Flash fiction winner: Feeding time

I entered another flash fiction challenge at Indies Unlimited last week and this time my entry was the winner! Apparently I rounded up enough friends to get the most votes. You can check out the link with my story and the photo prompt: https://www.indiesunlimited.com/2018/04/29/cindy-young-turner-wins-flash-fiction-challenge-2/#more-72893. My winning entry is also posted below.

Feeding Time

Originally posted at Indies Unlimited

“Wanda, we’re all going out to the wire tonight. You coming?”

Wanda sighed and dropped another worm into the open mouth. “Wish I could, Carol, but this one is so hungry. I can’t leave her.”

“Mama, mama! Hungry!”

“See what I mean?”

Carol flapped impatiently. “Can’t you get Jack to watch her? You need a break!”

“Jack’s busy with the older girls, teaching them how to fly. We had to get them to leave the nest. He wants to make sure they’re ready. Hold on, be right back.” Wanda swooped down to snatch up another worm for her hungry chick. She thought about all the good times she’d had on the wire, twittering away with her friends. Those were the days, before all the eggs and the hatching and nurturing. She’d been more than just a mama bird.

“Carol, I really want to, but you know I can’t.” She landed in the nest and delivered another worm. “Maybe in a few weeks when she’s older.”

“That’s what you said the last time. A few weeks. And then there were more mouths to feed.” Carol squawked. “Suit yourself then.”

Wanda watched Carol fly off to the wires in the distance. Already some of their friends had gathered, and their playful songs echoed on the breeze.

“Mama, mama.”

“Yes, little one? Are you still hungry?”

“No, mama, sleepy now.”

Wanda curled up next to her fuzzy chick. Sometimes being a mama really was what she liked best.

 

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Flash fiction: Little dog – big city

I wrote a piece for last week’s flash fiction challenge at Indies Unlimited. Here’s the original post with the photo prompt. Of course, it was about a dog.

Little Dog – Big City

Originally posted at Indies Unlimited

My mission was to scout ahead for the pre-invasion force. The commander decided to transport me down to Earth in the form of a dog. A white, fluffy dog, to be precise. They dropped me in the middle of a place called New York City with orders to avoid contact and determine how much firepower we needed to conquer the humans.

Piece of cake, as the natives would say.

Avoiding contact was easy. They were all too busy staring at their communication screens. Everyone had them, and those who didn’t would stop at stare at the ones on top of buildings or in store windows. Most of them were communicating with primitive symbols or watching silly cat videos. My job was done. We’d have no trouble invading this planet.

I sent a message to the mother ship to pick me up and trotted across the street to wait. Suddenly a human driving a yellow and black vehicle barreled toward me. I froze. Horns blared. A voice screamed, “Not the dog!”

A young girl dashed into the street and scooped me in her arms. “You’re okay,” she whispered and carried me to safety. “You look just like my Fluffy. I still miss her. Do you have a home?”

Then I felt it. Love. That tail of mine started wagging and I had the sudden urge to lick the girl’s nose.

I cancelled my transport and the invasion. I wanted to stay a while for snuggles and bacon treats.

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Missing my best friend: Tribute to a dog’s love

Rosie joined our family in 2002, the day before Thanksgiving. My husband and I had had dogs growing up, but Rosie was our first dog together. We couldn’t wait to buy a house, because that meant we could finally get a dog. After a few months of settling in, we started looking at dog adoption events and making regular trips to several animal shelters. When we spotted Rosie, we knew it was fate. She was part Jack Russell, part something. We’re big Wishbone fans and in the Romeo and Juliet episode, Wishbone falls for a shelter dog–named Rosie. She was a bit scared and nervous at first, but who wouldn’t be after spending time in the shelter. I knew she’d be fine because as soon as she came into the house she jumped right up on the couch and made herself at home.

We couldn’t have asked for a better dog. She loved to go for walks in the neighborhood (five a day initially!) and play with her toys. She slept on our bed and enjoyed snuggling on the couch. Not that she didn’t have her quirks. She had some separation anxiety and chewed a few pairs of my husband’s shoes. The last straw was when she chewed one of my books–we got a dog walker right after that to break up the time she had to spend alone. She also got car sick, which meant adjusting our plans for lots of traveling with her. But she always came with us to visit family at the holidays because she was part of the family. She didn’t like other dogs much, either, but she liked people and was patient with kids.

Rosie mellowed a lot over the years. By the time my daughter was born, she didn’t play much any more but she still loved her walks. She adjusted to a little one joining the pack and learned to share some attention. She still got plenty of affection and we always had our evening snuggles on the couch.

The last year was hard for her. Sixteen years is a good, long life for a dog and she was so loved. A few weeks ago we knew it was time to finally say good-bye. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. My husband and I were with her until the end. I hope she knew how much we loved her and cared for her. I think she did. Now the house is empty and my heart is a bit empty. Someday, when we’re ready, we will make another trip to the animal shelter. But Rosie will always have a special place in my heart. She will always be my sweetie.

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Happy 2018

“This is not going to end the way you think.” –Luke Skywalker, The Last Jedi

Luke’s quote sums up the bizarre nature of 2017. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any stranger or more unbelievable, it did. Fears about what might happen with the new administration turned out to be correct, but on the flip side, I have been more politically aware and involved than I have been in a long time. Participating in the women’s march last January gave me hope that we can make changes, but the fight is just beginning and we still have a long way to go.

Writing-wise, 2017 was disappointing. I didn’t get nearly enough writing done, despite starting the year on a positive note and having some ambitious goals. Right now Thief of Destiny is on hold but being reconsidered as I work through some plot issues. Time to rethink and figure out why it hasn’t been working for me. But the good news is that I have started working on a new novel featuring a would-be executioner and I’ve been having fun writing it. Being able to enjoy writing again is a strange and welcome concept. I want to have that same feeling when I go back to working on Sydney’s story. I know I will get there.

Fortunately we’re staring down 2018 with a clean slate. I won’t let last year’s disappointments get me down. I never seem to follow through with resolutions, but I am hoping for a happy and successful 2018 and wishing you all the same, wherever your path may take you.

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Two-sentence horror stories

Happy Halloween! I love the spookiness of this time of year. It’s the perfect time to curl up with a good book, and even better if it’s creepy or gothic. I don’t like gore, but I do like a lot of the classics. Weird tales. Atmospheric horror. I decided to read some appropriately themed books this month and just finished Nod by Adrian Barnes, which is all the more terrifying if you are an insomniac. A strange and frightening vision of the future. And yeah, it does have its share of gore. Bad things happen when most of the world stops sleeping. I’ve now started Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

Goodreads has done some Halloween events and book recommendations this month. One of the recent ask the author questions was to write a two-sentence horror story. I’ve read some good ones and decided to try it. Enjoy!

At last, every spider in the house was dead, their crushed bodies unceremoniously flushed. Then I heard a clacking sound behind me and turned to realize just how wrong I was.

The dancers glide across the moonlit field, bending and turning with graceful movements, watching me with eyes full of longing. When I am dead, I will join them.

Fog rolls in and shrouds in moon. In the pumpkin patch, we shiver, for the Great Pumpkin has finally come and we must pay for each jack-o’-lantern.

Happy Halloween! If you have a two-sentence horror story, please share in the comments!

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