Tag Archives: story

Want To Write Weekly For A Prompt?

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I’ve been writing for decades now poetry and stories but what makes it more fun is sharing. I’ve been sharing prompts and linking to the sites that have them when writing poetry and have found it helpful. Not only do you write on your own site but it brings the other people participating to your site to read and critique your writing.

How Is Linking Helpful?

  • Write on your own site
  • Make your work known
  • Bring others to your site
  • Exchange ideas on stories
  • Get comments on your work
  • Get critiques of your work
  • Learn new things about writing with each prompt
  • Become a better writer
  • Network and make new friends who write

How And Why Should I?

If you’ve never linked before it’s easy. There’s a gizmo on the prompt post that will be there for you to use to link. After you write about the prompt, you include a link back to the site the prompt was at. You link the URL of your write into the Linky gizmo and you’re linked!

Other people link too and on the due date, everyone goes back to the Linky following the links to people’s sites to read their write and leave a comment. In that comment, you can seriously critique or just tell someone how their work made you feel.

Not only is this fun it’s a great way to have something else to write about if you’re out of ideas. It’s also amazing to see how different people write about the same prompt.

A lesson can be given with each prompt or left up to you. A prompt can be a word list, a picture or anything that would inspire you. There may be a word count, subject to write about or writing style. The beauty of it all is you can participate when you choose to.

What Is Flash Fiction?

Flash Fiction is a story under 1,500 words. It’s part poetry, part narrative, flash fiction–also known as sudden fiction, postcard fiction, micro-fiction, short-short stories, and quick fiction—is a genre that is deceptively complex. At the same time, writing these short shorts can be incredibly rewarding.

Any writer worth their words will tell you it’s not easy to write and set up a short story. What do you put in it and what should you leave out? What do you leave up to the reader? When done right flash fiction can be amazing.

FYI, A 1,000-word story is about 40 pages double-spaced or 20 single-spaced.

What Do You Think?

There are many sites that offer prompts but I would like to offer one here each week on Friday. I was thinking of Fiction Friday to give us some time on the weekend to write, link and read.

You might think this takes a lot of time but if you already write daily one short story a week is nothing. Reading people’s stories and commenting is fun and as time goes on you’ll make friends and gain new readers.

If you have questions or are interested I need to hear from you in comments so I can plan this.

Thirteen Tips For Writing Flash Fiction

Because you took the time to read this (and it’s not a story) here are some good tips on video that tell us how to write an awesome short story.

I notice she says stay out of the slush pile by keeping flash fiction 500-1,000 words long. I do think the shorter the story the harder it is to write good short stories but like haiku, not everything is written in stone.

What do you think?

Let Me Hear From You!

Although I have many people following me it’s a quiet group that I never hear from which is different from my other sites. It’s hard to tell what my readers are thinking when I get no comments. Do you like my work? Which stories do you like? What should I write more of that you’d like to hear? Does my work suck? ;^p

Maybe you can tell me why you don’t leave comments? My settings shouldn’t make you put in very much info when leaving a comment. Can I make it easier? Let’s talk!

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Death Becomes You

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Introduction: When traveling dark unknown roads beware of strangers.

As I rode down the moonlit path in The Black Forest I was glad for the extra light because this was one of the darkest forests I could remember navigating in a fortnight.

“Black Forest indeed,” I mumbled to myself thinking it quite an appropriate name for it was black as pitch and dense. The moon was bright in an otherwise empty sky as I paused in a clearing.

I jumped off my horse appreciating the jolt of my feet on solid ground after a long day of riding. My horse had picked up a stone earlier in the day and I didn’t want to risk it going lame as I still had a long road to travel.

I loosened the small stone with my knife and released his hoof. I stood up and leaned on its warm flank grateful for the moment. He was a strong surefooted mount I picked him well but he needed rest.

I was bone tired, didn’t like this forest and now had to camp here. I had expected to make camp earlier outside of Belltower but the area was full of riffraff so I decided to ride on. Just as I was making good time my horse stumbled. Some days it didn’t pay to get out of my bedroll and this was one of them.

