Tag Archives: micro-fiction

Micro-Fiction: Countdown to Three O’Clock

Ten, nine, eight, seven, six……Why do seconds take so long when you are waiting?  She said she would be here at three o’clock.  Just a few seconds more.

My dream, my angel.  

Well, yes actually; both.  An angel that appears in my dreams.  Her last visit was only a few hours ago in my waking-dream time and she said she would return when I was fully awake – now! at three this afternoon.

Warm air drifts past my neck and the hairs rise on my arms.  I am sweating and my eyes start peering around, popping out of the sockets.  Nothing except the feeling and expectation of more.

I feel a touch where no one except me has touched before. I see no one.  Nothing. But I feel the presence.   

Close my eyes, focus internally, back to dreamtime.

The touch becomes firmer, almost a grasp, and I am responding.  I smile and squint through tight lids.  

A golden aura, crimson and silver wings from the clean uncluttered shoulder line. Blond hair falling around the neck.  Blue eyes looking directly into mine. The lips, oh those lips. I lean forward to meet them and the draft of air increases to a breeze.  I am drifting before it with no power of my own, losing all. Feeling the lips. A sigh behind draws my attention and I glance back seeing my own image.

 The breeze increases.  I am gone.

***

Words © Ron Dickerson

Image from domdeen at FreeDigitalPhotos.Net (we will use it again later, for some haiku by Jo!)

Farewell (micro-fiction)

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Farewell

I’m standing, but my legs are weak; my strength has bled into the concourse carpet.

I’m smiling, but my lips feel stiff, forced into this shape against their will.

I’m waving, but my hand feels lifeless, wooden, too heavy to move.

I’m waiting, but I don’t want to see the plane ascend, to disappear into that distant sky.

I’m watching, but my vision is hot and blurry, and my lips taste of salt.

I’m present, but the fragments of my heart are shards of loss, scattered and raw.

I’m alone, and I wonder how long each hour will linger, now that he is gone.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Words © Joanna Gawn

Image courtesy of potowizard via freedigitalphotos.net

Stains: a micro-fiction piece by Ron

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Stains

Through this closed window is the way to see it all. The lives of those past who left their mark inside.  The rabble who now infest the home of generations.  And, if you look closely, you may see the many futures open to each inhabitant.  

Those there must choose as their ancestors did before. Will their dreams materialise, if dream they still do!  Yet the action each takes, be it Sonic or homework; which food or which wine; to smoke or to not; to leave or to stay, can create a new world in which they then exist.  Though each can then change and move another way.  

The vibration they leave remains as a stain.  Each choice that is made sends ripples around.  Each swell, big or small, will move all it encounters.  Be it little or huge nothing is ever constant. Reactions may be the same: to be buoyed or deflect; to go under or to swim; bob around waiting or speed off under power; look to horizon or to the depths.

The choices they make can drown in the tide of others’ actions.

Where will the rabble be in ten years, or an hour?

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Words © Ron C. Dickerson, inspired by image, by bigjom via www.freedigitalphotos.net

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We’ll be using this image again soon, as Joanna has written a couple of haikus using this picture as her focus. 🙂

Cool, Calm, and Collected: dark micro-fiction

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COOL, CALM, AND COLLECTED

Toast; sausages; freshly-brewed coffee. Those are the scents which greet me as I walk into the restaurant. I have already shaved, my bathroom mirror reflecting a can of hairspray, a bottle of perfume. Female toiletries in my suite … a culture shock, really. But I’m becoming familiar with them.

She is already here, sipping from her cup in that elegant way she has, although I wonder if she is as aloof as she tries to make out. There is a coolness about her, always, as though she considers herself too precious to be touched.

She catches my eye and a slight smile is sent my way. I mirror her expression, wondering what she is thinking. I imagine her thoughts to be already in motion: the day’s appointments, the contracts to be signed.

And yet … I know how her skin glows in moonlight; how her fiercely red lipstick tastes. I know what perfume she wears, what size shoes are cupping those graceful feet.

I know her.

I turn to the breakfast bar but I am aware of her still. She drains her cup. She replaces it onto the saucer. She wipes her hands on a pure white napkin and discards it on the table. As usual, she departs without a backward glance.

Her table vacated, I sidle to it with my grapefruit and my Earl Grey. A waiter swoops toward me to clear her debris. There is confusion as my breakfast things mingle with hers. An apology; an acceptance.

I eat my grapefruit slowly. There is no rush now. She will check out today, move to yet another hotel. Once I have dyed my hair, removed my moustache and my spectacles, I will follow. She will not recognise me.

The clatter and hum of breakfast chatter starts to fade as patrons return to their rooms. My meal finished, I am among them, the napkin tucked into my pocket.

Upstairs, I add the napkin to my tally: the lipstick, the hairspray, the perfume.

I wonder … has she missed them yet? Does she blame the maids?

I laugh softly, and begin to pack.

I know her.

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© Words: Joanna Gawn, inspired by the image, by tiverylucky at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

The Little Voice of Reason: A Bitesize Tale

This is a bit of a weird bitesize tale, one I wrote a while back using the photo below as a writing prompt.

I’ve deliberately retained ambiguity, which might not satisfy some readers. But perhaps it is simply a cautionary tale using metaphor? That’s for you to decide.

Also I felt that it may contain a message or insight which resonates with someone, so I’ve decided to follow my intuition and publish it now!

Your comments are welcomed. 🙂

~ Joanna

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The Little Voice of Reason

Its claws would break through the barrier of my skin. How, then, can I escape this confinement? I ache for the lush grass beyond, can see the vitality of each blade, can almost taste the richness and moisture captured within. My mouth waters.

– Does he not see that this is for his own good? That the barrier is a protection, not a prison?

Perhaps I could leap the wire? No one would ever know, not if I was careful, and came back to my ‘assigned’ place. Would they?

– Again and again, he desires more than is his to have. Foolish, foolish. Can he not be happy with what is available to him? Can he not appreciate what he has, and forget about the rest?

The wire is sharp; even through the layers of my coat I can feel that. But I am sure the grass is greener on the far side. If I could just stretch my head underneath …

– No, no! You could cause irreparable damage, youngster. Do you not understand that the grass that side of the fence is toxic to you? Its vibrancy is a lie … it is a false promise, and so wrong for you. Please, please, do not cross, do not cross!

Something doesn’t feel right. Doesn’t smell right. My nose crinkles. I retreat before I realise what I am doing. Odd, but now I don’t want that grass anymore. I will turn my back on it. The scent of my grass feels familiar, and I think I will stay where I am after all.

– And so another one is saved . . .

[270 words]

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You can find more bitesize tales and some 100-word flash fiction in our free ebook Crystal, Fire, and Water, available on most ebook platforms.

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Image source attributed to freedigitalphotos.net

Cake and Gingerbread: Two Little Christmassy Tales

Hello! To celebrate the Christmas season – and more specifically its food and the imaginary worlds of children – we have penned some little tales, which we hope you’ll enjoy! Please let us know if you do!

Gingerbread (1)

Ron’s story: “Early One Morning…”

“Hey you with the red outfit, get yer mitts off my chimney.  The kids’ll be down soon and we do not want it spoiled.”

Eyes flicker under the white eyebrows. “Sorry mate, I did not realise it was for them. They usually leave out something for me but I cannot see much else around.”

“Tough times here. They have already eaten all my mates!  Heard one say ‘save the rest for later’  – that’s later, NOT Santa!”

Part eaten choc-nut is returned to the stack and beard twitches. Is that a smile? “You mean these miserables didn’t leave anything? Yet I suppose they still expect me to perform – even without a fuel top-up.

“Looking at you I am not sure you need one. Anyway you must get a winter fuel allowance, which is more than anyone here does.”

“Ho, ho bleedin’ ho! I suppose you think you’re  funny.  Though you do not look to be smiling much!”

“Would you smile if you were the last one – and stuck in this stupid hat. Oh, sorry you have one of them yourself!”

A white-gloved hand reaches out towards the gingerbread man. “Careful Ginge! Dessicated you might be, but the family have left out the port to wash you down with!”

“Um, err, well perhaps a few of the marshmallow  snowballs would not be missed. Just a few, mind. Will they go with a slug of port?”

“Ho ho ho, at this time of night anything goes with port!”

“Get on with it then, man…. I can hear laughing upstairs and you have got to clear up the soot yet.”

