Type (Jane Doe Six Sentence Stories)

Jane’s rear end hasn’t quite hit the camp chair when Henry holds his hand out: stop.

“Did you read the new notice at the entrance?”

“Oh now what,” Jane replies crossly. “I came in through the back and really, how many notices are necessary in a tent city, for Pete’s sake?”

“Something to do with the port-a-potties that you’ll definitely want to know,” Henry assures her. “And trust me, only the regulation of our most private bodily functions would be so critical that somebody went to the Herculean effort to actually type it.”

Photo: derRenner/Pixabay

Every week, Denise at Girlie on the Edge hosts the Six Sentence Stories flash fiction challenge and blog hop. Three rules: 1) Write a story in exactly six sentences. 2) Any genre. 3) Use the prompt word; this week’s is TYPE. Fun sixes from other writers are at the link. Join us! Sounds easy, can be kinda hard, and it’s a lot of fun.


Eminence (Jane Doe Flash Fiction)

The house is a lovely lakeside pile on a low eminence above its neighbors, cocooned among trees. Jane lugs her few belongings up the slope easily, eagerly. Hangs her few clothes, arranges her few toiletries.

Hers, hers, for six whole weeks, in exchange for being present and tending to the animals while Audrey is in Europe.

The kitchen gleams, the den lulls, the shady deck beckons. But, she decides, luxuriating, paradise is a bathtub. And it hits her, making her sit up so abruptly she sloshes wine and bubbles. Is housesitting something she could do as an actual career?

Photo: NGSOFT/Pixabay

I haven’t been writing much and it feels good to be back in the saddle. Every week at the Ranch, Charli Mills hosts the Rough Writers and Friends flash fiction challenge. This week’s prompt: “In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that uses the word eminence. It’s a rich word full of different meanings. Explore how it sounds or how you might play with it. Go where the prompt leads!”

#Twitterflash (And a Note About Trolling)

I haven’t published much flash fiction this month, because one of the two forums (fori?) where I participate in flash fiction linkups, Carrot Ranch Literary Community, has been holding a Flash Fiction Rodeo, eight contests throughout October. I’ve entered most of the contests, but judging is to be blind, so I can’t publish the entries until after judging is complete. So I’ve been writing, just not publishing.

Except for this entry, and at least one more that I’m working on–we’ll see how inspired I get before the deadline. This contest has a fun and different structure for flash fiction: Write a story in 99 words, consisting of 11 sentences of 9 words each, tweeted over Twitter. It’s #Twitterflash! It’s hard to judge blindly when it has to be tweeted, so I can go ahead and publish this one. Finally!

The note about trolling is a confession that I now must make. In the event you decide to follow me on Twitter (@99_Monkees), be aware that I troll our dumpster fire of a presidency. (#ImpeachTrump) Normally I do not like Internet trolls, just there to stir up trouble and throw negative crap everywhere. But with Emperor Hirocheeto, I find it therapeutic. It could be argued that I’m crazy for even following President Looney Tunes* on social media in the first place, but I’m one of those drivers that likes to lag behind you a bit, because I can keep an eye on your idiot ass from back here. Stay informed. Keep your friends close but your enemies closer. I confess to occasionally finding old boyfriends on the Internet to see how miserable they are these days, which might qualify as Internet stalking if I did it more often than I do. What can I say; I’m a Scorpio. In any event, I don’t say anything truly terrible; mostly I tell him he sounds like he’s 7 (which he does) or remind him it’s his bedtime now, or bug him again about what in the hell he intends to do about our fellow Americans who lost everything to Hurricane Maria and who have been living without power and clean water and basic infrastructure for more than a month now. (#PuertoRico) I may have also called him a baboon. I find all of it cathartic. I love living in a country where I have the right to free speech, the freedom to go on social media and say “fuck you” to the President of the United States; so very very much less do I love that I am inspired to do just that on almost a daily basis lately. I have feet, knee and hip problems that make it hard to march, so I use what I have. I troll. And I vote.  (#resist)

Mostly, though, I tweet relatively harmlessly from this blog, so that’s another way to follow 99 Monkeys if you want to.

