Friday, September 23, 2016

Flash Fiction Contest #19

Now that fall is officially here (pumpkin spice everything!), you know what that means...September's #OAFlash Fiction word prompt will be all about: Autumn!

Rules for the contest can be found here
The winner will be announced Sunday night. Have fun!


Also, as some of you may noticed, I'm new here--and would love to introduce myself. My name is Leandra Wallace, and I'm really excited to be a part of the OA team. I've been writing for eight years now, and can firmly say that writing is my passion, and what I was definitely meant to do.

Which doesn't make it any easier, unfortunately (wouldn't that be nice?). Some days the words flow and all is well. Other days, drudging up good words is as hard as extracting a tooth from a grumpy alligator (hmm...picture book idea?).  

I write kidlit (PB, MG & YA) and my three short stories "The Mad Scientist's Daughter", "Prina and the Pea", and "Leaves, Trees, and Other Scary Things" are featured in Brave New Girls: Tales of Girls and Gadgets, Circuits and Slippers, and the 2017 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide

I am married, have one son, and along with a small black dog and three fish, we all live happily together in a clay-colored house. Besides reading and writing, my next passion is party planning. I enjoy diet vanilla cokes, desserts, family trips, ampersands, old houses, and curling up to read a book without housework hanging over my head. 

Books I would eagerly press into your hands are: The Lockwood & Co series by Jonathan Stroud (seriously, completely amazing, I've reread these books a zillion times), The Three Times Lucky series by Sheila Turnage (middle grade, set in the South, fabulous voice and characters), The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (or anything that she writes), and Marion Chesney's Regency Romances (hello, London; lords and ladies!).

I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone! Oh, and I like to use parenthesis. ;)


Anonymous said...

The world around me shook.

“What’s happening?” I shrieked. “Whoa, is that what I sound like?”

“Eh, shut up and enjoy the ride,” a crotchety voice came from somewhere behind me. Below me, maybe? I was so disoriented. Between the world shaking and the darkness, it wasn’t like I could find him if I wanted to.

It was a him, right?

It’s a good thing I’m not afraid of the dark—or am I?

“Oof,” I said as my world finally stopped moving, rather abruptly, and I shook free from the plastic ring that held me in place. I was free! FREE!

I spun around just as my dark cave moved again and I fell over. “Sorry,” I muttered.

“It’s okay,” came a soft feminine voice. I couldn’t wait for the light so I could see her. It didn’t matter what flavor she was, I was willing to cross boundaries for a sweet little breathless voice like that.

“Will you two quit yer yapping? I’m trying to get a nap in before it’s off to fluorescent lighted hell.” It was that crotchety old voice again. I really wanted to punch him. If I had arms. I didn’t.

“How do you know where we’re going?” I asked, hesitation in my words as my insides sloshed around within my bottle.

“I’m French Vanilla. We are the most popular flavor. We are primed with our destinies early. As opposed to you short timers, we have longevity.”

“Hey, they prepped me too. It’s not autumn till I show up.” Pride laced my voice. It was cool to control the seasons.
“The seasons don’t ebb and flow under you, genius.”

“But I bring autumn with me. It’s in my name. Pumpkin Spice.”
The breathy feminine voice spoke up. “Oh, I do love an elusive man. I haven’t seen a Pumpkin Spice since last year.”

“Well, I’m right here, baby,” I whispered to her.

Once again, the world shook. Tiny beams of light shined through the cracks in our box and I got a glimpse of her beautiful blue label. She was a French Vanilla. Blue and orange go well together. Oh, yes, we were meant to be together. We could make beautiful coffee together.

A giant peered down at me before his big hands grasped me inappropriately. He didn’t need to touch me there. “Hey, put me down. I just met a gorgeous French Vanilla.”

My cries were not answered as I was stacked atop a pyramid of Pumpkin Spice. I squinted in the lights that surrounded me. Silver carts squeaked as they rolled past.

A smaller giant ran by, knocking over the pyramid on which I was perched. We screamed as we fell to the ground and rolled every which way.

I came to a stop next to a bright red high-heeled shoe. A breathy female voice said, “Oh, Pumpkin Spice,” as she tossed me in her cart. I landed next to a box of Pumpkin Spice Cheerios. Poser. “I do so love autumn.”

K. Plasket said...


There was the smell of a fireplace burning somewhere on the block as I locked the door and turned to Derek. It was our first date and he would not tell me where we were going to go but I didn’t mind. As we walked along we could see the Jack ‘o’ lanterns being lit in the windows, some of the houses were all decked out for Halloween even though it was still a month away.
“I love the crunch of the leaves under my feet”Derek said as we walked along.
“Me too” I laughed as our hands brushed against each other.
“Do you remember being a kid and jumping into piles of leaves?’ he asked me.
“I loved doing that why did we ever stop?” I blushed as my hand brushed his and he held it warmly in his own.
“I think someone told us we had to grow up” he looked down at our entwined hands and then asked “ Do you mind if I hold your hand?”
“Not at all” I smiled not really used to guys asking me things like that.
“So are you going to tell me where we are going?”
“Into the woods”
“That new nightclub?” I know I didn’t sound thrilled as nightclubs were not my thing.
“No literally into the woods. Come on it will be fine” I trusted him so I went along.
We walked along the path close to the woods then he tugged me off the well beaten path. I thought it was weird but after all I knew Derek from the time we were kids so I thought this would be okay.
We came along a small river which I totally forgot was there. Sitting on the side was a small blanket and what looked like a picnic basket. Now I knew why he told me to dress warm but it was such a romantic gesture I was shocked.
“Very romantic” I really was stumped for words.
“I was hoping you would say that” he got down on one knee and reached into his pocket.
“Derek, what are you doing?”
“Chesley, we have known each other since we were kids. It’s past time I tell you.” he cleared his throat. “I have been in love with you since the prom, we have hung out at your place and watched movies until dawn, we have talked on the computer all night long. Each time I want to tell you how I feel but I chicken out. Now I will tell you. I love you and want to Marry you”
My heart was in my throat as I moved closer to him. I took his face in my hands and placed my lips on his and said “Yes, I will marry you. My one and only Love”
“I always knew Autumn was my favorite season now I have a reason to love it even more.

Barbara said...

I walked beneath a sickle moon, placid waves lapping at my feet. The beach in autumn. It was silly to come. Autumn was the season of death and decay, ghouls and ghosts, not beach parties. But it was too far to walk home, and my ride was making out back at the bonfire. Everyone was. I couldn’t sit and watch.

A figure struggling from the water caught my eye. My heart quickened, and I glanced back at the bonfire. Would they hear me if I called out?

I turned and gasped. The figure stood before me. A girl. My age. She wore a thin nightgown, and seaweed dangled from her hair. But she wasn’t wet.

“Help me!” she cried. “We must save her!” She pointed at the island across the bay and offered her hand. "Hurry!"

“My friends. I should tell them—”

“Take my hand. Do not let go.”

She stared at me, eyes pleading, and I took her hand.
She led me into the ocean, neither cold nor warm, nor even wet, and we walked across the sea floor as if strolling on land.

“Why are there no fish?” I asked.

“They abide in the living sea. This is the sea of the dead.”

As if to prove it, bloated bodies began to appear. They swam past, their eyes pleading, too. I looked away, but even behind closed lids, I saw them stare. And then we rose from the sea and stepped onto a rocky shore.

The girl was dry as bone. I was dripping wet.

“There.” She pointed to a huddle of large boulders.

Another girl lay wedged between them, legs twisted, face bruised. I worked her out, the incoming tide helping in my task. I laid her in the sand, brushed back her hair, and gasped.

“It’s you.”

“Yes. I am free now. Thank you.” She began to fade away.

“Wait! Bring me back!”

“I cannot. I am no longer undead. I am spirit now.”

“But how—”

“Watch for the eddy,” she said, and vanished.

I stared across the bay at the flickering bonfire. It was too far. They would never hear me. I had to swim.

I removed my shoes and socks and dove into the water. Cold bit into my skin, took my breath and my strength, but I forced myself on.

The current suddenly changed, and the ocean pulled like a vacuum, sucking me back toward the island. Below me, the dead reached and groped. I thrashed and kicked, but my arms tired, my legs went weak. I sunk under the waves, struggled up again, and then I remembered nothing until I found myself struggling from the water.

Lyra raced toward me. “Dani, where’ve you been? We’ve be calling you for hours. Why would you go swimming alone at night and not tell anyone?” She looked at me strangely, brushed back my hair. “But, you’re not even wet.”

“Help me,” I said. “We have to save her. Take my hand and don’t let go.”

Leandra Wallace said...

How imaginative! I was not expecting the narrarator to be a scent, lots of fun! I'm a french vanilla girl all the way for sure. And pumpkin spice-- he is a bit spicy, isn't he? Lol!

Leandra Wallace said...

First, it seems like congratulations are in order! This was definitely romantic, and a picnic in autumn sounds wonderful. Less bugs are another plus. ;)

Leandra Wallace said...

Eep! What a great twist! And if I'm ever at a bonfire near a lake, I'm not going anywhere it!

K. Plasket said...

congratulations????? for what??

Leandra Wallace said...

Sorry, to your characters! It appears there will be wedding bells in their immediate future. =)

K. Plasket said...


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