Flash Friday Fiction: The Ties That Bind

Inspection. CC2.0 photo by Brian (Ziggy) Liloia.
Inspection. CC2.0 photo by Brian (Ziggy) Liloia.

The Ties That Bind – 210 words

When grandfather was a boy, he crouched for hours in the fields, watering the rice paddies to make sure his family was fed.

When father was a young man, he crouched for hours in the grasses, shielding his siblings from the bullets whizzing by.

When I was a boy, I refused to crouch, refused to bend for the old ways.

I didn’t care about farming, didn’t care about tradition. I didn’t care about anything but myself.

My grandfather died in those rice fields, hands gnarled, knees perpetually bent.

My father died before I ever knew him, victim of a village raid that didn’t distinguish between enemy and innocent.

I wasn’t going to be them, my ancestors, faded like yesteryear’s photographs.

I wasn’t. My pride said no.

Until I looked into mother’s eyes, those weary eyes aged beyond her years.

Until I felt my sisters’ hands in mine, as they looked to me for support, for safety, for sustenance.

I crouch down today, inspecting these chicken feet, my chickens, arguing their worth to the butcher beside me. And I’ll do it again, and again, and again.

I shall pay homage to the family that came before me, their sacrifices, their struggles, their victories, their defeat.

I understand now.

I am proud.

That’s it – my offering of 200 (+/- 10) words, my short (very short) story, which had to incorporate the photo prompt and the character of a farmer. How did I do?

I hope you’ll click on over to Flash Friday Fiction to read the other stories and perhaps leave a word or two of praise for the very (very) talented writers who grace us with their own tales week after week. And, hey, why not give it a go yourself?


Flash Friday Fiction: Spies Like Us

The Beggar. CC2.0 photo by Foto_Michel.
The Beggar. CC2.0 photo by Foto_Michel.

Spies Like Us – 210 words

Know the best power to have if you’re gonna be a Super Spy? Invisibility.

Sure, flying would be cool. You could get places faster. Some would say X-ray vision is essential. For, you know, secret documents and stuff.

But for me, it’s my ability to be invisible that lets me do this job perfectly.

I know I’m invisible, because nobody in my family pays attention to me.

Mom’s always playing on her laptop. Dad’s watching a game. My sister’s constantly on her phone, mooning over Jacob’s hair or Justin’s eyes. Whatever.

My brother’s the only one who ever notices me. Mostly he tells me I’m annoying. But sometimes he gives me pointers. You know, how to deal with bullies, how to sneak dollar bills out of mom’s purse, how to disappear whenever Dad’s in one of his moods.

It was my brother who disappeared last night. Said he was done, he was outta there, he wasn’t puttin’ up with their crap anymore.

“Good riddance,” Dad said.

He doesn’t see me now, my brother. I’m the garbage can in disguise, spying on him from across the way.

He looks sad. Angry. Maybe even a little lonely.

He doesn’t need to worry, though. I’ve got his back.

We Invisibles gotta stick together.


This week’s challenge? Incorporate a spy character in conjunction with the photo prompt into a story of 200 (+/-10) words. How’d I do?

Make your way (stealthily or not) over to Flash Friday Fiction to read and comment on the other entries, and perhaps draft one of your own!