Short Story Sunday 293: Cheat

Short Story Sunday: Cheat | Creative Writing | Short Story | Flash Fiction |

Ivy flipped through the file for the hundredth time. She pressed her palms into her forehead staring down at the paperwork, her eyes being stretched open. There was no rhyme or reason to any of this. She was beginning to feel discouraged about the whole thing. The worst part of all this was she knew she was completely wrong to do this. She had brought it on herself and now she was more confused than ever before.

She had a huge math final coming up in the morning and she had no idea what she was doing.

Ivy wasn’t good at math. It was just something she always had a hard time understanding no matter how hard she tried at it. She paid attention in class and she did all her homework. She did well enough on the tests, but she was still only barely passing the class. The final was all the previous tests combined and if she knew anything at all, it was that there was no way she would remember all that she had supposedly learned throughout the school year.

Her neighbor was a year older than her and was a grade ahead. He was good at math but he also had the same math teacher Ivy had. This math teacher combined all the tests from the year together and were the same problems and numbers as the tests. If Ivy had known that she wouldn’t have thrown out any of her previous math tests when she got them back. She had most of the problems wrong anyway.

Her neighbor though, he still had the final math test along with all his other tests from the previous school year. He had given them to Ivy so she could study. He got As on all his tests with only one or two problems wrong here and there. It was hard for Ivy to study because all the answers were right in front of her. She tried to study the work that her neighbor had shown on his paper but she didn’t understand any of it. She had no idea what was going through his mind when he wrote these problems out.

So, now she was just trying to memorize the answers. She was good at memorizing things like that. How Ivy was going to show her work to her teacher when she got all the answers right, she had no idea. It was part of the reason Ivy was getting such a headache looking at these tests. She knew she was going to fail and even if she got the right answers, her teacher would surely know she was up to something with her lack of work… or she’d do the work out and get the wrong answer but someone write the correct answer anyway.

Ivy leaned back in her chair tilting her head. She stared up at the ceiling for a moment and the closed her eyes. There was no way she was going to get through this. She wasn’t going to pass the test no matter how well she studied. She wasn’t going to pass no matter how well she memorized her neighbor’s answers. She didn’t know how to do any of the work. She didn’t remember anything they had learned during that school year. There was some math on her neighbor’s paper that she actually didn’t recognize. She went back through her own notes and couldn’t find anything on it. Unless she was absent that day, but she always made up her missed work, Ivy was convinced her math teacher was throwing them for a loop.

“Excuse me?”

Ivy opened one eye to see the librarian standing over her.

“Hi, Honey,” she greeted warmly. “I wanted to let you know that we close in ten minutes so you need to wrap it up over here.”

“But I’m studying.” Ivy groaned. She lifted her head back up and wiped her eye with her index finger. She was tired, but she didn’t realize how exhausted she was. If the librarian hadn’t come over, Ivy probably would have fallen asleep.

“I can see that,” the library said with a light chuckle.

“I know… I’m doomed…” Ivy replied agreeing with the librarian. She wasn’t studying. Even if she were looking at the papers, she wasn’t studying at all.

The librarian patted the back of Ivy’s hand sympathetically. “Good luck on your test tomorrow, Sweetie. I hope to see you tomorrow.” She said as she walked away.

Ivy gave her a half-hearted wave as she closed the file folder and packed up her things. She was just going to have to accept her fate. She wasn’t able to get any more studying in or else her head would explode.

Actually, that didn’t sound like a bad idea. If her head exploded, she wouldn’t have to take the test. She wouldn’t have to take a test ever again.

No, no. That didn’t make any sense. That was possible. Ivy was stuck taking this test no matter what. It didn’t matter how well she was prepared; the test was coming ready or not.

The following morning, Ivy sat in the math class first period. She rested her head on the surface of her desk staring at her number two pencil, the pointed end staring her back in the face. She felt like the pencil was mocking her and she wanted to blame the pencil for any mistakes she knew she would make today… but she was thinking irrationally again.

“Take out your notes.” Her teacher said and all the students did just that.

Ivy looked around the room confused as she took out her own notes. Did they not have the final today? There was one week left of school, how was there no final today? Did she study for nothing? She wasted her entire night last night.

“I’m letting you use your notes on this test since it’s a big one. Be careful not to waste too much time looking up something though. If you don’t finish by the bell, then that’s that.” Her teacher explained. She began to pass out the final and Ivy swallowed a lump in her throat.

She took out her notebook with all her notes in it but they weren’t very good notes. She knew that was going to help her at all. She also took out the folder with her neighbor’s tests inside tucking it underneath the notebook.

What her teacher didn’t know wouldn’t hurt anyone.

Words: 1,081

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Short Story Sunday 292: Snow

Short Story Sunday: Snow | Creative Writing | Short Story | Flash Fiction |

Nora woke, sitting up in her bed extending her arms way up in the air and arching her back into a deep stretch. She stifled a yawn trying to convince herself not to lie back down and go to sleep. She had the day off from work and had planned the entire day to do errands. Normally, she enjoyed staying home all day when she didn’t have to go to work, but she figured she’d run her errands first thing and then have the whole day.

            She needed to run to the bank and pick up a few things at the grocery store. Neither of those things were something she wanted to put off.

Nora hopped out of bed and got dressed right away. There was a nip in the air and her brain went into panic mode trying to convince her to get back under the warm blankets. She always hated getting dressed first thing in the morning in the middle of winter. It sounded weird, but she was toasty from her bed only to get hit with a blast of cold air (despite the heat being on) and her clothes sitting on her dresser were always cold. She shivered as she stripped down and put on her clothes for the day – at least she had picked out sweatpants and a warm sweater.

Once she was dressed, she went over to the window and pulled the blinds opened. She gasped when she saw the amount of snow draped over the ground. There were quite a few inches of the white stuff. Nora couldn’t see her driveway, her car was blanketed, and she didn’t know where her mailbox had gone to. She didn’t remember the weather ever mentioning snow.

She walked over to her nightstand and grabbed the remote turning on the TV. The news immediately came on and, lucky for her, they were just starting to discuss the weather.

Surprise snow is what they were calling it. Last night the weather man said the skies would be cloudy and cold today but then everyone woke up to this. Nora grunted. The weather man was usually wrong, but not like this.

Nora turned her head to look back out the window. She wasn’t a fan of the snow. She didn’t like the cold and she always hated shoveling and brushing off her car. Yet, she smiled. The good things about the snow was that it was relaxing to watch and it was beautiful when all was said and done (until cars drive by and make the snow turn a yucky brown color).

“Well, then,” Nora said to herself as she turned off the TV. “I guess this means no errands for me today.”

The news mentioned everyone staying indoors today. Nora had already taken the day off from work so she didn’t need to worry about that. She didn’t need much at the grocery store and could always go tomorrow after work.

If she was going to stay home all day, a snowy day was the perfect day to do so.

Nora went downstairs to the kitchen and began making herself a cup of coffee. She was going to sit on the couch and begin her next read to start the day. It was going to be a good one.

Words: 550

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Short Story Sunday 291: Secret

Short Story Sunday: Secret | Creative Writing | Short Story | Flash Fiction |

Eli ran down the street as fast as he could. He held his drawstring backpack close to his chest and tried to avoid eye contact with anyone he passed. He weaved in and out of the crowd until his house came into view. Once he made it to his yard, he noticed an open window and his mother standing inside the kitchen. Eli stopped in his tracks. He couldn’t go into the house now. His mother was supposed to still be out shopping.

He looked left and right trying to find somewhere else to go. He noticed the stable and knew that was empty. His father and brother had taken the horses out to stretch their legs. Eli knew they wouldn’t be back until dinner.

Eli ran into the stables and into one of the horse’s pen. He sat down on the pile of hay and stared at his backpack.


Eli hugged his backpack to his chest tighter holding onto his breath as well. The voice didn’t belong to his father, brother, or even his mother. He knew who it was but he didn’t want anyone seeing what he had found.

His friend poked his head around the wooden pillars and grinned. “Hey, there you are. I thought I saw you run by. I tried calling your name but I don’t think you heard me.”

Eli cracked a small smile. He had tried his hardest to make sure no one saw him. He thought Neville said he had a lot of chores to do and wasn’t able to go out. He must have finished them early and went out in search of Eli to hang out.

“What are you doing? You look like you’re hiding or something.” Neville questioned tilting his head to the side. He entered the stable and sat down beside his friend.

“I am hiding.” Eli replied. He tried not to grit his teeth but Neville was the one who said he couldn’t hang out. Now Eli needed some peace and quiet and Neville was bothering him.

“Why are you hiding?”

“If I could tell you, I wouldn’t be hiding in the first place.” Eli replied.

Neville frowned. “Oh,” he stood up and turned to leave, but Eli grabbed his arm and gently pulled him back down.

“Well, as long as you’re here. I guess this would be fun with more than just me. I mean, this is going to be a hard secret to keep to myself.” Eli explained.

Neville sat back down and grinned giddily. “Oh, there’s a secret involved? I want to know about it!”

“Then keep your voice down.” Eli scolded in a low tone.

“Sorry,” Neville whispered.

“You can keep a secret, can’t you?” Eli asked cautiously.

Neville nodded his head looking serious now. Eli noticed his gaze turned to the black backpack but he remained silent, patiently waiting.

Eli balanced the backpack on his laptop and slowly opened the top of the bag. He peered inside and glanced over at Neville. His friend looked like he was breaking out into a sweat in anticipation at what Eli was going to pull out of the bag.

Eli opened the bag a little bigger and reached his hands in to pull it out.

Neville gasped when his friend pulled out a small gray kitten. He put his hand over his mouth and Eli couldn’t tell if his friend was shocked or worried or excited. Eli held the kitten close to him. It mewed softly but seemed pretty content to be held and petted.

“Where did you get him?” Neville asked softly. He reached his hand over and stroked the kitten gently.

“I found him on the side of the road. There were a lot of people around. I didn’t want him to get stepped on so I scooped him up and brought him here.” Eli explained.

“And your mom said you can keep him?” Neville asked in a shocked tone.

Eli shook his head. “No, remember I said this was a secret?”

“Oh, yeah… so you’re just going to keep the kitten hidden?”

Eli sighed. “I don’t know. It’s not right for me to do that. It wouldn’t be fair to the kitten or to my parents… plus, I’d get in a whole lot of trouble.”

“So…” Neville looked away from the kitten and at his friend. “What are you going to do then? You have to tell your mom soon. It’s going to start getting cold out and you can’t leave the kitten in the stables. The horses would trample it!”

Eli narrowed his eyes. He obviously knew the kitten couldn’t stay in the stables, but now he was just imagining the kitten getting trampled. Why did Neville have to put that thought inside his head?

