Stories by Sarah

Crossed

Izzy didn’t believe in luck, until that cat crossed her path.

She had always been certain that events in her life were the direct result of her own decision making and efforts.

But that cat. That damned cat.

It changed everything.

Izzy had always been in control. Self-assured. Confident. She was a fortress, impenetrable and locked up tight. She didn’t let anyone or anything in, and she didn’t want to.

Which was what was so annoying about the whole situation. In one split second this cat had undermined everything she’d worked for. Just like that.

She glanced resentfully at the small obsidian mass of fur, contentedly purring on the passenger seat of her car. He didn’t even seem to realise, nor care, that he’d had such a close call. Nine lives down to eight now.

Her eyes darted back to the road again, as she gripped the steering wheel tensely. No, no, no, her subconscious chanted.

Only a couple more blocks, she reasoned. Then this would be someone else’s problem.

She whirled her vehicle into the drive of the animal shelter, breathing a sigh of relief a she flipped off the engine.

“Right hairball,” she stated firmly to the cat, “time to go.” She unbuckled her seatbelt and reached over to grab him.

She gently lifted his warm, silky body. He really was very cute. Maybe…

Nope! she thought. Let’s go.

She snuggled the cat close to her chest, lifting the flap of her jacket over the top to keep him warm. After all, it was cold out.

Izzy crunched her way up the gravel pathway, trying to determine where the entrance was. She stepped up onto the verandah and tried the first door.

Locked.

She wandered slowly along to the next. “Welcome to the RSPCA” she read on the small plaque.

Ahh, she sighed. Here we go. She pulled the handle but was met with more resistance. It too, was locked.

She swore under her breath as she took in the sign, “Opening Hours 7:30 – 5pm”.

Flicking her wrist, Izzy observed the time 5:07pm on her watch. Seriously?! she thought.

She pondered what to do next. Maybe, she could just leave him on the doorstep? No, that wouldn’t work – he’d just wander off; maybe back onto the road again. Was there an after hours number to call? Her eyes scoured the colourful signage for more information, but to no avail.

“Looks like you’re out of luck bud,” she said to the cat.

He looked up at her with his spooky yellow eyes, challenging her otherwise.

“Well you can’t come with me!” she objected.

The cat opened his mouth, and yawned.

At this, she laughed.

“Honestly, you don’t want me to be in charge here.”

But the cat’s gaze was unwavering.

“I look after myself, not others. It’s not personal, it’s just how I am,” she babbled.

The cat blinked.

She was beginning to see, there was no point arguing.

“Well, I guess, if it’s only for one night,” she conceded.

At that, the cat snuggled back into her chest and began to purr. Mission accomplished, he seemed to be saying.

Izzy’s heart melted and knew right then, that that cat wouldn’t be going anywhere. He was undeniably, all hers.

It was Lucky indeed, who showed Izzy what she didn’t even know she was missing.

By Sarah ©2021

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday – August 13, 2021

Stories by Sarah

August

August approached in a golden sweltering haze. The customary way she entered a room, really.

Her hair fanned out around her shoulders as she sped across the floor. The glower in her speckled hazel eyes alerted me, this was not a social visit.

Drawing a deep breath, I forced a smile and said, “My darling! What a surprise, and delight.”

“Oh cut the crap,’ August retorted.

“Why, now. There’s no need for hostility August,” I crooned.

“Spare me the platitudes,” she scoffed. “I’m not in the mood.”

“Yes. Ok, yes, That I can see. So why not tell me the problem?”

“You know very well you icy bastard.” She was positively radiating rage. The heat of her anger danced a trickle of sweat down my forehead.

Well, she had me there.

I did know; I just wasn’t sure why it was always such a problem. Better to beg forgiveness now, I conceded. Make it easier for next time.

“August, honey – you know how this works.”

“But it’s so unfair!” she whined. “People like me! People crave me. I make their lives so much happier. Happier than her, anyway. What does she have that I don’t?” she demanded.

Without waiting for a reply, she continued.

“Honestly, all I want is a few more days. A week. Two, max.”

“August, I’m sorry. I am. But it’s just not possible. You’ve had 31 days, and that’s more than some. Think about poor February for instance.”

