Tag Archives: flash fiction

Cliche Fiction

“So, here’s the deal,” Fred said, “I’m gonna be a’betting, so I need  you to aid me.”

“Huh?” Greg responded, returning his attention to Fred.

He had been looking around the aged casino. What a grand old dame she must have been, he thought, looking past the faded chairs lining  the slot machines. The drapes were a fine fabric, the rugs had once been plush and the chandeliers were fine glass. Dusty, but glittering underneath.

“Just like that old saying,” Fred repeated. “I’m gonna be abetting over at that table, and I need you to aid me. Aid and abet, you know.”

“That’s not…”Greg started to say before shaking his head.  What had Pete got him into? “What do you need me to do?”

“I got my thing,” Fred said smugly.  “I just need your handsome face to keep that dealer girl over there from paying attention to me while I do it.”

Greg looked over at the tall dealer with the glossy dark hair. Men must be hitting on her all the time, he thought. Still,  Greg knew that girls liked him and he figured he could keep her busy, at least long enough for Fred to do his “thing.”

Well, damn, Greg thought with a dawning smile, that is aiding and abetting!!

 

aid and abet: to encourage and help, particularly in the case of nefarious or illegal activities.  Anyone that has watched any cop show in the last twenty years (or more) knows this phrase. Cops are always threatening people with being charged with “aiding and abetting” if people don’t give up the suspects, or even sometimes, actually charging people with it.  The phrase dates from the second half of the 18th century. The original meaning of abet was “to cause to bite,” but by then the word had lost that particular meaning and was more similar to the current meaning of encourage. The previous meaning had come from the practice of bear abetting, or bear baiting. Bear baiting was a popular sixteenth century entertainment where bears were tethered in “bear gardens” and trained dogs set loose to tear them apart. (I know, I know, don’t even get me started. I am sure the German “beer gardens” are far more entertaining. And I don’t like beer.)
The history of “abet” came from several countries, but does make sense of the “bear abetting” meaning:

1275-1325; Middle English abette (whence Old French abeter, unless perhaps the latter, of Germanic orig., be the source for the ME),
 OldEnglish *ābǣtan to hound on, equivalent to ā- a-3bǣtan to bait, akin to bite*

*dictionary.com

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Word of the day: Opposite

“C’mon Gemma, let’s go out!”

Gemma stretched her legs, before shaking her head and fluffing her blanket along the couch.

“Why not?” Jen demanded. “It’s beautiful out.”

“It’s cold!”

“The air is so fresh.”

“Spring air is fresh, summer delightful, even winter air is bracing. Fall air is dank, with decaying leaves thrown in for good measure,” Gemma sniffed disdainfully. “Where’s the remote?”

Jen flopped on a chair. “What, so you’re just going to sit here and watch tv?”

“Yup, that’s the plan. I don’t get why everyone gets so excited about fall. Sure, the trees are pretty, spring flowers are better. And they’re dying, soon they’ll just be skeletons to hold up the snow. I don’t need to go out and scuff around in dead moldy leaves. Fall is made for snuggling under covers.”

Jen handed Gemma the remote she had found under a pile on the coffee table. “I guess we need some coffee? What we going to watch?”

“Hot cocoa,” Gemma said as she tossed aside her blanket. “And doughnuts! I think there are some pastries left in the fridge. I found the old Dynasty series on Hulu.”

“Oooh, binge worthy!” Jen giggled. “We can make fun of those style choices during the cat fights!”

 

So this word prompt was my own. I was thinking about how an author shouldn’t let his/her feelings influence their characters on the way home from work the other day. I was traveling through canopies of glorious fall color, and I started to wonder about people who didn’t like fall. What was that like?!  Autumn is my favorite season: I love the colors, the scents, the air,the carpet of leaves on the ground, the food (holiday parties, you know), just everything about it. I thought it might be fun to write a character that hated it!

 

 

 

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WordPress Prompts: Coincidence

“You know I don’t believe in coincidence”, she insisted, staring at the glint of gold on the table.

“Then how do you explain this?” he asked, easily falling back into their familiar argument. “How do you explain our meeting when you ran out of the library, and I was going in?”

