A Challenge Accepted!

Two posts in one day for me! Wow, I must be in the zone. LOL

Frank over at A Frank Angle has issued a challenge to write a flash fiction piece on the picture below. It has to be 150 words or less. It’s been a while since I did a challenge like this, so I’m kind of rusty. Hope you all enjoy it and zip on over to Franks to read all the other great writings, including Franks!

 

Footprints in the Sand

 

He was told that he would be alone at this outpost. Then why is he seeing footprints that aren’t his?

Looking around he didn’t see anything for miles. Just sand. Lots of sand.

He radioed back to headquarters about the footprints and waited. No one did anything on their own. If it wasn’t an approved activity dire consequences would occur. He knew that. He’s seen it in action. He didn’t want to be the next person it happened to.

So, he waited.

When he didn’t hear back from headquarters the next morning he did his usual walk around the area. It was protocol. You didn’t go against protocol.

He saw new footprints. With strange holes next to them. Whoever it was, it was barefoot and fairly small. He couldn’t figure out the holes. A stick? Where would they get a stick in this godforsaken wasteland?

Hearing a sound behind him he spun around and gasped. A small woman holding an antique firearm was standing there. She was pointing it at his chest.

 

 

 

That’s where my imagination took me. Hope you enjoyed it and will go visit Franks blog to read more. 

 

 

 

Wednesday Whatever! ~~ A short story

Today I decided to do a little bit of writing. I went to *Random First Line Generator* and just decided to do a short story with whatever first line I happened to like.

Below is what I came up with for the first line of:

The footsteps were moving away.

 

woman-520052_1280

 

The footsteps were moving away. She took a deep breath, drew the hood over her head and turned to dart in the opposite direction when her ears picked up a slight sound. She froze, her nerves tingling. If she was caught they would kill her. No questions asked, no hesitation.

The sound of faint buzzing came from behind her. Damn. One of those mechanical tracking devices had caught her scent. If she didn’t move fast she was dead and she wasn’t ready to die today.

Reaching into her pocket she withdrew a small vial. After smashing the vial into the ground she ran down a flight of stairs barely visible in the darkness. Inside the vial was a concoction of her own making. A vile and long lingering scent that would confuse the tracking device long enough for her to make her escape.

Her lips curved up into a small sneer as she raced around the next building. It would take more than a few slow-moving guards and a bloodhound machine to stop her. She knew it had been a risk to come this close to her enemy but it was also the only way to get the information she needed.

Carson could make demands, yell and fret all he wanted. It didn’t make any difference. Sasha was always going to do what she wanted when she wanted. How else were they going to free her father from the prisons of Alazaban?

Her father was all the family she had left in this desolate wasteland of a world. She wasn’t going to lose him to a loathsome, ego-maniac like Drakon.

Drakon was a self-made lunatic. He had money, power, and men behind him. She had herself, Carson and a few rag-tailed friends. Sasha felt the odds were still in her favor. After all, Carson was the best mechanic around and could build things from almost nothing. Her strengths were that she was a genius with chemicals.

With the two of them and her few friends, she would make Drakon sorry he ever took notice of her that fateful day last year in the market. She wasn’t about to give in to Drakon’s demands.

Because she refused his advances, Drakon took her total dislike of him and made her the promise that she would pay for her stupidity. He called it stupid, she called it survival. It was well known what Drakon did to his former lovers when he got tired of them. She wasn’t going to suffer the same fate.

He kidnapped her father and told her she could trade herself for him. Wasn’t going to happen. Sasha was going to get her father back…or die trying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Prey (A very short story)

The Prey

She sits on the ridge overlooking the valley below. Still as silence, her ears pick up the tiniest rustling off to the left. Her nose twitches as she catches a slight smell of the nervous creature scuttling away from her.

Her ears twitch as she catches another sound, louder and less cautious than the small mouse she let get away. Her body tenses. Ready to leap or run, depending on whether the movement in front of her becomes prey or predator.

Crouching in the tall dry grass, she watches with intensity as a large shadow emerges from the bushes below. A human. She sniffs the air and catches a familiar scent. Her human. Is the human looking for her? Maybe.

She watches her human walk to a large rock and sits down. Suddenly she smells something heavenly. Food! Her human has food. How long has it been since she’s eaten? A long time. Her stomach gives off a small rumble. She is so hungry.

Cautiously she slinks toward the human, she doesn’t want to be spotted. Not yet. Not a sound she makes as she slowly gets nearer.

The human moves and she stops, shifting her body lower to the ground. Her muscles quiver with the effort to hold still. Her long tail behind her like a velvet rope, still.

Suddenly she hears a soft murmur. Her human, calling her name. She dares not move in case she’s spotted. Let the human call for her. She will respond when she’s ready, if at all. She hears her name once more, louder now. As if that will force her to move. No! She must be careful.

Once again she smells food, stronger now as she is closer. Ah, how nice it will be to eat once more. She must be strong. Slowly her foot moves forward. Then again. As if in slow motion her body slithers through the long grass toward the rock.

The human reaches down and places something on the rock next to them. A trick? To try to catch her unawares? Never! She is too smart for that. She stops and crouches down as the human moves slightly. The smell of whatever was left on the rock almost too much to bear.

She must have that food or she will perish! It’s been so long since she last ate! When was it? She tries to remember. She can’t think with that smell wafting down to her. She will have it. Now!

Her whole body starts to quiver. Her butt moving back and forth, her tail twitching. She must chance it. Human or no human she must have what smells so enticing! Her back-end moves faster, her legs tense, ready for the jump.

She springs! As she lands on the rock she has the piece of fish in her mouth within seconds. Ahhhh, such delicacy! Such flavors!

The human laughs.  “Slow down! You just ate this morning, silly cat.”

 

cat-1722754_640

 

 

 

Tuesday’s Challenge

Today’s challenge is going to be a little bit different. I’m going to give a line of dialog and then you can add to it. I think short and sweet should do. Use the line of dialog somewhere in your writings. Let’s keep it at 200 words or less. Have fun!

The line of dialog to use is: “I’m too old to start again.”

 

 

http://wprasek.com/
http://wprasek.com/

 

 

“Come on, Ruthie, it’ll be fun.”

“I don’t know Bertha, it might be too soon.”

“Now you know it’s been five long years since Albert’s death. You need to be livin’ a life again!”

“I’m too old to start again.”

“Nonsense! You’re only sixty-four years old, still a young woman.”

“Now who’s speakin’ nonsense, Bertha? Young woman! Don’t be tryin’ to talk me into something I’ll probably be sorry for later.”

“It’s only a dinner date. It’s not like you’re gonna marry the man.”

“Easy for you to say, you’ve still got your man. It’s not so easy to start over. I never did like datin’.”

“Don’t look at it as a ‘date’, look at it as a free dinner and one you don’t have to cook.”

Ruthie closed her eyes, leaned back into her chair and sighed. Bertha had been trying to get her to go out and have some fun for ages now. She was getting tired of fighting her best friend of forty years. Maybe she was right. It had been five years since Alfred passed from a sudden heart attack. She just felt that she was betraying Alfred’s memory going out with another man. Not that anything would come of it. She was ok with being a widow.

“Ok, Bertha, I’ll do it.” Ruthie just hoped it wasn’t a mistake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday is Challenge Day!

Hello, People!

Hope everyone had a nice and safe weekend. For today’s challenge, I found a picture to write a one hundred word story about. If you want to join me, please feel free to do so!

 

heavybox

 

 

The Punishment (102 words, I couldn’t resist the last two words. ha!)

 

“Come on, Ethel! Move faster!”

“I can’t! My knees are giving out.”

“If we don’t move faster, they’ll put more bricks in the box!”

“I’m doing the best I can, Ed. If you weren’t so damn argumentative we wouldn’t be in this situation!”

“I didn’t think he would be so uncivil about things.  So just keep movin’, Ethel”

“My knees are never going to be the same.”

“Could be worse, Ethel. The last man who argued with him had to clean out the sewers in nothing but his underwear.”

“Maybe this will teach you that you can’t argue with politicians.”

“Damn Trump!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Tuesday, Another Challenge

Today is another writing challenge for me and for whoever wants to participate. I still haven’t decided what to call these challenges. So every week it’ll probably be called something different. haha! If you have any ideas on what to call them, please leave a comment with it. I’m open to ideas.

Today’s challenge:…….I went to the Random Story Title generator and just clicked it and thought….whatever comes up I’ll (and you also if you want!) write a flash fiction piece from that title. Luckily, the generator came up with a fun title. Let’s see what I can do with it. In five hundred words or less.

 

boy-720752_1280

 

The Haunted Attic

 

It was three o’clock in the morning and I should have been in bed asleep. Instead, here I was with a small flashlight and a thudding heart trying to climb the attic stairs so they wouldn’t creak and wake my foster family. This was my fifth foster family in less than six months. The system labeled me as a ‘difficult’ case. Hey, just because those other foster parents were lame wasn’t my fault. They always take the adult’s word over mine, so I finally stopped trying to state my case.

This couple I landed with a couple of weeks ago seem ok. I mean, unlike the other ones, they didn’t beat me or make fun of me. They were actually kind of nice. The woman, Julie, was funny most times. The man, James, was more reserved but never raised his voice and always spoke to me like I had brains. Which I do. Have brains. I just didn’t show them much at the Home for Abandoned Children, having brains meant someone older would try to beat the crap outta you.

The last foster parents acted like I was their personal servant or something. Always ordering me around and if I didn’t do want they wanted fast enough I’d get a slap or a kick. So I got even one day and put a dead fish in their bedroom. Hid it good too. Man, that smelled after a day or two. They called the Home and off I went again. It was worth the beating I took. That dead fish smell is gonna last a long time.

I finally reached the attic door. I turned the knob and was rewarded with a small click as the door opened a crack. For the last couple of weeks, I’d been hearing soft footsteps every night above my head. The attic was above my bedroom. I asked Julie about it one morning and she just laughed and said that the house was old and I was probably hearing the creaks and groans of an old house. Then she gave me a few cookies and told me to do my homework. She didn’t make fun of me. So I let it go.

Until now. I was laying in bed and those footsteps overhead woke me up. I know they are footsteps! So, I’m here checking it out.

I ease the door open and was glad that the door didn’t squeak. I shine the flashlight around and don’t see anything much. A lot of dust, a few cobwebs and stacked up boxes. Then I spotted something in the dust on the floor. Footsteps! I knew it! So, I slowly opened the door wider and slipped inside the attic and closed the door behind me. I saw a light switch next to me on the wall and flipped the overhead light on.

Footsteps were clearly visible in the dust of the attic floor. I followed them. They stopped at a small door behind some boxes. Taking a deep breath and with my hand shaking, I slowly opened that door and stepped through. Wow! Smiling I thought to myself, I’m going to behave so I can stay in this foster home. It has the coolest attic ever!

 

 

 

 

My short story went slightly over 500 words. Give it a whirl! Tag me if you do and let me know. Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

One Hundred Word Stories

Hello, people!

Today I thought I would start a new kind of series here on my blog. Not sure what the name will be. Maybe you can help me with that. On Tuesdays, I thought of writing 100-word stories.

I used to do something similar a few years ago where I’d write a hundred word stories from a picture prompt. It’s not as easy as it sounds. I thought, why limit myself to just picture prompts? Why not go for word prompts or subject prompts? Or as I did last week and took a random first line and added to it.

I had forgotten how much fun those flash fiction stories were to write. It also helps hone my writing skills. So I would say it’s a win-win situation. Of course, any of you are welcome to write along with me. If not write, then read and give feedback. It all helps.

Today I’m going to write about a random subject. There are all sorts of word/sentence/etc generators out there. It’s fun and educational! Let’s get started……..

The random subject the generator came up with is: Write about someone who irritates you.

 

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*The Loudmouth (99 words)

 

Everyone in the bar heard him. Drunk as usual.

“My siblings have no respect! I’m the oldest, they should listen to me!”

A few customers moved down the bar, hoping he’d get the hint and shut up. They’d all heard it before, many times the last few weeks.

“My parents loved me more than those morons. They did!” He argued with imaginary foes. “They left everything to me. Those idiots will find out soon enough.”

**************

“Mr. Stevens, your parents will is quite clear…your siblings get the majority of your parent’s estate. They left you ten dollars.” The lawyer stated.

 

 

 

 

*(Yes, this is based on someone I know)

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have any ideas what to call my new blog series of flash fiction? I’m open to ideas. Thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Whatever!

Today I thought I would do some actual creative writing. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that. I couldn’t think of what to write but then found this nifty page with a bunch of writing prompt generators. The one I’m using today is ‘Random First Line Generator‘.

I hope you enjoy my little flash fiction.

 

window-1433538_1280

 

There was something not quite right about the window. Nothing stood out odd but there was something ‘off’. Like it had some of that old glass in it that when you looked through it made things off-balance. Yet the realtor said it was a new house. Built about ten years ago. The reason Clair bought it was because of its location. It was in the middle of a small woodland area. Yet in the middle of a large city.

Clair fell in love with it as soon as she saw it. On the small size but just right for her. The woods surrounding it were full of birds and wildlife and Clair felt at home the first time she stepped foot inside. Which was odd as Clair was a city girl, born and raised. She loved the city with its bustle and hustle, people coming and going no matter what time of the day. Always something to do, something to see, people around. She never thought she would like a home like this one but she fell in love with it and bought it that same day.

Now that she was all moved in and pretty much settled she had time to think about that odd window. Clair sat on the sofa with a well-earned glass of red wine and looked at the window. Taking small sips of her wine she studied it. It looked like the other windows of the house. White trimmed, looking out the left side of the house. It didn’t have drapes on it nor window blinds. Which was kind of odd as all the other windows in the house had mini blinds on them and this one was bare.

Clair got up from the couch and walked in front of the window and looked out. Not having drapes or mini blinds wasn’t a problem as the window faced a rather dense thicket and she knew the sun never directly shown through this window. Now that she was thinking about the window, it was strange that this window was the only one on this side of the house. Walking closer to the window she saw her own reflection staring back at her. It was almost like she was looking in a mirror until she once again noticed the thicket behind her reflection. Standing close to the window she raised her hand and using just her index finger she put it close to the window pane, she didn’t touch it, just skimmed it as she watched a butterfly making its slow way through the thicket outside.

She always was fascinated by butterflies and her smile showed her joy in watching it. Once it disappeared she turned from the window and walked back to the couch. “Enough of these fanciful flights,” she muttered out loud.

She picked up her wine glass once more from the coffee table and glanced at the odd window. Something drew her to it so she slowly wandered over to stand in front of it again. Taking a small sip of wine she noticed a small smudge on the window pane. Clair thought she must have touched the pristine window after all. She drew a kleenex from her jeans pocket and stepping close to the window she wiped at the smudge her finger had left on the window.

Frowning she noticed the smudged fingerprint still there so she wiped harder. Clair’s eyes widened with sudden realization……the fingerprint was on the outside of the glass!

The glass slipped from her hand and the wine spilled over the floor like blood as Clair slowly moved her eyes from the fingerprint to her reflection. She drew in her breath as her reflection smiled and gave her a slight wave. She quickly stepped back when the reflection in the glass took a step closer to the window, pursed her lips and blew a fog onto the window. With her fingertip, Clair’s twin on the other side of the window slowly wrote out two words……..

‘Help Me’

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Whatever!

Today is going to be more word fun. I love words, letters, paragraphs, stories. There are so many people out there with so much talent for writing good stories. Sometimes though I like to read short stories or flash fiction. I love to write them too.

I think the shortest stories I’ve written were the six-word stories that you see sometimes as challenges. Now that truly is a challenge! It’s not so easy. I suppose the most famous six-word story is the one by Hemingway. I’m sure you are familiar with this one…. “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

In fact, I just did a six-word challenge not too long ago over on J.A. Allens blog. She has a challenge going every week over at her blog, why not check it out?

I went on the search for some six-word stories. Here’s some of what I found. I hope you enjoy them!

 

Wednesday

 

I’ll start out with my own six-word story that I did for J.A. Allens challenge.

Stormy night. Checked in Hotel California.

Now some of what I found.

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beautiful

 

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Can you write your own six-word story? Please do in the comment section, I would love to read them! 

 

 

 

 

Silly Sunday

Hello, People!

Today for Silly Sunday I thought I would give you something a little different from my usual meme’s. Chris over at the Story Reading Apes blog posted about a plot generator. So I had some fun with it and generated a completely random story from it.

I did no edits and used a made up pen name. The story is, um, interesting to say the least. ha! Read and see for yourself. If you want to have a little fun go over to the Plot Generator and try it yourself! It even shows you a book cover! Sort of……Let me know your results if you do try it.

Not sure if I would use this for anything serious but you never know.

Here’s my story…..

 

(c) William Trost Richards
(c) William Trost Richards

 

Two Understanding Uncles Thinking to the Beat

A Short Story
by Lisa Hornblower

Roger Blackman looked at the weathered rock in his hands and felt barmy.

He walked over to the window and reflected on his creepy surroundings. He had always loved picturesque Plymouth with its cruel, cautious cliffs. It was a place that encouraged his tendency to feel barmy.

Then he saw something in the distance, or rather someone. It was the figure of Charity Lakeman. Charity was an intuitive patient with spiky eyebrows and brunette lips.

Roger gulped. He glanced at his own reflection. He was a clever, bold, brandy drinker with fluffy eyebrows and squat lips. His friends saw him as a high-pitched, huge hero. Once, he had even brought a plain puppy back from the brink of death.

But not even a clever person who had once brought a plain puppy back from the brink of death, was prepared for what Charity had in store today.

The sun shone like sitting owls, making Roger jumpy.

As Roger stepped outside and Charity came closer, he could see the motionless smile on her face.

Charity gazed with the affection of 7599 brave motionless mice. She said, in hushed tones, “I love you and I want love.”

Roger looked back, even more jumpy and still fingering the weathered rock. “Charity, I love you,” he replied.

They looked at each other with anxious feelings, like two puny, petite puppies walking at a very energetic holiday, which had R & B music playing in the background and two understanding uncles thinking to the beat.

Roger studied Charity’s spiky eyebrows and brunette lips. Eventually, he took a deep breath. “I’m sorry,” began Roger in apologetic tones, “but I don’t feel the same way, and I never will. I just don’t love you Charity.”

Charity looked stressed, her emotions raw like a pretty, purring piano.

Roger could actually hear Charity’s emotions shatter into 1880 pieces. Then the intuitive patient hurried away into the distance.

Not even a glass of brandy would calm Roger’s nerves tonight.

THE END

Flash Fiction ~~ A Picture Prompt

Here is a flash fiction piece I wrote using this picture. I must warn you though, that for some reason my mind went to a dark place. It is something I usually don’t write…dark things…but it is what it is. So I’m going to post a….

***trigger alert for domestic violence***

http://imageafter.com
http://imageafter.com

 

 

A soft wind billowed the sails and pulled the boat slowly towards the far off horizon. The day was calm after last night’s ferocious storm. Inside the small cabin lay an exhausted figure sprawled out face down on the small bed. The body moved and rolled over. Two brown eyes opened and stared at the ceiling. They blinked a few times and one lone tear slid from the corner of one of them and slowly trickled down a pale face.

A slight, fragile looking hand wiped the tear away. No time for feeling sorry for herself. She had to get moving and take a tally of the damages to the boat from last night’s storm. As she was about to get up she felt a small furry body rub against her.

“We managed to live through the storm last night, Mr. Whiskers.”

A soft purr was her only answer. She shifted her body and sat up. Her eyes took a look around the cabin and saw a few things askew but otherwise much the same as before the storm. She walked toward the tiny bathroom and spotted her face in the mirror. A gasp escaped her as she saw her reflection. Her left eye was black and blue and there was a small bruise on her chin. Her shaking hands combed through her short black  hair. She looked a mess…but she was alive.

Her mind went back in time to the reason she was on the boat in the first place. Angry words, violent hands and pain was felt and heard once again. When the door slammed and her husband walked out, she made her plans. No more was she taking the abuse. No more was she going to lay helpless while he hit her. No more was she going to be a victim.

She packed a quick suitcase, grabbed the cash she had been hoarding, put Mr. Whiskers in his pet carrier and left. She never looked back. She was just thankful that her father had left her his boat when he died last year. It was his pride and joy. Now it was her sanctuary. Her get away vehicle. Her passage to safety.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Fictioneers ~~~ Oct 17, 2014

Friday Fictioneer is where around 100 people write a 100 word story based on the same picture. It’s a wonderful way of honing your writing craft or just reading some great writers.

Rochelle is our fearless leader in this writing party. Thank you Rochelle!  Click on Rochelle’s name and it will take you to her blog. That’s where you can read her amazing stories every week, or you can scroll down till you meet the blue critter, click on him and be taken to a land of many stories. Or even better join us!

 

 

Copyright – Douglas M. MacIlroy
Copyright – Douglas M. MacIlroy

 

 

Genre: Literary Fiction (100 words)

 

Julie looked inside her dad’s workshop and shook her head at the mess.

“Dad, I was after you for years to clean this place up! Now that you’re dead it’s up to me.”

As she looked  around, still muttering sadly, her eyes fell on a plaque on a corner table. She stepped closer as she recognized the shells on it. Those were hers from when she was a kid! Her dad kept them all these years.

Julie picked up the plaque and saw written on the back in her Dad’s shaky handwriting.

‘To my daughter who always made an old man proud.’