Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: Rejecting the Stereotype

writing prompt: Blogging Conferences

“Can I have your autograph?”

Tara looked at the woman by her side and swallowed back a smile. She was getting used to her Internet fame, but it didn’t necessarily mean she liked it. She was still amazed that people even read her writing – all she did was talk about the day-to-day activities of the publishing world.

“Better yet,” she said with a warm smile, “let’s take a picture together.” She placed an arm around the woman’s shoulders and offered a smile to her friend taking their picture.

“Oh thank you so much! I read your blog every day and I can’t tell you how much it’s helped me!”

“I’m so glad,” Tara said, and she meant it. She truly enjoyed connecting with her readers.

The woman walked away with her small pack of friends, giggling excitedly.

“Ugh. That gets so old, doesn’t it?”

Tara stiffened and turned to face yet another popular blogger. She didn’t like her for she had seen, first hand, how utterly hateful she could be with people.

“Let’s sit down, shall we?” Tara said and began to guide the group to a nearby table.

She noted a lone woman, standing near the entrance to the room, looking forlorn and lost.

“We have an empty space, let’s invite her over,” Tara said, with a nod toward the door.

“Um, no,” the woman snickered to the table at large.

“Fine,” Tara said. “Then I’ll go to her. Enjoy your lunch, ladies.”

It felt good to walk away.

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Fiction under 250 words.

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Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: Get Out There and Vote

writing prompt: Proposition C

“Are you ready?”

“For what?”

“To go vote.”

“Is that today?”

Cathy sighed and shook her head. “What happened to you being all gung-ho about protecting our rights? About how we needed to send our politicians a message. You were all passionate about how we needed to get out there and make our voices heard. You know, about how change isn’t going to happen if we don’t get off our butts, get out there and MAKE things happen? Where did that passion go?”

Alison shrugged. “It’s too hot to vote. I’m all comfy, sitting here, watching my favorite soap … it would be a crime to move.” She tipped back her head and tossed a grape into her mouth.

“Tough. We’re going. Put on your shoes,” Cathy snapped and tugged Alison up from the bean bag chair that had nearly swallowed her tiny body whole.

Alison grumbled while putting on her shoes, she complained while grabbing her purse, she became obstinate and cranky while driving to the polling place.

“Who are you going to vote for?” Cathy asked while she navigated traffic.

“I’m not telling you that!”

Cathy shot her a quick look before turning into the elementary school. Numerous signs dotted the driveway, each trying to coax you into voting for a certain person.

“You don’t know, do you.”

“Leave me alone,” Alison snapped.

Cathy put the car into park, shut off the motor and turned to her roommate.

“YOU are what is wrong with this country.”

Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: For Sale

I dropped the scissors, suddenly unable to see the paper behind my watery eyes.

This was too hard. It was too soon. I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t strong enough.

I collapsed onto the sofa and glanced at the machine. I had come to associate the machine with death, with sadness, with my own personal hell.

I reached up and impatiently swiped errant tears as they streaked carelessly down my cheeks. It was time to move on. It had been nearly 18 months since she had died. It wasn’t healthy to continue thumbing through old photo albums and drinking numerous six packs of beer, wallowing in self-pity and loneliness.

I forced fresh air into my lungs and snatched the scissors once more. I finished making the tabs with my telephone number on them and exhaled slowly. I hadn’t realized I had been holding my breath.

I picked up the black ballpoint pen. My hand hovered inches from the paper and I narrowed my eyes, determined to see this through to the bitter end.

“Wife Died.” I swallowed the bitter lump of bile back down my throat. She was gone. I would never hear her sweet lilting voice ever again. I saw her face in my dreams every night, but the dreams were fading around the edges, like an old photograph left out in direct sunlight for too long.

“Used 1 month. 3 piece 3 wheeled scooter …” I suddenly couldn’t write anymore. Our hopes had been dashed – killed, like her.
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Fiction under 250 words.
Inspired by this entry.

I recorded this story through AudioBoo. You can find the recording here.

Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: Rite of Passage

She saw the top of his blonde head first. His hair blew to one side of his face as he exited the school along with about twenty of his classmates. He thoughtlessly flipped his hair to one side as he continued to talk to his best friend walking alongside him.

She tensed. She hated this part. She knew he was old enough to navigate the parking lot without her, but her mother instinct kicked in – she wanted to take his hand and guide him safely back to her car.

