Category Archives: Writing

Awakening Part 2

Week Four of Said Bree FFC2018 Flash Fiction challenge:

The prompt:
Pick a number. Then, pick another number. Write a story involving both:
(I chose #14 & 18)
14. An inheritancewriting challenge badgea_participant
18. An argument
under 1000 words, and posted before midnight January 22, 2018. – The rules.

This week’s story is a continuation of the story from last week. I wasn’t planning it but a story presented itself after I read the prompt. Here is the link to last week’s story –Awakening. I am really enjoying this writing universe. You may see more, or I may try to develop another avenue of publication for this developing series. Hope you enjoy the story below:

Awakening Part 2
Leann Holland

Standing in front of the bathroom mirror, Naomi surveyed her makeup one last time. It was the first time she’d left the house alone since Ward and Madeline disappeared on their college reunion trip to Los Angeles last month.

She and Mick had been keeping the girls closer. They maintained weekly phone calls with Faye, the other survivor of their trip. In yesterday’s update, there still wasn’t any news regarding Ward or Madeline.

Not sure she would be leaving Mick and the girls if it wasn’t for her best friend, Ellen’s step mom’s funeral showing tonight. Ellen’s mom watched the girls for them while they were in LA. Ellen was quite close with both sets of her parents. She’d asked Naomi to be there for support as her boyfriend was out of state for a business trip.

An hour later, she and Ellen sat outside Lloyd’s Memorial funeral home. Naomi reached over patting Ellen’s hand.

Flashes of the memories of her walking into her mother’s funeral caused a falter in her steps.
Ellen reached a hand towards Naomi’s elbow. Naomi waved her off mumbling that she’s okay. Then she experienced a flash with her mom’s face all red and angry. Naomi stopped.

Ellen stopped, “Everything okay?”

Walking again, Naomi said, “What happened to Ward and Madeline has triggered strange dreams and memories. I’ll be fine.”

The next half an hour passed in a blur of names and faces. They were approaching the casket. The smiles of greeting and pleasantries disappeared. Friend supporting friend, knees forced to hold. Tears not reigned in. The flower arrangements, large and small, smelled overwhelming.

Naomi stumbled into the nearby sofa, one of many lining the outer walls. Her mother’s angry face blurred her vision. Somehow, Naomi knew her mother wasn’t dead, just very angry at her for leaving Whastle and her families inherited wealth.

“Naomi, are you okay?” Ellen asked, kneeling down beside her.

“Sorry, I am supposed to be here for you.” Under her breath, she murmured, “Whastle?”

“Maybe this was too much after the trauma of your friends disappearing.”

Naomi nodded. “I just keep seeing my mother and I fighting.” Color leaving her face, Naomi added, “Someone mentioned coffee earlier, could we go find some to warm me up?”

“Sure.” Ellen said.

Naomi avoided the casket. Luckily, Ellen seemed fine with it. They kept the conversation light and mainly about Naomi’s girls. But that didn’t stop Helga, Naomi’s mom, from plaguing her thoughts.

Turning the car off in her carport, Ellen turned to Naomi asking, “Are you feeling any better and are you going to tell Mick? He will worry about you.”

“Okay, struggling with distractions. You’re right, he will worry. I don’t think that’s a good idea, right now.” She drifted off, Helga’s face appeared.

“Would you like to stay in the guest room tonight and work out what is bothering you? You could always tell him that you’re staying to help me, because that would be true.”

Naomi debated for a few seconds. It felt like minutes with Ellen’s eyes watching her every move. Mick and the girls alone all night? Working out the message from mom? Very tempting!

“Let me check with Mick?” Naomi said.

Awhile later, the girls sat at opposite ends of the sofa. Feet curled under them, decked out in jamies, and a glass of wine in their hands. “Haven’t done anything like this since college,” Ellen said, before sipping her imported Pinot Noir.

“Hasn’t been time, Mick and I getting married right out of college, had Gillian just shy of a year, then had Darcy a year after that.”

“Even without a husband and kids; the job, dating, friends, and family equals one tired girl.” Ellen sympathized.

An hour later, Naomi paced in the guest room. It was weird being alone. No responsibilities. Alone with her thoughts.

Fighting with herself, she wanted this resolved, but fearing what she might find. Helga, which is how she thought of her mother, never acted warm or loving. Naomi laid down closing her eyes.

“Naomi, why?” Helga said. Disappointment etched into her facial expression. “Why, would you leave Whastle? You belong in the legislative branch!”

“Helga, you have Sabrine and Rowena, my older sisters. They have followed your ways. I want to go to Earth and serve our people there.”

“Military Intelligence?” Helga sneered, “You’re better than that!”

“It’s what I am doing, Mother. I will leave with the Whastlean Earth Alliance in the morning.”

“”If you do, I will cut you out of the inheritance.”

“Please do as I have no desire to play politics, when I can do something meaningful.”

The dream, no, the memory surfaced. She bolted upwards. Her memory implant dissolved on its own. Ward and Madeline’s implants must have dissolved as well.

Crap! Damn the memory implant. She had never been interested in kids or family. So, it had been assumed that she didn’t need the more dangerous implant to suppress the natural desire for family and kids.

What was she going to do with the girls? When would Mick’s implant dissolve? Maybe Mick’s family could take them? But there would be hell to pay if Helga ever found out. They might never be able to see them again. Couldn’t they just raise them here, could they? Maybe if they had a different assignment.

Their different physiology hadn’t raised red flags yet, just a matter of time. Thankfully, America was in “Everybody do your own thing” era. Were there Whastlean surgeons able to perform the complex surgery required to alter the girls after puberty? Did she want the girls altered? What about what the girls wanted?

Too many questions to decide here and now, she needed to see the WAE (Whastlean Earth Alliance) administration. They would have kept track of her and Mick. They would have insight and research that she would be able to access.

Naomi quickly, quietly dressed and slipped out into the night, leaving everything except her purse behind.

©2018 Leann Holland


Awakening – FFC2018 Week 3

Week three of Said Bree Flash Fiction Challenge 2018:

Prompt:                                                                                                    writing challenge badgea_participant

“Your MC is on vacation with a group of friends in a strange place. The next morning, one of them has disappeared….”, under 1000 words, and posted before midnight January 15, 2018. – The rules.

Well, unfortunately, the main character, in the story below, hijacked the story. Not sure if it qualifies as fulfilling the prompt anymore. Let me know what you think in the comments. Did I fail the prompt? Or is it more in the spirit of the prompt?

Either way, some times you just have to let your character have his way. Right? He does have the better POV.


Leann Holland

From the parking lot across the road, Alan watched them pull up to the valet parking of the hotel through binoculars. The lack of recognition on their faces said it all. The memory implants were still solidly in place.

Crap! That was going to make this so much harder.

Five years looked good on them especially Faye, his former girlfriend. Research had it that Ward and Madeline were no longer together as a couple. Mick and Naomi were married with three and four year old daughters left behind with Naomi’s best friend’s mother. The five of them walked in together mostly laughing and joking.

Doing a quick visual sweep around his car, Alan activated his personal cloaking tech and climbed out the window of his car. Car doors opening and closing on their own drew unwanted attention.

Alan followed the group to their rooms on the first floor close to a back entrance. After their doors closed, he planted a small camera. Alan hoped that his cloak would work on the five of them, but there was no available research to confirm that memory implants impaired the Whastlean’s vision, as they have greater visual spectrum than Earthlings.

After moving his car closer to the back entrance with his cloak turned on, Alan approached Ward’s room. His hand held one of the small nodule injectors. Timing, it all came down to timing. He knocked.

“What the hell?” Ward muttered before falling into the door. Alan carried him to the second double bed. Coming to, Ward opened his eyes muttering, “What the hell, man?”

“It’ll become clearer in a few minutes.” Alan hoped Ward would be forgiving, but stayed close to the door just in case.

Ward rubbed his face sitting up slowly. “This is a lot to take in,” he said, as memories rushed in and others faded.

“The experts said it would. I wouldn’t know it didn’t work on me in the first place.”

“So that’s why you and Faye broke up?”

“Yeah, I couldn’t remember the events as the same as her since the memory implant didn’t work. So they pulled me out.” Alan explained.

“What did you end up doing?”

“Officially a training instructor at a local fitness center, unofficially, I worked with the new and upcoming teams.”

“Do they all have recall dates like this?”

“It varies depending on assignments and failure rates.” After a minute of silence, Alan continued. “I am worried about Naomi and Mick. They went and started a family.” Alan threw his hands up in the air.

“Well, at the time, it seemed like a good thing. Now, I see your dilemma.” Ward agreed, adding, “Are we bringing the girls with us at this time?”

“Originally, I was supposed to activate you all, but recent intelligence indicates I can only active one. I choose you.”

“We can’t accomplish the mission on our own.” Ward said standing.

“Not a problem to worry about tonight, but I suspect we will be using agents from other classes.”

Alan stood as well, “Are you ready to leave?”

Ward nodded.

“Leave everything. We’ll use the cloak to walk out without being seen.”

“Are we using that regularly?” Ward asked.

“The scientists have been able to tune the personal cloak into the human visual spectrum now.” Holding up his hands, black rubber gloves covered them. They slipped out the door, making their way down the hall, when Madeline opened the door.

“Hi, Ward. Alan, is that you?” she asked.

Alan put his hand holding another injection on her shoulder and down she went. Ward caught her and carried her. She blinked out of existence on the security cam.

“To the car, let’s hurry!” Alan whispered, “We can’t cloak voices yet.”
A few minutes later, Madeline came to in the car “Wow! I feel like I have been sleep walking for the last five years.”

With their cloaks activated, the three watched on planted cameras as Faye discover Madeline and Ward missing. The police were unable to do anything. Madeline and Ward were adults, no indications of foul play and a malfunctioning security camera.

Naomi, Mick, and Faye, not getting anywhere with the officials and nowhere to turn no matter how loud they protested, walked back in the glass doors of the airport. Naomi clung to Mick’s arm. Worry etched into their sleepless eyes.

“My flight leaves first from gate 14D,” Faye said, “You guys call me when you land in Philadelphia, please.”

Naomi nodded, “Please keep in contact. I sure hope they call us when they get back home as well.” Nervously, she chewed on her fingernails. They hugged and went their separate ways.

“Should we grab Faye today?” Alan asked. “Yeah, I know what intelligence reported, but no one seems to be paying any attention to them.”

“But if another one comes up missing on the same trip, from the same group?” Madeline questioned. She was the planner/organizer of the group.

“Alan, I know you miss Faye, but I think we have to listen to Madeline and intelligence.” Ward placed his hand on Alan’s shoulder.

Alan flinched.

Ward threw his hands up in the air. “Hey, man, it’s me, your friend. I know it’s been a long five years, but surely, you made other friends?”

“No, not really. Coworkers, acquaintances, not friends. There wasn’t time.”

“I’m sorry, Alan.” They echoed.

After verifying the planes left the ground, the three ambled to the car. In silence, the three drove to the nearest safe house.

©2018 Leann Holland

Edited 1/22/18 only to add link to the continued story.

