Posts tagged ‘flash fiction’


Xia reached over and grabbed her daughter, frantic to quiet her cries. No one could know about this little one. No one.

A rushed and mumbled lullaby filled the room. The din of voices from the neighbors t.v. sifted through the wall and almost drowned out her words. Lei still cried, so Xia sang louder, afraid that someone might hear them.

Soft light shone through the thin curtain, and Lei calmed. Her dark eyes locked on her mother’s face. Xia knew her daughter was smiling, but it wouldn’t be obvious to others. Lei was missing most of her upper lip.

A freezing wind blew through the room as the door opened. Shen ran in with the cold and sat down in front of the wood stove, holding his hands out toward the warmth. Jin closed the door and sulked to the range, where he readied a teapot.

“I am sorry I did not get that for you. Lei was crying, I could not leave her.”

“I did not expect it.” Jin sat next to Xia on their bed and took Lei from her arms. He tucked her blanket around her and touched the dark, soft hairs on her head.

“She is lucky to have you. Others would have abandoned her, made their wives get rid of her.”

“She is ours, same as Shen.”

“They will fine us for keeping her.”

“We can’t pay.”

“They will take her then!” Shen turned from the warm stove.

Jin and Xia looked at Shen, pained that their young boy had to live with their same fears.

Shen continued, “I know what they do. I hear boys at school, they say horrible things.”

Xia went to her son, and placing a hand on his shoulder said, “Only listen to your father, he is the one with a good heart. You learn many things from him, all good.”

“I will work to pay the fines. I want Lei to stay.” Shen cried.

Jin’s voice rose from the bed. “No. You will go to school and get a good job. Do you want to walk miles every day in this freezing weather to find work? No. You will stay in school.”

“But Lei -”

“Lei will not be taken!”


October 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm 2 comments

Smells Like Mom

Smells Like Mom

My knees smell like mom. I hug them tight, pretending my arms are wrapped around her neck. I breathe in her sweet fruity scent.
She left yesterday, saying goodbye to my sisters and me. Repeating that it was best for us all. I didn’t believe her, and I still don’t.
The woman with the flowery shirt came to get us last night. Supposedly my mom had the “decency” to call someone that could take care of us. That’s not how I see it. I’m not as naive as I look. I might be young, but I know she didn’t have to leave us.
Last night my sisters and I all stayed in different homes. I worry about Nikki and Sami. Unlike me, they aren’t able to care for themselves.
I didn’t talk to the people who let me stay at their house. I know I won’t be there long, it’s only temporary. Until my mom comes back to get me.
This morning the woman with the bright flower shirt was wearing ugly earrings that dangled down to her shoulders. She brought me to school. Like I want to be here? I used the bathroom pass, and have been sitting here for the past, I don’t know, forever it seems like. Crouching in the corner shadows, hoping they don’t come get me. I want to sit here and smell my mom.


This flash fiction was created for Writer Unboxed “7 Days of Summer Flash Fiction Contest” Week 3. Write 250 words or less that are inspired by the visual prompt.

July 17, 2012 at 11:37 am Leave a comment

The Year I Didn’t Care


That was the year I didn’t care. The year when I ran free on the glen, the wind blowing my hair, creating tufts of rustled brown messes. I paid no heed to what it looked like. The breeze caught my skirt, making it swish around my waist. I cared not who saw. I felt the hot sun on my skin, soaking into my body, warming it like an oven warms delicious bread. The perspiration gathering at my brow did not embarrass me. I was free that year.
It all came before the shift. A divorce of magnitude. One caught up in the tabloids, one spoken about by every blog reading citizen. I was no longer free. The weight of the world’s eyes now hovered over my every move. What will she do? How will she handle this?
They need not have worried. In fact, they worried more than I. What I most despised, and remember most keenly to this day, is the freedom that I lost. I lost it with that last warm breeze. It slipped away with the kite as the wind snatched it out of my hands on that clear summer day. It escaped my reality as I watched my mother and father, standing on the edge of the veranda, gazing at me through darkened eyes. Something had changed.
I sit now, wondering if my skirt is covering my thighs, making sure my hair is in all the right places. Everyone is watching. I have lost my freedom.


This flash fiction was created for Writer Unboxed “7 Days of Summer Flash Fiction Contest.” Write 250 words inspired by the visual prompt. (Todays story was not submitted for the contest, only created for my writing pleasure.)

July 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm 6 comments

Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady (flash fiction)

Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady

Have you ever experienced a moment when you felt beautiful? A moment when you, as a whole, were ready to take on the world? I had a moment once.
The smell of cherry blossoms filled the early evening air, I stood in the middle of a grass field. My white dress blew gently in the wind, the breeze lifted my soft dark curls and threw them lazily around my shoulders. Mark was next to me, intently listening to the band as they began a new song.
The first sultry words slid out, and I recognized it immediately. Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady. I turned to Mark, wondering why they would play my song.
His hand slid around my waist, his eyes full of love. “I’m sorry I was called out of town on your birthday. I hope to make it up to you.” His adoration for me was etched in his face. At this moment he could do no wrong.


This is from a Write on Edge Prompt.

Go to This Day In Music, and discover what was number 1 on the charts in the United States, England or Australia the day you or your character was born, or any other special day in your/their life, if you prefer.

Listen to the song(s) and let it inspire you. In 300 words or less.

March 9, 2012 at 3:04 pm 4 comments

Dusseldorf’s Secrets (flash fiction)

the Cologne - courtesy of

Dusseldorf’s Secrets

It was a rainy night in Dusseldorf, Germany; muted lighting played off the sidewalk,  making for a romantic stroll. Izaak’s fingers laced through Edy’s as peaceful feelings eased through her for the first time in weeks.
Izaak leaned over and spoke close to her ear. “Where would you like to go after dinner?”
Edy watched as a man in a long black coat stared at her from behind his glasses. She  recognized him by his gray hair and striped tie. No matter how much money he made, he always wore the same tie. It was Gerhard Richter. Edy hadn’t seen him in months, but she couldn’t forget he had made her life a living hell. A smirk crossed his usually solemn face, and he was gone.
“Edy? Did you hear me sweetheart?” Izaak wondered if she could hear him above the rains constant pattering. “I asked where you would like to go after Zum Schlussel?”
“Yeah… ummm.”
“Are you okay?” Izaak had stopped walking now, the awning above them kept the incessant deluge of water from pouring off the oversized umbrella.
Edy’s eyes avoided his, and she adjusted her coat. She thought she could keep this from him, but she thought of the day he might find out on his own. Possibly run into Gerhard Richter himself, and what then? Gerhard wouldn’t keep silent.
“Did you see Gerhard Richter pass us just moments ago?” Edy slumped back against the brick wall.
“No. Do you mean the artist, Gerhard?”
“Yes, the artist.”
“And what has your mind so preoccupied with his passing by on the street?” Izaak asked.
“He holds my family’s story in his hands.”
Izaak was amused. “You knew Gerhard?”
“All too well.”
“Zum Schlussel isn’t much farther.” Izaak gently pulled her forward, hoping Edy would tell him why the sight of that man had so upset her.


The hum of voices in the pub was worse than the pattering rain. Izaak slid across the small booth, sitting close to Edy. “Tell me about Gerhard.”
“I told you my father owned a gallery until a few years ago.”
Izaak nodded, and took a drink beer.
“Gerhard is the reason it no longer exists.” Edy ran her fingers through her long wavy hair. “He blamed my father for turning the Cologne Cathedral to another artist for their stained glass window, when in fact he was the sole craftsman that the Cathedral had ever considered.” Edy banged her fist on the table. “My father did no such thing. Gerhard received the commission in the end. But before that, he destroyed my father’s business and our family.”
Izaak had met Edy just months after her father had lost his gallery. “Why would he do such a thing?”
“Gerhard is ruthless. He sees only himself, and this makes him blind.” Edy used the edge of her napkin to wipe the tear that slid down her cheek.


This prompt is from Write on Edge: Red Writing Hood

I challenge you with this opening line:

“It was a rainy night in Dusseldorf…”

You have 500 words.

March 2, 2012 at 8:37 am 10 comments

doorbells bring holiday sneers (flash fiction)

photo courtesy of: stock.xchng - Neo-classical doors II

doorbells bring holiday sneers

The doorbell rang, my daughter went sliding across the wood floor.

“Got it!” Her enthusiasm reverberated through the house. “Got it! My cousins are heeeerrrre!” Camry flung the door open. “You’re here. Finally.”

My sister-in-law nodded. “Mmm – hmmm.”

Her kids ran past me, pushing me out of the way while my “Hello’s” went unnoticed. Shelly dropped everyone’s bags in the entryway.

“Here. I’ll help you with those.” I slipped several handles over my arms.

