2018 Mid-Season Report

Good day, my friends.

I hope you’re enjoying the summer weather. (This might be a stretch for some, I imagine.) And I hope everyone is enjoying the time to spend with family or relaxing or whatever it is to help get through the “dog days.” (By the way, does anyone know what that phrase means?) Continue reading “2018 Mid-Season Report”

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The Last Time

Good day, everyone.

I meant to share this earlier this week, but got busy.

Anyway, last week, the Flash Fiction Hive brought back a favorite: write a scene or story inspired by a song. This time, I decided to take a song from one of my favorite singers, Vanessa Williams. And I actually combined it with a photo prompt a friend posted on Twitter.

Hope you enjoy it.

Rae tipped the taxi driver who stopped in front of her apartment. She sat down on the stairs, slowly unwinding from an unrelenting day of classes. But it wasn’t the classes that exasperated her. It was her ex, Tyler Westwood. He surprised her after her Applied Spanish class, wrapping his strapping arms around her slender body. For a moment, she was taken aback, longing for someone who could fill the emptiness he left behind. But she quickly shook herself free from his grasp. She fled from him without explanation. But it wouldn’t be the last she saw of him. Anytime she was alone, Tyler was there as if he knew where she would be. That was the kind of relationship they had. They would date, then break up and find themselves with someone else. And, like clockwork, they would break up with their partner at the same time, and end up in each other’s arms. It went on like this for three years. Tyler counted it as mere coincidence. Rae was more skeptical. She believed someone was feeding him information about her relationships and eventual breakups.

Rae watched the streetlights flicker and hum. She climbed up the stairs when she heard a car pulling up to the side. An ‘87 cherry red Trans Am. She ran into her apartment and locked the door. Peeking into the peephole, she feared the worst. But she heard nothing. Not the slamming of the car door. Not the brisk steps up to her room. Not the repetitive knocking pattern. Nothing. But she stood against the door, gazing into the hallway. She waited three minutes, keeping her breathing low. She breathed a sigh of relief and walked to her bedroom to change.

A bowl of leftover fried rice, her Seattle mug half-full of coffee, her backpack, and a stack of books were sprawl out across her coffee table. In one hand, she ran her highlighter across her notebook. In the other hand, she scooped up her dinner. A knock on her door broke her concentration. She stood up, shaking her legs to get feeling back in her feet. She peeled into the hallway. In front of her door stood Tyler with his shiny bald head and dressed as if he finished jogging.

“Go away,” Rae yelled, “I’m busy.”

But Tyler stood firm like a statue with his hands in his pockets.

“I just have to say something right quick. It won’t take long, I promise.”

Rae doubted his sincerity, but she opened the door and stood in the doorway. Her mahogany eyes skimmed the man who broke her heart many times before. Even with the intention that she wanted nothing more to do with him, there was a faint sparkle.

“Go ahead. Say it.”

Tyler removed his hands from his pockets, lying limp on his sides.

“Okay. I get that you just want to be friends, but I can’t do that. We have too much history, you and I. We’ve been there for each other, thick and thin.”

That much was true. As much as she hated to admit it, Rae couldn’t deny Tyler was the one person she could always turn to when even her girlfriends let her down.

“That’s why I can’t be just friends. I love you too much.”

Rae crossed her arms.

“Is that it?” she snapped. “All you wanted to say is that we should get back together?”

She huffed and closed her door, but he stuck his hand out to block it. Rae looked back to see her ex enter her apartment.

“This can’t happen anymore, Ty. We can’t get back together. We tried I don’t know how many times and it ends up the same way. We hook up. We fight. We break up and find someone else. We can’t keep doing this.”

Her disdain was only matched by her the tenseness in her body. Tyler slowly approached her, but she backed away with every step he took. Soon she was against the wall, her body coiling up as he stood within inches of her, breathing down her neck. But then, he backed away.

“You’re right. This can’t happen. It can only lead to disaster. But I wanted to say I’m sorry.”

Rae felt the blood coursing freely throughout her body. Her muscles became loose. The veins in her neck subdued. She stared at him wondering what made him change all of a sudden.

“I’ll leave. Sorry.”

Tyler shut the door behind him, leaving Rae puzzled. She lingered on his words, then thought, “Damn it.” She ran into the hallway, trying to catch a glimpse of him before he was out of sight. She ran down the stairs and flung the doors open. Rae saw him about to get in his car.

