Flash Friday Fiction: Undercurrents

Picture of an old woman and a bicycle.
Old Woman. CC2.0 photo by Giorgio Grande.

Undercurrents (210 words)

Every day, she stopped at the beach.

It’d been a long time since she’d taken off her shoes and stockings to walk across the sand. A long time since she’d dipped her toes in the freezing waters, felt the rocks underneath her heels, the salt spray across her face. Forever since she’d let the sound of the surf lull her into thinking life could be smooth, easy, as predictable as the tides.

But every day, she stopped.

She watched children scampering across the dunes, their exuberance bringing smiles to all around them. She watched older ladies sunning themselves, their hats and sunglasses vain attempts to protect youth long since gone.

And she watched lovers, strolling hand in hand across the ocean’s edge, reveling in the lapping of the waves over their feet as they clung to each other, certain nothing could be better than this.

She’d been that once. A lover. Young. Beautiful. No cares in the world.

Until the day he drowned. Not her lover. Their son.

She’d only looked away for a moment, but a moment was all it had taken.

Now every morning, she paid homage to atone for her sin, attempting to cleanse herself from the unbearable grief.

She never could.

But every day, she stopped.


This week, we had to focus on setting in our short (short!) stories of 200 (+/-10) words, and the setting given to us was BEACH. I’d love to know what you think of my offering. And please swim on over to Flash Friday Fiction to read and comment on the many other wondering stories – or submit one of your own!

Flash Friday Fiction: Clause and Effect

Wanted: Santa Claus. CC artwork by Kevin Dooley.
Wanted: Santa Claus. CC artwork by Kevin Dooley.


Clause and Effect – 158 words

I had to do it.

I mean, have you seen all the press that stupid Elf on the Shelf has been getting lately? Cavorting with Barbies, snorting powdered sugar, pooping on cookies?

He lands Barbie and I’m stuck with ol’ Mrs. Claus? Come on.

Seriously, it’s as if people have forgotten I’m the reason for the Season.

Er, well, you get my drift.

I didn’t think anyone’d notice. People leave me cookies all the time. What’s the big deal about sampling a wee bit early? A man’s gotta drown his sorrows somehow.

Who knew she’d turn me in for taking a bite? Just one bite. OK, so it was out of fourteen cookies. Perhaps I should have stuck with two. But quality control, I tell you.

Now here I am, locked up. Until the 24th, at least. Because no matter what fame that idiot Elf claims, I’m still Big Man on Campus come the 25th.

Take that, Elf.


Hee hee hee. I couldn’t resist, especially after a friend told me a mysterious someone had taken one bite each out of fourteen of the Christmas cookies she had just baked. She blamed her child, but I maintain it could have been Santa himself.

Jingle your way on over to Flash Friday Fiction to read the other offerings and perhaps leave a comment or two – or craft a quick little tale of your own!

Flash Friday Fiction (It’s Flashversary Time!): A Woman Scorned

Red Sunset. CC2.0 photo by Petteri Sulonen.
Red Sunset. CC2.0 photo by Petteri Sulonen.

A Woman Scorned (150 words)

Her heart burned with the rage of a million fires, consuming every memory, every last bit of love she’d had left.

He’d promised her – promised her –  eternal devotion. A lifetime of happiness. A bond that could never be severed.


What would he say now, if he could see the havoc she’d wreaked? This path of destruction, fueled by wrath so intense it would scorch the sun?

He never would. She’d made sure of that. Let his ashes smolder in the ruins. Of their bond. Of his betrayal. Of this city.

Never again would a man hold such power over her.

She knew she was catering to the stereotype. Vengeful woman, wronged by man, seeks retribution. So be it.

Daddy issues, they’d said. An unnatural attachment. Whatever. He shouldn’t have remarried; he was hers alone.

Hell hath no fury, they say. But it does have a new daughter.


Woo hoo, peeps! It’s FLASHVERSARY! Meaning the beloved Flash Friday Fiction contest is turning THREE, and Our Lady Dragoness Rebekah Postupak is going all out to celebrate. There’s, like, prizes and everything for this grand round’s winner, and all sorts of other cool stuff, so please head on over to check it out, read the stories, and comment on your favorites (please! We writers are a neurotic lot, and a little encouragement goes a long way).

