Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #135

Fandango hosts this challenge: https://fivedotoh.com/2021/09/13/fandangos-flash-fiction-challenge-135/

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As he stood before the doors he pondered his options. There were more doors than usual and given his last trip  through he wanted to make sure he chose the right one this time. His mind went back  to the last door…

I remember opening the green door. I chose green on that particular day because the trees were full of new grown leaves, the grass was freshly cut giving it a greenish glow, and the world around me seemed alive. I didn’t know at that time that green wasn’t the door for living and thriving, it was the door for rotting and spoiled, for mold upon the top of the leftovers from last week. But I had gone not knowing this. I had gone thinking of positive things and life and love. I thank God I had that positive energy, otherwise I could have been stuck there forever.

When I opened the green door last time I was greeted with an odor, an indistinct odor that I couldn’t place right away.  I  let the door close softly behind me as I looked down the path  that was waiting for me.  It was a long path and there wasn’t much around it, not like the blue door, not like the purple door either. But it was the door I chose so I would move forward. 

As I walked along I could hear the soft mewing of a cat wanting to be fed and I could hear the sucking sound of a baby nursing a bottle full of warm milk. Those were pleasant sounds, I had nothing to worry about. But as I rounded the corner, unable to see more than a few steps ahead of me, I noticed the figure, the woman in a dark green cloak, her back to me. 

She was a petite woman, much shorter than I. She was facing a counter, a sort of kitchen counter, where bottles were lined up ready for filling. As I walked closer I could hear her crying, softly sobbing, and wondered why. I didn’t want to startle the woman so I cleared my throat to alert her of my presence. She lifted her head slightly but did not turn around. Instead she continued to cry softly. 

When I  finally  reached the woman I could smell the sourness of milk, the rotting smell of old food, and then strangely mixed in, the soft smell of baby powder, tenderly spread upon a clean babys’  bottom. I wanted to turn away in disgust but instead I stepped closer, looking over her shoulder. It was there that I saw  where the smell was coming from…

The woman was holding a large carafe. In it was a large green growth, closely resembling lichen on an old dead tree. Below the carafe, in the sink she stood against, were more baby bottles, all filled with a green liquid. 

“I can’t feed my  baby this poison, this filth, but I have nothing else and he is almost done with my milk.” 

That must have been the suckling sound I had heard.

“My  baby will die here if I cannot feed him.”

“Why is the milk so spoiled?” I  asked.

“Because I can’t find any fresh milk and this is all  I have”, she replied.

Taking the carafe from her hand I tried pouring out  the milk from below the mossy growth.  The milk poured slowly, but with a pure white color, a miracle considering the top of the bowl. 

“Here is the fresh milk”, I said.

The woman turned to me, her crying had subsided. What I saw was horror. This woman, this mother, she was a monster! The flesh on her face was as hard and green as the moss on a mountain stone. Her teeth were black and her lips were cracked with dry blood. 

I turned and ran as fast as I could, pounding my feet on the path, not wanting to look back, not knowing if she was following me or not. As I came closer to the green door I felt some peace and my fear turned to sadness. I came to a stop at the opening and heard a soft song being sung. It was her. She was singing a sweet song to her baby, telling the baby he would always be okay. The singing continued, softly, gently. I breathed a sigh of relief. I would be able to get out of this horrible place but I also knew I had saved that little life. I don’t know what happened before I got there and I surely didn’t want to know what would happen once I left but I knew I had done the right thing.

Reaching for the knob he hesitated. Why  was he picking this orange door? What did orange make him think  of? What horror would orange be connected to? He took this moment to think, think hard about his uncertainty. Orange was a pumpkin in fall, waiting to be carved and lit by a candle. Orange was fresh fruit and vegetables on a summer morning. He couldn’t think  of anything that could go wrong with this door. He guessed he  would have to take his chances. 

He grabbed the knob and turned it, slowly  pushing the door open.

©2021 CBialczak Fiction

Wordle 511

Find it here

The Criminal Cruncher: A superhero story

Sparks were flying as the legendary superhero raced through the streets in his sports car turned criminal catcher. The Criminal Cruncher was a spontaneous hero who could often be seen rising in the sky with a ring encircling him like the planet Saturn. The heat’s high temperature, which was emitted from the Cruncher’s car was a far cry from the temperature of the sun but it could still melt a criminal, landing him incapacitated instead of incarcerated. The Criminal Cruncher knew his powers were like magic and were what would make the future possible for the civilians in the city, though dressed in his black garb he was more ominous than hopeful. Somehow the Cruncher knew he had to find a way to rekindle  the hope of the people or all of his work would be for nothing.

©2021 CBialczak Fiction

Wordle 508

by bwarren

The child rose from the grassy area under the tree where he had been admiring the card from his schoolmate. He had seen a form in the sky that surprised him as it looked like a dragon rising up into the sky. There were dark clouds that looked like fire coming from the ferocious beast. The poor child was scared by the sight and began breathing heavily as the effervescent being drifted closer to the tree. He closed his eyes as if his lids formed a safe border between him and the monster. When he opened them again the sky sparkled off tiny raindrops like the finery in his mother’s jewelry box. He finally felt safe.

https://sundaywhirl.wordpress.com/2021/07/04/wordle-508/

©2021 CBialczak

Book Review: Beware the Cuckoo

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Beware the Cuckoo by Julie Newman is a mystery like no other. Be prepared to be drawn in to the past and present of two young women as they try to find their way through adolescence, independence, and truths that sometimes hurt.
Karen, Yvonne, and Sandra are best friends but so different than each other in almost every way. In the 70’s they are in school and they spend most of their time together but have found lives outside of school that drive a wedge between them. Karen is the quiet and compliant one, Yvonne the partier, and Sandra, the rich girl with the perfect life. Losing Yvonne helped bring Sandra and Karen closer for a while but the truth might hurt them both and everyone they love.
Now as adults some memories have been forgotten but none of the hurt has lessened. Will 2010 be the year all the truths come out?
I gave this story 4 out of 5 stars for the believable characters and captivating plot line. The plot is dragged out a little too long so as to make the reader want to skip a few chapters and get to the end but overall it is worth sticking to as the author has a way of tying it all together in the end. 

