Don't Bet the Farm (microfiction)

Neck and neck, they galloped. Freddie spurred Majesty. With a burst of velocity, she surged to victory. Judge Ankletoe approached. "Nice race. That finish... almost… magical."Ankletoe wiped away Invisi-Seal to reveal Majesty’s horn."Damn," Freddie muttered. "How’d you know?"Ankletoe smirked, patting his granddaughter's head. "Expert tip."

Prompt: Write a 48-word story that includes a race

How to Survive a Surprise Day of Pandemic Insanity

Wake up rested and ready to face Tuesday. Kid #1 may be staying home with a sore throat, but Kid #2 got on the school bus successfully, lunch packed, water bottle full, and mask on, so that’s a win! Walk the dog. Several blocks from home, answer a call on your cell. Listen to someone at your kid’s school insist that you pick up Kid #2, who isn’t sick. Listen as they explain that the school district’s COVID-19 plans, which they’d sent to parents in the form of an indecipherable flowchart, require all children in the family to stay home if one child has even a single symptom of COVID-19.Ask questions. Listen to them say that all four members of our household must either have negative COVID tests or quarantine for 10 days before the kids are allowed back. Question this directive, which differs from the guidance you recall reading, and be told to expect a call from the school principal. Drop off the dog and drive the old-clunker car to school. While driving home, explain to a perplexed Ki…

Played Out

"An exceptionally talented young pianist," they called Darien.I had other names for him. His hands tore through Morel’s etude, heading for that highest C, when he’d trip that green wire and be blown to hell where he belonged.I shed a single tear, for the baby grand.

Writing Prompts: A musical instrumentGreen

Are Online Friends Real Friends?

Many of us modern-day humans hang out online with people we’ve never in person. The Internet is full of communities, and members of those communities sometimes become friends. But if you’ve never met someone in real life, are they really a friend?To answer that question, you’d first have to ask, “What is a friend?” And I suspect that answer is different for everybody. What Defines a Friend?Linguistically speaking, there are as many definitions of “friend” as there are dictionaries. The Oxford English Dictionary calls friendship “an informal relationship of mutual trust and intimacy.” The Russian Ozhegov Dictionary agrees trust is key, defining friendship as “a close relationship, based on mutual trust, affection and unity of interests.” Merriam-Webster offers several definitions, including “a favored companion.”I would say someone is a friend if you enjoy each other’s company and care about each other’s well-being. My friends are people I’ve bonded with in some way – perhaps via share…

Clarity (microfiction)

“Anyctitis,” Dr. Davidson diagnosed. “Shadow loss. Common in patients suffering from an excess of optimism.”

“What’s the cure?” Ned asked anxiously.

“Reading internet comments sections is highly effective. Or, you could see our cynicism counselor, Jen Ex.”

Behind dark-framed glasses, Dr. Ex arched an eyebrow at Ned. “Yo.”

Prompt: Write a 48-word story about someone who lost their shadow

Black Gold

Their dancing stirs the dirt. Bruna wakes, glides upward, observes.

They’re about twenty, she guesses, the same age she was when she last walked these hills. They’ve left behind the graffiti and cracked pavement of the city. Belo Horizonte, it’s called nowadays. Beautiful horizon. The view is lovely from up here. She knows it well after three hundred years.

A bag of food rests on the ground. They’re dancing, smoking a pipe, and singing along to music that appears to be coming from a smooth black stone held in a boy’s hand. Bruna stares in wonder. How different the world has become.

The boys are dressed in short breeches like the ones Bruna’s father and brothers wore around the house. The girl is more modest, legs and arms covered. Her jacket is adorned with glittering jewels on the shoulders. Bruna peers closer.

Something about the girl is familiar. It tingles the marrow in Bruna’s bones, four feet beneath the girl’s shoes. Bruna drifts next to the girl’s long hair, watches sunlight …


Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

She was six, the first time I saw her climb out of the canyon and cross the fields. At the fence, she bent her body sideways to slip through the wires, one leg at a time.

As she approached, I smiled and reached my stone hand gently down. She hopped onto it without hesitation, eyes wide as I lifted her up to sit on the grass that covered my lap.

“You’re warm!” she exclaimed.

“I come from deep in the earth. It is warm there,” I explained.

“Like lava?”

“Sort of.”

Her pony-tailed hair was the color of tree bark after rain. Her face, like the moon, gazed up at mine.

“What’s your name?” she asked.

“I do not have a name,” I said. “If you want, you can call me Carry.”

“That’s a nice name,” she said. “My name is Suzanne. You can call me Annie.”

A tooth was missing from her smile.

“I like you, Miz Carry.”

I hugged her with the folds of my gown. “I like you, too.”

She nestled in, tugging ferns around herself like a blanket.

“My mama is gone,” she said.

“I kno…