Category Archives: slice of life

Friday Flash: Conversation

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The conversation lasted two words.

Technically, it was a conversation. One person said something; another responded. But more was said without the need of words. The hands in the air, the eyes darting back and forth in faces tense with anxiety and fear. The shadows cast through the translucent blinds by the red and blue shimmering lights of the police cars. And the gunman’s grip on the revolver he pointed at the hostages: the bank manager, the tellers, the patrons.

The robber pointed the gun at the woman he’d sworn to love ’til death do them part. Trembling, her hands raised, she nodded, glancing again at the slit between the blinds behind her husband. He’d known, they’d both known this moment was coming. “When?” he said.

The shadow behind him moved. “Now,” she answered.

He fired.

 

 

*This was originally written for the text prompt, “The conversation lasted two words,” at the six minute story site, but I cheated again and took longer than six minutes!

*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

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Friday Flash: Don’t Soil the Rug

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Chihuahuas are not known for the patience. Neither are they known for their large bladders. Combine these two deficiencies with a twenty-story apartment building, and tragedy is the inevitable outcome.

Butch, the geriatric purebred chihuahua belonging to Mildred Butterbridge of apartment 416b, never stood a chance. Mildred’s own elderly hips disallowed more than a couple walks daily for her grey-furred companion. As a result, he spent his days wandering on the apartment’s balcony overlooking the major thoroughfare of the metropolis in which they both lived.

While Mildred rested on couch or bed, Butch would inevitably relieve himself on the balcony. That was no big deal because 1. the balcony was concrete surrounded by a very sturdy guardrail and 2. it kept him from soiling Mildred’s ancient Persian rug, the only artifact she had kept from her short-lived marriage forty years previous. She readily forgave Butch’s small breaches of conduct, with one exception – he was never to soil her treasured rug. Consequently, Butch was utterly bored with nothing new or interesting to smell, neither grass nor flower nor the butts of other canines. Routine was the order of his day, every single day.

So one lovely Spring day, when the dying dandelions had managed to float a few seeds as far as his fourth story confine, he managed to stick his head between the twisted metal bars of the guardrail in order to catch a temptingly close snow-white puff. Arthritis may have slowed his reflexes, but his sight was still excellent, and as he licked with ever increasing frustration at the seed taunting him just beyond reach, he chanced to see Mr. Norris standing almost directly below.

The little dog growled louder, his attention directed to his mortal enemy below. That man had been mean to his Mildred. Butch may not have understood the exact words exchanged between his Mildred and the condo board president, but he understood enough to know he didn’t like the man and his ridiculous (even to Butch’s eyes) mop of unruly hair. Today it sat slightly askew his balding pate, no doubt he’d unsettled it when he bent down to retrieve the mail he was sorting as he chatted with one of the building’s other residents. From the woman’s expression, she didn’t like Mr. Norris either.

As his Mildred lay quietly snoring in the next room, Pat Sajak and Vanna White bantered wittily, and Butch conceived of the greatest revenge scheme his walnut-sized brain could conceive. Being elderly, he had no small trouble aligning his body properly, though being male made his plan entirely possible. After all, he had drunk the water from Mildred’s watering can barely ten minutes ago, so he was already properly fueled. With the delicious taste of sweet, sweet revenge of his little pink tongue, he relieved himself beyond the balcony’s confines and was rewarded by the shouts and exclamations of the hated Mr. Norris. As an added bonus, he could hear the female companion laughing hysterically.

Just imagine what his sweet Mildred would think! How utterly proud she would be of him! Though she had warned him not to wet the Persian within the apartment, he was sure this was one soiled rug she would enjoy.

 
*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

**Today’s #FridayFlash was inspired by a random text prompt at the six minute story site.

***On a personal note, I’ve recently begun volunteering to read at Librivox, a site that makes free audiobooks of public domain works available for download. Why not visit, either to download an awesome free book or to volunteer yourself? It’s easy and fun!

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Friday Flash: The Results Were In

 

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The results were in.

After extensive training with the field’s expert, a long and gruelling campaign, sucking up to the right people, greasing the right palms, making the right friends, and working exhaustively to sway public opinion in his favor, Bobby Redman had the lead. His victory complete, he held his new office with pride. His long-standing dream would soon become his reality.

