Flash Fiction and Me

I realize that I went about six weeks without publishing anything. Several people pointed this out to me and it made my heart happy to know that people actually look for, read and enjoy my stories! Someone was asking me what flash fiction was, so I thought I’d tell you.

Flash fiction is shorter than a short story. The first flash fiction piece I ever wrote (The Vessel), I wrote before I ever heard that term. I joked with my brother than the story I had written was a short, short story, a micro story or a mini story. Which made me think, was that a thing? So I googled it.

Flash fiction is a thing. It is exactly a micro or mini story. It’s a completed story in and of itself, but well under the word count for a short story, which is 1,000 to 1,500 words depending on who you ask. I had a piece that was either a shorter short story or a longer flash fiction piece. While trying to decide what it should be classified as, I ran across the best description I’d seen. It said that while a short story stood on it’s own, flash fiction hints at a larger story. That decided it for me, my piece was flash fiction.

While flash fiction has a cohesive story and an ending, it often leaves you thinking you’d like to hear more. But it is a completed story in and of itself at the same time. Is that confusing? It simply means that it tells a story, but leaves questions that could lead to a bigger story.

I love my flash fiction. For one, it lets me stretch my writing muscles so to speak. It’s like exercise, keeps me in the writing mode. Or gets me into it. Sometimes it finds its way into larger stories later on, or I end up writing other pieces of flash fiction that continue the story or tell a different part of it, like with The Vessel or Wolf Girl. The main character from The Witch in the Woods became a character in the book I’m writing.

Yes, I have a full length novel in the work as well as several completed short stories. I don’t publish the short stories on my blog (with the exception of A Very Witchy New Year, which I saw as a new years gift to my readers) because I might want to publish them or enter them into a writing contest at some point and most of those things require you to submit work that is previously unpublished. So as much as I would love to share them here, I am waiting in case I decide to try publishing.

My book is a fantasy novel set in modern times in the north Texas area. My local peeps will recognize towns and landmarks in the book. I have so far put 26 completed chapters to paper, over 26k words. I am currently working on wrapping up part one of the book, out of three. So I am about one third of the way done. I started it about two years ago. I had nine chapters down when I left my full time job in May. It’s now September and I have 26 completed chapters plus 3 partially completed ones. That’s 17 chapters I’ve completed in three months. Amazing what you can accomplish when you have time to devote to it!

I have gone back to work part time now but I am committed to getting this book done. When I have a completed, or nearly completed book, I will post the first chapter on here.

I had gotten out of the habit of posting regularly because I stopped doing my writing prompts. Yes, the majority of my flash fiction pieces come from a series of writing prompts I’ve been doing. If I sit down and make myself write every night, sometimes I get much of nothing, but other times I churn out a full short story or a piece of flash fiction and often, once in the writing mode, I continue on to work on my book. I often put something I love to paper on nights that I didn’t feel like writing, until I sat down and just did it. Recognizing this, I am getting back to my habit of sitting down on a regular basis to write.

If I skip a few weeks of posting flash fiction, you can be sure it’s because I’m fully absorbed in working on my forthcoming book. Can’t wait to share it with you all!

Fairies in the Forest

She chased the cat out of the woods and across the field to the edge of a ravine. She stood now, staring down into the abyss. She knew she wasn’t suppose to leave the confines of the woods, but Chara had run away and she was wanted to catch her and bring her back to the house.

As she stood staring into the chasm, she understood why her mother had been so insistent that she not leave the woods. Her mother hadn’t wanted her to know about the drop off. She knew that it would be too much for Elizabeth to resist.

Elizabeth was an explorer and she loved to climb. There was no way she could ignore this ravine now that she’d found it. The urge to explore was like a fire burning inside her that she could not ignore. This was something that she was born to do.

She glanced around then quickly scurried over the edge. She shimmed down the embankment like a billy goat! She was a natural born climber and she had started climbing the trees in the woods almost as soon as she could walk. Her mother still told the story of the time she had searched everywhere for her only to find her on the roof when she was four years old.

Elizabeth knew her mother worried about her, but she had no reason to. She practically stuck to the side of the ravine as if she covered in glue. There was no slope too steep and no tree too high. Climbing is what she did best, after all!

