Flash Fiction 2018 – April

Santa Monica Pier

Flash Fiction #04: A for Attraction

New Year’s resolutions can be difficult to achieve. The same is true for my writers group’s challenge to write one piece of flash fiction each month. We don’t always hand these pieces in on time (sometimes we even skip a month), but neither of us has given up. We keep going and we keep writing. Because we all have something in common: we want to tell a story. Enjoy!


A Night at the Pier

My friend Stacy said it was the place to be on a Friday night and so I went with her. But once we got to the Santa Monica Pier, everything was as usual.

“No,” Stacy said when I pointed that out. “Because today is the day you’re finally going to ride the rollercoaster.”

I took a step away from her. “I certainly won’t,” I said. “I’m getting a churro.” I turned to walk away, but Stacy grabbed my arm.

“Listen,” she said, “my friend Meghan owed me, so I asked her to bring her brother tonight.”

“Jamie?”

Stacy grinned back at me. “Yes, and they’ll both be over at the rollercoaster in about 10 minutes. So, what do you say?”

I bit down on my lower lip, glancing over at the rollercoaster. Tiny cars with people were whizzing along the tracks. I swallowed hard. “I guess we should at least say hello, right?”

Jamie and Meghan were indeed waiting for us at the ticket window. Jamie welcomed me with a smile and a “’sup?”. I croaked back a hello.

Stacy bought four tickets and then we were in the queue. I stared up at the steel monster.

“Afraid?” Jamie asked.

I blushed. “No.”

“There’s no need to be,” he said.

The four of us would get on the next ride. The car drew up into the station, some of the passengers were laughing, others looked as if they’d seen a ghost.

“You coming?” Jamie asked. He even held out his hand to me.

One of the passengers getting off the ride laughed. “Man, I felt like I was gonna pee my pants back there!”

“Come on,” Jamie said to me. “You can do it.”

I reached out for his hand and opened my mouth to respond.

But I puked on his new vans instead.

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Flash Fiction 2018 – March

Once again I am posting my flash fiction piece for March fashionably late (editing is a hassle, let me tell you!). No one ever said that a writer’s life is easy, but I love every part of it anyway 🙂 This little piece below is set in a bookstore in Chicago called Myopic Books. It’s one of my favorite book stores of all times and I miss it a lot. If you’re ever there, go check it out.

Update: You can also find MT’s flash here.


Flash Fiction #03: M for Myopic

 

Books don’t judge

Some people like books. Others adore them.

And then there is my little sister.

“Quick! They’re not open much longer,” she says.

We hurry toward a store called Myopic Books. A bell rings out as we enter. All walls are lined with shelves, displaying hundreds of books. My sister grabs me by the hand and pulls me through the store.

“This must be one hell of a book,” I say.

“You bet it is.”

We stop in front of a shelf that looks like any other in the store. A label below reads Fantasy/Sci-Fi. My sister pulls a book down and shoves it right under my face.

“Do you see?” she asks. Her eyes are huge.

I stare down at the book. It’s one of the Harry Potter’s, perhaps the first one. “What am I supposed to see?”

“The cover,” my sister says. “It’s limited edition, they only made a few thousand copies.”

“So? You’ve got all of them at home, don’t you?”

“Yes, but not this one!” She tightens her grip on the book until her knuckles turn white. “But I’ve already spent my birthday money and I was wondering…”

I raise an eyebrow. “Seriously, you’re begging me for money to buy a book you already own?”

She groans. “I knew you’d act like that!” She puts the book back and stomps off. I catch up with her right outside the store.

“I’m sorry, okay?” I say. “But, you know, you do spend a lot of time with books. Maybe, just once, you want to go outside and hang out with some other kids…”

Arms crossed in front of her chest, my sister glares at me. “You don’t get it,” she says.

“Then explain it to me.”

She bites her lips. Her eyes shimmer with tears. “It’s just…”

“Yeah?”

“The other kids are mean,” she says, her lower lip wobbling. “But books would never judge me.” A first tear trickles down her cheeks.

Before she can say anything else, I dash back into the store. They are about to close. But they give me another minute and then I step back out.

