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

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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/

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/

Maverick. #lightandshadow

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Welcome to the weekend!  How about some speculative flash-fiction to combat the effects of a stressful week?  Thanks for reading!

Maverick, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Maverick didn’t like being followed.  Having once been a soldier in the Gulf War, he was always very aware and at times, hyper-alert.

No one knew the beings were here on earth, until Maverick discovered his shadow was not the only one following him.  Who would have suspected that our first alien invasion would be orchestrated by invisible beings?  Pretty much no one but Maverick looked up from their cell phone while walking.

All I know is, one day they were not here, and then one day, they were.  Look for a shadow with no human partner.  It may be following you, or just standing on a corner.  Maverick said these beings probably don’t get much sunlight (or any equivalent) on their home planet.  Do they like the sun?  Who knows.  When you see an unpaired shadow, perhaps it is an alien just standing and soaking up the rays.  Or maybe they are watching you, observing.  Maverick says it’s the latter.

Meanwhile, the government is making cell phones even cheaper, and requiring each family to have one for every person over age six.  They struck a deal with the aliens.  Be aware.

Maverick and I always leave our cell phones at home.  You might want to consider that too.  Be aware!

**This is my entry for the Rag Tag Daily word prompt, shared each day at http://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com

Check them out, follow them, and join the daily writing fun!

**The above photo is my own, taken on an innocent family walk in North Carolina where the beauty of fall is apparent and colorful.  No aliens were harmed in the taking of this photo. 🙂

Jumble. #RDP

Her closet was chaos spilling forward.

I opened the door and it was like a jack-in-the-box junped out at me.

“You don’t understand, ” she said. “We’ve all got something. These things mean so much to me.

Only, when she’d look for a particular pair, she could only find one shoe or couldn’t find the pair at all. I refused to help.

When she was jailed, two years later, a year after I got fed up and left, it was based on evidence found at the bottom of that closet. No wonder she’d kept it a jumble for so long.

Did she forget what she had buried under that heap?

She hid those skeletons well, just for a while.

Visit http://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com and learn more about the Ragtag Daily Prompt. View some more entries or even join the fun!

“The Sibling.” #RDP #amwriting

(c) 2019

“Eggbert, we have one; we don’t need another!”

“Don’t you see, Lou, we can learn so much by having two.”  He looked down to the scene below.

“But, but they’re not the same.  Well, not entirely.  We could be gone by now, your obsession is going to get us caught! ”

“You didn’t study them as I did.  Why have one without the other?  We could find out so much more.  I’m not talking about resell or trade value.  I want to see how they grow together, I want to know what they would do for each other.”  Eggbert would not take his hand off of the console.  They must land to capture the other, and they must do it now.

“You’re right, Eggbert.  I don’t understand; I’ll never understand your fascination with them.”

Eggbert smiled, the lines in his face almost cracking, and guided their craft to land in pursuit of the second human, who was, as Lou would never understand, a sibling to the first capture locked in their storeroom.  To leave one and not take the other could possibly break one of them, and that would not do.

***Learn about the RagTag Prompt or get the details to share your own at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/06/19/rdp-wednesday-sibling/

Affront

I’d just rounded the corner to my street on the way back from a pleasant evening walk with Sparky, my dog. There it was in front of me.

This evening’s cold front was rapidly advancing. I wouldn’t make it home in time. The approaching air was thick as a blanket, appearing palpable and alien. My dog just looked at me with my gaping mouth, probably wondering if I’d feed him again when we got home.

Yes, if we make it home, I’ll fill your dish again.

I grabbed the leash more firmly and picked up the pace. It seemed like the wind was being knocked out of me.

Not only that, but the wind around me was really kicking up some dust. I started a slow jog then accelerated as much as possible.

Coughing and sputtering, I made it to the door. I fell in, the dog following me. Bravely, I reached into the rolltop desk for my weapon.

That old inhaler does wonders. I peered out the window as the dust demon hurried down the street, a cloud of fog on its heels. Survived, again.

(C) 2019, Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Photo obtained via Pixabay.

Discards or Delights. #FFfAW

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Yarnspinnerr.

“Bagged and tied, Lacy.  You have 3o minutes before your shift is up.  No overtime.”

Lacy rolled her eyes, gathering up the leftovers from the Christmas luncheon.  People in the street would love this food.

“Why do we have to throw it away?”  she asked.

“I don’t have anyone who will eat it at home.  It’ll go bad.  No one was hungry today, I guess.  Ladies on diets, you know.”

“I have a son who will eat it,” she replied.

“I don’t think he can handle all of that,” Mr. Lesperanz said.

“Okay, I’ll take it, and throw it out if he doesn’t eat it all.”

“Just don’t tell anyone. Bag it up like you’re discarding it.  Please.”

At home, Lacy presented the food to Justin.  “Take a few, and we’ll take the rest downtown.  It’s Christmas Eve.”

Justin’s eye got big.  “Where the street people are?”

Lacy smiled.  “They’re hungry.  We’ll give them a good Christmas.”

Justin never forgot that night they brought Christmas to hundreds of others.

~A 169 word story.

Each week, a photo prompt is present at the  FFfAW Wordpress site.  The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try and stay within this limit. I’ve been cutting it close lately!  Check out some other stories, add your own, and generally have some fun with Flash fiction!

A Proposal. #FlashFictionforAspiringWriters

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Michelle DeAngelis. 

It was the perfect vacation spot with a lovely, romantic backdrop.

He asked her to be there with him, and she regretted not a moment of it.

“The sun awakens us, and the sound of island music seranades us to sleep.  What could be more perfect, my beauty?” he asked.

He was shirtless most days, and she revealed her back at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Not one proprietor minded.  Flip flops were the norm, even in fancy restaurants.  After a month, they frequented less of the fancy restaurants, and were more likely to grab a sandwich for dinner and sit on the beach.

“That used to be us,” she remarked, looking at a couple carrying a cooler and towels.

He kissed her softly and pleaded, “Can we stay?”  He reached for her hand and led her to a shack off of the tourist strip.

“Yes,” she beamed, eyes glistening.

**A 149 word story.  My story is a response to this week’s photo prompt at Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers