Home At Last

Pilgrim’s Progress. “Thus, they got over.” Public domain illustration by Frederick Barnard 1889.

Pilgrim’s Progress. “Thus, they got over.” Public domain illustration by Frederick Barnard 1889.

 

 

I have waited for you.

I have watched you.

I’ve seen your battle with Darkness itself.

I’ve seen you through the waves he crashed upon you.

I’ve held you in those moments you thought I was gone.

I’ve heard your praises.

I’ve heard your doubts.

I’ve seen you laugh…

I’ve seen you cry.

I’ve seen you bear witness, whether it be through words or actions.

Your smile could light up a room and brighten anyone’s day, no matter who they were.

You have traveled the narrow path, difficult as it was.

I welcome you home, my good and faithful servant.

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Submitted for Warmup Wednesday!

This week’s Warmup Wednesday challenge: include the end of a long journey.

 

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I Love You – Flash Fiction

“I love you.”

“You’re only saying that because I gave you candy,” Tina said, blushing and twirling her pigtails.

“Maybe. You got anymore?”

“You’ve gotta kiss me first, Max,” she teased and jumped off the swings.

“Gross! Girl cooties!”

“Better run, or I’m gonna get you!” Tina giggled as she chased Max around the play ground.

*****

“I love you.”

“You’re only saying that because I got you the comic book,” Tina said, throwing away the wrapping paper.

“Maybe. It really is the grEAtest present.”

“Voice crack much?” Tina laughed so hard milk came out her nose.

“Shut up!” His voice cracked again. Tina hit the floor in a hysterical fit of laughter.

*****

“I love you.”

“You’re only saying that because I helped you with your homework,” Tina stretched out on his bed, soaking in the moments he wanted to be around her.

“Maybe. I’d flunk if it weren’t for you.”

“Yeah you would.”

“Shut up!” Max jumped on her to give her a pinch.

*****

“I love you.”

“You’re only saying that because I helped you get the job,” Tina looked at the man in the tie standing in front of her.

“Maybe. I could have landed it myself I think.”

“HA!”

“Shut up…it could have happened!” Max grabbed her wrist when she turned away.

*****

“I love you.”

“You’re only saying that because I said it first,” Max said as he looked at the beautiful woman before him.

“Maybe. Or maybe I was just waiting for you to mean it,” Tina said, glancing down at the ring on her finger.

“I love you, Tina.”

“I love you too, Max.”

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Written for Cracked Flash week 8

Word Count: 268

Say What?

photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

 

“Do you remember that time, Mac?”

“What’s that now?”

“That time…”

“The Time? It’s almost six o’clock.”

“No, Mac, that time back in ’61?”

“61? No I’m 79, same age as you. You gettin’ forgetful, man?”

“No. No. 1961. Being here just reminded me of your 25th birthday. We were on the beach and we saw that shark…”

“Shark? Where? We better go tell that lifeguard over there. Beaches aren’t like they used to be? Ain’t nobody can swim without fear of sharks invadin’…”

“Mac, what are you ranting about? I’m trying to reminisce about that good ol’ days.”

“Old age? Who you callin’ old? Speak for yourself. I still fell like I’m 50!”

“I think you’re going senile.”

“Who you callin’ senile, ya old fart!”

“How did you hear that muttering when you can’t even here when I’m shouting?”

“What? Speak up, I can’t hear ya, Bernie.”

“Oh, never mind. Go on home, Mac.”

“Same time tomorrow?”

“Same time tomorrow, ya crazy loon.”

“Yup, see ya soon.”

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Word Count: 163

This flash fiction story was written for Flash Frenzy Round 74.

Judges Comments: “Great  characters and dialogue in this story.  Love the back-and forth miscommunication and humor. Well done!”

 

 

 

 

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Soon, She Will Leave Him

Joan Crawford & John Gilbert; publicity photo for the film “Four Walls,” 1928. Public domain image in the U.S.

Joan Crawford & John Gilbert; publicity photo for the film “Four Walls,” 1928. Public domain image in the U.S.

 

“There. Beautiful. Now everyone will know you are mine.”

“That’s a silly thing to say, of course I’m yours.”

