Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

Archive for the ‘Flash Fiction’ Category

OLWG#68 – Late Night Phone Call

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My creative brain is taking a holiday as practical matters take over my waking hours. I have struggled with all writing challenges this week. Thank you to Thom at the New Unofficial On-line Writer’s Guild for another great set of prompts, and apologies for such a contrived drabble in response.

 

Late Night Phone Call

‘Hello?’

‘Hello Mr. Charles?’

‘Who’s that?’

‘Billy Summers.’

‘Who?’

‘We think you know someone who can help us?’

‘What?’

‘Mom told us to call you.’

‘Who?’

‘Mary Summers.’

‘Oh. Why?’

‘Claire left.’

‘Right. I understand. So what do you need?’

‘Mom needs more sugar.’

‘Sugar? Sorry kid, you’ve lost me again.’

‘Mom said to call you. She needs more icing sugar.’

‘Icing sugar?’

‘The stuff you can’t get in the shops. The stuff that gives her energy; helps her sleep. The stuff she wipes around her gums. She ain’t moving, Mr. Charles.’

‘You sit tight kid. I’ll make the call.’

 


This week’s prompts are:

  1. Mom needs more sugar
  2. we think you know someone
  3. Claire left

 

Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

 

 

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Written by Sarah Ann

September 24, 2018 at 12:09 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 21/9/18 – Ever So Helpful

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Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry.

At any point during the following week, the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word tales. Read the other stories by clicking below.

I looked at the prompt, showed it to hubby, and while I love the photo, nothing came to either of our minds. So I’ve taken my cue from those lovely brollies and twisted from real life this week for the below vignette. Having just finished painting a gunwale yesterday morning, an un-forecast shower chucked itself at my boat and I almost resorted to chocolate. Friday Fictioneers saved my tears, and my waistline.

Thank you to Rochelle for hosting and Dale for a great photo.

© Dale Rogerson

Ever So Helpful

(Genre: general fiction; 100-words)

‘You’re going to need a big brolly.’

I smile and attend to the leaf I’m painting. A stage set does not need so much detail, but the veining keeps me calm when passersby offer such useful comments.

The end of October might not be the best time for outdoor theatre, but that doesn’t mean we give in. It means we must be prepared for all eventualities. My set will be ready, the quick drying paint doing its job despite the wind and showers that attempt to thwart me. The audience will provide their own umbrellas. The show will go on.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

September 22, 2018 at 9:17 am

OLWG#67 – Folding Syndrome

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Thom created a word cloud for last week’s New Unofficial On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts and I tried to include all of them in my fantasy that follows. I think I’ve only missed out one. Thank you Thom for another great challenge this week.

 

 

Folding Syndrome

It is hard to conceive of the silence that followed the Folding Syndrome epidemic. After all the voices that rang out, the choirs that formed and lifted the roofs off churches. After all the richness and resonance that united the world, the quiet was startling. The development of a collective activity where people worked and sang together instead of taking to war should probably have sounded alarm bells. It was the opposite of usual human behaviour after all. But the harmonies and spontaneous a cappella movements were soothing, enjoyable, and lulled all into a semi-conscious state. When it stopped no one could have imagined that singing would finish forever.

The end began with a singer on a television talent show. She faltered on stage, restarted, couldn’t find her voice, and stumbled crying into the wings. It was no great shakes, nothing to worry about; amateurs overstretch themselves. When the whole series’ cohort lost their crooning abilities questions were asked, investigations made. What could be causing the sickness? Initially throats swelled up and some thought it could be anaphylactic shock. Had someone poisoned the coffee? It had tasted off, a bit sour. When the symptoms spread to the church choirs, so too did the scope of enquiry.

In most cases the problems started with a change in pitch – a minor tonal variation up or down before the voice was all over the place. It was almost like being tone deaf, only the singer could hear they were going wrong, and no amount of repetition straightened them out. For those with newly acquired voices, it was easy come, easy go. For more established songbirds, and those whose voices were their careers, a dose of Folding Syndrome was an arrow to the heart. They began to avoid public appearances in case it was catching, but no regular activity was ever isolated as causal.

With other observed epidemics there was a recognised cycle, a flow followed by an ebb as infection peaks were reached and medicines introduced to alleviate symptoms. But not this time. Standard over the counter pills, herbal remedies, electric shock treatments direct to the vocal chords, all were tried. None could stop the folding of the chords, the minute rippling that gave the syndrome its name. Six months into the crisis the minsters of health of the world made a joint statement: ‘You will all know someone who has been touched by this. To date it is only singing that is affected. No one has lost their voice completely. That said, our scientists are at a loss. Research is ongoing but there are no grounds for optimism a cure will be found. We haven’t worked out the cause yet.’ It was a sad indictment albeit an honest one.

Years later there is no known cause and no cure, or at least none spoken of. And there is no singing. There may be people in the world who still sing, in the bath maybe, but no one attempts it in public. There’s a belief that if one is not heard singing then the sickness cannot fall upon them. There are conspiracy theories that it was an untraceable disease put about by AI because it is incapable of the human trait of singing. There are seeds of an idea that it was a superfast evolutionary process – after all what use is singing other than entertainment and who needs entertaining with so much work to be done. Folding Syndrome remains one of life’s inexplicables, left for great scientists of the future to solve.

 

#FridayFictioneers – 14/9/18 – Tick Tock

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Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry.

At any point during the following week, the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word tales. Read the other stories by clicking below.

 

Thanks to Rochelle and for J Hardy Carroll for this week’s prompt.

© J Hardy Carroll

 

Tick Tock

(Genre: general fiction; 100-words.)

1/11/15

‘Dave, we’re not getting any younger. Can you please stop working so hard?’

‘After Easter. Start of the new financial year, I’ll reduce my hours.’

12/3/16

‘I’m sorry, Jan. I know I said I’d cut back, but Val’s announced she’s leaving. I’ll need to cover until a replacement’s found. Christmas, I promise.’

16/1/17

‘Yes, I know I said Christmas, but we’ve booked that holiday now and I want you to have plenty of spending money.’

27/7/17

‘Another month. I’ll go 4-days after my 60thbirthday. Promise.’

8/10/17

Jan, great news, I’m being made redundant. Jan, love, are you home?

 

 

#FridayFictioneers – 7/9/18 – The Sun’ll Come Out

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Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry.

At any point during the following week, the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word tales. Read the other stories by clicking below.

I feel my stories of late have been a little miserable in outlook, so I tried for something more joyful. I’m not sure I fully succeeded.

Thank you to Rochelle and Gah this week.

© Gah Learner

 

The Sun’ll Come Out

(Genre: general fiction; 100-words)

Tomorrow is going to be a good day. I can feel it in my water. That’s something Granny says to cover the fact she doesn’t really know stuff but is hoping hard. I’ve seen loads more of Granny since Tyler’s been in hospital. Granny looks after me while Mum and Dad and the doctors look after him.

Life’s been so weird since the accident: Granny moving in, me staying up late on school nights, no limits on screen-time or chocolate. Weird and fun.

They remove the sedation tomorrow.

Tyler’s going to be okay.

I can feel it in my water.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

September 7, 2018 at 9:17 am

OLWG#66 – Let’s Party

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Sometimes I look at the New Unofficial On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts and think they belong together. They could almost tell a story all by themselves. Hence my short and sweet offering of 100-words this week. Thank you Thom.

 

Let’s Party

‘I’m having a party and I’m inviting all my favourite people: You, of course, and Melissa and Josh and Pippa and Freddie and Lena and Charles and George and Dominque and Isabelle and Pete and –

‘When’s this party?’

‘Next Saturday. I’ve hired the bowling alley.’

‘You want us all to shoot pins all day?’

‘Well, that was the idea. Me and my bestest friends.’

‘You booked the venue already?’

‘Yep.’

‘You gonna phone or email everyone to invite them in time?’

‘Hell no, I’m posting to Facebook. Telling the whole world.’

‘Well, you won’t be able to tell anyone else.’

 


 

This week’s prompts are:

  1. you won’t be able to tell anyone else
  2. well, that was the idea
  3. all my favourite people

 

Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Write something
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need.

Have fun

 

Written by Sarah Ann

September 6, 2018 at 7:47 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 31/8/18 – Apple Pie

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Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry.

At any point during the following week, the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word tales. Read the other stories by clicking below.

When I saw this week’s prompt my immediate thought was seeing things from a different angle. I feel the below is far too ‘tell’ rather than ‘show’ so would welcome advice on improvement.

I actually wrote this Thursday but have been unable to post thanks to connection problems. Apologies for reading and commenting late in advance.

Thank you Rochelle and Nathan for this week’s great photo.

 

© Nathan Sowers

 

Apple Pie

(Genre: general fiction; 100-words)

Seen from the outside they were the perfect family – mum, dad, 2.4 children, as the eldest, Owen, carried more round his middle than he should.

Keith and Sally taught in the same school; held barbeques on summer weekends for the neighbours; volunteered at all the school fetes. The kids were well behaved, did well in their own schools, were polite to everyone, and didn’t hang around on street corners with their peers.

Candy was a clumsy tomboy who often sported bruises. Owen had an underactive thyroid. Sally was shy.

Seen from the inside, living with Keith’s unbridled temper was hell.

 

 

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