Wednesday Briefs: More Girls & Ghouls

It’s Wednesday, and we all know that means it’s time for some flash fiction! Woohoo!

This was another “free” week so Avery didn’t have to worry about including a prompt. Her story meets the 500-1000 word count. So, good there. Last but not least, be sure to check out flash fiction pieces from other Wednesday Brief authors. Their links are at the bottom of the page.

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Photo courtesy of Kevin Mitnak

Now, time for Part II of Two Girls and Some Ghouls

Last week, Private Mansfield politely asked if I could find out what became of his wife and young son after the war. I sensed the emotion behind his strong façade and gave him props for not shedding any ghost tears. Using the dates and locations he provided, I thought I might have a chance at finding what had become of his family. Needless to say, it didn’t take much convincing for me to help. His story had touched an unexpected nerve. He and his wife were newlyweds when he left his home outside of Staunton to fight for Virginia. They’d quickly married once she learned she was pregnant—bet that was a big oops back in the 1860s! Thankfully, the baby had been born healthy and had his mother’s beautiful blue eyes. I could tell Private Mansfield thought the world of his son, and not being able to hug and kiss him one last time before he passed was tearing him apart.

I promised Private Mansfield I’d see what I could do. I spent my two days off scouring library archives and old newspapers as well as talking with a number of knowledgeable ladies at historical societies all up and down the Shenandoah Valley. Late in the second day, I finally found the information I had been looking for. I hesitated to tell him all I had learned. While there was some good news, some of the family’s history was definitely bad. Continue reading “Wednesday Briefs: More Girls & Ghouls”

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Flash Fiction: Two Girls and Some Ghouls

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Photo courtesy of Kevin Mitnak

It’s that time of the week . . . Wednesday Briefers time! Are you ready for some flash fiction? I sure hope so!

This is a new story start for Avery. It’s F-F paranormal with some romance. There weren’t any prompts this week so it’s a freebie! Remember, the stories have to be between 500 and 1,000 words. This is just a start for this story so you’ll have to come back next week to read the next installment!

Two Girls and Some Ghouls

by

Avery Dawes

The narrow parking space at the end of the lot was calling my name, so I swung the Jeep Wrangler into position and parked as far away from the overhead security light as possible. Getting a ticket for parking in the Battlefield’s Visitor Center lot after dark was not on my agenda. I looked through the windshield. The sun had already dipped below the mountains in the distance. The violet purples of twilight were fading to deep midnight blues. Before long, the black sky would be filled with pinpoints of white starlight.

My Jeep was filled with all the tension of a Mexican stand-off. My girlfriend had wanted to see me work—or so she said—but now that we were here . . . her crossed arms and stiff posture said otherwise. Not one to beat around the proverbial bush, I sliced through the tension with blunt honesty. “Steph, it’s fine. You don’t want to be here. No problem.” I pulled the keys from the ignition and held them out to her. “Take my keys, grab a cup of coffee, and meet me back here. I promise I won’t be angry with you.” Disappointed, sure, but I wasn’t going to share that with her. Continue reading “Flash Fiction: Two Girls and Some Ghouls”

Wednesday Briefs: Angel of Mercy

This week, Avery has continued the Civil War story (part 2). The prompt she used was “to have gunshots in your story.” She also used part of the another prompt. See if you notice sleep and bandage in the story.

I hope you enjoy the story! When your done, be sure to check out the links at the bottom.

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Angel of Mercy

by

Avery Dawes

Henry left the injured soldier resting against the tree. He wanted to turn, look back at Emory, but didn’t want to appear desperate. Focus on the man’s health and well-being, not his physical attributes.

Henry jogged the last hundred yards to his farmhouse. Taking the stairs two at a time, he reached the armoire in the hallway outside his bedroom. He pushed aside an extra quilt to locate his first aid supplies, and grabbed some linen fabric strips. These would suffice as bandages. He then took an unopened jar of salve off the shelf. He’d been lucky of late—no serious farming injuries. He paused to think . . . when had the last one been? That’s right. On that unseasonably warm day this past March. He’d been working to repair damage to the barn from a hard snowstorm. The saw jumped, knocked him off balance, shredding part of his left forearm. He winced recalling the blood. He still had deep scars from the incident. Enough reminiscing, Henry! Get back on track!

He needed a bag to carry these supplies. Probably wouldn’t hurt to take a knife along. Henry would have to expose the wound before he could treat it. Soap, too, to clean the wound.

Upon returning to the mudroom off the porch, he located a canvas bag. Perfect! He added a knife and a bar of soap to his supplies. As an afterthought, he took two ripe peaches from the bowl on his kitchen table. Emory might enjoy them. The crop had been very juicy this summer. Continue reading “Wednesday Briefs: Angel of Mercy”

A Holiday Wednesday Briefs

Okay, I admit, I’m a day late for the Fourth of July. Regardless, I wanted to write a flash that would coincide with the Fourth and with the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg. The prompt that I used for my story this week was “have a Civil War soldier in your story.” Remember, too, I was limited to 500-1000 words so there will be more to come. I hope you like the guys and the story!

