Lively Imagination

This story earned a special mention “For use of dialogue to tell an amusing story”  in Flash! Friday 3-29.  I am pretty excited that my story got any mention at all, as Flash! Friday is a very popular contest with SO many amazing entries. A BIG THANKS goes out to the wonderful judges over at Luminous Creatures Press!

The prompt for this challenge was to use the photo prompt as inspiration as well as include a main character that is a writer.

Buster Crabbe as Flash Gordon. Studio promotional still photo 1936, public domain.

Buster Crabbe as Flash Gordon. Studio promotional still photo 1936, public domain.

Lively Imagination

 

“Keep running!”

“What is that thing?”

“I’m not sure,” Robbie panted, his plump stomach in knots. He glanced back, they had a small lead on the hideous beast.

“I didn’t think three headed monsters existed!”

“They don’t,” Robbie huffed, chubby fingers pushing up his glasses, “at least not in real life.”

“This is real life. Explain that.” Mike was a few feet ahead, holding back as to not lose Robbie.

“Well,” Robbie gasped for breath, lungs burning, ” I think… I created it.”

“What?”

“You know that story I wrote last night?”

“Yeah.”

“It was about a beast with three heads, eyes like molten lava, big cavernous nostrils. Sound familiar?” Robbie stopped short, hands on his knees, gasping for air. Mike stopped and doubled back.

“You’re telling me that you somehow made it come alive?”

“Well… yeah. It’s sorta happened before, just never with something so obvious.” Their heads jerked back as a shrill screech filled the halls.

“It sees us!” Mike pulled Robbie up forcing him to run once more. “If we can get around that corner we might lose it again. What happens in your story?”

“Well,” Robbie hesitated as they turned the corner. A wall. “he chased his prey to a dead end…”

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Click here to read the second installment in Robbie and Mike’s adventure.

 

 

 

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Brother Knows Best

Photo Credit: Ian Muttoo via CC.

Photo Credit: Ian Muttoo via CC.

“Big foot!”

“Stop it!”

“Trip much?”

Kaitie tried to keep her burning fury in check.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale…

“I think that’s what I’ll call you. Hey everybody, look at Bigfoot!”

Katie raised her shaky hands, anger bursting from her eyes. She couldn’t let them see. It would raise too many questions.

Exhale. Inhale. Exhale…

James once told her when she got angry to think of water. She never took it to heart though.

“Biiiiiigfooooot!”

Ah forget it. Kaitie lifted up her hands and let the flames fly over Brad’s head. He screamed and ran. Then she noticed the phone pointed in her direction.

Crap. Should’ve listed to my brother.

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This story was Submitted to Micro Bookends 1.37. The bookends were Big and Brother.

Careful What You Wish For

Olympic Games, 1896; the athlete Herman Weingartner, horizontal bar champion. Public domain photo by Albert Meyer.

Olympic Games, 1896; the athlete Herman Weingartner, horizontal bar champion. Public domain photo by Albert Meyer.

Raw digits cling for dear life, pain penetrating to the bone. Muscles flex, sinews burn under acid soaked flesh. This isn’t what I pictured as a boy, staring out the window at night wishing upon a star that I would someday journey to space. I never in a million years could have imagined this path in my journey.

I shift my weight, careful not to lose my grip on the bar, my only savior from the pit below. I watch as my captors take notes. Test of human will or strength I’m assuming. I fear I may fail this one.

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This is in response to Warmup Wednesday! Special Challenge: Include a lifelong dream that isn’t the Olympics.

When Fear Rules Your Life

Double doors stood between Sarah and her future. She was afraid of what might be behind them. Not knowing drove her crazy but, at the same time, she was safe where she was. Cozy in her world she had worked so hard to create. Stability was her anchor. Behind those doors was unpredictable, inconceivable. How anyone could take such risks with their lives was beyond her.

But she was suffocating. Her lungs burned for new oxygen. The monotony begged her to open the doors. Her fears were stronger, though, and repeating thoughts stopped her.

What if you stepped through those doors and died? What if that was your final act?

 

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This was my entry in Micro Bookends 1.35. I was so wrapped up in my idea for the bookends (Double and Act) and trying to get it done in time (submitted this 16 minutes before the dead line) that I forgot to incorporate the photo into the story. You could reach really far and say that I used doors in my story and cars have doors… but I fear your fingers would slip and you’d come crashing down.

Anyway, I thought I’d post the story even though it was a total fail. 😉

Photo Credit: Kamyar Adl via CC.

Photo Credit: Kamyar Adl via CC.

 

Discovered

I was being watched. I felt it in my marrow. My insides crawled with unease, as if my very cells knew something was going to happen. I should have listened to those instinctive warnings. I was slightly distracted, though, by the Greek god of a man nibbling at my neck. His lips sent chills down my spine, dulling my other senses.

