Monday, 9 October 2017

#Flash4Storms - More Flash Fics II

Following on from my last few posts, I'm extremely chuffed to be able to post some more spirit-speaking flash fics by fabulous writers - all in aid of Sarah Brentyn's #Flash4Storms for hurricane relief.


Georgia Bell (@gabellbooks)

The days blurred. Blended. Bent out of shape. She held still, bleeding hope, waiting for the help she had begged for.  Until in the silence, bold and bankrupt, she found benevolence in her own battered soul.


Sarah Mitchell-Jackson (@SMitchJack)

They needed her. Their small hands, although precise, were minute against the depth of the world. Month by month they grew; their worlds grew. They stretched further away from her, until they did not need her. Year by year, she narrowed, just as her world narrowed, until she needed them.


Maria Carvalho (@ImMCarvalho)

Even as the invading river relished its unchecked freedom

And the regal cypress bowed down under commanding winds

The storm wielding its power like an angry god

Inhabitants of the wild land – from chameleon to elk –

Held steadfast together, knowing that in time

They’d bask in the sun once more.


Michelle (@PrairieSky_27)

When she found out I'd be alone for Christmas, she insisted I come to her place. My mouth watered at the smell of roast turkey and sage. 

"Before we eat," she said, dragging a deer carcass in from outside, "help me get this down the stairs. Sprinkles must be hungry."


#Flash4Storms - More Flash Fics I

As you may have seen from my recent posts, Sarah Brentyn is doing a #Flash4Storms initiative for hurricane relief.

Many people have already shared their words, and to ensure those wonderful wordsmithers without blogs are also able to contribute their words for a great cause, I'm honoured to be able to post some more fantastic flash fics here.


Bobbi Bowman (@BobbiBowwoman)

What if you don't have bootstraps?


Michael Fehr (@FehrMichael1)

The sun was setting. Maria didn't know if she had the strength to hold on until morning. She clung desperately to the highest branch she could reach above the swirling floodwaters.

In the pitch dark, it was the nose of the rescue dog that guided the boat to her perch.


Stephen (@GallifreyGamgee)

Lora looked lovingly at her ghostly boyfriend, the only one in the Ethereal Planes who could help break the curse by sacrificing himself.


Kevin Odinsknot (@Odinsknot)

We looked to the stars as a means of escape from a dying Earth.

Instead, those we met in Alpha Centauri brought us hope that restoration was possible.


Sunday, 8 October 2017

#Flash4Storms - A Flash Fic by Hope Denney

In my last post, I took part in a flash fic challenge for hurricane relief, organised by the fabulous Sarah Brentyn.

It is a blog-based challenge, and as not everyone maintains a blog, Sarah has confirmed that flash fics posted on host blogs will also count towards hurricane relief. I'm very honoured to be posting some other #Flash4Storms flash fic submissions here, and I hope you enjoy them.

This submission is by the brilliant Hope Denney:

Once upon a time (like right now), there were two women (none of you know them) who lived several seas apart. They battled all the monsters of yore (spiders, snakes, and improperly fitting undergarments) along with the monsters of now (workplace drama, too many dreams but not enough time, and improperly behaved selves). They didn’t always succeed with a lot of panache. In fact, there was often clumsiness, tears, and lots of swearing along the way. With each other’s support, dragons looked more like lizards and each believed a fairy tale ending was within reach.

This story was written in honor of those two women (again, people, social media is a big place and you don’t know them…gah!) and all the women who support the journeys of other women.

She seemed ordinary enough.

Unremarkable. Earthbound.

Early in life's journey, she'd entrusted pieces of herself to those she loved to make their travels easier.

Gifted feather after feather until her beautiful wings were almost bare.

She didn't mind. There was magic in watching her friends fly.

Friday, 6 October 2017

#Flash4Storms Flash Fic Challenge

As I've mentioned several times now, I grew up on the island of Mauritius. Mauritius is one of many islands in the Indian Ocean, which are mere dots on a world map. If you didn't know to look for them, you'd be forgiven for thinking that part of the world is all water.

One of the recurring weather conditions Mauritius (and all the surrounding islands) are always on the alert for in the summer, is cyclones. There have been savage ones in the past, whose names still retain their notoriety. When I was growing up there in the early 1980s, I was lucky to not experience a really bad one. Back then, "Cyclone Carol" from the 1970s was our byword and benchmark for fury and ferocious destruction. All us kids knew the name, and with every cyclone which formed throughout the summers, we would ask the grown-ups if this was the one that would be as bad as Cyclone Carol. It was the one which loomed long and scary and dark in the island's collective memory.

Much like the destructive shadows of Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey now hang heavy over the Caribbean islands and the US.

We live in an era of interconnected communications and collapsed timezones. We have (some) knowledge of what has happened during these recent catastrophic hurricanes. Many of us haven't had to live through them. But we can imagine the tight wordless fears of not surviving, sitting alongside the silent bravery and determination to survive. We can imagine the heartbreak and pain and drudgery and frustration of surviving. Of needing to make do. Of knowing everything must be built back up. Of needing to find the strength - every single day - to make it happen. After the short-spanned media spotlight has dissipated.

I imagine the destruction as three Cyclone Carols, two of which have covered the same trajectory, back-to-back. Not on my island, or those near mine, but on other islands - other dots - in another ocean.

We can't do anything much directly. Or, at least, it feels as if we can't.

The always-inspiring Sarah Brentyn, writer and blogger and twitter micro-fiction genius, has given us - the twitter micro-fiction and blogging communities - a way to help: a flash fiction challenge for hurricane relief (full details in the link).

In brief, we write a piece of flash fiction (no more than 50 words) on the theme of 'help', post it on our blogs, let her know, and she donates $1 per flash fic to hurricane relief.

Consider it done, Sarah. Thank you for this clever, productive way of letting us help with our words, and here's my flash fic:

Long before she left home, I helped her make her white handkerchief and showed her many ways to use it. As wings over valleys; sails to skim seas; parachutes to return to earth; bandages, towels, warmth. Not just for herself, but for all those she wanted to share it with.