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Throwback Writing: Paper Thin

Today's throwback blog post is from 7/2/2012. It's a bit of geeky interest to me that I happen to find throwback posts from the exact same month and day, not to mention, makes it easier to choose. ;)


The words for this flash fiction were zip, hymn, false teeth, peacock and computer. The photo was hilarious. As this was a blog hop and we encouraged other bloggers to put their spin on their own post, we had many very interesting takes for this prompt! I took mine in the direction of a bonding moment between aunt and niece, and printed and digital photos, for more of a heartfelt take.

Paper Thin


"Do I have to?" I grumbled, looking at the small bungalow my mom had driven to.


"Zip it," she answered, her hands gripping the wheel as she ordered me out with her eyes.


Aunt Stacy was in the attic when I walked in, so I hollered to let her know I was there and plopped on the couch. Humming my favorite hymn, I pulled out my phone to take my aggression out on some pigs who would need false teeth when I was done with them.


When Stacy came into the living room, she was covered in dust from her pinned up hair to her peacock print tank, all the way down to the dragging hem of her washed-out jeans. She had a box propped up on a curvy hip, tipped out away from her body as if she didn't want to touch it any more than she had to.


"Do you want to help me with something?" No, I thought, but got up anyway.


Outside, a bonfire had been started. Stacy dropped the box onto a small table, giving me a shaky smile before she ripped it open and started throwing the contents into the flames.


I took small steps toward the box. It was filled with glossy photos, some in their full 3x5 size, others just a thin piece, obviously cut from the bigger photo.


"There were some I wanted to keep," Stacy explained when she saw me with one of the thin pieces. Uncle Steve - now just Steve, was the object of each piece of kindling. "Go ahead. Throw it in."


We threw piles in, flipped a few in, then had contests on who could get the most in Frisbee-style.


"I have to figure out what to do with the ones on my computer," she sighed.


"I'll help you Photoshop them," I offered. Stacy's grin was brilliant. I was beginning to be glad I'd come.


I reached in to grab a photo with Uncle - I mean, just Steve in a car, head in his hand with a pair of dolls in the back seat. I showed Stacy, raising my brow in question. Her lips pursed.


"Steve always thought he was smarter than everyone else. He put these dolls in his back seat so he could drive in the carpool lane. This is the day he got caught." The photo fed the fire.


"This is kind of cool," I announced as we watched what was left of the photos curl and ash. "I don't have any photos to do this to. It's much more therapeutic than just pressing delete."


Stacy's laugh started with a startled squeak, then settled into a desperate chuckle. I put my arm around her waist and leaned in. Though she took my weight, I had the feeling I was holding her up.

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