Short Story Sunday 239: Zap

Short Story: "Zap" | flash fiction | creative writing | writing prompt | blogging | RachelPoli.com

It was a beautiful summer night. The sun had just set but it was still light enough to see and not yet look at the stars. She was sitting on her back deck, lounging in a cushioned chair, her feet propped up on the adjacent chair. Her head was titled back, eyes closed, taking in the summer breeze. This summer had been brutal and the heat was just awful. It was great to sit outside in the evening and naturally cool down.

She heard a zap in the distance and ignored it. Crickets were chirping all around her and even some birds were singing even though they were usually in bed at this time.

Another zap came and she opened one eye. Then there was nothing again. A car drove by her house, its windows down, blasting some heavy metal music. She shifted in her chair trying to get comfortable and relaxed again. The music faded as the car made its distance. She let out a deep sigh and slunk into her chair once more.

Zap.

She opened both her eyes this time. What in the world was that noise? She was trying to have a relaxing night. Her husband had gone to the game with some friends and all the kids were out of the house at their friends’ houses. She hadn’t had a quiet night like this in a long time and she wasn’t to soak it all up.

Zap.

She lifted her head and scanned the area with narrowed eyes. It wasn’t even a loud noise. It was just annoying her. It was a quick zap too, so she knew there was no reason for her to be bothered by it… but she was.

Zap.

She stood up from her chair and looked around. Nothing seemed to be in the yard. The backyard was pretty quiet and dark. She had to squint her eyes to see, but she still couldn’t tell if anything was out there.

Zap.

Groaning, she stepped off the deck and walked through the grass in the backyard. She walked over to the garage, waving her arm trying to set off the motion sensor light. She blinded herself when it turned on because of course she was looking directly at the bulb. It was a stupid move, but she had done it subconsciously.

She rubbed her eyes together turning away from the light. She blinked seeing spots everywhere but she walked away from the light anyway trying to find her way back to the deck.

Zap.

She stopped walking and grunted. She let out an annoyed sigh and decided she wasn’t going to let it bother her anymore. It wasn’t doing anything other than the occasional quick sound. She was making it more annoying than it seemed.

Zap.

Nope. She wasn’t going to let it bother her. She walked back up on the deck. When facing that neighbor’s house she noticed something that wasn’t there the night before. She walked over to the other side of the deck and leaned against the railing trying to get a closer ook. Her eyes were still spotty so she couldn’t tell if she was seeing things or if it was the real deal.

It was a blue light and the moment she heard another zapping sound, it lit up before going dim again.

A bug zapper. Her neighbor got a bug zapper. That was it? That’s what was driving her nuts all this time? She groaned rubbing her head. She didn’t realize how much she needed to relax until something as simple as a bug zapper started driving her crazy.

She sat back down in her chair, scooting down, resting her head against the back again. She propped up her feet once more on the chair. The garage light had shut off and she was able to close her eyes and try to get some rest again.

When all was quiet, she breathed in through her nose taking in the summer breeze again. She smiled to herself. The only thing that would make this night better was if there were cucumbers on her eyes and she had a cold glass of lemonade.

“Mom!”

Her eyes snapped open. How were the kids home already? She had just sat back down to relax!

Her daughter opened the back door. “Oh, there you are. We’re home. We brought a couple of friends, too. Hope you don’t mind.” The door closed and her daughter disappeared.

But she could still hear their voices. Both her daughters, her son, and a couple of other voices. They were all in the kitchen, no doubt raiding the fridge, laughing, being loud and obnoxious.

She groaned pushing herself up and out of her chair. Well, maybe she’ll try again tomorrow night.

Words: 795

I hope you enjoyed this story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Time To Write: A Notebook [Creative Writing Prompt]

Last week’s writing prompt was a Random Words prompt. Check out some great pieces by fellow writers:

Now onto this week’s writing prompt:

Creative writing | writing prompt | Notebook | flash fiction | short story | blogging | RachelPoli.com

Write a story based on the word above.

If you use this prompt, please leave a link to your post in the comments below and I’ll share it next week. Please be sure to link back to my blog so your readers know where you got the prompt!

Happy Writing! If you want more, check out all my other Writing Prompts here!

