Flash Fiction Friday!

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It’s been a while since I wrote a flash fiction piece so here it is. In case you don’t know what flash fiction is…it’s a very, very short story but still has a beginning, a middle and an end. Usually the word count hovers below 1000 words but can be even shorter. A few creative people have even managed to write a complete story in a sentence or two. Not being quite that creative, it took me a few more sentences but here it is…

 

 

LIFE PRECIOUS

Lillian Duncan

 

 

Life. A precious thing.

Most of us live our lives the best we can and then we die. We merrily dance our way through childhood, suffer through adolescence, then create the life we want or simply follow the path of least resistance.

Either way, we experience love and heartbreak, laughter and tears, victories and tragedies and, of course, life and death along the way.

But a few forego normality so that others can have it.

Her fingers hovered over the keyboard, unsure what to write next. As she reread the words, she wondered if she was talking about the deceased or herself.

This obituary changed everything. This death changed everything. This man changed everything. She wiped away the tears, determined to finish what she’d started.

Her fingers moved back to the keyboard.

Life. A precious thing but an honorable death is just as precious.

She nodded. Good. Very good. He would have liked her words or at least she wanted to believe that was the case. Truth be told, he probably wouldn’t have. Never one to be the center of attention, he liked staying in the background. Staying in the background is what allowed him to be so very good at his job.

But this was his day and she would celebrate his life and mourn his death.

Taking a deep breath, she hit enter. Then slowly she stood up and walked out of the room, knowing she would never return.

Time to stop following the path of least resistance.

With a smile, she walked out of the room and into a new life.

the end!

YOUR TURN: I hope a lot more questions popped up as you read it. Who was the man? What was his connection to her? Why did he die? Why did it affect her so? What’s she going to go do now? Answer any or all the  questions or even a different one that the story brought to your mind and then share it with us.

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

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FLASH FICTION FRIDAY

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It’s here again–FLASH FICTION FRIDAY!  I hope you enjoy this one.

FORBIDDEN

Lillian Duncan

A knock on the door awakened him. Danger. It had to be the enemy. Who else would come in the middle of the night? The knock came again.

Still groggy from sleep, he opened it. Ah… not the enemy, but a beautiful woman. “Dee, you shouldn’t be here. It’s not right.”

Her beautiful black tresses shimmered in the light as she shook her head. “I don’t care. I had to come. I needed to see you.”

So beautiful and so forbidden.

Knowing he shouldn’t, Sam opened the door a bit wider. An intoxicating smell of lilac enveloped him as her warm body squeezed past. Her hand caressed his cheek.

He closed his eyes. Focus on what she wants, not her. “Why?”

Her smile held a secret. “Why what?”

“Why did you need to see me?”

She moved closer to him. More lilac. “That can wait.” Her arms slid around his neck. Her hands wove themselves through his long, thick curls.

Later as he slept, Dee slid out her knife. Perhaps, she should kill him. It would be more merciful. Softly she said, “This is why I needed to see you.” She lifted up one of his beautiful locks of hair. The knife slashed downwards.

Life Lesson: An enemy can come in many forms, most of them beautiful and alluring.

What did you think? Thumbs up or down? BTW, I invite any of you to submit a flash fiction story to me for publication. Don’t know what to write about? Take a lesson from today’s story–take an old story and make it new!

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

Life Lesson: An enemy can come in many forms, most of them beautiful and alluring.

FREEDOM

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I’ve shared some short stories and flash fiction of others lately. So, I went back and found this one I wrote. I think writing flash fiction is fun, but I never seem to find the time to do it. But if you have a thought of becoming a writer, this is a great exercise. Remember flash fiction still needs a beginning, a middle and an end.

Hope you like it!

FREEDOM by Lillian Duncan

He stood strong, tall, and proud, his sun-browned muscles at attention while he shot arrows at his captors with his eyes. The wind whipped through his long black hair, revealing a majestic profile.

The shackles on his feet prevented escape.

The angry mob surrounded him. One man screamed, “Kill the savage.” The others took up the chant.

Their gazes met. His, dark, angry, and proud. Hers, soft and blue, held a promise. Acknowledging him with a nod, she picked up the ruffled hem of her dress and stepped forward.

The angry chant dwindled to silence.

“Brothers, sisters. This is not right, not the Christian way.” Her voice as hard and strong as the mountains rising behind her.

“But, he’s a savage.”

She held up a hand to silence. “The judge will decide that. A fair trial. It’s the American way.”

“We knowed he done it.” A voice snarled from the back. “Kill the savage.”

The chanting commenced.

Wind blew through her blonde tresses. Storm clouds darkened overhead.

“We moved here because we were tired of being prosecuted for being different. I will not be a party to such…” Her eyes flashed a challenge. “To such savagery.” She bent down and picked up a rock. “Will you be the one to throw the first stone?”

Women gathered their children, nudged their husbands, and crept toward home. Husbands soon followed. Evening chores awaited.

Her father stepped from the crowd, anger in his eyes. He scowled at her. The star on his chest glimmered in the last rays of the afternoon sun. “Go home.”

She held her head up high as she turned and walked away.

In the quiet darkness, she moved with the stealth of a lioness. The soft sounds of sleep greeted her as she glided past the sleeping sheriff.

Holding up a finger to her mouth, she silenced the prisoner. His dark brown eyes revealed surprise as she slid the key in. Freedom so close now. The cell door squeaked open.

Her father shifted and mumbled in his sleep. Each second seemed a lifetime until his gentle breathing resumed. When the time was right, she stretched out her arm. An invitation, the prisoner gladly accepted as he grasped her soft feminine hand.

They crept through the darkened prison and out into fresh night air. The brightness of the moon above them. She pointed to the horse, his means of escape to freedom.

He didn’t move.

Their eyes met. She stepped away and motioned for him to go. Still he waited. Taking a deep breath, the keys jingled as she laid them on the ground. And then turned back with a smile where he waited.

Her blonde tresses glistened in the moonlight.

His own muscled brown arms offered an invitation to freedom and a promise of love. With both arms, she accepted. With surprising strength and gentleness, he lifted her to him.

He spurred the horse on to freedom—their freedom.

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

Snow Angel by Pat Jeanne Davis

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I know I haven’t been contributing much to my own blog lately, but I’ve been busy between final edits for two books, taxes, and health issues…well enough said! And besides I’ve had all these great guest writers that I’ve been enjoying. I hope you have as well.

This week’s story is  by Pat Jeanne Davis. She  writes from her home in Philadelphia  PA. Her short stories have appeared in Harpstring Magazine, Splickety Magazine, Christian Fiction Online Magazine, The Wordsmith Journal, Horizon Magazine and Take-A-Break in the U.K. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Christian Writers Guild. She has representation by Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency. Visit her at www.patjeannedavis.com 

 

Snow Angel

by

Pat Jeanne Davis

 

“Maybe your secret admirer will shovel you out of our driveway again tomorrow.”

Trudi laughed at her mother’s words. “An admirer! Me? That’s as likely as a snow angel coming to my aid.”

Trudi crossed the living room to the window and pulled back the heavy drapes. She swiped the sleeve of her terry robe down the misty pane and gazed out. “Ray’s out of town for another day, but he’s already extended the deadline for my proposal. Snow or no snow, tomorrow is the deadline.”

She watched large flakes drift down against the street light. Ray was not only a wonderful boss but one of those rare single men with whom she had much in common. She smiled. Even the same birthday. If only he could see her as someone more than a co-worker. Trudi dropped into a chair at the kitchen table.

Her mother leaned across and touched her arm, as though reading her thoughts. “You know what they say, dear, about good things coming to those who wait.” She patted her daughterʼs hand in beat with her usual advice– “Don’t give up hope.”

“Thanks, Mom.” She wanted to believe in that promise. But how much longer before Ray noticed her? Trudi stood and gave her a hug. “Need to turn in now if I’m going to get up an hour earlier.”

Next morning Trudi rolled over, opened one eye and hit the alarm button. Six o’clock! She pulled the covers over her head, then remembered why she’d set the alarm so early. Hoisting herself out of bed, she walked to the window and prepared herself mentally for the job outside. She opened the blind and saw a man with his back toward her shoveling the last of the snow cover from the driveway. She must find out about him.

When Trudi arrived at the indoor garage at work, the place was empty except for another vehicle. As she pulled up alongside the car, she spotted a snow shovel in the back seat, its broad blade glistening wet.

The driver—wearing a black pea jacket, white scarf and black earmuffs—got out as she approached and walked over. “Looks like we’re the first to arrive.”

            Haven’t seen him before.

The stranger extended his hand. “Name’s Ben. Yesterday was my first on the job.”

“Trudi. Personnel,” she said, releasing her hand from his. “Some snow!”

“Yeah, sure is. Any trouble getting out of your driveway?”

“No. Thanks to a kind stranger who shoveled me out.”

Ben blew on his hands and rubbed them together. “Freezing isn’t it? Look, I’m off to grab some coffee. Can I buy you one?”

“No thanks . . . Ben. Gotta get upstairs.” She had a full day ahead of her.

He smiled. “Maybe another time soon.”

Ben held the door open and they entered the lobby. Before she could ask him what floor he worked on, he’d ducked into the coffee shop.

Trudi entered the elevator and punched the button for the top floor. She dropped her proposal on the secretary’s desk. Fingers crossed, she hoped Ray would be proud of her efforts.

Her heart flip-flopped when she saw Ray at his desk the next day.

“Have a minute?” He gestured to a chair. “Our boss e-mailed me last night to say he’s impressed with your work,” he said, grinning. “You put a lot into it, Trudi, and it’s paid off.”

Her knees went weak just as she was about to sit. “That’s a relief,” she said, managing some self-restraint.

He drew his chair closer to hers. “You’ve scored with management, you know.”

But have I scored with you, too? Is the waiting over?

“I think you’re in line for a change of status.”

“You mean a job promotion?” What she longed for was a change of status with him.

“Yes, a promotion.” Ray edged closer and locked his sapphire blue eyes with hers. “This calls for celebration.” He placed an arm over the back of her seat. “Er, could we go out tomorrow evening?” he whispered.

Could they ever!

“Sounds good,” Trudi said, her tone masking the excitement she felt.

Then she saw Ben’s tall frame in the doorway. He knocked and walked into the office. “You wanted to see me, Boss?”

            “Terrific! Tomorrow night,” Ray said. Then he turned to Ben. “You’re here sooner than I expected.”

Ben cleared his throat and shuffled his feet. “I can come back.”

Ray leaned back in his chair. “Trudi, this is Ben. He will be working with me for a while.”

She nodded. “We introduced ourselves yesterday. Welcome aboard.”

Ben smiled. “Thanks.”

Trudi got up. “If there’s nothing more for now?” She had only until tomorrow evening to wait

for the something more. Hadn’t Mom told her good things happen to those who wait.

As she moved closer to the door, Trudi heard the new hire say, “She’s my new neighbor, and I planned to get to know her. I would’ve shoveled her out even if you hadnʼt asked me.” He laughed. “I didn’t even get to buy her a cup of coffee and you get to take her out.”

Trudi grinned and kept on walking. In a roundabout way she’d already thanked Ben in the parking lot. A snow angel could come in all disguises—even that of a new neighbor. Ben may have dug her out, but he was only a courier for her admirer.

Spring Will Always Bring A Smile by Mary L. Ball

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I love flash fiction. It’s quick and fun to read! How about you? In case you don’t know what flash fiction is, it’s like a short story–but even shorter. It still has a beginning, a middle and an end.  The story today is written by Mary L. Ball.

Mary L. Ball is a published author of Inspirational fiction, blended with romance. her novels include, Escape to Big Fork Lake and Stone of Destiny.
She lives in North Carolina and weaves together stories to encourage people to see the wonder of love and a divine guidance. When she’s not working on her latest story, she enjoys fishing, reading, hiking and singing with her husband at church and other places.
Readers can connect with her on Face Book and Twitter.
www. twitter.com/inspires4mary
Her books are available on AMAZON.
 
 And so without further ado….

Spring Will Always Bring a Smile

Lisa rested on the bench in the center of Gold Memorial staring at a grass-covered  mound. She glanced around at the new flowers that bloomed and noticed the buds upon the lilac trees, the signs of a changing season all around. Birds sung, in the distance, but the beauty of nature didn’t bring a smile to her face. Spring was here, and she didn’t care.

As an older man approached and stood beside her. He gazed at Lisa and spoke with a crackled voice,  “a loved one.”

Lisa hated the intrusion, but despite her mood, she tried to be polite. “Yes, very much loved.” She looked at the man and didn’t know why, but something in his eyes made her speak again.  She poured out her heart, her voice barely audible and words laced with despair. “Rob was my only love; we didn’t have, but a few years together.”

