Here, There be a Writer

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Flash Fiction: Brainstorming

It's been a while, Dear Readers, somewhere between theatre and snow I haven't been as dutiful with posted. I need to change that. That where this post comes in. I need to write some, not only to keep in practice, but it's what we writer do, and next month is the A to Z challenge, and while I have been focusing on submitting my completed work, and revising a select few pieces to go into the submission rotation (of rejection letter. you know what I mean). I also have a big sooper sekrit project that I have been working on developing. More on that at a another post.

In the mean time, Dear Readers, here is a little piece I whipped up for a group I am part of, #writestuff's monthly writing prompt, created by Tamara Woods (check her out!). Spring having returned, mostly, and the muse trying to break out of her frozen winter encasement I thought I would whip out a piece of flash fiction. So, remember, that this is the rough draft, I want to go back and polish it up some. I have a few projects I am currently working on and trying to limit creating new stories that might distract from them. But for now, I present a story about something writers often face, Brainstorming...

The voice echoed across the sunshine streaming in through the windows.

“I remember the journey that took me into the heart of Chicago. It wasn’t the grandest of adventures, after all I was only sixteen.”

The voice began again, only this time preceded by a click.

“Remember that trip into Chicago? I do.” Emphatic and articulate, the voice spoke of riding the El Trains around the perimeter of Chicago base. “I was only sixteen, but it felt like a whole different world.” The click resounded and the whirling on rewinding tape. The old and wrinkled hands fumbled across the cassette recorder for the stop button, which had rubbed off most of the lettering on the machine, yet still worked perfectly.

“It was the year of my sixteenth year….” the voice stopped but didn’t stop the recorder, “In the sixteenth year of my life, I traveled the first time. I left my home and my family to find something that I was looking for…” Click! The voice sighed deeply, setting down the recorder, and glanced it’s pale blue eyes out the window.

She was an older woman, hands trembled slightly, but grasped a hold of a nearby pencil and began writing on a small notepad. “Maybe it’s time to try the old way,” she said, stopping to glanced back out the window. The sky was blue without any cloud cover, but the wind blew, and the women knew it was a cold wind. “”Why am I trying to write about Chicago?” she said, glancing across her small single room apartment.

It was packed tightly with bookshelves and a small fold out couch. She scanned across the shelves, unsure and frowning, “The must have left,” she said. Picking up the pencil, she scribbled some words, a name, and several places. “Chicago? I have never been to chicago...well, once when I was younger, and on a layover when I had to run across O’Hare Airport to catch my next flight…” Her eyes squinting in the dim light of the apartment, and her gaze fell across of row of books.

“Ah, yes...I remember these...Must be why I have Chicago on the brain.” Laughing the woman stood up and strode across the room’s width to the shelf in question and pull off a greyish blue tinted book. “Ah, Tris, somehow you remind me more of myself than the others,” she said sweeping her arm across the shelves of books and manuscripts. “But your story is NOT mine,” and she wagged a finger at the book. The pages were old and slightly faded, as it had been many years since the woman had opened these pages. She leaned in and inhaled.

“Ah, that’s the stuff that brings me to life,” and a sudden snap of the book brought her out of her revelry. “Maybe I should try something different, after all I will not be successful if I don’t at least write.” She carefully placed the book back on the shelf, sliding it between a thick volume of Poe’s writings, a greenish grey one,  an orangey red one, and a thin book with a dragon printed on the side. “What is it he said?” Her hands trailed over a small globe, spinning it and blurring the colours in a rainbow of flurries across the globe’s imagery sky. “Write what you know?”

Her footsteps echoed quietly on the carpet of her flat and the sound of a nearby train rumbled into her meager space. The cup on the desk rattled, along with countless dragon knick knacks. She smiled, thinking about the day she moved out here. Her hands grasped ahold of the old mug, it was clipped and the handled had been re-glued at least three times, but it was her oldest cup she owned, and the one that survived the move out here.

“I remember when I had only one coffee cup, and one plate, and one bowl.” Laughing, she glanced around, “Now I have plenty! And more than enough for a different cup,” she said and looked at the mug and the fade pictures of her as Bottom the Ass; Mrs. Sowerberry, the Undertaker Wife; and Mrs. Elbert Cook Jr. “Those were the days,” she smiled and glanced out the window. Her view included a small flower box filled with flowers and a small tomato plant. “Maybe this hand I’ll get some tomatoes.”

The clock chimed the hour, and the woman set down the cup and returned to her chair. While not so stiff from age, she moved much more slowly than she did when she moved in some twenty years ago, “I need to get started, or I’ll never make deadline.” Picking up the pencil, and pulling out a larger notepad, the woman began scratching out words, “You know, sometimes it is worth it to get stuck in Chicago, even if it was only for an hour, sometimes the best adventures happen in your twenties, and still others are sweeter in your forties. This one is about adventure though, about taking chances, and pulling a sword out of a barn door at three in the morning.

“Ha! That’s pull them in…” she chuckled to herself, “Just enough truth, and a whole lot of adventure…” she said to herself, glancing back over at the shelf with the globe. “I can have just as many adventures as you, Tris, some even better…” Her pencil scratching across the page. The world building itself and her coffee cooled and the afternoon passed into evening.

Dear Readers, leave me a comment about the story (what did you like, or not like), or how your brainstorm ideas for stories, and what kind of muse do you follow (or how you get inspired).,,