Tag Archives: flash fiction

Written For Christmas – Flash Fiction

On the eve of Christmas, here is a reprise of my holiday flash fiction story, Written for Christmas.  Enjoy!  ~ S.G. Rogers

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Diva hesitated a moment before pulling the gift-wrap from Lorelei’s Larceny.  As she gazed at the author photo on the dust jacket, the corners of her mouth turned up in a wistful smile.  The lights on the Christmas tree in the corner winked at her and the window beyond revealed a light snow flurry falling outside. She turned the novel over in her hands, wondering if she should brave the elements to walk to the corner coffeehouse.  While nursing a couple of peppermint mochas, she could make a pretty good dent in the book.  Besides which, she didn’t want to spend Christmas Eve alone.

“I can’t believe you opened that now,” Captain Westerly scolded. “Didn’t you promise Brandon Forster you’d wait until Christmas?”

Diva’s eyes slid over to the miniature pirate as he emerged from the pages of her recently released romance novel, Captain Westerly’s Conquest. The book rested on the table in front of the sofa, next to a Yule candle. “Nobody asked you,” she said.  “And besides, Brandon won’t know.”

The dashing captain tilted his head as he examined the dust jacket.  “Hey, he resembles me…or perhaps I resemble him.”

A crease of annoyance marred Diva’s brow.  “Do you have to leap off the page like that?  It’s kind of disconcerting.”

“It’s the way you wrote me, my lady,” Westerly said, with a courtly bow. “Why didn’t you give Brandon a copy of my book?  I mean, your book.  He would have enjoyed Captain Westerly’s Conquest.”

“Are you kidding?  He’s a man.  Men don’t read romance,” Diva said.

“I don’t see why not? Brandon’s a handsome devil, even if I say so myself—secure in his masculinity.”

“And furthermore, we’re just friends.  There’s simply no way a man like him would be interested in me,” she finished.

Westerly stroked his chin, covered with manly stubble.  “I thought we were talking about books.”

“Behave, Captain, or your next story will involve a wife and kids.”

Her decision made, Diva launched herself off the sofa and disappeared into her bedroom.  A few moments later, she emerged with her coat and scarf in hand.  She stopped short, gaping, as Westerly helped a miniature cat burglar step out of the pages of Lorelei’s Larceny.  Clad in a sexy black unitard, the woman bore an uncanny resemblance to Diva.

“You look like me!” Diva exclaimed, wide-eyed.

“It’s the way Brandon Forster wrote me,” Lorelei replied, tossing her glossy sable locks over one shoulder.

Captain Westerly kissed Lorelei’s hand.  “Would you care for a tour of my ship, my lady?” he asked.  “We’ll toast the season with a glass of rum punch.”

Lorelei raised an eyebrow as she gave the pirate an appraising glance.  “Lead on.”

“Wait a minute, you can’t—” Diva began, but the two main characters disappeared into the pages of Captain Westerly’s Conquest without so much as a backward glance.

A knock on the apartment door caused Diva to blanch.  She draped her coat and scarf over a chair and went to answer it.   Brandon Forster stood there, clutching Captain Westerly’s Conquest.  “I hope you don’t mind me s-stopping by,” he stammered.  “I, um, had to tell you how much I loved your book.”

Diva’s mouth opened, but no sound would come out.  Brandon flushed pink and ran his fingers through his closely cropped hair. “I’m sorry, that was lame.  What I mean to say is…do you, er, want to get a cup of coffee?”

“I’d love some coffee,” she said with a slow smile.

Brandon let his breath out in a gust.  He glanced at the sprig of mistletoe hung over the door and returned her smile with one of his own.

“How did that get there?” she exclaimed, startled.

A distant foghorn sounded from the vicinity of Captain Westerly’s Conquest, on the table behind her.

“I don’t know, but who am I to buck tradition?” Brandon asked. He leaned forward, his lips hovering over hers.

“Merry Christmas,” she said, before she sealed it with a kiss.

~ S.G. Rogers

Happy Halloween and Horror Flash Fiction

Christy's_HalloweenHappy Halloween to one and all! I have a short work of flash fiction to share with you, which was originally published in an online magazine (now defunct) called FlashshotFlash fiction is an art form in which the greatest possible impact is gleaned from the fewest possible words (generally 1,000 words or less). Flashshot specialized in stories of 100 words or less. Since it’s All Hallow’s Eve, I’m going to share my horror story, Black Holes (98 words). Enjoy!

~ S.G. Rogers

Black Holes

The competition at this year’s statewide science fair was fierce, but I was determined to win. My entry was an awesome model of an earthquake-proof building on rollers. It had won first place at my school. Ultimately, I got edged out at finals by a freak of nature who mounted a presentation about the role of wormhole physics in developing a quantum theory of gravity. About ten seconds after he received the blue ribbon, the kid literally imploded and shriveled up into a fist-sized geodesic ball. It was then that I realized some people just can’t handle success.

 

Kitty’s Hair by S.G. Rogers — Flash Fiction

Kitty Willamette’s knees buckled a little as the elevator zoomed upward. Her mother was hunched inside her jacket as if she were cold.  Her father just stared straight ahead.  The atmosphere was deadly quiet.

“Do you know why we’re here?” Kitty asked.

“No,” her mother replied, without meeting her gaze.

“Maybe Uncle Meriweather has a new television series for me?”

“Hush,” her father said.  “He’s not your uncle.”

Kitty sighed.  She let her head loll backward so she could look at the mirrored tiles on the ceiling.  She wanted to see how the dreadful hat her mother had made her wear played up her eyes.  At least that was what her mother had said; she suspected the hat had more to do with covering her roots.  Since Kitty’s hair had begun to turn brown, her mother couldn’t hide her disappointment.

Everything had always been about the hair.

The elevator slowed as it neared its final destination.  Kitty hoped Uncle Meriweather had good news. She knew the money was running out. The housekeeper had been let go first, and then the nanny. More recently, she’d noticed her father mowing the grass and cleaning the pool himself. Her mother was painting her own nails and clipping coupons. Kitty’s allowance had been eliminated entirely.

The arguments were the worst part. Her parents had been having shouting matches downstairs, when they thought she was asleep.  Although it would mean leaving regular school and having tutors on the set, she would happily go back to work again if it meant her family life could return to normal.

Kitty and her parents emerged from the elevator into the waiting area of the talent agency.  The receptionist directed Kitty down the hall to the Green Room while a secretary showed Ted and Lori Willamette into Uncle Meriweather’s office. The Green Room was a lounge decorated like the interior of a movie theater lobby. A popcorn machine was pushed against the wall, but it was always empty. There was a Pac-Man video game table that always froze up at level five and a flat-screen television that played kids’ movies, non-stop.  Kitty had spent a lot of time in the Green Room over the years, while her parents met with Uncle Meriweather.  She used to enjoy it, but now that she was twelve the place struck her as tired.

Kitty was not the only occupant of the Green Room.  A trio of identical triplets sat on the couch, fixated on the television.  She recognized the brothers from their national commercials for chewing gum, breakfast cereal, and lunchmeat. They were perhaps seven or eight years old, with freckles and shocks of violently red hair.  Kitty found them ugly, not because of their looks but because of their sour and bored expressions.  She supposed their parents were in a meeting with one of the other agents.

“Hello,” she said. Kitty always tried to be polite.

The triplets made no reply, but shifted their focus from the TV screen to her.  Kitty was used to being stared at, but their three pairs of eyes were leveled on her with such intensity she could practically feel them lasering holes in her forehead. She sat as far away as possible.

The boy on the right finally spoke. “You’re Kitty Willamette.”

“Yes.” She smiled. “Nice to meet you.”

In the silence that followed, the triplets continued to stare. Her smile faded. She glanced at the magazines on the table next to her, but they were all geared toward younger children.  Kitty wished she’d brought along her e-book reader, but she’d assumed the meeting was going to include her this time.  She hadn’t seen Uncle Meriweather in a while.  Apparently he hadn’t had a holiday party last season because instead of her usual invitation, Kitty had received only a small box of chocolates in the mail.

