Search

Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

Papa’s Bar – 297 word flash

When I was sixteen my Dad came home from deployment and announced he was going to retire at 20 and open a bar near the base. He wanted to convert an old house, keep the back yard and turn the front yard into parking. I remember Mom looking at him for a long moment before saying, “That’s a hard life and zoning could be a problem for that type of location. Will you ever be home in the evening?” For the next six months, once a week, we had a meal in a bar so he could check the competition.

I don’t remember if there were zoning problems when he found his old house. He had contractors gut the first floor and turn it into a homey, inviting space with long bar and commercial kitchen. The upstairs they opened up into a big family room, with dining area and even a double bed. They named the bar “Papa’s” which I thought was ridiculous. I didn’t know at the time my children would be the one’s eating in that family room and playing in the back yard if they wanted to see Papa when we came to visit.

Years later when my father died we got the following note in the mail:

To Papa’s family, The first time I entered Papa’s Papa introduced himself, asked my name and never forgot it. When I was homesick, that’s where I went, not to drink, but to chat with Papa about life and the military. He did the same for all who entered. He might not have been home with you, but he was there for us. I hope you know he served until the end. Thanks for sharing him.

My wife and I now run Papa’s. She knows everyone’s name.

 

Written in response to the prompt, papa’s bar, for Carrot Ranch Literary rodeo.

Second Chances -297 word flash

            As soon as Clay got in the house he went straight to his wheelchair, dropped his trousers and took off his prosthetic legs. “In my Army uniform, I stood during our wedding ceremony but I hope you understand if I don’t wear either again.”

            “Thank you for doing that. I’m beginning to get it,” Tessa said opening an unexpected gift from her mother. She revealed an intricate wood carving of a person struggling to claw his way up a crevice toward the light.

             “Does that mean something?” Continue reading “Second Chances -297 word flash”

All You Need to Know to Rodeo

Parade of Food – flash fiction

The buffet in the, new to us, Bed and Breakfast was a wonderful surprise. There was a virtual parade of international foods. We couldn’t name some of the fresh fruit and the egg casserole had a spice we couldn’t distinguish. Both were delicious. We tarried longer than the other guests so we could ask our hostess about the strange exotic flavors. She told us she had asked her international guests over the years for spice and recipe suggestions then incorporated them into her breakfast preparations. Her goal was to please any discerning pallet from anywhere on earth. She succeeded.

In response to Charli Mills September 20, 2018, prompt from Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a parade of nations. It can be literal, or it can be a phrase that you use to describe a situation. Explore what it could be. Go where the prompt leads.

September 20: Flash Fiction Challenge

Too Bad It’s True – flash fiction

Dear Diary, They say pasta is a comfort food. I’m choosing to believe that and plan to make a serving every Saturday from here to forever because it seems I end up at one hospital or another on Sunday. A few months ago I sat with my sister while she and her husband decided whether kidney dialysis was worth the extra time on earth for him. Two weeks ago it was my daughter fighting sepsis (she won) and this Sunday it was my son with a smashed shoulder. The wine is gone tonight, the yummy red sauce pasta awaits.

In response to Charli Mills September 13, 2018, prompt from Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes pasta. It can be spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, or any variety. It can be a meal or a work of art. Go where the prompt leads.

A Jewish Ark Curtain

I have a creative tip for you. If you are going to make something, or create a personal gift for a person or organization that includes lettering, do yourself a favor and do it in your own language. Why do I say this? Simple; it’s too easy to make a mistake in another language and not grasp you did it or realize the ramifications of having done so. What am I talking about?