This caused her to pause, so I went on, seizing the momentum.

“It’s not like you won’t have another chance; and you can build up your energy again – shine bigger! Brighter than ever! Eleven months is nothing in the big scheme of things. Give your fans time to miss you, and I assure you, you will be adored even more,” I promised.

Her eyes softened, and she smiled.

“I guess,” she said, ruefully, “I mean September is such a hot mess, how could they not adore me?”

“That’s right,” I soothed. “You’re so right beautiful August. They call it “the fall” for a reason – how could she live up to you? Now chin up. You’ve got your last day to enjoy!”

August beamed as she air kissed each of my cheeks goodbye. It was true. Bathing in her sunshine was glorious.

After she had gone, I sighed and leant back heavily into my chair. My temples throbbed from a headache that was developing and I needed a drink.

That had been a close call with August. And it didn’t make it any easier knowing I now had September to deal with.

My job wasn’t easy. Nope. Not at all. But as they say, “Time stands still for no-one.

By Sarah ©2021

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday – July 30, 2021

Stories by Sarah

Meltdown

It’s all a blur – once the meltdown begins. That familiar sinking feeling, consumes me again.

My face blanches as I realise what I’ve done. It’s too late now though. It’s happened.
“What were you thinking?” my beleaguered mind screams.
“That’s the problem… she wasn’t,” replies my subconscious, smirking, “Always the way, once she gets a few drinks in her.”

My head spins as I scrabble to assemble jigsaw pieces of the previous night.
But it’s no use.
There’s nothing there.
Time hosts invisible memories.

Sick to my stomach, all I can do now is ask, “Who else knows?


By Sarah ©2021

52337A90-D29E-41D5-911C-25F359F3F9BAPhoto by Nsey Benajah on Unsplash

Carrot Ranch, July 15: Flash Fiction

Stories by Sarah

Unicorn Serial in Three Acts (99 words each part)

Act I

She had known this was inevitable. Lying down, she submitted to her fate, took a deep breath, and swallowed hard. Fearfully closing her eyes, she waited. It wasn’t long before the torture began. The unicorn was really going to punish her. First of all, it flicked at her skin with its coarse tail. Contemptuously, teasing her. Circling her. Feigning as though to charge, but merely brushing past. She winced with each whip of the tail, sharp as razor blades, indeed drawing small droplets of blood with each stroke. It finally stopped, but she knew it was far from over.

Act II

She braced herself for more. Without warning, roughshod hooves began to stomp over her. The delicate skin of her back soon became pressed with their crescent moon shape. Tender and sore, she was continually trampled. Taking deep shuddering breaths, she tried not to scream although tears had begun trickling down her cheeks long ago. She swiped at them viciously, loathe for anyone to see her submit to the pain. Four muscled legs danced over her. The flank of the beast was shiny with sweat and clearly defined veins popped from within. Its body was a strong and magnificent construction.

Act III

I’ve never see a unicorn in the flesh before, she thought deliriously. The pain had now reached blinding heights. Sharp, searing agony consumed her being. When at last, she thought she could bear it no more, she heard (or imagined) a voice say, “I’m nearly done”. With that, the unicorn’s ivory horn speared her. She gasped as she came face to to face with the mythical animal. A bright light came into focus. “Am I dead?” she asked. The tattooist rolled his eyes at the melodramatic customer in front of him. It’s always the ones who want bloody unicorns! he thought.

Stories by Sarah

Light of Ages

Our small crew of lighthouse keepers, landed in the spring, on the station off the coast of Isle Royale. We stayed for the entirety of the shipping season; due to leave in the fall. But the remoteness and inaccessibility of the light, made provisioning risky; burdensome for those ashore. In the end, we got down to a single can of tomatoes.

You find out man’s true nature under such conditions. One has to survive, and there are ways to dispose of the bodies, out here on the rock.

A light for the ages, brought out darkness in our souls.

By Sarah ©2020

Image credit: Copper Country Historical Images
Stories by Sarah

Spin

The sky looked like ink, no stars, just black; that’s how it began. 

Shelley took a deep breath as she waited for the curtains to open. Braced for the notes that would signal her cue, a hush fell over the audience as the first tentative strains of music swirled through the theatre.

She stretched and eased herself into the well-rehearsed moves. Her form gliding effortlessly across the stage. As the crescendo approached, she began to spin.

This was why she’d become a dancer. With each turn, she felt she could truly fly.

By Sarah ©2019

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday: May 24, 2019; and also, Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt, #107 – Spin

Stories by Sarah

Aftermath

My feet crunched on the blackened ground. Even the rocks had not been spared. So intense was the heat from the bushfire, they too had been singed.

All around me was devastation.

Twisted sheets of metal were all that was left of the house. I bent down and touched the ground where our mailbox once stood, my fingers trailing through the ash.

I trudged the perimeter fence and noted with irony, the eucalypts still standing.

Charred.
Naked.
But still standing.

Then, I saw a tiny patch of green – the tree already beginning to regenerate itself!

We too would rebuild.

By Sarah ©2019

Carrot Ranch, May 16: Flash Fiction Challenge, Prompt – In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that goes in search of trees. It can be one particular tree, a grove, woods, or forest. What makes the tree worth seeking? Go where the prompt leads!

Stories by Sarah

Typo

The neon glow enveloped the city built by and for corporations.

It was late and Sandra sat alone in the cavernous office. Pounding the keyboard furiously she tried to finish the never-ending paperwork her boss delighted in giving her.

Bastard, she thought. He actually enjoyed the power, dictating when she could leave and knowing it was her weekend with her daughter.

Her email pinged.

She despaired as she saw yet another assignment.

Gazing out at the city lights, Sandra contemplated her reply. His eminence wouldn’t like it, but life was too short.

Smiling, she typed two words.

“I quit”.

By Sarah ©2019

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday: March 29, 2019; and also, Carrot Ranch, March 28: Flash Fiction Challenge. Prompt – In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that uses the word eminence. It’s a rich word full of different meanings. Explore how it sounds or how you might play with it. Go where the prompt leads!

Stories by Sarah

Waterfall

The staccato rhythm on the roof became a dull roar.

It was really coming down and the children’s focus had wandered from their work to the window.

“It’s just a little rain, we’ve all seen it before,” I redirected, whilst simultaneously reaching for the bucket for the roof’s long-standing leak.

Honestly, I thought, how hard was it for the school to fix this issue?

I watched with horror and awe, as it soon overflowed and the roof began to bow.

With a crash, the roof caved in and I witnessed my first ever indoor waterfall… right in my classroom!

By Sarah ©2019

Carrot Ranch, March 21: Flash Fiction Challenge, Prompt – In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a bucket of water. What is the condition of the water and what is the bucket for? Drop deep into the well and draw from where the prompt leads!

Stories by Sarah

Until September

My feet squelched in the thick mud, as I trudged the familiar track. Darkness had not yet been overcome by the new day and I urged the sunrise on.

Entering the thick trees, my nerves jangled. The inky light was unnerving, and my senses were on high alert, oozing adrenalin. I was ready to fly should anyone unexpectedly appear.

I sighed, realising that after tomorrow’s equinox, my morning wanderings would soon end. Winter’s days would dictate a new exercise regime.

Until September anyway…

By Sarah ©2019

Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt #97 – Equinox and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Sound Bite, 16 March 2019

Stories by Sarah

Tight Arse

He hobbled into the hospital, chuckling at the special deal sign as he walked past.

He had been called a “tight-arse” his whole life – never one to miss a bargain or save a penny.

And his assisted euthanasia would be no different – he intended to die as he lived.

By Sarah ©2019

photo by Artem Bali via Unsplash

Only 100 Words, Three Line Tales – Week 163

Stories by Sarah

About Time

I finished the linear coat of gloss and smacked my lips together with satisfaction. I had formed the perfect Cupid’s bow.

I smiled and winked at myself in the mirror, thinking about the bare-faced person who had been looking back a mere 15 minutes ago.

I opened the catch on the windowsill. One, to let in some fresh air, and two, to listen for the familiar engine that would herald his approach. He was stringent about being on time, and I wanted to be ready.

But the minutes came and went, and still he didn’t come.

