Favorite Flash Fiction -An Excerpt

Since I now have three Experiments in Flash Fiction published I figured I would share some of my favorite pieces from each collection. For anyone new here: Inspired by Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and Clue, is my version of Where, What, And Who. I think of these as writing prompts to help get the writing juices flowing. Using suggestions from my reading audience: A Place, An Item and A Name/Occupation is all I use for inspiration. Ranging in length from 83 words to 4523 words there are 78 unique pieces of fiction. Here is An Experiment in Flash Fiction. 

Starting at the beginning with Haunted Hydrangeas -An Experiment in Flash Fiction.

Treehouse, Crack-Pipe, David Bowie 

George climbed the rope ladder up to his childhood hideout. The treehouse that his dad had built a lifetime ago was still in the backyard of the little yellow house on Pine Street. The house his parents had bought so very long ago. Now that they were both gone it was up to George to clean out and sell the single level, two bedroom ranch style home. George crawled into the treehouse, there was a record player along with a small stack of albums, he plugged the player into the extension cord that had been run up the tree from the house. He thumbed through the stack.

He chose one and placed it on the turntable, set the needle and turned it on. 

“It’s a God-awful small affair

To the girl with the mousy hair…” started playing.

George sat back against the wall, took out his crack pipe and lit up. He inhaled deeply and let the heat fill his lungs, holding the high as his body begged for air. He exhaled feeling the warmth wash over him. He put his head back and listened to Bowie belt out the sounds that now moved through his mind accompanied by swirls of colors.

It was dark when George opened his eyes. Coming to and releasing where he had passed out. He made his way down the rope ladder and stumbled into the house. He found his way into the den, flipping on the overhead light as he dropped to his knees in front of his parents liquor cabinet. He pulled on the latch but it didn’t move. George pulled out his pocket knife, flipping the blade open and sliding it in between the cabinet doors and giving it a quick upward pull. 

The cabinet doors fell open, George pulled out the almost empty bottle of Jim Beam, unscrewed the cap and downed what was left. He tossed the empty bottle behind him and reached for the fuller bottle of Jack Daniels. Once again discarding the cap and gulping down as much as his stomach could handle. 

He got up with Jack in hand and fell into his father’s office chair, Now seated behind the large oak desk. George took another swig from the bottle, then started opening drawers, tossing papers and files onto the wall to wall olive green shag carpeting. As he was digging into the lower left hand drawer his hand hit something hard at the back of the drawer. He pulled out an old gray metal lock box, and placed it in front of him on the desk. He took another gulp from the now almost empty bottle of Jack and stared at the mysterious box. He ran his fingers over the lock and gave the top a pull. It didn’t open. He then flipped the box over and looked at the bottom, it was bare. 

George sat the box back down and reached into the pocket of his jeans and pulled out a rather beat up pack of Pall Malls taking out a cigarette and placing it between his lips. He checked his other pockets but couldn’t find his lighter so he opened the center drawer to look for a pack of matches. He ran his hands over the drawer full of things, finding a gold Zippo and giving it a click he lit the cigarette. 

As he took a deep drag he glanced through the drawer, a small key pushed into the corner of the pen tray at the front of the drawer caught his eye. He fished it out and slid it into the lock on the mysterious box, and gave it a turn. The box clicked open. George took the cigarette and sat it on the edge of the desk, letting the ash fall onto the floor. He sat back for a second, took a deep breath and opened the gray metal lock box. 

On top was a black and white photo of a woman dressed in a 1940’s looking nurses uniform. She was standing in front of a water fountain surrounded by people going about their day. George picked it up and turned it over written in neat cursive was Rose, Paris August 44’ he set the photo aside and pulled out a small stack of envelopes that were held together with a faded pink ribbon. He untied the ribbon and glanced through the stack, they were addressed to PFC Joseph Ridge, his father. George opened the first letter off of the stack, he gently pulled out the light pink piece of stationary, and unfolded it, he held it up to his nose, there was still a faint floral scent to the paper.

Dear Joe,

It’s only been a day since you left but my heart aches for you. 

I miss your arms around me. 

Our time together in Paris was so short.

I long for your safe return to me.

