Part Two of my September Flash Fiction! The prompts can be found here. Please note that these are posted daily on my Tumblr, if you’d like to catch up with them there. Let me know what you think or if you are also following the prompts!
Day 8: Harvest
Looking almost yellow, the harvest moon hung low in the sky and he paused a moment to gaze and appreciate the beauty of the night. At this time of the year when he was younger, he used to help out on his grandparents’ farm. Perhaps he’d be picking ears of corn before the first frost of the year came or being sure all of the chickens were gathered in the coop for the night. A crisp wind reminded him of where he was. He sighed as he began to dig up the grave again, harvesting a different crop that night.
Day 9: Pine Cones
There was a pile of pine cones at the side of their house, right in front of the stacked firewood. She wasn’t quite sure where they all came from, but there was enough there now that they were noticeable. A handful of pine cones dropped by a squirrel made sense. But a dozen pine cones gathered together? She was tempted to scatter them, hoping a rodent wasn’t trying to make a nest. Before she could, a cat popped out from beneath the firewood, followed by three kittens who immediately practiced their pouncing on the pine cones. The pine cones stayed.
Day 10: Quilt
The quilt was tightly crocheted, a perfect square with frilled edges. Woven with golden yellows and a touch of red, it was one of the favorite family blankets for cool autumn and winter nights. The colors have since faded with the years and she couldn’t remember how bright the quilt used to be, but she was sure she believed it had shone with the power of the sun when she was a girl. As she wrapped her newborn in the quilt, she hoped she would be able to instill that same secure feeling into her baby as she always had.
Day 11: Orange
He couldn’t have been less inconspicuous if he tried. The neon orange hat could be spotted miles away, even if she didn’t have a pair of binoculars trained on him. For a guy who had important government secrets and documents in his briefcase, he wasn’t trying to hide. It made her job easier. It was simple to catch up to him. She planned to grab the case when the next train dropped off its riders. Yet, when she rounded the corner of the station, there he was, grinning. He held up the briefcase and said, “I’ve been waiting for you.”
Day 12: Rain
Her roommate was enthralled with the rain. She sighed while staring out the window like one who was awaiting her lover. When asked about it, all that she said was, “You can’t sense it? The magic in the air that the rain brings?” Her roommate chalked it up to it just her enjoying nature, returning to her coffee. Yet, it was only a few minutes before her roommate gasped and tugged her outside with glee. In the seconds it took to become soaked, she was yanked into a puddle with her roommate that was much too deep for the sidewalk.
Day 13: Scarecrow
A trail of straw emerged from the corn stalks through the backyard, took a detour to the barn, then into the house’s back door. She grabbed the axe next to the firewood, entering her home. The trail continued through the kitchen, seemed to grow into a suspicious pile by the bathroom mirror, before going into the living room. She gaped and nearly dropped the axe at seeing her scarecrow — previously inanimate — sitting on her sofa with her cat playing with the straw from his arms. He stared at her with his button eyes and said, “I don’t know what happened.”
Day 14: Cobweb
As intricate as a snowflake, the spider’s cobweb was a mesmerizing display of soft gauze weaved into a maze-like pattern. Dewdrops from the morning clung to the thin threads, twinkling in the sun like stars. The spider itself wasn’t seen, most likely tired from all the hard work it took to create such a detailed web with only instincts and the light of the moon to guide it. But it was also placed right outside of her back door. With a quiet apology, she took the vacuum to the web, destroying the spider’s night work in a matter of seconds.
Follow along with the September Flash Fiction prompts found here! Please note that these are posted daily on my Tumblr, if you’d like to catch up with them there. Let me know what you think or if you are also following the prompts!
Day 1: Leaves
She leaves once more, her steps firm, her heels clicking on the hardwood as she marches out of the office. Her face is forward, hiding any emotions that she may feel, while I ignore the burning sheen of tears in front of my eyes. Her woven scarf – violet and crimson, colors of a queen – is snatched from the coat rack, the wooden stand wobbling precariously in place from the force before going still. Its brief respite ends when it shakes from her door slam. She leaves once more, but the difference this time is that she does not look back.
Day 2: Red
It was the richest red he had ever seen, the same color as her date night dress, as the rubies of the ring he had given her. She used the lipstick to mark what was hers, her green eyes bright as she licked her lips before kissing what she claimed. His favorite coffee mug, between a couple of black spots on his dalmatian’s head, the stubble on his cheek. Unfortunately, the color also stained the collar of his white shirt, a fact he had neglected to notice until it was too late. His wife’s shade of lipstick was coral pink.
Day 3: Falling
The last leaf was clinging to the tree branch, trembling with every breeze that blew by. She stared at it from the window, imagining that the leaf was trying to break free from the tree, much like she wished she could break free from school. A squirrel bounced along the branch as it leaped to the next tree, and she was silently cheering on for the leaf to gain enough momentum to let go. The leaf shook, the tip of the stem cracking with the next gust, before finally flying away. One day she hoped to finally fly as well.
Day 4: Sweaters
The scents of motor oil and spearmint gum clung to the fibers of his boyfriend’s oversized sweaters. One was a knitted, striped brown and autumn-leaf orange piece, made from a grandmother, although he could never remember which one. The other was a hoodie, a vivid green with details harking a favorite video game series. They were favorites to wear when the weather began to turn cold, both by his boyfriend and by him whenever his boyfriend needed to travel away for work. The scents always allowed him to pretend that they were close together until his boyfriend could come home.
Day 5: Chill
Her blue eyes held more chill than ice, a perfect sheen that reflected nothing of her thoughts. She listened, unblinking, as the soldier gave his report regarding the man that had snuck over the border. She asked little, interested in only knowing the trespasser’s relation to the emperor in the next country. Once the report was finished, she paused for only a few heartbeats before stating, “Display this man’s body at the border for the emperor’s other spies. Let them report back that I have no tolerance for the emperor’s antics. If he wants a war, he shall have it.”
Day 6: Pencil
It began with a sketch, with a light pencil touch, with outlines barely legible as anything but scribbles. Next came the inks, the pens, the markers, to make more permanent outlines for the whole picture. Colors then bloomed onto the canvas with paints and pastels, making the picture recognizable after its multiple drafts. But it all started with a pencil sketch. A dream that started out rough but, with enough perseverance, patience, and careful planning, became realized. And if the outline wasn’t quite right, an eraser could always help to start over. It would always work out in the end.
Day 7: Apple
She peeled bits of the fruit’s skin with her manicured fingers, flicking the curled pieces away from her as she walked. She eyed the red-shuttered house with a perfectly manicured lawn. A cluster of trees hid most of the house from view, as well as hiding her from view of the house. She tossed the apple in the air a couple of times, thinking of the last time the doctor stood her up, claiming work as an excuse. The apple hit the biggest window with a satisfying splat. As the saying goes, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
I may be biting off more than I can chew, but I’m going to do a daily flash fiction challenge. To me, flash fiction is 100 words. No more, no less. While I’m planning on posting the flash fiction daily over on my Tumblr, I’ll probably post my responses to these weekly on this blog.
But, hey, feel free to do this too. If you do a little flash fiction — or anything with these prompts — let me know!