“Our mom says you’re washed up,” the middle triplet said.

“Yeah, you’re a has-been,” said the boy on the left.  “That’s what Dad says.”

The triplets burst into laughter, their faces creased with mirth. Kitty’s mouth fell open. She’d overheard trash talk from show biz kids before, but it usually wasn’t directed at her. Her chin lifted.

“I couldn’t care less. I’ll be a forensic psychologist or a osteoarchaeologist when I grow up and you three will still be hawking wieners.”

Kitty didn’t completely understand what those professions were, but they sounded impressive.  More importantly, the triplets wouldn’t know either and they’d never admit it. The boys exchanged bewildered glances with one another, and then went back to watching television.  She tossed her flaxen-tipped braid over her shoulder, triumphant.

Her father beckoned to her just then, from the door of the Green Room. “Come on, Kitty.  We’re going.”

Kitty followed him out of the Green Room without a backward glance at the triplets. On her way down the hall, she noticed the door to Uncle Meriweather’s office was shut.

“Can I say good-bye to Uncle Meriweather?”

No, and for the last time, please stop calling him your uncle!”

Kitty’s mother stood by the elevator, with swollen eyes and smudged eyeliner. As they rode down the elevator, her father cleared his throat. “Fitzroy & Meriweather released you as a client today, Kitty. With no money coming in, we must sell the house.”

Kitty’s mother couldn’t suppress a sob.

“My sister invited us to move onto her property in Maggie Valley,” her father continued. “I can go back to carpentry and we’ll make a fresh start.”

Kitty was pleased. She’d visited Aunt Jennifer on her farm in Western North Carolina almost every summer and liked it a lot. She enjoyed the company of her cousins.  One of the boys was her age. Even better, Aunt Jennifer had acres of apple orchards.

“I love apples,” Kitty said.

“I want to stay in L.A.,” her mother wailed.  “Kitty can find another agent.  We’ll get her hair done and have some new headshots made. We’ve just hit a dry spell.”

“I don’t want to act anymore,” Kitty said.

“See! The kid knows it’s over, Lori,” her father said.  “Why don’t you?”

On the drive back to Bel Air, her parents began to yell at each other. Katie closed her eyes and tried to tune them out.

When they reached home, Kitty went to her room. She opened her closet and pulled out her Kitty doll, the special collector’s edition that had retailed for over three hundred dollars.  Kitty had never thought it looked much like her, except for the hair. As she braided the artificial strands, she thought about what had just happened. Uncle Meriweather didn’t want to be her uncle anymore. That made her very sad, but she wasn’t especially bothered about the rest of it.  If it hadn’t been for her hair, she never would have chosen an acting career.

Before she’d even graduated from pre-school, Kitty’s hair had made her famous. It wasn’t just the amazing thickness or length of it that was so remarkable; it was the magnificent color.  The palest of blondes, her tresses had shone like a ripe field of wheat set dancing by a breeze. A casting director had spotted five-year-old Kitty in the cookie aisle as she begged her mother to buy chocolate-covered graham crackers.  The chance encounter had led to her being cast in an ad campaign for facial tissue. She was shortly thereafter given her own television show, entitled Life with Kitty. The series became a phenomenon for several years. Unfortunately, it was canceled after she turned ten.

She knew there was so much more to life than being famous. If she lived with Aunt Jennifer, maybe she could have a horse.  Her aunt could teach her to grow things. She could drop the stupid nickname and go by her real name. No one would know she was washed up or a has-been. She’d just be a normal teenager.

If only she could convince her mother.

Kitty tossed the idiotic hat aside and gazed in the mirror.  Her braid was so long she could almost sit on it.  The bottom half was a beautiful flaxen color, but the hair grew darker the closer it got to her scalp.  Kitty examined her light brown roots.  Her hair was turning the color of peanut butter cheesecake batter with melted milk chocolate thrown in.  She thought it was a nice shade, quite yummy.

There was only one thing to do.

Kitty took a pair of scissors and hacked off her braid at the nape of her neck.  She bound up the end with an elastic band so it wouldn’t unravel.  That way she could donate the hair to an organization that made wigs for sick people. She left the braid in a neat coil on the floor.

Then Katherine walked downstairs to tell her parents what she’d decided.

Flourish

Finding the Spirit of Christmas – Flash Fiction

Man in Suit © Rolffimages | Dreamstime.comAs an increasingly heavy snow shower drifted down over the wintry country landscape, the dark outline of a rectangular-shaped portal formed.  A well-dressed man stepped through the blackness, promptly skidded on a patch of ice and landed in a deep snowdrift. The man pushed himself upright, dismayed to find the moist snow clinging to his face and expensive clothes.  He glanced back at the portal, but it had disappeared.

“What are you doing out in the middle of nowhere, dressed like that?” a voice rang out.

The man wiped crystals from his eyelashes so he could see.   A very pretty woman stood on a path nearby, bundled against the cold.

“Um…I’m looking for something,” he said.

“In the snow?”

“No, er, that was an accident.”  He shivered.

“Well…you’d better come inside before you freeze.”

The woman whistled just then and a fluffy tan dog came bounding over.  The woman and dog began to walk toward a stone cottage on top of a hill, without looking back.  The man turned up his coat collar, hunched his shoulders and followed.

A few moments later he was grateful to be inside, where a fragrant fire was crackling in the fireplace and the smell of baking gingerbread made his mouth water.  The room was decorated for the holidays, with a cheerful evergreen garland hanging from the mantle.  A fat Christmas tree, twinkling with lights, filled the corner next to the window, and the dining table was covered with a festive cherry red cloth.

“Why don’t you hang your wet things by the door?” the woman suggested.

The man found a hook for his coat, but when the woman went into the kitchen to check on the gingerbread, he used a spell to dry himself off.  Nevertheless, his feet were icy cold, so he removed his shoes and sat next to the fire.  The dog trotted over to curl up at his feet.  The woman came out of the kitchen.  She’d shed her outerwear and he finally got a good look at her.  She had snowy white skin with cheeks reddened by the cold, and her heart-shaped face was framed by waves of nutmeg colored curls.  He gulped.

“What’s your name, Detective?” she asked.

The man peered at her, startled.  “How did you—”

The woman laughed and pointed to the badge hanging from his belt.  “You’re a wizard detective.  I’ve heard of them before.”

“The name is Nick.”

“Okay, Nick, I’m Christine. The dog is called Joy.” She handed him a cup of cocoa and sat down on the raised hearth.  “So what are you looking for?”

“Ah…this is rather awkward, but the Spirit of Christmas has gone missing in my dimension. Our best wizards discovered a breach in the energy barrier…it’s kind of technical.  Anyway, I’m here to find it.” He sipped the cocoa, savoring the rich flavor.

Christine frowned.  “What does this Spirit look like?”

“It can take different shapes.”

“Wow.  I guess you have your work cut out for you.  Let me get you some gingerbread.”

“That would be great,” Nick said.  “This cocoa is really delicious, by the way.”

A few minutes later, Christine and Nick were sharing a slice of the fresh, warm cake.  Nick balanced his plate on his knee. “Mmm.  This brings back good memories.”

Christine put down her fork.  “Once you find the Spirit, what happens next?”

“I ask her to come home.”

“And what if she doesn’t want to go?  What if she’s tired of being neglected?” A sudden surge of emotion made Christine’s eyes sparkle.

Nick set his plate aside and pulled her to her feet. “Come home.”  He wrapped her in his arms. “Things haven’t been the same since you left.  I intend to love, honor and keep you in my heart forever, just like the day we were married.”

She looked into his handsome face.  “You had to work hard to find me.  I’m impressed.” A smile tugged at her lips.

“I went to every dimension on the map, but I never gave up.” Nick gave Christine a long, romantic kiss.  “Tell me you’ll come home? Tomorrow’s Christmas Eve.”

Christine returned the kiss. “I’m afraid we’re snowed in tonight.”

“That’s too bad,” Nick said…but the twinkle in his eye said otherwise.  At the same time, Joy’s tail wagged.

~ S.G. Rogers

Christmas Fairy-tale © Frenta | Dreamstime.com

Written For Christmas – Flash Fiction

To kick off the holiday season, here is a reprise of a flash fiction story I wrote last year.  Enjoy!  ~ S.G. Rogers

Written for Christmas

by S.G. Rogers

Diva hesitated a moment before pulling the gift-wrap from Lorelei’s Larceny.  As she gazed at the author photo on the dust jacket, the corners of her mouth turned up in a wistful smile.  The lights on the Christmas tree in the corner winked at her and the window beyond revealed a light snow flurry falling outside. She turned the novel over in her hands, wondering if she should brave the elements to walk to the corner coffeehouse.  While nursing a couple of peppermint mochas, she could make a pretty good dent in the book.  Besides which, she didn’t want to spend Christmas Eve alone.

“I can’t believe you opened that now,” Captain Westerly scolded. “Didn’t you promise Brandon Forster you’d wait until Christmas?”

Diva’s eyes slid over to the miniature pirate as he emerged from the pages of her recently released romance novel, Captain Westerly’s Conquest. The book rested on the table in front of the sofa, next to a Yule candle. “Nobody asked you,” she said.  “And besides, Brandon won’t know.”

The dashing captain tilted his head as he examined the dust jacket.  “Hey, he resembles me…or perhaps I resemble him.”

A crease of annoyance marred Diva’s brow.  “Do you have to leap off the page like that?  It’s kind of disconcerting.”

“It’s the way you wrote me, my lady,” Westerly said, with a courtly bow. “Why didn’t you give Brandon a copy of my book?  I mean, your book.  He would have enjoyed Captain Westerly’s Conquest.”

“Are you kidding?  He’s a man.  Men don’t read romance,” Diva said.

“I don’t see why not? Brandon’s a handsome devil, even if I say so myself—secure in his masculinity.”

“And furthermore, we’re just friends.  There’s simply no way a man like him would be interested in me,” she finished.

Westerly stroked his chin, covered with manly stubble.  “I thought we were talking about books.”

“Behave, Captain, or your next story will involve a wife and kids.”

Her decision made, Diva launched herself off the sofa and disappeared into her bedroom.  A few moments later, she emerged with her coat and scarf in hand.  She stopped short, gaping, as Westerly helped a miniature cat burglar step out of the pages of Lorelei’s Larceny.  Clad in a sexy black unitard, the woman bore an uncanny resemblance to Diva.

“You look like me!” Diva exclaimed, wide-eyed.

“It’s the way Brandon Forster wrote me,” Lorelei replied, tossing her glossy sable locks over one shoulder.

Captain Westerly kissed Lorelei’s hand.  “Would you care for a tour of my ship, my lady?” he asked.  “We’ll toast the season with a glass of rum punch.”

Lorelei raised an eyebrow as she gave the pirate an appraising glance.  “Lead on.”

“Wait a minute, you can’t—” Diva began, but the two main characters disappeared into the pages of Captain Westerly’s Conquest without so much as a backward glance.

A knock on the apartment door caused Diva to blanch.  She draped her coat and scarf over a chair and went to answer it.   Brandon Forster stood there, clutching Captain Westerly’s Conquest.  “I hope you don’t mind me s-stopping by,” he stammered.  “I, um, had to tell you how much I loved your book.”

Diva’s mouth opened, but no sound would come out.  Brandon flushed pink and ran his fingers through his closely cropped hair. “I’m sorry, that was lame.  What I mean to say is…do you, er, want to get a cup of coffee?”

“I’d love some coffee,” she said with a slow smile.

Brandon let his breath out in a gust.  He glanced at the sprig of mistletoe hung over the door and returned her smile with one of his own.

“How did that get there?” she exclaimed, startled.

A distant foghorn sounded from the vicinity of Captain Westerly’s Conquest, on the table behind her.

“I don’t know, but who am I to buck tradition?” Brandon asked. He leaned forward, his lips hovering over hers.

“Merry Christmas,” she said, before she sealed it with a kiss.

~ S.G. Rogers