Within a Picture Frame

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by Linda Manning

They rocked in a white swing adorned with colored roses, and his hands curled lovingly around hers.  A whisper filled the tiny space between his lips and her ear, a universe of promises swirling within a half-inch of Kodachrome magic.

He invited her to canoe a river that snaked into their future, around her finger, and then toward that one blue egg.  They raised a German Shepherd from a pup, born with a knowledge of how to protect Adam in the yard.  The dog went to live on a happy farm long before Adam left for college, got married and found an egg of his own.  Then he, too, learned how to create happy stories out of sadness.

In one turn of that whisper, a chocolate shop thrived.  Stools twirled beneath children with cocoa lips that surrounded sugar-dusted crescents.  A little pup slept on a cloud by the door.

Their toes wiggled in tear-soaked grass when that galaxy collided with another newfound dream.

They turned together toward the east where morning brought fresh golden light to ever-graying hair.  Preserved within a square that once contained nothing at all, their faces glowed with the light of dawn.

Yes, this was the one.  She peeled the price tag off the glass and removed the flimsy of a radiant couple on a swing.  She replaced the black velvet canvas within the frame.  Today, she was sure, would be the beginning.

Bio: Linda Manning’s work appears in such venues as Calliope, Silver Blade, Foundling Review, previous issues of Liquid Imagination and joyful! as well as in anthologies.  Her fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart prize and the Micro Fiction award.  Visit her at Notes from Linda.