On to my first entry in the Carrot Ranch #Twitterflash contest:

#TheEnd  #funwithhashtags

*Please note that you will never see me use the words “president” and “trump” adjacently, because I do not want to give the impression that I consider those two words to comprise a valid title. #NotMyPresident

Divorcée Dearest (Jane Doe Six Sentence Stories)

Torrey storms up and down the sun room, her friend’s amused sympathy fueling her pique.

“Oh…my…God, I can’t believe I still have to put up with this crap from him. I never should have divorced him. I’d have come out of this a lot better if I’d just killed him.”

“But then you’d have that whole murder trial thing to deal with, and it’s so hard to dress for those,” Leslie quips.

“Coulda just dropped him down an old mine shaft. No body, no crime.”

jennifer 1051
Photo: jennifer1051

Each week at Uncharted, Ivy hosts the Six Sentence Stories flash fiction linkup and blog hop. This week’s cue was “mine.” Fun sixes from other writers are at the link. Come join us!

Make a Wish (Jane Doe Flash Fiction and a Bit About Rocks)

Rough Writers and Friends November 17 flash fiction challenge: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that is told around a campfire.

Charli’s original post for this prompt, at the link above, took me back not only to my grandfather’s fire faeries, but also to the rocks.

Oh, the rocks! He and my grandmother were rockhounds extraordinaire, Grandpa serving for a time as president of Reno’s Gem and Mineral Society. I spent many happy childhood hours with them and pesky siblings and assorted cousins, rambling over the rocky high desert of rural Nevada, eyes peeled for scorpions and snakes as well as for geodes, petrified wood, agate, tiger’s eye, fire opal, rhyolite, obsidian, turquoise. We hunted quartz crystals on Crystal Peak; fossils of fish and snails in the pluvial lake bed of Lake Lahontan; copper nuggets in old tailings of an abandoned mining operation. We found arrowheads and scraping tools and more lovely rocks than anyone knew what to do with. My grandparents’ house and garage and yard overflowed with rocks just as they did with books, each one a treasure. It doesn’t get any better than books and rocks.

Photo: University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The varying levels of ancient Lake Lahontan’s shoreline are clearly seen.

We went to ghost towns as well, and Grandpa’s jewelry making started there with pieces of old china we found in the remains of web-festooned buildings of stone or rotted wood. He’d carefully cut cabochons with the china patterns intact and set them into stud earrings, dinner rings, and cameo-like necklaces. Inspired, he moved up, buying fancier equipment so he could cut the raw gemstones we found, polishing and shaping them for settings he made himself. My favorite of these Grandpa Originals is still an arm band he and I designed together, a silver snake twining up my arm to a turquoise head.

A mere handful of my Grandpa Originals. I’ve lost and broken countless more.

I liked the geodes best, seemingly dull plain-old-rocks that held treasure, or not, inside. We lugged them back home, if we were lucky enough to find them, and Grandpa would saw them open, all of us hovering around, waiting to see. “Get back,” he’d have to tell us over and over. “Rock chips fly. Stand back.” Sometimes they were more just plain-old-rock inside, but some geodes cradled miniature caves of crystal, pyrite, or chalcedony. My most treasured geode is one I wouldn’t let him cut open, that remains whole to this day, because of the mystery and potential it holds. Schrödinger’s geode.

Thanks for the memories, Grandpa–and Charli, too.

On to the flash:

Off to her left, a low bonfire, in the homeless camp near the stadium. Jane edges forward as her mind travels back.

Back, to childhood fires in stone rings and fireplaces. Her grandfather always let her set the first match. Sometimes he had magic powder she could cast, turning the flames azure, emerald, amethyst.

“Look with soft eyes, see without seeing,” he would say. “See them, in the flames? Fire faeries. See them dancing?” She on his lap, they’d watch together.

She edges closer now, afraid of these strangers but aching for fire faeries, to make a special wish.