High from his recent triumph, he sauntered up to Kylie Weathers – by all accounts the most popular girl in Carl Smithers Middle School. Chicks dug power, so winning the election meant he’d land a cheerleader, right?

Two minutes later, he rubbed his freshly stinging cheek and retired to the boys bathroom to wallow in his defeat.

Who knew she had voted for his opponent?

 

*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

**Today’s #FridayFlash was inspired by the text prompt, “The results were in” at the six minute story site.

***On a personal note, I’ve recently begun volunteering to read at Librivox, a site that makes free audiobooks of public domain works available for download. Why not visit, either to download an awesome free book or to volunteer yourself? It’s easy and fun!

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NATIONAL POETRY MONTH: Day #28 – “Poetry Night”

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The Cuyahoga County Public Library system is sending out daily email prompts in honor of National Poetry month! The idea is to write a new poem each day based on that day’s prompt.

 

Library prompts and poems can be found here. Below is my poem based on today’s prompt.

 

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“Poetry Night”

 

Assembled for their yearly vigil

in the library’s hallowed reading room,

bibliophiles, poets, and players alike

pay homage to the written word.

Prose or poetry?

Sometimes the line is blurred.

 

 

 

*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

 

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Friday Flash: Runaway

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Sal knew his time was running out, a runaway train heading straight for him but he had nowhere else to go.

“So… will you?” he pleaded, kneeling before the woman of his dreams, heart- quite literally- in his hands. Ever since they had met at the runaway shelter, they had spent every waking moment together.

Lucy gazed, not at the engagement ring with the heart-shaped diamond, but rather at the train hurtling toward them both, its lights illuminating her would-be fiancé like a spotlight.

“What, are you crazy?” she hissed, pulling at her boyfriend’s arms, leaning back with all her weight. “Get off the tracks! You’re going to get us both killed!”

“The only way I’m moving is if you agree to marry me.” He clutched the red velvet box tightly in his hand so as not to lose its precious contents.

The object of his desire stared at him in abject horror as she pulled and prodded him, but he budged not an inch. “Are you CRAZY?”

He smiled a beatific smile, stars in his eyes – or were they the reflections of that oncoming train? “The only thing I’m crazy about is you!” He had to shout above the din, the train’s motors thundered as the horn screamed for him to move.

Lucy, staring at either an uncertain future tethered to a madman or an early grave, chose option ‘C’ and ran away as fast as her feet would carry her, diving behind a nearby building to avoid the carnage of her lover’s fate.

She may not have been the nicest person, but she definitely knew enough to run AWAY from her problems and not headlong into them.

 

 

 

 

*originally written on 2015-01-29 at the six minute story site, inspired by their random prompt and modified slightly for punctuation and spelling. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

**image courtesy of BigFoto.com

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Friday Flash: Smitty’s Problem

Smitty sat on the bench and wondered what he was going to do about his oh-so-embarrassing problem.

Girls noticed right away. Many wouldn’t say anything, of course; merely giggle and look down at the offending area. What could he say? What could he do to reduce his… well, to be delicate, his *dilemma*…

His male buddies were usually not so discrete. They’d make a face and comment, but when the problem failed to be resolved – not for hours, but months, and then YEARS,… well, he’d seen every doctor he could, but they all scratched their heads in puzzlement and sent him on to someone else. A never-ending line of physicians that saw no cure – nevermind his increasing discomfort! However, they did apparently see a paper they could publish in their near futures…

Smitty eventually found himself alone. And making new friends was impossible in this sort of situation. The problem was too obnoxious for polite company.

At least outdoors, in sandals, his feet could breathe and the fresh park air dispelled the noxious odor. A brief respite from his own company, and plenty of room for others to give him – and THEM – a wide berth.

 

*written at the sixminutestory site under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.

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Friday Flash: Knives

Knives

 

Knives.

 

KNIVES.

 

What was she going to use them on next?

 

The silver blades shimmered in the sunlight streaming through the kitchen window, capturing her image on their gleaming silver surfaces before she turned away to grab another freshly scrubbed potato from the colander in the shining, porcelain sink. Chop chop chop, went the blade, smooth up-and-down motions repeated again and again, reducing the vegetable before her into ever smaller and smaller bits.

 

She loved these new knives, worth every penny. It made her want to chop something else, to test their abilities, to watch the thin blades slice through produce, flesh, and other materials like butter.

