Flash in the Pan (Short Fiction)

“Dragon Rock” Part 1

“Dude, we are not asking the dragon for directions.” Said Zepher as he handed his flying partner Jiri a tool.

Zepher and Jiri, members of the Air Guard on their home planet Kirie had found themselves stranded on an island in one of the planet’s oceans when their patrol flight vehicle experienced a malfunction forcing them to land on Dragon Rock island.

“But we’re here and don’t know the island.” Jiri responded. He fiddled with the engine of their patrol craft for a moment, hoping to re-start it.

“Really?” Zepher responded sarcastically.

“And this thing is shot anyway….. And why not?”

This elicited a quizzical look from Zepher.

“Because it’s crazy. And it’s a dragon- it might eat us or something. And who knows what it’ll do to us!?”

Jiri closed the door to the engine compartment and began to secure the vehicle. He gestured to Zepher to get their things from inside. Despite the sunny, cloudless day, it was still chilly. Winter was only two weeks away and nightfall would bring a dangerous cold.

“Ok, first of all, I don’t think he eats Kirians. I heard he eats livestock and other animals. And secondly, the weird stories about him could just be rumors.”

“Ok, what if it isn’t the only dragon here!? You’ve heard the rumors!”

“Yes, but they’re just that- rumors. It’s probably fine.”

“I don’t want to find out.”

Zepher pulled their computer tablets, communicators and emergency survival packs from the flight  cockpit.

“Well, it doesn’t matter, anyway” Jiri finally said. “We just need directions.”

“We can figure our own way.”

“We don’t know this island!”

”Yeah, that’s because no Kirians come here cause there’s a crazy ass dragon living on it.” Zepher exclaimed.

“Hence, we need directions. Pull out the pad, we’ll try the map.” Jiri responded calmly.

Zepher sighed and pulled a small tablet from his backpack.  It annoyed Zepher that Jiri was so calm. He handed it to his partner.  Zepher proceeded to complain as Jiri poked the tablet, trying to bring up a map. The island had been a military post for nearly a hundred years before dragons forced the Kirians to abandon it forty years earlier. Now, there was one famous-or infamous if you believed the rumors- dragon occupying the island.

But traces of Kirian settlement were still left. Some of the original buildings remained standing and functional and could provide shelter for the night. Jiri was looking for the one that sat on far eastern coast of the island. Its electrical signal was still active, meaning the equipment inside might still be able to send a distress call or message.

“We’re risking our lives just being here.”

“You’re being such a child, you know that? It’s gonna be fine.” Jiri finally said.

“There is potential for my life to be threatened, so that means my fear- and the pansy ass behavior that comes with it is justified.”

Jiri chuckled and shook his head.

“I’m not getting a good connection to the internet system, it’s only loading the map for the southwest corner of the island. Look, we don’t have much left of our provisions. I really don’t want to be out here overnight, it’s gonna get really cold.”

Zepher sighed in defeat. He couldn’t argue with that.

“Can we at least be cautious?” Zepher requested.

“Of course. We’ll keep a safe distance.” Jiri yielded.

Zepher grudgingly agreed and the two began walking.

The island was dominated by large, dark rocks. Huge, beautiful trees and vegetation sprouted up in the small plots of soil nestled in between the rocks.  About an hour later, Jiri and Zepher were climbing a hill dotted with rocks when Jiri spotted the dragon about a hundred yards ahead perched on a large round rock looking out towards the ocean.

“ There he is.” Jiri whispered to Zepher.  “You ready?”.

Zepher wasn’t ready, and was hanging behind his partner. When he didn’t respond. Jiri turned back to him.

“It’ll be fine, man, don’t worry.”

Jiri began moving forward towards the creature, gesturing for Zepher to follow.

“I wish I could believe you, man.” Zepher said in a hushed whisper as the two men climbed the rocky hill. As they got closer the animal looked bigger and bigger. With only about thirty yards between them and the creature, he looked like a hulking mass of muscle.

“Shit! He’s massive!” Exclaimed Zepher.

“Shhh! Be nice!” Jiri whispered to Zepher before approaching the dragon.  “Hello!” He called out.

*****************************************************

THIS IS THE END OF PART 1 OF THE STORY. PLEASE CHECK BACK ON JANUARY 25TH WHEN I POST PART TWO!

 

PHOTO: Pixabay/elukac

Flash in the Pan (Short Fiction)

Micro Fiction Stories

“Fool Yourself”

*He couldn’t hide it from anyone- except himself. Person after person left his life, never to return. Friends, girlfriends, co-workers, a sibling. With each lost relationship, the confusion grew stronger and stronger. ‘Why were they leaving’, he thought? The only person who stuck around was his mother- but that relationship was strained. She tried telling him he was difficult, but he never listened. ‘Just haters’, he thought. But he couldn’t keep people in his life for long. He began to think maybe something was wrong. But would he ever see it? Would he ever change?

