Carrot Ranch #FlashFiction Challenge #99Words ‘Return to Alaska’

This 99-word flash fiction piece was written in response to Charli Mills’ weekly challenge at Carrot Ranch. Thanks Charli for the prompt!

February 25, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the word frozen. It can be descriptive, character focused, action driven. Go out onto the ice and find a frozen story. Go where the prompt leads! Respond by March 2, 2021. Rules & Guidelines.

Return to Alaska

“Hi, my name’s Suzie. I’ll be looking after you this morning.” I smiled at the pretty hostess.  

She showed me some images on her screen. “Where would you like to go today, Maggie?”

I needed to return to the cabin where I had left my unfinished manuscript.

“A beach, the mountains, a lake, or…”

“I want to go back to Alaska.”

Suzie pushed my wheelchair into the viewing room. “Why are you always so keen on Alaska’s frozen landscape?”

“I have to finish my novel.”

Suzie squeezed my limp hand and slid on the 3D glasses. “Alaska it is.”

  *****

I wrote a stream of consciousness post inspired by the word ‘Frosty’ on Saturday, The post included a short story, improvised in two parts, on Friday night before going to bed I wrote the beginning and on Saturday morning I wrote the end of the story. No editing, no thinking, just improvised writing. Here is the post.

I usually take hours to write my posts, but stream-of-consciousness frees me from the constraints of a ‘well-crafted’ text. I literally wrote it in less than half an hour and amazingly, it is the post with the most likes in all February!

What does that tell me? Perhaps I spend too much time on my other posts and make them worse with so much preparation and editing?

Anyway, as this week’s Carrot Ranch prompt was ‘frozen’, which is pretty similar to ‘frosty’, I decided to use the same basic story idea and rewrite it with more careful editing and reducing it to 99 words.

Here’s the original stream-of-consciousness story with no editing: (Except ProWritingAid, which does the spelling and punctuation automatically as I write, which is a lifesaver!)

Frosty

I would love to stay at a log cabin, like the ones you see in films, in distant places like Canada and Alaska, sit by the window and write whatever comes to mind, drinking cups of tea and hot chocolate, by the fireplace, and eating hot soup with crusty bread (maybe I am hungry?).

I’d write a story about a writer who was in search of inspiration. She rented a cabin in the snowy countryside in the Alaskan wild, where she found a diary in the bedside table drawer, left behind by a previous occupant who had also come to write a book.

She opened the first page and read:

Once upon a time a writer needed solitude to write her novel, so she rented a cabin and found a diary written by a previous occupant. It started with Once upon a time…

She wrote the first chapter, and then she left.

She returned every year to find her diary in the same place. She wrote a new chapter each year.

(And now I’m going to bed, because it’s one o’clock in the morning. Tomorrow morning I’ll reread my post and write the end of the story.

Hi! I’m Back. Here’s Part II).

“Good morning, Maggie.”

Maggie turned to the pretty young girl and smiled.

“Where would you like to go today?” the nice girl said, showing her images on a screen. “There’s a beach, the mountains, a thick wood, or…”

“I want to go back to Alaska.”

“If you’re sure?” Maggie nodded enthusiastically.

The girl pushed Maggie’s wheelchair into the viewing room. “Why are you always so keen on frosty Alaska?”

Maggie’s eyes shone. “I have to finish my novel.”

The young girl caressed Maggie’s wrinkled hand, put on her 3D glasses and said, “Alaska it is.”

****

Well, what do you think?

Have I improved the story with tighter editing, or not?

 

#FridayFictioneers ‘The Escape’ #FlashFiction

It’s Friday, time for another Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction story featuring Alice Pendragon and her family!

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting the challenge and for this week’s photo prompt.

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The Escape

Alice looked up at the starry sky, not daring to look down at the street, four storeys below. She held on to the window ledge and moved slowly towards the next balcony, climbed over the railing and slipped inside the apartment.

Silence, although someone must have put the freshly cut leaves in the glass bowl on the kitchen table.
‘Can I help you, dear?’
Alice turned. A grey-haired lady wearing a woollen shawl smiled pleasantly.
‘Your neighbour kidnapped me. Could I use your phone?”
Her kidnapper burst through the door.

