SaD – Flash Fiction

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Today’s challenge was flash fiction.

Flash

Even in shades of gray, the red bled through. A fairy tale scene – a truth of youth – that had to be a game, something impossible to name. So began the lie that flittered about like a dragonfly.

###

Ashley and Christine ran down the road, determined to catch up to Evan. The older teen reached the porch with ease. “That does it,” he said, breath fairly steady, “I get to pick the film, turtles.”

Panting, Christine said, “Not a stupid romance.”

“Or a scary one,” Ashley added. “I’ll have nightmares for weeks.”

“Me, too, if it’s a sappy rom-com,” Christine said.

Evan gave a rye smile as they made their way to the living room. “It’ll have to be a mystery, then.”

The Hitchcock film-built suspense on-screen and in-house had the desired effect. Evan knew every bit and still, like his friends, jumped like a mouse.  Shortly after dinner’s end, the youngest of the trio fled.

Evan kept Christine in her place, letting her know he’ll see him tomorrow, face-to-face.

###

“What happened,” he asked, pulling him off the path.

“Had to get home; you know my dad’s wrath.”

Evan wasn’t about to let this one go, knew something was painful, yet had to unearth it slow. How much time, that was the crime, did the dark secret, like vines, climb? What he could offer was a glimmer of hope, a shoulder, a lifeline, as strong as a rope.

“You know how to find me, where I’ll be at. Never a bad hour if you want to chat.” It was then, at that moment Evan thought it cruel – to be so close, yet soon off to school.

###

After photography class, going through pics didn’t bode well. An image of home plunged Ashley to hell. The trouble with Marnie, what it had triggered, hinted a terrible secret, forced him to dig deeper.

What he had passed off as a horrible dream, came to full color, full reel, forcing him to swallow a scream.

A dragon of a devil flew by, carrying a body on the ground to lie. The game was the name, yet not the same. The scene before him was far from serene.  The red bled through, covering the green.

SaD – 100 Words

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Today’s prompt – 100 words.

The result:

Century

It feels like forever. If I were to compare it to anything, it would be sleeping for decades like Rip Van Winkle, but seriously be awake.

How can you tell me that everything will be fine when you were in prison for something you didn’t do? How do you expect me to be alright when I still haven’t found the key to let myself out of my own prison?

You say forgiveness is easy, resentment is the noose to snap your soul but… Why should I believe you?

He hugs me, whispering, “It isn’t your fault. You’re free.”

I cry.

SaD – Two Characters

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All right, so today’s challenge was a story involving two characters and writing outside of your comfort zone – ie change your style. Well, one out of two ain’t bad…

Dual

She didn’t have time for this. Her routine was simple – classes, library, work, sleep. The only change was where family day was going to be held and with whom. It was her Uncle Chico who called dibs on brunch. It was her uncle who defended her from her parents when the question of dating came up.

It was her uncle who asked her for this small favor. And that was why she was stuck, at the city park, looking for a member in the unofficial chess club.

“Hey, Evan. I have something you,” Marcia said, sliding the brown paper bag towards the teen she recognized from the photos. He furrowed his brow.

“Chico, the chess czar? He’s my uncle.”

He stood up, and like a gentleman, pulled a chair out for her. She could see why her uncle liked him. “You’re Marcia, the one going for a PhD, aren’t you? What school are you at?”

Marcia laughed. “My PhD. consists of Peck, Hepburn and Dietrich.”

The svelte man pulled out the first item in the bag. “12 Angry Men?”

“A good way for you to start your Masters.” She took out her notebook as he set up the chess board on the table between them. “You get the full program of Marshall, Andrews, Stewart, Thomas, Eastwood, Rogers and Shaw.”

Evan had seven video cassette tapes stacked beside him. “Why?”

“You’ll have to ask him at your next chess game.” As she moved the pawn two spaces forward, she already knew the first reason. She had fallen prey to Chico’s move before.

“Any particular order to watch these in?”

Marcia shook her head. “Whatever strikes your mood. Could be chronological, thematical, random. Just watch them, enjoy them. See what you think of them.”

Evan had her in check. “He isn’t expecting a report for each one, is he?”

She escaped it with ease. “I don’t think so, but it could be handy to have some way of jotting down your ideas.” Marcia wrote her name on the inside cover of the notebook then gave it to him. “Here. In case you have any questions.”

They continued with their game.

“You’ve got Peck, Hepburn and Dietrich,” he asked as he moved one of his remaining key pieces. She nodded. “I know of at least two films we can compare notes on with the overlap.”

Looking at the board as she processed his remark, she discovered the second purpose of the setup. “Checkmate,” she said softly.

SaD – Point of View

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Well, day three of the challenge and it was change your point of view.

I hate writing first person (only a handful of good authors pull it off, so I can comfortably read it – ie Dick Francis). Well, here goes nothing:

 

Change!

I know what I saw.

His mama made him shut up using only her fingernails. I know fingernails diggin’ into someone’s skin because the colors disappeared bit by bit and that’s what I saw. How come no one ever listens to me?

Maybe Evan will listen to me. He doesn’t treat me like a baby! I’m the quote artist partner and he lets me draw around whatever quotes he found and typed up. Yesterday, he found a quote to match a picture I gave him.

I know what I saw and I know it hurt, even if he smiled, trying to pretend nothin’ hurt. I know he knows I saw because he put a finger to his lips and mouthed ‘shh’ like the library lady does if we’re crammed in the book mobile.

I know what I saw and I know he doesn’t want me to tell. He thinks he’s by himself, alone, even if he doesn’t have brothers and sisters like I do.

I know what I saw and I’m gonna change that, because I can be like a super hero – a small secret super hero – and make someone, like my big brother, hear me and change it.

SaD – More Words

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So today’s task/topic was to write for 40 minutes, with a little bit of prep time. So of course, my mind treated this just like a word war opportunity…

 

Time!

Ashley tossed his bag in the locker before scrambling to put his shoes on. He was late. Again. If he had been a freshman in high school or starting out in middle school, he might have gotten away with it.

But in this day and time at his age, trying to start anew in college…

He loved Professor Gates, adored her. She challenged him during lectures, and he could answer without fear. Whether he was right or wrong, he found his voice and used it.

In this setting, however, because of a lost bet with Chanel in chemistry lab, here he was, tripping over his two left feet.

Struggling to catch his breath, he made it to the auditorium, expecting to play catch up somehow. It took him a moment to realize the only footsteps he heard were his own.

“Mr. Emery, it isn’t like you to be this late. Especially on your fourth day.”

Professor Gates stood with her back to the mirrors in a classical at-rest position, just like a ballerina, poised, polished porcelain yet relaxed.

Once upon a time, Ashley held the same pose, scare steel determined not to flinch at the slightest threat. It was all he could do not to revert to that well-learned behavior of youth.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I’ll understand, third strike and all-.”

Gates smiled. “Relax. Breathe. I’m not that cruel. Besides, there’s a particular challenge I have for you that works best one-on-one.”

She pressed ‘play’ on the CD player beside her. As the melody rose and their stretching exercises began, she asked, “What colors do you hear?”

Ashley was confused.

“Don’t think, just answer. What colors do you hear?”

“I’ve already failed a test,” he muttered under his breath.

After the first set of exercises were finished, Gates turned the music off. “Let’s reverse that. Follow me.”

She showed him a landscape painting with a myriad of autumn colors. “What notes do you see?”

Ashley opened and closed his mouth a few times. Rather than answer about the painting before him, he stepped towards the corner to a different landscape, this one depicting a river. “Around C,” he said, after a while. “Small voice in volume, short in length, like a bubbling brook. Eighth notes that grow longer eventually.”

“And,” Gates asked.

“This is just the start of a journey, so the tempo’s bound to change. The shift in chords, the…the ebb and crescendo. I can see it, I just can’t say it.”

Gates nodded as she led the way back to the auditorium. “Take your shoes off,” she told him as she sought a different CD from her bag. “We’ll ignore the tap.”

The moment the first notes played, Ashley felt awash in safety, in a time and place where love was plentiful and conversations, questions encouraged.

“Do you know the name,” she asked.

His smile grew as it dawned on him why he was drawn to the painting. “The Moldau, by Smetana.”

She smiled back. “Now can you tell me the colors that you hear?”

He did; he could, comfortably, eagerly.”

As the music ended, she pressed on. “What’s happened to you since then? What has broken and bruised you so – emotionally and physically – that you are hoping to fail out of this dance, this life?”

His heart raced as the images of a winding river morphed into a soon-to-be crushing waterfall.

Wednesday Words

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All right, trying something new and there’s a chance this might be a foul, a foul-tip or a strike… here’s the first pitch in a month-long challenge, courtesy of StoryADay. Today’s challenge included working with a basic frame for a short short story. This probably isn’t that…

 

Strike!

Chris’s response to the bully brothers targeting the new kid in gym class included a couple of bowling balls and a few well-thrown bowling pins their way.

The principal’s response was giving her three days of detention.

Chris’s response to her three days in detention included sketching caricatures of everyone there, complete with moles, warts, and spikes.

The teacher’s response was sending her to the counselor.

Chris’s response to the meeting with the counselor included the silent treatment paired with perfect posture.

The counselor’s response was mandatory group sessions.

Stuck in a room with a few other middle-schoolers, Chris struck up a conversation with a future best friend.

The results are still unfolding…