Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not.

Posts Tagged ‘flash fiction

#FridayFictioneers – 23/2/18 – Love is…

with 16 comments

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’ve gone for a bit of schmaltz this week, at least I hope I have. And as I can’t do too sweet, a second version is less saccharine. Only the last two lines of the below differ, but I hope they change the mood and feel enough.

Thank you to Rochelle for hosting and Marie Gail for this week’s prompt.

© Marie Gail Stratford

 

Love is…

(Genre: schmaltz; 100-words)

A glass-fronted mahogany display cabinet hangs on the wall. Inside, a silver vase holds grey, withered blooms.

‘Granny,’ says Simon, ‘why do you keep those dead flowers on the wall?’

Sylvia smiles wistfully. ‘That vase holds my life,’ she says. ‘There’s a marigold from the first posy your grandfather gave me; a rose from our wedding bouquet; a carnation from the flowers my sister sent when your mother was born; a lily from my mother’s funeral wreath.’

‘It’s not your whole life though, granny. I haven’t given you birthday flowers yet.’

Simon grins; Sylvia twinkles, and hugs her grandson tight.

 

Love is… (2)

(Genre: schmaltz with sting; 100-words)

A glass-fronted mahogany display cabinet hangs on the wall. Inside, a silver vase holds grey, withered blooms.

‘Granny,’ says Simon, ‘why do you keep those dead flowers on the wall?’

Sylvia smiles wistfully. ‘That vase holds my life,’ she says. ‘There’s a marigold from the first posy your grandfather gave me; a rose from our wedding bouquet; a carnation from the flowers my sister sent when your mother was born; a lily from my mother’s funeral wreath.’

‘It’s not your whole life though, granny. We haven’t had your funeral flowers yet.’

Simon grins; Sylvia frowns, and hugs her grandson tight.

 

 

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#FridayFictioneers – 16/2/18 – Waiting for Spring

with 30 comments

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.

Thank you to Dale for this week’s prompt, although I say that having stared hard and not got very far very fast. I think my story might stand without the photo. Thanks too to Rochelle for hosting.

Because of commitments this weekend I will be late to read and comment, but I will get there.

 

© Dale Rogerson

Waiting for Spring

(Genre: general fiction; 100-words)

The snow saved her. She had never been so pleased to see a whiteout. She would get it when the thaw came, but she would have worked out a story by then.

If the frost lasted long enough she might even be able to convince her father that his prize peonies had rotted of their own accord, that the ice had cut its sharp edges through their stems.

She couldn’t tell the truth; that she had pruned harshly because he wouldn’t let her attend the school disco. He wouldn’t understand.

She hated winter, and hoped for a long cold one.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

February 16, 2018 at 10:53 pm

Project 10K – February 2018

with 7 comments

I seem to be keeping to some sort of schedule by posting my goals on the 10th of each month instead of the 1st.

I am happy to report that I achieved my one goal for January and yesterday re-submitted the first three chapters of my novel to the agent I pitched to in November. I hope that I haven’t taken so long to get them to her that she has forgotten my work and who I am. The first third of the book has been re-jigged – the first chapter written, others cut from, added to, and re-ordered – and I am still reading making further subtle changes, at least I hope any changes in the latter chapters will be subtle and not too involving. The book is better now for the agent’s suggestions, and I hope she likes how I have addressed them.

 

In answer to Gabrielle’s questions:

1. Did you meet your writing/editing goals?

Yes.

2. Did you have fun writing?

Yes, once it was all over and I could look back. Not so much while I was doing the writing; it was hard work.

3. Did the P10K help with motivation?

Yes.

4. Anything else you want to tell us?

Nope, I don’t seem to have done much else over the last month.

 

© Flights of Fancy

 

Goals for February:

  1. Participate in the remaining Friday Fictioneers challenges for the month. I have failed to participate recently as I’ve had no time to read and comment on others’ stories.
  2. Finish reading to the end of my novel so it is pitch perfect again.
  3. Write/ submit some new short stories. I have been looking at competition deadlines and not getting around to writing anything new. My muse needs challenging and developing. I need to set myself a specific word count on this one …..

