Tag Archives: flash fiction

The Conversation

“Max, we need to talk,” Rachel said. “And I think you know why.”

Max sighed. “Seriously? I couldn’t even begin to guess.”

“Just like a guy.” Rachel rolled her eyes. “Everything is deteriorating and you don’t even have a clue.”

“Come on. Isn’t that a bit dramatic? I thought you were happy. Just last week you said you had so much fun.” Max smiled as he tried to cajole her back to her normal good mood.

Rachel wasn’t having it. “That was before I realized things were falling apart to the point of danger and possible harm if we continue on.”

“Oh Rachel. For heaven’s sake!” Then Max saw where she was pointing and gasped in alarm.

He took her hand. “I’m so sorry. I had no idea the foundation was rotted out. We don’t have to spend Friday night in a silly old treehouse ever again. Let’s go to the movies!”

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Prophecy

When the child attained her seventh year, they brought her to the sacred stones. She was the seventh daughter of the seventh sage and possessed the sight.

“Tell us,” they urged. “We must know.”

She stared at the water as it glimmered in the early morning light. The ripples formed patterns that reshaped themselves into a fully formed picture in her mind.

“Fire.” She closed her eyes, her fair lashes fanning over her pale skin. “Brother against brother and fires across the hills until all the men are dead.”

They gasped at her prognostication. “All? Can we save anyone? Babies?”

The girl’s face betrayed no emotion as she resumed gazing into the pond. She stayed silent for several minutes. The sun rose higher and the elders grew nervous. But they waited, faces hidden under hooded robes.

Finally, she spoke again. “When the silver wolf comes out of the forest, send the child away.”

They didn’t question her warning; the probability that a seventh seventh would be wrong was too low to consider. Such a thing had never occurred here, to their knowledge. In fact, as they each thought of it, an insidious treachery had already begun to permeate their tribe. Low-level fighting occurred weekly, though of course the girl would not know of such things, living in her guarded forest glen.

With a nod, they moved toward her. It was time. The girl had served her purpose and done well; now her blood must be added to the sacred stones with others of her kind. Knives flashed out from their robes, sharp edges glittering.

One of the elders stood back and whistled. A silver shape sailed out of the trees and flung itself at the other robed figures, knocking them down and killing them instantly. The wolf looked up, its mouth red, and locked gazes with the girl, their eyes the same misty grey.

The sage held out his hand to his daughter. “We must go quickly. I packed bags for us and hid them under the wandering oak.”

She took his hand and the silver wolf trotted alongside them. When she picked up her bag, she looked back once and saw the hills had started to burn.

“A diversion,” the sage told her. “The longer it takes anyone to remember it was prophecy day, the further away we shall be. I have plenty of gold to buy us passage on a ship once we get over the mountains.”

She didn’t tell him she had foreseen his death while at sea.

Mom’s Flowered Suitcase [flash]

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I stood alone at the empty carousel. It had finished spinning out the bags from my flight and mine wasn’t among them. I glanced at the people around me–they were busily texting and¬†briskly wheeling their suitcases outdoors toward ground transportation.

“What did it look like?” The friendly customer service rep was trying to help me find my lost bag as I waited in her office.

I was a little embarrassed. “It was small. And green. With um bright flowers all over it.”

She smiled. “Oh! We have it here. I’m sorry but it seems to have come apart a bit, so we kept it safe.”

“That’s the one.” There was no mistaking the unique floral case the rep brought out from the back. It had been shabby to start with, but now the handle was dangling off and one side was shredded. “It was my mother’s. I guess I’ve had a hard time letting it go.”

“I understand. I could tape it up as a temporary solution.”

As I watched, I thought of the broken vase and the lost earring and the other disappearing mementos. They would all be gone eventually, except for the ones in my heart.

~*~

Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner #28 -2018 

199 Words