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

February Writespirations: A Collection

 

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Each week, Sacha Black challenges writers to pen a piece in 52 words. Exactly 52. You know I love micro fiction and you know I love a challenge. So, here are my entries for the February prompts:

~~~

Week: February 2
Prompt: Time / Stack / Juice / Pigeon (include all four words in the 52-word story)

Taking Stock

He spent his lunch break stacking juice, cereal boxes, candy bars…pigeon-holed by his supervisors as a dim-witted stock boy. He would never make it to cashier never mind manager.

His position gave him time to think and, within two years, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work in quantum physics.

~~~

Week: February 8
Prompt: That moment you see your ex with their hot, new bit and you look like turd

That Stings

I spotted him at the gas pump, a blonde in his car applying mascara.

Unshowered, clinging to a bottle of cheap vodka, I staggered over.

“Sheila?!”

“See you’re hiring hookers,” I gestured to the blonde.

“They’re ‘escorts’. Pricey but worth it.” He grinned.

I smiled, reaching for my badge. “Baker? We got him.”

~~~

Week: February 15
Prompt: The Distance Between

Between Lives

When I was little, I wanted to visit the moon.

My mother laughed. My father explained the distance between the earth and the moon.

My grandparents said I was spoiled. Which had nothing to do with the moon, but they never missed a chance to say it.

My teacher told me about astronauts.

~~~


Week: February 23
Prompt: Choke

Dinner for One

He sat across from me, leaning back, arms crossed. “Go to hell.”

“Maybe,” I shrugged. “Maybe I’ll see you there. But, for me, not today.”

“What’s that supposed…” he grabbed his throat, glaring at me.

“Don’t worry, love. The choking won’t last long. Your heart will give out before it becomes too uncomfortable.”

 

Transformation

 

Charli said something in her 99-word flash challenge this week: “We are forged in the fires…[we] want to fully transform into something of beauty and purpose.” This reminded me very much of a tweet I wrote:

 

 

It’s not 99 words, it’s 19. Let’s see if I can expand this…

 

I struggle to find what’s real.

My mind feels like melted glass, being stretched and twisted into something I don’t recognize. If someone were to put my mind on display, it would be unsightly and puzzling. I hope it doesn’t turn out that way. If the glass can be manipulated as easily as pulling taffy, I think it can be made into something beautiful and useful. Perhaps a vase.

 

Okay, we’re at 69 words. Let’s just add 30 more…

 

I struggle to find what’s real.

I’m picking up sounds—buzzing and static. I think they’re trying to talk to me. Or maybe it’s me saying something. My words are lost in a haze of unrest.

My mind feels like melted glass, being stretched and twisted into something I don’t recognize. If someone were to put my mind on display, it would be unsightly and puzzling. I hope it doesn’t turn out that way. If the glass can be manipulated as easily as pulling taffy, I think it can be made into something beautiful and useful. Perhaps a vase.

 

Ah. And there you have it. My 99 for this week. 🙂

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

March 2, 2014 prompt: Slag – In 99 words (no more, no less) include slag (a glass-like by-product of smelting or refining ore) in a story. Slag is also used in making glass or can result from melting glass. It can be industrious or artistic.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

January Writespirations: A Collection

 

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Each week, Sacha Black challenges writers to pen a piece in 52 words. Exactly 52. You know I love micro fiction and you know I love a challenge. So, here are my entries for the January prompts:

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Week: January 4
Prompt: The Timer Started

Blonde Bombshell

“I don’t know!” He struggled against the ropes binding his wrists. “I swear…”

“Tick, tock,” she examined her nails. “The timer started,” she glanced at the bomb, “six seconds ago.”

“You have the wrong man!”

“Aw. Now why’d you do that?” She grabbed his chin. “I. Don’t. Like. Liars.”

“Please…”

“Too late.”

~~~


Week: January 18
Prompt: Lost Things

Searching

It hadn’t worked. But she didn’t regret a thing she’d done to try.

She accepted a folded pile of clothes from the guard and shuffled in line with the other women. She glanced back at the man. Fifteen years shifted around the walls in her mind.

She stopped.

His eyes went wide. “Mum?”

~~~


Week: January 25
Prompt: One Hundred

Chilopodophobia

“I wonder if they actually have one hundred legs,” he dangled the centipede inches from her nose.

She shook her head and took a step back, bumping into the counter.

He took a step forward. “No? You don’t wonder? Or, no, you don’t want to know how I’m going to find out?”

 

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

 

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 House of Clouds

 

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The lovely and talented Ali Isaac recently posted about trees. One thing led to another and we were chatting on about teen poetry. You know how that goes.

Anyway, she said something about writing a cringe-worthy poem about trees when she was sixteen. To which I replied something along the lines of:

“Pfft! My teen angst poetry kicks your teen poetry’s arse. It is SO bad. I won’t even share it online. In fact, I don’t know where it is. In fact, I never wrote it.”

To which she said how fun a teen angst poetry slam would be (sort of) which I took as a challenge. I attempted to reach back through the years, channeling my sixteen-year-old self, to recreate some teen angst poetry. I failed. But…here is an actual poem I wrote. I somehow remembered this verbatim from my first year at university. I was seventeen years old.

 

 

It smelled like chocolate lavender

Inside the house of clouds

And thoughts of tiny animals

Were clearly heard out loud

 

Vanilla rose smiled up at me

Then motioned toward the light

And as my feet sank in the clouds

The day gave way to night

 

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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Image source

 

Flurries

 

Snowflakes drifting down

Nestling between pine needles

Dusting robin’s wings

Sugar-coated berries charm

Breaking stillness, birds take flight

 

 

 

I’ve taken on another of Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday challenge. This week’s challenge is to write a Tanka poem (5/7/5/7/7) with the words ‘charm’ & ‘touch’ in it. (I didn’t cheat. 🙂 You can use synonyms and, in this case, I used “nestle” in place of “touch”.)

 

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