‘Yeh, but why is it on your list? Rubbish as art? It’s weird.’
‘Forgotten things can become special in the right hands.’
‘You don’t need a tower of junk to tell you you’re special. Is that what this trip is about?’
Layla sighed. The car was too warm. She hadn’t achieved half of what she wanted to, and now she was rotting away from the inside. Cells mutated. Tom was going to take it bad. She hoped he could find some beauty in the world when she was gone.
The Cathedral of Junk is in the backyard of Vince Hannemann in Austin, Texas. He built it because he liked it and it has become a tourist attraction. Find out more about the Cathedral of Junk here.
‘Get ya woolly ‘ats! Two fer a fiver! Ye alrigh there luv? These ‘ats’ll look bloomin lovely on that gorgeous ‘ed o yours.’
‘I only need one.’
‘Only need one ya say? But am sellin two fer a fiver. Why ‘av one when ya can ‘av two? See ‘ere, pink fer the day an blue fer the night. Or ‘ow about a lovely red one fer chrimbo? Make those baby blues look even bigger.’
‘Can’t you just sell me one?’
‘Are you pullin me leg me lovely? D’ya know how long it took me to staple these soddin things together?’
‘Dinner will be ready soon. I’m getting in the shower.’
There was no response, just the muffled arguments of the boys in the living room. Those iPads were a blessing sometimes, Petra had to admit. There aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done, and she was sure every mother called on the technology babysitter occasionally.
The hot water blasted her body and relaxed her muscles. A sigh of pleasure escaped.
The shower curtain was suddenly whipped back. Petra shrieked as she looked straight into her mother-in-law’s smiling eyes.
‘It’s not junk! Look, there is the mantle clock I bought in 1983, you were only seven then, that’s probably worth a lot of money now! And that tatty blanket was Sam’s favourite. Remember the chaos it caused when we lost in the town centre that day? There would have been many sleepless nights if it wasn’t for that kind-hearted lady who found it.And those slippers are all I have left of Buster, he only peed on them a few times. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, my mother always said.’
Maria held her swaddled baby tight in her arms. Hot tears rolled down her cheeks and fell on the child’s face who was sleeping soundly through all the noise and terror. Her tiny lips started sucking and Maria smiled. ‘I love you, I love you, I love you,’ she whispered.
Maria kissed the baby’s head and, ignoring every screaming protest in her body, she leaned out of the window and let go. In slow motion she watched her baby fall into the outstretched arms ten floors below.
Slumping next to the cot, she sobbed as the black smoke engulfed her.
This story is based on eye witness accounts of a mother dropping her child ten floors at Grenfell Towers. Miraculously, a man on the street caught the baby and it survived. I cannot find any information about the mother or if she survived.
Jasmine stood in the bathroom and studied her reflection. The strip lighting was stark but she thought she held up well. She smoothed over her black hair that was pulled into a perfect bun at the crown of her head. Leaning into the mirror she checked her make up closely; no lines of foundation visible, perfect wings and eyebrows on fleek. Her full lips looked so kissable in her new red lipstick that matched her shift dress.
The thought of the black lace beneath made her smile. Only three hours left on the make-up counter until he arrived.
Eli and Clide looked at the selection of ceramic chalices in front of them, brows furrowed with confusion. Their black suits making them stand out as different in the quaint, boutique shop on a Monday afternoon.
‘Get the biggest one, that weird yellow one. That looks like it could’ve been forged by the devil.’
Eli nodded, considering.
‘It does look pretty old, and these people are pretty stupid. Jesus, they’ll believe anything, I don’t even know why I’m bothered. Get the yellow one.’
Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge to write 100 words on the above photo promt, hosted by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff-Fields – Addicted to Purple. To check it out click here.
Jess stood on the damp grass at the edge of the lake. The orange glow was soothing, majestic, it filled her with an emotion she couldn’t understand or express. The watery surface reflected the sky. Two skies, two worlds. She wondered what it would be like down there in that upside-down world. That underworld. Would it be different from this one? Surely it couldn’t be any worse.
She walked in, the cold water felt good, like a punishment. There was nothing left for her here.