WV April Flash Fiction 2021
Mid-year break at uni, together with Melbourne's lockdown has slowed things down. What else to do but finally add my micro-fiction entries for Writers Victoria's round of April 30-word flash fiction. Loads of fun to participate in what has become an annual event. Fabulous support by our online community at Twitter. Here are my entries for each of the writing promts this year. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed putting them together.
April 1 #crease
Gathered together is how it should be. Gathered here is not how it should be. Breathing laboured, eyes closed, cool hand cradled in mine. Gentle squeeze. Brow creases. Flame extinguished.
April 2 #develop
Full of newly minted knowledge and enthusiasm, she stepped inside, eager to contribute and develop. But for the condescension and innuendo, she might have succeeded. Stifled and broken, she retreated.
April 3 #segmentation
Ollie stood folded over in the garden—transfixed, stroking the glistening earthworm.
‘What are those funny lines, Mummy?’
‘That’s segmentation,’ she said. ‘Nature's little rings. To say I love you.’
April 4 #blossom
Easter Sunday. Perfect timing. Clementine stood in silent awe, absorbing nature's majesty—the snow-capped cone of Mount Fuji, underlined by the breathtaking bounty of the magenta cherry blossom. Spectacular contentment.
April 5 #hands
They whispered to her through that ancient art, their ochre hands cradling a reverent past. An ancient people with no voice, urging her on. She would be their voice now.
April 6 #illuminate
Something shifted when they buried Archie. She purchased her days with sleep and her nights with needlepoint. Illuminated by candlelight and sorrow, she crafted his name on linen cloth.
April 7 #crumple
She'd been slipping for ages. Mercifully, she didn't realise.
'They've a place for you now, Mum,' I told her. 'You'll love it.'
'The nursing home?' she said. 'Her face crumpled.'
April 8 #renew
Charred landscape. Forest obliterated in a single match stroke. Only lifeless skeletons of silhouetted trees remain. But life refuses annihilation. Leafy green branchlets emerge from the blackened stalks. Life renewed.
April 9 #open
She was drowning in a deluge of grief for all they'd lost. Anger, with nowhere to unburden. Pain, with no way to heal. She risked opening herself. Freedom welcomed her.
April 10 #pop
She'd never needed this skill. Until now. Grandpa's terrified eyes bulged, his face blue. Terrified too, she braced her arms around his scrawny chest, squeezed. Out popped the rogue tooth.
April 11 #elaborate
She was already swallowed up by the elaborate maze of the justice system and its convoluted processes before the revelation landed. It wasn't really about justice—it was about winning.
April 12 #unravel
Most days she doesn't know who I am. But then there are days, like today, when the portal to her remarkable mind fleetingly loosens, and those precious memories eloquently unravel.
April 13 #manifest
She hadn't seen her son in a year. Now, with eased restrictions, he was returning—a 50th birthday surprise. She spotted his name on the tele—the doomed flight's manifest.
April 14 #scrunch
Scrunch, munch, mess. Smear, dribble, drip. Mia's chubby legs kicked wildly, her dimpled hands drummed the high-chair table. Her entire body delighted in chocolate crackle bliss—her first taste.
April 15 #consciousness
The merciless words dulled my consciousness. 'Brain dead,' they said. Too numb to cry, I took her hand, cradled it in mine. Squeezed gently. My heart leapt—she squeezed back.
April 16 #burst
Breathe. The earth below is cool. Comforting. Camping—my reset go-to. The firmament is ablaze with twinkling lights. Calm. A cosmic spark bursts, sprinkles the canvas of the night. Rejuvenation.
April 17 #learn
'Deaf?' The word reverberated like thunder heralding the storm. 'How will she learn?'
'Oh, my dear,' the doctor replied, 'these children of a higher God, they're the cleverest of all.'
April 18 #explore
She was wholly obsessed with exploring the minutiae of cells, how they work to give and sustain life. Yet, in her inimitable brilliance, she never came close to understanding herself.
April 19 #reveal
The endometriosis had taken so much—her wellbeing, confidence. Any chance of motherhood. She lay there, depleted, watching the screen. This time the ultrasound revealed something new—a little life.
April 20 #origami
The infant emerged, arms flailing, tiny mouth agape, drawing virgin breath. A tear escaped as he absorbed the awesome spectacle—his daughter unfolding the origami bindings of her sacred nest.
April 21 #expand
‘It's stuck, Mel… and you’re doing it wrong. Breathing in just makes you expand instead of shrink. Breathe out. All the way out. Then I'll try the zip again. Bingo!’
April 22 #emerge
Megalopyge opercularis—reclusive southern flannel moth. Dazzling furry fleece elicits the caterpillar curmudgeon, stings the finger that dares to stroke. Retreats into a solitary chrysalis. Emerges—gossamer wings take flight.
April 23 #unfurl
The pristine flag hoisted high above Capital Hill greeted the euphoric crowd. Unfurling in the crisp morning air, it proclaimed the new era—respect and equality for women. Speculative fiction.
April 24 #letters
Rain stippled the window pane, one day on from the wedding, when the letter arrived. Emmeline clutched it to her heart, sank to the bed. ‘Wait for me, my love.’
April 25 #unwrap
The weary soldier rested against the hard earth of the stinking trench. He wept at the sight of the parcel from mother—unwrapped it slowly, imbibing the scent of home.
April 26 #display
OMG, what a display! The accusing eyes of other shoppers burned Shelby. She retreated from the tantrum unfolding in the confectionary aisle, and the child at its epicentre. Her son.
April 27 #betray
Pippy’s tail wagged wildly. She yelped excitedly, her sparkling eyes mirroring her devotion. When Damo stopped the car, she jumped out, waited for him to follow. Puppies don’t understand betrayal.
April 28 #become
At ninety-nine, Nell contemplated the tapestried sweep of her long life. So much grief. So many learnings. The Velveteen Rabbit—old faithful—came to mind. Have I at last become?
April 29 #discover
She discovered something about herself that day—she had choice. And agency. She grabbed her coat and keys and walked out, slamming the door behind her. She would not return.
April 30 #unfold
It took until her dying breath for Lucinda to finally allow the decades old mystery to unfold.
‘Yes, I killed him. But if you only knew what he did. He … ‘
WV April Flash Fiction 2020
Thanks to Writers Victoria for keeping April Flash Fiction running again in 2020. It's been a fabulous diversion during lockdown in Melbourne, encouraging creativity and providing a welcome opportunity for continued interaction with our wonderfully supportive online community. Here are my April entries this year.
April 1 #eyeball
Footsteps out front make me shiver. Rat-a-tat-tat. On stockinged feet I slide across the boards. Safe behind the door, through the peephole I eyeball the interloper. Food parcel. She’s gone.
April 2 #concentrate
concentrate: verb; paradoxical concept of over saturating substances or persons; demography of inserting 33,600 inmates into accommodation blocks designed to bed 19,600; synonym: death sentence; source: encyclopaedia of Auschwitz-Birkenau
April 3 #intense
Miranda collapsed into the seat. Throbbing head, eyes swollen, she stared ahead. ‘Pleeease, Mummy, don’t go.’ She assessed her scrubs, despised now. Unbearably intense. Engine. Gear slammed. She roared off.
April 4 #blur
‘The print is just blur,’ I said. ‘The LCD screen’s faulty.’
‘Have you had your eyes checked?’ she asked.
Laughing. Indignation. Self doubt. An eye test.
‘You need glasses, Madam.’
April 5 #hocuspocus
Old Odin trudged into the village. Forty days of bush retreat—he felt cleansed. But something was wrong. Eerie silence, empty streets. ‘What is this hocus-pocus?’ he asked of no-one.
April 6 #blind
Driving lesson with teenager. Just us. Not stopping anywhere. Not seeing anyone.
Issued a ‘breaching restrictions’ fine. Fails the pub test.
No-one more blind as those who refuse to see.
April 7 #hazy
All night she kept vigil on the bitter pier. Dead cell - an omen? Peering through the hazy morning, she saw it. A silver sliver emerging from the mist, arms waving.
April 8 #mirror
The child stared in awe. ‘The Himalayas,’ his father said. ‘Haven’t seen that since I was a boy.’ Then pointing to the mirror of the still lake. ‘Look, its twin.’
