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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Colors

 

I smear color on tiles, watching different shades swirl together under my fingertips.

“Dammit, girl!” Heels click down the hall. “Why do you insist…” The woman’s eyes are wild, searching the corridor. She kneels in her nylons and clean skirt to look at the mess. “Well,” she tilts her head, “it’s a pretty one you’ve made here. You could have been an artist.” She yanks her sleeve over her hand and wipes away the colors. “No more. You’ll get us both killed. Understand?”

I stare at the women. She is always nice to me but I will find more colors.

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

 

March 16, 2017 prompt: No Art In 99 words (no more, no less) go down the rabbit hole to a place where art is not allowed.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

The Porch #WritePhoto

 

summerhouse

 

She was about five when she stopped crying. But she still crawled into bed with me. Me. The broken one, the brave one, the older one.

My identity was older sister.

I’d been alive three years longer than she. That’s all I had to offer.

She snuggled with me, her raggedy stuffed rabbit tucked tightly to her chest.

Sometimes, on summer nights, we’d tiptoe to the porch. I’d point to the trees and tell her they were our watchers. They would protect us.

I remember those evenings the most. When the skies were beautiful watercolor paintings of our bruises.

 

 

 

I’ve combined two prompts this week:

#writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent which asks writers to use photos for inspiration (the photo above is this week’s prompt)

 

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and Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch which asks writers to pen a piece in 99 words (this week’s prompt: Watchers).

February 16, 2017 prompt: Watchers In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a watcher.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

Puddles

 

Tina’s legs, splattered with droplets of mud, stuck out from under her dress. A white, frilly thing her aunt insisted she wear today.

“What are you doing? Get off the ground!” Her aunt put her lips close to the girl’s ear, “People are staring!” She hissed.

“White is for weddings,” Tina traced patterns in the brown puddle by her hip. She swirled her finger in circles then squinted. “White is for clouds,” she pointed at the puddle. “Look. They bring rainbows to the mucky mud.”

“Get. Up.”

Tina wiped mud on her dress. “White is not for funerals, Auntie.”

 

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

 

February 9, 2017 prompt: Rainbows in puddles In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a rainbow in a puddle. Create action or character reflection.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

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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Bones

 

She woke to a noise. Her brain couldn’t register it. Clinking. No, more of a clattering. That was wasn’t right, either. Rattling. That’s what it was.

“John!” She reached over—his side of the bed was empty.

Slipping out from the covers, she walked to the kitchen. Dark.

“John?” She moved toward the dining room and the rattling grew louder. She heard it clearly as she passed the basement.

Opening the door, she gasped. Her hand flew to her mouth, “John!”

He looked up, eyes wide behind his mask.

The players dropped their dice. The D&D game was over.

 

 

 

 Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

 

January 5, 2016 prompt: Rattling In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a rattling sound. It can be an intimidating sound of protest, a disorienting loud sound, a musical expression or a gentle baby’s toy. Go where the prompt leads you.

* Just having a bit of fun. Much love to my geeky gaming friends.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

Welcome Home

 

“Long day at work?” She brushed some snow off his coat.

He reached for her pinky, lifting it to his lips and kissing her hand. “It was,” he looked past her to the fireplace, “interesting.”

“As always,” she laughed.

“As always, my dear.”

She led him to the fire where she had set a blanket and two glasses of wine.

Curling up in the warmth, he placed his head on her lap. “Perfect,” he murmured.

Stroking his hair, she thought about their love, how easy it all was, how they never discussed the fact her husband was a hitman.

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

December 29, 2016 prompt: Cozy In 99 words (no more, no less) write a cozy story. A character might long to feel cozy, or you might describe the perfect cozy scene.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

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?”

 

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef Flash Fiction - sig -

 

Heated

 

Sprinkling bits of earth

Mahogany coffin gleams

Sunlight contemplates

My heated cheeks, icy eyes

Let his spirit find no peace

 

 

I’ve taken on another of Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday challenge. This week’s challenge was to write a Tanka poem (5/7/5/7/7) with the words ‘peace’ & ‘spirit’ in it. Conjures up holiday feels, right? So, naturally, I went a little dark.

 

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At Home

 

The other 5th graders’ desks were covered with pink and red Valentine’s cards. Hers was empty. At home, her tears were met with laughter and reminiscing of “school days”.

Rumors went round the 7th grade about her and Marcus Paloni. She stood alone. At home, her tears were met with suspicion and annoyance of “gossip girls”.

Peter Morris dumped her three days before prom. It was a prank. At home, her tears were met with wistful sighs and talk of “childhood crushes”.

At home for Christmas.

Her tears were met with anger and accusation. Other people have “real problems”.

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

 

December 2, 2016 prompt: Not Allowed In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about something or someone not allowed. Go light, go dark, go where the prompt leads you.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig