I’ve gotten myself addicted to Flash Fiction. Ad Hoc Fiction runs a weekly contest in which every Wednesday they post a new prompt word. Contestants are asked to compose a story with 150 words or less using this word. They post a long list of the top entries and ask the public to vote for their favorite ones. Below are some of my past entries:
The Battle for Caen
My grandfather enlisted the day after his brother was killed in action. He was too young to join, but back then the rules weren’t so rigid. If you looked eighteen and strong enough to fire a riffle, the army needed you.
During an air raid at the Battle for Caen, he got hit by shrapnel. It tore through his left arm.
While recovering in the hospital, he met my grandmother, who was a nurse in a neighbouring ward. So in a way, I have the World War II to thank for my existence.
My grandfather died months before I was born. He had never fully recovered from his injuries, the physical and other much deeper wounds. I sometimes ponder of my grandparent’s sacrifices while sipping a beer in my yard. I sit on a lawn chair, staring into the forming clouds. They struggled, all so that I can have an afternoon nap in peace.
Prisoner of Elba
(prompt word: Cell, submitted March 7, 2017)
There is only one window in his tiny cell. It is the size of a comic book. From it he can see every sun rise, but it’s been over a decade since he’s seen it set. It’s his last connection to the outside world.
He scavenges the bowels of his memory for the smell of wild lilacs and the sound of chirping goldfinches. He cherishes those thoughts, for they are all he has left.
To be free again, he’ll do anything. He would kill to see the sunset just one more time.
(prompt word: Mint, submitted Feb 28, 2017)
Me: You traded your new bike for a comic book.
Son: Not just any comic book, it’s a near mint condition Walking Dead, episode 2.
Me: Walking Dead? You traded the bike that we just bought you for your birthday in exchange for a comic book that you’re too young to read. Go to your room!
Son: But Mom…
Me: Don’t ‘but Mom’ me or I’ll ground you until your next birthday.
With that Tommy marched into his bedroom. I told his dad what he had done and he asked me to google the comic. I had to apologize to my son. Chip off the old block.
Love & An Unruly Imagination
(prompt word: Oil, submitted Feb 3, 2017)
“I don’t know it’s really wedged in there.”
“Pull it out gently……………Ahhh! I said gently.”
“Sorry, sorry….let me give it another shot.”
They tried everything: Olive oil, Vaseline and even yogurt. But it wouldn’t budge. Eventually they gave up and agreed to go to the hospital together. She didn’t have to go. She could have spared herself the humiliation, but she loved him and held his hand throughout the entire ordeal.
The doctor tried to calm them down and said, “Don’t worry, I’ve seen it all.” He was lying. He had never seen that before and couldn’t wait to tell his colleagues later. They were always trying to one up each other with stories of human foolishness. He knew that tonight he would top them all.
(prompt word: Cup, submitted Jan 25, 2017)
Lizzy has been my neighbor for as long as I can remember. Her parents are drunks and often left us alone in their basement as they stepped out for a quick pint or two. I guess they trusted us, or perhaps they didn’t care.
Yesterday Lizzy asked me if I’d like a drink.
“What kind of drink?” I asked.
“I don’t know, I’ve never drank alcohol before,” I said.
“Me neither.” She was lying.
She poured two drinks and we swallowed them down fast like Kool-Aid. That wasn’t so bad. She refilled the cups and we emptied them again. I could feel a gentle tingle in the back of my skull.
Lizzy put her hand on my lap and smiled. I smiled back and she kissed me.
I woke up on my bathroom floor. My father was yelling, “This is no way for young women to behave.”
Learning to Fly
(prompt word: Fly, submitted Jan 19, 2017)
Clark stood on the roof of his barn and tiptoed to the edge. He forced himself to look down and immediately wished that he hadn’t.
He had often been ridiculed at school because he was different. He wore glasses even though he didn’t need to and he stuttered whenever he was nervous. But his mother had taught him to always stand tall and to believe in himself. “You can do anything that you put your mind to,” she had often said to him. He trusted her.
The wind was calm and he looked down again. He was less scared. He believed that he could fly.
So he jumped.