Something from Nothing

 

How was he going to get out of this one?

A year ago, he thought he was in love.

She was older than him, with a quick wit, kind heart, gorgeous body, and beautiful face. There was nothing more he could have wanted.

Until his car accident.

Things changed that day. He changed.

 

She grabbed the counter, looking dazed, then shook her head and smiled. “I don’t know how,” she slurred, “but I knew you would do this to me one day.” The glass smashed on the floor. She mumbled something about leaving and regret before collapsing among the shards of glass.

He felt nothing.

 

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My response to Esther Newton’s writing challenge, Monday Motivation. 50-200 words using all three of the following sentences:

The glass smashed on the floor.

He was in love.

How was he going to get out of this one?

It was a bit tough trying to come up with something original for this challenge. Also, I wanted to keep mine at 50 words. Yeah, that didn’t work. But I managed exactly 105. Just for fun.

 

Summer’s Song

 

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She ran barefoot in the grass, hair streaming behind her in strands of moonlit ribbons.

Her mother called her inside but she wouldn’t go.

She was searching for fireflies.

 

Last year, right before her father died, he pulled her aside and asked her to listen to the crickets. Summer’s song, he called them.

They had iced tea that night in late July, the ice melting, glass beading up with droplets of water in the humid heat.

The sun cast desperate rays through tree branches, glowing orange fingers reaching out for someone to hold them. But she didn’t. And they nestled in the bushes waiting for morning.

Fireflies danced around their heads, lighting up the porch, and her father beamed with them. Nature’s nightlights, he said.

They sipped sweet tea to a chorus of insects.

She traced a line down the side of her glass, peeking through her hair at her father. Will you be here to listen to the chirping and watch the blinking bugs tomorrow? she wondered.

Her father was dying.

She was old enough to know he would be leaving soon and young enough to ask him not to go.

He had laughed. She remembered that vividly because it startled her and the sweaty, cold glass slipped from her hand.

And it felt so good to cry. For the lost sweet tea that pooled near her toes and for her father who was being forced from the world he loved with a smile on his face.

 

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#Blogbattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash/short stories hosted by Rachael Ritchey – Join the fun every Tuesday

Read more wonderful stories and vote for your favorites here.

Week 67 Prompt: Tea
Genre: Drama

 

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Sweet Tea & Symphonies

 

The year before her father died, he pulled her aside, and asked her to listen to the crickets. Summer’s song, he had called them. Beautiful.

They sipped sweet tea to a chorus of insects.

He asked her to close her eyes and hear with her heart.

At the time, she didn’t know what he meant.

Now she sat, listening to a sound that might have been a symphony but had become the pull of a bow across the string of an old out-of-tune violin. To her, the crickets were a creaking porch swing empty of a father and daughter.

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

August 6, 2016 prompt: Sound In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes the sense of sound. It can be an onomatopoeia, a swearing session* with sound alike substitutes, lyrical prose or a description of a sound. 

* As tempted as I was to write a swearing session, I went with what was outside my window the evening I wrote this. Which was not a swearing session. Unless… Actually, I don’t speak cricket.


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Disintegration

 

The mortals’ reverence faded.

They grew distracted and self-absorbed, no longer worshiping The Goddess.

Her temple fell into ruin. Crumbled bits of once-sacred stone became debris scattered among tall grass. Moss and ivy clung to marble.

She watched this disintegration as it mirrored that of civilization.

Humanity split apart like a plank of weathered wood, discarding kindness and embracing hate.

She felt no pity or sorrow but, instead, disappointment and disgust. They were a plague.

Silent many years, The Goddess waited, fury rising, until she stood and filled the heavens with her rage, unleashing a storm to end them.

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

July 13, 2016 prompt: Anger In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the emotion of anger. 


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The Fair Feline

 

He whipped a rock across the pond. “Nice! Seven skips.”

I grabbed his arm, “Let’s go. We’ve disturbed them.”

“The fish?” He laughed.

I glared. “The fae.”

He eyed my fingers, tightening around his wrist. “Who cares?”

“I do. Which is why you’re still alive.”

“I don’t think so, sis.” He smiled and pointed to a cat perched on some driftwood, tail curled around its feet.

The cat yawned, licked its paw, and said, “Fae know what a cat sith can do, child.” It nodded to me. “Make no mistake, I am the reason you both are still alive.”

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

July 6, 2016 prompt: Cat In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a cat. It can be a cute and adorable kitten or it can be mean old tom that swipes a claw at unsuspecting humans. What cat comes to mind and how does it spark a story?

 

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This is what I tapped out on my phone and had to edit down to 99 words. This week, for some reason, it wasn’t easy and I’m not sure I pulled it off for the 99 word challenge.

 

He whipped a flat rock across the pond. “Whoa. Nice! Seven skips. Did you see that?”

I grabbed his arm, “Let’s go. We’ve disturbed them.”

“The fish?” He laughed.

I glared. “The fae.”

He flicked his eyes to my fingers, tightening around his wrist. “Take it easy. You’ve never cared before.”

I watched the water ripple, a dark form underneath swimming closer to the shore. To us. “I’ve always cared. Which is why you’re still alive.” I let go of his arm. “Just…trust me.”

He grabbed another rock. “I don’t think so, sis,” he aimed at the surface.

“After all these years. After…everything. You don’t believe in them?”

