Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: The Gift

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Fiction under 250 words.

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“Happy birthday, honey!”

I tried to smile and accepted the silver, foil-wrapped gift from my husband. I was feeling vulnerable and on edge. I was 30. When exactly did that happen?

“Thanks.” I wasn’t sure what else to say. This was the first year he had actually remembered. Granted, he was four days after the fact, but at least he had finally gotten the month right this time.

I continued to smile at him. I realized that my smile was a cross between painful and hopeful. Perhaps now things would be different. A new job. A new city. There wouldn’t be any more distractions. We could work on starting a family. We deserved a fresh start.

“Open it already,” he said, his voice laced with impatience.

I swallowed my sigh and gingerly opened the gift. It was a beautiful tennis bracelet; the diamonds winked and sparkled at me, as if they were dying to tell me something.

“It’s gorgeous,” I croaked out. And it was. It as by far the nicest gift he had ever given me. In fact, it was the best gift he had given me. I bit my tongue. I wouldn’t start with the paranoia again. It was my birthday. I didn’t want to spoil the tentative truce between us. I managed a smile and carefully pulled it from the box.

I could feel the blood draining from my brain and rushing past my eardrums. I had to ask.

“Did she buy it?”

I braced for his answer.

Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: Unlucky

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Fiction under 250 words.

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“So, what do you think yours says?”

Mary glanced over at the woman sitting on her right. She was pretty, long black hair, light brown eyes but she was very, very pale. Mary shrugged and issued a long-suffering sigh. “I’m not sure. I don’t have a history of breast cancer in my family so I’m hopeful.” And she wasn’t really worried. She had always been lucky, with her health, her career – life was good.

The woman visibly swallowed and nodded once. “Unfortunately, I do. In fact, my grandmother and my aunt both died just a few years ago. Months from each other in fact.” She shot a bitter smile at Mary. “Our family hasn’t had the best of luck.”

“I’m so sorry.” Mary resisted the urge to pat her hand. She had never been very good at offering comfort; at least, that’s what her husband always told her. “I’m sure your test results will come back negative.” Mary tried to instill a note of confidence in her voice but deep down, she wondered if the woman was doomed, like the other females in her family.

“Mary Brown?” asked a heavyset nurse with bad teeth.

“Well, that’s me. Good luck.”

“Yeah, you too.”

Doctor Evans walked into his office and sat down behind his desk.

Mary smiled at him.

He did not return her smile.

“I went over your test results,” he said in low, serious tones. “And I’m afraid I have some bad news.”

Mary’s luck had run out.

Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: Just One More Time

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Fiction under 250 words.

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“This sucks! I don’t know why you’re dragging me along, I don’t want to be here. You’re making me miss my best friend’s party. I hate you,” the teenage girl grumbled and sat back in the seat with a huff.

Ramona cringed and clutched her bag closer to her chest. She could feel tears welling up in the corners of her eyes, but bit her lip in an effort to quell them. She was tired of crying.

“Do you know how many kids would kill to be in your position?” the woman next to the girl hissed. “I can’t believe you’re so ungrateful. We saved up a long time for this trip and we’re going to have fun whether you like it or not!”

The girl snorted in disgust and shifted her body away from the woman.

Ramona sneaked a peek at the girl over her shoulder. She was dressed in the latest fashion and had a nose ring. She loudly popped her gum in defiance. She gave a wry smile; she used to be so much like that girl. Taking a breath, she pulled the death notice out of her purse. She had read it so many times the edges were starting to curl with use.

She lightly ran her finger over the names: Mary Beth and Anthony James Taylor.

Her parents.

A tear dropped onto the page. She sucked in a shaky breath. She would give anything to go on vacation with her parents – just one more time.

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*This was inspired by a Post Secret that said, “I hate family vacations.” When I went to the site to link to the post card, I noticed that it has been removed. I wonder why … there’s another story right there, I think.

Flash Fiction, Prompt Fiction

Flash Fiction: In the Path

The three words to use in a story this week are:

  • Foolish
  • Mercy
  • Relish

Thanks for reading.


Molly relished the thought of getting off work and unpacking the numerous boxes at her new house.

“I know what you’re thinking about,” her co-worker said in a sing-song voice and with a laugh.

Molly grinned. “I can’t help it. I’ve never been a homeowner before, I’m excited.” She shrugged. “I spent hours shopping for just the right numbers to put on my house at Lowe’s last night. I know it’s foolish but …”

Her words were cut off by a shrill siren.

“Oh my God, look.” Her co-worker nodded toward the window.

Molly’s brow furrowed as she saw the ominous clouds and flashes of lightening. A boom of thunder suddenly sounded overhead and both women jumped in response.

“Let’s go, everyone! Don’t worry about shutting off your computers, we don’t have time! They’re saying it’s an F3 tornado and it’s about five miles away!” Their boss, a man not normally known for being excitable, was flushed and disheveled. His appearance alone was enough to propel people into action.

Both women shot out of their seats as if someone had yanked their chairs out from under them.

“Five miles? Molly gasped. Her house was five miles from the office. “What direction!” She yelled. She was surprised her boss heard her over the rising panic.

“Northwest.”

Molly shot a look at her co-worker. “Oh no, my house is over there!” She felt like crying. “Please God, have mercy,” she mumbled as everyone stumbled down the stairs and into the basement.

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This was, of course, inspired by all the tornado activity the south saw yesterday. May God help and heal those affected by the storms.

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Fiction under 250 words.

Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: Deviation

writing prompt: Deviation – meaning: noticeable or marked departure from accepted norms of behavior

“So. How long has it been since you … you know.”

Olivia shrugged. “A while. I think I’m over it.”

Valerie scowled. “Liar. I don’t believe you. Let me see your legs.”

Olivia’s eyes widened before hardening into chips of graphite. “No.”

Her roommate reached over and pulled up her pant leg before Olivia could stop her.

Her hard voice negated her slow smile. “So instead of cutting, you’re writing on yourself now?”

Again, she shrugged. “There’s less clean up.”

Valerie snorted. “You need help, girl.”

“And you don’t?” Olivia shot back. “When is your next tattoo scheduled?” she asked.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Valerie snapped back and glared at her.

It was Olivia’s turn to say it. “Liar. All I have to do is pull out your planner and see when your next appointment is. You write everything down. It’s almost a sickness with you.”

“One of many,” Valerie murmured and then shrugged. “Fine. I have one scheduled for next Friday.”

Olivia sputtered a bitter laugh. “Good God, where? Nearly every square inch of your body is covered.”

“I’ll find some space,” Valerie shot back.

The girls glared at each other for long, tense moments before they both relaxed at the same time and started laughing.

“Geez, we’re a pair, aren’t we? We could keep a shrink in business for years.”

Olivia shrugged. “We cope. You hide behind your tattoos; I manifest my emotional pain into physical pain.”

“Hell, who needs a shrink!”

They laughed.

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Fiction under 250 words.

Inspired by this and this Post Secret.

Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: Disappointed

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Fiction under 250 words.

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“God help me,” I muttered under my breath. I was behind “Eeyore” mom and we were traveling at a maximum of 20 miles per hour.

I glared at the navy blue Chevy Tahoe and tried to keep my cool in front of the boys. I didn’t know this woman, but I hated her. She was the slowest driver in the entire city and I was always the lucky dipstick that got stuck behind her.

Always.

The boys began squirming in their seats. They knew whenever we got behind the truck with the Eeyore decal that there would be trouble. We were slowing down (which only required a tap or two on the brakes considering we were moving at a snail’s pace) at a stoplight.

We were in the left-hand turn lane and there wasn’t a car to be seen for miles. The light was green and yet we continued to sit there.

I could feel a hot bubble of impatience making it’s way up my throat. I gritted my teeth and tried hard to keep my cool. Only, I couldn’t. A force, bigger than myself, took over and I gripped the steering wheel so hard I heard a knuckle crack.

I glared at the woman hoping she would catch my death-ray look in her rear-view mirror and get the hint.

No such luck.

We continued to sit through the green light. I tensed and before I could stop myself, I called her an ugly name. We were all disappointed.

Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: The Other Woman

writing prompt: Revenge

I hugged her.

What I wanted to do was strangle her. How could this woman act so fake? How could she pretend like nothing was wrong?

I noticed the gleam in her eyes. I noticed the way her lips curved into a self-satisfied smirk. She knew. And she was playing a game with me.

Fine. I’d play along. I’d show her that her little affair with my husband was not going to destroy me.

“Hey Candace! You’re looking good!”

Damn straight I look good, I thought to myself. I suppose she had assumed I would crawl into a dark hole and feel sorry for myself after I found out about them. True, I had seriously toyed with the idea of seeing a therapist – what woman wouldn’t feel so betrayed after twelve years of marriage? And by her best friend, no less?

But I hadn’t. Instead, I had kicked the jerk out of the house, joined a gym and had taken my frustrations out on the elliptical machine. I had lost almost fifteen pounds.

