Glenda walked around with her watering can and when she saw the white of the stone out of the corner of her eye she did a double take. There it was, a statue on top of a small mound where yesterday she’d removed a dead flower.
She approached the statue and took a good look at it as some water spilled from the can she now tilted towards the ground. It splashed her slippers but she failed to notice. All she could do was look at the statue, a little boy with no clothing who seemed to be praying. Upon closer look, Glenda saw that he held his hands in a manner that wasn’t exactly praying; she couldn’t decide what he was doing.
A bird landed in her birdbath and startled her back to reality. She looked at the bird, a blue jay, and then returned her gaze to the small statue, which for some reason surprised her by still existing.
She walked over and picked it up. The stone was cold in her hands, which would have been normal had it not been sitting in the sun. It was heavier than it looked, much heavier, in fact. She turned it around and saw it’s little behind, then quickly turned it upside-down to look under the pedestal in an attempt to ignore the blushing of her cheeks.
There was writing carved into the pedestal, but it looked a bit like hieroglyphics. Unsure what to do, she carefully placed the statue back onto the little mound of dirt and continued watering her plants. As the water ran out of the end of the can, she paid no attention to the amount each plant received; instead, her stare remained on the statue.
Once the garden was properly watered, and the bird feeders refilled for her friendly neighborhood avians, she went into the kitchen, where she began to wash the small pile of dishes in her sink. The window above the sink looked directly into her garden, and she could see the little boy’s smile. His face looked so familiar. She’d seen it before, perhaps in a dream, but she couldn’t place it. So familiar…
That night, as Glenda began to drift away into sleep, in those moments in half-dream, half-awareness, she dreamed of her son, a mere boy when he died. The accident was something she tried not to think about in her old age, especially since her husband was gone. But she dreamed of a day on a swing set that may or may not have actually happened; Glenda could not be sure. She saw his face and the smile as she pushed him higher, the grin looking so familiar.
She jumped from sleep and quickly threw on her robe. She knew where she’d seen the face before. It had to be him. She ran through the kitchen to the back door, where she threw on the porch light and ran to the garden.
But the statue was gone.
I walked into the subway station and there she was, behind a pillar, crying hysterically. I mean tears running down her face, red eyes, and stumbling a little, which made me think she was drunk. Was she? Who knows.
Then I saw the broken pieces of glass shattered everywhere, with a pool of clear liquid surrounding them. The bottom of the bottle, still intact, rose from the liquidy shards like a miniature mountain. For once, the subway didn’t have that dank smell created from too many people shoved into an underground room.
Instead, it smelled of liquor. Purifying, clean liquor. It would have been a nice change if not for the tearful twenty-something sobbing without control.
I assumed she was drunk, hence the stumbling, but as I sat on the subway, I tried to put a better spin on it. Maybe the bottle was a gift for someone. Maybe it was an expensive gift, one she saved for, to impress a boyfriend, or girlfriend, or best friend or boss or lover or some other kind of person important to her life.
That kind of broke my heart, so instead I went back to my original thought. She was drunk, wanted to keep the party going, and would have to figure out another way to do so.
On a daily basis, Richard got behind the wheel of his car to go to the office, and also daily, he would reflect on his life and the wrong turns he made. She was gone. Long gone. But he still didn’t feel any better.
As he went through green lights turned yellow about to turn red, he wondered the chances of a truck running it and ending it all for him. He had not the guts to do it himself, so he hoped for a Mack Truck to finish him off. Richard lacked the patience for improvement in his happiness; little did he know it was just around the corner.
Years later, once his life was together and he had a wife, two children and a happiness he never knew existed, his wish would come true.
They all gathered to hear the letter from their long-missing relative, William, Junior. His mother Betty called to her sisters from her alley window, who called their children from slumber, and they all met on the community patio outside of Betty’s home to hear the news. Frank, a second cousin, had secretly been taking bets that young Will had been killed in a bar fight, while his sister Evangeline insisted he had joined the Peace Corps and was saving the world.
Betty didn’t even change from the robe she wore around the house; as a matter of fact, she hadn’t even bothered putting on shoes or slippers. The others, some of whom took the time to get dressed in their day suits, some still in pajamas, all congregated around the family matriarch, whispering at the possibilities of what the letter might contain as she carefully pulled at the envelope. The markings on the postage said California, which was quite a long trip from William’s hometown of Coney Island.
They were waiting for Will’s youngest brother, Peter, who had run into town to get his father, only to have the elder William return before him. Moments later, Peter ran up to the group, panting. Nobody bothered to ask what had taken him so long as Betty pulled the three pages out and started skimming the letter before her public reading. A single tear ran down her cheek as she cleared her throat and prepared to read aloud.
Posted in flash fiction, photos of strangers
Tagged 1930s, Coney Island, entertainment, family, fiction, flash fiction, found photograph, friends, kitsch, letters, life, mail, missing persons, photograph, runaway, vintage
Another piece of flash fiction typed onto a vintage photograph using my antique typewriter. And of course, my shameless plug for the book.
Posted in Typography
Tagged 1930s, 1940s, art, beauty, couples, dennis finocchiaro, entertainment, feminism, fiction, flash fiction, found photograph, love, photo, photograph, relationships, sad, typewriter, typography, vintage, woman, women, writing
My first new flash fiction on a vintage photograph using an antique typewriter in months. If you like it, you can order Capturing a Moment, a collection of similar works or order an original by visiting my Etsy.
Posted in Typography
Tagged 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, art, beauty, couples, dating, dennis finocchiaro, entertainment, fiction, flash fiction, found photograph, kitsch, life, love, marriage, people, photo, photograph, photography, pictures, relationships, romance, typewriter, typography, vintage, writing
I am super proud of Anthology Philly, a collection of short stories from up and coming Philadelphia Area authors. Here is the intro I wrote and never put into the actual book because I was so excited about it and forgot:
The City of Brotherly Love is known throughout the nation as a place with a depth of historical wealth. Philadelphia is the home to history-making locations such as Independence Hall, and the most famous bell in the country, The Liberty Bell. The “Love” statue in Love Park has become an iconic image of the modern art world. And who can ever forget the William Penn Statue and all of the urban legends surrounding that?
With such a magnitude of meaning, it’s no wonder that Philadelphia has become a cultural epicenter of the United States. The city boasts several arts and events such as First Friday, the Philadelphia Film Festival, the Philly Fringe Festival, and First Person Arts. Philly has recently evolved into one of the great cultural centers of our time.
Anthology Philly showcases work from some of the great new writers of the Philadelphia area. Each story pays homage to The City of Brotherly Love and all of the aspects of our wonderful metropolis. Even through generational changes, Philadelphia continues to touch its residents and visitors in a meaningful way. Some will always remember the Christmas light show at Wanamaker’s while others will think of the same show at Macy’s. Some will reminisce about the days of seeing Sinatra play Convention Hall while others love the memories of standing in line waiting for an R5 show at the Unitarian Church. In either case, the experience of Philadelphia creates memories and sparks creativity across generations.
The richness of Philadelphia’s culture has inspired the stories within this anthology.
We hope you feel the love.
Posted in flash fiction
Tagged anthology, art, beauty, dennis finocchiaro, entertainment, fiction, found photograph, Frank Sinatra, Independence Hall, Love Park, Love Statue, people, Philadelphia, Philly Love, photograph, photography, photos, pictures, R5 Productions, short story, The Liberty Bell, WRAGSInk, writing