Kaidan – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: Kaidan
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story about 100 candles.
Word count:  99 words

lit candle in foreground with blurred candles in the distance

Photo by Tim Umphreys on Unsplash

Twilight fell as storytellers crowded into the room. Ryu finished lighting one hundred candles. They gathered to repeat their favorite accounts of weird happenings, walking sprits, and vengeful ghosts.

They told tales of a man’s escaped from hell, monsters roaming misty woods, and bridges conveying the dead into eternity.

At each tale’s conclusion, the storyteller rose and extinguished the life of a single torch. The night progressed, the chamber grew darker, and shadows haunted foreboding corners.

Ryu earned the honor of the evening’s final story. With his last breath, he blew. His candle smoldered, and everything descended into darkness.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Dark Encounter – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: Dark Encounter
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story that answers the question, “What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you are in absolute danger?”
Word count:  99 words

selective focus photography of fox

Photo by Geran de Klerk on Unsplash

I stayed too late. Perils line the path home, and no guiding lights pierce the darkness to keep dangers at bay.

A rustling bush. I freeze. Frozen. Heightened awareness, my senses alerted to keep me alive.

Muscles tense, heart pounds, breath held, pupils dilate. My mouth fills with cotton balls.

Grasses sway without a breeze, an inky silhouette and steely eyes regard me. Somehow, they seem as surprised as I.

Flight or fight. Fight or Flight.

Sinews prepare for action as we stare, access, evaluate.

Golden orbs wink, I inhale and dip my chin.

Tonight, we go separate ways.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Grandfather’s Legacy – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: Grandfather’s Legacy
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story to nourish.
Word count:  99 words

evergreen bonsai tree growing on a rock

Photo by Elissar Haidar on Unsplash

We discovered the tenacious evergreen sprig on our daily walk. Grandfather pitied the seedling clinging to bare stone. A full-grown pine needed access to the earth’s nutrients, and the minuscule reserves in the stone’s clefts and crevices would stunt the tree if it lived at all.

I was only a child, but I vowed to help the sapling. On warm days, we carried water. We sheltered it from storms and patted dirt at its roots.

Today my grandson and I took a walk. I introduced him to the tough tree and smiled when he vowed to protect Grandfather’s legacy.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Optimal Velocity – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: Optimal Velocity
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story that features longboards.
Word count:  99 words

greyscale photography of woman using snowboard skis 1940

Photo by Austrian National Library on Unsplash

Miners extracted millions from Gold Mountain, but Peggy didn’t want money. She sought powder and speed. The day dawned bright and clear, as she and the longboarders climbed the 1,700-foot slope to the starting position.

Reaching the top, she strapped on her 12-foot long Norwegian skates. She had rubbed her secret dope into the hand-hewn, kiln-dried, vertical-grain Doug fir skis. The mixture of paraffin, tallow, tar, and hemlock oil guaranteed optimal velocity.

The contestants crouched, waiting. The starter hammered the giant saw blade. Peggy pushed against her pole and shot downhill.  Sixteen seconds later, she began her next ascent.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

A Matter of Perspective – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: A Matter of Perspective
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story about something crazy.
Word count:  99 words

Galaxy

Photo by Clarisse Meyer on Unsplash

Insanity is measured by degrees, strictly classified by definitions, interpretations, and clever disguises. A tight white coat choked the evaluator, stripping him of his humanity. If he would only release himself from his strait-laced leash, he would see. He scribbled unintelligible notes with invisible ink and labeled my actions a Hail Mary call for help.

Nobody listened to the warnings I screamed loud and clear. Sometimes a hero must first rescue herself, so that night, with the walls closing in, I climbed Signal Mountain and sent my desperate S.O.S.

The mother ship answered, and I escaped this helter-skelter world.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Operation: Recover Home – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: Operation: Recover Home
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story that declares, shield your face.
Word count:  99 words

person welding gray metal equipment

Photo by boostinjay on Unsplash

Heavy metal blared, drowning the crackling and buzzing, as sparks flew. The fiery shower bounced on the cement floor.

“Jason.”

Switching off the torch, he pushed his heavily gloved hand against his forehead, lifting the face shield. Except for the music in his helmet, the garage was silent. Hot wind blasted through the open door.

He was alone.

Desperation clutched his heart. Glancing at his watch he assessed his chances of completing the needed repairs. He couldn’t stay. He had to find the passage home.

“Shield your face. Return to me.”

“I’m coming.”

Or I’ll die trying, he vowed.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Feeding the Soul – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: Feeding the Soul
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story that includes pizza.
Word count:  99 words

person standing and making dough

Photo by Theme Photos on Unsplash

Saffron sunk the measuring cup into the container. The flour poofed, and billowing white clouds dusted the counter. The scent of yeast permeated the kitchen, as she worked the tacky, gloppy mess until it formed a loose ball.

The heel of her hand pushed into the dough and rolled it to its starting point. She kneaded the dough to a silky smoothness. After a quick rise, she created a rough circle and added simple toppings. The hot oven melted the mozzarella and browned the crust on her classic Margherita Pizza.

Accolades were nice, but baking was its own reward.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Rabbit Moon – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: Rabbit Moon
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story about a rabbit on the roof.
Word count:  99 words

white and brown rabbit on grey fence

Photo by Andreas Schantl on Unsplash

On full moon nights, Vivian lit candles, rained rice onto the altar cloth, and prayed to the moon goddess. She had never forsaken Vivian. Gossamer clouds slid like silk across the sky, obscuring the moon’s rabbit image. Tonight, her entire heart filled her plea, as she begged for her townsfolk’s safety.

Cinnabun whispered to his mistress. She nodded. Armed with life’s elixir, Cinnabon descended to earth. Hopping to every village rooftop, he spread the remedy to each family.

At dawn, Vivian spied Cinnabun perched atop her garden fence. He gave her a wink, before the goddess spirited him home.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

 

Mommy Time – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: Mommy Time
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story that includes tapping.
Word count:  99 words

white bathtub filled with water

Photo by Curology on Unsplash

Steam rose from Audrey’s 1950s “First Lady Pink” bathtub as she shut the door, and locked out her hectic 21st Century life. Past midnight, she was long overdue to relax, unwind, and unplug. She twisted the knobs, stopping the flow of water from the faucet and tested the temperature with her toe. Just right.

She sank into the tub and sensed stress leaching from her tense muscles. The second she closed her eyes, she heard a soft tapping. Wide-eyed, her body stiffened.

“Mommy, I can’t sleep,” a muffled voice called.

Audrey’s shoulder slumped, and she regretfully pulled the plug.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

 

Ode to Clarice – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: Ode to Clarice
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story about Clarice.
Word count:  99 words

grayscale photography of woman sitting on chair

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Her obituary shocked me. The journalist revealed a woman I had never known. Who was this glamorous enchantress, this caster of spells and literary legend?

I caught her scribbling in her notebook either early in the morning, or sometimes late at night. She would look at me, smile, unceremoniously fold her pen within the pages, and conceal her secrets. By day she was nothing more than a middle-class wife and mother.

I discovered what she had shared with the world, unbeknownst to me. Ghost-haunted words portrayed silent and silenced women. I wept for Clarice. And I wept for me.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer