Friday Flash Fics + 1, or, Late As Usual

I know, I know. It’s Saturday, not Friday. Sue me.

(Actually, please don’t sue me. Anyway, moving on.)

A pre-PS plug: My friend ‘Nathan’s YA novel, Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks, is available for preorder, but lucky me, I’m reading it right now and I think you should totally get it.

Go on, I’ll wait.

Done? Right. Moving on. The photo below is the prompt for last week’s Friday Flash Fic, but I can’t do anything on time. The photo for this week? I’ll probably write something in response to that one next week.

That’s me, perpetually a little behind.

Anyway, I looked at this one and thought, is he coming or going? Going, I decided. And someone doesn’t want him to go. That someone also happens to be a Star Trek fan, so if you get the references herein, I’m pleased.

It’s more than a bit sentimental, but yeah, sue me. (Don’t sue me.) Enjoy, and live long and prosper.

Departure Lounge

Peter set down his suitcase and waited for his ride. It was just before sunset, and the meadow was bathed in a golden-hour glow, that special quality of air that seemed purpose built to make beautiful things even more beautiful. And the meadow was beautiful: lush grass dotted with bobbleheaded yellow flowers swaying gently, and ringed with towering conifers. Peaceful. Quiet, except for the occasional birdsong from the trees, the swishing of breeze over blades of grass.

He was going to miss Earth so much.

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Friday Flash Fiction: The Sketch Artist

photo of a shirtless man kneeling on the floor and paintingWhen ’Nathan posted this picture last week for his Friday Flash Fiction piece (which you should go read), it brought to mind something I wrote about four years ago. At least, I think it was four years. My memory is not what it was.

(Narrator: his memory was never good.)

I wrote a half-finished draft of a novel based on some conversations and some letters with a wonderful woman I met while in graduate school, a retired lady who had this antique desk with a secret drawer full of letters. She showed me the letters and let me make copies of them and said, “Maybe you can find a story in them.”

How often does someone just give you a story like that? Her generosity is still humbling to me. And makes me a little ashamed that I haven’t picked up that manuscript since 2016.

But that’s another story. There’s a scene in the manuscript about one of the main characters, Evan, whose mother has recently died (what is it with me and dying mothers? I have no idea) and who is trying to reconcile with his estranged sister. Evan’s a painter, but he works in an art supply store to get by and sucks at dating. A friend of his makes him sign up for a dating app and, well, here’s how one encounter ends. Continue reading “Friday Flash Fiction: The Sketch Artist”

A Simpler Plan (Friday Flash Fiction)

One of the things I like about short stories—or any fiction, really—is imagining the lives of the characters beyond the last page. If the story continued, what would they do next?

When it’s my own story, I can answer that question fairly easily: write more!

And that’s what this bit of flash fiction is. Back in 2012 I wrote a story called “Scorned,” which appeared in an anthology called The Lavender Menace: Tales of Queer Villainy.It ended with a new beginning of sorts for the main character, Marcus, who goes by the name Megawatt because he has a (deadly) way with electricity.

So when ’Nathan posted the photo below for a recent Friday Flash Fiction, it led him to revisit his story in that anthology as well. In my case, flames are not the same as electricity, but close enough.

This story also contains a passing nod to a character in an unpublished story, one that I never sent out because I wasn’t sure where to send it. In the same way that villains are fun to write, sidekicks frequently deserve more exploration, and combining worlds from different stories and books is so much fun for me as a writer, and as a reader.

I might send that story out to my mailing list, so go sign up, yo. Meanwhile, read on and enjoy.

Image of a raised fist enveloped in fire

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Friday Flash Fiction: A Beautiful Disguise

So, I deleted my Facebook account this week.

Not my Facebook page, where I talk about all things writing related,  but rather my personal account. The news about the social network’s data (mis)management didn’t make me want to trust them with any more of my personal information than I have to.  But, that also means I no longer have access to the Friday Flash Fics group where I was getting all these photo prompts. (To be honest, that group was one of the few reasons I’d remained for as long as I did.) I’ll try to keep up with them all the same, though I might wind up being a week behind.

Details, details.

That being said, here’s the last photo prompt I was privy to:

Photo of very sexy muscular man with handlebar mustache, beard and long hair.

And what a photo it is!

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Friday Flash Fiction: A Room with a View

For this week’s installment of Friday Flash Fics, we’re back to the story that I revisited most recently in the post titled An Unlikely Suspect.

Anyway, the photo prompt is certainly… interesting.

Photo of a small dining table in a glass-walled room at the bottom of a pool or pit.

Granted, I don’t mean “interesting” in the same way as (ahem) some other photo prompts (if you scroll through the previous posts you’ll see what I mean). But it’s definitely an odd one, huh? It got me thinking about the character we met in the last installment, who was also kind of odd. Without further ado…

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Friday Flash Fiction: An Unlikely Suspect

Again, this week’s Friday Flash Fiction entry is a continuation of last week’s story. And it’s getting to the stage where I’ll probably have to pause and figure out where it’s going before I continue. This is a common occurrence in my writing process: I write for a while with no particular idea of where a given story is going. Then, once I find it maintains my interest, I pause and map it out.

Anyway, here’s this week’s photo prompt:

Photo of a shirtless, bearded man sitting at a chest press machine in a dark gym.

Continue reading “Friday Flash Fiction: An Unlikely Suspect”