April 9 #crisp
Another call. The break-up dance continued. Did she still love him? She couldn’t tell anymore. ‘Let me come home,’ he pleaded. ‘I love you.’ The crisp silence delivered her verdict.
April 10 #lens
The world’s been stifling. Until my toddler in the garden. Through the lens of her curiosity I find wonder. Warm sunlight. A flower’s scent. Dragonfly angels. Dandelion tufts. Infectious joy.
April 11 #myopia
This is worse than you imagine, the doctor reiterated, adjusting her glasses and shaking her head at the data. I may have myopia but you’re the one who cannot see.
April 12 #converge
An abundance of time shared under one roof proves too much. Too much raw emotion. Intensity. Their disparate needs finally converge in a singularity of fiery battle. Fatal. For her.
April 13 #sharp
Max withdrew a small, colourful sphere. He held it to the light, relishing its brilliant sheen. ‘Open wide!’ he teased. The baby contorted at the sharp sting of pickled onion.
April 14 #bullseye
Billy’s first dissection. He wasn’t sure how he felt. Curious. Icky. Ms Templeton plopped it on the newspaper. ‘Whoa,’ he exclaimed, ‘mother-of-pearl in the bullseye of the bull’s eye!’
April 15 #glasses
‘Are you ready?’ Dr Casey whispered, withdrawing the Petri dishes from the incubator. She examined them with insatiable wonder. Awesome glasses, she thought. Mysterious cradles of life. Ready for transfer.
April 16 #peripheral
My central vision is seriously deteriorating. Myopic! But my peripheral vision is on fire - otherwise hazy details fit together bringing the big picture into sharp focus. It’s all about seeing!
April 17 #vague
‘I can do it myself!’ Mum’s indignant. She wants to bake. Thinks she still can.
‘I’ll help. Cookies, right?’
‘Cookies?’ she says, her eyes vague. ‘It’s wartime. No sugar, love.’
April 18 #laser
Camping in those mountains… big mistake! A bright light barrelled through the pitch sky, then hovered overhead. Scorched by his laser eyes and fiery breath. Obsidian. Guardian of the Kingdom.
April 19 #drift
The typhoon killed so many on Pingelap. But not the chief. The chief with achromatopsia! Numerous children and 245 years on, colourblindness is over-represented. Genetic drift. Imagine that—in greyscale.
April 20 #spotlight
Fading light prevails, ignites again. Shines a spotlight on the helpers, helping them. Light, like love, echoes, warms him too. Such are the mightiest superheroes. Humble. Captain Tom Moore. RESPECT.
April 21 #sway
In the midnight quiet, when only the night nurse still stirs, Albert and Adeline move in gentle step. Against the soft moonlight, they sway to imagined music and long-lived love.
April 22 #centre
In my dreams I wander still, to distant cafes, imbibing cappuccino and breathtaking views. And become lost in my book. But now I’m just lost. Discombobulated. Need to centre. Meditation.
April 23 #read
What to do? Where to roam?
Forbidden fruit, stay safe, stay home.
The world’s in fallow; strange times, indeed.
Let’s curl up on the couch and read.
April 24 #measure
It’s a tough choice, Son. But always remember, the measure of your character is determined by your decisions when life is difficult and bumpy, not when it’s easy and smooth.
April 25 #rivet
‘Must frogs live near a river?’ India asked.
‘Well, near water, yes,’ her teacher replied.
‘Is that why they say “rivet”’?
Ms Templeton stifled a giggle. ‘You mean, “ribbit”!’
April 26 #clarity
She disregarded the first signs, things that didn’t make sense. Eventually, she challenged him. Of course, she believed him—until death, they’d promised. Now, his unguarded phone yielded clarity.
April 27 #distorted
The child stared at the distorted stump, grotesque and frightening. ‘What happened?’ she dared. Old Stan liked to tell it straight. ‘Chainsaw misunderstanding,’ he said. ‘Then snoopy Snoopy scoffed it!’
April 28 #gather
Once she rises, the farm animals lift their heads, follow her sweet scent adrift on the morning air. The unfenced and untethered gather around her—shadow her. Little Miss Dolittle.
