Sarah Potter Writes

Pursued by the Muses of prose and poetry

Archive for the category “Flash Fiction”

Friday Fictioneers — Yumi and the Gods

This week’s photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers, courtesy of Ted Strutz, brought to mind one of my poems (a secret favourite of mine) that I published on my blog a couple of years ago. The poem is a progressive haiku centred around the phases of the moon and contains the names of two Japanese Shinto deities: Tsukuyomi the Moon God, and Amaterasu the Sun Goddess. I’ve sandwiched this poem between two short pieces of prose, producing a story within a story.

For newcomers to Friday Fictioneers, the challenge requires you to produce a story of 100 words (maximum). It’s worth noting that according to WordPress and to my word processor, compound adjectives and nouns count as one word and not two, although only if you hyphenate them. As a Brit, I love hyphens 😉

YUMI AND THE GODS

The ghost-ferry headed for the shore, each of its passengers’ experiences unique en route to the afterlife and dependent upon their main focus at the moment of their taking.

Yumi was looking heavenward…

under cutglass stars
she dreams of Tsukuyomi
new moon love potion

nocturnal circus
leg draped over crescent moon
girl hangs upside down

gibbous halfway house
shadow night crickets gossip
she needs sedating

full moon tree-trunk spin
naked dancing on silver
she coruscates dew

blackbird sings her home
waning moon ambushed by dawn
Amaterasu

The gods awarded Yumi first prize for her dream and allowed her to live.

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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.

Friday Fictioneers — Beyond Comprehension

Oooo, how exciting! I’ve just discovered that the photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers this week is one of my pictures 🙂 That being the case, I had better get cracking with posting my 100-word contribution to the weekly blog challenge hosted by the grand lady in purple, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

The shoes, by the way, were discovered lurking under my son’s bed during a recent tidy-up, but it was with his agreement that I photographed these cobweb-strewn antiquities and sent Rochelle a copy of the picture.

For my literary contribution, I’ve adapted an excerpt from my 1960’s crossover young-adult science fantasy novel Desiccation, the first draft of which I wrote a couple of decades ago but indie-published in 2015. As you will see from the excerpt, the creatures in question are not arachnids but crustaceans, although doubtless there are some husks of the latter hidden among those spiderwebs in my son’s old shoes.           

BEYOND COMPREHENSION

The polished black crustaceans retreated. They crawled out of the door into the night or scuttled up the walls and out through the broken windows, leaving behind a tangle of humans, many of whom had been out of sight inside the minds of other humans for various lengths of time. Some were limp, bedraggled, and lifeless as rag dolls; others were crazy as demon-possessed Jack o’-lanterns. It was science turned on its head a million times over: a total impossibility akin to squeezing size fourteen feet into size two shoes, succeeding, and then returning them to non-mangled size fourteens again.

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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.

 

Friday Fictioneers — A Girl Named Ivy

Genre: Metaphorical fiction
Word Count: 100

A GIRL NAMED IVY

He was the rock upon which she depended, and she the roots that kept him grounded. Her shoots started out tiny and controllable. He drip-fed them and kept her all to himself, pruning her into shape with his clipped truth.

Over time, his credibility diminished and her urge to grow escalated. “I want to see the sun,” she told him, as she clawed at his shade.

“It will burn you up,” he said, knowing that she was about to knock the top off his world.

She reached for the sky, eroding and suffocating him.

Behold that ruin she can’t escape.

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 Friday Fictioneers: 100 word stories
Photo Prompt: copyright © Roger Bulltot 

Friday Fictioneers — If Flowers Could Talk

Genre: Quirky fiction
Word count:100

IF FLOWERS COULD TALK

 “Happiness is living outdoors, enjoying the sun and rain.”

“How about the wind ripping off your petals, too?”

“Who’s a sarky, short-ass bunch?”

 “So would you be, if someone had cut you down to quarter size and jammed you in a vase.”

 “We assure you it’s just as painful for us.”

 “At least you can see out the window.”

 “Your water stinks.”

 “Ditto.”

 “Let’s have a competition to see who wilts last.”

 “They’d better give us dignified disposals.”

 “Hell, we don’t want cremation by bonfire.”

 “Better than rotting slowly amid stinky refuse.”

 “The compost heap, that’s the way to go.”

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Friday Fictioneers: 100 word stories
Photo Prompt: image copyright (c) Dale Rogerson

Friday Fictioneers — Delinquents, 1969

Genre: Historical
Word Count: 100

DELINQUENTS, 1969    

The bus station waiting room was the in-place to hang out on Saturday afternoons, according to Anita. Two years my senior and a cross-between Raquel Welch and a rouged porcelain doll, she was the epitome of cool.

Then there was me; her shadow, stepped into a stranger’s skin for a joyride to another planet where the inhabitants communicated in unintelligible grunts and monosyllables.

Ex-borstal boys with No.2 haircuts, braces and bovver boots, roamed this planet pumped up with testosterone, looking to pick an effing fight with some poor geezer or rob the payphone for loose change.

Sensible folk queued outside.

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

Friday Fictioneers: Out-Twitted

Genre: Quirky fiction
Word Count: 100

OUT-TWITTED

“Madam, I’m not trying to nick your trinkets!” squawked the indignant magpie.

 Lady Annabel prided herself on speaking bird language. “Then why do you keep pecking at my window?”

 “I’m addicted to putty.”

 “That proves it. You intend to remove my windows, with thievery in mind.”

“Magpies’ love of shiny things is mere folklore.  Ask your neighbour, the Professor. He’s done a study on it.”

 “He’s nuts, like all academics.”

 “If you believe in folklore, I must warn you I’m alone and mourning for my mate. So you’d best avert your eyes from me, or I’ll curse you with sorrow.”

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Friday Fictioneers: 100 word stories
Photo Prompt: image copyright (c) Janet Webb

Friday Fictioneers — Art Installation, AD 2316

Genre: Post-apocalyptic science fiction
Word Count: 100

ART INSTALLATION, AD 2316

 Welcome to the tri-centenary celebration of life on Old Earth.

 Item 1: Wooden desk, whitened with paint to disguise the murder of a tree.

 Item 2: Plastic writing implements to poison the oceans and scribble out fish.

 Item 3: Metal paperclips to imprison tree-paper.

 Item 4: Sticky substance to glue tree-paper to tree-paper.

 Item 5: Two soft toys…

 “Mother, what are they?”

 “They’re birds called penguins. They used to inhabit the South Pole of Old Earth before it boiled.”

 “Are those two the only ones we rescued?”

 “No, my child, there were real living penguins…”

 “Without deflector shields, you mean?”

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 Friday Fictioneers: 100 word stories
Photo Prompt: image copyright © Claire Sheldon

Friday Fictioneers — Rewind

Genre: Mainstream fiction
Word count: 100

REWIND 

“Over & out” (your last text message).

No, I didn’t mean it. Come back…

My fingers type panicked nonsense.

Text not sent. The word “not” blanks me, as an opaque oblivion wedged between two possibilities.

This is the story of my life, its path strewn with the litter of my impetuosity.

#

“Love u xxxx” (your first text message).

No, you can’t mean it. Moi?

My fingers type lovey-dovey nonsense in ecstatic knots, rendered more rubbishy through my somersaulting heart.

Text sent. “Am counting the minutes” you reply. The possibilities are endless, but I know this relationship will end in disaster…   

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 Friday Fictioneers: 100 word stories
Photo Prompt: copyright © Ted Strutz

Friday Fictioneers — Lipstick and High Heels

Genre: Mainstream fiction
Word Count: 100

~~LIPSTICK AND HIGH HEELS~~

“Lunar, my dear, you’ve a heavenly body but, for heaven’s sake, keep your mouth shut in front of my parents.”

“What’s it worth?”

“My everlasting love.”

“Liar! All you care about is your inheritance.”

“Not so. I just don’t want my snot-bag of a sister getting her hands on the money.”

“What if she’s at the dinner party, too, and wants to engage in girl-talk.”

“She doesn’t do girl-talk. …Look, it’s essential that my parents don’t get wind of my sexuality, or they won’t leave me a penny.”

“I can’t wait to kick off these stilettos and become Michael again.”

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

Friday Fictioneers — Nineteen years later

Many thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for choosing one of my pictures as the Photo Prompt for Friday Fictioneers this week.

Last week, some of you will remember that I wrote some alternate lyrics to the song “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic” but, because of the 100-word restriction, had to end mid-verse and complete my word count with the promise of a further instalment for this week. Well I meant that as a joke, but a few people said they were looking forward to Part II, so here it is!

For those who missed “The Crazy Bears’ Battle” last week and wonder what on earth is happening below, here’s the link. And please feel free to sing along to both instalments.

Genre: Alternative song lyrics
Words: 100

THE TOMBOY AND HOMICIDAL DOLL’S VENGEANCE

If grown lads go to the potting shed
They’re in for a huge surprise
If grown lads go to the potting shed
It could end in their demise. 

For every year since skiving from school
They’ve met up there for certain
Because today’s the day they
Commemorate that battle.
 

Laughter time for lazy louts.
The pot-smoking hillbillies are having
A dopey time today.

Watch that doll creep up on them
And see her snaggle-teeth go clickety-clack.
 

See her bite the lads with glee.
They’re off their heads alright,
They never feel a thing…

Epilogue: ‘Rich Compost For The Asparagus Bed’

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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.

 

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