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Don’t Turn Back

Flight Attendant Siam Mendes steadied his hands on the control. It had been 6 hours since they lost contact with the Air Traffic Control. Their pilot was dead and the co-pilot was being restrained by a group of stewards. Amidst screams and swears from the co-pilot, Siam tried to concentrate, recalling the basic training he had as a recreational pilot. A slick aircraft flew to his right side. An angry face from the cockpit peeked out and a hand brandished something. Soon another lightweight flew to his left. 

Then the radio beeped soothingly, ‘’Mr. Mendes, can you hear me?’’ 

This story {99 words) was written for Charli’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. Do click here to read the other stories in the topic, Danger Zone.

Aftermath

His soul wakes every Memorial Day and wanders across various tombstones, confused with the crowds and flowers. Perhaps he is trying to find the girl in the green dress he never proposed to, his mother who had prayed for 10 years to have him or the enemy who had asked for water. Or does he look for a meaning to his short life or wonder about people who live beyond 22? Whatever it is, don’t go there. Let his soul rest. Light a candle for him in your heart and revere the freedom he and his likes gave you.

The short story above has been written for Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. This week’s challenge is to write a story behind a memorial.

Living Forever – Flash Fiction Challenge

Cherie looked at the old photo of college students, decorating her wall. He was the one on the corner. He had refused what she had asked and was now a flower vase in her showcase. Each vase symbolized the mood, color and character of the person, thus keeping them alive forever. Her collection had kept growing and she intended to add more.

“Cherie, did you dust the mantelpiece?” her madam called out.

“I will do it right away, madam,” replied Cherie, rushing over to the living room.

Madam had her collection of bouquets too. The ones that never withered.

This week’s flash fiction challenge is to write a story about “the old photograph.” What is captivating about it? Where did it come from? How does it incite a story? Thank you, Charli, for the opportunity.

Being ‘Normal’

My body shivers as I get off the train to look at the strange spectacle of human faces from the corner of my eyes. Unmasked and fearful of making eye contact, some people seem to rush down the streets while others keep close to the walls, their heads down. Assailed by sunlight, I walk in circles, wondering if I should cross the street to my office. I breathe with relief as I notice the essentials of life outside my office. Masked and relaxed, my eyes crinkle into a smile at my teammate as I walk confidently to my seat.

This was written for Charli’s Flash Fiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch. This week’s challenge is to write a story about a new way to office. Has the office changed? Can we return to normal after big changes or time away? Go where the prompt leads!

Late Realization

Sam completed his homework as his sister waited patiently with her Math problems. After helping her, Sam organized the table for the primary school students he tutored. He could hear his mom typing away in the next room. She was also training to be a Montessori teacher. Sam thought about their lives a year ago. His mother spent all her time on TV soaps while Sam and his sister fought over petty video games. His father, the sole breadwinner, labored until he fell sick with Covid. Now Sam wished his father had been around to see his ‘responsible’ family.

This was written for Charli’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. The prompt this week is to write a story that takes place a year later.

Flash Fiction Challenge – Before the Call

Maria savored the hazelnut chocolate, eyes closed, as each bite melted in her mouth and warmed her heart. She wore her favorite pink lace dress, which now hung loosely around her thin body. However, she no longer cared about her weight.

She touched the pink pearls her husband had given her long ago. They were as fake as he was. But, she had kept both.

Maria walked around her beloved garden, feeling the twilight breeze on her face.

She leaned back and took a deep breath. Then she dialed the clinic to ask for the result of her diagnosis.

The above is my response to this week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. The prompt is to write a story of 99 words about deep wishes. Thank you, Charli, for giving us the opportunity.

Freedom

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“Caesar doesn’t belong with us, Sal,” Clare said firmly.

“Don’t do this. He’d never survive the predators.”

“Don’t deer co-exist with lions?”

“Caesar is domesticated.”

“We are forcing him into domestication.”

“But we treat him as an equal…like a human”

“Humans are not chained. We should let him go.”

They had come to the dense part of the jungle. Clare let Caesar down. He licked her hands and wagged his tail.

“Nobody owns you now, Caesar,” Clare said, softly, “You are free.”

Caesar heard a howl from afar. He took a few tentative steps, then ran into the wild.

This was written for the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge.

Lina’s Blossom

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Lina looked at the aging blossom in her balcony, eagerly sucking up every drop of rain nature had to offer. The edges of its petals were dark and she could see small holes in the rose. But, it persistently held on. Lina did not know how long she could persist. She thought back to when she was healthy, young, and idle. Now she wanted to make everyday count, no matter how numbered her days were. Determined, she limped painfully from her coffee table to her laptop. Even the morose Robin of the Willow sang with unusual energy and vigor.

This was written for Charli’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. The word prompt for this week is Blossom.

She Tapped Thrice

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She tapped on his door every day when they were kids. “Shall we do our homework together?” “I have already completed mine”, he snapped, slamming the door. She continued tapping over the years. At college, she tapped after his basketball practice, “Some hot chocolate?” “I don’t eat or drink chocolate.” he smiled, turning her away. One day, she stopped tapping. He waited in his room, crying and praying, as she lay in the hospital. Drained of all arrogance, he hoped she would tap again. He would follow her this time, either to her room or to the other world.

This week’s Carrot Ranch Challenge is to write a story that includes tapping. You can play with the sound, make it an action, or create something unexpected. Tap a story and go where the prompt leads!