“Moment to Moment” – Flash Fiction, Mondays Finish the Story

Here’s my contribution to this week’s Mondays Finish the Story prompt, provided every week by Barbara W. Beacham.  She provides the photo prompt and the first  sentence, and writers have 100-150 more words to finish the story.  The first line is in bold and italics below.  Click on the blue frog after the story text to read others’ stories and to add your own.

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

Moment to Moment

(1st sentence + 150 words)

Now this is living the life of Riley.  I look at the contented cat, luxuriating on his cushion and nod.  He and I have that in common: the ability to truly live in the moment and be aware of all that moment has to offer.

I create for myself as many beautiful moments as possible.  Now, covered in bubbles, luxuriating in the hot bath water with scented candles and soft music, is one of mine.  Another will come tonight, when I pack up all the money, jewelry and fine clothes, and disappear while Jay Prendergast is downstairs gambling and smoking his foul cigars.  The night air always feels especially fine after a clean getaway.

The next moment after that?  I think it will be far from here.  After kitty and I have flown over an ocean and landed on our feet.  We will circle, stretch, rest, and then, we will hunt.  The two of us are excellent hunters.

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“The Favorite” – Monday’s Finish the Story – Flash Fiction

This story was written for Mondays Finish the Story, a weekly prompt provided by Barbara Beacham.  We get the photo and the first line, and then have 100-150 more words to complete the story.  The first line is in italics below.  Click on the blue frog below to read this week’s other stories and to post your own!

2015-08-24 – Photo taken of an old photo in 2014 – Barbara W. Beacham

2015-08-24 – Photo taken of an old photo in 2014 – Barbara W. Beacham

The Favorite

(1st phrase + 150 words)

The family had no idea that little Luigi would grow up to be their ruin.  There never was a boy more loved…perhaps he was spoiled.  There were many women in the family, and he was their darling.  The men spoiled him too, though they wouldn’t admit it.  He sat on their laps during trips to town and was hoisted onto their tall shoulders.

Signs of trouble surfaced, but were seen as fighting spirit, which any boy ought to possess.

When the Rowland girl went missing, Luigi’s bed was empty.  His mother woke from a wingback chair when he came in; what she saw must’ve told her the worst.  She walked right past him, out toward the lake, and was never seen again.

Luigi got involved with gamblers and worse.  The family shut the doors to the mansion and changed their name.  Luigi was caught, imprisoned.  No one visited, save the apparition of a woman.  The guards said she wept and kissed his brow.

“What Comes Next” – Flash Fiction – Monday’s Finish the Story

The following story was written for the weekly flash fiction prompt provided by Barbara Beacham on Mondays Finish the Story.  We get a photo and a first sentence, and then 100-150 additional words to make a story.  Click on the blue frog to read other responses to the prompt or to add your own story!

Copyright Barbara W. Beacham 2015

Copyright Barbara W. Beacham 2015

What Comes Next

(1st sentence + 149 words)

The team employed the use of Nightshade to get the information they wanted from their captive.  She was disoriented.  She hadn’t eaten and they hadn’t let her sleep.  Now, they were threatening her with one of the last poisons left in the new world.

The problem for the team was that she didn’t care.  She was stalling, seeing what fate would bring.  She was not here to alter death’s course if it was set, especially when she knew what came after death.

She’d join the mostly invisible ranks of the ghosts.  She’d become deadly, as fast as she could.

The team didn’t want to kill her, of course.  She understood that.  She was supposed to become scared, desperate enough to say yes to whatever they wanted.

She wouldn’t.  She was the center of the resistance.  They didn’t know, or they’d be using different tactics.  Her group understood the harmony between life and death.  The team wanted to elongate life forever.  That was not the way.

“Backtracking” – Flash Fiction – Mondays Finish the Story

The following story was written for Barbara W. Beacham’s weekly prompt on Mondays Finish the Story.  She provides the picture and the first sentence (this opening line from Martin C. Furman).  Then, writers must incorporate the picture and the first line into a story, using 100-150 additional words.  Click on the blue frog below to read more stories and to add your own.

Copyright Barbara W. Beacham 2015

Copyright Barbara W. Beacham 2015

Backtracking

 (1st sentence + 150 words)

Delphine always wanted to pilot her father’s plane and when he forgot his keys on her tenth birthday, she knew that taking off would be easy.  

