FLASH FICTION TUESDAY: Down To The River

river.jpg

 

Kali’s feet knew the way to the river without her even having to consciously think about it. Which was good because her heart hurt too much for her mind to focus on anything else.

Stephen would have loved this time of year. All reddish gold, the falling leaves fluttered like butterflies and floated away from him as he would skip down the path to the river. Kali would look at his white blonde hair, puppy brown eyes, and her heart would swell with love for the little boy embracing life with all the joy a five year old could muster.

Kali’s feet slowed as she rounded the corner and saw the tree. Even now, after two years, seeing that tree standing guard over the spot where they recovered his body still had the power to shock her. Tears sprung to her eyes like it was yesterday. They said it was an accident. They said Stephen slipped on a muddy bank and fell into the river.

But she knew better.

It was the butterfly floating leaves’ fault. Swirling with light, they challenged her little boy to fly. Maybe now his wings were strong enough to take him to a safer place.

Folding her clothes and placing them at the base of the tree, Kali quietly slipped into the chilly water. It almost took her breath away but she just focused on the golden leaves floating just beyond her reach and let herself be carried deeper into the river…

 

Okay, your turn! What happens next? Does Kali reunite with her son in another place and time? Add to my story or start one of your own in the comments below…

 

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HM-SHIP-OF-DREAMS (cover)

 

Amelia Earmouse travels back through time to uncover little known secrets. You may THINK you know your history, but wait until you see what Amelia uncovers in this latest volume of HISTORY’S MYSTERIES!

In Book One, Ship of Dreams, ten-year-old Margaret can hardly wait to see the largest ship ever built visit Southampton! Life is already hard for her family in the spring of 1912, but the coal workers’ strike could turn a bad situation into a deadly one. Margaret hopes to see the great Titanic leave on its maiden voyage, but will the strike prevent it from happening?

 

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donna - Copy

 

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, HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams, is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers. And coming soon to both Titanic Museums in Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee!

FLASH FICTION TUESDAY: Unicorn Lake

 

lake.jpg

 

Softly their hooves drummed over the rocks leading down to the water. Take a step, sniff the air. Take another step, ears rotating to catch any hint of sound riding the slight breeze ruffling their coats.

The Old one threw its head high, his long horn piercing the early morning fog. Something didn’t feel right but he couldn’t put his hoof on it. Cautiously he continued to lead the herd to the water’s edge. It was almost time for the sacred trilogy and only the Old one knew the ancient dance.

The last of the herd had just cleared the forest when the high pitched sound of golden netting being released from catapults shattered the early morning stillness. Rearing up on his hind legs, the Old one snorted a warning trumpet, scattering the herd like rustling leaves before turning to charge the hunters crouched on the edge of the  forest.  

It almost worked.

The herd scattered in different directions, racing to escape the falling netting. All were saved, but one. The Old one fought with all his strength but the long horn, his crowning glory, tangled in the golden strands and brought him to his knees.

Twenty sets of eyes stared in shock as their leader was quickly bound in ropes and loaded into the cage.

Who would lead them now?

Who would perform the ancient dance and save their magic?

 

Okay, your turn! How will the Old one be saved? Will Unicorn Lake lose it’s magic forever? Add to my story or start one of your own in the comments below…

 

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HM The Chocolate Train Wreck front cover

 

Amelia Earmouse travels back through time to uncover little known secrets. You may THINK you know your history, but wait until you see what Amelia uncovers in this latest volume of HISTORY’S MYSTERIES!

In Book One, Ship of Dreams, ten-year-old Margaret can hardly wait to see the largest ship ever built visit Southampton! Life is already hard for her family in the spring of 1912, but the coal workers’ strike could turn a bad situation into a deadly one. Margaret hopes to see the great Titanic leave on its maiden voyage, but will the strike prevent it from happening?

 

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donna - Copy

 

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, HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams, will be available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers on October 14th, 2019.

FLASH FICTION TUESDAY: Low Hanging Fruit

 

archery

 

Maytia scooped up the rune stones and threw them into the dirt once more. He knew better than to think the future could be so easily changed with a flick of a wrist, but he still held out hope as he studied the new pattern. But no matter how Maytia looked at the stones, the message was still the same.

The gods had spoken.

He always knew this day would come. It was the ways of the ancient ones…this choosing of souls every seven years…like low hanging fruit. Like culling a herd of animals where only the strongest remain.

Quickly storing the stones in the pouch hanging low on his neck, Maytia headed toward the upper ridge of the forest. There he would have a better view of those coming for him. His mother’s voice floated on the wind.

“Be careful, my precious one. It is your time.”

“I know this, Meenu, but I do not have to like it.”

“How can you turn your back on the gods? It is our way, Maytia. It is the only chance to ensure we as a chosen people survive.”

“I know this is the way of YOUR past, Meenu, but must someone always die so others might live?”

Maytia knew it was useless to argue with her. All she’d ever known was the ways of the elders. It was only outlanders like himself who questioned the rightness of these sacrifices. Now it was his turn to be pitted against those on his trail. He’d felt their energy all evening, like lightning bolts crawling across his skin. By the time the last of the evening’s moonlight filtered through the treetops, Maytia could almost taste the fear on the wind from those hunting him.

They had no idea what was about to happen with the coming of the sunrise.

Even Maytia didn’t know exactly and he had no time to toss the stones again.

They were here.

Now it is your turn to add a paragraph or start your own story in the comments below…

 

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HM-SHIP-OF-DREAMS (cover)

 

Amelia Earmouse travels back through time to uncover little known secrets. You may THINK you know your history, but wait until you see what Amelia uncovers in this latest volume of HISTORY’S MYSTERIES!

In Book One, Ship of Dreams, ten-year-old Margaret can hardly wait to see the largest ship ever built visit Southampton! Life is already hard for her family in the spring of 1912, but the coal workers’ strike could turn a bad situation into a deadly one. Margaret hopes to see the great Titanic leave on its maiden voyage, but will the strike prevent it from happening?

 

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

 

donna - Copy

 

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, HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams, will be available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers on October 14th, 2019.

FLASH FICTION TUESDAY: Love Train

 

train.jpg

 

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.

 

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HM-SHIP-OF-DREAMS (cover)         HM The Chocolate Train Wreck front cover


      SHIP OF DREAMS (OCT 2019)                      THE CHOCOLATE TRAIN WRECK (NOV 2019)

 

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donna - Copy

 

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, HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams, will be available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers on October 14th, 2019.

FLASH FICTION TUESDAY: A Birthday Gift

 

Lucky.jpg

 

Kellie placed a hand on her stomach for what seemed like the hundredth time. Every time there was a movement, she felt herself whispering the same chant over and over…

“Please, dear God, not this time…not this time.”

Even after the specialist showed her the test results, Kellie found it hard to let herself believe. Every time it ripped a little more of her heart to have to say goodbye to the dream.

She felt the ripple again and wrapped both arms around her swollen abdomen. It was so hard to not have hope even after the many times that same hope was crushed with the reality of a life lost. As the ripples turned into beginning waves of pain, Kellie hugged herself even tighter and whispered again, “Please, dear God, just this once let everything turn out right. For Jackie’s sake.”

Kellie slowly eased out of the chair and waddled over to the door. It was time to leave.

She had loved this little one for nine months. Now it was time for someone else to take over. The phone only rang once before Jackie picked up.

“Is everything okay, Kel?” She could hear the heavy breathing on the other end.

Even through the newest ripple of pain, Kellie managed to smile through the tears.

“Yeah, sis. Meet me at the hospital. I think I’m about to become an aunt!”

 

Now it’s your turn! Add a paragraph or start your own story in the comments below…

 

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HM-SHIP-OF-DREAMS (cover)             HM The Chocolate Train Wreck front cover

SHIP OF DREAMS COMING IN OCT! CHOCOLATE TRAIN WRECK COMING IN NOV!

 

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donna - Copy

 

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, HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams, will be available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers on October 14th, 2019.

FLASH FICTION TUESDAY: Double Trouble

 

trouble.jpg

 

Diablo swooped low over the cauldron, trying to catch a whiff of what might be bubbling below. Cinder followed his brother, dropping  and swirling as he zipped past the cauldron.

Landing on a perch nearby, Diablo waiting for his brother to settle next to him before speaking, “Did you smell that, Cinder? Could she have added eye of newt?”

Cinder ruffled his feathers and preened a little before replying, “I don’t know, but I definitely caught a hint of black nightshade.”

“But surely she wouldn’t set out to kill them, would she?”

“Well, you know how crazy she gets when kids come banging at her door.”

“Yeah, but what do you expect with all that candy hanging everywhere? We’ve both told her it’s only gonna cause trouble to decorate the outside like that.”

“Maybe we should say something to those kids we saw in the woods earlier? They were heading in this direction.”

“I heard the male human call the other one Gretel. Maybe they won’t come here.”

Diablo turned his head almost upside down to stare at his brother, “Whooo are you kidding? They’ll be here by nightfall and then it’s double trouble for those two!”

Cinder hopped over to the edge of the perch, preparing to take flight. “Oh, I don’t know, there still may be time to warn them…”

 

Now it’s YOUR turn. Who’s coming for a visit? Will Diablo and Cinder warn them or will they just sit silently by and let the cauldron do it’s dastardly deed? Add a paragraph or start your own story in the comments below…

 

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HM-SHIP-OF-DREAMS (cover)

Amelia Earmouse travels back through time to uncover little known secrets. You may THINK you know your history, but wait until you see what Amelia uncovers in this latest volume of HISTORY’S MYSTERIES!

In Book One, Ship of Dreams, ten-year-old Margaret can hardly wait to see the largest ship ever built visit Southampton! Life is already hard for her family in the spring of 1912, but the coal workers’ strike could turn a bad situation into a deadly one. Margaret hopes to see the great Titanic leave on its maiden voyage, but will the strike prevent it from happening?

 

***********

 

donna - Copy

 

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, HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams, will be available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers on October 14th, 2019.

FLASH FICTION TUESDAY: Flipper Sunday

 

dolphins

 

Ariel liked the feel of the sun heated sand between her toes. It was almost a ritual by now…waking up every Sunday and making the 30 minute trip here. It used to be their favorite hideaway. That is until a rainy night and a slick turn of the highway took him from her. It was six months since Ariel buried Brandon. Six months to wonder if the pod was still nearby but no energy to make the trip.

That is, until last night when she could hear them in a dream calling to her. Wondering why she no longer visited them. Nudging the little ones to the surface , hoping to share the wonder of them with her.

Maybe it was better this way. Maybe she’d find Brandon waiting for her just beyond the horizon. Maybe the pod could take her there.

Sugary sand became darker, more dense and cooler to the touch as Ariel got closer to the water’s edge. She never thought about it before, but her parents named her well. Nothing to tether her to this world, Ariel was better off returning to her past.

Removing her windbreaker, she folded it carefully and lay it on some nearby rocks. Methodically, Ariel removed the rest of her clothes, as if saying goodbye to everything reminding her of her old life, before calmly striding into the surf.

It wasn’t long before she could hear them. Low at first, their song broke through the waves and she saw the leaders diving through the surf as they raced towards her. Now Ariel knew for sure Brandon was waiting for her. Why else would he have sent the dolphins for her?

Now it’s your turn! Add to my story or start one of your own in the comments below…

 

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donna - Copy

 

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.