Posts Tagged ‘short story’ Archive

The Door Swung Open…

It’s time for Rachael Harrie’s first campaigner challenge! The challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction in 200 words or less. The first words need to be, “The door swung open.” For an additional challenge, include the words, “The door swung shut,” at the end. AND for an even greater challenge, make your story exactly 200 words (yes, yes I did this). 😉

If you like my piece, head on over to Rach’s site and ‘Like’ my entry, #39!

Monster

The door swung open and Magnolia-Rose stared into her dark closet where a purple fuzzy animal sat.

“Aren’t you supposed to be under my bed?” Maggie asked.

“I…uh…”

“You’re supposed to be under my bed.” Maggie stomped her feet. “You’re the monster, I’m the little girl and you’re supposed to scare me.”

Grrump whimpered.

“I know you like the closet. I know it’s roomy and you like sleeping on my dirty clothes, but my closet is not where you’re supposed to spend the night.”

Grrump unrolled. His body lengthened until he stood twice as high as Maggie. A white horn protruded from between two red and black eyes.

“Go,” Maggie poked Grrump in the belly and pointed toward the bed. “Go do your job.”

Grrump moo-ed and wobbled toward the bed. His flat feet crunched over blocks scattered across the ground. Bending down, he began to slide under the bed until his horn stuck against the bed-frame. “Too big,” he said.

“But you have to fit.” Maggie gripped the closet door.

The spikes on Grrump’s back swung as he made his way across the room to huddle on top of Maggie’s dirty clothes.

Maggie screamed and the door swung shut.

Flash Fiction Anyone?

This is taken from a potential character from a potential book.  The inspiration for her came from my reactions after a car accident a year and a half ago.  Thankfully, her fear is much more exaggerated than mine was.

Second Guesses

I pause.  My hand wavers over the four sailboat hooks beside my front door.  The yellow hook has a hat hanging from it and the blue one has my spare car key on a heart shaped key ring dangling from its tail.  This leaves the red and white hook.  My stomach quivers and threatens to upset.

Will someone die if I hang it on the white hook?

No, that’s ridiculous.

But a car accident, that’s possible.

The keys slip on my sweaty fingers.  I fight with the muscles in my arm so it slides over an inch to hover before the red hook.  Red for love.

But white for the Holy Spirit.

I slam the keys down on the white hook and take a step back, only to immediately come forward again, lift the keys from the hook, flip them around, and place them backwards on the sailboat.  I think for a moment and then turn them back again.  Air catches in my throat as I breath in.

Safe, safe, safe.  My mantra slides across my vision.

With a frustrated growl, I propel myself through the hall, away from the keys, and throw my shoes from my feet.  One lands tipped sideways against the wall.

Shoes don’t like sitting like that.

Using my toes, I rearrange the shoes so they sit beside one another nicely.  Five pairs of shoes line the hall, each one sits beside the next equally spaced apart and perfectly arranged.  Hiding behind a closet in the hall is a cardboard box filled with a tumbling pile of shoes I seldom wear.

I fill the green cup in the bathroom with cold water and let its coolness slide down my throat.  Setting it down, I twist it so its square edge lines up perfectly against the sink.  Pausing, I stare at the cup and then inch it closer to the toothbrush holder, waiting for the moment when it will feel right.  I move it back the inch.

It never feels right.

Safe, safe, safe.  I stare at my reflection as I think these words.  My fists clench suddenly so fingernails scratch into my skin.  The pain brings me back into my body and out of my mind.

The water I drank sits heavily in my stomach and I sit down on the toilet as if the water weighs me down.  My back curves, hands fold into lap, knees tuck inward and I pray I never have to move again.

I want to stay here where I am safe from my nervous fear.  Thoughts bounce between my ears and clamber together so loudly I fear my neighbors will ask why I make such a racket.

I forgot to get milk.

Haltingly, I stand and hobble back to the front door.

Who will die?

Someone will get hurt.

Your car will get smooshed by a truck.

“Stop!”  My voice sounds pathetically quiet compared to the words in my head.  “Safe, safe, safe.”  I say out loud to make sure I have actually thought, and said them.  I need it to be true.

Closing my eyes, I breathe deeply.  Air fills my belly, lungs, and throat.  Sharp pain pulls at my ribs.  Without looking, I lift the keys and walk out the door, ignoring the second guesses in my head.

Flash Fiction

Football is King

The back of Seth’s hand hovered an eighth of an inch from his center’s backside.  A drop of sweat slid through the hairs in his eyebrow and down the crease beside his nose.  His eyelid twitched as the salty water reached the white of his eye.

“Throw the fucking ball!”  The shout flew from the crowd.  It hovered around Seth’s helmet and joined the other white noise dancing around his head.

To the right of the field, blue lights flashed.  Police blocked the roads surrounding the football stadium.  Seth knew every man on the police squad was there and the majority of them had played on the team when they were his age.

“Pump, pump, pump it up.  Pump that Tiger spirit up!” The cheerleaders shouted to Seth’s left.  He had heard their cheers since he was in his mother’s womb, but had never once listened to them and couldn’t tell you a single word they said.  Their bright lipstick and shiny hair caught his attention more than their words.

