Flash Fiction Friday: Ghosts

Prompt: Ghosts

Word Count: 286

Kara wasn’t sure she believed in ghosts, until her favorite uncle, Robert, died.  He had been the person in her life to encourage her love of reading and the first person to tell her she should try to be a writer.  He gave her a copy of Frank Herbert’s Dune, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and Octavia Butler’s Kindred.  Books are precious gifts, because it is not only words and paper that are given, but entire worlds.  And Kara dove into those worlds, head first, traveling and teleporting between them.  Returning to the books she loved now and then, to visit the old friends and old enemies she had made in their pages.

Though Uncle Robert had never written a book, Kara still felt his spirit in her library or at the bookstore.  A book would fall from the shelf, or remind her of something she had read before, given to her by Uncle Robert. After awhile it became so commonplace, that Kara was certain it was still him, giving her books from the great beyond.

It was not quite the same, she still longed to call him up and tell him how much she had enjoyed his selections.  Sure, she could say the words aloud, but it was not the same without his own opinions and thoughts being said back to her.

Eventually, Kara decided she would make Uncle Robert immortal.  As she crafted her first novel she wrote a familiar character into the pages.  Now, Uncle Robert could share his wisdom and heart with anyone who flipped through the pages of her book.  He could be the friend of many other budding writers and novelists, a kind ghost of the written word.

Flash fiction is short fiction, often under 500 words and often written in a short space of time.  If you would like to do your own piece of flash fiction, feel free to put it in the comments or link me to the place you post it.  I would love to see what you come up with for the prompt.

 

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Flash Fiction Friday: Refresh

Prompt: Refresh

Word Count: 197

 

“Come on.  Load.”  James said, as he jammed his finger down on the mouse, hitting the refresh button over and over.  He had spent months saving up, but he also knew this moment would come.  The servers were overloaded, everyone else that wanted tickets was probably doing the same thing he was right now.  Still, his brain did not want to believe that it was some technical error or too much stress on a machine somewhere.  He needed those tickets.

After the 27th hit of the refresh button, the page loaded.  James scrambled to fill out all of his information, checked his credit card number twice, and hit the “Purchase” button.  For a moment, the blue wheel at the top of his page spun, indicating the page was trying to load.  He resisted the urge to click his mouse again, for fear he would end up ordering 10 tickets instead of just 2.

James held his breath, waiting for the feared page that would tell him that his browser was unable to load the confirmation page…

And then it worked.  James had done it.  He was going to Comic Con for the first time in his life.

 

Flash fiction is short fiction, often under 500 words and often written in a short space of time.  If you would like to do your own piece of flash fiction, feel free to put it in the comments or link me to the place you post it.  I would love to see what you come up with for the prompt.

Flash Fiction Friday: Handle with Care

Prompt: Handle with Care

Word Count: 169

She never considered herself to be a “Daddy’s girl.”  Cora got along well with her dad, even thought of him as her best friend, but the phrase never really fit how she saw their relationship.  Sure, he would buy her things when she expressed excitement about a Slurpee or a Wonder Woman lunchbox, but Cora felt it would have been a stretch to call that “spoiling.”  The better things he shared with her, were not things at all.

Things like watching as Roy Orbison, George Harrison and the rest of the Traveling Wilburys sang “Handle me with care…” on MTV.  Things like playing video games together until it was far too late for either of them, he had work in the morning and she had school.  Things like throwing a styrofoam airplane from her grandparent’s deck, and watching as it cascaded over busy streets and into the backyard of someone in another neighborhood.

Maybe she wasn’t a “Daddy’s Girl,” but Cora was certainly a girl who loved her Daddy.

 

Flash fiction is short fiction, often under 500 words and often written in a short space of time.  If you would like to do your own piece of flash fiction, feel free to put it in the comments or link me to the place you post it.  I would love to see what you come up with for the prompt.

Flash Fic Friday: Fear

Prompt: Fear

Word Count: 154

When Elena was 5 years old, she was terrified of Box Elder bugs.  She had mistaken the little orange and black bugs for fireflies, and a well-meaning friend in her kindergarten class had told her if she touched the little bugs, they would burn her little fingers off.  It wasn’t until years later that she found out that she had been horribly misinformed.

