Flash Fiction – The Fence (Redo)

Two years ago I wrote a piece of flash fiction called The Fence (click here to read the original). It was one of my favorite stories, but there was something wrong with it. I couldn’t figure it out, but I knew it didn’t flow as well as it could. Eventually, I asked some other writer’s what they thought the problem was and almost all of them said the change in viewpoint was what threw them off.

I jotted down a few ideas to fix it and put it away. Today I picked it up and made the changes and the following is the result. Any thoughts about it are welcome!


The Fence

“Momma, why is the fence so high?” Taryn’s piping voice sounded, interrupting her mother’s thoughts.

“Because it has to be,” Laurel answered as she continued pinning clothes on the line. It was the third time in a week Taryn asked the question.

“But why? You never tell me anything.”

Damn right, I never tell you. “It keeps the bad things out.”

Taryn crossed her arms over her tiny chest, pouting. “I don’t believe you. I want to go out.”

Out? Fear gripped Laurel. “We don’t go out. You know everyone stays behind the fence.”

“That’s a stupid rule.” The girl turned her back and stomped to the fence.

The older woman watched her child for a moment. Taryn’s blonde curls, so like her own once was, had escaped the braids so patiently done that morning. It stood out at all angles, emphasizing the girl’s anger.

“Will we ever go out?”

“No Taryn, it’s not safe. Just because you haven’t seen the bad things, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.” Laurel heard a strange sound on the other side of the fence near where her daughter stood. It was almost birdlike, but she knew no bird had ever made that noise.

Her daughter’s head jerked up, and she sniffed the air. “Momma, I’m hungry.”

Knowing full well what that meant, Laurel moved quickly. She grabbed Taryn and ran to the cellar door, throwing it open. She pushed the child in and pulled the door closed.  The girl fell down the last few steps, but Laurel was too busy with the lock to help her. She struggled with the bolt until it slid into place.

Laurel carefully descended the stairs, stepping over the last lock of her hair she hadn’t felt fall. Taryn sat on the floor crying. She was poking at something in front of her. Oh hell.

“Sorry Momma, I lost another finger.”

She sighed. Hopefully, they wouldn’t lose any other parts today. She was startled when the door rattled, but the lock held. She rushed back up the steps and pressed her remaining ear to the door to listen as the intruders passed by.

“We shouldn’t have crossed the boundary, John. This is dangerous,” she heard one of them say.

Laurel agreed.

“I know they were here Tommy. I heard them growling and carrying on at each other.”

“I don’t know, I’ve never heard of a zombie doing laundry. Let’s get out of here.”

As the men started moving away, Laurel glanced at Taryn’s sad face. Only one thing would make her feel better. With a sigh, she pulled the bolt and prepared to get her daughter a snack.

 

*Second draft 433 words.

Write Anything Wednesday #109

It’s a great day to write something, anything! Try your hand at flash fiction or write a poem. Create an outline or character sketch. Write a chapter or as many chapters as you can.

Nothing to write about? Try making a list of ideas or free-write. Grab a timer and experiment working in 10 to 25-minute increments until you find what works best for you. Take small breaks in between to make efficient use of your time while not overwhelming yourself.

Make Wednesday your weekly no-matter-what writing day. If this isn’t a good day, pick another. Give yourself permission to do what you want at least once a week. Don’t feel guilty for prioritizing your passion. Write your heart out!

If you would like a prompt:

  • He was proud of his difficult bit of thievery until the stolen sword spoke to him.
  • It wasn’t a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow…
  • Thank goodness he watched all those Jackie Chan movies as a kid!

Happy writing!

Writing Update – March 7, 2017

I would like to say I’ve made a decision about what I’ll be working on, but that’s only somewhat accurate. What I know for sure is it’s time to work on my fantasy trilogy. Where the indecision comes in is what part I’ll do.

There are two choices. Revise the first book or write the second. I have the last two books partially plotted. The problem is I don’t want to do extra work. If I write the second, then revise the first, I could end up not using things I write. I could destroy a plotline or add something that requires a lot of change to book two or three.

However, I am almost terrified to come out of creative mode. I’ve been putting off revising several books because I’m afraid I won’t be able to get back into the making stuff up part of writing. Really it all comes down to fear of finishing. I know this logically, but I’m having trouble anyway.

So, I’m going to treat this as a challenge to myself. My tentative plan is to work on book one, and if book two takes over occasionally, that’s fine. If I’m honest with myself, I know if I start writing book two, I won’t stop until I’m done. Then the regret will set in, writer’s guilt will attack, and I’ll shut down. Or I’ll go on to book three and potentially screw everything up.

