Tag Archive | flash fiction

And Ahead of Me… a story for #Fridayflash, DailyPrompt

I woke alone, I woke blind to the world, and I woke scared.

Those are the things I know about when I woke, and only those, not when nor where nor why I was, or even who I was. I was against a wall, the floor was cold, and I could not see.

And you were not with me. Of course: I was alone. But more than the absence of other breath, other voices in the room was the absence of you.

I found my feet, somehow. I found a stick, a cane, somehow. My body knew the way. I found a door – that was harder – and the sun on my face told me travel west.

But the ache in my gut told me travel east, so east I went.

The bus was going North, so I walked. The police officer that stopped me wanted to take me west, but I talked him out of it. The punks that wanted my money, when they found I had none wanted to take me to their home.

But their home was to the south, so I kept walking anyway. I didn’t know where I was going – how could I, when I didn’t know even who I was? – but I knew you were there.

“There’s nothing to the east,” the taxi driver told me. “You can’t go there like that.” I say taxi drive, like I said punks, because he asked if I needed a ride and told me a price, like the punks grabbed me with hard hands and then handed me back my cane with soft words.

The sun’s warmth was gone before I reached my destination, but I could feel the edge of the road with my cane, so I kept walking. Cars would rush by, a gust of wind and a blast of sound, but I kept walking. They’d honk or shout or both, but I kept walking. The night grew cold, but I kept walking.

I didn’t know how far I had to go, and I could not see the signs to read them, but I knew you were ahead of me still. There was nothing to do but keep walking, keep walking.

The sun was warm on my face again when a car pulled alongside me. “You can’t be here,” the woman told me. “The signs say so.”

“I’m almost there,” I told her, and by that I knew that I was nearly to you. “Only a little longer.”

“But you can’t be here.”

I kept walking. There was nothing behind me, after all, but the dark. And ahead of me was you.

To [community profile] dailyprompt, 2014-09-10:
If I was blindfolded
If my memory was erased
If every sign pointed
to another place
I’d still find you

For #FridayFlash

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/808735.html. You can comment here or there.

Carry On Tuesday Short Story: “Children’s Hour” #weblit

Children’s Hour

It wasn’t universally recognized, of course. On a colony like Roan Oak, you were lucky to get people to generally acknowledge the direction the sun rose from every morning; you couldn’t normally get more than twenty-five out of any hundred people to agree on what year it was, and often a marriage group couldn’t settle on a last name so they all used something different. But the Children’s Hour was more regularly recognized than most “actual” holidays were, and, possibly, more enjoyed.

It was certainly louder than anything but the Spring-has-come festivals, a cacophonous clatter that echoed from one end of the settlements to the other. For, in that time when the sun had begun to set but there was still light out, across all the scattered villages, miners and carters, teachers and shopkeepers, farmers and craftspeople all put down their work and went outside.

And all of them, the gruffest miner, the sternest teacher, the most curmudgeonly shopkeeper, every single one of them, (of those who took part, of course, because there would always be some who did not participate), they all played. The brought out the balls, big and small, the bats and the nets, the mittens in winter and the sprinklers in summer, the toy trucks and the dolls, and, for an hour as the sun sank below the horizon of their new world, grown men and women acted like children for just a little while.

The children, too, played, of course, most of them enjoying seeing their parents and mentors acting silly, “acting like children,” (the children would say they were acting nothing of the sort, but they’d mostly learned not to disillusion their elders, and, by the time they, themselves, were grown-ups, almost all of them forgot that particular complaint).

Some said a teacher had started the trend, wanting to connect her students and their parents; some, a doctor, who wanted people to be more healthy, to be more active outside of repetitive work. A few, who were the closest to right and the least often listened to, murmured that it had been a miner, who just wanted an excuse to kick the ball around after work.

The miner’s wives, both of them grey with age by now, smiled to themselves, and kicked the bases into place for a Children’s Hour game of baseball.

For Carry On Tuesday; today’s prompt was:

    the first verse of Longfellow’s poem The Children’s Hour
    Between the dark and the daylight
    When the night is beginning to lower
    Comes a pause in the day’s occupations
    That is known as the Children’s Hour

This story takes place in the same place as my flash fiction The Colony, sponsor for $15


3WW: Not Interfering #FridayFlash #weblit

Three Word Wednesday is a once-weekly 3-word writing prompt.

The three words are harmless, moist, yelp.

The yelp caught Allie’s attention, drew her out of the book she’d let herself become engrossed in. High-pitched, terrified, and loud, it penetrated the thick walls of her shop. It had come from somewhere out back; a second yelp, louder still, confirmed the direction and had her running for the back door.

June-next-door’s latest boyfriend was standing in the narrow passageway behind their buildings, looming over the dumpster? No, over a skinny boy standing near the dumpster; the yelp had come from the kid, presumably.

What was his name? Jack? No, no, Fred. “Leave him along, Fred,” she called, hurrying over to the pair. “He’s harmless.”

“He was digging in the dumpster. Freaking little rats will steal anything not nailed down.” He lowered his arm halfway, eliciting a whimper.

Allie looked the kid over quickly. Grey bandanna, grey hoodie, but the signs she was looking for… “He’s not a rat, Fred, he’s a pup. Leave him alone.”

The kid snarled at her. “Not a pup,” he complained, but it had little heat behind it.

“What’s that, some sort of gang? I’m telling you, Alison, what you want to do with these kids is show them who’s boss. Do that, and they won’t give you any more trouble. If you let them steal whenever they want, they’ll walk all over you.” He grabbed the kid’s arm again, ignoring the little whine the boy made.

“Fred, let it be. There’s no need to go messing with him; there’s nothing in the garbage worth stealing, it’s why it’s garbage.” She kept her voice calm, soothing. June didn’t pick the brightest boyfriends. “This isn’t the neighborhood to go starting trouble in, Fred.”

She knew it was a mistake the moment she’d said it, but she’d known it needed to be said, too.

“I keep telling June, and I’ll tell you, too, Alison. You can’t give in to thugs and creeps. You’ve got to show them who’s boss.”

She looked at the boy again, knowing it was a lost cause. He looked back at her with eyes a pale, icy blue she’d seen before in huskies, the whine high-pitched and, she thought, entirely unconscious. “I don’t want to be a witness to this,” she told him.

“Go inside, Alison,” Fred snarled. “I’ll deal with this.”

She sighed, wishing there was another way, and walked inside. “Come on in for some cocoa… later,” she threw over her shoulder, before she shut the back door, making sure it clicked locked.

The door wasn’t thick enough to completely muffle the pained yelp, nor the bone-cracking sound that followed it. The scream that came next was very short, even less silenced by the door, and cut off with a quiet, moist sort of crunching.

Allie wandered back to the front of the store before the magpies could rob her blind. The pup would be in, in a while, for his cocoa, and she had to figure out how to tell June she’d need another boyfriend. At least the wolves rarely left a mess.

At this rate, she mused, as the noises in the back faded away to nothing, there wouldn’t be a thug or bigot or creep left in Animal Town.

All Green Dots – Flash fiction from prompt

Flash Fiction from daHob’s prompt: I’m a computer geek. Green means ‘good’! In Test Driven Development, you are done with the code when it passes all the unit tests. Each test gets a green dot (as opposed to a red one). So, “all green dots” at 256 words….

Sequel to Evolution

Alae and Eka waited together in the tiny room known, as archaically as Alae was Queen, as the Green Room (some wit had painted a line of tiny green trees all around the room). The ceremony took time to plan (even though it happened every twenty cycles), more time to set up, and several eternities on the day of. And through all of it, Alae, who was normally just another denizen of the ship, was sequestered and guarded like some exec’s concubine

She’d paced until Eka snarled, fiddled with her feather cape until she risked ruining it, and settled in to lotus, finally, envisioning her greenhouse plans for the next five cycles.

“Green dots,” Eka declared, as Alae got to her next batch of carrots. She opened her eyes; Eka was staring at the status meter, a row of red lights that were slowly turning green. “They’re nearly ready for you.” She stood, the beads in her hair clacking, and hurried over to Alae. “Are you all set, me love?” Behind her, another light turned green, and another one. “You mussed your cloak again, didn’t you? How is it that you can’t ever sit still?” Her slender fingers smoothed Alae’s feathers; her lover’s nervous fussing calmed her the way no meditation or medication ever could.

Four more lights went green. They were near to securing the space. She tried not to think about their failure to secure, last time, even as Eka’s fingers brushed the scar.

“All green dots, Your Majesty,” Eka murmured. “Knock ‘em dead.”