Tag Archives: Flash Fiction

Threadbare

Standard
Threadbare

[Written on December 10, 2013, this was posted to my first attempt at creating a blog.  It has a good message and I wanted to share it once again.  Image Credit]

Threadbare

“This, to me, represents love…” The letter was written to explain why they had to divorce. She shook her head in irritation. Her soon-to-be-ex-husband had no concept of love and staying strong through the hard times. She continued lost in thought when she almost tripped over the child curled up against the wall in the street.

Streaks of dirt only highlighted the deeper dirt that covered the child. His clothing was threadbare, the patches in the knees worn through. He didn’t meet her eyes. She saw many passed him by giving him no notice. But this was a child. All children deserved notice.

Kneeling down, she asked him, “Where are your parents?” He tilted his head as if uncertain what she said. He tugged at his ear and then she realized he was using a rudimentary sign language. She only drove into town to straighten out some legal matters. “Legal matters”…such a cold way to refer to the dissolution of a marriage. Still, she could not ignore this child. Decision made, she held out her hand.

The boy studied the hand with its neatly painted nails. He could not recall a clean hand offered his way. People on the streets would drag him along, making sure he made it to a shelter to get something to eat…most of the time. Sometimes, though, he hid amongst the trash, disappearing. She shook her hand with a little impatience. He saw her mouth move, knowing she was trying to tell him something. Finally, he slowly took her hand.

She hesitated at first before fully grasping the hand. She could feel the greasy grasp slide over her fingers. She fought against her instinct. She told herself, “It’s just dirt! It’s just dirt!” She pushed back the desire to put a handkerchief between their hands. Shaking away the physical discomfort, she continued walking down the sidewalk. The attorney wouldn’t be far and he could advise her about the child.

“Odd,” she thought. “My problem with dirt…with unclean things is what pushed my husband and me apart. Even…getting personal makes me physically ill. Yet, I am holding the hand of this dirty child.” She looked over at him as he squirmed a little and caught him scratching. “…this dirty, LICE RIDDEN child.” Reaching the entrance to the attorney, she turned towards him.

“I know you can’t understand me, but you need to trust me.” He stared at her uncomprehendingly, sniffing. Then he took his hand and dragged it across the offending nose. Fighting nausea, she shakily took that hand back into hers as they climbed the steps. “I can do this…I can do this…” she continued to chant as they opened the door.

“Hello, Mrs. Sanders. You’re a few minutes ear…” The receptionist cut her statement short. “Oh..oh…ummm…what’s this?”

“This is a who…and I’m not sure but we need to figure something out.” The boy stared out the window as rain began to fall. At least, he thought, I am dry for now.

Written in response to Finish That Thought. The prompt: This, to me, represents love.

Godfrey

Standard

I was aware of her watchful stare long before I spotted her.  The changeling could mimic any live creature.  I peered suspiciously at the scorpion creeping across the porch boards.  As it disappeared between the cracks, I turned around, eyes digging into the crevices.  I could feel the laughter in the air.  Then she blinked.  Just beyond the old screen, two cat eyes watched me with amusement.  Her grace was depicted well in the feline movements as she stepped out of vent.  Stretching her legs up my legs, I watched in amazement at her slow transformation.  The black fur that enveloped her became the raven hair that would crown her ivory skin.  A vixen smile lit upon her lips.

“Welcome, Godfrey,” she greeted, winking one long lashed eye.

I lost my voice, realizing the origins of the expression “Cat got your tongue.”  She smiled slowly, leading me to the door.

Visdare89

VisDare89:  Aware

Photo Source

Elephant Dreams

Standard

So many days wasted chasing ordinary.  No more.  Evana folded the newspaper, the ad circled that led to this new life.  At 40, did she dare change her path?  Yes.  She was finished with ordinary.  She was through with fitting in.  She wanted to chase long denied dreams. She watched the endless ocean below, composing the words in her mind.  She had left everyone behind without a word.

Dear Mom, What can I say?  I’m on a plane headed for the heart of Africa.   My new ordinary may seem anything but to you but now I’m chasing elephant dreams on the African savanna.  Think of me as you sip tea and talk about the mundane.  I will certainly think of you as I explore my new ordinary. Evana

Turning the card over in her hand, she pictured herself as the woman drinking tea with the elephant.  Soon it will be.

Elephant dreams

Written in response to VisDare88.