“Tyler!” she cried. She raced across the street toward him, wrapped her silky arms around his bulging neck and locked lips with his. She closed her eyes as flashes of the good times they shared popped into her mind. When she stopped, she brushed her honey blond hair behind her ear.

“I suppose we could try one last time. But this is the last time. I’m serious.”

Tyler smiled and they locked their lips yet again. If it was the last time, they were going to make sure it was the most memorable last time.

Rainbow Soup

Hi there.

I was working out the details of my main short story when I read an email from Poets and Writers. Long story short, it was about soup. Kind of fitting because a lot of people have had bouts with the flu. There are a couple of different ways to write about soup. I thought I’d share my take on the prompt. Enjoy.

Quinton always knew that Mason would be a chef. Ever since he was eight, he devoured everything put on his plate. Didn’t matter if it was meatloaf or spinach or fish sticks. Continue reading “Rainbow Soup”

The Stranger

Interesting tidbit about this flash fiction piece. I got the idea from a prompt I found on Pinterest. It was originally going to be a scene for a short story, but I couldn’t get the story to work. I wanted some sci-fi elements into it, but I couldn’t pull it off. I deleted the prompt from my board, but the idea stuck with me afterwards. So I decided to rework it as a flash fiction piece. It may not have the sci-fi element I wanted, but I felt proud seeing this story to the end. Enjoy. Continue reading “The Stranger”

One More Minute

Courtesy of Flash Fiction Hive on Twitter (@FlashFicHive)

The Flash Fiction Hive Started a new series of prompts for the month of October. Here’s my latest story. 

Natalie had a problem with handling sandwiches. The bread crumbs. The juices from the slices of chicken. The knives covered in mixed mayonnaise and mustard. All this messiness overloaded her OCD brain. But still, it’s what Hannah wanted. And she thought it better handling sandwiches than venturing into her daughter’s germ-ridden bedroom, sick as a dog. Natalie cut the sandwich in triangle halves, just as she always done since she was five. She never understood why it had to be that way.

Natalie traversed across the hall, carrying the plate with her sandwich. She stopped in front of Hannah’s door and slipped on her mask. There was no telling what kind of germs would want to invade her space. But she thrust the door open anyway. Her forest green eyes were wide and droopy. She had not gotten even an hour of sleep. But she was willing to sacrifice it in order to make sure Hannah was comfortable. She saw her daughter sprawled out in her bed, with only her nightgown covering her.

“Hey sweetheart. How you doing?”

Hannah could only life her hand flat, shaking it side to side.

“I got your sandwich, just how you like it.”

She set the plate on her lap. Hannah reached for the sandwich closest to her, but couldn’t hold on. She lacked these strength and her hands were as frail as dried out branches. Natalie wanted to brush her thinning hair, but it was as if she was being repelled. 

It’s okay, baby. You don’t have to eat it now.”

She fretted leaving the plate on her bed. The crumbs could fall out and spill onto the comforter. But she resisted. It wasn’t about her and her commitment to cleanliness. Hannah was more important. She kept repeating that statement to herself. She pulled the sheet toward her chest, brushing it out so that it resembled some kind of order. The door bell rang, startling them

“I’ll be back.”

Natalie ran to the door, peeked through the peephole. A team of white-coated men and women stood in front. Natalie lowered her head. These were the last people she wanted to see. There was still so much she wanted to do with her daughter. She was ten years old. She shouldn’t be this sick.

“Mrs. Alstott,” one of the men shouted. “It’s time. We need the child.”

Natalie banged her head against the door. She felt the tears running down her cheek.

“Mrs Alstott, we talked about this. You had your time. Now it’s time to do our job.”

Natalie shook her head. She wanted one more minute. But the man was right. It was time. And there was no getting out of it. She opened the door and the team entered single file. One rolled a bed into the house. They made her way to Hannah’s room. Natalie shoved her way past the white coats.

“Let me speak with her about what’s happening. She deserves that much.”

“Ok. But be quick.”

Natalie slid into her bedroom and kneeled in front of Hannah. She explained the situation she was going to face. Hannah started to cry. Then she cried. She pulled her close, and cupped the back of her head. All the while, she repeated the sentence. “Hannah is more important.”