Something was wrong. She sat up straighter and narrowed her eyes. He was limping.

Most of the other kids ignored him, but a few of the “tougher” ones watched him and snickered. One boy, slightly bigger than her son, actually pushed him, said something, then laughed. The other kids, not wanting to appear uncool, but clearly uncomfortable with the situation, began fading away in the background, leaving her son, his friend and the bully on center stage and clearly visible on the sidewalk.

She watched as her son mouthed something at the bully and then calmly walked across the cross walk.

“What’s wrong? Why are you limping?” she asked as soon as he opened the door.

“Too much marching,” he replied. “Don’t worry about it.”

“What’s that one kid’s problem?”

To her surprise, he laughed. “That kid? He’s a dork.”

“But,” she began; he held up a hand.

“I can handle it, mom.” He grinned at her.

She grinned back.
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Fiction under 250 words.

I recorded this story through AudioBoo. You can find the recording here.

Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: Fiction or Reality

“You’re reading … again? I thought we were going to go out to dinner.”

Sahara held up a finger to indicate she needed a moment longer.

“Seriously? You’re going to do this on our anniversary?” The keys in Jacob’s palm cut into his fingers as his grip tightened.

“Just one more minute,” Sahara snapped and exhaled a breath in irritation. She refused to look at him, deciding instead to focus her eyes on the text to try and recapture the images swirling around her imagination; the story was simply too good to put down. “I’m at the good part,” she fairly whispered and licked her lips in anticipation.

Jacob looked at the clock on their mantle. He had made reservations for them at their favorite restaurant, the restaurant they had gone to on their first date nearly four years ago. They had eleven minutes to make it. And he knew, from past experience, if they were even a second late, the maître d’ would give their table away with nary a guilty thought.

He could feel his resentment beginning to boil. He felt the familiar tug of unsuppressed rage but worked to control it. He glanced at the cover of her book. “Romance. I should have known.”

She ignored him.

“That trash is ruining our marriage, Sahara.”

That got her attention. Her eyes flew up to lock with his.

“I’m done. You’ve got a choice to make – your damn stories and make believe men, or me, flaws and all. Decide.”

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Fiction under 250 words.

I recorded this story through AudioBoo. You can find the recording here.

Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: On the Dotted Line

“Sign here, please.”

I watched the couple give each other a bright smile before they each took a turn to sign their name on the dotted line. They sat on the edge of their seats, their excitement nearly palpable. Their baby, who couldn’t have been more than a month old, twitched slightly by their side.

“Okay,” I said and forced a smile. “That’ll do it. Your first payment will be due the 15th of next month and …” I opened my desk drawer and pulled out a keychain with two keys attached, “here are the keys to your new home.”

The woman squealed and the man chuckled as they both stood and prepared to leave. I watched them behind a veil of sadness. I had been in the real estate business long enough to know trouble when I saw it.

“Thanks,” the man said and held out his hand. I shook it firmly and appeared friendly on the outside, inside, I was seething and fought the urge to jerk him toward me and hiss a warning in his overly large ears.

The couple scooped up the baby carrier and without a backward glance, they exited the real estate area.

“Are they gone?” my boss materialized right outside his office.

“Yes.” I continued to stare after the couple as they crossed the foyer. “They can’t afford that house, Mike. We shouldn’t have approved their loan. I predict a foreclosure in about fourteen months.”

He shrugged. “Not my problem.”

I winced.
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Fiction under 250 words.

I recorded this story through AudioBoo. You can find the recording here.

Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: Fading Fast

“Dad, would you dance with me?” Shelia held her hand out and swallowed back the pebble of fear on the back of her tongue. Would he accept? Or would he look at her like he didn’t know her?

Please, she thought to herself, remember, just this once.

The older man gave her a brilliant smile and Shelia released a soft sigh. She curled her fingers around the old man’s wrinkled hand and gently led him to the dance floor. She smiled and nodded at the other guests as she guided them through the crowd and out onto the dance floor. Todd, her new husband, stood on the sidelines and gave her a quick thumbs up to indicate he knew everything was fine and he was happy for her.

Being able to dance with her father, and him knowing who she was and what was going on, was something she had prayed would happen for nearly a year.

“You look so pretty,” he said, his words a bit broken, but recognizable.

