Archive for February, 2011

Mission Impossible

Posted on February 28, 2011 12:40 pm under Microfiction
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Fairy Godmother gave her the toughest assignments. It would take more than bibbidi-bobbidi-boo to turn this one into a glass slipper.

Grandma



Microfiction Monday offers a new image each week and a challenge to write a story of 140 characters or less. Click on the image to see other entries. Why not try your own?

Glimmers – The Good Life

Posted on February 23, 2011 4:54 pm under Story Ideas
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 “Hurry, Cleo.”

“I can’t, Debbie.  My feet are killing me.”

“If we’re late, Mr. Jensen will have our jobs.”

Who’d want them?  Filing was the world’s dullest job.  Still, she couldn’t afford to be fired.  The rent was late, the credit card maxed and the utilities were scheduled for shutoff.  Only twenty years old and her life had been reduced to a mindless job and a cramped studio.  No surprise that stress killed people in their forties.  It would probably be her fate, if her sore feet and aching back didn’t do the job sooner.

Several more hours of filing did nothing to relieve the pain. She looked longingly at the bus stop and hopefully searched the bottom of her purse for change. No ride today. She limped home and grabbed the mail before tackling the six flight climb.  A delivery man was using his knee to knock on her door.  His hands were occupied with a huge fruit basket and an exquisite arrangement of flowers.

“I think you’ve got the wrong apartment.”

“Cleo Collins?”

“That’s me.”

Then these are for you.”

She set the baskets on the rickety coffee table and flopped onto the sofa, carefully avoiding a protruding spring.  She sank her teeth into a juicy pear.  Might as well have a little pleasure while she reviewed today’s demands for payment. Another notice from the utility? No, an overpayment refund of almost four hundred dollars. Obviously a mistake, but maybe they wouldn’t catch it. The credit card was next. She could use the refund to shut them up. No need for that.  Her limit had been substantially increased. A dream? She pinched her arm. Ouch! She turned on the television and found her cable service restored. The phone, silent for over six months, produced a dial tone.  She used it to order pizza and wings.  It had to be a dream.  She didn’t care.  Her waking hours weren’t nearly as enjoyable.

The next day brought a bank statement with a six figure balance.  Cleo skipped work and went to the mall.  She stopped to purchase a lottery ticket on the way home.  It would be a shame to waste this lucky streak.  Two days later she was the sole winner of the Mega Millions lottery.  Life had been good since then.

Cleo relaxed in the huge tub, surrounded by a mountain of bubbles.  Clara handed her a glass of wine and lit the candles.

“Anything else Miss Cleo?”

“Yes, I’d like to join Arnold in Paris for supper.”

“Of course, Miss Cleo.  I’ll tell the pilots to prepare your jet.”

 

Nurse Davis turned to the trainee.

“This is Cleo Collins.  Been here for over fifteen years.  She was found hunched behind a file cabinet at her workplace.  She’s been like this ever since.  The doctors have tried several treatments, but the catatonia has persisted.”

“How sad.”

“Perhaps, but notice that Mona Lisa smile.  She may be far away, but I think she’s happy.  It’s more than I can say.  My feet are killing me.”

  

Grandma

Don’t forget to head over to the Weekend Writers’ Retreat to enjoy submissions from more authors.

Three Word Wednesday. is a meme that challenges writers to create something using three selected words. This week’s words are figurejuicy and stress. Click on the link to view other entries or submit your own.

Escape

Posted on February 21, 2011 12:37 pm under Microfiction
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Susan at Stony River supplied a photo of the historic Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum for this week’s microfiction challenge. Described as “a sanctuary for the mentally ill in the mid 1800’s”, the building is filled with history and legends. Click on the photo to learn more about it.

I tried to find an upbeat story, but couldn’t get past the hauntings.






Years before, the doors were locked and that window was her light at the end of the tunnel. If only it had been on the ground floor.

Grandma



Microfiction Monday offers a new image each week and a challenge to write a story of 140 characters or less. Click on the image to see other entries. Why not try your own?

Glimmers – Hypochondria

Posted on February 16, 2011 2:00 pm under Story Ideas
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This week, I used the Three Word Wednesday prompts to spark an idea for a new novel:

“You’d better sit down. I have some very bad news.”

Aunt Mildred took a sip of herbal tea, added another spoonful of honey and waited for her reaction.

Jenny sat and tried to look concerned. Be kind. You promised your mother.

“What’s wrong?”

“I have pancreatic cancer.” She smiled smugly. “It’s fatal, you know. I’ll be gone in the blink of an eye.”

Jenny resisted the impulse to blink rapidly.

“When was it diagnosed?”

“Last night. I watched this show on TV that explained all the symptoms.” She waved a slip of paper. “I wrote them down. Fatigue, back pain, nausea . . .”

“Those could be symptoms of many things, Aunt Mildred.” She watched as her aunt devoured a second shortbread cookie.

“How long have you been feeling nauseous?”

“Quite a while. It comes and goes, you know. I have to eat when I can. Keep my strength up.” She reached for another cookie. “I’ve made an appointment with Dr. Carson. We should leave soon.”

“You have an appointment now?”

“In a half hour.”

“I came here on my lunch hour, Aunt Mildred. I have to go back to work.”

“I’m dying and you’re going back to work.”

“I’ll take you to the doctor, but not today. See if you can make an appointment for Thursday.”

“As if I’ll still be here on Thursday. Your mother would have understood.”

“My mother wanted to live. She fought hard and she never complained. Why are you so intent on dying?”

Her aunt’s face crumpled and she instantly regretted her outbreak. She put her arms around her aunt and kissed her dampened cheek.

“I’m sorry, Aunt Mildred. I know you miss her too. I wish I could stay, but I can’t skip this meeting. I’ll call you tonight.”

Jenny berated herself on the drive back to the office. Aunt Mildred was lonely. She’d lost her husband and her sister in the last three years. Mom had also been her closest friend and the hypochondria had escalated since her death. Aunt Mildred didn’t need a doctor, she needed some attention. Jenny resolved to do better. She’d call her every day and find occasions to get her out of the house. Take her to dinner or a movie. She’d do that tonight. Aunt Mildred loved those Chinese buffets.

Mandatory meetings were usually long and senseless. This one was no exception. Even Chinese with Aunt Mildred would be more exciting. She finally made her escape and headed back across town. An early dinner, then she would have the rest of the evening to herself. She smiled at the prospect.

“How’s that working for you?” Dr. Phil shouted from the living room.

She glanced at her watch and groaned. The show wasn’t over for another thirty minutes. Aunt Mildred would never desert Dr. Phil, not even for Chinese. She envisioned another chunk of precious time floating away. It took a minute for the empty chair to register. Another before she saw the lifeless form next to it, one hand clutching her throat and the other clenching a crumbling shortbread cookie.

The crowd howled as Dr. Phil screamed again.

“How’s that working for you?”

Grandma

Don’t forget to head over to the Weekend Writers’ Retreat to enjoy submissions from more authors.

Three Word Wednesday. is a meme that challenges writers to create something using three selected words. This week’s words are blink, kind and occasion. Click on the link to view other entries or submit your own.

Valentine Blunder

Posted on February 14, 2011 3:34 am under Microfiction
Tags: , , , | 13 Comments


Microfiction Monday Feb 14


“Next time, I’ll pick his blind date.”

“Don’t worry. Clara’s finding an escort.”

“Thank goodness Omar brought the yellow pages. How’s cell phone reception up here?”

Grandma



Microfiction Monday offers a new image each week and a challenge to write a story of 140 characters or less. Click on the image to see other entries. Why not try your own?