British Company Speaking – Flash Fiction

photo via It's A Dog's Life

photo via It’s A Dog’s Life

I rode up the quiet Main Street in the lingering evening. All the cars were gone and it was relatively silent. Except…

Bring! Brrriinngg! Rang the phone in the telephone booth.  The young man in the wife-beater t-shirt, low-slung jeans, and backwards hat picked up the receiver.

“Ello, British Company speaking,” he said with a fake Cockney accent.

I busted up laughing, because it was so out of the ordinary.  Then the laughter increased as I saw the other youth around the corner of the local deli on his cell phone, talking to Mr. British Company.

Ah, yes, to be young and silly again.

Yes. This is not true flash fiction, because it’s actually reality. I did see this happen and I was riding my bike up the street one quiet evening not too long ago.

Writing on

Kate

Panini Press – Flash Fiction

“I feel like a I’m in a panini press,” she said as she slumped into the ironwork chair at the local brewery.

“How so?” her friend asked and twirled his finger to catch the waitresses attention.

“The sun above, baking. The asphalt below burning. I’m the sandwich bread and my insides are turning gooey, but not in a good way.”

He laughed. “What you need is a beer.  Sandra, we’ll take a round of the IPA and bring out some of the double fudge ice cream,” he ordered.

“You think that’ll help?” she asked as the waitress walked away.

“Babe, beer and ice cream always help.”

 

So, it’s one of those California bake everything in sight days. 102F on the thermometer. YUCK is all I can say. I was writing a bit of poetry and the idea of being in a panini press made me laugh. Except for the fact that my shoulders are burnt. Bleh.

Signing off

Kate

Listen To This – Flash Fiction

“Here, listen to this,” I say, hearing the silent groans, which I ignore, opening my book, a well worn copy of poetry by a poet laureate, circa 2001.

I have taken to quoting bits of poetry I find hilarious, and while I can sense the lack of interest or understanding, it never stops me from trying. Maybe I have been reading it out loud too often, but I I have to inform people how brilliant this poet is. I mean, who do you know that writes poetry that 1. you actually understand, and 2. makes perfect sense because you relate to it completely?

I finish reading and look up to bored faces. I sigh and close the book. People just don’t get me.

 

Cover of "Sailing Alone Around the Room: ...

Cover via Amazon

I have taken to reading Billy Collins‘s  Sailing Alone Around The Room to anyone who will listen. I rather like his wry take on life and I feel that people, IE my family, need to hear how wonderful he is. I’m sure my family is already quite bored and I’ve only read off bits and pieces of two poems. Sigh.

Signing off

Kate.

Should I or Not? — Flash Fiction

Have you ever wanted to kiss someone that you really didn’t want to date? Someone that who is not in your league or inappropriate? Someone that you’ve watched for years and just sort of wondered what it would be like to kiss them? I have. For years I’ve watched Jace as he’s flirted with me despite my less than enthusiastic response; watched him as he worked; watched him as he dated woman after woman, slightly jealous of those women, but not really wanting to date Jace himself. But, oh! There is part of me that really want’s to know what his kisses taste like.

I’ve kissed several men in my life. Boyfriends, whom all I could say did not know how to kiss, and a couple spur of the moment times where the kiss was good, I liked the guy, but it never went anywhere. But there are a couple men I’ve fantasized about just sampling a kiss.

Jace has probably been the one that sticks in my mind, and it’s there right now as I watch him walk across the street to get into his truck. He’s been logging so he’s covered in dust and dirt and probably sawdust. I’m sure he smells like chainsaw oil or gas and that all guy smell of work.  You know: sweat.  But here I sit wondering like I have for quite a while, what it would be like to have him wrap his long arms around me, tip me back and kiss me.  One of those romance fantasies, you know?

The wishing has gotten out of hand. I’ve been dreaming about him as well.  Long vivid dreams where it’s just us. Where I finally relent and decide we should be a couple. Where he wears me down with flirting and teasing and kissing.  Because, oh yes, there is always kissing involved. Clearly I have an over active imagination because those dreams are vivid. I wake up befuddled and practically giddy, reveling in really good kissing. I flush when I think about how unashamedly bold I am and half the time I remember I initiate the kisses.

What is wrong with me? Should I just walk up to Jace one day and grab him around the back of the neck and pull him down for a kiss? I know it would surprise the heck out of him. I mean, I have turned him down every single time. And I don’t want to date him. I don’t. You believe me, right? Consequences. There are always consequences for impulsively jumping in to something so intimate as a kiss.

My coffee’s cold, and Jace has driven off. Well, there’s always tonight for another dream……

 

 

Isn’t it funny how real life is what makes fiction come alive? Or it is what makes stories to write about. Or it makes you wake up wondering about a dream you had.

Semi autobiographical, I hope you enjoy this nameless girl’s musing about a guy named Jace….. who is very similar to someone I know, and well, let’s leave it at that.

Writing on

~Kate

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And the Phone Rang – Flash Fiction

The Phone

The Phone

The antique rotary phone rang with a blaring ring that was loud enough to wake the dead. Of course she bolted out of bed and reached for the receiver before another deafening brring could escape the damned machine.  A muffled “hello” was muttered into the mouthpiece as she fell back into the pillows.

God, why did Sears need to call to remind her that the repair was tomorrow?  Couldn’t the automated machine have called later?  And who in their right mind would want to have this phone by their bed?  It should be installed in a padded room where the sound would be slightly muffled.

No, she was not a morning person, and ringing phones did not help matters.

 

Rotary phones…. so much fun.  I happen to have one by my bed to try it out.  The above is a semi-autobiographical incident from this morning.  Okay, fine, you got me. It did happen, and it did not help that I had an antihistamine drugging up my system.

Signing off

~Kate

Three Wishes – Daily Prompt: Lucky Star

tumblr_m5y9k7oDPX1r3a6jho1_500“If you had three wishes, what would they be for?” he asked as he stroked his fingers up her bare arm.  They were lying out beneath the stars, waiting for the meteor shower she had promised him. Lying on the blankets in the bed of his truck, snuggled together after amusing themselves with taste, touch and passion of skin.  Keeping the chill off their bodies by becoming one.  Bodies that were now slightly chilled from sweat and mountain air.

He pulled the blanket up over her back and pulled her closer.  “Three wishes,” he breathed in her ear, “what would they be?”

She shivered as his breath washed over her and tightened her hand around his waist.

“Mmm.  Well, my first one would be for you to take me again,” she giggled.

“Be serious,” he admonished and tapped her arm in a mock slap.

“I am being serious,” she said provocatively.  “I could use you again.”

“Okay, I’ll file that away for later. But really, what would you wish for?” He said seriously.

She thought for a bit, staring up at the velvety midnight blue sky.  At the diamonds twinkling and she thought hard.

“I’d like to never have to clean the house again,” she finally said.

“We could hire a maid.”

She laughed.  “Don’t be silly. I really don’t mind it that much, but it would be a nice thing.”

“Okay, number two.”

“I’d like to go to Paris.”

“Is that it?” He asked in surprise. He thought she might wish for something outlandish, but Paris was reasonable. Something he could save up and give her in the future, possibly the near future if he was willing to forgo getting a new truck.

“Okay, and the last?” he urged.

“That was the last one.  Sex, maid, and Paris.  Yeah, that’ll do.” She sucked in a breath as he skated his fingers up her ribs that then sent her into peals of laughter when he tickled.

“Confound it woman, you are incorrigible.”

“Stop. Stop!” She laughed and punched him in the arm. He stopped and pulled her close again and she let out a sigh.  “Okay, your turn. What would you want if you had three wishes.”

“Well, while sex might be nice, since I know I can get that, I think I’ll try for something a little more crazy.”  It was his turn to laugh when she smacked him.

“So, first off, not having to work another day in my life, but having plenty of money to make you happy.”

“You do make me happy. Every day,” she murmured.

“I know, but it would be nice if I didn’t have to spend all the time working and could just be with you. Two, I’d like to go to one of the Superbowls.” She rolled her eyes at this, but he ignored her.

“And three?” she prompted. He was much faster at this than her answers, spitting them out like he had thought about them a lot.

“Three.  Three is more tricky.  I’d wish I could own this lake and the mountains surrounding it. It’s been our spot forever, but I’d like to build a cabin or house here so that we could sit out and make love under the stars whenever we wanted without having to drive an hour to get here.”

Via http://ladylandscape.tumblr.com/ Wish all you can ! by Joe Dsilva on Flickr.

She was silent, slightly surprised.  She hadn’t known he loved this place as much as he did, considering it was she who had first brought him to this spot years ago right after they’d met.  She’d never told him why this place was so special, nor that technically the land was hers, or would be eventually.  It hadn’t really mattered because they came here as often as they could in the summer.

“What would you say if I told you that at some point I could grant you the last wish?” she asked, leveling herself up to look down at his face, shadowed in the starlight.

“I’d say you were crazy and how much money did you plan to throw at Uncle Sam?”

“The government doesn’t own this land. My uncle owns it.”

“You don’t say? No wonder we always come here. Why didn’t you tell me it was in the family?”

“Never saw the need to since we came here all the time.  But not only is it in the family, but since I am the only relative of Uncle James, other than Dad, he uh, has me as the heir.  When he dies, I get this land.”

He stared up at her. Emotions flashed across his face; hope, longing, adoration. A mixture of thoughts and dreams bundled up in the surprise.  Clearly she was more able to give him something that meant a lot to the both of them.

“Well, darling,” he said huskily, then flipped her onto her back. “While I might not be able to grant you every wish of yours, and you have certainly thrown a shock to me with your little wish granting, the least I can do is give you your number one wish.”

He kissed her. Then again. Then some more, and as they began to move, the heavens rained down stars. Stars that flashed and granted wishes to all those who had wished.

 

 

 

Wow. How this all came out like this, I’ll never know.  Sorry it’s a little long. I just started writing and could not stop.  I am like that sometimes.  I was picturing the Perseids meteor shower in August of every year.  One of my favorite meteor showers. And I imagine making love under the stars would be, well.  Eh em, moving on.  Lets just say that it sounds delightful.  This was probably not the prompt Daily Prompt: Lucky Star meant, but this is what you get.  I love it and the image is so vivid in my mind.

Enjoy

Signing off

~Kate

Twenty-Six – Flash Fiction

early-morning-runTwenty-six. That’s how many songs were on his playlist.

Twenty-six. That’s how old he was, give or take a few months or days.

Twenty-six. That’s how many miles he was training to run. Miles he would run in a marathon that was taking place on his twenty seventh birthday.

He smoothed his hand over his freshly shaved head before putting in his earbuds, turning on his iPhone, and going to his playlist.

Morning, before the sun came up over the mountains, when the air was cool and fresh, was when he liked to run. His feet would pound the pavement in an ever repeating rhythm as he ran through the quiet streets of his neighborhood. Mini-vans and cars silent in their driveways. Sprinklers on their automatic timers watering emerald lawns and sidewalks, the excess running into gutters. It was a world of another world. The inside of a snowglobe before you shook it and all the snow or glitter sprinkled down. It was his and his alone. He could relish the peace of the moment as he ran, stepping into this world within a world. Forgetting for a moment his life that was waiting for him. Forgetting the uniform he put on every day. The uniform, where the minute he put it on, he became someone else and people regarded him differently.

He could forget his life as the music washed over him, as he repeated the same mantra over and over. Twenty-six. Twenty-sic. Breath in. Breath out. One more mile. One more moment of himself.

He turned the corner of his street and saw his young son sitting on the front step of his house. Gloria, the next door woman who watched his son when he went on a run, was drinking her coffee as she stood next to his boy.

“Daddy!” his son called and the world in glass faded away.

All that mattered was his son.

 

This was a prompt from  The Daily Post. Daily Prompt: Your Days are Numbered. The prompt being to use the number 26 as a role.  It’s funny how a post can start off one way then have a mind of it’s own and just go from there.  There was nothing specific when I started this other than twenty six sounded like a nice long playlist. Then I pictured a man running in the morning. Then the man had a shaved head.  And suddenly the whole story morphed to being for someone and about someone I know. This is just for him and he is going to get his own copy in the mail.  Hopefully he doesn’t read this on a regular basis because then the surprise is gone.

It always blows my mind how a story can come out of just one thought.  How plots and characters just grow into a story.  Well, this is for someone I would like to call a friend.  And for all of you to enjoy.

Signing off

~Kate

I Feel Like Sushi! – Flash Fiction

“I feel like sushi!” she announced as she looked up from her book.

He looked at her cautiously. “Is that a metaphor?” he asked warily. It was common for her to spit out strange metaphors at the oddest of moments.

Her laugh was like little bells.  “Heavens no! I want sushi.”

“Well that’s nigh impossible now,” he said, indicating the clock that read 1:30AM. “Plus, you really shouldn’t be eating that now,” he said, hinting at her very pregnant state.

“I know, but it sounds so good,” she sighed.

They went back to reading.

“How about tacos?” she blurted out.

“That we can do,” he said, smiling at her very strange switch of foods, but sliding out of the covers and slipping into his jeans, nonetheless. Ah, the things he suffered through to make his wife happy. But tacos sounded good to him too.

 

It’s amazing what kind of flash fiction you can get out of the back of a magazine with an ad for Siri. The first line is from that ad.  Enjoy.

Signing off

~Kate

Maybe He Had A Better Reason For Leaving – Flash Fiction

farmers-wife-magazine Maybe he had a better reason for leaving. Maybe it was the summer sun that first started the wanderlust. Whatever the reason, on day Janis watched him walk out of their front gate, not knowing when she would next see him.

He left no plans, no way to contact him; He only said he’d be back in the fall. Whatever that meant.

Janis watched him close the white picket gate, the one he had built last summer and walk towards town proper. She dried her hands on the dish towel she held, just shaking her 33-06,FrmrsWfhead.

“Silly man,” she muttered, smoothing down her apron. She wasn’t surprised he was leaving. Every couple of years he’d get this look in his eye and by the next day he’d have his knapsack packed. He’d go off finding adventure, though he never told Janis what he ended up doing on his treks. He could be gone a week or months. Once he was gone only two days, but another he was gone almost a year.

She didn’t know if he had another woman, she hated him if he did, but she doubted him fooling around. There were plenty of women around here who would have gladly taken him into their beds. No, the look in his eyes was not the lust for human flesh, but of fresh air, mountain peaks, and sandy beaches. Sometimes she would find bits and pieces of nature hiding down at the bottom o f his knapsack when he’d return. A small shell, a green rock, and once she found an old arrowhead.

For Janis the reprieve of married life was always a chance for a renewal of herself.  She slept in, not needing to make his breakfast. She enjoyed her poached eggs on toast without complaint. She tried new hairstyles and bought a new outfit or two. She would hire a couple of local girls and they would tear apart the house, cleaning it from top to bottom, then Janis would rearrange the furniture or paint a room. She’d have a gardener come in and give the whole yard a nice clean up, getting all the spots He never got to when he was at home. She’d splurge on a new rose bush or something exotic and fancy that would last only the summer season.

She’d invite her friends over for luncheons and teas. They’d gab about kids and husbands, though Janis never mentioned Him other than to say he was on sabbatical. They all knew what that meant. The ladies would discuss flower arrangement and wallpaper options. Painting versus staining re-purposed furniture. Then Janis would show off her new redone room and all the ladies would ooh and ah, commenting on how they wished their husbands would let them redo a room whenever they wanted to.

The friends would leave and Janis would clean up the house to a spotless state, fix a small meal and eat dinner watching one of her favorite movies. Something he wouldn’t like and try to talk over. She’s go to bed whenever she wanted, sometimes late, sometimes early. And every night till he came home, Janis would cry herself to sleep.

Who would have thought a short story or flash fiction piece could come out of a Harbrace College Handbook?  The first line and title of this piece was a line of correction under commas in my Harbrace. I was reading it the other day and this line caught my attention and I knew I had to write something. Not exactly sure if I have the commas in the correct spots (I’m a comma girl and I use way more than I ever should), but I’m happy with how this turned out. I have a fifties or sixties esque thought pattern in my head for Janis. Like she does her hair in the flip styles and wears big patterned dresses with bold flowers. Well, whatever she looks like, this was fun to write out the other day in a matter of moments on a piece of lined paper. Sometimes inspiration strikes from the funniest of places. And this story did not even come close to what I had in my mind, but hey, sometimes the character takes you places you never knew were hiding.

Signing off

~Kate

Blue-Eyed Smitten – Being Thwarted – Flash Fiction

Part Two of Blue-Eyed Smitten

I had been thwarted. I had spent a week of trying to find a plausible reason to speak to Mr. Blue-Eyes. Something that didn’t sound inane and ridiculous. Fortunately, due to his distracting beautifulness, I actually hadn’t paid attention to something he’d told me. I had a reason to call! I played our conversation over and over in my head practicing and discarding what wouldn’t work. I knew what I was going to say.

I dialed the number carefully, rehearsing what I had practiced saying. I waited through the answering service information, heart pounding. I pressed the extension number.

“Is he in?” I asked the receptionist.

He was! But he was with a patient, could I hold while the question was asked?

Now I stare at the silent phone, defeated. Deflated. My question was answered. I had my information. I did not get what I had wanted.

I had wanted to hear his voice. To teas and ask him my question, while making it obvious I was interested in him. Impossible to convey that to the receptionist.

Cross plan B off the list. Now what?

 

 

There is that moment in the film Serendipity, where Jonathan Trager (John Cusack) goes to take Sarah’s number from her and a gust of wind comes up and blows the slip of paper away.  It’s that moment when “fate’ is telling the two to back off. That it isn’t time.

I am a huge believer in fate, Destiny, and God.  All interact completely.  So clearly, this was not my time and ‘fate’ was telling me to back off.  My only consolation is that the receptionist did have to go ask him my question, and she did have to use my name.  And I am supposed to make an appointment in 6 months…. Plan C?

Enjoy the continuation of my life in flash fiction form.

Signing off

~Kate