I wrote this for the September 12th Flash Fiction Challenge
She was sixty-three years old that year, but age didn’t deter from her excitement about the gaily wrapped gifts staged beneath the tree. There was one though, that stood out. The wrapping was heavy brown paper. Once wrinkled, but now rubbed smooth, it was an old shopping bag from The Seventh Street Market. A store that had closed almost forty years ago. She’d saved this gift for last and cradled it in her hands turning it over and over. It was rather diminutive, not large.
Neatly lettered in the corner she could read: “Happy Christmas, Clarissa – With Love, Hayley.”
The prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes the greatest gift. Answer it as if it were a question, or show what it could be. Go where the prompt leads you!
I wrote this for the September 5th Flash Fiction Challenge
Gunnery Sergeant Michael Paxton kept his head down as he worked his way forward. The fighting had died down somewhat, but the enemy knew he was still there. There was constant gunfire directed toward him, but they mustn’t have known exactly where he was. The rounds weren’t hitting all that close.
That ‘boot,’ Bim was the last man in, but when Paxton found him, it was too late. Undeterred he hefted Pvt. Bim over his shoulder and carried him back to the LZ. Where the quick and the dead waited together, waited for the Hueys; no one left behind.
The prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that shows true grit. You can use the phrase or embody the theme. Who or what has true grit? Go where the prompt leads you!
I wrote this for the August 29th Flash Fiction Challenge
Marni left school about 4:00 and headed for the teacher’s parking when out of nowhere she was flanked by two burly men with sunglasses and dark suits.
“You guys Special Agents?” she looked back and forth.
The left guy flashed a badge case, she caught a glimpse of tin. The right tendered a card, they were indeed Feds.
“We need to speak with your father, Miss Gilroy.”
“Last I heard he was still in jail,” she answered.
First agent, “We think he might’ve been in Seattle last night.”
“You haven’t seen him, then?” the second agent asked.
The prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about the safebreaker’s daughter. Who is she, what did she do, and where? Go where the prompt leads you!
I wrote this for the August 22nd Flash Fiction Challenge
In the village of Marlow, Buckinghamshire, the visitor will find an agreeable climate, a magnificent bridge, delightful restaurants, and river walks. At the top of the High Street sits Albion House, where Percy Bysshe Shelley and his wife Mary lived. In this house, Mary Shelley finished her Gothic novel.
It’s a lovely old home; painted white. It features floors of hardwood and terracotta tiles. French doors open to a small garden off the ground floor, and the entire structure glows with the patina brought by old age and meticulous care. A simple, small brass plaque marks its literary significance.
The prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about old world charm. It can be nostalgic or irreverent. You can invent an “old world,” return to migrant roots or recall ancient times. Go where the prompt leads you!
I wrote this for the August 8th Flash Fiction Challenge
She who’d smiled and cooed when she gave him the fruit,
now laughed out loud
and watched him chew.
The fruit glowed red, juicy, crisp, and tart.
When he bit in, droplets ran to his shirt and
down his chin.
They burned through the soft cotton and scarred his skin.
He reached for her, in pain, confused;
his finger was cut
on the hem of her red pleated skirt.
I watched the rent spread wide, filling with crimson before
overflowing the wound and splashing onto her open-toed mules.
Shoes that were once white, were now scarlet,
like her name.
The prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a poisoned apple. Let’s explore dark myth. Deconstruct the original or invent something new. Negotiate the shadows, shed light, but go where the prompt leads you!
I wrote this for the July 25th Flash Fiction Challenge
Rita tucked her hair behind her ears, sipped her coffee and turned ‘The Times’ to read below the fold.
“Mark,” she asked her husband, “if you could do, or be anything for one day; what would you do or be?”
“I don’t know, dear but it would probably involve sex or food. Why?”
“I’d want to be queen.”
“Queen for a day? Like that old television show?” Mark looked up at her.
“Uh huh,” she said, “and, I freed a genie from an old lava lamp at Goodson’s Antique’s yesterday. My day is Sunday.”
The prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes the phrase “for one day.” The words single out a special occurrence. What is the emotion and vibe, where does it take place and why? Go where the prompt leads!
I wrote this for the July 11th Flash Fiction Challenge
Scientists from the Kingdom of Australia are reporting that the marsupial species known as Thylarctos plummetus, commonly called ‘dropbears,’ and previously believed extinct, are thriving in the forested regions of eastern and southern Australia. The Australian Museum describes these creatures as “predatory marsupials related to koalas.”
Little is known about dropbears, to date, as they have only recently been rediscovered. Preliminary research indicates that they seldom prey on Australians. This may be caused by the marsupial’s uncanny ability to recognize Australian accents, or they may be repelled by the scent and taste of Vegemite, common in the Australian diet.
Note: My gratitude goes to the Australian Museum, in Sydney for their inspiration and assistance in researching this article.
The prompt: “My kingdom for a koala!” In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a koala in a kingdom. You can create a character out of Norah’s koala and give it a Vermont adventure. Or you can make up a story however you want! Can you pull off a BOTS (based on a true story)? Go where the prompt leads!