I wrote a few scenes from the two and three back in October and I know I’ll use them, but I think I should leave well enough alone.

Hopefully, I will stay on track. Discipline skills are a lacking in this writer! The desire is there, and effort will be forthcoming. I’ll keep everyone updated on my progress or failure. I might keep writing flash fiction during this process but I can’t guarantee I can do both. We shall see.

Wish me luck!

 

 

Flash Fiction – Dread

Dread filled Thomas. They would come for him soon. He glanced around the holding room and saw his fear mirrored in the eyes of the others. Every one of them knew their turn would come. Like him, they had no choice. Still, he knew each of the would-be victims hoped they weren’t next.

Even now he could hear someone being tormented. It must be the old man who’d been so kind to him earlier. Poor guy.

The door opened, and a woman signaled to him. She didn’t look so threatening, he thought, but he knew better. Well, he would go to his fate with his head held high. He stood, and before he followed the torturer, he caught one of the others staring at him in sympathy. The tears in her eyes almost broke him, but he resolutely stepped forward.

The evil woman led him to a tiny cell and bid him sit. Afraid they would force him if he didn’t obey he sat quickly.

They tortured him for an hour. At some point, a man took over. It got worse from there. Needles, sharp tools, and unexplainable pain followed. No matter what they did, he didn’t talk.

Finally, he was released. The woman who brought him to his cell pointed to the way out and left him. He ran to the door and stumbled through. His mother was waiting for him.

“All done?” she asked. At his nod, she continued. “Three cavities Tommy! Now will you brush and floss every day?”

He agreed readily. In all his thirteen years he’d never been through something so traumatic. He would do anything to avoid this torture again.

 

*Rough draft 276 words


Can you tell I’m about to go to the dentist? I don’t need fillings though. I have to get a crown, or more accurately, they will take the mold for the crown, and possibly redo the temporary I have. I’m so sick of dental stuff!

Anyway, I used a one-word writing prompt today – Dread. It seemed fitting because it’s what I’m feeling. Also, I wrote this in fifteen minutes so it is the roughest of rough drafts. I didn’t even try to fix spelling.

 

Write Anything Wednesday #108

It’s a great day to write something, anything! Try your hand at flash fiction or write a poem. Create an outline or character sketch. Write a chapter or as many chapters as you can.

Nothing to write about? Try making a list of ideas or free-write. Grab a timer and experiment working in 10 to 25-minute increments until you find what works best for you. Take small breaks in between to make efficient use of your time while not overwhelming yourself.

Make Wednesday your weekly no-matter-what writing day. If this isn’t a good day, pick another. Give yourself permission to do what you want at least once a week. Don’t feel guilty for prioritizing your passion. Write your heart out!

If you would like a prompt:

  • Three hundred thousand people will die if that child survives…
  • Why are all the clocks running backward?
  • It was just a prank, so why was he being arrested?

Happy writing!

Flash Fiction – Geoffrey Saves The Day

 

“Thank the spirits you saved me from that monster,” Princess Mirielle said with a curtsy. “What is your name?”

“Twas nothing my lady. Saving damsels in distress is what I do. I am called Geoffrey.”

“You do this often? Why? For the glory or some reward?”

“No, for most don’t know of my deeds,” her liberator answered humbly.

“Whatever the reason, I thank you for rescuing me and keeping my virtue intact.”

“How did that horrible creature come to possess you?”

“As I walked in the woods of my father’s lands I came upon him. He was injured and seemed innocent enough. He desperately needed help, so I took him into my care. I thought James a good man, but when he was well, he stole me away and brought me to this cave. You arrived just in time.”

“I am glad he did not ravage you. I could not allow it.”

“Pardon me for asking, but why would it matter to one of your kind?”

“Virgins are the tastiest snacks,” the dragon replied.

Later, as Geoffrey picked bits of princess out of his teeth, he gave James directions to the home of the next damsel. He couldn’t wait to save the day again.

 

*Rough draft 204 words.


I got the idea for this story from a writing prompt:

Write a conversation between a dragon and the princess it has captured.

Being me, I decided to twist it a bit. My goal was to keep it under 200 words. I probably could pare it down but I like it the way it is.

Flash Fiction – Custody Arrangement

Soleil wiped the last remnants of sleep from her eyes as she sat up. She would see her daughter soon, which always filled her with joy. It was strange how much she missed the child when they were separated.

Zemyna had spent the night with her father again. As much as Soleil hated the cheating bastard, she had to admit Menulis was a good father. He never complained about watching their child. In fact, judging by the ugly and long custody battle, he actually wanted to take care of her.

In her more honest moments, Soleil admitted she dragged out the battle too long out of anger and bitterness. The rest of the time she lied to herself, saying she only did what was best for her kid.

It no longer mattered. She and her ex-husband had finally agreed to a plan, and they stuck to it, with only rare alterations. A few times a year they each intruded on the other’s time for several hours on special occasions, but so far, they were both tolerant of these interruptions. It was good both of them wanted to spend as much time with Zemyna as possible.

Soleil put a halt to her ruminations and got out of bed and dressed for the day. As always, it would be a beautiful one. At least from her perspective. The silly humans didn’t always agree, but they were only an afterthought.

Time for work. She went to the sunroom and placed her hands on both sides of the blazing ball, then lifted it slowly. For the rest of the day she moved her burden through the sky, lighting her daughter, the earth.

Her ex kept the moon out for as long as he could, somehow knowing exactly how long she would tolerate his presence, before disappearing. Greedy fool, she thought. Oh well, at least she would have most of the day to gaze down upon her greatest creation, and admittedly, her favorite child.

Her mood boosted, Soleil, Goddess of the sun, decided she might even answer a few prayers.

 

*Rough draft 345 words.


This idea for this story came from a picture prompt (not the picture I used today) in my writing group. We take turns picking a prompt then whoever wants to write a story using it can do so. The picture showed a woman with her hands raised above her head forming a globe of bright light. I’m pretty sure it was a representation of healing magic but my mind saw it as a goddess holding the sun.

I don’t know how I feel about the actual story, but I’m particularly proud of myself for writing this.

I jotted down ideas last Sunday and a couple of times during the week I tried to work on it, but the magic didn’t happen. I did some research on solar goddesses and came across Balkan mythology. I got so into reading about it that I wasn’t writing, except the notes. However, I knew I was going to use what I found.

Then the pain started. I had a root canal on Tuesday. Wednesday afternoon I was sore, and by that evening I was miserable.

The dentist fit me in Thursday morning and told me everything was so inflamed it pushed the tooth up (eruption). What does that mean you ask? It means the pain I felt was exactly the same as the abscess I had before the root canal. He proceeded to drill on two of my teeth to fix it a bit because every time I bit down, or talked, or sang along to a song in my car it would hurt so much I almost cried out (which is a rarity for me).

So the bite problem is mostly fixed but now there is pain all over. The dentist told me there would be and gave me mega ibuprofen. I haven’t slept in days and as a result, I’m pretty out of it.

Still, I sat down at the computer and wrote this story Friday evening. It took forever because I was alternating between holding an ice pack to my face while I thought out what I wanted to say, then typing it all up. I can hardly believe my muse was willing to play! Of course, afterward, I had to lay down and was about as miserable as possible.

If I have some good moments today I’ll write another short story I have notes for and post it tomorrow or Monday. Until then, I’m going to go back to feeling sorry for myself.

 

 

Write Anything Wednesday #107

It’s a great day to write something, anything! Try your hand at flash fiction or write a poem. Create an outline or character sketch. Write a chapter or as many chapters as you can.

Nothing to write about? Try making a list of ideas or free-write. Grab a timer and experiment working in 10 to 25-minute increments until you find what works best for you. Take small breaks in between to make efficient use of your time while not overwhelming yourself.

Make Wednesday your weekly no-matter-what writing day. If this isn’t a good day, pick another. Give yourself permission to do what you want at least once a week. Don’t feel guilty for prioritizing your passion. Write your heart out!

If you would like a prompt:

  • Write a story about a creative way a child pulled his tooth.
  • Being a woman on this side of the colony is illegal…
  • He saved every penny he ever found, but no one knew until his floor collapsed and they poured into the downstairs neighbor’s bedroom.

Happy writing!

Write Anything Wednesday #106

It’s a great day to write something, anything! Try your hand at flash fiction or write a poem. Create an outline or character sketch. Write a chapter or as many chapters as you can.

Nothing to write about? Try making a list of ideas or free-write. Grab a timer and experiment working in 10 – 25 minute increments until you find an amount of time that works best for you. Take small breaks in between to make efficient use of your time while not overwhelming yourself.

Make Wednesday your weekly no-matter-what writing day. If this isn’t a good day, pick another. Give yourself permission to do what you want at least once a week. Don’t feel guilty for prioritizing your passion. Write your heart out!

If you would like a prompt:

  • Your character wakes up on an unfamiliar planet with no memory of how he got there.
  • Tala carefully applied the magical war paint carefully…
  • If Tom hadn’t lost his favorite pen, the apocalypse wouldn’t be happening.

Happy writing!