Category: Flash Fiction

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Cloud Cover, Dolomite, California State Road 136, California, United States of America

Cloud Cover

The band of ominous cloud
Hovers over the highway
Mile after mile

An oppressive weight
Waiting to fall

My mood becomes dark as the sky

Until I realize the low grey cover
Provides an atmospheric parasol

A gift to soften harsh desert sun
Diminish the heat of afternoon
An invitation to step out of the car

I breathe deeply in sage-scented air
While my mood becomes effervescent

As sage drifting in the desert breeze

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Exiting the Sierras, Nebelhorn, Lincoln Highway, California, United States of America

Instamatic Memory Machine

Much as I hate moving
And all that packing
Which takes forever
As I go through the shoe boxes
Of memorabilia
Stacked in the closet
Which have remained unopened
Since the last time I moved

I have to admit
To some minor or major
Moments of fascination
Or delight
Or longing
Emotion moving my core
With some rekindled
Long-forgotten moment
Or chapter
In a life becoming much too long
To hold all the memories
Within my mind alone

A birthday card
A letter written but never sent
Elementary report cards
And aptitude test results

A story I’d written
With misshapen letters
And a child’s innocence
A Dragnet drama
Starring a detective snake
Age eight

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Tunneling, Willow Ranch, Interstate 395, California, United States of America

Comfort Food

It was a straight run
Down valley
And at 100 miles an hour
The landscape became a gun barrel
I rifled through

The road was freshly paved
Though heavily pebbled
So the car hummed
As it shimmied in the heavy winds

Here was I
A projectile crossing open country
Which to my being is as good

As being wrapped in a blanket
By a fire on a snowy winter’s eve

Road trips are comfort food for my soul

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Close Your Eyes, Time Exposure of some Random Netflix Show

Bastards

She closed her eyes
Heaved a sigh
Then made the choice
She’d always made
And always would

Don’t let the bastards get you down
She whispered
Drew another breath

Don’t let the bastards get you down
She said
Drew another breath

Don’t let this bastard get you down
She growled
Then held what remained of her breath

Until she could hold it no longer
Then simply let the breath go
And with it went all the bastards

Even the one who stood before her
Who knew her well enough
That there was no coming back
Once the door closed behind him

She listened for the squeaky hinge
The groaning spring
As the door slammed shut
With satisfying finality

Boots clattered across the porch
Down the steps
Scattering gravel in the drive

A creaky metal door opened
Then screeched shut

Two roars of an engine
The second sprayed gravel
Onto the porch
While the roar  drew away
Into the insurmountable distance
Just as he had over the last month

Soon enough the birdsong dispelled her reverie
And when she opened her eyes
The world already seemed brighter
With nary a bastard in sight

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Formidable Maiden of the Fountain, Central Market, Valencia, Catalonia, Spain

First Responders

She strode from the chaos
With an extraordinary self-possession
Intent on some minor stain or damage to her frock
As if all that mattered in this world
Was her appearance in it

It was impossible to know
If her composure reflected disoriented shock
Or disdain for the physical danger
She had not yet entirely escaped
Until she let the hem fall down her thigh
Turned her attention toward her destination

Determined steps splashed a path
In a straight line through flotillas of shattered debris
Which seemed to have drifted in a pattern
Intended to allow her unobstructed exit
Books, papers, and various other shards of detritus
Drifted in the eddies of unsettled water
Which she cleaved like a great ship through choppy seas

In countenance and action
She exhibited a formidable and resolute presence
Like the war film fantasy of the battalion commander
Who leads his troops through a barrage
Of bullets and shrapnel
Upright, undeterred, intent not on the enemy
But the objective beyond their defensive lines

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Energy Beam, Sea to Sky Highway, Tantalus Lookout, North of Squamish, British Columbia, Canada

A Momentary Lapse of Fiction

The energy pulse slammed into the car
Which quivered briefly
Before vapourizing with a flash
Brighter than the beam
Which destroyed it

As the momentary daylight faded
The mist which was once my Toyota
Settled into the crater
That had been a parking lot

I hoped the owner
Of that formidable weapon
Hadn’t acquired my new position

The concrete barrier I’d sheltered behind
Suddenly seemed feeble protection

Night returned and I got the fuck outta there

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Waves, Seaside Creek Beach, Pacific Coast Highway, Mendocino County, California, United States of America

Waves

I hasten out to the beach
Envelope in hand
Fumbling to get at its contents
I don’t even notice the surf

The wave peters out
Just before it reaches me
Its last energy spent
As bubbling foam dissipates

My muscles relax
Tension leaves my body
While the ocean recedes
Back down the beach

I turn over the paper again
Check the wording again
The test was negative

The test was negative

I’m going to live

Another wave comes
Stronger than the last
Soaking just one shoe

Which makes a delightful squish
As I stride back up to the house
Good tidings in hand

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Palau De Les Arts, Ciuitat De Les Arts I Les Sciences, Valencia, Spain c

Go Fish

It startled him

The monumental lines of architecture
Seemed to flex
As a bow drawn by its string
Then paused there
Taught, straining
As if for a steadying breath

The release
Was even more startling
And he felt the shock wave
When the discharged tension
Shook the earth
As the mammoth thing
Quite simply
Leapt from the ground

Untethered as it was
From gravity
It swam lazily
Through the thin atmosphere
Toward a horizon
It would soon enough
Disappear beyond

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Giants, Badlands, Drumheller, Alberta, Canada

Giant ~ Pic and a Word Challenge #158

There I stood, at the feet of giants, myself measuring no taller than the smallest of their toes, and standing as high in my own shoes as possible. One giant leaned down, only slightly, though the Earth trembled beneath his shifting weight. He peered at me, squinting, as I would to better observe an insect trundling across my boot. A snort. Dismissive. The earth heaved again as he rose. The atmosphere rumbled with his voice.

“I beg your pardon if this offends you,” he began, it seemed to me, in rather gentle tone for a being known to have bellowed up a hurricane, “but you seem mighty small for something which calls itself ‘King of this land and all the land you’ve ever known,’ some small trifle claiming to command us, the Brethren of the Mountains, as his subjects.” Gentle, perhaps, but not without a significant undertone of malice.