This was from a flash fiction contest on Torquere Press's Social Yahoo Group from 10/16/09. The prompt was "seedling," "trunk," and "phoenix." We were limited to no more than 200 words, which is pretty hard for me.
David leaned up against the trunk of the old maple, basking in the late afternoon sun while I, perched on the ladder, pulled fall leaves out of the gutters. If I didn't get the mulch out, I'd have seedlings on my roof come spring. Stupid helicopters.
"That should be the last of it," I muttered, walking down the ladder without using my hands.
"Brian, you know I hate it when you—"
A wet leaf on one of the rungs made my foot skid out from under me. Flailing wildly, I fell, the ladder crashing down next to me as I landed in the compost pile.
"Brian!" David was at my side even before I'd caught my breath. "Are you okay?"
I had to think about it. "Yeah, I think so."
He let out a relieved sigh, and a mischievous light entered his eyes. "I dunno. Maybe I should check you over. You know, to make sure."
I took his proffered hand, rising phoenix-like from the decaying muck into his waiting arms. "As long as there's a shower involved."
"I think that could be arranged."
This sounded like a much better way to spend a Saturday.
Copyright © 2010 Mercy Loomis
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