Sunday, July 31, 2011

Magpie Tales 76 - Wheel Of Fortune - Flash Fiction

Prompt: Magpie Tales, Mag76
Image: Skip Hunt
Carla noticed it as she stepped out of her dust covered BMW. A galvanized steel lean-to, decorated with someone's idea of sculpture; either a sun, a flower, or a windmill. She mentally compared it to the tasteful marble statue garden on her own property, with surrounding gardens carefully designed by an award-winning landscaper, and shook her head. Pathetic, how some people lived.

The family was just as she expected, unkempt and uneducated beyond belief. Two barefoot raggedy children straight out of The Waltons slunk about the overgrown front yard. Carla was convinced she'd need new crowns after grinding her teeth for two hours, trying to explain the foreclosure paperwork. When offered iced tea, she politely refused, assuming that the glass was probably filthy and the tea made with local well water.

Hell, they didn't even have the brains to be upset. The man sat there, his sunburned beefy arms draped across the table, reaching out occasionally to scratch the ears of the doleful hound beside him. His wife frowned and riffled through the papers, but seemed far more interested in the yelping offspring outside.

Desperate for a scrap of polite conversation before escaping, Carla asked about the artistic atrocity outside.

"Oh, that. Artie made it and gave it to me for our first anniversary. He's such a creative spirit", she replied, laying her hand over his for a moment.  "It was from an old windmill my brother tore down on his property a few years ago. He went in big for them solar things instead, but it didn't work out. Still, he's managin' to scrape by with a couple head of cattle and all. It'll be tight, but that's where we're goin' to stay till we get back on our feet. Ain't nothin' more important than family, Miss. Nothin'."

It took an hour for Carla to get home after taking a wrong turn and ending up even further out in the boonies. She kicked off her pumps and sat, sipping a glass of wine and tracing the contours of the crystal. She ran a critical eye over the furniture, the imported chandelier, the gorgeous oil paintings. She tried to remember if anyone had given her anything, if any one piece had any meaning. And she wondered where she would go, with no family and her own foreclosure papers lying on the marble counter top.


  1. Love this! In a way, I can relate to it. Not from Carla's side but from the family. Such depth and meaning to your stories. You really know how to hit home.

  2. I think everyone needs to unwind... Hehehe,...

    Have fun my friend!


  3. Ooh, I love the ending. She got hers, not so much for what she did but for what she thought. Well done!
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  4. Wow, I love this. Super write. : )

  5. Superb quick lesson in humanity.

  6. Nicely done with an ethnic touch and a clever ending.

  7. ..your descriptions are really effective specially in latter part where i seemed to relate more in the story.. neatly done. (:


  8. And the tables were turned...

  9. An excellent write , wonderful to read.


  10. An unexpected ending - neatly told.

  11. very how it all comes back in the end...tasty descriptions as well...

  12. "Carla was convinced she'd need new crowns after grinding her teeth for two hours, trying to explain the foreclosure paperwork." =]

  13. didn't expect that ending, nice one

  14. Oh!Brilliant,this...
    u have packed so much of emotion in such a casual voice...:)

  15. The biter bitten, eh? Unexpected conclusion. V.nice.

  16. Great Storytelling. I like how you have built the character sketch within such few words..
    Do pay my story a visit too and tell me what you think

  17. This is really good. Lot's of depth within a short space.

    I'm sure this has been shown in some romantic comedies...oh yeah, of course, that Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell movie "Overboard" (1987).

    In some others too because it's perfect for Cinderella stories. You know, the snooty parents of Prince Charming looking down on Cinderella. While it's the well-to-do folks who are dysfunctional and have no real family connections. But they take a lot longer to get that across than you did here.

  18. Nice one!

    She has a job and she's getting foreclosed anyhow? That's scary, although I've seen it happen a few times.

    Loved the jab about well water -- if Carla knew what happens to most municipal water, she wouldn't be so snooty!