This is a vignette from The Life and Times of Jane Doe. Fun flashes from other writers can be found at the Carrot Ranch link above.



See the Light (Six Sentence Stories)

Jane angles her battery lantern to try to catch the pages of  both her calculus book and her graph paper. She should have had this homework done earlier and she’s paying the price now. No time tomorrow, either, what with having to go to work at the Job From Hell, but hey–it’s a job.

Her fingers massage gently under her tired eyes. This would be a lot easier if she had an all-night library, or a good math brain, or electricity. Or, you know, even the legal right to live here, instead of hiding in the basement like the squatter she is.

TKarts/Pixabay CC

This is a vignette from The Life and Times of Jane Doe for the Six Sentence Stories blog hop. This week’s cue was “light.” Fun Sixes from other writers are here.

Busted! (Jane Doe Flash Fiction)

Carrot Ranch November 9 flash fiction challenge: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that pivots around an unexpected ending.

Jane tucks her hands inside her sleeves. Why is the math lab always freezing?

Dendrite, she writes, but draws a blank. She moves on. Axon. Vesicle. She writes the definitions neatly. The biopsychology final is tomorrow; she’s never felt stupider.

Alarm twinges as the math professor heads her way. Is she going to be reprimanded, maybe lose her lab credits, for working on not-math? The signs are posted everywhere. She shifts some calculus notes to cover the open textbook.

“Jane,” smiles Rosalie.  “Do you have a minute? A tutor position has come open. I thought you might be interested.”

Unsplash/Pixabay CC

This is a vignette from The Life and Times of Jane Doe. Fun flashes from other writers can be found at the Carrot Ranch link above.

Dodge the Draft (Jane Doe, Six Sentence Stories)

She should not have to be doing this.

It’s ridiculous, her attorney asking for a written statement about the money transferred from Richard’s account.They have computers and smart phones and tablets and WiFi in hospitals, too. He would have given her the money if he’d known he wasn’t going to recover. He’d have married her if he’d lived, and who inherited wouldn’t even be an issue now, salt in the wound of her grief and her shattered heart.

Just finish the draft, Becca tells herself, a good draft, and then you can have some wine.

wetwebworks, Flickr/CC

This is a vignette from The Life and Times of Jane Doe, for the Six Sentence Stories blog hop hosted by uncharted. This week’s cue was “draft.”

Fun Sixes from other writers can be found here.

Flying Monkeys (Jane Doe Flash Fiction)

Carrot Ranch November 2 flash fiction challenge: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using flying monkeys as a device or phrase:

Jane’s eyes are glued to the computer screen. The library is oddly quiet tonight.

She’s ostensibly working on her research paper. Type one sentence, check one fact, return to election live updates. Add a citation, couple more sentences, tab back to the updates. She’ll have to use all the battery her phone has, back at her abandoned house, to track this all night.

So far, so good, for the address she used for voter registration. Now what she needs is a President who will address her issues.

Back to the tracking screen. Don’t make me call my flying monkeys!

Illustration by W.W. Denslow, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (1900). Photo courtesy of University of Virginia Library. Public Domain.

This flash is a vignette from The Life and Times of Jane Doe. Fun flashes from other writers (who may be more original with the prompt than I was) can be found at the Carrot Ranch link above.


Life on the Fault Line

“Oh, hey, ” Michelle says, stopping and turning back to Jane. “We’re just going to grab lunch at that little French place, if you want to come with. “

Becca’s face twists, like a baby with gas, then smooths into a plastic smile.

Jane looks down at her desk top, her wilted PB&J, the free apple and Coke from the company kitchen, the escape of her book.

“No, but thanks just the same,” she says.

Michelle shrugs, “Suit yourself, ” and the two turn to go, but Jane hears, as she is no doubt meant to, Becca’s muttered “Not my fault.”


This is a vignette from The Life and Times of Jane Doe for the Six Sentence Stories blog hop. This week’s cue was “fault.”

More fun Sixes from other writers can be found here.