He nodded at the elderly lady. ”Sorry boss.

Then he pointed his gun at Alice.

****

To be continued…

My ‘Alice’ flash fiction written for the Friday Fictioneers Challenge can be read as standalones, but if you’re interested in reading previous stories of Alice’s adventures, here they are!

A quick recap of the three previous episodes: Alice and her mother, Marsha, caught Kevin on a date with another woman. When Alice confronted her father, she discovered the woman was her father’s half-sister, Clara, who was in serious trouble. Three weeks ago Alice was kidnapped, and last week the kidnappers made their demands. This week Alice tried to escape and failed.

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#Writephoto ‘The Letter’ #FlashFiction #100Words

This 100-word Flash Fiction was written in response to Sue Vincent’s weekly photo prompt.

The Letter

‘Your Grace,’ said the maid, curtseying. ‘A letter.’

The Duchess snatched the envelope.

‘Anything else, Your Grace?’

Amelia waved her hand towards the door. ‘Leave.’

She read the letter, smiled and watched it blacken, shrivel and slip between the large oak logs in the fireplace.

We must be careful.

That night, stepping into the tree tunnel to meet the man she loved, she shivered as she remembered the place, six months earlier, where she had kissed her groom, the elderly Duke of Highcliff.

A branch snapped.   

‘Amelia, you’re just on time,’ said the Duke, pointing his gun at her young valet.

****

writephoto

Every week, Sue posts one of her pictures as a prompt for inspiration in whatever form we choose. Use the image to create your own post and link back to Sue’s post.

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#FridayFictioneers ‘The Ransom’ #FlashFiction #100words

It’s Friday, time for another Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction story featuring Alice Pendragon and her family!

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting the challenge, and to Courtney Wright. for submitting the photo prompt by a photographer who prefers to remain anonymous.

The Ransom

‘Alice! Are you alright?’

Alice held her throbbing cheek, too dazed to speak, and heard her father’s distorted voice coming from the kidnapper’s phone.

‘Her pretty face is still in one piece, for now, Kevin,’ said the kidnapper.

‘What do you want from me?’ asked Kevin.

‘My boss just wants to see his girlfriend.’

Kevin watched Clara wipe her tears.

‘Clara drowned,” said Kevin. ‘We all saw it on the news.’

The man laughed. ‘We found the pair of worn shoes by the cliff, but we know she faked her death.’

Clara gasped.

‘My boss wants his money back.’

****

To be continued…

I’ve made a few minor changes to clarify where the speakers are, as a result of a few comments: Alice and the kidnapper are together and Kevin and Clara are on the other end of the line.

My ‘Alice’ flash fiction written for the Friday Fictioneers Challenge can be read as standalones, but if you’re interested in reading previous stories of Alice’s adventures, here they are!

A quick recap of the two previous episodes: Alice and her mother, Marsha, caught Kevin on a date with another woman. When Alice confronted her father, she discovered the woman was her father’s half-sister, Clara, who was in serious trouble. Last week Alice was kidnapped, and this week the kidnappers have made their demands.

Follow my blog so you won’t miss next week’s episode!

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#FridayFictioneers ‘Brooklyn Heights’ #FlashFiction #100words

It’s Friday, time for another Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction story! 

Last week, Alice and her mother caught Kevin on a date with another woman. When Alice confronted Kevin, she discovered the woman was her father’s half-sister, Clara, who is in serious trouble.

This week something dreadful will happen to Alice as a result… 

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting the challenge, and Jill Wisoff for today’s photo prompt, which led me directly to this weeks’ 100-word story.

PHOTO PROMPT ©Jill Wisoff

Brooklyn Heights

 

Alice pulled her bound arms and stretched her neck towards the window.

The last thing she remembered was meeting Clara, hers father’s step-sister. Then came gunshots, cries, darkness and finally silence.

‘Who are you?’ She screamed as a masked man pulled the duct tape off her mouth and freed her arms.

‘Where are my parents?’

‘Right here,’ he said handing her the phone. ‘You have ten seconds to tell them you’re alive.’

‘Mom, Dad, tell Bill I’m on the top floor of a low-rise in Brooklyn Heights.’

