Category Archives: Flash Fiction

This Wild Heart

Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge, © Heiko von Fintel Google Maps

Dearest Father,

By now you must be wondering whether I’ve been taken hostage by savages or eaten alive by hungry lions. End your worrying now, dear Papa, and know that I am well.

Know also I was not blind to your intentions when I left. You expected this safari would tame my wild heart. You thought upon return, I would marry William Vanadel with no further argument. But Papa, I will not be returning.

From the dawn that gilds each blade of grass, to the jewel box of stars that spill across the night sky, Rodesia is mine. It took but a fortnight among the kindness of these people to know that I should live my life among the Tswana–both as a teacher and a student, both as a sister and a wife. Send no envoy to retrieve me, for I am not your Margaret.

They call me Keneilwe.

Copyright/source unknown

150 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.

This week’s story was all about trying to wrap a meaningful story around the stunning spot I happened to stumble across when I plopped my Pegman down. There might be prettier sights captured by Pegman, but right now I can’t think of any.

 

What Pegman Saw: Elanua

Mdna, Malta, Google Maps

“Papa, I had an idea about letters,” Elanua said. “Instead of copying the same letters over and over again, what if you carved the letters on a tile and them painted them with ink? Then you could press your words to paper over and over again.”

The old man laughed. That one was full of ideas. Last week she had a notion about the moldy bread. The week before that she talked of lancing the pox from a child with fever in order to make a potion to keep the others well.

His wife shook her head and clucked; she was less forgiving of the girl. “Go fetch water Elanua,” she said. As the girl danced through the doorway and down the cobbled path, she turned to him. “Enough indulging her. It’s time to get that one married so she can put her mind to good use—bringing us grandsons.”

150 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.

That Old Place

PHOTO PROMPT © Yarnspinnerr

Ryan pushed through the hedges to the porch on the back of the house where Pop used to sit, staring out at the lake, his binoculars beside him on the wrought iron table.

“Wow, he really let the old place go, didn’t he?”

“He’s been sick, Ryan. You’d know that if you ever came by.”

He ran a hand along the peeling paint, then brushed the flakes on his leg. “So. What do you think we can get for this place?”

“You mean sell it? We practically grew up here.”

He snorted, yanking at a vine. “All the more reason.”

100 words

This has been an edition of Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to author Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting. This week’s photo courtesy Yarnspinner. To read more stories or to submit your own, click here.

 

One Woman’s Duty to the Species

Torakina Beach, NSW Austrailia © Najd Salas, Google Maps

“Your battery is dead.”

There was a time when Jonda would’ve taken the time to correct the man’s idiotic statement and explain that any skilled mechanic could tell–by the staticky whir and the whiff of smoke–that this was clearly a starter issue. There was a time when she might have been annoyed at the overly-familiar way his eyes loitered at her neckline. There was a time when she never would have considered a man like him–for his coarse patina of facial hair and the wayward wave of his untidy hair. But that was before 99.7% of the men in the world had succumbed to the flu. She made further measure of his prospects, scanning the uniform curve of his fingernails.

“You might be right,” she said at last. Her eyes lifted to the glassine shimmer of his eyes. “Maybe you could take a look at it.”

149 words. This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.

Sometimes when ideas are tumbling around in my head, and I’m trying to come up with a story, one thought leads to another. Suddenly, I realize I’ve killed off 99.7% of the men in the world.

I guess whether this story is dystopian or utopian depends on your perspective 😉 It does prove Man Flu is a thing–and those guys weren’t kidding when they claimed it was much worse for them.

Friday Fictioneers: I Love These Things

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Henry hated these things. He hated the small talk and the choking necktie and the hearty handshakes as he milled about the crowd. But it was good for the Foundation, which was why he came.

Between the buffet and the bar stood a woman like a Michelin star confection. She smiled and walked over, one hand extended. “I do declare,” she said, each word basted in gumbo. “You’re Henry Hall. I admire your work.”

Her hand was as silky as a summer nightgown. “Thank you,” he said, voice husky.

“What brings you out to our gala?”

“I love these things.”

100 words.

This has been an edition of Friday Fictioneers. Thanks Rochelle for hosting this party and thanks to Dale Rogerson for this week’s photo. To see more stories inspired by the prompt or to submit your own, click here.

No Man’s Land

Third Mainland Bridge, Nigeria © Google Maps

From here it was impossible to tell where the old school was—or any of the old places for that matter. The beach where we’d once plucked sea glass from the shore was lost in the early twenties, and the seafront stores were gone by ’25. Those places were lost in that rage of storms that came so hard and fast—each one building steam upon the last—that there was barely time to give them names before another came along. It gobbled them up, block by block, then spat the splinters to the sea.

Our little yellow bungalow, twelve blocks from the ocean. Then ten. Then two. And now…I used my oar to push us off the chimney.

“Where we gonna live?” Abebi asked.

“I dunno, baby girl.” I started to row. What did borders mean to an ocean? What was one man to a swelling sea?

149 words. This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt, or to submit your own, click here.

I have taken the liberty of not being very literal about the location of this week’s prompt, and instead let the sight inspire me. When I plopped down, this is the first place I landed. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was the sort of sight we’d start to see more and more.

Let’s hope not.

Friday Fictioneers: Talk Parties

PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria

“She’s doing it again,” he said.

I went to the kitchen window to see. Katie had taken over Gran’s old patio set for her ‘talk parties’, as she called them. She’d snatch fruit from the fridge drawer, and put out cups and plates. “Who’s she talking to, you think?”

He folded his arms over his chest. “Gran, I suppose. I know she misses her. But sometimes she says other names. Does the name ‘Annamarie’ mean anything to you?”

I felt myself go pale. “I think it’s time we talk to someone,” I said.

“A counselor?”

“No, a psychic.”

98 words. This has been an edition of Friday Fictioneers, hosted by the gracious and talented Rochelle. This week’s photo copyright Fatima Fakier Deria. To read more stories inspired by the prompt, or to submit your own, click here.