Fiction440: The Lender

Since I’m taking so long to get the video up, here is my latest story, written for an event called Fiction440. We had to use the words, freaky, owl, and thief and the story had to be 440 words or less.

Enjoy!

The Lender-

The light from the window washes over me as I observe the nightly routine of the house, waiting for the right moment. It would have to be soon. They are settling in for the night, the child already tucked safely into bed. The female shuffles around the kitchen in her slippers preparing tea but the male…he is waiting too.

He paces the living room; glancing at the door then the window. The rough October winds rattle their windowpanes, and he jumps at every creak, every scratch of a branch across glass.

The female comes into the room and touches her uneasy husband’s shoulder. Another gust of wind shakes the tree I wait under and an indignant owl voices his annoyance.

I step into the beam of the front porch light and push open the door.

The couple jumps at the sound and soon they appear in the hall, the man in front of his bride, his arm shielding her from the harm he knows is coming.

Before either of them can speak, I proceed.

“I am here to collect.”

“Collect? Who are…” but her husband cuts her off.

“You can’t have him.”

“It was part of our deal, sir. I most certainly can.”

“Deal?” her voice is shrill, panic rising as she watches me approach the stairs. “What…”

“He’s going to try to take Danny!” He steps in front of the staircase, “He’s nothing more than a thief!”

“Sir!” I keep my voice low, but he jumps anyway. “I am no thief. I am a Lender. I am simply taking back what is rightfully mine.” I put my hand to his shoulder, my long fingers reaching his back. “You will give me my property.”

“He is not property, he is my son!”

I sigh. They never believe I will be back.

“Ten years ago, you made a deal. In your desperation for a child, you asked for help. I delivered a child…on loan. That loan has expired, it is time to repay it.”

The woman gasps and then sobs. He hadn’t told her of the deal. Never mind, though. They would not remember this exchange in the morning.

I push past the man and, despite being a head shorter than him, he can’t stop me. He falls to the ground and the woman collapses next to him. They stare after me, already grieving.

They will wake up in their beds tomorrow, convinced  a mysterious illness has taken their child and that I was nothing more than the freaky-fingered hand of death that took him. They will remember grief, they will remember fear but they will not remember me.

Get Flashed: Yesterday’s Goodbye

My first story for my GetFlashed challenge: Yesterday’s Goodbye

Viewers chose prompts, I wrote a 1,000 word story in one week.

Genre: Romantic Drama

Prompt: Starts with, “He had a scar…”

If you would like to hear this and other stories read to you, check out my YouTube Page. 

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“He had a scar…” she whispered, her eyes fluttering open, the familiar phrase the first words on her lips as she awoke. I smiled, looking up from my book. Continue reading “Get Flashed: Yesterday’s Goodbye”

Fiction 440: The Final Light

My latest Fiction 440 piece: For this event, we are given 3 words and asked to write a story in 440 words or less. This time, the words were- meteor, Ceasar, and neon.

It was also the first time I organized and led the event, borrowing the idea (with permission) from my friends in Lansing and bringing it to Grand Rapids. It was small, but a lot of fun.

So, here is my story.

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She paused and looked around the quiet stretch of land, dotted with the proof of life once lived. No one else had chosen this spot for this night, and she supposed that made sense. But, for her, the lines separating the living and the dead had always been thin, and they were getting thinner with each passing moment. She’d always preferred the company of the dead anyway, why should now be any different?

Final spot chosen, she turned and watched for his approaching figure. He’d been close behind the whole walk here but she couldn’t make out his frame in the last of the light. The very last of it actually, she thought and chuckled.  He should have caught up by now and she called into the falling darkness. Nothing.

Her skin prickled but she refused to let herself panic. There was still time, she thought, let him enjoy himself. That was the whole point of their meeting, after all. Comfort, enjoyment…

The rest of the world had paired off immediately after the announcement, contacting loved ones, holeling up with families, or running off to be with friends. But, ten years as a coroner’s assistant had given her a certain aversion to the living. So, after the announcement, she’d had no one to turn to for comfort, until she saw him. He was alone too and his deep brown eyes caught her attention immediately. He shouldn’t have to spend this time alone, and neither should she.

They’d gone home together.

She turned again, squinting through the now complete darkness. She said his name. Then again, louder. “Caesar! C’mere boy!” Only silence answered her call and her stomach clenched. It was getting close and she was suddenly very aware of how badly she did not want to be alone. It was why she’d been drawn to him on the street. Why she’d chosen this place for their last moments. She’d been alone most of her life, she couldn’t stand the thought of being alone in death.

“Caesar!”

She looked up to the sky.

The moon shown neon bright, catching the stones around her and bouncing back into the charged atmosphere. Then, the light was gone.

It was here. She fell to her knees in the pitch black night, the last night, and reached out into the nothingness around her. She called again, one last time. This time though, there was a bark. Soft fur brushed her hands and a cold nose pressed against her cheek. Her arms closed around his solid form and he sighed against her as the meteor met the Earth and the last darkness met the final light.

 

Fiction 440: Graduation

She’d always wanted a baby. It was a need so ingrained in her psyche that she would have what she called “arm urges,” moments where she literally ached to hold that warm, wiggling, cooing being in her arms. She’d known she was meant to be a mother the very first time she held her first baby doll and the need only grew as she got older. Even the stories her friends told her of long labor and excruciating pain didn’t deter her. Even when it wasn’t happening, she prayed…someday it would. Continue reading “Fiction 440: Graduation”

Fiction 440: Cons

His head rested in her lap, his breath coming in short, sharp gasps.

“That was so stupid,” she whispered, fighting to speak around the fist sized lump in her throat. They had promised they would take care of each other during their mission, that’s what partners were for after all. He had held up his end of the deal, she hadn’t. Continue reading “Fiction 440: Cons”

Fiction 440: Roses

The bright smell of the roses invaded her senses, colliding with the dark cloud that was now her life. She slid her hand across the smooth mahogany box and shook her head, trying to block the memory that was now threatening. But, before she could stop it, she was back there. On that long stretch of highway, her heart light for what would be the last time… Continue reading “Fiction 440: Roses”

Shivs and Kindergartners- Why I love Fiction 440

Yesterday was one of my favorite events, Fiction 440. I’ve mentioned it before on my old blog, but, let me refresh your memory.

Fiction 440 is a local event that takes place every few months. Participants are given 3 words and they have until the next event to write a 440-word piece of fiction that includes those words. Those that wish to then read their story at the event. There are no excerpts, no poetry and no judging. It’s always a great experience and it’s inspired works and stories that I never would have written otherwise. It’s so amazing to see the wide variety of stories that people come up with using the same words.

In true panster fashion, I typically wait until the last minute to write my story, letting the words marinate between events and cranking out 440 words (or more, usually) the day before the story is due. It’s great fun. I’ve even used the event to streamline one of the scenes from my WIP and loved the way it turned out (I did break the no excerpts rule that day).I mean, when else would I have had the opportunity to write about

Trout, Shiv, Ankle-Bracelet

But, if you can, I highly recommend using this event, or one like it, to spark your creative fire. I mean, when else would I have had the opportunity to write about shivs and kindergartners. Yup, you heard me. The words for this event were Trout, Shiv and Ankle-Bracelet (I added the kindergartner). Good stuff, right?

So, behold. My latest Fiction 440 creation,  (Also, check the Fiction 440 category for my past stories).

“When Kindergartners Go Bad.”

 

“She what?” Lou practically shouted at the receptionist who called to tell him he had a student waiting to be seen.

“She was talking about shivs on the playground. Her teacher panicked and marched her down claiming that she was violent and we should consider expulsion.”

“She’s how old?”

“Kindergarten.”

Lord. He’d put off retirement to deal with five-year-olds talking about shivs? “Ok, send her in.”

The little girl pushed open the door. The blonde pigtails perched on top of her head bounced as she jumped into the seat.

“Maggie? Do you know why you’re here?”

She shook her head, her ponytails dancing. ‘Oh yea,’ he thought, ‘This is a hardened criminal.’

“Were you on the playground talking about a shiv?”

Her eyes lit up and she nodded, “Yes, Mr. Tompkins!”

“You were?”

“Yup.”

He glanced at the notes he’d taken, “You were going to…help your uncle with his shiv?”

“Uh huh! He needs help real bad and I want to help him.”

“And your uncle…he’s…”

“In prison,” she stated.

He slouched back into his chair. He gave up trout fishing on Lake Michigan for this? “He’s in prison and you want to help him with his shiv? How do you know he needs help?””He said so when he was talking to my mom on the speakerphone. I’m not allowed to talk to him because he’s no good but he calls sometimes and she says we don’t turn our back on family. And that means I should help him if he needs help.”

“He said so when he was talking to my mom on the speakerphone. I’m not allowed to talk to him because he’s no good but he calls sometimes and she says we don’t turn our back on family. And that means I should help him if he needs help.”

“This is how kids end up with ankle-bracelets..” he muttered and too late realized it was out loud.

“I have one of those!” she exclaimed.

“You do?”

“Yup!” She lifted a leg up onto the desk. “See!” She pointed to a silver chain encircling her ankle.

He sighed.

“So, how were you going to help your uncle?”

“I was going to check the lost and found!”

“The lost and found?”

“Yup, if kids leave them they must not need them but my uncle does so I figure I can take one and give it my mom and she can send it to him.”

“But, what were you looking for?”

“A coat!”

“A coat!? Why on Earth were you looking for a coat!”

“Well, if he’s got a shiv, he must be cold. That’s like a shiver, right?”

He gaped at her for a moment while she blinked at him. Then he nodded.

“Yes, Maggie. You’re absolutely right. That’s exactly what that is.”When she was gone, he picked up the phone and rang the receptionist. “Linda, find a sub for me for tomorrow. I’m going fishing.”

When she was gone, he picked up the phone and rang the receptionist. “Linda, find a sub for me for tomorrow. I’m going fishing.”

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Do you have any Flash Fiction stories you’ve written for a challenge or event? Care to share? No judging here either, I promise.

Learn More About Fiction 440