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text 2020-02-08 16:17
A Drift of Quills for February 2020

 

Hello, all!

This month we Quills are back to one of our favorite types of posts. That is, we will share some new flash fiction tales with you. (Here is a quick link to a page identifying where you can find our prior stories.)

 

This time, P.S. Broaddus, aka Parker, author of A Hero's Curse, chose the picture for which we would each create a story. When I first saw the pic, the word "whimsey" came to mind. You'll see how I made use of it. In the meantime, let's see what Parker and Robin have for us! 

 

 

 

Parker? Off you go!

 

Welcome to Sky

by P.S. Broaddus

Copyright P.S. Broaddus 2020

 

"My dad could eat your dad."

"Not if he can't catch him first."

"He's one of the best fliers we have!"

"He still can't outfly my dad. No cat can outfly a bird."

"Bet I could outfly you."

"Not a chance."

The nestling and the kitten eyed each other. The kitten broke the terse silence. "I'm Starbucks. I was named after-"

"I'm Boeing!" The nestling interrupted. "I was named after the fastest flying machines of the old gods."

Starbucks huffed. "As I was saying before you interrupted me, I was named after the elite fuel of the old gods.

 

(Readers, be sure to follow the link for the rest of Parker's story.)

 

Now, Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, has something for us. Take it away, Robin!

 

Picture
 
Learning to Fly
by Robin Lythgoe
Copyright Robin Lythgoe, 2020
 

Striped Chasca, Seventeenth of the beloved and revered Fluffy, picked her way delicately down the garden path. She held her ears up, chin at a haughty angle, and let only the very tip of her tail twitch—just the way she’d seen the senior members of the clan do. Every dozen steps or so, she paused to preen, using the opportunity to sneak backward glances at her magnificent wings.

 
 
(Again, readers, be sure to follow the link for the rest of the story.)
 
 
And now, it's my turn! Coming in at 970+ words, title and all ...
 
Huckleberry's Whimsey Day
by Patricia Reding
Copyright Patricia Reding 2020
 
His muscles aching and his wings tattered, Huckleberry tumbled through the air, his four legs akimbo, before finally righting himself. Looking down, he spotted a branch below, largely clear of brush. He aimed for it, confident that like all kittens, he would indeed land on his feet.

Keeping his knees loose, his paws touched. He bounced up, and then aimed yet again for another, even clearer branch, just below. On arrival, he teetered. Regaining his balance, he heaved in a deep breath in an effort to still his wildly beating heart. All the while, he contemplated on how his panic had added to his difficulties motoring through the air, which in turn, had resulting in his landing here—quite less than gracefully.
 
Again, be sure to follow the link for the rest of the story.
 
That's it for this time around. Please stop by again soon!
 
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text 2019-11-01 17:42
A Drift of Quills for November 2019

 

I cannot believe it is November already (even though I woke to a dusting of snow this morning), but there you have it. Cold notwithstanding, from my perspective there are two great things about this month. First, it will soon be Thanksgiving, which is my favorite holiday. Second, we Quills are coming to you this month with new flash fiction tales!

​This time, I got to choose the pic. Here it is:

 

 

I first found these boots/moccasins on Pinterest, then tracked them down to a site for Turtle Island Moccasins. It seems you can actually order yourself a pair of these! What do you think of that?

 

When I chose our inspirational pic, I asked my fellow Quills if they wanted an added challenge (as if writing a flash fiction tale isn't challenge enough). I suggested the following for their consideration:

 

* Include in your story, something about The Forest of Infatuation, or the Temple of the Unknown Slave, or The Drum of Unbearable Silence ...

 

* Or … maybe your main character has an odd personality or behavioral quirk, like he or she is notoriously rude, or expresses emotion inappropriately, or is homesick, or is always looking for a fight …

 

* Or maybe your main character has a pet. Perhaps it’s a dog that steals keys and other small objects, or that never comes when called, or that commonly gets stuck in silly places  ...​​

 

In the end, we decided we would each choose for o ourselves whether to take on an added challenge, and if so, what that challenge would be.

 

 

 

For my part, I chose a couple of items from the above list. First, I included the Forest of Infatuation. Second, I combined features of the second and third options. Namely, I added in a pet with an odd behavioral quirk.

 

Are you ready? Coming in at 815 words, title and all ... here goes!

 

Calico Dew and
the Boots of Ominous Delight
by Patricia Reding
Copyright Patricia Reding 2019

 

The ramshackle hut sat in a damp tree-shaded hollow, deep in the Forest of Infatuation. An occasional bright green patch of mold stood out on its thatched roof and spotted its weathered, paint-crackled, windows.Their half-open shades looked like eyes peering down at the bed of poison ivy just outside the hut’s door, which hung slightly askew on its rusty hinges.

