Category Archives: Short stories

They soared skywards

Today’s short  story is my response to the challenge set by Maddy, over at Writing Bubble, to write a 100 word story following my recent microfiction posts. Here you go Maddy, hope you enjoy!

They soared skywards
Levilia’s wings were starting to burn. It was excruciating, but her attention was on her ashen-faced sister. “Jen…” she soothed, “it’s not the end of the world.”
Perjennimama’s lips tightened. “Well, technically Lev, it is.”
“It doesn’t have to be… Not for everyone.”
“You can’t mean…?” The younger fairy shook her head.  She knew they didn’t really have a choice.
“No. No… We can’t take Lumpy!”
“Don’t call me that, I’m not a baby anymore.” Lumpadina flew towards them. “We don’t have long.” Slowly, she reached for her sisters’ hands. “I’m ready. Really.”
Together, they soared skyward, toward the seven suns.

Image credit: Regina Lee

Image credit: Regina Lee

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The mystery of the missing door

This week’s blog post is especially for Miriam Drori, who challenged me to write a 100 word story for her title:

The Mystery of the Missing Door

Deanne woke with a start and sniffed the air. Something had changed. She opened her eyes to find the TV’s stand-by light staring back at her, unblinking. She didn’t remember watching TV yesterday. Pushing the covers aside, she made her way downstairs to pick up her daily package. It wasn’t there but her door had returned. Above it, in the familiar scrawl that had frightened her all those years ago, it now said ‘You are free to leave.’ She stared, reached out for the door handle but shrank back. They had redefined her freedom.

'Door Handle' by phanlop88 at freedigitalphotos.net

Image source: freedigitalphotos.net

 

Some more serious microfiction…

Last week, in 100 word humour, I shared some old 100 word stories that I’d forgotten about. I tend to write more serious pieces so it was nice to share some light relief and remind myself that I can be a bit funny sometimes…!

In my last post, I asked you to comment if you’d like to see the more serious stuff and you did (well, Miriam and Tim did)! So, as promised… Please find below my more layered pieces. Hope you enjoy!

An angry salad

Melanie silently stabbed a tomato with her fork.
Jon sighed. “What’s wrong?”
She looked up at him and considered her words carefully.
“This tomato… is angry.”
“The tomato…? Oh, ok… and how about the cucumber, Mel? How do you think the cucumber is feeling?”
“There isn’t any cucumber,” Melanie frowned.
“There is. You just can’t see it under that mountain of rocket and tomato. You don’t even know what the cucumber brings to the salad, do you?” Melanie looked down.
“This salad…” she whispered “…has become too angry.”
“Yes. Yes it has. Well, perhaps you should have ordered the steak.”

Tattoos and Tainted Toasters

She lay, studying the tattoos that, uncensored by clothes, complimented the contours of his body as he prepared breakfast. She wondered at the insecurities that had led him to adorn his body this way. Why not revel in unmarked nakedness, as she did?

Sunday morning sounds gently roused her; the low rumbling of water boiling, the sizzle of fresh bacon under the grill and the Tattooed man, gently humming to himself. Then the toaster popped, mocking her reverie.  It reminded her of that night, made her skin crawl…  Her tattoos were on the inside and she wore them without pride.

Brazen and Bittersweet

Santa,

I want a word. Gran thinks this is a thank-you email but it’s not. Optimus Prime was a cool Xmas present, but NOT what I asked for. Gran said I could ask for anything, so I did. But you ignored my letter and just got me toys. Good ones, but toys all the same. I don’t WANT toys this year, Santa. I just wanted my parents back. So, if I send everything back, can you send Mum and Dad back? Please? Turn back time, or whatever, but that’s all I want. Everything else is just… stuff.

Thomas G, 7¾

Miriam also set me the challenge of writing 100 words with her title, ‘The Mystery of the Missing Door.’ Coming soon! More challenges welcome and I’ll write each piece in the order requested and email or tweet you when your story is published.

100 word humour

I’m going back in time a bit today…

Back in 2009, there was a microfiction website that was getting a lot of coverage… It was called Name Your Tale (the website is no longer active) and the concept was simple: People would submit random titles (the stranger the better) and a group of writers would create 100 word stories to fit those titles.

I was one of those writers. I loved the challenge of creating the short stories to fit the crazy titles and found that although my usual response to writing prompts is pretty deep/serious, when under pressure I can actually be a bit funny. Sometimes. Recently I was looking through some of my old work for a particular story and found my submissions to Name Your Tale. I had forgotten all about them and enjoyed reading them again so thought I’d share some of them here. Hope you enjoy!

Roll the Dice

“Your turn…”
“A six… and a four!  Woo Hoo, I get Mars!”
“Wait, Mars is mine!”
“No, not any more it’s not!  Ha ha, you’re just left with Pluto now, and that’s not even a planet!”
“You’ve got it wrong…”
“No I haven’t, Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet by the people of Earth back in 2006.  Some of them were quite upset about it all. They are funny creatures, humans…”
“No, I mean you’ve got the co-ordinates wrong.  That’s not Mars…”
“Isn’t it?  Shit.  I really thought I’d won then.”
“Hold on… Yeah that’s right, it’s… Earth.”
“Oh.”

He’ll Always be a Coward

She sat with a thoughtful look on her face, her spoon hovered over the cream as it slowly melted into her hot chocolate.
He was still talking.
“So… um, I’m sorry, it’s just… well… this isn’t really going to work anymore…  it’s not you, it’s…”
She dipped her spoon into the cream, licked it slowly and looked at him, really looked at him for the first time in months.
“Yes, I agree”
“What?”
“I agree.  It’s not me, it’s you.  Now fuck off and stop bothering me.”
It was the third time that week he had tried to fire her.

You won’t get it, gerbil girl!

Ratwoman looked at her messages and sighed.  It was the undersized gerbil across the road asking whether she needed an ‘assistant.’ Again. Well yeah, would be the immediate answer.  She could do with someone to answer emails and keep her website and twitter stream up to date, but that’s not what Georgie was asking.  What she wanted was the position of ‘sidekick,’ a sexy little costume and the adoration of the public.  The thought of actually fighting any crime hadn’t even occurred to her. Ratwoman considered her response, then typed slowly, deliberately: @gerbilgirl – I told you, I work alone.

If you’d like to see the more serious stories, comment below and I’ll share them in my next post. If you’d like to challenge me, comment with random title and I’ll create a 100 word story, just for you. I can’t promise to be funny though. 

Rain

I am linking up to two writing challenges this week, one new and one old one I haven’t joined for a while!

I’m joining in The Theme Game from Redpeffer for the second week (ahead of the deadline this time!).

Redpeffer The Theme Game

I’m also back in the game with the 100WCGU over at Julia’s Place. To find out more about 100WCGU and read the other entries from this week, click on the image at the end of this post.

This week’s theme is Water  and the 100WCGU prompt is …tea, coffee, hot chocolate or… so the total number of words allowed is 105.

Rain

It’s raining again.

Water drops

Image credit: Kangshutters @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I had been trying to get some work done but the rhythmic drumming slowed my racing thoughts and I found myself staring out of the window. After a while the intensity lessened but the music played on in my head as I watched they droplets make their way down the window pane. The streetlight caught the static drops, turning them into tiny stars.

“Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or..?”

“What? I mean, pardon?”

“To drink, Mum? You ok? You were miles away…” She looked at my outstretched arm, frowning.

“I’m fine.” I smiled. Just trying to touch the stars.”

There’ll be puddles tomorrow.

100wcgu

Jack – 100WCGU #108

It’s been a while since I did a 100 WCGU entry. I felt my creativity needed the exercise this week, hence the two posts in one week (I know, I’m on a roll! For now…) – both posts were inspired by this week’s prompt, which was simply the word Fall. If you’re wondering what 100WCGU is all about, click on the image at the bottom of this post to find out more and read other entries (or even add your own!).