Awakening Part 2


via Daily Prompt: Deny

A basic human response
to things we cannot handle
or at least don’t want to.
Modern day phrases like
“What happens in Vegas,
Stays in Vegas,” epitomize
our denial. However, recent
events cast long shadows
on the validity of that saying.
The friends and family of the
six hundred plus victims
certainly wish they aren’t
having to deal with
the aftermath of tragedy.
When my grandmother was diagnosed
with lung cancer, second generation,
she was in denial.
She couldn’t take the next step.
Denial is a powerful emotion.
It doesn’t like to be challenged.
I am in denial.
Our nation is in denial.
We are fighting for our very souls.
What is our next step?
Praying for clarity!
Is clarity the opposite of denial?
I think so.
Will clarity bring unity?
Struggling to find hope in
a system of encouraged denial.
What denial has taken root
in your heart?
©2017 Kim Hewison

Praying for all the victims and their friends and family, even the ones that don’t have physical injuries, of the Las Vegas Shooting. 

13 Week Streak Summer Flash Fiction – Week 8 Take Two

Week eight of Thain in Vain and Drafty Devil bringing us the 13-Week Streak Summer Flash Fiction challenge. 500 words, one story using the prompt, enjoy! Oops, this is the second short story using this prompt.

Prompt: Prompt – Week 8
Will you tell this story from the perspective of the bombshell, the couple or a short-order cook flipping burgers?
A couple is seated in a booth at a diner when a red-headed bombshell walks in and sits down at their table.

Take Two


Kim Izzy

Lola felt the eyes follow her. Yes, she was overdressed for a simple diner in the middle of the day. The black velvet tea length fifties vintage cocktail dress was . . . well, definitely, out of place.

She swung her auburn locks off her bare shoulders, emphasizing her ample cleavage.

What was he doing here? She’d sworn if she ever saw Richmond again, she was going to kill him.

She teetered on three inch heels. She hated heels but she liked being five foot four. Although, she needed more practice in them.

Just a few more steps, she slid into the booth with the Carmisino’s

“Lola, thank you for joining us,” Mr. Carmisino said, looking over his shoulder at Richmond, “We can’t offer you a room or help.”

Lola felt tears prick at the back of her eyes. She wanted to be surprised, but Richmond threatened her with this, all their friends and family refusing to help her. She couldn’t blame them. Her previous lifestyle combined with his lies made helping sound risky.

Mrs. Carmisino patted her hand pressing something into Lola’s palm. “We are so sorry, dear.” She shook her head barely enough for Lola to register.

“Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Carmisino.” Lola stood to leave keeping her hand clamped shut. Turning, her right heel slid out from underneath her.

Richmond was at her side as she straightened back up, his hand under her elbow. She yanked her arm away.

“Lola, let me help you.”

Turning to face him, “You don’t want to help but you want to control and own me. Well, you can’t. I won’t let you.” Resuming her teetering steps, she held her head high. Once the door closed behind her, under the bright blue sky, Lola let the tears stream down her face. What was she going to do now?

Which way to turn? She was officially homeless. Where could she go? Back to the nursing home and Shirley, she needed to return the dress and shoes. Shirley was wrong dressing for success didn’t ensure success.

Slowly opening her fingers, she read the note. Her fingers clenched. Lola unclenched her fingers releasing the paper into her other palm. A different kind of tear streamed now, tears of hope.


Thank you for reading!

Kim Izzy


13 Week Streak Summer Flash Fiction – Week 8 – Doubt

2017 13 week Streak Summer Flash Fiction Thain in Vain

Week eight (hint – 1st story) of Thain in Vain and Drafty Devil bringing us the 13-Week Streak Summer Flash Fiction challenge. 500 words, one story using the prompt, enjoy!


Kim Izzy

Vicki Howay walked into the Flag Diner off the interstate. She knew she was over dressed, but Ila was pushing her. She spotted only one couple that met the description. It was easy as there was only one couple in the diner. How had Ila known?

Doubt Kim Izzy n kimberhew wordpress signed v2
Doubt by Kim Izzy

Vicky could feel the eyes of the other patrons on her. While continuing her progress towards the couple, she focused on the hundred or so folk art style American flags of all sizes, shapes, and colors that decorated the walls of the diner.

“Mr. Justin Webber?” she said, stopping at the end of yellow formica table.

“Do I know you?”

