Micro-Monday Flash Fiction: {Window}

Yay! I'm trying to be consistent. I really am. :)

This week's prompt is "window." (If you're curious as to how I choose my prompts, it's a very complex and laborious process. Basically I look through my stock image folder and pick a photo that strikes me that day.)

So. Window. What images does this conjure up in your mind? What kind of window? Are you looking out? Or looking in? Let the word sink in, and then write the first 300 words that come together in your mind.

If you feel like sharing, post here in the comments or post on your own blog/site and link up on twitter with #mmflashfic. 

Have fun!

{Note: I COULDN'T DO IT. I couldn't keep it to under 300 words. My initial writing frenzy produced 441 words! I tried so hard to edit it down, and I only got it down to 366. So that is where it is. I will forgive any overages up to 500 words, I think.} ;)

She pulled back the lace curtain and peeked out the front window. They would be here soon. She sighed and let the curtain slip from her fingertips, closing her eyes and remembering the day her mother gave it to her 58 years ago as a wedding gift. It had hung in her front window ever since, no matter what house or apartment they'd lived in.

She shuffled away from the window and began a slow walk around the house, conjuring up memories of her life here. They'd only been in this house for the past 26 years, but it had been 26 good years. Full of life and love. 

And sadness.

It was in this house she had watched her husband transform from the strong, handsome man she had married long ago to a feeble shell of the person he had been. She had promised to love him in sickness and in health, and that is exactly what she had done. She always smiled at him, no matter what. And he always looked at her with stars in his eyes, like he was the luckiest guy in the world to have her on his arm.

Until the sparkle died and he became confused and angry, because somewhere in his mind, he knew he had lost himself. She tried to calm him. But the day he pushed her away angrily--the day she fell and broke her hip--she knew it was time to let stronger people care for him.

He died in the nursing home, three years ago.

And now she was going there, because her hip had gotten so bad she couldn't care for herself well anymore. The only reason she walked around the house now, in this last attempt to grasp fast-fading memories, was because she wanted to leave with as much independence as she'd had when she first walked through this door.

When she heard the van pull up in front of the house, and the subsequent knock, she hobbled to the door, opened it, and walked out with as much dignity as she could muster.

But she couldn't stop the tears that escaped her eyes as she left her old life behind.

{Words: 366}

Micro-Monday Flash Fiction: {Little}

Alrighty. Let's try this Flash Fiction thing again, shall we? I have fun with it, it gets my writing muscles warmed up for the week, and I know at least a few other people have enjoyed it in the past. So, here we go.

Remember: 300 words or fewer. Post in the comments, or link up on Twitter with #mmflashfic. Today's prompt is "little." Write whatever that sparks for you.

They were so little. So tiny. And every time she looked at them, her heart broke all over again.

Shoes. 

They sat on the dresser in the freshly painted nursery, next to the rocking chair in the corner and the crib against the wall. Above the crib hung a Noah's Ark mobile, miniature fuzzy animals dangling beneath a boat that had never turned 'round and never played its lullaby. Maybe it never would.

She sighed and fingered the shoes, just looking around the room. What would they do now? Was it worth another try? She sat in the rocking chair and began rocking, subconsciously rubbing her belly that had once held life. She couldn't trust her body. it was a malicious thing, a thing that killed, and she didn't know if she could ever trust it to care for a life again.

She kicked off her own shoes and slowly rubbed her feet across the Noah's Ark plush rug as she rocked, her feet sliding back and forth, toes wriggling into the thick pile. 

And she cried.

The blue walls wavered and blurred as she looked up at the wooden letters that spelled "Emerson." They'd have to take it down, she thought. They'd have to take it all down. Maybe they should just sell the furniture, paint the walls white, and turn it back into a guest bedroom. Put some fluttery white curtains on the windows, and a vase of bright, cheery flowers on the nightstand. Yes, that might do. That might help them to forget.

They did repaint the room, and sell the furniture.

But she kept the little pair of shoes right next to the vase of flowers. And a single letter, "E," on the wall above the nightstand.

(Words: 291)

New Micro Monday Flash Fiction! {Blue}

Well, it's been a long time since I've blogged on a regular basis. I'm going to make a heroic attempt to keep with it this time.

One aspect of my blog I really enjoyed, and that I think would be a lot of fun to keep up with, was the Micro Monday Flash Fiction (#mmflashfic). Every Monday, I'll pick a random word and write 300 words of fiction incorporating that word. You're welcome and encouraged to join in. Post your flash fiction here, in the comments, or link up to your own blog via Twitter with #mmflashfic. 

Today's word prompt: blue.

Read More

Micro Monday Flash Fiction: Dormant

Today's one-word prompt is "dormant." Inhabit the word, let it speak to you, and then write!

(I'f you're joining us for the first time, every Monday is our day to exercise our writing muscles by writing a 300-words-or-less flash fiction piece. Want to share yours? Either paste it in the comments below the post, or post it on your own blog and link up on twitter with #mmflashfic! Easy peasy!)

Have fun writing!