Nearby, Calico Dew hid. She patted Sneaker, her faithful canine companion, whose shaggy mottled coat helped him to meld into his surroundings. This well-served Calico’s purposes in carrying out her duties as an official retriever of stolen magic artifacts. However, Sneaker also came with a downside. That is, while his physical traits allowed him to rummage about stealthily, he also possessed a particularly annoying personality quirk. Specifically ...

 

Find more here.

 

Well? What do you think? Please do, share your thoughts!

 

 

Lucky for you, there is more. Next up is Robin Lythgoe.

 

I can hardly wait, so take it away, Robin!

 

Starry-Eyed
by Robin Lythgoe
Copyright Robin Lythgoe 2019

 

The autumn sun slid toward the horizon, gilding the moors and pulling twilight ever closer. Little streamers of fog drifted this way and that, half-formed fairy ribbons. Archibald Cumming laughed to himself. The old man was getting to him. Had already got to him, years ago, truth be told. And where was the old fool now? Shifting his backpack, he trudged up the sparse hill. Hands on hips, he stopped at the top to catch his breath before he had a look around. When he had his breathing under control again, he straightened and stood still and quiet, listening. Listening as he'd done dozens of times already just today. This wasn’t the first time the old codger had taken off on his own.

He was about to move on when he heard it ...

 

Find more here.

 

Excellent! Thank you so much.

 

 

And now, for Parker.

 

What have you for us, Parker? Did you take on any of the added challenges?

 

Fool's Feet
by P.S. Broaddus
Copyright P.S. Broaddus 2019

 

"I'll be requested by kings," said the shiny face of ambition, caught somewhere between a boy and a man. But the glint in his eye was ageless.

"You'll be an outcast."

"Princes will offer me untold wealth and honor," he continued, unhearing.

"You'll reject it all."

​He rubbed his hands together unconsciously, unaware of how silly he looked, how small and unworthy. "My name will be known from the border of Darjil to the Jabob River and beyond."

"Where you will be unwelcome and hunted until the last of your days." The old man sighed. Ambition turned his head, the sigh finally catching his attention. Was the old one dying? Would he pass on the boots now?

Master Eli...are you well?"

The grizzled beard, streaked white and grey and sandy-desert brown, twitched. Eli looked full at his apprentice. Looked in his soul through the undisguised eyes.

The boots would instruct him.

"I must go." Eli struggled to his feet. He could not rest. Not yet.

The apprentice's long eager fingers grasped an elbow, half helping, half clinging. "I'm going with you."

​Eli shrugged. "Do what you must."

 

Find more here.

  

Great stuff, Parker! Thank you.
 
We would love to know what our readers think and so, we invite you to share your comments. Please also feel free to share your flash fiction stories with us.
 
Thank you for stopping by. Until next time!
 
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text 2019-09-12 19:34
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Available only as an Ebook.
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text 2019-08-03 16:05
A Drift of Quills for August 2019 - More Flash Fiction Fun!

 

It is almost impossible to believe, yet true, that August is upon us. The days are growing shorter, the nights longer, and for the most part, also cooler. I am looking forward to a much needed get-away before summer's end, but for now, I'm excited to bring you the August post for A Drift of Quills. We are back to what has quickly become our favorite kind of post, and it seems to be yours, too. What kind is that? Why, flash fiction, of course!

 

This time around, Robin Lythgoe, selected the picture that we used for inspiration. It is always great fun to read the wildly different stories the three of us come up with to go with the chosen picture for these posts, so prepare yourself!

 

The photo, by Steven Erixon:

 

 

We Quills all seem to view the parameters of flash fiction a bit differently. My personal goal is to stay within 1000 words - if at all possible. Today, I've managed to do just that - coming in, I believe, at 998 words, title and all. But before I share my flash fiction story with you, I'm anxious to read what my fellow Quills have for us all. (Make sure you follow the links for each of us to get all the full stories.)

 

P.S. Broaddus, author of A Hero's Curse, is sure to have a great read for us, and no doubt it will be loaded with wit and charm. Take it away, Parker!

 

The Standing Stone

by P.S. Broaddus

Copyright P.S. Broaddus 2019

 

The guardian standing at water’s edge hadn’t always been there. At one time no shadow from the pillar of rock crept across the long salt-grass, as the western sun sank into the wine-dark sea. The path that ran along the coast from the capitol of Plen toward the high timbered trees of Greatwood Forest didn’t always have the patch of stone shade that marked the half-way point. There hadn’t been a section of the monolith rubbed smooth by thousands of hands, touching the rock and then touching the forehead for good fortune.

 

As mentioned, Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies, selected the pic for us this time around. I can't wait to read her story. So . . . here goes!

