Friday Fictioneers: Behind the Wheels

The beauty of flash fiction – and I recommend every writer give it a shot – is that you aren’t tied to your story. You can whip something out, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve fully developed every aspect of the story or if it’s a voice you could sustain – or would even want to sustain. It allows you to play with words and stories in ways you wouldn’t normally do without the pressure of wondering if it’s good enough. Flash fiction is FUN.

If you’d like to join in, please click on the link below the story!

 

PHOTO PROMPT -Copyright-Roger Bultot

PHOTO PROMPT -Copyright-Roger Bultot

 

Behind the Wheels

It’s hard to say how it all started. Little stuff, you know, like a blade of grass in a sidewalk crack. Not like vines wrapping around your body and choking the life out of you.

But now it’s like – and I hope you’ll forgive the mixed metaphor – it’s like I’m driving along and all the sudden I realize my steering wheel’s just a dummy. She’s been steering all along, crazy creature with white flowers in her hair.

I think I’ll hit the gas. See how she handles the truck at 110 m.p.h.

 


Friday Fictioneers (n): A world-wide community of writers addicted to writing 100 word stories based on a photo prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. 

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Friday Fictioneers Double Header: Where Stories Dwell & Secret Places

As sometimes happens, today’s prompt took me in two directions. Read, enjoy, comment away… And write your own if you feel inspired!

Edited to add: WordPress just told me this is my 100th post. Thank you to all who have liked and commented along the way! Also, I’ve been meaning to tell you all I have a handy-dandy little Facebook Author Page now. So, yeah, go check out Author Lisa Dunn and wait with me for the publication of GRIT OF BERTH AND STONE and other fun stuff!

PHOTO PROMPT -Copyright - Jan Wayne Fields

PHOTO PROMPT -Copyright – Jan Wayne Fields

Where Stories Dwell

“Edna Mallory and her handsome beaus live in here.” Grandma slides the manuscript she’d been editing into the top left-hand drawer. “Over here, Margo Hutchinson’s clever detective captures a different breed of man. This one houses Howard.” She leans in close and whispers, “Silly boys still don’t fancy girls writing sci-fi.”

“What about that one?” I point to the large drawer at the bottom of the desk.

“Don’t you mess with that one.” Her eyes are stern. “It contains stories not yet written. Scary beasts all of them.”

She shuffles into the kitchen, and my fingers brush the drawer.

As it slides open, worlds erupt.

Secret Places

You say I have a secret garden where rose petals wipe away the tears you’ll never see.

But who are you to judge?

Like an antique desk with long-lost pulls, you will not open to my will. My nails are chipped and broken, but there are drawers that will not budge.

So forgive me if I have a secret garden where rose petals wipe away the tears you’ll never see.

(Yep, it’s a little tribute to the Boss: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiLosOQP400)


Friday Fictioneers (n): A world-wide community of writers addicted to writing 100 word stories based on a photo prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. 

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Friday Fictioneers: That House on Brambleberry Drive

 

Björn 6

That House on Brambleberry Drive

I grew up in the valley in a bramble-covered house.

“It’s nature,” Mama said when we buried three stillborn kittens. “Sometimes stark, but beautiful no less.”

From your tidy lawn in Mountain Heights, you condemned my father’s free-range children.

But I’ve seen you tug at your buttoned collar, heard you sigh as your shoes slide off. I’ve felt your terror of enclosing walls.

So take my hand, love. I’ll show you where the wild berries thrive, where the human spirit comes alive.


Friday Fictioneers (n): A world-wide community of writers addicted to writing 100 word stories based on a photo prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. 

Read or Join here:  

A few notes:

First, if you know me personally, you know burying things in our backyard is no novelty. Thank the huntress cat for that, but it’s really not my idea of fun. Really.

Also, I have nothing against nice lawns, but our backyard is a place of exploration, creation, and well… whatever the kids imagine. We had a four foot deep hole and a wooden “teepee” back there for a good six months this year. Our kids and our home are pretty free-range. So you can take some aspects of this story as semi-autobiographical.

On the other hand, if you’ve read my soon-to-be published novel (or if you read it when it comes out in March), please know that while I enjoy a good bowl of berries, I don’t have any special attachment to them. As a writer, I choose many details – especially those related to nature – for their purported symbolism. Beyond a vague notion of fertility, however, I have no idea what multitude of things “wild berries” might symbolize, and frankly, I’m a little scared to delve too deeply for fear of finding I’ve inadvertently written some rather provocative pieces. Berries just happen to be convenient…

 

 

 

Of Earth and Sky and Endless Gratitude

Why, someone might ask, do I love my sister so? In addition to being a pretty awesome human being and saving me from countless literary tragedies, when I asked for a story idea a few months ago, she offered the idea of “a stable boy who’s really a prince leaves his glove on a princess’s saddle.” I don’t know how she did it – how she knew, as she always does, just the right idea to trigger an exciting plot line acted out by characters I love at first meeting, but within days, I had a whole fantastic story mapped out and set aside to write when other projects are complete. Until then, endless gratitude to my Wise and Wonderful Sister and a sample for the rest of you…

 

DSC_0121_5

Of Earth and Sky

I find my only solace on Gavriel’s back. It is a cheap solace, for even as I dream of flying, I know my feet are as bound to earth as my lungs are to air. However far I ride from the castle, I know I shall return to that prison. I’ve nowhere else to go, since Father sent Erion away. “A prince, yes, but hardly a suitable one. A princess of Earth with her head in the clouds… I’ve never heard anything more ridiculous, Isla.” He laughed while I blinked back tears. DSC_0227_3 I rein Gavriel in and look down on the castle in the valley.