“Stop it,” I giggled flirtatiously, “we’re missing the movie.”

“I didn’t come for the movie.” He breathed in my ear.

I was thankful for the darkness of the theater so he couldn’t see my red-hot cheeks. He pulled away and I immediately felt a shift in the air. I could feel every molecule; time was slowing. I tried to focus my energy. Not here. Not now, in front of this glorious normal creature. I stole a glance over at my date and that’s when I noticed them. Two men in grey suits, looking stiff among all the lax postures of hormone charged teenagers, sitting in the row right behind him.

“Joran, I have to go to the bathroom.”

“Hurry back,” he whispered, lightly touching my lips with his thumb, hand cradling my chin. My skin burned with his electric touch.

I’d probably never see him again.

 

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This was my entry in Last week’s Flash! Friday. (Check out the winning story here. It is amazing!) This story didn’t place or get a special mention but I did get a lot of positive feedback from readers, and almost all those who commented wanted me to continue the story. I did notice that all the people who wanted more were women …. my unnamed “Greek god of a man” character may have something to do with that. 😉

Anyway, I will be working on the backgrounds of these characters and possibly create a longer story. I’m not sure If I will just continue where I left off, making it a short story, or just use it as inspiration and write a longer work (I’m not great at writing longer stories).

Any thoughts on this story are welcome, comment below. 🙂

 

Not-So-Impenetrable Walls – Flash Fiction

Fear is what keeps me here. I am safe in my box. The invisible, self erected walls keep the unwanted filth out. I will not die at the hand of fate. I have out smarted death. Healthy is my name, cleanliness is my game. I rule at keeping out dirt. I don’t slip up. I never stop planning. Every step I take is meticulously thought out, my life depends on it. If something goes wrong, the system is ruined.

I can’t breath.

This can’t be.

I thought this through.

This wasn’t supposed to happen.

I lift my head and scream at the heavens.

My system, out the window, is flying.

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This was my entry in Micro Bookends weekly contest. This story got me an honorable mention. Here is what Dave had to say:

“Great use of the opening bookend: “Fear is what keeps me here.” The character’s OCD (“Healthy is my name, cleanliness is my game”) has led him or her to this desperate situation. I really like the sense of panic from the short sharp closing sentences, right down to the Yodaesque finish.”

Truth Silences Lies – Flash Fiction (WIN!)

I entered a 110 word story in Micro Bookends 1.31 last Thursday and, to my surprise, I won first place! This is my first win in a flash fiction contest! There were a lot of great stories and I feel blessed and honored that my story spoke to him. Click here to see the other amazing stories and click here to see the stories that placed. I want to give special thanks to Dave for hosting the Micro Bookends and for judging this round. I have enjoyed entering stories over the past few months. His contest, among a few others, helps me keep up a writing habit as I try hard to improve my craft.

The prompt this week was to write a 100 word story (+/- 10) that starts with the word face and ends with book and incorporates the photo. Here is my winning story! (Sorry for the gloat, I’m just so excited!)

Photo Credit: Maurizio Costanzo via CC.

Photo Credit: Maurizio Costanzo via CC.

 Truth Silences Lies

“Face yourself,” The voice said. Cynthia looked in the mirror, “You’re hideous.”

She believed it. Her swollen eyes glared back at her, puffy from sobbing. Her hair, frayed yarn, looked as though it had been dragged through wet sand.

“No one could love you,” the loud voice hissed.

“I love you.” A still small voice whispered in the distance. Cynthia didn’t hear it.

“What did you eat today?” The loud voice filled her mind, gaining volume to attack the truth.

“You are beautiful,” the small voice sang.

Cynthia shook her head.

“COW!”

“Beauty. Precious. DAUGHTER.”

Cynthia wept.

“Fear not my child, for I have written your name in my book.”

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Here is what Dave had to say about my story.

“A figurative sword fight between the voice that tells you you are worthless and the voice that tells you you are everything. So often the former is dominant and we hear about too many young people who have ended up in trouble, or worse, after failing to live up to what is perceived as an acceptable body-type. The conflict between the voices is maintained throughout the story and I found myself willing Cynthia to hear the little voice. I love the description early in the piece: “her hair, frayed yarn, looked as though it had been dragged through wet sand.” On first reading I assumed that the quiet voice had won and Cynthia had been rescued with her name in the book. On subsequent readings I began to wonder. What is the truth and what is the lie? To us the truth is that Cynthia is beautiful, but to her it is that she is hideous. The final line says to me that body image issues are difficult to beat, and once your name is in the book, you have a long battle ahead of you.”

