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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Fleurs short stories, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 6 of 6
1. Throwback Thursday: Remembering where you came from, and 2015 plans

There's a thing on Facebook called Throwback Thursday. It's pretty fun: people post old pictures of themselves (or others) from a while ago. You're probably familiar if you hang out at the virtual watercooler that is Faceybook.

This is me, I'm thinking around three years old. And laughing at someone's joke, clearly. As I flipped through my old picture album, I was reminded how nice my childhood was, and how lucky I am to have all these good memories (there were a lot of smiley-me pictures to choose from).

As a writer, I'm not the same girl who wrote those dark stories umpteen years ago--which is understandable, especially since I write for kids now. But it's good to remember where you came from sometimes. I actually wrote a short story recently, and was reminded to do more of it. And I ticked off one of my plans for 2015, so that felt good.

I still like to have a good laugh like three year-old Fleur, though, so that hasn't changed.

How about you? Do you look back and realize you write differently, or read different books?


0 Comments on Throwback Thursday: Remembering where you came from, and 2015 plans as of 3/5/2015 8:18:00 AM
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2. Scarry Night Flash Fiction Challenge

**This is my contribution to the Scarry Night Flash Fiction Challenge. The short version: write a flash short story using the line "I don't even mind the scars," which Patti overheard on a night out.

Find dozens more shorts by some super-talented writers over at Patti Abbott's blog. ***


Restraining Order

I wasn’t supposed to be there, in the dark, at her house, looking up at her bedroom window from the shadows of the big pine tree in the neighbor’s yard. I mean, there were lawyers involved now—ones that cost more per hour than a car payment, as my dad liked to say. I wasn’t supposed to come near Danielle.

But there I was, twenty feet from her house, trying to figure out how to get her to open the curtains. I could see her bedroom light was on. It was after ten, so I knew she was probably listening to her iPod, or watching TV. In her fleece pajamas—I loved her in those.

I looked around for a rock, but realized I might just break the window. There was an irony in that, since I still dreamed of the broken glass. The rush of air. I closed my eyes, and pushed away the images of the accident.

There was a pine cone near the base of the tree that could work. I clutched it, feeling the sting in my shoulder. Better to use my left arm. I aimed, heard the pine cone bounce gently off the glass.
I waited, then figured she didn’t hear it. There was another pine cone on the ground, and just as I reached down to grab it, I heard her voice.

“Paul?” She leaned on the window frame, her long blond hair blowing in the breeze, hugging her shoulders. I loved her hair.

I waved, and stepped away from the tree so she could see me.

Danielle climbed out the window, and jumped down. Onto the driveway, with her bare feet. She always had an odd tolerance for pain. Danielle liked to take it to edge.

And I loved to follow her there. “Hey,” I said. “I know I’m not supposed to be here, but…”

She laughed. “So what? We’ll let the lawyers figure that out, blahblah boring.”

“Yeah,” I said.

“Wanna walk?” Danielle asked, but didn’t wait for my answer. She just looped her arm through mine, and led me to the sidewalk. I guessed she didn’t worry about who saw us together, even if there was that restraining order.

“Did they tell you yet when you can come back to school?” I asked, feeling like I should say something.

Neh. And I don’t think I’d come back anyway, suspension or not. That place is a drag.” Danielle liked excitement. You could see it in her eyes—I loved that, and feared it at the same time. “I’m thinking of just taking off, you know?” she said to the night. “See what’s out there.”

I smiled, not sure what to say. I was the sensible one, the one who got the good grades, the one with the track-team scholarships to go to the good colleges. The accident was the first thing that happened to me that was not part of my plan. It was all about Danielle now.

She stopped, and pulled my arm. “You want to go? We could take your car, go west or somethin

9 Comments on Scarry Night Flash Fiction Challenge, last added: 3/3/2011
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3. Aubergine

**The story below is part of a flash fiction challenge by some writer friends of mine, based on the people of Wal-Mart website. Check out Patricia Abbott’s blog for her story, and many others. Enjoy!**


Aubergine

By Fleur Bradley


She called me at two in the afternoon, on a Sunday, asking if I could give her a ride to Wal-Mart. I said sure. Before I could think. If I’d thought about it, I would have remembered my vow to stay away from Brianna. She was bad for me. But I picked her up, at her house, two on the dot, since that’s the kind of guy I am.

Brianna got into my car, said nothing. She wore one of those pajama pants, purple, printed with little japanamation panda bears doing deliriously happy cartwheels.

I put my car in drive, and watched the black cloud of doom I left behind in the rear view. “So,” I said, feeling like my father, “what do you need at Wal-Mart?”

Brianna shrugged. “Printer paper. Shampoo.”

I nodded. Pulled into traffic. Tried to think of something to say, but coming up short, as usual. We used to do this all the time, Brianna and I. She was fifteen, and I was a year older, with a license to drive us to Wal-Mart when we got bored. Get a 99 cent raspberry slushy at Subway on our way out. It never occurred to me that transportation was the only reason she hung out with me.

Until Evan. The Boyfriend, a black Ford F150 with tinted windows. Evan put an end to my chauffeur days, and I resolved (it was January first, so it seemed like a good time) to stop being Brianna’s errand boy. It was now June, and Evan had found McKenzie. So I was back on duty.

I parked my rusty Ford Escort, and I waited for the engine to stop sputtering. Brianna got out before I did. We walked up, sort of together, Brianna dragging her flip-flops on the asphalt. I got a basket, trailing behind. She had her curly brown hair piled on top of her head, and I wondered if it took her a long time to get it to look that nice.

“Let’s get the paper first,” she said without looking at me. The old greeter guy welcomed us.

In the office aisle, she grabbed a pack of paper, and tossed it in the basket. I had to grip the handles so I wouldn’t drop it. Brianna looked beaten. I followed her to Health and Beauty, trying not to slump under the weight of the value-pack of paper. Brianna walked ahead of me, down the shampoo aisle, where she lingered, studying the bottles, like it actually made a difference which one. Not that I cared. I enjoyed watching her profile, the way she mouthed the words as she read the bottles.

“O. M. G,” I heard someone whisper. I turned, and looked right at McKenzie. Blond hair, mocking glare—how do girls get so good at those? I tried to block Brianna from McKenzie’s evil stare, but it was too late. McKenzie’s clone friend’s eyes darted from her friend to Brianna, loving the drama of it all.

“Hi.” Brianna’s eyes dropped to McKenzie’s basket. She reached and grabbed the box with surprising speed. “Super-Easy Sun-kissed Blonde. Should’ve guessed it was fake.”

“Grow up. Some of us actually get dressed in the morning.” McKenzie’s eyes rolled over the outrageously happy pandas on Brianna’s pants. “Give me the box.”

Brianna stepped back, clutching the Super-Easy dye . “Come and get it,” she said and walked out of the aisle, leaving a fake-stunned McKenzie behind.

I followed Brianna, to the hair dye aisle, where she stood clutching the box of dye, crying. I walked up to her, slowly, not sure what a Sunday chauffeur was supposed to do in this type of situation. But then I did what felt right. I put the basket down and wrapped my arms around her. She sobbed, the box cutting through my shirt, biting into my skin. But I didn’t care. We sto

10 Comments on Aubergine, last added: 12/3/2009
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4. Pimpin'

It's always nice to see an old story find a new home, like a story I wrote a few years ago called Them. This was one of those flashes that came out of nowhere, turned out pretty cool, and saw print in Versal, a lit magazine based out of Amsterdam.

And now it's up at Sein und Werden, so check it out.

