Tag Archives: flash

Skirts [flash 127]

“Frank, I’m concerned about the amount of turnover we’re experiencing in the skirt department,” Jane said, frowning at the first quarter report. “It costs a lot of money to train new employees.”

Frank tried to soothe the VP’s concerns. “We’re trying to get these new employees to participate more in social events. That way we’ll feel more like one big happy family.”

Jane glared at him. “Frank, your job is to sell skirts, not teach the world to sing like in some sappy ad. I want results! And I don’t want to wait until fourth quarter.”

“You’ll get them,” Frank said confidently. “In fact, we’re having a fun modeling show next week to show off our summer skirts. You should join in, Jane. You’ve got great legs.”

~*~

Red Flag [flash 200]

Olivia felt happy about her date tonight so far. Andy seemed like a perfect gentleman. He’d brought her a lovely red rose and was a wonderful conversationalist throughout dinner.

As they left the table, Olivia made sure to notice how generous Andy was to their waiter, so unlike the miserly man she’d dated previously.

“So, Olivia,” Andy said as he drove her home. “It’s neat that you like to sketch and hike, but I should tell you I’m a storm chaser.”

Olivia was eager to learn something new and participate too. “What’s that? It sounds fun!”

He laughed. “Well, I certainly think it’s fun! Exhilarating might be a better word. My group and I watch for upcoming weather events, the bigger the better. Hurricanes, tsunamis, cyclones, you name it. And we try to get to the vicinity if we can.”

“Ookay.” Olivia felt puzzled. “But why?”

“To feel alive!” Andy moved his hands around his head, pantomiming the swirling motion of a tornado.

“I see,” she said, though she didn’t really. “But isn’t it dangerous?”

Andy nodded, his dark eyes glittering. “Sure. Last year one of our group died in a brutal blizzard. He got a great video first though.”

~*~

Wednesday Wittering

Since everyone is announcing the things they are blogdoing, I thought I would too. I made a new tab! Ooh, yes. Biggie changes on the old Light Motifs II. It’s a poetry tab and I stuck 24 links on to poems what I like. My own poems, I mean. Now, it would be nice if people could go over there and like my poetry page so it’s not all naked. But if everyone is too busy doing whatever, I get it. Just remember all the times I liked your things and don’t feel guilty. 🙄

I also changed my other tab to link to my fave flash fiction stories what I posted. Now, you don’t have to bother liking that page, since it already has lots of likes from when it had sumpin else on there. I guess that’s cheating really… to change a thing people liked into a different thing after they liked it. Gosh, I’ll probably lose sleep over that. 😂

Since I feel all blissful from organizing my stuff under tabs in this way, I’m going to do more! I’m planning to create a series tab, for links to my sets of themed stories; a dating tab for my sad and funny dating stories; a tab for Gatsby; etc. Actually, I feel quite penitent for neglecting this area of my blog for so long. I haven’t made it easy for peeps to find things. 😢

On second thought, maybe I should make series a subset of flash. After all, my stories are really all flash fiction, by definition, and there is no reason to drench my poor blog in a veritable flood of tabs. I always get so carried away! 🤪

So, here’s a thing. I try not to think about certain times in my life too much unless I’m deliberately calling up an emotion for writing purposes, and even then I have to be careful. But the blog is tricky. Reading some of that older poetry was painful ~ I know what motivated it. I know why I had the need to articulate certain concepts the way I did with the words I chose.

Even worse though are the blanks in blogtime, where “nothing” appears. Those weeks weren’t always blank. Some of them had poetry that was too painful to leave up, or rants or confessions or stories I decided were too personal to have online forever (yes, I realize they may have been archived or screenshotted by someone).

When I pass through the ghost weeks, I’m glad I don’t have to confront whatever unhappy event occurred… but yet I know it was there.

Something was there. 😶

~*~

Opposites Attract Challenge: April 3

“I caught a fish … it was THIS big?!” [flash 300]

As some of you know, I have family in Ohio I’ve fallen out of touch with. But when I was a little kid, my mom took me to visit occasionally. We’d go during summer vacation and stay in a Howard Johnson for a couple days. Her family was super small town, and even she was no longer used to their ways.

Once, on a boiling hot day, my cousins were going fishing in the creek (the “crick”) and asked me to come along. I was 8, and my mom said okay. I had never fished, so they baited my hook. I was excited! Me, a little girl from New York City, fishing in a creek!

My cousins kept catching fish, but I didn’t. It made me sad. They showed me ways to move my pole a bit and where to stand to attract a fishie. Finally, I felt a tug on my line. Yay! I called out for help and they told me how to reel my catch in.

It felt heavy. I was elated. My first fish! There were no cell phones back then, but I was already imagining taking a polaroid pic at the house and showing off to my friends back in the city.

But then I saw my fish, which didn’t look like any fish I’d ever seen. “Ewww!” I screamed. “It’s a monster!”

I dropped my fishing pole and one of my cousins grabbed it. They both cracked up laughing. “It’s just a catfish! They’re delicious!”