FLASH FICTION FOR THE PURPOSEFUL PRACTITIONER: 2021: WEEK #19

Find it here: https://flashfictionforthepracticalpractitioner.wordpress.com/2021/05/12/flash-fiction-for-the-purposeful-practitioner-2021-week-19/

She closed her eyes and leaned her head back. Three books already and they still had six more days here! Patrice smiled to herself as she felt the heat of the sun penetrate and warm up her in this relaxing oasis.

Patrice was happy that she had bought some of her old books. She had hated getting rid of them and knew there had been a day that she had wanted to read them. Now, finished with the first three, Patrice was reminded why she chose those books in the first place. Her only fear now was rain.

©2021 CBialczak

FOWC with Fandango: Complacent

Check it out here: https://fivedotoh.com/2021/04/10/fowc-with-fandango-complacent/

com•pla•cent kəm-plā′sənt►

  • adj.Satisfied with the current situation and unconcerned with changing it, often to the point of smugness.
  • adj.Eager to please; complaisant.

Going Home

Brenda looked at the computer screen but didn’t read one word. It had been two months since she had been back in her home. Due to unforeseen circumstances she had been forced to move out of her house, leaving behind her partner, animals, and all belongings. Now she sits and wonders when she will get any amount of normalcy back.

Brenda’s sister Catherine is completely complacent when it comes to the situation, making it so hard for Brenda to even talk to her. Catherine is a local so this new lifestyle has not affected her life like it did Brenda’s. When Brenda is upset and missing her home, Catherine acts like she is over-reacting and acting like a baby. When Brenda tries to explain it to her sister, Catherine just rolls her eyes and says she can’t understand what the problem is.

Some day, hopefully soon, Brenda will be able to go home and be with the people who love her the most. Until then she puts a smile on her face and moves through the days, doing what is needed and expected of her.

©2021 CBialczak Fiction

The Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic

There is now a new writing challenge: https://carrotranch.com/2021/02/01/the-sue-vincent-rodeo-classic/

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Marcy’s Cabin

Marcy looked out over the trees feeling the morning air, crisp and clean, filling her nostrils. It had finally become a reality. Her dream to live in the mountains with only the earth and Dexter, her dog, to keep her busy was finally a reality. 

Marcy hadn’t realized the beauty that lay before her on her bedroom balcony. Leaning on the railing to look down into the valley, Marcy felt a wiggle and heard a short snap before falling to the ground below. Would someone find her? The world darkened around her.

©2021 CBialczak Flash Fiction

Column: FOWC with Fandango

Check FOWC here: https://fivedotoh.com/2021/02/08/fowc-with-fandango-column/

Barb, where did you get that website from?

Which one?

You know, the one about sex after 50.

Jane, that was from that Dr. Barr, the doctor who rights the advice column for the Times.

Dr. Barr writes a column?

Yeah, do you know him?

Her. Dr. Barr is a her. You really think a male doctor cares about sex after 50?

Isn’t that the only thing men think about?

©2021 CBialczak Fiction

Wordle #222

Check out Mindlovemiserysmenagerie for the details: https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2021/01/11/wordle-222/

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Haughty

Branches

Procellous- stormy, as the sea

Prolixity- a tendency to speak or write at great or tedious length

Touch

Stumble

Throat

Wild Strawberries

Heavy

Fray

Kimono

Seconds

Walking out of his cottage, Devon knew by the sway of the branches that stumbling out on a procellous day like today was taking a chance that could have heavy consequences. Devon’s leg had not healed properly, was still very sensitive to the touch, and if he fell he was risking damaging the work the doctors had put into reconstructing his thigh after the accident. Were he a woman, he would choose to wear a Kimono to both hide the bandages and provide the loose comfort his wounds yearned for, but for now he would have to focus only on the path in front of him and nothing else. Knowing his luck he would snag the silk on a twig first thing outside and fray the precious silk anyhow.

Devon wasn’t sure why he felt like heading to Marta’s house now. She was a conversationalist with prolixity and he often wanted to leave her company only seconds after she started speaking.

Upon reaching Marta’s door, Devon cleared his throat and knocked on the heavy, wooden door. He didn’t want to show how much he wanted to see her; but he was here and would stay for a while. When Marta opened the door the first thing Devon was hit with was a strong smell of wild strawberries along with warm air of her oven. He would have to try and coax her to let him try whatever it was that she was baking. She was a fantastic chef and never haughty. Sometimes she even acted as though she had never stepped foot in a kitchen before. Devon was hoping the perilous walk here would be worth it!

©2021 CBialczak Fiction

Three Things Challenge

To join this writing challenge check out pensitivity101 for the “rules”: https://pensitivity101.wordpress.com/2021/01/12/three-things-challenge-476/

Your three things today are:

MISTRESS
EXPECTATION
ANYWHERE

Billie knew what the expectation was but she didn’t know if she could go through with it. Becoming someone’s mistress, whether congenial and without sexual motive or not, was not what she had planned for her life moving forward. The problem was, Billie didn’t know how to get along in a new city without a job and no friends. This was the first time she had lived anywhere that she was a total stranger, but this was the change that she needed. Life at home had become too much; stress, bills, arguing. If no one knew where she was and no one here knew who she was, maybe she could start fresh and live her life the way she wanted to.

©2021 CBialczak Fiction