A flash fiction story again…

I’m having a hard time finding my muse for writing fiction, romance, or whatever with the current state of the world. The news are flooded with refugees, and idiotic politicians that are just making people more divided.

Picture from http://www.sat7usa.org/war-robs-children-of-schooling
Picture from http://www.sat7usa.org/war-robs-children-of-schooling

To keep my head together I decided to write a submission to the FWAR Flashers prompt that was in its simplicity “Escape” and here’s what I came up with.

I titled it “Running for safety” but I’m not quite feeling it.

One night the building across the street was crushed by dropped bomb. The window in the living room tumbled down shattering into a million pieces as the dust cloud swept in over the furniture. The girl cried in her mother’s arms as they lied awake in the tiny room furthest from the windows, and listened to the nightmare going on around them. They both prayed that they would survive the night.

As the dawn came, they were even more silent than usual. They sat in the kitchen and ate breakfast, both still shaken to the core by the night’s events.

“Today we leave,” the mother said.

The girl just nodded and continued nibbling away on her piece of bread. She didn’t quite understand where they would go. Her father and uncle had died or been imprisoned, no one really knew for sure. Her grandparents and their farm had been casualties of war a long ago.

Although she couldn’t imagine where they would go, she knew not to question her mother’s decision. There was no future for them here. The only thing left was fear and destruction. The fear was so overwhelming that she had started to become numb to it.

“You can take one toy only, and a set of clothes,” her mother said as she gave the girl a pink backpack. It was the backpack she was supposed to use when she got back to school. But now, there was no school left to go to. That building had been destroyed a month back.

The girl packed her favorite teddy bear in the bag. She took out the photo of her family from its frame, and hid the picture in the back pocket of the bag. She packed her second favorite shirt too, the one her father had given her for her birthday, even though it was more than she was allowed to take.

Hand in hand they walked the narrow alleys until they came to the edge of the deserted market square.

She squeezed her mother’s hand as fear gripped her. It was here her cousin had been shot by snipers hiding in the abandoned buildings.

“Quickly,” her mother tugged her arm as they ran across the square.

“Mama… Ow… You’re hurting my arm,” she whined but not loud enough for her mother to hear.

They breathed of relief as they reached the buildings on the other side. The fighting wasn’t as bad here anymore. The ruined buildings stood as reminders that the war was still going on just around the corner.

The sound of an approaching helicopter made them vary. People around them stood and looked at the sky.

“It dropped a bomb!” Someone yelled and a mere second later they heard the explosion. A pillar of smoke rose from the direction of their home.

“Hurry.” The men around them urged them on. The girl and her mother climbed into the back of a car and held each other close as they drove through the city.

“Where are we going?” She asked her mother.

“We’re leaving Syria.” The mother said, stroking the girl’s hair. “We are going somewhere where you can sleep without fear, in a beautiful bed fit for a princess.”

A few days on the road had already worn them out. But they kept going because they knew tonight would be different. As darkness descended upon them they stood on a beach, waiting for their turn to board the already overcrowded rubber dinghy.

Safety was waiting across the stretch of water, they were told. They only had to survive the rest of the journey.

  • This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Just checking in…

I haven’t quite fallen off the face of the earth, although I seem to be in a social media rut at the moment. Either it’s really quiet or Facebook has once again changed something and no one’s posts are popping up.


On the writing side of life, it’s been quiet as well. Or semi-quiet at least. I sent a submission to the Drabble and they posted it – yay!

If you want to read it, it’s here -> Waiting for Life by Henrika Frost

I posted a reply to the FWAR Flashers prompt as well, and I think I shouldn’t have done it… Because now Yvonne (the protagonist) has taken on a life of her own inside my head. And by the looks of it I won’t have any time to write it down in the next few days – unless I skip sleeping. Sigh. It’s just so typical.

August has also brought on another try at dieting. I’m starving striving to follow the FMD 28 day challenge, but honestly, I’m happy as long as I manage to keep myself from eating sweets (and junk food in general). So far so good. But it’s been like five days, so that’s not saying much. Let’s just say, I’m being realistic and not getting my hopes up.

Have a great weekend y’all!