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Short Story Sunday 238: Yearn

Creative writing | writing prompt | flash fiction | short story | blogging | RachelPoli.com

Patty opened the front door to her house but didn’t enter. She gazed around the living room. It didn’t seem lively as it usually was. Normally when she came home, he was there to greet her. The house always smelled nice because he had started dinner for her. The living room would have been tidied up, the laundry folded, their bed made. It was weird to come home from work and not have any of that.

Not that she took it for granted, no. She was just used to that living style and she appreciated all the effort he put in. He put in the effort because he loved her and knew how hard she worked. Patty knew how hard he worked too. She had even told him a couple times to just come home from work, sit down, put his feet up, and relax. But he wouldn’t have any of it. He always continued working when he got home. It was a surprise each time, even though she sort of expected it at this point.

Patty entered the house closing the door behind her. There was no sense in remaining in the doorway. The house wasn’t going to clean itself now. Dinner wasn’t going to cook itself. The laundry wasn’t going to fold itself and head back into the closet.

She hung up her coat on the rack beside the front door and sauntered over to the couch. She sat down looking all around. There was a different atmosphere in the house. It was quiet. Eerie, even. Nothing was wrong, things were just different. It wasn’t anything Patty was used to.

She had never noticed it before, but the house was usually bustling with life. Fresh, delicious smells would make its rounds around the house. Soft, romantic music would be playing from the living room. Patty could watch him work in the kitchen from the living room. She didn’t think he knew, but there were so many times she had come home from work and just watched him in admiration.

How did she get so lucky?

How did things change so fast?

She supposed she couldn’t complain. It was a good life while it lasted. It was still a good life. She just needed to get used to the changes.

Patty missed him though. It was the first day without him there and she already didn’t know what to do with herself. She would get used to this, right?

Sure, the place was quiet. The place seemed darker than it usually was. But she could make this work.

Patty got up from the count and walked over to the radio on the shelf in the back. When she clicked it on, it was on the channel he always had it on. Their wedding song was currently playing. Her eyes got a little teary but she smiled.

Was this a sign?

Patty twirled and pretended he was there dancing with her. She suddenly felt a lot better. She could do these things on her own. Maybe she could even do it for him. Not today, but she could have the house smelling nice for him. She could have the laundry done for him. She could blast their wedding song that maybe he’d hear it where ever he was.

She turned on the lights in the living room and looked at the clock. It was still pretty early, but she thought she might go to bed. The first night was going to be difficult, but she felt confident now. It was only going to be hard if she made it hard.

When their wedding song ended, Patty turned off the radio. She gathered her work things and brought them upstairs to her bedroom. She may have to sleep with all the lights on tonight, but she would get used to it. The bed was going to feel cold and empty, but she would get used to it.

After all, he was only on a work trip for four days.

Words: 668

I hope you enjoyed this story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Time To Write: Random Words 12 [Creative Writing Prompt]

Last week’s writing prompt was a Sentence Starter. Check out some great pieces by fellow writers:

Now onto this week’s writing prompt:

Creative writing prompt | writing prompt | random words | flash fiction | short story | blogging | RachelPoli.com

Write a story using all the words above.

If you use this prompt, please leave a link to your post in the comments below and I’ll share it next week. Please be sure to link back to my blog so your readers know where you got the prompt!

Happy Writing! If you want more, check out all my other Writing Prompts here!

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Short Story Sunday 237: What Happened?

Short Story: "What Happened?" | flash fiction | creative writing | writing prompt | blogging | RachelPoli.com

“What happened? I thought you said you didn’t mind doing it.” Max asked. He cradled his cell phone in between his right ear and shoulder as he continued writing something down on a clipboard that was hanging up on the wall.

“I don’t mind doing it,” Kiara replied through the phone. “I just forgot that it was today.”

Max sighed. He dropped the pencil letting it bungee downward, the string it was tied to saving it from falling to the ground. Max took the phone back into his hand and turned around leaning his back against the wall. “How could you forget that it’s today?”

“I don’t know,”

“You know, I’m beginning to wonder if you agreed to help me out because you felt bad saying no. Now you’re trying to think of excuses to get out of it.” Max looked to his left seeing a couple of teenagers trying to put together some of the backdrop on the stage. It was obvious they were struggling.

“No, that’s not what it is at all.” Kiara said becoming slightly annoyed.

Max leaned over to see if anyone else could help the kids since he was busy with Kiara. Sure enough, one of the teachers was standing by watching the kids struggle.