 

“Three-peat”

*She built a life with a husband in Charlotte. Then she fell in love with another man. So she married him and had two husbands. A few years later, in Greensboro, she had added a third man to the mix. Three cities, three lives, three husbands. The men didn’t know about each other- at least she didn’t think they did. She worked hard to keep each life a secret. She wove an ever growing web of lies to juggle it all. She constantly feared the reaction of her husbands; she knew that if her secret were exposed, she’d lose all three.  Then the day came when they told her they knew…….They’d known for awhile; but to her surprise, they weren’t mad.

 

 “Like Father Like Son”

*Long ago, when Ryan was young his father Caleb had suffered from a horrible disease. Caleb suffered for years, unable to care for himself, slowly disintegrating, and going towards death step by step. Ryan and his family rallied around his father to care for him. Ryan’s greatest fear had always been dying the same way. He couldn’t shake the fear; it was like a shadow. Then one day he was diagnosed with the same thing.  Only he had no family to take care of him.

 

Stray Thoughts

Journal Your Way to Better Stories!

Do you dream of being a published writer? Do you want to improve the writing you do, or come up with better ideas for stories? Then journaling can help you get there! A lot of people keep journals during their life; recording their thoughts, feelings and the events of their lives in blank books or notebooks. Even famous authors have engaged in the practice and have gotten benefits from it.

I myself am very familiar with journaling, in the traditional method and creative styles. I’ve kept yearly journals since I was about eight or nine years old and now teach creative journaling classes to kids and adults. I love teaching it and helping people discover its benefits. It’s good for everyone, especially writers and aspiring writers! In the article “Celebrated Writers on the Benefits of keeping a Diary” by Maria Popova, famous author Virginia Woolfe felt strongly about it and “speaks to the value of journaling in granting us unfiltered access to the rough gems of our own minds, ordinarily dismissed by the self-censorship of “formal” writing.” She goes on to quote Woolf as saying, “The habit of writing thus for my own eye only is good practice. It loosens the ligaments. Never mind the misses and the stumbles.”

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Other authors who kept journals and recommended it for those also hoping to break into the field include  Anais Nin, W.H. Auden, David Sedaris, Henry David Thoreau, Madeline L’Engle and many others. The consensus among these writers is that they found journaling to be of huge benefit not only to themselves, but to their writing as well. They all agree that journaling was a key aspect of successful writing.

Richard  Nordquist quotes writer and writing instructor Pat Schneider on keeping a journal in his article “The Value of Keeping a Diary, Journal, or Writers Notebook.” on website Thought.Co:  “Your journal can be a diary of events, but it can also be your mulch, your seed bag, the womb of your art. It can be a safe place for writing first-draft material, for experimenting, for gathering and keeping impressions and information for future work.”

This is good advice. Your journal is a place for development, for you as an individual and for your work. For me, journaling helps me keep my powers of observation sharp and my creativity flowing, which is critical in any kind of writing. The writing helps me maintain my skills, and the creative techniques help me develop my imaginative thought process, improving the quality of writing I do and the ideas I use when doing it. It’s also great for working through writers block. When I struggle to find a good way to word my blog posts, articles or creative pieces, writing in my journal really helps get my mind working and helps me get out of the rut that is writers block. And then there are the words that Madeline L’Engle offered to aspirering writers: “If you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you.” (From website Bustle) So pull out your journal and get writing! You never know, it may help you become the world’s next famous author!

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CITATIONS:

“Celebrated Writers on the Creative Benefits of Keeping a Diary” By: Maria Popova

From Web site ‘Brain Pickings’

https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/09/04/famous-writers-on-keeping-a-diary/

“10 Famous Writers on Keeping a Journal” By: Jessica Ferri

From web site: ‘Early Bird Books’

https://earlybirdbooks.com/famous-writers-on-keeping-a-journal/

“The Value of Keeping a Diary, Journal, or Writers Notebook.” By: Richard Nordquist

From website ‘Thought.Co’

https://www.thoughtco.com/value-of-keeping-a-diary-or-journal-1689243

“14 Madeline L’Engle Quotes That Will Inspire You To Write Your Next Novel” By:Alex Weiss

From website ‘Bustle’

https://www.bustle.com/articles/176379-14-madeleine-lengle-quotes-that-will-inspire-you-to-write-your-next-novel

 

PHOTOS:

Main Photo: Pixabay/Darius Sankowski

Second Photo: Pixabay/Bru-nO

Last Photo: Pixabay/Free-Photos

Flash in the Pan (Short Fiction)

Flash in the Pan (Short Fiction) Vol. 2 Three Flash Fiction Stories

STORY 1:  “FOLLOWING AGAIN”

The morning was still dark, but she was awake and loading her bags into her car. She looked sadly on the home she would never see again. The porch lights illuminated the crisp lines of the big beautiful house she had called home for the last three years-the longest she’d lived anywhere. It broke her heart, but she had to get out of there before they came for her. They were following her again and would be along shortly.

STORY 2:  “13 MILES DOWN THE ROAD”

He was thirteen years younger, and thirteen long years behind her. She wished she had realized it before she married him. At least he was still happy.

STORY 3:  “ILLEGAL THINGS”

The worst place to go and mess up your teeth was when you were out of town.  Three teeth were loose in Tom’s gums, and pain was shooting through his mouth. Luckily he’d found a dentist in town willing to fix it for him. He sat in an exam chair, cotton shoved up his mouth to stop the bleeding and the dentists’ hand probing his teeth. The dentist called an assistant in from another room. A woman entered and handed the dentist some tools. She looked so familiar, thought Tom, but he just couldn’t place her. She looked uncomfortable as Tom stared at her. Finally it hit him: he’d seen her on America’s Most Wanted- she was a fugitive! His eyes widened in terror. The assistant and dentist exchanged concerned glances. Then the dentist said “Tom, I’m afraid I’m going to have to put you under to fix these teeth.” Tom squirmed and tried to yell for help, but the sedation gas mask was on his face before he could get a word out.

 

Hope you enjoyed the flash fiction! Which one is your favorite?

Photo: Pixabay/ LeoNeo Boy  305 Images

 

Flash in the Pan (Short Fiction)

Flash in the Pan (Short Fiction) Vol. 1

PATH

Narrow brown path, flanking walls of green blades, her scent soliciting tiny insects. The sounds of happily chirping birds had stopped half a mile ago.  The route was narrowing; she wasn’t sure it where it was going anymore. Long, leafy stems kept slapping her face. An uncomfortable silence was advancing like the overgrown foliage. There was a tightening in her chest. It was time to turn around, she realized. But before she could, it stopped her in her tracks. Ten yards away, its eyes locked on her. Half as big as she was, it was a torpedo of muscle, covered in fur. She stepped back slowly. It watched her. She took another step, and then another.  As she took a fourth step back, it cocked it’s head, looking at her curiously. Without warning, the torpedo shot at her. She turned to run. A blur of green and brown was all she saw. Heavy panting and paws on the ground behind her filled her ears. Fear began to overwhelm her as she tried to flee. She could hear it getting closer. Bright light shone from around a corner, the dark path opening. The panting behind her got heavier, the animal getting closer. It would catch her if she wasn’t fast enough. But light was brightening the end of the path.

 

Prose

Art Talks Back

This scene is based on three famous pieces of art: ‘The Mona Lisa’ by Leonardo Da Vinci, ‘Scream’ by Edvard Munch, and ‘David’ by Michelangelo.

mona-lisa-67506_1920  statue-of-david-3889140_1920 The Scream 1893 - Edvard Munch Paintings

 

“How many people do you think we’ll see tonight?” Edvard asked his friends.

“Oh, I dunno.” Mona responded. “Probably a ton-as usual.” She replied nonchalantly. She was accustomed to people looking at her.

“I think we’ll see a lot tonight. I’ll bet it’ll be a long night.” Edvard replied

“Hmmm, yeah.” Mona responded casually. She didn’t seem to be too interested in the people who’d be coming in to the museum to see them tonight. With her dark hair and beguiling smile, it was impossible not to be intrigued by her. Everyone just loved to stare at her and guess about who she was and why she smiled the way she did.  She hated this.

“How many you estimate?” Edvard went on.

“Oh, I don’t know.”

“Seriously. Pick a number.”

“Yeah, I’m bored.”

“Ok, I’ll ask David. Hey David!” Edvard called to the naked man statue across the room. David had overheard the conversation and was ready to guess.

“I’ll go with 300.” David said. David, unlike Mona didn’t mind all of the visitors and the stares. He hadn’t quite tired of people looking at him and his toned, muscular body. Though he enjoyed the attention, sometimes he got a bit uncomfortable with being naked and objectified.

“That all?” Edvard replied, jovially challenging his friend.” I think that’s too low.”

“Ok, what’s your guess?”

“I think we’ll see 400. I mean, it’s Saturday, we always get more people on the weekend.”

