This week writers stretched their imaginations to the stars and the influence found under zodiac signs. Some writers dug in to the potential of developing characters according to specific sign traits. Others found irony, humor and the complexities of humanity.
The following 99-word stories were all born under the stars this week, following the destiny set forth in the following prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) focus on the personality traits of a character informed by the zodiac.
Zodiac Envy by Larry LaForge
“I’m so proud of you. You’re such a reliable young man.” Eight-year-old Jamie beamed at the praise from Mom.
“That’s because I’m a Taurus,” Jamie responded.
Mom was duly impressed. “And you’re so smart too.”
Jamie’s five-year-old brother was jealous once again. Young Conner was always trying to catch up.
Mom gently patted Jamie on the head. “Well, Mr. Taurus, I think a raise of your allowance is in order.”
Conner tugged at Mom’s blouse until she finally acknowledged his presence. His blue eyes looked hopeful. “You know, Mom, I’m an Aquarium.”
Jamie laughed. “How ya doin’ fish tank!”
The 100-word version of this story is posted at larrylaforge100words at Flash Fiction Magazine.
Norma Jeane by Irene Waters
“I can’t play second fiddle any longer. You either give up your public life or you give up me.”
“I can’t give you up. You have to look after me. I need you both. I just need them to adore me. “
“I don’t know why I married you.”
” I was young and beautiful.”
” Yeah. Fifteen was too young. You idolised me then. I was more important to you than the President but now……”
“You’re still important to me. I just need the crowds too. I can’t help it . I was born when the moon was in the seventh house.”
For the Fun of It by Charli Mills
“I don’t know Cob, he was born in the spring. He’s fresh as peach blossoms.” Sarah smiled, pouring coffee at the woodstove. She sat down next to him at the table with two enamel mugs. Autumn sunshine and cool air sifted through the open door of the sod house.
Sipping her cup, she leaned into Cob. “Hickok means nothing to me. I just hate being holed up by myself. He’s fun, that’s all.”
“Funny looking,” said Cob. “He’s got that duckbill look. Quack, quack. Sara’s fun friend, quack quack.”
“Somebody call my name?” Hickok’s tall frame filled the doorway.
Stars and Seasons by Charli Mills
“In 1858 a comet streaked across the sky,” Sarah said in between bites of apple cobbler. The Williams family seated around their polished dining table listened, spoons clinking on fine china. “It was destiny. Something I was born to do.” Sarah stared into her empty bowl.
Jesse Williams, twelve years old, shared the same birthday with the vagrant old crone her mother pitied. “Was it in the stars to go west, Aunt Sarah?”
Sarah barely nodded, still looking down as if viewing a sad painting. “Peach blossoms and fiery fall maple leaves are not meant for the same season.”
Signposting the Future by Geoff Le Pard
Mary sat in the pew, wishing she was anywhere but here. Her daughter leant on Paul, her father’s, arm. She ached not being able to comfort Penny but the truth was she didn’t care Angela was dead.
Three rows in front, Rupert shook in his grief. In half-profile, he looked like her father. His father too, though she hated that.
He turned and mouthed, ‘Thank you.’
Paul had called him typical Cancer, more worried about Penny than himself. She thought him a self-serving little shit. She stood for a hymn, willing this charade over. She was a typical Scorpio.
A Dying Wish by Ruchira Khanna
Celine is tossing and turning in pain, but determined to kill the hours and postpone the event that could help create a future.
A prospect that could govern the head of this newborn, and help him make the right decisions from the top part of his animate body instead of the heart that usually tend to unfold as an emotional choice.
As the clock ticks midnight, the mom frees the child from her womb, while wishing him a courageous, optimistic and a dynamic life, and hoping that he avoids being self-centered, rash and primitive, as she breathes her last.
As Expected by Norah Colvin
A lawyer, a doctor and a journalist walked into a bar, ‘Class of ’99’ emblazoned on their backs.
Talk flowed freely.
When someone mentioned old ‘four-eyes’ Proffet, laughter erupted.
“Thought he was a prophet,” they chorused.
“Mark my stars,” the lawyer mimicked, wagging his finger. “You need to learn to be less argumentative.”
The doctor peered over her glasses and giggled, “And you miss, will never amount to anything!”
“Remember Prophet’s favourite, ‘most likely to succeed’?” said the journalist. “Saw Daniel last week, handing out horoscopes, on corner of Main and Black. Hardly recognised him. Poor sod.”
Stars In His Eyes by Sherri Matthews
“I love looking at the stars, don’t you?”
Lacey sucked smoke from her cigarette and almost choked.
“Stars? Don’t start on stars. Matt goes outside every night to ‘study the stars’. He didn’t give a damn about them until a few weeks ago.”
“But look Lace…up there! Doesn’t that intrigue you, the symbols and the meaning? There….Orion…see, his shoulders, sword…”
“Orion? Give me a break. That’s all Matt keeps talking about. If I didn’t know him better, I’d think he was up to no good… ”
“Let’s go inside and crack open that bottle shall we?” smiled Helen weakly.
Filling the Heart With Calories by Sarah Unsicker
Baking filled in the hole in Cecilia’s life where family was missing. It comforted her when she was lonely; it was the warm hug she fed herself every morning; it reached out to embrace friends when words would not suffice. The smell of the bread she baked every full moon filled her empty house and chased away memories. Kneading sweet buns, she fought those forces that had left only ghosts to share the house. The crescendo of smell of the chocolate chip cookies that she baked for the neighbors muted her need for grandchildren. Yes, baking nourished Cecilia’s soul.
Compatibility by Amber Prince
I walked in to find my sister on the computer. This wasn’t abnormal; she spent most of her time staring at that glaringly bright screen. “What are we shopping for today?”
“I don’t think that you can buy one of those.”
She looked up at me, her eyes half glazed over. “I am looking for a Capricorn, you know, like you are a Pisces.”
I glanced at the screen to see her flipping through pages of profiles, one after another solely looking at astrological signs, nothing else.
Oh dear. “This is not how you find a husband.”
Merlin’s Birthday – 31 December, AD499 by Tally Pendragon
I was born within the last hour of the last month of the last year of the century, using the Julian calendar. One foot in the old century, the other in the new, and both planted very squarely in the sign of that stubborn old goat, Capricorn. There were of course other factors surrounding my birth, like the mingling of two very powerful systems of magic, which even now I have not yet mastered full usage of. I have the knowledge I need for the time being, and, of course, the stars, providing their inimitable backdrop of humanity’s nature.
The Importance of Forks by Sarah Brentyn
Charlie Forks liked his name. It was simple and forks were important. Using forks kept one’s hands clean during meals. This was the thought Charlie had as he unfolded his napkin, smoothed the wrinkles, and placed it gently over both legs so as not to flatten the crease in his slacks. His cheese sandwich, trimmed of crust and cut into squares, had no mustard or mayonnaise. Charlie felt strongly that their flavor added little in comparison to their mess. After placing a bottle of Purell next to his fork, Charlie opened the newspaper and read his daily horoscope: Virgo.
Written in the Stars Flash by Allison Mills
“No, that’s not how you sweep a rug.”
Whitney stopped sweeping, she hated being corrected. She hated having Maureen watch over her shoulder more.
“Ok, how do you sweep a rug properly then?”
With a lion-like ferocity, Maureen took the broom, spun it sideways and began swiping the short edge of bristles perpendicular across the rag rug. She jabbed the broom at the foot-worn mat like it had personally aggrieved her. It probably had, thought Whitney, crossing her arms and imagining teeth on the rug, gnawing at Maureen’s ankle.
Severe micromanaging, she decided, was probably written in Maureen’s stars.
Zodiac Flash by Anne Goodwin
“No, Gemma, let Leonie go first.”
“But I’m the oldest!” The little girl stamped her foot. “I should be the leader.”
Her mother ran her hand through her hair. What was the matter with them both?
“Come on, Leonie!” She grabbed her younger daughter by the arm and dragged her into the centre of the room.
Leonie stood, shrunk into herself, rubbing at her eyes. Gemma scowled. Their mother sighed, wondering who would be first to dissolve into tears. “It’s just a straightforward game of Follow the Leader,” she hissed. “Leonie has to lead. It’s written in the stars.”
New prompt on Wednesday. All writers welcome.