Mary-Carter Wheeler was up the creek without a paddle. Carrying a large, inflated inner tube, she had trudged to the end of the creek where she usually met her best friend Tilly on Saturdays. The tube was big enough for both of them, and they would float downstream to the Wheeler family dock on the river, arriving just in time for lunch. This time, Tilly wasn’t sitting in her usual spot under the old oak. Mary waited until her stomach started growling, then finally gave up and set off on her own. Lying back, she looked up through the trees at the pale blue sky. The scattered clouds were as white and fluffy as … -oh no! She sat up, nearly capsizing. Her freshly-ironed white dress and petticoat were hanging on her closet door at home. A bouquet of white spring flowers waited in a Mason jar of water in the kitchen. Tilly hadn’t arrived because she was leading today’s May Day procession at the county fairgrounds. This year, the May Queen would be missing a member of her court.
Note: This is my second flash fiction piece involving the use of an idiom and a bit of history. May Day celebrations were an important part of small town life in the early 20th century. Read my interview of a former May Queen here.