Trouble: A love story (Flash Fiction)

“This is mad! We’ll never make it!”

Andy pulled his shorts high as he could without doing himself an injury; didn’t need them falling off halfway down.

Karri beamed. “Only one way to find out!”

“You’re crazy!”

What did he see in her? How did they ever become friends? She’s a maniac! Every bit of trouble he’d ever been in, she was behind it. Every cut and scar on his body had her fingerprint on it. Yet every time she came up with a crazy scheme, there he was, right there with her.

“This party sucks,” she’d said. “Let’s duck out the back, head through the woods, break in through the hole in the fence, climb to the top and take the long ride down.”

“It’s not open yet. They haven’t finished building.”

Karri ignore him. “We’ll be back before anyone notices.”

Spine. That’s the problem. Andy’d never been able to say no to women. Certainly not Karri.

One hand clinging to the side of the two-thousand-foot, part-built water slide, the other gripping his underwear, Andy squeezed his eyes shut. “I’m going to die.”

“Die happy!” Karri shrieked and let go.

Andy knew he would follow her. He knew it then, just as he’d known it the moment he first saw her when they were five-years-old, sprinting across a field with old lady Crabbit’s peaches.

He screamed. Couldn’t help it. The drop was vertical. Three loops later he was upside down. Blinded by water, all he could do was hope Karri was far enough ahead to avoid a collision. Not that she’d mind.

**

Soaking and caked in mud from their hike back home through the woods, Karri and Andy fell through the kitchen door just as his mother brought out the cake.

“There you are.” His mother peered outside. “Did you get caught in the sprinkler?”

Karri never had trouble dealing with women. “Sure,” she laughed. “Why not?”

She darted into the lounge full of family who gathered at Christmas and birthdays like an obligation. Andy stared after her.

I’m going to marry that girl. That’s a fact.

“Andy?” Andy turned to his mother. “Help me with the candles.” His mother counted them out. One for each year of Andy’s life. “That girl’s trouble, my boy. You watch yourself.”

Andy put eight candles onto his cake. “Yep,” he grinned. “That’s true.”

Persistence – A poem for everyone and a note for writers

Persistence - a poem by Tina Konstant - your Daily Dose of Fiction

Having fully accepted the last book is trashed, I wrote this with persistence in mind. The gentle keep-on-going that allows you to let go and move on without any guarantee that what you embark on next will turn out any different. Here you go…

 

Persistence

Tell me you’re done and
I won’t believe
You are too big to hide
In the shadows
Of the Baobab Tree at dawn
Where the black arrow flies
Looking for love.
Your dreams are loud
They sing where the wild things grow.
Even when you shut
Your ears and your heart
The black arrow hunts regardless.
So do not run.
Stand firm on the wide-open plains.
Catch the arrow with both hands.
It knows where to go.

 

NOTE TO WRITERS: The Daily Dose of Fiction is proving to have some interesting side effects. Over the last 14 years of “trying” to write my novel, I’ve gone through every possible mental contortion. If you’ve worked on yours for more than a few years, you’ll know what I mean. Your mind plagues you. It’s like oil on your kitchen floor – you can’t see it, but you know it’s there.

So, writing something to publish every day has generated some small shifts that might help if you’re a little stuck…

  • When you commit to publishing something every day, you really do sit down to write – with intent and focus. You don’t fret about it or squeeze 250 words into the last part of your day. You will, I promise, focus on it first.
  • To be in the state required to create something you like enough to publish, your day will take on a different shape – so you might find that you don’t succumb to sugar and afternoon movies so much. You’ll write and edit instead.
  • You’ll start to notice the world around you a little more. You’ll find yourself looking for stories and random conversations, contact and life.

Bottom line… writing something to publish every day is a great way to get your head out your butt.

That’s it. Try a Daily Dose of Fiction yourself. It might shake the rust from some of your joints.

Enjoy your magnificent day.

Tina

 

The Stalker – A little Flash Fiction

Welcome to your Daily Dose of Fiction. Today it’s 365 words of flash fiction. Happy Saturday, folks… Bit of a note for writers at the bottom. Enjoy.

 

 

“What happens now?”

I know the guy standing next to me better than he thinks. We’ve never met. Not face-to-face. We’ve bumped into each other a few times. Or rather, I’ve bumped into him. I can be subtle when I want to be. Until now, we haven’t spoken. Strictly speaking, he still hasn’t.

No, I’m not a stalker. This guy might disagree, but since he doesn’t know how long I’ve been watching him, he probably won’t.

So here we are. At the edge of a cliff at midnight. Wind screaming at our backs. Black skies above us. Infinite sea beneath our feet. “Any ideas?”

The guy shakes his head.

“Are you crying?”

The man wipes his face but the tears have already dried leaving salt stains on his cheeks.

“We can’t stand here forever.” It’s a stupid thing to say, but he’s not moving. I’m just stating a fact. He must know we can’t stand here forever.

His hands clench into tight, hard fists like he’s holding onto the only thing he’s ever loved.

“Why are you here, anyway?” I ask. Another stupid thing to say. I’m full of it today. Of course I know why he’s here.

The guy shakes his head again. He’s normally so talkative. Just a few moments ago, shouting and ranting all the way, he blew up a school and killed 22 kids.

I rest my hand on his shoulder. “I actually do know what’s going to happen next.”

For the first time, he turns to me.

I smile.

The terror etched on his face makes him look more like a child than the young, battle-hardened man he thinks he is. I see it a lot. Fear strips people of the stories they tell themselves. When someone has been seen for what they really are, they understand there’s no reason to lie or hide. They become honest. It’s a beautiful moment.

The man stares at me. I don’t blame him. The hooves and the tail and the horns are a bit much. But I like the theatre.

“Anyway,” I tap his shoulder. The man flinches. “Like I said, I actually do know what happens next. I’m just curious to know if you do.”

 

(NOTE TO WRITERS: I’m really enjoying Natalie Goldberg’s Wild Writing approach. Her instructions are to set a time limit, start writing and don’t stop. I committed to writing for 60 minutes after breakfast this morning. Crazy words came out and an odd story about one of my dogs. Then this little idea surfaced and developed into The Stalker. I like the notion of the devil stalking souls. Goldberg suggests that when you write whatever comes out of your head without hesitating, you eventually get out of your way and write what you really want to write. It’s a daily practice.)

Happiness – a Haiku

Baking bread makes the world slow down. There’s something about how dough breathes. Here’s a Haiku to explain what I mean:

Baking bread at dawn
Soft dough rises with morning
Happiness wakes up

 

 

Author’s Note:
Having trashed the last novel (this was the 8th or 9th attempt – I’ve lost count), I’m still digging my way out of the mental chaos that comes along with dumping 18 months of work. I like to bake when I’m feeling mixed up. It calms things down… makes me present. Anyway… here’s the recipe for the world’s easiest bread – it never fails.

  • 125g of strong brown flour
  • 300g of strong white flour (NOTE: As long as the total amount of flour is 425g it doesn’t seem to make a difference what the proportion brown-to-white is)
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 7g of yeast
  • 350ml of water (NOTE: If you use hot tap water, the bread will be ready to bake in 3-4 hours. If you want to leave it overnight, then use cold water)

Put it all in a bowl and mix and fold until you have a gloriously sticky mass (I don’t recommend using your hands)

Cover it over with clingfilm and leave it for a few hours or overnight depending on the water temperature.

Ready to bake…:

  • Set the oven to 220 degrees Centigrade.
  • Get a smallish oven proof pot with a lid (I use a cast iron one – works beautifully), oil the pot lightly and put it in the oven so it heats up

Then…

  • Sprinkle flour onto your kitchen counter and tip the risen dough onto it. Very gently… like you’re handing marshmallows, turn the dough over until all sides are coated in flour – don’t knead it or shove it or push it or prod it. Coax it.
  • When the oven has reached 220 Degrees C, put the dough into the pot with the lid on.
  • Let it bake for 30 minutes.
  • Then take the lid off and let it bake for a further 15 minutes.

And that’s it! It’s done. And it’ll be perfect.

You can, if you like, add sunflower seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, olives or anything you like.

Enjoy.
T

Your story (previously “private moment”) – a Haiku

There’s something beautiful about this short form of fiction… This is Haiku number 3. Replacing “Private Moment”.

Why do you exist?
To find your note and sing it
One and Only You

Author’s Note:
Originally I had something different posted here. I hated it. But, when I started “Daily Dose of Fiction”, I committed to posting short bits of fiction and not taking it down, rather, living with the feeling of what I posted and learn from it.

Well, I lived with “Private Moment” for 24 hours and couldn’t sleep so had to take it down. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t my voice. I wasn’t what I wanted to say. So I got to thinking about honesty, integrity and purpose.

When we’re on the right track we feel it. It’s not a cognitive thing – it’s emotional. When we feel calm and at peace, happy and mellow, we’re tapping into our joy which means we’re living honestly, with integrity and on purpose. But if we have that edge… that queasy, uneasy stickiness… that slightly off… out of sync feeling… You know what I mean… Then we’re not doing what we’re supposed to be doing and we should take note.

If we paid more attention to how we felt, we’d make better decisions. I think.

Have a wonderful day, folks.
Tina