Photo Source

An Egretful Morning

Standard

hedgehog

The egret showed up on my porch at the oddest of times.  I laughed at the thought, as egrets on the porch are a rather abnormal event.  Perhaps the dampness brought him inland, I considered as the petrichor of the morning shower wafted over me.  He seemed to be captivated by the teapot, turning his head to the left and the right curiously.  Then he tapped at the lid.  I was surprised to hear a tap back.  Slowly, the lid lifted and there it sat.  Extraordinary!  A tiny hedgehog had curled up into the floral, ceramic pot.  What would occur next?

The hedgehog stretched and then rolled out of its makeshift bed like a roly poly and found its feet.  The egret nudged it with his beak and the hedgehog responded to this intrusion by turning his back full of tiny quills his direction.  The egret tilted his head one last time, curiosity satisfied, took an odd hop before taking to the air.  He spiraled above for a moment before following the contrail back to his wetlands.  The hedgehog, however, seemed less concerned with outer spaces as he become quite interested in a pile of treasures left by my nephew.

He attempted to climb into the bed of the small, yellow dump truck but it tilted up landing him on his back.  With some chubby kicks of his little legs, he flipped back over and backed up to reconsider the pile.  Something else caught his eye and he picked his way through the pile.

I laid my book down and reached for my glass of lemonade when I heard a WHAP! A scraping and a struggle pulled my attention back to the pile where I saw that the poor creature was indeed in trouble.  The butterfly net had tumbled over the top of him and the quills were finding themselves wrapped into the threads.  “You’ve gotten yourself into a bit of a pickle, haven’t you, little mister?”

Scooping up the net, I gave it a couple of stern shakes.  The hedgehog came free and tumbled the short distance to the floor.  He seemed stunned at first.  Then, backing away from the pile, he decided his visit had been enough adventure.  Seeking escape, he slipped through a small hole at the edge of the porch.  Perhaps I will leave the teapot outside more often.  It certainly shook away the lonely strings of my morning.


This was written in response to:

FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-16

Grim Undertaking

Standard

They grimly looked upon their list. Gathering souls normally was a joyful event. However, tonight the troop of death angels knew it was time to visit the children’s hospital. They considered their approach. Sometimes their form was frightening to children. “We could dress like grandparents,” suggested Mac. Mac’s generous grey hair would lend well to the task. Still, they decided something else was in order. Tonight, they would dawn the bright colors and makeup of clowns. Dressed and ready, they opened the door that would cross into the human dimension. Soon, the troop of clownish grims found themselves walking down the gleaming polished floor of the children’s hospital. The surgical wing led them to their first soul. They gathered around him and shared giggles and laughs. As the surgeons approached, he grew serious. “I’m not waking up, am I?” Mac grinned, “Of course you are…and you get to see Him.” The boy smiled as the gas overtook him.

This short piece of flash fiction is submitted to Flash! Friday with the inspiration of the following picture.Circus Clowns visit sick boy

“Circus clowns visit sick boy” from the Boston Public Library.

Red Dirt Alice

Standard

Red Dirt Alice

(NOTE: This is a submission for Finish That Thought 2-13)

The day it all began, the sky was gray. Rain danced across the shiny red surface of the car. The cell phone chirped awake and Clara glanced down to see the all too familiar area code 580. She edged to the side of the road and picked up the cell. Her sister’s voice crackled across the airwaves. “Clara? This is Kit. Have you heard?”

“I guess not. What’s up?”

“It’s Tracy…she’s…well, she’s gone.” Tracy rarely made a move without telling four other people of her plans. If travel was involved, there would be an itinerary, a map, or something that would provide some idea of her whereabouts.

“Have you checked her desk? She probably has something in her planner.”

“Of course I checked it,” Kit clipped out in irritation. “She disappeared, I’m telling you. It’s as if she was abducted by aliens.”

“Okay…so how long has she been missing?”

“72 hours.”

Clara sat up straight. “And you are just now calling me? Okay…I hear you. I’ll catch the next flight back home. Keep me in the loop.” Hanging up, she called her travel agent and soon found herself on a flight back home. By morning, she glided down the red dirt road in the rented Beamer.

The farm house stood out against the back drop of the hay fields. Her sister Katherine stepped out on the porch as she pulled to a stop. Soon, they hugged each other close and Kit filled her in on all of the news, or lack thereof. Ten years prior, their mother had vanished. Before that, their grandmother disappeared. It was happening again and no one seemed to know why. Her father sat at the kitchen table, looking through boxes of papers. More papers laid strewn about the floor.

