Category Archives: Flash Fiction

Just a Quickie Today

Just want to take a moment to share with you, one of my stories titled, The Depression found here: https://flashmobwrites.wordpress.com/ under week 1X26 won an HONORABLE MENTION today! So very happy about this, and ever grateful to Ruth and Cara who run this fantastic site!

If you’re up to the challenge, come #write and #play with us! It’s great fun and #FlashFiction is a great way to hone your #writing for longer stories and novels! Come and check us out!!

The Judge’s comments for this story:

SOLDIER | HONORABLE MENTION | – Pattyann McCarthy | @PattyannMc 

Cara Says: 500 words to capture the love of a lifetime… the result is sweet and sad, and my heart ached for the MC who longs to reunite with his love.

Ruth Says: The payoff on those first ten words (‘Love winds up ripping your heart out if you’re lucky …’) is sweetly wrenching!

Here’s my badge for this newest placement, though the title is incorrect on it, the Judges comments refer to it succinctly: 😀

https://flashmobwrites.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/soldier26.jpg

 

A Real Quickie for You!

Just a quickie today, as I’ve soooo much to write over the next few days, and the NYCMidnight Flash Competition begins this Friday, which I’m VERY excited about!  I’m honored and excited to share with you that yesterday, my story ‘Tripping with Jack’ snagged 1st Place yesterday, here:  www.thetsuruokafiles.wordpress.com

Check out my winning story under the Mid-week Blues Buster week 3.08 and four others written by amazingly talented peeps! Running off to create some more magic! And I leave you with the Judge’s comments, which nearly blew me off my chair, and here they are with my newest badge of honor. . .

Judges Jeff Tsuruoka’s Comments:

We had another low-turnout week here at the MWBB.

I had five great entries to read, and read I did. So… without further ado, here are the Winners.

This week’s Runner-Up is… Ruth Long.
Ruth’s story featured fantastic banter. I’m a total sucker for fantastic banter.

And this week’s Winner is… Pattyann McCarthy!

Pattyann crafted a tale with vivid sensory imagery and an understated, highly effective emotional punch.

Mazel tov to both of you!

Pattyann – here’s a Winner’s Badge for you;

bbster

Wow! Blown away!

One of my recent submissions this past weekend received a Special Mention! I’m absolutely blown away because it’s just a fun little story that sang to me to write, and so I did.  This happens most often at night, just before bedtime where I’m compelled to stay up late and get the story committed to my laptop and more often than not, submitted before bedtime too. The website is here: www.flashfriday.wordpress.com and it’s a tough nut to crack for a Writer! There are many, many talented Writer’s on there with brilliant stories and run by a fantastic Admin team and my hat’s off to them for keeping it all running perfectly.

Each week the Judge’s rotate, and do they ever have their work cut-out for them. Last weekend, over 70 stories posted to the sight, all incredible by incredibly talented Writers!

I hope you’ll bounce over there and have a read for yourselves. They’re all Flash Fiction pieces based on book prompts; this past weekend’s was George Orwell’s “1984′, where we choose two of the 5 prompts listed, such as totalitarianism or dystopia, or theme, or character and so on . . .

They’re all quick reads and I hope you’ll grace them with a visit!

Without further ado, here is my story that received a Special Mention with the Judge’s comments after! Have fun!

Conflict (Man? Vs Society)
Theme: Totalitarianism
@PattyannMc
WC: 224

One Down, One to Go

Wee red Smud and black Hairy Harry precariously walked across a glass table.

“This is kinda scary, Harry. What if we fall through?” His eyes shifted everywhere.

“Don’t be scared, kiddo, we ain’t gonna fall through.”

“It’s slippery too!”

“Well, put yer glue on yer feet. We’re almost to the edge.”

Voice trembling, “I don’t know bout this, its awful high!”

“Yer okay, foller me!”

They glided down a gossamer thread, reaching the ground. Wee Smud cried as he fell, petrified. A world of weird fibers, thick and twisted, was a forest of obstacles, as they struggled to go round, over, and under. Flecks of debris and strange-looking dusty tumbleweeds stood in their paths, barring progress. Insects as big as boulders attacked them, one in particular was after Smud.

“Harry, whatda I do? Help!” Smud cried.

“Keep yer wits about ya and run! Put yer legs into it.”

A wall of rubber blocked their way, and then it raised. All sixteen eyes reflected the tread as it came towards them. Harry split, all eight legs making a run for it, while wee red Smud became a red smudge, eight legs splayed around him, a goner!

“Janice turned to her husband, what can I say? It’s a totalitarian society in this household, and we don’t abide spiders. One down, one to go. I’ll get it!

Most Terrifying Dystopia, Arachnid Edition: Pattyann McCarthy, “One Down, One to Go.” Rollicking fun, though not for the hilariously-clepped characters!

THAT makes me happy! 😀

Incredible!

Rolling right along, baby-stepping in the right direction . . .