Sarah ran her finger over the locket, her pale hand shaking as she lifted it to the light. The many stones cast its golden rays, setting her face aglow. Her radiance, in that moment, almost made Brenton believe that. But when she dropped the necklace down to her concave chest the harsh reality practically slapped him.

Her eyes had lost their spark long ago. Nothing he gave her made it come back. He showered her with flowers and fancy date nights, jewelry and even a house to call their own. But every day he saw the signs. Her strength waned, her weight seemed to melt off her.

He was fooling himself. She had not been his for a long time.

She belonged to another.

She belonged to Death.

 

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This flash fiction story was written for Flash! Friday 3-36

Word Count: 147

 

 

 

 

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Night Time Conversations and Stolen Hearts

The Great Train Robbery; public domain screen shot from 1903 film.

The Great Train Robbery; public domain screen shot from 1903 film.

 

 

“Tell me ’bout my Papa again.”

“Again, Tourmaline?”

“Pleeeeease!”

“OK. One more time.” Opal held her daughter tight in front of the fire.

“Your papa stole my heart the day he walked into the market, drenched from head to toe.  He looked right into my eyes and said I’d like to buy a towel. When he took the towel he winked at me.”

“And?”

“And we were married that summer. He was the love of my life, your father. I was a train wreck when he died.”

“Do you think you’ll marry again?”

“Only the Lord can know that, child.”

 

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Written for WarmUp Wednesday!

 “This week’s Warmup Wednesday challenge: Include a reference to your birthstone.”  (I included both birthstones for October.)

 

 

 

Paving Paradise

Post-tornado Mayflower, Arkansas. CC2.0 photo by Carol von Canon.

Post-tornado Mayflower, Arkansas. CC2.0 photo by Carol von Canon.

 

 

Two little girls
tender feet
giggles echo through the trees

Tag! You’re it!

Crackles and pops
the girls dance around the falling ash
campfire light aglow on sun burnt faces

Bike rides and sword fights
falls and bruises
marshmallow wishes under the stars

Summers were once magical
when time seemed to stop
preserving memories in its humid haze

But childhood comes to a screeching halt
as adulthood comes crashing down
like a wrecking ball

Paradise laying crumpled on the grass
forgotten memories scattered
on once sacred ground

Soon to be discarded
paved over
glass and steel to take it’s place

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Written for WarmUp Wednesday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debut

 

Photo Credit: Dan Phiffer via CC.

Photo Credit: Dan Phiffer via CC.

 

“Stage?”

“Isn’t he beautiful?”

“Odd name don’t you think?”

“These are odds times, Hector. It suits him.” Tereasa wrapped her newborn tightly in the threadbare blanket. She looked out at the vacant auditorium, the shadows of people past still lingered in the seats.

Wincing, she tried to get up.

“What are you doing?”

“We have to keep moving. They’ll find us.”

“They’ll be sure to find us if you pass out in the snowy street. Lay down.”

Hector took his son in his arms and looked at his wife on the hard, dusty floor.

“Stage, huh? Well, I guess it’s as good as any name.”

 

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Written for Micro Bookends 1.40

Our bookends were STAGE and NAME.

 

 

Extinguish the Fury

Photo Credit: Tekniska museet via CC.

Photo Credit: Tekniska museet via CC.

 

“Six times, Kaitie! We can’t keep wiping everyone’s memory. Soon long-term brain damage can occur.

“I know, Mom. But I couldn’t take it anymore. Brad had it coming, constantly taunting me. He needed to know who really has the power.”

“You set his hair on fire!”

Katie bowed her head. She wasn’t sorry but she tried to look it.

“I get called out of work so often the girls in the office think I’m unreliable.”

Kaitie’s hands began to smolder. She hated having to hide who she was.

“Go take a cold shower,” her mother’s gaze falling on Kaitie’s hands, “cool those hands down a few degrees.”

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This story was in response to Micro Bookends 1.39. Our Bookends were SIX and DEGREES.

This story was a continuation of Brother Knows Best. Click here to read it.

Summer Quest

This story got an Honorable Mention over at The Angry Hourglass. The picture below was our inspiration. Scroll to the bottom to see what our judge, Brian S Creek, had to say.

