The Sacrifice

I challenged myself this weekend by deciding I’d use a photo as the basis for a 300-word flash fiction piece idea. I challenged myself to make it 300 words, no more, no less. This was the photo:

And this is what came from my freeflow writing session:

The Sacrifice

Standing at the top of the stairs leading to the Catholic school next to the church the man froze, a cold chill shivering through him. He couldn’t do this. He didn’t want to do this. Continuing this farce was killing him. He pulled at the stiff, white collar around his neck. It was suffocating him, not physically, but in every other way.

“I want to be a priest.”

Had he really said that to his mother all those years ago?

Had her look of delight been the only reason he’d kept pushing forward, attended seminary, and was only a few hours away from being confirmed as a priest? He knew it wasn’t, but it was a big reason. He’d made a promise, to her, to himself, to God. But now, standing here, ready to walk into the reception hall where dinner was being held before the ceremony, he felt sick to his stomach.

He wanted to honor God, but did honoring God mean sacrificing all that God had created for man to enjoy?

Did honoring God mean sacrificing her?

He closed his eyes, drew in a deep breath, and let it out again.

He had made a commitment. A commitment to be married to Christ, to His will, and His direction for his life, not to his own human desires. As much as his heart and mind screamed at him to turn around, to not take one more step down those stairs, he knew he had to ignore them both.

To sacrifice was to be closer to God.

To sacrifice meant understanding Christ’s sacrifice more.

Isn’t this what God wanted? For him to understand Christ more so he could show Christ’s love better?

He took a step, heard her voice behind him, and stopped.

Flash Fiction: The Open Road

They would leave together.

Hand in hand.

Alone, yet together on this journey. She was leaving behind all she’d ever known.

Her mother, sweet and tender.

Her father, hard and stubborn, yet she knew he loved her.

The man with her, Augustus, a Roman by birth, married her in secret in the home of Tehal, who’d been healed of her affliction by the touch of a garment.

Could she trust her future to this man with kind eyes and a caring heart?

She felt that she could, knowing they were both called to the open road.


February 27, 2020, prompt from The Carrot Ranch Literary Community: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes the open road. Where will the trip lead? Who is going, and why? Follow the open road wherever it may lead!

Respond by March 3, 2020. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

 

Alex’s Sugar Report

 

Alex’s Sugar Report

“Warner. Mail.”

The sergeant tossed the letter at him on his way by. Alex snatched it from where it had fallen on his bunk. He smelled the perfume before he even saw the return address.

A smile tugged at his mouth. He closed his eyes, pictured her smile, her green eyes, remembered her lips warm and soft under his.

“What’s that, Alex? A sugar report?”

Alex let out a long sigh. “Indeed.”

“What’s it say?”

Alex read the words. The smile faded.

“Bad news?” Matthew asked.

Alex laughed. “No. The best news ever. I’m going to be a dad.”

 

Part of the Carrot Ranch Literary Community’s flash fiction challenge. Learn more HERE

February 13, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes a sugar report. Use its original meaning of a letter from a sweetheart to a soldier, or invent a new use for it. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by February 18, 2020. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

Flash Fiction: A Dog in the Daisies

Nothing felt the same since the fire. They’d lost everything. Barking in the distance caught his attention. He looked out across the field of daisies, searching. There. On the other side of the brook. Could it be him? Another bark and his speed picked up. It was him.

Patrick felt tears sting his eyes as he lowered himself to greet the black and white creature rushing toward him, tongue lolling to one side, tail wagging crazily.

“Rufus! You’re alive!”

The tongue was wet, warm, the paws placed solidly on Patrick’s chest. Patrick laughed. They hadn’t lost everything after all.


Part of The Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge for this week:

February 6, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story to the theme “a dog in the daisies.” It can be any dog, real or imagined. Push into the setting and as always, go where the prompt leads!

Respond by February 11, 2020. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

Flash Fiction: Protest

Fern watched her father gathering his winter clothes together.

“Dad, you’re not going to that protest are you?”

“It’s not a protest, it’s a rally,” he said with a sigh, pulling his woolen har down on his head over his ears.

“But it’s 21 degrees out and you’re — ”

“I know, I’m 78 but age shouldn’t stop me from standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.”

Fern sighed, shaking her head. “Okay, Dad, but I better not get a call from the police that you and Nancy have chained yourselves to the courthouse steps again.”


This is part of the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Prompt

January 16, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a protest story. It can be about a protest, or you can investigate the word and expand the idea. Who is protesting, where, and why? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by January 21, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

Flash Fiction: Carrying His Wife Out

From the Carrot Ranch Writing Prompt for January 9: “A Carried Wife”. To see the first part of this continuing flash fiction, see Writing Prompt: When the Wealth Didn’t Matter. 


They had to carry her out when they found him lying there on the floor by the hutch covered in blood.

How could he have done it? Why would he have done it? He had all a man could want, all she could give him. Hadn’t the money been enough all these years?

They called it a miracle that she’d walked in when she had; startling him and causing him to drop the gun and shoot himself in the foot instead of the head liked he had intended. She’d collapsed when the gun went off, falling against the hutch.


January 9, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a carried wife. Why is she being carried? Who is carrying? Pick a genre if you’d like and craft a memorable character. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by January 14, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

Writing prompt: when the wealth didn’t matter

He kept the gun in the hutch behind the Tiffany Sybil Claret Wine glasses that had belonged to his grandmother.

There were 20 of those ridiculous glasses, worth $100 each. Wealth, wealth and more wealth.

It was all around him but none of it mattered.

His fingertips grazed the cool metal of the gun, a Remington RM380, traced the shape of it, and slipped down to the handle where his fingers firmly grasped it.

He tipped his head back and laughed loudly.

So rich yet so poor.

They had their money to keep them warm.

They wouldn’t miss him.



Part of the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge.

January 2, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about something found in a hutch. It can be any kind of hutch — a box for critters or a chest for dishes. Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by January 7, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form.  Rules & Guidelines.

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Prompt: “By Design”

The following is a Flash Fiction prompt by Carrot Ranch Literary Blog for the week of Dec. 26, 2019 to Dec. 31, 2019.

The challenge is to write a story in 99 words, no more, no less. This is my first try at such a thing, so go easy on me. Edited to add: I realized after I wrote this that I accidentally left a word in that shouldn’t have been there so this is only 98 words. Oops. Also… I read this to my husband, my 13-year old son heard it and announced, “that was the cheesiest thing I’ve ever heard.”


She thought it had all been an accident. He’d run into her on his way into the supermarket while she was walking out.

“Oh, excuse me,” he’d said, bright blue eyes sparkling in the sunlight, dirty blond hair falling across his forehead and his hand warm against her arm as they collided. “I didn’t see you there.”

She’d dropped one of her bags and oranges were rolling across the parking lot.

Little did she know their encounter had been by design all along, and by his design, not by divine design. It wasn’t divine, was it? She wondered.


Lisa R. Howeler is a writer and photographer from the “boondocks” who writes a little bit about a lot of things on her blog Boondock Ramblings. She’s published a fiction novel ‘A Story to Tell’ on Kindle and also provides stock images for bloggers and others at Alamy.com and Lightstock.com.