The older man saw the hurt in her eyes. He paused a moment before speaking. “I know what you mean; my Polly was my mate for over 40 years.”

Lisa looked at the man, with a touch of sympathy she replied. “It must be hard to have someone around that long a time a time, and lose them.”

The man smiled at Lisa, shaking his head. “Yes, but we had good years together. I thank God- for all those years.”

A prick of anger moved over Lisa, in a sarcastic tone she rushed a reply. “if God wanted us to be happy, then why take away our loved ones.”

The grey-haired man looked at Lisa, a startled expression shown on his furrowed brow. He spoke as if he were talking to the wind. “God does want us to be happy, but everyone has to face loss, a time to weep, and a time to laugh.”

Lisa stood up, noticing the man now carried a smile on his face. An expression of peace sparkled from his eyes she couldn’t understand. She shook her head in disbelief. “Never can I accept that, it is just not right.”

The man stepped closer to Lisa and gently took her hand in his. “Would Rob want you to be bitter, to turn away from the world?”  Something in the way the man spoke, his tender touch reached into her soul, opening her heart. It brought back a memory of a conversation; she had with Rob.  A day when he told her to promise him that she would never let anything take away her beautiful smile. Lisa glanced at the old man, nervously she replied. “He would want me to go on without him.”

The older man begun to speak about the seasons, “you know Spring is supposed to be a fresh beginning. It brings forth an unmarked life,” his voice continued, words broken by time.”In the Winter, things are dead, then comes Spring, and with it, a brand-new start. We can’t go back to the past Winter; we must move forward into the unused time within the year, and the wonder of  a renewed life. Nevertheless, we will forever remember the Winters. Everyone mourns the loss of last year’s flowers. Our purpose though, has invariably been to go on, just as the world constantly moves. In our hearts, we will faithfully hold the love, and memories-but we need to live. By going on with our lives we bring honor to the ones that were lost. It’s a way to show respect for what they represented.”

Lisa hung her head down toward the ground, a numb feeling surrounded her.

As the man slipped his hand away from hers, she closed her eyes and wiped a tear from her cheek, which slipped down the side of her face. She raised her head up and saw that the old man was gone. Lisa gazed in all directions. Her eyes caught sight of a younger lady walking passed. “Excuse me, where did the old man who was carrying an umbrella go?”

The girl looked at Lisa, lines formed around her mouth with a puzzled expression, sluggishly  she nodded her head back and forth. “I don’t believe anyone else has been on this path for at least an hour.” Lisa felt her face grow red with embarrassment as she replied. “Oh, well, thanks anyway,” quickly rushing to the car.

Seated in her vehicle, Lisa took one last look at the spot that was so cherished to her, a smile escaping from her lips. It was then  she thought she heard a quiet soothing voice say, “Lisa, that’s the smile I fell in love with.”

Oooh–I got goose bumps!  How about you?

Until Next Time…God Bless and Good Reading!

EXPERIMENT #2–FLASH FICTION

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As I mentioned before, I’m doing some experimenting with my blog. I want my blog to be about you–the readers. So, I asked myself what would people who love to read want in a blog?  The answer is STORIES–lots of stories. Sure, now and then they might want to hear my opinion about a book or a info on Christian writers and their books. But it seemed to me the one thing readers would really enjoy are more stories!

Experiment # 1 is going well. I’ve received some great feedback on serializing a story–a brand new story I’m writing and it’s FREE! How cool is that! Here comes EXPERIMENT # 2.–FLASH FICTION. In case you don’t know what flash ficition is, it’s very very short stories–that come with a beginning, a middle and an end. Different people have different opinions on what the word count should be. I’ve seen some flash fiction under 50 words, but it can also go up to 1500-2000 words as well.

Anyway… from time to time I will feature a flash fiction story.

Today’s story is FROZEN ASSETS by Terri Main. She is a retired college professor who lives in Central California with
her five cats. She has been writing professionally for more than 40 years and has published everything from magazine articles to radio drama to video documentaries to novels and Bible studies. Her Dark Side of the Moon novels also spun off several short stories including this one included in the Lunar Calendar Collection https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B4NSQLM

PS.  DON’T WORRY–CHRYSALIS WILL BE BACK IN A FEW DAYS!

FROZEN ASSETS  by Terri Main

“So, Carolyn, what do you think?” Mike Cheravic ran a hand over the few hairs he had remaining on the top of his head. I stood beside him staring at the empty pedestal and the remains of the display case on the floor.

“You’re sure, the mask was in the case?” I knew the answer, but felt I needed to say something.

“We’re sure. And, before you ask, there are no micro-holoprojectors that could create an image of the King Whozit’s Death mask.”

“King Teochitonion.” I couldn’t believe it. I spent two years arguing with the curator of The Petrie Museum to allow transport of the artifact to the moon. It took another six months to set up the security system with Mike. It was our first joint project since we solved the murder of Juan McCalister shortly after she arrived in Armstrong City.

“What happened with the security eyes?”

“Someone hacked in and ran images of an empty room. I know, it’s an old trick, but even with strong cybersecurity, it’s possible. We got the call at 21:34. The pressure pad triggered the alarm. That is one system that can’t be hacked. It’s a simple switch. No weight on the pad, the alarm goes off. No computer involved.”

I picked up the metal band that formed the base of the display case and contained the electronic locking mechanism. One of Mike’s criminology students was bagging some sort of evidence on the other side of the room. “Moonbeam, could you please get the imaging scanner?”

Moonbeam, a tall willowy lunar native whose insubstantial appearance almost justified her name, handed me the scanner.

“Mike, look at this band,” I passed the band beneath the scanner and increased magnification.

“I don’t see anything.”

“Exactly, no chips, scratches, nothing.” I switched the scan to a penetration of one centimeter. “The lock is unlocked. Even if the perp was an expert with a magnetic pick and left no scratches, look this glass.”

“I don’t get it.” Mike shook his head.

“Mike, when was the last time you dropped a glass and broke it? I’m a klutz. I’ve dropped lots of glasses. But in 1/6 G, they just float to the ground. What type of force will you need to smash five milimeter safety glass?”

“And why would you do it, if you unlocked the case?”

I turned off the scanner. “Except to make it look like a burglary. This was an inside job.”

Mike tapped on the screen of his handheld. “Only four people had keys to the gallery: the new gallery director, but you can ignore him, he has an iron clad alibi. He was attending a new resident orientation at the time of the theft. Then there is his assistant, the head of maintenance and the security guard on duty tonight. They were all ‘home alone’.”

I examined at the pedestal. I touched the felt. “It’s wet.”

I took a moment to think. “Okay, you can make an arrest.”

****

Jason McIntire, director of the Armstrong University art gallery, perched on the chair across the metal table from Carolyn and Mike. “I don’t understand why you want to speak to me.”

“Well, you’ve been a very bad boy,” said Mike. “Doesn’t the university pay you enough?”

“You – You mean you think I stole the mask. I couldn’t have. I was at a meeting. A hundred people can vouch for me.”

“That was your mistake, but I’ll let Carolyn fill you in on the detail. Carolyn, you’re up.”

“Jason, your plan was half-smart. It was elegant, but you couldn’t control for everything. Using your access codes, you disabled the alarm system and sent a false image to the security eyes, then you simply walked in, opened the case and took out the mask. You smashed the glass case. You might have gotten away with this if you hadn’t decided to set up the ‘perfect’ alibi. You placed a block of ice on the pedestal. It’s a simple switch. Any weight keeps the alarm disabled. Once the weight goes to zero it goes off. The ice melted slowly enough for you to be safely at your meeting. You figured people would think this was a simple smash and grab. But all the pieces of the case including the lock were on the floor. A smash and grab would leave some glass on the pedestal. There was none. That means it was lifted off and smashed on the floor.”

“Maybe the burglar used a lock pick and then dropped the case by accident.”

“Can’t happen. In the low-grav of the moon things don’t get up enough momentum to just drop and smash. So, it had to be an inside job and only four of you had keys.”

“It might have been one of the others. My assistant, He makes frequent trips to the casinos at Tranquility.”

“It couldn’t be him.”

“Why not? He has a key and needs money.”

“Yes, but he doesn’t have an alibi. Why would he set up an elaborate alibi like this and not use it. No, you had the perfect alibi, and that alibi did you in.”

SO, what do you think? Do you like flash fiction? Would you like to seem more? If you want to give flash fiction a try or have some you’d like to share, let me know.

UNTIL NEXT TIME….God bless and good reading!