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Category Archives: Quick Fiction

Keepsakes.

At dawn the grey clouds allowed for no dancing shadows and a dire mood seemed to be settling in for the rest of the day.  ” How nice and appropriate .” he thought as he dragged himself from between the sheets to schlep to the kitchen for the first shot of caffeine of the day.  The percolator was just finishing up and the smell helped to bring his thoughts into focus after what had been a bustling,  to say the least, night full of activity.

Loading his cup with some  dark liquid along with a punch of sugar for an additional boost , he made his way into the living room and frumped in his Lazy Boy to watch the morning news.  Murder and mayhem seemed to be the norm with a brief touch on fire and brimstone.  The co-hosts of the morning show always seemed to be so very happy about having something traumatic to relay, but then again he reckoned that if there wasn’t much drama happening in the world, they would be out of a job pretty darn quick.  He was glad that he was able to keep folks employed in what was currently considered a very bad economy.  He thought to himself, “they ain’t seen nothing yet”, and took a long draught from his mug, draining his remaining coffee dead empty.

He had been so tired when he got home last night after his shift that he had removed his clothes in stages, leaving little piles leading from the front door to the bedroom and he thought to himself that he really was a slob and no wonder no-one wanted to room with him. Would it be nice to have a room-mate, somebody to help with the rent and food and supplies? Pondering if he should put a personal ad on Craig’s List, he started to the kitchen  to wash and dry out his coffee mug.  On the way to the bedroom, he reached down and picked up his cloak and scythe from the floor and turning out the pockets, he gathered up his souvenirs from the night before.    A ring, a necklace, a pocket watch..he wondered why he kept them, those little pieces of humanity so very useless to their former owners now.

Opening the closet door he hung up his cloak to allow the wrinkles to shake out.  Gathering up a carton from the floor, he gently placed his mementoes from the night before inside, along with the thousands of others he had collected over the years.  He closed the box, put it on the shelf, then turned to head for the bathroom.  He noted that a long scalding shower always seemed to lift his spirits and he felt the dour mood that he loved so well begin to  settle in as time drew near for another night of reaping.

Take it away (Tuesday)

[He/She] closed the box, put it on the shelf, then… 

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Posted by on August 7, 2012 in Flash Fiction, Quick Fiction

 

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The Fall

People watched me.  I could feel their eyes and the under the breath sarcasm.  “What a disaster.  What a mess.”  those were the nicer things I imagined.  Were those words about the broken bag with it’s contents rolling about the sidewalk, or were they directed at me personally?  One could never really know.

I rolled onto my butt and sat up slowly,  taking a long hard look at the blood starting to rise to the surface on my scuffed knees.  God, you would think I was back in elementary school, falling in the playground, feeling the tears start to well up but being too scared to attract attention of the kids who would knowingly laugh and point.  What an embarrassment.  Even back then I could feel their eyes.

My nose was running now and I started to pick the gravel bits out of the palm of my hands before I began a search thru my pocketbook for what was sure to be a non-existent tissue or even a more imaginary wet-nap.  I was never prepared for anything.

The grocery bag was split down the side and thru the bottom so everything had busted, of course.  There was pickle juice and orange juice co-existing in what was surely to become a nasty tasting brew to the line of ants that was starting to head in my direction.  Did they stay constantly alert for any sign of a food source within their reach or was it just dumb luck that they happened to be marching by?  Gods plan perhaps or they were just watching too.  It made we wonder.

I didn’t dare look up as I didn’t want to see the faces.  Embarrassment could never be hid especially when one could feel the redness creeping up one’s neck.  The rosiness in my cheeks had nothing to do with the cold and everything to do with my personal and ever present knowledge of all the inane things that I did on a daily basis.

Slowly I began to pick up the shards of glass, a stray olive here, a soggy loaf of bread there.  Of course no one bothered to help.  There were no volunteers, no voicing of concern.  Just their eyes, ever watching, ever condescending.

I slowly eased into a shaky but tolerable standing mode, smoothing my skirt and making a feeble attempt to tuck in my shirt. Desperate to display some sort of normalcy in my appearance so that the eyes would stop.  It was then that I realized, I was in the city.  The land where no ones cares or if they do, admittance is frowned upon.  There had been no need for my mortification, none what so ever.  None of this mattered as there were no eyes. No one watched…me.

Thinking Ten: Tuesday, Take it away: People watched me…

 
 

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A Little Christmas Eve Tale.

Timothy was what you could call a Free-Range mouse, since he was originally a pet for Michael, who as a typical ten-year old  boy with the attention span of a gnat,  had forgotten to latch his cage.  Traps were not allowed in the house since that breakout and even Micheal’s  mom now only rarely jumped when he skittered across den floor looking for dropped treats: a crumb for some, constituted a meal for one very small rodent with a darling black nose and grey fur as soft as, well a mouse.

Living quite comfortably in the wall behind the sofa, Timothy was always on the alert having noted that football Sundays were especially bountiful as they usually provided  him with a kernel of popcorn or a salted Planters peanut, which he would politely remove from under the coffee table, and place in his larder, for those days when Mom in a frenzy would actually run the  vacuum thus removing any potential meals within  a 12 by 12 radius of his cubby  hole.

On this evening however things were beginning to look up for the little mouse.  There was definitely something going on in the sphere which constituted his world: a tree with colorful lights now stood in the corner of the den, stockings hung over the mantle, like laundry after a Monday morning wash and a plate of cookies and a glass of milk had actually been left out on the coffee table, giving him the distinct impression  that after that man in red finished his delivery, had a polite taste of a cookie and finally vacated the premises via the chimney, there would be sufficient sugar crumbs to make his Christmas dinner a fine one.  What more could a mouse wish for on this Hallowed  Eve.

 

The 6S Social Network

What can YOU say in six sentences?

 
 

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A Time of Many Firsts.

There seemed to be a lot of “firsts” going on.  Mom was busy in the kitchen, which was extremely rare any time of year, but proving there is always “hope”.  His two legged siblings were behaving, quite out of character yet sorta neat, for a change (no tail pulling?), and his Dad had actually brought a Tree..Inside..A Real Live Tree..Inside..I mean how exciting was that!  Not withstanding that he had been yelled at when attempting to inaugurate it, ya can’t blame a fella for trying to be helpful can ya? Yep, there was something very fishy going on and he was determined to get to the bottom of it.

It was somewhat disconcerting, in a wait for the other shoe to drop sorta way, how everyone was being so very nice to one another too.  No yelling (well except for that whole “don’t lift your leg” thing).  That they all were talking with “inside voices” took some getting use to as well, when that was not the norm in the household. Usually  home was full of slams and bams, hoops and hollers, and general chaos seemed to be all his family knew and faithfully practiced.  But recently, that had changed..Very confusing to a guy not quite a year old. (six and a half in dog years)

He was really getting a work out at his job too.  For some reason, those monster-men in their short pants and large brown trucks kept coming up His driveway, making quite a racket too… opening that large door on the back and hauling package after package to His door. The nerve of them, ringing His doorbell, day after day.  Leaving boxes of who knows what on His front porch. Where was Homeland Security when you needed um? Try as he might to alert the family of these dastardly deeds being transgressed on His property, their response was to momentarily  break out of their “inside voices” yelling at him to “shut the hell up”.  My god, he was just trying to protect them…geez…

Then there was the whole “DROP THE BALL” thing too.  I mean hadn’t they spent countless hours teaching him to run and fetch?  Yet, when he attempted to grab one of the many colored orbs they had hung on the “INSIDE TREE” they all went into hyper-drive grabbing them out of his mouth before he ever had a chance to give one a good chomp… very contradictory, if he said so himself.

The final icing on the cake came when just this very morning he started to go outside.   Dad had come down first, as usual, made coffee and started cooking some bacon (that’s why he loved Dad the best).  After some quick one-on-one commune time highlighted with some back scratches, Dad had opened the back door and a blast of freezing air practically blew his ears off.  Then on top of that, not only had someone forgot to keep the heat on outside,..well,  someone had put white stuff all over HIS YARD!   ” OH MY GOD”  he thought to himself, “How could I not have heard this happening in the night?  He rushed out to quickly assess the situation and immediately sank into four feet of the coldest,  fluffiest stuff he had ever encountered. Talk about “firsts”!   His feet were cold, the fluff was in his eyes and sniffing as hard as he could, he could not discern an odor to it.  It was the damnedest thing he had ever seen…and yet… boy was it cool.  I mean way cool.  With leaps and bounds he sprung up and about, all over the yard, not caring if he got blamed for not catching whoever did this but putting on a pretty good show of an investigation, as his Dad stood in the doorway emitting between laughs, calls of ” you get um boy”.

When the cold finally got the best of him and Dad convinced him to come back inside to warmth and a slice of bacon, neither being a hard sell, he settled down on his blanket to ponder the changes in his world.  Who knew what would happen next?  He had heard talk of someone expected to break into the house, via the chimney and something about reindeer flying and landing on rooftops?  It was all just a little much for him to fathom and with the logic that only a dog possesses, he decided he had best take a nap to prepare for more firsts that were possibly just around the tree.

First Time, Friday

Write about the first time…..