David couldn’t refute this. He turned to Mona to get her back in the conversation and noticed her apathetic expression.

“Mona, you feel alright?” He asked, noticing the expression on his friends’ face.

“Oh, I’m just bored.” She sighed. “It’s the same thing every time. People just come in and look at us all day. Everyone wants to see me and stands there staring at me trying to figure out why I look this way. I’m just so tired of it. It’s like we’re art or something.”

“Ummm, we are art.” David replied.

“No, that’s not what I mean. We’re more than that.” She said. “I’m just tired of being ART. I want to be Mona, not Mona Lisa. I’m tired of the same old thing, the same old looks from people.”

“Maybe you should make a different face tonight and freak them out.” Edvard chuckled. He noticed Mona smile a bit. But she still seemed bored.

“What do you want to do?” Edvard asked gently. She pondered a few moments.

“I should talk to them or something.” She finally suggested, only half kidding. “I just hate being looked at all day.” She sighed.

“At least you’re dressed.” Lamented David.

“Yeah, I guess that’s true.” Mona laughed. “Your ass is hanging out!”

“That’s not the only thing that’s hanging out!” David quipped.

“I can’t imagine people walking by looking at my crotch.” Edvard laughed.

“And your crack!” Mona cackled.

“Are you into my butt, Mona?” David teased.

Mona surveyed David’s rear end a little closer. “Well, it is pretty tight.”

“Yeah, I’m kind of clenching.”

“Really didn’t need to know that!” Edvard said cringing. He paused. “Wait, are you saying it’d be flabby if you weren’t clenching?” With this comment Mona and Edvard curiously stared at David’s back side as if they were waiting for it suddenly turn into a pancake.

“Nah, not flabby, just not as tight. It looks better like this.”

His friends took one more look at his rear.

“Wonder what he’d look like with a normal body?” Edvard asked Mona.

“Yeah, no one would look at that.” She replied.

“There’s such pressure!” David exclaimed. “I can’t even be a normal man! I have to be ripped!” He exclaimed as he threw up his arms in frustration. “Not that I mind being ripped, but still! I couldn’t be flabby for one minuet if I wanted to be. Edvard, you’re so lucky! You don’t need to worry about looking good!”

“Hey! I don’t look that bad.”

“No, I mean you’re all swirly; being ripped doesn’t matter when you’re swirly.” David laughed.

“And no one’s really concerned with a six pack and tight ass when you’re screaming, either.” Mona added.

“True.” Edvard conceded.

“And no worries about clenching.” Mona laughed.

“Ok, can we please stop talking about my rear end?” David chuckled. “At least people are interested in something other than your body, Eddie.”

This was very true. David was just the naked man with the great body and Mona was just the pretty lady with the beguiling expression. When people looked at Edvard with his fearful look and distorted body they had to think about who he was and why he was that way. But this was mostly because there wasn’t much of a body to look at. He was really swirly. Oh, and screaming. He was screaming, too.

“Well, who wouldn’t be interested in a psychedelic, screaming man?” He replied with sarcastic humor.

The friends laughed congenially.

They went on chatting and laughing for several minutes before Edvard perked up a bit and began looking towards the glass doors of the gallery. He thought he had heard some of the curators and staffers talking nearby. As David and Mona exchanged friendly jabs, Edvard kept one ear on them and another on the hallway outside the gallery. It was nearing opening time and the staffers would be into the gallery one last time to ensure that everything was ready.

Edvard was only half listening to his friends at this point. Only bits and pieces of what Mona and David were saying registered.

“You have no idea what my exercise regimen is like. It’s really complicated and intense. I can’t build up too much muscle or I get bulky, but I still need to be strong so I have to-“

“You’re such a jock, David.” Mona laughed, interrupting him.

David smiled and was about to respond when Edvard shushed them.

“I hear someone!” He whispered urgently. This was the signal to return to their normal states and remain silent. A few seconds later two museum staffers entered the room to make a final look over before opening for the day. They passed by all of the works of art, checking to ensure each was secured and clean. When they looked at Mona, David and Edvard, all they saw were still works of art. After a few minuets of checking the two workers left to open the building.

“Have a good night, guys!” David whispered to his friends.

“You too!” Mona and Edvard responded.

All three were silent for the rest of the day. Hundreds of visitors came in and out, gazing at the three friends and all the other art work around them. They all chatted with their companions about Mona’s facial expression, what Edvard represented and, well, poor David was objectified all day long. Everyone kept looking at his rear end.

 

Photo of Art Gallery:  Pixabay/Monica Volpin

Photos of Art:  Pixabay (Mona Lisa & David) and Painting Mania (For The Scream)