Flash Fiction: Stormy Windows

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is to write about storm windows. I did not take it literally, which is unusual for me.

Stormy Windows

My windows fogged up as she talked. An illness, a preexisting condition cost them their home. A burden on family and friends, they were left to the streets.

Child protective services took their children. They couldn’t know how they were fairing in the system. It had to be better than the streets, right? Right?

She prayed for God to bless me for the dollar I gave her. It was the least I could do but more generous than most.

At my warm, cozy home, rain fell from the windows to my soul as I wished I could do more.

Flash Fiction: Patient Zero

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is to write about someone who is unremembered. How does one write a story about one who is unremembered? I can’t remember. “There was once this man… maybe. He was shortish tall with light black, curly, bald hair… I don’t remember what he looked like or what he did, but he may or may not have been.” This is the only way I could think to do this.

Patient Zero

“I’m ready. Who am I killing?”

“Your great-grandfather.”

“What?”

“He was patient zero.”

“My great-grandfather is responsible for Extraterrestrial Xenotropic Disease? How can you know that?”

“It was his breakthrough that made intergalactic space travel possible. He was on that first mission that brought back E.X.D., causing the Great Plague.”

“If I kill him before his breakthrough, I can stop the plague and the deformities that followed.”

“And the collapse of civilization. You can make humanity Earth’s dominant species again.”

“Will I cease to exist?”

“We may all cease to exist. The world of 1989 could look completely different.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In case you’re wondering, she failed. That’s why humans look like (see mirror), and anyone who has pets knows that humans are not the dominant species.

I’m not a fan of anti-science science fiction, but there are dangers out there. Maybe we’ll find them someday. I am a big fan of sanitizer and keeping your damn germs to yourself. Maybe wash your hands after playing in Uranus.

Flash Fiction: Replay

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is to write about an interlude. I came up with this.

Replay

In the two hours since she stormed out, I’ve done nothing. I’ve hardly moved as the fight replayed in my mind.

Was she wrong?

Was she right?

Was I right?

Was I wrong?

Were we both wrong?

Were we both right?

I looked at every angle. I examined every word.

I watched the tears stream down her face. I rewound them and watched them fall again. I watched her leave, slamming doors, and wiping her eyes.

I sat as the garage door slowly crawled along its track.

The garage door groans again.

Have we cooled or will we reignite?

Flash Fiction: A.C.V.M.M.B.

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is to write about the greatest gift.

I started pondering, what is the greatest gift? Life? Love? Hope? A new car? A puppy? Whatever Oprah put under your seat? Muhammad Ali? An argument could be made for any and all of those. The greatest gift is something that could be highly personal, specific to each of us. I could think it’s love. Someone else might think it’s an iPad. I picked what I think is the greatest gift for the character in my story.

A.C.V.M.M.B.

Don went to the same coffee shop and sat at the same table. He sipped his coffee and played with his phone. No calls. No texts. He saw the same people, but no one spoke to him.

When his drink was gone, he returned to his empty apartment.

He went back the next day. This time, he was greeted by a wave and a smile.

“Hi, Don. Apple cinnamon vanilla matcha macchiato blend?”

He looked up, smiled shyly, and said, “Yes, please. Thanks, Alice.”

She gave him the greatest gift of all, an apple cinnamon vanilla matcha macchiato blend.

Flash Fiction: His Knees

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is grit. I haven’t done one of these for a while for no good reason. I got distracted by other things and haven’t come back to it until now.

This is based on a book I’ve been equally, actively trying to write and trying not to write. It’s a huge project with a lot of research, and it’s emotionally wrenching. Sometimes I attack it. Sometimes I retreat from it. It’s about a man who’s looking back at his life while contemplating and trying to talk himself into suicide following the loss of his wife and daughter in a school shooting. It’s called A Pillar Of Salt. Maybe this will reignite that creative fire and get me working on it again. This is tweaked to conform to the prompt and not necessarily how the book will go.

“Now, I’m lost and I’m weary, so many tears
I’m suicidal, so don’t stand near me
My every move is a calculated step
To bring me closer to embrace an early death
Now, there’s nothin’ left

Will I survive till the morning to see the sun?
Please Lord, forgive me for my sins ’cause here I come”

– 2Pac “So Many Tears”

His Knees

He fell to his knees as a bomb exploded in his chest.

It was P.J.’s school on the news. Sae was dropping her off. She’s not answering her phone.

Again on his knees at the graves. “God, if you’re there, take me too. You can’t take them and leave me.”

Alone in the dark on his knees with the gun to his temple.

“Just fuckin’ do it!”

“She wouldn’t want this.”

“She’s gone. I can’t live without her, without them.”

“You have to.”

“I can’t.”

“You can’t pull that trigger either.”

“I’m scared. I’m too weak.”

“You’re too strong.”

Flash Fiction: Nope!

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is fire.

Coincidentally, I’ve been reading a biography of Jim Morrison by Stephen Davis about whom I knew nothing prior to starting. I still know nothing about Stephen Davis. The Doors were way before my time, but in recent years, I’ve come to appreciate some of their music. A coffee shop conversation with a… I don’t want to say ‘crazy guy,’ alternative thinker made me analyze “The End.” Interesting. I’ve had “Light My Fire” running through my head most of the day. That may have had some influence on my story. Reality may have also made some contributions.

Nope!

I thought she was cute the first time I saw her.

Nope!

That smile.

Nope.

The more I talked to her, the more I thought about her.

Nope?

The more I saw her, the more she smiled at me, the more I realized she wasn’t just cute, she was beautiful.

Maybe?

The more I got to know her, the more I saw how sweet and kind she was.

Maybe.

It wasn’t until it was too late that I realized, she lit a fire in my soul. The likes of which I’ve never known. It might just burn me alive.

Flash Fiction: Long Live The King

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is eminence.

Long Live The King

His rise to eminence was halted by my hand. He wasn’t hard to find. Everybody in town knew where he hung out.

I pulled out the gun I took from dad’s nightstand and pointed it at him.

“Whoa! What are gonna do with that, little man?”

“I’m gonna be 10 next month.”

“All right, big man. Put it down before you hurt somebody.”

He reached for it, and I pulled the trigger. The kick knocked me down. The bullet knocked him down.

He was the only person I ever killed. My sister was the last his drugs would kill.

Flash Fiction: When The Well Runs Dry

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is to write about a bucket of water, which is appropriate since it’s World Water Day. Can you believe we have to have a World Water Day? A day to contemplate and advocate for clean water? What’s more basic than water? Air. That’s it. There’s air, water, sex, food, and everything else.

When The Well Runs Dry

They sprinted to the well. Liza frantically pulled up the bucket.

“Test it!” Mike just looked down and shook his head. “Damn it!”

Liza vented her frustration on the bucket.

The same scene played out countless times.

Their pouches ran dry before Mike sighed and smiled.

“Finally!”

They greedily drank from the well before filling their pouches and bucket.

“We have to get home and hope we haven’t lost anyone else.”

Two days later, Mike and Liza stumbled into the village.

“We found water.” Liza held up the empty bucket. “What?”

“There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza.”

Flash Fiction: Chiseled

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week we’re writing stories involving a chisel or something being chiseled.

Chiseled

Clarice stood before Leo in her black negligee. “Are you coming to bed?”

“Yeah, I just need to add some finishing touches.”

Two years later, Clarice had enough of Leo’s sculptured women being prioritized over her. She would leave him, but the prenup assured she couldn’t continue living the lavish lifestyle to which she had become accustomed.

One night, Clarice returned from a trip to Paris to find Leo in his studio lying in a pool of blood with his chisel protruding from the back of his head. She had to let her smile dissipate before calling the police.

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