Unfortunately, a lone girl giddily approaching a plane attracted attention.

She settled for the field nearby, watching takeoffs.

“Why not try my plane?”

There was an old-time pilot with goggles and leather cap, standing by an antique plane.

“Looks old.”

“Nonsense!” he cried.  “Get in.”

Delphine felt a wave of desire.  Before she knew it, she was strapped in, and the plane was climbing into the sky.  Delphine felt the usual thrill as her stomach flipped.  She looked down.  The airfield was different.  The neighborhoods had changed—fewer cars, smaller buildings, older.  She shouted, but the pilot didn’t respond.

Finally, the plane landed back in the field.  Delphine stumbled out, trembling.

“Again tomorrow?” the pilot asked.

She ran.  Entering her neighborhood, she saw familiar buildings and cars.  At home, she put her father’s keys back and crawled into bed, hugging the teddy bear who hadn’t felt her touch in months.

“Self-Preservation” – Mondays Finish the Story

This story was written for the weekly prompt provided by Barbara W. Beacham on Mondays Finish the Story.  She provides the photo prompt and the first sentence, and you finish the rest with 100-150 words.  Click on the blue Inlinkz frog below to read other stories or to add your own.

Copyright Barbara W. Beacham 2015

Copyright Barbara W. Beacham 2015

Self-Preservation

(1st sentence + 149 words)

The mayor and the town manager waved as their next victim approached.  Sherman was a town no one looked for, but some found it, because the mayor and the town manager arranged it that way.

They’d placed a sign out on the highway announcing a craft fair of local artisans.

“Don’t know why people pay for those,” Tom said, watching the enormous RV easing down the road.

“Too much money, too much time,” the mayor grunted.

A bald man in a t-shirt got out, followed by a blonde woman.

“Welcome!  I’m Mayor Bates.”

The mayor ushered them in, promising directions.  Tom hit the man’s head with a mallet.  The woman tried to escape, but the mayor injected her with a syringe.

“A mallet, Tom?  Melodramatic.”

“OK, Mayor Bates.”

“Let’s get to the site.  If they don’t get people for those experiments, they’ll take us.”

Tom shuddered.  “I’m not going back.”

The mayor picked up the man under the arms.  “Then lift.”

“Games” – Monday’s Finish the Story – Flash Fiction

The following story was written for the weekly Mondays Finish the Story prompt, run by Barbara W. Beacham.  Click on the blue InLinkz frog below to read other stories based on this photo prompt and first line, and add your own!

Copyright Barbara W. Beacham 2015

Copyright Barbara W. Beacham 2015

Games

(1st sentence + 150 words)

“After losing her head, she realized that the rest of her body was falling apart!” Errol said, tearing the arms from his little sister’s doll and dropping them beside the head and legs.  His sister, Bronwyn, had tears in her eyes.

“Eh, Bronny?” Errol grinned with his missing front tooth, dangling the naked torso.

Bronwyn went inside and up to Errol’s bedroom, stopping in the kitchen on the way.  She scooped Errol’s toy soldiers into one of Mama’s cooking pots and topped it with the glass lid.  She slipped out the front door, set her cooking pot on the driveway, and went to watch a video.  Later, she collected her green plastic stew and placed it on Errol’s bookshelf.

When the truth came out, both children were punished.  Their parents, however, failed to see the greater danger.  The children took a cold-hearted delight in causing anguish.  Perhaps, if their parents had seen this clearly when the children were still young, something could have been done.

“Members Only” – Monday’s Finish the Story – Flash Fiction

This story was written for Barbara Beacham’s Mondays Finish the Story.  The photo below and the first sentence are the prompt.  Click on the blue InLinkz frog below to read other stories and to add your own!

mfts

Members Only

(1st sentence + 150 words)

“Pizza anyone?”

“I can’t believe you can eat that stuff,” Rex said.

“Says the vampire who won’t step an inch outside his comfort zone,” Rita replied, taking a bite of cheese and gooey toppings.  Only a few of the company joined her.  The rest of the pale faces averted their noses.

“Not my comfort zone, my nature.”

“Potato, potato.”