April 29 #fixated
Isolated, they said. Fixated. A loner. That’s not how she saw it. She was never alone. Surrounded by her exquisite collection of beetles and butterflies, she felt connected, enlightened. Complete.
April 30 #focus
Taking tight hold of Ned’s wild mane, I contemplated the fence. ‘We can do it,’ I whispered. ‘Focus!’ Together we took flight, the scent of freedom urging us on. Victory!
Accolades are welcome!
I was elated to read this comment which turned up on my feed recently...
'So if you happen to be looking for some excellent holiday reading, treat yourself to this wonderful novel by our very own Book Club's Yvonne Sanders. Her passion for writing is evident in every page and it's full of real life themes every reader can connect with. I know I certainly did.'
It's such a wonderful moment for a writer when you get this kind of feedback from a reader.
WV April Flash Fiction
I've loved participating in Writers Victoria Flash Fiction challenge that continued everyday throughout April. This wonderful organisation does a fabulous job supporting writers and celebrated their 30 year anniversary by challenging us to a string of 30 word stories, inspired by a different prompt each day. In response to several queries about where my contributions can be read, I've posted them all here. As well as responding to the daily prompt, my stories are inspired by life and current events. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I loved writing them.
April 1 #grit
Knew he was made of tough stuff. Relentlessly survived Fluffy’s evil attentions. This morning his cage was empty, save for a carpet of yellow grit and a single golden feather.
April 2 #irritation
Bert’s sneezing was relentless. Between Bert and the mosquitoes Elsie’s irritation was tortuous. She didn’t mean for Bert to expire. Not really. But how to explain the empty Raid cans?
April 3 #diving
Jeremy fell forward, diving straight into the pool. He emerged warm and sticky. And sweet. Pulling away the blackened goggles he looked around. Chocolate. And Dominic. Holding something. MARRY ME?
April 4 #freshwater
5am. Jack launched his fishing trawler. First light he saw it. A floating carpet of fish. Seals. A shark. All dead. Oil? He tasted the water. The sea was freshwater.
April 5 #rare
Milton remained transfixed to the telescope. And the monitor. An entire unknown galaxy emerged. A Milky Way Doppelgänger. Same stars, solar systems. Earth. Rare find. Couldn’t be right. Could it?
April 6 #freedom
‘I forgive you,’ she said earnestly. She was never going to forgive him. Secretly she was glad. Relieved. Quietly rejoicing. Most of all she looked forward to reclaiming her freedom.
April 7 #saltwater
‘My ancestors fished here once,’ Karri told the school group. ‘See these shells?’ She pointed to the ancient fossils. ‘We’re 400km from the sea. But once this desert was saltwater.’
April 8 #baroque
The door opened. Danielle hesitated before entering.
‘What’s this?’ Travis teased, ‘a French beret?’
‘You said Laroque.’ Danielle stood red-faced, surrounded by an ornately clad crowd.
‘Baroque,’ Travis laughed, ‘baroque!’
April 9 #imitation
The paint bomb exploded, raining red tears over Miranda’s jacket.
‘Murderer!’ the activists shouted, shaking their fists at her menacingly.
Miranda’s fury surged. ‘It’s imitation,’ she yelled back. ‘I’m vegan.’
April 10 #shell
When the paramedics arrived the place was already deserted. Even the caller was gone.
‘Is there an exact location?’ Jimmy asked.
‘Over here, the sound shell,’ Lauren called. ‘Too late.’
April 11 #trapped
The young woman called police. Again. For her trouble they fined her. Wasting police resources. The harrassment continued. Trapped now between police and her stalker, she was vulnerable. Terrified. Murdered.
April 12 #wild
Life takes a toll. The quartet escaped for a while. A remote getaway. An annual reprieve. Wine. Walking. Wine. Talking. Wine. Retail therapy. Wine. Coffee. Wine. Love. Laughter. Wild sixty.
April 13 #layers
Skilled hands navigate her every contour. Dextrous fingers dig deep into muscle and sinew, wrestling the knife edge between pleasure and pain. Tension released. Layers of stress at last exfoliated.
April 14 #gloss
A pallet of brilliant hues casts a shimmery rainbow across the water’s undulating brow. Closer now, the ocean’s flotsam and jetsam bobs conspicuously. Fish. Seals. A dolphin. Glossy pitch oil.
