Posts Tagged ‘short fiction’

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Shallow water rippled over a bed of round, smooth stones. Sara sat on a fallen log, her cloth mask clenched between raw fingers, and heard the echo of laughter long past. She had come here with her father and her brothers when she was young. Spring flowers had bloomed upon the banks and the oldest trees had bowed so low over the water that the leaves gleamed wet.

Ash was settling on the surface of the water and the skies darkened. The sun dipped low on the horizon, scattering red light. There was nothing left here but memory, plague, and four shallow graves.

Sara bent down and wrapped her fingers around a single round stone. She pressed it to her lips, whispered a soft prayer, and put it in her pocket.

Then she turned and walked on, away from the river, away from all she’d ever known.


Word Count: 147

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Enisa for providing the prompt photo!

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The streets were piled high with snow and the cold wind whistled in through the gaps in the windows. Alone by the fireplace, Emma watched the flames twist and burn over the blackening logs. These were the hardest days, the days when she almost expected him to walk in.

The doorbell rang. Emma stirred from the fireside and crossed over to the door.

On the doorstep, Maya held up a box of homemade cupcakes.

“I thought you shouldn’t be alone,” she said. “Not today.”

Together by the fireplace, they laughed and remembered.


Word Count: 92

This is for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for running the challenge and Dale Rogerson for providing the prompt photo!

tltweek107

Nobody knew the name of the grey woman who lived by herself in a grey house on the edge of a grey cliff that overlooked a grey sea. When she died, they did not know who to call, for she had never had a single visitor in all the years they had known her.

Among her belongings, they found three battered diaries crammed full of poems, two withered roses, and a quilt sewn for a child that never was.


This is for Three Line Tales. Thanks to Sonya for running the challenge and Frank McKenna for providing the prompt photo!

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Rain pattered against the roof, echoing through labyrinthine halls. The candle in Jennifer’s hand drizzled slow cascades of wax as its flickering flame cast shadows upon the doors.

The Professor stood by her side, wearing a somber suit. His eyes were black and darting.

“This is the deepest part of the asylum,” he said. “This is where we keep madness.”

Behind one door Jennifer heard the scraping of an iron nail upon a glass violin. From another came a light, a mingling of all colours and shades. Roots crawled around the frame of another, blossoming with flowers made entirely of moonlight.

The last door was still and silent as an ancient oak.

“What manner of lunatics could be kept here?” She turned to the Professor, but he was gone.

“No,” his voice croaked. “Not lunatics. Madness.”

And in the shadows, she saw two black and darting shapes. They came at her in a flurry of feathers and wings: two ravens, beaks gleaming, tongues screeching.

“You can’t let it out,” the ravens cried. “You can’t.”

But Jennifer batted the ravens away and reached for the handle of the last door. She flung it open…

Her laugh echoed forever.


Word Count: 197

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Photo credit to J Hardy Carroll.

tltweek106

All was black and silent except for the escalator, its signs shining like beacons. Moments ago, the platform had been full of people, noise, trains, but now all that was gone.

He stepped onto the escalator and wondered where it would carry him to.


This is for Three Line Tales. Thanks to Sonya for running the challenge and Samuel Wong for providing the prompt photo!

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Mister White said he loved the forest. Regina wasn’t sure he knew what forests were.

“It is one of the finest specimens of its kind,” he said, guiding her through the room on his ship. The grass was wet under her feet and in the sky, she could see clouds massing around steel arches, hiding the distant ceiling from view. “Every tree was grown from an Earth-born seedling. They represent an astounding variety.”

He rattled off species and subspecies, from trees to grass to lichen, but Regina didn’t listen to him. She listened to the deafening silence, to the hollowness of his artificial world. There was not the tweeting of a single bird, not the stirring of a squirrel.

Microscopic silver shapes flew low over trimmed grass. Dropped needles and leaves were carried up, into a neat little wheelbarrow.

There was an order to this place that went down to its steel bones and stolen DNA. It wasn’t a forest. It a garden, a vanity, a lapdog playing at being a wolf.

She picked up a single leaf and flicked it into the air.

A drop of chaos in the system.


Word Count: 191

This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Photo credit to Dawn Miller.

tltweek105

Once there was a yak-herder, who lived in a small hut the loneliest part of the steppe, where there was nothing but wild grass and cold wind for company.

One day, there came out of the mist a princess, riding on a grey-flanked pony, robed in fur and silk, whose eyes were like black moons and whose smile was like the dawn.

“I have no lodgings, no gifts, for one such as you,” he said, but she stayed with him through the night, laughing by the fire and drinking yak’s milk amongst the stench and the cold.


This for Three Line Tales. Thanks to Sonya for running the challenge and Jacco Rienks for providing the prompt photo!