“I like my peace and quiet whenever I can grab it.”
– Wole Soyinka
Share your original flash fiction, non-fiction, or poetry piece that fits our theme by Sunday, January 27 for a chance to be included in our publications that week.
Be sure to send in your work via our Submissions page!
Here’s a word list to prompt some inspiration – try writing a 250-500 word description or stream of consciousness for each one, then go back and expand on an idea that stands out to you the most:
by Mark Kuglin
I was sitting morosely at my writing desk, in a full blown panic, and was on the verge of pulling my hair out. The bills were piling up and my creditors were calling constantly. The money from books I had previously published was long gone. I hadn’t written a word or had a burst of creativity in months. To make matters worse, my publisher and agent had been calling and pressuring me to come up with something.
I was at my wits end and seriously considering giving up writing altogether. But then, I felt the old familiar magic starting. When the idea hit me full force, it was like getting struck by a lightning bolt. Electricity and excitement surged through my body and I felt it in each and every cell and nerve ending. It made my skin tingle and was an absolutely incredible sensation.
Words started flowing into my head so fast, I was momentarily stunned. After I regained my senses, I ran to my computer only to find it wasn’t working. Panicked, I raced around my apartment in a desperate search for a pen and something to write on. When I finally found an old notebook in the closet, I was thrilled.
I quickly returned to my writing desk, and was about to put pen to paper, when I was suddenly overcome by a series of new sensations. I felt my heart rate increase, my chest tighten and then made several rapid inhalations. In an instant, time stood still. No, not now! I screamed.
After the episode was over, I didn’t feel the slightest bit of relief. I was numb and completely devastated. My hopes and dreams were crushed in an instant. My idea was lost and gone forever, the victim of a fateful sneeze. And then another…
Mark is a writer and a poet. For more of his work, please visit his website markkuglin.com or follow him on Twitter @cr8fiction
by Robert Beveridge
The heat of the melted wax
draws the splinters from your hands.
You had been holding the shaft
of the hammer when it slid.
The little knives went deep,
broke off. I dripped
gloves of wax
over your hands
and the splinters rose.
It was what you needed,
you said, and the wax on me
sank in, nestled itself
around my heart, drew out
Robert “Goat” Beveridge makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in The Nixes Mate Review, Violet Rising, and The Road Less Travelled, among others.
by Fabrice Poussin
Once more she stands in the face of another soul
the smooth surface of century old looking glass
squinting at fragments of a self once whole.
The pulses in her breast beat inside the thin vessels
hovering timidly in the burning light of summer’s heat
she grasps only shards of her former thoughts.
when, little girl she pondered no such queries.
She may be that forgotten Renaissance girl in the attic
put to canvas by a hopeful lover from a distance
her fair complexion torn by the craquelure
at the jigsaw she has become to suspect so well.
Where does she begin, where are the boundaries
of so many parts in motion as she sits in fearful awe
sharp edges of the giggling teen she once was
cut deep at the dreams of a future she once fathomed.
Even the sorrow of a tear venturing down her lip
seems to break apart thus devoid of source or intent
her pain excruciating must remain hidden in her chest.
She is the kaleidoscope of her many dawns
a universe hoping to come together in a grand home
made of walls seamless of like a marble giant
idea of the child building days of carefree wisdom.
Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and dozens of other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review and more than 350 other publications.
by Ariel Brinkley
One last sketch.
One last time.
It was a promise he’d made a thousand times but one he could never keep.
Charcoal dug beneath his fingernails, bits and pieces of it tumbling down from his artwork onto the steering wheel. Nightfall was upon them, the sun completely lost behind thick branches lining the clearing.
“I need light.” He flicked the headlights on, illuminating the area in a harsh white light. It created a halo effect around her golden locks, producing dark shadows behind her while highlighting her curvy figure. “No complaining now,” he smiled, dragging the charcoal along the length of the drawing’s hair. “I’m almost finished.”
His muse didn’t seem to mind. Instead she laid there in silence. No complaining, not even a blink of an eye. She was the perfect model, always had been. Which was why his car was littered with sketches of her, images drawn on 3×3 brightly colored sticky notes focusing on what he liked most about her. Like her eyes. Mouth. Even her unruly hair. He liked it all. The mere thought of her made his heart race.
With the finishing touches behind him, he collected each colorful masterpiece and brought it to her still body. Releasing them above her, each image tricked down mapping out the one sided journey they shared together. He knelt beside her, caressing her loose curls. “I promise.” He planted a kiss to her cold lips, her head rolling to an unnatural angle. She stared at him with bright blue eyes, dull and lifeless yet reflecting her fearful last moments.
Intrigued, he returned to her with his art supplies, sketching the look in her eyes. “One last sketch. One last time.” He whispered. So enveloped in his work, he paid no attention to the approaching flashing lights, to the sound of officer’s shoes splashing in the forest’s mud, secretly surrounding him with loaded guns. “I promise.”
Ariel Brinkley is a creator of many things and lover of everything creepy and cute. In her spare time, she enjoys writing novels, blogging, creating short films, and expanding her photography skills. Her hobbies include YouTubing, watching anime, playing video games, drawing wannabe anime characters, identifying voice actors, and consulting her friends through the art of comedic psychology.