Agonisingly, they ticked by. It was a little melodramatic I know, but I was literally watching the second hand. ‘Round and ’round it went. Each rotation a slap to the face, until finally, I conceded.

He wasn’t coming.

I pummelled my fists against the table, unable to harbour my frustration and disappointment any longer.

Crestfallen, I began to wipe away the face, I had been so pleased with. My reflection gave me the silent treatment. There was no need to put into words what my heart already knew.

He was never going to leave his wife.

By Sarah ©2019

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Wordle #124

Stories by Sarah

Little One

The shadow of the moon danced on the lake. A light breeze whispered gently through the tress and the air was filled with a symphony of insects, clamoring to be heard.

Lucy trod carefully in the filtered light, glancing behind her guiltily. Her mum and dad would be furious but since the trap hadn’t killed it, Lucy figured it was a sign.

Kneeling at the fence line of their property, she reached into her pocket and tenderly scooped out the mouse.

With a grateful “chit” of thanks, it promptly ran into the darkness.

“Take care little one,” she whispered.

By Sarah ©2019

Carrot Ranch, March 7, 2019. Prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a mouse. It can be real, imagined, electronic or whiskered.

and also, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Unique Personality, 9 March 2019

Stories by Sarah

Folded

It’d been a long day.

Kihei, Maui had deceptively more on offer than I’d thought. I sat my weary self down, noting the lazy colonnades made by benches and umbrellas. Even they had had it – pulled in and folded down for the evening.

I sat swirling my cocktail, hoping it would ease my aching muscles. The sun dipped below the tree line, drawing long shadows on the ground and I’m almost tempted to ask a passing cyclist if I can hitch a ride. The thought of walking up the hill, is overwhelming.

So I ordered another drink instead…

By Sarah ©2019

Carrot Ranch, Flash Fiction: January 17

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes colonnades. It can be natural, architectural, or a metaphor. Take a stroll and go where the prompt leads.

Stories by Sarah

Star Struck

photo by Ian Parker via Unsplash

“Wait for me. I’ll be back for you in a few days ” she whispered, full of promises.

Enchanted and beguiled, he did – but what he didn’t know is that she was of the stars, and that her days were measured in light years.

When she finally returned, all that was left was the rusting shell of their love, and the discovery that he had been gone a long time…

By Sarah ©2019

Three Line Tales, Week 155

Stories by Sarah

Smashed

I waved goodbye to mum and noticed dark grey clouds in the frame of my windscreen.

It seemed rain was imminent, so I put my foot down on the accelerator and started the 20 minute drive home (depending on traffic).

As I snapped on my indicator and turned onto the motorway, fat drops splattered slowly, almost haphazardly on the glass.

The wipers moved back and forth clearing my view, and I gripped the wheel more tightly, bracing for the inclement weather.

A sudden bang, made me jump.

It was soon followed by another.

Then another.

Momentarily confused, I realised that the rain had now turned into glazed, white balls of ice. And they were coming down hard. Smashing into the bonnet and roof of my small car. Its boxy shell no match for the wild will of the hailstones. I guessed their diameter around 4-5cm.

Cursing, and scared, I looked around frantically for shelter. The steep embankments on the side of the road offered me no option. I saw an overpass ahead, and limped along cautiously, pulling up underneath.

With baited breath, I waited out the freak storm. The hail continued to slam down violently behind me, and the wind wailed eerily through the tunnel. I glanced in the rear vision mirror at the drivers behind me, their faces named with the same fear and concern as mine.

Then, as suddenly as it began, it was over. Shaking, I pulled back out onto the motorway and drove the rest of the way home.

I emerged safe and unharmed, but the same could not be said for my car.

I take her to the panel beaters tomorrow.

By Sarah ©2019

The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 386

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

A Little Greenery

Photo by Filip Gielda

I gaze absently at the raindrops trickling slowly down the window pane. Not really seeing them, but looking beyond. The unfamiliar street scape is making me anxious.

I moved back to the city just last week and each time, it startles me to see buildings instead of wide open spaces. I even added a little greenery on the window sills in a feeble attempt to abate my need for the bush.

A wave of homesickness washes over me, and I once again question, ‘Have I done the right thing?’

I guess only time will tell. That, and a little faith…

By Sarah ©2019

100 Word Wednesday – Week 104

Stories by Sarah

Vortex

I watched the swirling vortex of the rip, as it curled back out to sea. Sucking. Drawing every inch of sand and water it could drag with it. Me included.

I took a deep breath and struggled against it. Lashing out futilely with my arms and legs. Then I heard my nanna’s words echo in my mind. Go with it and swim back in once you’re out.

I quelled the rising panic, and closed my eyes. I lay flat on my back, bobbing like a cork as I floated, and let it carry me out to sea…

By Sarah ©2018

Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt, #73 – Vortex

Stories by Sarah

Parade of Nations

Dressed in their finest, sleek grey suits, they glide along effortlessly. A graceful, yet determined southbound march. Playing follow the leader, they duck and weave around each other. Occasionally pausing to wave to those watching.

The parade is a long one, traipsing half the length of the globe.

Suddenly, with a mighty push, a mother leaps majestically from her position in the parade, and lands with a triumphant splash. Her newborn baby calf copies her in tandem, delighting those viewing from the shore. It’s learning. Every September, the kings of the sea, make their parade of nations to feast.

By Sarah ©2018

Author’s Note: Each September we holiday at Scott’s Head in NSW and enjoy the Humpback whales’ annual migration south for the summer. These were snapped and filmed just yesterday…

Carrot Ranch, September 20: Flash Fiction Challenge, Task – In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a parade of nations. It can be literal, or it can be a phrase that you use to describe a situation. Explore what it could be. Go where the prompt leads.

Stories by Sarah

Retreat

I’d been away for work at a beautiful spot, facilitating a retreat for carers. The aim – respite and pampering, for three days.

I’d worked hard to ensure they’d had everything they needed, and could truly unwind from the demands of looking after the person they cared for.

I opened up a package that had arrived for me in the mail that day.

I held a flat rock with a detailed image of the mountain landscape where we’d been.

“Thank you” the card read, “I’ve found the inspiration to paint again”.

What an epic workplace, I thought, choking back tears.

By Sarah ©2018

Carrot Ranch, September 6: Flash Fiction Challenge, Task – In 99 words (no more, no less) write about an epic workplace. It can be real or imagined. Go where the prompt leads.

Stories by Sarah

It’s A Boy!

I twisted.

I urged.

Yet still, the cap wouldn’t budge.

I felt so frustrated. This liquid was yearning for release for human consumption and to be enjoyed.

It was a perfect summer’s day for a beer.

Not ready to concede defeat, I kept on trying. The effort began to hurt my hands.

Damn this thing, I thought.

Then suddenly, I felt it. A helpful force; working with me from the other side. Oh joy of joys, the cap began to move!

Finally it was released, and cool liquid amber gushed through the bottle neck.

“It’s a boy!” I smiled.

By Sarah ©2018

Carrot Ranch, August 30: Flash Fiction Challenge. Task: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a bottleneck. You can be literal or use the term to describe congestion. Go where the prompt leads.

Stories by Sarah

Good Neighbour

What miscreant has been here? I wondered, inspecting the damage to the fence.

I was not at all, properly attired, and looked about, seeing if there was anyone who could assist.

Nope. It was just me.

I considered my freshly polished shoes, crisply starched white pants, and my lace detailed silk shirt, and huffed.

I did not need this today, not one bit, I cursed.

Part of me was tempted, to just walk by, pretend I had never seen it. But I couldn’t abandon my responsibilities.

As they say, “Good fences make good neighbours.”

So I got to work.

 

By Sarah ©2018

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Photo Challenge #221; Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Same Same But Different, 14 July 2018, Synonyms for check, dress, hand, snake, drop highlighted in bold; and also, Carrot Ranch, July 12: Flash Fiction Challenge, July 12, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a broken fence. You can mend it, leave it, or explain its place in a story. Go where the prompt leads.

Stories by Sarah

Empty

Who invited him? Shelby wondered.

She watched him surreptitiously, as she closed the liquor cabinet.

She took a quick gulp of the burning whiskey, and just for a minute the clock seemed to stop.