 

She stabbed the knife she was using into the counter, but instead it sliced clean through.

 

Brilliant!

 

She ran into the bedroom, grabbed a pair of old boots and chopped away. Piece of cake!

 

Smiling grimly, she eyed the discarded Barbie doll in the corner.

 

Worth. Every. Penny.

 

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*inspired by a prompt from the six minute story site. My #FridayFlash posting has been edited slightly from the original.

**The photo above is of a craft project I completed at the local Maker Space.

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Friday Flash: Creamsicle Tower

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The Potentate surveyed his creamsicle tower coolly.

Lord Howard stood behind him, rigid, hands neatly behind his back, and cleared his throat. Loudly.

The monarch continued to regard the sweet monstrosity before him.

Finally, Lord Howard stepped forward and addressed his sovereign ruler. “Sire,” he said, polite and yet as frigid as the ice-cream on the table. “The people in your kingdom have barely enough to eat, let alone food to play with.” His eyes darted to the large dairy-based castle slowly melting onto the linen tablecloth. “If you aren’t going to eat your dessert, you shouldn’t have taken it.”

The five year old dressed in the trappings of wealth and status shifted uncomfortably in his red velvet seat, a look of utmost discontent upon his face.

More tenderly, the Lord took out a silken kerchief and wiped the child’s face.

 

*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

**inspired by a prompt from the six minute story site.

 

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Friday Flash: Wine

My schedule and frame of mind have both been a little out of it for the past week or so, so I’m pulling out and dusting off one of my stories from the six minute story site for this week’s Friday Flash. I may do this a few times over the next month, so I hope you enjoy them.

If you aren’t already familiar with the six minute story site, you should visit and check it out. It’s well worth six minutes of your time. :)

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Wine

If money was the root of all evil, then wine must surely be a close second.

Jasper gazed through the rosy depths of the wine glass in his hand, observing the scene beyond with quiet detachment. Wine had always mellowed him, left him with a feeling a pleasurable distance from his surroundings, as though nothing that happened would effect him at all. He remembered his girlfriend’s anger at his apparent coldness when she informed him of her condition, the way she had yelled and screamed and beat her fists against him as he silently took in her news, analysed the situation, and came to a calm and logical solution.

As he viewed her prostrate form, bent slightly as its image passed through the rounded glass, he admired the beauty of the merlot’s hue against what would otherwise have appeared cold and dead. Its rosy glow surrounded her like a halo.

Was it Emerson who said that the beautiful was God’s handwriting? Jasper smiled and set about worshipping another glass.

 

*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

**inspired by a prompt from sixminutestory.com

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Friday Flash: All This Happened

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All This Happened

 

All this happened, more or less, the way you would have expected. I met a girl, she happened to be the girl next door, and we fell in love. I’ve often wondered, in my short time in this world, if our romance was destined to be or simply an accident of geography which could have happened to any two, reasonably attractive people of comparable age and interests. The old cliche of the boy falling for the girl next door or the boss sleeping with his secretary must naturally have some basis in fact.  How else are clichés born than by repeatedly being shown to be true?

Don’t look at me like that. I know you must get tired of hearing people’s stories, but you did ask how this happened.

Anyway, as you can imagine, our relationship grew on the foundation of mutual interest and attraction. We both loved books, though our tastes varied. We loved the same movies, enjoyed the same foods, and inevitably shared the same bed.

Yes, this is relevant to the subject at hand.

Anyway, her sense of adventure was significantly more developed than my own, especially in the bedroom, and I confess that – though my sexual prowess was more than adequate – I felt an additional need to be daring in order to keep up with her. Costumes, role playing, and exotic positions were not enough; soon all manner of playthings were added to our romantic activities, eventually including ever more strange and dangerous toys.

Well, you can see where this is going, I’m sure.

What happened was inevitable. After all, it is the nature of accidents to happen when we are least prepared, and if I –

if we had only been more careful, well…

I confess I was not prepared for the consequences of our sexual escapades. Have I mentioned I have excellent health insurance? I promise you, Doctor, despite our exotic taste, we always took the utmost precautions, and I assure you, if my wife had not walked in on us this evening, you would not be performing this particular extraction.

 

 

*I’ve decided to write several flash stories that are inspired by famous first lines. This one is inspired by the first line in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five.

*image courtesy of Victor via Flickr using a Creative Commons license.

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