It’s been a while since I did a Wednesday Briefs post, so for the new readers, here’s a brief overview: every week, a group of writers post flash fiction pieces based on prompts provided via mailing list. A lot of people like to write series of flash fiction pieces; I have done that before, but recently have preferred stand alone pieces when I do write them.
Below is a new stand alone piece that may be expanded on in the future. It’s a story about two college age guys working in the library, and one dead artist. Please enjoy, and tell me what you think!
Picasso, Pablo, 1881-1973. Prompt used: can you give me a hand here?
“Can you give me a hand here? I can’t carry it down by myself…”
Henri recognized the voice on top of the ladder as one of the RAs from the history library, but couldn’t name the guy. “Sorry, my hands are full.”
He shifted the weight of a stack of bound art periodicals in his arms, nudging a step stool aside as he maneuvered down one of the tight aisles that made up the main stacks. Normally, he enjoyed working in the art section, but when he had to gather up multiple volumes of a journal for shipping purposes, it became more of a chore than a pleasure.
“Ah, shit. I mean, shoot.” There was the soft slam of heavy books being pushed across a metal shelf. “Would I get in trouble if I dropped Picasso on the floor?”
I really like what I got out of this story. I feel like I could expand upon this, given time. I hope you all enjoy it too.
Bolero. Prompts used: man with a guitar, a fantastic creature.
The apparition appeared a few minutes after midnight, when the sky was void of stars and the moon had taken cover behind a thick mass of clouds. In its path, grass grew wild and vines crept across the sidewalk to sink deep into the earth’s foundation.
Dylan was perched at the window, thick dreads hanging long over his Spanish guitar, which he’d spent the past five minutes tuning. Most of the time, Dylan did not appreciate the solitude of his summer residence, a row house thirty minutes from the nearest city, isolated by forest and looping dirt roads and a lack of public transit. The other rooms in the row house had been abandoned as soon as the summer heat hit, and the landowner lived in an air-conditioned apartment in the city. But now, when his guitar was ready to sing, Dylan enjoyed being the only human to hear its song within a ten-mile radius.
Finally satisfied with the sound of his instrument, Dylan’s fingers drifted from the tuning knobs to the strings. The short series of chords that emerged brought a smile to his face, a faint impression illuminated by the dim glow of a streetlight on the other side of the sidewalk.
This week’s flash fiction for Wednesday Briefs is semi-historical fiction, semi-Hamilton fan fiction. I doubt Lin-Manuel Miranda will read this one, but the Hamilton references are pretty clear.
Weehawken, Take Two. Prompts used: “Don’t you know there is no justice?”; “Forget it, this was a mistake.”
Aaron Burr’s shot misses. Not by much—it grazes Alexander Hamilton’s shoulder enough to leave a streak of burnt fabric in what had once been the man’s third-best jacket. The heat of it can be felt in the skin below the sleeve. For a moment, Hamilton stares dumbly at the spot on his body where Burr’s bullet strayed from its intended target. His arm hangs in the air, gun raised to the sky, wavering in the New Jersey breeze that carries the promise of the oncoming dawn.
The moment passes, and Burr is in his face, looking at the immigrant with a mixture of shock and concern.
Wednesday Briefs is a weekly micro flash fiction writing challenge in which participants write short stories based on randomly presented prompts, either in the form of words or images. Pieces are to be between 500 and 1,000 words, and can either be stand-alone pieces or chapters of a larger story.
Below are the various stories I wrote for my blog, Nagareboshi Reviews, split into two categories, original fiction and fan fiction. Prompts used are included in parenthesis.