“Gross!” I yelled, running back to the house.

My grandma fried up all the fish that night for dinner. I just had salads and dessert. My cousins told the folks that I’d caught the biggest catfish ever to come out of that muddy little creek as everyone ate. Yuck!

~*~

This fish tale is in response to Rory’s challenge. Please note in the comments on how believable you consider the story to be, on a “scale” of 1-10, with 10 being most believable.

Sugar Sugar [flash 160]

Bettina needed this quiet down time to herself after the hectic day she’d had at school with a classroom full of spirited 7th graders playing pranks. She ordered a café au lait and carefully placed it on the table next to her notebook and pen. She planned to write a bit of poetry and relax for an hour before heading home to grade papers.

But first she took a bathroom break, stopping to brush her hair and reapply lipstick. You never knew when Mr. Right might decide to make a surprise appearance. Best to be prepared.

Bettina went back to her table, sat down, and took a sip of coffee. “AAACCCKKK!” She spit the coffee back into the cup. Gross! It tasted as if some imp had dumped an entire cup of sugar in it.

A table nearby erupted into shrieks of laughter. “April Fool, Miss Lyon!” It was a group of her students.

Bettina rolled her eyes and sighed.

~*~

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge

The Pledge [flash 170]

Icefire the dragon heard the soft clop of the horseshoes through the snow and knew a knight approached his bridge. His sensitive nose sniffed out that this was a rider from the East, one of the King’s men. Under normal circumstances, Icefire would come out from under the bridge and burn up the knight, which would indeed be a pleasure. But these were extraordinary times.

Last summer, Icefire had met a princess in the forest. Not just any princess, but the fairest maiden ever born. Instead of being afraid of him, the little princess had given him a bouquet of flowers. Icefire had fallen in love! He’d given her his pledge of honor. Anything in the world that she wanted, he would do for her.

She’d asked only one thing: please don’t kill her father’s knights when they crossed the bridge.

Hmph. It certainly went against a dragon’s nature not to set fire to a knight, but Icefire had his bouquet of dried flowers to remind him of his promise.

~*~

What Do You See?

Opposites Attract: Challenge 8

Tea & Truffle [fiction 375]

As Vivian poured tea for Alphonse and his mother, her husband said, “Darling, I have a surprise. I’ve invited Jeremy to tea.”

Vivian’s hand faltered, and she splashed a bit of tea on the pristine ivory lace tablecloth. “Why ever would you do such a thing, Alphonse?” she asked. “He’s been such a nui–”

“Ah, here he is now,” Mother said, as the parlor maid brought a guest to the table. “Welcome, Jeremy. Do join us. The pastries are exquisite. Lemon curd, your favorite!”

Vivian was confused. How would her mother-in-law know her former fiancé’s pastry preferences? Manners dictated that she welcome Jeremy however, and so she did.

“Thank you for inviting me to your home, Vivian and Alphonse,” Jeremy began. “And of course it is always a pleasure to see you again, Laura.”

Laura. So strange. Mother and Jeremy smiled at each other over their teacups. Vivian busied herself by giving Truffle a bit of crust–the kitty had been waiting at her feet.

“Ahem,” Alphonse said. “Jeremy, we do want to take action to end this gossip that I stole Vivian from you. It’s become quite ridiculous amongst our friends.”

“I apologize,” Jeremy said. “It was a joke that spiraled out of control. You know how people are.”

“It’s not your fault,” Mother Laura said. “No one has anything better to do than spread rumors. I myself keep busy with my show kittens.”

“Which is so admirable!” Jeremy burst out. “I’m serious about wanting to purchase a pair.”

“You!” Vivian laughed and seized the opening to get a dig in regarding something that had always bothered her. “I don’t think you quite understand the care involved. Kittens will not be compatible with your bohemian bachelor lifestyle.”

“Ah, but that’s all coming to an end.” Jeremy stood up and walked over to Mother, resting his hand on her shoulder. “I’ve asked the lovely Laura to do me the honor of becoming my wife, and to my utter delight, she has accepted!”

“Mother!” Alphonse stood up, looking aghast.

Vivian simply crumpled off her chair into a graceful heap on the floor, dropping her lemon pastry in the process.

Truffle the kitten immediately snatched it up and scampered off behind the liquor cabinet with her treasure.

~*~

Genre Challenge 9: Romance

The Nurse [280]

They’re here again. Slipping through the halls. Black-haired, pale-skinned. I know what they want. I’ve always known what they wanted. Their satanic clothing is in rags, but I can still see their gleaming crucifixes, a mockery of all that’s good and holy. One is in my room now, reaching for me with scarred bony fingers–

I sit up in bed, covered with sweat, my heart racing. It’s pitch black, hours until dawn, and I’m alone with my nightmares. But the phantoms are real, and they’re going to drag me down to hell with them.

Someone comes in and flips on the light. Oh, it’s the nice nurse Cathy. “Bad dreams again, Miz Violetta? I’ll give you something to help you sleep.”

