Tag Archives: FFFC

Decisions [flash 100]

Woman choosing a set of stairs

She caught a glimpse of him slipping indoors, and she followed, suspecting he was evading her. Barefoot, she padded softly across the cool floor in the dimly lit room. It smelled of oranges in here. Soon there was light again, coming from the top of a staircase. There was also a darker set of stairs. Which was the right way to go? Her instincts told her to head for the light, but she began to worry that it wasn’t the path he’d choose. As soon as she reached the bright staircase, she impetuously turned and headed into the deeper darkness.

~*~

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge 73.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Inheritance, Part 4

[Earlier episode here.]

Deep within the castle’s empty halls and silent rooms, its furnishings long ago sold for coin, was a solid oak door, locked from the inside. At the bottom of a rickety staircase was a second door, also locked, but without an obvious place for a key. Simon chanted the arcane words he had learned long ago from his grandmother, and the door slid open into the wall.

“Welcome to my shop!” Simon said to Mandy, the reporter who was blackmailing him. She had threatened to expose his past, linking him to a recent murder, unless he gave her a chunk of his inheritance.

Mandy’s eyes grew wide at the vista spread before her. This was a home within a home, complete with bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and what appeared to be a chem lab. “Wow! What’s going on in here?”

“I’m searching for the formula to remove the curse from the treasure,” Simon said. “Without it, the gems are useless except for perpetuating evil, as Belinda was doing.”

Mandy nodded. “The police were closing in on her for the killings of those children. I received a tip about it, but then she was found in the river.”

“I couldn’t convince Grandmama to give me the counterspell, so I stopped Belinda another way.” Simon’s mouth twisted at the memory of dumping her body. “It had to be done. She was too far down the devil’s path to change. I didn’t know the police were onto her.”

Mandy rolled her eyes. “That’s the problem with vigilantism. What’s that smell though?”

“Cookies!” he announced. “You mentioned you love peanut butter, so I baked some.”

Mandy reached for a thick, golden brown cookie from the plethora on the plate Simon presented. She bit into the sweet and salty treat with pleasure. After her second one, she said, “You didn’t put anything weird in these, did you?”

“Who, me?” Simon smiled.

~*~

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge 72.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Inheritance [flash 147]

Lantern in woods by turquoise stream

The quilt of night hung heavily upon her as she trudged toward the designated spot. Cold, damp air crept around the edges of her clothing and slithered against her skin. But nothing was worse than the crawling shame she felt day in and out. She said a whispered thank you when the lantern’s glow appeared ahead. A small disruption rustled nearby bushes, but she barely registered the sound. She had found the right place. Quickly, she put the bag next to the spindly tree where the lantern hung and walked away. What a relief to be free of that tainted inheritance! The relentless guilt dissolved and her steps grew light as she navigated back to the main road. She did feel a twinge of sadness for the poor soul who would now have to deal with the cursed relics, but really that wasn’t her problem any longer.

~*~

Image from Pexels/Pixabay.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge 71.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

To My Dearest Darling…

Blue door in woods

I heard from a mutual friend that you changed your phone number and email address after you moved because of a stalker. That must have been such a terrifying ordeal and you have my utmost sympathies. I know what a sensitive person you are and can only imagine the stress that put you through. I hope you’ve rallied now and regained your playful smile, which is one of my favorite things about you. I still gaze at that photo of us together… do you remember the sunny day at the fair? The fortune teller said our destinies were intertwined, remember? I hope you have forgiven me for tricking you into riding the monster coaster, but I think you enjoyed it after you stopped screaming. Anyway, with all the tasks that occupied your mind while moving, you seem to have forgotten to give me your forwarding info, but I found you nevertheless! It took quite a bit of determination, but I’m not one to let a connection slide. No, not me, and here’s a secret… I feel more for you than mere friendship. It’s time to acknowledge the truth, darling! I finally located your cute cabin deep in the woods with your signature blue door and was so pleased that my efforts had paid off. So I will just push this letter under your door and wait for you to come out and greet me. I don’t mind sitting here against the belly of this shady tree for however long it takes. I brought camping supplies. I really miss you, dearest…

~*~

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #69 and Mindlovemisery’s Sunday Writing Prompt “Secret Admirer.”

Image credited to Zane Lee at Unsplash.

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

TOVID-22

Derek came upstairs to find Miranda watching the news again, despite their resolution.

“I’m sorry,” she said, as he sprawled next to her on the sofa. “I couldn’t sleep.”

He gestured to the American President on the screen. “And you think that will help? What is he babbling on about now?”

“He said he has the states of Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois under quarantine and all livestock has been destroyed, even chickens, to be on the safe side. People there are going crazy, not having meat. I can relate.”

Derek shrugged. “Not really fair to the ones who are immune though. They’ll never catch TOVID-22 if they had COVID-19.”

“But he keeps congratulating himself for keeping those numbers low.” Miranda switched to a channel playing Gilligan’s Island reruns. “He doesn’t like people calling it TOVID, by the way. Says there’s no proof it originated in Topeka. Maybe Mexicans brought it in when that wall fell down in the earthquake.”

“You’ve got to quit obsessing over it, darling.” Derek put his arm around her. “I keep telling you we’re perfectly safe here in my ancestral home.”

“But I’m hungry,” Miranda whined. “We need to hunt again soon. How can we know who isn’t infected? I got such a tummy ache during the Black Plague.”

Derek nodded. These pandemics were so inconvenient. “I remember.”

