Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Short Stories’ Category

Finally Relief – Flash Fiction

The following was written in response to a flash fiction challenge over at Carrot Ranch.

In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes tapping. You can play with the sound, make it an action, or create something unexpected. Tap a story and go where the prompt leads!

stress-2902537_1920

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay 

 

Cathy not feeling that great the last three months suffered from severe anxiety and depression. Every medication she tried wasn’t working. Tired of living on the dark side of life she started to research different methods that may help. Willing to try anything to make herself feel like normal again.

Finding something called EFT Tapping piqued her interest. Acupressure along with tapping your fingers on meridian points while talking about certain memories claimed this would help. Also effective for PTSD.

Cathy made an appointment to try this and the end result was no medication, anxiety gone, and depression subsided.

© Susan Zutautas 2020

 

For more information on EFT Tapping please click here.

All Ready To Go To Mexico

 

“All ready to go to Mexico” is for Six Word Stories.

dawson with hat

 

 

The Search Goes On Flash Fiction

The following was written for two challenges.

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch. March 5, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about Clarice. She can be any Clarice real, historical, or imagined. What story does she have for you to tell? Go where she may lead!

and for …

Three Line Tales

  • Write three lines inspired by the photo prompt (& give them a title if possible).
  • Link back to this post (& check the link shows up under the weekly post).
  • Tag your post with 3LineTales (so everyone can find you in the Reader).
  • Read and comment on other TLT participants’ lines.
  • If you want your post to be included in the round-up, you have until Sunday evening to publish it.
  • Have fun.

 

3 line story

photo by Jorge Flores via Unsplash

Looking for her brother, in an old abandoned warehouse, Clarice picked up a piece of a shirt that looked exactly like the one she’d given him two years ago at Christmastime.

Amongst the decaying garbage making the entire place smell rancid there were needles scattered here and there along with a few old mattresses.

Clarice who was once quite close to her brother now feared the worse had happened to him since he first started using hard drugs to depress the death of their mother three years ago leaving them to live with total strangers who beat him savagely.

© Susan Zutautas 2020

Grouchy & Greta Gnome

CCC#69

 

Grouchy and Greta Gnome were just waking up from a long winter’s nap.

“Grouchy, look at this mess, what are we going to do?”

“Oh, Greta, come on, I just woke up, let me focus on getting my eyes open.”

“Where did all these empty old pots come from?”

“Would you stop worrying about everything Greta and go find me something to eat, I’m starving.”

“Well, it sure doesn’t look like there’s anything to eat, it’s that time of the year, the misses has not planted anything yet.”

“Good thing I thought about this last fall. If you dig around a bit you’ll find my stash of peanuts in the ground just over there about ten feet to your left.”

Off Greta toddled to find Grouchy some nuts mumbling to herself as she went. “Why is it I always have to be the one to go fetch food for the old grump. Greta do this, Greta do that, I’m not his damned minion.”

After digging up the peanuts and taking them over to Grouchy, Greta started to tidy up the garden as best she could. She wasn’t getting any younger and each year that went by her colour was fading.  So was Grouchy’s but it never seemed to bother him. Perhaps this Spring the misses would get out her paints and spruce them both up.

“Greta, Greta, if you want any of these peanuts you’d best get over here before I eat all of them. On your way over find me something to drink.”

Grouchy, I’m not your minion and I’m tired of fetching for you. Get your own drink, and stuff your peanuts!”

 

To Be Continued …

© Susan Zutautas

This was written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #69.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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.