“I just told you, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I want to ask my parents about it but I know they’re not going to want a kitten and I can’t just let the kitten go back out onto the streets.” Eli said in a stressed tone. He hugged the kitten closer to him.

“You don’t really think your parents would force you to toss a kitten out onto the street, do you?”

Eli jumped hearing the new voice. When he opened his eyes, Neville was standing looking nervous. Eli’s mother stood in the doorway of the stables smiling.

“Oh, Mom…” Eli said standing. He looked down at the kitten in his arms and then back up at his mother, who sighed but was still smiling.

“We told you no kitten because we can’t afford to buy one right now. But I’m sure you have some allowance saved up?” she asked.

Eli nodded his head.

“Then maybe you and Neville should run to the store and get the kitten some food and a bed. Maybe get him a toy or two.”

Eli and Neville grinned at one another. Eli’s mother stepped to the side and pointed to the door. “You’re welcome. Now get a move on before it gets too dark.”

Eli gave his mother a hug. “Thank you!”

His mother took the kitten out of his hands. She snuggled with it to her cheek. “I’ll keep an eye on this little guy. Go on.”

“But Mom, wait.” Eli said and Neville paused in the doorway. “What about dad?”

His mother giggled staring at the kitten and stroking his chin. “Your father’s fine. He won’t be able to resist this face… Besides, I think I can convince him.”

“Oh, right. You’re always in charge.” Eli grinned.

His mother winked at him.

Words: 1,098

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Short Story Sunday 290: Potion

Short Story Sunday: Potion | Creative Writing | Short Story | Flash Fiction |

“What do you think would happen if I put the syrup into the mixture as well?” Margo wondered aloud. She held up a small glass bottle of brown liquid. She examined it as though the syrup itself would answer her.

She was experimenting and had to admit she had no idea what she was doing. Part of her homework assignment was figure out what various parts of a potion did to make the potion a potion – and to make it a good one. Margot had a list of ingredients and a recipe for a certain potion spell.

Ideally, her professor wanted her to recreate the spell and experiment by changing the amounts of each ingredient she put in or omitting some ingredients all together. Every part of a potion down the exact amount needed was important to every single spell. Even one little extra drop could change the entire outcome. It was her job to see what each ingredient did for a potion – or for this particular one – and see what her results had in common with the other witches in her class. Everyone had a different recipe they were supposed to work with and together they could find out if some ingredients helped with the spell or just added flavor.

Margot wanted to make sure her experiment was the best. She didn’t want to follow the exact recipe. She knew it would be cool to try to create her own potions and spells and see what each ingredient did to her own creations. (No, maple syrup was not one of the original ingredients she needed to use for the recipe her professor had assigned to her.)

She was giddy. She was wondered if she would stumble upon a brand new potion and create an awesome spell that no one had discovered yet. If that was the case, she wouldn’t need to finish school. She’d be famous!

Ruby stood on the other side of the room standing over her own cauldron over the fireplace. She looked over her shoulder and gave Margot a worried look as soon as she noticed the syrup.

“You know,” she said, “you should really follow the recipe our professor gave you. She’s not going to appreciate you not following her directions. You don’t know what could happen if you throw random amounts of syrup into your pot.”

Margot looked away from the syrup and grinned at her roommate. “Yeah, exactly. We don’t know. That’s the whole point of an experiment. Isn’t it exciting?”

“Isn’t what exciting?”

“Not knowing what’ll happen.”

“No, it’s not.” Ruby said gruffly. She turned away from her own work and glared at Margot. “I swear, if you blow up our cottage…”

“Don’t worry about that.” Margot laughed waving her hand dismissively. “Our professor wants us to experiment and that’s what I’m doing. Humans do it all the time. Why would she assign this to us if she didn’t expect us to get out of our comfort zones a bit?”

“Humans end up killing themselves and each other. Humans make mistakes all the time.” Ruby countered. “I don’t know how they do it since they don’t even have magic, but they manage.”

Margot stifled a laugh. “They manage to screw up because they’re stupid.”

“Agreed, but you’re being pretty stupid right now.” Ruby stated putting her hands on her hips. “Seriously, don’t put the syrup in. What other ingredients do you have over there that you’re not supposed to have?”

Margot hummed as she looked at the mess of ingredients on their kitchen counter. She paused for a moment trying to come up with an answer that wasn’t a lie but didn’t exactly tell Ruby the truth either. Pretty much all the ingredients she had, she wasn’t supposed to.

Their professor had given them small sample bags of all the ingredients they would need for their assigned recipe. Even though she only wanted them to experiment with the recipe three times, Margot had used up all of her sample on the first go. She had to improvise.

She had gone down to the kitchens late one night and took some more ingredients that she needed. It was innocent at first, but she saw all the other food and potion-making ingredients that she couldn’t help herself. This was the whole point of an experiment, right? Her professor should be proud of her for thinking outside the box and Ruby should be jealous right now.

“Hey,” Magot said finally answering her roommate, who was staring her down at this point. “Did you know that if you get hungry in the middle of the night, you can sneak down to the kitchens and get whatever you want for a snack? No one locks the kitchens and there’s no one on duty. We can go down at midnight tonight if you want and I’ll show you.”

“No,” Ruby said firmly. “I know that’s just code for you stole the ingredients that you’re not supposed to have.”

Margot sighed. “I really was hungry that first night. And I did need some extra ingredients because I used all mine up from what our professor gave us. I meant well. I still mean well.”

“That’s all well and fine, but you should know that every single potion uses just a pinch of every ingredient.” Ruby said.

“Really?” Margot asked scratching the top of her head. “No wonder I’ve failed all the tests…”

Ruby rolled her eyes and turned back to her cauldron. She peered inside and used her wand to stir the contents of the pot.

“What are you making over there? How did you change it from the original recipe?” Margot asked. She stood on her tip-toes to try to see inside the cauldron, but she was too far away and Ruby was blocking her view.

“Honestly, I’m not sure what this is. Our professor gave me a recipe I don’t recognize. I added an extra pinch of mint though, so we’ll see what happens. I figured, for my next try, I’ll omit the mint completely.” Ruby explained.

“Mint?” Margot repeated. She looked down at the maple syrup in the bottle, the orange and banana peel she had, and a few other random food items she had gathered from the kitchen.

“You know,” she started, “humans eat this stuff on a regular basis. We’re kind of wasting their food.”

Ruby grunted. “Says the witch who wanted to toss a whole bottle of maple syrup into her cauldron…”

“No, really.” Margot said ignoring the comment. “How come we waste the humans’ food like this? What good does it do us?”

“We have magic, Margot.” Ruby said exasperated. She turned away from her cauldron looking over her shoulder at her roommate. “Why do you always have to question it? This is the way we are and we use human food among a ton of other things to make potions and spells.”

“Right, but why don’t humans use their food to make potions and spells? The food is good at it.” Marot stated. She sat down on a stool in the kitchen and furrowed her brows deep in thought.

“Humans don’t have magic. Humans don’t even know that magic exists.” Ruby explained slowly. She acted as though Margot wouldn’t understand what she was trying to say, but they had this conversation so many times. Ruby was tired of it.

Margot was fascinated with humans. Her favorite class was Human Studies and she couldn’t understand how a species could be so stupid and delightful at the same time. They were interesting in the way they lived without magic and yet they were completely complicated in the way they used green paper and metal coins to get what they wanted. If Margot wanted anything, she casted a spell or made it herself. Sure, humans didn’t have the magic ability, but why didn’t they have that? Why didn’t the whole world have magic ability and why did they keep it a secret from the rest of the world?

Ruby was now standing in Margot’s face. She had her index finger up and pointed wagging it back and forth. “I know what you’re thinking.” She said. “I don’t want to hear any of it. We have this conversation too many times.”

“I didn’t have the conversation with you. I’m having it with me inside my head.” Margot defended herself. She leaned back a little to get Ruby’s finger out of her face. Ruby walked back over to her cauldron shaking her head.

The room was silent for a moment as Ruby got back to work on her assignment and Margot, sitting beside her simmering pot, still thought about the humans.

“What do you think would happen if a human knew about magic?” Margot piped up.

Ruby grunted hitting her forehead against the rim of her cauldron. Margot winced.

“Isn’t that hot?”

“Yes, but I don’t care…”

“Ruby, I’m serious.” Margot sighed.

Ruby stood straight and looked at her roommate, a red line across her forehead. “I’m serious too. We’ve had this conversation many times before.”

“Well, have it again with me.” Margot replied with a shrug of her shoulders.

Ruby sighed. She snapped her fingers and turned off the fire underneath her cauldron. It was obvious she wasn’t finishing her homework tonight. “If humans knew about magic, they’d try to take it from themselves. Or they’d be afraid of us and try to get rid of us.”

“How do you know that would actually happen though?” Margot wondered.

“It’s in all the textbooks. We learned about it in class, specifically Human Studies which I thought you paid most attention to.”

Margot nodded. “No, you’re right. But I don’t get who wrote those textbooks. If humans really don’t know about magic, then how can those experts say how they’ll react? Did they ever experiment with it? Did they ever tell human and then erase their memory once the human reacted poorly?”

Ruby buried her face in her hands. “I wish the professor never taught you what an experiment was… This is getting way out of hand.”

“You have to agree with me, Ruby.” Margot said sadly. “You know I’m making sense.”

“I mean, I guess so.” Ruby looked back up with a shrug. “But there’s nothing we can do about it now. Humans live the way they live and we live the way we live. End of story. Why do you need to make such a case out of it?”

“Make a what out of it?”

“Never mind…”

“I think we should find a human and talk to them about us.” Margot stated blunty.

Ruby’s eyes grew nearly popping out of her head. “I’m sorry, what? You’re not serious, are you?”

“No, I’m serious.”

“Margot, no! There’s no way we can seek out a human and tell them about our entire race. We could wipe all the witches out of existence!”

“Nah, that wouldn’t happen.” Margot said waving her hand dismissively. “This will be a fun experiment. If our professor wants us to try new things, then this would be perfect. We could live in peace and harmony with the humans too.”

Ruby narrowed her eyes and folded her arms across her chest. “And what if we don’t live in peace and harmony? What if the humans freak out about us?”

Margot drew in a sharp breath. She cracked a smile. “I guess we’ll cross that bridge if we get there.”

“When we get there.”

“If,” Margot corrected. “You don’t know the outcome of the experiment until you test it out.”

Ruby rolled her eyes. She seriously needed to talk to her professor about this. “Why do you want to talk to a human so bad? Why do you want to expose us?”

“Not expose us,” Margot shook her head innocently. “To inform them. To educate us. Humans are fascinating and I think we’re taught a bunch of lies about them. Who knows what humans must think of us?”

“I don’t want them to think of us. They don’t know we exist.”

“They should know we exist.”


“Because we know they exist.”

Ruby clamped her mouth shut. While she hated to admit that her roommate might have a point, she still didn’t believe that it made any sense. She knew Margot was fascinated with the humans, but she never imaged Margot would ever want to meet one.

“Ruby?” Margot asked.


“Wanna go to the Human World with me?”


Margot grinned. She stepped forward taking Ruby’s hands into her own. “Please? We can meet real humans and interact with them. We don’t have to tell them we’re witches. Not right away, anyway.”

“We don’t tell them at all because we’re not going. We don’t even know how to get the Human World.” Ruby countered.

“I do,”

“Of course you do…”

“I’ve researched it.” Margot stated proudly. Then she frowned and let go of Ruby’s hands. “Alright, I guess I’ll go alone. It would have been fun to share it with you though.”

Margot turned her back and headed for the door.

“Wait, you’re leaving now?” Ruby asked.

Margot looked over her shoulder. “It’s dark. Everyone should be in their cottages or asleep. Now’s the best time.”

Without waiting for a response, Margot left the cottage and disappeared into the night.

Ruby stood in silence for a moment before rolling her eyes and dashing out the door. She knew well enough Margot would get herself into trouble if she went alone.

“Wait for me!” she called.

Words: 2,251

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Short Story Sunday 289: Notebooks

Short Story Sunday: Notebooks | Creative Writing | Short Story | Flash Fiction |

Chloe pulled the drawer out from under her bed. She had more notebooks than she could count and she needed to get them organized a little bit. She was starting college soon and Chloe’s mother wanted her to go through all the school supplies she already had before they went shopping.

Chloe was a notebook junkie, as her mother put it. They both knew Chloe didn’t need to buy any new notebooks for college even though Chloe wanted some fresh ones. Why would anyone not want to buy new notebooks? She knew her mother was right, though. She didn’t believe in having too many notebooks, but college tuition and the textbooks were expensive. If she could save a bit of money on the school supplies – even if it was just a couple of bucks – that would be great.

So, she opened the drawer under her bed. It was a tough one to jimmy open on account of it being so stuffed, but she managed.

Chloe wasn’t sure what kind of notebooks she would need for college. Her teachers in high school were so picky. Some wanted a one-subject notebook while others wanted a five-subject notebook. None of the teachers wanted their students to share the same notebook with a different class. Why? Chloe had no idea. She assumed it was because the teachers thought they’d take a lot of notes, but that wasn’t the case at all. At least, it wasn’t for her. She shared notebooks with classes anyway to fill them up. Her teachers never read her notebooks so they never knew.

Still, there were some notebooks that were halfway filled or three-quarters filled with school notes and doodles. Chloe put those ones to the side. She didn’t want to bring those ones to college, even if the notes inside might end up being useful. No, she’d use the extra paper from those notebooks for more doodles, scrap paper, or making lists. She wanted fresh notebooks for her college classes.

The next few notebooks Chloe skimmed through were the same. Some were almost filled up, others halfway, and some just the first few papers were used. She got stuck looking through these ones as they held old stories and poems. She liked to write every now and then, though she wasn’t serious about it. She liked to keep her written work though, even though it was taking space up in an otherwise brand new notebook.

Chloe knew most of those stories she could rip out of their notebooks and stick in a folder somewhere for safe keeping. However, she didn’t want to disturb the pages. There was one notebook that had a single Haiku in it and that was it. Chloe read it to herself and made a face. She didn’t know what she was thinking when she wrote that.

Now that Chloe was looking at all this, she realized she never wrote the date on anything. She wished she wrote the date on her stories so she knew how old they were. It was obvious her writing had improved from one notebook to the next and it was certainly interesting to check out her own writing again. A lot of these stories she had completely forgotten about. She briefly wondered if she could get back into some of them. Maybe she’d bring a couple to college with her in case she had any free time in her dorm.

She set aside those notebooks and realized there were two more small bins under her bed. Both of those held notebooks, but they were smaller. Some were notepads but most of them were journal-like notebooks. Chloe wasn’t going to bring any of those to school for note-taking.

She also knew, in the other room, she had a filing cabinet where she kept even more notebooks. Did she feel like going through those as well?

Chloe knew most of those notebooks were filled with started and half-written stories and poems as well. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to go through all of those and set the stories aside. The notebooks were the stories’ home, she didn’t want to rip them out and put them away in a folder. She had a feeling she’d never get back to the stories otherwise.

Chloe picked up the few notebooks she had and put them into her suitcase. She could use those to finish her stories and poems in her free time during college. If she was running low on paper for class for any reason, she could take a piece or two from the back. However, it seemed as though she was going to have to go to the store and buy some new notebooks for her classes.

Now all she needed to do was go back downstairs and tell her mother.

Words: 799

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Short Story Sunday 288: Embox

Short Story Sunday: Embox | Creative Writing | Short Story | Flash Fiction |

Olivia placed one end of the packing tape on the top of the box and moved it down with a screeching sound as she taped the cardboard flaps closed together. She stood straightening her back when that was done. She kicked the box to the side with her foot and looked around on the ground for any other boxes that needed to be taped shut.

“How are you doing over there?” Sam asked as he entered the living room holding onto a stack of three boxes. He couldn’t see where he was going and he was awfully close to the couch.

Olivia leaped over a box and stood in front of him pushing him back just a little. “Stop! You’re going to trip yourself.” She didn’t know what was in those boxes but she didn’t want him to fall and hurt himself. She certainly didn’t want anything in the boxes to break. She had worked too hard packing them.

Sam put the boxes down on the couch and looked down at where his feet were. “Oh, thanks. I didn’t realize I was already in the room.” He chuckled.

“Did we get everything?” Olivia asked looking around the living room. The big pieces of furniture were still there, but they needed to wait for the movers to come in the morning in order to get those in the truck.

“I believe we have everything packed up, yes.” Sam replied. He looked down at her with a grin. “Can you believe we’re finally getting a house? No more being cramped in an apartment. We’ll own our own space!”

“We don’t own anything until we pay off the mortgage.” Olivia replied with a sigh. She walked away looking at everything in the living room. She didn’t see anything lying around other than furniture that was too big to fit inside boxes. All the small pieces, nick-knacks, blankets, pillows, and the like were all packed up. They had done every room in the house except for their bedroom and part of the kitchen. The movers were going to be at their apartment first thing in the morning and Olivia was so stressed at the amount of work they still had to do.

“Oh, come on. Don’t worry about that.” Sam said trying to reassure her. “If we couldn’t afford a mortgage than we wouldn’t have gotten a house. We’ll get everything done in time too, so we’re good. There’s nothing to stress over.”

Olivia sighed. “I know you’re right, but I know I’m not going to be getting any sleep tonight.”

Sam smiled. “Of course not, you’ll be too excited.”

“That’s not what I meant.”

“You’re not excited?”

“No, I am. I just want this part to be over.” Olivia said gesturing to all the boxes.

Sam nodded. “Yeah, this is kind of the tough part. It’s hard to pack everything up and decide what you truly need to bring with you and what you don’t need. We got rid of a lot of stuff and it’s ironic because we’re moving into a bigger place. But unpacking it all will be fun and it’ll be even more fun to go shopping to buy new things for the house, don’t you think?”

“Buy new things? We have a mortgage now!” Olivia exclaimed.

“Oh, dear…” Sam sighed.

“How can we afford new things? We’re going to have so many new bills… we’re going to be homeless before we know it!”

“Whoa, okay.” Sam said rubbing the back of his head. He took the packing tape out of Olivia’s hand and tossed it onto the coffee table. “I think we need to take a break. We’ve been packing for three days straight and tomorrow is going to be a really long day. It’s dinnertime, let’s go out to eat and get out of here for a bit.”

“Get out of here for a bit? We’re leaving this place forever. The landlord already has a new tenant lined up.” Olivia stated. “And how can we go out to eat and buy dinner when we’re going to have to go furniture shopping and we need to pay so many bills? We can’t afford dinner!”

Sam sighed. It was obvious no matter what he said he was just going to make Olivia panic even more. He took her by the hand and led her to the door. He gabbed his car keys hanging up by the door and walked her out into the hall without saying a word. She didn’t say anything either but she followed willingly.

As soon as they made it outside of the apartment building and walked through the parking lot hand in hand, Sam looked back down at his girlfriend. He noticed her take in a deep breath.

“Feeling better?” he asked.

“Yes, actually.” Olivia nodded. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to get crazy.”

“You’re not being crazy. You’re nervous and excited at the same time and I can’t blame you. This is stressful and it’s a lot of work. But we’ve made it this far. We got the house, which is the hardest part of this whole process.” Sam explained.

Olivia nodded in agreement. The two of then made it to the car. Sam got into the driver’s side and Olivia sat in the front. She buckled her seat belt as she waited for Sam to settle in his seat.

“We’ll go out, get some food in our systems, relax and chat for a bit, and then we’ll head back here and finish up any packing we have left to do. We’ll be fine and get everything done in no time.” Sam stated. He turned on the car and pulled out of the lot.

Olivia nodded again. “No, you’re right. We’ll be fine. It’s still early so we have plenty of time to finish everything. Our friends and family are coming over early in the morning to help with last minute things and then the movers will be coming…”

“And then we’ll officially be home.” Sam said with a grin.

Olivia couldn’t help but smile too. She looked at Sam and took his hand in hers. “And then we’ll officially be home.”

Words: 1,026

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Short Story Sunday 287: Make

Short Story Sunday: Make | Creative Writing | Short Story | Flash Fiction |

May waved goodbye to her parents as her father backed out of the driveway and turned left right after her mother backed out of the driveway and turned to the right. Once both cars were around the corner and out of sight, May closed the front door and ran into her kitchen. Her parents were going to be at work for the next six hours, but she had never baked a cake before. She didn’t know if it’d come out terrible and she’d have to do it all over again.

            She entered the kitchen and turned on her iPad that was propped up against the cookbook holder. She had found a delicious looking chocolate fudge cake recipe with chocolate frosting on someone’s social media page. Both of her parents were hardcore chocolate lovers and this was their 20th wedding anniversary.

May was only 15-years-old. Her mother did all the baking and cooking and she didn’t have a driver’s license of her own to try to get ingredients for the cake. She needed to make this all from scratch and hope for the best. She didn’t have a gift for them because she didn’t have any money to spend so she thought making a cake for them to celebrate with after dinner was a good plan.

