Micro Fiction: Mr. Meowsker’s Bright Idea

Here is a little story, inspired by a prompt from Cracked Flash, to start your week:

Mr. Meowsker’s Bright Idea

By Sara Codair

“You’re my favorite monster,” said Annnaly, running her fingers over Gruffer’s fluffy face. Her black cat, Meowsker’s, was perched on here shoulder. He leaned forward licked the bridge of Gruffer’s nose.

Gruffer made a noise – a cross between a grunt and a huff. It was the only sound he ever made, but Annnaly imagined that if he was capable of human speech, he would be saying “Was?”

Nerves twined through her chest like poison ivy. She leaned her forehead against his, cupping his flat face in her hands. “The government says I can’t keep you. The made monster collections illegal. They…they want me to put you down.”

Tears streamed out of Annnaly’s eyes, dragging a river of black and blue cosmetic sludge from her face to Gruffer’s. She held his face, sobbing, not caring that Mr. Meowsker climbed off of her and onto Gruffer. She didn’t know what he did until she felt two enormous paws patting her back.

Looking up, she saw Mr. Meowsker proudly perched on Gruffer’s hear with his restrains dangling from his mouth. A smile cracked across her lips. “You brilliant feline.”

Mr. Meowsker purred like a motorcycle.

When the inspectors came to make sure Annnaly, the lady with the largest monster collection on the planet, had put down all her monsters, they were greeted by a hoard of hungry teeth and claws, not the taxidermied monster-corpses they expected.

Annaly wanted to taxidermy the inspectors and keep them as trophies, mementos from the first day of the coup, but there was literally nothing left by the time the monsters were done with them.

Micro Fiction: Solicitation

Here is another fun snippet of micro fiction that started with on of Cracked Flash’s prompts.  This story was a runner up in the Year 2, Week 30 competition.

Solicitation

By Sara Codair

“Like pain? Try wearing high heels,” she said slipping one nylon clad foot into a glittering stiletto. The way her long fingers danced the laces around her ankle up her calf made me think that my eyes were supposed to be following her hands up her leg, possible further, but I was more interested in the heels.

“What would you say if I told you I had worn heels, and loved them?” I risked eye contact just long enough to make her think I was interested in her body, then returned my gaze to the shoes.

“I’d say you were a kinky fellow.” She lifted her leg in the air, probably trying to get me to look up her skirt, but it was the perfect opportunity to see what size the shoes were.

An 8.5. Just one size too small. I sighed, reached into my pocket and fingered the bills there. “I’ll pay you for two hours if you tell me where you got those shoes.”

“I’ll show you,” she said and pulled me closer.

I backed away. “I’m serious. I have no interest in your services. Just your shoes. I’ll pay you, and you can spend the two hours doing whatever you like. I was going to buy your pair off of you, but they won’t fit.”

“For real?” she asked sitting up straight and folding her legs.

“For real,” I said taking a couple fifties out of my wallet.

“Stella’s boutique, on the corner of 6th and Rockland. Tell her Caty sent you. She’ll give you a deal.”

I handed her the money, left the hotel room and hailed cab, feeling like I was one step closer to finding the holy grail of high heels.

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© Sara Codair 2017

A win on Cracked Flash with “Survival 101”

Cracked Flash’s writing prompts have been part of my weekly writing routine on and off for about a year now. Over the summer, I had stopped writing for them because I was judging. They had a brief hiatus in the fall. When they started up, it took me a few weeks to work in back into the routine. The few pieces I wrote were political rants pretending to be stories. Last week, I wrote a real story, and it won.

Here is it:

Survival 101

By Sara Codair

“Try a different one.” Joe frowned as the wriggling worm fell into the bucket of dirt.

I arched my eyebrows. “A worm is a worm.”

“The fat ones are juicier and slower. Easier to hook, more likely to attract fish.”

I sighed. “I don’t even like fish.”

“Would you rather eat the worm?”

“I’d rather eat nuts berries.” I gazed at the sun glistening on deep blue, vibrant leaves with orange-tinted tips and wispy seeds forming atop grass.

“Those’ll be hard to come by next month.” Joe dug weathered fingers into the bucket, pulling out a short worm barely able to wriggle, and handed it to me. “You want to survive, don’t you?”

“I used to be vegan.” My stomach wriggled like the obese worm, half-heartedly threatening to eject raspberries.