Tears glistened in her eyes as she leaned forward to place a soft kiss on his papery cheek. “Thanks dad. I’m so glad you were able to make it.”

“Why wouldn’t I make it?” he asked her, his blue eyes sparkling in surprise.

“It doesn’t matter,” she mumbled and gazed lovingly into his weathered face. “I hope you know just how much I love you.”

Her father’s smile began to fade, his eyes clouded over. “Who are you again?”
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Fiction under 250 words.

Inspired by this Post Secret

dance

Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: Telling Darkness

The lights flickered, dimmed, then finally went out. The car came to an abrupt halt and forced me to put a hand out to steady myself.

“Oh. I’m sorry,” I mumbled as the palm of my hand grazed a human body. I stepped back so my back was against the elevator wall.

A moment stretched and thinned, like a piece of gooey taffy being pulled and softened.

“Well, this is awkward,” I said, a small, nervous giggle escaping from between my lips.

“Indeed,” my boss muttered and I was suddenly glad it was pitch black so he couldn’t see the sheer panic on my face.

Leonard was intimidating under the best of circumstances, and it was safe to say, this wasn’t the best of circumstances.

“How long do you think …” I began, desperate to fill the black void with … something, even the sound of my own squeaky, slightly prepubescent, voice was better than nothing at all.

“I slept with Vicki,” he said. It was said so matter-of-factly, and with little to no inflection that he might as well have said, “I had tuna for lunch.”

I blinked into the blackness. My brain went into overdrive. Vicki … Vicki … I mulled the name over in my mind. Would that be …

“Your secretary?” I blurted out. I instantly wanted to snatch those two potentially loaded words back into the bowels of my being.

The lights buzzed and came back on.

It was awkward before – now it was intolerable.

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Fiction under 250 words.

Inspired by:

Capture1

Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: Poisonous Genes

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Fiction under 250 words.

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“It’s about time you answered your damn phone.”

Lauren scowled and looked over at her sleeping daughter. She had been so distracted with her own mounting problems she hadn’t thought to look at her caller ID. She mentally kicked herself for her carelessness. She really needed to get a new cell phone number.

“Hello? Hello??” the voice snapped, rising with each shrill syllable.

“I’m here. What do you want?”

“What the hell sort of greeting is that?”

Lauren sucked in her breath and willed herself to think about their final destination – beautiful palm trees, the sounds of the surf gently lapping white sandy beaches … she checked her rear-view mirror before glancing at her daughter again. She deserved a good life, didn’t she?

She continued to stare straight ahead and cradled the phone between her ear and shoulder, her knuckles whitening on the steering wheel. She refused to get sucked into yet another drama fest, so, she remained silent. Experience had taught her that sometimes not saying anything at all was a more powerful weapon.

“Where do you think you’re going?” the voice demanded.

“Away.”

“You always were a smart ass,” the words dripped with sarcasm followed closely by a bitter chuckle.

Again, Lauren answered with silence. She veered off onto her exit and was merging with the traffic on the bridge before the voice spoke again.

“You won’t survive without us.”

Lauren opened her window and threw her cell phone over the bridge.

“Oh yes I will. Goodbye mother.”

Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: Flashback

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Fiction under 250 words.

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“And this is the smaller bedroom.” Belinda stepped to one side of the door to allow her clients to move past her and enter the room.

Beads of sweat began to form on her upper lip and she felt sick to her stomach.

It had been fifteen years since she had been in this house and yet seeing the aged homestead, driving through the old neighborhood, was like stepping back through the hellish threshold of her childhood.

“Oh … this could be Courtney’s room,” the well-dressed woman said enthusiastically over her shoulder. Her serious-looking husband merely nodded while pacing aimlessly around the bedroom.

Belinda smiled, or at least, her lips curled into what she hoped resembled a smile. Why had she agreed to show this house? Why hadn’t she gotten someone else to cover for her? This was a mistake. She thought she could face her old demons, she thought she had moved past the abuse she had endured during childhood.

She was wrong.

The man moved toward the closet and Belinda frantically grabbed at the doorframe to steady herself. The darkness that oozed from the opening slowly wrapped itself around her brain and she felt her vision tunnel.

“Nice big closet … Good lord, it goes on forever.” The man said, his voice dissipating as he moved deeper into the opening.

“And you’ll stay in here until we let you out,” a voice sneered in Belinda’s head. She tightly closed her eyes and willed herself back to the present.