#TuesFlashFicTrain has a new home!

friday-flash-fiction-train
Image courtesy of Our Write Side

Hello hello!

So it has been quite some time since I’ve done anything for this flash prompt series. A combination of being overwhelmed with work and just not having the time to dedicate to it led to its being neglected. However, I have good news for those of you hoping it would come back! The Flash Fiction Train is reborn!

If you’ve been following my social media, you’ll know I’ve been doing some work with the wonderful people of Our Write Side. Well, that’s where the Flash Fiction Train is headed next! Its new home is on Fridays as part of Our Write Side’s writing prompts. Though it has a new home, it’ll still be hosted by yours truly 🙂

So, head on over to the link on Friday and check out the new rules & prompt. Looking forward to seeing you there!

As always, think happy thoughts!

 

#TuesFlashFicTrain R5-W3 Winner!

Prompt Winner: Stacy Overby

Stacy

Happy Monday!

So I really, really dropped the ball this round. Things have gotten a bit hectic and I’ve neglected this prompt series. I’m hoping to finish up this round, and then will be going on hiatus until I can get things in order again.

First things first, though! The only reason we are able to continue moving forward is the awesome Stacy Overby! We continue this story thanks to her great writing and imagination, so thank you for participating and taking time out of your day to indulge my writing prompt 🙂 I know I’ve said it before, but you rock!

Be sure to check out parts one and two before moving on to part three!

Happy reading!


Mark took a deep breath.  He headed down the steps; his heart threatening to choke him.  Mark fished out his pocket flashlight, keys jingling from the ring.  At the bottom, Mark froze.  On the bench lay an old man.  He had newspapers for blankets, but his cleanliness struck Mark as odd.  At the man’s feet a scarf coiled into a neat pile.  Sienna’s scarf.

Rushing thoughts crowded his mind.  Mark strode over and snatched the scarf.

“Where did you get this?” his low voice bounced around the abandoned station, “What did you do to my sister?”

“Settle down, son.  You’re barking up the wrong tree.   I ain’t involved in your sister’s mess.”

“But you know about it.  And you have her scarf.”

“She lost it down here.  I found it.  Knew someone would be coming for answers.”

“What happened?”

“Found the reason the subways were abandoned, I reckon.  She still alive?”

Mark blinked several times, feeling as if the man slapped him.

“Yes.”

“She’s the first, then, in a long while who survived.”

“Who are you?  What are you talking about?”

The old man grinned.  Perfect white teeth peeked through the bristling grey beard.  He stuck out his hand, “Patterson.”

Mark took the proffered hand and, shaking it, noticed the neatly trimmed nails and lack of dirt that belied the dingy coat sleeve.

“What are you doing down here?  I don’t believe you’re a bum looking for a place to sleep.”

Patterson nodded, “Observant.  Good.  I keep an eye on any broken gates until they can be repaired.  I try to keep people out on account of the thing down here.  Don’t always work, though.  I think it calls people down sometimes.”

Mark ground his teeth and balled his fists, “But what is it?  And if you’re watching it, how did my sister get passed you?”

“Like I said,” the old man sat up, an air of authority settling over him, “We don’t really know what it is.  No one has ever gotten a good look.  Seen enough to know it’s no known creature.  The bodies left say so, too.  Ain’t right, the way they died.”

“And my sister?”

“Got passed me because there are two open gates.  Was trying to watch both at once until Jackson got here.”

Mark nodded.

“To be frank, I wonder why your sister survived.  She’s the first in over twenty years.  Maybe ever.”


Wonders abound! What strange creatures could be down there, and why did they lead Sienna into the subway? This story just gets better by the second and I can’t wait to know what happens next.

Be sure to visit Stacy Overby and tell her how amazing she is all over social media:

Also, check out her website. Looks like there are quite a few cool stories to read and she has her own flash fiction contest series! She’s in the process of transitioning to a new site, so here’s both:

Feedback, comments, questions? Check out the rules and/or drop me a line. I’m always looking to make the contest better and I’m open to any suggestions you guys may have.

As always, think happy thoughts!

#TuesFlashFicTrain R5-W2 Winner!

Prompt Winner: Stacy Overby

Stacy

Happy Monday!

Hope everyone had a great Father’s Day weekend!

This week, Sienna’s saga continues, and we learn a little bit more about her background thanks to Stacy! Using the prompt, she seamlessly pulled us into the next part of the story and adds a little more to the mystery of what happened to her. As always, Stacy has delivered a great piece to keep the contest going. Stacy – you rock!

Be sure to check out part one before reading on.

Enjoy!


“What?  No!  I rode the train here!”

“Miss Morineau.  That simply is not possible.”

Sienna backed away from Mr. Sieverson shaking her head.  Her mouth kept moving, a silent protest dying before birth.  Then she collapsed.

 

“A penny for your thoughts, dear,” she said, her voice soft in the sterile air.

He shook his head, “I don’t know, Mom.  Why would Sienna have gone down to the subway?  What happened to make her believe someone was trying to attack her?”

“We all wish we knew those answers,” she paused, biting her lip, “Mark.  Be honest with me.  Did Sienna do drugs?”

“No, Mom!  You know her family’s history.  There is no way she would use.”

The beeps and chirps filled the silence growing in the room.  Sienna lay unmoving.  Tubes and wires sprouted from her body like a fungus.  Mark knew most of it monitored her, making sure she continued to live.  The doctors had not been able to figure out what happened.  Why she would not wake up.

Mark surged to his feet and paced the room.  He wanted to punch something, break something.  Something had to give.  An idea struck him.  Part of him knew it was a bad idea, but he had to do something.

“Mom.  Don’t leave her.  I’m going to go down to the subway.  Try to figure out why she was there.  What may have happened there.”

“Honey, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“I know, Mom.  I have to do something, though.  This is the best I’ve got.”

Mark strode out of the room.  He made his way out of the hospital and down the street to the nearest subway entrance.  Locked.  How had Sienna gotten down there?  He knew there was another subway stop a few blocks down.  Locked as well.  Mark rattled the gate and cursed.

A thought occurred to him.  Maybe Sienna had not gone into the condemned subway system.  No one believed she had been running from an attacker.  Maybe the untruth in all of it was the subway.  If that was the case, though, where had the subway ticket found in her purse come from?

Mark had one more idea.  Sienna had been coming from her apartment when this happened.  He headed to the subway stop nearest her apartment.  His heart sunk.  The hasp on the gate was broken.  The door cracked.  She had been down there.


What will Mark find in the abandoned subway? Who knows! It’s up to you guys to decide, so give it a shot! Here’s to a story that gets better and better each week 🙂

Be sure to visit Stacy Overby and congratulate her all over social media:

Also, check out her website. Looks like there are quite a few cool stories to read and she has her own flash fiction contest series! She’s in the process of transitioning to a new site, so here’s both:

Feedback, comments, questions? Check out the rules and/or drop me a line. I’m always looking to make the contest better and I’m open to any suggestions you guys may have.

As always, think happy thoughts!

#TuesFlashFicTrain R5-W1 Winner!

Prompt Winner: Stacy Overby

Stacy

Happy Monday!

We’re back at it again with a new #TuesFlashFicTrain round, and this time we kick off a story thanks to Stacy Overby’s imagination. She’s set up a wonderful premise in response to the prompt. Mysteries and questions abound in her contribution to kick off our train, and I can’t wait to see where the story goes! Thanks, as always, for participating – you’re awesome!

Enjoy!


Sienna stumbled down the stairs.  She was late for work and panicked she would lose her job.  In her haste, she had not seen the man lurking in the shadows on the landing.  Sienna plunged by until she felt that hand on her shoulder.  Now she was paying for her impatience.

She ran out into the crowded street.  The press of bodies suffocated and liberated her.  She could get lost in the throng of people.  Drift on the tide of humanity until she could get away from him.  Yet, every touch, every bump, every stepped on foot made her heart dance an uncontrollable jig.

The press of people took her by the entrance to the subway system.  It was the best in the country.  The architects designed it so muggers had nowhere to hide.  With it being rush hour, Sienna knew the platforms and trains would be packed like sardines in a can.

At the turnstile, Sienna fumbled for her metro pass.  Several agonizing seconds passed before the recalcitrant pass emerged from her bag.  Sienna ran through the station and dove onto the eastbound train just as the doors hissed shut.  She turned and saw the man on the platform, watched him as the train rolled into the tunnel and he disappeared from sight.

Sienna made her way to work, knowing she would be called into her boss’s office for her tardiness.  She hoped he would believe her story.

“Better late than never, Miss Morineau.  I reckon there is a good explanation for this.  And for your disheveled appearance?”

“Mr. Sieverson.  I need help.  There was a man waiting in my stairwell.  I ran and got here as soon as I could.”

Mr. Sieverson arched an eyebrow at her.

“Please.  I left him on the platform at thirty-ninth and Osage.”

“And who is this man?”

“I have no idea.”

“Miss Morineau, the subway system has been shut down for years.  Why would you go down there?”


