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!

Crystalline (Jane Doe Flash Fiction)

Jane lowers herself to the grass. No shade today; she wants illumination. From her backpack she pulls an amethyst cluster and a Tarot deck. Two of her least practical possessions, from a homeless viewpoint, but important to her.

The amethyst drinks in sunlight and casts crystalline violet needles over her face, her hands, the cards. Jane centers herself, focusing, then picks up the deck.

So many things to wonder about!  “What do I need to know about my financial prospects?” she decides on, then draws a card.

A shadow falls over her. “Tarot! Cool! How much for a reading?”

Max Pixel
Photo: Max Pixel

Each 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 using the word crystalline. Fun flashes from other writers are at the link. Join us! It’s fun!

Nice to Meet You (Jane Doe Flash Fiction)

The bus stops suddenly; Jane barely catches her book midair. She throws an annoyed glance the driver’s way as she rebraces her feet against the floor, gripping the strap harder.

The bus lurches again, sending her flying along with her book. Strong hands grab her, keep her from slamming headlong into the pole. Her head clears to the realization she is sitting in some man’s lap.

Her face burns. The man’s hand moves from her hip to the middle of her back, pats reassuringly. “No worries. This might be a sign I should buy you a cup of coffee.”

Free-Photos

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 about an unexpected landing. Fun flashes from other writers are at the link. Join us! It’s fun!

Beacon (Jane Doe Flash Fiction)

Jane edges up the tiny spiral staircase, bending to look through the mullioned windows. Gulls wheel, screeching; the sea murmurs. The top level is nothing like she’d imagined a lighthouse would be: Hardwood floors, foghorn mechanism, and arc lamp all gleam in angled sunlight. On tiptoe, she can see the noses of seals playing below.

It’s not Paris; it’s not a beach weekend; it’s not even a bus ticket home to her mother’s kitchen. But escape was a beacon; the sandwich in her bag, her student bus pass, the Internet list of area lighthouses, all gave it to her.

Sun Dog Alki Point LIghthouse
Sun dog at Alki Point Lighthouse, Seattle. Author photo.
Admiralty Head LIghthouse Whidbey Island
View from Admiralty Head Lighthouse, Whidbey Island, Washington. Author photo.
Tower View Mukilteo Lighthouse
View from the tower, Mukilteo Lighthouse, Washington. Author photo.

This vignette is from The Life and Times of Jane Doe. Each 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 about a beacon. Fun flashes from other writers are at the link. Join us! It’s fun!

Fray (Jane Doe Flash Fiction)

Jane sits in the reception area, her face a mask of pre-interview eagerness, mentally rehearsing everything she’s learned about this company.

If she crosses her legs, she can hide the crease in her slacks. Living out of a duffel doesn’t allow for ironing much. She eyes her blouse cuffs and wonders again if the frayed edges are obvious, whether rolling them would look too casual.

Even her good-luck almost-leather portfolio, cradling her resumé, looks frayed. Frayed, like her heart, her very spirit, after so many years of trying and failing. How many times can you try just once more?

makamukio pixabay
makamuki0

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 about something frayed. This vignette is from The Life and Times of Jane Doe. Follow the link for fun flashes from other writers.

The cue took me immediately to this Stones song, from Exile on Main Street. Seeing the photos, it’s hard to feel sorry for anyone exiled to the rock star lifestyle in the Nellcôte mansion on the French Riviera, but it can be hard to remember is that even those who appear to have it all are struggling with something. The lyrics remind me that no matter how frayed we get, there is always something to keep us going.

 

 

Livin’ the Dream (Jane Doe Flash Fiction)

Becca pushes out of the consignment shop, not daring to breathe lest it tip the tears poised to fall. A year ago she had bliss. Now she’s selling what left she has of Richard.

That happy life, that wonderful man, it must have been a dream. She would never have been so careless as to lose him if it was real. She would have felt its fragility, would have known not to let him leave the house that day.

But why would anyone wake from a dream like that one, if dream it was?

Same result. Gone, either way.

comfreak Pixabay dream
comfreak/Pixabay

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 involves a dream. This week’s flash is another vignette from The Life and Times of Jane Doe. Fun flashes from other writers are at the link. Join us!