“Ugh, she makes me so mad. All I wanted to do was get settled in our rooms, let the kids run around. They were stuck in a car for three hours. Three hours! She just doesn’t get it. She always wants to do her thing, her way!”

“Okay…” I had no idea what to say. Shelly got along fabulously with her mom when she wasn’t in the same town, and if I joined this rant, I’d have hell to pay later.

“What room are we in?”

“Just down the hall.” I led the way.

“Is it next to the bathroom? Because I know how old houses have noisy plumbing… it keeps me up and I can’t lose sleep. Ugh, then my kids climb in my bed, and I hate that.”

“Right. Well, the plumbing shouldn’t be a problem unless you plug the toilet. Then noise won’t be an issue.” I set their luggage down as nicely as I could and headed for my bedroom.

Quietly I closed the door, leaned against it and took a deep breath. I walked to the tall window that overlooked a thick forest of pine, and reminded myself to focus on what the holiday meant, and that I had my immediate family to celebrate it with.

Then ever so gently the snow began to fall.


This came from a Write on Edge prompt: Red Writing Hood – The Doorbell
Craft a piece of fiction around the holiday season. Begin the piece with “The doorbell rang,” and end with “snow began to fall.” The middle is up to you.
The entire thing should be under 300 words.

March 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm 2 comments

Guests of Waverly (flash fiction)

This piece was inspired by Write on Edge.

The prompt was as follows:

Pick four numbers, each between 1 and 10.
The first number will be for your character, the second your setting, the third the time and the fourth will be the situation. (They then had a corresponding list.)
Take the four elements and combine them into a short story.
All four you picked MUST be your main elements, but you can add in other characters, settings, times and situations.
Link up your response, which must contain the four story elements you chose, and come in at or under 500 words.
Here is what I ended up with:
Character – a waitress
Time – during a thunderstorm
Setting – on a beach
Situation – someone has lost/found something

photo courtesy of

Guests of Waverly

Rain fell in sheets, blurring the beach that lay just yards away, and drenching the guests who remained despite the thunderous warnings the impending storm had brought.
Her yellow dress was visible through the deluge. She moved the sand, her hands sliding methodically back and forth.
Someone pushed me from behind, “Alice. Go help her.”
“But it’s…” I said, pointing to what had moments before been a dry, warm, inviting beach.
Mr. Stark implored me with his eyes, “What are you here for?”
“To serve the guests of Waverly with speed and sincerity.” I gave him my best attempt at a smile, and stepped out from under the sheltering portico.

The woman was drenched, water flowed off her long dark hair.
“Ma’am, can I help you with something?” My voice barely rose above the raging wind and rain.
The woman in the yellow dress looked up at me and glared. “Who are you?”
“Alice. I’m a waitress at Waverly.” I waved my hand in the direction of the restaurant.
The woman’s face contorted into a look of panic and sadness. “I’ve lost my ring.”
Although I wasn’t able to differentiate any tears from drops of rain running down the woman’s cheeks, her eyes were turning red. She swiped at her nose and sniffed. That’s when I noticed the man, who was also on his knees, frantically looking for something. He was wearing a tux, which seemed odd.
The woman sniffled and wailed, “He gave it to me only a few days ago. An engagement ring.” She cried, “Right honey? He could barely afford it. Saved… for months.”
The man looked to the woman, raised his thick eyebrows, and glancing at me, nodded. He immediately turned back to his search.
The woman in the yellow dress covered her face and continued with her breakdown.
Despite wearing crisp white capris, I fell onto the ground and began moving handfuls of the heavy white sand, looking for the ring. Most likely it was small, being that her fiancé had to save for so long to purchase it.
The woman had given up all efforts at searching, and was now sitting on a lounge chair under an expansive umbrella. Her fits of sorrow now abated, she was ringing the water from her hair.
I felt something sharp brush against my shin. Looking down, I was shocked by the excessively large diamond set on a band of smaller diamonds that lay in the sand.
Squealing with delight, the woman ran to me, her drenched yellow dress clinging to her thighs.
“Oh, thank God you found it.” She snatched it from my fingers, as if she were afraid I would slide it in my pocket.
“Henry! We must go. You were to drive me to meet my husband twenty minutes ago.” The woman in the yellow dress took off ahead of the man at a rapid pace.
“Yes Ma’am.”


Okay, my husband thought the man in the story was her lover. Who do you think he is?

February 20, 2012 at 3:56 pm 2 comments

Tracy Dee Whitt - Author

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