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Say it Strong & Clear!

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DeclarationThe act of making a declaration can create a shift. It can be the mental steel needed to say what is needed. Although the outcome is uncertain, the intent is clear.

This week, writers used this theme to explore stories in flash fiction. A declaration can be a beginning, turning point or even an ending. It is like an exclamation point and an ellipses, depending upon how the writer wants to use the declaration.

The following is based on September 23, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) declare an intention in a story. It’s a strong turnout this week with many declarations! Be sure to click on title links to read blog posts behind some of these stories.

***

Anytime Soon by Lisa Reiter

Stephen Becker wasn’t a man to be rushed but then Alice wasn’t going to stand for indifference either. She looked back at all the laughs, the lively debates, shared opinions even politics and vegetarianism. There wasn’t anyone quite like him. There seemed to be a real spark and yet teasing from friends had him hesitating before saying something noncommittal.

She had been going to give up when Emma said “Perhaps he’s just shy.”

So here she was striding towards the bar where he stood smiling, waiting to order drinks.

“Hi, what’d you fancy then?”

“You Stephen. Naked. Anytime soon.”

###

The Set Up by Sarah Brentyn

“Just do it,” Anna shoved him toward the door. “He’s alone—no witnesses.”

“I don’t know…”

“I’ll be right behind you.”

He placed his palm on the door, took a breath, and pushed. The room was filled with people seated around a dining table. They fell silent and stared. One man in a charcoal grey suit stood up. “Who the hell are you?”

“I’m,” he spotted Anna in the hall, having a giggle fit. “I’m the man who is in love with the devious, scheming…amazing woman you call ‘daughter’. I would be honored to call her ‘wife’. Sir.”

###

Flash Fiction by Anne Goodwin:

Sassoon wasn’t mad, just misguided in publicly declaring his opposition to the war. Rivers agreed court-martial was no solution, but why Craiglockhart? What of his men’s morale?

Yet, after hours attending to shell-shocked soldiers, Rivers looked forward to his conversations with Sassoon. The poet was intelligent, cultured, so damn reasonable; Rivers had no power to change his mind?

His method was intuitive, fatherly: bearing witness to the horrors of the trenches to help his patients adjust. But Sassoon turned his thinking upside down. Rivers didn’t cure, he realised, but silenced protest, denied sanity, sent the soldiers back to hell.

###

Homecoming by Pete Fanning

Gilbert intended on a firm handshake. Eye contact, like he’d practiced. But one look at the giant on the porch—holding a blade no less—all intentions turned to mush.

The crunch of leaves diverted the giant from his carnage. “You must be Gilbert.”

“Yeah, um, yes sir.”

The giant eyed Gilbert’s withering rose, wiped pumpkin guts from one hand, then gestured with the knife.

“Gilbert, let me ask you, what are your intentions with my daughter?”

Gilbert was pale by the time Millie appeared at the door, hair curled and wearing a shiny gown.

“Dad! No! Just, no.”

###

Intention for Minimal Intervention by Paula Moyer

“No pain meds. No way.”

Jean’s second baby due any day. She sat in the pediatrician’s office, setting up the baby’s medical record. She reviewed her plan with Dr. Olson, who would never give birth. He rarely saw it, either.

Dr. Olson put down his pen. “But, but …”

“I know what this is like, Dr. Olson,” Jean tried to reassure.

“But this could be difficult.”

Jean’s eyes met his. “I hurt my back when Sam was a year old. It was worth than childbirth.”

Dr. Olson swallowed.

“This baby will be born with no pain meds. I promise.”

###

Objective Lesson by Jules Paige

Cinnamon wasn’t the same age as our class. She waited
almost a year to start college after High School. Friendly
enough but when she shoved her writing in our faces for
free review, we had had enough. It is one thing to cough
up your background every time you meet someone new.
The story of hardship was getting old. The intention to draw
sympathy wasn’t working. Too bad she didn’t get support
from her family.

We made it a point to stop eating at the college cafeteria.
Maybe next semester we wouldn’t have to deal with her.

###

Time to Act by Irene Waters

It hit me like a bolt of lightning. I loved him and now he was planning marriage. Should I tell him and risk changing everything forever? Would a wife accept our friendship? Few of his girlfriends were too happy with it. Jake didn’t last long with those ones. Either way our relationship would change. Jake can’t love me or he would have told me long ago, yet I know he values my friendship more than anything.

I organised a weekend away; bushwalking and Christmas in July.

Replete and relaxed I surprised him. “Jake! Please don’t go. I love you.”

###

Magic by Udosdottir

“You cannot see me!” declared my son. His shoes clearly visible from under the curtains. “Where are you?” I shouted to his squealing delight “Maybe under the sofa?” He giggled wildly. Next I checked the curtain without revealing him “he is not behind the curtains… ” The giggles stopped and the little man came forward hurriedly “Here I am! – I’ll hide again, come look for me!”- And I realized children live in a scary world, where they vanish when they close their eyes and can only be magicked back into this world by their mothers declaring” there you are!”

###

Early Adopter by Larry La Forge

Ed eagerly clicked on the link. He salivated as the spinning wheel signaled download progress. The beta version of future smartphone operating system 892xx4L would separate him from pedestrian users in the general public, he thought.

Minutes later several error messages flashed on the screen. Suddenly, his phone went dead.

Ed tried to reboot . . . . Nothing. He tried to revert to the previous operating system . . . . No luck.

He sat, totally panicked.

Edna looked on but didn’t speak. She had warned him about being on the bleeding edge rather than the cutting edge of technology.

“Never, ever again,” Ed firmly declared.

###

Man Up by Ann Edall-Robson

Tears streamed down his face as he watched the man walk away with the love of his life. He could do nothing but watch her go with him.

They had known each other since he was a boy. Eleven years of life spent together.

They had gone on adventures. They could speak without words. What was he going to do without her? She was his life. She was his best friend.

Gruff words from his father had told him to man up. He could find another.

His heart told him no. Another dog could never replace this hurt inside.

###

The Lull Before … by Roger Shipp

“You are right, son. A man has to stand up for himself. But he does not attack from the shadows.”

Ruminating on those fatherly words, plans were made for his own Little Big Horn.

Attacks happened between classes… near his locker… inconveniently by the boy’s bathroom.

Carefully casing the hall, a plan was devised.

Just before the start of school. “Mr. Horn, could you stop by my locker just before lunch? I have created a new app in my entrepreneur class for I-phones. Love to show it to you.”

“Clarence. I’d love to see it.”

The stage was set…

###

The Gallery Opening by Ula Humienik

“So what do you think?”

“Well, don’t tell the artist I said this, but…” Her eyes followed the strokes of golden yellow, voice quieted to a whisper. “But this one is a bit pedestrian. All the other ones have all this depth to them, but this is simple, childish. It’s like the artist got tired of all the depth and wanted to be shallow, wanted to paint something pretty but meaningless. I much prefer the complicated messy ones.” She turned and looked at him. “What do you think?”

He smirked. “It doesn’t matter what I think, I painted them.”

###

Leaving by Norah Colvin

It was time. No more would they treat her this way. No more would she accept the cruelty of their world. She was more than this, more than they made her believe. With cash from a secret job stashed in her pockets, a few clothes in a backpack, and hope in her heart, she left. No need to follow a bag through the window. No need to wait for night’s darkness. No. She navigated past their stupor of beer, smoke and flickering screens; paused at the door to declare, “I’m leaving,” then closed off that life as she left.

###

Hurry Honey by Kate Spencer

“Hon. Hurreeee!”

Shit, why is this happening today! Not today.

Gerry’s heart palpitates as he stares at the nightmare in front of him. Complete urban gridlock.

“Should’ve taken the last turnoff,” he mutters.

“Too late. Honk your horn Hon. Do .Some. Thing. Aaaaaooowwwww.”

Gerry listens to his wife gasp the hee hee hee ho breaths.

“Hold on Elsie! We’re not having our baby in this car.”

He spins the tires hard right and gases it, taking out the back bumper of the car in front of them. If they can drive along sidewalks in the movies then so can he!

###

Future Perfect by Geoff Le Pard

‘How did Milton die, Mum?’

Mary blinked at her daughter. ‘Milton? Grandpa’s dog?’

‘He died the same day as Grandpa, didn’t he?’

Mary hesitated, shifting the baby’s weight. ‘The heat. Grandpa never expected to be more than a minute posting his letter…’

‘Did he suffer?’

Charlotte started mewling and Mary offered her her little finger. Did Penny mean her grandfather or Milton? ‘I don’t think either did.’

Penny’s usually smooth forehead puckered. Instantly, Mary felt guilty. It was much easier at Charlotte’s age. Having to grow up and face reality was hard.

‘Mum, I want to become a vet.’

###

Last Supper by C. Jai Ferry

Lorelei finished off the last of her wine and then smoothed a hand over the restaurant’s tablecloth. Real linen. Fancy.

Too little, too late.

She pictured her therapist cheering her on, the older man wearing a short skirt and swishing pompoms.

“I need to move on.” Her voice was steady, just like she’d rehearsed.

The rah-rah-rah in her mind was interrupted by Jeremy’s derisive snort. “Like you can do better.”

Her anger flared, scorching her thoughts, burning up her balding therapist mid-cheer until the red flames engulfed her, becoming white hot.

Lorelei leveled her gaze at Jeremy. “Watch me.”

###

Magic II by Udosdottir

“You will die.” she said flatly.

“Well, yes, everyone does.” he answered flatly, tired from the fight and not in the mood for more. He stood up, gathering his few scattered possessions in a laundry bag.

” But now that I said it, it will be because of me.”

He looked down at her, and pity touched him: She was drifting off into one of her phases. “I need to leave.”

“Yes.”

It was dark, raining, the streets wet, reflecting the lights. It was so very fast, he hardly noticed the crash. “It wasn’t her.” was his last thought.

###


9 Comments

  1. Norah says:

    Well I declare – a lot to share. Thanks Charli! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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