*****

She felt her lungs expand as she inhaled, then held that breath, staring at herself in the mirror. She could see the difference already in her eyes, in the glow of her skin, in the way the left corner of her mouth turned up just so. She exhaled through her mouth, expelling with her breath all of the negativity and criticism she had lived under for far too long. She had let other people dictate her life, her hows and whys, while she had slowly retreated, farther and farther into the dark recesses of her own self. She had been dormant for so long that she had nearly forgotten where she was. Who she was.

But not anymore.

Something had awoken her. She smiled at the memory. It had been so simple, so ordinary: a drop of dew on one of her roses out front. She had gone out for the mail and, for some reason, had literally stopped to smell the roses. Usually she was too rushed to pay much attention. But that day, something captured her.

She had lowered her face to the rose, so close that she startled when a soft petal brushed her cheek. She had forgotten how soft the roses were, and she gently held the petal between her thumb and forefinger, marveling at its velvety feel. And that’s when she saw it.

In a small dewdrop, she saw her own reflection. Upside-down.

And she realized that she had been living upside-down for far too long. It was time to set herself right again. To wake the wild spirit that slept within her. To set herself free.

As she looked at her reflection now, she smiled at how very not upside-down she looked. And, fully awake, she turned and stepped into her life.

Micro Monday Flash Fiction: Twilight

Welcome to the second Micro Monday Flash Fiction! This week, our one-word prompt is "twilight." And I don't mean the sparkly-vampire sense of the word, but the original meaning (taken here from the Oxford Dictionaries): "The soft glowing light from the sky when the sun is below the horizon, caused by the refraction and scattering of the sun’s rays from the atmosphere.

So, let that word settle into your senses. Feel it. See it.

Now, write it.

(If you're joining us for the first time, every Monday we have a one-word prompt for a flash fiction piece of up to 300 words. If you would like to participate and share your own, you may paste it in the comments below, or post it on your own blog and link up on twitter with #mmflashfic.)

***


The long grass caught around her toes as she made her way toward the center of the meadow. She tugged his arm, running ahead of him, and he lazily kept pace with her. 

"Where are you taking me?" she heard him say. But her response was a simple laugh. She smiled to herself and checked the sky.

"You'll see," she finally said, peeking behind her to check that the blindfold was still firmly in place. It was. But she also caught the trace of a smile playing on his lips.

Another moment and she had found what she was looking for. 

"Okay, this is it," she said, steering him by his shoulders to face west. "Now, lie down."

"What?" He seemed surprised, but also curious.

"Just do it."

He nearly disappeared among the tall grasses. She lay down next to him, and then pulled the blindfold off.

"Look! There!" she said, pointing. 

The sky above them was just fading purple from the pinks of the setting sunlight, with indigo toying at the edges. The first stars of the evening glimmered overhead, and the moon already held her place in the sky.

She watched his face, noting his eyes darting from star to star, the right corner of his mouth upturned slightly.

“You’ve really never just watched the stars come out? Really?”

He shook his head, still gazing upward. “No,” he breathed. “But, this is…”

“I know,” she sighed, falling back into the grass beside him. For several moments they just lay there, staring up at the twilit sky, watching as the light faded, and the indigo seeped across the remaining colors like spilled ink. “I know,” she whispered again.

And then she felt his fingers finding the spaces between hers, and she smiled up at the stars.

Micro Monday Flash Fiction: Silence

From now on, Mondays will be a sort of kick-off day for our writing week (for you and for me). I will post a prompt - likely just one word - and we then have all day to post a microfiction based on that prompt. For the sake of this weekly series, "microfiction" will be works of no more than 300 words. This is just an exercise, meant to get our creative muscles warmed up for the week ahead. So have fun with it, and don't let perfectionism get the best of you! I will post my own microfiction with the prompt post, but I'd love to see yours in the comments, or link up to your blog post on twitter using #MMflashfic and tag me, @amy__lutes!


Our first prompt will be "silence."


Aaannnddd...GO!


In the silence, my fears are immense. I cower in their shadows. I do not yet realize that that's all they are - shadows. My fears are not solid things that can inflict pain on me. They are mere shadows that grow and waver and change in the play of light. Oddly, they are less ghost-like when the light is strong. But then, I can better identify their shape, and so they have less strength to work their magic on my subconscious. No - it is when the light is dim - when I feel far from the sun, far from that Light that gives me strength - that the wavering shadows of Fear cause me the most issues. For it is then that my imagination turns them into these solid towers that stand before me now.

I feel my hands quiver as I turn to look at the towers. Still there is no sound - the silence is palpable. I don't even hear my own breath, my own heartbeat. I look at the towers of blackness. But what I see gives me pause. Suddenly I gasp. The Light is bright, radiating. And the blackness of the shadows of Fear are sharply outlined. And they are shaped just like me.

I realize in this moment that what I fear most lives within me, in my heart. And with this realization, the fear weakens, wavers, as Light blazes through my heart and shatters the towers into a million pieces. And I smile as the tiny black ashes flutter through the air. One lands on my shoulder and I turn my head, smiling, and brush it away with a wave of my hand.

And then I turn my back on that place and walk into the Light.