Wednesday Briefs: As Lovely As A Tree (4/?)

Wednesday Briefs is a collection of folks who write flash fiction every week and post them on Wednesdays. Here is the latest installment of “As Lovely As A Tree”, a sci-fi/spec fic flash series. You can read part one, part two, and part three before reading this week’s installment.

Please leave your feedback in the comments!

As Lovely As A Tree: Part 4

For a moment Yulia thought she smelled smoke lingering on the sleeves of Bonnie’s scrubs as the nurse hovered over her to check her various vitals. She shook her head the moment Bonnie turned away. The synapses in her brain must have fired off the wrong signals, that’s all.

Minutes later, the smoke was forgotten and Yulia was walking around her room, guided by a hand on her arm just in case she stumbled and fell. She forced herself to be ambulatory on a regular basis. It not, she’d lose muscle definition and be too weak to take care of herself if, god forbid, both Bonnie and Elzie would be unavailable for a prolonged period of time.

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Wednesday Briefs: As Lovely As A Tree (3/?)

Wednesday Briefs is a collection of folks who write flash fiction every week and post them on Wednesdays. This week, I’m continuing the “As Lovely As A Tree” story with Yulia and Elzie and Bonnie. You can read part one and part two before reading this week’s installment.

Please leave your feedback in the comments!

As Lovely As A Tree: Part 3

Elzie let himself fall asleep for a few minutes. It’s okay. Yulia had dropped off half an hour ago. Historically, she would stay asleep for at least two hours. He could afford a couple of minutes. So he draped himself across the only chair on his side of the room and slept the only way he found comfortable, legs and arms akimbo against the plastic, his shoulder-length locs free, hanging across his closed eyes like a soft curtain.

When Elzie opened his eyes he was in the dream, and his sister was there. Alsa is walking in the dappled sunlight of mid-day, filtered through the green leaves of trees that frame the walkway, her Afro a halo of curls about her round face. She is smiling and laughing, and Elzie feels that he is also smiling and laughing too, because he can see Alsa and she is alive…thank God she’s alive. They’re alive together. The world is alive and filled with energy, with the smell of flowers and the sound of bird song and casual conversation.

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Wednesday Briefs: As Lovely As A Tree (2/?)

Wednesday Briefs is a collection of folks who write flash fiction every week and post them on Wednesdays.  Last time, I introduced you to Yulia, the patient, and Elzie, the nurse. This week, I’ll introduce you to one more character, and we see the house again.

If you have any ideas or feedback, please let me know!

Prompts used: mushrooms, clock, “When did you ever tell me that?”.

As Lovely As A Tree: Part 2

There were no clocks in Yulia’s room. The only indicator of time she had was Elzie leaving. Elzie was the night shift nurse. When Elzie left, and Bonnie appeared, it was only then Yulia knew that outside the sun had risen and the night had officially shifted to day.

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Wednesday Briefs: As Lovely As A Tree (1/?)

Wednesday Briefs is a collection of folks who write flash fiction every week and post them on Wednesdays. This week, I am starting up a new story – part sci-fi, part fantasy, hopefully also atmospheric and interesting. Please let me know what you think!

Prompts used: “Can I see that again?”; rubber gloves; a house in the woods.

A house surrounded by trees, shrouded in fog and in the dark.

As Lovely As A Tree, Part 1/?

The nurse wheeled the machine closer to the glass wall that separated the patient from the rest of the world. The screen flashed a series of images in rapid succession.

“Can I see that again?”

The nurse pressed several buttons on an unseen console. The video paused and skipped back several frames, then froze on a single frame— a house, covered in creeping vines, nestled between heavy-limbed trees The entire scene was dimly lit and shrouded in fog, moonlight faintly piercing through the natural ceiling of trees over the roof.

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Wednesday Briefs: Turnabout

According to my blog archives, I haven’t done a Wednesday Briefs post since October 2018. Sorry. Life got, uh, in the way. Here’s a reminder: Wednesday Briefs is a collection of folks who write flash fiction every week and post them on Wednesdays. Welcome back, briefs!

This week, we’re going back in time for a short flash fiction story – specifically, to the 1940s, in a little town on a hill in New Mexico, where scientists are getting together in secret to build a powerful new weapon. Is anyone surprised though?

Turnabout

He licked his lips slowly, painfully. The desert wind and high altitude had turned them into cracked husks, and he was making a futile attempt to revive them into their original healthy forms. His tongue only made them feel worse. And, of course, the whiskey hadn’t helped.

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Wednesday Briefs: Disassembly Required, Part Six

This week, we’re back in the thick of things with Disassembly Required. In part six of this serial story, Allen finally gets a last name, a crucial object from part one is remembered, and everything goes even more pear-shaped than Beatriz could imagine.

Previously parts of this story can be read starting with part one. For a quick refresher, part five is here.

Disassembly Required, Part Six

Allen shut off her phone. She’d spent the last fifteen or so minutes composing countless angry messages to Beatriz, only to delete them and start over with a blank screen. But in the end, nothing was sent. Her silence still spoke volumes—or so she thought as she angled her way through the conference hall.

Her face burned. Beatriz had completely shut her out of their project, adjusted the machine without her knowledge or consent, and then brushed off her concerns as a manifestation of conference stress. Beatriz had been right from the first time they met, Allen thought. She really did not bring any joy to the world. Allen’s clenched jaw and unspoken torrent of insults were proof of that.

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Wednesday Briefs: Disassembly Required (Part Five)

Back at it again with Disassembly Required, my current flash fiction series running through Wednesday Briefs, a weekly flash writing group. In this latest part, science happens, there is an explanation of recent story events, and someone takes one step forward and one step back.

You can read previous parts of this series here: Part One | Two | Three | Four

Disassembly Required, part 5.

Imagine time.

Or, at least a representative image of what scientists describe as time, as what a human brain perceives time as. Maybe it’s a clock, or a sun dial. Maybe it’s a piece of string that stretches forever, or an eternally long slinky. Maybe it’s even a blue police box, its light flashing as it fades out of vision.

Take those images of time and shake them until they disappear like so much magnetic fuzz on an Etch-A-Sketch. Imagine time as an amorphous blob that slides out of your hands the moment you think you’ve got a handle on it.

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Wednesday Briefs: Under A Clear, Dark Sky

Sometimes, the only way to break through a bad spell of writer’s block is to write The Adventure Zone fanfiction. Spoilers only for the conclusion of the first arc in the Balance campaign. Apologies in advance for any errors with D&D lore/worldbuilding, I’m still new to the tabletop roleplay sphere.

Under A Clear, Dark Sky

Your name is [redacted] and your position within the [redacted] is that of a [redacted], which means you are very important and do a lot of traveling throughout the country. You look for objects of great importance, then recover them—and often you do not recover them. Your record so far is zero items recovered. Still, you travel a lot. You enjoy the work. You cut a solitary path through Faerûn and beyond, which suits you just fine. You have known your whole life that there’s no one place you belong.

Your current job has you undercover as a merchant, part of a traveling caravan heading toward a distant market. You’ve received intelligence that the [redacted] will be there, so you brush up on the local dialects and learn the craft of making leather goods as your cover before joining the caravan. It’s  a mixed group of humans, halflings, elves, and dwarves, and the overall atmosphere is rather chill. There’s  a lot of small talk and storytelling around the nightly fires, and there is no shortage of friendly bartering and exchanging tips to pass the time during the day.

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Wednesday Briefs: Disassembly Required (Part 4)

I hope everyone is enjoying the Disassembly Required story so far (and if you need a refresher or haven’t started it yet, you can start with part one here), because I’ve finally written the fourth installment! This week, at least one question gets answered, Beatriz remains awkward, and I find new ways to remember that she’s holding a dang skillet one-handed the entire time.

Disassembly Required, part 4. Prompts used: mist, motorcycle, emerald, bar.

When she opened her eyes, Beatriz thought she was somewhere else. She no longer saw her own car, but the parking lot was now filled with other vehicles. The fog had lifted, revealing a cloudless blue sky. She could hear music and conversation in the distance.

Has the machine worked after all?

She turned and saw Frank’s Dining, well-lit and alive with activity. Figures moved behind the neon-framed glass. The jukebox must have been working, because strains of an old rock and roll song drifted out every time the front doors opened.

Beatriz made a complete circle of the packed lot. She was grateful that she still held on to the kitchen skillet she’d stolen.

“Allen? Are you here?”

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