There are so many great Flash Fiction opportunities across the web. I especially love the ones based on a prompt. Sometimes I’m able to pull a piece together for them. When I do I’ll post them here. Click the dates for a link back to the original inspiration.
It’s Tuesday Tales time. Our word this week was concoct and the picture of a woman standing in the rain wearing a snazzy black dress.
It had all seemed such a simple plan.
Concoct a little bad weather, stand on Love Street near his office in that smashing little black dress and heels. (The red purse had been a brilliant last minute addition to the outfit.) Braston would see her on his way home and offer a ride. Love and marriage couldn’t help but follow.
Simple, really. How could it go wrong?
Nightshade, she’d used to much of it in the potion and whipped up a category 2 hurricane, killing her chances at love.
Once again my Thursday Threads story does double duty for Story a Day. This week’s sentence to tie our tales together: “It was so long ago, but the memories hadn’t faded.”
I went back every fall to see the place where she died. It was so long ago, but the memories hadn’t faded, at least not for me.
The water was low this year and I could see the rocks at the bottom of the stream bed. Sharp, gashing rocks where she had bled to death.
My throat closed up and I started shaking as flashes of the scene rushed in. The auburn hair, half matted with blood and yet still floating in a cloud around her unblemished face, the wound hidden beneath. Her schoolbag laying on the ground along with her flute case, as if she’d stopped for a moment to look at something.
I grimaced and unclenched my hand. The rose and the few bits of my blood it had claimed arced out of my hand and were soon carried away by the swift current. Fitting that our blood should be forever mingled that way. After all, she’d died instead of me.
Ever the big sister, Mary Jean had offered to talk to my boyfriend for me. Help him see that we should break up. They couldn’t prove he’d killed her but I’d known and after fifteen years I’d finally gotten our revenge.
“You can rest in peace now. Car accident. At least that’s what the police report said.”
I tie on my Thursday Thread – and use my Story a Day Prompt at the same time! Thursday Thread: “I’m terminal, not contagious.” Story a Day Prompt: have your main character offstage.
Tana grunted as she pulled the oversized envelope out of her apartment mail box. Which was immediately followed by a snort as she read “DO NOT BEND” stamped across its crumpled middle.
It was from Kaileen. Tana hadn’t seen her in almost a year. They’d been what Tana always thought of as situational friends. Took the same aerobics class and were part of a group that would occasionally go out for a drink afterward. Nothing personal. Certainly not send cards in the mail type friends.
read the front of the card in big letters. Below was a picture of Kaileen, with a big smile, arms flung wide, and looking like she was finishing a tap dance. Until you noticed her head. You could always tell someone who was in chemo.
Tana opened the card and couldn’t help but laugh to find:
But sobered as she read the rest of the card:
You’re all invited to join me this
Saturday, 6pm at
for food, fun, and liquor.
Come help send me off in style!
Kaileen had invited Tana to her parties before – and been turned down. But this time Tana knew she would be going and quit smacking the hand of friendship that was being offered.
A little Tuesday Tales story to start the month right.
Even five years on, the motel room looked just the same as it had on their honeymoon.
Patricia’s eye was drawn to the bed. Jed had been gentle as he led her through that first conjugal dance. It would be one of the few times.
Jed was surprised when his wife suggested the trip. She rarely came to him voluntarily these days.
But the trip was only part of the surprises Patricia had planned for this weekend. She smiled as she thought of the gun in her bag.
What he had begun here, she would now end.
The balloons arrived just after Lilly left for school. Lauren’s heart sank as she viewed their gaudy cheerfulness. She didn’t read the attached card, didn’t need to.
“The prescited clan,” her grandfather had called them. He could afford to be cheerful. In three hundred years he’d been the first allowed to live that long.
Lauren could do no more than leave a message for Mark to call her brother. “Tell him the balloons arrived.” Jeff was the only one left who could explain everything, the only one to teach Lilly.
For Lauren the end had come.
Tuesday Tales today. The word was abscond and a picture of a couple on a beach.
They met on the beach at sunset as planned. “Did they suspect anything?” She asked breathlessly.
“No. I told them I was taking a vacation with my girlfriend.”
Brenda giggled. “But you are.”
“I know,” Garret whispered. “But they don’t know you’re also my agency contact.”
“So where is it?”
“Sewn into the waistband of my trunks.”
“Let’s get back to the hotel room then,” she said invitingly and pulled him along the beach.
Brenda sighed to herself. Why couldn’t the marks just abscond with the data sticks and hand it off any more? Now she might miss her plane.
A little Tuesday Tales action. Still Valentine’s theme – but I’m not so sentimental as yesterday.
Sarah’s plan to give Dan the perfect Valentine’s Day was put into action when he left for work. With a cupidity rarely seen, Sarah tore around town buying supplies to create her vision. By late afternoon Sarah was enjoying her doting husband’s gift of luxurious handcrafted bubble bath and lotion. She sighed and thought of the evening’s pleasures.
Dan arrived home to find his bride lying on their bed amid carefully flung roses. He checked to make sure she was dead before disposing of the incriminating bath products and calling the police. He had never liked her over wrought plans.
Days of Grey piece for today and it’s not a poem, just a little fable.
In the days of old when kings ruled, and dragons roamed the countryside, there came a troubadour. The king, as was the custom in those days, welcomed him warmly and the troubadour in return sang of brave knights and the fair maidens they loved.
The troubadour noticed a comely young woman at the king’s table and asked one of the serving girls, “Who is that delightful creature sitting so close to the king?”
The girl gave a giggle before answering. “Why that is the king’s youngest daughter. It is said she will marry no man except the one who captures her heart.”
“Then that is what I shall do,” the troubadour boldly declared.
“I wish you luck sir. Many have tried, and lost their heads for their trouble.”
Filled with yearning for the girl’s love and assured of his own talent, the troubadour stayed on at the castle for the next month. Every night he would sing while the king’s retinue ate dinner. And every day he would walk the castle grounds in hope of talking with the princess.
One day he happened upon his heart’s desire while she rested under an orange tree. Quietly the troubadour sat down next to the girl and began strumming and singing a song of unrequited love.
Slowly the princess woke, and as her eyes opened she smiled at the sight of the minstrel. “How long I have waited for you to find me troubadour. I have come to the grove every day for the last month, hoping you would sing only to me.”
“And I have walked the grounds every day looking for you. I did not know of this place until today. How right that I should find my love here. Your radiant beauty only serves to magnify intoxicating smell of the orange blossoms.”
The princess blushed and her love began to grow as the oranges did so that by harvest time, she welcomed the minstrel’s marriage proposal.
“Your great grandfather read that story over and over as a boy,” my grandmother said.
“And that’s why he had the painting made for the labels,” I finished up.
“Exactly. He fell in love with oranges almost as much as the troubadour and the princess fell in love with each other.”
I stayed out of the way while Grandmother finished putting away the empty crates. “Next year will I be old enough to help with harvest?” I asked.
“Yes, and then before you know it, you’ll be telling that story to your grandchildren.
Another poem for Days of Grey. This one is didactic cinquain. Definition here.
Long sought after
Craving it’s feel, heartwarming
I decided to try a little poetry today for the first Days of Grey entry. It’s been a long time and instead of writing free form I decided to look of some poetry form options. This one is done in the Tanaga style which is a Filipino style. 4 lines, 7 syllables per line. and AABB rhyming sequence – if sticking to the traditional format. However, I did write it in English as I don’t know Tagalong so I’m not following all the rules.
Burnished steel on glowing coals
Holds a hope for frozen toes
Steam bursts forth bringing relief
Now we shall brew broken leaf
I was going for slightly saucy and arousing. I ended up with a bit of the sappy. Merry Early Christmas everyone!
It had been a long Saturday finishing up Christmas baking and by six Paul came to check on dinner. “Kids are hungry what are we eating?”