2 Comments on Pimpin', last added: 1/5/2010
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5. Strapped

**This is my story for Patricia Abbott's flash fiction challenge (in short: have a redhead in a blue dress walk into a dining establishment while Sweet Dreams is playing). Find a lot more (and better!) flashes on her blog. Here's my YA flash for this challenge:**


Strapped

My best friend Josh and I were splitting a meal at Bo’s diner when she came in. The jukebox played a Eurhythmics song—Sweet Dreams. Josh had already finished his half a burger, and now he was attacking his half of the fries. I had to hurry, or he’d steal mine.

“Dude, check her out,” Josh said, a sliver of hamburger bun hanging from the corner of his mouth. “She’s hot.”

Josh thought all women and girls were hot—even the ones that weren’t.

I followed his stare to see if I agreed. She had her back to me, which was long and narrow. Her dress was this bright electric blue, her red hair piled on her head in one of those messy updos that looked easy but probably involved a lot of skill.

“Earth to Evan.” Josh stole one of my fries.

“Hey.” I smacked his hand, but kept half an eye on the woman in the blue evening dress. It was five in the afternoon, at a cheap diner—she looked really out of place. I watched her lean on the counter, ask Bo the owner something. He pointed to the far end of the diner, by the bathrooms, to the jukebox.

“What’s a babe like that doing in this nasty hole?” Josh asked, licking the salt off his fingers. The food sucked, but Bo’s was the only place within walking distance that let us split a meal. Given that Josh and I were broke and fifteen, thus without transportation or funds to buy a meal each, Bo’s was our place.

The jukebox belted out the ending to another eighties song—Bo’s favorite decade—and the woman walked toward the phone. I caught a glimpse of her profile: straight nose, red lips, hair cascading down the rest of her face. Nice body profile, too.

“Nice rack, huh?” Josh said, as if he was reading my thoughts and interpreting them Josh-style.

I ate some fries, two at a time, dipping them in the watery generic ketchup Bo’s served. The woman went to the payphone, punched in some numbers, and dipped her head back as she took a breath.

Black mascara under her eyes, streaked by tears. Her eyes were red.

“Something’s wrong,” I said, reaching for more fries, but finding my plate empty.

Josh belched. “Women. Something’s always wrong.” He leaned back in the booth, stretching his chest like he always did after he ate.

The woman was waiting for someone to answer. She held on to the receiver with both hands, like it was her life raft. She listened, shook her head.

“You think she’s wearing a bra?” Josh leaned across the diner table. “Five bucks says no.”

“You don’t have five dollars,” I said, unable to take my eyes off her.

“Still.” Josh grinned. “If you had to bet.”

I looked, and couldn’t guess the answer to Josh’s question. The woman struck me as classy, nice, the kind that would wear a bra with her evening dress. “You need to get yourself some class, Josh. No girl will ever go out with you if all you care about is her underwear.”

“Three girlfriends, Evan.” Josh leaned back again and held up three fingers. “Versus your, uhm, zero?”

I looked away.

“I rest my case.” Josh looked smug.

“Alright,” I said, tossing five singles on the table. “I bet five bucks that she does.” I immediately felt guilty.

The woman had hung up the phone, and she was now standing near the jukebox, looking lost. And sad.

On impulse, I got up. I waited, leaned on the

9 Comments on Strapped, last added: 5/6/2010
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6. DISCOUNT NOIR


I'm coming out of hiding (a fierce cold and mountain of work has kept me busy) to announce the upcoming anthology DISCOUNT NOIR.

I'm in it! And so are many more authors who wrote far better stories than I did, like Patricia Abbott, Ed Gorman, Dave Zeltserman, Chris Grabenstein, Cormac Brown, Gerald So--I could go on for a while, because the lineup is huge.

I'll keep you posted on when it's available. And cheers to Patricia Abbott and Steve Weddle for editing, and agent Stacia Decker of DMLA for pushing forward with this. There are not a lot of venues for short fiction, so I'm glad to see this one found a home, thanks to their commitment.

6 Comments on DISCOUNT NOIR, last added: 9/10/2010
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