Micro Bookends FIVE FAMILIES

Photo Credit: Enric Fradera via CC.

Photo Credit: Enric Fradera via CC.

For last week’s Micro Bookends I was inspired twice! That almost never happens. The bookends were FIVE and FAMILIES/FAMILY. Here are my two stories.

 

Less Than One Percent

 

“Five days? But it’s not possible, is it? I had a vasectomy.”

“Hold on…. Google says there is a less than one percent chance. Oh my goodness! Look at all these stories of pregnancies after vasectomies!”

“Did you take a test?”

“No, but I have one in my purse.”

“Well, what are you waiting for?”

“I’m not going to take a pregnancy test in a restaurant bathroom!”

“Why not? Aren’t you dying to know?”

“But knowing will make it real. Six kids, Brett! I do not want six!”

“It could just be stress from moving.”

“Stress. Yes, maybe. I can’t believe I ever wanted a big family.”

 

Mia’s Job

 

“Five, six, seven, eight.”

Wait, that’s not good enough. Go back and start over.

“Again?”

You paused on seven.

“No I didn’t.”

Are you sure?

“Yes…. I think.”

If you didn’t do it right, your sister will die.

“That doesn’t make sense. You’re lying”

Want to chance it? If she dies, it will be your fault. Now start over and DON”T step on a crack.

“But I’ve recounted 6 times, I’m already late, and people are watching.”

It doesn’t feel right though, does it? She will die; deep down you know it.

“You’re right. Ok. One, two, three…”

That’s it. Remember, it’s your job to save your family.

 

 

 

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Mother’s Pitch

Photo Credit: Nano Anderson via CC.

Photo Credit: Nano Anderson via CC.

“Perfect, just perfect.”

Sarah could hear the sarcastic undertone in her mother’s voice. The clapping that echoed around the white-washed walls couldn’t hide the disappointment radiating from her skin.

Britany bowed in gratitude toward her audience but the quiver in her legs betrayed her nervousness. She knew their mother noticed the missing note in the ninth measure.

Sarah gave here sister a compassionate look as they passed each other on the stage. Britany’s eyes pleaded for help. Sarah couldn’t let her suffer for being less gifted.

As she poised the bow on the strings she made the decision to test her mother’s perfect pitch.

 

 

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Written for Micro Bookends 1.50

Bookends: Perfect, Pitch

 

 

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.

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.

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.

 

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.”

Internal Torment

This is my first entry to Micro Bookends. The challenge was to create a story 90-110 words that begins with Silent and ends with Film and incorporates the picture prompt.

Photo Credit: Mark Hillary via CC.

Photo Credit: Mark Hillary via CC.

Silent and still I smile, fighting thought and heart. My mind, an invisible prison, keeps me locked away in plain sight. No one sees the struggle I face daily as I wind tiredly round and round stopping only when I reach a dead end. Some days there seems no point in continuing; I will be forever lost on the twisting paths. Images haunt my vision, blinding me from the way I should travel. Escape is futile. Every step I take toward solace my mind conjures up some dismal outcome, so vivid, as though captured permanently on film.