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Wednesday, February 21

Instructions

"Instructions"
Flash Fiction
by Heather Leet

The instructions said to simply add water. So she filled the small glass jar with water and waited. She checked on it every few hours the first two days, then as the days became weeks she checked every few days. As the weeks became months she checked every few weeks and as those months added up and became years she simply forgot about the small glass jar and went on with her life. She grew up and went to high school, then college. She got a job she liked but did not love. She met a man she liked but did not love. She liked the life she had carved for herself but she did not love it. She never complained and was grateful for a good steady life. But she did dream of far flung adventures with dashing men and fabulous clothes and exotic places. She dreamed of becoming a spy and seeking out all the worlds’ secrets she dreamed of being a doctor who traverses the Rainforest looking for its secret cures. She dreamed of speaking every language known to man. She held her dreams close to her and told no one of her desires. Until that day when she was reminded of the instructions she had followed years ago, "Just add water." The police came to her door that day asking questions, then the FBI showed up asking questions, then the CIA and Scotland Yard showed up asking more questions. She did not have the answers to their questions. She was confused. They took her away and put her in a small room by herself. They came again and asked the questions again, but this time she knew the answers, she even could answer in several languages. She did not know how she could do this but she could and slowly as they kept asking questions and she kept answering, she began to not just like her life but love it. What transpired after all the questions is a mystery because she left through a side door and no one has seen her since. Her parents keep mementos of her around the house to remind them that she did exist. One of the mementos her mother cherishes is the small glass jar that had once been filled with water by a little girl formulating dreams of the future, on the instruction tag it said, fill with water and all your dreams will come true.

Monday, February 19

Graf Flash: Winner!

And the Graf Flash contest officially ends, with some very unique and awesome entries! Thank you to everyone who entered, it's been really fun reading the flash! Not many people enjoy flash, and are willing to write about Graffiti, but you each did great and I thank you!! I hope you'll return and submit your fiction with FM. :) :)

There were two ways to win a Graffiti Girl ARC, entering your Graf Flash and simply passing on the info about the contest. Thank you to Mike Miller for sharing the Graf Flash contest on his blog. Mike has been an original FMer since we started a year ago. Thank you, Mike!!

And the winner of the Graf Flash contest is...

Anna Marie Catoir with "Boy With Paint"!! Anna wins a Graffiti Girl arc!
"Boy With Paint"

I heard the rattle of a spray can before I saw him. He looked nervous, rubbing one hand down the side of his baggy shorts. He began to spray in wide fluid arcs, that refused to resolve themselves into an image no matter how long I stared. Today he used blue, braiding his lines around yesterday’s red. I waited. The letters E-M-M-A appeared as if by magic. A name. My name. He turned to where I was hidden and smiled.

Sunday, February 18

Graf Flash: The Wandering Author

Graf Flash Contest
by The Wandering Author

Patrick got a lapful of engine on a fall night like this. No one asked the obvious questions. I didn't believe the stories. Too much didn't add up.

Nobody wanted to listen, so I decided to make them. Me and a can of Blaze Orange.

I sprayed "They killed Pat Byrne!" on the station wall, but a cop leaving spotted me. They left me my belt. I don't want to do it, but they'll do worse when they come back.

Graf Flash: Dead End

"Dead End"
Graf Flash Contest
by Bonnie Staring

Katy’s friends told her that Greg was perfect, but they didn’t know about his unyielding demands.

"This way," Greg said.

The night air was cool. Ahead of them the street stopped at a dead end cast in shadow. Greg pulled something dark out of his pocket and Katy could taste her fear.

There was a click and a pool of light shone on a graffiti-covered stretch of concrete.

Large, colorful letters shouted out "WILL YOU MARRY ME?"

"No," she said.

Saturday, February 17

Graf Flash: Dad always liked him better than me

"Dad Always Liked Him Better Than Me"
Graf Flash Contest
by Mike Miller

Unbelievable. You tell me not to use your pencils. You tell me not to waste your computer paper with my "doodling." By the way, that did so look exactly like a dragon.

But, the most recent insult is too much. I am not going to repaint that wall white. It's my wall. Get off my back.

"Who painted my dog purple?"

I should probably hide that spray can before dad gets up here.

Graf Flash: Coming Clean

"Coming Clean"
Graf Flash Contest
By Joni Haws

We spent our whole Saturday trying to scrub all that black paint from the church. Brick’s hard to clean. Dad didn’t talk. The muscles in his jaw stuck out, but his eyes were soft and sad. He finally left in search of someone with one of those high pressure water things. I waited for him there on the sidewalk and cried because they’d defiled a House of God. But mostly I cried because I didn’t stop them.

Graf Flash: Cheryl Strange

Graf Flash Contest
by Cheryl Strange

Making the solitary trek along the road toward home, the forest beyond the adjacent field beckons me. Scanning the road over my shoulder for unwanted observers, I slip among the trees. Rummaging within the depths of my backpack, I find the cylinder I’d hidden earlier within a paper bag. Removing the can, I hesitate briefly before shedding the cloak of shyness the world sees and wield my paint can, leaving evidence of my existence on the mighty oak before me.