I love Sienna already! Here’s to another round full of imagination and awesome writing. If you’ve never participated, give it a shot – you never know what kind of story it’ll turn out to be. 🙂

Be sure to visit Stacy Overby and congratulate her all over social media:

Also, check out her website. Looks like there are quite a few cool stories to read and she has her own flash fiction contest series! She’s in the process of transitioning to a new site, so here’s both:

Feedback, comments, questions? Check out the rules and/or drop me a line. I’m always looking to make the contest better and I’m open to any suggestions you guys may have.

As always, think happy thoughts!

#TuesFlashFicTrain R4-W5 Winner!

Prompt Winner: Stacy Overby

Stacy

Happy Monday!

Yet another story has come to a close! Thanks to Stacy’s entry to last week’s prompt, we get a resolution to Gloria’s sticky situation. Her piece is full of tension and quick, resourceful thinking on Gloria’s part. Thanks so much for your continued contributions to this contest, Stacy! You rock!

Be sure to check out the previous installments (one, two, three, and four) before the thrilling finale!

Enjoy!


Now what? Gloria thought.  She surveyed the items she’d grabbed from storage, wracking her brain for any possible options.  With the solitude shield, though, there weren’t many.

Come on, Glo!  Think outside the box!

She watched Tom get a self-satisfied grin on his face.  He pushed the door open and ushered Manny through.  She slipped through the closing door behind the men just in time, feeling the solitude shield catch in the door a little before sliding free.  Gloria followed Manny and Tom down the corridor.  Just as she’d predicted, they stopped at the locked Security Office door.

Gloria knew she had a little time now.  That door was protected by spells and conventional locks.  She thought about just throwing off the shield and casting the paralysis spell.  The saner part of her reminded the part that thought that was a good idea Manny would beat her to the punch.  And he wouldn’t be nice about it either.

Faster than she’d expected, they got the door open.  Once again, she trailed behind them just close enough to get through without them noticing.  They started to rummage through the office.  Gloria thought it was odd that the office wasn’t staffed.  That was a twenty-four-hour position.

Harvey!  That rat!

Then it came to her.  Don’t use magic.  At least not how she’d been thinking about it.  She made her way to the recycling bin next to the fax machine and crouched down, making sure to drape the solitude shield over the can.  Then she crumpled up several sheets of paper from the can into balls.  One by one she lit them on fire and tossed them into the room.

With their backs to where Gloria was hidden, the men didn’t see the slight movements that revealed her.  All they saw was balls of fire come flying out of nowhere at them.  Manny started a stunning spell as he scanned the room for the attacker.  Tom hid behind Manny.

Just before Manny finished his spell, the smoke from the burning paper set of the building’s sprinkler system.  Gloria prayed the solitude shield was waterproof so it wouldn’t give her away.

The door flew open.  Harvey and Mike, the security officer burst into the room.  Harvey threw a powder at Manny with a final flourish.  Manny went down hard.  Mike did the same for Tom.

“Come out Gloria.  You’re safe now,” Harvey said.


And there it is! Guess Harvey wasn’t bad after all. It’d be interesting to see what a regular day in the life of their profession would actually be like. I’m super intrigued by the idea that magic makes the world go round in this universe. It’s so practical. Maybe we’ll figure out a way to visit Gloria’s world again in future rounds!

Thanks again to everyone who participates in #TuesFlashFicTrain! You guys are the best and the highlight of my week 🙂

Be sure to visit Stacy Overby and congratulate her all over social media:

Also, check out her website. Looks like there are quite a few cool stories to read and she has her own flash fiction contest series!

Feedback, comments, questions? Check out the rules and/or drop me a line. I’m always looking to make the contest better and I’m open to any suggestions you guys may have.

Be on the lookout for the completed version of this (and last round’s) story!

As always, think happy thoughts!

#TuesFlashFicTrain R4 – W4 Winner!

Prompt Winner: Renee L. Tennis-McKinley

Renee McKinley

Happy Monday!

So week 4 of Gloria’s story saw a bit of a hiccup in participation, so I extended it another week (people are busy and sometimes that’s all we need). And with the extra week came Renee’s awesome response to the prompt! Hurrah! The intrigue deepens and we get a little hint of what it is Gloria’s workplace does, which I think is pretty cool. I absolutely love this piece! Thank you Renee for being so awesome!

Be sure to check out parts one, two, and three before reading part four below!


Gloria crept down the hallway in the direction the two intruders had gone. She’d been thrilled to find the invisibility shawl still folded in its original plastic packing. Once beneath its cover she noticed the light was a bit dimmer, and the sound of her footsteps seemed muffled. She hoped that effect would help her get close enough to her quarry to perform the spells she’d decided on.

Working her way through the maze of hallways, Gloria checked each door she passed. So far all had been locked. She had a pretty good idea where the men had been headed. The main security office; it handled the incoming calls as well as keeping the non-witch personnel from accidentally stumbling upon the work that went on after hours. If people found out exactly how the city’s infrastructure was really kept together…well, it would not be good.

Gloria rounded the next corner and nearly ran into the pair of scoundrels she’d been hunting.

“Come on Tom! We won’t have all night.” The deep voice came from a tall, dark haired man wearing a long, black cloak. He wielded an ivory wand carved with symbols that made Gloria’s stomach heave.

The other man was a foot and a half shorter and dressed in faded jeans and a dirty pocket t-shirt. “This is an art Manny, if you’re in a hurry just use that twig you’re waving around instead.” He never looked up from the knob he was working with a lock pick.

Manny just scowled at the other man’s back. Gloria knew he couldn’t use the wand to force the door without causing several alarm wards to sound. The designers hadn’t counted on a simple thieves’ trick in this part of the building.

Under the cover of the shawl, Gloria lit a yellow candle and pulled one of the packets and a small marble bowl from her pocket. After measuring the proper amount for a stasis spell she drew a breath and opened her mouth to recite the paralysis incantation.

But, when she formed the words, no sound came from her throat. Not only was she hidden visibly, she evidently couldn’t be heard either. And if she couldn’t recite the spell, her wand, the candle and powder were useless.

Gloria silently cursed herself for not reading the packaging completely. She hadn’t grabbed an invisibility shawl, she was wearing a solitude shield.


Invisibility shawl, solitude shield – it’s an easy mistake! Wonder what it’ll cost Gloria in the long-term. Can’t wait to see the exciting conclusion next week 🙂

Be sure to visit Renee and congratulate her all over social media:

Also, check out her neat blogs! You can find some of her other writing – lots of great stuff to read 🙂

Feedback, comments, questions? Check out the rules and/or drop me a line. I’m always looking to make the contest better and I’m open to any suggestions you guys may have.

As always, think happy thoughts!

#TuesFlashFicTrain R4 – W3 Winner!

Prompt Winner: Renee L. Tennis-McKinley

Renee McKinley

Happy Monday!

Last week, we had two entries into the #TuesFlashFicTrain prompt, which meant a vote! The readers have chosen and Gloria’s fate fell to Renee’s hands! Congratulations Renee on winning with an awesome piece.

Be sure to check out parts one and two before reading Renee’s continuation below!


Gloria backed out of the room never taking her eyes off Harvey’s back. With nowhere else to go, she returned to the supply closet. She ducked inside and pulled the door shut.

She kept one ear to the door as she lit one of the candles she’d just collected. “I don’t know what’s going on,” she whispered to the flickering taper, “but if Harvey thinks he can ‘take care’ of me, he’s got another thing coming.!”

Squinting in the restless light, Gloria scanned the overflowing shelves. “Ah ha!” she grabbed a small pouch tucked neatly between two jars.

“Won’t be quite as powerful without my wand, but it’ll have to do.”

She poured just a pinch of silver powder from the pouch into the palm of her hand.  After reciting a short incantation, Gloria blew the shimmering dust into the air; then walked beneath it.

She exited the closet again, shutting the door with a firm hand. Gloria walked back to the office to see Harvey expectantly awaiting her, having heard the door close.

“There you are, Glo.” Harvey smiled, “I thought I’d catch you before you went on break, get this over with.”

Gloria smiled back, the candles clutched in her hand. “Sure, Harvey. What’s this meeting about anyhow?”

“Oh, just some security measures we need to go over.”

Gloria kept smiling. “Okay, your office?”

“Yeah, that’s perfect!” Harvey grinned as he gestured for her to precede him.

Harvey and his companion exited the office and strolled down the narrow hallway past the supply closet and turned the next corner.

A few minutes after they passed, the closet door opened a sliver; then wider as Gloria stepped out. She ran quickly to her desk and snatched her wand and a book of basic spells. Her pocket bulged with what she hoped would be the most useful ingredients to find out what the two men and her sleazy supervisor were up to.

She also carried a shimmering invisibility shawl. Before she left the office again, she threw it over her shoulders. As soon as Harvey figured out the ‘Gloria’ he was escorting to his office was actually the janitor’s dust mop, he’d be back.


Never saw that coming! What’s in store for Gloria next? We’re nearing the end, and the story just keeps getting better and better!

Be sure to visit Renee and congratulate her all over social media:

Also, check out her neat blogs! You can find some of her other writing – lots of great stuff to read 🙂

Feedback, comments, questions? Check out the rules and/or drop me a line. I’m always looking to make the contest better and I’m open to any suggestions you guys may have.

As always, think happy thoughts!