A herd of wildebeest is heard on the stairs, the door opens, and screams of joy escape from young faces.

“He did come, see! And left the gingerbread man!”

~*~

Joanna’s tale: “Cake Heaven”

“I’m tired of the walls smelling of gingerbread,” Bobble whined. “I want a change.”

“How can it change, you muppet?” Hazel answered. “It is what it is. No point resisting it.”

“Well I want it to be different!”

“We’re made of cake, Bobble. We don’t have instant manifestation powers, you know.”

“Why not? Why can’t we make a different outcome because we wish it?” he replied. “If Life is about experience and choices, then why can’t I have icing sugar walls, instead?”

Hazel tutted. “Because.”

“That’s no answer! Come on, why?”

Hazel pondered. “Maybe …. we could ask the Creator-in-the-Apron for icing sugar walls? See what happens?”

Bobble bounced up and down. “YAY!” Suddenly the light in his eyes dimmed. “I don’t know how to do that!”

“Oh. Um, perhaps we just make the intention, then have faith that it’ll happen, if and when the timing’s perfect for it?” Hazel wasn’t quite sure where that thought had come from, but it felt right when she said it.

Bobble’s expression told her he wasn’t convinced. “But I want it now! Why do we have to wait?”

Hazel stepped forward and gave him a hug. “We may have to be patient. These things can take time. And we have to remember that it may not happen at all. Wouldn’t it be easier if we chose to be okay about the walls, whether they change or not?” She held her breath. Sometimes Bobble became really frustrated when things didn’t go how he expected.

Bobble sighed. “Yeah, I guess. Icing would be nice, but if we have to keep the gingerbread, I guess that’s okay too.”                                           

………….  The next day ……………

“Oooh, wake up, Hazel! The walls are white, not brown! Much as I like gingerbread, I love that we have icing! I was getting really bored with the decor – and the taste!”

“The Creator must’ve somehow got the message,” Hazel grinned. “They rebuilt the house while we were sleeping! Totally cool!”

“So now we know,” Bobble beamed. “Wishes can come true if they’re made in the right way …  and if we don’t worry too much about them coming true.”

“Exactly. It’s like magic, isn’t it? Happy Christmas, Bobble. Shall we try some of the icing?”

“Mmm, break off a bit for me, please. What shall we wish for next?”


That’s all from us this year! We’ll be back in the New Year with more stories, poems, Recommended Reads, and Cordello Quest A-Z. We hope you’ll come along for the ride!

Before we head into 2016 we’d like to say a big THANK YOU to those of you who have supported and shared our work in any way, whether that’s commenting on our blog posts, sharing our tweets, recommending us, buying our books, and/or leaving reviews on Amazon. We really do value your support!

Wishing you ALL a wonderful festive season and a very happy, healthy, and harmonious New Year.

Joanna and Ron | The Lazuli Portals

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Bitesize Tale: Empty Chairs, Empty Tables

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Empty Chairs, Empty Tables

Empty chairs; empty tables. Once again the others are going somewhere without me. Once again my invitation was by happenstance, an accident, an “Oh, we didn’t think you’d want to come, but of course, as you’re here … well, if you’d like to …”

The saccharine smile, a mechanical lift of her mouth; I can see the reluctance and the distance in her eyes.

More rejection. It has always been the same. There is a hint of bitterness in the taste of it. She has her back to me now; her friends are leaving. I am already forgotten.

Enough. I am making a new choice. This time I will not be hurt. I will not feel excluded or betrayed or less than. I will not seek to follow or join or be a part of it. I’m not sure I really want to do what they have planned, anyway. Maybe it was all about the inclusion.

This time I am going to trust that I am not meant to be at this event, with these people. I have been following their path, wanting to be part of their ideas.

Perhaps, as the sky fills with cloud, and the breeze lifts a forgotten paper napkin into a solitary dance, I will start to choose my own path, to conjure up dreams and wander through unexpected doorways.

Empty chairs; empty tables. Not an absence, but a quiet space for dreaming, and bringing a new world into being.

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Story © Joanna Gawn – inspired by the image, which is used with permission via dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.Net.

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Our next post will be in mid-December – we will be hosted by Jera’s Jamboree and will have a Q&A to share with you all! We hope you’ll enjoy that. 🙂

Joanna and Ron | The Lazuli Portals