Wordless (or Writing Prompt) Wednesday

Cool late summer air brushes against my face as I walk the sandy road. I take a deep breath and smell the salty air blowing from the sea. The dry leaves crackle beneath my sandals, reminding me that ever so soon, the luscious greens will become an array of orange, yellow and red. I pick a lone flower from the roadside and smile. Grandma will like it for sure. The shadows grow longer the further down the road I get. By the time I reach Grandma’s cabin, it’s basking in the evening sun. Birds are singing, sharing our joy in the last rays of sun before the darkness wins the fight.

Quoth The Wordsmith

Take part in this exercise if you choose, or simply take a few moments to enjoy a pretty picture, the choice is yours.

If you’d like to participate, share how this picture makes you feel, what stories might take place in it, or even just list a few adjectives that it inspires in you to practice some descriptive writing.

This Wednesday, I’d like to share some personal nostalgia with you instead of a description. This picture takes me back to visiting my grandparent’s house as a child. Their farmhouse boasts about 150 years and was built by my great-grandfather’s very own hands. It can only be reached by driving down a long avenue of towering old trees. Trees that have seen horses change into cars and children change into bones. Those trees made the world seem like a fairy tale when I was small, as they dappled my skin in…

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Another day, another prompt

So again, as usual, I took part in the Flash Fiction prompt on FWAR. This time the prompt was to go to Fortune Cookie Quotes – and then pick one fortune for inspiration. I picked the one that said You learn from your mistakes… You will learn a lot today. Because that just had so much potential. But squeezing all the ideas rampaging through my head into less than 600 words was the hard part – I managed, just barely.

My only goal was to keep it light this time, since most of my prompts lately have been sad or tragic.

Lessons Learned

The evening sun is sinking towards the horizon, making the shadows of the trees in the park seem like they go on forever. Laura waits for the bus, a cardboard box filled with her stuff from the office beside her on the bench, observing the hustle of the city that passes her by.

She shakes her head, as she looks the note that was hidden inside her fortune cookie. “Well, no shit, Sherlock.” She says to no-one in particular as she reads it again. You learn from your mistakes… You will learn a lot today.

Everything started from one tiny error, one press of the wrong button. A message from the office manager, a very close friend of Laura’s, came, and she couldn’t resist replying to it with a funny, although very inappropriate picture that she had found on Google. She snickered at her little joke, as the email was sent. Only when the replies started pouring in, did she find out that something had gone wrong.

A big lump lodged itself in her throat as she realized that she had pressed reply to all, and sent the picture of the very much naked guy to everyone in the company. That meant all 250 employees, including the management.

Cold sweat broke, as she looked at the name blinking on her phone. This can’t be good, she thought as she picked up the phone. And good it wasn’t. The order was to be in the boss’ office by four PM.

She continued working, trying to ignore the various replies arriving to her email. With a quick glance it seemed that many took it with humor. The single ladies saw nothing wrong with it. The guy from IT, commented something – and basically outed himself to her at the same time. The up-tight lady from the development department stormed into Laura’s office and – lectured her on office etiquette and manners. Throw in a few disgruntled customers, and her day was officially dandy.

By four, Laura gathered her courage as she climbed the stairs to Mr. Bosman’s office. She knocked on the hardwood door and heard his rumbling voice telling her to come in.

She pushed the door open and for a moment she was confused. The room was dark, the curtains drawn and the only light came from a set of candles flickering on the desk.

“Mr. Bosman?” She asked, and jumped as the door clicked shut behind her.

“Laura, Laura, Laura…” his voice came from somewhere in the dark. She didn’t reply, as all words had deserted her by the door. “So I got that email you sent.” He continued. “That was quite the image you had there…”

Laura rolled her eyes and prayed for this strange interaction to be over soon. She heard him tut tutting behind her.

“Turn around Ms. Feigle. I’m talking to you.” His sound came from much closer now. “Besides, I think you need a real man, not one of those metrosexuals.”

Laura turned around and dropped her jaw. There he stood, in all his glory, his stocky five foot three body bare naked. She fought herself not to glance at his family jewels hanging beneath the hair covered barrel that was his belly.

“What the…?” Was as far she got, before she totally lost it. She laughed so hard she almost peed her pants.

Needless to say, Mr. Bosman didn’t take her reaction that well, and he would’ve probably fired her – if she hadn’t already quit on the spot.

Many lessons learned, she thought, as she carried her box onto the bus.