A caravan of red and gold approaches the gates. King Kennet, Born of Fire, arrives to claim his bride, no doubt. Father will be as angry as Kennet if I am too late to receive him, and angry kings of Earth and Fire bode well for none. I raise my face to the ever-loving sky, as if to bid all hope farewell, then press my legs into Gavriel’s sides. We descend into the valley.

In the stable yard, an unfamiliar groom waits to take Gavriel’s lead. I dismount several paces from him.

“You’ve come with Kennet, I suppose.” I want to spit the name from my mouth, cleanse it from my mind.

The stupid boy says nothing, won’t even meet my eye, only fiddles with his tattered sleeve. He places a hand on Gavriel’s saddle.

“I can tend my own horse, thank you. Tell your master not all Earth bows to Fire.” A foolish thing to say, but Kennet already knows I’ve no fondness for him.

The stable boy turns to go as I lead Gavriel to his stall. As I unlatch the saddle’s girth, I spy a piece of cloth in the seat. I lift it slowly. Silky white and pale blue, like the endless sky of a perfect day, the glove flitters in the gentle breeze that sweeps through the stable. I put it to my nose and inhale the scent of rain, the scent of Erion, Prince of the Sky, Rider of Winds.

My heart beats hard in my chest as I look about the stable. The stupid boy is coming back. With every step, his hair blows by some wind that seems to fall on him alone. He stops outside Gavriel’s stall and this time, he meets my eye.

“Princess Isla of Earth, I believe you’ve found my glove.”

“Erion!” Cool, clean air swirls about me, chasing away the scents of manure and hay as I step around Gavriel and out of the stall. The wind increases as I wrap my arms around Erion’s neck. My feet no longer touch the earth. He laughs, and his breath feels like summer on my ear.

“I told you nothing in Earth could keep me from you,” he says.

We soar over the valley, his arm wrapped loosely around my waist. High above, Erion’s kingdom of clouds awaits. He laughs, and I blink back tears, this time of joy.

You’re Washing Your Hair All Wrong

It’s late at night, and I’m exhausted, but I’m scrolling through my Facebook news feed anyway. The day’s been mostly good, but long and loud, so in the quiet of a sleeping house, with all my tasks complete (enough), I let my mind linger over the senseless jabber that is Facebook.

And then I see “15 Ways You’ve Been Shampooing Your Hair Wrong.”

It’s what you’d expect, fifteen tips on healthier haircare. Nothing shocking, nothing inherently disheartening… except that, at the end of the day, why does it really matter how a woman shampoos her hair?

A friend and I have been talking about beauty lately, about how hard it is not to obsess over it, how hard it is be beautiful without succumbing to the vain desire to look beautiful, too.

Feeling a little out of sorts over this issue of shampoo, I close my laptop and begin a bedtime routine that includes kissing each of my four children on the forehead or cheek, sometimes the back of the head if a child’s face is burrowed into a heap of pillows. Beside my daughter is the notebook in which we’ve been writing nightly notes to one another. Tonight she loves me so, so, so, so, so, so much and she tells me I’m so beautiful.

So I’ll wash my hair however I see fit, and I’ll rest in the knowledge that I’m beautiful to the ones who matter most.

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Friday Fictioneers: Taking Crete

Someday, after I’ve written myself fresh out of fantasy ideas, I may try my hand at a dystopian retelling of an old myth. Here’s a little teaser…

PHOTO PROMPT- Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

PHOTO PROMPT- Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Taking Crete (100 words)

My fellow passengers’ heads loll against windows and backs of seats as the plane flies over D.C. None of them would have boarded this flight without pharmaceutical encouragement.

“May I see your letter again?” A uniformed woman leans over the empty seat beside me. “Substitutions are unprecedented.”

A hard expression enters her dark eyes as she scans the Oval Office letterhead, but I’ve forged my father’s signature flawlessly for years. It passes inspection.

The others will be groggy at best when Stavros sets us loose, but I’ll experience every nanosecond of horror, desperation, and gore.

I’ve never felt so alive.


Friday Fictioneers (n): A world-wide community of writers addicted to writing 100 word stories based on a photo prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. 

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Trailer Reveal: OPERATION TREE ROPER by Robert A. Polk

 
Anaiah Press is revealing the trailer for OPERATION TREE ROPER: AN EYE ABOVE by Robert Polk today and we have it here on the blog!
 
 
Blurb:
Twelve-year-old Declan Parker was born with only one eye, but all he seems to have trouble seeing in proper perspective is himself.  All he wants is for kids to see him as normal before he starts a new school in the fall. To that end, he sets out to make money helping with his dad’s tree care business.
Unfortunately, when his dad lands in the hospital after a climbing accident, Declan’s surgery hopes are wrecked. His only hope remains in a neighbor girl and her uncle, a wounded army veteran. Can they help him save his dad’s business, or will Declan’s once-courageous drive turn into total despair?
Operation Tree Roper: An Eye Above is a well-crafted story about a strong, dauntless young man who redefines the value of self-reflection. Declan is a character you won’t be able to forget.
Welcome to your new favorite book…
Release Date:
October 7, 2014
Book Links:
Anaiah Press: www.anaiahpress.com
Author Bio:
 Robert Polk lives in western Nebraska where he shares his love of books and the great outdoors with his wife and seven children. He is a former school counselor, business owner, and tree climbing arborist. Robert participates in his church and local community, currently serving on several non-profit boards.
Author Links: