Sarah Potter Writes

Pursued by the Muses of prose, poetry, and music.

Archive for the category “Flash Fiction”

Friday Fictioneers — Unholy Epitaph

Genre: Dark humor
Word Count: 100

~~UNHOLY EPITAPH~~

hic iacet sepultus

DOMINIC SEAMUS HEGGARTY
a gardener who loved Nature minus Man.

Born in Islington, June 13th 1836
Died December 27th 1891

Bastard son of Michael de Humpe, VIIIth Earl of Stitchbury
 who cavorted with Molly Frimble, an unfortunate, and contracted the French disease and died most horribly of raging insanity,
thereby bestowing upon his beloved illegitimate son nothing of note other than an unconsecrated burial plot at the far end of his Estate,
for when his own time of passing came, alongside Molly,
dispatched to the afterlife by Lady Stitchbury in a fit of apoplexy.

requiescant in pace

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Friday Fictioneers: 100 word stories
Photo Prompt: copyright © Liz Young

 

Friday Fictioneers — Him with the Dog collar

Genre: Humour
Word count: 100

~~HIM WITH THE DOG COLLAR~~

Susanna thought her husband, the Reverend, the worst public speaker in the universe. Whenever he climbed into the pulpit, he underwent a personality change: those unfunny anecdotes, the sepulchral voice, and the platitudes.

To cure her boredom, Susanna thought not of God but of shoes. Even vicars’ wives like to dream about shoes, especially in Lent when temptation expands in proportion to self-denial. Sometimes her frustration spilled over into an angry confession, and the Reverend told her, “It’s the Devil who distracts you with shoes, my dear.”

True, she couldn’t wear her sandals anymore due to her feet turning cloven.

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Friday Fictioneers: 100 word stories
Photo Prompt: copyright © Magaly Guerrero

Friday Fictioneers — Threat or Intention?

Genre: Realistic Fiction
Word count: 100

~~THREAT OR INTENTION?~~

Dear B,

This time, you’ve cheesed me off to the point of no return. You’ve stolen a chunk of my life, then upped sticks and left me to clear up the mess.

Well, here’s my plan. I’m going to flatten you, squeeze that last drop of life-blood from your veins, like tomato paste from a tube. For years you’ve treated me as a piece of furniture, an unpaid servant and plaything of no consequence. You promised me the world, but deprived me of the yeast to expand my horizons.

See this marble rolling pin.  

You’re dead.

Amen to that,

M

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Friday Fictioneers: 100 word stories
Photo Prompt: copyright © Dale Rogerson

Friday Fictioneers — A Rare Specimen

For this week’s Friday Fictioneers (photo prompt copyright © Jellico’s Stationhouse) I couldn’t resist adapting another excerpt from my latest, as-yet unpublished novel Counting Magpies.

Those of you who read my earlier excerpt “Snow Baby” will already have met Morag. In today’s piece, she arrives in the unfamiliar city of York in the middle of the night after a journey of 300 kilometers on an antiquated bicycle that decides to self-destruct on a cobbled street outside the home of the centenarian cleric and one-time Dean of York Minster.

Genre: Dystopian speculative fiction
Word Count: 100

A RARE SPECIMEN

I sit there stunned with the bicycle lying beside me.

A man thrusts open a window above me and cries out. “Hell fire! What’s the good Lord delivered to my doorstep? Some up-skelled and paggered lass, by the looks of it.”

I haul myself to my feet and stand there, with my hands on my hips, forgetting about the size of my belly. “Up-skelled and paggered? Are you insulting me?”

“No, I’m observing that you’ve fallen off your bicycle and look all done-in. …Oh, I see it now. It’s so many years since I’ve encountered anyone in the family way.”

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To read other Friday Fictioneers’ stories for this week, or to add a 100-word story of your own, please click on the blue frog below.

— April’s Guest Storyteller — Robert C. Day

In 2013, Robert began to write. He produced his first short story since he left school many years ago. In 2014, he read every single book on Creative Writing he could get his hands on. In 2015, he wrote two novels. In 2016, he started his blog (www.memymine.co.uk) and to date has over 26,000 hits and 1,100+ followers. He writes a new story, thought, article, poem or writing tip every day and he lives to chat. In Oct 2016, he started an MA in Creative Writing and he now has a 2-year writing plan and a 20-year writing plan that includes 23 published items — at least. Robert is currently undergoing treatment for narcissistic tendencies and expects to be far, far better in the very near future.

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Sarah says: I’m delighted to welcome a fellow eccentric Brit as my guest storyteller this month.  Like me, Robert C. Day (otherwise known as Levishedated), writes quirky fiction of a speculative kind.

Post Script: With regard to my statement above, I’ve just had a most surreal experience. Never have I had guest storyteller do a disappearing act on me. I’ve just been over to his blog and discovered a post titled THE END and the words “This is the Last post on this blog”. Only yesterday we were exchanging emails and he never said anything about his intention to abandon ship. Either this is a most odd April Fool’s joke, or he’s serious and has gone back to whichever planet he came from. I thought I was eccentric, but… 😉 

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The story hook in Robert’s words…

A charming tale of manners and … no, I lie – it’s a sad story about the ending of a relationship in the most unusual of locations.

MAY BE SOME TIME

“You know, you don’t have to go. Not if you don’t want to.”

She stopped and gave me a long, searching look, as if she were trying to swim into my eyes. To gauge my mind from the inside.

Of course, I said nothing. She knew that I wouldn’t. She knew me that well.

We used to be more talkative. When we first met, we would spend weeks, hours, days together – just talking. We talked whilst we ate and drank, talked whilst we walked and worked. We even talked in the middle of movies. But the time we loved to talk the most was after making love.

Ah, the fun we had whilst in the throes of slippery romps and shivery thrills. Our talking then took the form of squealing, yelping and occasional joyful ululating. Forget about anyone hearing us, we were too far gone for that to bother us and too caught up in our own delicious minglement of love and lust to care.

Those days are long gone. Who knows where they went? A year ago, we began to talk in murmurs. A month ago, I stopped talking altogether. Last night, she asked me if I wanted to leave.

Of course, she had every right to ask. It is her place after all. Sure, we’d decked it out together and decided on colours that matched our moods, but at the end of the day – it was her home.

I don’t blame her. The time we had together was longer than most managed. I read the other day that the average partnership was now only three years, and we’d already managed over four by the time I stopped talking.

It’s funny, but I couldn’t tell you what made me end up that way.

My parents were good to me. She was good for me. Life was good. But so what? When it’s time, it’s time.

I was a long way from … well, from anywhere. When I stepped out of the door, I didn’t take anything with me. There wasn’t much point. More for me would have been less for her, and she’d need it much more than I would.

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I feel the cold immediately. It embraces me like a thousand birds of prey – ravenous and cruel. I turn and look back. She stands at the window, her face a blank. I am able to blink, once, before my tears freeze over, sealing my eyes open.

I exhale and the crystalline fragments of my breath obscure her just before the spin of my body takes her face from me. By the time my body rotates to face her again, the sub-zero of space has blackened my vision, and a bare moment later, I am gone.

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You can find the links to previous guest storyteller posts at 

 

Friday Fictioneers — Adrift Alone

Genre: Haibun (Japanese-style poetic prose)
Word count: 100

~~ADRIFT ALONE~~

She sits at the end of the jetty penning a tanka poem to her lost love. Earlier attempts bob about on the seawater inside screwed up balls of paper; they slowly unravel into sodden single sheets with the words sucked out of them.

He sails away,
the figurehead of his boat,
captain of nothing.
In deeps, beyond redemption,
sink the wrecks of human dreams.

He floats becalmed in a rubber dinghy amidst flotsam. The sun beats down on him and cooks his brain, as he composes his epitaph.

Here lies a shark that ate a fool who died alone.

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Photo Prompt: copyright © Fatima Fakier Deria
Friday Fictioneers: 100 word stories

Friday Fictioneers — This green and pleasant land

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Genre: Political Satire
Word Count: 100

~~THIS GREEN AND PLEASANT LAND~~

April 1st, 2019, farmers across England awoke to a most baffling sight. Identical slate-grey houses had sprouted in the middle of their set-aside fields overnight. To add to the mystery, all the weeds and wildflowers had disappeared, along with the fresh spring foliage from the trees.

High voltage electrified spiked fences surrounded the properties, thwarting any attempts to gain access. On the padlocked main gates to each of the properties hung an upside down Union Jack with a V-sign above it and the words LET THE FUN BEGIN.

Midday passed. The houses stayed put. It was no April fool’s joke.

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Photo Prompt: copyright © J Hardy Carroll
Friday Fictioneers: 100 word stories

Friday Fictioneers — Measuring Up

Genre: Saucy fiction
Word count: 100

~~MEASURING UP~~

“Gosh, you’re tall!” people keep saying to me. How the hell would they like it, if I came up to them and said, “You’re short”?

At my first school, I was the shortest in the class. Then I swear that Mum put a cake in my lunchbox with similar magical ingredients to the one Alice ate in Wonderland, but without the shrinking antidote.

There’s this cute fellow at university, who calls me “his Amazonian beauty”. His mates tease him about conversing with my breasts.

Oh, they of limited imagination. He’s a mathematician and knows all about how to handle figures.

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Photo Prompt: Jennifer Pendergast
Friday Fictioneers: 100 word stories

  

Friday Fictioneers — A Matter Of Perspective

Genre: General Fiction
Word count: 100

~~A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE~~

Whenever Seamus espied his ex-wife with that swanky billionaire, his legs gave out at the knees and he suffered an attack of vertigo.

In another life Seamus had been a violinist who played a Stradivarius, but now he dwelt under a railway arch, his home a cardboard box. Daily, he busked on a distressed fiddle. A few people tossed coins in his cap, but most passed him by, treating him as less than a bug.

Today, it dawned on him that bugs had been around a lot longer than humans had, and would probably outlive them all, including his ex-wife.

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Photo Prompt: copyright © Shaktiki Sharma
Friday Fictioneers: 100 word stories

March’s Guest Storyteller, Björn Rudberg

portrait

Björn Rudberg is a blogger and a poet hailing from Stockholm Sweden. He has a PhD in physics but works with businesses in the tech-industry. He writes flash fiction and is a regular contributor to Friday Fictioneers. He manages an online community for poetry, dVerse (http://dversepoets.com), and is also one of the contributing toads at Real Toads (http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com). He is a member of a writing community in Stockholm that has produced one collaborative collection of short stories, Keyhole Stories, and is in the process of producing its second collection.


keyhole-stories

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Sarah says: I’m delighted to welcome Björn as my guest storyteller this month. I first met him through Friday Fictioneers, where his almost weekly contributions have always impressed me. He’s an adventurous writer, who is happy to experiment with various techniques of storytelling, sometimes combining poetry and prose. Whatever he produces, he always manages to surprise and intrigue me, whether it’s dark, satirical, or on a subject he feels passionate about. Do visit his blog, Björn Rudbergs Writings  after you’ve finished here, and I’m sure you’ll agree with what I’m saying.    

But enough from me. I’ll hand you over to Björn now, who will tell you what his story is about, and he has provided us with a soundcloud recording of his story too!

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Björn says: Writing flash-fiction is very much like writing poetry to me, I try to keep a rhythm in my language (actually it’s often close to iambic meter). I have chosen a story from last year that represents the writing I like best. The story is actually a parable about human trafficking where I have chosen Charon the ferryman as the trafficker.

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PAYING THE FERRYMAN

My boat is ready when they come in groups. Orphans, elderly, unshaven men and teenage girls.

The mica in their eyes reflect the river; fear; and in their hands they clutch my fee. But there are those I leave behind. They sleep in tents, and call for help.

They try in vain to trade their goods for coins.

I have a small collection, bribes and trinkets, and my bed is always warmed by girls believing they can melt my granite soul.

I am Charon and my fee is fixed; and worse than Hades is the nothingness of being left behind.

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You can find the links to previous guest storyteller posts at 

       

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