Attempting Flash Fiction


According to Wikipedia, Flash fiction is a style of fictional literature or fiction of extreme brevity.[1] There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the category. Some self-described markets for flash fiction impose caps as low as three hundred words, while others consider stories as long as a thousand words to be flash fiction.

Recently, I've seen that Nancy Stohlman is challenging flash fiction writers to take part in a 2015 FLASH-NANO: 30 ultra-short stories in 30 days. Check it out at:  http://nancystohlman.com/flashnano/


Just found a great comment about how to write flash fiction from Charles Farley at http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?254231-Short-story-flash-fiction-outlines


                "No time . . . . One main character, one scene, single plot, one conflict, start as                       close to the end as possible with as little back story as possible . . . every word                       counts . . don't waste them . . . done."


In getting prepared for NaNoWriMo, I am going to start my own challenge. (It is indeed a challenge because I have two small kids so making time to write will be interesting.) Here is a word count calendar I will be using this year to help me stay on pace: Word Count Calendar


My personal challenge (and others are welcome to join) is to write a story a day for one week starting on Saturday, October 10th. If I succeed in this challenge, I will continue for another week, then take a break for a week before confidently diving into the NaNoWriMo.  If I fail, I will be shamed in the inner world of me and not allowed chocolate until I have completed writing a novel in the month of November. (Oh my! Did I just say that!?! No chocolate!) Yes, no chocolate and no wine! I mean it! That's how badly I want to complete both challenges.

Starting October 10th, I will post the stories here daily with the date above the title. ("But how can you trust, I won't cheat? Well, you'll just have to trust me. Now woncha!)

Flash Fiction Week Starts Here:



Day 1-                                                                                                    Oct. 10, 2015

Nightstalker 


Exhausted gulps of breath funnel out as his chest rose up and down in sweaty anticipation. Where is it? Frantic scans across the four walls. Wall one, wall two, wall three, wall four, wall two, wall one, wall four, etc.  

His watch, on the bedside table, beeped 3 am. Silence followed, except for his rasped breathes. He held it but was unable to stop the bombastic, resounding beat of his heart. Soon to explode out of his chest. Where is it? His eyes flew up to the ceiling. Tracking centimeter by centimeter.  

Nothing but quiet. Sweat dripped down his nose to his haggard torn sheets. Eyes scanned each corner of the bedroom. Nothing was there. He exhaled slowly. It's gone. 

He fell to his knees in tired relief antecedent to the sound of an out of tune violin that started playing in his right ear. 

"Ahhhhhhhh..." 

Arms flew out and swung wildly around his head. A flat string plucked in his ear with frequent pauses. He stood up to get away when his toes caught on tangled sheets. He catapulted on to the floor, hitting his moist forehead on the corner of his bedside table. 

As the mosquito feasted on his still body and took small breaks to buzz victoriously in his ear, the man lay silently, finally able to get his much needed sleep. 
  

Word Count: 225
Tell me whatcha think.




Day 2-                                                                                                                         Oct. 11, 2015

Strangers at a Bus Stop


Botches of water slapped against the sidewalk. Monica's shirt started to look like a punk rock leopard as the raindrops begun to make the hot pink into spots of dark pink.

A flutter of umbrellas opening in front and behind Monica gave the extra neener-neener she needed after a 2k walk from her under an hour ago break up with her 1st high school boyfriend.

He was an alright guy. The kind of guy your mother would fantasy about having grandchildren from. That was the problem. Monica wanted to seep through all the category of dating losers before settling down. She was only 17. And in a few months, college would be the toxic playground, she's only experienced from reruns of 90210.

Monica found haven under the crowded bus stop hanger. Her already damp body squeezed into the last remaining dry spot. Drips from the hanger's edge landed on her leg and feet. Sleek raincoats pleated her face and hair, friendly fire while she tried to stay covered.

Her eyes caught the attention of a hottie with a cute butt in tight jeans and a button up shirt. His hair was a bit ruffled but added character to his closely shaven beard. Hello.

After a few shy smiles and penetrating eye contact, he shuffled over. He stood in front of her as the next bus was about to approach. The pleats of water came down on him without fading his cool, sexy demeanor. Bad-ass.

He leaned in to whisper to Monica, maybe 'what's your name?' or 'wantta bounce?' Monica's  heightened body heat started to dry her damp clothes. Before she knew it, hot guy had yanked her purse from her shoulder and darted off into traffic.

Stunned, it took Monica a minute to register what just happened. She went after him but was stopped by a wave of murky puddle water that hydroplaned from the car as it tried to skid away from hitting naughty, hot guy.

Penniless, phoneless, and not a dry spot on her, Monica took the next 1.5 kilometers home. 0.5 kilometers into her walk of shame, Monica heard a blasted horn. Without turning around or stopping, she flicked off the driver. Soon she heard a car door open and shut. The hurried, splashed footsteps closed in on her. Monica turns to deck the driver and was greeted by her recent Ex-boyfriend. His hands held high a yellow umbrella.

"Need a ride?" He opened his arms to invite her in for a necessary cuddle.


Word Count: 417
Any thoughts?






Day 3-                                                                                                                                     Oct. 12, 2015

The First Strike


Oliver disapprovingly looked down at his nemesis. He loathed his big black eyes and noisy, round, red nose. He hated those red lips that surrounded his stupid fake smile. What do you find so funny? With your dumb wild orange hair.

You're not gonna make me laugh. I won't even cry. No matter how much I hate you.

A flex sensation went through Oliver, causing his left arm to jolt up and his left fist made contact with the clown's nose. Oliver was surprised, not only by the squeal sound of the red nose, but by the ability to move his appendages.

What was that? He stared mesmerized by the power of his arm and fist. Can I do that again?

Let's see. I said I hate you. Nothing happened. I hate you. I hate you. Still Oliver's body parts didn't respond. He glared at the happy clown, making a vow of vengeance and reprehensible harm.

After another jerky motion, his fist clocked the clown in the stomach. The victimized clown flew into Oliver's face.

I can't breath. Ahhhhhhhh!

"What's wrong, little one," his mommy's soothing voice was heard as the vindictive clown is removed from Oliver's face. She flipped Oliver on to his stomach before leaving him along on the play mat with his victorious enemy.

Grunting and straining to wriggle, Oliver struggled to lift his head and arms, making eye contact with the jolly thing.

You will pay for that.

Word Count: 242

 Leave a comment below.





Day 4-                                                                                                                             Oct. 13, 2015

The Future


"You're a English teacher, right?"

Carlos blankly stared at the whiteboard. The board was as white as his mind. Arrrrchhitect. He mumbled the word slowly, letting each syllable  filter out his mouth. He hoped by doing this it would conjure up the correct spelling of the word. Nothing came. He began to fill more blank as he stared in bewilderment.

"What're we supposed to be doing right now?"

"Didn't ya went to school?"

"Forget da word? It's architect."

"Man, how do ya not know how to spell!?!"

"Whatcha standing...

Carlos tried to block out all the 13 year old taunts. Arrchi....His spelling confidence plummeted.

Why can't I do this? May be teaching English is not what I should be doing. What else can I do with an English Degree, 5 years of teaching experience, and thousands of dollars in student loans? What have I done with my life? I can't start over. What am I going to do for rent? There is nothing else I can do. Maybe I can go teach aboard. I don't have to know how to spell for that, I think.

His feet were sweating as much as his palms. His brows were moist and his lips were dry. Archtectue? No. He couldn't imagine the word in front of him. His only vision was a blank, white board. Unsure, Carlos placed his unsteady blue board marker on to the whiteboard and started writing. Still mumbling the syllables: arrrchhhitectttt.

ARCHITECT

The letters looked foreign and incorrect. That doesn't look right. That can't be right.

"Yeah, you did it!" cheered a loyal girl from the student body.

"That's not right!"

"Yeah, it is. See, I looked it up on my phone."

All the students whipped out their phones to check. Carlos stared at the sea of dedicated concentration and saw his replacement emerging.

Word Count: 305
Tell me your thoughts.





Day 5-                                                                                                                              Oct. 14, 2015

A Long Walk Home


"I said give me your wallet, puta!" a menacing, scratchy hiss snapped Ricardo to attention.

The black barrel pointed at his fast beating heart. When he first saw the gun, he could only feel his ears speedily receive alarm waves from the blood gushing out of his panicked pulse. Gong, gong, gong...

He raised both hands straight into the air. The same protocol stance for any mugging.

"Hey, Mae," the armed man lowered his voice and weapon before he came a bit closer.  "Put down your fucking hands. You want people to see us, mae?"

Ricardo put his hands down and stared blankly at his scratchy voiced mugger. He felt more comfortable having them down and being referred to as a brother. What now?

"Mae, damelo."

Surprised, Ricardo reached into his back pocket as if he were at the cashier's about to make a purchase. He calmly handed over his faded brown, leather wallet. Thinking the transaction was done, he slowly turned around to walk the other way, praying his inconspicuous assailant wouldn't quickly find out about the nearly empty wallet of 1000 colones. Enough money for two across-town bus rides. Don't spend it all in one place.

"No, no, no, puta, turn back around."

Ricardo's heart launched into jumping jacks against his liver, giving him an ache underneath his ribcage. Hij'ue puta!

The greedy mugger quickly looked around and then nodded towards Ricardo's shoes. "Give me your shoes, mae. Hurry Up!"

Staring down at his feet, Ricardo thought about the long walk home on the dirty sidewalk interrupted by unpaved walkways of rock, broken up concrete, sand and occasional dog poop. These shoes still had miles to go before he could rest them on his coffee table, in front of the television with a nice cold Imperial beer.

"Apúrate, puta, I don't have all night!"

"I got a long walk home, mae. It's been a long day at work. And I got to walk for a long time, mae. I can't give you my shoes, mae."

"Como!?! Dame, car'e picha. Ahora!"

"How am I suppose to walk home? These streets will hurt my feet, mae. I want to help you out but..."

Realizing that this argument was going nowhere, the mugger looked around cautiously.

"Bueno," he released in an exhausted sigh before leaning down to take off his left shoe. Next he transferred his 9mm to the other hand so he could use his right hand to take off the other shoe. Afterwards, tossing both shoes to his troublesome victim. "You can wear mine, mae. Now. Take off your shoes!"

Passed scared and disbelief, Ricardo accepted the trade off. The mugger quickly slipped on his new shoes and hurriedly crossed the street to disappear into some overgrown foliaged lot.

Ricardo placed the mugger's shoes on his feet. They were comfortable and clean. As he walked home he had a bit of a skip in his walk, happy that his mugging turned into a trade for even better shoes.


Word Count: 498
Let me know what you think.




Day 6-                                                                                                                                          Oct. 15, 2015

Dinner


The sky had turned indigo. Stars dimly started to appear. And bedtime was coming soon. Molly cheerfully bounced down the lit stairway. The wood creaked under the brown carpeted cover with each bounce.

"Get my little doggy." Bounce. Creak.
"Little doggy." Bounce. Creak.
" Little doggy." Bounce. Creak.

She continued down the stairs in her springy chant. Sounds of her mother ironing clothes trailed behind her excited, tiny form. Molly could hear the wisp-like swirl and exhale of the hot stream that seeped out, right before her mother slammed the iron down and made a wheezy noise as she wriggled it to the edge of the pant leg.

"Wisp. Exhale...Slam. Wheezy."
"Wisp. Exhale...Slam. Wheezy."

Molly stood still as she stared down at the dark, quiet downstairs landing. A few dimly lit steps lay in front of her. Slowly being eating by the mouth of the black entranceway to downstairs.

"Wisp. Exhale...Slam. Wheezy."

Nervous tingles ran up and down Molly's small arms. Only a couple of feet away was the edge of the world. Dark, pitch-black like inside the mouth of a big, serpentine monster, quietly waiting for his next meal. At least that was what it looked like to tiny Molly.

"Wisp. Exhale...Slam. Wheezy."

Molly shivered in front of the sinister gap.

"Wisp. Exhale...Slam. Wheezy."

A breeze lifted a piece of curly hair from her forehead, lightly scratching across her face as an ant would crawl over a skull. Little light steps slowly wandering from place to place, in search of more food.

"Wisp. Exhale...Slam. Wheezy."

In the dark, Molly could faintly see her stuffed white puppy, floating in the center of the serpent's mouth. It could be just sprawled on the brown, carpeted floor. Or it could be resting on the serpentine's tongue, bait for the main meal. Caramel human. Molly wondered if the beast thought she would taste like milk chocolate.

"Wisp. Exhale...Slam. Wheezy."

Little doggy began to move slightly back and forth. Molly stopped breathing. Before she could second guess her vision, she heard the dog make a wheezy type noise. Molly opened her mouth to scream for her mother but nothing came out. She tried to turn to run but she was frozen. Helpless Molly could only stare in terror at the swaying little doggy and listening to its noises:

"Wisp. Exhale...Slam. Wheezy."
"Wisp. Exhale...Slam. Wheezy."


Word Count: 390
Share any comments.


Day 7-                                                                                                                                     Oct. 16, 2015

The Sunroof




Sweat dripped down on every part of her exhausted body. Dull and sharp edges of reddish brown rock surrounded her. Gulps of dry air escaped from her mouth, forcing her to intermittently choke  with every few breaths. Her insides begging for the luxury of a sip of water.

She watched the sun move slowly across the blue opening. Marking down the hours spent inside her earthy trap. When she fell in, the sun was on the opposite side of the entry gap. When the sun moves out of the gap's eye line, darkness would seep in.

She moaned for help. Her burnt lungs and scratchy voice too weak to continue the previous screams for help. Even the word "fire" had surfaced from her futile calls. Their echoed responses tormented her. An empty promise that someone would hear her strained shouts. Fatigued, she leaned against the hard rock and waited for release.


 Word Count: 151




Day 8-                                                                                                                                     Oct. 17, 2015

Morning Problems


Throbbing pain echoed through his head. He felt dazed and groggily. His pain doubled when he looked at his haggard reflection in the large, squared bathroom mirror. The gigantic, red bump on his forehead pulsated with every wave of painful throbbing.

He splashed cold water on his face to try to wash the grog away. A sharp pain ran from the front of his head to the back of it when his wet fingers grazed his consolation prize. He gritted his teeth and held fast to the sink's rim as he waited for the pain to subside.

After a moment, he had a phantom feeling of something brushing against the brown hair on his hand. He glanced down to see a tiny black ant. He flicked it into the sink and turned on the hot faucet. He watched in gleeful vengeance against all insects that had bothered him in the past 24 hours. I couldn't get the mosquito but I got you, didn't I?

As he watched the drowning of his new nemesis, a rapid movement caught the corner of his eye. Another ant was rapidly exploring the bottom of the bathroom mirror. He ended him with a stump of his right thumb. Another scampered movement caught his eye. It confusingly wandered around the white rim of the sink. Then another, then another.

Where are they coming from? He scanned the bathroom floor, searching the granite tile for any signs of an active trail. Nothing. He stared at the four explorers that were near the sink, convincing himself he wasn't imagining their annoying existence.

He watched one go under the sink, and then, it disappeared. What the? He opened the wooden, bathroom sink's cabinet and was greeted by a cabinet floor of black. Hundreds of tiny, black bodies crawled over each other. Each tiny leg quickly stepped over hundreds of other black abdomens and mini heads. Soon little antennas started to head towards the opening he had provided.


Word Count: 329
What do you think? Let me know in comments.



Day 9-                                                                                                                 Oct. 18, 2015

After the Storm


No words. Just the shallow breathing of an exhausted fighter. Shed tears still moist on her cheeks. Arms encircled in loyal support and reliable comfort.

A short, gentle breeze cleared lingering thoughts of past heartache and regrettable mistakes. There was only the sweet embrace of comfort. You are special. You are loved. You are not alone.

Just a small, private moment with an audience of turned away brownish, green leaves and solemn trees. The air respectfully stilled. Birds obediently held their song. Thoughtful clouds drifted away with their heads down, allowing the couple their privacy.

The sky was permitted to open up, letting the sun shine through, providing no promise or insight. Regardless, Monica felt tranquil and at ease.


Word Count: 119
A bit different. Any thoughts?



Day 10-                                                                                             Oct. 19, 2015

Need Some Attention


"...the ball is played forward by Manchester Uni.."

"Daddy, daddy!" interrupted little Tracy. She stood in the direct eyesight of the widescreen TV.

"Kagawa's onside into penalty area..."

"Yes, honey?" Patrick's head moving around to see the possible score.

"Daddy, watch my trick." Eyes glued pass his daughter, he remain silent. "Dadddy? Daddy?"

"Tracy stop all that noise! You see me watching the game here."

"And he misses. The goal keeper.."

"But it's a great trick, daddy", wined Tracy. Her eyes unknowingly transformed from hazel to stone cold onyx.

"Oh, come on, where was the flag!?!" The TV screen's image blurred before snapping into black. Tracey laughed and clapped her hands together. "What the..?"

Anger left Patrick as he shockingly stared at his little girl. She seemed different. Her bubbly laugh once warming and contagious, now seemed forced. Like someone who pretended to laugh at a bad joke from a person they absolutely hated. Spaced laughter with a smile through gritted teeth.

"What were you...huh.. saying, princess?" Patrick cleared his throat, a lump of nervousness had made a home there.

"Watch. My. Trick."

Patrick blinked in agreement, not sure if he was more worried about her behavior or the unsettling reaction it made him feel.

"Abracadabra, you're a pony."

He stared at her blankly. That's it. Nothing bloody happened! A wave of relief went through him. I must be going crazy.

Tracy jumped up and down in excitement. Patrick nonchalantly turned to nibble on the side of his tummy. Terror ran through him when he noticed his tail was swaying.



Word Count: 260
Tell me what you think.





Day 11-                                                                                            Oct. 20, 2015

A New Home


Devon jingled the brass keys from its rusted metal key ring. How old are these? Will they even work?
His newly inherited keys accompanied a country house in the Shoals of Alabama. Most people would have forgotten the name of the area soon after it was mentioned. Also Devon had only been here a handful of times to visit his uncle in his childhood summers. He never imagined the old guy would leave this isolated property to him.

Why would you need so many keys? The twelve keys provided no answer. Their antique features and heavy weight sparked more questions.

Devon looked disappointingly at his uncle's yellow plantation house. The original cream color had stained and worn from the humid summers and icy winters. Now he had an old farm that needed a new paint job. Great, who knows what other things need to be replaced in this rundown shithole.

He walked on to the wooden planked porch. Not trusting his full weight on the creaky floor boards, Devon placed one foot on a separate board as he crossed to the front door. When he arrived, he stared on in awe. Its sky blue paint was just as bright as he remembered it. That was over 30 years ago. Well, maybe, Uncle Odie kept the rest of the place on point.

With a new excited energy, Devon used the first key to open the door. After the twelfth unsuccessful attempt, he was pissed off and ready to burn down the house. He slammed a fist into the door. His angered doubled from the pain of that idiotic decision. The sky blue door gave a silent smirk in its immobile stance.

None of these stupid keys work? That fool lawyer of Uncle Odie's must have given me the wrong keys? Devon turned to leave. Damn, now I got to waste some more gas..

Kreeen.

Devon turned back at the sound to see the door wide open.

Relieved that he was saved a trip into town, Devon walked in to check out his new home.  "Weclome.." a sultrily whisper greeted him as he closed the door.


Word Count: 354
Later, I might make this into a serial flash fiction with more suspense and action. Any thoughts?


Day 11-                                                                                                 Oct. 21, 2015

In the Dark 


It was pitch black. Darkness could be peaceful. It was only scary by the unknown sounds you hear. Not knowing what would, or wouldn't, harm you was the terrifying part.

The up and down motion was making me feel terrible. A few times I thought it was over, but after a pause, my body would lean forward and the movement would continue. I didn't know where I was or where I was going. The last thing I remembered was the feeling of warmth behind a light chill that occasionally blow by. Then a hard thing covered in a soft skin hit my head a few times. It was so painful and hard that it made my whole body tremble.

I had stopped rising and falling for a long time. Is it over? Good. Maybe I can rest now. My body ached. I was super sensitive to all the previous movements. It made my guts scrabble around.

In the distance, there was a weird groan. Then I felt myself rising again for a long time. Am I flying? Can I fly? How do I stop it? How does my body know where to go?

I heard another groan followed by a jingle, then a click.

What is that? An image of sharp teeth sprung to mind. Oh, no, please no!?

Kreen.

I quickly rose higher. The echo sounds of kata-kata followed close behind me. I had to fly higher and faster to get away from whatever that might be. What is that? It's so close! Is it going to eat me?  Am I going to die? I need to get away. Where.. Suddenly the kata-kata stopped.

I travelled in a straight line, enjoying the silence. In an instance, I fell to my side and hear a piaaaak.

Somehow I straightened slowly into a standing position. Then, descending a bit, I stopped on a thud that ran through me. My body was still as my insides did panicky somersaults

A cold, flat surface was underneath me. Below me, was the sound of shish-shah...ting. Then a clang before a slam. And again silence.

A burning, piercing sensation struck the top of my head. Ahhhh! It went in deeper. Hot pain penetrated my body. It slid up and down as it made a circle. Ouchhhh! Then a muffled clank was first before the feeling of something pulling at the top of me. A wet pop rang inside of me.

The light breeze I felt did nothing to relieve the scorching pain. Five small and warm things reached into my head. They swirled around my slimy insides. Then gripped them tightly and started to pull. After some resistance, my bowels released from my sides and were carried out. Darkness soon trailed behind.

                                                                          *************


The Luther family sat around on the patio table. Smiling back at their newly craved pumpkin. Oblivious to its past trauma, they popped its now roasted seeds into their mouths as the white light from the candle flicked throughout its eyes and forced gaped tooth grin.


Word Count: 503
Happy Halloween!


Day 13-                                                                                                 Oct. 22, 2015

Caveman


Carlos pressed the side of his iPhone to read the time: 8:15 pm. Good, I still have time to finish this before I can ran to make copies. The copy store closed at 9. It was a quick 5 minute walk from his house. He had plenty of time.

He glanced over at his cat, Jesse. She laid nonchalantly on top of his graded papers, entertaining herself by watching her tail slap against the red marked errors.

"Almost done!"

She returned his excited grin with a bored, superior look as a queen would do to a pauper who was showing off his torn jacket.

Carlos focused back towards his laptop that was on the kitchen table. He needed this tool to help him teach his morning classes. Without it, not only had he wasted two hours of his free time, but he wouldn't have a plan for tomorrow. The kids knew when you were not organized and they feed off that chaos. His palms began to sweat in remembrance of an unplanned lesson he did his first year of teaching. Students were tossing around books and loudly hanging out outside of his classroom. All of them completely ignoring his orders.

He completed the resource document by bolding and centering the title. Ready to print, Carlos pressed the printing icon. Nothing happened. Confused, he pressed it again. Then again. And again.

"Print, you idiot!"

The volume and anger of his imperative made Jesse scurry out of the kitchen. Carlos began to type random keys. Still nothing happened. So he used his fingers to punch the keys harder.

"Arghhh!!" he growled at the screen. "Just freaking print!"

The laptop beeped at him before the screen went grey. A warning sign popped up:

                "Unknown command from an unknown source. Do you want to continue? Yes or No".

"Yes, damn you, print!" He used his mouse pad to angrily right click "yes".  The laptop leaped up from the raging force and almost landed on the floor.

A ding sounded from the difficult device. Then a blue circle spiraled in the middle of the screen.

"Arghhh!" Carlos grunted after a minute of watching it rotate. Then he proceeded to pound more buttons. Buzzing, beeping and dinging sounds sprung up from the distressed machine. Soon the screen went black and its power button flashed orange. But Carlos only saw red.

He grabbed the laptop by the screen with both hands and slammed it against the kitchen counter. Black mysterious pieces flew in all directions. Beeping sounds screamed out for assistance. Its calls of help were answered by Carlos throwing down the device repeatedly against the floor.

Exhausted, Carlos slumped back into his chair. Frustration and anger had drained him into a submissive state of despair.

"What am I going to do now? Two hours of my life wasted!.... Fuck!"

He looked over at the quiet printer. A second wind of fury filled Carlos as he noticed that the power button's light had not been turned on.


Word Count: 500
Dedicated to My Husband.


Day 14-                                                                                                         Oct. 23, 2015

Just Color


"Your turn, Mama," Tricia pointed a purple crayon towards her mother.

After a blocked sniff, Brie begrudgingly took the worn crayon. Her ears pounded, her nose was an endless drip, and she had been trying to swallow a scratchy lump in her throat all day. The last thing she wanted to do was color.

"Mama, color the dolphin. Color it purple and I color it orange."

Brie tried to focus on the dolphin drawing in Tricia's coloring book. A fog struck between her brows made her head hurt. She placed the crayon on the paper near its fin. Not caring what she colored, she started making identical out of place marks. Purple and orange scrapped across the page, ignoring the printed lines implied instruction to follow between them.

A snotty drop was slowly escaping her nose. Brie picked up a overly used tissue to catch the wet escapee. The sun started to set.

"Keep coloring, Mama"

"Okay."

Brie put the crayon on the page when another slimy drop sled down her lip. She cupped a hand to her nose and jumped up to run to the bathroom to get more tissues.

"Mama, your turn, come back."

Brie ignored her daughter's calls. Unable to take it anymore, she opened up the medicine cabinet and took a shot of cold medicine. She returned to the living room where she and Tricia had been coloring. The couch's soft pillows beckoned her to lay and relax. Brie did as it commanded and closed her eyes.

Two seconds later, she opened her eyes to see Tricia with a green crayon pushed towards her face. "Mama, you color green. You color green. Look green."

Brie brushed off her colorful attacker. Thinking that was the wrong color, Tricia used a brown crayon to attack her mother's face again. "Color, Mama, Pleeassse."

"Hon, Mama doesn't feel good. Please leave me alone."

Silence. A few moments passed before a fake phone is placed in Brie's face.

"I call the doctor, Mama?"

"Yes, yes. But do it quietly," Brie whispered the last to give Tricia an example of how quiet she should be.

Tricia loudly whispered near her head.

"Tricia! No! No!"

A long pause.

".....I get my pony....I get my pony?"

Brie tuned back in to her incessant, unintelligible chatter. Something about a toy.

"Yeah, yeah, whatever. Just go get it." Brie placed an arm over her eyes and started to rest them.

Brie opened her eyes to a moonlighted room.

"Tricia? Tri?"

Brie wandered around the house calling her daughter's name. Stillness and the echo of a name responded back to her. Brie's blood turned cold when she noticed the front door was wide open.


Word Count: 447
14 days of 14 stories done! It's been challenging and fun. I hope to keep doing them. But coming up with a story every day was difficult. I think, with time,  I will continue doing flash fiction in the future. Thank you for coming with me on this journey. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Check out my progress with NaNoWriMo. I'll journal my stages on this website. Fingers crossed. I hope to complete a novel in 30 days.  Look for excepts and a synopsis later in November 2015.

13 comments:

  1. I am enjoying your stories and recognise the "fun"of parenting small children. Mine are now teenagers (e.g. I am a taxi service) and I work full-time but some memories are etched forever. I am also thinking of nanowrimo - but haven't made my mind up yet, so interested to see how you get on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the compliments. Kids can definitely be a handful. I always think if these were not my children, I would be laughing at their craziness. (Sometimes I do after the irritation has worn off.)

      If you're thinking about NaNoWriMo, do it. I've wanted to do it for over a decade. Now I have some time and some set ideas. I hope I can complete it. I'll keep everyone posted.

      Delete
    2. Suggestions for improvement for 'Nightstalker': 1) Breath is the noun, breathe is the verb. It's also repeated four times withing the 277 words. Likewise for repetition with the word 'wall'. 2) The past tense of rise is rose, not raised (well, the past intransitive, to be precise.) 3) Is it really his watch or his clock? Might be better as the latter. 4) The word 'antecedent' sticks out like a scalpel on a dinner table. Would replace. 5) Were the disembodied arms and legs meant to achieve a macabre comic effect? If not, would change. 6) Untoned is not a word and in this case doesn't work - also there's the repetition of 'violin'. Atonal drone? As a whole the idea is good. Hats off for sticking to your guns and keeping up the posts! Would be easier to comment if each story were its own post. Good luck.

      Delete
  2. Each of these stories has valid raison (subject+angle). Neat little packages with fine balance of humour and drama.Thumbs up from me.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Read them again. Day one is a Tom & Jerry. Day two is Mills&No one. 'Dinner' is out on its own.Perfect example of form.A joy. What sets it apart is that moment when when friendly familiar is replaced by unknown,incomprehensible,terrifying. The nightmare.This piece says a lot about you as a creative writer and as a parent. But exactly what,I'm not sure.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you. Yeah, I love 'dinner'. It's a mixer of what I've remembered from being super young and what I see my 3 yr. old doing. I guess you could say that Molly is our hybrid.

    ReplyDelete
  5. So hang on tight to that truth and you'll both be blessed. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I enjoy the humour mixed with the macabre, esp of Nightstalker & Need Some Attention. I like the sense that small children are somehow "other" and have a link with some other reality. It's something I am exploring too. I think that New Home has potential but needs to capture some of that humour/macabre and maintains suspense. I love the idea of the 12 keys. Keys are fascinating. It's the other world/potential thing...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you. Yeah, I like a little humor with my dark side. I've enjoyed dark comedies and horror films since I was a teen. Also my mother is a romance novel and Sci-Fi horror film fiend.So I guess I am pulling some of my inspiration from that.

    I also felt that "New Home" was a bit flat. I'll have to go back to it when I have more time. It's like something is right there.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Just color sent shivers down my spine. Been there (up to the disappearance part). Locked the front door once, put the baby in her cot, shut myself and toddler in the sitting room wedging the door shut because I couldn't keep my eyes open a minute longer. Got woken two seconds later by a plastic hammer whammed down on my head by bored toddler. However, I was a toddler myself who escaped at least once to go and look at sheep or something - only now can I imagine what my poor mother must have felt. But do keep writing. Check out
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/talesinten/

    ReplyDelete