Posts Tagged 'Flash Fiction Thursday'

Flash Fiction Thursday: Thief in the Temple

Ruins of the Temple at Delphi, google search image.

Thief in the Temple

As Artemis’ moon hung big and round and orange in the sky, and Zandra hid behind the towering stone columns and glanced over her shoulders, down the steps of the temple at Delphi.  In the darkness, the streets were empty.  She clasped her hands close to her breast and felt the pounding of her heart.  It was so terrifying and different, it could hardly be her own.  She felt the eyes of Athena on her, and was unprepared for her wrath.  The Oracle was corrupt, and she took the sacrifices and indulges the people brought to her to give false prophecies.  Only a fortnight ago the Oracle had assured her brother’s survival, but now he was dead, in the skirmishes in the countryside.  Adelphous’ story was not the first of the Oracle’s treacheries; he was one of many casualties of her clouded eye.

And so, taking back the gold pieces that they had given the Oracle to barter with the Goddess… it wasn’t thievery.  She could steal nothing from the goddess if it had not been presented to her.  Without Adelphous to mind the household in their father’s continued absense and to help with the grain harvest, they could scarce afford food to survive.  Her mother had already dismissed what servants they could  afford, and now, the family was desperate.  So Zandra had said nothing and disappeared with the cover of night.  She would not tell her mother, her sister.  She would not shame her family.  She would not be caught.

Zandra took her sandals in one hand and took the hem of her white linen dress in the other.  From her many visits, she knew the layout of the temple well.  At night, the Oracle disappeared to a separate room, where she attended to herself, for nobody could see her face.  The priestesses would be retired throughout the temple.  In the moonlight, she could barely make out the shapes of them as the rested on the stone floor.

One step at a time, she walked between the soundly sleeping priestesses.  The altar was at the farthest end of the temple, and she need only to be slow and soft in her footsteps.  There was no sound but her own footsteps, and the breathing of the priestesses.  Sometimes she could feel their breath on her feet as she moved.  The altar stood in front of her now, piled with treasures.  She let the hem of her dress fall to the ground and reached out her free hand to grasp some coins by the edge.

“Awaken!  Awaken!”  a female voice rang like thunder to the sleeping priestesses.  Zandra froze, but even as her mind was paused with fear, her feet knew to flee, and between the rousing devotees of Athena, she ran.

“Awaken!” the voice continued to appeal.  “The Oracle!  Athena has taken the Oracle!”

Zandra did not stay to hear the details.  She ran as quickly as her feet would carry her and did not stop until the Temple at Delphi, now lit with candles, was less than the height of her hand.  In the escape, she had dropped both of her sandals, but it hardly mattered.  She would do without.

Goddess protect them all, the Oracle was dead.


Author’s Note:
I’ve been sitting on this idea and will definitely come back to Zandra and Adelphous in a more refined short story, preferably not written while watching Pirates of the Caribbean:  At World’s End.  I don’t think that I could comfortably write a full-length historical fiction novel, but sometimes it’s nice to work with it in short stories.  Gotta use my degree for something, after all.  Was inspired to write something ancient-Greek since I saw My Life in Ruins and Cassandra Jade’s recent post inspired this specific story.
Much love,


Flash Fiction Thursdays: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

"Guilty Until Proven Innocent"

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

As she blinked, red dots splattered across her vision from the interrogator’s lights.  Jyla kept her hands clasped to her sides.  Her interrogator faced the steel wall.  Jyla chewed on her bottom lip and watched him, waiting for him to move, listening for his breathing; waiting for any sign of her interrogator’s humanity.

“Where were you first taken?” he asked a voice like snake.

“Borderlands,” Jyla responded immediately.  Her instruments were destroyed when her aircraft ignited, so she had no way of giving more details.  Her interrogator did not turn to face her.  Instead, he stood in motionless silence.  It made her skin crawl.


“My instruments were destroyed in the fire that took my Mosquito.”

“Where are the ruins of the aircraft.”

“I told you, Sir, I don’t know exact coordinates.”

Her interrogator stepped forward and placed a white gloved hand against the wall.  The outline of a door carved itself in the metal.  “That is not good enough,” he told her, and exited.

Even after he left, Jylouna did not move.  She knew the walls were mirrors, and people were watching in.  She suspected that the King’s Men thought that she had betrayed the King and given her aircraft to rebels hiding in the forest.  And even though she knew these allegations were false, she had no way to prove it.