It Has Arrived!

For those of you who have been following this blog recently, you may have noticed that I have become obsessed with Flash Fiction. I love reading it and writing it. Some of you may not know that I am very new to the Flash Fiction community online. I stumbled upon this wonderful site, The Angry Hourglass in early March. The idea of writing short stories in under 500 words intrigued me because I have such a short attention span that I used to get bored with my stories/characters when I attempted writing longer works. Well, little did I know, this was just one site out of a whole community of Flash writers and weekly contests. I then hopped over to Flash! Friday, another fantastic Flash contest. I started entering a few and I was hooked.

Well, I started noticing something among this wonderful community of writers. They were all talking about Flash Dogs. It seemed that this was the “must have” book for flash writers. So I looked it up and found out that it was an anthology of flash fiction stories written by many of the writers in this online community. I knew that I HAD to have this book. My budget, however, had something to say about it. So I put it on the back burner. I also discovered that Flash Dogs was in the process of publishing another anthology and many of the weekly contests had a Grand Prize for a chance to submit stories for the second book. I was, and still am, very new to this form of writing so I didn’t have ambition to really try to get in. I need to get my feet wet and get more involved in honing my craft before I’m published, but I am hoping that they are planing on publishing more anthologies in the future and it will be my goal to get in one of them!.

Anywho, I was recently given an amazon gift card, HOORAY! So I ordered the book first chance I got and here it is!! I can not wait to delve in!!

Isn't it beautiful?

Isn’t it beautiful?

Hidden Surprises

To celebrate my 100th post on this blog here is a 100 word story which also happens to be my Warmup Wednesday! entry. That worked out nicely. 😉

Hidden Surprises

Chili sauce. CC3.0 by SA photo by MKAT.

Chili sauce. CC3.0 by SA photo by MKAT.

I try to act like I know nothing as my girls giggle at each other at the table. They’ve hidden corn in my mashed potatoes again. Last time they did that I almost threw up. I take a bite, careful to miss the corn.

“Eeeew!” I say, pretend disgust written on my face. The girls burst out laughing.

“Gotchya Mom!”

“You sure did,” I say, a sly grin stretching across my lips as they both take giant bites of their potatoes. Their brown beauties widen in surprise, tongues extend out with an exasperated grunt. They reach for their water.

“Gotchya!”

 

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Fallen Apple – Flash Fiction

I didn’t know who she was, but she definitely wasn’t my mother. Not anymore.

“Stop it mom! You’re hurting me.”

“I’ll stop when you give me your money!”

“I told you I don’t have any.” I was lying through my teeth, but it was for her own good.

“Don’t lie to me Ally, I know you worked today! Ray saw you!”

“Ray is as strung out as you mom. He thought he saw a clown in his cereal yesterday!”

“Then where were you, HUH?!”

“At Laney’s… Swimming,” I winced as my mom slapped me across the face, causing me to stumble backward. Everything went black for a minute after a loud THWACK. The sound of my skull hitting the concrete wall of the garage made me want to vomit.

“Look at me!” I looked in the direction of her voice, seeing nothing but purple spots around a thin frail figure. I slumped to the ground, holding back tears. She couldn’t see me cry. I won’t give her the satisfaction.

“If you don’t give me that money I swear you’ll be homeless!”

“If I give you that money we’ll all be homeless! Who do you think has been paying our rent?”

“You’ve been hording money from me? You little witch!”

“I keep us in this crap hole! I work my butt off for you!” I could see her now, the spots almost gone. My sick mother stood in front of me, a mere shell of who she used to be. Her dry cracked lips spread in an evil grin and with a dark look in her sunken-in, blood shot eyes; she reached down and grabbed me by the collar, the look of attack displayed on her pale face. She looked like she hadn’t eaten in days. She’ll probably be binging soon.
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“MOM!”

I shook my head, dazed and confused. I looked into the face of my daughter Marissa. What just happened? I took in my surroundings. We were in a bathroom, my hands clutched around Marissa’s collar, fear in her eyes. The memory of my childhood had been so strong, trance like.

“Mom, let me go!”

I glanced past her at the mirror on the wall, catching a glimpse of a battered woman. Her were eyes sunken in, her skin was puce in color. The face staring back at me was not my own. It was then that I realized, I had become my mother.

 

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This was the second story I submitted to FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-44. The story didn’t place but here is what the judge had to say about it.

Fallen Apple – realmommaramblings – Wow! Opening with raw dialogue and ending with a clever perspective switch, this story depicts the erosive power of addiction. After enduring hardships a daughter shouldn’t have to survive, the protagonist succumbs to her past demons, proving that the apple truly doesn’t fall far from this rotting tree. So sad.” – Foy S. Iver