When She Was in Danger

 

I wanted to be brave.

Not like heroes in fairy tales.

Not like that.

Just an ordinary courage that snuck in the drafty front window in our kitchen and found me in the midst of calamity.

But I froze. Mind blank.

For all the bravery I thought I possessed, that I claimed I would have, should the moment arise, I failed.

Whether it dissipated when need barked at it or I never had it to begin with, I was frozen in a time when she couldn’t respond and I wear that coldness like a lead vest. My badge of dishonor.

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch 

May 14, prompt: Danger In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that answers the question, “What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you are in absolute danger?

 

 

Nourishment

 

She felt magnolia petals falling on her grave.

Freshly dug, soil still loose, the mound surrounded by mourners, she heard crying. Noisy sniffles, gentle sobs, painful wails.

She shifted focus from those above her, fixing her mind on the tree. Its branches reached for her. This time of year, it offered pale pink flowers.

This time of year, it needed her most.

And every spring these coming years. Her body would nourish the magnolia roots and, in return, her grave would be speckled with velvet petals. Nourishment for her soul.

When the grieving left, she would dance in nature’s bouquet.

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch 

May 7, prompt: Nourish In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about something that nourishes/is being nourished.

 

 

Screens

 

The door was wide open.

She never had that screen installed and cursed herself for it now. Nothing stood between them. “Aren’t you going to invite me in?”

She shifted, torn, wondering if she should relent or fight. Quickly dismissing her chances winning, she thought of running. How far could she get? Her eyes darted to the back slider, the yard beyond stretching into dense woods.

“It’s cold out here. You going to make me push my way past you?”

“What? Oh, sweetie, you caught me off guard,” she smiled, shield up. “Come in, please. What a pleasant surprise.”

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch 

April 10, prompt: Face Shield In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that declares, shield your face.

 

 

Only Pepperoni

 

Outside, wind howled, rain pounded our windows, but that was nothing compared to what was happening inside.

In our kitchen, my brother’s storm startled me even more than Mother Nature’s.

It arrived with a force that sent my dog running. I wanted to follow but I stayed, frozen, under my mother’s glare. I had to stay, always, so as not to make my brother feel bad.

Him. We don’t want him to feel bad. Because, with changes in routine, like pizza being delivered with mushrooms alongside the pepperoni, he struggles. But, standing near his pizza-fueled rage, I struggle, too.

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch 

April 3, prompt: Pizza In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes pizza. 🍕

 

 

New Beginnings

 

“Mama, I’m scared.”

She reached down, smoothed his hair, whispered, “It’s okay.”

His grip tightened around her leg, fist closing on the ear of his stuffed bunny.

She crouched, put a finger under his chin to lift it. “It’s bunnies. Just bunny feet.” She looked at him and smiled. “They’ve come to visit their friend here.”

He pulled the stuffed animal to his chest, she wrapped her body around his, squinted her eyes at the ceiling, flinched at the explosions on their roof.

“Bunnies hopping,” she breathed, closed her eyes. “Lovely thought. When we go, we’ll go with them.”

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

March 19, prompt: RabbitIn 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a rabbit (or many rabbits) on the roof.

 

 

Road Trip

 

“This isn’t going to end well, is it.”

He glanced in the rearview mirror. “That a question, little lady?”

“Not really,” she sighed. They’d just passed the exit to Jimmy’s Ice Cream, where he’d promised to bring her. Why the hell had she hitchhiked? Whatever happened now would be her own damn fault. Idiot. Her dead cell phone may soon have some company.

“Well,” he cleared his throat. “This ain’t no fun.”

She rolled her eyes. “Yeah, well, join the club.”

“You ain’t scared?”

“Eh.”

He slid a gun from his waistband. “Now?”

“Cool. Can I see that?”

“Er…sure.”

Okay, folks. This is my first ever choose-your-own-adventure flash. What happens next? 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

February 27, prompt: Open Road In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes the open road. Where will the trip lead?

 

 

 

Mermaid Misses Ocean, Files For Divorce

 

Following a four month separation, Princess Melody filed for divorce.

Melody is confident about her decision. “I have no doubts,” she told reporters. “The prince is dumb as a barnacle,” she sighed. “And the chef is still serving seafood for dinner!”

The prince is confused by Melody’s choice to end their marriage. When asked if he plans to contest the divorce, he answered, “I didn’t know there was a contest. What do I win?”

Melody is in negotiation with the sea witch for a potion to become a mermaid once more. “That,” she said, “would be my ‘Happily Ever After’.”

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

November 21, prompt: HEA (Happily Ever After) In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story with a Happily Ever After.

Wow. A challenge to get my original piece (almost 300 words) down to 99 words. I’m usually trying to add to word count. 😉 This one was tough.

 

 

I’ve Known This Season #WritePhoto

 

 

I’ve known this season.

Danced with dying dreams.

Watched bits of myself float away.

Sometimes I tried to hold on. Other times I watched those pieces fly from me in the autumn breeze.

Both were painful.

Both left me bare and vulnerable.

Yet I’ve survived. Grown stronger.

 

I don’t always change in my own time.

It could be another’s clock that ticks and clicks at me.

In crisp air, I show my true colors. 

What are they? What will the world think of them?

I wait, worry, wonder…

 

But the oak, anticipating winter, knows she will become more beautiful as she lets go. 

 

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

 

writephoto-logo

 

Dressed to Kill

 

The fall of 1978 would be remembered for generations.

 

I loved the story of the princess woken by a handsome prince. Each year, on Halloween, I became that princess.

I walked alone, trick-or-treating, while groups of guys mocked my dress and made lewd comments. Girls threw rotten apples poisoned with hatred and intolerance.

Mrs. Halloran, who was always kind to me, held a bowl of candy but pulled me aside. She gave me a bright, red apple and a smile.

Our neighborhood lost 27 kids that year. Poisoned. All but the boy in the Snow White costume.

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

August 8 prompt: Poisoned Apple In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story with a poisoned apple.

 

 

Red Wine

 

She always added ice to red wine. Reds should be enjoyed at room temperature and I wasn’t shy about saying so. I guess I shouldn’t have picked on her for such a thing.

It annoyed me.

She’d chill a bottle of Chardonnay in the cooler and leave a Merlot on the counter. Why add ice?

She stirred the glass with her finger and I could hear sloshing and clinking. It grossed me out but I never said.

It was the sound of unhappiness. And that, too, annoyed me. At the gathering after her funeral, I ordered red wine, without ice.

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

May 23, prompt: Ice In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story without ice.