Category Archives: flash fiction

These are some shorter stories, focusing a bit more on the moment and less on character development and storyline.

And on…

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As the rain smashed against the window, she just wanted to be home. In bed. Snuggled in blankets. It didn’t help that the air conditioning was on in the classroom. And the teacher droned on and on and on. And on. And on.

And on.

What was he even talking about? She had no idea. Something about math, obviously. But he wasn’t putting anything on the board. Just talking. Did he just say something about a test next class? She didn’t care.

Her phone vibrated in her pocket. Great. Now she had to decide if she should try to check and risk his wrath. It’s an automatic absence if he sees her phone out. It went off again. Was that the same text? It was too close together. Wasn’t it? Or was it just the second alert?

She decided it wasn’t worth it. Usually she enjoyed this class, but today…today was just so blah. Blech. Yuck.

She looked at the clock. How had it only been fifteen minutes??? It felt like class should have been almost over.

There were shirts in the schoolyard. She could see them from her seat. They represented something, but she wasn’t sure what. Did it matter? Could she make a difference either way? This was way too deep thinking for 8 AM. She had a break after this class. Then a class at 11:15. Is a forty-minute nap worth it? She would just be groggy for the rest of the day. Should she grab breakfast? It was so far…like two blocks…to the caf. Then again…they couldn’t mess up breakfast, could they?

Her phone went off again. Maybe it was someone asking her to go to breakfast. Maybe it was him. That would be even worse. He wasn’t taking it well. If it was a text from him, it was definitely not worth the risk.

He’s collecting the homework. She already has it out in front of her, and passes it up. The guy behind her was hitting her in the neck with the corner of his homework. She forgot he was even there. She grabbed it, gave him a look, and passed it up.

The teacher did that thing all teachers do when they get a stack of papers. Fix it, try to right the crooked ones, and then smack it on the desk so they all align. Except they won’t, because some people left those fuzzy edges on the paper.

He put them down. It rained harder, the AC kicked in and blew ice-cold air right up her sleeve, making her shiver, and he started droning on and on and on.

And on.

Nobody Knows

soccer

Nobody knew she had a crush on her soccer coach. Not a soul.

Except her parents, who watched her get ready every evening with just a little more gusto than anything else she did in life. She would always very carefully figure out what outfit would look good without trying too hard, you know, since she was learning soccer.

But that was it.

Well, maybe the elderly couple who passed as they did their daily pre-Wheel of Fortune walk. They could tell because of how she laughed just a little too hard at his jokes.

But not another person knew.

Well, except for the guy who was a little too old to be enjoying playing with his remote control car about two baseball fields away. He knew because he could see her smile from there.

Nobody else though.

Except the two strangers who ran every evening at the same time in opposite directions, nodding each time they passed one another on the circular path, each hoping the other would break the runner’s code and stop the other to have a chat. They knew because of how she would twist her arms awkwardly with her hands clenched during each break for the coach’s instructions.

Seriously though, no one else knew.

Except that dad who was taking his daughter for a walk in a stroller. He could tell because of the way she couldn’t stay on both feet, and was kind of hopping back and forth.

Maybe one or two more people knew.

Like the dog walker who had a little chihuahua and a larger spaniel. She knew, because she remembered those days and could just tell.

And the person driving by, who saw she stood just a little closer than was usually comfortable in that situation.

And how do I know? Because I was one of those people. It doesn’t matter which. But we all knew.

Even the coach knew. He was older, wiser, and used to this. But he loved his wife more than he loved teaching kids soccer, the most popular sport in his home town across the sea.

As far as she knew, nobody knew she had a crush on her soccer coach. Not a soul.

Too Big of a Decision

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He followed them into the coffee shop but didn’t even like coffee. He just thought the girls were cute and was tired of weekends with no plans.

“What can I get you?”

It took him a moment to realize the barista was talking to him, so he froze. He hadn’t thought this through. It was all about the girls.

“Um…a cup of tea, please.” He didn’t exactly love tea, either.

“What kind?”

Shit, there were kinds? He was lost. The barista tapped his foot, then pointed to a list on the wall. Breakfast? Oolong? What the heck is oolong? What does that even mean? Ginger tea? What the hell?

“Uh…plain?” he replied.

“Size?”

“Medium?”

“We have 16 ounce and 24 ounce.”

Shit. “16 ounce, please.”

The man made the tea and handed it to him.

“Fresh lemon?”

The girls were gone.

