Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge to write a complete story in 100 words or less based on a photo prompt. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this challenge and Gah Learner for this week’s prompt.
Harold curled his body into a tight knot, holding the bed-covers close. The room felt cold as a refrigerator and it was only October. What would December bring?
Next to him, Harold’s wife slept unaffected by the freezing air. He thought back to the early days of their marriage when on cold nights they snuggled to keep each other warm.
That was before The Change.
Now, no matter how cold it was outside, Harold’s wife insisted they sleep with the window open.
All Harold could do is wrap himself in blankets and pray for Summer.
The inspiration for this story (with slight deviation) comes from a quote by George Bernard Shaw
Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can’t sleep with the window shut and a woman who can’t sleep with the window open.
Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. Thanks to C.E. Ayr for this weeks challenge. To see what other stories were inspired by this great photo, just go here.
This week is a continuation of my last story,Just Sports.I couldn’t leave Frank and Diane hanging in marital disarray and I hope you agree, things are getting interesting.
Diane was adamant.
“I want four hours, every Saturday morning. No questions asked.”
“What do you mean, no questions asked. What do you plan to do?”
“No questions. Not where I go, not whom I’m with. Those are my conditions.”
The couple sat at separate ends of the therapist’s couch. The World Cup had torn their marriage apart. Diane wanted a divorce, but Frank begged they try counseling first. His sports obsession was out of control and he was willing to do anything to keep his wife.
On Saturday morning, Diane left the house without a word. She drove to the park where she saw Barry’s car. It was early, and they were quite alone.
“Frankie is OK with this?” Barry asked. Frank was his best friend and he wanted to make sure he had his blessings first.”
“It’s complicated. The less he knows, the better.”
“I like you Diane, but I’m not sure you are worth losing a friend over.”
Their marriage was a toxic cocktail they both drank, from habit rather than from choice. Maggie, exhausted from the argument with her husband Cord the night before, clung to a hot cup of coffee as if it were a talisman. Their fight had been over nothing significant but like constant water across the face of a rock, it further eroded their love and trust.
Cord came from a dysfunctional family and through self-preservation held the belief that life was a zero-sum game. In any argument, there were winners and losers and he made sure he was never on the losing side. At least not in his own mind. Maggie’s own past conditioned her to placate her husband by accepting responsibility for every charge leveled at her. She yielded to him as victor.
Rising from the steam of her coffee came the realization that this argument was not new; it started in the early days of their marriage, in constant replay, like a vinyl 45 stuck on the same old song.
Time to clean up and move on, Maggie thought.
She could see the path ahead, although she knew not where it would take her.
Word Count = 194
Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. Thanks to Dawn Miller for providing this week’s challenging photo.