Day 6 of the challenge!
My theme is NIFTY NUGGETS. Little nuggets of writing based on a photo, a phrase and an object, which is designed to encourage lean, tight writing. I’m aiming for a word count of under 300 words.
Thank you to L.Diane Wolfe for providing the beautiful photo prompts. You can visit her blog to check out more pictures.
PHRASE – an unorthodox alarm clock
OBJECT – ladder
The tour guide ushered the holiday group through the section of the gallery that housed a variety of stained glass pieces. To one side of the room, a guy on a ladder inspected a particular glass window to determine accurate historic value.
She stopped, mesmerized by the beautiful work of art. It boasted a seamless multi-color stained glass pattern in shades of red/orange/blue/green.The swirling colours and rich vibrant luster danced before her eyes. A myriad of thoughts ran through her mind, as it wandered off at a tangent.
How fragile is that glass?
Can it break easily?
Into solid pieces or a million shards?
That can cut deeply?
Or would it simply shatter?
Her vision blurred.
A few isolated things penetrated her thoughts. Somebody’s cell went off… the sound of an old-fashioned telephone. A reminder from the guide that all phones had to be put off. Two young girls in the group giggled. The tobacco smell of a bearded man who stood to her right… overpowering… smothering. The man on the ladder that reached all the way to——-
She closed her eyes. A flood of memories threatened to burst forth from a confined place, deep in the recess of a sensitive teenage mind.
Time shifted, hovered, neither here nor there, suspended between two worlds…
Ladder leading to the attic.
Telephone jingle on the radio show that always aired around noon.
Wood-smoked smell from the outside barn.
Somebody’s hand at her elbow. We seem to have lost you for a moment. Are you okay? The tour guide’s voice broke the spell.
Her palms were moist.
What was the matter? NO. Not now. She couldn’t allow this… not after all the progress…
It had been years since the last panic attack. She put on a smile. Smoothed her skirt.
Her carefully designed facade was at risk.
Did she look as fragile as she felt?
What does fragile “look like”?
People depended on her.
The shards left by swirling emotions threatened to cut her to the core. She refused to be held captive by past events.
Having come this far, she had made her way from the bottom of the economic ladder, struggling, one rung at a time, to reach the top.
She was almost there.