Category Archives: Flash Nonfiction

Flash fiction based on true stories.

Tales From Ringo

“Did you notice nobody on stage ever said the word Beatle?”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. I found it odd and was paying attention. We’re seeing Ringo Starr, live, and the word Beatle has not even been uttered.”

She thought about it, and as she did he spoke into the microphone.

“This is a little song I sang that a couple of my old friends wrote for me.”

“See?” I said to her. She nodded as he started singing Photograph.

~

“Now we’re going to hand the show over to a good friend of mine, Edgar Winter.”

I paid how much to see Ringo? And he’s handing the show over to someone? What the hell?

“Are you ready to ROCK?” Winter yelled as I was a bit confused, even dumbfounded. Sure, there’s something to be said of hearing Edgar Winter sing Free Ride live, I’ll admit. But I can’t decide, is this a good thing or a bad thing?

“This song makes me think of Dazed and Confused,” she said to me.

“Yes!” I responded, still confused about my feelings on this issue. I mean, what if we hear this, but Ringo doesn’t sing No No Song? Or Octopus’s Garden?

This went on for four songs.  Will Palmer of The Romantics singing What I Like About You. Rick Derringer singing Hang On, Sloopy. Richard Page singing Broken Wings.

So the big question is, will he play the two songs I want to hear more than anything?

~

“So for those of you who don’t know, which is most of you, I had a new album come out in January, Y Not.”

Two people cheer.

“Thanks. Both of you.”

~

He did not play them. No Octopus’s Garden, no No No Song. So am I pissed? I still don’t know. It was fun, to be sure. He closed singing With a Little Help From My Friends, which was breathtaking. Exciting. Awesome. Yellow Submarine, sang by Ringo? Excellent.

“What was your favorite song?” she asked me. “The finale. With a Little Help. For sure.”

“Me too,” she responded, taking my hand.

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Turn Right, Ahead

“The GPS says to turn here!”

Sure enough, as I scoured the tree-lined side of the road for the turn this robot voice was now telling us about, I could not imagine why we would turn into the woods.

Suddenly as if out of nowhere, a small, wooden bridge appeared in the brush. It looked sturdy enough, but before I could reply either way she turned the wheel and we were on it.

“Um…this isn’t even a road!” Ahead lay nothing but dirt.

“The GPS says it is!”

“I know…but once on Office it told Michael to turn and he read it wrong and ended up driving into a lake.”

She looked at me.

“And I can’t swim.”

I looked up and noticed a rickety sign that said “Road Closed” and under that saw something about the word lake and freaked.

“It said lake, it said lake!”

“Relax!” she said laughing. To be honest, I was laughing too. How could a GPS even know this dirt road existed, let alone that it was closed? We were laughing too hard to even watch where we were going.

“Turn around!” I yelled between laughs.

“Where?” All of a sudden we were driving past a brand new house with a small clearing across from it.

“Really, here?” I asked. Why would anyone choose this spot to build a house?

She laughed more as she turned into the clearing to make a three-point turn. I had my camera out.

“I hope someone comes out!”

“Don’t you dare take a picture of people if they come out! Nobody even knows we’re here!”

“Come on. A house that nice, they’ll probably offer us fresh squeezed lemonade.”

“Do you see any lemon trees around here?”

She had a point, but still.

We laughed hysterically until we came back to the bridge, and all of a sudden the GPS righted itself and the robotic voice said, “Turn right, ahead.”

1,253 Steps

They huffed and panted, each leaning against the railing of the walkway from sheer exhaustion.

“Man, this is really tough.”

“I know!” she agreed.

He looked over the picturesque mountainside, rocky terrain covering both the cliffs and the path they’d just climbed.

“So, don’t know if you noticed the sign, but this path has something like 1,253 steps, and that’s just the steps. Doesn’t include the regular hiking.”

“Wow,” she said between pants.

“Yeah,” he replied, sitting down on a nearby rock. He sighed from relief.

“Good idea.” She walked up beside him, plopped down on the rock, and then held his hand. He squeezed back.

“This is nice.”

“What, watching me sweat my ass off?”

She smiled.  “What a beautiful place.”

He leaned back and she rested her head on his chest as the constant sound of the rushing water of the falls soundtracked the moment. He reached into his messenger bag and pulled out half a bottle of water, opened it, and offered it to her first.

“Thanks,” she said, taking a swig and then handing it back. He wiped the lip of the bottle off on his shirt.

“Hey!” She shoved him a bit and he laughed and drank a large gulp of water. A family started making their way up the path towards them and he nudged her.

“Better get moving if we want to keep enjoying the peace and quiet.”

She nodded and stood up, reaching out her hand to assist him.

“How out of shape do you think I am?” he joked as she helped him to his feet. He turned and made his way to the next case of old boards that passed for steps at this particular park.

They stood at the bottom of the steepest set of least one hundred steps and looked up at them with despair.

He smiled and said, “Race you to the top.” She took off before he could even finish the sentence, and he bolted after her.

The steepst steps after the climb.Bushkill Falls, Poconos, Pennsylvania

Homework Date (flash nonfiction)

He sat across the couch from her, Broken Social Scene’s Feel Good Lost album playing quietly in the background, as she typed away on her computer, and whenever the clicking paused he knew she was taking a moment to look at him.  He knew, but didn’t try to catch her; he didn’t want to.  He wondered if she noticed that every time she looked over he was smiling a little.  And then he wondered if she knew it was because he knew.

She caught him peeking at her, only once.

“Sorry.”

“What for?”

“Distracting you.”

“You aren’t,” she said with her trademark big smile he was quickly falling for.

She reached out and took his hand and returned to her work, typing one-handed.  He didn’t even try writing a story, and not just because she took one of his hands hostage.

“Am I keeping you from writing?”

“Nope,” he said, trying to be coy.  He played around online for a bit with his right hand, and eventually gave up.  She kept typing, but her mind wasn’t really on the task at hand either.  It wasn’t long before she closed her laptop.

“Are you done?”

“Nope.”

“I promised you that if we had a homework date we would actually finish stuff.”

She smiled again, and he knew he would be losing this one.  He closed his laptop and put it on the other couch as she scooched closer.  She started messing with his hair a little, and so he poked her in the ribs, trying to find a ticklish spot.  It didn’t take long.

“Don’t!”

“Don’t what?” he said with a devilish smile.  He could see he’d figured it out…he’d been trying to tickle her feet earlier, with no success.

“Come here.”

They kissed, and he stopped her after a bit.  “Do some work.  I don’t want you to refuse other homework dates because we don’t focus.”

She smiled and started some paperwork, and he listened to her scribbling as he wrote a story.  When the scribbling stopped he knew she was trying to read the story he was currently typing on his Mac.  He looked up and caught her looking.

“What?”

“Don’t read it as I type!” he said, trying to cover the screen with his hand.

“Can I read it when you’re done?”

“Maybe…we’ll see.”

“Is it about me?”

“Mind your own business.”

“Well..if it is about me, doesn’t that make it my business?”

He thought about it for a moment.  “Nope.  And don’t worry, it’s not about you.”

She frowned and returned to her paperwork, and he finished the story about their homework date.

And Adore Her He Did (flash nonfiction)

Based on a true story.

The date had been great so far, and he was nervous when he suggested they head to his place to listen to records, but he knew his intentions were fairly innocent.  She accepted following some hesitation, and after a quick tour of the downstairs they sat on opposite sides of his plaid couch, chatting as the album Colours by Claudine Longet played.

They talked about all kinds of things people talk about when getting to know one another, and as the conversation continued, the record ended and he flipped it and returned to her.

It wasn’t until he’d switched to Donovan’s Greatest Hits, a few albums later, that he noticed that every time he got up to switch the record, she nonchalantly inched a bit closer to his side.  Once he realized this, his heart sped up a bit, but  started returning to the couch a bit closer as well, until their knees were touching during “God Help the Girl” by Stuart Murdoch.

It wasn’t until Astrud Gilberto’s “The Shadow of Your Smile” that her finger poked his hand playfully, and he opened it, inviting hers in.  She smiled, looked at him with her big, greenish-brown eyes, and their fingers intertwined as she rested her head onto his shoulder.

They talked about music, life, everything, as the needle played beautiful music into the air, and she pushed into him a little more, making the butterflies explode in his chest.  He put his arm around her and held her a little tighter as they discussed exes, quirks and other oddities that naturally came up in conversation.

The record stopped, and he didn’t want to get up this time.  He enjoyed having this girl in his arms, and she squeezed him, subtly telling him not to get up, but he wanted to put on one more record.  She’d mentioned a certain someone she liked, and so he felt it was his obligation to play it for her, to show her that he not only listened to what she said, but that he valued it.

“I really don’t want to get up, but we need more music,” he said as she gave him a sad look but released him from her hold.  He walked over to the shelf and searched for the one he was looking for, found it, and before she knew it the needle was lowering onto the vinyl and he was returning to his original position on the couch.

The song “Come Dance With Me” started and she smiled, recognizing his attempt to impress her by playing The Best of Frank Sinatra, and she held him a little tighter.  He felt that enlightened feeling boys get sometimes when they know they impressed a girl they like, and they talked and cuddled a bit more as the needle slowly made its way across the record to the last song, “Put Your Dreams Away,” at which point he made to get up, she sat up, and he kissed her.  Their first kiss, as the lyrics played, “Let your kiss confess this happiness, darling, and put all your dreams away.”

“Good timing,” she said.  He didn’t mention it was purely chance.  He didn’t even know the lyrics to the song, and listened.  “When your dreams at night fade before you, then I’ll have the right to adore you.”

And adore her he did.