Postcard-sized flash fiction about the things we think we know about others, life, death, and everything in between. And it all starts with an image...

Old Friends

Ms. Royal had spent her entire life in this doorway—from the carpenter’s shop to the painter, onto the installer’s truck, and then, here, next to Mr. Turquoise. Turq, he insisted she call him. She thought nicknames a little too common, vulgar even, so she called him by his full name, at least for a few months. But after the rains and freeze-thaw of winter, after a prankster had spray-painted over her perfect finish and some of her royal paint began to wear, she called him Turq.
At the end of a long and particularly humid summer day, Turq said to her, “One day you’ll wake up and find a younger, jauntier door in my place. And that door may think you don’t know what you’re talking about, that you’re dated and weathered and too old to be of much use…I want you to listen to them. But don’t believe them. Not for a single moment. No matter the tarnish on our hardware or the dullness of our paint, we’ve got ears to listen and a lifetime of experience to share. They’ll come to see you as a friend, you just have to give them time.” Ms. Royal blushed a shade of purple as the sunset lit up her lower panels and she thought of her own youth.
“Don’t you worry, Ms. Royal,” said Turq, “we’ve all been there. Now enjoy the setting sun.”
And so she did. For many years to come, through the changes in paint colors and sanding, and new hardware, the two doors remained friends, until that day when Turq was retired for a sleek metal and frosted glass door.
And in true Turq style, Ms. Royal opened toward the new door and said, “You can call me Ruby (for this had become her new and most favorite color). Welcome to the neighborhood.”



This image and more of Carmen’s photographic prints and merch are available for purchase at Fine Art America.
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