She took in his tall, hulking frame, electric blue eyes, and shock of black hair. He ruffled a hand distractedly through it, before somehow, he sensed her, looking at him.

She quickly looked away but not before a hot blush stole across her face. With disgust, she felt her pure lust for him; imagining herself lying under him, her own golden hair crowned upon the pillow.

Shelby swore softly under her breath as she realised he was now walking her way.

She turned and rushed out of the lounge, into the food store, hoping she could hide from him, in the kitchen. She wasn’t ready for this, all the turbulent emotions he was evoking in her. It was too soon.

From her concealment in the cupboard, she watched him survey the apparently empty room. He went to the sink, peeked out the window and across the lawn as though expecting to see her running through the grass.

Shelby realised she was holding her breath and silently, she prayed he would leave – look for her no more. Then she wouldn’t have to reveal herself to him.

She stayed strong in her resolve, even when she saw the single tear rolling down his cheek. It was nothing compared to the thousands she’d shed for him. If he wanted her back again, he had truly missed the boat this time.

Finally, he turned and left her in the darkness, and the party went on around them.

She slid down the wall, and reached for a packet of crisps.

By Sarah ©2018

The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 359 and Time to Write: Sentence Starter 36

Stories by Sarah

Bobbie Jo

Bobbie Jo wouldn’t know class if it crawled into her knockoff Prada and went home with her. 

Mandy shook her perfectly poised platinum bob and made a “tsk” sound. She would have to speak to someone about the lax staff, letting someone of that caliber into the country club. Anyone who lacks such decorum should hardly be allowed past the front door step!

I mean, really! she thought, haughtily. What next?

She turned, picked up her real Prada and stormed elegantly out of the venue. After all, she had a plane to catch.

————————

She arrived at the airport, and directed her driver to the private hangars. She was looking forward to travelling on her own jet, and not having to deal with the nuisance of other passengers.

I mean, really! she thought, haughtily, When one had a financial position such as she, why not?

She primly collected her overnight bag and business suit, resting on its hanger in a sleek protective bag, and handed them to the steward.

Her stiletto heels clinked on the metal steps as she climbed into the small, but perfectly formed Learjet.

She clipped her seatbelt loosely around her hips, sighed contentedly and leaned back in her seat. Mandy pressed the service button. She deserved a champagne.

The steward brought her a delicate glass of Moët and Chandon. She took a sip and analysed the fine little bubbles, softly popping as they reached the top of the chilled glass. She realised the steward was still standing there.

I mean, really! she thought haughtily. Wanting a tip already?

“Uh, ma’am?” the steward began, nervously. “Um..well..”

“Yes?” she probed, becoming irritated.

“Well, ma’am, I just need to let you know, there’s been a slight change in the plans for our flight.”

Mandy sat straight up in her seat.

“What? What change?” she snapped. She could not be late for this meeting!

The steward continued, “Our regular pilot, Captain Blake, has fallen ill, so I’ve been advised to let you know, there will be a replacement filling in for him.”

“Oh, fine. No problem,” Mandy said, relieved. Why was this idiot even bothering her with such details? she wondered. I mean, really! She didn’t need to know such trivial matters.

“Anyway, Captain Beaumont just wanted me to let you know,” the steward continued, before wandering off down the aisle.

Beaumont? Captain Beaumont? Mandy thought hard. Why was that name so familiar?

As the pieces fell into place, Mandy was horrified as Captain Bobbie Jo Beaumont, entered the cabin, waggling her fingers at her, and giving her a knowing grin…

By Sarah ©2018

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday: July 6th, 2018 and Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, Saturday Mix – Double Take, 7 July 2018. Words: hangar/hanger and lax/lacks

Stories by Sarah

Full

I placed my knife and fork together gently on the plate, and wiped my mouth with the fine linen napkin. I leant back in the chair and sighed a deep, contented breath.

As I exhaled, I felt uncomfortable pressure – my pants, digging into my rotund belly. I furtively glanced around the restaurant, sure that no one was watching, reached down and popped open the top button.

Out of nowhere, I heard a voice.

“Everything ok ma’am?” a waitress asked, as she cleared my empty plate. She looked pointedly at my stomach.