Love Always, Rose

George lit another cigarette, got up and wandered into the hallway and down to the bathroom. Upon his return to the den he glanced through the lock box some more, he found a fine gold chain with a heart shaped pendant attached to it. He gently opened the heart and found two photos, one of his father in uniform and one of Rose. He sat back down and continued reading through the stack of letters. They all read about the same, how she missed him and how things were hectic and chaotic because of the war. The last envelope was slightly different, the handwriting on the front was printed no longer the light cursive of the others. George opened it and pulled out a stark white letter with a newspaper clipping. He read the headline.

Doctors and Nurses Lost in Paris Hospital Booming    

He skimmed through the article detailing the casualties of war in Paris from 1944. The accompanying letter just read, I am sorry for your loss, Rose was a dedicated nurse and a kindred spirit. Her absence will be felt with a heavy heart.

George sat back in his father’s chair and finished off the bottle of Jack.

Hockey Rink

“Just look at it,” Francoise said, finishing off his can of Coors Light, smashing it and tossing it into the recycling bin. 

“Smooth as glass, can you smell that? The crispness of the ice,”

“I agree that it’s a thing of beauty, but are you serious about the smell?” Jesse asked.

“Wait, are you telling us you’ve never smelled the ice?” Bradley chimed in, grabbing another Coors Light and popping the top.

“I guess not,” 

“Well then get out there and smell the ice,” Francoise said, opening the gate.

“Seriously?” 

“Yeah, go out to the center, get on your knees, get your face down right next to the ice and smell it,” Francoise explained, giving Jesse a push out onto the rink.

He slid a bit being in his street shoes but he slowly made his way out to the center of the rink and dropped to his knees. 

“Go ahead Jesse, breathe it in,” Bradley said, trying to sound sincere.

Jesse leaned down towards the ice and took a deep breath.

Behind him he could hear Francoise and Bradley erupt in laughter.

Jesse shook his head, he was the new guy on the team and he took this moment to plan his revenge.

On to Down The Rabbit Hole -Another Experiment in Flash Fiction.

Winter Jacket 

Martha stood at the arrival gate in the Kansas City International Airport, clutching John’s dark blue winter jacket to her chest. John had been deployed overseas, it had been the longest six months of Martha’s life. She watched, shivering in anticipation as the crowd of people exited the jetway, waiting to see his familiar face among the crowd. Her breath caught in her throat when she saw him, he immediately pulled her into his arms, the winter jacket being crushed between them. She never felt safer or more at peace.

Austin Nights  

The neon lights streaked along the rain soaked streets of downtown Austin. As a tall, slim, redhead, wearing a short silver metallic dress and black stilettos wandered down the empty street. Her curly locks hanging in her face as she stared blankly into the darkness, the still warm derringer strapped to her right inner thigh. She squinted as she approached the bright lights coming from the Greyhound station. She pushed open the doors and entered the terminal, making her way up to the ticket counter. “How much is one way to San Antonio?” she asked the attendant. “That would be $6.00.” She fished out some folded up bills from between her breasts, unfolded them and handed him a five and a one. He punched it in and handed her a ticket to San Antonio leaving at 4:45 am. She took the ticket, and found a payphone, she picked up the receiver and dialed. “Hello?” a groggy male voice answered. “Nate, I’m coming home.” She said, “Cynthia, is that you?” Nate asked. “Yes, I’ll be there in a few hours.” She said, “OK but do you think that’s a good idea?” He asked. Cynthia took a deep breath. “No, but I don’t have a choice…Nate I shot John.” She said, waiting for his reply. “We’ll talk about it when you get here.” He said hanging up the phone. She hung up the receiver, took a seat on the hard wooden bench, and stared at the clock on the wall. It read 2:50 am.

And finally we have Hat Trick -A Finale of Flash Fiction. 

Afternoon Delight 

Lottie pulled her rose colored coat snug, she slipped on her boots and ventured out into the weather. The gray sky hinted of oncoming snow, Lottie folded her arms around herself as the wind began to bellow around her. She made her way down to Main Street and entered a small grocery store. She made her selection and stood at the counter to make her purchase. Mrs. Williams looked at Lottie and then down at the item, then back at Lottie. “Yes, I know.” Lottie said, fishing out some coins from the pocket of her coat. Mrs. Williams let out a sigh and collected the coins in payment, and placed the item in a small bag. Lottie smiled, took the small bag and headed home. After slipping off her boots and hanging up her coat, Lottie made her way to the kitchen, got herself a spoon and continued into the living room. She made herself comfy on the couch and opened the small bag, taking out the pint of cherry cordial ice cream.

Edge of the Universe

Franklin opened his eyes, he found himself laying on his back looking up at an ever expanding purple sky. “What the…” he said to the nothingness as he attempted to sit up. Franklin found himself unable to sit upright due to the shimmering lines that reminded him of fishing twine holding him down. He laid his head back down and took a deep breath. The last thing Franklin remembered was sitting in his cubicle at Universal Unlimited where he had sat for the last twelve years day in and day out, as a telemarketer. Answering the phones and reading from the oversized blue script book that they nicknamed ‘The Bible’. He had gotten himself a fresh cup of coffee, and settled in for the afternoon portion of his shift. When everything went dark. “I wish I had a pair of scissors.” he mumbled to the nothingness. All of a sudden there was a heavy feeling in the palm of his hand. He glanced down to his right hand and found a pair of scissors had appeared. “Ok then.” Franklin situated the pair of scissors in his hand and attempted to cut the shimmering line that was holding him down. As he squeezed the scissors closed over the shimmering line an immense pain shot through Franklin’s body. He dropped the scissors, seething in pain. A manic deep voice laughed. “Oh Franklin, it’s going to be a long eternity.” 

And ending this with one that I especially enjoyed writing.

Porcelain Doll 

Laura made her way through the double doors into the auditorium where the public auction of Mrs. Rachel Darling’s estate was being held. Laura picked up her registered number paddle and made her way to the center of the floor. A makeshift stage had been set up towards the front of the room with a podium set upon it, the auctioneer was calling out bids and pounding his gavel. “Sold. To number 156 in the back.” He said as the item was labeled and removed from the stage. “Next up is lot number 356, porcelain doll circa 1800.” The stage hand placed a porcelain doll dressed in a dark blue long dress, cinched at the waist with a belt, and accented in gold trim. She was wearing a matching hat with her dark blonde hair neatly pinned up. Her face adorned with a dark pink blush upon the cheeks and red lips. Laura waited with her paddle at her side. “Let’s open with one hundred.” The auctioneer started. The bidding started off strong, it was up to three hundred and fifty, when Laura raised her paddle. The auctioneer nodded to her at three fifty. “Do I have three sixty?” He asked, no one raised. “Going once, going twice, going three times. Sold. To number 843 in the middle.” Laura followed the stage hand to the table, paid and collected her treasure. When she arrived home she placed the porcelain doll in the slim china cabinet that sat in the corner of the living room. “There you go.” She said to the doll as she placed her on the top shelf and closed the glass front. As the days went on Laura began to have a strange feeling every time she walked past the china cabinet. One day as she was passing by, the hairs on her arm stood up and she thought she heard a sound. Like a very faint whisper, she stood and looked at the doll gazing into its lifeless painted blue eyes. “How weird.” Laura mumbled to herself. One night as Lara was sitting in the living room thumbing through a magazine she heard it, clear as day. ‘I know you can hear me.’ Laura looked up from her magazine and stared at the china cabinet containing the porcelain doll.

Where you can find my Trilogy of Experiments in Flash Fiction:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48593624-haunted-hydrangeas

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55844330-down-the-rabbit-hole

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58292369-hat-trick

*note the good reads Hat Trick link goes to the correct Amazon link, even though the cover isn’t shown. I’m using Good Reads links because Word Press no longer allows Amazon links. All of my ebooks are only .99 cents each or free with Kindle Unlimited.

I hope that you have enjoyed and feel free to leave a comment or even a new suggestion of A Place, An Item and A Name/Occupation. And as always thank you for accompanying me on this writing journey. -Megan

2 comments

  1. Lee Hall · August 5

    Reblogged this on Lee's Hall of information and commented:
    Hello everyone, today fellow blogger Megan shares some flash fiction….

    Like

  2. Pingback: Excerpts from -No Rest for the Wicked and After the Glory | cch217

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