flash fiction

stories

"All she could think was: 'Could this be a sign?'"

Yanett Ruiz

A full-time student, Yanett is majoring in child development at West Los Angeles College. She plans to teach pre-school because she believes that “the children are out future.” After West, Yanett will transfer to CSUN, where she will major in child development and minor in English. She feels that “English is something that is very powerful… [and she has enjoyed] all my [English] classes since high school. Although “most people dread [writing] essays,” according to Yanett, she enjoys the writing process very much.


The One Might Be the One

(290 Words Without TItle)

Driving there was one of the hardest things she ever had to do; she knew what the reason was for the long five-hour drive. She was on a mission to express her feelings and let him know what was wrong. Together for 10 years, they were a perfect couple, everyone said. “High school sweethearts” they were called, and everyone knew them as a pair. But no one knew the struggles she went through, the problems she faced, and whether she could continue being known as his and not being known as just her. She thought and thought of what to say. She woke up early Sunday morning, and was on the road to deliver the news. She kept thinking of how to, when to, and if she should even start. Forty-five minutes on the road, and already a problem, a popped tire. On her way to fix the tire, only cash accepted, and all was given to the man to repair it. One hour later, getting back on the road, words kept flashing, “no gas,” and another problem to deal with. She pulled into the nearest gas station, and what did she find? No more cash and a lost debit card. All she could think was: “ Could this be a sign?” She started to wonder if maybe this idea was wrong; signs were showing her maybe she should just turn back and go home, and before she could sit and think, she was back on the road. “ Home Sweet Home” was all she thought about. She arrived at home only to find him sitting with roses and candles, asking “where have you been?” She never knew what she would do, and all she could say was “I do.”

Listen:

Kellan Rhude Reads - The One Might Be the One

 

"The man gave Kyle a look that no one ever gave him before."

Erica Villegas

villegasErica Villegas was born in the summer of 1990. She grew up in a little city right outside of Los Angeles. During her four-year attendance at South East High School, she participated in various sports and extracurricular activities. Now 21, Erica attends West Los Angeles College, and plans to transfer to a major university after finishing a two-year degree in General Studies.



Fear of Life

(288 Words Without Title)

Every morning at 9:30 Kyle and his dog would walk around the neighborhood. Around that time there would always be a man standing outside his house smoking a cigarette. Kyle would always look his way to say hi, but the man would always ignore him. Kyle never understood why he would ignore him. One day Kyle took his dog on the same walk around the same time. The man gave Kyle a look that no one ever gave him before. Kyle knew there was something wrong. He decided to go up to the man and ask why he always ignored him.

Kyle walked up to the man and introduced himself and immediately got to the point: “Hi, my name is Kyle, and every day I walk by. I try to say ‘hi’ to you, but for some reason, you never say ‘hi.’” The man looked at Kyle and walked in his house casually and came right back out, and handed him a piece of paper. Kyle opened it, read:


Dear Kyle,

Don’t be afraid of what you want to do in life. Concentrate on the important things, and don’t get caught up in the bad things around you. Always keep your head up no matter what. I know I wasn’t always there for you, and I only want the best. I hope you can forgive me for not always being there, but know I will always love you.

Love always, Dad

Kyle immediately asked the man where he got the letter, but the man didn’t respond and walked back into his house. Kyle’s dad left him when he was 13, and Kyle never knew where he went and why he left. Until this day he does not know.

Listen:

Kellan Rhude Reads - Fear of Life

 

"He turned to the bright rays, raised his hand until the light caressed it."

portrait William Wallis

Bill Wallis was born in the American South and educated at Hendrix College, Southern Illinois University, the University of Nebraska (Ph.D.in Literary Criticism and Creative Writing, 1972), and the Hanover Conservatory (Opera Performance). He has published twenty volumes of poetry and prose. His volumes Joshua (1994), Twins (1996), and Selected Poems 1969-99 (2000) were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, Poetry Division. In 2006, his novel Hawk won the Benjamin Franklin Award in Popular Fiction of the Independent Publishers of America. His latest publication is a biography, Prairie Symphony, the Story of Charles Leonard Thiessen, which appeared in 2010. (His works are available on Amazon.com.) He lives with his wife Leslie and their four children just off the Miracle Mile in Los Angeles, where he is a cycling enthusiast.


Alma

(288 Words Without Title)

At four a.m., she found him on the floor in a pool of urine. When he felt her touch, he jerked away striking his head on the bed frame.

She cried out. At the sound of her voice, he froze. He stared at her unseeing from the shadows. His head was bound from the nose up, with stained eye patches uneven.

She murmured, “Oh, sweetheart.”

And he was in her arms, a monkey, clinging. He was cold and smelled of urine. There was almost nothing to him.

He obediently kept his eyes closed as she stripped away the gauze, scrubbed his face with alcohol. His hands feathered her every move. She caked each eye in Vaseline and bound his head. If she stopped humming, he began to fret.
Finished, she said, “Now, Sweetie. You have to leave these bandages be.”

“But it itches,” he whined.

“I know,” she said, “but that means it’s healing. We don’t want to stop that, do we?”

He held her hand tight. “No.”

He shivered with pleasure as the water enclosed his torso. He weighed twenty-three pounds. How was that possible?

She fed him perched on the edge of the bed, barely heavier than the surface of sheets. She held a spoonful of applesauce before his mouth, and it disappeared into animal sounds.

She saw the rising sun and opened the shade. He turned to the bright rays, raised his hand until the light caressed it. His hair was golden white.

“Is it day?” he asked.

“Almost, Honey.”

She took him piggy-back while she made up the bed. She tucked him in and sang a hymn.

As he drifted toward sleep, she said, “My name is Alma.”

“Alma,” he repeated, sighed, and slept.

Listen:

Kellan Rhude Reads - Alma

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