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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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romance

By Candle Light – flash fiction

Michael sat on his back porch enjoying the created shadows and smell of citronella candles. He wore his number 10 football jersey from high school. It was a happy remembrance that still fit over his muscle-bound upper body. His favorite number had switched from 10 to 100; 100 days until the docs told him he was out of the woods after the bomb and 100 days to build the nerve to ask Tessa to come to his home. He would have 100 various sized candles burning to welcome her. He hoped the romantic scene would bring him his desire.

Written in response to Charli Mills May 21, 2020, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about 100 candles. What do they light, and why? Think about contrast or symbolism. Are the candles large, small, or stars in the night? 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?”

Silence.

“Michael?”

“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!

Bringing Out the Best

Newly divorced Tessa, visiting her sister, sat in their childhood church. When the choir started singing from the loft her face registered recognition. She whispered, “I can hear Michael’s voice. I’ve never stopped hearing it.”

Aggie rolled her eyes.

“Is he home for good?”

“Medical discharge. In a wheelchair, he can do without. Very different.”

“Same beautiful bass.”

Later in the day, Michael approached Aggie’s door. She watched. “I’ll be dipped, he’s walking. You always could bring out the best in him. You sure about this?”

“It’s just dinner.”

“Yeah, right.”

“It’ll be good to be wanted and needed.”

 

Written in response to Charli Mills November 21, 2019, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a romance. Focus on the relationship between two people. Build tension and end on a happy(ish) note. Go where the prompt leads!

Getting Rid of Dillon – 297 word flash

My caller ID said Sally. “Howdy. What’s up?”

“Are you busy later? I need you to do me a huge favor.”

“I’m not and what can I do?”

“That stuffed shirt mother likes is taking me to the park after church to prove he can commune with nature. I want you to take Duke and Duchess there, let them play in the water and when they hear my voice they’ll come running and shake cool water and maybe a little mud all over us.”

“He’s good looking and has money; why not give him a chance?”

“I have. He only talks about his education, his job, and his money. Boring! And, he doesn’t like animals. I can’t tolerate him.”

“Got it. What time?”

“11:30 and if this works I’ll even pay for the dogs next grooming.”

“Now there’s a deal.”

                                                           * 

As Sally got ready for church she purposely picked an outfit she thought Dillon wouldn’t care for, slipped into scruffy flats and added a gaudy necklace then let her barely curly hair hang instead of spending time making it straight and smooth. The look on Dillon’s face when he saw her told her she had achieved her goal. He was wearing a charcoal gray Armani suit and alligator shoes. During the sermon he didn’t sit so his hip touched hers. What a relief!

Later at the park Sally acted as silly as she dared and sure enough when the dogs heard her laugh they came running, stopped abruptly by her legs and shook. Dillon stood horrified, looking down at his soiled clothes. Sally said, “What can I say. I told you I was a dog magnet.” She patted the dogs and gave a thumbs up sign to their owner.

Dillon took her home for the last time.

In response to the prompt “cool water” from Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch Literary

 

How Did You Meet?

My husband and I recently went to a dinner hosted by his company. During dessert time, the company owner went around the table and asked each couple how they met. He came right out and told us, if his employees know each other better they become more invested and caring so working together improves. The owner is a very smart man who my husband admires and respects highly. The company is a pleasure to work for. Continue reading “How Did You Meet?”

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