So my good friend Lyn Thorne-Alder (you’ve seen this name before, I promise) runs a nifty little running blog-thing called Thimbleful Thursday. She posts an idiom (at least usually, I’m not sure if she’s using other things yet or not) and then a projected word count. These are flash fiction levels of words, so I think they range between 100-500 words. I don’t know that I’ll always be able to keep to these, since you all know as well as Lyn does that I’m bad at sticking to short word counts, but I figure since I’m looking for prompts for Fiction Fridays, I’ll go through some of the Thimbleful backlog. This one is from February 2nd, and the prompt is “shadow of a doubt.”
The story is from the world of A RATHER LARGE PUDDLE, and is from–naturally–Jade’s perspective. This takes place somewhere in the middle of the book, when Jade is college hunting and has gone over to England to scout out potential places over there. Maggie is a friend of hers, and our male protagonist’s sister. (He’s also Jade’s love interest. So.)
There was a moment, sitting on the steps of the National Art Museum, looking out over Trafalgar Square and just watching all the people as they walked by…that I knew that there hadn’t ever been a way I wasn’t coming here. It didn’t have to do with Allen (not entirely, at least), it didn’t have to do with college, it didn’t have any specific starting point. It just came out of nowhere, and asserted itself as fact.
I needed to be here. I needed to be in London, in England, somewhere on this side of the ocean in this general area. This is where I needed to be. I could feel the poetry in the streets, in the air, under my feet as I walked. I loved Colorado, sure. It was home, and maybe it always would feel a bit like it. But Big Ben from his perch in the Houses of Parliament was calling to me, and he knew that my feet brought me here for a reason.
I’d never really believed in fate before. It seemed too pat, too easy. It was a way out of actually explaining how something happened. You could pass it off as “fate” and explain away a multitude of wrongs that way. “Fate” sounded too much like Romeo and Juliet. But there was something bigger at work here. God, fate, circumstance…whatever you wanted to call it, I could tell it was here, guiding me.
Man, I really sounded new age-y now, didn’t I?
“Miss?” Someone had appeared in front of me, already looking apologetic. “I’m so sorry to disturb you. But, would you be willing to take a picture of all of us, with that bottle in the background?” He pointed, indicating the massive ship-in-a-bottle that sat on a pedestal a bit away.
“Sure, no problem.” I stood and framed the family in the photo. I wasn’t the best photographer, but I’d give it my best for them. “Three, two, one…and–cheese!” I took two pictures, then handed the phone back to the man.
He looked at them and grinned. “These are perfect. Thank you so much!”
“Sure thing, thank you.” I sat back down and watched them walk away, still smiling. Tourists, just like me, off on their own adventure.
It was a few more moments before I heard a new–but this time familiar–voice call out to me. “Hey there, pretty lady. Looking for some company?”
I grinned over at Maggie as she mock-strutted over to me. “I dunno, I’m not sure you’re my type.”
She scoffed, waving me off. “I’m everyone’s type, love.” Maggie flopped down on the stairs next to me and leaned back onto her elbows. “Having fun sitting here?”
“Yeah. I went into the museum a bit ago and I’ve just been people watching since then.” My smile softened. “I really like it here, Maggie.”
“Well good thing you’re looking at unis here, yeah?” She nudged my leg with her knee. “Besides, I think London likes you too. You look very at home here.”
My eyes cast out across the square again. “Yeah. …I think I feel at home here, too.” Beyond a shadow of a doubt…I’d found where I belonged.