Category Archives: Fiction

A-to-Z Blogging Challenge Recap: Week 3

The A-to-Z Blogging Challenge is three weeks old already? Wow! Since we take a break on Sundays, I’m taking this opportunity to catch you up on all the 100-word flash fiction stories I’ve written so far. Thank you again to everyone for the great prompt suggestions. I literally could not have written these stories without you!

A-G: See the Week One Recap

H-M: See the Week Two Recap

N: Now or Never

O: Octogenarian

P: Pansies

Q: Quirky

R: Reconnaissance

S: Scarecrow

What will Monday’s “T” story be? I have absolutely NO IDEA! But I’m open to suggestions. Come back tomorrow to find out which prompt I selected…

Scarecrow

As we continue our A-to-Z Blogging Challenge 100-word flash fiction fun, we come to the letter S. Once again, you didn’t fail me yesterday in the comments. An excellent selection of possible prompts. There were one or two I considered strongly, then along came first-time commenter Atherton with a prompt word I just couldn’t resist. So, with thanks to Atherton, here’s today’s story:

SCARECROW

Jack and Lucy had never found Farmer Pyke’s scarecrow very scary. Its fawn raincoat and sack trousers didn’t even frighten the crows. The kids decided it needed a make-over.

They waited until dusk, then stole into the field. They gave it a black sweater and a pair of black jeans. Lucy drew black circles for eyes, and red lipstick where his mouth would be. A black wig finished the look.

Smiling at their Goth scarecrow, they went home.

Next morning, Farmer Pyke found his chicken coop broken into. Three chickens dead.

Decapitated.

No-one noticed the blood on the scarecrow’s hands.

We take a break on Sundays, so I need some possible T prompts for Monday. Thank you! 🙂

P.S.: Don’t forget to look out for my daily #vss365 stories on Twitter (@colin_d_smith). Also, literary agent Janet Reid is running a flash fiction contest on her blog today. If you want to see some amazing 100-word flash fiction, check that out. Maybe even enter yourself. There’s a prize for the winner…

Reconnaissance

Day… what day is it? Friday? And we’re at the letter R in the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. I’m writing 100-word flash fiction stories based on commenter-suggested prompts. You all had some good ideas, too, some of which I may use for longer stories. For today’s, however, I chose one of AJ Blythe‘s prompts. One of the things I like about flash fiction is it gives you the opportunity to dabble in different styles and genres without the commitment of a novel or short story. This is another experiment. I hope you enjoy it!

RECONNAISSANCE

Three buildings. One large flanked by two smaller. Possibly weapons sheds.

Gil took out his phone and sketched a map of the locations.

“Don’t move!”

He felt the barrel of a gun against his head, so he complied. His captor marched him to the large building and pushed him toward an officer behind a desk.

“He was making notes on this.” His captor threw Gil’s phone to the officer, who inspected it.

“We’ll keep this,” he said. “Lock him in the store house.”

From the safety of the smaller building, Gil gave the command: “Detonate.”

Shame. He liked that phone.

Can I get some suggestions for tomorrow’s letter, S? Only eight more to go! 🙂

P.S.: For my Patrons, there’s a bonus R story on my Patreon site. Support my writing habit at $1/month or more, and you can have access to this and other stories posted there!

Quirky

Today’s A-to-Z Blogging Challenge letter is Q. I was pleasantly surprised by all the suggested prompts in the comments yesterday for today’s 100-word flash fiction story. I even received a mail-in suggestion from Cecilia Ortiz Luna, who offered “Quantum.” I thought about a number of them, and stories came to mind, but they would need more than 100 words (and more than a few hours) to do them justice. In the end, I chose one of debscarey‘s prompts:

QUIRKY

“Jessie Markham,” the girl said, leaning across the table, giving the man in a suit an exaggerated handshake. She took off her knitted Viking hat, and sat, mussing her blue and orange hair.

“Bob Reed,” the man said. “Tell me about yourself, Jessie.”

“Call me Jess. Or Jeleesa-Jan-Jericho. Or later.”

“Later? Oh… I see.” Bob smirked.

Jessie suddenly glared at him. “I like to read. And write. And sing. Shall I sing for you now?”

“That’s okay.”

Jessie grinned. “I like your tie, Bob.”

“Uhhh… thank you…”

Under the table, Bob sent a text.

Mike. She’s perfect!

Second date?

YES!!!

Not many more to go. Do we have some prompt ideas for tomorrow? The letter will be R, of course. Thanks!

Pansies

The letter for today on the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge is P. I’m writing 100-word flash fiction stories based on commenter-suggested prompts. I was spoiled for choice yesterday. So many good suggestions. In the end, my 13 (nearly 14) year old daughter chose the prompt. She wanted me to use Jane Burgess‘s suggestion, “pansies.” We had a cat called Pansy who died last year. So, in honor of Pansy, here’s today’s story:

PANSIES

It was late, so Joe suggested a short-cut through old Mrs. Parker’s garden. We figured it’d be safe; she was probably asleep.

It was a large garden, overgrown with weeds and wild bushes.

I tugged Joe’s sleeve and pointed to a sign:

Beware of the Pansies

“Pansies?” said Joe. “Who’s scared of flowers?”

We were nearly to the other side when we heard a growl. A pair of yellow eyes stared at us through the dark.

“Joe…”

Another pair of eyes appeared. We ran.

As we fled, I heard a lady’s voice: “Aww Pansy, Pansy Junior. Did someone wake you?”

Tomorrow’s letter is Q. I’m very much looking forward to (i.e., I’m terrified to see) what prompts you’ll suggest! 🙂

Octogenarian

It’s “O” day on the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge, where I’m writing 100-word flash stories every day this month based on commenter prompts. Yesterday you all spoiled me for choice. Such an abundance of O-letter suggestions! In the end, I went with one of AJ Blythe‘s prompt for the theme. But you may find one or two other prompt suggestions in the story…

OCTOGENARIAN

Maybe I shouldn’t have beaten Kitty Mays three times at checkers. Though I suspect something else was in the water that day. Oxytocin, perhaps?

I entered the lounge. The home has lovely soft chairs and a large television. Kitty, George, Edith, and Robert were watching an opera. Kitty glanced at me. The others did likewise.

“She’s 73.”

“Youngster,” George hissed.

“I’ll be 80 in 7 years,” I said with a smile.

“Thinks she’s funny,” Robert growled.

Kitty picked up a walking stick, and shared a look with her friends.

“One of us has to go.”

I left and never returned.

Tomorrow’s letter is “P” so I need a plentitude of prompts for my P-story. I look forward to your suggestions! 🙂

By the way, today’s my wife’s birthday. She’s far from an octogenarian, so I couldn’t incorporate her into the story. But I wanted to wish her a happy birthday anyway! xxx

Now or Never

It’s the start of week 3 of the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. I’m writing 100-word flash fiction stories based on prompts given by YOU! Of course, there’s always the chance that no-one will comment, leaving me with no prompts and nothing to write about. We came close to that over the weekend, but thankfully Dena Pawling and One Of Us Has To Go saved the day with some great suggestions. Of the prompts they offered, I went with one of Dena‘s:

NOW OR NEVER

I knew the window would be small. Thirty seconds max. Some think that’s plenty of time, especially for a professional.

They don’t understand.

It takes a steady hand. Concentration. Thirty seconds is no time to get in the zone.

Especially when Security is maybe thirty-one seconds behind you.

It’s not that I hated the guy in my sights. Seemed nice enough. But if you want your candidate to advance, you’ve got to do what’s necessary.

I had it. Perfect shot. Three… two…

A bullet hit my arm. I dropped the rifle.

“Threat neutralized,” a guard shouted. “Inform Chancellor Hitler immediately!”

What will be the theme of tomorrow’s story? I’m sure you have some excellent “O” words or phrases to offer. I’ll pick the one that inspires me most. 🙂

P.S.: Don’t forget to leave a link to your blog if you’re also doing the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge!

A-to-Z Blogging Challenge Recap: Week 2

Since the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge takes a break on Sundays, I’m using this opportunity to post links to the stories so far. Thank you all once again for providing the prompts that have inspired each of these stories. We only have a few suggestions for tomorrow’s letter (N), so please feel free to comment with your ideas.

A-G: See the Week One Recap

H: Horrendously Hairy

I: Ice

J: Jockey

K: Killer Tomatoes

L: Lost Horizon

M: Murdering Malcolm

What will our N story be? Find out tomorrow!

P.S.: If you’re enjoying these stories, be sure to comment, like, follow, hunt me down on Twitter, become a Patron, etc. Thanks!

Murdering Malcolm

By my calculations, today’s post puts us at the half-way point in the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. For those who haven’t been following, I’m writing 100-word flash fiction stories based on prompts suggested in the previous day’s comments. For today’s, I’ve chosen a prompt suggested by Jane Burgess a few days ago by accident (we were collecting L prompts at the time). But hand-on-heart, I didn’t think about it until last night, so I didn’t cheat! I still only gave myself a few hours to come up with a story. And here it is:

MURDERING MALCOLM

Simon and I work together. Freelancers. Guns for hire. Our main client is some shadowy operation called The Organization. We don’t need to know anything else about them as long as the money’s good. These days it’s a discreet direct deposit in our joint business account.

I got the call Friday night. Saturday morning we went to the safe deposit boxes. They usually give us a hit each. Payment upon completion.

We opened our envelopes together. Simon glanced up at me.

“Hey, Malcolm. I think they switch them by accident.”

I looked at the card inside mine.

It said, Malcolm.

Tomorrow’s Sunday, a day off from the A-to-Z Challenge, which gives me an extra day to think about Monday’s story. I’m looking for N prompts. So… noodle around in your noggins and see what you can come up with! 🙂

Lost Horizon

For today’s A-to-Z Blogging Challenge 100-word story, I’m trying a change of pace. Something a bit different. It’s not really a story, though it sort-of tells a story. It is what it is, anyway, and I hope you enjoy it. Appropriately for “L”-Day, we have lissa to thank for the prompt. Thanks, lissa!! Here’s the “story”:

LOST HORIZON

I never knew my father. He was just a fact. Someone who had to exist for me to exist. All Mom ever said was he lived and died by his work. I never thought accountancy that kind of a job, but Mom wouldn’t elaborate. “Drop it, Lee,” was her last word on the subject.

Then I found the journal full of plans. Dreams of traveling from horizon to horizon, never stopping.

The last entry: “Barbara’s pregnant.”

I’m carrying that journal now as I board the plane to Gatwick.

I took his dream. The least I can do is live it.

Tomorrow’s letter is M, so I need some M prompts. I’ll consider those offered the other day by accident… but feel free to suggest more! 🙂