Happy World Typewriter Day!

Yes, apparently it’s a day, and it’s today! Celebrated every year on the day the typewriter was patented, I figured I would repost some of my favorite typewriter projects from the past. Many are collected into a book published by WragsInk.

Asking Permission A Bad Monday City Girl Devotion Set in Stone il_570xN.190828500 My Fellow Survivors Out of State Love 1 Out of State Love 2 Damsel in Distress Broken Heart A Western-Style Ending Reading A Coney Island of the Mind library001 lonely man001 Empty001 soup001

Prom

 DSC00034356736Photograph by Haylie Maxine Photography

 

“Nice sunglasses,” Tory said to Oliver. “They’re so you.”
“I can recognize your sarcasm, Tor. We’ve only been dating for seven months now.”
“I’m so proud of you for finally becoming fluent…”
He took the sunglasses off and placed them gently on her mother’s coffee table. The mirror on the wall beckoned him to check that his tie was straight; this was after all prom night. His first prom. It was actually only the second time he wore a tie in his whole life. And while he would never admit it to Tory, his dad tied it for him.
“You look nice,” she said as she hugged him from behind and helped straighten the tie. “The suit is very you.”
“And the sunglasses?” He went to pick up the white framed glasses but she snatched them up from the table before he could.
“Too slow!” She threw them on her face with a giggle. “Look at me! I’m Ollie. I’m so cool!” The goofy grin on her face was bad enough, but then she started making peace symbols with her hands. “Guess who I am!”
“Shut up!” Ollie said as he pulled them off her face. “That’s not what I look like!” She smiled at him, the one he always called her winning smile she used when she could tell she’d gone too far, and then put out his arms. She nestled into them and put her head on his shoulder.
“Okay,” he said with a grin. “Let’s go to prom.”

Photograph by the talented Haylie Maxine Photography. For more information/images check out her Flickr or like her on Facebook.

Driving Down

On a daily basis, Richard got behind the wheel of his car to go to the office, and also daily, he would reflect on his life and the wrong turns he made. She was gone. Long gone. But he still didn’t feel any better.

As he went through green lights turned yellow about to turn red, he wondered the chances of a truck running it and ending it all for him. He had not the guts to do it himself, so he hoped for a Mack Truck to finish him off. Richard lacked the patience for improvement in his happiness; little did he know it was just around the corner.

Years later, once his life was together and he had a wife, two children and a happiness he never knew existed, his wish would come true.

Search for the Doctor

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They walked and walked and walked; his feet were killing him, but he didn’t dare say a word since this trek across London was his idea. But she loved him and didn’t complain at all. They couldn’t find the store he was hoping to find, a huge comic shop that promised him all the Doctor Who stuff that his home in the U.S. failed to provide. She hadn’t even seen an episode, but joined him with a willingness that had to be love.

The store wasn’t where his map promised. They’d walked the block three times. “I’m not sure it’s here anymore, hun,” she said to him with a genuine look of discouragement. She knew how much he hoped to buy some stuff from the show. A few toys, a graphic novel or two, some DVDs, anything, really. The show had been his favorite for years and he expected London to be plastered with images from the show. His disappointment would completely dissipate if only they could find this store.

“We should have followed that person with the bag from the store,” she said.DSCN0392

“How would that have worked? They obviously were coming from it!” The person’s bag only teased him, taunted him, since it meant they were so close.

“But we could have asked them where it was.” She was right, of course. He hadn’t the nerve to ask the stranger for the location. And the possibility was slipping away from him  the later it got; they had tickets to a show that started in just a few hours, and they needed to get to their hotel all the way on the other side of the city, shower, and then get to the show. Frustration mounted as he looked left, right, even up in the insane hope of finding the store.

A pimply teenager walked by in a Green Lantern shirt.

“I have an idea,” he said to her. He followed the teen, and she wondered what his plan was. It didn’t click at first, but at a red light she realized what he was doing.

“Are we following this guy just because his shirt is a superhero shirt?” she whispered.

“Nooo…” he said as he nodded yes.

She laughed at this idea, but shrugged at the possibility that it just may work. The kid crossed the street, made a left and then turned right and there it was. The store.

“YES!” they both said, him out of excitement and her out of sheer happiness that the quest was over. He entered, followed sign after sign and then saw it loom from floor to ceiling. Everything Doctor Who.

“I’ll be in the graphic novel section for the next hour,” she said as she turned to leave him, both smiling.

