(Image courtesy of Five-Minute Getaway)


Flash Fiction by Voni Harris


[AUTHOR’S DISCLAIMER: This story is completely and totally fictional.]

Rachel arched her back to stretch the muscles that were tense from a day at the computer, editing photos for her client, as Hannah played quietly nearby. They’d have to go to the park tonight; it took so little to make her daughter happy.

She clicked on the perfect color of turquoise to match the pillows on the white rattan chair to the shallow water of the ocean. And the beach bag. She clicked cerulean for the padded water bottle sitting on the lounge chair, to match the blue of the deeper ocean water.

She faded the sky to almost-white on the right side of the picture, just to carry through the white of the lounges and the—she stifled a giggle—egg chair. She’d sat in it while she was on site, and it was actually comfortable, even if it did look like an egg.

She clicked save. Typed an email to her client. There. The job was done.

It was a nice scene, really, sure to attract tourists to the posh resort. Only she knew of the seagull droppings she had photoshopped out. Or the blind panic of the one-day photo shoot itself, once storm clouds were detected on the horizon. Neatly photoshopped out, too, thank you very much.

 Rachel sighed.

If only she could photoshop out the storm clouds and seagull droppings in her own life. It had taken nearly five years–five years!–to edit out her abusive ex-husband. Yet Craig remained as a ghostly imprint on the picture of her past, a memory that just wouldn’t leave—like a bad-mannered guest.

She glanced up at Hannah, who was stretched out on her belly on the floor, quietly creating her own six-year-old artwork. Hannah had chosen to plop down on the shag carpet right in the sunny spot beneath the window. Rachel should take a picture, but she didn’t have the energy to go get the camera.

Instead, she walked over to ruffle her girl’s hair and look at her drawing. There was a weird dot, a blob of paint, right in the middle of the sunny sky.

Kind of like a blue seagull dropping.

Hannah wrinkled her nose. “I spilled some paint there. But it’s a pretty blue.” She thought for a moment, then she picked up her brush, and turned the dot into a rain drop, and added a few more. She looked up with a grin. “Just like the other day when it rained and sunned at the same time. See, Mama? My accidental dot made a cool picture after all.”

“Very cool. Awesome picture, my girl,” Rachel said. “I’m glad you thought of  it.”

If Craig was a seagull dropping in her life, then Hannah was the rain.

Photoshop was highly overrated, anyway.


Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 (NIV)

[This story was inspired by the Flash Fiction Friday writing prompt posted by l.S. Engler at http://lsengler.com/, where I found the picture I included at the top of the story. Thanks, L.S.!]