 

Written by Sarah Ann

February 10, 2018 at 12:17 pm

OLWG #33&34 – The Concert

with 2 comments

I’m still catching up with the New, Unofficial Writer’s Guild prompts and posts. As Thom reminds us each week, practise makes perfect. I’m not happy with my vignette below – it’s too disjointed and jerky – so any constructive criticism on what to cut/ where to add etc, will be most gratefully received.

 

The Concert

Felix looked out disconsolately from the park bandstand. The mist hung mid-fall: the bottom three feet of air showed dewy grass and slick tarmac; above, the moisture swirled thick and grey. It looked more like smog, or the smoke of battle, than the sea mist Felix knew it to be. The salt pricked his skin and stung his eyes.

The fundraising concert, for returnee soldiers, had been planned for months. They had chosen an early summer’s day, betting on a dry, hopefully sunny, weekend. They thought they had accounted for all eventualities. They’d been wrong it seemed.

The town’s band had had to recruit new members following the outbreak of war, with men going off to fight and die. They had had to recruit when it was over too, as whole men didn’t return. Missing limbs and shattered minds did not pretty music make.

Ex-band members had been approached to share their favourite tunes for today’s event, to make them feel included despite their incapacity to take part. Felix hoped those who’d asked for music suggestions had been diplomatic. Felix’s deputy could be an insensitive fool and many were the complaints after Steven led band practice in Felix’s stead.

Their preparations might come to naught, as the landscape remained completely obscured, and no sightlines existed. But all around him Felix could hear them gathering; the dragging feet, the chesty coughs, of men both alive and dead moving slowly toward him. He too had gone to war, and come back physically unscathed. His scars lay deep, his fears for the future voiced only to those he still trusted with his life.

There was still time, he mused, turning away from the shadows to unpack his baton, and paint on the smile with which to greet the brave and foolhardy, the new and luckier older ones. The sun might burn through. She might yet be strong enough to warm the earth and banish the ghosts for another day.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

The prompts:

#33

  1. One of my favourites
  2. What could go wrong
  3. bandleader

#34 ghosts in the fields

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

The rules:

Go ahead and dive in,
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

January 29, 2018 at 3:29 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 19/1/18 – Indubitable

with 47 comments

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’m not at all sure about the below story. The idea is sound; I feel I failed in the execution as I’ve not had the time to edit I’d’ve liked. Critique away.

© J Hardy Carroll

 

Indubitable

(Genre: general fiction; 100-words)

Adele was born ten minutes before Sue.

They shared school, friends, clothes, growing pains, boyfriends.

Love and marriage divided them when job and husband took them to different ends of the country. Post and phone united them as they relayed new experiences in food and music. Some believed they communicated telepathically, which explained how Sue knew Adele was pregnant before she did.

Throughout life they found it almost impossible to argue, always knowing what the other thought and why.

Now, as Adele holds Sue’s hand, watching her fluttering eyelids, she wonders how she’ll survive when Sue’s chest ceases to rise.

 

Written by Sarah Ann

January 19, 2018 at 8:39 pm

OLWG #29-32 – Mabel and Marvin Take Tea

with 6 comments

2018 has not started well in terms of keeping on top of things…. Here I am responding to four weeks of New Unofficial On-Line Writer’s Guild prompts. All 12 are listed at the bottom. There’s one I couldn’t incorporate into my scene below. Any suggestions on how to include it are very welcome.

Thank you to Thom Kerr for providing this challenge each week.

 

Marvin and Mabel Take Tea

Mabel and Marvin sit in a plush red leather banquette. A pot of tea and milk jug sits between them; they each have cups, and a plate of gooey Death by Chocolate cake oozes in front of Marvin.

Mabel: Is it good?

Marvin: It tastes just as deadly as it looks. Do you want some?

Mabel: Over-rated rubbish. You’ll need CPA after eating that.

Marvin: You mean CPR. And I won’t. Why don’t you try some? There’s enough to share.

Mabel: No, I want you to tell me all about Melissa.

Marvin: Mother she’s wonderful. My ideal woman. Petite, red-headed. She sings like an angel.

Mabel: You met her at choir?

Marvin: That’s right. She joined last term. I loved her from the moment I saw her. I thought she’d be out of my league, she is so pretty. And she’s as tuneful as a songbird. Listening to her practise is like hearing the birds at dawn.

Mabel: Tell me more about her, less about the singing.

Marvin: She’s got blue eyes and freckles. She’s always smiling. She works as a teacher; has one brother who lives up north. Her parents are local. She loves running, reading, tanning and singing.

Mabel: And how old is she?

Marvin: Thirty-five.

Mabel: Really? That old? I’d’ve expected you to go for someone younger. Or at least someone with the prospect of giving me grandchildren.

Marvin: There’s plenty of time for that.

Mabel: I’m beginning to think you don’t want them. Children I mean.

Marvin: We don’t have to. There are no rules.

Mabel: Yes there are. We are born, we get together with someone to have kids, and then we die.

Marvin: Mother, this may sound hard to believe but it doesn’t have to be like that.

Mabel: Your father was just the same. The way he hitched up his trousers I thought I’d never conceive. His little swimmers were always overheating and dying in all that constriction.

Marvin: [Stares speechless.]

Mabel: Don’t look at me like that.

Marvin: Like what?

Mabel: Like I drive you nuts and you hate me. My heart is pierced like daggers.

Marvin: Mother your heart is so hard it would take a diamond tipped ice pick to penetrate it.

Mabel: I wonder sometimes if they swapped you in the hospital. I don’t believe you can be my son. And soon I’ll be old and then I’ll die and I won’t have rocked your baby in my arms.

Marvin: Can we change the subject?

Mabel: Sure.

Marvin: How’s Auntie June?

Mabel: Oh she’s good. Since she went on the HRT she’s been much better. She looks like an impeccably dressed transvestite these days.

Marvin: Mother!

Mabel: What? I’m only telling the truth. Auntie June has always looked like a man. Now she looks like one who used to be a woman, which you have to admit is better considering she is a woman.

Marvin: Okay, maybe you’re right.

Mabel: Next question.

Marvin: I don’t have any.

Mabel: Neither have I.

Marvin: Shall we go then?

Mabel: I haven’t finished my drink.

Marvin: Oh, I have tea too.

Mabel: And cake to finish.

Marvin: Please have some mother.

Mabel: Strange but true, but when I say I do or don’t want something I tend to mean it.

Marvin: Fine, have it your way. But I might be a while. It is very rich.

Mabel: I can wait for the moment. And if you take too long, you’ll be paying the bill.

 

 

  1. Neither have I.
  2. An impeccably dressed transvestite.
  3. The birds at dawn.
  4. Really? That old?
  5. Was she really invisible?
  6. Just as deadly as it looks.
  7. pierced like daggers
  8. CPA
  9. Strange but true
  10. hitched up his trousers
  11. there are no rules
  12. oh, I have tea too

 

Go ahead and dive in,
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

January 12, 2018 at 3:30 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 12/1/18 – Marital Bliss

with 47 comments

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 have struggled since Wednesday trying to come up with a story for this week’s photo. I thought specimens, scrutiny, being under examination, and then I showed the prompt to my other half and he saw the corner of a restaurant.

Thank you to Rochelle for hosting and Victor and Sarah Potter for this week’s photo.

 

© Victor and Sarah Potter

Marital Bliss

(Genre: general fiction; 100-words)

Months I’ve waited for this table. I told them it was a special occasion and they said they’d pull out all the stops at this fanciest place in town so my wife and I could celebrate our thirtieth anniversary in style. So why am I sitting at a table squeezed in between the toilet entrance and the fire exit? Talk about filthy. I wonder whether the spiders are de rigeur or an environmentally friendly form of cockroach prevention.

Thankfully the wine is good, as I will be drinking a lot of it. The wife’s in Antigua with my best friend.

 

 

Written by Sarah Ann

January 12, 2018 at 3:12 pm

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