Hello everyone and a warm welcome to the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #3.
Last week I set the following Challenge:
Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction piece inspired by that image in a genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.
Please put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at My email address. by 4pm on June 11th. Subject: Fiction in a Flash Challenge. If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be much appreciated.
I’ll be sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here on June 12th.
AND Here’s the prompt image and ENTRIES…For #Week 3.
This contribution Authored by Gwen Plano.
A Haitian Proverb
“Bekka, come on. This will be fun.” His irritation mounting.
“Mom’s not gonna like it.” She looks away and shifts her legs nervously.
“Come on, she won’t even know.”
“Remember last time? Not pretty…”
“Good grief! Just crawl across the tree trunk and we’ll jump together.”
“What if we miss?”
“How could we? We’d be right above the swing. We can’t miss.”
“Yeah, well, if something could go wrong, it will.”
“You always do this. You know that right? A l w a y s. Forget about it! I’m going without you.”
“Alright!! I’m coming. No tricks though.” She struggles to pull herself up the tree trunk.
“I’m gonna count to three. Are you ready? Here goes…one, two, three. JUMP!”
“Bekka, what happened? Why didn’t you jump?”
“Just got scared is all.”
“Come on! What could go wrong?”
“I dunno…but it feels so high up here.”
“Then jump and stop complaining.”
“Okay. One, two, three…”
“Eddy, Eddy, where are you?”
“Well, no thanks to you, I’m in the ocean. I bounced off when you hit.”
“Oh no, here comes mom.”
“Geez!! Y’know what she’s going to say! The crab that walks too far falls into the pot.”
“Have you ever wondered what that means?”
“Yeah, but I suspect it’s code for stay away from humans – or at least humans with pots.”
This contribution by Karen Ingalls.
A VACATION FROM HELL
I was excited to go to the Caribbean island of Barbados with my three closest friends from college. It was a five-day trip to celebrate our graduation and my upcoming marriage to my college sweetheart. What was to be a relaxing, fun, and wild trip turned out to be a nightmarish, insane, and stressful trip.
Day 1: my seat assignment was changed to the middle seat in the last row between a young mother with a baby and a 300-pound woman. The baby was asleep until the plane took off, then it cried until the plane touched down. On my other side, the obese lady snored and kept nestling her head on my shoulder.
Day 2: I awoke with a hangover after partying most of the previous night. I spent most of the early morning on the bathroom floor hanging over the toilet bowl. I felt as if I had two heads banging against each other. Some aspirin, tomato juice, and an icepack soon brought me back to normalcy.
By late afternoon, I felt well enough to go snorkeling. The beautiful fish and coral were breathtaking. I thought I was in heaven until a jellyfish stung my left leg. I came up for air, screaming in pain. As I stepped onto the boat my left foot slipped, twisting my ankle. The rest of the day was spent at the local clinic, treating the jellyfish’s sting, and wrapping my swollen ankle. That evening I sat in my room alone, left leg elevated, an ice pack on my ankle, and enjoyed the euphoria the pain pills provided.
Day 3: The four of us stayed by the pool, playing cards, and drinking rum island drinks. This was not a good idea since I was still taking pain pills. Before I knew what happened, my face fell into my lunch plate of fish cakes with fresh fruit. I do not remember anything more about the third day of the vacation.
Day 4: The next morning, I awakened in a hammock attached to a palm tree swaying above the Caribbean water. I looked around and saw my buddies laughing and pointing at me. At first, I was angry, then I decided to enjoy the moment. The warm sun, gentle breeze, and gentle rocking of the hammock relaxed my weary body.
My leg and foot were much improved and my brain was clear of the pain pills’ effects. We rented a car and drove around the island, stopping at Harrison’s Cave where we saw stalagmites and stalactites on a tram, explored Bridgetown, and visited the Morgan Lewis sugar mill.
The day ended with dinner and drinks at a restaurant near our hotel. That was when I realized that my wallet was missing. Fortunately, I had left my passport in my room.
Day 5: My friends each pitched in and bought a first-class ticket for me. “This has been a rough few days and we want you to be rested for your wedding tomorrow.”
I had a window seat in the last row of first-class. I had just settled down when the same obese lady sat in the aisle seat next to me. I slumped down, covered my eyes, and asked myself, “How can this be? What are the odds? What have I done to deserve this?”
No one answered my questions, but once again the lady immediately started snoring and used my shoulder as her pillow. Two rows behind me a baby cried during the entire flight.
The wedding gift from my college buddies was a 20 x 30-inch photo of the hammock hanging from the palm tree. I have it displayed in my office at work. Clients marvel at how beautiful and peaceful it looks. I just smile and nod.
