A Skeptical View – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: A Skeptical View
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story using storm windows.
Word count:  99 words

cloud formation

Photo by Chris Bair on Unsplash

I know it exists to protect me, that invisible, visible layer. Glass over glass, engineered to exacting standards, safeguards designed to stand between me and… I pause. From what does it save me? Certain death? Or the thrill of living on the edge?

Engineers have created car airbags, helmets for a bicycle ride, handrails, guardrails, safety instructions, protective eyewear, ear protection, and countless other safety buffers. I experience my life as a boy in a bubble. Germ-free. Sterile.

I long to defy their rules, stretch past the double pane, storm window, touch the beautiful chaos and dare to live.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The Last Laugh – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: The Last Laugh
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story that includes Water Walkers.
Word count:  99 words

They laughed and said I was off my rocker.

I smiled, content to bide my time. I would win the bet, earn the last laugh and gain some cold, hard cash. Summer turned to fall, and autumn succumbed to frigid winter. I set the date to prove them wrong.

“It’s the coldest day in a century,” they complained. I remained steadfast.

The polar vortex froze Lake Michigan’s shoreline, her beaches transformed from a liquid to a solid, firm enough to hold my weight. Warm vapor rose from her waves, and for a moment, I dared to walk on water.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Remembering My Forgotten Man – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: Remembering My Forgotten Man
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story about someone unremembered.
Word count:  99 words

old photos in brown wooden chestPhoto by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

The best pieces were auctioned first. The hammer fell, the winning bidders paid, and scurried home clutching their new, old treasures. I stayed to the bitter end, bidding on lots no one else wanted. My prizes cost me a dollar, and the auctioneer tossed in other unsold items.

At home, I uncovered an antique trove. Pictures of a long-forgotten gentleman. My finger outlined his sepia-toned face, and I wondered about his life. Was he a good man? A brute? A devoted son? A cruel father? Whatever happened, the photos chronicled his lost legacy, unremembered, in my bargain auction finds.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

https://ko-fi.com/johawkthewriter#

Choosing to Decide – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: Choosing to Decide
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story about an interlude.
Word count:  99 words

Photo by Ravi Roshan on Unsplash

Annora teetered, swaying back and forth, she walked a thin line. She heeded the lessons, listened to the morality tales, and promised to be a good girl.  Yet, she questioned their version of the golden rule.

What once was black or white, now wore shades of gray that obscured tender truths and polished vicious lies. Distorted glass magnified the glaring light, while trapped in shadows, Annora couldn’t tell if she was the spider or the fly.

Praise or disdain, honored or disgraced, right from wrong, good versus bad, her fate lay in her choice. Annora let her heart decide.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

https://ko-fi.com/johawkthewriter#

The Greatest Gift – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: The Greatest Gift
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story that includes the greatest gift.
Word count:  99 words

As the day approaches, my anticipation increases. Doubt wrings conviction from my heart while my head constructs lists designed to weigh each decision’s consequences.

My worry consumes me, and my mother sends me to visit the shrine. The Omikuji will predict my future, she says.

Thousands of paper strips tied to pine rods dominate the temple grounds. I fear the multitude of curses and bad fortunes others have tried to leave behind. Still, I make my donation and follow ancient customs. Trembling hands clutch the paper. I read my destiny and press the god’s great blessing into my soul.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

https://ko-fi.com/johawkthewriter#

Gritty Gray Hope – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: Gritty Gray Hope
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story that shows true grit.
Word count:  99 words

Walking the city streets, I choke on the summer heat as it boils the simmering stench.  Gray skies descend, reflecting the hell rising all around me. Everything lays dead or dying, and the devils threaten to consume the little I have left. This is my creation.

Time killed the last honest man. There is no way to wash away the rain. My black hole life ensures I cannot move past this singularity.

A warm wind blows, prying the cold, damp dread from my heart. I grit my teeth, grasp a sliver of hope and dare to reinvent my future.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

https://ko-fi.com/johawkthewriter#

Can’t Take It with You – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: Can’t Take It with You
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story about the safebreaker’s daughter.
Word count:  99 words

His body lay dead and buried in the ground before Nydia met the man she had lived with for thirty-two years. He arranged his funeral, she signed the papers, and the undertaker handed her a yellow envelope bearing her carefully printed name.

An address and a key revealed a storage locker lined with shelves stuffed with labeled boxes. Thousands of them greeted her.

She opened the note with trembling hands:

Dearest Nydia,
I lied. My late nights were never at bars. I was a safecracker. The contents are here, chronicled, logged and stored. Consider them your inheritance.
Love,
Dad

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

https://ko-fi.com/johawkthewriter#

Holding On – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: Holding On
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story about old-world charm.
Word count:  99 words

The sand flew right out the window. It left me frozen, asleep for a thousand years. The one thing I craved, I never found. Solid ground. I slipped, descending the slope, my fate was sealed.

Sentenced, I watch your world from total darkness. Longing for sweet sun to kiss my face, I promise to try harder, even if it never matters. My once dark doors are open wide, my soul laid bare. Will you be there? Will you reach for my hand? Judge me, forgive me, save me?

Please, answer my prayers for the charms of my old world.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

https://ko-fi.com/johawkthewriter#

Red Light Rescue – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: Red Light Rescue
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story that includes a sweet jam.
Word count:  99 words

sea of red lights in New York

Photo by Jan K on Unsplash

I volunteered, although it was the last thing I wanted to do.

She waited outside her brownstone, with her carryon balanced atop her suitcase. I double-parked while the cabbie honked, cursing me, as he squeezed his way past.

“You’re late,” she said, and I stuffed the luggage in the trunk.

“You said six, it’s a quarter to.”

She ignored me and got in the car.

Rush hour in New York, made worse by some hidden force, gave me an opportunity. My one last chance.

The traffic jam was sweet, providing the salve we needed to mend our strained relationship.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Changing the Story – Flash Fiction Challenge

Title: Changing the Story
Source:  Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Write a story about a poisoned apple.
Word count:  99 words

I lift my eyes to behold the fairy tale wrapped in a make-believe land. I am defenseless, cold, and empty inside. Laying on my deathbed, the heroes turn away, and the wise men tremble. They are lost on the path leading nowhere.

But my story is not over. I refuse to bow. Rocks cannot break my glasshouse. Searching deep inside, I find the spark, light the fire, prove I am still alive.  Flames reveal the true ending.

I reject the poison apple you fed me, and it becomes the instrument of your death. My revenge is my life, well-lived.

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Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer