This week Friday Fictioneers presents this lovely photo, to inspire a 100-word piece. Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff -Fields, for running this weekly challenge, and Carla Bicomong, for use of the picture. I strayed a little, from a literal interpretation of the photo, this time, but stuck with the paper lantern theme…For those of you who don’t know, Riverside is an area of town in Jacksonville, Florida, with beautiful, old, stately homes, and they really do have a yearly celebration like this. One must do something, when one can’t count on snow. Thanks again for reading!
Defying the darkness, we weaved our bicycles, single file, between the parade of moving cars, on our left, and the parked ones, on our right.
All around us: a din of honking and jingling and shouting and recorded carol singing; blinking Christmas lights; pick-ups and porches, overflowing with revelers, toasting the season; blow-up Santas and snowmen, bobbing and bowing, an inner glow emanating from their generous bellies.
Outlining every sidewalk and drive, sand, in paper sacks, propped up cheap votives, whose usual purpose was much grimmer.
Lanterns, everywhere. As if to prepare this grand old neighborhood, for some celestial dot-to-dot.
For a longer short story about a child’s Florida Christmas in the heart of citrus country, read The Next Best Thing to Snow.
For a poem about Santa during COVID, read Christmas This Year (2020).