The New Morning Ritual — Flash Fiction

teacup filled with liquid placed on saucer

Photo by Jen P. on Unsplash

I never thought I would be here, really living the dream. Released from Corporate America’s draining demands, I no longer wake before the crack of a sparrow’s fart, to fight rush hour traffic, to log long stressful hours.

My day begins with a gentle stretch, a hot cup of coffee, and a healthy dose of gratitude. Characters whisper in my ear, my desk beckons, and my muse smiles as I set to work. Ephemeral emotions coalesce, transformed into epic tales. My desire to create links me to the past and ties me to the future, as I write about today.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Family Tradition – Weekend Writing Prompt

Title: Family Tradition
Source:  Weekend Writing Prompt # 150 – Continuity
Objective: Write a poem or piece of prose in exactly 35 words

green grass under white sky at daytime

Photo by Quaid Lagan on Unsplash

Past generations whisper reassurances. Embroiled in uncertainty, consumed by today, legacy bolsters my future.

The continuity comforts me through trials and tribulations.  Loved ones walked this land, they struggled, persevered, survived.

I am never alone.

__________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

First Draft – Friday Fictioneers

Title: First Draft
Source:  Friday Fictioneers sponsored by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple
Word count: 100 words

PHOTO PROMPT © Jeff Arnold

The retreat center advertised a magical, bucolic setting guaranteed to unplug the writer from an overconnected world.  For hours, Catherine stared at the typewriter, her fingers mindlessly caressing the black keys. She sighed, rising, she stepped outside to tread the marshy moor.

The door clicked shut, and the stapler clacked his jaws.

“Is it good?”

Paper wiggled from under paperweights, wedged themselves into the roller, while the typewriter’s keys pounded words into existence.

“Any plot issues?” the hole punch asked as she perused the first paragraphs.

The ends of the space bar curled into a smile.

“It’s a best seller.”

________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Too Hot – 3 Line Tales

From Sonya’s 3LineTales at Only100Words.
You can find the original prompt here. Thank you, Sonya.

three line tales, week 216: two zebras on the plains

photo by Geran de Klerk via Unsplash

“Zizzi, do these stripes make my butt look big?”

He trod quietly next to Zelda, contemplating a diplomatic answer to what must be a trick question.

“Zelda, if we keep, walking by the time we get home, your butt will be hotter than I can handle.”

______________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Animal Instinct – Dee | Grammy’s Grid Writing Prompt

Title: Animal Instinct
Source:  Dee | Grammy’s Grid Writing Prompt
Word count: 75 words

tiger photograph

Photo by Prashant Saini on Unsplash

Hunger burns the pit of my stomach. My focus narrows and all I see is you. Imagination fuels my senses. I smell the sweat of your body and taste sweet flesh with my lips. My muscles twitch and yet I wait.

I know the moment you see me, our eyes lock in undeniable attraction.

You come willingly, eagerly, sinking your claws deep into my heart before you leave.

And I wonder, “Who is the animal?”

________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

The Paradox of Free Will – Friday Fictioneers

Title: The Paradox of Free Will
Source:  Friday Fictioneers sponsored by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple
Word count: 100 words

PHOTO PROMPT © Ulrika Undén

Tabbris allowed his gaze to follow the escalator’s path upward towards the light. In the eerie stillness, tinny speakers pumped strains of show tunes that echoed in the space like tennis balls bouncing off granite canyon walls. He hesitated.

A finger snap cut through the haze, reality thundered into focus and urged him to act. Tabbris stepped aside, letting the automatic stairs continue without him. He ran his hand over his eyes and considered his options. Was everything pre-ordained, a foregone conclusion, or could he conjure freedom? Did he possess power?

Long moments passed before Tabbris turned and walked away.

________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Teatime – 100 Word Writing Dare

Title: Teatime
Source:  100-Word Writing Dare
Prompt: (5 random words): Strong, Circle, Party, Four, Lid
Word count:  100 words

group of people holding mugs

Photo by Nani Williams on Unsplash

Demir ordered four Caykur Rize teas from the gritty street vendor. Ender arrived as the man poured strong sludge the color of muddy streets into paper cups. Ender waved away the proffered plastic lids, passing two steaming cups to Demir while he grabbed the remaining two.

