Category Archives: Flash Fiction Friday

Play – A Flash Fiction Story in 692 Words


“Wanna play?”  Eli asked.  He didn’t wait for a response then said “What’s your name?”

“Chrissy,” the girl replied.  Eli took that as confirmation they were now playing together. 

“Come on,” he shouted as he ran towards the playground.  He looked back over his shoulder and saw Chrissy look at her dad, who nodded. 

“Okay,” Eli said taking charge.  “The first one to the top of the mountain is the winner.”

“What mountain?  Chrissy looked around.

Eli eyed her as if she had just asked where the sun was.  He threw his arm out in the direction of the big bales of hay, stacked high enough for playful climbing, but not too high for catastrophic falling. 

“Oh,” said Chrissy.  She stood there as Eli charged her.  She shrieked, then stepped aside. 

“No, no, no,” Eli told her.  “You’re doing it all wrong.  You’re supposed to stop me.  Where’s the fun in you just stepping to the side.”

“I dunno,” shrugged Chrissy. 

“Okay, we’ll try it again.  Let’s start back here.”  Eli grabbed her arm and pulled her maybe 20 yards back near where their parents were sitting on benches.  Eli noticed Chrissy’s father staring at them and he waved, then turned his attention back to Chrissy.  “Ready, set, go!” he took off like a rocket.

It only took Chrissy a moment to get her bearings then she tore off after him.  Eli was nearly to the haystack when Chrissy caught up with him.  But she was not faster than Eli, who with the finesse of a panther had already jumped up two bales, so Chrissy just stood there and watched.

“Come on!” Eli prodded when he noticed she had stopped.

“I can’t catch you,” Chrissy said. 

“So?  You can at least try!” Eli jumped down from his bales of hay.  “Let’s try one more time,” he said, dragging her back to the benches. 

When they got there, Chrissy’s dad was waiting for them.  “Mind if I give Chrissy some pointers on this go around?” he asked.

Eli shook his head.  Chrissy’s father pulled her to him by the elbow and then whispered something in her ear.  Her eyebrows inched closer together until they almost looked like one long caterpillar.  “Are you sure?” she asked her father. 

“Definitely,” he said.   

“Ready?” Eli asked her and then he counted “One, two, three, GO!” This time they took off for the haystack together, but Eli again got there first.  As he was just about to jump up on the first bale he felt Chrissy come up behind him.  WHOMP!  Chrissy tackled him into the hay so they bounced off and tussled to the ground. 

“Yeah!  That’s the way to do it!” Eli shouted.  He hopped up and grabbed her hand.  “What’d your dad tell you?”

Chrissy smiled.  “He said I should imagine what you would do if you were the one running behind me and then just do it.”  She seemed really pleased with herself. 

“Good,” Eli said.  “So now that you really know what you’re doing, let’s do it for real this time.  All the way to the top.  First one is the winner!” 

Eli and Chrissy ran back to the benches where her father stood smiling.  “I’ll count,” he told them.  “Three, two, one, GO!”

It started out with Eli in the lead, then Chrissy grabbed his arm and threw herself forward.  Then they were neck and neck.  Finally, Eli broke free and in three, two, one, he had scrambled up the hay bales, leaving Chrissy in his wake on the ground.

“I’m the winner!” came his cry of victory.  Then he held out his hand to Chrissy.

“I can’t come up there,” Chrissy told him.  “You’re the winner.”

Eli shook his head.  “Just because I won doesn’t mean you can’t come up here, too.  Besides, then we can be explorers.” As he said this he circled his hands together and held them to his eye as a telescope.

Chrissy climbed to the top of the haystack.  They stood together looking out around them.  “You’re right,” she said, making her hands into her own telescope.  “We’ve got a lot of exploring to do.”   

In the Morning Light – A Fable in 637 words


“So beautiful,” came the woman’s voice.  Rose almost didn’t hear her.  The sky had turned from bright blue to streaks of soft pinks, purples, yellows, and oranges.  For a fleeting moment, jealousy stabbed at Rose’s heart as Mother Nature turned the horizon into a watercolor painting.  It didn’t seem fair, she thought, that she was relegated to the same colors day after day, yet the sky offered a blank canvas for the most spectacular of creation.

But then the woman’s voice broke through Rose’s indignation as she called to her friend, “You have to see this one.”

“Wow!” came her friend’s response, leaning over Rose to get a better look.  “Just gorgeous.”  She was so close, Rose could feel the woman’s hair slightly tickle her.

Rose felt mollified by these words, though she often heard the same sentiments every day from visitors.  From the time she was a bud, Rose had always been showered with praise: people photographed her; traced her satiny petals with their fingers; inhaled her sweet scent.  She knew she was the most beautiful flower in the garden, but instead of feeling grateful for this honor every morning and night Rose cast her gaze upward and compared herself to the beauty she saw in the sky.  Her only solace was she knew if she could never win this competition, then no other flower would either.   Rose relegated herself to second place status and stayed that way for a very long time.

Then one morning as Rose stewed about a particularly glorious sunrise, with fluffy purple, pink, and yellow clouds, she heard one of her usual compliments, “I’ve never seen such a beautiful flower!” What was unusual about this compliment, however, is it was not directed at Rose.  The voice came from three bushes over.

“How dare you!” Rose thought and she straightened up her stem and fanned out her petals in defense.  Only she didn’t straighten up fully – there was a slight droop to her – and some of her petals now crinkled with brown.  She couldn’t even see the other flower that had received her compliment.  How do I compare? she wondered.

The uncertainty ate away at her for the rest of the day and deep into the night.  Rose didn’t even notice the sunset that evening.  But she couldn’t ignore the sunrise the next morning, for she was again greeted with compliments directed towards someone else.  “Perfect,” said the voice.  “See how the morning light hits the petals?”

“Yes,” Rose heard another person say.  “I bet this photograph wins first place in the garden’s annual contest.”

Rose recoiled at the words.  Never once did anyone suggest she would win first place.  She again tried to puff herself up, but it was in vain as even more of her petals had now withered.  Rose’s stem slumped even further than the day before, but that could have been due to the realization of what was happening as much as it was due to time.

“Oh, please,” Rose begged as the sun ascended higher in the sky.  “Just let me go back to how I was.”  She kept it up all day and into the night.  By the next morning, nothing had changed, though, except for a few more withered petals.  So, she tried a new tactic.  “Please, give me back my beauty.  This time I’ll appreciate it.”  Again, Rose pleaded with Mother Nature for the rest of the day and throughout the night.

The next morning rang out with a sunrise so rich and beautiful it reduced Rose to tears.  She no longer begged, as there was not much left to her – just shriveled petals and a limp stem.  But her tears were no longer of sadness.  “Thank you,” she said.  “I’m so glad I got to see such a beautiful sunrise one more time.”

Jackpot – A Flash Fiction Story in 488 Words


“So how long have you been doing this?”  For just a moment, Gary’s eyes flicked to the flashing lights.  He couldn’t help it.  It was still his first week working on the Vegas strip and the novelty had not yet worn off.

“Almost a year,” came the soft response.  Every night this week he and Iona worked together and Gary looked forward to the moments where they could steal a moment or two to chat. 

“Oooooh, Olaf!” came the high pitched squeal as a little girl interrupted their conversation.  Gary stepped aside as he watched Iona kneel down and put an arm around the girl.  This wasn’t his ideal job, but he had it easy in the costume department.  Just a fake beard and baby.  His beer belly was all his own.  He couldn’t imagine what it would be like to sweat the hot Vegas nights away under pounds of plush and wire. 

Gary had only seen Iona without her costume head on a few times, but it was enough to know two things: 1) he didn’t ever want to have to wear something like that; and 2) she was a dark-haired, blue-eyed beauty. 

Iona straightened up after the girl’s father took a picture.  She watched as they went on their way, leaving nothing in her tip jar.  Gary came up beside her.   “They could have at least given you a dollar,” he muttered. 

Iona shrugged.  “The night’s still young.  We’re a drunk or a jackpot away from hitting it big.” 

Just then, a couple stumbled over to them.  “Oh my god, I love you!” cried the woman.  “Hon, take my picture with the Hangover guy!”

“Cheese,” Gary said as he pulled the woman closer.  Her boyfriend snapped a picture.  “Keep up the good work, man,” he slurred as he shoved a bill into his hands.  Gary looked down at it.  It was a twenty.  He waved it at Iona.  “Looks like you were right.”

Before they could say anything else, a car came to a screech as it pulled off almost onto the sidewalk in front of them.  The passenger door swung open.   A young man leaned his head out as a violent retching gave way to a torrent of vomit hitting the street.  Iona and Gary jumped back from the mess.  Around them loud cheering gave way to groans.  “Woohoo, jackpot!” came a voice from the crowd. 

One slam of a car door later, the young man was gone.  Gary still had the twenty-dollar bill in his hand.  “What was that you said?” he laughed.  “Looks like we got our drunk and jackpot.”  Iona laughed, too. 

“Come on,” Gary said, pulling her by the hand.  The laughter bolstered his confidence.  “Let’s move.  On the way you can tell me about your boyfriend.”

“I don’t have a boyfriend,” Iona replied.

Gary smiled.  He didn’t know if he had a chance with Iona, but he was all in.      

The Bridge – A Flash Fiction Story in 494 Words

The Bridge

A young man arrived at work one morning.  His boss greeted him with, “This stupid weather is going to ruin the fundraiser on Saturday,” and then proceeded to yell for the next 30 minutes about rain.  His coworkers all said, “Hello, how are you?” and then each responded with “I’m so busy,” when they were asked in turn.

The young man’s day faded into oblivion, like every one before it.  He gave a rote, “have a nice night,” to his coworkers before driving home.  Once there, he wanted to collapse on his couch.  But his dog greeted him at the door with a goofy grin and stamping feet, so the young man acquiesced.  He got the dog’s leash, and they went for a walk.

But it wasn’t their typical walk.  This time, they turned left instead of right.  They walked for a long time as the young man wanted to forget about the stresses of his day.  Then, they came to a bridge.  How strange, he thought.  He had never seen this bridge, but perhaps that was because they always turned right before.

Halfway across, they met an old man.  He couldn’t quite place the man’s face, though it seemed rather familiar.  He wondered if they had met somewhere before.

“Hello,” the old man greeted them.

“Hello,” came the young man’s response.  Then they stared at each other.  The young man thought again that he knew this other man, but he couldn’t quite say how.  Maybe it was just the man’s eyes; they reminded him of his own, only with more lines.

The old man broke their silence.  “What brings you to this bridge today?” he asked.

The young man shrugged in response.

“Do you know where you’re going?”

Another shrug.

“Can you at least tell me where you’ve been?”

“Nowhere,” came the reply, punctuated with a sigh.  Story of my life, the young man thought.

“Then it’s a good thing you came to this bridge today,” said the old man.  “This is a bridge to everywhere.”

“How can that be?”

The young man craned his neck to see what lay on the other side, but the old man commanded, “Close your eyes,” so he did.   “Now, what do you see?”

At first he saw nothing but infinite blackness stretching before him.  Then all of a sudden he said, “I see me, with my dog.  We’re by a lake somewhere.  I’m fishing.”


“I see us a climbing a mountain, hiking among wildflowers and pine trees.”


“We’re on a beach, laying in the sun.  Every so often we go swim in the ocean.”

“Good,” said the old man.  “Now that you know where you’re going, don’t you think it’s time you got there?”

The young man opened his eyes.  To his surprise he was alone on the bridge except for his dog.  But he didn’t dwell on the old man’s disappearance.  He and his dog started walking again.  They had places to go.

Twelve Minutes – A Flash Fiction Story in 486 Words

Twelve Minutes

Lennie checked her watch.  The bus wasn’t due for another twelve minutes.  She sank onto the bench, shoulders hunched.  The burden of the phone call Lennie received on her way to work that morning still weighed heavily on her.

Robert was in jail.  She had warned her son not to get involved with his ex-girlfriend again.  The two of them together were nothing but trouble and now trouble had turned into a 2:00am screaming match outside his girlfriend’s apartment, complete with slapped faces and shattered beer bottles.  The stories always changed about who exactly did what.  Lennie knew they both had their own versions of the story, not that either were ever fully right or wrong.

Lennie sighed.  Why did they always have to resort to violence?  Matthew 5:39 – “But I tell you do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”  The latter part of this verse sat on Lennie’s couch at home, stitched on one of her pillows.  She must have said it over a thousand times to Robert in his twenty-two years of life.

Lord, give me strength, Lennie thought.  She closed her eyes at the invocation, repeated her prayer several times, and then opened her eyes.  Lennie blinked into the sunlight.

To her surprise, she no longer sat alone on the bench.  Lennie recognized the woman next to her as Sister Francis Marie.  Lennie had volunteered at the St. Catherine’s soup kitchen on occasion and Sister Fran often provided songs during dinner time.  Lennie could listen to Sister Fran sing for hours.  She never knew which touched her heart more –providing a decent meal to others or listening to Sister Fran’s angelic voice.

Lennie could faintly hear that voice now amidst the bustle of the street.  Sister Fran sang along to her headphones, tapping her feet.  Lennie watched from the corner of her eye as Sister Fran stopped singing and searched for a new song.  Her lips pursed as if concentrating on the holiest of tasks.  Finally, Sister Fran began singing again.

Lennie knew the song.  It had been on the radio several years ago.  As Sister Fran bopped her head along and lamented about where the love had gone in the world, Lennie wondered the same thing.  Well, I still have love to give, she thought, so that’s what I’m going to do.  She imagined a beautiful angel wrapping up Robert and his girlfriend in her glorious white wings.  She held the vision for a few moments in her heart and then let it go up into the heavens.

At that moment, her bus came and Lennie stood up.  She didn’t feel so heavy anymore.  Lennie took one more look at Sister Fran.  Her prayer had been answered.  Thank you, God, she thought and with a smile she got on the bus, ready to see her son.

Call Me Bear – A Flash Fiction Story in 496 Words

Call Me Bear

“Adorable!” I hear my human squeal from the deck.  She pulls her phone out and snaps a picture of me.  I keep running, but I suppose I can’t blame her.  I am an exceptionally good looking dog.

My official name is Bear; she hardly ever calls me that.  More often than not it’s Big Bear — one of my many nicknames.  Pooty Butt I don’t really care for.  Not only is it unbecoming of a Berner, but my butt is pretty clean as far as dogs go.   But now is not the time to think about my butt.  No, there is something in the yard that shouldn’t be here.

I got the scent of it all the way in the house.  I had to scratch at the door three times before she let me out.  In that time, the interloper absconded.  All that’s left is a faint trace.

I stake out under the deck.  I will stay here for hours if I have to.  I dig a hole, just in case that’s true.  The dirt helps keep me cool in the August heat.  Just as I settle down, I hear a voice above me.  “Num nums,” she calls.  “Big Bear, come and get some num nums.”

I wish she wouldn’t call them that – what am I, a puppy?  I guess she still sees me that way, even though I now weigh 100 lbs.  But she ponies up for the good stuff and I might need my strength later, so I go get my treats.

As she goes back in the house, the unwelcome scent nips my nose.  I leap off the deck and run like a greyhound to the edge of the garden.  Then I freeze.  I see our uninvited guest.  Its black body coiled like rope.  The head raises.  A soft tongue slips out in a hiss.

This creature is not my friend.  Nor is it my enemy.  Still, I know my human would rather it not be here.  I cock my head, trying to get a good measure of it.  Its tongue is still tasting the air, weighing the situation.

I want the snake to retreat back into the woods and find a new home.  But how to convey that without scaring it to attack?

I take a step forward, then another.  I do not bark; I do not growl.  I inch ever so closer.  Another lash of its tongue.  I wait.  Every muscle in my body alert, I am ready.  Yet I do not want to preemptively strike.

The snake uncoils like a ribbon and retreats, slithering away.  I watch until it disappears.  The female calls me again.  “Bear, time to come in.”

“There’s my Pooty Butt,” she says as I run to her.  More like snake whisperer I think as she scratches my head.  But she doesn’t know.  She’ll never know if I have my way.  I love her.  And she loves me.  We just have very different ways of showing it.



Flash Fiction Friday

Love and Grace

Unlike many girls, Ally never dreamed about her wedding.   She didn’t picture the white dress, the father-daughter dance, the groom.  Ally hated wearing dresses, her father had long since left, and she didn’t like boys.  Or, they didn’t like her.  Either way, she hated going to school because of how they teased her.

It started on her first day of first grade.  Her grandmother had packed her a nice lunch of sausage biscuits with gravy.  It seemed more like breakfast than lunch, but Gran liked mixing it up.  Ally pulled the food out of her lunch box and her napkin fell to the floor.  Just as she bent over to pick it up, one of the boys pointed.  “Look at that biscuit butt,” he laughed.  From that day on, Ally was more often called biscuit butt than Ally.

Ally had already been a plump girl, but with the incessant teasing she started eating more as if somehow that would show the boys she didn’t care.  Soon, she ballooned up to being the biggest kid in her grade, then the entire school.

By the time she reached high school, Ally wore the same thing to school every day – an XXXL button-down shirt over a t-shirt and shorts. Ally would look at herself in the mirror and press her clothes, if necessary.  But she did it for herself and no one else.  Ally believed that there was no one out there who would love her for who she was, that her size prevented anyone from seeing the real Ally.

It wasn’t until college that Ally began to wonder if maybe she was wrong.  Grace sat next to Ally in an American literature class.  They had long discussions about their favorite authors and books.  They both loved Harper Lee and regretted how her legacy seemed ruined with that unfortunate sequel.  Then one day Grace asked Ally if she wanted to go to the Varsity Theater on Hamilton Street.  They were having a special showing of To Kill A Mockingbird.  Grace thought it would be fun to go together.

The day of the movie, Ally looked into her closest deciding what to wear.  She still hated dresses, but wanted to look nice.  Then it occurred to Ally – Grace had never seen her in a dress, so why should she expect her to wear one now.  Ally wore what she always did and the smile Grace gave her confirmed that Ally had been right.

After the movie, they headed to the park.  Grace pulled out a blanket and sat down with a book.  She patted the blanket next to her and Ally joined her there.  Ally suddenly realized it wasn’t her size that kept her from love, but how she had closed herself off because of the taunts and teasing.  But Grace wasn’t like that, so Ally leaned in with her whole heart.