Portiuncula, the small church which was the first home of the Franciscan movement in 1208. Francis rebuilt the church and then named it ‘Little Portion.’ St. Francis of Assisi was quite content with his little portion on earth.

While I was in his Little Portion of the world today, I kept hearing phrases my mum would frequently spout off in the face of good or bad fortune. “It’s no small miracle,” she would exclaim in the face of something grand. That was typically reserved for someone who survived an accident. “Thank God for small miracles,” she often said. I can’t count the times she spouted that one off whenever dad safely backed out of the driveway without ending up in the ditch. 

Of course there were sayings for bad fortune too. “Someone begrudged me my…,” came frequently too. You can fill in the blanks for the typical fare of mishaps that mark daily life, like spilling a cup of coffee or dropping toast on the ground.

I know why mum was such a big part of my day in and around the Portiuncula. There is something very special about the place which makes one hugely appreciate their little portions in life.

Speaking of miracles, there are no photographs allowed in the basilica that surrounds the Portiuncula. The photo above just so happened to have miraculously appeared on my camera.

It reminded me of the time I returned through customs on my way back from Assisi the last time I was there. The customs officer asked me what I had in my carry-on bag. I explained that I was bringing back holy water from Assisi. He rudely grabbed it from my hands to inspect it. He then proceeded to pull out a large green bottle from my bag. He uncorked it with quite a sour look on his face.

“Sir, this bottle you are sporting is wine,” he scowled.

“Praise God,” I rejoiced. “It’s a miracle!”

Are you Just Gonna sit There Like a Flower Pot?

(Photo: Copyright Shivamt25)

I couldn’t sleep. The in-laws were coming and last year’s debacle was still fresh. 

None of it mattered. Her family will never see past my color just as my family can’t see past her’s. The carousel churned throughout the evening. All the anxieties, fears, and insecurities reared their ugly heads. Then came a stroke of inspiration.

There was a tear in her eye when she saw me amid the flower pots. “Such a beautiful card,” she beamed.

“I meant every word,” I replied.

“My family and yours will never see our true beauty. They’re too caught up in their own worlds,” she read.

“We all bloom colors some will never appreciate,” I finished.

“Signed my Little Flower Pot,” she smiled.

She gracefully walked toward me and then held me tight. I bathed in the warmth of her embrace.

“You’re beautiful,” she smiled.

I basked in her love for a mere minute before she let go. “Now, clean this mess up,” she said. “We have lots of work to do.” (167 words)

Story is submitted as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers–a piece of fiction in 125-175 words.

A Picture Tells a Thousand Words

This is a danger sign at the train station in the Rome Airport. Where did Italians learn to draw their skull and crossbones? A skull with a mustache! 

I’d like to see their Mr. Yuck stickers. Ehh, you do remember Mr. Yuck stickers, or am I dating myself?

I’d like to say that even I could do a better job, but then again I’m half Italian. This might explain all my struggles in Arts and Krafts!