She got the recipe up on her iPad and read the list of ingredients silently to herself. It seemed easy enough and, if she had learned anything from watching her mother, she knew well enough to get out all the ingredients first and measure them before actually mixing anything together. If there was something she didn’t have or did have enough of, she was going to have to walk to the store and buy a cake. She knew where her parents kept their stash of emergency money. She could always pay them back later. She did that a lot and they never noticed. Hopefully, it wouldn’t come to that though.

May spent half of the day gathering ingredients, throwing everything into a bowl and mixing it all together. She was lucky enough to have enough of everything she needed. The cake was in the oven and it smelled good – she just hoped that it would taste good.

She cleaned up the kitchen while she waited for the cake to bake. She made a huge mess in the kitchen – a mess she wasn’t expecting to make. Once the cake had baked and was completed cooled, (she knew it needed to be completely cooled. She had made that mistake once already before.), she still needed to frost and decorate it. She knew she was going to make another mess with the frosting.

May had planned on making the frosting herself but she had found a can of frosting in the cabinet. It was chocolate and unopened so she decided to just use that. It would be easier and quicker for her. She did have sprinkles and icing to write on the write the cake. She just needed to hope it was legible.

When all was said and done, May put the cake in the fridge. She was proud of her masterpiece and she couldn’t wait to show her Mom and Dad when they came home. She went into the living room and sat down on the couch putting her feet up on the coffee table. Baking the cake took a lot longer than she had expected. It had taken a good chunk of her Saturday away but she didn’t mind. She was excited to see the look on her parents’ faces when they came home from work.

Later that day, May’s father came home first. She had heard him come through the front door and came out of her bedroom to greet him. He was just closing the fridge in the kitchen when May entered the room. She hoped he didn’t see the cake she had baked for them. She wanted to bring it out as a surprise to both of them after dinner.

“Hey, Dad. How was your day?” she asked.

“Good. Work was boring. How was yours?” he replied.

May shrugged. “It was fine. I just relaxed all day.”

“Good.” He grinned.

The front door opened in the other room and they heard her mother call a greeting. She came into the kitchen holding a white box in her hands.

“Oh, you’re both here.” She said holding up the box with a grin. “Happy anniversary! I got us a cake for dessert.”

“Oh,” Dad replied. “Happy Anniversary,” he chuckled opening the fridge and taking out a white box. “So, did I.”

Mom laughed. “Well, it seems like we’re going to have cake for a while, huh?”

May sighed. “Yeah, a real long while.” She motioned for her dad to step aside and when he did, she opened the fridge and took out the cake she had made.

Her mother and father glanced at each other and then they both smiled.

“You made us a cake?” her mother asked.

May nodded.

Her father laughed. “Well, we’ll eat yours tonight. A home-made cake is better than store-bought anyway.”

“Great minds think alike, I guess.” Her mother replied. She wrapped her daughter into a hug and gave her a kiss. “Thanks for thinking of us on our anniversary. I can’t wait to taste this cake!”

May cracked a smile. “I hope it tastes good.”

“Well,” her father winked at her, “I’m sure it tastes delicious. But, if it doesn’t, we have two back-ups.”

Her mother nodded in agreement. She put her cake down on the counter and then looked at the other two. “So… I don’t feel like cooking tonight. Should we go out to eat or just have cake for dinner?”

May’s face lit up. Would her mother really let them skip dinner and just have cake for the night?

“I think I know May’s answer and I think I have to agree with her.” Her father replied.

Her mother nodded. “Good. I was thinking the same thing.” She took the cover off the container May had put her cake in and grabbed a knife from the drawer. “May, would you like to do the honors?”

May nodded with a grin taking the knife from her mother. Then she cut into the cake, making three large slices for all of them.

Words: 1,054

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Short Story Sunday 286: More

Short Story Sunday: More | Creative Writing | Short Story | Flash Fiction |

Bella picked up another book off the shelf and flipped it over to read the back cover. Her gaze glazed over the words on the back. She grinned and nodded to herself and tossed the book into the basket her boyfriend was carrying. He looked down at the stack of books in the basket and let out a sigh.

Bella ignored him.

She continued down the isle of books, her hand caressing the spines along the shelves as she leisurely moved along. Theo followed along sighing with each step, getting louder and louder.

Bella looked over her shoulder at him. “Don’t rush me.”

“I’m not rushing you.”

“You told me you’d take me to the bookstore to get whatever I wanted for my birthday.”

Theo glanced down at the basket again. “I did and I instantly regret it. This basket of books must weigh at least 100 pounds.”

Bella giggled. “Oh, I can’t wait to go home and start reading them!”

“Great, so let’s go home.” Theo said grabbing her arm and nodding his head toward the check out. “We can go pay for what we have, I’ll make you a bath, and you can read in the tub while I go through my bank account.”

Bella smirked at him. She stood on her tip-toes and kissed him on the cheek. “Have I told you lately that you’re the best boyfriend in the whole world?”

“You have, but not often enough.” Theo replied holding up the basket of books again.

“Well, I’m telling you now. I have to say that this is the best birthday I’ve ever had!”

Theo let out a nervous chuckle. “I’m never going to be able to top this birthday, huh? There’s no way I’ve ever telling you to go nuts in a bookstore with my wallet ever again.”

Bella shrugged. “It’s okay, I’m getting all paperback books.”

“Well, I appreciate you considering my income for this very large gift.” Theo deadpanned.

Bella gave his hand a squeeze and turned the other way. She disappeared around the corner heading into the next isle. Theo lifted the basket balancing the handle on his elbow while using his other hand to count in the books. Then he followed her to the other side.

“You have eight books here. How about you get two more and then–”

Bella walked straight toward him, a book in each hand. She placed them both into the basket with a grin and turned back around again.

“That was fast…” Theo muttered. He stared at the back of Bella’s head. “Okay, so there’s ten books now. We can pay and go home, right? This should last you for a little while? I hope?”

Bella laughed at him. “Don’t be silly, those ten won’t last me a month.”

“But… we’re done, right?” Theo asked again.

“One more minute?” Bella asked sweetly.

“How about one more book?” Theo said with another sigh.

Bella chuckled again shaking her head. “Oh, please, Theo. I can’t promise that.”

“Why not?”

“We haven’t made it to the mystery section yet.”

Words: 511

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Time To Write Stories

Last week I posted another sentence starter. If you’ve read my I’m Starting Over post, you’ll know these prompts are on a break until January 2020. Thanks to all those who have participated and I hope to see you again in a couple of months.

In the meantime, be sure to check out the writers who submitted stories for this sentence starter.

Time To Write: Sentence Starter: "I need more." | Creative Writing | Writing Prompt | Flash Fiction | Short Story |

Happy Writing!

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Short Story Sunday 285: Bad

Short Story Sunday: Bad | Creative Writing | Short Story | Flash Fiction |

“How is it?” Jasmine asked. She stood right in her roommate’s face wiping her hands in her floral apron around her waist.

Lucy chewed the food inside her mouth, her gaze wandering around the kitchen. She was having a tough time chewing the piece of brownie and she wasn’t sure if it was meant to be like that. The taste, on the other hand, she wasn’t sure about either. Was it her taste buds that didn’t seem to care for it or was it just cooked badly?

“Well?” Jasmine demanded straightening up and putting her hands on her hips.

“It’s good,” Lucy lied still chewing on the small piece.

“Then why aren’t you swallowed?”

“I’ve tried, but my throat keeps pushing it back up.”

Jasmine pouted and turned away as Lucy went over to the trash and spit the piece of chocolate out.

“Oh, man… what are we going to do?” Jasmine sighed. She sat down at the kitchen table. The kitchen was a pit. The sink was overflowing with dirty dishes, all the ingredients were left out scattered about on the counters and the table, as well as some of it spilled on the counter and even onto some parts of the floor. Lucy turned around from the trash and noticed the mess for the first time. She had no idea how Jasmine managed to make such a mess, but she had a feeling she wasn’t going to clean it all up on her own.

“I don’t know,” Lucy replied staring at the mess. Though she knew Jasmine wasn’t talking about the mess in the kitchen.

“I told them I’d bring something.” Jasmine wailed burying her face in her hands. “We have to go to the party in two hours and we have nothing!”

“Seriously,” Lucy stared at the empty egg carton, flour bag, and there was barely any sugar left. These brownies were not her first attempt. Lucy woke up this morning to the aroma of chocolate. The thing was, Lucy had no idea how one could mess up such an easy thing as brownies, but Jasmine refused to use a box. She wanted to try it from scratch. Even that was easy, but she still messed it up.

Honestly, Lucy was getting sick of tasting all the mistakes and Jasmine wanted to do it on her own so she wouldn’t accept any help from her roommate. Lucy was the one who always cooked dinner and she was beginning to think that she should have Jasmine help her more often. Maybe she’d learn a thing or two.

“It’s not a big deal. There’s always the grocery store.” Lucy explained. She picked up the empty ingredient containers and brought them over to the trash. She wanted to make Jasmine clean the kitchen herself, but she was so upset, Lucy figured she might as well help where she can.

“I don’t want to bring something store bought though… I told them I’d make something. Everyone else is going to make something. We’re adults now, we have our own apartment. I want to bring a home made something to their engagement party.” Jasmine complained.

Lucy sighed. Just because they lived in an apartment didn’t mean they were adults. They both had full-time jobs, but Lucy was still in school, and both of them called their mothers every night with some sort of question. Jasmine had to ask her father to come over the other day to change the lightbulb in the kitchen for them because neither of them could figure out how to take the cover off.

They had decided to move in together and take that step in their lives because they’re other two girlfriends were in relationships and living with their significant others. One of them had just gotten engaged and ever since they announced it, Jasmine has been feeling subpar. They were all the same age and Jasmine felt as though she was behind where she should be. Lucy had tried explaining they were more focused on their career while their other friends weren’t, but it was still a weird feeling for Jasmine.

Lucy understood that. It was weird for her as well. But she had a feeling they wouldn’t be the only people to show up to the engagement party with a store-bought item.

“How about,” Lucy said knowing everyone else with a store-bought dessert would have the same excuse, “we just say a few things came up and we didn’t have time to bake anything? No one will even ask, but in case they do.”

Jasmine wiped her eyes but nodded.

“Do you want to run out and get some fresh air? You can pick up something yummy and I can get started on this kitchen…” Lucy said tried to stifle another sigh.

Jasmine nodded. She stood and took off her apron, putting it on the back of the chair but it fell to the floor. She walked away not noticing and left the room to grab her keys and purse.

Lucy stared at the apron on the ground and grunted. She had only been roommates with her friend for about two weeks and was already wondering how much longer she was going to last. Jasmine was usually the level-headed one of their group.

It just goes to show how some people show their true colors when you live with them.

Words: 895

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