Red

Dirt caked her soft dress. She’ll wash it later. For now, though self-assigned, she had to complete her mission before the sun set – she had to find it.
Laughter reached her, drifting from the house at the bottom of the yard; soon it’d turn to cries.
She had to hurry.
She sped over the ground, eyes darting.
At last she spotted it, red fabric peeking out beneath the roses.

Hiding behind the gum’s roots, she held her breath as her charge’s carer emerged, collected a red blanket, disappeared and all became quiet inside, as the lights went out.


My contribution to this week’s weekly challenge over at the Carrot Ranch.

The challenge called for a flash fiction piece in 99 words that related in some way to the prompt, dirt.

This piece is driven by the same two characters of my last two Carrot Ranch, prompt-inspired posts, Protector and The Gift.

The Gift

Hiding beneath the roots of a grand gum, she heard the tiny sobs.
Her charge had been playing outdoors again. Did she hurt herself?
The fairy, wings tucked away, peered through grass above. She could see the side of the little girl, hands cupped, tears dripping onto dusty clothes.
Something hung out of her fingers.
Should she let her cry? Her heart ached.

It was still so warm and so soft too. Why wasn’t it moving?
Something buzzed past the little girl.
Her palm itched and she opened her hands.
She gasped as the mouse looked up at her.

Protector

A scream cut through her from across the meadow and she raged into action, dismissing her injury and climbing up the nearest lookout.
Her arms trembled, not used to her own weight, but she needed to ensure her charge was okay.
Her heart pounded at another squeal and she cursed her clumsiness; she would’ve been on top by now.
Silence.
Finally up, she peered through the crisp fog and relief washed over her as she saw the dancing figures, twirling around a ring of daisies.
She leant against the lookout rose’s petals, breathing deep and stroking her torn wing.



This is my contribution to this week’s 99 word Flash Fiction challenge over at the Carrot Ranch. The prompt called for a story that includes a rose.

It’s so much fun writing a suspenseful piece, and revealing all only at the end. I hope you enjoy reading it, and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

Porcelain

Waves hushed sounds of traffic far behind. Tiny fingers grasped mine, pulling past flowers and trees, little feet skipping over loose stones.
I took one step for her four.
She hadn’t told me our destination; “it’s a surprise Mummy.”
She glanced back, round eyes gleaming and all smiles, “we’re close!”
I couldn’t help but smile with her, adoration running deep.
Her pace slowed and I looked up.
I froze.
Upon a bed of grass, decorated with turquoise waves, lay a porcelain tea set; the one from my first birthday.
“Surprise, Mummy,” she beamed.
I hid tears in her embrace.


This is this week’s contribution to the 99 word flash fiction challenge over at the Carrot Ranch.
Charli’s prompt provided an image and the idea of a garden party, and I used both for inspiration.

Old Mystery

CREDIT: https://www.flickr.com/photos/by_waaghals/4865394521/in/photostream/ LICENSE: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The door creaked open. Cool air drifted out from darkness beyond.
She took a step, and another, hand guiding along soft, dusty walls. Her other hand searched above.
Click.
A dim globe created great shadows behind piles of books, old chests and dusty boxes. She knelt beside a lone one, a lump forming in her throat, hand hovering over her stomach.
She lifted the lid and a tear fell, disappearing into a baby blue blanket.
Forever soft.
Beneath, she saw a brass key and froze, remembering countless, frantic searches as she smiled, picturing the car in the room beyond.



This week’s contribution to the Carrot Ranch’s weekly challenge. Inspired by both Charli Mills’ prompt, an Old Mystery and my better half whose humour always trumps my own.

Selfish Devotion

Fist clenched, Warrick scribbled signatures across paperwork. His wife, face pale, breathed hard on a hoverbed. She looked worse with each day.
Labouring took a greater toll.
She screamed before the relieved laughter and a nurse placed their child in her arms.
Warrick relinquished the papers and nodded.
The nurse reclaimed the newborn.
His wife turned her head to him, eyes trained on their child, “Warrick? What’ve you done?”
Men guided the hoverbed to a cryo-chamber.
She screamed, “No! I want my baby!”
Warrick steeled himself, muttering, “should’ve had the treatments.” He left the child. “I’ll find a cure.”


This piece is guided by Charli’s weekly 99 word Flash Fiction prompt over at the Carrot Ranch; ‘A Hard Place and a Connection’.

It is inspired by my current WIP and is the turning point in just one character’s life that created a void and lifelong obsession. It creates the goal that propels him through the novel and the demons he must face.

The hard place is his decision and the connection is the love they share as life partners; his selfish devotion to her.

I must apologise for my brief explanation but, with a 3.5 week old bub myself, I’m a tiny bit sleep-deprived.

Wishing everyone the best of luck with this prompt! I can’t wait to see what ensues.

Remember, each week there is a new prompt, and the warm community at the Carrot Ranch welcome absolutely everyone.

Spring Howls

Colours bombarded his senses. Everywhere the spring sun reached, blooms thrived.
Th-thump, th-thump.
He caught yelps and a myriad of birdsong drifting on the crisp winds as he ran.
Th-thump, th-thump.
Green shoots pushed through snow still clinging to the base of trees; branches hanging as shields against the warm sun.
Th-thump.
Ducking his head as he wove through the forest, his ears swivelled, searching. His hair bristled as he spotted the clearing. Taking a breath, he leapt and landed in a furry heap with another.

Thick paws clashed and fangs nipped as wet snouts and rumbling howls mingled.