Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Flash Fiction Week of December 19th

A little late due to the holiday craziness, but here is the flash fiction I did last week. Due to work and the holidays, I wasn't able to do as much as I normally do, but this week I should be back in action. :)

#MotivationMonday

Title: Can I Get a Re-do?

“That’s just great. Now my flashlight doesn’t work!” I muttered as I was encased in darkness. This was just par for course with how my day was going.

It all started out when I woke up an hour late for work. As I scrambled through my morning routine, everything that could go wrong did: the hot water ran out midway through my shower, I got soap in my eye, the sole of my shoe separated from the upper as I slipped them on, and the coffee burned. That really irked me. A good cup of coffee could make any crappy morning better.

On my way work, I got stuck in road construction and the freeway became a parking lot. The minutes ticked by as I became later and later for work. My cell phone rang as I stared at the break lights of the car in front of me. It was my boss. I cringed on how that conversation was going to go.

All I heard was a fizzy static as I put the phone to my ear. When I pulled it away from the and looked at it, the screen of my cell phone was fried, the color and picture all distorted.

“Great,” I said to myself in disgust as traffic finally opened up and I started down the road again.

At work, I was treated to much of the same. My computer gave me the BSOD, my printer jammed, and phone calls that weren’t meant for me kept getting transferred to my desk.

When I left work for the day, I noticed one of the tires of my car was flat. While stuck in that construction zone on the way to work, I picked up a nail. I was just glad that it hadn’t blown my tire while I was still driving.

Finally at home, I breathed a sigh of relief. Surely, now that I was at home, nothing else could happen.

I was wrong.

I was in the middle of making when the power went out. When I poked my head out the window, it was apparent that I wasn’t the only one. I shrugged my shoulders and found my flashlight and some candles ... except I couldn’t find any matches or a lighter.

Chocking it up to how the well the day had gone so far, I shuffled off to my bedroom to try to read by flashlight. It was too early to go to bed, but there wasn’t much else I could do without power. Sure I could get on my laptop, but without power, my wireless router didn’t work either, negating Internet surfing.

I was in the middle of a rather engaging chapter of my book when the wan light of my flashlight became to sputter, waver, then completely stop. Shrouded in darkness, I tossed my book on the floor and stared up at the ceiling.

All in all, I should’ve just stayed in bed and called it a day.

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#MenageMonday
My entry won "Funniest Story"

Title: Possessed by Reindeer

The wire Christmas decorations groaned as they baked in the warm Florida winter. To the casual observer, they were just that: innocent, wire Christmas decorations. However, looks were deceiving.

“Harath, whose bright idea was this?” the middle reindeer rumbled.

“Sitha,” Harath responded, the thin metal that made up his body shuddering. “He said he had a surefire way for us to return to Earth. When I agreed, we ended up here.”

“How are we supposed to take over the world and strike fear into humanity as lawn d├ęcor?!” the third member of the trio chimed in.

“I haven’t figured that out yet, Raz,” Harath replied, thinking that Raz would’ve been better left back on the other side. Yet again, another idea by Sitha who said the more the merrier.

Their mission was to return to Earth and make the humans quiver in fear of the undead creatures who were about to subjugate them. However, there was a caveat. They couldn’t just appear on Earth in their true form, which could not pass over. So they had to find another vessel for their essences to reside, but it could not be currently occupied by a living creature.

Some creatures went for dead bodies but the flesh decayed too quickly. However, Harath had not anticipated this. It certainly made it hard to strike fear into anyone when they looked like cute holiday decorations.

Harath sighed and tried to think of a way to get out of the mess they were in.

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#TuesdayTales

Title: Nothing Says Lovin’ Like Somethin’ Warm From the Oven

Frank gently stroked his wife’s back as she slept, noticing a bit of cookie dough stuck in her hair. He enjoyed moments like these, when she was free of the stress of life. She looked as young as the day he met her.

She was baking Christmas snickerdoodles when he interrupted her. It wasn’t just the heat of the oven that fogged up the kitchen window that night. Some of the cookies burned and the dough ended up in strange places. It was a fun night though.

Frank thought perhaps he could encourage Debra to bake more often.

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See you next week! :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Flash Fiction Week of December 12th

Here's the flash fiction that I wrote this week. :)  The only one I missed out on was the #FridayPictureShow hosted by @JenD_Author. Work was so crazy yesterday that I didn't have a chance to get my prompt in. Another week.

#MenageMonday

Title: A Rose By Any Other Name

It was the Johnson City Transform-Your-Ride event. People came out far and wide with their cars, trucks, and crossovers modified to look like anything they could imagine and build and still operate as a vehicle.

In a huge parking lot, the vehicles were lined up like ducks in a row with groups of people surrounding each one. Interwoven the groups were off-duty cops who certified each entry was street legal.

Two of the most popular entries was a pink Jeep, outfitted to look like a pig, and a SUV made into a were-moose. While the pig was just painted and had some steel additions, the owner of the were-moose went all out.

The man stood proudly to the side of his were-wonder, describing to fans all the work he put into it, including the shag carpeting on the roof and sides of the car, horns made from ironwork, wrapped in felt, and the teeth wired to the grill of the SUV out of Styrofoam and lacquer.

Needless to say, the were-moose won. He took a bite out of the competition.

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#TuesdayTales

Title: Home Is Where the Heart Is

They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, except Hell isn’t some abstract place full of fire and brimstone. It’s here in Perdition, in this wretched town, full of wretched people.

When I arrived, I started out with a purpose to do great things, but ended up getting stuck and unable to leave. This town sucks the life out of you and leaves nothing but a vacant shell. You can see it in the eyes of those stuck here with me, as they go through the motions of living.

Is this really living or is this damnation?

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#5MinuteFiction
Title: The Difference A Year Makes

It was a new year. A new day. A new chance.

Would I waste it as I have years before?

It seemed as each year went by, I could only see the missed opportunities and missed chances. I never looked forward, only backward.

If I had only took that one job … if I only said yes to that date … if I had only turned left instead of right.
The list went on and on, always second guessing myself.

My psychologist said it was a lack of confidence. I questioned it, wondering if going to see him was the right choice.

Apparently I just proved his point.

This year was going to be different. The past was in the past. I couldn’t change what has already happened; I could only change what could happen.

This year was going to be different. I was tired of living in the shadow of my past, both good and bad.

This year was going to be different, and I was starting today.

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#HumpDayChallenge

Title: The Wind of Change

“You can’t be serious about publishing this journal,” Dr. Spiner challenged the research scientist.

“What’s wrong with it?”

“You have molecules listed in the wrong categories!” the doctor shouted, tossing down the rough draft of the publication on the table. “The periodic table of elements isn’t a guesstimate, you idiot!”

Henry, the belittled research assistant, picked up his paper with a snort. “I know it’s not, Dr. Spiner, but my research is an important commodity to science. It reveals new information that will completely change how the world views the PTOE, which you would’ve known if you actually read it.”

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#ThursThreads (brand new challenge started by @SiobhanMuir at http://siobhanmuir.blogspot.com/)
Title: The End Is Only The Beginning
Opening my eyes, something felt off, something nagged at the back of my mind … a flash of light, of metal. I was in my room, but not. I felt awake, but not. It was very strange. I got up and moved around, everything the same but somehow different.
The moment I stepped out of my bedroom, reality fell away. Before me was a vast hall, bright and luminous, full of all different kinds of people. A petite, red-headed woman walked toward me with a gentle smile.
“Welcome to the Otherside, Morgan.” she said.
“How do you know me?” I asked. “And who are you? What’s the Otherside?
“I’m Elleria. I’m here to show you around.”
“And here is?”
“The Otherside.”
“What?”
“The Otherside,” she repeated, patiently. “You died last night in a car accident. Now, you’re an angel.”
I sputtered, completely confused as I looked around at all the other people in the hall moving around with purpose.
“Are all these others … ?”
She nodded. “Yes. Contrary to popular belief, angels come in all shapes and sizes, with all kinds of wings.”
“Wings?” I looked behind me and didn’t see anything sprouting from my back.
“Not in the literal sense, Morgan. Your wings are your transportation when you are earthbound. It could be a car, a bike, anything. Come, it’s time to show you around.”
Utterly lost, I followed Elleria into the Otherside. 
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Till  next week!