Letters

I yanked open the door and there he was, my mailman. We both jumped, startled. His hand was full of letters and literally by my knees, about to stick our mail into the slot in our front door.
“Oh, uh-”DSCN1377
“Sorry-”
“I was just about to-”
“Yeah…”
“Sorry.”
“Yeah, sorry I startled-”
“No, no-”
“It must happen all the time.”
“No, not really…”
“Oh.”
“So yeah…”
“Yeah I’ll take that.”
I took the mail from him.
“Have a nice day!” we both said in unison.
I really need to get a mailbox.

That’s right, I’m back folks! After a bit of a sabbatical, I am writing again and hoping to post more often. To keep up, feel free to like my Facebook Page.

You Bowl Me Over

Screen Shot 2012-12-12 at 8.36.51 AM“What’s that?”
He looked at the box of random items he’d yard saled that morning. Sticking out at the top was a rounded white end.
“It’s a bowling pin.”
“What’s it for?”
He put it on the coffee table in front of her.
“It’s a conversation piece.”
She gave him that look. You know, that look.
“What, you don’t like it?”
He flopped onto the couch next to her and pushed up against her side.
“I just don’t see how it could start conversations. It better have cost a quarter.”
“What can I say, you bowl me over.”
She smiled. “You can pin me any day.”
“We could have a ball.”
“You never know, you could strike out.”
“Wrong sport.”
“Shut up…how about…strike…strike…”
“You’re a real strike?”
“Don’t be such a turkey.”
“Hun…a turkey is a good thing in bowling.”
“How about you move on over to my lane?”
“Hun…”
“Nice bowling shoes, wanna fuck?”
“HUN…”
“Come on, don’t SPARE my feelings!”
“Oh my God…”
“Let’s never split!”
“PLEASE STOP!”
“You bowl me over.”
“You stole that one! It was mine! I opened with it.”
She kicked the table and the pin wobbled a bit, but righted itself.
“Darn,” she said.
“See…like I said…conversation starter.”

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Writer’s Group

IMG_0260By Dennis Finocchiaro

The writers gather in the coffee shop to chat and meet and read at the microphone, but what do they do, they each show the type, the stereotype, that is, the one who is gay and has the supportive same-sex-significant, the one who thinks so highly of himself, as does his publisher, but then, he’s self-published, and chooses the seat most like a throne and expects subjects to surround him as they listen to the older generation poet who obviously spouts Ginsberg-like beat poetry as the young college early twenties gal shakes in her boots awaiting her turn at the microphone, the angry black man has his poetry violently scribbled on a pad of yellow paper and he listens on as the others do to the nice old lady reading and snapping her fingers, the overweight nerd looks through his “masterpieces” full of misspellings bad grammar and impossible-to-follow plot lines thinking that this is it, this is his moment when everyone will notice his absolute talent that every single creative writing professor has marked up with massive amounts of suggestions and edits, and the druggie sits in the back and tries to decide if he will even share what he wrote, even though it’s brilliant and if he ever decided to share it he would be scooped up by the best agent, the best publisher, and everyone else from his writing group the ones who call him druggie and pothead behind his back would be as jealous of his success as they already are of his talent but it will only happen if he dusts off the pot-riddled brain in his skull and shares his work but the nice old lady continues snapping and reading and smiling and fixing her thick glasses and next up is the Woody Allen nerd who actually could capture the imagination and attention of millions if he had the right venue or event, the right break to meet that agent, that publisher, that person who would lift him out of the muck that is this writer’s group but right now the most famous one is the self-published king in his throne, seventeen books out, made and created fully by himself and his ex-wife who may or may not expect a cut of the few books he has sold, all to friends, but it doesn’t matter because tonight is the night, it’s the writer’s night and everyone has met and everyone will tell everyone how wonderful everything they’ve ever done is, none will be honest whether it sucks or is a work of art, they won’t tell the truth because this is a writer’s group and they are all a stereotype and the know it as each takes a moment to look in the mirror in the bathroom and know it, they know they’re a stereotype they know they’re a real, a fake, a writer, a dreamer, or both and eventually each and every one of them will face it, some will reach deserved fame, some won’t at all, and of course others will get that fame regardless of the piss and shit they put on paper, on screen, in book and ebook alike until it’s all over but it’s okay, it’s alright, every single one of them will one day look back on this day, this moment, and know, know they are for real or a fraud. They will know because they already know, they just haven’t faced it yet.