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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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

Unwelcome Guests – flash fiction

“My Dad told me the new people in the fenced mansion belong to the Mob,” Rock said.

“I heard it was some rich old guy with a sexy young wife,” Dude answered.

Crazy, always needing excitement, suggested, “Let’s sneak through the woods to see what we can see by their pool.”

Shortly the rowdies peered around dense manicured bushes at scantily clad young beauties.

A body guard turned their direction saying loudly, “I can feel eyes on us.” He reached behind his back bringing a gun forward and fired a shot above their heads. “Next time I won’t miss!”

 

In response to Charli Mills August 9, 2018, prompt from Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes  an act of “peering from the woods.” Go where the prompt leads.

August 9: Flash Fiction Challenge

 

The Birdcage Cover – flash fiction

My sisters and I were gathered around an open trunk from our family home. Angelina took out a piece of yellow fabric that was shaped like a small Christmas tree skirt but only had a tiny center hole and snaps along the open edge. I asked, “What’s that?”

“Do  you remember the yellow canary we had when you were little?”

“Yeah, it sang when we ran water and louder when anyone whistled.”

“Mother made this from a tablecloth to cover its cage at night after Dad put the umpteenth cigarette burn in it. I wonder why she kept it?”

In response to Charli Mills August 2, 2018, prompt from Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a yellow tent. Where is it and who does it belong to? Think of how the color adds to the story. Go where the prompt leads.

August 2: Flash Fiction Challenge

 

A Bereft Duffle – Flash Fiction

My son returned from the war in person, but his mind never did. It took me years to understand why he refused to take off that dirty field jacket. I would beg him not to wear it. I even hid it once when he was in the shower and I don’t want to tell you the fight we had before I gave it back and he stormed out of the house to walk the streets, his mind encumbered with the scenes of war. The day I found him hanging, the coat was folded neatly on his full duffle bag.

In response to Charli Mills July 26, 2018, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about what happens next to a stranded suitcase. Go where the prompt leads you, but consider the different perspectives you can take to tell the tale.

July 26: Flash Fiction Challenge

Legend or Truth – Flash Fiction

“Dad’s taking us to Fannie Hooe Lake in upper Michigan for a week this summer. He wants to visit Fort Wilkins. Says that he had a relative stationed there years ago.”

“That should be interesting. I wonder how the lake got a ladies name.”

“Legend is she drowned in it, but Dad’s family story is she ran off with a gambler. She was so wild her parents were thankful so they gave her dowry money to the town fathers who had to agree to never tell the truth. The money was used to build store-front board walks.”

“That’s funny.”

In response to Charli Mills July 19, 2018, prompt from Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about Fannie Hooe. Although she is a legend in the Kewenaw, feel free to go where the prompt leads.

July 19: Flash Fiction Challenge

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