Thanks to everyone who sent me their stories for the photo prompt I posted. I'm awed by the creative talent of my friends and family!

If you'd still like to participate, I'll accept your stories. Please send them to me: kellysime[at]gmail.com

And, I'm not that picky about length. Yes, you can go over 750 words (although Alison kept it at exact, she tells me ;P). The limit is to keep the stories short enough to publish on the blog. Besides, I like my novels under 300 pages, stories should be short too! It's called a "short story" for a reason, people :)

As promised, Wendy's story is first. The following Wednesdays I'll post the other stories I received.

Skittering Leaves and Captured Sleeves

“Joe, I’m late because your Uncle Marty is insisting I stop and get canned cranberries, so just settle down. I need to run into the store and then I’ll be right over.” I said through gritted teeth. I turned off the car, and put my keys into my coat pocket. While debating whether or not to take my purse in, my phone rang again.

“Hello? Yes, I’m getting your cranberries right now, Marty. Yes, yes. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too. Okay, then. I’m hanging up now”.

Maybe I’ll just leave my purse and coat in the car. Less stuff to take in. I thought.

I shrugged out of my coat, and threw it on the passenger seat. Stepping out of the car, I pressed the automatic car lock button. Since I had my phone in my hand, I didn’t realize I left the keys in my coat pocket until the door was swinging shut. I put my hand out to stop the door, but it was too late. The door shut with a solid click. My stomach sank.

Oh my God, now I’m going to have to find someone to bring me my extra set of keys. When I lifted my arm up to dial Joe’s number, I felt a pull on the long bell shaped sleeve of my sweater. Pulling gently with my loose hand, I wiggled the green fabric back and forth hoping it would slip free from the car door. No such luck. I was stuck to the car.

“Argh! Stupid cranberries!” I yelled. I tugged on my sleeve a little harder, and with the increased struggle, my cell phone went flying out of my hand and slid under the car. I leaned my forehead on the top of the car and sighed.

I really need to pee. I thought miserably. I looked around at the nearly deserted parking lot. There were three cars parked at the far back. Some dry leaves skittered by as a cold breeze blew through.

“Do you need some help?” A voice said from behind me.

“OH, Thank God! I got my sleeve stuck and…” I started to say as I turned my head to look at the man. Heavily bearded and scruffy looking, the first thing I noticed was he was enormous. The second thing I noticed was the large black scorpion he had tattooed on the side of his face and neck.

“Um, actually…you know, I’m okay. My boyfriend Joe is on his way up to help me. But thanks, anyway.”

“I’ve been watching you since you pulled in.” He said stepping closer. I stared at him, and realized the world around us was suddenly quiet except for the sound of piped-in Muzak coming from the grocery store speakers

“I’ve been watching you.” He repeated and then kneeled down near my feet. I felt my body grow rigid, as I watched him lean toward my legs. He stretched out on his belly, and pushed himself under the car with an outstretched hand. When he pulled himself back out, he had my cell phone in his hand.

“Here you go. I think you’ll need this to call your boyfriend.” He said as he jumped up off the ground. He handed me the phone, and I could smell an earthy, smoky smell coming off his tattered coat.

“Thanks, so much!” I gushed as my face turned red. I flipped the phone open to call Joe, and realized the screen was black.

“I think it’s broken.” I sighed. “Look, do you happen to have a phone on you by any chance?” I was shivering by this point and getting desperate.

“No. I’m doing good just to have a coat this winter.”

“Could you maybe go into the store and ask them if they could come out and help me or call someone for me?”

“The manager told me, he’ll call the police if I come near the store again.” He noticed me trembling and then looked back at the store.

“What the hell, I guess I need somewhere to spend the holiday, anyway. I’ll get them to come out and help you.”

He ran past me a couple minutes later with a large can of cranberries in his hand. He tossed it toward me and kept on running. I reached out to catch the cranberries with one hand, but missed them, and they landed with a thunk and rolled under the car. I could hear the sirens in the distance coming closer.

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