First Interview

Today’s Flash!Friday prompt requires a lawyer as a central character. Sam is a pilot during World War II. Don’t take this as legal advice unless you live in the 1940’s 🙂


Sam walks into the lawyer’s office wearing his best suit. He looks at the diplomas and awards on the wall before settling himself into a leather chair. He looks at Mr. Grey across the walnut desk.

“Rose wants a divorce.”
“Does she have grounds?”
“Yes, unfortunately.”
“What do you want?”
“I want my life back. I don’t want to bust my back as a pilot and come home to her hawking at me.”
“So you want the divorce too?”
“I guess.”
“Do you have kids?”
“Three boys. Johnny is in high school and makes straight A’s—“
“I’m glad you’re proud of your kids. You’ll probably get custody of them. Are you prepared to pay alimony?”
“A little, although I don’t think she needs it. She works on the assembly line.”
“You will have to pay alimony, that’s state law.”
“But she’ll end up with more money than me, taking my money!”
“I’m sorry, but I can’t change the law. Do you want to fight the divorce?”

 

“no”
“Well, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. As long as you don’t do anything stupid …”


1943 crash landing on the USS Enterprise. PD photo by the US Department of Defense.

1943 crash landing on the USS Enterprise. PD photo by the US Department of Defense

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The Speech

Today’s MicroBookends prompt begins with First and ends with Lady. The prompt is about Eva Perón, who was First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until she died of cancer in 1953.

Photo Credit: Beatrice Murch via CC.

First, Eva was late leaving the house.

Traffic was slow, and every stoplight was red.

Eva narrowly missed an accident when another driver ran his red light.

When she arrived at the conference, her heel broke. She stepped up to the lecturn to speak, and her mouth went dry. Still, with a cracking voice, she started to speak.
“Women are not inferior to men, and their rights should not be inferior either.” Amid boos from the crowd, she continued her speech in favor of women’s suffrage.

The whole evening, Eva was a lady.


Update (5/10): This was given an Honourable Mention in the MicroBookends Flash Fiction Contest.  The judge said:

There’s a lot (a whole lot) of telling in flash fiction. Lots of summarizing, lots of lecturing. I believe, because flash is so compact, the tendency to tell rather than show is innate within the form. It’s a struggle to show details in such limited space. And that’s why writing good flash fiction is an art.

This week there were a number of pieces that did a good job showing. This author balanced showing and telling in a logical way. This story also provided advancing conflict all the way to the final scene—something else that is hard to do in flash. Very well-written story.

I’m flattered!

Girl who Got Away

Milton Manor, Sutton Wick. CC2.0 photo by John Turner.

The rowboat appeared on a gray English morning, as I dressed m’lady in the first of three dresses she would wear today. Dresses that cost more than a year’s salary. As she went down to breakfast and another day of leisure, I labored to clean her room for the third time that week. When the family retired to the library, I cleaned the breakfast nook.

That evening, as the rain pummeled down, I laundered her dresses. I packed a satchel with two dresses and a bite of bread, and escaped to the rowboat. Before they discovered my absence, I was well on my way to a new village and freedom.


If you can’t tell, I’ve been watching Downtown Abbey. Today’s Warmup Wednesday image features a manor house, with the instruction to use a song title as your title. I selected Girl who Got Away by Dido for the title.

Digger

I am trying a new prompt today: MicroBookends. This is a prompt where they supply the first and last words and a photo, and you supply the story in between. I’ve loved the concept, but hadn’t tried it before. Here is my first try:


“Wild,” said Margaret as she looked up the hole.

Margaret lived life underground as a Digger. Diggers did not know sunlight or rain. Diggers knew dirt.

Margaret had had snuck out during hide and seek. While her playmates hid, she darted from one spot to another. The walls absorbed Jack’s “allie allie oxen free” before it reached her.

Now, the brilliant blue of the April sky blinded her; the fresh air assaulted her with its unfamiliar smell.

Now, as she looked up, she knew she was not a Digger.

While still a young girl, Margaret was no longer a child.

Photo Credit: Dan Markeye via CC.

Anxiety

Kate is Cecilia’s mostly-absent daughter, and she needed to say hello from her extensive business travels. Tonight she has a million anxieties about tomorrow. This scene was prompted by this week’s prompt at Carrot Ranch:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a vice. It can be part of a character or a part of the story. The vice can be the focus or it can be subtle. Think of ways to use a vice (or multiples, if you are so daring) to create a compelling flash fiction.


Kate mentally scrolled through tomorrow’s agenda while she unpacked her suitcase. Meeting with the COO at ten would give her just enough time to review her presentation. Her blouse was wrinkled; Kate made a mental note to iron it. Her two o’clock flight would land her at home just after five, then she would battle traffic to Mom’s for dinner. Kate wasn’t ready for mom’s lavish supper served with a generous side of criticism.

Kate sat down on the bed and vowed not to worry about tomorrow’s dinner. She turned on the television and looked up a local pizza delivery.

 

Dinner Guest

Jane was taking her favorite dinner from the oven when the door opened. All she could think about was sitting down with a glass of Merlot while her husband watched the children for a while.

“Jane? I hope you don’t mind, I brought a colleague for dinner tonight.”

I don’t have the energy for this, she thought.

“Where should I hang my coat?” she heard a familiar voice say.

Jane’s heart pounded as it always did when she heard that deep voice. That voice that had whispered in her ear just the night before, whiskers scratching her cheek. Larry’s voice.

“You’ve got such a lovely house here,” Larry said. “I just hope that someday my girl and I can settle down in a place like this.”

The kids ran downstairs. “Daddy, Daddy,” they shouted.

“Don’t climb on me–Don’t climb on Mr. Jones!”

Jane laughed in spite of herself. Finally, someone else to entertain the children. With relief, she thought, At least John is introducing them to him, not me.

“I have a meeting tonight that I have to get to,” she called out to them.

And with that, she left out the back door and went to a movie.


Today’s post is from this week’s Flash Friday prompt.

Scene from the Hungarian film “Márciusi mese,” released in 1934. Public domain image.

 

New Neighbors

This week’s Carrot Ranch prompt is to write about neighbors.

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about nurturing a neighborly relationship. It can be a next-door neighbor, a neighborhood critter or a neighborly place like a schoolhouse or community garden. Show what nurturing looks like for characters or places involved.

I have been nurturing neighborly relationships in my weekly If We Were Having Coffee posts, and the prompt immediately made me think of a coffee date. Cecilia is excited to greet the new neighbors, and wishes she had coffee to bring them.


“Welcome to the neighborhood,” Cecilia said as she handed a plate of fresh chocolate-chip cookies to the woman supervising the furniture movers.

“Howdy,” the woman said. “I’m Mary. You can see my renegade children, Gracie and David.”

Cecilia was taken aback when she noticed David. He had black hair, like Carlos, and was the same age as Carlos had been when he—

Choking back tears, Cecilia answered, “You’re not— not from around here, are you?”

Mary looked at Cecilia, and her eyes softened. “The house is a mess, but would you like to come in for some coffee?”