Flash Fiction

Hard Times

Hard Times.

Lisa was your typical mother who love to watch romance and detectives series, was the housekeeper and took his child to the park every morning to play with the neighbours. However, since a few months ago, she started to notice that her marriage was not going well; fights started to be more frequently, their intimacy had stopped completely, even the amount of kisses given were less. She thought about divorce but she was still in-loved with her husband, she was very optimistic, and she could not left her son without father, until one day she started to notice something weird. Her husband started to arrive more lately than usual; he started to dress up more nicely to work, started to shave more frequently and even he started to do some exercise. At the beginning she thought he was passing through a phase or something, but things were getting weirder for her, she knew he was up to something and not exactly in a good way.

One day she had to go to her mother’s house because she was not feeling well. She told to her husband that she was going to be away with her son the whole weekend to take care of her mother, to which he did not had any problem because he was going to be out of town as well, so she proceed to pack up some clothes and went to the bus station. One day had passed and her mother was completely healthy, to which she started to insist to Lisa to go home and take care of her family; she did not want at the beginning but she ended up been convinced by her mother. She forgot to call her husband to tell him that she was going to be at home sooner than expected but she never thought this was going to be so crucial for her.

When she arrived at home she notice something weird, her husband’s car was park at the garage, maybe he also forgot to tell her that he arrived sooner as well. She noticed that the handle was unlocked and when she entered to the house, she did not see her husband at the couch as usual. She went to the kitchen and saw a bottle of red wine and two almost empty glasses; her heart started to beat fast, she was getting anxious. She left his son at the living room couch and went upstairs to see if her husband was at home, just to find her bedroom’s door barely closed and when she peek inside the room she saw her husband and another woman having sex the in the bed. She quickly went downstairs, grabbed her son, and went outside of the house to go the park of the neighbourhood. More than sad, she was angry, she knew eventually this was going to happen but she was blind by her optimistic and her love to her husband, but it was not going to ended up like that, not to the woman who fight to save her marriage. She and her son slept in the park, open to the dangers of the night.

Two days after her husband received a letter to his office:

Dear Congressman,

We have your son and wife

Of course, we do not want to hurt them, but if you do not agree to our demands, we will be forced to take action. If we do not receive $600,000 in unmarked dollar bills by next Friday night, you will never see them in one piece again. Instead, we will send them back to you, bit by bit, until the money is procured.

We will call you at exactly 12pm on Friday and set up a drop location.

Do not contact the authorities, or we will kill them.

Do not try to find us, or we will kill them.

Do not tell anyone, or we will kill them.

You will hear from us soon. –Mr. X

 

 

The man was speechless; he never thought something this serious was going to happen to him in any time soon. He quickly picked up the phone, made some calls to the banks, and left the building in a hurry. He ran pass through a hooded person who was outside the building. The hooded person went inside a cab and was welcomed by the voice of a child saying: “Mommy, where are we going?”

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The Squirrel

He sits there. In his hands he has his little book of poems, and a backpack by his side. The tree besides him casts a soft shade over the bench, shielding him from the blazing sun. A cold breeze ruffles the pages of the book and he puts it down and looks up. A few people play with their dogs on that circular grassy area over there. A couple walks along the tree line holding hands. He looks down and tries to resume his reading, but his concentration is lost. His mind is already far away. Three years away.

His mind is on her blue eyes and on her freckled face and on her thin lips. His mind twirls her hair and brushes her nose and caresses her eyelids as she sleeps. He feels her soft skin under his hands, and sees the way her hair sprawls over his pillow and feels her breath on his neck. Feeling his chest tighten, he sighs and puts the book away into his backpack; it was after all just a recommendation, something to take his mind off her. He stands up and looks for something to do, anything. Seeing a trail that leads into the wooded area of the park, he starts walking.

A few minutes later he is already immersed in the woods. The smell of moss and rotten leaves and trees calm him. The birds squawk loudly overhead as they look for food or a suitable mate. His eyes follow the complete path of a squirrel leaving his hiding hole, finding a nut by the base of a tree, scurrying around the dead leaves and underbrush, finding a good place and burying the nut there, and finally darting back to the hole. He stops walking as another squirrel that was hiding on a tree branch scuttles down and goes to the exact same spot and unburies the nut, eating it right there and then, leaving the waste behind. He pictures himself as the nut that was left buried, abandoned by the first squirrel, and is immensely grateful that the second squirrel came along and unburied and ate him. The nut was lucky the second squirrel found it, he reasons. When the squirrel comes back, it will be terribly sorry to find his food gone and will have no one to blame but itself. He knows squirrels bury their food for the coming winter when resources are scarce and it’s part instinct, but wasn’t the first squirrel taking the nut a little for granted? Isn’t it a bit arrogant to think that the nut will just lie there quietly and diligently while the squirrel looks for other nuts until it’s ready? The nut does not owe anything to the squirrel; it has no reason to jeopardize its own survival for another species entirely. And when the first squirrel returns it has no right, no right at all, to act surprised and hurt about the lost food because really, what did it expect leaving his nut there, alone and forgotten? When the other squirrel came it offered the nut a purpose in the immediate future. I won’t bury you, I won’t leave you waiting, I will use you right now, and you will never be alone again. Why shouldn’t the nut let itself be dug out? The first squirrel obviously had no time for it at the present moment, here is another squirrel that does. The second squirrel did not bother with pointless “in the future” statements. It wants the nut, and it wants it now. Just because the first squirrel buried it and is waiting to return to it does not mean the nut should wait too! What if the first squirrel doesn’t return? What then? No. I had no idea if she was ever coming back, I was alone and forgotten and who can blame me for going home with someone when—A tree branch snaps.