My sister hasn’t moved. She looks up with a smile. “You bought it?”

“Of course.” I hand her the book and she hugs it to her chest.


 

Here’s a little peek a this book store. Apparently I was more focused on the books than taking decent pictures 😉

 

 

Into the Dark Forest

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I have to confess something: 2017 was the year of distractions (as you can see by the lack of posts on this site). I put my novel on hold and I stopped working on The Tales of the Seelie Court. But I still kept writing and I wrote this short story called Into the Dark Forest, which features my favorite magical creatures: faeries! The characters and places and this story are not related to my other works about faeries, but I dare say it is still a magical, little piece of writing. Enjoy! 


 

Into the Dark Forest

 

It was that time of the year when the trees wore their most colorful dresses and the air chilled when the sun set. But while the sun was still up, the weather was warm and the world bathed in a golden glow. In that time of the year, the outside became Hayes’s favorite place on earth.

On one of those golden days, Hayes fled to one of the parks to escape his chaotic home. No matter how much he loved all his brothers and sisters, sometimes he longed for a short break. Here, everything was peaceful, and he could rest his back against the bark of a tree, his long, lanky legs stretched out over the foliage that covered the ground.

He kept his eyes closed so all that he could see of the world around him was the light filtering through his eyelids. He could tell that most people had already left. Apart from the occasional laughter and the rustle of the foliage as people walked through it, it was only the sounds of nature that he could hear. Birds chirping, wind shaking the leaves, and somewhere in the distance the low rumble of the afternoon traffic.

When Hayes opened his eyes again, he noticed someone who he’d never seen in this park before. It was a boy, about his age, but the complete opposite of what scrawny, dark-skinned Hayes looked like; the boy was tall, muscular, and very pale, with fair hair and a face that looked as though it was cut from white marble. Hayes was immediately struck by his extraordinary appearance and intrigued by the way he moved. The strange boy was barefooted and barely made any noise as he prowled through the park. He seemed frantic, as though he was looking for something.

Hayes sat up straight, his eyes now following the boy’s every step. The boy walked up to a tree, examined it, then shook his head and walked on. The more Hayes watched the boy, the more peculiar he appeared. His clothes were odd, too. He wore something that looked like a golden breast plate over his shirt.

Finally, the boy stopped in front of one of the largest trees in the park. He examined the bark closely, running both hands over it. Then, with a jolt, he reached up for the lowest branch and pulled it down.

Continue reading “Into the Dark Forest”

Colors

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This is a short piece of about 1000 words that I wrote more than a year ago. It is also the only piece of creative writing I ever did in the course of my studies at the University of Vienna (which, to be honest, is a shame). Our professor asked us to pick a song and transform it into a story. Back then, I had “Colors” by Halsey stuck in my head. I loved the lyrics and the melody and both gave me a clear picture of what kind of story I wanted to write. Please find the story below! 


 

Colors

Dim afternoon sunlight trickled through the cracked shutters, casting bright spots on the bed. He was lying on his back, head resting on a tattered pillow. I let my eyes drift over his bare chest, pale skin stretched over jutting bones and ribs. His jawline was dotted with black stubble.

“I’m sure he loves you. After all, he’s your brother,” I told him as I snatched the half-finished joint from his fingers.

He watched me take a drag and exhale the smoke into the air. We hadn’t opened a window in hours and it was beginning to smell badly, a mixture of weed and used bedsheets.

He scratched his chin. “My family was never the loving kind. Mother was only interested in her career. I doubt she ever realized there was a life waiting for her behind the cameras.”

I lifted the joint to my lips a second time, but he yanked it out of my hand, placing it between his own lips. He inhaled deeply, filling his body with the substance. In these short moments, when his entire being was soothed by the drug, he looked completely blissful. Broken as he was, there was still beauty in him. His eyes, even though red-rimmed, were a clear blue, like one of those marbles that I had collected as a child.

“You’re staring at me again,” he said.

Continue reading “Colors”

Flash Fiction 2018 – February

After a minor delay of only a couple of months, I can finally post this little piece of work. Even though I did write it in February, it took me until today to gather all my strength to finalize it. You know, writing a story can be so easy, the hard part is editing. Again I had help in the form of feedback provided by my lovely writers group. Please check out Jack’s and MT’s monthly flash fiction (click on the names to follow the links). And please find mine below. Enjoy!