“I’m going to make a new vampire,” Rex said.  “That’s why I’ve called you all here.”

“Who?” Rita demanded.

“The new star of Forever Magic,” Rex said.  “Sophisticated, handsome.  His acting would entertain us during meetings.”

“They do tend to drag on,” someone muttered.

“Hold your noise,” Rex said.  “All in favor?”

“Wait,” Rita said.  “When I wanted Shakespeare, everyone said no.”

“Suspicious bestiality in A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” a voice piped.

“Oh, shut it!” Rita said.

Arguments broke out and pizza was thrown.

Rex slipped out with a smile framing his fangs.

“The Right Thing” – Monday’s Finish the Story – Flash Fiction

The following story was written in response to Barbara Beacham’s “Monday’s Finish the Story” weekly prompt.  Click on the blue Inlinkz frog to read the other stories or to add your own.

Mondayfts31615

The Right Thing

(1st sentence + 150 words)

“A body suddenly crashed through a plate glass window at the Brigadier’s house.”

The screaming started before they even knew what it was—or who it was.  The guests were too slow to stop the Brigadier’s wife from approaching.

Vanessa knelt over the Brigadier, trembling as she touched his face.

“We told him,” a soldier muttered.

“You can’t reason with these people,” said another man.  “He should’ve brought an army—weapons!  Not words.”

“Don’t you dare.” Vanessa stood.  “He had courage.  He was trying to do right.”

“Barricade the windows,” the senior officer directed.  The soldiers obeyed. The other wives huddled together, silent.

“Is it any wonder they’re angry after all that’s happened?  How many died under that hot sun?—on soil that was theirs for generations?”

“Ma’am,” the officer said. “With respect, he brought this on.  We may all be killed.”

Vanessa glared, then pushed past the officer, out the door and into the chaos.

“Last we’ll see of her,” he said.

Monday’s Finish the Story – “Relationship Secrets” – Flash Fiction

This is my story for Barbara Beacham’s Monday Finish the Story weekly challenge.  Each week, Barbara provides an image and a first sentence, and the task is to complete the story in 100-150 words.  Click on the InLinkz frog below to read others’ stories and, if you’d like, to add your own!

Photo by Barbara W. Beacham

Photo by Barbara W. Beacham

Relationship Secrets

(1st sentence + 150 words)

The old typewriter had a mind of its own.  It refused to produce the stories she wanted.

She tried to sneak up on it, typing at odd times of day and switching between poetry and prose.

She tried to placate it, having it serviced by a technician who specialized in such things.  She whispered compliments about the delicate look of the keys and the sonorous “bring” at the ends of lines.

The machine would not be appeased.  It wrote drivel.  She thought maybe it laughed at her when she turned her back—a subtle sound—a settling of the keys.

Before long, she was begging.  The typewriter should have known that desperation is dangerous.  When it failed to respond to her pleas and stood unyielding under her tears, her desperation hardened into anger.

The typewriter found itself in the trash bin.  There, in the dark, among the coffee grounds and crumpled tissues, it told its secret stories to itself.

“Lost” – Monday’s Finish the Story – Flash Fiction

This story was written for Barbara Beacham’s Monday Finish the Story weekly challenge.  Each week, Barbara provides an image and a first sentence, and the task is to complete the story in 100-150 words.  Click on the InLinkz frog below to read others’ stories and, if you’d like, to add your own!

mondayband

Lost

(1st sentence + 150 words)

Little did they know when the photographer took their picture that they would find themselves trapped in a painting.  On seeing the photo in the school paper, the students became obsessed with music.

Will was a natural trumpeter.

The problem was the volume.  When his parents fought, they didn’t want him to practice—and there was the new baby.

He loved the physical effort the trumpet demanded.  When the field trip group played together, the music surged, and they felt strong.  Afterward, they were breathless, spent.

They visited the painting.  There were children in it now, faintly visible in the brush strokes, but getting clearer.

Will’s parents shouted nightly, and things crashed against the walls.  The baby cried.  He shut them out, playing.  When they pointed their rage at him, he willed his soul through the metal, up into the air.  His father took the trumpet and stomped.  Will collapsed.

After the funeral, the children pointed at Will, playing in the painting, and shivered in anticipation of joining him.