“No, but your dead wife sent me,” Vicky winced. She hated this aspect of this gift/curse. Half the people didn’t believe in her ability. A quarter thought she was a liar. The last quarter, well, would fall for anything. What category would Justin Webber fall?

“My dead wife?” he asked a frown tugged at the corners of his lips. “As you can see,” he pointed to the lady sitting across from him, “My wife is very much alive.”

Vicky was quiet for a moment with a look of concentration on her face. “Ila?”

“No,” Justin’s eyes narrowed, “What are you up to?”

Vicky eyed the blond sitting across from him. She didn’t look like a killer. When Ila poured her heart out, Vicky had no doubts, but looking at the couple changed her feelings. She didn’t want to help a vengeful spirit. She also didn’t want to let a murderer go free.

“Clara, scoot over,” Vicky demanded sliding in even though Clara didn’t budge, “How did you and Justin meet?”

“You’re the physic, shouldn’t you know?” Clara replied icily.

This is why she got out of the business, Vicky fumed.

“Well . . . ,” Vicky took a deep breath, “According to Ila, you and her were high school pals who’d lost touch, found each other on social media. You gave her poisoned coffee over the last several months of her life, then started making moves on Justin here.”

Clara’s face was blotchy and Justin’s jaw fell open.

“I was trying to avoid accusing you out right but I have other things to do. I am feeling rather annoyed at the moment. Not sure why I got involved.” Vicky stood up to leave. Mumbling, hopefully quietly enough for no one but Ila to hear, “I told you I suck at this. Now, leave me alone.”

As Vicky reached for the door, she felt a hand on her arm.

“Not so fast, you . . . you . . .”

“”Lady” is the word you are searching for,” Vicky said smiling sweetly.

Clara’s hand flew back. Vicky didn’t have time to prepare as Clara’s fist connected with her left cheek. Vicky’s head snapped back, falling on her bottom.

“That’s for casting doubt.” Tears streamed down Clara’s face.

Justin pulled Clara into his arms whispering, “I know you’re innocent. Ila got it wrong.”


Crazy Eyes & Swirlish Ebook Released

I have struggled for so long to find time for my writing and illustrating, a few minutes here a few minutes there. My sister is helping more with my parents during her summer break. So, I took a used a day . . . cough. . . or more to submit my Illustrated Children’s Picture book to Amazon. I have another day or so of work to get the paperwork version available (but that will have to wait for another day, or month, or whatever.)

You can find Crazy Eyes and Swirlish at Amazon

Back cover Blurb-

“Trouble finding friends?
Crazy Eyes, an owl, is hungry and lonely in the forest. He’s different from other owls because he cannot see.
Swirlish, an outcast owl, hears Crazy Eyes singing. Can the two become friends?”


While it is late in the day, I accomplished my goal today. To release Crazy Eyes & Swirlish on International Owl day, August 4th. I love owls, and amazed by them. Hope you enjoy!

Happy Owl Day!

Kim Izzy

13 Week Streak Summer Flash Fiction – Week 7

2017 13 week Streak Summer Flash Fiction Thain in VainWeek seven of Thain in Vain and Drafty Devil bringing us the 13-Week Streak Summer Flash Fiction challenge. 500 words, one story using the prompt, enjoy!

Prompt:  A boy puts a quarter in a gumball machine and a human tooth comes out.

The Gumball Caper


Kim Izzy


Gumball Caper blog signed cover
The Gumball Caper by Kim Izzy


Timmy stood there staring at his hand. Tears streamed down his face. He snuck away from Mommy while she was in aisle six so that he could sneak back without her knowing. He’d gotten two cavities, whatever those were, last week at the dentist and now mommy wouldn’t let him have candy or gum.

Raiding the change in the sofa, he’d found a quarter. Daddy always let them have any change found. Usually they didn’t care because Mommy gave them quarters.

He’d better get back before Mommy realized he was gone. Turning he saw mommy rushing towards him. Oh, no!

Tears rushed down his face now.

“Timmy, what’s wrong? What happened?” Mommy yelled across the store.

Timmy couldn’t speak. His face felt hot, everyone was staring at him.

“Did someone hurt you?” Mommy asked dragging Dylan by the hand, pushing Ida Marie in a cart.

A crowd gathered. He was scared. When mommy reached him, Timmy opened his hand.
The yellowish/white tooth received a round of “uh, gross” from the crowd.

Mom’s eyes narrowed, “Timothy, where did you get that?”

He pointed to the gumball machine two steps away.

She reached down into Little Ida Marie’s diaper bag, pulling out two wet wipes. She took the tooth out of his hand with one.

Thrusting the other into his hands, Mom ordered, “Here wipe very, very good.”

She watched him carefully. It scared him. When he finished, the wipe was reddish brown.

“When we get home, you and I will have a long talk.” She turned to the crowd. “He’s okay. I will go talk to the manager regarding this matter.” Her comments didn’t stop the crowd from following them to the store’s office.

Mommy pushed him with her body towards the door. Why were they going there? He hadn’t done anything wrong, like last year when he was seven and had taken . . . no, Mommy said, stolen a candy bar. She made him pay the manager. The manager scared him. He fought her for months to get out of grocery shopping.

The manager eyed him but asked, “Mrs. McCole, what can I help you with today?”

“This is what you can help me with!” Mom shoved the tooth at the manager, her voice high pitched.

The manager finally seemed to notice the crowd.

Cough, “I see,” coughed again, “I see you found the fake tooth we use to . . .” he coughed again, “to scare the kids into eating less sugar.”

Mom’s eyes narrowed. “So, it’s not real?”

“Of course not,” The manager said.

One of the regular cashiers walked up to the manager, “Oh, great. Someone found my missing tooth.” She reached out and took it from mom’s hand popping it into her mouth.

13 Week Streak Summer Flash Fiction – Week 6

Week six of Thain in Vain and Drafty Devil bringing us the 13-Week Streak Summer Flash Fiction challenge. 500 words, one story using the prompt, enjoy!
2017 13 week Streak Summer Flash Fiction Thain in Vain

Prompt: A character is at an arcade on the pier, when a man comes up and grabs his/her shoulder.


TheGavitt Crew signed


The Gavitt Crew


Kim Izzy

“I didn’t realize there are so many arcades on the pier,” he said as he placed his hand on her shoulder.

“I’m sorry, Terrien. I thought I told you that this arcade is only one with Martian’s Edge game,” Etta said over her shoulder, “Anyone looking this way, Marlin?” Marlin was their shipmate aboard the Gavitt in orbit monitoring their progress. While she was the Captain, she loved to be part of the action. This procurement needed all of them and a specialist.

“What about security cams?” Terrien asked. A lesson learned the hard way a couple months ago.

“Marlin has that covered,” Etta explained, “Did you . . . get what we needed?”

“Mostly, I think.”

“You think?” Her voice was several octaves above normal.

“Keep your voice down,” he chided, “It’s not like I could walk into the store and order antimatter.” Terrien looked over his shoulder, “Marlin, now.”

Walking behind Marlin, Etta asked, “Della back yet?” Della, the specialist, came highly recommended.

“No her tracker status indicates another twenty-eight minutes.”

“You two shouldn’t taunt the local authorities,” Marlin chastised, “If the High Council hears about this, they could suspend our charter.”

“They shouldn’t make the tariffs so high, when the raw materials are so easy for the taking, if Illegal.” Etta said laughing.

“Earth’s a protected primitive planet,” Terrien joked, “Like the High Council would do anything!”
The lights flickered.

“Oh damn.” Terrien raced to the drive console.

Yellow warning lights flashed, and the proximity warning alarms disabled by the military. They were dead in space.

“Cut Della loose. Hide her tracker.” Etta yelled. She ran to the data terminal, ordering, “Remove all records of Della Princing.”

“She’s gonna be mad at you,” Terrien stated.

