Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Searching

Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers and to Sonya for the photo.

Here’s my story:

Searching

No one really knows what happened to Mr Kendall, the eccentric old man who lived in the big mansion on the corner, but there was certainly a lot of speculation.

Some say the devil possessed his body and mind and he stabbed himself to death in a fit of rage.  Others say he was murdered in his sleep by his treacherous family, in order to steal his large inheritance.

They say that some nights, especially when the moon is full, you can see the ghost of Old Man Kendall, wandering aimlessly through the graveyard, his arms held out in front of him, caressing each gravestone with his bony fingers, searching….

(110 words)

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Do You Remember?

Thanks to Pricelessjoy for hosting FFfAW and for this week’s picture prompt:

Photo by Pricelessjoy

Here’s my story:

Do You Remember?

Jenny straddled her favourite chestnut, Anna, her feet not quite reaching the stirrups.  She leaned forward and nuzzled into her soft mane.

“Do you remember the two of us galloping through the fields of daisies with the wind dancing at your hooves? And how you soared over the hay bales so gracefully, with no trouble at all?” Jenny whispered, patting Anna’s strong neck and tickling her ears.

“Remember when we won our first blue ribbon for dressage at the show?  I was so proud of you.”

Jenny always thought she’d have a lifetime of hopes and dreams to share with Anna.

But after the accident, everything changed.

Tears began to trickle down Jenny’s cheeks and she quickly brushed them away.

“Daddy,” she called, “I’m ready to go now.”

Mick gently lifted his daughter down from the horse and sat her back in her wheelchair.

(144 words)

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Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Fading Memories

Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers and Sonya for this week’s picture prompt. 🙂  I missed last week due to work but here’s this week’s story:

Fading  Memories

The frosty air nips at my cheeks and fingertips.

I rub my hands together,

Concerned that I’m not wearing gloves.

My jacket is missing too.

I stop to recollect and am paralysed with fear,

Frozen in time,

Standing barefoot on the bitter cold sidewalk,

Not knowing where I’ve been or where I’m going.

Confused, I reach out and open the door.

The shopkeeper acknowledges me with a nod.

“Forget something?” he asks.

Brown leather shoes stare back at me from the counter.

A flicker of recognition, then nothing.

My failing mind eludes me.

Memory like a goldfish.

(97 words)

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Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – New Priest in Town

Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.  Here is this week’s picture:

Thanks to Priceless Joy for the picture

The New Priest in Town

As the congregation took their seats, all eyes were fixed on Father Joshua, the new priest, who stood centre-stage, cloaked in black.  He was tall and lean, with a fair complexion and sullen expression.

Father Joshua took a deep breath, inhaling the sweet aromas within the church.

“He’ll be a barrel of laughs,” whispered Jilly to her mother.

“Let’s not make any assumptions until we’ve met the man,” she replied.

Father Joshua squinted and moved his podium out of the sunlight.  He tapped the microphone and cleared his throat.

“Gurda, Lorda, Thumba,” he chanted, louder and louder. Suddenly, he thrust his hands to the heavens. An icy gust of wind tore through the church, slamming windows and doors.

Unease rippled among the churchgoers as they nervously looked about.

Father Joshua’s baby blue eyes became deep wells of blood-red ink.   He smirked, revealing two large razor-sharp incisors.

“Today,” said Father Joshua, “I feast.”

Jilly screamed and reached for her crucifix.

“Fools!” laughed Father Joshua, excited by their bewilderment.  “You invited me in!”

(173 words)

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Life of the Party

Last week was quite hectic so I’m running a bit late with my flash fiction!  Thanks to Priceless Joy at Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers for hosting and here’s the beautiful picture that inspired my story:

Thanks Dawn for the lovely photo!

Life of the Party

Nancy was in her element, fluttering like a butterfly from guest to guest, chatting light-heartedly while serving canapes and wine.  The life of the party.

Nancy and Jack were proud of the beautifully manicured grounds surrounding their extensive estate and were always keen to host a celebration, no matter what the occasion. Nancy would spend many hours sewing matching chair covers and tablecloths and designing exquisite centre-pieces to suit each party’s theme.

In the weeks leading up to their first wedding anniversary Jack built Nancy a magnificent gazebo among the pine trees.  Over the years, as each party concluded, Nancy would stand centre-stage, captivating her audience with sweet melodies and enchanting poems.

As dusk fell, on the evening of Nancy’s funeral, Jack gently scattered her ashes under the rose bushes surrounding the gazebo.  She was right at home, forever enshrined as the life of the party.

(146 words)

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Water Off a Duck’s Back

It’s that time of the week – Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.  Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting this writing challenge and for the picture prompt.

Photo by Priceless Joy

Water Off a Duck’s Back

As the sky turned from blue to grey, Gertrude, the eldest, was beginning to fret. She needed to guide her siblings across the river and through the thick scrub before darkness fell.

