Category Archives: Fiction

WEP- Change Of Heart

HEART SF ♥

It all happened so fast like an ocean wave pulling her out to sea, the wedding in Dublin and the birth of their son, then the voyage across the ocean to a new country. So much hope about what the future would bring. There had not been much to look forward to back in their home town. The oldest son had inherited the farm. Nothing to do but look for the future far away from home in the land of opportunity, America.

Norah missed her sisters and their easy chatter as they all worked in the field. Two of her youngest sisters had already emigrated to Canada, and just one sister and brother remained on the family farm.

“We’ve all been washed out with the tide, carried to distant shores, and now just your letters make me feel like home,” Norah whispered as she put away the latest letter from her sister Mary Ann.

Norah was busy settling into her new home and expecting her second child in a few weeks time. She was grateful to have a roof over her head and that her husband had steady employment even though they lived in a flat. They scrimped and saved to buy a house. They took in boarders, new immigrants from the old country whose lilting speech pulled at her heart. Norah and Garrett were happy to help the newcomers get on their feet. Norah was especially fond of Jack, a young single man who reminded her of her brother. He always had a smile and was quick to laugh. There were jolly parties with fiddlers playing jigs and reels. They didn’t have much in material things, but their music and friends kept their spirits strong.

“When I hear the fiddlers play I could almost believe I am still home in Tipperary,” Norah spoke wistfully after the party ended.

“This is my home now,” replied her husband.

She knew he missed the old country and the horses he used to care for on the farm. Norah bit her lip hard and kept silent. She didn’t want him to think she was unhappy. He was working so hard to make a home for them.

“I do love the evenings when the fog rolls in. It makes me want to cuddle up with you.”

Garrett smiled at his young wife as they walked back to their bedroom, their borders already asleep for the night. It was in the early hours of the next morning when the cataclysm struck. A horrible rumbling and then a violent shaking threw them from their bed. They rushed out of the flat with the rest of the occupants. The air was filled with screaming and the sickening sound of buildings collapsing, with wooden planks and bricks falling into the street. They stood dazed on the sidewalk.

“We better get what we can out of the building before it collapses,” Jack shouted. They quickly ran a relay in and out taking what they could as the building groaned and creaked ominously. They hadn’t had a chance to save much but their lives.

The army moved into the city at the request of the mayor to keep order, provide first aid, and prevent looting. Tent camps were set up in public parks for the survivors who found themselves homeless. People walked around in stunned silence while a child wailed for his mother.

The buildings weren’t the only things broken by the quake. Water mains underground ruptured. Stunned residents salvaged whatever belongings they could, treated the injured, and counted the dead. The moans and cries of those trapped in the rubble would haunt them for years. Their young border, Jack, was killed when a wall collapsed on top of him as he tried to rescue a child.

A woman made breakfast for her family unaware of the broken chimney that caused a fire that burned down her house and half the city. The broken water mains prevented water from reaching the hoses of the firemen. People would later call it ‘the ham and eggs fire.’

What Norah and Garrett couldn’t salvage was burned to ash. They joined the other displaced people in bread lines and tent cities that were set up in public parks. It was the next night that Norah gave birth in one of those tents to a daughter, Rachel. Some of the women assisted in the delivery. An older woman told Norah, “Your little girl baby will have special powers because she was born at night. She will be able to see the dead.”

A chill ran through Norah as she heard the prediction, but she shook it off saying, “That’s old country superstition. We left that behind when we came to our new home.”

“I’m sorry I brought you to this place, Norah,” Garrett whispered as he watched his wife and new baby sleep. His young son Patrick was curled up against his mother’s back.

Many left The City, but the ones who remained were a hearty, optimistic lot, not ready to give up so quickly. Norah and Garrett were counted among those brave ones.

“It all seems like so long ago now,” Norah said as she closed the door to their new house on Eureka Street. “All the bad times are behind us.” Norah walked into the kitchen to finish supper for her little family while Rachel played with her toys on the floor. Patrick had started school, and in a while, they would walk down the block to pick him up. Norah was stirring the stew when she heard her little daughter muttering. She looked over to see Rachel was staring at a kitchen chair and talking as if someone was sitting there.

“Do you want to hold my dolly, Jack?”


WEP Write…Edit…Publish August 2018 Challenge Change of Heart is hosted by Denise Covey, Nilanjana Bose, and Olga Godim.

Word count: 960

Full Critique

Featured image: ‘San Francisco before the earthquake’ ( unknown author) via wikimedia.org

 

Love Lost And Found

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MorgueFile April 1408991814e81x2

Annie enjoyed walking with her dog in the meadow that surrounded her property.  It had been a warm day but now dark clouds were blowing in with the wind.

“We better get inside pretty soon Rusty. It looks like the weather may be changing.”

Annie was about to attach his leash when the dog’s ears rose to a sound only he could hear and he bolted off. Annie knew she would not be able to run after him but walked as fast as she could manage in the direction he had gone calling out to him. She found him sitting near the old car.

“What are you doing boy? It’s just an old wreck of a car.”

Rusty stayed with his eyes fixed on the window. As Annie stood looking at the car she was reminded of Jack. Her father never liked him. They had spent a lot of time in his old car making love and planning for the future. They planned to marry after Jack returned from the Army. He never made it back. She was looking at the window when she saw him.

“Jack?”

They found her body near the car. The doctor said her heart must have failed.


Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner Week #19-2018 is hosted by Roger Shipp.

Word count: 202

Devoted Pet

 

kitten

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Are you finished packing?

Not yet. There is so much to consider, a lifetime.

You won’t need that much because everything will be provided for you.

It’s just hard to leave everything, so many memories.

I can’t leave without you. You mean so much to me.

I am grateful to you for that. You know I love you too.

We do not have much time left.

I will try to hurry. Explain to me again, why we need to leave.

You know why. I have told you many times.

Yes, but tell me again. It will help me to get ready.

The atmosphere here has passed the tipping point. Soon, it will not support life.

I believe what you have told me but how can I leave the only home I have ever known?

All of your family is gone. You have nothing left here.

Are you sure your culture will accept me?

Our race has existed here for almost 10 millennia. We have been observing and learning about you for all that time. We have to board the transport soon.

I can’t call you Fluffy anymore. I must get used to calling you by your true name, Bastet.


This post is for Week #11-2018 Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner hosted by Roger Shipp.

Word count: 200

 

 

 

 

Adventures In Dining

 

burger

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I’d like the burger with fries.

Sounds good. What kind of fries do you want? We’ve got shoe string, steak cut, chili cheese, garlic, sweet potato, blue cheese, and portobello.

That’s a lot of choices. How does anyone make up their mind?

It depends if you’re traditional or adventurous.

I’m feeling adventurous. I had a terrible day at work, and my boss is an unimaginative jerk. What’s the most adventurous thing on your menu?

That would be the Godzilla.

I’ll give that a shot.

A busboy clearing off the leftovers remarked, “That Godzilla is such a messy eater.”

 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/af/Godzilla%281995%2Crepaint%29_Head_at_Abeno_Harukas_Art_Museum_August_31%2C_2014.jpg/320px-Godzilla%281995%2Crepaint%29_Head_at_Abeno_Harukas_Art_Museum_August_31%2C_2014.jpg

 


This micro-fiction is for Week #10-2018  Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner hosted by Roger Shipp. Click on the link if you want to join in.

Word count: 98

Let’s celebrate!

Falling Deep

Jordan lay awake thinking about how her life had changed so radically in the past few weeks. She prided herself on her independence and planned to travel through life with no attachments holding her down. It’s not that she didn’t enjoy the company of men, but she wanted to be free to go wherever life would lead her in a moments notice. That was before she met Aidan.

She had been on another adventure hiking in Nepal when her group took refuge at Gorek Shep. They were told it was too dangerous to try to climb Everest in the winter. She was lobbying her companions to take a shot climbing part of the way. She didn’t find any takers and resigned herself to spending the night and heading back to Lukla in the morning. She was drowning her disappointment in dark chocolate and a large glass of wine at the fireside when she heard his voice.

“You don’t give up easily, do you?”

Jordan looked in the direction of the voice and saw large dark eyes that seemed to penetrate her with their intensity.

” I guess I don’t,” she replied.

” Your friends are right, this is not the time to climb the mountain.”

“I have given up on that idea already.”

” I am planning on a caving trip. Have you ever tried it?”

” I haven’t done that yet. Where are you planning to go?”

“The Krubera Cave in Abkhazia. It’s believed to be the deepest cave in the world.”

“How deep?”

” The latest measurement was 2,197 meters.”

” That’s over 7,000 feet!”

“Yes, but I don’t recommend it for beginners. I would be willing to give you some lessons.”

” I have to head back to my home base but you have got me interested.”

“Where do you live?”

” I live in Nevada City.”

” Where’s that?”

“Nevada City is in the Gold Country in Northern California.”

“Gold Country?”

” It’s where Gold was discovered and mined in California. The site of the “Gold Rush.” I grew up there. It’s a small town but with a colorful history of people who took risks and sought their fortunes in the Wild West. Maybe that’s how I got my love of adventure. I’m Jordan Sullivan, and you are?

“I’m Aidan Rourke, nice to meet you. Nevada City sounds like an interesting place to visit. Did you ever go climbing around there?”

“Just hiking but I was just thinking about what you said, teaching me about caving. There is a large cave near Angels Camp called the Moaning Caverns. There is rappelling available at the site. If you would like to come to California, you could be my guest in Nevada City.”

