Friday Flash Fiction

Photo Courtesy of Magaly Guerrero

I had a teacher in elementary school who wore shoes like this – the heels were clunkier, but they otherwise looked the same. She was old – by my 10 year old standards, she was at least 100. She scared little kids with her stern gaze, steely hair, and black garb. I remember thinking she could play the wicked witch of the West with little effort. The truth was, she was a great teacher. She was warm and informative, even when we were little monsters. She inspired real learning and I have vivid memories of her classroom and the things we did to understand more about the subjects she taught. That is, indeed, magical.

Here’s to Miss Solly and her sturdy, sensible shoes.

A special thanks to Sarah Ann Hall for motivating me to write again.

Word count: 100

…and Your Little Dog, Too

We heard her before we saw her, heavy black shoes on the linoleum tapped out a warning: teacher’s coming…teacher’s coming…

We scrabbled back to our seats, barely concealing our deviousness. Nothing was lost on her. In one gaze, she assessed the situation.

“Erin, do you want to explain this?” Her look said ‘You are my chosen victim’.

My voice trembled. “We were just…” then I faltered, caught.

“Just is superfluous. You either were or you weren’t. Which is it?” She already knew.

Hanging my head, I spilled it all.

Clapping erasers that afternoon, I knew I’d catch hell at home.

To see other stories, please visit the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields site here.
© Erin Leary

Friday Flash Fiction

roger-bultot
Photo by Roger Bultot

pa·tri·ot 
noun: patriot; plural noun: patriots; noun: Patriot

  1. 1. A person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors.

I consider myself a patriot, but I won’t subscribe to any platform’s self-imposed definition. My act of patriotism is to be a truth teller, a fact seeker, and a beacon of hope. That is my commitment, outlined here in another personal essay. I want to follow the guidelines of this forum and not mix ideology with Flash Fiction. So on that note, here is my story for the week.

Word Count: 100

Processing Loss

Pulling into the parking lot, Evelyn heaved a sigh of relief. The worst of the drive was over; home was only another hour away. Resting her heavy head against the steering wheel, she hoped the sadness passed before she stepped into the diner.

Grief’s grip was strong, her loss acute. She brushed errant tears away with a few cleansing breaths. In with hope, out with despair. Repeat.

Following the short service, his ashes were released over the river. Tiny pieces of her heart now floated on the mighty Columbia, heading for the ocean. Life would never be the same.

© Erin Leary

To see other Friday Flash Fiction stories, please see here. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting, as always!

Friday Flash Fiction

Courtesdy of Sandra Crook
Photo Courtesy of Sandra Crook

This rooftop reminded me of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square, Moscow.  I’ve been looking at photos from my travels as I put together a photo book, and my thoughts went immediately there. I am certain the election results are shaping my thoughts as I write this. Worry is the word of the day as things change here in the US. I worry about my son, living in the shadow of Russia. I worry about my daughter and the lessons this election has for women. I worry about my son, who is a part of the queer community. And I can’t help but feel sad about what is now at risk.

I apologize to Sandra for taking her happy photo and making it an icon for my angst. Things will get better. I’ll find a way to live in this new world and continue to shine my own light against the darkness.

Word count: 100

Changes

Weak sunlight filtered through the trees, illuminating the mosaic roof. It appeared from nowhere, an omen in this once tranquil village. Townspeople questioned what it signified.

The answer came in the form of an army marching into Lovisa the following morning. The battle was brief, and the message was clear. The west would not know peace – this new order meant change.

Watching from her attic window, Emilia wiped a tear away. The Finnish border had been breached before when she was a girl. As her granddaughter toddled into sight, her heart winced, knowing she could no longer guarantee her future.

To see other stories, please visit the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields site here.
© Erin Leary

Friday Flash Fiction

Photo Courtesy of Sandra Crook

Photo Courtesy of Sandra Crook

My mom had an old Singer sewing machine that had the knee activated treadle. It was quite a sight – she’d sit and sew, needle clicking through the fabric evenly as she made clothes for all of us kids.

I learned to sew early, making my own clothes to stretch my allowance further. I can remember the time I started to see clothes being sold for cheaper than I could ever make and sewing became a thing of the past. I never made any clothes for my own kids – blankets, maybe, but why bother when you can buy clothes ready-made for less?

I donated my sewing machine to a charity when I moved last month. It sat in a closet for 20 years, only being pulled out to hem something or fix a seam. It felt like a betrayal of my past, leaving behind a skill that was no longer necessary, something passed down from mother to daughter for generations.

Word count: 100

A Stitch in Time

Time was, I sewed clothes to save money, a skill I learned from my mama on a machine like this one here. Now they’re all made for me, cheaper than buying the yardage even. Disposable world we live in – nothing made to last.

Mama’s machine served her to the end, no need for an electrical one or fancy stitches. Just her foot steady on the treadle and the patience to stitch straight.

Feeling disposable myself these days, waiting out death in the home. Maybe my kids’ll come today. Been a few weeks, but patience was never my strongest virtue.

To see other stories, please visit the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields site here.
© Erin Leary

Friday Flash Fiction

Adam Ickes

Photo Courtesy of Adam Ickes

A boardwalk to some destination, floating above the reedy water…A summer day, but with dark clouds hovering just above the horizon…what story does this picture tell? And where the heck have I been all summer? Busy, busy, busy.  If you need to know more about my summer vacation, read here.  Good to be back – I’ll buckle down and write more often.

Adam, this one is for you.  Enjoy.

Word count: 100

Full Circle

Every step was an effort, Adam’s feet scraping the boardwalk. Mindlessly, he shuffled forward, unsure what drew him on.

His last memory – a pop, then searing pain, then nothing. Trying to piece together more, it was as though his past had vanished.

A red drop hit the wood, a shimmering dot. Adam felt nothing, only knew he had to reach the end. After what felt like years or maybe no time at all, he arrived at the red awning. “Styx Shuttle” was stenciled on the boat that awaited. Adam knew then this was his final trip. He’d come full circle.

To see other stories, please visit the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields site here.
© Erin Leary

Friday Flash Fiction

JHardyCarroll

Photo Courtesy of J. Hardy Carroll

These benches tell a story – of the people who’ve come and gone, the talented hands of the person who made them, their silent watch over time passing by. This reminds me of Ellis Island, or a train station – some place from the past, where life passed through and time has passed by.

Word count: 99

Waiting at the Station

Passengers streamed off the train, waving at their loved ones. Reunions took place on the platform — kisses and hugs, handshakes and hellos, chaos and commotion.

Sarah waited patiently. He’d be on the train. Watching the joy on the faces around her, she smiled to herself. A mother greeted her returning soldier with tears of joy. Sarah felt her own eyes well up. So much joy.

After the rush, she made her way to the luggage car where a black draped coffin waited on a cart. She let her tears fall silently then. Her love was home at last.

To see other stories, please visit the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields site here.
© Erin Leary

Friday Flash Fiction

Ceayr

Photo Courtesy of C.E. Ayr

A spaceship? An arena? Whatever it is, it looks poised to take off. And so my story follows…

Word count: 100

Bluer than Blue

The reflection of the stadium was momentarily mesmerizing. A blue wash across the water, shimmering in the night. People inside were having fun, cheering the game on, their roars rolling across the river.

Eliza knew other people were happy. She just didn’t know how to get there. Bluer than blue, sadder than sad had been the theme song of her short life.

She stood shivering in the night air, concrete at her back. She relished the chill on her skin, knowing the water below would be colder than cold, darker than dark. Closing her eyes, she stepped into the black.

To see other stories, please visit the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields site here.

© Erin Leary