Gertrude glanced behind to check on the others. Typical.  Alfie was heading in the opposite direction.  “Alfie!” she squawked, ruffling her feathers and glaring at her brother, “get back into line right now.”

“I think we should go this way,” said Alfie, pointing upriver.

“I knew this would happen,” said Gertrude, with her wings on her hips.  “I told mother you couldn’t be trusted and would not do as you were told, but did she listen?  No!”

Alfie placed his wings over his ears.

“Well, it’s your neck on the line,” said Gertrude with her beak in the air as she headed towards the river.

While his sisters battled the strong current and the thorny bushes, Alfie legged it up the path, crossed over the rickety old bridge and was home in no time at all.

(168 words)

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Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Friend or Foe?

Thanks to Priceless Joy for this week’s picture prompt (photo credit: Ady)

Friend or Foe?

Carrying all of their worldly possessions in a backpack and as much food and water as they could, the small group crept through the long grass to the muddy river bank.  As the new day dawned they set sail, leaving death and destruction behind.

The price of freedom was high.  With empty stomachs screaming for food, parched throats and skin; blistered and peeling, they aimlessly drifted on the open sea for many days.

Had they narrowly escaped the claws of death on land, only to succumb to its smothering embrace at sea?

But then…

A humming sound…

A flash in the distance…

An hallucination or at long last, another boat?

A glimpse of hope, cheers of elation, knots twisting in their stomachs.

Afraid to encounter the occupants; friend or foe?

(130 words)

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Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Ella’s Sanctuary

Here’s the hauntingly beautiful photo (thanks Dawn!) for this week’s flash fiction hosted by Priceless Joy of Beautiful Words.

My story in response to the picture:

Ella’s Sanctuary

Ella’s head was pounding.  She was never going to get to sleep with her parents’ raucous laughter and the loud music from downstairs echoing throughout her bedroom.

 I’ll only be gone a little while.  No one will even know.

Ella gathered up her favourite teddies and ran from the house, leaving the party-goers and bright flashing lights behind. Like a ghost, she disappeared into the shadows, materialising at the edge of the woods; her safe little sanctuary.

Under the musky pink sky Ella gave her teddies a bath and laid them down on the bank to rest.

As she gazed across the lake, a sparkly object floating along the ripples caught her eye.  She waded into the water and leaned out to grab it, but it bobbed away. Ella stretched her arms out further and further until…

…her mother’s arms descended from above and plucked her cold lifeless body from the frigid water.

“No!” she screamed, cradling Ella in her arms.  “No! no! no!”

(164 words)

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Flash Fiction- End of the Line

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers is back again thanks to Priceless Joy.  Here’s the picture prompt:

Thanks Vanessa for the photo!

End of the Line

Millbrae Station runs only when needed. Due to possible lengthy wait times between trains, passengers must be ready to board as soon as their train arrives.  Nobody knows what happens if you miss your train, but there’s sure to be dire consequences.

In the dead of night a large crowd begins to congregate at the station.  Bare feet shuffle along the platform and loved ones whisper their final goodbyes.  They can barely be heard among the whistling breeze and the haunting screech-owls hooting back and forth.

Some passengers, eager to be first, push their way through to the yellow line.  They lean over the tracks, craning their necks, curious to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The train arrives, screeching to a halt and all is silent and still.

“All aboard!” calls the conductor, and the passengers take their allocated seats.

Tears flow and family and friends blow kisses as the train gathers speed, transporting the restless souls from this world into the afterlife.

(166 words)

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Happy Reading!

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Thud

Here’s the somewhat freaky picture prompt for this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers sent out by  Priceless Joy.  To join in, write a story (100-175 words) relating to the photo prompt.  Click here for more Flash Fiction.

Photo Credit: pixabay.com (‘free to use’ photographs)

In this week’s story I have used the scene and characters from my flash fiction story, Number 9.

Thud

Danny hated sleep-overs at his grandpa’s house; the macabre ornaments, the bizarre noises and the putrid smells, where ghostly shadows slithered across the walls and the rooms were cold and dank.  He always got the strangest feeling that the house was alive.

Danny shivered and pulled the covers over his head, wishing he was home in his warm comfy bed.  If it wasn’t for the rain pelting against his bedroom window and the strange noise coming from the roof, he would probably have been sound asleep by now.

There is was again… thud, thud, thud.

Danny climbed out of bed and pulled down the attic stairs.  He tugged on the light switch cord.  Darkness still surrounded him.

Taking the torch from his bedside cabinet, Danny climbed the narrow stairs.  He peeked over the last rung, shining the torch into the room.

A life-sized clown puppet sneered back at him, tapping its foot.

Thud, thud, thud.

Danny screamed in horror.

“April Fool’s Day!” laughed his grandpa, jumping out from behind the puppet.

(171 words)

I’m not sure about the last line.  Leave it in or get rid of it?  What’s your opinion?

Thanks for reading!