~*~

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #57.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

First Date [flash 175]

Spaceship taking people

“What the heck is going on, Bill?” Kathy patted her hair to smooth it back into place after that whoosh up into the air.

Bill grinned and waved his arms around, which seemed abnormally short. “You said you were bored with the same old dates, so I came up with an original concept.”

She had said that in her profile. “Yes, but when you told me to meet you in the field, I assumed we’d have a romantic evening looking at stars, not a tour of a spaceship.”

“It’s too overcast to see stars tonight through this haze,” Bill said. “Besides, this is the latest Teslatta. Aren’t you interested in the amazing details?”

Kathy shrugged. “Only if it has a wine and cheese bar.”

“Well, it does,” Bill said, pushing a button on the console.

“Eww!” Kathy shrieked as giant insects flew out of a crevice.

Bill zapped them up with his 7-foot tongue. “Sorry about that, Kathy,” he said after swallowing. “I need to put a sticker on that button to remind me.”

~*~

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge 55.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Retirement [flash 172]

Alarm clock monochrome

It was a myth that you’d miss working 6 months after retirement. Marty had heard all the jokes as he’d opted to get out early, and here he was… sleeping half the day away, with his most important decision being should he make pancakes or waffles for brunch?

He rubbed his hands together with glee as he started the coffeemaker. Mmm French roast. So delicious! He did not miss the crap brew they’d had back at work, nor the intrigue and gossip among his backbiting colleagues.

Sure, it got lonely at times, but Marty had resilience. He’d signed up for a macrame class at the community center and Linda next door had invited him to join her bird watching club. Fun!

He sure was not going to miss the screams and howls of his old job, the crying, the punching, the spitting, the stabbing, the tranquilizer darts, the shock collars

Nope, Marty was not gonna miss teaching in that third grade classroom one bit!

Besides, his neck was still a little sore.

~*~

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge 54.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

My Visitor [flash 300]

Bare trees in fog

The first time he visited I immediately recognized him. I was here because of him, and yet I had done him worse. The area surrounding me was vacant, so I figured he’d strayed too far on his dog walk. But the next morning he appeared again, strolling around as if this were a park instead of barren land at the end of an ancient railroad line.

When he came the third time, I knew it was not a coincidence. He walked past the leafless trees to where the crumbled stones rested.

“Hello, friend,” he said.

I of course said nothing. I waited.

His dog seemed disinclined to explore and stood by the man as he spoke again. “I’m sorry I did not come before. I wasn’t sure where you were. But I know you’re here. I can feel it. A kind of… electricity.”

He pulled a penlight from his pocket and directed it at the stones, but none had names. He switched off the light. The dog made an anxious whimper.

“It doesn’t matter. I know you’re here,” he repeated. “And I wanted to tell you, if it makes any difference now, that I forgive you. That’s my purpose in tracking you down.”

I didn’t do anything, not that there was much I could do.

He made a noise, possibly a laugh or a sob. “Anyway, I just wanted to say that, odd as it may sound with me still alive and you… well, whatever. If you need that to be free or something, you have it.”

Maybe I did need it. I felt even lighter as he walked away, the dog trotting briskly ahead. My last ties to this place felt as if they were dissolving in a pool of mist and I could float up to the stars…

~*~

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge 44

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Bait and Switch [fiction 220]

“Excuse me,” Karen said to the scruffy guy who was leaning against the wall smoking a cigarette, “are you the manager?”

“No, just the Archie the drummer.” He scratched his head. “The third one akshully. The other two, well… they couldn’t get in.”

Karen rolled her eyes. “Your band sucks. I was promised Jimmy and Janis. I never even heard of the Bathtub Gingers.”

He grinned. “Cool name, wot? I thought of it! It’s like bathtub gin, but gingers cos two of us have red hair. I mean, I did, before the um explosion.”

“What about Bobby?” Karen demanded. “And Otis? Dock of the bay ring any bells?”

Archie shook his head sadly. “Never heard of them blokes. We do a righteous cover of ‘Pillow Biter’ though. I can dedicate it to you after the break. Wozz yer name?”

“Karen,” she sighed. “And I don’t even know the original ‘Pillow Biter.’ It doesn’t sound like a song that should be played in Rock and Roll Heaven either.”

“The angels like it well enough.” Archie shrugged. “Sometimes they join in on their harpsichords. How’d you get here so early anyways, Karen? You look awful young and healthy.”

“That’s a rude question!” she snapped. “But if you must know, my psychiatrist mixed up my prescriptions. I’m sure it was an accident however.”

~*~

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge 42

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon

Assignment [flash 235]

Shadow of a man standing

I have not been told why the subject is under surveillance. It was not necessary for this assignment to inform me of details other than a description of the subject and the fact that he appears here at the bridge every afternoon precisely at 3:00. I have my suspicions, of course. I believe he is calculating something, perhaps a sniper shot. The route the officials will travel next month is classified, but someone knows it. When the time comes, if they tell me to kill the subject, I will do it without question or proof. That is how things are now.

The subject appears at 3:00 exactly, as he has done every day for seven days. He is dressed in his usual nondescript dark pants and windbreaker. He walks to the center of the bridge, places his hands lightly on the railing, and looks out. He makes no notes and does not appear to be communicating with anyone.

Today he leaves six minutes earlier than usual, striding away in the direction he appeared, opposite to me. As I turn around, I spot someone watching me. My observer quickly blends into the shadows of a door. It may be a test. This entire assignment could be a ruse. They do that to keep us in the dark. I may never know. Or I may be cut down as I walk past.

End encrypted transmission.

~*~

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction 37

~*~

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon