‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #16 Entry Part 2) by Paula Light @lightm0tifs #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 2)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #16.

Today I’m featuring contributions from Paula Light @

This is the 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 or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

 

I was a loyal friend,

Yet you betrayed me again.

You make a habit of lying,

While I wait out here crying.

What’s your excuse this time?

Cuz I’ve got your number,

Don’t just hand me a line–

And I ain’t gettin’ younger.

I hear laughter from your room;

Are you on that damn Zoom?

My food bowl is empty…

Don’t you forget about me!

~*~

Contact Paula Light Here …

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/

Add Paula on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lightm0tifs

Please check out Paula’s books for sale.

Paula also writes as Anna Fondant.

Thanks so much for joining me here today. I look forward to seeing your comments.

I may be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #15 Entry Part 6) By Jacquie Biggar @JacqBiggar #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 6) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #15.

Today I’m featuring a contribution by Jacquie Biggar.

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 or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here’s the image prompt.

lost-places-3035877_1920

This Contribution by Jacquie Biggar

The Stories These Walls Could Tell.

The wallpaper hangs in jagged strips from the walls, faded jacquard prints of a more dignified time. Cobwebs drape from the dilapidated ceiling, and I try not to imagine how big the spider is that created them.

Tom and I won this house at auction, before…

The floors creak beneath my sneakers and are gray with dust and grime, but they look original to my weary eyes. The drive took hours and all I can think about is a warm bath and soft bed- neither of which I’ll find here. I’ll go back to the small town I’d passed through soon, but first I need to finish what I started.

“We did it,” I tell my husband, sure he can hear me wherever he is.

The baby moves beneath my breasts and I gently rub the spot, my throat tight when I feel a tiny heel. Tom wanted this child so much. That and the home he’d grown up in. It’s bittersweet to know we’ve succeeded.

“It’s everything you said it was,” I say, continuing my one-sided conversation. “The fireplace is huge. No wonder you thought Santa got stuck up the chimney.” I trail a finger along the mantle. “Baby’s stocking will look lost on here.”

The tears that are never very far away wet my cheeks. It’s been five months, but I miss him still.

I always will.

With renewed determination, I climb the surprisingly sturdy staircase and enter the first room on the right- Tom’s childhood bedroom. A warm sensation flows over me and my tears dry as peace descends. He’s here, I can feel him.

The room is empty, other than an old blue chest shoved under the stained window. My heart flutters wildly and I’m suddenly scared of what I’ll find.

“Go,” a ghostly voice intones, his breath warm on my ear.

I startle and stumble forward. “Always so bossy,” I grouch with a smile.

The lid is heavy. I have to work to get it up, and then I sneeze as a musty fog rises from the interior. “Geez, Tom, you could have warned me.”

He chuckles from over my shoulder. I can almost feel his arms around me and baby.

His baseball hat from seventh grade sits on top the pile of memorabilia. My fingers tremble as they trace the Saints emblem. Who would have thought he’d go on to have a successful career in the NBL?

Alongside the hat, lay an autographed baseball bat, and below that, the reason I’m here. A leatherbound journal. My husband’s thoughts and dreams in his messy script fill the pages, front to back.

The house will be baby and my future, but this journal? It’s my link to the past and is truly priceless.

The baby rolls, creating a wave across my stomach and my dearly departed husband laughs.

His family is home.

~~~

Jacquie may be contacted here …

Blog: Jacquie Biggar- USA Today Best-Selling Author

On TWITTER

Books On Amazon.Com

Thank you so much for stopping by. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. I’ll be posting further entries as I receive them.

I may be contacted here …

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #15 Entry Part 5) by D.L.Finn @dlfinnauthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 5)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #15.

Today I’m featuring a contribution from D. L. Finn.

 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 or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the prompt:

lost-places-3035877_1920

This contribution by D.L.Finn

The Day the Ground Moved

By

D.L.Finn

It jolted me from a deep sleep. Belongings were tossed around like feathers in a windstorm. My wedding picture crashed into the back of my head, but I had no time to worry about the bump as my bed moved toward the dresser that was lodged on its side. My black cat, Sissy, dug her claws into my leg, and I could hear the dog howl from his bed.

“It’s okay, Max!”

It was unlikely he heard me over the growl of the shifting landscape and shattering glass. I pulled myself to the side of the bed as Sissy edged up to my chest.

“It’s the earthquake they said would come, Sissy.”

Hanging on to the cat, I slipped on the leather mules my wife of 35 years had given me last Christmas. I lost Nancy three months later to breast cancer right before everything changed. I pushed down my pain, grabbed our wedding picture, and attempted to run. I found the floor was like a carnival funhouse. I could barely keep upright. My stomach flipped as a powerful wave surged through the house. I grabbed the closet door frame.

“Hang on, Sissy.” She buried her head in my neck. “I should get the go bag in case…”

Tightly gripping the wood structure with one hand, I snatched the bag from the closet, tucked the picture in it, and slung it over my shoulder. Sissy’s claws deepened, cutting into my skin, but I barely felt it as I navigated the dark hall to the creaking steps. The rising sun was peeking through the broken front window, and the neighbor’s car alarm was blaring.

I clung to the shaking railing and made my way down the wooden stairs. Halfway the wall cracked open with a loud pop.

“Crap.” I quickened my pace. “Max! Here, boy!”

The sweet German Shepherd slowly walked to me with his tail between his legs. I grabbed his collar.

“It’s safer outside.” I tried the front door. It wouldn’t open until I used all my weight against it. We burst onto the porch and raced out into the morning dawn. I stood on my front lawn as the brick fireplace crumbled to the ground with a dusty thump on the side of the house.

“Is this ever going to stop?”

As if on cue, the grumble gave way to silence.

A weak cry for help came from across the street. The houses’ two levels were now one.

“I’m coming, Bert!”

The young couple who had just moved in last month stood pale and bloodied by their car.

“Bert and Kathy need help,” I yelled to them and set Sissy down, who immediately hid under my car.

“There’s nothing we can do. We need to get to a safety zone.” The husband replied. They got into their car and left.

I shook my head in disbelief; I knew there was no place to go. In the distance, I saw smoke and rubble as far as my old eyes could see. I rushed over the uneven street. Just then, I heard a screech and saw the young couple’s car fall. It was half in and half out of a large hole. The husband pulled the wife out, and they raced around the corner. Gone.

“Adam, can you hear me?”

“Yes, Bert, I’m coming.”

Thankfully, he was in a pocket by the front door, and I could lift the debris with a crowbar. Bert’s wife, who had been Nancy’s best friend, was crushed under a beam. She didn’t make it. We buried Kathy under her favorite maple tree. I understood his pain.

Bert took over that young couple’s house, and all that was left of our once beautiful area was two old men trying to survive each day. We lived in a world where no help would arrive. Our leader challenged the new directive, and as a cruel example, they detonated our earthquake fault. Later we found a renegade radio channel and learned part of our state was in the ocean.

It was a war no one had wanted. Luckily, Bert and I had a healthy supply of food, water, and weapons. When the time came, I would defend our old ways against the new directive. I knew Nancy would be proud of my stand, but I couldn’t wait to be with her again—when that time came.

~~~

D.L.Finn can be reached here …

Blog site:

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:

On TWITTER:

On FACEBOOK:

Thanks so much for stopping by! I look forward to reading your comments.I’ll be featuring further entries as they are received. 😊

I can be reached here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

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By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #15 NEW Image Prompt. Join in the fun! #IARTG #ASMSG @pursoot #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!”  Week #15 Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and 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 DEADLINE: 4pm EDT on Thursday, September 3rd. 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.

UPDATE: The response to the prompts has been just wonderful. As a result, I’ll be sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here AS I RECEIVE THEM. Rather than posting all of them only over a few days.  Thanks to everyone for the amazing support.

