Sue Spitulnik

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts



A Family Meltdown

Katie didn’t try to hide her anger or tears. “Does she think she can swoop in here and be welcomed? I don’t care if she is my blood grandmother. She’s never sent me so much as a hello.”

Thad empathized with his daughter. “I’m not any more comfortable with meeting her than you are, but your grandfather and Nan say it will benefit us to reconnect.”

“How can Grandma be so positive?”

“She says you’ll understand better after you’ve had children.”

“I’m also worried about this woman’s reappearance upsetting Grandpa?”

“I’m sure his loyalty to Nan will prevent problems.”

Written in response to Charli Mills July 15, 2021, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the word meltdown. You can use it to describe an event or emotional reaction. You can create a new meaning or explore the word origin. You can Go where the prompt leads!

A Year of Changes

The warm breeze fluttered Tessa’s short brown curly hair. Her blue-green eyes shown love as she gazed down at her sleepy granddaughter. While rocking her, she talked in a soothing tone. “I wasn’t sure moving back to my roots was a good plan. I never thought your Mama would choose to come live here too, and not a single person could have convinced me your real grandpa would ignore you. Now here we are, living with Grandpa Michael. He loves us both even if we are pudgy. What a year full of changes it has been. We’re lucky ladies.”

Note: A regular reader wanted to know what Tessa looks like.

Written in response to Charli Mills March 18, 2021, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that takes place a year later. It can be any year. Explore the past year or another significant passing of time to a character. Go where the prompt leads!


At their party, Michael heard Tessa’s mother make another snide comment about how many snacks Tessa had eaten. He wheeled over to Jenny and got right in her face. “Do you remember saying ‘My house, my rules’ when we were growing up?”

“So long ago. But yes, I do.”

“Well, this is my house and my rules. Your negative comments about Tessa’s eating are not welcome here.”

Jenny shot up out of her chair, “Well! Then neither am I. Don, take me home.”

“You can take the car.” Her husband handed her the keys and opened the front door.

Written in response to Charli Mills September 24, 2020, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about snacking. It can feature crunchy snacks or creamy one. Who is snacking on what and why? How can you make this a story? Go where the prompt leads!

Standing Up to Mother – flash fiction

Tessa’s mother paced. “I’m fearful Michael will suck the life out of you if you move in together.”

“I thought you approved.”

“Not of you living with him.”

“He nourishes the youth choir, the Vet’s music programs, and he goes to D.C. when asked. You don’t think he’ll enhance my life too?”

“Behind closed doors is where the nightmares and anger dwell. You’ll have no escape.”

“Don’t you remember my ex had nightmares. It isn’t new to me.”

“He was an officer.”

“So that’s what this is about, status, not my well being. Good thing it isn’t your choice.”


Written in response to Charli Mills May 7, 2020, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story to nourish. The characters can nourish or be nourished. What else can be nourished? A tree? A setting? Does the sunset nourish the soul? Go where the prompt leads!

Sometimes Close is Too Far – flash fiction

Tessa’s cell-phone woke her at 3 am. Frightened, she got out of bed to retrieve it. Not one of the kids, Michael.

“Michael. You frightened me.”

“I’m sorry. You’re too far away.”

“What? I’m only across town.”

“Might as well be the moon.”

“What are you talking about?”



“Memories. Painful ones of the rehab room in D.C., wonderful ones of sharing a room with you. The bad ones are winning. I’m admitting I didn’t want you to go home. You belong here.”

“If we close this distance, it’s permanent.”

“How soon can you get here?”

“Fifteen minutes.”



Written in response to Charli Mills April 23, 2020, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about distance dating. It can be any genre, era, or setting. Who is dating, and why the distance? How do the characters overcome, accept, or break up because of the distance? Go where the prompt leads!

Take That Time Off

Project: TimeOff has uncovered an alarming trend over the last 40 years: Americans are taking fewer and fewer vacation days. To reverse this trend, we aim to prove that vacation travel is valuable and necessary for strengthening personal relationships, inspiring creative thinking, improving professional performance, and promoting better health. [courtesy-National Day of Calendar] Continue reading “Take That Time Off”

Thank You Honey

It’s National Spouses Day! (Yes, I know I’m a day late!) Say THANK YOU to your spouse just for being who they are, how they make you feel, how they enhance your life, what they do for your family, how they pay, or help pay, the bills….the list could go on and on.

Personally, I think they should have used a picture of a couple that had been married over 50 years for this day. If you make a relationship work that long, then you can brag you’ve made it. I know I’m jaded, but a couple as young as the one above hasn’t had time to climb the mountains and ford the raging rivers that happen in a relationship. To me it appears they are still thinking love can conquer anything. It sure as hell helps, but it’s not always true. People grow and change, or not, and if you aren’t growing together, all too often you are growing apart.

Wow! This got heavy really quick. Sorry.  I think you can guess I have experienced both types of relationships. Back to the real reason for writing this a day late. My husband is a loving, supportive spouse. He gets that when I make comments about a bad meal in a restaurant, I’m not complaining, I’m just stating facts. If I were complaining, I would be whining too. He has encouraged me to grow, is excited for my changes, and has given me the support needed so I could quit work and write a really long novel that may never get published. He’s a gem, or as they say today, a keeper. He has helped my children on multiple occasions and I can proudly say, they talk to him before they talk to their own father. I am truly blessed.

My husband and I became spouses when we were both over fifty. Maybe that’s the key. We had become mature enough to not make crazy demands of each other and knew the reality of being friends was more important than lust. Anyway, we appreciate each other, try not to take each other for granted and still say ‘please and thank you’ on a regular basis. It feels good at the end of each day to be able to say, “I’ve got a great spouse whom I love!”

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