Flash Fiction 1 Author Elissa Daye
Exerpt from Work in Progress “Crushed” using the concept shine.
Daniel. The very thought of him put her on edge all over again. What was he doing at Pandora? Keira grabbed a pillow and crammed her face into it so she could let loose the frustrated scream that begged to be set free. Her efforts just made her head pound more and she flung herself back on the bed in protest. She came to the only conclusion she could. Men sucked. That’s right, they just plain suck. No other explanation for it really.
That’s not true, a little voice in the back of her head taunted her. Fine. Being with Daniel hadn’t totally sucked. It was the aftermath that had ripped her into so many tiny fragments that she wasn’t sure she could even piece together. She’d certainly not get any progress on that with him following her around like some kind of stalker. One thing she knew for sure, Daniel had a reason for coming and more than likely he would not leave her be until he felt he’d had revealed it. Keira did not feel the need to acquiesce to his need for absolution. Why should she? She distinctly remembered asking him if he were married and the fact that he’d married Jessica Wren made her sick to her stomach.
“Enough, Keira!” Her self-proclamation rang out across the cabin. Great, now she was talking aloud to herself. Thank goodness this area was private. Keira pushed up from the bed and decided that her dry mouth deserved some kind of reprieve. She put just a small amount of weight on her left ankle. If she put just a small amount of weight on the balls of her feet, the pain wasn’t too bad. Limping to the refrigerator, she pulled out a carton of orange juice, placed it on the counter, then pulled a glass down from the cabinets. After drinking the juice, she made a bagel for breakfast and small fruit plate, which she carried carefully to the patio outside taking special care with her left foot.
The view was simply spectacular. The morning rays shimmered across the light blue lagoon waters and Keira wanted to lose herself within its shining depths to wash away the memories that had corroded her soul. If she could toss her worries across the surface of the water and watch it skitter across the top until it landed into the oblivion beneath, she would skip them across the pool without looking back. Such was the way with life though. Keira couldn’t cast aside the past so easily.
“That’s it, Keira. Time to do something else.” As she gingerly walked back inside, she thought she saw a strange furry creature run across the beach. Shaking her head as if to shake water from her ears, she did a triple take. “Now you’re losing it.” Nothing was outside at all. She sighed deeply, then finished her hobbled walk inside to get her laptop and a large bottle of water. Determined to keep her mind off her problems, Keira propped her foot up on a chair and settled into a day filled with edits and revisions.
When she had completed her tasks for Claudia, she opened up her own work Just In Time, which was a chapter away from completion. It was a contemporary romance about a woman who had almost lost her chance to be with the man of her dreams, a man she had been in love with since High School. In a way, her own life inspired this story, for she had held her own crush for someone who had not know she had existed just as Abby, her character had. Abby was a lot like Keira, except for her looks. Keira had decided not to let art imitate life and had actually made her a normal person who had never really struggled with weight issues the way she had.
Now that she had added enough scenes to spice up the story, Keira felt more comfortable with her story as a whole. Up until a few days ago, Keira would never have thought she could unlock the passion inside her character, and that was mainly due to the fact that she hadn’t unlocked her own passion. Not until Daniel. Why did it always come back to him? Did it matter, really? He was married. End of story. At least she didn’t have to make her masterpiece end that way, because after all, there must be a happily ever after. Keira couldn’t help, but feel jealous of her own character as she typed the final paragraph to wrap up her ending. She would kill for a happy ending for once, but was quite convinced that they simply did not exist.
After pressing save one last time, Keira decided to put her work away for the day and take a dip in the lagoon. She went inside and changed into an orange two piece suit and walked back outside, all the while surprised that her ankle seemed to be feeling better. Her guess was she had just bruised it in the fall. Thankfully, she would be back to normal very soon. As she walked across the small white sandy beach, the tiny grains tickled her feet like a soft feather. Dipping her foot into the crystal water, she felt its warmth inviting her in. Wading in slowly, the water felt like a dream around her. She dove the rest of the way in and was surprised when her feet did not touch bottom. Apparently the lagoon was only shallow right near the edges. Keira swam to the other side and back with little ease and since it was a low impact exercise, she was able to do so without further injuring her foot. When she neared the tiny beach, she found two men had walked onto it. Her senses perked up, for who knew what these men wanted and why they had thought it was alright to just come into her private area unannounced.
Flash Fiction #2 Fran Orenstein
The Grandma From Hell
by Fran Orenstein
I stared at my reflection in the elevator doors, making a face. Not my best morning, but then when was
it ever? Like a Cyclops’s eye shining in the moonlight, the silvery doors beamed back at me. I shivered,
and glanced at the door leading to the stairwell. Did I really want to climb five flights because some
elevator door sent the wrong vibe? Maybe it was the building itself, old, from the 1920s, with gargoyles
on the roof and an old-fashioned shoe-shine stand in the lobby. If I didn’t have an early appointment to
show one of the apartments, I wouldn’t be here at all. Get real, Marty, it’s just the ambiance, too retro,
too well, old. People liked this kind of atmosphere, or they wouldn’t be asking $1.5 million for a two
bed, one bath. At least there was a skeletal, ancient doorman on duty, probably here since it was built.
He probably wasn’t much protection, but he wore a clean uniform with brass buttons that he had to
shine daily; it showed some pride in his job.
Where was that elevator? I heard a creak and a groan. Rolling my eyes, I sent a prayer to the goddess of
machines that tonight I would sleep in my own bed and not at the bottom of an elevator shaft. With a
final clang and a swoosh, the doors slid open, and I stepped inside, crossing everything I could manage.
The elevator rose two floors and stopped. The doors opened and a woman entered. Short and chubby,
with perfectly coiffed silver-blue hair, you would immediately place her as somebody’s cuddly grandma,
but when she opened her mouth an inquisitor cloned from Torquemada popped out. “Hello, my dear.
Are you the sales agent for Apartment 5C?”
I nodded, now sure this was the building gossip. Perhaps if I didn’t speak, she would get the message. I
grabbed the rail as the elevator shuddered, bounced and stopped. The light dimmed and all I saw was
the shine of her silver lapel pin, shaped like the letter O, or an open mouth. I pushed the emergency
alarm, but nothing happened. I yelled for help, but nothing happened.
“Don’t worry, my dear. Happens all the time. Electricity isn’t quite what it was touted to be by that
Edison man is it?”
Edison man, as in Thomas? Great, a power outage and I’m stuck in an elevator with the gossip from hell.
She had to know everything, my complete bio from conception to now. None of her business. Who did
she think she was?
“So, your first love threw you over for your best friend?”
When did I tell her that? I nodded, praying that the power would come back on and we would move just
one more floor. How was I so lucky to get stuck one floor away from freedom with the grandma from
“That must have been terrible and you were only what, fourteen?”
“Fifteen.” I clamped my hand over my mouth. Dummy, don’t answer, but I was getting sucked into this
interview. Had I really gone through fifteen years already? What was I thinking?
“Oh, so young.” She pulled the fur stole tighter around her shoulders, fox heads and tails shifting as if
they would leap off her ample bosom and rip out my throat.
I moved back until I pressed against the wall, the railing digging into my back. “Um, I’m going to try my
cell phone again, maybe the call will go through this time.”
“Interesting gadget, that thing you call a cell phone. Where’s the dial?”
“What dial? It has buttons.”
“Fancy, these new gadgets.”
I edged around toward the doors, ready to offer anything if I were released from this box hanging
by cables. Who the hell was this woman? Sweat beaded between my breasts and elsewhere
unmentionable. Blood pounded in my ears. I wanted to reach out and touch her, but fear held back
my hand. Would she be flesh and blood? Suddenly the elevator lurched, the lights came back on full
strength and we creaked to the fifth floor. The doors parted and I dashed out. Turning my head, I looked
back over my shoulder at the empty car, as the door slid shut.
Flash Fiction 3 Author Joann Buchanan
Excerpt from SHINE
Samuel put his hand on my cheek. “I can’t lose you. I love you,” he said. The nearly indestructible man made me feel like the most important person in the world—that it would break him if I was gone from this planet. I smiled at him. Our eyes locked. I was mesmerized by the warmth in his soul. It shined surly as the sun in the sky. It shined as if there was nothing else in the world when he looked at me. He shined.