fresh start

For Friday Fictioneers
Flash fiction, 100 words

Photo copyright Anne Higa

The fairies gathered near the grotto at the appointed hour, their little shadow selves barely visible in the darkness. Their excited chatter could be heard almost like birdsong through the forest.

It took the strength of all the fairies, heaving together, to get the old wooden bucket lowered into the deep glowing pool. With Herculean effort, the tiny hands pulled the full bucket back up to the top. 

Their elfin cheer reverberated throughout the woods as they spilled the bucket out, dusting their wings with the powdery fairy gold. Sparkling anew with their magic, they flitted off into the night.

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Many thanks to Rochelle at rochellewiseoff.com for this intriguing photo prompt!

approved protest only

A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 13: M
Flash fiction, 100 words 

Tyler stepped up to the microphone and opened his mouth to speak. His eyes scanned the small crowd before him, wondering if the gathered folks could tolerate, much less actually consider, his vital message.

Freedom of speech only applied if you were in compliance with approved themes and virtues. Anything outside the accepted conventions could be shunned, derided, and lead to loss of friends or family, job loss, arrest, or worse.

Tyler took in the well-meaning but empty eyes. He noticed the ever-present police politely stationed around the fringes of the group. 

He would look for another way.

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the transformative power of a run

A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 12: L
Flash essay, 100 words 

I linger over my coffee, brooding. I’m sluggish, resistant. I sit half-heartedly fighting the ennui that keeps me in the chair with my melancholy thoughts. It would be so easy to just … not.

Somehow, I manage to make myself lace up, get up and out the door. I walk fast. Finally, I’m running. 

Legs pumping. Feet feeling the ground. Air in my lungs. Eyes soaking in the trees, the sky, the path ahead. I feel my aliveness with joy and gratitude, aware of my heart of compassion, my kinship with all of life. Creativity blooms. It’s a beautiful day.

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for what it’s worth

A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 11: K
Flash fiction, 100 words

Speaking his promise aloud, he pushed the ring onto her finger. 

Over time, the ring simply became part of who she was, like her lips or nose. For almost a quarter of a century, it witnessed all the big events, and the small ones, too, of a marriage.

Now, she twisted it carefully up over her work-worn knuckle. She laid it in the palm of her hand, along with the ring he had always refused to wear. She finally understood why.

She reached out toward the jeweler.

“I saw your sign. How much will you give me for these?”

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creativity exercise

A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 10: J
Flash fiction, 100 words

Teeth. Lots of teeth. A long tail.  And those little bitty wings, for whatever evolutionary purpose that might serve. The monster, of course, happens to be green.

The jaws are wide open. Because it’s hungry? Roaring? Singing? Laughing?

I don’t know. Is it a dinosaur? Or a demon? The disturbing thing is that it emerged from my imagination, and, in an odd sort of way, looks kind of friendly to me.

This. This is what happens when you leave me alone with paper to cut up and no plan except to mix things up and see what you can make.

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first clue

A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 9: I
Flash fiction, 100 words

Everything was planned. She ran her index finger down the list. She knew where she was going, that she could find a job and friends.

She continued with the packing, a slow, careful process. She considered the little things that held meaning for her, a few books, some precious mementoes. Furniture, not so much. 

He was not there to see her leave.

There had been a wonderful few years. They were simpatico. She loved the way he always called her his “Boo.” 

Despite the apologies, she knew the instant he slammed her up against the wall that they were done.

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the prompt

A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 8: H
Flash essay, 100 words

Head, heart, hands. All three get in on the act when a writing prompt presents itself.

The head immediately jumps all over the word or the photo, tossing it around, looking for an angle. 

The heart is right in there, too, reacting with memories and feelings. People and places burble up, somehow jolted from the depths by the prompt.

The hands wait patiently in the wings until finally they get the green light. Within seconds, the head and the heart are right back in the thick of things, changing it up.

Somehow, between the three of them, a story emerges.

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market day

For Friday Fictioneers
Flash fiction, 100 words

Copyright Brenda Cox

Saturday mornings, the hustle and bustle of the open air market always beckoned. Jostling my way through the narrow alley, I never failed to spot familiar faces as well as tempting items for sale. 

Buried in the midst of all the commotion, Gilly stood there in tatters, playing the violin to the enchantment of all.

Saturdays are different now. Quiet and empty. The few faces I see are covered with masks. The old crate Gilly used to climb up on for his performances sits unused. Still, I can somehow hear the plaintive notes of his strings playing for the angels.

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Thank you to Rochelle at RochelleWisoff.com for this happy kickstart, with the photo prompt above.

habit-forming

A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 7: G
Flash fiction, 100 words

Six months as a high raw vegan, and Corby glowed with energy. He happily kept an aggressive workout schedule, including running and strength training. Even mentally, he felt sharper and happier.

Out with old friends one day, Corby decided to cheat a little on his new lifestyle. The drinks, the potato chips, and the burger would have done the trick. He threw in a piece of pie for good measure. 

The ensuing gastrointestinal distress was convincing enough. The lethargy was the kicker though. After six months of feeling great, Corby knew the old ways of eating just weren’t worth it.

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remembering the Pedoscope

A to Z challenge, theme: anatomy, day 6: F
Flash nonfiction, 100 words

Years ago, a doctor X-rayed my feet with my shoes on so he could show me what my bones looked like stuffed into high heels. As if I couldn’t figure that out without radiation.

Later on, I learned that shoe-fitting fluoroscopy was a thing at one time. This grand idea came into vogue in the 1920s, and lingered as late as the 70s in some places. At the shoe store, customers, mostly children it seems, got X-ray glimpses of their feet inside the shoes they were trying on. Like you couldn’t get a good fit without radiation.

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