Harvest (Jane Doe Flash Fiction)

Jane takes a deep breath, opens her professional email address.

This past week she has, as always, sent out a plethora of resumes and cover letters, responding to ads and notices from every source she can find. She has agonized over word choices, triple-checked spelling and grammar and attachments, made her resume as snazzy as she knows how, applied for jobs she’s sure she’d hate. Desperation trumps selectivity. Looking for a job is a full-time job. Hard work. Or a lottery?

17 new messages, the program tells her. Maybe, today, she will have garnered the magic one. The “yes.”

JulieG
Photo: JulieG

Every week at Carrot Ranch Literary Community, 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 about what it is to gather a harvest. You can use the phrase or show what what it means without using the words. Go where the prompt leads.”

Advertisements

Riptide (Jane Doe Flash Fiction)

“And after you lost your job, it just cascaded, the domino effect,” the writer prompted. Interviewing Jane, Woman in the Street, of all people! “Woman Living in the Street,” more like.

Jane nods, raises the cup of coffee in salute and thanks, and thinks. “Yeah, homelessness. One thing after another. No jobs back home, spent everything to move here for one. Lost that job. Spent my savings to live. Evicted.” Sip of coffee. “Job-hunting is my job now. It’s tougher when you’re older.”

She eyes the journalist thoughtfully. “But not dominoes. More like getting sucked under by a riptide.”

riptide ista-weyr dot wikidot, CC Attribution ShareAlike 3 point 0
Photo: ista-weyr.wikidot.com, CC Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

Each week at the Ranch (Carrot Ranch Literary Community, that is) Charli Mills hosts the Rough Writers and Friends flash fiction challenge. This week’s challenge: “In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a riptide. How can it be used to pull a story? It could be a stretch of turbulent water or a pull of another kind. Go where the prompt leads even if you find it unexpected.”

Busy (Jane Doe Flash Fiction)

The sun is warm on her face in the cooler air, light penetrating her closed eyelids, turning them incandescent orange. The smells of autumn: decaying leaves, rich earth. Her books make a surprisingly comfortable pillow, lying on the grass on the small quad. Bit of heaven.

A shadow falls across her. She cracks one eye open.

“Brittany,” she says flatly.

“Jane, that calculus is killing me. I need help.”

Jane closes her eye again and points behind her, somewhere. “Math lab’s that way.”

“You’re not doing anything.”

The eye again, a bullet. “Looks may deceive. I am very busy.”

Hans
Photo: Hans

Every week at the Ranch (Carrot Ranch Literary Community, that is), Charli Mills hosts a flash fiction challenge. This week’s prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a busy character.

The Best Speller (Jane Doe Flash Fiction)

august-31

Jane clicks on the save icon. She grimaces at the red squiggles, then smiles at the memory of the phone ringing. Dad instead of Mom, unusual in itself.

“How do you spell conscientious?” he asks.

She tells him. “What’s up?”

“Just writing a letter back home.”

“Mom has a dictionary there. She can spell.”

“Nah. You’re the best speller.”

She laughs. “I must be, if I’m worth long distance rates. Not that anyone can tell with your handwriting anyway.” She lowers her voice. “You don’t need an excuse to call. It’s okay to miss me. I miss you, too.”

Dad

Every week at the Carrot Ranch Literary Community, Charli Mills hosts a flash fiction challenge. This week’s prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes a speller.  Follow the link for fun flashes from other writers, and to answer the call to be a Rough Writer.

This flash, this memory of Jane’s, is actually my own memory. Write what you know, they say. My dad, a wonderful man, was not demonstrative in the slightest, in word or in kisses. Shy about it, maybe, but he had to come at that stuff sideways. After I left home as a young woman, headed off to the Bright Lights in the Big City, he would call out of the blue, to ask me how to spell a word or figure out something mathematical. It made me smile, the way he sneaked into calling just to talk, along with the unspoken compliment that he needed me for a simple division problem.

It’s those little ways we say we love each other, that we never stop missing.

A Walk in the Park (Jane Doe Flash Fiction)

Away from her musty tent, the park by the bay is crowded. Cool breeze off the water. Maybe the heat will break, and she’ll sleep tonight.

Jane lands an open spot under a tree and slides her backpack off to realize she’s holding a leash with only a collar at the end, tags jingling.

She swivels, looking around frantically. He’s off being friendly, but — maddening! She’s about to abandon her shady spot to search when she feels a cold nose on the back of her thigh.

Troubles smiles up at her.

“You escape artist, you,” she scolds, hugging him.

Kamracik
Photo: Kamracik

Each week at the Ranch (the Carrot Ranch Literary Community, that is), Charli Mills hosts the Rough Writers and Friends flash fiction challenge. This week’s prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write about an escape artist. Fun flashes from other writers are at the link. Come join us!

Farmer’s Market (Jane Doe Flash Fiction)

Crowds jostle, fish tossers call, children beg for ice cream, candy, a Starbucks. Pike Place Market bustles and hums, smelling of flowers, fish, peaches, damp. Gulls scream and music threads through it all. Jane wanders the stalls, assimilated.

Two dollars gets her an iced bottle of tea and a basket of blackberries. With no way to store them, she’ll have to eat them all. Back out on the cobblestones she finds a seat on the curb, in the sun, near the busker with the violin, finds another dollar for his case.

In the words of the Bangles – Sunday, Fun Day.

bull1961
Photo: bull1961

Each week at the Carrot Ranch Literary Community, lead buckaroo Charli Mills hosts the Rough Writers and Friends flash fiction challenge. This week’s prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), include music and berries. (This week’s challenge might have been too easy!) Flashes from other writers are at the link. Come join us! It’s fun!

Quiet Sunday Morning

It powers in with a rush and a roar, surrounding the building in seconds. Becca staggers to her feet, careens from room to room, arms wrapped around her head. The entire apartment throbs. War. It can only be war. China? North Korea? Plenty of choices these days.

Finally the thwapping fades.

Panic says it’s war; logic says just another damned tourist helicopter. Her single crystal wineglass, the one she hid from Richard’s sister to ruin the bar set, is the casualty this time. Vibrated itself right off the counter. Becca swigs from the bottle until her heart finally slows.

Free-Photos Helicopter
Free-Photos

Every week at the Ranch, Charli hosts the Rough Writers and Friends flash fiction challenge. This week’s prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), use sound to create a story. Fun flashes from other writers are at the link. Join us! It’s fun!