Visual Dare: Precarious

Despite my best efforts to avoid flash, Angela Goff’s excellent Visual Dare image has lured me in. Curses!

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Rain pattered on glossy magnolia leaves, sliding down with an audible plop. Early summer heat was an omnipresent background actor in her life. It shimmered on asphalt and pasted the hem of her thin cotton dress to her legs. She’d grown up on this porch, sticking pennies between the boards in an orderly line, but now that she’d buried her mother it was just an assemblage of creaking windows and doors and damn it if her consolation pedicure wasn’t already chipped.

Humidity ravaged the tuning of the old piano, but her mother loved to sit on the porch and play ragtime. Husband left, mother gone, and all she had here was a broken-down house and a tuneless piano. And the heat.

She hitched her skirt and stepped on the bench, bare feet walking the keys. She danced, playing her own ragtime, and the music floated out through the summer rain.

12 Comments

  1. Miranda Kate
    Jun 20, 2013

    Wonderful, and glorious! Love it!

  2. Lisa Shambrook
    Jun 20, 2013

    This is so evocative…I want to drop by and drink cold, fresh lemonade sitting on the porch step.

  3. Maggie Grace
    Jun 20, 2013

    Lovely write!

  4. Sophie Moss
    Jun 22, 2013

    Really beautiful, Anna. The imagery is gorgeous, and I love the phrase: “sticking pennies between the boards in an orderly line.” The piece evokes so much emotion and so many memories in so few words. I always enjoy reading your flash fiction pieces about music, because you can always feel your love of music coming through the words.

  5. Miriam E.
    Jun 22, 2013

    such beauty here, gripping, delicate, intense. i love the mood you created – melancholy tinged with summer heat. a wonderful piece – through and through.
    ~Miriam

  6. JB Lacaden
    Jun 23, 2013

    This is beautifully done, Anna. I love the emotions this little piece of flash contains. Great work. :)

  7. H Johnson
    Jun 24, 2013

    Very nicely done. An enjoyable flash!

    • Angela
      Jun 25, 2013

      Impeccably written and o my goodness I love your powers of description. This is the essences of a southern summer – the heat, the humidity, the reflections, the longing and loss. I am so glad you came out of your #DFQ hidey-hole to spin this gorgeous piece!!

  8. Ale Brightsmith
    Jun 25, 2013

    So evocative! And d’you know a funny thing? I never noticed the open porch and the yard before I read this. I only noticed that the keys looked dirty.

  9. Rebecca Fyfe
    Jul 2, 2013

    Lovely! Really enjoyed reading this! :)

  10. Daniel Swensen
    Jul 2, 2013

    Very evocative. I love the penny imagery.

  11. Dayle Lynne
    Jul 5, 2013

    So much emotion here . . . beautiful piece!

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