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Friend or Foe?

by

Avery Dawes

Last week of June, 1863

Henry trudged down to the stream. Two empty buckets dangled from his calloused fingers. These hot, humid summer days would be the death of him. Despite the weather, chores on his farmette didn’t cease.

He crossed the last bit of farmland, taking a well-worn path through the trees to the stream. As he entered the shade, he breathed a sigh of relief. Henry dropped the buckets before he plopped on the ground. He shucked his shoes and socks then rolled up his pant legs. Sliding closer to the stream, he dangled his feet in the cool water. Ah, heaven!

 Closing his eyes, Henry lay back on the cool ground, his feet lazily kicking the cool water. He crossed his arms comfortably over his stomach. A short nap was in order. Mable and Marshall, his two horses, would survive until he returned with fresh water for their trough.

Sleep had nearly overtaken him when a rustling in the bushes startled him awake. Bolting upright, Henry jumped to his feet and waited. The noise came again, louder this time. The sound had come from off to his left. Henry tried to calm his racing heart. This was his land, after all, and whoever was out there was trespassing. “Announce yourself! Who’s there?”

His surprisingly forceful command was met by silence. Henry took a couple of steps toward the shrubs that lined the stream bank. A great crash broke the stillness, followed by muffled curses. “Gosh dern rocks! What’s with all these here briars?” Continue reading “A Holiday Wednesday Briefs”

Wednesday Briefs: A River Rendezvous

Avery is back with another standalone flash fiction piece. Are you excited? This one is an historical M-M romance (hopefully there is such a thing!). I’ve been slacking on writing a bit, but it was fun working on this piece. It actually came together very quickly. Yay!

For a quick refresher, Wednesday Briefs have to be 500-1000 words in length and include a prompt. Avery used two prompts this week: a thunderstorm and a waterfall. Hope you enjoy the soldiers!

Photo courtesy of Kevin Mitnak
Photo courtesy of Kevin Mitnak

A River Rendezvous

by Avery Dawes

Marching was vastly overrated, Henry decided, especially beneath a blistering sun. And they’d been at it all day. Dinner—whatever they managed to scrounge—and then into his bedroll. Well, he amended, after he took a bath. At this rate, the Union soldiers would smell him before they ever caught sight of him. Henry hadn’t bathed in two days. Not since the thunderstorm that drenched his clothes and made his socks squish in his shoes.

“Keep up, Henry, we’re almost there.” Lt. Robertson, his commanding officer and former neighbor, gave him a friendly shove. “I know it’s been a long day.”

“Sorry, sir…” His voice drifted off. The past week had been particularly difficult for him. His younger brother passed after taking a round in the shoulder. The doctors tried to save him, but infection had overtaken his body. There was nothing that could be done. Continue reading “Wednesday Briefs: A River Rendezvous”

Another Flash Fiction Friday

This week I’m sharing the last assignment in Lisa Kessler’s Flash Fiction class. If I haven’t mentioned before, I want to reiterate how much fun the class was and how much I learned. Thanks, Lisa! *hugs*

The last assignment was a story on the topic of our choice and the word limit was 500. I think this is my favorite length. It’s tough and forces you to make every word count. I chose to write a speculative fiction piece. I hope you enjoy it! (In case you’re curious, this story came in at 495 words.)

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Confederates Rising

A cool, damp caress traced Jenna’s jaw before brushing her lips. Shivering at the delicate touch, she pulled her grandmother’s quilt higher. She’d expected realism from her first Civil War reenactment, but the canvas tent was damn cold.

A firm hand shook her awake. Jenna shrieked, her heart thudding wildly in her chest. “Who’s there?” She fumbled for her lantern.

“I’m sorry, but I my brother needs your help.” With nimble fingers, he lit the wick.

Why was a Confederate soldier leaning over her cot? Was it some kind of prank?

“Miss, please, you must hurry!” The man tugged at her quilt. Continue reading “Another Flash Fiction Friday”

Flash Fiction Friday

I wanted to share another piece of flash fiction I wrote as a part of Lisa Kessler’s class. I had so much fun working on these short fiction pieces. The max word count for this assignment was 500 words. I used every available word. We were told to write a romance piece, but a sub-genre that was something new. Since I normally write romance, I picked historical–Civil War era. I hope you enjoy the peek into Elizabeth’s day! And I hope you appreciate that I stepped out of my comfort zone to tackle a historical piece. LOL

A Chance Meeting

Last night, she kissed a Union soldier. Her very first kiss. His firm lips upon hers, the touch of his rough hands, and the scratchy wool of his blue uniform…it all felt so real. She’d been shocked to realize it was only a dream.

Elizabeth pushed her sleeves up and wiped her sweat-drenched forehead. The June morning seemed no different than the day before—bright sunshine and high humidity.

Deciding it was too hot to do laundry inside, she set-up the large wooden bucket on the back porch then filled it with hot water. After grabbing the soap and worn washboard, Elizabeth started scrubbing. Continue reading “Flash Fiction Friday”