“It’s not that I didn’t want to do it, I just honestly forgot. You know, my life has been pretty busy too. You wouldn’t know that though because you’ve been spending all your time at the theater and talking about the show rather than asking me how my day went.” Kiara continued.

Max snapped his fingers a couple of times trying to get the other teacher’s attention but it didn’t seem to be working. The teacher was leaning against the podium off the stage watching the teenagers argue with one another about the backdrop.

“Hello? Are you listening to me?” Kiara grumbled.

“I heard you, I’m sorry.” Max replied hastily. “So, what you’re saying is that I’ve been reminding you of the play every single day and yet you still forgot to come today?”

There was silence.

Max paused. “Hello?”

“If I could reach through this phone, I’d slap you.” Kiara said through gritted teeth.

Max sighed. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that.” He turned his back on the teenagers pretending he didn’t see them. He’d deal with them – and that teacher – afterward. Right now he needed to give his attention to Kiara.

“Then what did you mean?” Kiara challenged.

“Forget I said anything.” Max said with a wave of his arm even though she couldn’t see him. “I’m just stressed out, tonight’s opening night, and I thought I could count on you for your help. You’re the only person who I knew would actually do your job… Seriously, none of the other teachers are taking it seriously and the kids are just happy to not be doing their homework.

“So, yeah. I’m a little frustrated you didn’t come because I thought I could count on you. I thought I would have at least one other person here that had a good head on their shoulders and knew what they were doing and would take this a little bit seriously.”

“It’s a high school play.” Kiara said exasperated.

“Yes, and it’s important to me.” Max replied with no hesitated.

There was silence again. Max waited knowing she was still on the line. He could hear her breathing. He just hoped she wasn’t thinking of another excuse to back out on him. He really needed her help.

Kiara groaned. “I’ll be right there. I honestly did forget about it though.”

Max nodded. “I know. I’m sorry I accused you of trying to get out of it. I mean,” he looked at his surroundings again, “I couldn’t blame you if that was truly the case.”

“I put up with this because I love you. But honestly, never again.” Kiara stated firmly.

Max couldn’t help but chuckle. “Fair enough.”

“Alright,” Kiara said, “I’ll be there in about ten minutes. I just have to put my face on.”

“I promise, when the night is over, we can go to a fancy restaurant or you can pick out a piece of jewelry from any expensive store you want.” Max smiled.

“Oh, save it.”

Max let out a sigh of relief. “Okay good, because I don’t think I’ll be making any profit from this play.”

“Again, it’s high school.”

“Yeah… right.” Max said rubbing the back of his neck. He wanted to be a director and was just trying to get some sort of experience. Maybe going back to his old high school wasn’t exactly the best place to start.

Words: 776

I hope you enjoyed this story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Short Story Sunday 236: Fish

Short Story Sunday | Flash fiction | creative writing | writing prompt | RachelPoli.com

Louis pressed his face against the glass with a wide grin on his face. His eyes shifted all around trying to find everything that was inside.

“Honey, don’t do that. You’re going to scare the fish.” His mother said.

Louis took a step back from the tank and tried to look from a different angle. His father had just set up a 50-gallon fish tank in the living room. There were a lot of colorful fish, too many for Louis to count. It was a birthday present to him and his parents had told him they could go out and pick out a couple more fish. They had just wanted to fill it up a little to surprise him.

He was always fascinated with fish, a goldfish being his first pet. He kept getting one goldfish after another as they kept dying on him. As he got older, he bought himself a small tank and a betta fish to keep up in his bedroom. That fish was still alive and doing well but he had always wanted to have a large tank. He didn’t think he was going to be able to get one until he moved out of the house. Yet, here he was, on his 18th birthday and his parents had gotten him a huge fish tank for his birthday. This wasn’t a typical gift an 18-year-old would get, but it made Louis happy and he was appreciative of his parents for getting it for him.

He had gone away the weekend before on a trip with a couple of his friends and when he came home, the fish tank was sitting nice and pretty against the wall in the living room.

“Now, you’re lucky your father and I were able to figure out how to set this thing up.” His mother explained. “You’re going to have to clean it and take care of the fish.”

Louis scoffed. “Ma, you don’t have to talk to me as though this is my first pet and I’m five. I got this, don’t worry.”

His mother smirked. “I know, but I just have to say it.”