A half of an hour went by I got a fire going and noticed clouds starting to form in the sky. A slight breeze picked up and my horse got wind of something. Frowning, I thought I saw a dark shape moving through the clearing nearby.

It was very large, larger than a man perhaps a black bear. The moon ducked behind the clouds and everything outside the campfire was like black ink.

My horse cried out in fear and broke its lead crashing through the underbrush just as lightning flashed and hit a nearby tree. Sparks flew everywhere as the trunk split wide open and caught on fire.

As I took this in, I was spun around lightly but forcefully by something passing by. I regained my stance and was confronted by a hooded figure on a horse. This wasn’t your normal fellow traveler because the horse and rider appeared…to be dead.

I was frozen in my tracks while, “Run, run-you must run,” screamed in my brain. I dropped to my knees. My mouth was bone dry as I croaked out a muffled screech.

My eyes wild with fear the apparition made one last pass. The rider crossed by the burning tree and I caught a good look at it.

The steed was skin and bones yet it was galloping by with a figure actively riding it. The figures rotting flesh hung in chunks on his bones through holes in his tattered cloak and he brandished a sword from his skeleton hand.

Just then our eyes met and I was staring into a face where there was none! A toothless grin was somehow sneering at me as the eye sockets stared sightlessly through me. A dark mist was gathering along the ground and it was freezing cold!

He held one white rose in a fist underneath the sleeve of the black robe. I was drawn back to the eyes, the missing eyes, those eyeless holes, boring through me…

The mist was everywhere now swirling upward as I watched the dark figure make one more pass coming closer…

…as everything turned to darkness.

© Rebecca Sanchez 2013

This image gave my muse what it needed to write a story. If you like my work or want to tell me about mistakes I make, or just want to say hi please do. Anyone should be able to leave me comments even without an account. There’s always the Contact tab on my Menu if you can’t figure it out.

The Mudjikiwis

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Introduction: Sometimes you can find courage in unexpected ways and places.

It was summer and the Indian brave was to become a man this season but he was afraid of war. They were at war with the Chumash and it wasn’t likely to end soon which weighed heavily on his mind as he worked on his preparations.

Today would be the big hunt and tonight the ceremonial feast where they would become men. He would become a man, be expected to fight with the others and take a wife. Every brave has done this since the people’s beginning and he was excited about leaving his childhood behind.

Strong and tall he was a well-known figure in the tribe. He was used to fighting as he had been taught well by his father but his warrior skills were not being questioned. It was his courage.

He hid this fact from the others with much bravado but eventually, they were bound to find out. He pushed these doubts aside, noted the sun and rose to his feet it was time for the hunt. He gathered his things from the lodge and went outside.

He walked over to the other young braves as they were mounting their stomping ponies crying out with excitement, “Hee hee ha ha hee!”

They too would soon be men and were very impatient about starting the hunt. They called out to him. Not to be left out he ran over, mounted his pony from behind and they galloped off towards the tribe’s hunting grounds.

His mind on the hunt he started to relax. Nothing like a good hunt to take his mind off of war and fighting. They all split up into pairs for better coverage and safety in numbers. Just in case they ran into any Chumash raiding parties they’d be ready. He was hoping that wouldn’t happen.

After a time they came out into a clearing near a stream and decided to water the ponies. He longed to tell his friend that he was afraid to fight in the war, it was not their way so he remained stolid.

His friend was bringing his pony back out of the stream as he mounted his and spied a small group of deer feeding upwind of them. Spurring his pony on he closed the distance between them quickly. They could still not smell him and if he was lucky he would bring home some nice deer meat.

When he was close enough he expertly fit an arrow into his bow. He picked out a young white-tailed buck and he shot it. At the last second, it veered sharply into a stand of thick trees but he had nicked it so he followed the blood trail into the woods.

He realized that his friend had dropped behind him and not caught up. Surely he was following him because his people had full knowledge of this land. It was in their blood and it was their home. He felt reassured his friend would catch up waiting quietly.

It was dark under the canopy of trees and after his eyes adjusted he could pick out the deer lying in the brush several feet away. It was very still and shafts of sunlight played through the branches. He was puzzled because it had not been a kill shot yet the deer looked dead.

He crept closer to examine the deer and found the brush around it disturbed like there was a struggle. The deer was torn apart on one side and just as he was taking this in a large wolf limped out from the underbrush.

“Brother please do not be afraid for I am injured and need this food.” The brave heard these words as plain as day and knew he was speaking to a spirit animal.

The wolf was indeed injured, it looked like his leg was hurt. He was deeply honored answering, “Brother wolf you may have this deer for you were the one who killed it.”

“Thank you for your kindness young brave. I will not die from this injury but without food, I surely would have sickened and died.”

The wolf moved closer, “For helping me I will give you my father’s tooth. It will help you to be brave and have much courage in battle.” The young Indian took the tooth and thanked the wolf for this gift.

He mounted his pony and left the wolf to his meal wondering about his friend when he saw a rabbit out of the corner of his eye. Swiftly he drew an arrow and shot. It screamed once and lay dead. He urged his pony towards it and saw an eagle on the ground nearby.

“I have a nest of young ones and we need this food,” she cried.

Another spirit animal, what were the chances? The brave was deeply honored for at this time in his life these were good omens.

“Sister eagle you may have the rabbit for I will hunt another. Feed your young and live long in this valley.”

The eagle looked at the young Indian closely and replied, “Thank you for your kindness, here’s a feather from my wing. It will help you be fast and fly through your battles.”

He found himself coming out of his trance and realized he was watching the eagle fly off with his rabbit.

Just then his friend rode up on his pony and said, “I was looking all over for you and here you are goofing off in the woods. We will be the only ones not bringing meat back for the ceremony!”

His friend was a chubby boy who ate too much in his opinion but he was right.

They finished the hunt bringing down a large wild boar which was the best meat of the hunt and was enjoyed by all. They became men that night and the brave was full of his thoughts of the woods.

The next day the tooth glistened in the sun as he turned it around in his fingers. The feather was soft yet bristly and large. Examining his treasures and thinking of the spirit animals already gave him strength and he felt something change inside. What was this feeling, could it be courage?

As soon as the word popped into his mind he felt it fully. The animal spirits of the wolf and eagle moved freely within him. Yes, he was not afraid! He was the Mudjikiwis, a Cree Indian and would slay his enemies gladly with his brothers to protect the tribe.

He took a wife that season and built his own lodge. The Chumash attacked and he fought bravely with his brothers and saved the whole of the tribe with his fierceness and quickness in battle. The people sing songs of these battles to this day around our fires for he was the true Mudjikiwis.

(Mudjikiwis means eldest son in Cree.)

© Rebecca Sanchez 2013

I wrote this story after seeing the image I used. Not sure if the Indian in the artwork is a man or women but no matter, this is fiction based on a few facts I looked up on Google. Stories of spirit animals have always interested me.

Potatoman

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Introduction: You don’t push people too far especially people who are dead serious about their potatoes.

It was hot, so hot that even the birds were absent from the sky as Potatoman stood up and smeared the dirt from his hands onto his overalls. He was 23 years old and at 6’4” weighing 290 lbs. was a formidable man.

He was a simpleton, a town clown that everyone made fun of although he didn’t really understand this. Potatoman was singularly aware of one thing and one thing only. His potatoes and they meant everything to him.

It was harvest time and he needed the money this year badly. That’s what the nice lady had told him when she came out to his place. The farm could be taken away. He didn’t understand the why’s but he couldn’t lose the farm!

His father had dropped dead in the potato field when he was 2 years old leaving his mother to work the farm and raise him by herself. Potato farming was backbreaking work even for two people, the dirt in the field was hard and the hours long.

When his mother noticed that he wasn’t developing the skills that most children had at his age she took him to the doctor for the first time since birthing. When the doctor told her the bad news she hardly reacted and quietly took him home.

That night she shot herself in the head leaving him alone in the world without even a proper name. As he got older the town dubbed him Potatoman.

Potatoman didn’t have a tractor but he had a draft horse to pull his plow. A gentle giant of a plow horse muscling through a potato field with a simple giant of a man lumbering behind him.

As they reached high ground in the field they were silhouetted on the ridge by the setting sun. It was time to head back to the barn and supper.

When he got near the barn Potatoman noticed his small field of prize potato’s for the County Fair was disturbed. He couldn’t believe his eyes as he stood there, mouth agape and rubbing his eyes. Could he trust his eyes?

He closed them and peeked through his eyelashes, but no, it was true! He quickly tied the horse and ran over to the field as fast as he could as the dust scattered around his feet.

He dropped to his knees in the dirt wildly looking around. He hurt himself falling hard but he didn’t care. His heart was pounding and he shook with rage.

Usually, Potatoman had no use for words but he managed to moan; “My potatoes, what happened to you?” He didn’t expect an answer but talked to them all the same.

Someone had dug them all up and piled them into a shallow hole just like a grave and he knew who. It had taken him awhile to come to this conclusion, after all, he was slow and he figured he had spent some time on his knees in the field as it had gotten dark. But it had to be Ed.

Ed was a townie who drank too much and his farm was falling apart but Ed made money working at the local plant and didn’t care much for the farm. In fact, he despised farms and farmers, his father had been a farmer and he hated every minute of growing up as a dirt pusher.

Being the only son, he had inherited the farm anyway after his father had died penniless and it was just miles away from Potatoman’s farm.

He was constantly harassing Potatoman driving his truck past the farm and throwing beer bottles at him, scaring his horse and calling him names. He had even hit his poor horse with a bottle once and Potatoman threw it back expertly taking out a tail light as he pulled away.

He was a mean, foul, smelly man and Potatoman was positive he had done it. His hands clenched into fists and his stomach hurt as he felt the anger surge through him once again. He had never felt this way before and it was a powerful feeling.

Hearing the horse whinny broke him out of his spell. It was late and the horse was hungry but could wait. He stood up surprised at feeling no weariness in his legs for he had been kneeling for so very long.

He felt surprisingly calm as he walked the short distance to the barn to get his ax. He decided to sharpen it for good measure. Tools are to be taken care of!

Potatoman headed off to Ed’s farm to confront him. He white-knuckled his ax handle seething as images of his ruined potato’s danced before him along with images of Ed bloodied and limp. As he was passing the ruined pile he swore he saw a light underneath it.

He stopped in his tracks confused and blinking. It was a light and looked to be under his ruined potatoes. Keeping his ax handy he ran back over to the patch and resumed his kneeling position over them taking in the sight of it. His rage stymied as he was mesmerized.

He set his ax aside and ran his hands over them lightly. He felt afraid, yet great excitement as he picked one up. “Put me down!” A voice screamed out.

He jumped out of his skin dropping the potato with a thump as he heard; “Ouch! That hurt, you dummy!”

He sheepishly looked around searching the ring of darkness for the person speaking to him. There was no one that he could see. It was a new moon and in his rush, he didn’t have a lantern.

It sounded like it was coming from his pile of ruined potatoes, something to do with the light? By now he was stumped and his mind was not grasping much more.

“Who is there?” He asked searchingly. There was no answer except for his thumping heart pounding in his ears.

Suddenly the light went out and the darkness closed in around him as he heard snickering in the darkness. He felt the breeze as a bottle flew by his head-it was that close.

Now Potatoman was slow but he still felt the same emotions as anyone else and he was terrified. He knew it was Ed and his no good townie friends and at that moment the full impact of what they had done finally filtered into the right part of his mind to reconnect with his earlier anger just as a bottle hit him in the head.

When he came to, he was lying in the dirt where he had fallen. He felt his head and found a large throbbing lump on the side of it. He remembered a light under his potatoes. He was foggy about the details when he heard his horse and it was screaming.

