This week’s picture prompt comes from my Book Club’s weekly “Tell Me A Story” post. As with the last one, the picture was chosen by a member of the group.
I originally wrote this piece as two separate entries but found it worked just as well as one story. Coming in at just under 300 words, this is one of my first official attempts at flash fiction.
Tom was sad. His dad had only been gone for two weeks, the funeral and wake had gone without a hitch the week before. Now he felt empty. Standing outside the building they both worked together in since he was a teenager, part time while at school then full time afterwards, he felt a tug on his heart. The business was his now. He was “Baker” instead of “Son”. Of course, it was his livelihood; he had every intention of carrying on the company but today was not the day. It was all too raw. He needed more time. Sighing, he picked up his holdall from the wet ground, erected his umbrella and set off on the walk home.
Just three weeks ago Tom had stood outside this building, his building, and felt sad about the loss of his dad – both from his life and from the company. Today was a different day. He felt much more ready to return to work. He was sure it would be sad but he had to keep the business flowing. He had bills to pay and a home to run. His dad had managed to keep the company going since long before Tom was born. Now it was Tom’s turn. Tom was Baker. He felt much better about that, especially since in recent weeks his life had changed. Looking at the sign on the outside he smiled a little inside. Glancing over the “Son” part made him smile on the outside too, even chuckling a little and getting some strange looks from passers-by. His happiness had been sealed with the news that his wife was expecting a baby boy. “Baker & Son” would continue on.
The following piece was written on the spur of the moment, just in order to add something new to my post. I like to use previous pieces but also to offer fresh writing to (basically to see if I can still do it).
It was cold today, Jimmy shivered. He wished he had a job that enabled him to work inside but he also knew that he had to go where his talents lay. Unfortunately, being an outdoor painter meant he had to work outside in all kinds of weather. Jimmy thought about taking winter off a couple of years ago but realised that he wouldn’t be able to live off the little money he had saved up during the warmer months.
Grabbing his ladder, Jimmy set it up against the wall. “A little wobbly, but steady enough,” he said out loud to himself while testing the ladder’s balance. Reaching for the white paint, he hooked his arm through the wire handle. Paintbrush in his other hand he ascended the building. Jimmy reached the top of the ladder and started painting over the worn sign. New owners had bought this long since abandoned building and Jimmy was told that he had been highly recommended by locals. They gave him the design they wanted and that was what brought him here.
Interrupted by a commotion coming from a few paces up the street, Jimmy popped his paintbrush onto the top of the ladder while he had a look at what the noise was. Seeing a dog chasing a cat, realising it was nothing exciting or important, he turned and continued with his work. The screeching from the cat was getting louder but Jimmy paid it no mind. Then, the barking of the dog sounded closer. “That damn dog must be chasing the cat this way,” Jimmy thought. “I’d better think about getting down”. No sooner had he started to descend, only making it down one or two rungs, than the dog crashed into the bottom of the ladder. Jimmy had nothing to hold onto other than the ladder. His only option was to fall with it.