littlewonder2

Little wonder we stumble in life.


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Trifecta – Mask

It had all happened so suddenly.

One minute a volcano had erupted, the next the entire US was without a food source, and he was driving in the middle of a desert that looked more like a snowfield, to a place where it was known that crop seeds lay safe inside a warehouse.

Of course, it would take much more than just the crops themselves; America would need a place to raise them, and of course the government had greenhouses all over the country for that. But there was one more danger out here, dangerously close to ground zero…

Zombies, previously creatures of fiction, were now fact, destroyed by the supernatural volcano deep within the heart of Yellowstone. It just so happened that the storehouse was in that same region, almost the same state, as the famous national park.

The people once known as and laughed at Doomsday Preppers might yet save the human race. He tightened his air mask; even in this regal limo, he didn’t feel safe.

It wasn’t a wide open area like the Sahara out there, nothing but yellow sands and one solitary road. This desert was dirtier and rockier than that, just on the edge. And just when the President finally thought he was safe… this road trip was about to get a lot rockier.

He pulled his seatbelt tighter against him as the awkward, long car was sent over high and low rock hills, landing smoothly or jarringly each time. They had to get away, for the good of their country. But no matter how fast they sped, the zombies were somehow faster.

Darkness fell, even through the tinted windows, and they knew they had failed. They had caught up. All the dead and rotting bodies pressed up against the windows, smashing them, pale hands reaching out.

“The President!” called the driver, and he could see the flash of a phone. “We won’t make it! You have to –”

The line went dead.

Tale for Trifecta

Inspired by a game on my phone called Zombie Road Trip


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Friday Fictioneers – Time Church

church_and_tree-claire-fuller

 

He was mobbed by the sweltering crowd as he weaved his way through the crowd. He didn’t know what time his portable time machine had taken him to; but he had to be fast. The Time Police were capable of tracking his time activity, and it was only a matter of time before they caught up to him.

Going at this rate, they’d catch him any moment now. He decided to escape the crowd and duck into the pristine church.

Silence. He took the nearest door out of the room and sprinted up the stairs.

At the top he could see everything.


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A Sombre Drama… My First Funeral

Recently, my nanna died. I’ve been tossing up whether to write about this or not, but I feel like I just had to.

A little backstory: Because of something my dad did years ago, we’ve been cut out of his family’s lives. It was a stupid decision, one felt not to be in nanna’s proper interests, and one that made him — and the rest of us, by association — hated by them. They didn’t even tell him four years ago when one of them died.

So recently, we travelled down from the Sunshine Coast where we live (except for my sister, who lives in Brisbane) to go to nanna’s funeral. Gladly, we weren’t hit by outright abuse; two of the women closest to nanna (known hereafter as V and A) simply treated us civilly. One of them, though, an old friend of nanna’s, slipped dad a hate note just before the service. So now, at least we’re clear on their feelings against us…

For clarity, I’ll be keeping certain members anonymous, by referring to them by the first letter of their names.

This is my story.

We were the first behind the hearse. After everyone had arrived, it was now time to drive to the grave site. Aunt A and K were there, and they’d seemed civil enough, but all I could help thinking was how Anne must feel about us being first. Dad had arranged the funeral too; no doubt she probably thought that was her area.

“Are we going the right way?” asked mum out loud.

“I don’t know,” said dad. “I think the driver must be a little confused… I don’t think we came through this way before…”

Actually, we had. I recognised the rows of Jewish graves that we had passed, now out the left window.

I was just wording my response in my head, sorting out the markers in my head when mum exclaimed, “Oh, yes we did! We passed that Russian building before…”

It was more like a huge gazebo, with pointed dome shapes for window frames. It was blue and white, with a bench inside the middle.

And she was right, of course, we had passed it. But I could’ve told her that we had passed this whole section if I’d told them earlier. Speaking of which, why didn’t I? What was it exactly that I saw before…

We arrived soon, and parked away close by. I took the bouquet we’d bought earlier, half carnations and half yellow roses, and carried it over.

The reverend, who was now there and dressed in his long white garb, looked at me as I arrived. “Will you be placing that with the coffin?”

I looked around at my family and mum filled in the question. She then took the flowers away, and opened up the wrapping. She wanted each of us to take a flower. Dad and I took a carnation; mum and Kristi took a yellow rose.

Mum hastily or messily wrapped the bouquet up again and placed it on a field of green tarp where a number of other bouquets had been placed. It looked haggard compared to the others.

As we stood around, waiting for everyone to arrive and the service to start, nanna’s old friend V slipped a note into dad’s suit pants pocket. “To be read after ther funeral,” she said. It sounded important.

Casting the odd sight aside, I took my position facing the modern line of graves, where the reverend would be addressing an intimate audience of those seven of us and nanna’s nurses at the home where she’d spent the last years of her life.

“Mina lived for 91 years. Now, looking around at all the faces here, I can see all kinds of people who knew her. She was a wonderful sister, mother, wife, grandmother and friend. Everyone here will have different memories of her, but I doubt that everyone here will have known her for all of those 91 years.”

“Hm,” I agreed, nodding.

“I give my deepest condolences to those she left behind, Ken, Tami, Kristi, Ashley and –”

My attention perked up at the mention of my name, and as I finished listening to the names he gave, I noticed he didn’t say A’s. She wouldn’t like that, either I thought.

I looked over at her. She was leaning into K, an open frown on her face, her eyes rimmed with tears. That made sense, at least. She loved nanna, it was the whole reason she hated dad, and what was a funeral without tears and mourning?

The reverend had now started on a list of meaningless events that had happened on the year she was born, 1921. I didn’t think that would help anyone, certainly not A, with her memory. I tried to listen anyway, but these things meant nothing to me. I don’t know so much about the 20s.

Then he handed it over to dad, who took charge as he always does. The first thing he said was bring up one of those events, the only one I really heard, “because Mina really liked that. In reality, she was just like The Little Rascals too…”

And proceeded to tell a story I never knew, that nanna had apparently told all the time, about how she or someone else had lopped off the toe end of someone’s shoes…

As the service went on, and the reverend started to speak again, I remained silent, even through the prayers, playing with the leaves of my flower, looking over at A a few more times, who didn’t change much.

Then finally, “I see that some of you have flowers. Would you like to place them on top of the coffin?”

I had seen it happen, that the tarp with everyone’s bouquets had been laid aside and that the coffin had been placed on two flat bars over the open grave and looped through with rope.

Dad went first then, nervously, me. Everyone else with flowers lined up after and had their turn, and my family grouped up on the other side.

When all the flowers had been placed against the coffins bouquet, the coffin was held with the ropes, the bars removed, the coffin lowered.

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”

Finally, the tarp, placed over a metal grate, covered the grave. The service was over.

People gathered in groups now, talking. I saw A take her and K’s bouquet off the tarp and offer it to the nurses at nanna’s old home. In turn, others also took their bouquets away. Only ours remained. Mum thought, and I agreed, that nanna should have at least one bouquet for herself. Messy as it was, it was hers now…

A soon cheered up after the service at least when I saw her talking with the others, and eventually she made her way to us. She learned that Kristi had gotten married last year, to great excitement and congratulations on her part. Then she asked me what I was I was up to. Great.

“She’s currently looking for work right now…” mum filled in for me. “And she’s also writing a book.”

“Oh, what’s it about?”

I looked down. In the first place, I was too embarrassed to mention the book. In the second, I always had trouble with that question, even if I knew.

“Vampires,” said mum.

“Oh…” said A, distaste in her voice.

I shrugged. Whatever. It didn’t change the fact that Dawn’s a lot like Anne.

A hugged Dad and Kristi when we left. I was afraid to go in for a hug in case she didn’t want to. “Do you mind if I hug you?” mum asked.

“I do mind, actually,” said A, seeming to hug herself in discomfort.

I nodded. Fair enough.

In the car, though, we found out what V’s letter had been. “I can’t believe that she lumped me in with you,” mum fretted. Soon I learned what she meant. “The letter. She told us both to rot in hell.”


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Friday Fictioneers – Deserting Home

Copyright - Janet Webb

There was no going out tonight. Not here, not ever again… I couldn’t even take my writing. I left my dress hanging out over the balcony, and my notebook there on my bed.

I felt a tug from my heart as I left my bedroom for the last time. We could take nothing with us. It was too poisonous, the radiation already exceeding the Ukraine.

I was just a teenager. I didn’t want any of this. Leaving everything I knew and loved. My mama held me in her arms. Within hours, the streets would be empty.

Time to leave… Chernobyl.

For Friday Fictioneers.


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Writing is like Exercise

I was recently rewriting my About Me page, when I started thinking about hobbies I enjoy. One of them, which I didn’t mention, is Boxing.

Recently, within the last two months, I’ve started eating healthily and exercising. I now go to the gym and I have a personal trainer named Jess. I often do boxing exercises when I work out with Jess; I find it motivates me, I enjoy it, and I’ve always carried a store of anger with me that it lets me express.

Exercise also helps me in my writing, if for no other reason than my characters live active, dangerous lives, and working my body helps me put myself in theirs.

But I’ve also begun thinking recently that, although many writers don’t do a whole lot of exercise — indeed, for a while in my own writing, I’ve used the fact that I’m a writer as an excuse why I didn’t have to exercise — the two activities aren’t so different.

Both require discipline of sorts. Both are beneficial; one to the mind, and the other to the body. I’ve even begun to think that the two things together are important to the whole, that a person needs both to be a satisfied or balanced person.

Balance, I’ve thought for a while now, is important in anyone. Not extremes, which makes you biased and closed-minded, but a medium between them.

Of course, I believe that bias is inevitable in any person. No matter who you are, I believe there’s always something to overcome. But the point is, in the case of brain vs. brawn, of athletes versus writers, there need not even be a contest.

If books are soul food, then exercise is just as important for movement. That feeling in your muscles… is life speaking to you. And that’s just as important as the words you use to describe it.


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Trifecta – Monsoon

It was his charge to prey on his victims during monsoon, when vampires could survive very easily even in the day.

Each kill was revenge for his family. They were lost last century… drowned.

Forever young.

Tales from Trifecta


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Friday Fictioneers – Rebel

Sandra Crook

“What the hell is that?”

“It’s a motorbike.”

“No,” scoffed Jeremy. “That’s a hunk of metal.”

“Isn’t this gang about rebellion? Well, I’m just fighting the system here. I made this with my own hands. I think it looks cool. I’m proud of it.”

“What about all those sharp edges? Rebellion’s one thing, but you show up at the club on that thing, you’re gonna be the village idiot.”

“Oh, yeah? Just you watch me! They’re gonna love it!”

He really wished he hadn’t. It was one of the stupidest things he ever did on that bike. There was a riot…

Flash fiction for Friday Fictioneers