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.

Back to School

For more Adventures of Linus and Margaret


Linus turned the corner fast, his knee colliding with the back of his sister’s head. She was crouched on the ground, digging deep into her pink and purple backpack.

“It’s time to go, Mar,” He said, picking up his own backpack from next to the door. “Mom’s already in the car.”

Margaret rubbed her head. Linus was about to mutter an apology for the bruise when his sister turned around and looked at him with watery eyes.

This annoyed Linus because they were already late and he hadn’t even hit her that hard.

“Come on! I don’t want to be late for my first day of second grade.”

Margaret bit her lip. They had spent the summer taking on Leviathans and going on vacations, but he his little sister look so unsure and afraid. Time for some big brother action.

Linus bent to his knee. “Is there something missing in your backpack?”

Margaret shook her head.

“What is it then?”

He remembered his first day of Kindergarten. How excited he had been to be driving to school – not pre-school – for the first time. This is where big-kids went, he remembered thinking.

“I’m scared,” Margaret whispered into the backpack. “I won’t know anyone.”

“No one will. It’s the first day.”

“Yea, but –”

“You wanted to learn how to read, right? And practice coloring in the lines?”

Margaret nodded.

“That’s what Kindergarten’s for!” Linus wedged his hand under her arm and pulled them both up from the ground. “Plus, if anyone bother’s you just come find me.”

The backpack was nearly as large as Margaret when she finally pulled in onto her back. She looked up at Linus, worry growing with each minute. “You think the other kids are going to bother me?”

Linus groaned. “No. I think that wittle kindergarteners are usually pretty nice and the mean ones get put in the corner right away.”

“What about the big kids?”

Linus shrugged. He had experienced some bullying from the third graders before but he didn’t want to scare her more, plus, he wanted to get in the car already! “You won’t see them much until first grade. They keep you separate for now.”

“So how will I find you if I need you?”

Linus thought for a moment before the idea hit him. He dropped his backpack without a word and rushed back up the stairs to his bedroom. When he returned, he had two walkie-talkies in his hand. He unzipped Margaret’s backpack and threw one in.

“There,” he said. “Now you’ll be able to reach me if you need me.”

Margaret’s face lit up.

“But only if you really, really, really, need my help,” he warned. “Or else you risk the teacher taking it away.”

Margaret nodded repeatedly, “I won’t lose it.”

She was smiling now and Linus pushed her out the door, locking it with his very own copy of the front door key. Their mother had given it to him this morning because he was a big kid now.

Margaret waited behind him, swaying on her feet. “I wonder if I’ll get Ms. Callahan like you or someone else.”

“Ms. Callahan was nice but I hear Mr. Broody brings snacks every morning.”

“Ooh, I love snacks! When do you think I’ll learn how to read? Right away? It takes a while right? You didn’t really learn until last year but I’m smarter than you so…”

He listened as the excitement grew in his sister’s voice. When they approached the car their mother sent him a small smile and asked, “Everybody ready?”

They cheered as she pulled out of the drive-way.


Inspired by Write Anything Wednesday!

Road Trip

“Plotting coordinates on a map,” Meagan answered.
“With push-pins?” Her son asked.
“Yes – not everything needs to be done digitally.”
“But then we have to take the map with us!” He grumbled.

Later, they sat side by side in the old Toyota she hoped she wouldn’t have to pass down to her son. She hoped a lot of things, including breaking down this wall that grew between them.
His nose stuck in his phone, her eyes on the road as they entered the mountains.
“Something’s going on with my phone! I’ve lost service.”
Meagan smiled, triumphant, but hid it quickly. “Time for that map! Now, isn’t this a twist?”


A Micro Bookends story: where they provide the first and last word, we provide the rest!

Ancient Ruins of Centuries Past

Where did they go?” Margaret asked, one hand pointing towards the ancient ruins and the other clutching her brother’s hand.

“They didn’t go anywhere,” Linus shrugged. “They died.”

“Died?”

“Yea, years ago.”

“Like, before Grand-pappy died?”

“Centuries before.”

“What’s a century?”

Linus chewed on his lip. “One hundred years, I think.”

Margaret reached out to touch the crumbling stone. The corner flaked off and fell to the ground.

“I think I broke it,” she whispered.

Linus tugged her hand, pulling her from the wall. “We’re not supposed to touch.”

“Why not?” Margaret asked. “They don’t care, they’ve been dead for a centuries.”

“A century.” Linus corrected. “And they don’t care, but that man does.”

Margaret followed her brother’s pointed finger towards the guard posted near the entrance. His eyes were on the two children.

“It’s okay, Guard!” Margaret yelled. “They’re not coming back home, they’ve been dead for a century!”


For more Adventures of Linus and Margaret


Monday’s Finish the Story:

Ruins - © 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

Finish the story begins with:  “Where did they go?”

Wicked Witch!

For more Adventures of Linus and Margaret


“Margaret!” Her brother’s voice bellowed up the stairs, “Auntie Nell is here.”

Deep in the corner of her closet, hidden behind hanging clothes, Margaret was safe. Only Linus knew this spot and her brother wouldn’t come here unless – the doorknob to her room turned – mom asked him too.

Linus slid open the closet door. Margaret could make out his silhouette, hands on his hips. “Come on, she’s not that bad.”

Margaret curled into her knees. “She pinches my cheeks. Hard. And she smells bad.”

Linus snorted. “She’s Grandpa’s sister, you have to come and say hi.”

“She’s like the Wicked Witch! She yelled at me last time for tearing wrapping paper!”

Linus’ hand appeared between the clothes. “So, she likes to recycle. You like to recycle.”

Margaret bit her lip, eyes blurring. “What’s recycle?”

“Never mind, just grab my hand.”

Margaret did because the one thing she hated more than anything else in the world was angering her brother.

As they padded down the stairs Margaret could hear her Great-Aunt’s voice mixing in with her mother’s. Her Aunt laughed, an evil laugh that stopped Margaret’s steps.

“She’s only here for the afternoon.” Linus reminded.

“My cheeks hurt just from thinking about it.”

Linus hugged his sister, right there on the steps, her forehead pressing against his shoulder. He was a big boy now, nearly seven, and it was his job to protect his sister.

“I have a plan.”

Margaret looked up, tears in her eyes. “The Wicked Witch melts if we pour water on her.”

“We’re not going to pour water on her – mom would have to punish us, then.”

“Then what?” Margaret asked.

“Just follow me.”

Linus pulled his sister down the steps and towards the front door. They dashed past the living room but their mother spotted them.

“What are you two up too?” She asked from the sofa. “Come here and say hi to your Aunt.”

“We will,” Linus assured. “We just have to go out and get –” He let the sentence trail off, pulling his sister out the front door and into the snowy driveway.

“Come back here!”

“We’re going to make a snowman for Auntie Nell!” Linus yelled back towards their house, thinking quickly. He whispered towards Margret, “She won’t come out here it’s too cold.”

“She’d freeze.” Margaret smiled.

Linus nodded. “Then melt.”

Margret laughed. “And they all lived happily ever after.”


Inspirartion drawn from: Tale Weaver # 25 – When the Wicked Witch Visits.

Miley Cyrus Made It

(c) Carol Von Canon
(c) Carol Von Canon

He came in like a wrecking ball,” Olivia sang, loudly, over the wreckage.

“Is now really the time?” Her mother looked at the piece of debris in her hand, then placed it back on the ground.

Olivia jumped from one drywall-mountain to another. “What else can I do? Lift up our destroyed house piece by piece? Not going to change anything. Plus, he came in like a wreeecking ball!

“Well, you are certainly not mentally traumatized. Upside of having a teenager.”

“Why would I be traumatized? You made it, I made it, Miley Cyrus made it. That’s all that matters.”


Written for Warmup Wednesday

Superhero Theater

Adventures of Linus and Margaret


“The team employed the use of Nightshade to get the information they wanted from their captive,” Linus read, solemnly, to the empty living room. Nothing else followed.

“Nightshade,” Linus whispered towards the hallway. “That’s your cue.”

Margaret, who had been waiting in her homemade sunflower costume, jumped as far as her legs could take her. “I am Nightshade. Defender of Truth, Master of Inter-, what was it again?”

Linus sighed. “Interrogation.”

“Master of Interrogation.” Margaret froze, hand clawed, waiting to attack.

Linus picked the book back up. “Nightshade had the power to pull the truth out of anyone.”

“Roar,” said Margaret.

“You’re not an animal, you’re a superhero! This isn’t going to work.”

“No!” Margaret beseeched her brother. “I can do it.”

With fists drawn, she approached her brother. “See?” She administered a one-two-punch onto Linus’ eye.

“Ouch Margaret! You’re supposed to attack people with your investigation skills, not fists. Forget it!”

“No! Wait!”

But Linus was already pulling at her costume. “No, I’ll be Nightshade.”


Mondays Finish the Story:

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

Finish the story begins with:  “The team employed the use of Nightshade to get the information they wanted from their captive.”

On-board

“Teddy,” Linda demanded.

“What?” My half-packed suitcase lay open on the bed next to it my three year old, who kept trying to sneak her teddy bear inside its leather confines. “There’s no room, Linda. In my suitcase and on the ship.”

“Me?”

“We can’t put you in the spacecraft?”

“Why not?”

“Because then I’ll never see you again.”

Linda’s eyes widened. “No!”

“Exactly.”

The three year old preceded to think, “What about teddy?”

“You don’t want teddy to stay with you?”

“No. With you. So you remember me.”

“I don’t need a teddy bear to remember you.”

“So space remembers me!”

A chuckle escaped me and Linda knew she won.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Simply the Best.” – NASA is building a new Voyager spacecraft that will carry the best of modern human culture. What belongs onboard?

Kiss the Sky

“I want to kiss the sky!”

“Honey,” Amber paused mid-step, catching her breath. “You’re not supposed to take that song literally.”

Charles ran back from where he led the hike, humming Purple Haze as he circled his parents. Amber envied his energy.

“What does it mean then, mom?

She met her husband’s gaze. The corner of his mouth twitched into a smile. “Go on, Am, explain to our son the deep meaning behind Jimmy Hendrix’s most infamous song.”

She snorted a laugh. “Nope. You’re right Charles, It’s about kissing the sky.”

“No it’s not! You’re lying!”

Amber sighed, grabbing her husband’s hand. They broke into a run, so close to the peak of the mountain. Their sunrise hike almost complete. She used to have the same energy levels as her son and willed her legs to remember that fact.

Her husband laughed next to her, pulling away. He lifted Charles up and tucked the boy under his arm. Charles squealed in delight.

“Almost there!” Amber led the hike now, cheeks flushed. The early morning had provided enough light to let them climb up the mountainside but only now had the sun begun its rise along the horizon.

“I want to kiss the sky!” Charles repeated from his father’s hold. “I want to kiss the sky!”

The boy kicked and kicked until his father let him go. Then he rushed to the edge of the mountain, blowing kisses towards the clouds. The golden rays framed her husband and son, washing her little family in a glow.

Her husband approached, arms wrapping around her torso as he started to kiss along her neck. He whispered in her ear, “You know what I’m thinking?”

Amber shook her head.

He released her, quietly sneaking back behind Charles. He perched behind the boy and waited a moment before attacking with wet, sloppy, noises.

Charles screeched, “Dad! What are you doing?”

“Forgot the sky. Excuse me while I kiss the son!”

They both dissolved into a heap of laughter and kisses as the sun rose over a new day.

- NEKNEERAJ

– NEKNEERAJ