One of my recent flash fiction pieces titled ‘Indigo Mourning’ won 2nd place on www.microbookends.com So incredible and so incredibly honored. The prompt was a picture of kids playing stick ball in the street, and the bookend prompts were: child and star. It was a brilliant challenge to make something of all that, but we writers, well, we’re creative like that, and it’s fun! Here’s what this weeks Judge Foy S Ivers had to say about my story, and I thank her from the bottom of my heart:

2nd Place

Indigo Mourning by Pattyann McCarthy

This piece took the idea of a lost childhood and peered at it from a fresh angle. That of a mother, her “dreams disappearing into vapor,” dealing with a childless reality as it forms. That originality alone clinched a spot on the winner’s podium. Through stunning imagery, the author captures the soul-shredding pain of a miscarriage (“I’m learning how to breathe, how to exist”), and the irrational guilt that often follows (“my uterus couldn’t sustain him, killing my son”). Life begins as a blinding joy, friends and family singing with you, only to dim, singing silenced, as the heavens appear indigo “through mourning eyes.” Personally it was difficult to read and I was grateful that the final line held so much truth: “In the midnight beyond, my baby’s the brightest star.”

Her words made me cry and I couldn’t be happier! The winner of Micro Bookends round 1.38, Iskandar Haggerty with his story, ‘Dull Silver’ is well deserved!

Pop over to http://www.microbookends.com and have a read of my story, and the winner’s, along with many, many talented and oh so creative Writers! Have a look around, and if you’re a flash junkie like me, jump on in and give the competition a go for yourself!

The point is, it sharpens and hones your skills, you get kudos out the wazoo, you get the voices of other talented writers’ in your ear, pick up a word here and there you might not have thought to use, and it’s so much FUN being a part of a community! Writing can be a lonely business, but it’s not so lonely when you’re amongst your peers dealing with the same struggles as yourself, so swallow your fears and just do it, like I did, and you know why I did it? Because,  I love setting up challenges for myself and because,  I’m Just Me . . . 😀

I'm Just Me . . .

My Flash Story ‘Intervention’ took 3rd place!

#microbookends

http://www.microbookends.com/

I am so incredibly honored and jazzed that my flash fiction piece took 3rd place in Micro Bookends flash fiction competition! It’s my first competition win – ever! Not a 1st place win, but I placed, and that’s okay. Baby steps, and I’m stepping in the right direction and so, this is monumental! Here’s what Judge, Geoff Le Pard had to say about my story . . . MY story!

3rd Place
Intervention by Pattyann McCarthy
Here is a live story told in 100 words. Elsie is a relic of the past, fighting her corner and for others amongst newly infiltrating gangs. She assumes she’s left alone because she is an anomaly but in fact it’s because she is the legend of the streets. Of all the stories this contained so much, allowing me to imagine a whole life spent and imagine the future too. Excellent.

This story was based on word and picture prompts given at the start of each competition. The word prompts were ‘Urban Legend,’ which must ‘bookend’ the beginning and end of the story, and the photo prompt was a picture of a photographer in a room lined with mirrors.

And now, here’s my story that snagged 3rd place!

Intervention

Urban sprawl is just another day for Elsie, one of a handful of ancient Caucasians living in the area. There for decades, she refuses to move. She’s home in the backstreets of Chinatown, actually enjoying the suffocating stench of fish markets, and nearly everyone knows her.

She’s taken on the street gangs plenty, her bravado saving herself and others in need; standing against a knife, or talking down a shooter, interrupting fights amongst feuding, roaming crews. She’s saved lives, snapping their photos for posterity.

She figures the hoods view her as a relic, leaving her alone, but the hoods see her differently. To them, she’s an ancient legend.

Off to writing some more and see what kind of trouble I can get into next, because, well, you know, I’m Just Me . . . 😀

The Dead in the Night

Her bow rends the black swells one thrust at a time. The ship appears serene in silhouette against the bold moon glancing the horizon. Fog crawls across the deep, blocking the moonlight, surrounding her on all sides almost touching the escutcheon that reads, ‘Maiden of Death’. No eye that falls upon her could know the horrors in the bowels of the ship, and no eye ever fell upon her in the light of day, for she is a ghost ship of truest measure and when the light of dawn falls upon her weatherGhost Ship Wallpapers 2worn figurehead, she vanishes from the day. She sails still, though unseen.

Walking the deck of the haunting beauty is her Captain, Santos. Surly, mean, diabolical. His ghost ships’ only purpose is to roam the waters of the night, capturing the crews of stranded vessels and plundering their treasures to stow in her lastage and then she’s back to grinding through dark waters looking for Santos’ next prize. Some captives come aboard easily; cowards they are and not worthy to set foot on her, but Santos prepares those men for service to his beloved ghost lady. He takes them to the quarterdeck where he performs secret rituals. His crew lashes the recreants to a special chair with wrist cuffs spiked with nails, a gleaming copper bowl underneath catches their drippings. After, some serve in the galley, others to the cannons, and others serve on dogwatch, and fear of the Captains’ devious intentions keeps those cowards from rebellion.