I offered to make a new curtain to cover the Ark in a Jewish Temple. The Ark is where the Torahs are kept and it’s a holy receptacle that plays an important part in the Jewish faith. I looked on-line for ideas, combined a couple of them and happily went to work with shiny gold and dark brown fabrics on white velvet. Of course there was Hebrew lettering involved which I traced, cut and appliquéd onto the curtain. Continue reading “A Jewish Ark Curtain”

My Peaceful Workspace – flash fiction

If someone asked where I would like to have an epic quilting space, I would answer, on a bluff overlooking the Oregon coast, or high in a sky scraper with lots of windows to admire the scenery day and night, or perhaps on Flathead Lake in Montana to view the mountains and water. But let’s be logical about this; if I’m sewing I’m not looking at a view. I think I’ll keep the 600 square feet in the basement of my current home. Peace resides there and my cats keep me company. Besides I’m usually working in my pajamas.

In response to Charli Mills September 6, 2018, prompt from Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write about an epic workplace. It can be real or imagined. Go where the prompt leads.

September 6: Flash Fiction Challenge

Being Famous Vicariously

I’m sure I’m not alone when I admit I wonder what it would be like to be famous. Don’t get me wrong, I have no desire to have it printed or talked about when I go for a colonoscopy. I do think, for a day at least, it would be fun to be recognized on the street. Continue reading “Being Famous Vicariously”

A Lesson in Trust – flash fiction

My grandson’s dentist appointment was after school which meant dealing with rush-hour traffic. While sitting on the overpass waiting for the light so I could turn onto the expressway ramp, I could look down to gauge the usual traffic bottleneck. Bad news. Traffic was completely stopped. I said, “We’re going for a little ride to avoid the expressway.”

“Ok.”

I wound my way around side streets going north and west.

I heard from the backseat, “I have no idea where we are!”

After two more turns he saw familiar buildings. “You weren’t lost after all Grandma?  I was worried.”

In response to Charli Mills August 30, 2018, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a bottleneck. You can be literal or use the term to describe congestion. Go where the prompt leads.

August 30: Flash Fiction Challenge

A Magic Sound – flash fiction

“Child, open the window by my bed.”

“Nurse told me not to. Too humid tonight.”

“Don’t have nothin’ to do with hot or cold; has to do with bugs.”

“How’s that?”

“If you open that window like I asked, I can hear them bugs singin’. That sound is magic.”

“Why’s that?”

“Cause that’s the first sound I remember. Lulled me to sleep before I knowed what meanness, goin’ without, prejudice, and drinkin’ was. Can still do the same if I can just hear that singin’.”

“Can I leave if I open the window so’s I don’t get blamed?”

“Course.”

In response to Charli Mills August 23, 2018, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes magic. It can be a supernatural force, a moment or idea, or use it as a verb. Go where the prompt leads.

August 23: Flash Fiction Challenge

Childhood – A Magical Time – flash fiction

Now that I’m an old lady I can say my favorite sound is a symphony of night time bug noises. I remember the music lulling me to sleep when I was a little girl and I kept the window by my bed wide open. During the day we built forts in the woods, raided the garden for snacks, and enjoyed getting dirty and tired. I didn’t know enough to worry about being hungry, having money problems, alcoholism, or cancer. Today the bug music takes me back to that magical time so I can clear my mind to fall asleep.
In response to Charli Mills August 23, 2018, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes magic. It can be a supernatural force, a moment or idea, or use it as a verb. Go where the prompt leads.

August 23: Flash Fiction Challenge

Impending Doom – flash fiction

“Who cares if I don’t know the difference between a meteor and a comet?”

“I care, as a science professor, you embarrass me.”

“Well la-dee-da Mr. Education. Is it true a comet warns of impending doom?”

“That’s all myth. Science has advanced enough that we know better.”

“Perhaps this one is warning of our doom.”

“It’s not going to hurt us.”

“You give me no credit. I was thinking of how doomed our marriage is.”

“You may have a point.”

“Maybe I could catch a ride on its tail to a happier galaxy.”

“They don’t leave our galaxy. Sorry.”

In response to Charli Mills August 16, 2018, prompt from Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a comet. You can consider how it features into a story, influences a character, or creates a mood. Go where the prompt leads.

August 16: Flash Fiction Challenge

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