“Thanks. I’ve been keeping busy.” I swallowed the bitter lump of bile stuck in the back of my throat. “But look at you!” I arched a brow and deliberately paused for effect. “You look … nice.”

She shifted self-consciously and issued a nervous laugh. “Yeah well, you know Todd. He likes to eat.”

I glanced at my watch. “Todd’s not here yet?”

She nodded nervously.

“Gee, I hope it’s not another woman.”

Laughing, I turned and left.


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Fiction under 250 words.

Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: The Gift of Air

writing prompt: this picture

Wanda glanced at her watch and then leaned forward to look to see if the bus was coming.

She sighed and moved back to stand by the wall. The sun was in her eyes and she turned to the side to try and escape its direct glare.

The bus was running late. And if she was late to work one more time, she was afraid her boss would fire her.

Her boss had threatened everyone, “I don’t give a rat’s ass whether you like working here or not. You give me one excuse to get rid of you? And I will. I’ve got 200 people waiting to take your place.”

Wanda glanced down at her fingernails – she had bitten them to the quick last night after the phone call with her mother.

She mentally kicked herself for falling for her mother’s lies. She was a toxic person, even her therapist said so.

She reached into her purse and pulled out her cell phone. Oh right, it didn’t work. She had had to cancel the plan last week because she couldn’t afford it.

She leaned her head against the brick wall and blinked back tears. Work, her mother, money problems …what next?

“Excuse me,” the sweet voice of a child broke through her thoughts. She had a handful of balloons clasped tightly in one small fist.

Wanda self-consciously tugged her too tight shirt over her belly and gave the girl a weak smile.

“You look sad. Would you like a balloon?”


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Fiction under 250 words.

Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: Stop Bugging Me

writing prompt: Bed Bugs

Carla tossed the last pillow case onto the bonfire she had built out in her field. She watched the flames hungrily lick most of her linens, her sofa, mattress and recently-purchased luggage.

“I can’t believe I have to do this,” she mumbled to her best friend beside her.

Ellie backed a few feet away from the roaring fire as it began to grow and burn several degrees hotter.

“Have you heard back from the exterminator yet?”

“No. I think they’re blowing me off,” Carla said and also moved back. She could feel the heat warming the bridge of her nose.

“I don’t think they’re blowing you off,” Ellie responded, “I just think they’re overwhelmed with this right now. I mean, who knew bed bugs would become a nation-wide epidemic? It’s crazy.”

The fire popped and sparks flew several feet into the air. The furniture began melting before their eyes.

“All I know is, I’m glad I caught it before it got out of control. I saw one on my sofa and that was all it took for me to start … this.” She gestured to the fire with a helpless flip of her hand.

Carla’s cell phone rang.

“Hello?” Carla covered the mouth piece. “It’s them.”

She listened a few minutes then went deathly pale. She hung up and collapsed onto the ground.

“Well??”

“That “bug” I sent in? Yeah. It wasn’t a bug, it was a fuzz ball.”

Ellie gasped in horror.

Both women silently watched Carla’s belongings burn.


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Fiction under 250 words.

Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: Reality Check on Register Four!

writing prompt: Protest

The sound of the drums caused everyone in the store to stop what they were doing.

“What in the …” Tamara stopped ringing up her customer and looked over her shoulder toward the front entrance.

The small marching band began to play and about twenty “customers” began to dance and sing.

Everyone else in the store froze on the spot and watched the ensemble.

Tamara turned to her customer. “Can you make out what they’re singing? I’m too distracted by the swinging umbrellas.”

The customer laughed and nodded. “The umbrellas really do add a little something, that’s for sure.” She tilted her head and listened. “I think they’re protesting.”

“Protesting what?”

The customer shrugged, but continued. “I think your company gave money to some political cause.”

“Really?” Tamara checked her watch. Only one more hour before she could go home. “Do you know what cause?”

“I’m not sure, but I think I read it was Prop 8.”

Tamara nodded. She wasn’t surprised. Nothing surprised her nowadays – the world had gone insane virtually overnight. “Right.” She continued to watch the spectacle a few moments before noticing her boss on the phone. She guessed he was calling the police.

“Well. You know what they say about opinions,” Tamara said and the customer laughed again.

The group began dancing and marching out of the store. Everyone remained perfectly still and watched them until the door closed, then as if on cue, they all started moving again.

It was business as usual.

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This short-short was inspired by this video.

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Fiction under 250 words.