It Began

It began with a whisper. Sweet nothings breathed in my ear, their meaning sent goosebumps down my neck. I pulled you closer and whispered the words back. We made love.

It ended with a gasp. Your admission told to my face, the weight of your eyes buckled my knees. I pushed you away and screamed admissions of my own. We scorched earth.

It changed with a heartbeat. Proof of our love growing inside, the life of our child transformed my mind. I paved you a path and sobbed tears of joy. We made amends.

It transformed with a cry. The birth of a person, our tangible connection entered the world. I pressed you into my soul and made a small family. We lived life.

Failure to Steep

He improperly steeps my tea. His lips form into a distracted smile as he hands me the mug but I know, it’s a power play.

He must have a reason – this man wouldn’t intentionally fail such a task. He’s British, he knows how to steep tea. He wants to see if I’ll say something. Will I?

I haven’t seen this man, this former lover, this former teacher, this former idol, for almost a decade.

He fails to steep my tea. I put it on the table, unable to play his games.

~~~

I cannot stop staring at her knees. Skin as pale as I remember, looks as soft – crap, when did I put the tea bag in? It’s distracting; the slightest movement sends her scent my way. My hands shake as I hand her the tea – I cannot remember what type it is, let alone how long I let it steep.

Perfectly Bowed

Her sister wrapped all the Christmas presents, every year, forever. Even if Nina tried to help, her mother would swat her hands with a rolled up newspaper.

“Don’t you touch your sister’s perfect bows,” their mother would say.

It wasn’t fair. Just because Carla could bend the ribbons with delicate precision, didn’t mean she was Santa’s Freaking Helper. How would Nina learn, if no one let her practice?

With a pile of wrapping paper covering her lap, Carla asked her little sister to pass the tape. Nina threw it. It hits Carla’s knee and ruined her meticulously constructed bow.

“I thought you wanted to help!” Carla snapped.

Nina surveyed the wrapped boxes in the corner – not a single crease.  She wanted to kick and stomp on them, do things that would definitely put her on Santa’s naughty list. Instead, she picked up the tape and handed it to her sister.

Prime Ape

The apes part as he walks through the Valley (or, what passed as a valley in this shit-hole of a zoo.) Once, he had a pack of thousands. Now, he had five idiots and a two-way mirror. “They” didn’t think he’d notice the people on the other side. “They” were idiots.

Ugh, people; smelly, fleshy, people. The humans no longer threw peanuts as tokens of admiration in this new cage-like Valley. It had been a weak token, but it was something.

He sits on his boulder and waits; no tokens, no gifts. Just his youngest descendant coming forward to pick fleas out of his hair. At least someone knew their place.

Small and Mighty

“Raise the flag!” The order comes from across the valley where my Commander’s foot rests on the corpse of our greatest enemy.

I am still out of breath from the sprint. My boots are marred with blood and bone, shrapnel bites into my side but the heavy weight of the bag across my shoulder grounds me to this cliff. I have to raise the flag.

With the flag comes true victory. Placing it is an honor bestowed upon me because of my size and strength: small and mighty. I alone climb the highest mountain and plant our emblem for the world to see.

I reach into the bag and – it’s empty. The flag is missing.

It is then that I remember the fabric draped over the trunk in the center of my tent. Set to dry after a ceremonial cleaning. My heard races, the grounds troops have turned towards my direction. They all start shouting, “Raise the flag!”

I hang my head. Small and mighty and forgetful.


 

Inspired by: Cracked Flash Year 1, Week 26

 

Perfect Penelope’s Pressure

“Perfect,” she sneers. “How is anyone supposed to live up to that?”
Her reflection stays silent in reply.
“I don’t know why they have to build me up, put my face on the side of a building, on the taxi cabs, on buses. I don’t know why they need to tie that word to me, just because my name is Penelope!”
Her reflection stays silent in reply.
“They can’t think of anything more creative so they go with the easy alliteration.”
A knock on the door breaks her focus. “We need for a sound check, time to find perfect Penelope’s perfect pitch.”


Written for: Micro Bookends

Generations

“Jazz,” the man explains.
“That’s it, Grandpa? Jazz is your answer?”
The man catches his grandson’s eye. A twitch of a frown is all it takes for the boy to drop his head and, hopefully, his attitude.
“You asked, ‘what made me the saddest in life?’”
“But your answer was the same for, ‘what made you the happiest.’ How is that possible?”
“That’s jazz for you.”
He could see his grandson’s frustration, his fist clenching the pencil with teenage fury.
“My saxophone controlled the emotions of the audience, and myself. That’s why they called me the Master of the Age.”

Photo Credit: Jimmy Baikovicius via CC.

Photo Credit: Jimmy Baikovicius via CC.

Written for: Micro Bookends

Help!

Written for Flash Frenzy Round 77:

“And she keeps drawing the same face, then faces within the face. I’m not kidding, Doc. It has to be a problem, right? I should’ve changed her afterschool program. Or, at least kept her away from the movies her brother likes. You have to help us! I don’t know what else to do.”

The Doctor turned to Harriet. “Why do you draw this face?”

Harriet shrugged.

Her mother sighed.

The Doctor waited.

“I like it,” Harriet finally whispered.

“Why do you like it?” The Doctor asked.

Harriet bit her lip.

Her mother sighed.

The Doctor waited.

“Because it scares Mother.”

Artwork provided by Dib

Artwork provided by Dib: “Kindergarten Self-portrait”

X-Games

“X-rated,” Kyle said through a smile.

“And you found it here in the park?” Carla asked, head poking out from behind her longboard to glance at the naked curves.

“Well,” Kyle began slowly. “I may have brought it from home.”

“Gross! Why?”

“I wanted to show you?”

“Why, in everything that is holy, did that seem like a good idea?” Carla dropped the longboard and skated down the pipe.

“Crap.” Kyle followed. When he reached the other side of the half pipe, he had enough self-preservation to look ashamed.

“You told me you were curious about ladies…maybe.”

Carla sighed. “That was a secret! My sexuality isn’t one of your games!”

Photo Credit: Mike Fleming via CC.

Photo Credit: Mike Fleming via CC.

A Microbookends Tale


Judges Thoughts:

4th Place

A rite of passage story given a thoroughly modern makeover.

At the core of this story is a friendship between Carla and Kyle, both coming terms with the inevitable changes of adolescence.

There is an honesty and openness in their relationship that shines through the tricky subject matter.

Kyle’s curious to know more. Carla’s secure enough to start coming to terms with who she might be: strong enough to do so on her terms, rather than Kyle’s, but forgiving enough not to completely cut him out when he realises the mistake he’s made.

Carla’s a great character – I’d like to know more about her.

In today’s age, where x-rated material is so freely available to skew impressionable minds, it was reassuring to read a story that touches on this subject matter, but ultimately is about a boy and a girl getting to know each other as friends, rather than objects.

So while this piece of flash fiction stands by itself, it has the potential to withstand being fleshed out into something more substantial and longer. That’s why it made my top four.