“Oh, yes,” I laughed, embarrassed, “Just full!”

By Sarah ©2018

Carrot Ranch, July 5: Flash Fiction Challenge

July 5, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes buttons. You can use the word plural or singular in different expressions, or focus on how buttons relate to a story. Go where the prompt leads.

Stories by Sarah

The Flower

It was the same sketch every time.

A stem.

Two leaves.

Scribbly petals.

All culminating to form a rudimentary flower.

For as long as I could remember, this was the “bored” doodle that I defaulted to.

I briefly wondered why.

I sighed a barely contained, deep exhalation, attempting to communicate the need for a break.

Why was it, that teacher professional development, all about the importance of engagement and best practice, used the exact opposite to inform its audience?

I looked up, hopeful, as the presenter paused.

Disappointingly, she promptly launched into the next diatribe.

Time for another flower…

By Sarah ©2018

Carrot Ranch, June 28: Flash Fiction Challenge

June 28, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that is a sketch or about a sketch. It can be “A Sketch of a Romance” or “The Sketch of Aunt Tillie.” Go where the prompt leads you to scribble.

Stories by Sarah

Quarantine

I wandered the grounds of the old quarantine station, searching for the series of engravings.

They were etched all the way along the escarpment, adjacent to the jetty. I’d heard these carvings were made by people staying at the quarantine station, and dated from the early nineteenth century.

I traced my fingers along the rough edges and tried to imagine, who, or what, had brought them here…

By Sarah ©2018

Find out more about the old Sydney Quarantine Station here.

Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt, # 61 – Quarantine

Stories by Sarah

Not All Is Lost

The strangers with her on the rooftop paused in unison. Too scared to move, she realised she was holding her breath.

A single shot echoed off the bricks, shattering clay at her feet.

The shooter had found them.

She couldn’t believe this was happening. This was her high school, not the six o’clock news!

She felt something wet and realised she had peed her pants. She watched the yellow trickle out until two black boots stopped it short.

She squeezed her eyes shut and waited.

The click of an empty chamber told her, not all was lost after all.

By Sarah ©2018

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday and Carrot Ranch, June 21: Flash Fiction Challenge

June 21, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about “not all is lost.” It can include recovery from disaster, an unexpected insight after a fall, or however the phrase moves you. Go where the prompt leads.

Stories by Sarah

Days of Old

The children squealed as they hopped off the bus, promptly running around the open area outside the museum.

“1/2s, over here please,” I said in my most commanding-outside-in-a-public-place-teacher-voice.

I assembled them into two lines, did a quick head count and entered, in an orderly fashion.

I wasn’t cross.
Excitement.
Curiosity.
Enthusiasm.
It was what I loved about teaching.

I gave a smile, as a collective, “Whoa! Cooooooool!” echoed through the foyer.
It was the skeleton of a huge hump back whale.

In the “Days of Old” gallery, while the other kids were playing house in an old fashioned home, one girl, had paused in front of a display. A look of consternation on her face.

She looked at me, confused. “What is it Mrs Whiley? It has keys like a computer, but…it’s weird looking.”

I laughed, and thought, This is a new one!

Then I began to explain…

By Sarah ©2018

Sammi Scribbles, Weekend Writing Prompt – #59 Typewriter

Stories by Sarah

Death By Roses (99 word version)

For this week’s challenge, I have re-worked one of my most popular short stories (and also one of my personal favourites) “Death By Roses.”  You can visit the original post here. Hope you enjoy them both!

Death by Roses. What kind of a perfume name was that?!

She selected it from the rows of delicate bottles standing behind glass doors; hoping her sister would like the present.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Ooooooh! Death by Roses!!! How did you know?”

“Just a hunch! Glad you like it.”

Her sister squirted and sprayed herself liberally, before spraying the bouquet over everyone.

Feeling pleased, she didn’t notice at first.

Then her mother screamed, “I thought you’d grown out of your anaphylaxis!”

She faded to black, thinking, “Death by Roses”…

By Sarah ©2018

Carrot Ranch, June 14: Flash Fiction

June 14, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a bouquet. You can explore the meaning of the word or gather a bunch of flowers. Go where the prompt leads.