Did you have supper? It was after breakfast, mid-evening over there.
No reply. My heart beat faster, irrationally. His friend Amber was there too. She’d learned Vietnamese, he’d said.
The phone chimed. I jumped for it.
“Is that Stan?” my husband asked from the kitchen.
He came over to read the reply.
A picture popped up of a glowing building and a lotus flower fountain.
“It’s gorgeous,” I said. “My lucky little boy. Still, I worry.”
“He’ll be fine. After all, he’s nine now. He’s not a baby anymore.”
This Friday Fictioneers story is very late, but since Rochelle chose my picture this week as the prompt, I wanted to make sure I wrote one. I took this picture in Ho Chi Minh City when I was there on business a few months ago. I wrote a kid’s book about my travels called Stanley and Amber in Southeast Asia, about a kid and his unicorn friend traveling around Southeast Asia (it started out as a Flat Stanley project for my niece; thus, the name). So, I thought I’d write this from the parent’s perspective.
I am sitting in a hotel room in downtown Hanoi in Vietnam with rain misting outside. Since I didn’t have any meetings today and I happen to be 12 hours ahead of my usual timezone, I decided to write a Friday Fictioneers story right as the prompt was released. This is actually the third story I wrote before I could get one to 100 words. I’ll post the others later.
copyright Roger Bultot
By the time we arrived, the pulpy flesh spattering the walls had begun to harden. The stench of smashed strawberries and fear hung in the air with the flies.
The other berries were scared to talk until a lemon pointed us towards the watermelons. We got a warrant to roll them; my partner retched at the carnage we uncovered.
It was a gang hit. The Amesti family was making a move on the upper shelf and the bigger Allsweets struck back. Two of them were sentenced to suikawari. That’s just life—and death—in the jungle of the Farmer’s Market.
Happy New Year, even if we are almost a month into it already. In the world of international admissions, this is a very busy time of the year, with students coming in for the spring semester. It’s my job to keep track of them and get them registered and set up with everything they need, while still processing applications that are coming in for next fall. But everyone who is coming for this semester is here, so hopefully things will quiet down a little. I hope to be back as much as I can.
copyright Na’ama Yehuda
Hey, You Never Know
I wrote my number on the napkin and reached forward to drop it on the tray of the cutie in 12B. She didn’t look back.
Then I got a text. Who’s this?
13C. Winking emoji.
A minute later: Can I have your Haagen-Dazs? The flight attendant had just gone through, distributing the little cartons of heaven.
I hesitated, then slid the frozen treasure onto her tray.
So, what do I get? I audaciously added a kissing emoji.
My husband might kiss you. He’s in 12A.
I sighed and called the attendant. “Another napkin,” I said sadly. “Plain white.”
I was actually on a flight that had these napkins. Luckily no one gave me their number.
“Chad?” he shouted. “Chad Shermanburger? Investigated-by-the-FBI Chad? Started-a-forest-fire-testing-his-homemade-rocket-fuel Chad? Brought-a-baby-cougar-to-school Chad? Sold-his-own-version-of-the-Nobel-Prize-online-sparking-outcry Chad? You want Chad freaking Shermanburgar, who somehow sneaked aboard Air Force Two and met the vice president to join the Adventurers’ Club?”
I gulped. “Not at all. I meant Chad . . . Parsons.”
Looking back, I should have stuck to my guns. Chad Parsons was boring.