 

photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

Dear Mom,

I feel trapped in a box here. I don’t know who I am or who I want to be. I need some time away. So, I’ve joined a carnival to be the Tea Cup Ride attendant. I know what you’re thinking. “How can you find yourself, chained to a ride in the hot sun?” But I need a change of scenery. I’ve told you I want to travel. Twelve cities in three months! I need variety and this town, population 1200, just isn’t cutting it. I will be back in time for school. That is unless I meet a cute guy and elope.

Chill Mom, that was a joke.

I love you.

See you in September.

Love, Joni

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Judges thoughts: “Caitlin played with the format and only used one third of the allowed word count but it all works brilliantly. My favourite thing was the outside-the-box take on the prompt, using the cup to represent the carnival ride.”

Fictitious Reality

*Author’s note: This story is a part-two. If you would like to read part-one click here.

 

Stumbling out the door, he noticed blearily, that he was missing his pen. Slamming the door shut Robbie stepped back, waiting. Shrieks filled the night from behind the door. He glanced over at Mike holding up his empty hands.

“Run!” Mike shouted, knowing that without a pen they had no power against the beast. Robbie tried to protest but his tongue, a salty toad, felt too large in his mouth to form any words. He let out a sigh and trudged behind Mike, barely keeping up.

“Where are we?” Mike shouted back at Robbie.

“I have no idea.” he managed to choke out. That was a lie. He knew where they were, at least he was pretty sure. When he had written “AND THEN A DOOR APPEARED” on the wall in the hallway, a picture of his fictitious world flashed in his mind. Mike was not going to be happy. Robbie continued to run several legs behind his friend as they weaved in and out of the trees. He could barely see, the thick canopy hardly letting any moon light through. Robbie, thoughts racing, tried to pinpoint where they were. Nothing looked familiar, and why would it? He had never seen the place before, only in his mind’s eye. But this was his world, only existing because he wrote it into being. Robbie stopped, his mouth dry, he needed water.

“Why are you stopping?” Mike jogged over to where Robbie was now leaning against a tree, supporting his heavy body.

“Listen.”

Mike shut his eyes. There was no more shrieking. Nothing but the distant trickling of water punctured the silent darkness.

“A creek.” Robbie pushed off the tree, forcing himself to move toward the noise. The Creek of the Silver Trees. If they could follow it north they would find refuge. Mike trailed behind now, letting Robbie lead.  As they got closer the trees started to thin, allowing more light to seep though. 20 paces ahead lay a stream, bubbling loudly now. The boys quickened their stride, falling on their knees at the grassy creek-side. Mike plunged his head right in, taking large dregs of the cold liquid. Robbie drank from his hand, eyes searching the trees. The Silver Trees was a fairly peaceful forest but there was always reason to stay alert.

“We should rest here. It will be light soon,” Robbie said matter-of-factually. Mike nodded. He was glad Mike trusted him, no questions. They both picked trees and sat back. Robbie let Mike sleep, even though he felt like dropping dead himself but only he knew what to look out for.

As the sun rose Robbie sucked in air sharply,  stunned by the sight.  The sun’s rays bounced off the leaves of the trees, bright silver reflections cascaded through the forest as if it were filled with thousands of tiny mirrors. Mike awoke, light shining in his face.

“Dude, where are we?”

“Mike, welcome to Erdő.”

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Submitted for Finish that Thought #3-1

Our Prompt: (anything in brackets can be changed)

Stumbling out of the [pub/concert/etc], [s]he noticed blearily that [s]he was missing [at least one shoe/her(his) favorite hat/an arm etc].

SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:
Include any of the following words: toad, The Sopranos, fish tank, salt, supernatural. Bonus points if you manage to use ’em all! 🙂

I didn’t place but the judge did have some nice words to say.

I gotta say, this is the first time I’ve ever read a tongue being described as a salty toad – bravo! Very nice SCiFi/Fantasy type story, with brilliant descriptions. I love the idea of someone’s written word becoming a reality. Still wondering what the pen was used against – I want to know!!” — Sheba AJ