Karen Ingalls can be found on
My own contribution:
A Touch of Paradise
By Suzanne Burke.
Tessa pulled back the drapes and slid the glass doors wide open. She stood on the deck and sucked in a deep lungful of the tangy salt air. It was just as she’d pictured it. Long stretches of pristine white sand lovingly embraced the palm trees and the deep blue ocean tugged at its edges.
She hurriedly changed into her swimsuit, ignoring the jetlag and determined not to waste a moment of this longed-for vacation.
The white hammock was waiting, and she sighed at the utter perfection of it as she carefully lay back. The soft breeze washed over her, and the view relaxed her and lulled her to sleep.
“Time to wake up sleeping beauty.”
Tessa sat bolt upright too fast and toppled out of the hammock, landing in an undignified heap at the intruder’s feet.
“Oh, hell! Are you hurt?”
“Only my pride.” Tessa began brushing the sand from her body and then laughed up at the man standing there. “I presume you have a good reason for waking me?”
He reached down and offered his hand and she was gently pulled to her feet. “It’s safe enough to fall asleep in the sun here in the early morning, but, it’s past noon now, and sunburn is no way to start a vacation.”
Tessa grinned at him, “Well then, thank you.” She extended her hand, “I’m Tessa Carpenter.”
He returned the handshake, “Lee Bradshaw.” He laughed, “Sorry, I’ve just never had a woman throw herself at me quite like that before.”
Tessa dissolved into gales of laughter, “I finally get to be a fallen woman.”
Lee grinned in appreciation and glanced at his Rolex, “Can I buy you a drink to make up for startling you.”
She gave it some thought, “I’m not in the mood for a crowded bar, I’m still jetlagged and I need to freshen up. Later perhaps? My bar fridge is fully stocked, maybe we could fix a drink and sit out on the deck?”
“Sounds like a plan. Say I come by around sunset?”
Tessa smiled and agreed. She showered and slept. Her guest arrived at 6.30 carrying platters of food prepared by the restaurant staff. Tessa’s stomach growled in happy anticipation.
Lee fixed them each a tropical cocktail. They sat outside and witnessed the fire of sunset then spent the remainder of the evening in relaxed conversation and shared laughter as they discovered each other.
The days that followed blended like rich chocolate, swimming, and scuba diving out on the reef together in the pristine clarity of the morning ocean, followed by long afternoon walks exploring the island, and finally to warm nights sitting on the sand under a canopy of black diamond-studded velvet. They spoke of their dreams, their work, and the people that mattered in their lives.
Tessa couldn’t sleep. The thought of heading back to New York tomorrow chilled her. She could save every penny and come back to the island again next year. But he wouldn’t be here. She chided herself for being a fool. Suck it up buttercup. She squared her shoulders as the thought took hold. I will not spend my last day here dreading tomorrow.
Lee was sitting on the hammock waiting for her to join him.
Tessa smiled down into his face, “Aren’t we swimming this morning?”
“I need to talk to you about something first.”
His voice told her it was important, “Sounds serious.”
“Oh, it’s serious.” He looked worried and uncertain. He reached for her hand and held it tightly. “Well … here goes. I can’t bear the thought of not being with you after today. I’ve fallen in love with you, Tessa. I want us to be together. … Will you marry me?”
Tessa smiled softly, “We both have to be crazy! But, I love you too. And, yes, yes I’ll marry you.”
Lee stood and pulled her into his arms as they kissed and savored the moment.
“This is the perfect place for a honeymoon.” He spoke against her hair.
“It’s way too expensive. I don’t mind where we go. We’ll be together so the destination doesn’t matter. We can work hard and save towards somewhere else.”
“Um, yeah about that work thing? I told you I was scouting out this place for a client who was interested in buying a great investment.”
“Now don’t get all fired up, but, I kinda left out the part about me being the investor.”
“We can honeymoon here or stay here permanently if you want. I um… I purchased the island and the resort yesterday.”
“Holy-shit! You’re that Lee Bradshaw? The Fortune 500 Bradshaw?” Tessa looked into his eyes and saw the truth there. Her legs gave out from underneath her and for the second time in a week, she found herself sitting on the sand in a heap at his feet.
Lee groaned and then laughed. “You don’t need to throw yourself at me anymore, darling. I’m already yours.”
“I’m not just dreaming this am I?”
He sat alongside her on the sand, “No darling. This is as real as it gets.”
“I may need a little more convincing.” She traced the outline of his lips with her fingertips.
He pulled her into his arms and happily complied.
Thanks so much for stopping by. The Challenge Photo-Prompt for Week #4 will be posted on June 12th.
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