 
 

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Through the Grey

The colors of the holidays could not dispel the grey in her soul.  Two that she loved had passed during the previous months and their memories seemed to drape, over what should be a glorious time of year, a thin veil of melancholy on her life.   Her continual stream of activity: the baking, the shopping, the wrapping, none seemed to enable her to rise above the shroud of what could only be a re-occurrence of mourning; that which she thought she had, if not moved past, at least buried deep beneath the facade of her smiles.

Soon Christmas day would be upon her and the house would be filled with some of the ones that she loved, at least with the ones still left behind.  The spirits of those gone would take it upon themselves to return into the corners of her heart and  the memories of holidays past would once again begin to fill her with, if not total happiness, with at least some peace.

Those that were gone, would never totally leave her to bear the sadness alone especially during the holidays, for in their lives they had been there for her and in their deaths their love was enough  to carry and sustain her through the grey.

 

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The Final Battle

She reigned supreme from her position  in the main room.   Wrapped tightly in a blanket of power, surrounded by  potions and balms, some crafted by her own hand, others brought in from the outside to aid in the battle in which she was the general. She had worked thru the dark hours and planned her strategy to  continue leading the charge in the defeat of the enemy

Nights had come and gone, sounds of what seemed  like death rattles plagued the kingdom. Those unnerving sounds of the war waxed and waned, making her loyal subjects concerned if or when it would finally come to an end.   Cold winds alternating with hot, had kept her mind in a state of confusion and having to continue fighting thru what were her mandatory duties seemed to make every bone in her body cry out, ” No more, no more”.  She had a strong constitution however and even while she could feel the enemies gathering for their final rally,  she knew in her heart that she would get them all thru this and she and she alone would bring relief and comfort to her subjects.

As the early morning sun began to peak thru her window, a ray of light danced across her face as if to say, today is the day, the tide will turn and things will begin to look up for all of her subjects.  She threw off the blanket in which she had been wrapped and as a surge of energy coursed thru her veins she new that she no longer needed the warmth of that cocoon.

Gathering up her potions and balms , she made her way down the drafty hallway, knocking on doors, calling out to her subjects for the final rally  Head held high, she was ready to continue  to  lead and fight for the rest of them.  She had regained her  strength and finally she had the knowledge and the right combination of potions. She would guide them all out of  what must surely seem to be the lowest depths of hell.  Summer colds were just a bitch.

Plot Thickens, Thursday

Wrapped in a blanket

 
 

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Madness under the midday sun.

Under the heat of the midday sun, she lay floating on her raft in the middle of the infinity pool.  The rather large Hollywood sunglasses gave her an air of mystery or so she thought.  More often than naught she would forget to remove them before she dozed off and would end up looking like Rocky Raccoon by the end of the day.   There were a lot of things that she seemed to be forgetting lately, most of them on purpose.  Facing reality had become such a bore and with her vivid imagination, fantasy was down right exciting.

Her left hand gently ladled some of the cool water over her chest, while her right hand held tightly to the freshly made martini.  Five o’clock seemed such an eternity away so by three,  she was already nursing her third cocktail; all the better to be able to let her mind run free, away from the responsibilities, problems and general mayhem that had become her life.

When she had caught him cheating this last time and he had actually had the temerity to be blase’ about it, she had detached herself from the whole situation.  They had long passed the point of yelling and screaming at each other so the coolness that  permeated their relationship just moved to the next phase of down right frost.  The only thing that seemed to take off that chill was for her to glide in the water & bake herself in the midday sun, allowing her feelings of denial to just float away.

She had long imagined that wealth and happiness would forever be hers, not that she was willing to put forth any effort in achieving them, but as  she  felt she must have enjoyed them so much as a child, they would follow her into adulthood.  Ah, her youth, she was at the top of the  A-list, with beauty and brains and a wicked sense of humor that made her the sought after female of her class.   The cars, the clothes, the rich and beautiful  friends, the ski trips over the winter holidays and the summers in the islands.  That was the life: it was hers in which to relish.  A love at first sight chance meeting and a whorl-wind romance leading to the Princess Di style wedding  just added to the picture perfect life she knew should always be a major player in.  A Ken-like husband and 2.4 children were the icing on her cake and  she was not about to let it end now nor anytime in the surreal future.

Finishing off the drink she lightly dug the olive from the bottom of the glass….”lunch”, she though with a smile.  Yep, this was the life, even with an errant husband, she could cope.  The problems of reality could be overcome, with  the turning of the ole blind eye.  She had done it for years and was quite the expert in painting rosy pictures in her mind.

The sound of the front door slamming and the running of children down the hall broke her reverie…dragging herself from the bathtub, she dropped the can of beer in the trash, covered herself  in the ratty cotton robe , turned off the sun  lamp and went out the door to see if there was anything left in the pantry with which to make the kids a snack.

On Location, Monday:

Under the heat of the midday sun…

 
 

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