The man grabbed the phone. ‘That was mistake,’ he said, as his fist smashed into her face

****

To be continued…

All my ‘Alice’ flash fiction written for the Friday Fictioneers Challenge can be read as standalones, but if you’re interested in reading previous stories of Alice’s adventures, here they are!

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#FridayFictioneers ‘Clara’ #FlashFiction #100words

It’s Friday, time for another Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction story. 

Kevin has been behaving strangely since he  was kidnapped and rescued by Alice and Billy.

Last week, Alice and her mother caught Kevin on a date with another woman. This week he has some explaining to do… 

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting the challenge, and Yarnspinnerr for today’s photo prompt, which led me directly to this weeks’ 100-word story.

PHOTO PROMPT © Yarnspinnerr

Clara

“I’m listening, dad. Explain.”
“Alice, this is Clara. We met many years ago, before you were born.”
Alice folded her arms over her chest and stared at her father, ignoring the stylish woman by his side.  
“I was in Mexico, with my mother, looking for my father.”
“Nice try. Did you forget your father died when you were a baby?”
“The truth is he left us and returned to his native Mexico.”
Alice shivered. “Mexico?”
“He had another family there.”
Alice’s arms fell to her side. “What?”  
“Clara is your aunt, my stepsister.”
Alice’s head spun.
“Clara needs our help, Alice.”
****

 All my ‘Alice’ flash fiction written for the Friday Fictioneers Challenge can be read as standalones, but if you’re interested in reading previous stories of Alice’s adventures, here they are!

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#FridayFictioneers ‘The Lie’ #FlashFiction #100words

It’s Friday, time for another Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction story with adorable and creative Alice, her parents, Marsha and Kevin, and her best friend, Billy.

Kevin was kidnapped and rescued by Alice and Billy, but since his return, he’s been behaving strangely…

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting the challenge, and Dale Rogerson for today’s photo prompt, which led me directly to this weeks’ 100-word story.

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

The Lie

“Mum, what are we doing here?”
Alice scanned the floor below, where the concert attendants were having a drink during the intermission.
Her voice trembled. “Your father is seeing someone.”
“Who?”
“I don’t know her name,” she said pointing at a woman standing by a table. “She’s waiting for him.”
“But dad’s visiting Uncle Ben.” He’d said he needed space after the ordeal.
“He’s lying.”
Kevin strode across the hall with two wine glasses.
Her mother grabbed her arm. “Where are you going, Alice?”
“To find out what’s going on.”
Kevin’s face paled as she approached.
“Alice, I can explain.”
****

 All my ‘Alice’ flash fiction written for the Friday Fictioneers Challenge can be read as standalones, but if you’re interested in reading previous stories of Alice’s adventures, here they are!

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#FridayFictioneers The Flying Ferris Wheel #FlashFiction

I’m having such fun looking forward to Fridays and responding to Friday Fictioneers with stories of adorable and creative Alice, and her incredulous and conventional parents, Marsha and Kevin. Today, you’ll be meeting a friend of hers, Billy (in the photo). I hope you like him!

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting the challenge and Jennifer Pendergast for today’s photo prompt, which led me directly to this weeks’ 100-word story.

PHOTO PROMPT © Jennifer Pendergast

*****

The Flying Ferris Wheel

Alice sat cross-legged on the grass, her head buried in her knees, sulking.

She’d been told off yet again for telling stories. Would she ever find someone who understood her?

‘Alice, Come here!’ shouted Billy.

‘Where are you?’

‘Behind the big wheel.’

‘No!’ She had to save him.

‘Be careful, Billy! It’s not a wheel. It’s a time portal. They’ll take you away!’

‘Are you crazy? Come here! It’s a flying  Ferris wheel. If we jump on, the lights will shine and it’ll spin and take off. Hurry it’s time!’

‘Wait for me!’ she screamed running towards the wheel.

****

I think Alice has met her match 🙂 What will happen when her parents meet Billy? More next week…

All my ‘Alice’ flash fiction written for the Friday Fictioneers Challenge can be read as standalones, but if you’re interested in reading previous stories of Alice’s adventures, here  they are!

 If you’d like to join in Friday Fictioneers or read other posts check Rochelle’s Blog for rules and prompts. 

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