Here is the week #15 Image Prompt.

lost-places-3035877_1920

FREE Image by Peter H from Pixabay

I hope the image inspires you! Come and join in the fun.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

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By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #14 Entries Part 7) by Mae Clair @MaeClair1 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 7)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #12.

Today I’m featuring the contribution by Mae Clair.

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 or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

concert-2566002_1280

Flashback

By

Mae Clair

Clay Rocket downed a double shot of Scotch. Stupid name, Rocket.

He remembered when he’d been Clay Clodfelter, but Clodfelter had no star power. His managers had stripped him of his Pennsylvania Dutch surname, packaging music with his looks and a shiny stage name when he was only twenty-three. He thought he’d landed in Utopia, long days of plowing fields in Adamsville behind him.

His parents had fretted over his contract, but Mary couldn’t have been more excited. She’d baked him a cake, a simple confection of airy white layers with peppermint icing. They’d toasted with champagne and talked about their future long into the night. He’d wanted to make it permanent, proposing marriage despite the lack of a ring, but she’d insisted he establish himself.

His gut twisted.

He guzzled another shot, the alcohol burning his throat, pumping his courage. Even after thirty-four years, he knew her number. Couldn’t forget the familiar seven digits etched in his memory, though they hadn’t spoken since his screw-up at The Plaza.

He picked up the phone, fingers like ice. Huffing out a breath, he paced to the wall of windows overlooking New York City’s skyline. The sleek lines of his penthouse gleamed in the night-blackened glass, overlayed by strings of lights from towering hotels and bridges ablaze with traffic. Before he could lose his nerve, he punched out Mary’s number.

“Hello?” The voice on the line was young, childish.

“Uh…” His tongue felt thick. “Is Mary there?”

“Grandma.” The boy gave no warning, just left Clay hanging while he shouted into the background.

A shuffle of footsteps.

“Hello.” Her voice.

He struggled to swallow the char in his throat. “Mary?”

“Who is this?”

“I…it’s…” He lost the power of speech, forced his cumbersome tongue to move. “It’s Clay.”

“Clay?”

“Clay Clodfelter.”

“You mean Clay Rocket.”

He sank into a chair. “How are you?”

He wondered what she looked like now. If her hair was still glossy and dark, her figure trim, eyes like shaded pools at twilight.

“Why are you calling me?” Her voice was cool, not frost or ice, but frigid enough to take him down a peg. “Now, after all this time.”

He swallowed, wished he had another Scotch. “Do you know what day it is?”

Silence.

“Mary?”

“I have no clue.”

Was she lying? “It’s the anniversary of the day we met. All those years ago. You were carrying a basket of peaches from the general store. I tripped and sent them tumbling.”

He expected her to laugh at the memory. Him fumbling and apologetic, her forgiving and accommodating. Such innocence before the world grew jaded.

“I’d forgotten.” No change in her tone.

He inhaled through his nose. Knew he was getting nowhere. “That girl at the Plaza…she meant nothing.”

“And you don’t see how that made it worse?” A long pause. “Your first major concert. First success, and you abandoned me.”

His gut tightened. He’d been such an ass. “I’m sorry.”

A burst of static came over the line. He imagined her shifting, pacing as she digested his decades-too-late apology.

“I could never hold a candle to the girls who tempted your fidelity.” Her voice was thready. “You proved that as soon as you had success. It’s why I left.”

He considered the empty glass in his hand, the crystal as barren as his heart. He needed something to fill it. Ease the sting, if even only temporarily. “Are you married?”

“Happily.” Warmth now. “I have three children and seven grandchildren. My husband and I are nearing our twenty-eighth wedding anniversary.”

All the things she couldn’t have with him.

He glanced to the framed photographs on the wall. Image after image of his successes on the stage, hand thrust in the air, microphone high, fans clamoring to embrace their idol.

“I’m happy for you.” He didn’t know what else to say. When she didn’t answer he cleared his throat, apologized for disrupting her evening, then made noise about needing to call his manager. Mary bade him well before leaving him listening to a dial tone.