Friday, February 16

Graf Flash: Boy With Paint

"Boy With Paint"
Graf Flash Contest
by Anna Marie Catoir

I heard the rattle of a spray can before I saw him. He looked nervous, rubbing one hand down the side of his baggy shorts. He began to spray in wide fluid arcs, that refused to resolve themselves into an image no matter how long I stared. Today he used blue, braiding his lines around yesterday’s red. I waited. The letters E-M-M-A appeared as if by magic. A name. My name. He turned to where I was hidden and smiled.

Thursday, February 15

FM Bulletin: Graf Flash Contest

UPDATE: If you repost the announcement below on your blog and let me know, you'll be entered in a drawing for another free ARC. Thanks!

Are you interested in reading an advance reader's copy of the young adult novel, Graffiti Girl? :)

Maybe?

Wanna think about it?

While you're thinking it over, here's how you can get one...by playing Graf Flash. You write an 80 word flash fiction piece on the theme of graffiti, and enter it in the contest. The piece just has to involve graffiti. The flash can be less than 80 words, not over.

Graf Flash runs from now until Sunday, February 18th, midnight. Best entry wins the ARC. Or you can just enter for a little writer fun. Entries (with titles) can be posted in the comments or you can e-mail your piece to Kelly Parra at earthlink dot net with "Graf Flash" in the subject line, and I'll post the entries here at Fictional Musings. And if you help me out by reposting this announcement, you'll be entered in a drawing for another ARC!! =D

Here's a sample flash:

Midnight Graffiti
by Kelly Parra

The night closed around me, and I had all I needed.

Moonlight. Spray paint. Wall.

I gripped the can and felt free. The hiss of the spray filled my ears, the fumes dancing through air.

Hours passed. A car cruised by. My heart raced in the depths of shadows.

When I finished, my fingers hurt, my muscles like rubber. And there in the first morning light...my masterpiece.

The can, my pen. The street, my canvas.

My world. Graffiti.

Hope you win! :) :)

FM Bulletin: You are labeled

Dear FM Contributers,

You have been officially labeled. Under your name on the left sidebar under FM Contributers, click the link and you will find each story you have shared with FM.

The only ones who are not individually categorized are the few individuals who entered the flash contest last year and didn't return, but you can find all those entries under the Doorway Flash Contest on the right sidebar.

Let's see... I think Rod Drake wins for the lifetime FM award. haha! Let's give Rod a big thanks for contributing often to FM!! :) :)

Thank you to all my blogging friends who keep returning, whether to contribute or to comment. You guys are great!

-Kelly

Wednesday, February 7

Cloud 9

"Cloud 9"
short fiction - humor
by Rod Drake


The Cloud 9 Bar, located just outside the Pearly Gates in Purgatory Flats, was a popular meeting place for those waiting to be called up and hopefully in.

One eternal day, W. C. Fields sauntered in, nodded to the bartender for his usual, and sitting down at his regular table with his little group of scoundrels, declared, “Gentlemen, and I include Barrymore despise the obvious inaccuracy, I have a plan.”

He smiled and downed his drink, gesturing for another which would unfortunately be his last for the day, since only two drinks were allowed at the Cloud 9 Bar. After all, it was next door to Heaven. The rest of his famous tablemates clamored to find out what he had devised.

Mark Twain wryly commented, “I hope it’s not white washing the Pearly Gates; St. Peter apparently read my book and is wise to that scheme.”

Adjusting his bifocals, Ben Franklin replied, “Fields’ wisdom is like wine; it’s always intriguing, mildly amusing but gone in a swallow, only leaving a headache behind.”

Jackson Pollock, busy dribbling melted wax from the table’s candle onto a napkin he was using for his canvas, remarked, “This better be something modern, sophisticated that will work, not one of your hackneyed vaudeville routines.”

Jack Kerouac, wild eyed and wired, offered, “Do it, W.C. Grab the moment, man. Experience the now as it happens. What’s your plan, funnyman?”

Pounding impatiently on the table, Ulysses S. Grant yelled, “Spit it out, Fields, what’s your tactic to get us into Heaven; do we storm the gate or create some kind of tactical diversion?”

John D. Barrymore, the Great Profile, hung over since his death in 1942, held his head gingerly, winced and cracked, “Fields is a lover, not a fighter, General. Did I say lover? I meant boozehound. He has spilled more liquor than all of us together consumed during our entire lifetimes on earth.”

Then Barrymore flashed his matinee idol smile at Fields and asked, “So, you great rum-soaked charlatan, what ill-conceived scheme have you concocted to get us into the Kingdom of Heaven?”

“Into Heaven?” Fields was taken aback. Irritated and flustered, he fumbled characteristically with his oversized top hat. “Godfrey Daniel! Who wants to get into Heaven with the pious and the pure, that soul-killing collection of choir-singing old nags and their henpecked capon husbands? I’m talking about getting us unlimited drinks here at Cloud 9!”

Rod Drake is pretty sure this is not his first life, nor will it be his last one probably. Check out Rod's other stories published in Flashes of Speculation, Flash Flooding, Flash Forward, MicroHorror, Six Sentences and AcmeShorts.