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.

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.

(If you played along, please feel free to post your link!)

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.