The Post Office Box, #shorttales #flashfiction

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The Post Office Box, (c) 2016 by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Tussling with the dog. That was Jasmine’s story, this time. The scar would dissipate in a week, she knew. It did hurt. This was so unfair, yet, all too familiar.
Driving to work, Jasmine noticed she’d inadvertently put on one navy blue shoe and one black. An understandable mistake; they were almost identical, and those colors were close. I wonder if anyone will notice? She realized the light had turned. I sure don’t need a ticket.


To her left was the post office. Darn, I forgot that electric bill. Rick will lose it. Do I go back? She worried it might make her late, yet she didn’t need one more fight about the mail.


Her thoughts drifted to the invitation that had arrived the week before, for her ten year high school reunion. Of course, with a four month old baby and a full-time job, she hadn’t seriously considered. Still, she had thought of going.


“You just want to see all your old boyfriends! You wench!” Rick had screamed, holding the baby in his arms.


“No, Rick, don’t worry, I don’t need to go.” That’s how it always went. Keeping the peace. When she never received any in return.


Abruptly, she pulled into the post office. “I need a post office box,” she announced to the clerk. JUST for me.


With receipt of the key, she found the assigned box. It was cool inside. She imagined fitting inside of it, this doorway to distant places.

**A flash fiction story in 250 words or less, originally published here on WordPress and on Kurt Brindley’s writing website in 2016.  Want to see what happens? This story is posted with two alternate endings at https://www.wattpad.com/story/83522549-the-post-office-box-realisticfiction ; one is realistic fiction, and the other is paranormal fantasy.  Or, you may check the original WordPress posts where I first published the alternate endings. Realistic fiction ending: The Post Office, RF ending and Paranormal/fantasy ending: The Post Office, PF

 

Home. #RDP #homeless

It was early morning, in a park on the bay

when up comes a homeless man with a stray.

For both, it was a typical day,

But Chester, excitedly, approached to play.

 

“Chester, come back,” his owner called nervously.

“It’s okay, Shoo-Shoo won’t bite,” the homeless man said with a wide smile.

So the owner sat down, keeping his distance.

“Why do you look so happy?” Chester asked.  “You both have to search for food and find benches to sleep on, right? My owner always warns me when I go up to a stray, homeless animal.”

“But you don’t listen, do you?”  The stray said, smiling.

Chester shook his head.  “I guess I’m too curious.”

“I’m smiling because the sun is up, my master still loves and appreciates me, and I have made a new friend today: you.  That doesn’t happen everyday.”

“I am amazed that you are so happy with so little, you don’t even have a home,” Chester said.

Shoo-Shoo nodded toward his owner.  “Jackson is my home, and I am his.  My home is always with Jackson.  We are always there for each other.  He feeds me even when he is going hungry, and I share scraps with him. We are always by each other’s side.”

Imagine that, Chester thought.  “Watch this,” Chester pleaded, walking to his owner.  He put up his paws in the begging posture, and his owner gave him a treat.

Chester walked over to Shoo-Shoo and dropped the treat, tail wagging.

“Look at that, you have a generous dog, Mister,” the homeless man, Jackson, remarked.

“Ah, he surprises me sometimes.” Chester’s owner seemed to shrink into himself.

“Why’d you do this?” Shoo-Shoo asked Chester, taking the treat into his mouth.

“Your attitude inspired me, Shoo-Shoo.”  It was true.

His owner was gesturing that their time was up, though Chester wished he could stay out here all day like Shoo-Shoo and Jackson.  Well, maybe not if it rained.  He wondered what they would do if that happened.  Going to his master’s side, he called, “We’ll be back. I hope to see you again.  There will be more treats!”

“I hope to see you too!” Shoo-Shoo called.  “You are so kind!”

Chester’s owner put the leash back on and took him to the mini-van.  They were back at the park the next week.  Chester didn’t see Shoo-Shoo and Jackson there, but he never forget the lesson: Home is where the heart is.  He would still be looking for Shoo-Shoo every time at the park, hoping for another encounter with the wise, happy dog.

*#RDP is a daily, one-word prompt given at the Ragtag Community WordPress site.  View today’s entries at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/08/06/rdp-thursday-homeless/

close up photography of two dogs

Photo by bin Ziegler on Pexels.com

A New Alliance. #flashfiction

FFfAWLouiseStoryTellersAbode

Photo credit: Louise at Storyteller’s Abode

A New Alliance, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa, (c) 2020

She walked over and Henry bristled. “I’m here to be alone,” he said, curtly.

“Oh, I’ll just have a seat. You won’t bite. I can tell. Your body language says it all.” She set down her huge bag and sat, carefully holding her dress down. “You’re definitely overdressed.”

