Sunday, June 7, 2009

Brief bits of fiction

My other blog, The One-Minute Writer, encourages readers to spend 60 seconds or less writing a response to a daily writing prompt. Friday is my favorite day for that blog--it's Friday Fiction. On Fridays, readers are asked to write a brief bit of fiction. I expect that more often than not, more than one minute will be spent writing on that day, and that's just fine.

When I participate in Friday Fiction, I have a ball. I'd like to share a few of my Friday Fiction writings. I edit minimally, if at all--the idea of The One-Minute Writer is to write quickly, to get the creative juices flowing, not to write perfectly. Here we go--hope you enjoy!

June 5, 2009
Friday Fiction: Breakfast
Write a brief fictional piece that involves breakfast.

I couldn't take my eyes off his hands. In his right was a sharp knife, which he was using to very carefully carve a perfect piece of bread.

"You do understand," he said in a calm voice, as if talking about the weather, "that we have a business arrangement?"

I nodded slowly as he spread a thin layer of butter on the bread.

"And if you do not, for whatever reason, pay my organization what you owe...."

He paused long enough to slowly drizzle honey in an even zig-zag across the slice of bread. Then he continued.

"Then, Regina, we will have no choice but to ensure that is the last chance you have to make such an error."

For the first time, I tore my eyes away from his hands and looked up. His eyes were dark black. His mouth curved into a smile, and I looked again at his hand, which he was using to offer me the knife.

His even voice continued. "Would you like a slice of bread?"

May 29, 2009
Friday Fiction: Epiphany
Write a brief, fictional piece about a character experiencing an epiphany (sudden, often life-changing, realization.)

I woke up that morning, June 24, 1965. The world seemed clearer than it ever had before. Birds outside my window were twittering in such a way that I could almost understand them. The smell of coffee was more deliciously pungent than it had been the day before. The red trim on my curtains was brighter, more crisp.

And my mind was alive in a way it never had been. Suddenly I knew the truth. Everything around me--the birds, the coffee, the curtains, my wife, the world--was a figment of my imagination. Even my young body was not real. The only thing that truly exists, I suddenly realized, is my mind.

The truth of this was thrilling and freeing. None of my worries have any merit since nothing physical actually exists. My mind is all there is in the universe.

I stood up and loosened my jockey shorts, letting them fall around my ankles. Stepping out of them, I made my way through the kitchen. I did not return my wife's greeting; I knew that I'd created her, and I'd created that greeting.

I opened the front door and walked across my lawn (how green it looked!) and into the middle of the street, reveling in the way the wind swirled around my naked body. I loved the way the world of my creation felt that day.

When my neighbors saw me they whispered, pointed, and laughed, and I laughed too, reveling in what a fantastic job I'd done, imagining these varied people I thought I'd lived next to for the past six years. I couldn't get the smile off my face as I continued to walk toward Main Street, enjoying my creation with every step.

May 22, 2009
Friday Fiction: Steal
Write a brief bit of fiction, including in it the word "steal" (or some version of that word.

I felt silly, with this wide grin on my face, as I said, "A grande decaf soy latte, please."

"You look happy today," the barista commented.

"Yeah," I responded, but I didn't go into detail, just continued to inwardly savor this time.

My drink was quickly made, and I took it. I found a tiny table in a corner and sat with a happy sigh. I spread out the three books I'd brought--a popular science tome, a mystery novel, and a trashy fashion magazine--and almost giggled at the decision I had to make. I grabbed the novel and cracked it open, and as I sipped my latte, I read.

I read my book, with no interruptions. No diapers to change, no snotty noses, no sibling squabbles to break up. I just read my book, and as I read I continued to grin, thrilled that I could steal away some time to myself today--time to be a woman, not just a mom.


Michelle Brunner said...

Wow! You are an excellent writer! Great little stories...I wish they weren't so short, I want to keep reading:)

Call Me Cate said...

Fantastic. Though I totally expected you to pull a gun and rob the coffee house. Guess I'm a bit overly dramatic in my fiction!

Lara said...

I've been following your other blog for a while now, and I love reading the replies to your questions. They can be so heartwarming, and so emotional. This particular post was interesting to read too. I love Friday Fiction :)

But where do you get all of your ideas from?!

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

Excellent! I especially love the second one - totally unexpected. I can really see each story as I read them.

Christy said...

Was that last piece really fiction? :) I just know the feeling!

C. Beth said...

Michelle--Thank you!! :)

Cate--That would have been SO much more interesting than what I wrote!

Lara--Thank you! I'm glad you enjoy it. As for the ideas--I guess it's just stream of consciousness sometimes; other times it's directly related to something going on in my life. Some days it's easier than others. :)

RAS--Thank you! They were fun to read.

Christy--Let's just say it was based on a true story! :-D

Anonymous said...

Oh, Beth, these are so interesting! It reminds me of hearing other students read their stories in my fiction writing class -- I thoroughly enjoyed that. I'll be sure to start making it a point to visit on Friday! :)