Jack

Jack sat bolt upright and opened his eyes. ‘I don’t want to fall asleep.’
Maria closed her eyes, just for a second, before breathing out slowly.
‘Why not?’ She did her best to smile.
‘I need to speak to her. It doesn’t make sense… I mean, it’s not possible! The coin is too heavy…’ Maria’s face softened. She desperately wanted to reach out and you hold him. Instead, she tried to find the words to bring him back. ‘It’s magic Jackie.’ Jack looked up
‘Magic?’ He’d stopped shaking.
‘Yes… It’s, er… Very scientific.’
She was rewarded with a gap-toothed grin…

 

100wcgu

Tiptoeing around the edge

Once, there was a man who lived right next to a big gaping hole in the earth.

For years, the man cautiously opened his door each morning, tiptoed around the edge of the hole careful not to lose his balance even for a second, and headed off to work. All day at work he thought of the hole and how, if he didn’t keep his mind on it, that day could when he would fall in.

One day, something unexpected happened and the man left work earlier than usual. It was a lovely sunny day and, for a moment, he forgot about the hole and just sat in the sunshine allowing his mind to wander. He followed the dreams in his head and liked what he saw. He stayed until the sun went down, then he headed home. He had not thought about the hole for a whole afternoon.

That evening, as the man walked up his drive lost in thought, he fell into the hole. It was a long way down. When he reached the bottom, he thought to himself ‘that was even deeper than I thought. I knew I shouldn’t have allowed my mind to wander, now look what’s happened!’ He kicked the dirt with his toes and cursed himself for getting carried away by his dreams.

The man stayed in the hole for what felt like a long time. There was hardly any light so it was hard to be sure but it felt like weeks, at least. One day, he woke up with a nagging curiosity that hadn’t been there before. He walked to the edge of the pit and pushed as the wall. It crumbled in, revealing a small, dark tunnel. ‘Well, I’ll be no worse off there than here,’ he thought, and climbed in. It was even darker in the tunnel. It was cold and narrow and there was no light at all but still, he stumbled along in the darkness, refusing, this time, to give in. Eventually he reached another pit like the one he had just come from. This one was even deeper and wider than before. The man’s shoulders slumped. He lay down and went to sleep.

When he woke up, something had changed. He opened his eyes and found himself blinking against a brightness he has become unaccustomed to. His first thought was to close them and go back to sleep but something made him stand up and think again. In the light, the man could see footholds on the wall opposite. He could also hear a voice somewhere in the distance. “Start climbing.” It said. It wasn’t a request. Trembling slightly, the man began to climb. He was tired and hungry but he’d had enough of the hole and if this was a way out, he would put every last bit of energy into reaching the light.

As he neared the top of the hole, he hesitated. “Come on!” The voice sounded impatient. ‘What if it’s a trick?’ he thought, and considered going back where he’d come from. At least there, he knew what to expect. He stayed at the step near the top, clinging on by just his fingernails for almost a whole day before deciding to continue.

When the man reached the edge of the hole and threw himself over, a hand reached out to help him. It was a woman he knew, but he couldn’t think where from. “You don’t recognise me do you? I’m your neighbour! I’ve lived next door to you for years.” He tilted his head to the side. “You mean on the other side of the hole?” He asked. Her brow furrowed. “Hole? What hole? You’ve had a bit of a time of it haven’t you?” She laughed and touched his cheek with her hand so briefly he wondered if it really happened. He looked back behind him and she was right. There was no hole, just the greenest, smoothest lawn he’d ever seen and a patch of beautiful burnt orange roses. He hadn’t even realised there were flowers in his garden. he shook his head and smiled at the woman.

“Thank you.”
“Nonsense. I was just being neighbourly. Come on, I’ve just baked a pie. Pop round when you’ve had a chance to recover – I bet you’re starving.”