“I didn’t say that,” he smiled and pointed to a cat perched on some driftwood, tail curled around its feet.

“What? Why didn’t you tell me you could see them! I’ve felt like a freak all these years!” I smacked him on the head.

The cat yawned, licked its paw, and said, “He cannot see them. I have made myself visible to him. Now. Are you two quite done? While this human drivel is fascinating, I do have other things to attend to.”

I turned on the cat. “Like those?” I flung my hand toward the water, where spindly insect creatures the size of dogs were beginning to emerge.

“Let them come. Let them see what a cat sith can do.” It nodded to me, “And make no mistake, child, I am the reason you are both still alive.”

 

The Coat

 

He stepped through the front door, taking care to bang his sneakers on the tiles to be heard above the TV. He knew the police had phoned his dad about the mugging.

It’s not like he expected special treatment or anything, he knew better than that, but he hoped anyway.

Maybe one of those quick, awkward hugs people give like they’re touching a snake. One of those would be nice.

He tensed as his father’s boots sounded in the hallway, cringed as they got closer. He waited.

His father stopped a few feet away, staring, eyes taking in the ripped clothing and black eye. His arms reached out, touching the torn, blood-stained coat. “No wonder they didn’t take this thing,” he laughed. “Hope you have enough money to pay for a new jacket,” he walked back to the couch.

 

 

This is part of a weekly writing prompt hosted by Sacha Black.

Writespiration #91 Prompt: The hug you’ve always wanted

 

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Riding Hood’s Grandmother Reveals Identity as Bestselling Author

 

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Years after the alleged attack on Red Riding Hood’s grandmother, Hazel, the now legendary grandma reveals her identity as bestselling author, Kale E. Pepper.

“First,” Hazel said, “let’s get this out of the way as I know you’re going to ask. The wolf never ate anyone. In fact, he was quite the gentleman. He had lost his way and needed directions to the barber shop. Quite the hairy beast, you know. Red sent him to the local ice cream parlor. That girl couldn’t find her way out of a cardboard box.”

The wolf then ended up at Hazel’s house after being assaulted by a group of school children who threw ice cream cones and popsicles at the poor beast. When asked if she still keeps in touch with the wolf, Hazel answered, “I don’t think he’s around here anymore.”

“But this,” she walked into her kitchen, “is why I called you.”

After brushing some fur off her counter, she showed us a collection of bestselling cookbooks such as Guide to Grilling Wild Game and Savory Large Game: Salads and Side Dishes which she wrote under her pseudonym. “They are selling very well.”

Indeed they are. Her informative new how-to guide, Find it Fresh, Fry it Up, just hit #2 on the New York Times bestseller list.

“This one,” she picked up her book entitled Look What’s Coming to Dinner “has been in the top ten for three months,” she said proudly. “Fresh ingredients. That’s the key.”

We declined Hazel’s invitation to stay for supper.

 

Maybe

 

She never had a home.

Not as an infant, left in soiled diapers. Or as a child, drawing pictures on the dusty floor of her closet.

Not even when they took her to a real house with her own bedroom, a kitchen that had food in it, and two grownups who tucked her in at night.

She was broken.

Filled with so much shame she felt stuffed. Like a guilty scarecrow with clean clothes.

Maybe they rescued the wrong girl. Maybe if they had gotten her out when she was younger. Maybe then, she’d feel at home here.

Maybe.

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

June 22, 2016 prompt: Home In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about home. What is it? How does it impact a character? Explore the idea of home from any spark that creates a story.


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Fading

 

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She flipped through the photo album. Empty.

She stared at it, wondering again what kind of flower decorated the cover. Her mind tried to find the word for its color then thought about the emptiness again.

Running her fingertips over the delicate petals, she closed her eyes and started humming a lullaby she used to sing to her daughter at bedtime.

Notes floated around her room and she frowned trying to recall the name of the song.

Round and round like the seasons. Cycles of summer, autumn, winter…spring.

Yes. Those flowers blossomed in the spring.

In and out and back again. In the dirt, planting seeds, watering can sprinkles the earth. Stems push through the soil, leaves grow, petals unfold.

Peach. It was peach, that hue. The cover.

Pink.

And the flower, a rose. Carnation. Daisy.

Emptiness. Pink. Flowers. Spring.

With things that are alive trying to sprout from things that look dead.

The album was closed but she knew it was empty. They took the fading photos—black and white memories she was starting to lose.

 

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#BlogBattle is a bimonthly writing prompt for flash/short stories hosted by Rachael Ritchey 

Join in. Write a story. Read the stories. Vote for your favorites here.

Week 62 Prompt: Photograph
Genre: Drama

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Setting the Bar

 

She was beautiful.

Stunning.

He watched the ice melt in his glass, swirling the whiskey around, just to avoid staring at her.

“Another?” The bartender held up a bottle.

He raised an eyebrow and slid his glass across the bar. “What do you think?”

“Me?” The woman walked over. “I think you drink too much.”

“Yeah? What the hell do you know.”

“I know you’re here every day,” she looked toward the dining room. “I waitress.”

He wanted to tell her to get lost.

Instead, he asked her to join him.

“Absolutely,” she smiled, “but I don’t drink.”

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

May 25, 2016 prompt: Smile In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that changes with a smile. It can be a character, tone, setting or any creative use of smile.

 

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