Changes

Written for: FinishThatThough

Prompt: Must use the provided first line.

This piece won Grand Champion!

She was seventy-five and she was going to make some changes in her life. Her mother had passed away a year ago, and with the grief came relief. There was no one left to impress, no one to curtail herself for, to protect.

The first thing she did was get a tattoo. The dragon of her dreams flying over her shoulder blades. The tattoo artist asked her, twice, if she was “sure”. So, she flicked him off because she could.

The second thing she did was cabaret. She had to show off her tattoo somehow. Walking on stage in garters and a corset did just the trick. Through the darkness, she could see the flashing camera lights and smiled for them. She no longer feared going viral. No, she looked forward to it.

The third thing she did was start a business. Ideas she had held close to her heart finally broke through the flood dams. So what if it was tacky, so what if it was beneath her status; she went to the park, laid out a tattered comforter, and sold her handmade jewelry.

The fourth thing she did was sex, lots and lots of sex. She brought men and women to the home she had shared with her mother. She left the bedroom door open. She lounged with her partners in the nude. She screamed obscenities and desires into the night; let herself experience the pleasure of it, over and over again.

The fifth thing she did was visit her mother’s grave. A recurring fling dropped her off. She brought a handmade string of pearls and placed it over her mother’s gravestone. Then she sat, and told her mother all her stories.

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.

Silent Awakening

Excitement bubbled inside her belly as her fingertips trailed along the velvet seat. It was worn, a telling sign of many tales told. It may even be the exact seat she sat in when she first saw this silent film many, many, years ago.

Agnes had been about ten, then. Going to the theater had been a privilege that her father bestowed only when she had behaved her best. She remembered how her hand felt in his larger one as they crossed the street to the shining lights of the movies. The bulbs had dimmed in the years; the painting had chipped as well. Her father had passed away decades prior.

Agnes had read of the re-release of A Heart’s Love in the newspaper – the most interesting thing she had read in the papers in over a decade. Her own heart had raced just from the two lines of text because she easily recalled his face, his laugh, his Hollywood smirk. The actor on screen that had taught her exactly what a man could do to a girl’s pulse.

In that moment many, many, years ago, Agnes had learned what attraction meant.

The lights dimmed. Agnes held onto the velvet seat and fell in love, again.


Written for this past week’s FlashFriday. The prompt was twofold – (1) Set in a theater and (2) incorporate a black and white photo of an attractive man.

Barefoot Life

I spend my youth barefoot.  Tanned toes and weathered heels.  Later in life my children will pick at the dead skin, but that’s decades away.  Presently, my toes are gripping the grass as I laugh at something forgettable a cute boy is saying over a keg.

I marry a different boy years later.  Barefoot, with rose petals like satin under both of our soles.  We play footsie during our vows.

But my poor old feet, I look at them now and remember: purple toenails and jewelry, burgeoned veins and loosened skin, tickling and foot rubs – a life well lived.


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