March/April Challenge of Lancer Writers ‘Every Picture Tells A Story’
Thanks to Sandy for her help
Blazing reds, yellows, and oranges flared out over the surface of the water as if it burned. The sun, nestled between the mountains, slowly gave up its hold on the day and bid the land goodnight. But before it disappeared, it held one more minute of spectacular beauty. One more flash of dazzling splendor as it reflected a perfect image on the water.
Johnny found himself holding his breath. The memory burst to the surface in his mind like an explosion, long buried, forgotten, until this very minute.
“Juanito, look! The water, it is on fire! See how beautiful it is!”
And young Johnny quickly turned to where his Mama pointed across the lake, where the colors seemed to scorch and change the water to flames. Juanito stared, not able to take his eyes from the near blinding lights. He’d never seen anything so mesmerizing before, and it held him captive. The colors so bright, they hurt his eyes, but he couldn’t look away.
A star, mi hijo! A star trailing over the fire! Oh, how beautiful!
Johnny remembered as she enveloped him in her arms and pulled him close, and, at that moment, Johnny could smell the delicate rose scent she wore all those years ago. It was as if she was sitting next to him, watching the display as it played on the water; it shimmered and sparkled and slowly disappeared before his eyes, taking the memory of her with it.
He wanted to call it back and feel Mama’s embrace one more time, feel the security of those arms around him again. Just one more time. But that memory would be with him forever and, never again, locked away, and he smiled.
“Do you want to share, son?” Murdoch asked as he watched his son, wondering what was going through the young man’s mind. With Johnny, you never knew.
Johnny sighed as he turned to his father. “Just a memory.”
“I hope it was a good one,” Murdoch whispered, wishing this memory was one to be cherished, treasured. Much of his son’s past brought nothing but nightmares.
“Yeah, Murdoch, it was. It sure was…”
With one last gaze across the water, Johnny settled back with coffee in hand and watched the fire die out. Above the sky darkened and the stars awakened and blinked to life. One light faded, another flickered on with exquisite splendor, and both intensified the memory of a mother and her son. A memory that Johnny Madrid Lancer would cherish as long as he lived.
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