He’d always thought happiness came with fame, but he’d left any chance behind with his one-night stand at The Plaza hotel all those years ago. Strange, how it had taken him decades to realize what he’d lost.

Clay slumped onto the couch. He poured himself another Scotch and toasted his success.

Tomorrow, when he wasn’t drunk, maybe he’d mean it.

***

Mae Clair can be reached here …

Twitter:

Amazon Author Page:

Mystery, Suspense & Urban Legends | BookBub | Newsletter Sign-Up

Website & Blog | Goodreads

~~~~~~~

Thank you so much for stopping by. I’ll be featuring other posts as they are received.

I may be contacted here …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

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By Email.

‘Fiction in A Flash Challenge’ Week #9 Entries Part 5)– Entry 6) by @gmplano &7) by @jaydawes2 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 5)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #9.

Today I’m featuring a contribution from entry 6) by Gwen Plano & 7) by Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie.

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 or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

Flash Fiction week 9 another good treehouse

Contribution 6) by Gwen Plano

As I thought about the photo, I imagined a child looking out a window, and so my story begins.

 

Picture
The Cabin In The Trees
by
Gwen Plano

“Grandma, I see a cabin in the trees.”

“You’ve not seen it before?”

“No. Was it there?”

“Yes. Your granddad built it.”

“He did? Why?”

“When he got home from the Vietnam War, he decided to build a house in the trees.”

“But, why?”

“He said he wanted to be near the birds.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Your granddad kept hearing things that he didn’t want to hear.”

“Like what, grandma?”

“Explosions, gun shots, yelling. At first, he’d climb into the trees and sit there by himself.”

“What did he hear up there?”

“The birds. He told me he never heard a bird sing when he was in Vietnam.”

“And, he missed them?”

“I suspect so, but I also think their songs helped him with the other things he was hearing.”

“Can I go up to the cabin, grandma?”

“Well…I guess so. I’ll go with you. I haven’t been up there for years.”

The child grabs hold of her wrinkled hand and walks with her through the grassy field behind the house to a clearing. She brushes aside the overgrowth as she steps onto a suspension bridge. They silently walk across the bridge to the cabin. Once inside, she takes a deep, slow breath. Not much has changed, she thinks.

The child rushes to a pile of papers and picks up an old photograph. “What’s this, grandma?”

“Oh my. I’ve looked many times for this old picture.” Pointing to the three men in the image, she explains. “The middle one is your granddad. The other two were his best friends. They never came home.”

“Why not?”

“They were killed in the war. Sometimes your granddad thought he could hear them when he sat outside. Shall we go out to the deck and listen?”

The two walk outside the cabin to the old metal chairs, now covered with mold and bird droppings. Grandma uses her apron to wipe them off.

“This is where granddad sat?”

“Yes. Sometimes I joined him.”

“What did you talk about?”

“Nothing and everything. Let’s be quiet and listen. You just might hear him whisper.”

The child looks over to grandma. She has closed her eyes and tilted her head upwards towards the sky. Following her lead, he shuts his eyes and listens. After a while, he smiles.

“Grandma, I heard it.”

“What, child?”

“Everything.”

trees speak in the breeze
while birds sing nature’s glory
be still and listen

 

7) Contributed by Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie

Flash Fiction week 9 another good treehouse

No one had mentioned the tree house all day, which was odd because it had been the main subject of discussion for weeks. She knew they had finished building it and awaited the nonstop nagging to get her to inspect their handiwork.