13.

12.  The play clock rolled between numbers.

Monday.  A pissed off group of kids stopped Seth in the hall at school.  They stopped him not because he had lost the game on Friday, because he hadn’t.

“You like the signs we put up?”  Croy’s mouth flopped as words spilled out.

Seth shouldered his way through the jabbering crowd of students.

“What, no response?”  Croy jeered and poked a finger at Seth’s neck as he passed by.  Seth side-stepped the poke and continued down the hall.

“We thought it’d be funny to get you to move.”  Croy said.  Frustration at Seth’s lack of response lined his brow.

In a moment of indecisiveness, Croy shifted his attention to Bear, a large kid who lumbered down the hall.

“Hey, weird kid, planned any bombings of the school lately?”  Croy guffawed as the insult reached Bear’s ears.

Seth’s took a step back in the hall.  His hand punched Croy’s breath from his chest as he pushed him into a locker.  “You know why you quit the football team, Croy?  Not because you were forced to or my dad was unfair and wouldn’t play you but because you’re a fat unathletic fuck who’s soft, weak, and a hazard on the field.”

Croy’s face crinkled.  His nose turned up and lips pulled back revealing crooked teeth.

Behind Seth, Bear fled down the hall.

“I loved the ‘For Sale’ signs you so ingeniously stuck in my family’s yard.”  Seth continued.  “Come to the game Friday night and I’ll show you just how much I loved them.”  He released Croy and steadily walked away.

9.

8.  Time ticked down.

The defense opposite him popped up and shifted coverages.  The chess board at the line of scrimmage was changing and it was time for Seth to react.  Seth swiveled his head, yelled to his linemen, pointed down the line and the play was reset.

Two months ago.  Seth walked through the school between classes, a hall pass stuck into his back pocket.

“Scruffy hair, days old beard, untucked shirt.”  Mr. Finkle stepped from the shadows and wrapped his fingers around Seth’s shoulder.  “You think because you’re the coach’s son you can get away with anything. Skipping class.”  The principal’s black eyes squinted and fist bunched up Seth’s shirt.

Seth jerked away but kept his mouth shut.

“I hope you don’t mind, I told those coaches who visited last week you weren’t worth their time.”  He sneered.  “I’m watching you.”  He disappeared down the hall.

Those coaches had backed Seth when the self-important principal uttered nonsense about his skill on the field.

Seth had a mind for the game.  Many coaches wanted a big player, but those who knew Seth knew they would get a player who would get the job done every Friday night.

Whatever Mr. Finkle might say, they recognized Seth’s talent.

5.

4.  Two more seconds and he would react.

Way up on the highest bleacher, in the corner of the stands, sat Seth’s mom – the coach’s wife.  She wore the same clothes as last Friday and held her hands calmly in her lap.  Down the bleacher sat three of the Tiger’s previous quarterbacks.  They rested, one with elbows on his knees, the other with hands behind his head, and the last stood- hands in pockets.

She sat there where people knew better.  They didn’t try to pretend they understood more than the coach or the kids on the field.

Ten years ago.  Seth sat on his front step, a football between his feet.

“Hey, Seth.”

Seth looked up into the face of a man driving a truck.  He didn’t know who man was, but that sure didn’t stop the man from knowing him.

“Tell your Dad he won’t last a month here.  Tell him ya’ll better not unpack.  Tell him none of you are good enough for this town.”  The man spit from his truck and it splattered on the road.

“Get on, Roy!”  Seth’s neighbor hollered from next door.  “The kid doesn’t need to hear your nonsense.”

Roy stuck his head in the air and squealed his tires as he drove away.

Seth’s neighbor inclined her head toward him and disappeared into her house.

3.

2.  It was time.

Seth raised his right leg and stomped his foot.  His center snapped the ball into Seth’s hands.  He pulled the ball behind his head as his feet danced him safely in the pocket.

The game was on.

Writing Always Improves…Hopefully

I just pulled out my short story, The Suit and was interested at the quality of my writing from only three years ago.  I thought y’all might find it interesting to read the differences.

From 2007:

Samantha’s foot bones cracked on the hard wood floor, she absolutely hated that sound.  Very rarely could anyone ever find her with out a body suit on, but currently she couldn’t figure out which one to wear.  Pacing the floor in front of her closet she moaned slightly in agony.  Panic rose up in Samantha’s throat as she stilled and observed her most current dilemma.

From 2011:

Samantha grimaced as the bones in her foot cracked against the hard wood floor.  It was early morning, she stood naked, without a body suit on to cover her bleached bones.  The black voids that were her eyes stared into the depths of her closet attempting to peer through the mess. A quiet moan rose up in her throat, and she took a quick step forward to reach into the chaos.

I guess my point with this is, with time and commitment, writing does get better.  I am hoping that over this next year my writing will improve by leaps and bounds.  I absolutely would love any and all help from any of you have to offer.  I will keep working on this piece and will hopefully post the entire thing sometime soon.

I’m also going to post a piece soon on running, keep watch.