“It’s the dead rockers,” I whisper. “The ones I wrote about in my bestseller. Their souls are coming for vengeance.”

“Now, now,” Cathy says. “I’m sure they were happy for the publicity. Things just seem scarier at night.”

She obviously didn’t read my book. I had exposed the group as a devil worshipping cult and destroyed them. Their fans had stalked me for decades. I thought I’d finally found peace as I waited to die from my failing heart.

Cathy returns with a cup of water and a pill. “Here you go, honey.”

“Thanks.” I take the pill with the water and lay back down.

Cathy sits in her chair, but she’ll leave eventually and that’s when they will come. And they know what I’ve done and how I got my information.

*

Cathy watches her patient. That bitch. She ruined my son’s life. The hallucinogens are a nice way of finally getting a small bit of payback.

~*~

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge

Cactus Pass [fiction 440]

The weary travelers dismounted and stared at the dusty buildings. “Cactus Pass Saloon,” Vivian said, reading one of the faded signs. “Looks like we’re in the right town, Alphonse.”

Her husband took a swig from his water pouch. “If you can call this a town.”

The swinging doors of the saloon banged open and out walked a lanky man wearing a cowboy hat. In one hand he held a gun; in the other he cuddled a cat.

“Jeremy!” Vivian exclaimed. “What are you doing here? And however did you find our sweet baby Truffle?”

Alphonse stepped forward. “He obviously stole our cat when he left St. Louis.”

“Only fair,” Jeremy said. “You stole my fiancée.”

“Truffle was a gift from my mother!” Alphonse yelled.

Vivian ran up to Jeremy. “Give us back our kitty, you brute! My husband is in charge now. The mayor of Cactus Pass, a dear old friend, sent him a letter appointing him Sheriff!”

The kitty, misliking so much noise and also spotting a lizard, meowed, jumped down, and ran off.

Alphonse poked through his saddlebags and triumphantly waved a piece of paper. He brought it to Jeremy. “Read this! This is my town now.”

Jeremy holstered his gun, glanced at the paper, and neatly tore it in half. “Dead man’s signature ain’t worth much around these parts, my friends.”

“Dead man!” Vivian gasped. “What happened to Noah McUnicorn?”

Jeremy shrugged. “He had an accident while cleaning his hunting rifle.”

Vivian and Alphonse glanced at each other. “Accident?” Alphonse said, putting his arm around his wife. “And where were you when that happened?”

Jeremy put his hand on his gun. “I’m getting too thirsty to answer impertinent questions from newcomers. I’m going back into my saloon, which is in the center of my town. I suggest you water your horses and skee-daddle on back to St. Louis. I don’t want to see you again in Cactus Pass.”

“We had better do what he says,” Vivian whispered, and Alphonse nodded. They had guns too, but Jeremy had backup. They had seen his men in the shadows of the doorway.

Slowly, they rode back out of town, but instead of heading east, they decided to go southwest, toward El Paso. Vivian had a cousin there she wanted to visit. They could camp out one night, and then meet the train by midday.

As Vivian washed her face in the stream, she said, “Alphonse, the water here is so gritty. I don’t think it’s safe to drink.”

“Let me see.” Her husband scooped up some water in his hands to examine it.

“My heavens, Vivian! We’ve found gold!”

~*~

Genre Challenge 8: Western

The Diary [fiction 320]

Alphonse strode into the study to find Vivian intently reading a strange looking book. “Darling! We need to leave for the bash at the Gilmores. We don’t want to miss the champagne supper. You look lovely, by the way. I adore the rose motif.”

“Mm,” his wife said. “Truffle found the key.”

“What key?”

Vivian handed him a golden key. “Kitty was playing behind the liquor cabinet again and dug this out. It unlocked that desk drawer you were curious about, and I found this diary.”

“Ooh!” Alphonse sat down beside her. “Whose is it? The previous owner’s?”

“I don’t know.” Vivian frowned. “Some girl named Chantal apparently. Listen to this:

I can’t decide who is worse. Chad was clearly evil from the start, and it was his idea to kidnap me away from my beloved Cupid. But at least he has charisma and is understanding at times. He gave me this diary and lets me write in peace. Brad, on the other hand, is now a total automaton and does whatever Chad says. He won’t even look me in the eye! Yet, I feel in some ways he’s a prisoner too, and if I could break Chad’s hold over him, we could both escape this house of horrors.

“House of horrors!” Vivian repeated. “She means this house, Alphonse. Our home!”

Alphonse jumped up and wrung his hands together. “Oh, dear. That is distressing. To imagine a poor girl being mistreated in our happy nest.”

“I can hardly bear it. I shan’t read another word.” Vivian put down the diary, but then picked it up again. “But I suppose we should read the rest to find out what happens. It’s only right.”

“But not tonight,” Alphonse said. “We have an obligation to the Gilmores. Should I call for a carriage?”

“No, let’s walk,” Vivian said. “It’s only a few meters, and maybe the fresh air will help clear my head.”

~*~

Photo Prompt ~ Willow Poetry