FLASH FICTION TUESDAY : A Paint By Number Life…

 

paint.jpg

 

Libby moved her easel closer to the window, but she still couldn’t settle into the moment. Frustrated, she put her paintbrush down and stepped to the window overlooking the cul-de-sac. Cookie cutter yards surrounding cookie cutter houses. Libby could almost imagine the cookie cutter lives of the people hiding behind those cookie cutter walls.

There used to be a time when she danced along the edges of life. Star gazing and dream catching used to be her anthem. Scaling new mountains became her swan song and she didn’t even realize it before it was too late.

Because of Brad.

He tore through her life like a tornado and she was swept up on a tide of emotion. Before she knew it, Libby was walking down the aisle and now her paint by number life was draining the life right out of her.

How can she manage to sell so many beautiful paintings when all the color was being sucked out of her own world?

Libby took one more look at those cookie cutter houses before picking up her paintbrush and diping the tip into a deep cerulean blue. Using broad strokes, the canvas came alive with color as different hues splashed on the canvas. Even a paint by number life should have some meaning. Now if only she could figure out what that meaning was…

 

*************

 

 

************

 

donna

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

FLASH FICTION TUESDAY: One By One

brick.jpg

 

Sarah pushed sweaty strands of hair out of her face as she gathered up another scoop of wet cement. This was turning out to be much harder than she expected .  Sarah picked up the lantern and moved to a new spot. As she worked, her mind drifted back to earlier that evening.

Marcus came in from the fields earlier than usual. Supper wasn’t on the table which set him off. First was the rolling eyes when she set the beans and cornbread in front of him.

“Beans again?” Marcus stated the obvious, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

“I’m sorry,” Sarah whispered.

Next came the harsh words.

“You’re always sorry. Don’t you realize I work hard every day for the food you put on my table? I think I deserve better than beans every night!” 

Sarah had heard it all before. But how was she supposed to provide better when all he gave her was a few coins each week from the money pouch tucked under his night shirt? The more he grumbled about those beans, the stronger her anger grew until it burned white hot.

She didn’t remember reaching for the cast iron skillet until she opened her eyes and saw it in her trembling hands. But Sara knew she’d never forget the look of surprise on his face just before Marcus slid to the floor. Years of hard work gave her the strength to drag his lifeless body down to the basement. There she slowly mixed the cement and one by one, stacked layers of brick to hide what she had done.

Maybe she could just say he’d finally left her. Neighbors had seen the occasional bruise makeup couldn’t completely hide, so they might believe her. All she had to do was finish the new wall…brick by brick…one by one…

Now it’s your turn! Will Sarah be able to finish building her wall down in the basement? Will she manage to get away with murder? Add to the story or start one of your own on the comments below…

 

************

 

 

 

**********
donna

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

 

FLASH FICTION TUESDAY: I Need Help!

 

lifebuoy

 

For anyone who stops by my blog to enjoy my FLASH FICTION TUESDAY short stories, I need your help!

Send me your amazing photo prompts for a flash fiction story. Send me a story idea or an interesting character to write about. It’s been a long, busy, rough week and my poor mush brain can’t create a story this week I feel is worthy of your efforts to stop by and read it…lol…

Can you give me a helping hand? What would you like to see here next week?

Just leave your ideas of what you would like me to write about below…

Thanks.

 

************

 

 

************

donna

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

FLASH FICTION TUESDAY: Trapped

 

jail.jpg

 

Sarah wasn’t sure when she first heard the light, scraping sound coming from inside the fireplace. Her husband had left for work, but Sarah could still feel her stomach tied up in knots from their breakfast conversation.

“Are you really so stupid you can’t tell the difference between a 3 minute egg or a 4 minute one?” Michael’s sarcasm hung in the air as Sarah simply stood by the stove, eyes downcast and praying it was only words he swung at her today.

The sound coming from the fireplace continued to float into the living room as Sarah absently cleaned photographs hanging above the mantel. Vacant smiles hiding the truth of how she really felt about this life Michael had carved out for her.

Trapped.

Sarah paused long enough to really listen to whatever was trapped behind the fireplace panel. Was it a butterfly? Maybe a bird? She could just make out the violent fluttering of wings as the creature beat against the walls holding it prisoner.

Sarah could have told it to stop wasting its energy. She’d found out the hard way that once trapped, all you could hope for is a day without bruises or a night without nightmares.

Lost in her musings, Sarah didn’t notice at first the deafening silence filling the room. Finally realizing her little visitor was quiet, she leaned in closer in search of some sign of life just as the front door slammed open. Michael was back and the last thing Sarah remembered thinking before the world went black was how happy she was her little friend was no longer trapped…

Now it’s your turn! Did the creature trapped in the fireplace break free? Did Sarah finally find her freedom as well? Add to the story or start one of your own on the comments below…

 

************

 

 

 

 

************

donna

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

 

FLASH FICTION TUESDAY: Who’s Your Daddy?

 

daddy.jpg

 

Jasmine felt her lungs expand as she took what felt like the first full breath she’d taken since walking into the strange room. Taking a moment to make a sweeping glance around the room once again, Jasmine’s eyes stopped on the large stuffed head hanging over the fireplace dominating one end of the cavernous room. Large tusks curved over the wild boar’s snout and almost reached the beady eyes staring back at her. A small clearing of the throat from the man sitting across the desk from her brought her attention back to the green eyes filled with concern staring back at her.

His deep voice held a slight southern accent as his words attempted to penetrate the fog clogging her brain and stilling her tongue.

“Miss Arnet, are you okay? Can I get you anything? Coffee? Tea? A glass of water, perhaps?”

Jasmine slowly shook her head, trying to clear the fog before attempting to speak.

“Could you repeat what you just said?” She was a bit surprised her voice still worked, seeing how every other part of her seemed to still be frozen in shock.

Mr. Green Eyes seemed to relax his guard a little bit, now that he’d captured her attention once more. “I said, would you like coffee, tea, or maybe a glass of water?”

Jasmine suddenly sat ram rod straight in the overstuffed chair which seemed slightly out of place with the rest of the furniture and said with a slight panic in her voice,

“No! I mean the part when you said my father might not be my real dad…”

 

Now it’s your turn! Who’s Mr. Green Eyes and why does he think Jasmine’s dad might not be her biological parent? Add to the story or start one of your own on the comments below…

 

********

 

 

 

***************

 

donna

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

 

FLASH FICTION TUESDAY: Love Train

 

love train

 

My town is small and dusty. Some of the streets muddy my pants whenever it rains. The tar on other streets colors my bare feet during the summer. There is nothing much to do around here most days.

Except for Saturdays.

On Saturday, the love train comes through town, with its clickety-clacking wheels and cheery toot-toot of its whistle as it slowly crosses Berry Junction before disappearing around the next bend.

Sneaking away from chores, I sit on the hill near the crossroads, biting into the sweet apple I snatch from Mr. Cramer’s yard, and watch the happy faces pass me by.

And for a moment I get to dream.

Maybe today’s smiling faces will make memories at the beach, drawing sand angels and hunting for seashells hidden among the waves.

Or maybe those happy faces are going to grandma’s house for the holidays. Gifts peeking out from under seats as they sing Christmas carols to pass the time.

But one Saturday last fall everything was different.

The love train was different.

The happy clickety-clacking wheels were silent. Instead, I heard the slow thumping of steel hitting rails as it cautiously approached the junction. Even the faces looked sad, all framed in black as a flutter of white wiped at a few tear-stained cheeks.

A long, mournful whistle blew and I was surprised to see the love train slowly stop in front of me. Before, It always passed me by on its journey to some happier place.

What made it stop today?

Why the tears?

Why all the black?

I stared in confusion as several large boxes covered in flags were lifted down from inside, watched over by someone in a dark uniform and white gloves.

Suddenly my cousin called out to me, running up the hill to fetch me home. One more glance at my love train and I followed him back to more sad faces shrouded in black and bits of white.

It isn’t until much later when I finally make it back to Berry’s Junction. I don’t go by Mr. Cramer’s yard today. It’s been ten years since Momma’s brother came home for a visit. Now I stop to brush the snow from my uncle’s grave before climbing the hill. Silently I watch long puffs of smoke cling to bare branches as the love train rolls closer.

The return of the happy clickety-clacking and cheery toot-toot almost makes me smile.

No stops today and for the first time in weeks, I begin to dream again.

I think love fills that train, carrying some to faraway places and new adventures.

But, sometimes, like one day last fall, I think the train simply brought a loved one home.

 

***********

 

 

************

 

donna

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

FLASH BACK TUESDAY: Who Stole My Eggs?

 
bunny.jpg

Pete pushed the door closed with his foot before setting down the rest of his things on the floor by his bed. 

Man, was he tired.

The next time he ran into Nick, he’d have a thing or two to share with the old guy. Every year after the holidays, they met for dinner to swap tales and try to outdo each other’s horror stories.

Last year Nick had won with his closer encounter of the grandmotherly kind. This year Pete was sure he would come out the clear winner with his battle of the bulldog story. 

Quickly pulling on his pj’s and bunny slippers (a gift from his mother he didn’t have the heart to refuse), Pete could feel his stomach rumbling with hunger. He was so busy making his rounds last night, he’d forgotten to eat. Not matter,  he knew exactly what he would have for breakfast before hitting the hay. Humans weren’t the only ones who waited all year for a tasty Easter egg.

Hopping over to the basket he had filled just last night before hiding the others around the neighborhood, Pete stopped short and stared in shock. Grass was strewn all over the floor where the basket lay broken. 

His eggs were gone.

The first batch each Spring was always a little bit more special than the others, so why shouldn’t the Easter Bunny have first choice? But who would do such a dastardly deed? And to the number one rabbit in the land? He couldn’t wait to share this mystery with Nick. Pete was sure to take home the prize this year…

Okay, it’s your turn! Put your creative cap on and continue my story or start one of your own in the comments below…

 

************

 

 

*****************

 

donna

 

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.