They expected her to climb the rickety ladder and walk along the crazily swaying bridge, but that idea filled her with dread.

She had been watching their hair-raising efforts all summer, as each piece of timber was carefully maneuvered into position, risking life, and limb to reach the platform so high up in the trees.

Now the tree house was finished, it looked dark and menacing, creating shivers that ran down her spine like cold water. She loved the forest, and when walking among the trees she felt free and safe, but she knew instinctively that wasn’t what the tree house offered.

She wouldn’t be able to go up there now anyway, her conveniently twisted ankle made sure of that…

©JayeMarie 2020

 

Contact Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie Here .

Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie BLOG

The Author on AMAZON

on TWITTER

Thanks so much for stopping by. The Final Entry for this week, number 8) by Miriam Hurdle will be posted later today.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week 9. Entries Part 3–Entry number 4) by @KIngallsAuthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 3)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #9.

Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 4)  by Karen Ingalls.

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 or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

Flash Fiction week 9 another good treehouse

MATT’S TREEHOUSE

By

Karen Ingalls

Matt had all the money one person could ever want or need. He inherited his parent’s fortune and estate where he lived alone in the 5-bedroom, 6-bath home complete with a swimming pool, putting green, and tennis court on forty acres of woods.

He wore gold necklaces, a Rolex watch, and a gold bracelet. His hair was always perfectly cut, he wore the finest designer clothes, and drove the latest Porsche model. All the gold could not buy Matt happiness. He was too much like his father who treated Matt’s mother cruelly and lived by his version of the Golden Rule: he who has the gold rules.

One evening, Matt and his father were driving the windy road leading to the estate. They both were drunk and were going too fast. Matt lost control of the car, went down a 50-foot embankment, and crashed into a large pine tree. Matt was thrown from the car but his father was trapped and died in the burning car.

Matt was haunted by nightmares and blamed himself for the accident. His only way of coping was to lash out even more at others, especially women. His sadistic actions often left the women with bruises. He would charm them at first flashing his money and buying them expensive gifts. However, when he made sexual demands on them that they did not agree to, he lashed out with intense anger.

Deep in the pine forest of his estate, he had a treehouse built. It was charming and comfortable though not large or ostentatious. Many were the nights that women screamed from pain or ran down the swinging bridge to escape Matt’s anger.

One stormy night, one young woman ran screaming from the treehouse. Matt laughed at her as he watched her scramble through the forest half-naked. “Good riddance,” he yelled from the small balcony.

When he went back into the treehouse, he began to hear the sounds of many women and his father screaming, “help me.” He looked around the room, but no one was there. The screams grew louder.

Matt ran to the door but it was locked and there was no escaping the living nightmare. He covered his ears and ran into the bedroom, but the screams could not be stopped. The wind howled and the tree branches tore at the little cabin. Like giant hands, they pushed and pulled until the tree house crumbled and fell to the ground. Matt was trapped under the timbers and could not move. His cries for help went unheard. For days and nights, he laid there, suffering from physical pain and hearing the non-stop screams.

He died alone with only his gold necklace around his neck which now brought him no comfort or joy.