He spied his ax where he had left it and grabbed it. He rose to his feet slowly feeling his head injury start to bleed as a ribbon of blood ran down his face and into his eye. Blinking it away he tried to clear his head. His horse was in the barn, no, he had left it tied up…

Then he heard it again, only this time, he sprang into action closing the ground between them quickly, so quickly that they didn’t have a chance to react. They were drunk by now, so full of hard liquor that they could hardly stand, but that didn’t keep them from beating his horse as they tried to make it pull the plow over the unforgiving ground and his remaining potato crop in the field.

The lantern light showed his poor horse floundering in the mud they had driven it into and they were whipping it into a frenzy as foam poured from its mouth. Potatoman was livid. First his prize potatoes and now his poor horse!

He snapped like a dry twig grabbing the first man by the jacket and spinning him around; “Who; oh, it’s Potatoman!” The drunken man sputtered as Potatoman nearly split him in two with his ax.

“Ed! Potatoman is awake!” Someone cried and the lantern went out.

Potatoman didn’t need lanterns as he knew every blade of grass on his property. They had abandoned his horse and he comforted it as he listened to them hide. He looked around the field at his potato crop and as he took it all in, buried his head in his horse’s mane and sobbed like a baby.

Not for long because a tiny thought was working its way into the creases of his very simple mind. A thought with a hint of anger, no more than a hint, then like a flood!

Without drying his tears he gripped his ax tightly and feeling every inch the monster they thought him to be he went after them. He’d kill them all but he really wanted one person.

Potatoman had the upper hand whether he knew this or not because Ed’s car was parked nearby and they had not found it to get away. They were drunk and with no place to really hide had been stupid enough to hide in the barn.

Ed was busy hiding behind a large barrel wondering where his friend had gone. Their plan had been to stay together. He wanted to call out and was mighty drunk, but he wasn’t stupid. He waited.

Potatoman entered the barn and stopped, listening in the darkness. He already knew where one man was he could hear him as he stumbled around in the unfamiliar territory.

Ed could hear him too and cringed inwardly. Potatoman was on the unsuspecting man in an instant and Ed heard every whack of the ax as he was cut and then pummelled into a pile of his former self.

Ed moved quietly under the cover of darkness as the noise subsided. He peeked at the scene. He could just make out a large glistening pile of something…he crept forward trying to see where Potatoman was. He had to make it to his car but he had lost his keys!

Suddenly a large hand sprang from the darkness and grabbed Ed from behind. He found himself looking into the eyes of Potatoman.

Not the childish, stupid, clown of a Potatoman; the one he grew up with. No, because Ed had awakened something bad in Potatoman, and he could see it on his face.

“Potatoman, you know I was just kidding around like always.” Ed had that old twinkle in his eye and for a moment Potatoman hesitated.

Then he remembered, he had no use for words or people and Ed was one of the worst people! Ed was screaming, just like the rest of them screamed but not for long as Potatoman axed him into tiny little pieces.

For good measure, he stomped on his remains until they resembled his drunken friends in the other puddles and Potatoman finally felt better.

When he was finished without a sound Potatoman walked out of the barn. He returned with Ed’s car parking it near the puddle of blood that was once Ed. He had a can of gas just for emergencies like this and distributed it evenly around the straw on the floor. He made sure his animals weren’t hiding anywhere inside and lit it.

Without looking back he walked outside over to his horse and patted it. The barn fire was huge and only the rising sun peeking over the ridge could demand more attention. In no time it was engulfed in flames his farm was lost and so were his beautiful potatoes!

Potatoman unhooked his horse from the plow rigging and led him across the ruined potato field they had been plowing just the day before. He walked towards the ridge and the rising sun.

© Rebecca Sanchez 2013

This was a strange picture prompt to write for. It was a story or poetry prompt and as my story took root it started to grow on its own. If I had planned to write a story like this it would have never worked liked this one does. Not the heartwarming story you’d expect either. Enjoy!