 

 

The Judgment Stone

by Robin Lythgoe

Copyright Robin Lythgoe 2019

 

There’s a town near the Rhogan coast that has a unique way of dealing with undesirables. Their “undesirables” consist of murderers, rapists, and arsonists. Thieves—unless their theft ruins a citizen’s livelihood or affects the entire town—are generously permitted a second chance. Upon conviction, the criminal is immediately taken to the Stone of Judgement, bound there, and left to the whims of the local dragon. If he or she is still breathing at the same time the next day, freedom is restored. Apparently the almighty dragon decide whether or not they are innocent, no matter what other proof previously stood against them.

​You can safely imagine that those who escape leave the surrounds and never return. You might also imagine my astonishment at being arrested, tried, and found guilty of something called “High Thievery.” I’ve never stolen a thing in my life, unless you count a nap now and then. Well, I have helped myself to apples in the orchards I pass on my way between towns… But a face? How does a person steal a face?

 

And now, it's my turn. Ready?

 

 

 

Left Ahead

by Patricia Reding

Copyright Patricia Reding 2019

 

A musty odor greeted Lorna as she awakened, stiff and cramped. She groaned. Her head hurt; her body ached. 

​A clicking sounded out, as something brushed her cheek.

Lorna’s eyes flashed open. She bolted upright, then turned to the source of the touch. Although semi-dark, there was no mistake. 

“Onyx!” she cried, recognizing her long time companion, a snowy owl that had adopted her shortly after her father’s death. She wrapped her arms around his neck and combed her fingers through his soft fur-like chest feathers. 

 

As always, we look forward to your comments. What do you think?

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text 2019-02-02 20:07
A Drift of Quills for February 2019 - More Flash Fiction

 

We Quills are back this month with what has quickly become my favorite type of post. That is, we selected a single picture for which each of us has spun his or her own flash fiction tale. This time around, I got to select the inspirational image. It is entitled:

 


A Quiet Man
, and is by PeteMohrbacher. You will find it on DeviantArt. What do you think?

 

There are so many ways this could go that I cannot wait to see what my fellow Quills have for us. But for now, I will start you with my tale which came in at exactly 1000 words, (inclusive of the title!). That said, with three stories to go, this post could get a bit long. Thus, I'll get you started here and then direct you to my site for more. While there, don't forget to sign up for my newsletter so that you won't miss any great flash fiction stories in the future. Also, for a list of additional posts with my prior flash fiction tales, check below.

 

Breaking Spells
by Patricia Reding
Copyright Patricia Reding 2019

Aiden Piper journeyed from the Burara Wilds, back home, where six years earlier, Fenella’s father, Nigel Duke, had forced Finn Mock to put a spell on him. It happened the day before he and Fenella were to exchange their vows in the cobblestone-paved Dorberg village square. As a consequence, Aiden and his love would remain divided until they broke Finn’s spell. But Nigel, taking no chances, had paid crimpers to trick Aiden, drug him, and then set him aboard a ship that hauled him away.

Soon after awakening in chains, trapped into sea service to the cruel pirate, Wyn More, Aiden fell victim to jungle fever. For months he knew only the mercy of forgetfulness that unconsciousness granted him. But eventually his illness passed and his memories returned. They harassed him unceasingly. He longed for Fenella and the revenge he would have when he returned home where he knew she waited for him.

When the opportunity arose, Aiden jumped at his chance to escape. The cliff from which he dove was higher than the three tallest trees imaginable standing one atop the next. Still, he’d have taken the risk even if that distance had been doubled. Fortunately he resurfaced alive from the water below.

Aiden didn’t have a single copper buckle to his name. Nevertheless, he headed for Dorberg, rendering his services along the way in exchange for food. Occasionally, he picked a pocket, but only after confirming that his mark was truly wealthy, and even then, only when in dire straights. He’d never forget that gelid morning when he awakened, shivering, to find his boots missing. Then there was the time he went for almost a week with naught to eat but a half loaf of stale bread ...

 

Find the rest of this story at http://www.patriciareding.com/blog-posts.

* * *

 

For my additonal prior flash fiction tales with my Quills pals, check:

http://www.patriciareding.com/blog-po... (which includes my tale entitled Her Golden Hair); and

http://www.patriciareding.com/blog-po... (which includes my story entitled, The Resistance; and finally, see

http://www.patriciareding.com/blog-po... (which includes my story entitled, Signs, Signs, Everywhere There Are Signs!).

If you're a big flash fiction fan, you will also find another of my prior flash fiction tales at http://www.patriciareding.com/blog-po.... At that post you will see that I wrote with two young friends of mine. Wait until you real the stories by my 20-ish year old friend, Veronica, and by my 14-year old friend, Reyna! (My story at that link is entitled, Throwback Awakening.)

Do stop by for more!

 

 

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