My New Year's Resolution: #WIP500

Cara Michaels, author of Gaea's Chosen: The Mayday Directive, came up with a great idea, in the spirit of Nanowrimo, to keep us all writing. It's called WIP500. Basically, you just write 500 words a day. That's it. If you do more, great, but get that 500. After a year, you'd be amazed at what you can get done. On Cara's website, she outlines how you can participate. I think this is an absolutely BRILLIANT idea and I can't wait to start.

You can find information about it here: WIP500 and can be followed on Twitter with the following tag: #WIP500, as well as any of the other links I gave to Cara's site (and check out her book too!).

 Hope to see you there starting January 1st.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Brushes the Dust Off

So ... I think I promised not to be so absent from posting and here it's been nearly a month. Shame on me. Work has been busy and just life in general. Now that Nano is over, it's time for Christmas which has been keeping me busy.

This year I'm making a lot of homemade gifts, namely the edible variety. I've already done one batch of cookies, going to do a lot more stuff (chocolate dipped goodies, barks, maybe some spiced nuts). It's going to be a tasty Christmas.

When not in the kitchen, I've been trying to get back on the flash fiction bandwagon. Here are my entries for the #MenageMonday, #TuesdayTales, and #5MinuteFiction. The results of #MenageMonday haven't been released yet, but I'm a finalist on the #5MinuteFiction. #TuesdayTales results will be released tomorrow.

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#MenageMonday

Title: Christmas Sharing

Roger stood at the janitor’s desk and regaled the staff with his oh-so-exciting story about his weekend. He came down every morning and tried to flirt with Sharon. She was too nice to tell him to go away, even if his halitosis made the entire room smell. Her numerous mentions of a boyfriend also did not dissuade the clueless Casanova. Cleary, the man could not tell that no one wanted to hear his mostly made-up stories.

Roger was in the middle of a torrid story about how he found fuzzy dice that he swore were owned by Christopher Walken. At an alleged Christmas party he was at, Roger was rooting through the host’s sock drawer and found a Christmas stocking with “CW” embroidered on it.

The whole room collectively rolled their eyes, as if saying “Thanks for sharing!” while making a note to lock their bedroom doors if he was ever in their homes.

Roger continued, nonplussed. Deep in the toe of the stocking were old fuzzy dice. He quickly snatched the dice and left the party.

He dug into his pocket and plopped the dice down on the counter. “I thought you might like them, Sharon.”

She shuddered.

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#TuesdayTales

Title: Keeping It Within the Family: Travelling the Universe Through Temporal Mechanics

Family vacations are a tried and true institution, even more so for my family. No ordinary visits to the Ceres Cluster. No, we chose to be different, by travelling through time.

Our kids got to witness history as it happened, instead of in a museum. It was a pretty awesome experience, provided that we didn’t run into family members or ourselves from the past.

We made the mistake once. After a Sassinak-like interaction with my great-great-great grandmother, whom I closely resembled, we learned our lesson.

My husband will never live down the day that he mistook her for me.
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#5MinuteFiction

Title: Space Flight Can Be Dangerous for Your Health

He was tall, dark, and handsome, and incredibly ugly … such an attractive man with such a horrible personality. Sure, he was pleasant to look at but as soon as he opened his mouth, it was downhill from there. It would’ve been perfect if he was the strong, silent type. However, he was of the loud, boorish variety.

If I didn’t have to put up with him for my job, I would’ve shoved him out of the airlock one cycle ago. Seriously. Even now I was starting to wonder if the credits I earned for my time were worth this kind of torture. Maybe I could inquire for hazard pay. Dealing with him was truly a life-threatening experience.

“Where’s my cargo?” he blared through the intercom, not even bothering to ask if I was busy.

I rolled my eyes and pressed the comlink. “All cargo is kept in the suspensor bay by the main airlock, Mr. Schrock.”

“I need it now.”

“Access to the suspensor bay is not permitted during the flight.”

“Well, stop.”

I wanted to bang my head against my control board. “I cannot stop the ship mid-jump, Mr. Schrock. Our ETA at your destination is less than four hours. You will be able to retrieve whatever you need at that time.”

“Unacceptable.”

I gritted my teeth and tried to remember why I was doing this. It was hard to remember when faced with this kind of passenger. Would it really be noticed if Mr. Schrock never made it to his destination? Would anyone really miss him?

A plan began to develop in my mind …