April 15 #tears
1944. The child discovered her friend after the bombing. A boot. His silent body by the hedge. Leaves dotted with a constellation of sacred beads. A cascade of vermillion tears.
April 16 #blunder
Sacré bleu. Pas Notre Dame. Comment cela pourrait-il arriver? Une erreur monumentale. Ce n’est pas possible. Nous sommes désolés. Tu as nos cœurs, nos chagrins, nos larmes. Vive la France.
April 17 #tenacity
Arguably most tenacious creature ever to exist. Apis mellifera. 120 million years here and long since cemented indispensable player in our global food-web. Finally undone by designer insecticides. Dark irony.
April 18 #precious
‘Life without the bees will be no life at all,’ the naturalist’s prophecy rang out from the screen. ‘It’s not just the precious honey we’ll lose. It’s our precious lives.’
April 19 #despair
Our angel watches from way up there. She contemplates our sorrow back here on Earth. But today her despair has yielded to joy—her daughter will soon be a mother.
April 20 #lustre
Winter despaired. She’d entrusted Jacob with everything, even left her family. Caressing the glassy skin of her crystal ball, she stared as its luminous essence swirl. Then its lustre faded.
April 21 #beginning
‘When was the beginning?’ asked the seven year-old.
The celebrated physicist smiled. ‘13.8 billion years ago. The Big Bang.’
‘No,’ she said, dissatisfied. ‘The very beginning. Before the Big Bang?’
April 22 #inventive
Elsie tossed the newspaper into the bin. ‘Cancel the paper,’ she instructed her son. ‘I’ve had enough. Rape. Murder. Torture. Terrorism. How many ways can people invent to hurt others?’
April 23 #celebrate
For too long Miriam had nothing to celebrate. But now her father was so sick he’d been medivacced to the mainland. She beamed as she stepped through the hospital doors.
April 24 #transform
‘Who are you and what have you done with my son?’ Janine mocked affectionately. Lenny’s apartment was clean. He was paying his own bills. On time. Her heart swelled. Launched.
April 25 #remember
Gabrielle reluctantly drove Sophie to the clinic. She was anxious to avoid disappointment. It’d been a long time, maybe too long. The spaniel bounded towards them. ‘She remembers,’ Sophie cried.
April 26 #iridescent
Lucy paced the garden and the street. It was pitch outside. And cold. Impossible to find a missing kitten. Then she saw it. Two tiny iridescent moons tiptoeing towards her.
April 27 #nacreous
The child couldn’t have known what she’d stumbled upon. As it turned out, Wilson had lain there 100 million years. Only an opaline protrusion remained, marking the ichthyosaur’s desert grave.
April 28 #treasure
She approached cautiously. ‘Is this for me?’ she wondered.
A carpet of brilliant blue treasures preceded the exquisite bower.
Cocking his head, flashing his dazzling feathers, he invited her inside.
April 29 #perfectionism
All night she toils, weaving delicate silken threads. A masterpiece of exquisite lace. As day breaks, a glint of golden sunlight catches on suspended beads of morning dew. Charlotte’s web.
April 30 #pearl
The possibilities were endless. Confusing. Then she emerged, the soft smoky silver of her new fur awakening the memory of grandma’s precious beads. She mewed faintly, whispering her name. Pearl.
Writers Victoria celebrated one winner each day, and I was lucky enough to receive this honour on April 29, with my response to the prompt #perfectionism. All of the daily winners can be read here at Writers Victoria. Take a read - some talented and inspirational writers there. Love flash fiction and cannot wait for the next challenge.
Participants' stories can also be read on Twitter.
WV April Flash Fiction Challenge
Congratulations to Writers Victoria on 30 years of being! I've been a member for several years and always love the fabulous opportunities presented for writers. To celebrate this auspicious anniversary WV hosted a micro fiction challenge, inviting us to flex our creative muscle and respond to a new writing prompt every day of April and fitting the entire story into 30 words! WV selected daily winners and published these each Tuesday throughout the month. So excited to win one of these!!
This is my winning entry responding to the prompt #perfectionism on Tuesday, April 29... YAY!!!