“Whatever you can pick up.” I snarled and kept sugaring the snickerdoodles. “Fill the sink with soapy water before you go?”
“Yes dear,” Paul sighed as he headed toward the sink.
I was soon done and gratefully headed over to wash up. As I sunk my hands in the warm water my eyes caught the heart traced on the steamy window. I couldn’t help but smile at Paul’s thank you for his favorite cookies.
The woman sat primly in the space dock wearing the ridiculous throwback style uniform and ignoring passersby comments and sniggers. Most could be shrugged off except for “sassinak” quietly uttered by a member of the Welsh Republic’s army. Their loathing of all things British had only worsened since breaking away from the crown.
Really, did her superiors think these outfits would bring any respect to the nascent British Space Navy? Added to that they weren’t comfortable or functional. Half her gear wouldn’t fit in the small bags – even with a military grade compression unit. Just wait until they were six months off planet and most of the crew were short on uniforms and personal equipment.
“Sassinak.” It was much louder this time.
She looked around expecting to see the Welshman and realized it was the bosun. His dark blue uniform only darkened her mood. “Time to go?” She asked.
“If your name’s Sassinak it is.”
She nodded and stood to pick up her bags. Damn her dad and his drunken sense of humor.
Mist cocooned my running trail that late spring morning. The silence broken only by my running shoes gently thwack, thwack, thwacking on the dirt path. The trail had changed so little over the years that I almost knew the number of steps between each tree, rock, and bend.
Just before the last bend I was caught up short by the sight of two white horses standing next to the trail. They were so still, without even an ear flickering or tale swooshing. I almost thought them statues until a gentle nicker broke the spell.
As the large creature turned to look at me, my mind flashed back to childhood. Happy memories of afternoons spent training and riding my own horse Lucy were intermingled with painful flashes of the accident. We had been able to crawl out of the truck but Lucy had been trapped in her trailer for over an hour. The memory of her screams still pounded in my head.
Through my blurry tear-filled eyes I could see the near horse walk toward me. Gently, he laid his neck against my shoulder and I reached up to hug him. With this quiet permission I gave in to the tears that I had never been shed for Lucy. Slowly, the agonizing sounds of her death receded and I tucked her memory into a happy little nook of my childhood.
The mist had all but cleared by the time I released my grip on the horse. He nickered a goodbye and I resumed my run. I happily sucked in the cool air and resolved that tonight I would talk to Lucy about her namesake. Tomorrow we could go to the farm and pick out a horse for her.
A grumpy Fatin walked the river bank searching for Barika plants and wondered once again why they only flowered during storms. But just as the dull afternoon light faded into dusk, the healer’s quest was rewarded. Fatin reached under a rock outcropping and carefully pulled out one bloom. The delicate blue and white flowers glowed brightly and droplets of water balanced precariously on the tips of the hastate shaped petals. Carefully, Fatin tucked the plant into her pouch and hurried back to the castle. She decided, tonight’s wound cleaning would include a lecture about lance practice in the rain.
Sharat stopped running and gazed in wonder as she came upon the trees. Their strong, fully leafed, limbs blocked all but the strongest rays of sun. In the cool dimness she felt safe from the hunters and laid down. While she slept, the trees reached down to tenderly gather Sharat in and give her a place of honor. For they had sent her out as a small child to see the dangers of the world. When Sharat awoke she dug her roots deep into the mossy ground, caused her limbs to sprout such leaves as had never been seen, and understood why the trees had called to her for so long.
Seaver fell from the regeneration waters grateful that this fifth cycle would be his last. After more than a hundred and fifty years he was looking forward to seeing past his sixtieth birthday. The privilege was affordable to few but Seaver had earned through two cycles of military service. It had been a hard choice but one he couldn’t regret after watching too many in his family live through seven or more regeneration cycles. Each time their bodies became more twisted and their minds less agile until finally they became to fragile to survive the process and were sent home to die. Regeneration which had once been hailed as a gift for extending human life had been turned into a slavery that few escaped.