This week's prompt was based on a picture of a burning cigarette in an ashtray.
We want to know what memories this sparked (ha! pun! yes!) in you. Your work must be first-person - and it must be about YOU. No fiction. That's what memoir is, folks!
A small pebble somehow got stuck between my sandal and my foot. In an effort to casually walk and still remove it, I shake my leg.
They begin to laugh and ask what I'm doing.
As I disclose my discomfort they break into a chorus of laughter.
I can't help but join in as the jeep drives by yet again playing "Lowrider" on its system. The bass is blasting, as is the norm in during the summer of 1996.
With each step, we walk more in unison, as we chat aimlessly about high school.
It is over now, our high school careers. Graduation was a few days before and by the end of the summer we will all part, starting new. Our small town life a memory.
In the moment, we are walking with a purpose. We all freshly showered, having washed the sand and sunscreen from our earlier beach day and in its place robed ourselves in tiny summer fare.
I wear a striped shirt that grazes my navel with my favorite pair of off white jean shorts.
Looking back now, I would kill for that stomach, but then, in the company of smaller and thinner girls, I wear that shirt with a layer of consciousness.
I look at my friends, equally tanned and blissful.
I interlock my arms with one as we turn down the street coming up to the gas station.
She runs ahead of us, taking her wallet out of her small purse. She turns around as she holds up her license.
The date matches the day on the calendar, except eighteen years later. She wanders into the mini mart attached to the gas station. We look in through the window.
I watch as her mouth begins to move.
"Marlboro Lights" she mouths, as the graying man reaches above his head for the cigarettes. He places the package of cigarettes on the counter.
She hands him the I.D. as a smile graces her face.
He mouths the price as he rings up her purchase.
She counts out the money, hands him it and spins around. The years as a ballerina are evident as she pirouettes out the store.
We meet her at the door way.
"Are you happy now?" I ask my tone obviously filled with condemnation.
"Yes" she squeals, as she jumps into another friends' arms.
"Happy Birthday to me!" She says.
Yes, happy birthday to you, I think as we walk back to the motel.
I still find this trip for cigarettes to be amusing fifteen years later, mainly because none of us smoked!