Jordan had shocked herself with this invitation to a man she just met but there was something about him. She was drawn to him and wanted to get to know him better. She had relationships before but they never lasted long and she told herself not to expect this one would amount to much either. After all, she was not interested in commitment and the men she usually dated felt the same way.

Aidan had taken her up on the offer to visit California and she had spent the last week showing him around her home town and the surrounding area. She was used to getting into intimate relationships quickly and this one was no different in that respect. What was different about it was how she was beginning to feel about Aidan. Jordan saw this as a red flag. You’ve got to get hold of yourself, slow down. No commitment, remember?  There was something about this one though. He had such an appealing way about him. He was strong but gentle and had a quirky sense of humor that made her laugh. And when she looked into those big dark brown eyes she felt herself melt. What was she going to do? This was getting serious!

They decided to head for the Moaning Caverns the next morning. Jordan found herself yawning over breakfast.

” I didn’t think my conversation was so boring,” Aidan remarked grinning.

” I had a little trouble sleeping last night.”

” Anything bothering you?”

” Nothing really. I’m not sure what kept me awake.” Jordan was not going to admit what or who was causing her insomnia yet, or maybe never she thought.

“Are you ready for some rappelling lessons this morning?”

“I’m ready to get going. Can we leave now?”

Aidan picked up on Jordan’s irritability but decided to ignore it. He was looking forward to teaching her how to use the ropes. He couldn’t wait to get close to her again. He had been attracted to her from the first night they met and now he didn’t know how he would ever live without her. He had the ring hidden in his backpack and planned to surprise her when they were in the cave. He just hoped she felt the same way about him.

They had a great time rappelling down into the cavern. Jordan took to it like a pro. They decided to make one final descent. Aidan started off down the wall of the cave and was halfway down when his rappel anchor suddenly broke loose and he plummeted. Luckily a ledge broke his fall. Jordan screamed and cried out to him but he did not respond. She quickly descended to where he was sprawled on the ledge.

“Aidan, darling, are you hurt?”

It took a few minutes for Aidan’s head to clear then he realized Jordan was touching his body looking for any injury. “Did you call me darling?”

” Yes, and are you going to make a big deal out of it?” Jordan shouted, tears glistening in her eyes.

” Yeah, I’m going to make a big deal out it,” he said as he pulled her close and covered her mouth with his before she could say anything more.

They never made it to Abkhazia but found much to explore in Nevada City after they were married in the Spring.


This Flash Fiction post is for the # WEPFF WEP-Write…Edit…Publish February 2018 Challenge-In Too Deep hosted by Denise Covey, Yolanda Renée, Nilanjana Bose, and Olga Godim. Featured image Harwood hole New Zealand by Dave Bunnell on Wikimedia.org

 

Word Count: 998

Full Critique

 

 

 

 

Virtual Perfection

Fish

The children were fitted with Virtual Sight contacts at an early age. Everyone had perfect eye sight and everything in the world was in perfect high-definition. The Controllers questioned why anyone should view imperfection. So any flaws were quickly removed from view and everything looked perfect. Poverty,human suffering, or the elderly need not be seen. To prevent the population from tripping over unseen bodies in the street, the poor and sick were swept into hidden compounds. When people reached the age of 55 they simply disappeared. This arrangement was deemed sensible. No one should have to see the messy, imperfection of ageing. People sometimes felt uneasy though. A sensation of people walking beside or around, a whisper, a movement in the air, a shadow.

The disruption in the Virtual System occurred during a solar flare in the middle of the Summer Solstice celebration. People were disoriented as their brains fought to adjust to their natural vision. They froze in place as the creatures came into view. There were strange, imperfect beings standing among them. The older ones who had disappeared were still alive. They just had been unable to see them.


Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner is hosted by Roger Shipp. Click on link to learn more about this writing group.

Icy Surprise

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“Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have spotted thick deposits of ice in the planet’s mid-latitudes that extend hundreds of feet deep.” – Amina Khan LA Times Science File “Icy surprise is exposed on Mars”

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The Mars outpost was ordered to remove all traces of their colony. Tomir’s parents told him to gather up all his belongings to be shipped on the first transport. He had sorted through most of it when his eyes fell upon one last thing, a gift from his Uncle Domir brought back from the Earth Expedition. It was too embarrassing to show to any of his friends back home. All his friends had their own hover boards. What was he to do with this thing? That’s when he remembered that crevasse in the ice field.

“What do you mean you don’t remember where you put it?” his mother asked.

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Mars Deep Explorer Mission announced that excavation of the scarps in the Milankovic Crater has resulted in an amazing discovery. Scientists have no explanation.

 


Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner is hosted by Roger Shipp. Click on the link if you would like to know more about this writing group.