Challenging myself – 20 minutes

So the prompt has to be written in 20 minutes. Here we go.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Dog Named Bob.”

Sara squinted as the rays of the morning sun found their way to her eyes from in between the leaves of the birch by the pergola. She placed her cup of coffee on the worn wooden table, and went back inside to get herself a plate full of waffles covered with syrup.

Her dog Bob sneaked out and followed her through the garden. He circled her, his tail wagging, flapping against the railing. A blue-jay hopped over the dew covered grass and Bob took off chasing it. The blue-jay flew away, and Bob was left standing by the fence, his newly gained freedom now limited to the yard. The poor city-dog bewildered by the life in the country. Bob wagged his tail harder when he saw Mike, the inked mailman coming to bring the day’s mail. Sara walked across the grass and patted Bob on the head.

“Morning Sara,” Mike said as he saw her. “It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it.”

And done.

Writing prompts

At last, I have the possibility to write again. Or at least try to write again. Not quite daring to get back to my stories yet, a writing prompt is exactly what the doctor ordered. Right? Good thing I’m on that FWAR site, in the Flashers group, so I didn’t have to go searching for a prompt.

Stock photo by gxtas (Deviant Art)

This was the picture of the prompt and here is what it inspired me to write:

On hold

The wood creaked beneath her feet, as she walked through the room. The old house was so quiet now, almost as if it was holding its breath, waiting for life to fill it again. She trailed her fingers over the crocheted tablecloth, the shriveled petals scattered around the lone vase in the middle of the surface. She willed the flower to regain its colors, its glory. It didn’t. The place was etched with memories, the stories that filled the place now hidden beneath a layer of dust.

Hesitating for a moment she stopped by the open fireplace, wrapped her cardigan a bit tighter, in a vain attempt to fight the chill engulfing her. She placed a few logs there; tore a page from a newspaper dated a year ago. The matches were in the corner, in the same place where they’d always been. She shook the box, just to hear them rattle, just like grandpa had always done. The memory made her smile. Flames soon devoured the last year’s news, and then began gnawing away on the dry logs. The heat did little to help the coldness within her.

She sat there, staring at the flames, listening to the fire crackle and let the memories wash over her. The good. The bad. The beautiful. The ugly. Emotions ebbed and flowed until it became too much to take. It was a bad idea coming here alone. She should’ve waited for the rest of the family.

Fuck it, she thought and stood up, strode over to grandpa’s cabinet and took out the bottle of old faithful Jack. Not bothering to get a cup she drank straight from the bottle. The whiskey burned its way down her throat, but failed in taking the edge off her anxiety.

She grabbed the bottle and walked over to the armchair grandpa always used to sit in. She sat there, in his chair, drinking his liquor, feeling like an intruder. An intruder in the house she had spent all her summers growing up in. An intruder in the house she had now inherited. An intruder in a place she hated, almost as much as she loved it.

Sighing, she pulled herself together. Enough wallowing, she told herself. He’s in a better place now, no matter how much it hurts to admit it. She closed the cap and placed the bottle on the floor.

She opened the curtains, bringing much needed light to the abandoned cabin. Dust swirled in the air as the house sighed; life had finally returned.

I really don’t know why I’m going with so sad story-lines for these prompts. Maybe next time I have to try to write a comedy.

10 Steps to Overcome Writer’s Block

Good advice for overcoming writer’s block.

Carly Watters, Literary Agent Blog

writing top 10 by Brian ClarkFind yourself looking at a blank screen a lot lately? It happens to all of us. (I have to write proposals, catalog copy, and pitches too!)

So what do you do when you’re stuck? Here are some great tips for overcoming the dreaded writer’s block.

Join the club that knows how to defeat those obstacles and has learned to look forward, not back:

1. Acknowledge the feelings and try to get to the root of them: Are you nervous, anxious or unsure about your story? Are you scared that it won’t live up to reader’s expectations? Are you looking at the clock and–knowing you have limited time–watching the hands move around? If you’re truthful about your reservations you can recognize and move past them.

2. Forgive yourself a perfect draft: No one writes a clean first draft. It’s called a “Shitty First Draft” for a reason. Read some Anne…

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… and nothing.

Yup. That’s writer’s block for you. I know I barely qualify as a writer, but I still suffer from a that devious thing called writer’s block at the moment. I want to write, the voices are whispering – no, I’m not losing my mind (I hope) – and story ideas are popping up even in my sleep. But when I finally get a few minutes to spare – to write – nothing comes out. The words feel wrong, unsuitable somehow, making it impossible to even get the first row written. Hence this blog post which will probably mostly be random thoughts stringed loosely together. I just have to get through this block.

There are so many stories somewhere there inside the dusty corners of my mind, but unfortunately they are all buried beneath work and football tournament stuff. Remind me again why did I voluntarily take up the responsible organizer job for the tournament? Like I don’t have enough to do without that? Must learn to delegate… This has to become my mantra until I get it. Because now I’m in the I’ll just do that myself-mode. And at some point this camel’s back is going to break.

I could do with a little less stress though – but I’ve brought that on myself so do I have a right to bitch about it? And if I’m not stressing over something else, then I’m desperate to get updates to my stories done. It seems that just being, and not doing something has become an impossible task. I can’t say I’m waiting for the summer holiday even, because I think of 4 weeks off, I only have one week that is truly free – as in not already booked with kids hobbies, games and travel. Sigh.

Oh, to be a kid again, to have a long, lazy summer, when the days are filled with lying on the beach, reading a good book or ten.

But alas, it is what it is.

The Casual Rule is FREE for a limited time. One-click while you can!

I totally loved The Casual Rule! So excited to read The New Rule. Yay!

AC Netzel

The Casual Rule is FREE for a very limited time.  If you don’t own it yet..now’s your chance!  Tell your friends!  This book can be read as a standalone. SHARING IS CARING!

L@@K at the reviews!

This book totally worked! From the very first page to the last it was pure gold. Adorable, witty, heartwarming, sweet, sexy …. I had such a fun time reading.-@Love Between the Sheets

If you are looking for a fun, witty, sweet story that will make you laugh then The Casual Rule is the book for you. I loved this story. It is funny and sexy with a bit of drama all in one. @ Three Chicks and Their Books Blog

If you’re looking for a book with a little bit of smut, a little comedy and a ride on an emotional roller coaster, then pick up this book today. You will love Julia. She…

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A limit reached

I stumbled onto the Daily Post blog and found a writing prompt by the name Fearful symmetry

Because picking a letter felt like an impossible task, I used a random letter generator that I found online, and ended up with the letter A.

A limit reached

All she wanted was a moment for herself, a moment of peace and quiet when no one asked her for anything, no one called out her name nor used her as a jungle gym. After all, in another time, in another life, she would’ve been appalled by the state of her home, the never ending Lego construction site in the middle of the living room, the highway of cars racing across the couch. Although, she didn’t want to be annoyed by the mess or the noise, she couldn’t help it. Anew, she stepped over the minefield spread out on the floor, to collect the clothes left lying all over the place.

Argh,” she mewled as a piece of the Danish designed torture devices lodged itself into her heel.

Aidan, Adam and Andrew,” she yelled and counted to ten, trying not to lose her temper.

Alas, the counting did not calm her nerves. All three boys, rumbled down the stairs, sweeping through the room like a tornado. A shove here, an insult there, the brothers paid no notice to their mother standing in the middle of the room seething. Adam, the middle child, was the first to sense their mother’s mood and he shushed down his brothers.

Are you alright, mom,” he asked, his green eyes filled with worry, looking up at her.

Am I alright,” she retorted raising her voice. “Again, none of you have picked up these darn things,” she yelled throwing a handful of Lego around the room.

A silence fell, as the boys watched their mother’s last nerve break. An avalanche of words spewed forward accompanied by tears streaming down her cheeks.

Astounded, the boys stood in the middle of the messy living room and listened to her. At last, the flood of words narrowed down to a mere trickle, and when she finally stopped, the boys started cleaning up the mess they’d made. A deep breath, and she felt the weight on her shoulders release. A minute or two passed, before she joined her sons in picking up the toys from the floor. After even the last Lego was cleared from the floor, she hugged her boys. Apologies were mumbled, and a few I love you-s too.

Apparently a breakdown was needed for the air to be cleaned, and although the peace – and the tidy living room – lasted only for about thirty minutes, Aidan, Adam and Andrew understood, that their mother is only human too.