“No, if she gets caught again, it’s hard time at Renterghem.” Etta swallowed hard. The penial station located in Saturn’s rings. Only the Martian Military had technology to be able to transport through it.

As Etta finished entering the approval code to delete Della, the Military General Haggadone materialized behind her with several armed soldiers and a team of attorneys. It was crowded on the bridge of the small ship.

“Where’s Della Bliss of Dru?” Haggadone demanded, “Immunity for anyone who gives her up!”
“Not so fast, General. You haven’t been. . .”

“Shut up, Rankin.” Haggadone bellowed, “I’ve been chasing her for too long to lose her now. We’ll never find her among all the Earthlings.”

Etta held her breath. They were in more trouble than she realized. She knew Della as Della Princing not as Della Bliss, the ERC’s most infamous Earthling Rights Activist. Some called her freedom fighter, others called her a terrorist.

“We dropped off Della Princing on the ship Trinity, three days ago,” Etta stated.

“Not so fast. The Trintiy said she was aboard your vessel.” Haggadone smiled wickedly.

Warning lights flashed. Alarms blasted.

“The transporters are blocked.” Marlin cried.

The ship exploded.

The Earthling’s evening news reported an unexpectedly large meteoroid shower over the Northern Hemisphere.







13 Week Streak Summer Flash Fiction – Week 5


Week five of Thain in Vain and Drafty Devil bringing us the 13-Week Streak Summer Flash Fiction challenge. 500 words, one story using the prompt, enjoy!2017 13 week Streak Summer Flash Fiction Thain in Vain

Prompt:   This week you get to go back to the summer of ’69 as a carnie! Happy time travels!
“Carnie wanted to operate the Mansion of Horror midway ride for the summer of ’69 Playland traveling carnival. No experience needed. Apply within.”

Help Wanted Cover kimberhew kim izzy blog signed
help wanted by kim izzy



Help Wanted


Kim Izzy

Walking fast, Cutter Ward rushed toward the sign he and his buddies joked about last night from around the bonfire out in the Talley field. He needed to get this job before any of those guys beat him to it.

The sign was still up. “Help Wanted: The Mansion of Horror, No experience needed, Apply within.”

His stomach sank. He didn’t want to be a carnie, but he’d failed his college entrance exam to The University of Georgia. So, carnie or soldier?

His best friend Ray’s older brother David was drafted two years ago in 1967. The letters he sent back home sent chills down his spine. The nightly news reports didn’t help with listing all the killed and missing in action. To top it all off, the bereavement department visited Ray’s family last week.

Bam! A cart took out his legs. Cutter sat up once he got air back into his lungs. What had happed?

A little person rushed up to him, “Sorry, man.” He pulled Cutter up onto his feet.

Cutter brushed off the red dust. It had been a dry spring so far.

“What are you doing around here today? We’re packing to head up north for the summer.”

“Is. . .is. . . that job still available?”

The little person let out a deep belly laugh, “A green behind the ears kid like you?”

Cutter felt his face flush, “I’m eighteen.”

“You ever been away from home, boy?”

“Not much, Sir.”

“A good Southern boy, like you? The draft, uh?”

“Not yet, sir. Just found out I failed the college entrance exam.” Cutter could have kicked himself. Why not just admit what a baby he was
“I understand. I don’t want no trouble.” He held out his hand, “Shorty’s the name. Playland Traveling Carnival does travel to Canada.”

“Please, Sir.”

“These aren’t church going folks, son.”

“The rigors of war aren’t either, Sir.”

“Alright, see Moloski at The Mansion of Horror. Start learning how to tear down the ride. Be back here at seven tonight when we pull out or we’ll leave you behind.”

Cutter sat on the picnic table overlooking the midway tossing a snuffed cigarette butt. Tonight was their last night in New York before crossing into Canada. He was pretty sure in the last five weeks he’d aged five years.

Could he go back? This was so much harder than he had imagined. If he did this he could never go home. But three years? What if he never came home?

