A Room With a View #WritePhoto

 

 

The windows were nailed shut.

They’d always been. As long as I can remember, at least, and I’m not sure if it was because of me or the girls who lived in this room before.

The pretty, lace curtains might have been there to make up for the fact the windows would never open. Here, girl. Look at the lace and be happy. What is the point of curtains if they can’t billow in the breeze?

The thing about lace, though, is it lets light in. Speckled sunshine rested on the dark, red carpet and, sometimes, if I stood close enough, gave me a spotted glowing feeling on my face. I loved those windows. I hated those windows. They made me feel part of the outside world and were a reminder of everything I could never have.

 

 

Here is my attempt at #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent

 

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Cast Out #WritePhoto

 

flame

 

Fingertips touching, never leaving, they dance.

Embers glowing, wind blowing, they move.

Hair whipping, voices crackling, they sing.

Fire curling, stars fading, they twirl.

Calling for the flames to grow…

Round the circle ringed with stones…

Towering bonfire casting shadows…shifting…

Faces alight, flickering rust and gold…features rearranging…

 

They are ancient. Forgotten. Lifeless.

They are born. Pulsing. Alive.

 

On the damp beach,

atop the cliff,

in the forest,

the desert,

the mountains,

marshes,

plains,

valleys…

 

They are everywhere and nowhere. They are here.

 

Fallen angels. Cast out.

They absorb this world. Theirs now.

Blessed innocence laced with fragmented memories.

They will destroy. It is in their blood. It is in their subconscious.

They are human.

 

 

 

My attempt for #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent

I’ve edited a previous flash, Home Fire, to change the meaning. Hope it works but, still, fun. Try out Sue’s prompt.

 

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The Princess and the Pen

 

moonstone-gem

“What are you doing?” Her sister swished into the room, gown brushing the floor.

Without looking up, Keira sighed. “Brea, leave me be. I’m writing.”

Writing!” Brea gasped.

“Well! There’s not need to say it like that!”

“But…” Brea fanned herself. “That’s what crazy people do! You’ll be locked up!”

Keira tapped her pen on the desk, “Uh-huh. I’ll get on that. Now, if you please…”

“Are you even listening to me? You’re always with your nose, unpowdered by the way, inches away from a paper with scribblings on it. Why, you’ll get ink on it! Think of that! This…this…writing…” Brea waved her hand at the desk, “it’s indecent. Absolutely improper for a princess.”

“I don’t care,” Keira sulked.

Brea stood straight, accentuating her incredibly impossible height of 4 feet, 2 inches. “I’m telling Father.”

“Oh, Brea! You mustn’t!” Keira turned to see her older sister wasn’t angry but scared. “Please.” She stood up, pushing a loose hair from her face.

Keira’s eyes widened. She pointed. “You’ve got ink on your cheek now! How will you explain that?! Oh, Keira, this isn’t proper. It’s dangerous.”

“Iridescent,” Keria said.

“Pardon?”

“Iridescent,” Keira repeated. “I’m trying to think of something iridescent to put in my fairy tale.”

“But…” Brea tapped her chin. “That’s easy. I mean, honestly, have you lost your ability to think, sister? Iridescence is everywhere. There are numerous…”

“Such as?” Keira bounced on the balls of her feet.

“Well,” Brea inched closer to the desk. “Whatever the story is about, you can always add a dragon. Their scales are iridescent. Of course there are fairy wings, moonstones, mermaids’ tails, unicorns, sea serpents, and…um…” she giggled, “troll snot. Oh! Then there’s the rare…”

“No,” Keira slumped. “I’m writing a fairy tale. I need something that doesn’t actually exist.” Her sister’s eyes filled. “But thank you. I mean, those were excellent suggestions, Brea. You’re wonderful, helping me braincloud this way. You remember the fairy tales Mother read to us as children? The fantastical creatures and items in those worlds? That’s what I’m trying to remember.”

“Oh,” Brea dabbed her eyes with a lace-edged handkerchief. “Well, I seem to remember something…”

“Yes? What is it? What did it do?”

Brea shook her head, “I can’t quite place it.”

“I know,” Keira returned to her desk and plopped down. “It was like a sphere but not quite. A flying…thing. I don’t recall its purpose.”

“Yes! That’s what I’m thinking of. A sort of blobby, floating, purposeless creature. It…popped. On its own. Maybe that was its magic?”

“Popped. Yes… There was air inside, if I’m not mistaken. And it flew. Or, as you say, floated. Oh, blast it all!” Keira put her head in her hands.

Brea absentmindedly twisted her moonstone ring. She straightened her pink gown, tucked her hair into its ribbon, and turned to leave. “Well then. I’ll just tell Father you’re working on something for his grandchildren, shall I?” She smiled over her shoulder, “It’s called a ‘bubble’.”

 

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#BlogBattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash fiction/short stories (with a word AND genre theme) hosted by Rachael Ritchey 

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

Week 4 Prompt: Iridescent
Genre: Fairy Tale

 

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Reflections #WritePhoto

 

lantern

 

“I see colors,” she traced her fingertips along the glass. “And a lantern. It’s so bright I could walk the street at midnight. Bright, bright, midnight, bright…”

“Mum, stop.”

“The cobblestone streets, shop windows dark, dark, so dark for the night.” She swayed to the sound of her own voice. “Dark for the night, the lantern so bright, a walk at midnight…”

“Stop!”