Reaching the bottom more quickly that should have been humanly possible; she dropped to the ground, brushed herself off and stood to look around.

She stood in a lush valley, the growing things so green it was like an emerald carpet spreading out in every direction. It was like another world.

The faint sound of music drifted across the valley and she set off to find its source. Coming to a sparkling blue stream, she stopped to sit and watch the water for awhile. Suddenly she realized that she wasn’t alone. She was surprised, but not afraid.

Turning to her right, she silently regarded the woman perched on the rock next to her. She was dressed all in green, from the leaves weaved in her hair to her soft velvet shoes. She looked kind and Elizabeth could have sworn she saw a gossamer set of wings flutter out of sight just as she turned to see her.

“Hello,” The green woman spoke, “What are you?”

“I’m a girl” Elizabeth replied as this were a perfectly reasonable question, “What are you?”

“I’m a fairy.” The women said as she cocked her head and studied Elizabeth intently, “I’ve never seen a human girl before.”

“I’ve never seen a fairy before,” Elizabeth replied, “I thought you’d be smaller.”

The fairy let out a tinkling sound of laughter, then she dipped her foot into the stream and kicked a shower of water up into the air. Elizabeth giggled at that and stuck her hand into the stream to splash her own spray of water into the air.

Giggling now, water flying, the coldness sharp and shocking yet exhilarating. Elizabeth shrieked in laughter as she tore around the bank, splashing her new friend and dodging sprays of water sent her way.

Shaking the water from her body almost like a dog would, the fairy smiled dazzlingly at her and winked as wings popped out and she flew straight up into the air! Elizabeth got so excited that she forgot, for a moment, that she herself couldn’t fly. Jumping straight up into the air after the tinkling sound of fairy laughter, Elizabeth felt something pop out of her own back and realized with a start that she was still in the air!

Wings beat at her back, the vibration odd yet somehow vaguely familiar. She tried to turn to look at them and found herself turning in circles. She stopped before she could get dizzy, then darted straight up, then forward, then stopped to hover again.

Turning in midair, she saw the fairy regarding her, mouth agape.

“You said you were a girl! A human girl!” The fairy accused.

“I am! I was! I mean……….” Elizabeth trailed off. She had no idea why she should have wings, her mother had never mentioned such a thing.

Her mother! Elizabeth zipped straight up in the air in surprise! She suddenly realized how much trouble she was going to be in when her mother couldn’t find her in the woods.

“I-I’m sorry, I have to go!” She gulped as she turned and literally flew through the valley back to the wall of the ravine. Straight up she shot, tumbling over the edge and crash landing in the grass above. Chara, her cat, still sat at the edge, licking a paw as though she hadn’t a care in the world.

Elizabeth grabbed the cat and made a mad dash back toward home, hoping her mother hadn’t noticed her absence yet. She had.

Her mother stood at the front door, hands on her hips, foot tapping. She had a long suffering look on her face. She was a mother all too use to her child running off willy nilly into the woods, completely oblivious to her mother’s worry.

Her expression turned from one of annoyance to utter shock in about two seconds flat. Elizabeth halted in her forward run toward the cabin to look around her for the source of her mother’s shock. Turning in a circle, she remembered her new wings.

She looked back at her mother, denials of wrong doing on her lips but her mother did not yell at her. Instead, the shock faded into resignation.

“Come inside Elizabeth,” her mother said, “we have a lot to discuss.”

 

 

Currently Reading: City of Ashes

This is the second book in the Mortal Instruments series. I quite enjoyed the first book City of Bones. It is YA, my kids were reading it for the book club they’re in and I read along. I haven’t gotten far into the second book yet, so I can’t really review it but if you haven’t heard of this series, I would recommend it. It’s by Cassandra Clare and the action moves along at a satisfyingly quick pace. The main character is a shadow hunters (aka demon hunter) which is something you are born to. The catch is, she didn’t know. She was raised in our world so is now playing catch up learning about being a shadow hunter and about downworlders (other supernatural creatures such as vampires). Of course there is a thwarted romance going on. Got to have one of those.

 

 

The Tree

There was a door in a tree. In the middle of the woods, amongst all the normal looking trees, stood a tall oak with a door in the middle of the trunk and a light hanging off the side. You know, so you could see the door if it was dark.

Why on Earth it was there and what it could possibly lead to was another issue entirely. She stood staring up at it in contemplation. Should she go in? There was very little chance that she wasn’t going to go in, to be honest. She had to know where it went.

Drawing in a deep breath, she made her way up the little path that seemed to open up in front of her. There wasn’t a path as such, no sidewalk or anything to mark an actual path, just less undergrowth, an absence of obstacles to get there.

Reaching the door, she turned the knob and it swung open with a slight screech. Peering in to the dim interior, dust floated by and there was a slightly musty smell.

“Anybody here?” She called.

No answer.

Stepping inside, the air seemed to brighten a little, sunlight filtering in from a small window, up high, that hadn’t been visible from the outside. The door squealed again as it swung shut. She jumped a little, but really, what had she expected?

As she made her way further in, the room seemed to widen and lengthen. The brightness grew incrementally as she walked tentatively forward. Warmth filled the air from a fire that crackled comfortingly in the corner of the room. A plush chair was situated just in front of the fire.

Well, why not? She perched in the chair, suddenly aware of a robe draped across it. Snuggling into it, she found it soft, warm and just her size. She looked to her right and noticed a staircase twisting it’s way up and up, it seemed to go on forever.

“What is this place?” She whispered out loud.

“It is whatever you want it to be.” Came the reply.

She jumped and looked around for the source of the voice. There was a little man, with huge ears and feet, no taller than a five year old but obviously aged. He gave a slight bow.

“Who are you?” She inquired.

“I am your guide, should you choose to explore.” He answered as he handed her a fluted champagne glass. “Drink and this world shall open up to you, but I must warn you, time moves differently here. Be very sure this is what you really want.”

She reflected for a few minutes on her life. The job that wasn’t going anywhere, her lack of a love life, her insatiable desire for knowledge and adventure. It was the easiest decision she had ever made in her life.

She took the champagne glass and drank deeply.

The Truck

The truck hummed suspiciously in her driveway. Clara regarded it thoughtfully. It was a rather large truck, white, with lights on top. But how had it gotten here?

Clara didn’t own a truck and she had never seen this one until it appeared in her driveway a moment ago. The hum was suspicious mostly because trucks didn’t really hum. They rumbled or purred or something more apropos of an engine. This sounded more like something electric.

The truck looked mostly normal, with blue lights pulsating from under it. The windows were tinted so dark that she couldn’t see inside, even the front windshield. That was certainly odd.

She reflected that she should probably be afraid, or some other normal emotion that one might have if an unearthly sounding truck appeared in your driveway out of nowhere. But then again, she really wasn’t a normal person.

She became aware of her oddness at a very early age. When she knew what people were thinking without them having to speak, when people she wanted just showed up at the door, because they felt compelled to and when toys she saw on TV and wished for just appeared. But she hadn’t wished for this truck so what was up with it? Why was it here?

There was a soft click as the door swung open. An inhumanly tall man with a bluish tint to his skin stepped out. He wore a suit of soft, glittery silver, all one piece. Those were definitely antennas coming out of the top of his head.

“Hello Clara.” She heard in her head, though he had not spoken out loud.

“Hello.” She thought back at him, still far more curious than afraid.

“My name is Alto and I’m here to take you to the induction ceremony.” He sounded so matter of fact, as if she had been expecting him.

“Induction ceremony?” She probed.

Was that a sigh she heard inside her head?

“You are being inducted into The Intergalactic Society for Gifted Beings,” he thought at her, “you didn’t receive the welcome packet?”

“Uh…no.”

There was another sigh, this one distinct and thoroughly long suffering.

“So hard to get good help these days.” She heard him thinking.

“Well, get in or we’re going to be late,” He told her, “I’ll explain on the way.”

The Fray

The world is full of pain

The world is so unfair

To those who are different

The world doesn’t care

 

Women, minorities

The poor

The downtrodden, the weak

What’s the score

 

Screaming silently it seems

No one seems to hear

Or at least to respond

To the pain and fear

 

Trying in vain to fix it

But others deny it’s broken

How can you fix it

If it’s not broken

 

Frustration, anger

That’s how it Plays out

Then it’s their fault

Not allowed to shout

 

Silently scream

in pain and frustration

Deny the reality

of your station

 

That is what

The world wants

But screw the world

Ignore the taunts

 

Be a warrior, speak out

It’s the only way

to make the world better

wade into the fray

 

 

 

 

 

Epiphany

Stillness. Quiet. Nothing stirs.

This is a memory, sublime;

struggle to see it clearly,

through the swirling mists of time.

 

Standing over a boiling pot

of water, in a trance, caught,

steam rising, water roiling,

with what danger is the past fraught?

 

Gazing back in time and space

In the water you can scry.

Into many other worlds

You now can happily spy.

 

Stuck, standing still, falling in,

crossing the veil, with the sight.

Struggling to understand,

Remember with all your might.

 

What we really are, and why

In a flash, through a rip in time,

you finally catch it, see it

the epiphany you find.

 

Creation makes perfect sense

Your soul begins to rise up,

but in an instant, instead,

you fall, the loss is abrupt.

 

For a split second you saw,

you understood everything.

Then in a flash it was gone,

A memory of nothing.

 

You can’t forget it, ever

But you’ll never have it back.

You know that you once knew it,

You will always feel its lack.

 

 

 

 

Angela's Scribbles

my Lit Corner

"Writing is how I train a searchlight into the darker corners of my self and the world, as am sure I'd never do otherwise." - Pico Iyer

our silent reverie

A Journal Of Our Ruminations, Illustrations & Aesthetics.

Heartstring Eulogies

Conjured by Sarah Doughty

J. A. Allen

Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins

Christy Jackson Nicholas, Author and Artist

Art, jewelry, travel, writing, history!

Learn Fun Facts

An Archive of Curious Facts for the Curious

unbolt me

the literary asylum

Frank Solanki

If you want to be a hero well just follow me

Stories For All

Aspiring Writer. Short Stories. Poems.

Jernigan Journal

Researching the Jernigan Family from England to America

The Blakeney Gazette

Research into the family of Captain John Blakeney

Baart Groot: Stories of Omega Genesis

The creative fiction of Baart Groot.

GEORGE L THOMAS

Always Writing, Always Learning

Taleteller

A Collection of Short Stories

SUBDUED FLAMBOYANCE

A blog by Dr. Abhinav Majumder

stumble upon serendipity

Nothing haunts us like the things we don't say

lowfrequenciesatnight

those meaningless sounds

Flash-365

Oh! Take a shit, read a story. - My Mother on flash fiction

The Diary Of A Muslim Girl

Dare ◦ To ◦ Live ◦ Your ◦ Legacy

The Cat's Write

Milly Schmidt

PHILOSOPHICAL PATHWAY

"Let's enter into a magical world where colours form rainbow, darkness shines light and a door opens eyes."

Confessions of a Readaholic

Book Reviews | IAuhor nterviews | EST 2013

SKYLARITY

Paradigm Shift, Mindfulness, and Personal Empowerment

Maxxesbooktopia

A place where books and imaginations spring into life

Elan Mudrow

Smidgens

Sara in LaLaLand

Welcome to my world.

countingducks

reflections on a passing life

MovieBabble

The Casual Way to Discuss Movies

MakeItUltra™

Psychology to Motivate | Inspire | Uplift

RedheadedBooklover

Just a redheaded woman who is obsessed with books

Angela Harrison

Angela's Scribbles

Just Punch The Clock

Come for the flash fiction and short stories. Stay for the sense of wonder at deriving meaning from weird symbols on a screen

Little Fears

Tales of whimsy, humor and courgettes

Fictionspawn Monsters

Illustrated Short Stories

Writing in whispers

Let's talk writing

rachelesrc

A fine WordPress.com site

Finding Hestia

The daily adventures of an aspiring domestic goddess.

A Long Overdue Journey

Life is a journey. A journey that never ends. One that is always moving forward. My journey is filled with its ups, it's downs, bumps in the road and a great many obstacles. It is here, in this moment that I wish to be open and vulnerable with all of you.

vinnylanni

art in words

honeythatsok

stories we tell ourselves