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Posts from the ‘creative writing’ Category

Meg Takes Charge – Flash Fiction

The following flash fiction was written in response to a challenge over at Carrot Ranch.  In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story in which a character takes charge. Who is this character, and what situation calls for their action? It can be playful or serious, fantastical, or realistic. Go where the prompt leads!

March 26 flash fiction

 

Ian was running a high fever, had a scratchy throat, and had lost his sense of taste.

“Ian, I think you should go to the hospital and get checked out.”

“What good will it do? Honestly, Meg, I’m far better off here with you.”

“Well you have the symptoms of Covid-19 and if you have the virus, I may have it too. I think it would be the responsible thing for you to go. Behind the hospital they have drive-up testing set up, you don’t even have to go in. Now get your coat on, we’re going right now.”

© Susan Zutautas 2020

 

 

Guilty or Innocent Continued

The following was written for a challenge called #SixSentenceStory over at Denise’s.

The prompt word for this week is “Safety”.

 

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Image by elizabethaferry from Pixabay

Jane sat and stared in disbelief at the baggie that principal Taylor was holding up.

“I can’t believe that this is pot let alone pot that belongs to my son, he’s always saying that the kids he hangs around with would never ever smoke weed and if by chance it is his, which I doubt, why on Earth would he have it in his locker.”

“Pete has always been such a good student that obeys all the rules, and that is why I wanted to talk with you first to see if we can get this all sorted out. I am required to report this to the authorities but that can wait for a bit.”

“Have you talked to my son yet to hear what he has to say?”

“No, I haven’t yet as I feel safe to say that I believe there is more to this than we know.”

 

To be continued …

If you’d like to read this story from the beginning please click this link.

It’s Just a Routine – Six Sentence Story

grocery list

I had my list of the items I needed to get at the bakery/deli for dinner along with some empty cans to take back to the beer store, a prescription that needed filling, and Al added a six-pack of Pepsi to the list and we needed tomatoes.

There wasn’t the usual traffic that I was used to seeing at 4pm and each place I went to I walked in got what I needed and was surprised to see that there weren’t any people in the stores which made me think that perhaps people were actually taking heed and staying home because of the Coronavirus. Either way, I was happy that there weren’t a lot of people around.

On a normal day in Orillia, Ontario making all these stops would have taken me at least an hour perhaps longer. Whenever I have more than one stop to make I follow a routine; I plan out my route, I always have a list (I’m old and forgetful, I need a list) and I drive keeping in mind the best way to go to save on gas.

When I arrived home my husband Al couldn’t believe how fast I got everything done until I explained to him how deserted all the places were.

 

© Susan Zutautas 2020

Written for Six Sentence Story over at Denise’s.

 

 

 

Sunday Drive – Flash Fiction

This week’s flash fiction over atCarrot Ranch is:
February 27, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes the open road. Where will the trip lead? Who is going, and why? Follow the open road wherever it may lead!

This week I thought I’d do something different for me and write my flash in three parts.

 

What do you want to do today?

It’s beautiful out, let’s go up to Mount Rainier, we can stop in at The Paradise Inn for lunch.

Okay, sounds good, let’s go!

Along the way the weather started to get bad but on they trudged through the blizzard.

I wasn’t expecting this kind of weather in March, do you think we should head back?

Not really, let’s keep going, it might clear up. I want that lunch you promised me.

Ha, ha, always thinking of your stomach.

When they finally arrived, they walked up to the restaurant. Closed till May.

——————————————–

Oh great, I thought they were open all year round. Sorry, we’ll just have to stop somewhere on the drive back.

I’m famished but I guess I’ll have to wait. Let’s go for a little hike while we’re here though. You didn’t happen to bring our snowshoes, did you?

No, I really wasn’t expecting we’d need them today. It is beautiful back in Seattle, and I just assumed it would be the same up here.

Perhaps we should have checked the forecast.

You think!

Let’s just drive back, but I’m expecting that lunch.

Okay, okay, we’ll get that lunch.

———————————

Hey, I know a place that we’ve been wanting to try if you can hold on to your appetite for a bit. That Italian restaurant in Issaquah. What was it called?

Oh, I know the place you mean, Montalcino. That would be nice. I’ll look them up on my phone to make sure that they’re open on Sundays.  YEAH! They’re open.

Okay good, now we have a destination.

After stuffing themselves on Italian Cuisine the couple headed back to Seattle.

What started out as a drive up to the mountain turned into a lovely day, like most Sunday drives.

© Susan Zutautas 2020

 

 

The Escape Plan – Flash Fiction

The following story was written for a challengeRainbow

over at Carrot Ranch. 

February 20, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a library cat named Rainbow who escapes.

 

 

Rainbow, held captive, couldn’t take this anymore; she had to get out of this library. She’d miss the children who came in that paid attention to her but not the head librarian, who thought she was just a mouser.

Back when people used libraries to borrow books it was more interesting. Nowadays it’s children that come to take art classes.

She had a plan. She’d jump into one of the children’s bags and escape. That afternoon she saw the perfect opportunity and jumped on it only to find out she’d picked the wrong bag … the librarian’s kid’s bag.

©Susan Zutautas 2020

 

 

Found Letters – Flash Fiction

feb 13 flash fiction

 

This was written for this week’s Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch.

February 13, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes a sugar report. Use its original meaning of a letter from a sweetheart to a soldier, or invent a new use for it. Go where the prompt leads!

 

Jenny was cleaning out her mom’s house after she’d died and came across a stack of letters tied together. She was curious to find out who they were from, so she settled into a big comfy chair and was shocked as soon as she started to read them. They were from a man in the army and from the written words she could tell that he was in love with her mother and planned to marry. After putting two and two together Jenny found out that this man was her father who never returned from the war. Tears flowed.

 

 

The Great Flood

When the sun did come out.

Bill lives in a modest house on a large acreage in the beautiful state of Washington with his wife and their two dogs.

Anyone who lives in this state and loves it there and is used to the rain. One can go days upon days or even weeks without seeing any sunshine. This is the norm, especially during fall, winter, and spring. Most people will ask, “How do you live in a place that rains all the time?” Some people don’t mind it and others simply hate it and cannot live there.

This one year however in the spring the days of rain turned into weeks and then into months. Bill thought it would never end and even joked about building an ark. One had to have a sense of humor to get through this, and I must say Bill sure does.

Upon his acreage, he kept chickens and grew most of his own vegetables. Sadly, the rain had flooded out his land and ruined most of the crops. Worried about the chickens, Bill made a cozy spot in the garage, a little cramped but better than the coop that was flooded. Mornings now started at four-thirty am and Bill now had a new alarm clock system that consisted of thirty chickens clucking away wanting their breakfast.

Three months later:

 

Finally, after three long wet months, the sky cleared up and the sun came out.  Most of the roads were in bad shape. One couldn’t travel very far as most were engulfed in water.

Mount Rainier looked like it had a new lake and it appeared there was a causeway in the middle of it. There really wasn’t one, it was land that had drowned.

 

Now summertime and the lakes were filled beyond capacity.  This didn’t deter Bill from any of his projects. You see Bill also is an accomplished writer. He has written and published at least 22 books, writes on HubPages, has several blogs, does freelance work, and is a writing coach. It exhausts me just thinking about all that he accomplishes every day.

There were days after the downpours Bill and sometimes his wife Bev would take their two dogs, Maggie and Toby out for a long walk. Four times a week they would walk into town to get supplies such as food and chicken feed. Most days the dogs would have a great time running through puddles getting very wet. A few times the dogs would shake and everyone would be wet. Bill soon put an end to this by training them to shake a few feet away from him.

Before they knew it all the water from the floods had disappeared into the ground and life became hectic once again, planting as much as they possibly could for a short growing season.

In the fall Bill and Bev were able to harvest what they’d planted. Normally they’d take a good part of what they’d grown to sell at the market. This year there was only enough for the two of them to get through the winter. Still, though they were able to sell eggs every few days from the chickens which were bountiful.

That winter Bill wrote a memoir entitled “And the Blind Shall See”. Life was good!

© Susan Zutautas 2020

Available on Amazon

 

This was written for a challenge over at HubPages by Bill Holland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://hubpages.com/literature/Billybucs-Photo-ChallengePrompt-Installment-2

After the Earthquake

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Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

 

After the dust had settled and the shaking had stopped Pete and Chris ventured outside to see if any damage had been done to the outside of their house.

“That was quite the rumble. What would you say it was, a 5 or 6 on the Richter scale?”, Pete asked Chris as they were looking at the huge cracks on the backside of the house.

“I’d say it was at least a six, the damage done to those bricks will have to be fixed soon. Do you know of any brick masons?”

“Well since the quake knocked out the internet and our cell phones are not working; how do we find one?” asked Pete.

Chris sighed, “Didn’t we have one of those phone books, I think it was called the … something or other pages.”

“Don’t you remember telling me to throw it out? You said it was useless. It might have come in handy to find addresses right now and maybe even a person that could repair the bricks. It was probably the last book on earth!” Pete said with sarcasm.

© Susan Zutautas 2020

 

This short story was written for a challenge over at Reena’s called Reena’s Exploration Challenge. 

 

 

Finish the Story — Andrei and Eartha

Eartha

Andrei and Eartha

Fandango, tagged me for the latest Finish the Story prompt. The rules for this challenge are simple.

* Copy and paste the story as you receive it.
* Add the next segment or choose to finish it.
* Tag someone for the next installment.
* Have fun and let your imagination roam free.

Here’s how it started:

It all started with a hastily written, albeit vague, note left in an old book.

“To the one I love,
Meet me at our spot.”

Andrei browsed the shelves at Jim’s Used Books, not looking for anything in particular when he spotted a gray and silver spine. Huh. He pulled out the book, tracing the strangely familiar symbol on its cover. No title? No author? Lemon and a hint of peppermint floated in the air as he opened the book.

A small piece of paper floated gently to the floor and caught his attention. A simple handwritten note on tanning paper. His fingers tingled as he picked it up and read it. Without giving the book a second thought, he placed it back on the shelf, tucked the note into his jacket pocket and left the store.

***

Eartha had just settled into the booth at Phil’s Cafe, plugged in her laptop, and opened her latest manuscript draft. There was nowhere better to write a contemporary story than the corner of a busy cafe in the University district. So many snippets of passing conversations ended up in her stories without anyone knowing.

She giggled as a young couple argued over whether pineapple belonged on pizza, and another pair of young men, probably football fans by their non-player jerseys, debated the finer points of surviving a bullet hell.

Jasper brought over her order and smiled. “Someone left this the other day and I asked Phil if I could give it to you since no one claimed it.” He pulled a small, red leather journal with a heart pressed into its cover out of his apron pouch, smiling.

“Really?” She beamed. “Thanks.”

He grinned, nodded, and returned to his work.

She examined the journal and paused before opening it. “What if it’s like personal? That poor person.” Okay. If it is personal, I’m going to find the person who lost it and return it.

As she opened the front cover, a small piece of paper flitted into her lap. Giggling, she picked it up and read the pristine handwriting. Fancy script from long ago. Her smile faded as she tucked the journal into her bag, unplugged the laptop, put it away, and left her untouched pizza on the table with a ten-dollar bill.

***

Andre wandered to the nearest rail line and stood by the long row of windows that overlooked the tracks. Lemon, peppermint, and pineapple tickled his nose. He glanced up and saw a beautiful young lady walking toward him. She paused at the other end of the hall and gazed out across the tracks.

His heart fluttered and the note’s message played in his mind.

The longer he watched her, the more he felt he knew her. Compelled to speak to her, he walked toward her and …

***

… said, “Excuse me, miss, but you look awfully familiar. Have we ever met?”

Eartha looked at the man. She admitted that there was a spark of recognition, but she was unable to recall a time or place. She figured maybe she had seen him around town or perhaps at Phil’s. “I’m sorry, but I don’t believe I know you,” she said.

“My name is Andrei,” he said, “and I know this is going to sound crazy, but a very strange note fell out of a book I picked up at a used bookstore in town. And after reading it, I felt compelled to come here. Then, when I saw you, an overwhelming feeling that you are the reason I’m here came over me.”

Eartha turned pale upon hearing Andrei’s words. “What did the note you found in the book say?” She asked.

Andrei pulled the note out of his pocket and started to read it. “It said, ‘To the one I love.’”

Eartha interrupted Andrei and finished the note, “‘Meet me at our spot,’ right?”

“How did you know that?” Andrei asked.

“I found the same note in a journal that someone handed to me this morning,” Eartha said, showing the note to him. “And like you, I felt the need to come here to this rail station.”

Andrei gazed at the note. “You found this in a journal? May I see it?”

Eartha opened her bag and handed the small, red leather journal with a heart pressed into its cover to Andrei. “Oh my God,” Andrei said as tears started flowing down his cheeks.

***

“Are you alright? This journal must belong to someone you know,” said Eartha.

It took a few minutes for Andrei to calm himself and when he did, he gave Eartha the biggest hug possible. “Let’s go sit down, have a coffee and I’ll explain everything to you. Only if you have time that is.”

“Yes, I have time and I’m always up for a good story. There’s a little coffee shop around the corner if that’s okay with you.”

“Sure, and by the way, I’m Andrei,” as he extended his hand to her.

“Nice to meet you, I’m Eartha.”

Once in the coffee shop seated across from each other, Eartha began the conversation with, “so tell me, who does the journal belong to?” She couldn’t wait to hear what Andrei had to say.

“About twenty-five years ago when I was in the Navy we were stationed in Italy. It was our last night before returning home and the crew and I were in a little bar celebrating. I happened to be looking at the entrance door and …

***

I’m tagging Susi over at I Write Her in hopes that she’ll continue on with this story.

 

 

Plans Change

Flash Fiction about a postal carrier and the heart felt for his customers.

Read more