All posts by k rawson

author, nerd, mom.

Her Need


PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

She was in the bathroom, staring in the mirror, with that look she got sometimes. Like no amount of heat could make her warm.

I didn’t need this now. Not with the mother of all meetings tomorrow. The whole Cybertown deal rested on my presentation. I needed to sleep. I needed be sharp. I didn’t need her need.

I realized then I could turn around. She hadn’t seen me. I could slip back out, through the bedroom and down the hall. She could deal with this herself.

She was so very pale.

I walked up, touched her shoulder. “What’s wrong, dear?”

101 words

This story was inspired by a similar story which Brene Brown shares in one of her wonderful books, although I can’t recall which one because I’ve read and loved them all. I’ve taken some fictional liberties with the fictionalized account.

This has been an edition of Friday Fictioneers, hosted by the talented and generous Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s photo prompt courtesy Rochelle! To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.




Pena Castle, Portugal

The servant bowed one last time at the door, leaving the tray of pastries on the tea table. Amélie tasted the rich travesseiro and realized—it might well be her last taste of such a delicacy. Though her chef and staff might join her in London—England had not the rich-yolked eggs, nor the abundance of sun-ripened almonds for such a delight. What did they know of fine dining in there? Their king hosted decadent feasts glutted with rich food. He knew nothing of the simple delight of sun-ripened olives. His 12-course meals were sort of indulgence that would have a royal deposed in a fortnight.

As she had been.

Tomorrow she would not be Queen Consort. Tomorrow the son she had saved by her own hand would no longer be king.

One final stroll through the courtyard, one final prayer in the chapel.

It was what the people wanted.

150 words

Oh boy, now I remember why I don’t like to write historical fiction. I’m exhausted and am going to spend the rest of the afternoon just closing all these browser tabs. Kudos to the great writers who astound me from week to week with their historical fiction. This shit is hard. Plus, I have no idea if any of it is true, aside from the fact that Queen Amélie spent her last night in Portugal at the Pena castle before going to London to live out her life in exile. (Yay, Wikipedia)

Anyway, this has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt, or to submit your own, click here.

The Things You Can’t Unstop

Nabatean Theater, Jordan


The American pointed. “How much for that bottle, back there?”

Abed continued shifting the clay figures on the lower shelf. Without looking up, he said. “You do not want that vessel, sir.”

The man smirked. He pointed down. “Okay then. What about those scarves? Down there?”

Abed bent for one. “Traditional Jordanian. The finest you’ll find. How many would you like?”

When the man didn’t respond, Abed turned—in time to see him snatch the bottle from the shelf.

“This is amazing,” the American said. “Is it very old?”

“I assure you, my friend, you do not want that bottle. I beg you please, return it.”

The man tipped the bottle from side to side, peering at the top. “How do you unstop it?”

“There is no unstopping it.”

The genie roared out, filling the square with his amorphous green bulk.

“Who dares awaken Hassaan? Prepare to face my wrath!”

150 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.

Dropping Matthew Off

He’d be glad to be done with the creche. It’d shave thirty minutes from his day once Matthew started school.

He was nearly back when he heard gunfire. A late-model car cruised slowly on the right. A trio of boys dashed in front. He slammed on the brakes—then realized his mistake. Another boy on the left, eye winking down the barrel of a gun.

He just needed to go, he just needed to go—but the piercing sting. He let go the wheel, looked down. Red on his shirt—why red? Red on his crisp white shirt. So much. He started to pant.

Not here. Not now. Who would pick up Matthew? Who would tell him? How would the boy know? How would he ever know how much he loved him? How impossibly big this love was.

How it was too big to even fit into this body any more.

151 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt click here.

Sadly, inspired by true events:

As near as I can tell, a creche is a daycare, but I could have this wrong.

I-80 Westbound, Mile Marker 234

photo prompt courtesy J Hardy Carroll

She waited until JT was asleep, then slipped out from under the sheet. She plucked a pair of cutoffs from the floor. She’d put them on outside. There was no getting shoes without waking someone.

She gripped the doorknob of the camper and turned it so slowly the only sound was JT’s snore, and the whimper of the girl they’d picked up yesterday. She pressed the door closed silently.

The rest area was a hard mile in bare feet, the semis whizzing by, blowing back her tangled hair.

“Anna? Is that you?”

“Mom–” Her voice snagged. “I want to come home.”

100 words

This has been an edition of Friday Fictioneers, hosted by the wonderful-amazing Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. This week’s photo courtesy the dashing J Hardy Carroll. To read more stories inspired by the prompt, click here.

The Thirteenth Day

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

By the thirteenth day, the ancient face of the sea turtle seemed like a friend. She’d been following his capsized vessel for the better part of a week. She’d surface, her cloissone cheeks gleaming in this sun, her almond eyes seeming almost human. She’d blink wisely, then vanish into the depths for hours. Then, just as he’d give up all hope to see her, she’d reappear at the edge of his craft, like a cheerful neighbor bearing a gift.

When she was gone, he’d stare hard at all horizons, searching for land. Was he too far east? he wondered. Or perhaps west. Impossible to say.

Just then she appeared, her head breaking the calm. An instant later—gone, but back again further east next time. Then further still. As if she was trying to tell him something. As if she knew. He reached for his oar and began to paddle.

150 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.


PHOTO PROMPT © Kent Bonham

“This is what you call a rental car?”

I expected that outburst. I did not expect her to spend her entire time at the Western Wall kvetching about the segregated prayer areas. The tunnels were ‘claustrophobic’, the Huvra too pricey, and the private tour at Tower of David ‘a disgrace for the money.’

The next day at Yad Vashem, she scolded the docent for disagreeing. “Such a maven you are. So young to know so much about the Holocaust.”

“Ma, she is an expert. This is what she does for a living.”

She pointed up. “The experts aren’t here.”

99 words

Tossing my hat in the ring once more for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks dear Rochelle, for hosting this gig and thanks to Kent Bonham for the photo. To read more fiction inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.