She froze, turning to her son.

“Look,” he flung his hand. “It’s no window. It’s a mirror. Shit,” he muttered. “A mirror.”

She turned back, seeing herself clearly in the full-length mirror. “So it is…”

“Yeah. So it is.”

She stared at his reflection, tilting her head slightly. “You don’t seem particularly concerned.”

He rubbed the side of his cheek.

“Give mummy a hug now.”

He stood up, wavered, and walked to the door. Gripping his keys so they left indentations in his palm, he stared at the doorknob for a moment. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

 

 

 

Here is my attempt at #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent

 

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Thorns

 

buffy-willow-xander

 

“Spike!” Buffy caught a kick, flipping the vamp on its back.

Xander held up a cross and looked around. “What?! Where’s Spike?”

“You nincompoop,” Willow slapped Xander’s head, “get her the stake.”

He looked at Willow. “Um. Ow! Was that necessary?”

“Well,” Willow nodded, “I think it was.”

Buffy dodged a punch. “Could you two deal with this later? In case you haven’t noticed, I’m kind of in a fight here.”

“Told you,” Willow murmured.

Xander grabbed the stake, gave a sideways look at Willow, and tossed it to Buffy. “Oops…”

Buffy vaulted over a nearby gravestone. “What do you mean “Oops”?”

“It sort of went in that bush,” Xander chuckled.

“Which one?”

“Sorry!”

“Huh?”

“Berry!” Willow shouted.

“You know…oomph! I can’t…bury this thing!”

“The berry bush,” Willow gestured. “Oh! Hey! Use the berries!”

Both Buffy and Xander stared at her. “What?”

“They’re blackberries!” She smiled proudly.

“Wow, Willow,” Xander rolled his eyes, “can I just say how not helpful that is. You want her to dust a vamp with fruit.”

Willow glared at Xander. “Buffy! The blackberries! Trust me!”

Buffy somersaulted over to the bushes, grabbed a handful of vines, and shrugged. “They do have thorns.” She jammed them into the vampire’s chest. He looked confused then lunged at her. “Well,” she punched him, “it was worth a try.”

“I can’t believe you two made it through sophomore year,” Willow snuck over to the blackberry bush, held up a vine, and pointed. “I meant the wooden posts. They hold up the vines.”

“Oh, right,” Buffy ran over and yanked a post from the ground, “I knew that.” She turned just as the vamp attacked, driving the splintered wood through his heart.

Willow coughed. “Ugh,” she waved her hands, “do they have to do that? They’re so…dusty.”

Buffy smiled. “Beats cleaning up goopy goodness!” She drew her eyebrows together. “That did not sound right.” They started out of the cemetery. “So, who’s up for pizza?”

Willow smiled. “Ooh, me!”

Xander stopped walking. “Do you have to ask?”

“Cool.”

 

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#BlogBattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash fiction/short stories (with a word AND genre theme) hosted by Rachael Ritchey 

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

Week 2 Prompt: Thorn
Genre: Fan Fiction
*

* This was RIDICULOUSLY difficult as I’ve never written or read any fan fiction. But it’s fun to step out of one’s comfort zone every so often.

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Santa and the Siren

 

Everyone at the holiday ball noticed Rhonda.

While most women drank champagne in elegant, black gowns or shimmied to Jingle Bell Rock in red velvet, Rhonda wore yellow.

Hair color was not mentioned, but they talked.

Her face was not seen, but they stared.

No one left the party that night without having glimpsed the woman in yellow. Yellow and nothing else.

One kind-hearted woman said the dress was “sheer”. Rhonda heard snippets of conversation—some crude, some accusatory.

She smiled, thinking of her senior prom ten years ago.

Ignored, unnoticed, invisible. Not even worthy of a sneer or snide comment. An overlooked young girl in a yellow dress.

 

Sitting on Santa’s lap, putting her lips next to his fur-trimmed hat, she whispered to the man in the suit, “Not a wallflower anymore, eh, Jim?”

 

 

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Headstone #WritePhoto

 

cracked-ice

 

“It used to be a lake,” she prodded the patch of ice with the toe of her boot, cracking the glassy surface.

He bent to wipe some dirt from the shards. “Nah. Maybe a stream. A tiny one at that.”

“Look,” she pointed down the path. “It goes on for, like, miles.”

“It wasn’t a lake,” he rolled his eyes. “Too much overgrowth on either side. Too thin.”

She looked at the sky, blowing out a puff of icy breath. “It’s what my grandma says. A lake.”

He reached inside his coat pocket, and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. “Smoke?”

“She says my grandpa died fishing. And lots of other people drowned here. It’s like a frosted graveyard this time of year.”

“Huh,” he lit a cigarette and sat on a nearby rock. “Well…not sure what to say, actually. Um, sorry.” He peeked around her at the sunset. “Nice place to die. I mean… Nice view for, you know, the ones…”

She crouched next to him, tracing her fingers on his leg, staring at his lap.

He froze.

“Get up,” she grabbed his jeans, pushing him away. “That’s not a rock.”

 

 

This is my first attempt at #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent – Join in the fun

 

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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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Riding Hood’s Grandmother Reveals Identity as Bestselling Author

 

Grilling Cookbook - sig

 

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.

 

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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