Flash Fiction Draw: Comedy, a Field of Poppies, and a Broom

As I’ve mentioned in the past and which you no doubt already know, my friend ’Nathan Smith dba ’Nathan Burgoine has done a monthly flash fiction draw at the start of every month this year. The idea is he draws cards at random from a deck to select a genre, a setting, and a random item. Anyone who wants to participate writes a story incorporating those elements, and posts the results the following Monday.

So, I’m a little behind.

For December, the draw was comedy, a field of poppies, and a broom. This combo presented a challenge… but then I took liberties. I usually take liberties. I also took a darn long time to finish this. Also, the word limit is 1,000 and I may have overshot that ever so slightly. Be sure to check out the other folks who wrote stories.

Anyway, without further ado:

Dress Rehearsal, or This Kiss

‘Elphaba’ was sneezing her head off.

Every time she tried to start the song, her face crinkled up and she nearly lost her grip on her broom. Jason resisted the urge to fling his clipboard across the stage.

“Cut! Courtney, go get a Kleenex. Meghan, where are you?”

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It’ll Be Easy—A Flash Fiction Draw Challenge

I sometimes feel as if I’m cheating when it comes to ’Nathan’s monthly flash fiction draw. Instead of writing a self-contained piece of fiction, I often use these to work out a continuation of an earlier story. That’s the case for September, which follows up on this post. (Which was a follow-up to an earlier post, but I’ll let you follow the trail back to it.)

Anyway, cheating or not, it’s what I’m doing.

Photo of three playing cards and the words "suspense," "bag of money," and "border crossing."The challenge was to write a suspense involving a bag of money set at a border crossing. You can find out more about this month’s prompt on ’Nathan’s blog, and you can see all the other participants there as well.

So, without further ado:

It’ll Be Easy

“I don’t like this,” Hermione says.

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August Flash Fiction: The Drag Queen with the Emerald Earring

August Flash Fiction prompt: ghost story, earring, tobacco shopEvery month on the first Monday of the month, ’Nathan posts a series of prompts for a flash fiction story due the following Monday. (Well, I say “due” but it’s not as if it’s a homework assignment; it’s completely no-pressure and I’ve saved up prompts and done them weeks or months later. Prompts never expire, and you can reuse them again and again. Just saying.) Anyway, he draws a card each for genre, item, and location. This month’s draw was a ghost story, involving an earring, set in a tobacconist shop. Now, I don’t smoke, and I’ve never seen a ghost, but I do wear earrings. Let’s just say I took… liberties with the prompt.

See, kids? “Write what you know” is bogus advice.

Anyway, I decided a play on words of a different title might do the trick and, well, here we go.

The Drag Queen with the Emerald Earring

The earring appeared out of thin air. Literally.

Jake was reading and when he looked up to reach for his coffee, an emerald glint in the air caught his eye. The light streaming in through the cafe’s front window caught the facet of a large, green something that hung in the air momentarily and then plummeted to the floor with a tinkling sound. It lay just next to the pickup window where the counter staff set out customer orders. It was early, Sunday morning, he was one of maybe three other people in the cafe, and on a normal day someone else would have seen it or already trampled it.

Jake set down his book—The Swimming-Pool Library by Alan Hollinghurst; it made him feel somewhat scandalous to be reading a novel riddled with gay sex in the middle of a public place—and walked over to the trinket. It was an earring, clip-on style, heavy when he picked it up, and positively dripping with emeralds, a halo of tiny ones surrounding an obscenely large oval stone. The metal was silver, intricately carved into spirals and paisleys.

“Darling, oh you found it.”

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June Flash Fiction Draw: Found Objects

So, this entry in ’Nathan Burgoine’s June Flash Fiction Draw is a bit of a cheat in two ways.

First off, it’s Tuesday, and these are supposed to go up on Monday. Hey, I’m slow. Sue me.

Second, the prompt for this month’s flash fiction is:

three playing cards and the prompt "fantasy, hot chocolate, and junkyard or scrapyard"

Well, I’ve got the hot chocolate and the scrapyard, but the fantasy is probably more science fiction, although something sorta magical does happen.

Like I said, sue me.

OK, there’s a third reason this breaks the rules: it’s not a standalone flash piece. This is a trend: I have a problem starting and ending something in these flash pieces. This piece continues a story started in a Friday Flash Fiction piece from a while back, “How to Get Off This Rock.” Check that out first if you want to understand what’s going on here, although I do skip forward a bit from the end of that piece, too.

And be sure to check out the other entries written for ’Nathan’s flash prompt.

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‘Nathan’s Monday Flash Fiction Draw, drawn by me!

…yes, I know it’s already Wednesday. I’ll blame jet lag as I’ve just gotten back from a writing retreat and book festival in Nottingham, England for Bold Strokes Books. In a word, wonderful. In another word, exhausted. More on that later.

Be that as it may, the last day I was there, my friend ‘Nathan Burgoine (go buy his books, by the way) had me draw cards for his latest May Flash Fiction Draw. Go check it out here. Stories are supposed to be done by next Monday, but rules? Pfft. ‘Nathan would be the first to tell you forget the rules and do what works. So I’ll say the same.

January Flash Fiction Draw: The Artist

So, flash fiction seems to be something I’m getting into. In addition to the Friday Flash Fiction courtesy of the Facebook group I belong to, my friend ’Nathan is also doing a monthly flash fiction draw challenge. The parameters are determined by a random selection of playing cards. Check out this post on his website to get the details about January’s challenge, but the guidelines are:

A fairy tale, involving a tattoo machine, set in a prison.

I wrote this yesterday in my notebook while sitting in one of my favorite hangouts in St. Louis. So, I don’t know how long it is until I type it in here. Also, I took liberties with the guidelines. I think we all reserve the right to do that.

So, without further ado:

January Flash Fiction Draw: The Artist

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