29 March, 2021

Under the Full Moon

In anticipation of my #AtoZChallenge of Flash Fiction, I am getting myself ready by finding or creating random prompts. In this case I chose last night's "full moon" as a prompt. I hope you'll come back in April to offer a prompt of your own. 

They met under the full moon, the three friends. They did it every month, twice in a lucky month with a Blue Moon.

Each of them, from their separate homes in different parts of town, left quietly out the back door so as not to disturb their sleeping family. Well, maybe not so much "sleeping" as relaxing in front of a TV. The people of the town knew nothing of this small coven that had grown up under their own noses. No one would even guess these three associated with each other, they were so different.

They met under the full moon, between the trees in the nearest thing to a forest that existed in their town. The nature reserve was easily accessible after dark, thanks to some lax fence repair a few years back. Soon after finding the breach in the fence, Adelin had discovered a perfect clearing near the top of the small rise, and used to come here as a respite from home life. She was good at finding herbs, and had even learned to name them in the code of the grimoire she had discovered in a thrift shop before ever moving here.

Now, she led her two unlikely sisters as they chanted under the moon, hoping to imbue their potions with extra power. They were a fledgling coven, still experimenting with what their concoctions would do. After the chanting, each would discuss success or failure in the past moon cycle.

"No dice on that bad luck potion I tried," complained Thea - her coven name, because she thought Tiffany sounded too prosaic. "Laura hasn't so much as stubbed a toe that I know of."

The others made sympathetic noises. The animosity between the two frenemies was palpable at Bridgeton High where the girls all went to school.

"I think my insecurity potion might be working on the step-bitch," was Cat's good news of the night, and she reminded them how she made it, and what made her think her stepmother was being affected. "Can we add it to our grimoire?"

It was the one night all three looked forward to. Was it real? They all acted like it was, and relished the time together more than the regular boring days of high school. Only time would tell whether any of them had what Adelin referred to as "the gift".

During April's #AtoZChallenge, I'll use prompts from readers as much as possible to inspire these flash fiction stories. This prompt came from my own mind last night as I watched the moon rise. I will always give credit where credit is due, with a link to the blogger with the prompt. Hope to see you then! 

(Or now. I am building a repertoire of prompts in advance, too.)

25 March, 2021

Under the Bridge

In anticipation of my #AtoZChallenge of Flash Fiction, I am getting myself ready by finding or creating random prompts. In this case "under the bridge" as a location prompt. I hope you'll come back in April to offer a prompt of your own.

Lou was confused. He looked around at the paving stones between the street and the river. There wasn't a lot of room for mistakes. Bertie had definitely said, "under the bridge."

The bridge passed over the street and the wide river, and a narrow patch of impassable land on the other side. It had to be this side of the bridge, but where was everyone? There wasn't a lot of traffic, but there was no room on the other side of the street here, as he looked at the sloped pavement leading up to support the base of the bridge.

He pulled out his phone. The location pin showed he was in the same place Bertie had named. 

"Shit." Lou prided himself on getting places with no help. Bertie had invited him to the bash under the bridge, and he said he'd be there. He made sure he was fashionably late, so there should be a crowd by now. Or at least a small collection of people. Who knew what passed for a "bash" in Bertie's brain.

There was nothing for it. He texted Bertie.

I'm here. Where U?

Nah, man, U came? a beat, while the dots bounced on the screen showing another message was coming. Hang tight. Coming up.

Up? Up from where? They were under a bridge over a river. Lou crossed to the river's edge and peered down for a hidden stairway. It was a dark night. Few headlights illuminated the street behind him, and no lights hung directly under the bridge, certainly nothing at this edge of the water. Where was Bertie?

Leaning over the railing, and swaying side to side to catch any movement in the gloom, Lou almost fell in when he felt a tap on his shoulder.

"Lou! Babe!"

"The hell?" Lou spun around, arms wheeling in surprise, ready to fight. "Bertie. What's going on? Where'd you come from?" There was no evidence of Bertie's emergence. He might have popped out of thin air.

Bertie grinned his dopey grin and squished his eyes shut in what he thought was an endearing wink. "Come on." He giggled as he led his friend across the street.

Lou stayed a few paces behind him. They weren't such very-close friends, and Bertie seemed squirrely-er than usual. Like he was on something. Across the street, Bertie leaned against one of the concrete panels, pressing it all the way down even as he looked behind to find Lou. "Hurry! I can't hold it for long!"

Seeing gaping blackness beyond the panel, Lou surprised himself by speeding across in time to lean with Bertie, who said, "Let yourself go!" and let go of the panel, launching himself down into the darkness before Lou could think. Feeling the panel rising back towards it's original position, Lou made a quick decision and pushed off, falling down a slide, swirling through the terrifying pitch blackness until he suddenly emerged into glowing, dancing neon lights, almost on top of the ludicrously grinning Bertie. 

"Come on, let me show you around!" 

Bass was pounding from somewhere as the neon lights continued to flash, illuminating impossibly bright patches of white graffiti amidst the wash of colors painting the walls of... "What is this place?"

"I told you! Under the Bridge!" was the only explanation he got. 

During April's #AtoZChallenge, I'll use prompts from readers as much as possible to inspire these flash fiction stories. This prompt came from my own mind as I drove over a bridge in a major city the other day. I always give credit where credit is due, with a link to the blogger with the prompt. Hope to see you then! 

(Or now. I can build a repertoire of prompts in advance, too.)

20 March, 2021

Writing for Fun

This is just a short post to announce that I'll be doing the #AtoZChallenge again this year! 


Giving that statement an exclamation point seems self-aggrandizing as if people were waiting for this announcement, but I don't care. I'm excited and I'll explain why.

About a month ago, I decided (in my wishy-washy, pre-decision way) to do A to Z, and asked Brett if he felt like doing it. He decided he would, and started looking back into old posts and deciding what he wanted to do. 

In 2019, I used the theme of Flash Fiction, and followed reader prompts to write a new flash story each day. I haven't written a word since finishing my gigantic opus in January, and thought flash fiction would be a good way to get back into writing. Brett thought that sounded fun, so he'll do flash fiction too. For a minute, I suggested we might even follow the same list of prompts this year, just to see what different ways our minds work, but that quickly assumed the role of "bad idea" for multiple reasons.

He will choose a genre based on each letter of the alphabet, and has spent time researching genres and sub-genres to determine how to fit them all into the alphabet.

While he was researching genres, and writing and sharing his "theme-reveal" post, I fiddled around with games on my phone, read books, and generally became even more of a slug than I already was. I vacillated between "participate in #AtoZ" and "do nothing and continue into eternal slugdom."

As I vaguely recall, there were some stories that came up the last time I did flash fiction which could be extended, or have a second chapter. Since I barely blog anymore, I thought second installments might be a good start until any readers offer suggestions. So this week, I finally went back and read my #AtoZ posts from 2019.

And I want to write again.

That month was fun!

I can really write! (And I have two un-used prompts remaining, to help me start.)

Reading those posts (such as... this, or this, or this...) reminds me that I am a good storyteller and I just need to get back into it. As I am going through old posts, I realize that I stopped with the "Fiction Friday" posts after my sister's death a year ago. I got back into writing, but the flash fiction never came back.

So I'm bringing back the FLASH FICTION! That gets ALL CAPS and an exclamation point. 

From me.

I hope you will enjoy it, too. I definitely hope there will be participation like last year. I'm reducing my workload in April so that I'll have more time to write and visit blogs. (I've also uninstalled the distracting games from my phone to keep my inner slug away.)