Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Fracture

I've missed my flash fiction these past two weeks! I had to judge last week, so I wasn't allowed to post one. The flash I usually write on Mondays didn't get done. I started them, but was unable to finish them. The first because I didn't have time (I was teaching VBS that week) and the second because I didn't like it at all. So, sorry about not writing any in the past couple of weeks, but I'm back for flash factory friday #10 at Jessa Russo's blog! The prompts this week were: jar, swoop, fracture and a picture of some beautiful red raspberries in someone's hand. So here's my entry! Enjoy!

“Captain! The fracture’s getting bigger!”

“About time.” She moved closer to the screen. “Yes, it’s working.” She spoke into the comm unit, “Is the team ready?”

“Yes, Captain. We’re at the hatch. Ready when you are.”

“Then you’d better hang on, Commander, we’re going to rip it open in one fell swoop.” She turned to the science officer, “Lieutenant?”

“We’re a go on your mark.”

She turned to the weapons officer, “Red alert, no sirens,” and pressed the ship comm button. “This is the Captain speaking. We’re about to break the fracture open. Be sure you’re strapped down as the impact may jar something loose. I want no more casualties on this trip. We’ll be sending in a team and follow shortly thereafter once confirmation has been made. And…pray to whatever you hold dear that this works. Captain out.” She released the button and looked around the room. The tension was evident on the gaunt faces staring back at her, but there was still hope in their eyes.

She strapped herself into her chair and nodded her head at the science officer, “Mark.”

A blinding flash of light!

The impact felt like it was going to break the entire ship apart!

Once the rocking slowed down, she pressed the comm unit again, “Commander? Is your team on the move?”

“Yes Captain, nearly there.”

“Lieutenant? Where did our video go?”

“Sorry, Captain! I’m working on it. The impact…”

“Just get it back!”

“Yes, Sir!”

A voice over the comm, “Captain? Are you seeing this?”

“No, Commander. Our eyes were knocked out by the impact. What is it?”

“It’s…It’s Eden!” The screen phased in slowly, but it cleared to a bright and crisp picture of someone holding six beautiful red raspberries.

The tears were unexpected. She meant to stay strong, to put on a brave face. She glanced around and saw the tears on the faces of the rest of the bridge crew as well. She cleared her throat, “Move! Now!” The ship made its way slowly across the barren wasteland toward the fracture - toward hope and a future.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

It's simple, really...

I was busy yesterday for Flash Factory Friday over at Jessa Russo's blog, but I wrote one really fast this morning. Hopefully, it's there on time (I don't actually know when it closes). :) The judge made a comment about how her favorite part of writing was dialog, so I decided that my piece would only include dialog. It was hard not to put any tags on any of those lines. I wanted to put some movement in, but I refrained. It was a good thing because I only barely made the word count limit! (Shocking, right?) Anyway, the word prompt was: saccharine, asphalt, simple. Enjoy!

“It’s simple, really, you just have to--”

“Don’t patronize me!”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean--”

“Stop! Just stop. I don’t need some saccharine apology that--”

“Now that’s not fair! Not everyone who apologizes is lying! Just because--”

“Don’t. Don’t even say it. Don’t bring him up.”

“You brought him into the conversation first.”

“I did not! I don’t ever want to talk about him again!”

“Then stop comparing me with him and assuming his intentions behind my words! He didn’t just kick you to the curb, he rubbed your face in the asphalt and scattered your stuff in the street. I get that. Well, no, I really don’t, but this is never going to work if you can’t learn to trust me that I don’t have your worst in mind every time I open my mouth. God, Sylvia, I’m walking on eggshells here and I’m breaking them at every step and they’re cutting my feet…I don’t know if I want to keep walking. You are smart and funny and beautiful. We have the same favorite book and you have the best serve I’ve ever seen not on tv, but…I don’t know if you’re ready for this.”

“Billy, please…just…just give me time. You’re right. I’m damaged goods, but--”

“You’re not damaged, Syl, you’re hurting. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Don’t let him do that to you. You’re free now. Just keep moving forward one step at a time.”

“But you don’t want to walk with me anymore!”

“No! I didn’t mean it like that. I just…Maybe making it official was a little too soon. I’m your friend. I’m not going anywhere. I’m not giving up on you. You’re worth it. Believe it.”

“Thank you. You’re so good to me. I’m sorry. I’d like to – Can we keep trying? I can’t promise I’ll be better, but maybe with your help--”

“Sure, Sweetie, I didn’t want to end it. I just want what’s best for you.”

“You’re best for me…. Now, about this toilet…”

“The plunger’s just off…”

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Disco Party Blues

100 word flash fiction - Who me?

Things are getting out of hand. I wasn't planning on trying this one...The 100 word limit was scary. But then I saw the picture and managed to come up with an idea quickly. This one is from Tuesday Tales home of Stevie McCoy. I also had to use the word 'royalty'. The picture is fun. Follow the above link to see the poor girl sitting by the disco ball... :) Enjoy!

EDIT: I'm including the picture!

How hard is it to hang a disco ball? I give up. I have been defeated by my lack of drywall nails. Or something.

I’m still sulking when Brian turns off the lights and shines the spotlight at the ball on the floor. “See! It still works! You’re all sparkly.”

“Please, Brian, it is so not cool to have it on the floor. Where will people dance?”

“Arianna, tonight is your night. You will be treated like royalty. Everything you want at your fingertips. Starting now. I’ll head over to the hardware store. I’m sure they’ll know what to do.”


So, okay...I think I'm enjoying this flash fiction thing. There is apparently quite a few author sites where they run these competitions. This one was submitted to Motivation Monday at Wakefield Mahon's site. The prompt was required as the first sentence. This is my first future dystopian thing...I kinda like it. I might someday turn this into a middle grade novel... We'll see. :) Enjoy!

The trouble started when they threw the book in the fire. I gave it to them. Was that stupid? It didn’t seem so at the time. They started tossing it around and laughing. The bonfire blazed – light and shadow sending mixed messages I didn’t have time to figure out. I still don’t know whether it was an accident or if it was all part of some plan. There was one of those moments when time stood still, the world holding its breath, and then the pop of the casing cracking.

It happened so fast! No time to fish it out. No time to do anything but run.

Run I did. They had to know what would happen to me. I had bragged that I could live outside the city just fine. That I knew how to survive. That I didn’t need Father telling me what to do.

I had lied. Or, at least, I thought I had.

I was lucky. I picked the right direction. I passed over a dry riverbed and found an entrance to a cave before the hovercars could detect me. Okay, I fell into it, but it was lucky all the same.

Was this an amusing joke they played on all the stupid kids they wanted to get rid of, or was this a test? If I assumed the former, then I should make my way back to the city and explain to the guard what happened. He might take pity on me. Maybe. No. No, he wouldn’t. I didn’t have my book anymore. How could I prove who I was? Plus, I ran.

However, if I assumed the latter, then I should – What? What did they want me to do? This was all Addy’s fault. If she hadn’t shown me how to cloak my movements from Father, I never would have found them. I never would have known that I didn’t have to have the surgery. That there was another way. When she didn’t come back, I thought she had joined them.

I was wrong. Or, at least, she wasn’t around the fire.

So now what? There were still years before I was old enough to get the implant. I could have another chance before then. I could go back and plan and learn so that I could make another attempt…

Who was I kidding? If I went back – and if they didn’t kill me, which was a big if – then I would be put under constant surveillance. I would be in lockdown. Solitary for who knew how long. Father wouldn’t take that chance.

So this was it. My one chance. Was it that important to me?


I looked around. Caves were supposed to have water, right? Maybe if I went deeper I’d get lucky again.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bloody Basin Real Estate

Menage Monday over at Cara Michael's blog here is another flash fiction contest. I have enjoyed the two I wrote for Flash Factory Friday, so I thought I'd try another. This one is a little more difficult. It requires between 100 and 200 words. As you know, I've been perilously close to the 350 limit on my other two, so this was a challenge. Anyway, there were three prompts: 1) a picture of an exit called Bloody Basin Rd. 2) the phrase "a family affair" and 3) the phrase "a fight to the death" - I'm not sure if that last is supposed to be a phrase or if the story is supposed to include people actually fighting to the death...hmmm...I suppose I should have clarified that because mine doesn't work that second way. Oh well, here's my flash!

Word Count: 178

Stupid name. We’re coming up on the exit and if he sees the name he won’t buy the house. He has to see the house first. Maybe if I distract him, he won’t even notice the sign.

“Beautiful mountain view.” I flick my turn signal.

He grunts, “Bloody Basin? What’s the story on that?”

Unfortunate. “Lots of stories.”

“Which one’s true?”

“I don’t know if any of them are.”

He glares at me. “Try me.”

“Cowboys, Indians, a fight to the death, that sort of thing.”

“Anyone important?”

“I’m sure they were to somebody.” Time to change the subject. “Do you have family? The schools-”

“This isn’t a family affair. Just me.”

“There’s a lot of square footage, are you looking to entertain?”

“No. I don’t like people.”

Right. “They just laid fiber last year, so you should be able to get fast internet. And the basement could easily be converted to a home theater.”

“Bloody Basin sounds ominous.” He’s not even going to look at the house.

“It’s just a name.” I wish they would change it.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Worst. Stop. Ever.

I entered Flash Fiction Friday again. The required words were bathroom, hooligan, and vengeance. Follow the link here to Jessa Russo's blog. As I did last week, I will post my entry below. I decided to try present tense, which is unusual for me. That was a fun challenge. Again, the word count pushed the upper boundaries at 346 words. This has to be one of the most mundane things I've ever written a scene on. Let me know what you think! :)

I really need to pee, but the bathroom is still occupied. This gas station is the worst one yet, but probably the only one for another hour or more. I don’t have a choice. I won’t make it that long. I wish I was a boy. Then I could just walk over into those bushes and be on my way. I’m tempted to do it anyway.

I’m bouncing. I try to stop, but it’s gotten so bad I find myself doing an adult version of the pee pee dance. I stare at the faded red door, willing it to open. How long does it take to use the bathroom? Crap. Literally. I don’t hear a fan. It must be broken. I sigh. It’s going to reek in there.

I try to decipher the ‘decorations’ left by whatever hooligans inhabit the middle of nowhere. The ‘artist’ is either a fan of Picasso, or doesn’t understand basic human anatomy.

I knock to let them know someone is waiting. No one answers. I knock louder and say, “Could you please hurry up?” Still no answer.

Someone has to be in there. This is one of those places where you have to ask for the key behind the counter. I asked. No one could accidentally leave with a foot-long bathroom key. And who would do it on purpose?

I pound on the door, “If someone is in there, answer now! I’m going to check if there’s another key!” No answer.

The clerk resembles a cow, blinking slowly and chewing gum. It seems that thinking isn’t something he does often. “Well…” He glances around. “Oh.” He reaches over and picks up the wooden dowel with the key. “I guess it was returned.”

You guess?!? I feel my eyes bug out of their sockets. I snatch the key and do my business, being sure not to touch anything. I wish I didn’t even have to step on the floor. I want vengeance. Somebody should pay for this horrendous experience. I swallow my frustration, return the key, and continue on.

Worst. Stop. Ever.