All posts tagged: Short story

Power And Glory – #FlashFiction

When the coffee runs out, she drinks tea instead. It’s bad, overly floral and cloying. She drinks it anyway, hips bumping up against the chipboard kitchen counters, sink at her back, eyes on the peeling desk on the other side of the cabin. Downloading… 65% The screen on the computer flickers for a second before steadying. Downloading… 66% She sips the tea, holds the liquid in her mouth and grimaces when she swallows. Downloading… 66% It will be another hour at least before the system is up and running. Until then she will have to be patient. The screen flickers again, blanks out temporarily. She holds her breath. Downloading… 67% She keeps the breath in her lung, feels it burn. Downloading… 67% She exhales slowly, carefully, almost as if she will break the fragile internet connection with just that. The screen stays clear and her shoulders drop. It would be easier if she could go outside, leave the system to do its thing and come back when the download completes. Outside is not an option …

Upon A Crossroads – #DVerse #Prosery

Anya stared until the black whorls on her arms blurred together. Then she blinked and they were just as clear as ever. ‘Removing them won’t help,’ said Rowen. He dropped his weight beside her and slung his arms across the back of the park bench. She felt him run his thumb across her shoulder. ‘You can’t change the past Anya.’ She swallowed around the anger rising in her throat. Some days it filled her so full it was as if she would explode and take the whole world with her. Some days that seemed like a good idea. ‘Then what am I meant to do?’ Rowen shrugged. ‘You will learn to love again the stranger who was yourself,’ he said. Anya’s knuckles whitened. ‘And what does that mean?’ He shrugged again. ‘It means we all change kiddo, accept it and learn to love it.’ Written for DVersePoets Prosery prompt. 144 word flash fiction story, incorporating the line ‘You will learn to love again the stranger who was yourself’ by poet Derek Walcott.

Some Non-Specific Voodoo – #FlashFiction

‘Take a ticket,’ said the man behind the scratched perspex glass. ‘It’s empty,’ said James, glancing at the busted plastic dispenser. ‘Huh?’ The man looked up. ‘Oh, so it is. Well, take a seat to wait and we’ll be right with you.’ ‘We?’ asked James. The man didn’t answer. Turning, James shuddered and stumbled as the room stretched like elastic. ‘Careful there.’ A set of hands steadied him. ‘The voodoo throws you at first. It’s how they fit us all in.’ ‘Us all?’ James asked. ‘Yeah, all the demons,’ said the voice. ‘Sorry mate, looks like you got busted.’   With all the poetry I’ve been writing for ‘It’s All In The Blood’ I’m in need of a bit of fiction in my life tonight. It’s amazing how much focus it gives you to have a set word limit on a piece of writing. It makes you go back and think about each individual word. A very useful skill that transfers well into poetry.  

Pass Or Play – #DVersePoets #Prosery

When far away, an interrupted cry is not something you need concern yourself with. Catherine repeated her grandmother’s words softly enough that the room wouldn’t hear them. ‘Pah!’ Her father threw his cards on the coffee table. ‘You cheated!’ He jabbed a fat finger towards his wife. She shrugged and gathered his cards in again. Outside the cry echoed. ‘Catherine! You play the witch, God knows she already has all my money.’ Catherine nodded and slid from the widow seat. It doesn’t do to dwell on lost souls. Her grandmother had said that too. The cards were split and dealt. Two queens and a knave. A house leaking secrets. Another cry. Closer. Louder. ‘Pass or play?’ Catherine shook her head. ‘Pass,’ she whispered. Shadows gathered by the fireplace. She could ignore them, but the play would continue. ‘Pass,’ she whispered. But ghosts never listen. If you would like to join in the dVerse Poets Pub new link up ‘Prosery’ then click the badge above to visit their site. The challenge is to write a piece …

NYC Flash Fiction Challenge 2018 – Stolen Silence

Last year I took part in the NYC Flash Fiction Challenge and came tenth (I think it was) in my group overall. Unfortunately this didn’t get me through to the second round, but for a first try I was pretty happy with that result and it was a valuable learning experience. Today I signed up for the 2019 challenge and though I have another look at the second of my flash fiction submissions from last year. If I remember correctly, my group was given the genre of drama, our object was salami, and our setting was possibly circus but I could be making that up. Since I was no longer focused on writing a piece of flash to fit with the prescribed prompts, I decided to focused solely on ensuring the piece stayed under 1,000 words without losing the original plot. Fair warning, it’s somewhat dark. Stolen Silence The circus crowds poured out in waves of warmth and laughter, ushered past the gates by stout men in dark jackets. Tucked inside the shadows beyond the …

In Quest Of An Answer #WeekendWritingPrompt

‘Well it’s certainly…’ Amanda trailed off. ‘I know right,’ said Thomas. He rocked back on his heels and grinned at the stack of chairs teetering upwards to beyond the cloud-line. ‘I had to impress you otherwise how would I get you to say yes.’ ‘Yes?’ Amanda squeaked. ‘Yes to what?’ Thomas’ turned his grin on her. ‘Oh you know.’ Amanda swallowed. ‘So,’ said Thomas. ‘What do you say?’ ‘I…’ She stepped away, stumbled. Her hand caught the stack.’ ‘No!’ Thomas leapt past her, the tower already teetering. It went down. ‘No,’ said Amanda, examining Thomas’ limp hand beneath the rubble. ‘It was always no.’

Gathering Of The Equinox #WeekendWritingPrompt

Someone had strung lights from the trees, making up for the clouds creeping across the moon’s face. They drenched the clearing white, bright enough to illuminate the flakes of bark littering the feast table and the bad icing job on Elizabeth’s cupcakes. ‘There were more of us last year,’ Malvoc commented, hand hovering over a plate of pink wafers. ‘You always say that,’ replied Grot. He was perched, his feet hanging an inch above the ground. ‘It makes no difference, we’re still enough.’

No Light By This Moon #FlashFiction #MarchSpeculativeFiction

The settee springs had burst through the cushion and what little stuffing there had been was gone. The remaining fabric sagged or clung to the rusted springs, much like the building around it, and the skeletons beyond it. Eddie gripped one of the springs near the base and tested it. He sneezed as the cloth attached crumbled to dust. The coil snapped free of its anchor, surprising him and opening a line of crimson across his other hand. He cursed and pressed the cut to his mouth. The taste made him gag, as if the pollution in the atmosphere had changed even his blood. He tore a strip from his sleeve and used his teeth to tighten a knot in the bandage. It would have to do, much like everything else he had done for the past six days. Desperation was a great provider of inspiration he had discovered, but he didn’t hold much hope that it would see him through. Asides from the settee there was no other furniture in the room he’d settled …

Past The Point Of No-Return

The yarn unwound until they were past the horizon, swallowed up by stars and darkness, the rowboat’s oars stirring infinity. ‘We’ve run out,’ said Eli, and when Carter checked he too confirmed that the yarn had unravelled as far as it would. ‘So, we have a choice. Reel ourselves in, return to shore or go on without the yarn.’ Eli nodded slowly, carefully, thumb and forefinger pinched. ‘On,’ he agreed, and let go.

Not Here But There

It reminded her of home. The sea mist rolling in onto the shingles. Of course, it wasn’t quite the same. Peat mist rises different. The earth sort of oozes tendrils that simmer and thicken on the low lands. Stretches of green that look beautiful and safe but turn to bog at the first hint of rain. It’s similar enough though. When the mist rolls in and she’s standing inside it, condensation on her cheeks, damp in her hair… she can pretend it’s England. Pretend she’s inland, back where she belongs. It never takes long for someone to wake her.