Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Three Words #7

On Wednesday I post a list of three words. Your job? Write a short story and share it (if you like). Not feeling inspired? Leave a comment with a list of three words. Next week you will see a story posted by me using your three words. Below are two flash fiction pieces I wrote based on three words that E.R. King and Sarah Pearson gave me last week.

Three Words

  • Bottle
  • Scroll
  • Axe

Flash Fiction

Using the Three Words: butterfly, fire fighter, tissue (from E.R. King)

"See mommy!" Sara held up the picture in her paint covered hands.

"Oh it's beautiful." Anne, Sara's mother, told her. Holding, the phone between her shoulder and head Anne took the picture and placed it on the counter. "What is it?"

"Butterfly!" Sara beamed.

"Uh? Sorry, mom. Sara painted a picture of a butterfly." Anne said into the phone. While she listened to the voice on the other line she pulled a tissue out of the handy box. Anne attacked the paint on Sara's hand, showing no mercy. Five more tissues later Sara's hands were clean. Anne released Sara to play.

"Mom, someones beeping through. It's probably Tom, he said he would call when he woke up. Love you too. Bye." Anne pulled the receiver away from her head and checked the caller id. It flashed the number of the station where her fire fighter husband worked. She pressed a button and returned the phone to her ear.

"Hello?" Anne said.

Using the Three Words: pushchair/stroller, beer, graveyard (from Sarah Pearson)

I woke up early and picked out my best dress. The simple cut and pale color flattered my slim figure and fair complexion. I took the time to curl my hair, something I had not had time to do in weeks. After putting on my makeup, another rare luxury, I crept into the girls room. They still lay fast asleep in their cribs.

I started singing softly to wake them.

Molly woke first. I picked her up and rocked her gently then set about dressing her in am adorable purple and lace dress complete with matching shoes and bonnet. I placed her in her bouncy chair and turned to Alice, who still was not awake.

I dressed Alice in a pink dress the same style as Molly's. Alice slept through the whole thing. I looked around the nursery but did not see the stroller. Carrying Alice with me, and leaving Molly laughing gleefully as she bounced, I headed out to the living room.

My brother Josh was sprawled out on the coach, a half-empty beer bottle still clutched in his hand. I nudged his dangling hand with my foot. "Josh, where is the stroller?"

He moaned and rolled over. I freed one hand from holding Alice and picked up a pillow, which I threw at Josh's head. "What!" He yelled angrily.


"You know they call it a pushchair her, don't you?"

I just glared at him. He glared back then waved his hand toward the coat closet. I crossed to the closet and threw it up. There was the tandem stroller, pushchair. I found a safe place to set Alice down and then pulled the collapsed stroller out of the closet and set to work expanding it and locking everything down.

I strapped the twins in. Alice still sleeping, Molly sucking happily on her little wrist.

Josh was sitting up on the coach. "Where are you going?" He asked.

"To the graveyard." I said simply. "And then to church."

Josh grumbled some profanities under his breath. I was glad I could not make them out.

"Lisa died three months ago." I told him. "You know she would have wanted her daughters to visit her grave often. And to go to church. She would want you to, as well."

Josh did no respond. I waited a few moments until he laid back down on coach and fell asleep. Alone I took my two nieces out into the beautiful sunny day.


  1. Love these Krista, and I'm impressed that you got pushchair AND stroller in there :)

    I'll be back later to have a go with your words. Need to eat soon :)

  2. Walking in from the garden I cringed at the sight I knew would await me. It's the Godforsaken bottle that'll be his demise. I take it from his drooping hand and meet his lidded gaze.

    "Father..." I began.

    But there was a knock at the door. I tensed, Father remained motionless.

    "A message from the King!" called a deep, curt voice from the other side of our wooden threshold.

    I stepped outside and retrieved a scroll from the outstretched hand of a tired, bedraggled, but hulking soldier. Behind him, not a few hundred feet were the rest of his company, some on horseback, most on foot. As I stepped back inside, closing the door behind me I broke the seal and unrolled it.
    You are hereby summoned for service…
    I knew the rest. A chill ran down my spine …
    Suddenly, Father was standing up. He knew as well as I what this was about, what had to come next. He finally made it to a standing position and puffed out his chest. He stepped forward and his weight shifted unexpectedly causing him to stumble. I rushed forward and held him up. He sagged in my arms. I did not realize I was crying until my own tear fell on his upturned face. Our eyes met.
    “Bring me my axe…”
    “Father, you cannot! It is a death sentence…”
    “We must fight for our country… for this land. Valerie, I did try…” On the last word his voice faded away, nostalgic.
    “I know Father. I know.”

  3. @CLB: What? That was a great start and already full of suspense! What is the death sentence about? This is something i have to imagine. Keep it up!

    @Krista: Same with you on the first story... I wanna know what the phone call is about!

    I guess that's why we have imagination, to write and to finish writing. Either ours or someone else's... thanks!