I’m a huge fan of flash fiction – or stories told in (generally speaking) 1,000 words or less. I love writing it. I love reading it. It fits into my life at the moment. I don’t always have time to read a full chapter (or page) during the day when I’m bouncing between feeding my toddler and changing her diaper. Again.
But flash fiction I can manage.
The next challenge for me is to write micro fiction – or stories told in (generally speaking) 300 words or less. I’ll start sharing some of them here now and again.
You in for that?
Good. Because I’m doing it whether you like it or not. (But, seriously, I hope you like it.)
These stories will start with a prompt, an interesting photo that I’ve seen, a fleeting thought or random quote. Who knows where the inspiration will come from. Today, I share a photo that I found on Unsplash.com and immediately thought, “There’s a story behind that.”
And One Pinecone
by Stephanie Pitcher Fishman
One book of photos from the great national parks circa 1932.
An old Brownie camera.
A few photos of my grandmother.
And one pinecone.
I opened the door to my grandfather’s closet. It creaked and moaned like it was mourning his loss as much as we were. The house was quiet now. With him gone, no one was here to occupy it.
The for sale sign went up two days ago, so it was decided that we – meaning I – would need to sort out the remaining things left behind after the auction.
In the bottom of the closet, tucked into a strangely-shaped box that still had tiny pieces of plaid Christmas paper stuck to the edges with crispy bits of yellowing cellophane tape sat my grandfather’s prized possessions.
It wasn’t much to look at, but to me it was the story of his life.
One book of old photographs left behind to show his contribution to the art and the record of natural history. He loved being in the woods, alone, with his camera.
An old Brownie camera that had seen better days and most likely didn’t work, but was lovingly wrapped in soft flannel to keep it from becoming scratched.
A few photos of my grandmother that kept her alive long after she had passed – forty years longer.
And one pinecone from a tree that sat in the far left corner of the first yard they ever owned to remind him of happier days.
I gathered the box, tucked the flaps closed at the top and returned the creaking door back to its original resting place. The house would be missed, but only for a while. I had what was important.
I had my grandfather’s treasure.
© 2017, Stephanie Pitcher Fishman. All rights reserved.