“So are you,” Henry said, realizing he’d been sized up. He moved his equally stuffed bag to the other side.

“How long since you cut yourself loose of your chains?” She asked.

“A year,” Henry replied, smiling. He thought he’d figured her out. “How about you? A pretty young woman, walking the beach, overstuffed bag. Do you sleep here?”

“Do I look crumpled and wrinkly? Of course not. This is how I pass the days. Two years.”

“Sorry, no offense.”

“Okay. Are you free for lunch?” She replied.

“Why not?”

Two years and twenty beaches later, Henry was still wandering the shores with Kaitlynn.

**A repost from my archives, from the challenge hosted by Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2017/05/22/fffaw-challenge-week-of-may-23-2017/

I Took the Fall, a repost from my archives. #flashfiction

“I Took the Fall,” by Pamela Schloesser Canepa, (c) 2017.   I hereby declared Tuesdays to be Short Tales Tuesday, wherein I will post a new or a past short story or flash fiction I have written. Enjoy!

I headed back to the yard with my garden hoe.  I hate killing living things, but this bugger looked poisonous.  He was further back in the brush.

“Sure, you keep your distance now.”  I sat on the ground, sweating.

“You would too, Missssssssss.” His tongue darted out.

I jumped.  “What?”

“Yesssss.  It’ssss me.  Come on, I am alwaysss judged by my outer cover, my ssscales sssso to sssspeak.  It’sss not fair.  All because of Hisssstory, mythology, the Bible, whatever.”

“I’m sorry.”  I looked at him through new eyes.  It had to be a he, though who could tell?

“Yessss.  Imagine what it’sss like.   Way back when, Armadillo sslipped up.  You know he’s a good candidate to stand for evil.  But no, I defended him.  I took the fall for him.”

He actually looked sad.

It seemed he’d started to trust me.  He’d slithered out from the bush.  The garden hoe was resting next to me, forgotten.

Suddenly, he sprang at me, and I was overcome, knocked down.

“S-ssssucker!”

I took the fall.

~The end~

(c) Pamela Schloesser Canepa. A re-post I originally posted in 2017 as a response to the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers blog challenge.

 

beige python on brown branch of tree
Photo by Worldspectrum on Pexels.com

Isolate, #RDP #flashfiction

(c)2020 by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

It’s easy in times like this

not to trust,

to let fear take over.  

You think, if you isolate, what you fear can’t win.  That, if you isolate, you are starving the fear, shutting off from what you fear.

Let  me tell you about this little monster.  It grows in cold, dark, lonely places void of light, within people who fear the warmth, who assume the worst of others.  It grows; it takes over the very person trying to starve it.  For, one who assumes the worst, needs to give oneself a chance to be proven wrong.  If you are never proven wrong, then why would you change your beliefs?

Isolating is great, when it occurs to get things done, to get down to business and feed your own thoughts.  When one isolates to avoid, that monster grows ever stronger and IT feeds off your own thoughts.  I know.  You see it growing all over me, don’t you?

Two young men had stopped but walked off as the old women opened her coat and removed it to reveal her arms covered in dirt and a green growth all over her arms.  She had lost her audience; they were disgusted and maybe even afraid.  

A little child peeked out at her from behind his mother’s leg where he’d been hiding.

I see you!  Don’t be afraid!  Don’t let it take over you, don’t do what I did.  You still have time!  Be brave, little one!

He didn’t turn away; he knew she was not the monster but simply had been overcome. Still, he stayed close to his mother.

Quickly, his mother whisked him away, and the old woman smiled, once again putting on her coat.  Her audience was gone, but she had reached one impressionable soul, and this was good.  For, she knew paranoia would again sweep the land, and likely very soon.

(Written in response to the Ragtag Daily Prompt word: Isolate.  Quite timely, yeah?  Visit them at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/03/13/rdp-friday-isolate/ )

 

 

Mighty maelstrom. #RDP

Pixabay photo.

(c) Pamela Schloesser Canepa, 2020

 

In the midst of the wind

And tumultuous waves

A voice called out to me.

“You did not cause the storm,

But the storm is within you

You are not run by what you fear

And you are not controlled by fear

If you can just embrace it…

Be the wind that erodes the sands of boredom

Be the downpour that washes away all doubt

Be the fire that burns down the tents of shame

Do not be blown over by the storm,

Let the storm surge through you, and remake you,

Stronger, wiser, resilient as an oak.”

With that, she walked away, long stick guiding her movements, gray hair befalling her shoulders, a smile crinkling at her eyes.

Just as I realized who she was, she was gone…

 

Waking up.#writephoto

Waking Up (c)2020, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

 

We were pushed out of our homes.

pushed into the night

a sudden awakening

where there had been no light.

Triggered, incited

forced to move on.

