Dryads

 

The trees remember.

They think about when their sisters covered the valley, standing tall and proud.

Glossy, green foliage waving in summer breezes. Bare trunks frosted in winter snow. Branches reaching out, grasping hands, dancing in moonlight.

Now the few who remain nod to each other across empty fields studded with stumps of their sisters.

Their shadows stretch along barren land, soil cracked and dry.

Tufts of brown-tinged grass pretend they are a lush carpet of healthy green, turning from the truth.

The trees know better.

They are wise and no longer hold on to hope for the earth.

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

November 9, 2016 prompt: The End In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about an ending. 

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

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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.


Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

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. 


Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

The Guides

 

She’d always welcomed the voices.

Though Greta knew not to let on she was hearing people speak inside her head, she didn’t think it was a bad thing. They were angels. Guides.

Greta wasn’t a pretty girl and didn’t “grow into her looks”, as her mum used to say. But friends often described her as having a “Mona Lisa smile”.

It was the voices that formed her knowing grin. They moved with her in a steady rhythm, galloping alongside her own thoughts.

Until that one day.

The voices grew urgent, aggressive. They became a stampede that trampled her mind.

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

February 24, 2016 prompt: Galloping In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about galloping


Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

Gaia

 

“Once upon a time, this land spun like a child’s marble of blue and green glass and hung in the heavens.”

“Spinning? Floating in the air? Preposterous!”

“It twirled in the sky, dancing with a moon, sun, and twinkling lights called ‘stars’.”

“Ignore her! ‘Tis nothing but a fairy tale from the feeble mind of an aged crone.”

“We waged war against a Goddess. Earth was worshiped—her powers immeasurable. We killed this world when we sought that power.”

“Ha! You claim we live on a mass of magic rubble?”

“No. We live on a mass grave of human greed.”

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

January 13, 2016 prompt: Once Upon a Time In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story beginning with “Once upon a time…”  Where you take the “fairy tale” is entirely up to you.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

Crumbling

 

Is this sickness?

Lack of light? Solid darkness? Under canopies of lovely trees, thick with glossy emerald leaves, where sunshine cannot reach?

On the ground. Broken bits of self. Hazy eyes, unfocused from pain—grime on windows to the soul.

Shatter me.

Break apart the clumps of soil. Dig into dirt with naked hands, crumbling until fingernails become half moons of filth.

Till the earth of who I was. From this mangled mass of roots, pebbles, and pain, let something whole and healthy break through the ground. Let something beautiful grow.

This wishing. This futile hope.

Is this sickness?

 

 

June 24 Prompt: Dirt (In 99 words – no more, no less – write a story about dirt.)

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

On the Scene

 

“Wait!” Skinny rushed over with her can of hairspray, lifting a flyaway strand out of my face.

I sighed, “Hurry! I’m first on the scene. Don’t screw this up for me.”

“Okay.” Skinny scurried away. “Just wanted…”

“Whatever,” I snapped. “Blondie, you ready?”

Blondie shifted her camera slightly, “Go.”

I drew my eyebrows together, pursed my lips, and spoke slowly. “Minutes ago,” I slumped my shoulders and swung my arm to show the surrounding brown grass and trees, “our beloved park….”

“Stop. News reports coming in from everywhere—‘the dying earth’ they’re calling it. You’re not the first…”

“Dammit!”

 

 

April 1 Prompt: Brown Earth (Write about the day the Earth turned brown)

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch