FLASH FICTION TUESDAY: End Of The Road

desert.jpg

 

Stacey kicked the tire one more time. Dust puffs swirled in the hot breeze blowing across the arid terrain. What a rotten place to break down. She could see mountains far off in the distance but in the desert, there was no way to tell if it was one mile or twenty miles away.

Leaning through the open window, Stacey reached for her phone lying on the dash. After punching in several numbers with no luck, she tossed it back in the car in disgust. Of course there’d be no signal! Whatever possessed her to accept that job interview in the first place? Now she was going to miss maybe getting that new job and all she had to show for skipping work was a busted radiator, a dead phone, and a sure-fire argument with Brad once she made it back home.

The thought of another senseless fight with her boyfriend made Stacey kick her tire again in frustration. That particular relationship had been going downhill for the past few months and lately she’s felt like it was headed for a dead end, just like the road in front of her. Scanning the horizon in search of any movement, Stacey wiped the sweat from her brow and tried to settle the angry butterflies beginning to swarm in her stomach.

Not a soul in sight. 

Too late now to wish she had grabbed a drink before heading out. Stacey could feel the heat starting to get to her. All she could do was crawl back into the car and wait for help to show up.

Too bad she forgot to tell anyone where she was going today…

FLASH FICTION: I Won’t Be Home For Christmas

 

 

uso

 

***During this Christmas season, we need to take a moment to remember those of us who might not be able to spend the holidays with loved ones. Our freedom to open presents under the Christmas tree shouldn’t be taken for granted. Merry Christmas and I hope you enjoy my little story.***
Gracie stepped onto the tarmac and looked around. Just another stop in a long line of shows to help with troop moral. She’d never guess it was almost Christmas by the look of the grey barracks surrounded by the mud and slush of a dreary December afternoon.

Tugging her coat closer to her, Gracie ran the last few yards to the mess hall where a temporary stage had been built for the entertainment. She had just enough time to get ready before her curtain call. How many times had she stepped onto one of those stages to sing for men so far from home? One look into their war-weary faces and Gracie could tell the only Christmas wish on their lists was a one way ticket home.

Papa told her when he left her at the train station it would be hard traveling so far away during the holidays. Turned out he was right. But in her heart she knew she was still where she belonged.

“Little girl, you make sure you sing your heart out for those guys. Poor blokes, some won’t see another Christmas.”

“I will, Papa.”

“And remember, look for the northern star and know your mama is always watching over you.”

Tears misted Gracie’s eyes as she thought of her mama while getting ready for the show. The pain was still a dull ache in her chest even after three years but Gracie knew her mother would be proud of what her little girl was doing.

Gracie did a final check of her makeup and slowly smiled back at her reflection before heading onstage. Outside the world might have forgotten about Christmas but for the next two hours she planned on bringing a little bit of the holiday spirit indoors…

***Okay, it’s your turn! Does Gracie help those soldiers forget they’re so far from home? Could there be a special surprise waiting for her as well? Put your creative cap on and add a sentence or add a paragraph. Continue my story or start one of your own. Join the fun and see where this picture prompt takes us!***

FLASH FICTION TUESDAY: The Stranger

Rainy weather

 

Amy glanced again at the clock on the mantle. Where was he? she wondered. Her friends were wrong. It’s not the knowing that kills your spirit. Its the gut-wrenching waiting and  not knowing that slowly breaks you. When she got the call he was finally coming home, she decided she would just wait.

No judgement.

Just the mind numbing waiting as she counted the raindrops sliding down the window. When is he going to get here? All she had were random letters between deployments. He said it was better if he stayed away, rather than drawing her into his madness. But now he had no choice. Injured, he was coming home and if Amy was honest with herself, she didn’t know if she still loved the stranger he had become.

No judgement.

Having to do something…anything…Amy began pacing back and forth. Never taking her eyes off the rain coated window. Any minute now he would walk up those steps and ring that doorbell. Just like a stranger in his own home. Would she open the door? Of course she would. You can’t just turn your back on thirteen years of marriage like it never happened. But what about the next thirteen? How would she get through them?  Yes, her friends were all wrong. It was the not knowing that ate at her like a poison, until there’s nothing left but crippling doubt. And oh, so many questions.

The sudden peal of the doorbell ringing startled Amy out of her daydream. She’d been staring out the window the whole time, but was buried too deep in her thoughts to see the military car pull up to her curb. A stranger was standing on her doorstep and the time had come for Amy to decide what those marriage vows really meant.

Taking a deep breath, she slowly opened the door to the stranger standing there. All it took was one glance at the fear hiding behind the doubt in his eyes and she knew. 

No judgement.

Opening her arms wide, Amy stepped into her future…

 

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books

They make great stocking stuffers!

HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams

HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: The Chocolate Train Wreck

 

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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 chapter book series is called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Book One, Ship of Dreams, is available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers. Also, coming to the Titanic Museums in Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Book Two, A Chocolate Train Wreck, was released in November.

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: In A Flash (Fiction) It Was Gone…

 

COOKIES

 

In honor of Halloween, I had a really tasty short story to share with you today. One to give you the shivers and get you ready for the night. But something happened on the way to this post. What should have been a spooky, chilly holiday tale, suddenly morphed into this wonderful picture book story and in a flash, my flash fiction today was gone like a gourmet cookie and all that was left was a hint of what might have been…

That’s one of the things I like about writing. The freedom to twist and turn your words into something different than what you originally envisioned. A fleeting thought can become an idea which blossoms into a story which before you know it, becomes a five book series. In real life, I’m an organized person who takes only calculated risks…never straying far from the path I planned out for my life.

In the world of my imagination…oh, that wonderfully twisty, turny, never-ending world in my mind…I am free to create whatever those unlimited boundaries will allow. And so, when my flash fiction laughed at me, removed it’s mask, and revealed it was a creepy, quirky picture book manuscript, I decided to go with it. Instead of capturing one moment in time, I find I have stepped into yet another world of my own making and I will follow it wherever it might lead me.

But just in case you are wondering what you might be missing, here are the first couple of lines from what WAS going to be this week’s flash fiction piece…
Its dark and creepy, with just a little peeky,
As we sneak to the gloomy ghoul hall.
While outside drooping, silently swooping,
Birds of the night will eerily call.
With eyes gleaming, gnashing teeth showing
A scary scarecrow welcomes one and all.
Lumbering clouds drape the moon like a shroud
As stars light our way to the gloomy ghoul ball.


Now, don’t you wish it would have stayed a flash fiction piece so you know what happens next? 

 

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STAR CATCHER CONTEST Prizes 10-13-19

STAR CATCHER YOUNG WRITER’S CONTEST PRIZES

 

*** I’m WAIVING THE ENTRY FEE!!***

It’s now FREE to send your short stories in for a chance to be published in an anthology. 25 winners and 25 prizes! Tell all your young, writerly friends from ages 10-18 to check out the contest rules by clicking on the STAR CATCHER YOUNG WRITER’S CONTEST tab above.

Hurry…entry deadline is Friday, November 15th!

 

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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 chapter book series is called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Book One, Ship of Dreams, is available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers. Also, coming to the Titanic Museums in Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Book Two, A Chocolate Train Wreck, will be released in November.

FLASH FICTION TUESDAY: Hunting Gris’ Gris’

gris gris.jpg

 

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Since book three of my HISTORY’S MYSTERIES coming out in the spring of 2020 will be titled Hunting Gris’ Gris’, I thought I would give you a little “teaser” from the bayou legends of this swamp monster and the mystery surrounding my hometown in southern Louisiana. I promise my chapter book version will be MUCH tamer…

 

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Long, grey strands of Spanish moss wrapped its way around the branches of the old cypress tree, dipping low into the murky waters of the swamp. Dusk was fading fast and the night songs were starting to echo in the wind, carrying with it the stench of rotting vegetation and something else Collin couldn’t quite make out.

His friends dared him to spend a night on the bayou alone. “Chicken” and “scaredy-cat” they’d called him, taunting until he had no choice but to accept the challenge. With all his friends gathering to see him off, Collin barely had time to grab a lantern and blanket before he was hoisted into the back of Tommy’s truck and headed out to the edge of town to be dumped where the bayou beckoned the fool-hearted.

Sinking into the spongy, marshy ground, Collin looked in vain for a drier place to camp and finally settled for the base of the old cypress tress, wrapping the blanket tightly around him to ward off the damp mist rolling across the water in his direction. Using his cigarette lighter to ignite the lantern, Collin could just make out the shapes of turtles resting on a fallen tree trunk to his right and heard the deep, baying sound of an alligator somewhere off to his left.

He thought he’d never be able to sleep at all, but hours later he woke with an ache in his bones from remaining in that cramped position for so long. He realized with dismay the low flickering of the lantern meant it was about to go out, plunging him into a world of darkness, except for the pale moonlight peeking its way through the strands of moss. Collin was about to stand up to stretch his cramped legs when a strange sound came from somewhere directly in front of him.

Low at first, a deep throated growl could  soon be heard ringing throughout the surrounding trees. Collin’s breath caught in his throat as he suddenly remembered every tale Paw Paw had told him about the Gris’ Gris’. A half-man, half-beast born of the bayou, children were told bedtime stories of how the Gris’ Gris’ would come out of the swamp to get them if they didn’t fall asleep right away.

Collin always thought it was just old Cajun tales but as the sound drifted closer and closer, he desperately willed his numb legs to move as he stumbled toward the levee surrounding the swamp. Tripping over a root, Collin felt his breath rush out of his lungs when he hit the ground, momentarily stunned by the force of the fall. Rising to his knees, Collin began to stand up when he felt a hot breath slide across his neck, the stench of rotting flesh causing his stomach to recoil as his scream bubbled through his chest before echoing into the night…

 

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contest prizes

STAR CATCHER YOUNG WRITER’S CONTEST PRIZES

 

*** I’m WAIVING THE ENTRY FEE!!***

It’s now FREE to send your short stories in for a chance to be published in an anthology. 25 winners and 25 prizes! Tell all your young, writerly friends from ages 10-18 to check out the contest rules by clicking on the STAR CATCHER YOUNG WRITER’S CONTEST tab above.

Hurry…entry deadline is Friday, November 15th!

 

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

 

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 chapter book series is called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Book One, Ship of Dreams, is available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers. Also, coming to the Titanic Museums in Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Book Two, A Chocolate Train Wreck, will be released in November.

FLASH FICTION TUESDAY: A Deadly Silence

tiger.jpg

 

His world was covered in white. Snow deep enough to brush against his belly, the future king followed in his father’s footsteps through the underbrush. Sunlight sparkled through ice crystals hanging from the dense, low branches, turning his world into bright shards of color. 

The young prince could almost feel the coiled energy tightening in the animal just in front of him. He stopped, dropping deeper into the snow as he mimicked the hunter in front of him. Mesmerized, he watched as the king inched his way towards the buck nibbling on the last of the winter berries peeking out from under a blanket of snow. The dead silence hid the king’s intent and the buck savored its last meal in peace.

For a split second the world seemed to hang frozen in time. Springing from his hiding  place, snow exploded everywhere as the tiger took down the buck with one snap of its mighty jaws. Tiny paws padded in closer to bigger ones as father nudged son to fill his belly with fresh meat.

The deadly silence giveth life and it taketh away…

 

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contest prizes.jpg STAR CATCHER YOUNG WRITER’S CONTEST PRIZES

 

*** I’m WAIVING THE ENTRY FEE!!***

It’s now FREE to send your short stories in for a chance to be published in an anthology. 25 winners and 25 prizes! Tell all your young, writerly friends from ages 10-18 to check out the contest rules by clicking on the STAR CATCHER YOUNG WRITER’S CONTEST tab above.

Hurry…entry deadline is Friday, November 15th!

 

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

 

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 chapter book series is called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Book One, Ship of Dreams, is available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers. Also, coming to the Titanic Museums in Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Book Two, A Chocolate Train Wreck, will be released in November.

 

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!