Flash Fiction

Below, some of the faves I’ve written in the past year or so. Most have prompt words, listed under the title.

* * *

[UNTITLED]

(Prompt words: may, play, brie, whee, quick)

Daddy, quick – watch me slide! Whee!
Sally, four. All giggles, sloppy ice-cream kisses.

Daddy, please may I have Jaimee over to play?
My daughter, nine. Nudges and whispered secrets.

Daddy, I love you. Father’s Day, thirteen. No more under-the-table cubbyhouses…

My own car? Thank you, Daddy! Squeals; hugs of gratitude.

An aisle; a walk; a bride on my arm. Tears, threatening, choked back. My heart too big for my chest.

These memories should be treasured forever.

But they’re ones I’ll never have.

The tiny limp body in my arms? My Sally?
Stillborn.

I curse the day brie was created.

Entered into Janet Reid’s Flash Fiction contest, 6 May 2016. Shortlisted, with the comment: This one got got the biggest “oof” from me. *crazy happy dancing*

[UNTITLED]

(Prompt words: ex, fan, her, ore, wits)

“Caught them!” he exulted.

Thousands of slaves had fled. Dimwits. Thinking escape was possible!

But now the sea lay at their backs. And he would collect recompense for the disasters they’d caused. They’d pay dearly; his son’s blood demanded it.

He blamed his grandmother for this. If not for her, their fanatic leader would never have survived past infancy.

No matter. He knew that, down on the shore, the slaves, anxious, awaited his revenge. Would he massacre them? Re-enslave them? Or even worse?

Let them stew ‘til morning. They could go nowhere.

Down on the shore, Moshe raised his arms.

Entered into Janet Reid’s Flash Fiction contest, 5 February 2016. Given a Special Mention: “I like the elegance of this writing” *grins*

 * * *

FIX

(Prompt words: bop, cool, diddy, scat, snap)

The computer screen glow highlights his implacable craving for adoration. Fans, followers. Snapchat; Peach.cool. Insatiable hunger for ceaseless reassurance from strangers.

“Yes!” he shouts, punching the air. Followed by @iamdiddy!

Sudden screams pound the drywall. Guilt morphs into anger. “Shut that kid up!”

Weary, I rise, my once scathing looks supplanted by dejection. I trudge into the next room, exhausted. My need for a fix just as great, I arrange the boppy pillow, best positioning for much-needed release. After, I continue trudging; out. Away.

Finally, band-aid like, he peels himself from the screen.

Screams; his. This time, our baby doesn’t wake.

 

* * *

COGNIZANCE

(Prompt words: absorb, bold, chill, execute, shim)

The bus jerks forwards.
“Bloody Asians! Go home!”
“Fucking slants!”
“Piss off!”
Boys, emboldened by pack mentality. Itching to execute righteous judgement on boat people.
Recent media attention had sparked public rants; I’d barely noticed.

The bus stops. The youths push past, exit.
“Are you okay?” A lady touches my shoulder. “Idiots. We’re not all like that.”

I smile indulgently at her, absorbing her implications. That wasn’t at me. I’m white.
Aren’t I?

A sudden chill shimmies over me.
Oh.
Wait.
Mum is from Malaysia.

My eyes widen but I harden my face. Inside, keening erupts as cognizance obliterates innocence.

Entered into Janet Reid’s Flash Fiction contest, 10 Jan 2016.  Shortlisted! *huge grin*

* * *

[UNTITLED]

(Prompt words: chute, eject, gape, less, plunge)

“There’s nothing you’ve done that will make God love you less,” the preacher finished. Nope. I can’t believe that. He walked out.
There’s no forgiveness for what I’ve done.

He crossed the street, oblivious to screeching tyres and blaring horns. I deserve punishment.

He chose the building on the corner. It was empty, mid-renovation. No one will intervene. He climbed up to the roof.Pedestrians will gape; call the police. It’ll be too late. He strode straight off, eyes closed. Life can’t get any worse. I’m a reject.
Down he plunged.

Into the waiting maw of the builders’ rubbish chute.

Entered into Janet Reid’s Flash Fiction contest, 24 Oct 2015. Given a Special Mention: “love the idea behind this” *and yes, still grinning!*

* * *

SORTED

(Prompt words: bread, throne, whiteboard)

Tessa grinned, slipped her phone into her pocket, then rubbed the whiteboard clean. “Bread, milk, coffee…” it all disappeared. Photos – such a great way of remembering! Rather than tell her flat mate what they needed, she could send her the photo! She swivelled as Colin and Henry entered.

Half an hour later, Colin’s diagram displayed the plan in all its majesty.

“And that’s it then,” he exulted, recapping the marker. “Right, you two. Memorise it. I’ll rub it clear in two minutes.” He stalked into the back room.

“So all I have to do is get into the throne room?” queried Tessa. “That doesn’t sound too hard.”

“And get us out again,” cried Henry, exasperated. “If we’re caught, we’re goners!”

“Oh! Yeh…” Tessa’s voice faltered.

“For crying out loud, girl! Don’t stuff this up!”

“Yeh, yeh. I’ll be fine.”

Henry shook his head then followed Colin. “I think we’ve got it sorted, mate!” he called.

Tessa wasn’t stupid. She whipped out her phone and took a happy snap. Then she secreted it into her bag and started wiping off the board.

“Good,” said Colin, returning. “We’re all set.”

That night, the police were waiting. Tessa had sent the wrong photo.

 

***

[Untitled]

She forced herself to lie still in the darkness, squashed into the tiny space beneath her bed. Listening intently, all senses on high alert. Trying desperately to hear past the pounding of her heart. Her rapid breathing was so loud! She had to muffle it, and quickly, or she would be found.

She could hear him coming. Closer, and closer, and closer. He was calling, “Where are you? I’m going to find you! You can’t hide from me!” She lay stiller than ever, her hand over her mouth.

Through the horizontal slit between the bedcovers and the carpet, she could see that her bedroom was still empty… for now. She could hear him coming, chortling with glee.

“I’m going to get you!”

Her heart was pounding so hard she thought it was going to beat right out of her chest. The door opened and she quickly muffled the involuntary scream that tried to escape her fingers. She watched in dread as his unsteady feet moved unerringly toward her hiding place. Then he quickly lifted the covers, exposing her, chortling loudly.

Her laughter mixed with his as she crawled out and enveloped him in a bear hug. “Yes, you found me! Okay, so now it’s your turn to hide, and I get to count to twenty!”

She gently turned her little brother around, smiling at his childish giggling as he ran out of the room. Then she covered her eyes and started counting loudly. “One… two… three…”

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