100-Word Story: The New Girl

The New Girl”

She looked so much like Sally: bright, sparkling eyes; cute, upturned nose; precious pink lips; and dimples, just the barest hint of them, like Sally had when she smiled.

Larry fell in love with her instantly.

“You’re beautiful,” he whispered, stroking gently at the soft round of her cheek. He bent his head and kissed her then, smelling deeply of the sweet scent of her.

“She is,” Sally said.

Larry looked up, into the tired, teary face of his wife. He smiled. “She looks just like you,” he said.

Sally smiled, too. “I was going to say the same thing.”

(image courtesy tscpl.org)

I’ve had such a good time reading new-mummy updates from jennybennyk on Twitter (you can also follow her blog at itsjennythewren), it reminded me of first moments like this, and how your perspective can change of an instant.

Husbands/fathers are especially susceptible to daughters, I think. I know when I met my husband, there was talk that I would always be foremost in his life.

Then our little girls came along.

I don’t mind, though. That loving bond is precious, and I wanted to see if I could capture it a little bit, here, with my Songbirds. (And, to itsjennythewren: Don’t worry if Daddy is starstruck by Baby right now. You’re still Mummy, and that’s a truly special person to be.)

Have you ever been struck by a memory from a Tweet or an update, and pushed to write about it?

100-Word Challenge: A Wild Ride

Welcome to another submission for the 100-Word Challenge for Grown-Ups (week 46)!

I didn’t submit to last week’s article prompt (though I did use it as inspiration for another vignette), but this week, we’re back to my bread and butter of flash fiction writing. Prompt as follows, per Julia:

… in the dark recess of my mind …
As usual you have 100 words to add to these 7 making 107 altogether. Make sure you keep the prompt as it is….

Here’s my take:

“A Wild Ride”

“…Are you scared?”

“No. Now, stop talking. You’re shaking the plane.”

“Would you relax? Nothing’s going to happen. We’re perfectly safe.”

“Look, logically, historically, empirically, I know that. But, in the dark recess of my mind, I can’t help but think this is impossible! Man simply was not meant to scream through the air in a giant sardine tin!”

“The only one screaming, here, is you.”

“Your compassion is overwhelming.”

“Listen. Whenever you feel nervous, just squeeze my hand. Just like that. There. Better?”

“…Yeah. Thanks.”

“I love you, you know.”

“I love you, too.”

“Oh, I can’t wait for you to meet my parents- ow!

Lovers natural 1280

I’ve been up and down on planes so many times in the last week-and-a-half, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take that somewhat cryptic, almost foreboding prompt of words and make it into something light-hearted…and close to my own experiences.

I don’t usually do straight dialogue-only pieces, but I don’t think any description is really needed, here. Plus, my Songbirds stories are built around simplicity.

How did you interpret the prompt? Did you go dark, or light?

100-Word Challenge: That Unexpected Spark

100 Word Challenge for Grown-Ups

It’s week 43 for the 100-Word Challenge for Grown-Ups (100WCGU)! The prompt this week is:

“…The flame flickered before…”

I wrote this one quickly – on my 20-minute morning train – but I quite like it. Usually, I fret over the words much more than I did with this one. I don’t know if that means I’m getting better at writing these, or if I “hear” the voices of my Songbirds so much more clearly than the voices of other characters, or if the prompt just worked out right for me, this week. Whatever the reason, I hope you enjoy!

“That Unexpected Spark”

Flame Kiss by Martin Eftimov, fractalsandwords.blogspot.com

Flame Kiss, by Martin Eftimov

She didn’t know when it happened, only that it wouldn’t let her go.

Perhaps, it had begun in the old DVD store, when she’d first seen his lopsided smile. Or in the library, when he’d sat beside her, listening to a history of angels. Or in that moment of desperate terror, when she’d thought everything hopeless…and then felt his arms surround her.

Or, perhaps, it happened the first time she kissed him: an unexpected spark of feeling for a friend who could be something more.

The flame flickered before, but that kiss had made it flare.

Sally wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Other writers I follow always seem to be able to do so much more with those 100 words than I can do. I suppose it’s just my style, that I tell things slowly? Regardless, I enjoy these challenges, and I look forward to more. (I just wish I could write like other people, sometimes.)

How did you interpret the idea of a flickering flame?

100-Word Challenge: These Nights Won’t Last

100 Word Challenge for Grown-UpsThe prompt for this week’s 100-Word Challenge for Grown-Ups (week 39) is, per Julia:

….I’m exhausted. Shut the door behind you….

So, to remind you of the rules you have an additional 100 words to complete your piece making 107 in total. Please make sure it is suitable for a PG certificate and please visit the other entries as that is where we can get ideas as well as support and challenge each other.

Julia always knows just when to remind me that I need to keep these to a PG rating! 😀 That said, I didn’t really have much trouble coming up with a flash fiction to fulfill this week’s prompt. Without further ado, I’ll let my Songbirds speak for themselves:

“These Nights Won’t Last”

Girls Playing Dress Up, Cowgirl VS Native American Theme, by Isabella Kung

Girls Playing Dress Up, by Isabella Kung

It’s the girls’ excited shrieking as they play that makes Sally snap. She loves them, but the noise-! What happened to those lovely nights when they’d cuddle peacefully, dozing off to faery tales?

Sensing her tension, Larry eases her to the bedroom. “You all right?”

Sally sighs. “I’m exhausted. Shut the door behind you, please?” And she settles back, to relax amid the quiet, alone.

But, after a while, she realises: solitude isn’t what she wants. Because these nights won’t last, either. So, rather than waste it, she rises, to find her family snacking on biscuits while puzzling over a jigsaw.

She smiles. “Room for one more?”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pushed one of my girls away, desirous of peace and quiet and just a little bit of alone time…only to then call her back and let her play or cuddle, because my own guilt has gotten the better of me. 🙂

This one feels a bit short, to me, but it does clock in at 107 words, per instructions. Perhaps because, like my Sally, I simply find myself longing for those bygone, tiny baby days…!

They settle down, eventually. 🙂

100-Word Challenge: Such Wondrous Adventures

100 Word Challenge for Grown-UpsCarrying over from last time, is this week’s 100 Word Challenge for Grown-Ups:

The prompt this week is to go back to last week’s entries. You are to use the last 10 words of the post next to yours and using just 100 words create a story. It may be a follow-on from the previous one or you may like to take it in a different direction. So:
  1. You find your entry HERE
  2. You go to the next entry (if you were 6 you go to 7 etc)
    (I was #16, so I’m using #17 for my prompt: “An Important Date” by Andrea, the gothcatlady. It is a lovely little ode to Carroll’s original story, and I suggest you read it for yourself, before going on to my take on her prompt!)
  3. Using the last ten words as the prompt you write your piece. The prompt can be anywhere in the piece but must be complete as it was in the original.
  4. If you didn’t take part last week, choose any entry to use the last 10 words from.

I was lucky enough to get a very charming prompt – What a wondrous adventure with young Alice that would be – for this week, and I’m delighted that I can even (sort of) continue from my own challenge from last time! So, without further ado, here it is.


Such Wondrous Adventures

With pinafore and ponytails bouncing, Katie bounds across the playground, away from them.

Watching her, Larry sighs. “Seems like yesterday,” he murmurs, “we were pregnant, and I was reading her Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”

Beside him, Sally shrugs. “She’s growing up.”

“Does she have to do?” Larry asks, chuckling.

“What a wondrous adventure with young Alice that would be!” Sally says, and they laugh. But then they quiet, cuddling close.

“I didn’t think it would happen so fast,” Larry laments. He meets her gaze, chuckling anew. “I want another one!”

Sally blinks, then smiles, softly. “Funny, you should mention that….”

I do so love these little challenges, and being able to incorporate them into my own universes, in this case, that of my Songbirds, Sally and Larry. I wish I could share them with more people, too, especially the ones who enjoyed the original Songbirds series of stories. Who knows? Maybe, someday, I can…and will!

I can only hope that Judee, over at write tuit, has as much fun with my prompt as I had with Andrea’s!

100-Word Challenge: Tourist Trap

This week’s 100-Word Challenge for Grown-Ups prompt: “…the red box…”

Just like the government, we’re dealing with fiscal budgets at work, right now. So, I veered off from the obvious choice of “the red box” for this week’s prompt, and instead went just a bit to the left:

Eyes twinkling with charmed interest, she pushes him in front of the red box and raises her camera into his face.

“Brilliant,” he mutters at the lens. “Now, we’re tourists.”

She shushes him and clicks. He fidgets, feeling ridiculous as the subject of a photographic cliche.

“Satisfied?” he asks.

She lowers the camera with an elfin smile. “Not just yet.”

She pushes him again, trapping him into the antiquated phone box. Then, she presses up and kisses him: soft, warm, sweet.

He’s dizzy when they part.

“Satisfied?” she echoes, smiling wide again.

Closing the red box around them, he grins. “Not just yet.”

courtesy Favim.com

image courtesy Favim.com

Another little Songbirds Series drabble, because the moment I thought about those red phone boxes, I thought that Sally might take a moment to bother with a snapshot…and Larry would probably scoff about it. But even two people who see the world from such different perspectives can find a way to mutually enjoy something so quaint.