Category Archives: short-stories

Wild Fire and Star Shine (flash fiction) (short story)

WILD FIRE & STAR SHINE

“Where’s Jack,” the little girl asked, finishing off her bowl of oatmeal and looking up at her mother hopefully.

Mother smiled. “He’s outside chopping wood.”

“He hasn’t left?”

Mom tried to muster a smile. “Not yet.”

Her daughter looked up from her breakfast. “But he will?”

“Eventually, I suppose.” She turned from her child to the sink. “They always do.”

The little girl put her spoon down and slid her chair from the table. “I wish one of them would stay. I always miss them when they leave.”

Then she was bounding out the door for the wood pile and the man who waited there.

“I do too, Sophie,” her mother said in her absence. “I do too.”

Sophie ran on ten year old legs around the back of the house where a man stood over a pile of logs he was in the process of splitting. Though it was fall and a little chilly at the base of the mountain, he worked shirtless, his muscles rippling with each swing of the axe.

The child watched him for a moment as he worked on the wood and then said, “I hope I have muscles like yours when I grow up.”

The man smiled as if noticing her for the first time. He looked at her, his sky blue eyes bright in the morning sun. “From what I have seen that would probably make people uncomfortable. Little girls aren’t supposed to dream of being men.”

“Mama says women can do things better than men. And that girls aren’t afraid of com..commi…”

“Commitment?” Jack suggested.

“Yes, commitment.”

Jack lifted his axe and brought it down on a log. “Well, your mom is probably right.”

“Are you afraid of commit..commitment?”

He snorted. “That’s a deep question for a little girl.”

Sophie sat down on one of the logs. “I don’t want you to go.”

“I’m not going anywhere, little one.”

“Mama says you will. She says men don’t like baggage.”

Again, he smiled. “Your mama says a lot.”

Sophie brushed her chestnut colored hair off her face. “She likes you, you know.”

“I like her, too.”

She smiled mischievously. “Are you going to kiss her?”

“Sophie!”

The shout startled the girl, and she turned to see her mom standing there with two coffee mugs in her hand.

“That’s not the way girls talk to grown men,” her mom scolded. “Now go inside and get ready for school.”

“He’s not a grown man.”

“Sophie! Mind your manners and do what I tell you.”

The girl hung her head. “Yes mam.” She looked up at Jack who had a look of amusement on his face. “I’m sorry Mr. Jack. I shouldn’t have said that about grown up.”

The man sat down the axe and walked over to her. He jostled her hair with his hand. “It’s okay, wildfire. Maybe I do have a lot of growing up to do still. I’ve only been here a couple of weeks. Still not used to this air.” He winked and looked to the blue expanse of sky overhead. “I’m so used to cramped spaces and a faster pace of things.” He smiled at her reassuringly. “I’ll get used to it. But right now, you better do what your ma says.”

“Yes, sir,” she replied and headed off to the house.

Jack put his hands on his hips and looked at the girl’s mother. “Is that for me,” he asked, pointing at one of the cups in her hand.

“Um yes, of course,” she replied, trying not to look at his bare chest. She attempted to ignore how the sweat ran in rivulets down to his abs, disappearing into the top of his faded black jeans.

He took the cup she offered and drank from it in spare sips. Some of it missed his lips and ran down his chin, but he seemed not to notice.

“Thanks,” he said. “How do you say it? It hits the spot?”

“Yes, that’s what we say, “ she agreed, hoping he had forgotten the interchange between himself and her precocious daughter. He handed the cup back and picked up the axe again, hefting it over his shoulder to return to the task of woodcutting. “So, what is this thing about kissing?”

She dropped both cups. “Um..I..you have to understand something…about children. Sometimes…they, um, say the craziest things.”

He nodded as if digesting some new kind of information. “Hmmm. And is this something they grow out of?”

“Hopefully so.”

“This kissing thing then?”

“Don’t worry, “ she replied, her voice catching in her throat. “It will pass. Nothing to concern yourself with.”

He could tell she was nervous, that this was an uncomfortable kind of topic for her. He knew enough to change the conversation before it made her even more uneasy..

“How about them Cowboys?”

“Excuse me?” She asked.

“I saw that on the…what do you call it?…television. When you want to avoid a subject?”

“Um..yes, of course. How about them cowboys.”

She tried to muster a confident smile and turned to go back inside. She needed to check on Sophie and drive her to school or they would be late. She took one last look at Jack and almost felt sorry for him. Where he came from, on his planet, kissing must have truly been an alien concept.

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Waiting For The Cyclone (flash fiction, fan fic)

Another experiment in flash fiction, this little piece started with the first sentence at the starting gate of a timed writing exercise. I just start typing and let it rip. I quickly realized it changed from flash fiction to fan fic about the second sentence in. With that said I guess it can’t truly be flash, as in all fan fic you have some idea about events and characters before you start. Still, I do like what came out of the exercise and so I thought I’d share it. Hope you enjoy 🙂

“Waiting For The Cyclone”

She stands in the middle of the dirt road, the old farmhouse off to the left, the wide expanse of the prairie to her right. A hot afternoon breeze blows through her long brown hair. The hem of her gingham dress swirls around her legs, blown about by the same rhythmic wind that signals the coming cyclone. She has waited for this since childhood, keeping her lonely vigil, hoping the one that swept her away once before will return. They have told she is mad, perhaps “tetched in tha head”, but she knows her own experience as if it were written in a book or seen at the movies. It had swept her away before, far from the dying corn rows and starving animals of her Uncle’s farm. And though that had been years ago in childhood, as a young woman she longs for a similar adventure again, something to make her come alive and feel the impossible possibilities of youth. She has missed her friends from long ago, and has found herself unable to make new ones. She feels as if she is dying here, or will die alone at an old age always dreaming of something better, something more wonderful than any wizard could grant. What she needed was one more wicked witch and one less day of wasting away in her own longings. And so she waits for the cyclone, always on the horizon, yet never arriving, still hoping to find that “no place like home” kind of feeling.

Ghost Boy Blues 8

I approach him with caution, stepping on tip toe as if I’m trying not to be heard or seen. I tend to forget sometimes I am neither. No one notices me as I walk towards his desk, his back turned to me. He doesn’t hear my approach and it feels weird to be moving among a classroom where no one knows you even exist. They didn’t take notice of me when I was alive and they certainly have kept it up now that I’m a spirit.

I am standing at his back, reaching out, my fingers nearly touching his shoulder. For a moment , I am afraid of what will happen if I try to use his body as a host for my spirit. Will my soul be the dominant one and shove his to the side so that I will be in control? Or will I be a helpless observer, a mere presence within him that can’t control any aspect of his physical form? Possibly, we would coexist, but would be be aware of each other, or would our two personalities meld and mesh into one? Heaven forbid, I could even be trapped in that one body forever. Unable to escape and roam free again.

I pull my hand back. Though he seems the perfect boy to be, I’m not sure I want to be perfect forever. I just want to let the girl of my dreams know I adore her and maybe have the chance to have her adore me back. I’ve seen how she admires him. How he makes her smile and laugh. This may be my one and only chance to know firsthand of her affections. I used to sit in my seat dreaming I could kiss a girl like her. Now, here’s my last chance and I’m still too chicken to act.

I take a deep breath. Screw it. I’m not to going to blow this. I thrust my hand towards the boy’s back. I touch his skin, but cannot feel it. I am sinking into him, being pulled now by a force that compels me to become a part of this person. I am passing into him like smoke from a cigarette inhaled into the lungs. For a split second, his body jerks as if it knows an intruder has arrived, but then settles down and lets me in.

Once inside, I attempt to move his frame, and I tell myself to move his hand, but it’s now my hand too, so it obeys my command to scratch the crotch of his (my?) pants. I jerk the hand back quickly. It’s weird to feel his body. It’s like I’m touching someone else and it makes me feel violated somehow. I look around the room and know the head of this body is turning with me.

The other students seem to find this unusual. My host must be a very attentive student and not given n to distractions. Some of them curious looks on their faces. None of the faces belong to the girl I want. She is not in this class. I will have to wait out this period before going in search of her.

It’s then I feel a push, as if someone has just given me a shove in the chest. But its not something physical. This body hasn’t moved. No, this has come from within. The host is fighting back.

Monday Morning At The Springtime Cafe (short story / flash fiction)

It’s Monday morning and I’m sitting at the Springtime Cafe once again, watching all the A.M. people get a kick start to their day. Coffee, danishes, breakfast, conversation, whatever one needs to begin is right here. There’s even a duo set up with their acoustic guitars in the corner playing a cute little Ingrid Michaelson song. Several waitresses move about, taking orders and offering their own voices to the conversations at the various tables and booths. This morning I spot two of them right away.

Mags, or Maggie for long, is a middle aged lady, perhaps 40 or so, but she moves through the place like she’s twenty-five. She has blond hair, from which I can spot a few grays, though I never try to look that close. She gets picked on about that enough by some of the regular guys who come in and perch at one of her tables while awaiting their carpool. Of course she usually just shoots them down with a look from her steely, gray eyes. If that doesn’t work she has a tone to her voice that might remind you of your mom telling you a whipping is coming. For this reason alone, I can’t help but like her.

The other waitress is just as likable, a little more bubbly perhaps, because of her age. If I had to guess she’s about 30, maybe a few years younger. If Mags acts and moves around like a younger woman, then her co-worker flies around the room like a college girl late for class. Her name is May, and perhaps her parents should have been scolded for naming their child Maybelline, but she too made the best of the jokes and cajoling from the guys who frequented the cafe, some of them drawn indoors by the sight of her alone.

I speak from experience here. I myself was just tooling down the street on the way to a cubicle job I hated when I looked over and saw the brunette waitress through the window of the cafe. Her hair was long then, falling over her shoulders and slightly down her back. From the street, I saw her smile at a customer, and from that day I knew I would want her smile to be at the start of my morning for the rest of my life. Perhaps that’s an exaggeration, but as if on cue she arrives at my table, while I sit here like a dumbfounded idiot watching her approach and jotting it down. If I drew instead of writing about her, she may take more notice, but as it is I’m just another guy, maybe a teacher at the local college, working on a thesis or grading papers while waiting for his coffee.

“Still at it,” she asks, as she steps up to the table, the soles of her white shoes tapping lightly as if a near perfect dance routine had come to a temporary stop.

“Yeah,” I sigh with a smile and fall in love again for the tenth time this morning.

Seven Days Of Sentences: Day 7

Wow, I made it through this self dared challenge. I’m not sure how successful it was, but I am pleased on how it turned out for me in my writing. Creating a daily writing habit, even if it was just one sentence, made me feel better about jumping back into the fray. It also got the creative juices flowing, getting me to think about different stories and voices. I’m still on the fence about NaNoWriMo but I’m sure running out of time to make up my mind, lol. Okay, so here’s Day seven of the challenge and my last entry of the weeklong prompt. Hope you enjoy.

Not many people today talk about the massacre at the Cayville Public library, but sometimes within the eyes of the survivors you can see there’s a secret in there, perhaps lost or purposely forgotten to protect those who were never seen again.

Seven Days Of Sentences: Day 5

Just a couple more days left in the challenge. If you’re just joining me here, the challenge is this: write a story in just one sentence. Sentence can be any length, but once a period is in place, that’s it. So here we go with my attempt on Day 5.

——

The Bible told him what to do, and though it wasn’t what we would have done, perhaps our minds weren’t quite as twisted as his.