"Human Stories" is a flash fiction / photography collection about the collisions of life, humanity and the people trapped between the fury. A singular truth emerges from these encounters: That we are all caught off guard by the unpredictability and beauty of our days. Our response to the jolts of life--whether they be an unexpected love or a grievous mistake--is a summary of our inner character and personality...which inspired me to write these stories.
I hope you enjoy them!
- Lee Williams
“Dear God,” she said, peering across the teal surface of the sea, “I hope you notice me and make my life meaningful in every way.”
And God spoke back in the sinking embrace of sand against her toes, the water lapping against her ankles—a refreshingly brisk comfort—and a humid, sweet breeze, the kind that lifts spirits on cloudy days, as if to say to her:
“Even in this great expanse of sun, sand, and air, I only see you, and only you, little one.”
“Elegant shall be your name,” muttered the English blacksmith after assembling the curved top rails and spindles of the chair by hand, smiling toothily at the thought of the wealthy sitting on his masterpiece in the New World.
Elegant’s finish was exposed to the salt of the sea, which went unnoticed at the founding of Savannah, Georgia. where General Ogelthorpe declared it “worthy of a king’s taste”. The chair came to rest in the home of many a Southern aristocrat, creating smiles of envy on red-faced guests.
Years later the British would sack the Garden City and Elegant became a holder of muskets, dirtying her frame with the beginning kiss of rust. After independence swept over the nation, the chair had lost its initial shine but never its honor, but became a trading piece for artisans and bartering tool for the well-to-do.
Elegant told stories; cotton bales picked by Gullas once rested on its iron wrought seat, and Carolina drunkards in speakeasies rested on her frame, rambling woozy promises that “Charleston was the belle of the ball” compared to Savannah during Prohibition; its legs have scraped the floors of of lavish homes and dirt-floor dwellings and its once shimmering paint and finish tainted by two purging fires, yet Elegant remained, steady, a life-saver for the weary Confederate and Union soldier during Sherman’s march—who once shared a drink and a laugh under cover of darkness—and a midnight stop for the weary runaway slave seeking Jesus in a Northern heaven.
Elegant’s cross rails have teemed with Spanish moss through the thickening of time, and ghosts of old and new have paused their haunts to admire it. As time sped forward and the city sprawled wider than the founders could ever see, the sun still rose in the east and melted into the horizon, taking a moment each day to shine a light of resilience onto Elegant’s ornate ironwork, carrying with it greetings from the fountains, emerald squares, and vast low-country, as passerbys stopped—if only for a moment—to admire the love beaming from its frames.