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Posts from the ‘Short Stories’ Category

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

 

 

The Exam

This short fiction story was written for a challenge over at Tales from the mind of Kristian.

Rules are quite easy should you decide to take on this challenge. They are as follows:

  • Find the muse within the photo or line provided and follow where it leads. It can be a story, anecdote, poem. Anything!
  • The Story must be between 50 and 250 words, in 50-word increments. (so 50, 100, 150, 200 or 250 words)
  • Link back to this post with the tag 50WordThurs so that everyone can find it, or post your response in the comments below.
  • HAVE FUN!

 

50 word Thursday

 

It was exam time and so many of us classmates were dreading the day. A few of us got together at the local bistro for coffee that day before we went into the university. I think we just wanted to calm each other down beforehand. The professor was a bit of a jerk and most of us felt he would take pleasure in seeing a few of us fail. Maybe we were just being paranoid, but it was the snarky attitude in his voice that we all hated.

“Okay we’d better get going, we don’t want to be late or he’ll take points off,” I said.

So off we went to the torture chamber (Science Lab), or so it seemed. Much to our surprise when we entered the lab there were no students there and no Mr. Jackass.

After we waited there for an hour and more students had arrived someone of authority came in and told us that Mr. Jackass had a misfortunate accident and our exam was canceled until further notice, and we’d be contacted by email for the new exam date.

You’d think that we’d won the lottery. Off we all went to the bar to celebrate.

200 Words

©  Susan Zutautas

 

 

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

brick-2205882_1920

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. 

 

 

Ode to Bobo

Sadly this week my good friend Charli said good-bye to her beautiful dog Bobo who is in the picture amongst the daisies.

The piece I’ve written below is for a flash fiction challenge over at Carrot Ranch.

February 6, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story to the theme “a dog in the daisies.” It can be any dog, real or imagined. Push into the setting and as always, go where the prompt leads!

A tribute to Bobo flash fiction 2020.

 

Last night I dreamt about you. You were running through a field of daisies. Your favorite place. You looked like you were young, happy, with not a care in the world, and pain-free. You’ll never know how much this delighted me.

From the day you came into our lives, till the day you left us, and beyond our hearts have been full of love.

 

Oh, sweet pup of mine

I take this as a sign

That you’ve been thinking of me

Letting me know you’re running free

We will meet again one day

We will run, we will play

© Susan Zutautas 2020

 

 

 

Tall Tales Flash Fiction

nail-case-3127594_1920

Image by Monika Schröder from Pixabay 

 

Mama, Mama, my finger hurts, cried Bobby.

Let’s have a look at it. Oh, a little splinter, we must get that out before it festers.

How?

I’ll need my tweezers and magnifying glass but first, we’ll put a little rubbing alcohol on it.

That’s gonna hurt. I think I’ll just keep the splinter.

If we don’t get it out of there it will travel through your body.

Bobby giggles.

Once in your bloodstream, it will travel to your heart and kill you.

Bobby gasps.

Years later, when he was a doctor he’d smile whenever he thought of that splinter.

 

© Susan Zutautas 2019

 

 

Meg and Ian Flash Fiction

Flash Nov 21

 

Meg, in a daze, was reminiscing about the first time Ian said, “I love you,” She got butterflies, felt intoxicated, and for the first time in her life without a doubt knew he was the one.

Not being able to sleep Meg got up, put on coffee, and ran a hot bath for herself. In ten hours, her life was about to change. Passionate love filled her heart.

Getting dressed, Meg heard her father’s voice and then a light tap at the door. “Come on Hun, I need to get you to the church on time. Are you ready?”

 

© Susan Zutautas 2019

 

This was written for November 21st’s Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch.  In 99 words (no more, no less), write a romance.

 

 

Winter Fun – Flash Fiction

This was written for a 99-word flash fiction challenge over at Carrot Ranch.

November 14, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using storm windows. It can be literal on a house, but also consider other portals, even spaceships or submarines. Can you make it into something new or build a story around something historical? Go where the prompt leads!

Nov 14 flash fiction

 

Winds were horrendous, snow squalls blinded my vision and I was cold to the bone. Couldn’t get the furnace relit and I was afraid the pipes would soon freeze. I had to get outside to turn the handle for the water. Why it was outside was puzzling.

Bundling in my winter outerwear I made it around the corner of the house, wet, heavy snow sticking to my toque and eyelashes.

Underfoot I felt something slippery and looked down trying to see what it was. Then I heard a crack. So, here’s where that storm window went. Dammit, always something.

© Susan Zutautas 2019

 

 

A Brief Encounter – Flash Fiction

Sept 19 flash fiction

 

The sun was shining and there was a soft breeze coming off the lake. I’d laid the blanket down on a grassy knoll. Thinking, tis perfect for a picnic.

When Pat arrived, I had everything set up from the wine, pate, cheese, and crackers to a few slices of pecan pie.

I suppose I should feel guilty, meeting a married man and all but hell it was just a little lunchtime picnic that turned into three hours.

We talked, we laughed, we flirted and then Pat told me he was leaving his wife.

Not the encounter I was expecting.

 

© Susan Zutautas 2019

 

This flash fiction was written for Carrot Ranch. In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about an interlude. It can be a pause between two key moments, the pause between acts in a play, an intermission, or a temporary amusement Go where the prompt leads you!