~~~

Karen can be reached at …

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook

~~~

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I’ll be featuring Part 4) Entry 5) by Mae Clair later today.

Find me at …

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“Fiction In A Flash Challenge” NEW Image Prompt Week #10. Join in, have fun, let the creative muse loose. @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!”  Week #10 Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and 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 DEADLINE: 4pm EDT on Thursday, July 30th. 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 begin sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here beginning on Friday, July 31st.

Here is the week #10 Image Prompt.

Flash image free PIER

I hope the image inspires you! Come and join in the fun.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

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By Email.

 

 

 

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Entries Part 2. @MarshaIngrao @gmplano @dlfinnauthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WRITINGCOMMUNITY

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 2)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #8.

Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 4) By Marsha Ingrao 5) By Gwen Plano and 6) by D.L.Finn.

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 or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

Flash Free child with lion toy

Entry 4) by Marsha Ingrao.

Carla and Limpy the lion

From Limpy the Lion’s perspective.

By Marsha Ingrao.

Oh, no, here we go again. Mind you, I don’t like green eggs and ham for breakfast either. If my mom raised emus, well I’d eat the emus, not the stupid eggs. They’re so gooey. Give me a nice firm bird any day.

Like I said, my mom would have never let me run away. Her claws were pretty sharp back in the day, and she would whack us in the face if we tried anything. Not Carla’s mom, I know it’s not good to gossip, but I’d bet she doesn’t even know that Carla and I are gone.

I’m quiet, but Carla normally jumps around and screeches at the top of her voice. It’s kind of cute the way she giggles. She wasn’t laughing when she dragged me out here in the middle of breakfast.

I know she loves me, but I’m getting too old for this. Comfortable in my big window with the warm sun on my tummy, I dreamed about chasing emus and biting their heads off. I could feel my feet twitching. I am so fast and so stealthy. Stupid emus.

But you don’t want to know about me. You’re probably wondering why her mom didn’t notice that we left – again.

It’s those mean moody emus. They take up all her mom’s time. One time one of them bit off my eyes. I think it ate them, but I couldn’t see, so I don’t know for sure. Carla’s mom never offered to put them back on no matter how much Carla cried about it. My crying days were over.

So this morning, Carla comes down for breakfast really excited because her mom had promised to bring some doughnuts home when she came back from her big date last night. She stopped at the bottom of the stairs. Pans and dishes clattered and banged in the kitchen. I know doughnuts don’t make a peep, so I hoped they were sitting in a box somewhere close by. Carla’s mom dropped the plate really hard on the table.

“Get in here Carla.”

Carla dragged me by my back leg and tossed me onto the bay window ledge.

She plopped into the chair. It barely made a thud when she kicked the table leg.

“Mom, do I have to eat emu eggs again? You promised.”

“Charles and I didn’t make it to the doughnut store, Carla. Eggs are better anyway. Don’t forget to rinse your plate when you’re finished.”

I heard Carla huff.

Then the door slammed, and I heard those damn birds snorting and grunting. If I didn’t know better, I’d think the pigs had gotten out of their pen down by the barn.

Boom! Boom!

That the female. She’s the one who ate my eyes. I hate that bird. If I ever get the chance I’m going to scratch her eyes out.

Before I could finish, Carla grabbed me by the shoulder, dragged me across the floor and flung open the door. The screen banged shut against the frame as I got a whiff of freshly mowed grass.

As she shuffled down the lane, I sniffed and the curl of stale fish stink covers my face. It’s the lake again. She dropped me into a puddle of green algae when we ran away a month ago. When we got back her mom threw me in the trash. Carla dragged me out and put me in the washer. I must have laid in there for three or four days. You lose track of time in a washer.

“Carla, sweetie don’t cry. What’s wrong,” I said in my head.

“Grandma come get us. I want to stay at your house.”

“I’m not grandma, for heaven’s sake, Carla. I’m not a genie.”

She squeezes me and kisses my face and gets me a little wet, but I don’t say anything.

We have to get in the big truck for hours to get to her grandma’s. Usually when Carla runs away we stay in the hideout that Zack, her big brother built when he was about twelve and her dad was still alive.

Suddenly Carla’s hold on me loosens. A quad rumbles along the dirt path.

“Zackie!”

He picks us both up and we ride for a long time. The wind almost takes the stuffing out of me. Once, it blew me out of the quad, and Zack had to go back and pick me up. He listens to Carla. Thank God.

I smell doughnuts on her breath.

#

Contact Marsha here:

Always Write blog

TWITTER

***

5) This moving Contribution by Gwen Plano.
​Must it take a baby to help us realize we are one family? 

Picture

Gwen may be contacted … here

Reflections on Life … Blog.

Author Page: Gwen Plano on Amazon

On Twitter.

Gwen Plano on Facebook.