“You know she is going to be pissed if she sees this mess,” Clara could not help but state.
Kit looked up sharply and echoed, “If…”

Clara pushed papers aside with her feet as she shuffled through the living room. A breeze blew through the window and lifted the corners and rustled a few more papers until one caught her eye. Reaching down to pick up the document, she was struck by the age of the leaf. It didn’t fit in this scene at all. Trying to make out the writing on the page, she read, “Crimista conlea amblia traversa…Kit, what is this?” Kit rustled through the piles and looked over Clara’s shoulder. “Hmmm…I saw her with something old…” Clara looked up as her sister’s words faded only to realize the entire room was fading around her.

When her feet found solid ground again, Clara looked around. The world around her was black and gray. It looked like the farm house but…different. The letters were backwards. It was as if she was in the back side of the mirror. Did her sister go through the looking glass like Alice?

Alice

MERCY

Standard

The sea, which had been glassy only an hour before, now raged with an unholy vengeance upon the small ship.  The lighthouse keeper pulled up his galligaskins and ran up the spiral stairs to the lamp.  The oil was sound but as he peered into the relentless storm, he knew the ship would not last long.  As if on cue, he watched the ship capsize and disappear beneath the waves.  Sounding the alarm, he headed down the stairs two at a time.  As he reached the base of the tower, he saw the nearby villagers gathering.  They watched in horror as the occupants disappeared below the white caps of the ocean.  She had once more claimed the lives of those approaching Eldric Reef.  It was a cursed place to be sure.

As quickly as the storm built, it dissipated as if appeased by the sacrifice of the trawler.  The lighthouse keeper looked about the shore, not expecting anyone to survive the rage of the sea.  The villagers also started to fan out, walking the shoreline, looking for signs of life.  The vainness of the task was not lost upon them.  How many lives had the sea taken?  And always, it seemed, upon the close of winter.  The sea seemed to demand a sacrifice to hale the spring into life.  March winds seemed to feed that demand, pitching up a storm of great power every year. 

A cry down the beach caught everyone’s attention.  The small crowd rushed down the shore to see what had been found.  Three men fished the boy from the sea with the long hooks on a pole.  He had clung to the board with all of his might, refusing to give in.  Perhaps this was a good sign.  Perhaps the sea would relent for once.  Maybe this will be the last sacrifice.

As the boy stepped forth on shaky legs, a lost expression grayed his expression.  He was uncertain of how to proceed.  Turning back to the sea, he realized he alone survived.  “Lydia…,” he gasped. 

“Is that the name of the ship, boy?” asked the lighthouse keeper.

The boy shook his head.  “It…was the name of the storm…she let me live.”

The villagers looked around in surprise.  “How do you know her name?” the lighthouse keeper queried further.

“She whispered it in my ear as she pushed me to the shore. “

The lighthouse keeper glanced around to the other villagers, clearly flummoxed by this revelation.   “Did she say anything else?” one of the villagers  sought curiously.

“She said…that’s enough.  I…I wasn’t supposed to be on the trawler.  I hid under the tarp until after we left the docks.”

 “A stowaway,” echoed another villager.

“W…we lost my brother last summer to the sea.  I wanted to help the family.  Perhaps…she knew my brother died.  Perhaps she showed mercy in her demand,” he responded.

“Mercy,” spat another villager.  “How many died so she could show you mercy?  What makes you so special?”

“I survived,” he reposted.

 

This was written in response to this week’s “Finish That Thought #35”.

Remote

Standard

It had been so long since I had been home.  I had escaped the protected world so long ago but now I found myself back, facing my past.  Walking among the ruins and remains of the remote existence, I remember Papa making sure we knew how to survive.  We survived Y2K without a problem, although he stood guard.  We survived the twin towers, falling so far away.  Then, things began to slowly slip away.  One freedom after another was stripped from us.  That’s when we moved to the wilderness.  Many others joined us, living off the land, staying off the grid.  We were taught that life would no longer be the same.  We hid.

One day, I walked away from the remote trailer and slipped into society.  I was lost at first, unaware of the modern technology…but I adapted.  I learned.  Then I realized.  Papa was right.

visdare50

This flash fiction is in response to the VisDare50.