It seemed I breathed fresh air

for the first time ever.

Everyone looked on me in scorn

as I rolled down the window

saying Goodbye forever.

I was what they said I should be

But I’m now my own version of me

Grateful for change when they only

saw catastrophe.

 

Popular Opinion. #fiction #FOWC

Popular Opinion, copyright 2019                                                                                                         by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

 

“According to popular opinion, these humans are good for nothing but space fuel, or an after-dinner snack.  Not much substantial about them at all.” Dorf looked down at the landscape that grew closer and closer to them.

Mifkus just shrugged.  How could he convince the ogre any different?

“I mean, we’ve been visiting and observing for centuries and they don’t even suspect.  Politicians concern themselves with little more than the production and consumption of green legal tender.  I don’t see humans as worthy of a friendly greeting.  Destruction should be our goal.”

Mifkus zoomed his eyes into focus.  “Slow down.”  A dot on a city street below became visible.  Slowly, he pushed the share button and an image came to the big screen.

“There.  Someone knows we’re here.  She’ll be the bridge toward peaceful acclimation.  Destruction is not needed.”  He sighed in relief.

“Nonsense.  Those daft care-takers will erase any hopes of sensibility in that child.”

“Not if we make our appearance now.  A peaceful hello, to just this one.  Please, hear me out.  We’ll make a vote.”  He looked pleadingly at the others.

Peaceful appearance won out over hostile Earth takeover.  And today she lives to tell the tale of the odd green creatures that presented her with her first daffodil.  Tomorrow, who knows what may bridge us toward universal peace.

*You know what they say about popular opinion… Find the Fandango One Word Challenge and follow for your daily prompt at https://fivedotoh.com/2019/12/27/fowc-with-fandango-popular/

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Photo by Ahmed Aqtai on Pexels.com

There was a Frost on the Ground. #fiction #FOWC

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Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com

Why is my life such complete, utter crap?  Jackie pondered.

Santa would be coming soon for many boys and girls in the neighborhood.  Santa did not like coming to Jackie’s house when she was younger, because all that was left for him was an empty bottle of bourbon and cookie crumbs.  She had tried to tell her teacher that in second grade, much to her later regret.  A stay at Aunt Charlene’s house for two weeks was the result.  Even Charlene tired of that situation.

Dad lay on the floor by the couch, already passed out.  Mom was out with her new boyfriend.  How Mom and Dad could be separated and still under the same roof was beyond seventeen-year-old Jackie.  She wasn’t sure when Mom would be home.

Would he wake up and vomit? Jackie wondered.  Will Mom be home when he does?    Footsteps and cheerful voices approached outside the door.

“Hallo!”  Jackie’s mom walked in with a man in tow.  “I thought you should meet Tex. Oh,” she stopped short, as if surprised Jackie’s dad was on the floor.  He obviously had started early, which was not unusual.

Please, don’t wake up Dad, Jackie thought.  “You all should leave.  I mean, it’s nice to meet you and all, um, Tex.  But I don’t want him to wake up.”

“Nonsense.  This is my house too,”  Mom claimed.   With that, she sat down on the couch, and Tex on the chair closest by.

“Okay.  Suit yourselves.  Merry Christmas.”  Jackie headed for the door, grabbing her coat.

“Play cards with us?”  Tex called.

Jackie shook her head.  “I’m headed for Marissa’s house.”

Outside, there was a frost on the ground.  The first frost always held hope for Jackie.  Weather change meant to her that other things would change too.  She felt in her pocket for a twenty dollar bill and her toothbrush.  Tonight, at Marissa’s house.  And one day, she would leave for good.  I create my own reality, she chanted mentally, feet crunching on the frosty grass as she made her way.

*Posted for Fandango One Word Challenge, found at  https://fivedotoh.com/2019/12/25/fowc-with-fandango-frost/    12/25.

 

Either. #FOWC

Poem by Pamela Schloesser Canepa, (c) 2019

Either you walk out the door,

Or you stay in

Either the problem is someone else

Or it lies within.

Either you’re just aging

Or drastically sick

Either you break free

Or get beaten with a stick.

Either you’re plowed under,

Or you rise above

You are either the war monger

Or the peaceful dove.

I mean this, my child, please listen to me.

Either you choose,

Or you cease to be.

There’s no half-existing, you see.

Either is a word, that is dear to me.

-Mother to Daughter

If I had a daughter…I’d hold nothing back.  I’d tell her the truth, so she’d live better than I did.  I have had a son.  He knows the unique history of women; he would never hurt a woman. I’ve shown him to respect a woman and treat her as an equal.  I have done my best. (Photo found at Pixabay).  

*Posted in response to Fandango’s One Word Prompt found at https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2019/12/13/either-fowc/