Author’s Note:
Seeing an upcoming deadline, I’ve switched from working on ‘Tweens to editing chapter four of Fate.  The character here, Jylouna (Jie-L’ow-Nuh) is the character whose voice I speak in for that chapter, but she is also my most difficult character to write.  I’ve been having difficulty getting back into her head.  Please let me know if this is flat or feels forced.
Much love,

Flash Fiction Thursdays: Acceptance

Rejection, from The Letter


Her eyes lurked in the shadows.  She saw the haggard man there and the scuffed iron pistol he held in his shaking hand, but she pretended she didn’t.  If Vengeance deemed she was going to die between these red silk covers, then so be it.  But she would die with dignity.  When the gunshot sounded and the burning metal pierced her soft bronze skin, she was ready.


Author’s Note:
In both my writing courses this past year at college, my professors emphasized that a story doesn’t have to be long to be a story.  I recognize length as one of my weak points in creative writing.  I am inclined to be incredibly long, even if I don’t need to be.  I think these five sentences give enough information to relay character and basic setting to the reader, but I’m interested in your thoughts- how can I make this better without making it longer?
Much love,

To Reach the Unreachable Star

Houghton Walkway

To Reach the Unreachable Star

He pressed his face against the window and imagined that through the thick Plexiglas, he could feel the cold of space.  His bright green eyes absorbed the light of a thousand stars and silently, he prayed to whatever god was listening- please, please for the love of everything good and right in the world, let me pass this test.  He wouldn’t tell his peers this, but he was terrified.  Lieutenant Markus Albrieght had been studying for today’s test for six months in paperwork, but in reality, all his life.

He wasn’t entirely ashamed to admit that his interest in flying had come straight from Star Wars.  Sometimes he and a couple of the other hopefuls would go to a local club after training and swallow down a couple of Bud Lights and joke around about it.  “Gee, Scott, why did you join the Project?” “I was one of the fastest pilots in my squadron and my lead recommended me.  You?” “Well, you know that scene in Star Wars where Luke blows up the Death Star?  Yeah.  That’ll be me someday.” They always gave him a weird look and treated him like he was joking.  But he wasn’t, and he didn’t mind laughing along with them.  They all had little quirks, after all.

“Heya Albrieght, ya coming?”

Markus looked over his shoulder at one of the other hopefuls; they all called him Johnson, but nobody knew his first name.  That was the way it was around the Project.  It was all hush-hush, and they were not permitted to talk about any of the details, not even with their families.  Markus had a wife back home in Illinois that he hasn’t seen in six months, since he had read in a magazine on base that NASA was looking for “men and women in the Air Force looking for advancement opportunities”.  It was a vague enough advertisement, but it wasn’t the words that interested him.  It was the image in the background.  It had the stereotyped moon and stars background, but there was also a ship in the background that looked a little too much like Luke’s X-Wing.  With his wife’s blessing, he had followed up with other on the base and next thing he know, he was here, with men like Scott and Johnson, dressed in a bland grey jumpsuit, only a pen-and-paper test away from sitting in the cockpit of NASA’s newest program.

“Yea, I’m comin’.  Just gimme a minute.”  Markus pressed his palms against the window and let the cold settle in his fingers.  He closed his eyes and breathed slowly, trying to calm his heart as it threatened to explode.

“Just don’t take too long.”

Markus listened to Johnson’s heavy boots walk away and he exhaled.  In half an hour… in half an hour he would know if all these months of training were a waste of time… or a dream realised.

Flash Fiction Thursday: Come On, Get Higher

Paris at night, Via French Kitchen in America.

So far so good on another weekly commitment- I bring you this week’s “Flash Fiction Thursday”.  All typed on my boyfriend’s computer while he is at work.  And he has this snazz-tastic illuminated keyboard.  Squee!


Come On, Get Higher

L’Hotel Promenade in Paris overlooked the most beautiful, bluest part of the Seine.  From her balcony, Adrienne could feel the north wind picking up her ebony curls, carrying with it the fresh smells of croissants and perfume.  Indeed, it was signature feel of Paris, and she had come here for the same reason that every other single woman in her twenties came to Paris:  for love.  Romance novels always made it seem so simple.  All a woman need do is slip on a pair of treacherous high heels and a form-fitting black dress, and a man in a tuxedo with a cigarette clutched between his fingers was supposed to sweep her away into the yellow lights of the city.

She tapped her glossy pink nails on the metal rail of the balcony and sighed irritably.  It wasn’t that easy.  Nothing in life was that easy.  She thought any reasonable girl would kill for a chance to spend her life “just sitting and looking pretty”.  It only happened to woman like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly.  Princesses of the silver screen.  And what was she?  Adrienne was practically a doormouse compared to them. A wannabe fashion designer who hadn’t been able to make herself a name in New York.  So what? she thought to herself and took a gulp from her half-empty glass on chardonnay.  Paris was le centre de la mode.  If you wanted to be a fashion designer, you wanted to be in Paris, not the Big Apple.

Adrienne swung her body around, sloshing chardonnay on the wire balcony and it dripped to the sidewalk below.  Go to Paris, she had told herself, Be a model, fall in love, make a lot of money.  Then nobody will question the dip of your necklines or the length of you skirt.

She set the glass on a cluttered counter, covered in unopened bills.  Some belonged to her roommate, but most of them belong to her.  “Helene!” Adrienne shouted into the dimly lit living room, where she knew her roommate wasn’t.  “I’m going to go climb the Eiffel Tower and fall in love.”

When Helene didn’t respond (Of course, she is at work, Adrienne scolded herself), Adrienne sat stubbornly on the floor and pulled on her favourite pair of bright red Prada stilettos. She wobbled out the door, leaving her wallet, bills, and woes behind her.

Paris; le ville de l’amour….

Flash Fiction Thursday: When in Rome

Photograph by makiwara on deviantART
Apparently, there’s something called “Flash Fiction Thursday”.  And nobody told me?  D’aw.  Well.  It’s Thursday, and I like writing, so here we are!


When In Rome

Yvette sat down at the table and looked at her peculiar fellow diners.  Some were tall, some stout, and there was one man at the head of the table with a tall emerald hat on.  Eevee tucked her hair behind her ears and put her cap on her lap.  She was more inclined to look at the china teacup and saucer in front of her, with it’s tiny painted roses.  If she could avoid looking at her strange company, perhaps she could imagine she was at a practically normal tea party.

“Delightful, isn’t it?”  Eric Cheshire slid into the cozy armchair beside her and slicked his hand back through his greasy blonde hair.  The long day of travel had him slightly off his usual attractive appearance.  Yvette sniffed disapprovingly at his optimism, and raised her hands, jigging the metal cuffs that Ches clasped on her in order to keep her her from “exploring”.

“Gonna take these things off, now?” she scowled, but before Ches had the chance (or inclination) to answer, the man in the green hat at the head of the table stood and tapped the sugar spoon against his teacup.

“Attention please!” the crowd silenced, but for good measure, he tapped his teacup harder and repeated “Attention please!”  He smiled and dropped his teacup on the table, where it crashed, spilling tea and chips of china on the lacy tablecloth. “It is now four o clock, and the time is going tickity tockity!”  he giggled and tugged one of his oversized earlobes.  “Well, what are you waiting for?  Have some tea!”

The hare went first, lifting his own ivory-coloured chica teacup and smashing it delightedly against his saucer.  An echo of clattering followed, and all together, the rest of the company smashed their own teacups.  Eevee looked down at her own teacup and considered how much money and how much it must have cost and how her mother never let her play with the china when she was having tea parties at as a child because it might break.

Suddenly she felt a hundred multi-coloured eyes fall upon her shoulders as the fifty guests, all still and silent, closed in on her.  Their green-hatted host climbed on the long table and his big feet sunk into the shard.  He left bloody footprints on the table, but nobody seemed to notice expect for Eevee.  Ches nudged her, and she looked at him.  He nodded his blue eyes toward the teacup and slowly Eevee reached her chained hands toward the china.

Well, she thought to herself, when in Rome….

She lifted her teacup and let it fall through her fingers on to the table.  The handle broke off and fell to the side, but the rest of the teacup remained intact.  Still, it seemed enough to please the host, but he stopped in front of her, his scuffed black shoes only a millimeter away from the bread and butter.  “Delightful!”  he chortled, and he jumped on the table.  It groaned beneath his weight and china shuttered.  Yvette forced a smile and the host raised his hands above his head and shouted “Move right!”

Yvette was nearly trampled by the guest moving seats, and as she struggled to move with the crowd, Ches whispered in her ear, “I hope you like him, peanut, he’s going to teach you his trade.”

As Eevee fell into a three-legged chair, she gasped, “You mean he’s…”

“The Mad Hatter? Mais oui.

The shattering of the china resumed, and with wide brown eyes, Eevee looked at her host again and the reality of her situation sunk in.  She would be spending the next twelve months with a madman.


something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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