“You weren’t looking where you going, that’s how! It was pure luck that you saw my copy of Treasure Island and started talking about treasure.”

“You believe in luck, but not coincidence?” he retorted. “And everyone needs a treasure.”

She looked at him, catching the tenseness around his eyes despite his flip tone. That made her feel better, knowing he wasn’t sure about the  ending. The setup, their friends, the restaurant, it had made her feel that he was assuming the answer.

“I think you might be my lucky charm,” she said archly, as she extended her hand.

The room erupted in cheers as he put the ring on her finger before pulling her to him.

 

 

 

 

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Sparkle bright

I am joining in the fun led by Miss Sonya: three line tales. She gives the pic and we decide exactly what our three lines consist of. Read the other tales by searching the tag “three line tales.” If you want to join in, check out the directions HERE.

three line tales week 85: sparkler and sunglasses

The light flared, cascading gold and silver sparkles over his hands. He thrust his hand up, waving the wand wildly, attempting to write his name in light before the end.

Then, movement below caught his eye.  Hard shiny carapaces glinted back at him in the glittering light. The final spark fell.

His eyes, blind from the bright sparks,  strained to pierce the utter blackness as he heard the clicking of hundreds of feet on the cement.

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Word Prompts

Looking for inspiration, I ran into the WordPress Daily Press prompts in my blog reader.  They had a few words (they put one out each day), but I stopped at Grainy.  What a marvelous word. There’s the grain in various woods, the grain I feed my horses, multi grain bread, against the grain; the possibilities are endless. I have to admit the first thing I thought of was whole grain mustard, like a spicy Grey Poupon.

The Fair

“I want to break up,” Chris said.

Amanda paused, the warm flavor of her hotdog, mixed with fresh bread and the artisan mustard, which she could only get here at the Tomgate fair, fading on her tongue. The sounds of the fair, the giggles and shouts as the rides dipped and swayed, the barkers at the game stands, the chatter at the bingo tables, dimmed around her. Who brings someone to a fair to break up with them, she thought wildly. it was their anniversary date!

“I mean,” he rushed on, “I think we both should date other people. You’re great Amanda, I just want…”

“To date other people, ” she finished, carefully putting her hotdog on the plate in her lap.

“Have you started dating other people?” she inquired politely.

“Oh, um, no, of course not,” he answered, avoiding her eyes. “I wanted to talk to you. It’s not like I have anyone in mind,  I have been just feeling for  awhile like you might want to move on.”

“And, I’m ok with it,” he added hastily. “I think it might be better for both of us.”

“I see,” she said carefully. “It sounds like you have given this a lot of thought. Why don’t we walk around a bit while I think about it too?”

“Ok,” he replied, clearly relieved she was being so calm.

Amanda led the way through the fair, mulling  her options. Chris, feeling relaxed as they wandered peacefully, actually reached his hand out to hold hers, before remembering and dropping it.

Finally she stopped in front of the Tunnel of Love ride. Turning smiling to Chris, she took his hand.

“Why don’t we take it one last time?”

“Sure,” he agreed, remembering how they had ridden it last year, giggling and snuggling.

He paid the fare, then they sat in the little boat. Each boat traveled out of sight of the others, so that it had privacy. Amanda leaned against him, snuggling under his arm,  until they were half way through the ride.

“I think you might be right,” she whispered, withdrawing from him. “We probably should break up.”

She stood suddenly and swung her purse directly at his head. The heavy bag knocked him unconscious as it flipped him over the side of the boat. Amanda stood watching, realizing as he sank that he had the truck keys.

“Well, damn!”

 

 

 

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Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

I made it!!  Once more I joined Priceless Joy’s group of aspiring writers. We are given 100-150 words and a photo prompt, our imagination does the rest. Check out the other stories inspired by the photo:    Thanks this week to TJ Paris for the cool picture. Makes one want to jump right in!

She lay on the beach, torpid, as the sun stared down at her.  Crystal water stretched far into the horizon. She dug her feet into the sand, seeking the cooler sand deep under the surface, closing her eyes against light bouncing off the gleaming sand.  Crashing crystalline waves lulled her, and she slept.

“Samantha! Samantha!” the shouting continued, the irritation in the voice indicating it had been going on for some time. “Wake up!”

She opened her eyes groggily, seeing only a shadow standing over her.

“Wake up,” the voice insisted. “Vacation is over. Time to get back to work.”

“Waaa? But, sleep!”

“No!” the voice said emphatically, ” you need to get back to work. Your blog is lonely! Get on it!”

She sighed deeply before getting up and folding her towel, knowing the voice was her subconsciousness–and it wasn’t going away.

143 words

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Friday Fictioneers

Ok, so I know I missed Friday. But I wanted to join the roundup led by Rochelle! I have been missing in action for weeks.

So here is my entry for the Friday Fictioneers, the story group she leads with a photo prompt and 100 words (more or less, I went a bit more this time). Make sure to check out all the other marvelous stories HERE. Thanks to Sarah Potter for our great photo this week 🙂

 Vegan Vengeance

“Wow,” Greg said, sliding his finger along a blood-red, velvety flower. “What a greenhouse!”

“Thanks, ” Silla said. “I make my own special fertilizer. Wanna see?”

She led the way into the back of the greenhouse, wandering past long tables of flowers and vegetables before stopping.

“What’s this?” asked Greg uneasily, staring at the slick metal slab with straps.  He turned to Silla, eyes widening as he saw the mallet; before collapsing on the table.

Silla smiled as she tucked the cattle rancher in, tugging the straps quite tight before starting the IV. She nodded at her plants as Greg’s blood slid into her mixer, already filled with bone meal from the last cowboy.

“There,” Silla said in satisfaction, “now instead of him killing animals, he’ll be helping you guys grow.

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Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers rides again! Our photo prompt comes from Dale Rogerson this week as we all follow Rochelle on a mad romp through the fictional alleys of our minds. Make sure to check out all the other stories to see where they ended up here.

 100 words–on the nose this week!

“Hey, Vino Noble,” Nick said conversationally. “Mind if I have a glass?”

Without waiting, he snagged a glass and poured.

“Yes, my grandfather used to drink this. Came from the same part of the old country he did. Good man, my grandfather. Passed the family business down to me. Dad passed away young, guess Gramps pinned all his hopes on me.”

Sighing, Nick put down his glass. Picking up his gun, he tightened the silencer before pointing it across the table.

“It’s just business, you know,” he told the frightened  man. Nick took the bottle with him as he left.

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three line tales

Once more I’m following Sonya’s lead into the three line universe. Check out the directions HERE if you want to play with us. And find the rest of the tales on WordPress, using the tag “three line tales.”

Carla smiled indulgently as she heard the baby coo at the birds out the window.

The sky outside the plane window stretched endlessly, speckled with birds wheeling, a perfect  pale blue limning the wing edge.

Carla glanced out again to see what the baby was giggling at, sucking her breath in horror as she saw  tendrils reaching and wrapping themselves around the plane wing.

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FFfAW

This is actually last week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers prompt. I started it last week, but the story just didn’t come together as I wanted til now. And I am a firm believer of better late than never 🙂 Of course, I want to thank Priceless Joy for putting the prompt out there to inspire our creativity and Sunayana for providing the photo.

 

“Angels.”

“What?” Krista asked.

“Angels! I saw angels last night.”

Krista sighed inwardly. Martha was always sure she had seen something.

“Angels?” she asked her oldest friend again.

“Out there on the marsh,” Martha said excitedly. “I was walking Jackie, and he started barking and growling, you know, so I was looking around and then I saw them.”

Krista looked out where Martha was gesturing. Wisps of fog rose, but she saw no angels. Stupid dog, she thought. Always excited about something.

“Look,” Martha whispered.

Krista looked again, watching, dumbfounded, as the wisps coalesced into a white mass. It looked like land, rising out of the bog, white edges swirling. Water sluiced off as it rose, and Krista saw forms, flying above. White and filmy, she knew why Martha called them angels. But they weren’t, she understood that immediately.

“Martha, we need to go,” Krista whispered urgently.

Martha looked at her in astonishment. “Why, what do you mean?”

Krista started tugging on Martha’s arm, staring at the objects dancing in the sky. Suddenly they turned,  arrowing straight at the two women huddled together.

 

 

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