Flash Fiction #02: F for Fedora

 

He would’ve wanted me to have it

I storm inside once the door opens.

“Where is it?”

My sister raises an eyebrow at me, softly closing the front door again. “Will you stop yelling? The kids are asleep.” She talks in the same hushed voice she’s adopted ever since the birth of her twins.

It drives me nuts. Even more so now. My hands clutch the handle of my bag. “Where is it?” I ask, my voice trembling. I don’t allow the tears to flow.

“Dana, what are you talking about?” My sister has one hand on her hip, her eyes judging me as they have had for years.

I grit my teeth. “His hat,” I say. “H-He would’ve wanted me to have it.”

My sister sighs and vanishes down the hall. When she returns she’s holding an old, tattered fedora.

Even among a thousand hats like that one, I would recognize my father’s. Nothing’s more familiar to me than all the stitches on that hat trying to hold it together.

“I just don’t get why you would make such a fuss about a dusty hat!” My sister hands it to me and I clutch it to my chest.

I cradle the hat like a baby. It still smells like him, musky and warm.

“You never understood.” I shoot my sister one last glare. Then I open the front door myself, step out and shut it with a bang.

Upstairs, the babies start crying.

Flash Fiction 2018 – January

For almost three years now, I have been part of the best writers group in the world: The Baked Potatoes. You might not have heard of them yet, but you will 😉 My fellow writers and friends Jack, Kathi, MT & Stef accompany me on that otherwise lonely road to become a successful writer.

Last year was a bit of a low for all of us (as you can see in the lack of blog posts). But this year we kicked off with lots of motivation. My friend MT had the genius idea that each of us writes a little piece of Flash Fiction each month. And each month we would choose a topic beginning with the same letter as that month.

Flash Fiction is super short. We agreed on a word range between 150-300 words. You can find my January piece below.  Also check out the entries by my friends Jack and MT!


Flash Fiction #01: J for Jealousy

 

I won’t be needing it where I am going

I stare out of the window and watch as they drive off in a fancy BMW. They are soon swallowed by the thick fog, heading back into the city. I grit my teeth.

They were selling my flat, they said. Because my stay here was too expensive, they said. But what they really meant was that I wasn’t going to need the flat anymore.

I wasn’t going home ever again.

Wrapping my arms tighter around my shivering body, I mutter words under my breath that I wasn’t allowed to say earlier.

“Ms. Patterson.” One of the nurses approaches me. “Would you like me to accompany you back to your room?”

“I’m good.” I turn away from the window. Maybe the fog will do me a favor and will hide an oncoming car that can smash that stupid BMW off the road.

My footsteps sound hollow on the linoleum floor as I walk down the bleak corridor.

They can keep my stupid BMW. And they can sell my stupid place. I couldn’t care less.

I step into my bleak room which has no curtains, no flowers, no pictures. It is hideous. When I lock the door behind me, a nurse immediately knocks onto it. They don’t like it when we do that. Go figure why they even put a lock on there.

“Ms. Patterson, please unlock the door!”

“Tell them that they can keep my stupid dog too!” I pull a vial out of my robe. There is a single white pill in it. My hands tremble as I unscrew the lid and take out the pill. “I won’t be needing it where I am going.”

It’s all gone now.

For all time

Here’s a little something that I wrote a while ago – I tried myself on some short fiction, free of any magical beings!

For all time

I met Roy shortly after waking up in hospital.

One late afternoon, after my family had left on my doctor’s order, I took a walk through the bleak corridors. My legs were still weak and one of the nurses offered me a wheelchair, but I refused. I fought my way to the common room, where I saw him standing on the balcony, smoking a cigarette.

Although it was a cold, rainy November day he was dressed in nothing more than a short-sleeved shirt and a pair of jeans. He wasn’t wearing any shoes either. He was tall and slender, his dark-brown hair ruffled by the wind, and I thought how beautiful and indestructible he seemed. Continue reading “For all time”