Working on the machines around the Carnival, he found out he was a decent mechanic. Could he use that to stay off the front line? Not completely out of danger, but . . .

The next morning he walked up the steps into Shorty’s “office” to get his pay. “Hey, Shorty, you still got that sign, I’m headed home.”

13 Week Streak Summer Flash Fiction – 4th week -updated

2017 13 week Streak Summer Flash Fiction Thain in Vain

Week four of Thain in Vain and Drafty Devil bringing us the 13-Week Streak Summer Flash Fiction challenge. 500 words, one story using the prompt, enjoy!

This weeks story is also inspired by real life events. My mom is struggling to remember my dad. It’s really more of a struggle for us as she is convinced of her reality, no matter what logic or documentation says.

Sundown cover



Kim Izzy

Amazement flowed through her. Brick, her best friend Meechy’s cousin, stood beside her at her uncle’s garage door. He was six two to her five one, jet black hair to her strawberry blond, and blue eyes to her green.

He looked back at her over his shoulder, whispering, “Are you sure we won’t get in trouble for this?”

“My uncle loves me. I’m his favorite.” Chynna replied whispering.

“Then why are we whispering?”

“You started it.”

He twisted the knob. “It’s locked.”

Chynna reached around him lifting the door while twisting the knob. The door swung open.

“Hey how’d you do that?”

“A trick my uncle taught me.” She grinned strolling into the garage. Heading to the workbench, screwed to the underside of the shelf, there were multiple baby food jars, she just had to remember which one contained the keys to the powder blue ’57 Chevy.

“Wow, what a sweet ride!” Brick exclaimed, “Can I drive?”

She stared at him. Didn’t Meechy tell him anything? Neither of them had their driver’s license. She gave a little cough, “Of course, you can.” She giggled, wishing Meechy could be here.

“Double wow! Your uncle has great taste.”

She smiled. For the first time, she wished she was into cars. His enthusiasm made his blue eyes sparkle.

“Did Meechy know what car she was missing out on?” He held out his hand for the keys after she located them.

The bay water of Lake Huron was like bath water when they arrive in late afternoon after a two hour drive. In ten minutes, she changed into her new emerald green two piece bathing suit. The high-waisted black belt accentuated her tiny waist.

Wading into the shallows, Chynna giggled, “Brick, it’s beautiful. Come join me.”

“I don’t like the water.” Brick stood staring into the clear water at the water’s edge.

She looked at him over her shoulder. Where were his swimming trunks? While you could swim in cutoffs in the great lakes, the denim wasn’t very comfortable when wet. “Why’d you come all this way?”

Brick patted her hand, jolting her back to the present. Thirty years slipped back into her reality.

“Yes, honey, it was your smile to that question that melted my heart. We played and frolicked like two little kids, splashing, making sand castles and collecting shells. It was the perfect day until we had to return Uncle Fritz’s car.” She hugged him and he squirmed.

Brick frowned. Chynna wondered if he really remembered coming to her rescue when Uncle Fritz went to strike her.

Tears threatened, most days Brick didn’t remember her until she recounted this story for him. Honestly, it wasn’t most days. It was every day for the last four years since an on-the-job accident gave him a closed head injury. She didn’t know if he knew her.
Brick patted her hand again.

“Let’s go outside to the garden. Maybe we’ll see a gorgeous sunset like that day so long ago.” Chynna suggested through the tears.

Personal note: If you pray, please pray for me and my family. If not, please wish us well, as I have scheduled this story to post as we arriving at the hospital to have a brain scan(angiogram) on my mom. We are almost to the first anniversary of the rupture of her first aneurysm. The test is to check out the status of her second aneurysm. We are hoping that the new symptoms that we are seeing are due to the stress of the test and not to more brain injury. Thank you.

UPDATE: My mom came through the procedure beautifully. We didn’t get the greatest news or the worst news. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

Kimberhew/Kim Izzy