“No, you don’t.”

“I’m mom.”

He sighed. He wasn’t going to win so he just gave her a hug instead.

Words: 375

I hope you enjoyed this story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Time To Write: Picture Prompt 22 [Creative Writing Prompt]

Last week’s writing prompt was a general prompt. Check out some great pieces by fellow writers:

Now onto this week’s writing prompt:

Time to write | picture prompt | creative writing | writing prompts | flash fiction | RachelPoli.com

Write a story based on the picture above.

If you use this prompt, please leave a link to your post in the comments below and I’ll share it next week. Please be sure to link back to my blog so your readers know where you got the prompt!

Happy Writing! If you want more, check out all my other Writing Prompts here!

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Short Story Sunday 235: People

Short Story | Flash fiction | creative writing | writing prompt | RachelPoli.com

“Thank you,” Monica said taking her hot coffee from the barista. She dropped a couple coins into the tip jar and made her way over to the back table of the coffee shop. Jenna was already sitting at the table sipping on her frappuccino.

Monica sat down on the same side of the table as her friend and cradled her cup in both hands while having it sit on the table. It was too hot to drink at the moment but it felt good to hold.

Jenna, on the other hand, had already drunk half of hers. Her cup was on the table and her head was bowed for her mouth to meet the straw, not the other way around.

“How’s your drink?” Monica asked. She noticed half of it was already gone and Jenna had only gotten it minutes before Monica got her own.

Jenna lifted her mouth off the straw, “Yum,” she said quickly before wrapping her lips around the straw once more.

“Don’t drink it too fast.” Monica warned. She brought her coffee up to her lips and tipped it over to let a drop spill onto her upper lip. Yep, still too hot. She put it back down.

Jenna sat up chuckling. “That’s what you get for getting something hot.”

“It’s 20-degrees out.” Monica commented.

Jenna shrugged and took another sip of her drink before sitting back. She folded her arms across her chest, her gaze scanning the coffee shop. “Who do you think we’re going to find today?”

“I don’t know,” Monica replied leaning back in her seat. She folded one arm and held onto her coffee in the other. “We are here on a different day than normal so we’re not going to see our usuals.”

Jenna nodded. “I wonder if some of them come on multiple days though.”

Monica shrugged a little in agreement. Yeah, that could be. No one was limited to come into a coffee shop just one day a week.

Monica and Jenna were good friends and tried to meet for coffee once or twice a week. It was often hard to get together otherwise due to their busy work schedules. They had tried a few different coffee shops and this one happened to have the best made coffee as well as the friendliest staff.

Plus, some of the customers were weird.

It turned from Jenna and Monica meeting for coffee and catching up with one another to them drinking coffee together and people watching. That was why they always sat at the table in the back with two of the chairs pressed up against the wall. They sat beside each other too so they could both survey the area and not be awkward when one had to turn around a lot to look at certain people.

Jenna chuckled. “You know, all these people are different from when we’re usually here on Saturday mornings, but they’re all the same.”

Monica gazed around the room finally being able to take a sip of her coffee, even if it was just a small one. “What do you mean?” she asked after swallowing. She licked her lips. This coffee was so much better than the pot she made at home.

Jenna pointed to a few people with a nod of her head trying not to be so suspicious. She lowered her voice as she explained.

“There’s the writer right there,” she murmured pointing to a man sitting at a table near the front next to the window. He had his laptop and a document open. He typed very fast with no notes.

“Not to be confused with the student, of course.” Jenna pointed to a young woman sitting on one of the couches by the fireplace. She too had a laptop but she had note cards, a notebook, and a study textbook open on the coffee table in front of her.

Monica nodded in agreement. “Ah, I see what you mean. And look,” she pointed to a woman sitting two tables in front of them, “she’s waiting for a date.” The woman checked her phone and then looked out the window cupping her coffee in her hands. “Though I don’t think it’s a blind date. She’s either checking the time on her phone or looking for a text. Plus, with the way she’s looking out the window she may know what the person looks like and wants to flag them down.”

“Good observation.” Jenna pointed to across the room. “There’s the blind date over there.” A young man sat back in his chair looking nervous. He kept fidgeting and had a rose on the edge of his desk. “A rose,” Jenna shook her head in disgust. “Can you be anymore cliché?”