Those who were courageous enough, who fought to resist capture come to incomprehensible ends. Each locked away in the lady’s brig awaiting their punishment for bravery. One by one, just before the lady vanishes in the early dawn, the courageous are forced to walk the plank. Heavy chains bind their arms and legs and the heaviest hangs round their necks. Pushed from the gangplank, there is no escaping the weight of their anchors.
They don’t sink to the ocean floor just to lie there, no. Instead, keelhaul is their punishment. Dragged along the bottom of the sea until their flesh scuffs away by the sea coral and debris that lie aground. The creatures in the depths of the ocean nibble greedily until the bones are bare and held together only by unappetizing ligaments. On the next eve when the lady comes to life, the poltroons hoist racks of bones from the saline.

In the quarterdeck, Santos performs his diabolical rituals on the bones, sprinkling the blood bled from the cowards, speaking his dark magic upon them and the bones walk and obey, forever under the control of the dark one called, ‘Captain’. Once courageous men follow blindly to the bowels of the ‘Maiden of Death’, and seated by a scuttle. There are no chains to ground them as they cannot disobey their master. An oar is placed into their bony palms and they begin the dance of rowing; forever rowing with their deafening clickity-clacking noise into the night.

Written by: Pattyann McCarthy 1/21/15 for competition.

Photo courtesy of: Ghost-Ship-Wallpapers-2.jpg February 27, 2015

 

In The Field

(This story was written based on a picture prompt of a field of sunny safflowers, and the written prompt was of a woman who stopped to admire the flowers and was found dead in the middle of the field.)

I feel no shame standing in a field, idle, my face turned up, enjoying the noonday sun bearing down and warming my delicate petals as my head heavily sways and bobs in the light breezes that tickle my flesh. The multitude of others for miles in any direction enjoying the same; we each drink in the quiet solitude and serene beauty around us; nary a sound but for the winds and the whispers of the other safflowers swaying, creating a chorus.

There’s no intrusion upon our peacefulness, usually, for we detest disturbances that bring us out of revelry. But once in a while, the barren road on the horizon brings noise and generally, the noise passes and we relax once again into peaceful suspension. Though today, a passerby stopped to admire us, left the shining noisemaker, and plowed into the center of us; I was there, angry at her audacity.

She was beautiful in her own right, but we hated her the longer she lingered; the longer she kept us from our tranquility. As the sun set, she remained, lying on the soil at our feet, asleep. We detested her intrusion. Hundreds of heavy heads laden with seeds pummeled at her, our seeds flying from our faces, resting in her opened mouth, clogging her throat. She scrabbled and ceased.

The noisemakers won’t depart now. They watch us as the licks of flame for our actions scorch us at the roots, I feel shame now as I burn.

Riddle Me This!

“Mmmmm, that feels so good. Do it again.”
“You mean like this?” I asked.
“Mmmm, yes,” he groaned.

I ran my hand over his skin. It felt silky and slippery, and yielded ever so slightly as I pressed gently down on his body. I was sweating with anticipation, desire. I wanted to touch him again, and again, and yet, there were times when I felt as though I had to pause. I needed time to think. I needed time to process what I was feeling, and I took it.

“Don’t stop. Please?” He begged. “I need it. I need your hand to caress me. I can’t do this on my own. Please baby, touch me again like you did before?”

I saw his eyes were blinking, waiting with anticipation for me to stroke him again. I reached out my hand, and paused briefly over him, then brought my fingers to his skin once again.
Another groan emitted from him, deep and throaty. He was ready. Ready for me to bring him to a climax, ready for me to finish. His eyes glistened as he anxiously waited for me to touch him in his special place, and I did.

I ran my fingers gently, ever so gently down his slippery skin. They glided down his body and his groans grew louder, faster, more intense. I smiled, knowing the pleasure I was giving to him; driving him to excruciating impatience. I knew this was what he was made for, and I trembled at the pleasure he was bringing me, the intense joy I felt with his silky skin gracing the tips of my fingers. I stroked him back and forth, up and down, and I heard him groan again. I closed my eyes, not needing to see him to know that he tossed his head back and exposed himself to my touch completely.

I smiled, and groaned in response to him. He had me hot. I was sweating, and my skin was glistening too. I felt feverish. I licked my lips to barely moisten them, but my mouth had gone dry. I continued sliding my hands up and down his body, moving faster and faster, my pulse racing, my pauses shorter, my breathing heavier. My breasts were heaving with each breath I took, my face was flushed, my mind racing. I embraced him completely.

“Baby. That’s so intense,” he moaned through his clenched teeth, “don’t stop. Keep going baby. You know you want it as much as I do,” he whispered to me breathy.

I tossed my head back, my eyes still closed, my hands moving at a quicker pace to bring him to fruition, I could feel he was close. I was close, so close to my climax, almost there.
We groaned together. The anticipation building to its crescendo. We crested the ridge of passion as I finally wrote the words…

“The End.”

My laptop sighed when I did, as I saved the last of my story.

I couldn’t help myself, because, I’m Just Me…