~~~

6)A Haiku By D.L.Finn

Flash Free child with lion toy

Mom’s sick they say

Leo & I will make her better

So she can come home.

~~~

D. L. Finn can be reached here …

Blog site:

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:

On TWITTER:

On FACEBOOK:

 

Thanks so much for stopping by! The image PROMPT for WEEK #9 will be posted later today.

 

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

 

‘Fiction in A Flash Challenge’ Week #8 Entries Part 1) @HowellWave @pursoot @KIngallsAuthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 1)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #8.

Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 1) John Howell  2) My own Contribution and 3) by Karen Ingalls.

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 or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

  1. This one line entry Contributed by John Howell

Flash Free child with lion toy

By

John Howell.

“I know you’ve had a rough quarantine, Simba but we need to exercise now.”

John can be reached here:

Visit at Amazon.https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

 Twitter:

Author Blog Fiction Favorites:

#

My Own Contribution:

Flash Free child with lion toy

Secrets and Smiles.

By

Suzanne Burke.

“Hey, Mary-Beth, hold up!” Fifteen-year-old Kayce called out as he rode up behind his five-year-old sister.

“Where are you off to in such a hurry, squirt?”

Mary-Beth squinted up at him, put her hand on her hip, and announced defiantly, “I’m runnin’ away.

“Oh, I see. Well, then you best be wearin’ your hat.” He handed the straw hat down to her, “I swear Mary-Beth I’m gonna have to glue that thing to your head, so you remember to wear it. That sun will make your running away much harder.”

The little girl gave that some serious thought and then placed her straw-hat on her head and gripped Lennie the Lion more tightly. “Thanks.”

“So … just why are you runnin’ away?”

“It’s a secret.”

“I’ll bet you tell Lennie here all your secrets. Maybe I should ask him?”

The little girl giggled. “That’s dumb. Lennie doesn’t talk. He just smiles a lot.”

“Ah, I see. So, Lennie has reasons to smile.”  he looked at her closely, “What’s made you stop smilin’?”

Mary Beth looked down at her feet, “It’s those babies. Things have been different since momma brought them home from the hospital. I don’t like it.”

“Yeah, I understand. Twin sisters were kind of  surprise for all of us. But you know something? I didn’t like it either when you were first born. I didn’t like all the attention being on someone else instead of me.”

“I just don’t get it, Kayce. They don’t do anything but sleep and cry all the time. Momma’s always so tired, and daddy just walks around shaking his head and smiling a whole lot.”

“Now, that’s strange. I could have sworn I heard mom reading you your bedtime story last night. She was tired, squirt, but she made certain you knew that you’re just as important as you’ve always been.”

“I … Oh.” The child was momentarily lost for words. “But the babies don’t do anything!”

“Oh, they will, squirt. Won’t be long now till the two of them are crawling all over the place and pulling themselves up on every dangerous thing their chubby hands can reach and grab a hold of. They’ll stumble and tumble and you’ll laugh after you make certain they didn’t hurt themselves. Then they’ll start walking, then running and laughing at the pure pleasure of being alive. They’ll capture your heart and hold it in their keeping forever. Just like you did with mine. Do you understand, Mary-Beth?”

“Sort of. Maybe a little.”

“So, are you hungry?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Dad’s fixing burgers.”

“With pickles?”

“Of course, with pickles. Climb on up here in front of me and hold on to Lennie. You both need to freshen up before we eat.”

“I guess Lennie and me can still run away tomorrow.”

“Make certain you wear your hat.”

***

Four-years later:

“Okay. Today’s the day you get to come into the tree-house. We’ll have a story and an afternoon tea party.”

Chantal and Emma grinned in unison. “That means we’re big girls now.” said Chantal.

“You’re on your way, but there’s still a ways to go.” Mary-Beth turned her attention to Emma, “Where’s your hat, baby-girl? I swear I’m gonna have to glue that thing to your head, so you remember to wear it.” Then she giggled with delight as she remembered exactly when she’d heard that before.

The twins looked at each other and shrugged. Emma pointed up to the small verandah surrounding the tree-house, “Hey look at Lennie! He’s smiling!”

“Lennie has a reason to smile.” Mary-Beth placed an arm around each of them,  “Just like I do.”

***

3) Contributed by Karen Ingalls.

Flash Fiction week 8 Karen Ingalls photo

Karen can be reached at …

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook

~~~

Thanks so much for stopping by. Tomorrow I’ll be Featuring Part 2 … entry 4) by Marsha Ingrao 5) by Gwen Plano and 6) by D.L.Finn

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

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By Email.