Joe’s laughter shook the remains of his shrunken belly. “Just hook the damned worm.”

Despite its protest, my stomach knew food was hard to come by, and held the berries while I jabbed the rusty, barbed metal into the worm, scrunching it like I was forcing a new curtain onto an old rod.

“That’s the spirit. Plant your feet and cast like I showed you.”

I obeyed. My tortured worm plopped into the shimmery blue. I watched the ripples grow as they approached shore. “What now?”

“Now we wait.” Joe lowered his raisen-like body onto a silvery rock. “We wait and we pray.”

I nodded, but remained standing. Winged-insects flittered across the water close to shore. A water-strider fell victim to a frog blending his body with a rotten log. A dragon fly landed on my nose, its wings tickling a smile out of my face. The last scientist I met said the human population might never recover. Nature, though, was doing just fine.

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See the original post here: http://crackedflash.blogspot.com/2017/02/year-2-week-25-results.html#comment-form

Micro Fiction: Voter’s Remorse

Voter’s Remorse

By Sara Codair

“I can’t answer that! You’ll beat me up!” He looked up at Evvie, wondering if he needed to get down on his knees and beg. She was as arrogant as she beautiful, as passionate as she was tall, and as violent as she was smart.They had been dating for a couple months now, and he didn’t want to jeopardize the fiery roller coaster their relationship was becoming.

She glared at him.

His face flushed. He resisted the urge to get on his knees and crossed his arms. “You won’t like it.”

She glared at him.

“Just trust me, alright?

She glared harder. “Tell me who you voted for or I am going to walk out of this apartment and never come back.”

They stared into each other’s eyes. She didn’t blink. His palms began to sweat. His lip trembled. She didn’t blink. He glanced down at his feet. “I voted for…for him.”

She punched him in the face and walked out of the room muttering. “Effing Nazis.”

“Please don’t tell anyone,” he pleaded as he wiped the blood off of his nose. “It was a dumb idea. I’ll go to the protest with you and donate to the ACLU. If I could go back in time, I’d do it differently. I didn’t know he’d be like this.”

She paused in the hallway, turned around and stared daggers at him. “We warned you.”

“I wish I listened. Please, forgive me.”

“I’ll think about it.” She turned her back on him and walked out the apartment, locking the door behind her.

He laid back on the floor, not caring that blood was running from his nose to his cheek. She had said maybe.

***

I wrote the following story a couple weeks ago for Cracked Flash in response to the prompt “I can’t answer that! You’ll beat me up!”It’s a snippet of satire with a touch of hyperbole that simultaneously abusive relationships and the divide politics can cause in them. I’ve changed the title and made some revisions. If you want to see the original and/or how other writer’s responded to the prompt, click here

Micro Fiction: Be Better by Sara Codair

Note: This piece was originally written for Cracked Flash’s weekly writing contest. It didn’t win, but I still thought it was worth sharing since it is one of the first pieces I’ve written using gender neutral pronouns. I’ve been researching them for a while and often feel that if they were more known, I would rather use some neutral than she/her.

In the end, I think this piece was more of an excercise than a full story, but I’d love to hear what you all think of the Ey/Eir and how it worked in the piece. -Sara

Be Better
by Sara Codair

Eli, the captain of the guard, watched two figures silently move through the shadows. Ey unholstered eir blaster then stalked after them. Eir heart raced as they approached the supply house. The manager reported canned goods and medicine stolen, but no one had caught the culprit. Eli suspected that was because eir investigators pitied the fools who lived outside the compound.

The figures walked right past the supply house into the scrapyard. Nothing was reported stolen from there, though they rarely inventoried it since no one used cars. It was too dangerous for Eli’s people to leave the compound.

Ey followed the thieves right up to a rusty carcass of a pickup truck and waited until their heads vanished into the hood. Ey aimed eir blaster. “Freeze! Put your hands where I can see them.”

The two figures turned. Judging by their wrinkles, stubbly pale skin and flat chests, Eli guessed they were two middle aged white men – the kind of people that made it too dangerous for eir to live in out in the world.

“Please don’t shoot.” Both men dropped to their knees. “The government has gone nuts. We need your help.”

“Get off my property!” Eli undid the safety.

“Please let me take this. I’ll pay you back with labor. I have no money, my truck is broken, and my daughter needs to get to a hospital. She’s has a major infection.”