The little bugs were harmless, perhaps plentiful at times, but harmless all the same.  Years later, Elena realized that many of the fears in her life were like the Box Elder bug, as she let one wander over the palm of her hand.  Small, but made to be big.  Elements of falsehood wrapped up in truth.  But her biggest realization was this:

If she could hold a Box Elder bug in her hand and keep her fingers intact, she could face any other fear that life had to throw at her.

 

Flash fiction is short fiction, often under 500 words and often written in a short space of time.  If you would like to do your own piece of flash fiction, feel free to put it in the comments or link me to the place you post it.  I would love to see what you come up with for the prompt.

Flash Fiction Friday: War & Peace

Prompt: War and Peace

Word Count: 201

This year, she tried to put her weapons down.  She was not fighting against some sovereign entity, but rather against the voices that had started the war within her own head.  Her swords were sharp, terrible thoughts.  I am not attractive anymore, what use do I have if I’m not pretty?  My creative endeavors are foolish, I should give them up.  I am not worthy of love, I do not deserve it.

Her daggers were her eyes, but only when they looked at her own reflection, in mirrors and pictures. I am not attractive anymore, what use do I have if I’m not pretty? Look at all the places where I wrinkle and sag.

There were other weapons she used, some she had forged over the years and some that were given to her by careless and cruel individuals. This year, she put them all in a sturdy, wooden box, locked tightly closed with a shiny, metal lock. There were times the box still rattled and shook, and the echo of how the weapons had been used filled her mind, but she pushed their influence out of her mind and reminded herself that love was stronger than hate.

Wars were not won in a single battle and peace could only be achieved through constant vigilance.

 

Flash fiction is short fiction, often under 500 words and often written in a short space of time.  If you would like to do your own piece of flash fiction, feel free to put it in the comments or link me to the place you post it.  I would love to see what you come up with for the prompt.

Flash Fiction Friday

It’s Friday!  So that means it’s the day I muster up some courage and write some flash fiction.  If the prompt sparks inspiration for you, please share your flash fic with me!  I’d love to see it.

Today’s prompt is:

“It feels like letting go.”

Spite can be fuel.  It can be a fury buried deep within a person that pushes them to do more, to prove others wrong.

“You’re not good enough at this, you should quit.”

The words echoed in Karrie’s mind.  John had said them, nearly two years ago, but they still popped into her head now and then.  Despite his words, he had come to her numerous times before she ended the–Friendship?  She never really thought they were friends, more just acquaintances of a sort. He had come to her for advice on his writing, on his stories, even asked her to help and contribute through collaboration.

But the hammer always fell as soon as she pushed back against him.  If she explained to him that he really needed an editor, he would tell her she just didn’t understand his work.  Her work just wasn’t on par with his, according to John.  If she told him an idea did not work and required revision, he would tell her she just lacked vision.

Those words and what he had done stuck with Karrie for a long time, until one day they didn’t.  Spite and fury had become tools in her arsenal, mechanisms that pushed her to work harder and be better, if only to show John he was wrong about her.  That day she didn’t need them anymore, as she held her first publication in her hands.  It was no passive act, letting go of his poison, but it was certainly a gratifying one.

Flash Fiction Friday

So, I wanted to introduce a new recurring feature on my blog.  Each week, I’ll provide a prompt and a bit of flash fiction.  If you want to join in on the fun, please feel free to post your flash fiction in the comments or link me to it via the comments.

I’m a really big fan of quotes or music lyrics as prompts, so a lot of mine will be in that form.  For today, I chose:

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
-Dr. Seuss

And here is my flash fiction, based on the prompt:

The Answer
Jane tended to hold on to people that aren’t very good for here. It was as if she curated a collection of former friends like a crafter would a pinterest board. For the longest time, they were all there, images of them in her mind that tied in memories. The times they had lied, manipulated and cheated their way through their friendship, and of course the few moments that felt like they were real friends.

Jane held onto that collection a lot longer than she should have, worrying about how she could leave the pain behind. And sometimes she worried maybe she was broken, maybe if she would have just bent over backward a little more, given a little bit more, maybe she could have made things work.

It was a lie though, and somewhere deep down, she started to realize that.

That was when she started to wonder about moving on. How could she leave the past in the past? It felt like chains, holding her down.

That was the problem, though. The mind held on to things longer than the body did. It was easy to throw pictures in a trash bag, to delete texts and block emails. Jane found it a lot harder to let go of the good times, than the bad, but eventually realized the answer was simple.

Leaving them behind was as easy as looking forward. Stay in the present and the past is just the past.