I’d love to know what you think of my offering!

Flash Friday Fiction – Weathered Patterns

Your Hand in Mine/Goodbye. CC2 photo by Tony.
Your Hand in Mine/Goodbye. CC2 photo by Tony.

Weathered Patterns – 154 words

She drowned me in tempests of her own making, the waves coming faster as the years seemed to slow. Caught in her currents, we’d swirl and crash, dragging each other down in whirlpools of words, our barbs like fish hooks we’d repeatedly cast.

I couldn’t imagine a time when the waters would calm, when the murky surface wouldn’t hide adolescent icebergs I’d bang into at unexpected moments. I was a ship caught in her ocean, a personal Titanic battling the forces of her nature.

One time in the middle of a downpour, she handed me an umbrella. “I love you, mom,” she’d said, her eyes misty in the center of repeated hurricanes.

What I wouldn’t give to spy her on my horizon, to let her crest and break in my arms. But the tide never changed for us. She succumbed to her own inner maelstrom, and I’m marooned on this island of grief.


Happy Thanksgiving! I’m grateful for YOU, and for the opportunity to draft a bite-sized story in the midst of leftovers and Black Friday shopping. Good thing I didn’t feel the need to go out to the stores, considering how long it took me to create this tiny tale. Let me know what you think, and come give some love to the other Flash Friday writers. We’ll be grateful with gravy on top, I swear!

Flash Friday Fiction: Here Come De Judge! (A Thank You to the Flash Friday Fiction Community)

The coveted Flash Friday winner's badgeOr rather, here go de judge. I have finished up my brief tenure as judge for the marvelous Flash Friday Fiction contest, and I just wanted to take a moment and thank Rebekah Postupak, the contest’s absolutely fabulous creator and runner (uh, that sounds wrong), for inviting me to serve in such a position.

As I noted in my final results write-up this past week, when Rebekah first asked me to serve as judge, I turned her down. Who was I, newbie unpublished romance and flash writer, to dare judge anyone else’s works? What if I picked “wrong”? What if everybody hated my choices (and thereby, me)? What if, what if, what if?

Luckily the second time she asked me, the pressure was on, because she was asking ALL three-time winners of the contest to serve. How could I turn THAT down?

I’m so glad I didn’t.

Yes, I still felt and feel as if my qualifications are minimal for judging such a contest. But the experience has been invaluable. Not only have I had to hone my own critical reading skills in terms of figuring out and justifying not only what I liked, but why I liked it, but serving as a judge made me aware of just how subjective judging writing can be. Yes, one can check for proper grammar and sentence structure, for following the rules, for the basics of good, strong writing. But when it comes right down to it, when I had to narrow my results from five or ten down to one single winner, it often was just a matter of instinct, of choosing the story that affected me the most.

How powerful has it been to realize that, to truly get the subjective nature of this business, while in the middle of querying agents to represent my novel? While of course authors hope their tale resonates with each and every person who gives it go, it won’t. Hey, there are people out there who don’t like Harry Potter, who can’t stand classics, who won’t touch the Bible. Talk to anyone and you’ll find people who love a certain tale and people who hate it. Even bestsellers.

I make no claims that my writing is anywhere of the caliber of J.K. Rowling or Jane Austen. I know it isn’t; I know I have more to learn in pursuing this craft, and always will. But I also know now that when an agent says they’re not the right agent for the book, it doesn’t automatically mean the book sucks. They might just mean exactly what they say; they’re not the right agent for this book.

In the meantime, I write on. In romance, and for Flash Friday. Because I can attest that the FF contest has done wonders for my writing confidence, with its friendly, encouraging bunch of participants who take time each week to comment on each other’s tales. Yes, it’s thrilling to win. Yes, it’s been a terrific honor serving as judge. But really, it’s the building up one receives, from commenting on stories or receiving comments, that makes Flash Friday such a wonderful community of writers. There’s a lot of tearing down that goes on in this writing world – how nice to have a place for encouragement.

So thank you, Flash Friday community, and thank you, Rebekah, for giving this still-fairly-newbie writer confidence and inspiration to pursue her dreams. Y’all rock! Write on!