Last week on Twitter my brother retweeted this picture posted by You Had One Job, with the words 'Short story inspiration/challenge?' I, of course, accepted the challenge and here it is ...
The river was the high that day. Flood alerts on the local news. The water lifted vehicles out of carparks and from waterside streets the previous evening. They floated downstream to be left on the banks miles further up. Like that old UPS van behind Joe. It washed up from the car museum in town. We saw a Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang car too. It should have flown away when it saw the water levels rising.Stopping a passing policeman to take our picture was a bit daring but he was too preoccupied with the flood water and washed up vehicles. We'd just come out of the register office, you see. Sixteen and getting married. We’d known each other since we were twelve. We had no family with us. We did it in secret. We knew what we wanted. Why wait?
I asked Joe to hold my bag while I switched to selfie mode to check my hair and redo my lip gloss. My little sister bought me this novelty handbag. I’d have preferred a plain one but she was so pleased it. Sewing’s my job and my hobby. I made my own dress. A very simple white maxi dress with silver sequins at the neck. You’ll see it on the other photos.
Of course I love the photos of the two of us together but this photo does make me laugh. Joe appears to be holding a sewing machine. So random. And look at his cute smile.Yeah, I still use the bag. I keep Joe’s ashes in it.
The floods were even higher the year after. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He got swept away.