Monica laughed. “Look, there’s a man who’s just killing time before an appointment or something.” She pointed to a man sitting on one of the comfy chairs reading a book.

“And there’s a man who just wanted to get away and relax.” Jenna added pointing to an older man almost beside the reading man. He was on the couch, his head thrown back in a deep sleep.

Monica and Jenna giggled together. They both took a few sips of their drinks and watched in silence as people waited in line, ordered their drinks, waited for their orders to be done, and then were on their merry way. There were a few people who were happy with what they got, some people complained their drink was made wrong and demanded a new one, and there were others who didn’t look satisfied but they were too nice to say anything and went on their way anyway.

“I guess this just goes to show that no matter what day of the week you come,” Monica began, “a coffee shop attracts the same kind of people.”

Words: 970

I hope you enjoyed this story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Time To Write: Masks [Creative Writing Prompt]

Last week’s writing prompt was a set the scene. Check out this week’s, a general prompt.

Time To Write | Masks | creative writing | writing prompts | flash fiction | RachelPoli.com

Write a story based on the prompt above.

If you use this prompt, please leave a link to your post in the comments below and I’ll share it next week. Please be sure to link back to my blog so your readers know where you got the prompt!

Happy Writing! If you want more, check out all my other Writing Prompts here!

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Short Story Sunday 234: Zigzag

Short Story Sunday | Flash Fiction | Creative writing | writing prompt | RachelPoli.com

Stella poked her head into the living room. She wanted to check on her younger brother, who was being awfully quiet. Their parents had gone out for the night and had entrusted her to keep an eye on the four-year-old. It was a Saturday night and Stella would have preferred to be at her friend’s house or even just up in her bedroom listening to music, reading a book, or even just lying in bed alone. Anything was better than babysitting your little brother, right? Still, she wanted to get a little spending money since she was going to the mall with her friends the following weekend.

Walter was quiet in the room. He laid on the floor with blank paper and a box full of crayons. He couldn’t make too much of a mess with crayons, right? Stella tried to see what he was doing but couldn’t. She didn’t want to get too close to him. He was so quiet and calm that she didn’t want to disturb him. This was the easiest babysitting gig she had ever had and she didn’t want to ruin it.

Deciding that he was fine, Stella turned her back to go back out into the kitchen. Some new baking show was coming on and she wanted to watch it. She had never really watched baking shows before but all her friends raved about them so she thought maybe she’d give it a try.

“Stella?”

She winced. She was caught.

Stella backtracked to the doorway and looked over her shoulder. Walter was still where he was but now he was staring directly at her fiddling with a purple crayon in his hands.

“Yes?” she asked.

“Hi,” he smiled.

“Hi,” she deadpanned.

“What are you doing?”

“I was going to watch TV. Do you need anything?”

He shook his head.

“Good. Enjoy.” Stella turned back around to walk away.

“Stella?”

She groaned walking backward again. She stepped into the living room and leaned her body against the archway. “Yes?”

“Do you want to color with me? I’m making zigzags.” Walter held up a piece of paper to show her.

Sure enough, there were zigzags on the blank page, but it was just a couple of lines. Stella stepped further into the living room and looked down at all the papers he had. They all looked the same, just different colors. The pages were barely filled and each only had four or five zigzagged lines on them.

“What a waste of paper.” She muttered.

“What?” Walter asked.

“Nothing, I mean… they look good. But don’t you think you should put a little more color on the pages?” Stella asked. She squatted down beside him pointing to a couple of the pages. “There’s a lot of white on there and you have so many crayons that haven’t been used yet.”

Walter sighed in annoyance.

Stella narrowed her eyes at him. “What?”

Walter sat up and began rearranging the pages. He placed them beside each other, making their edges touch. He put some above, some below, and some next to each other. Stella watched carefully as he did this so precisely and narrowed her eyes trying to figure out what he was doing.

When all the pages were arranged accordingly, Walter sat back and looked at Stella expectantly. Stella too sat back impressed at the large picture before her. He had colored on about ten pages so far and when placed right beside each other, all the lines were connected to another page somehow.

“It’s a puzzle. Want to help?” Walter asked.

Amazed, Stella nodded her head. “I don’t think I’m going to be as good as you though.”

Walter grabbed a pink crayon and handed it to her. “Don’t worry. I’ll teach you.”

Words: 626

I hope you enjoyed this story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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