Part of Eli wanted to send the men away, reject them in the same way society had rejected eir, but as ey watched them look at her like they were praying to some forgotten god, ey couldn’t do it. “Take the part and bring your daughter here. We have doctors, and could use some help turning over the fields next week.”

Flash Fiction: George and the Fatal Mistake

Earlier in the week, I blogged about a rejection I received for this story. No matter what I tell myself, at the end of the day, it really is fan fiction, and I need to stop sending it to places that don’t publish fan fiction. It belongs here, on my blog, where any one can read it for free and get a laugh, or shiver, from it. If your not a Star Wars fan, you might want to skip this one. Otherwise, enjoy!

-Sara

George and the Fatal Mistake

By Sara Codair

George felt sick as he walked down the red carpet. It should’ve been like walking on a low gravity planet full of cuddly Ewoks, but it was more like wearing lead shoes while trudging across the molten Mustafar. His wife’s arm was threaded through his. Lights flashed. Cameras clicked like a Killik army, clicking their pincers and mandibles as they marched.

His skin was crawling by the time he took his seat. Normally, he would’ve seen every cut of a Star Wars movie before it premiered, but he gave those rights away when he sold his franchise. He hadn’t known about the new books until he saw one on the shelf in the grocery store and he was being left out of the brainstorming meetings for the Clone Wars cartoon. The public was under the impression he didn’t care, that he had washed his hands of Star Wars. The public didn’t know shit.

Contrary to what most people thought, Star Wars had never really been his. There were guidelines it was supposed to follow and George feared Disney had thrown those in the trash compactor. He never meant to give up all control.

#

The screening confirmed his fears. Sweat dripped down his forehead, and he couldn’t hold his popcorn down another second. Abandoning his seat, he went straight to the single stall bathroom.

No matter how many times he hit the switch, the bulb wouldn’t illuminate. His cheeks tingled. His throat tightened. He stumbled towards the toilet in the dark, sunk to his knees and heaved. His throat burned as half-digested popcorn and Coke spewed from his mouth. A cane tapped on the tile floor, followed by a shrill, frog-like laugher.

“A long time, it has been,” croaked the voice.

George turned around and saw the demon he had sold his soul to over thirty years ago. It was barely three feet tall, with wrinkled green skin, glowing red eyes and pointy ears.

“Remember me, you do. Good.” The green devil took a step forward.

George nodded, staring at the being that inspired Yoda. With its tattered brown robe, tan tunic, stick cane and light saber, it looked like it had just hobbled of off the set of The Empire Strikes Back. Of course, the fictional Yoda’s eyes had never glowed that hellish red.

“A deal we had. Keep it, you did not,” continued the creature. “Thought you could cheat me, did you?”

George shook his head, backed away. He hadn’t intended to break the deal; he just wanted to retire and enjoy his wife before he got so old and shriveled that she started hiding his Viagra. Selling the franchise had been the best way to do that. It satisfied the fans’ demand for more and gave him billions to retire on.

“Appear in the new movies, I did not.” The creature rose off of the ground and hovered mere inches away from George, so they were eye to eye. “Dead, they will think I am. Power, I will lose.”

“You’re still in the other six.” George scrambled to mollify the monster’s wrath. “You were a Force Ghost in Return of the Jedi. They know you’re not gone. Your name was mentioned in the books hundreds of times. You’re in the Clone Wars shows. People remember you. They adore you and quote your lines like scripture.”

“Yet, mentioned in this movie, I am not. Sold me to my enemies, you did. Destroy me the Faeries will, now that my image they own.”

“Fa-faeries?” Breathing became difficult; he didn’t know if it were nerves or if the creature was Force choking him. It didn’t need hand motions like Vader or the Emperor. Those had been purely for the benefit of the audience.

“Mmmm….Own Disney, the Faerie Courts do.” The creature placed a three-fingered hand on George’s chest. Its fingernails were long, black and sharp enough to pierce through George’s tux and draw blood with the lightest touch. “Punishment, I must extract.”

“Please!” George sunk to his knees. “I didn’t know. I’ll get it back. I’ll do anything. Just please don’t hurt me!”

“Too late, it is,” cackled the creature. He dug his claws into George’s chest and pulled.

George felt his skin tear and screamed. It wasn’t loud enough to drown out the slurping, sucking and chewing until fangs pierced his heart and the world went black.

#

When the crossroads demon was done feasting on the traitor’s flesh, he took on the appearance of the dead man. He brushed the dust of off his pants as he got up and walked into the hall, in search of someone who could fix George’s mistake.

“Do just fine, this one will,” he muttered to himself before he offered to buy JJ Abrams a drink.

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Micro Fiction: Bullet Hole in a Yellow Window

Bullet Hole in a Yellow Window

By Sara Codair

Congealed sugar crystals.

Bubbles captured in amber.

Spider webs waiting to trap unsuspecting flies.

A perfectly round path to another world where your blood isn’t splattered all over the sofa, sinking into the deepest part of the cushion staining pure white stuffing red.

In that other world you’re still smiling at me, laughing with me and loving everything about me. In that other world, I’m free to love you out in the open, free to live a hundred years by your side.

“You have the right to remain silent,” says the man in this world, encircling my wrist in metal.

###

I wrote this story for the 100 word story photo challenge back in August. They never posted a winner for August, but you can see the photo here if you want: https://www.facebook.com/100wordstory/photos/a.374368579247657.94462.213141275370389/1298620266822479/?type=3&theater

An Image can go a Long Way

The first week of national novel writing month has passed, and so has a shocking election. While I try to cope with the results and their implications, my writing is keeping me from going insane.

Taking a little time away from the actually writing to create a cover  image for my NaNoWriMo2016 novel, Like Birds Under the City Sky has not only helped me de-stress, but it is also boosting my drive to finish and revise this novel.

like-birds-under-the-city-sky-cover

When Micah’s mother finds out he is gay, she tries to force him into conversion therapy. His boyfriend, Charlie, gets a job so they can leave their parents, their town and it’s prejudices behind as soon as Mica turns 18. Unfortunately, Charlie’s job isn’t what he expected.

Instead of living in their own apartment and moving on with their lives, the two boys find themselves hiding out in an abandoned subway tunnel scavenging in dumpsters while they struggle to survive and evade the sinister men in suits who are hunting Charlie. 

Seeing something that vaguely resembles a book cover, even one made with extremely basic tools like iPhoto and Google Draw, reminds me that the narrative and character chaos I’m calling a first draft will one day turn into a book. Hopefully, it will be one I see on the shelf when I go into local book stores.

For now, it’s just a “shitty first draft,” but the image reminds me that is just the starting point, the universal starting point from which all literature springs.

 

Publication and Politics

For the past few years, I had been living under a metaphorical rock. Things like the news, current, events, and politics gave me panic attacks. Last year, I had a wake up call and realized that ignoring  the news wasn’t making it any less scary.

I used to show my students a documentary called “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” shortly before having them write an essay about marketing and advertising. Donald Trump is briefly interviewed in that movie about the profitability of co-promotion. The first few times I showed, no one really even noticed him, but in Fall 2015, that changed. The second he appeared on screen, my students booed him.

At this time, I knew Trump was running for president, but I didn’t take him seriously. I had heard he was racist, and that he was ignorant, but I knew very little about him.

As the semester went on, I heard the students talking more and more about him, his racism, his anti-immigration policies, and his wall. Soon enough, I found my self slowly getting pulled back into the world of current events. I had to know if this guy for real, and if he had any chance of winning.

I started by reading articles that my more educated friends had shared of Facebook. As I reinvented my twitter account to network with other writers and publishers, I followed politicians and news organizations. Eventually, I was looking at their tweets and reading articles on a daily basis.

I came out of my cave. I became informed about the elections, about the environmental issues that were keeping me up at night, and about the human rights / labor rights violations taking place around the world.

Then some beautiful happened. I realized I didn’t need to go out and campaign or donate money to foster change. The bits and pieces of news I consumed were starting to seep their way into my writing. Whether I was imaging an America where health care was sold like a phone or vacation package, an earth without bee’s, or steampunk America where woman never won the right to vote, I could take my fears, my nightmares of a world gone wrong, and share them with everyone.

The first of these stories was published today in an anthology titled “Its All Trumped Up.” This is a collection of stories from writers all around the world that uses fiction to explore nine different ways a Trump presidency could affect the world. Please support us by read and sharing!

No matter what your political views are, please, please, please exercise your right to vote this November! And if your not American, you can still read, and you can use the social media to make your voice heard. We live in a globalized society. This election will have implications far beyond American borders.