They didn’t wait long for Kadir and Cemil to join their party, completing their circle of trust. They shared bonds forged in a different world. None of them remembered when they met, how they became friends or any day they had failed to meet, and sip the tea that stopped the hands of time.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

If She Only Knew – 100-Word Writing Dare

Title: If She Only Knew
Source:  100-Word Writing Dare
Prompt: …if she only knew…
Word count:  100 words

scenery of ocean

Photo by Barth Bailey on Unsplash

I am repeatedly drawn to this bleak monument that commemorates my deepest regret and replays a scene I can never fix.

They say no one is to blame, tell me to live and learn.

Yet, I can still touch the whimpering monster, taste his evil spark and the heartfelt rage that extinguished my future. Hatred lived in those eyes, fueled by an all-consuming love.

Painful words thrown like brutal punches left me with smoldering embers of bittersweet anguish.

Selfishly, I demolished every bridge with my clumsy attempt to declare my desire. A single wish remains.

If she only knew.

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Chalk Outline

The truth is lost in time. Erased by centuries of chest-pounding men. What power could a mere teenage girl lacking noble birth, hold over her betters? I’m here to tell you, women have their ways.

Fluent in Latin, an educated mind grasps diplomatic intricacies and gathers skillful, wealthy, and intellectual people into a formidable defensive circle. Ambitious men heed the girl’s counsel and indulge her whims. Ludovico the lover, patron of Milan provides influence and fortune. Rare books, animated discussions, beautiful music, and a sitting with the court painter are the order of the day. A compliment here, a good word there, helps ensure the rising star of a talented artist.

Tokens and favors are currency more valuable than gold. Love is not an emotion to consider when status, livelihood, and beneficial concords are the prize. Diplomacy dictates marriage alliances, and it sweeps aside feelings. But an acknowledged son forges deep bonds with his father and protocol insists on a mother’s security. A gift of Carmagnola Palace serves as a just reward and an advantageous wedding seal the deal.

My life would have been forgotten except for the brilliant painter and a young woman’s captured image as she tried to keep her one true love. The work was both cursed and charmed. Recused, hidden, found, exiled, stolen, almost destroyed, a heavy army boot left its insult upon my face. Its survival is a miracle

Safe today, the painter’s reputation dances with my legacy. For now, my story endures.

 

*** The chalk image is a representation of Lady with an Ermine – Cecilia Gallerani.  A painting by Leonardo da Vinci ***

_________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer

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

Dragon Deal

Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

Once upon a time, Princess Lola watched as her father drew the lottery name for the annual sacrifice. The name was hers.

Her family cried, but Lola had a plan.

Late at night, she made her way to the Dragon’s Den.

Smoke billowed from the cave.

“You’re early,” the dragon’s voice echoed through the cave.

“I have a deal for you. It’s just between us,” Lola said.

“I have a deal with your father,” the dragon countered.

“Your deal is for girls. Wouldn’t you like a juicy boy?”

“You are scrawny.” The smoke heaved and billowed as the dragon chuckled.

“I’ll bring a boy if you’ll spare my life.”

“Are boys tasty?”

Lola promised the dragon a boy and several hours later she returned.

“Where are we going?” the chubby boy asked as he clung to Lola’s hand.

“It’s not much further,” Lola said pulling him along behind her.

“Is this the Dragon’s Den?” the boy asked as they reached the end of the trail.

“Dragon,” Lola called.

The dragon’s claw grabbed the boy, and he was gone.

“Remember our deal, Dragon,” Lola called over her shoulder. Not waiting for the dragon’s answer, she hurried home.

The next day the festival led Lola along the same path to the Dragon’s Den.

Like the previous night, the dragon’s claw reached from its den, this time the dragon grabbed Lola.

“Hey, we had a deal,” Lola screamed.

“Deal? What deal?” the dragon asked.

“Remember, I brought you a boy and you promised you’d spare my life.”

The dragon laughed.

“Promise? I made no promise. Besides, girls are made from sugar and spice and everything nice. Boys are not as tasty.”

And Lola was gone.

__________________________________________

Keep on writing.

Jo Hawk The Writer