And we're back to the present, making sure we stay legal with our pictures. Today's image is brought to you by (drum roll, please)... freeimages.co.uk. The great thing about this site, is the order. They're very well organized, with their free picture collections grouped in simple, intuitive categories (I found the above image in the Translucent section of Objects. I know, I know, but I just wanted something random, preferably not a nature scene; those are more ambiguous to work with, and we'll work on our picture-prompt writing some more before we go for those).
So, if you find yourself looking for an image to match what you've already written (the inverse of what I'm doing here) this site is a handy place to check.
Enough of my recommending. You and I both know why we're here: to write! See what you can do with today's photo prompt...
Karl runs his hands through his hair for the hundredth time in the last twenty four hours.
"I just want you back," he murmurs, taking her hands in his again. He caresses the soft fingers in his own strong ones, looking longingly at the 4th finger he'd envisioned with a ring. Every time that image has sprung to his mind in the last few hours, though, it has brought another type of pain.
"I don't care if you're- if you're not the same. And if you don't want- what you used to. Just come back." His voice cracks as he whispers the last sentence.
The nurse walks in and lays a gentle hand on the young man's shoulder.
"You should rest; it's been over twenty-four hours now."
Karl doesn't take his eyes off the young comatose woman in the hospital bed.
"There's a room right over here." Still he doesn't move. "I'll let you know if anything changes immediately," she adds kindly.
Karl finally slumps down into the waiting room chair, leaning his head against the cold white wall and closing his eyes slowly.
Against his will, his mind replays the moments when he got the call. He can still see the shattered glass on the floor, from the vase of roses he'd dropped: a vase broken beyond repair. The possible parallel makes him grimace.
If only he wasn't so painfully aware of all the cold, hard facts of the situation. He'd brought her here. There's no way to silence the nagging voice that says she would've been safe if she'd just stayed in that backwater town.
And the cold medical facts:
The recovery rate for comas is less than 50%.
Every hour, every day, that his beautiful Muriel stays suspended between life and death, the more that chance of returning decreases.
And even if she does come out of it?
Recovery. A long, hard road, with so many twists and turns...
"Mr. Klein?" Karl jerks his head up.
Resolution. It pulses through his exhausted body. "It doesn't matter what happens outside of you," he hears his father's voice echo through him, "its what you choose to do about it that means something."
Ten years later...
"Oh, no, no, no..."
"Honey!" he's calling from the front door. She brushes at the pile of glass. As he rounds the corner, he stops, the roses in his hand "Wait, what-"
"Just getting the broom," she answers,
"Oh, no you don't," he says, sweeping her up.
After their kiss, she sniffs at the bundle that he's dropped. "Roses?"
"Just an anniversary. Do we have any vases left?"
"Yes, you tease. I haven't broken everything in the house- yet."
"Between you and Claire, I'm surprised we have anything fragile around here at all."
"Well, besides my strong, beautiful, flower."
"Two beautiful flowers: your Claire is napping after a long day of sunshine."
"Yes, two flowers..." In the silence, they both think of the last few years.
"Who would've thought we could prove doctors wrong?" Karl murmurs after a moment.
"Doctors and experts are wrong all the time, silly," she smiles back.
"All the time?"
" 'Never talk again: wrong, after two years."
" 'Never walk again took some more time: five years," he adds.
" 'And no way you could have a healthy baby girl!' "
Yes, thank goodness for the wrongness, they both think. Thank goodness we're not glass- something more than a body and breath. Something more than roses and smiles that fade. Something untouchable, intangible, eternal, in our delicate vases of clay.