The man puts a hand over his eyes and takes deep breaths. His heartbeat has accelerated and he focuses on the faraway squawking of birds and the forest’s smell to calm down again. He realizes he has been standing there for some time looking at a bunch of squirrels playing hide and seek, and feels a bit embarrassed. Turning towards the path, he looks up at the sun and goes to look for some ice cream.

 

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The Midwife

Mary Anne opens her eyes just before the clock strikes five. She rises, steady, and ties a bun on her head so that she may begin to work on the day’s chores. As she walks into the kitchen, her pale face illuminated by the gray morning and the autumn wind making her white gown flow on her heavy frame as she hears a sound echo in the misty dawn outside. Surprised, she leaves the farmhouse into the open field to see a magnificent light searing a few miles away. It pulses unnaturally, sending waves of light into the sky and she feels the ripples through her body, like a strange music.

 

Without thinking, she walks towards this light as the morning sun starts rising into the wheat field and the air grows warmer and stronger. She is but a lonely figure walking to the great unknown, threading slowly, but surely, like a moth to the flame. 

 

As she edges closer to the top of the hill, she can see the source, something unnatural, foreign: a beacon of massive proportions, taller than any house. Its slick black marble surface seems to pulse with every color of the spectrum, and even more – shapes and voices seem to reach for the woman. They speak languages she does not comprehend and emit music that no one has heard before.

Eyes glazed, she starts swaying, first slowly, and then with joy, as a cosmic rhythm takes over her body. And then – the need for the warmth, the light, the music that is coming from this strange artifact, the desire fills her uncontrollably.

 

She reaches and her fingers touch the glossy material, her skin melts into a thousand beautiful shades of red, but she feels nothing. Instead, a warm feeling of joy invades her insides and she feels free.

 

Mary Anne melts into the object until there is nothing left of her.

Farmers and their wives and children hope the day will come for them to witness the strange phenomenon that has appeared in the wheat fields, and just like that woman, they will succumb to the joys and horror of something they will never understand.

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Alien in the attic

There’s an alien in my attic. He talks to me through Morse code. My roommates say I’m crazy. They tell me that the things I hear, the ruffling in the attic, is nothing but squirrels that have burrowed their way into our home. That the stomping and the sliding aren’t messages but rather  a figment of my overactive imagination. But they don’t hear his footsteps moving throughout the night. They don’t know that he speaks only through Morse code. The stomping and sliding o his feet are messages only I understand.

 

I shout as I leave a room, stomp my feet through the house so he always knows where I am, so he has time to leave a room before I arrive, and keep all the doors closed whenever I’m home alone just in case he wants to come down. My roommates say I’m paranoid, that the alien I the attic doesn’t exist, but they don’t know what I know.


There came a weekend where all my roommates went out of town. I was left alone in a house with three dogs and a strange alien in my attic. I closed my roommates’ bedroom doors to keep the dogs out and I closed the guest bedroom door because it led to the attic. The moment the door was shut the thumping began. A long scrape, then four stomps, then another stomp, then another stomp and a short scrape, then another short scrape, then a scrape a stomp and another scrape and finally three stomps. “Thanks” he said. I shouted my reply and went along my way, ignoring the squeaking sound that meant the attic was being pulled down.

 

The weekend passed like that. I’d announce that I’m going to the kitchen and he’d stomp out an, “ok”. I’d tell him that I’m leaving for the dog park and to expect me back in roughly four hours and he’d once again, stomp out an “ok”.

 

Then Sunday came around and my roommates came home. I forgot to warn the alien. So when they walked through the guest room to get to the laundry room and saw the attic down and an alien sleeping in one of the beds all I could do is say, “I told you there was an alien in the attic.

 

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Sunday Morning

It was Sunday morning, and Harry was waking up from his late night out with his friends. Julia was making pancakes in the kitchen, you could tell by the smell of sweet bananas with which she made them. They had been married for about 6 years, both on their early thirties. He was a businessman while she stayed home cooking, cleaning and making a comfortable living out of their small apartment at the second street in the center of Chicago.

 

 

Harry walked through the kitchen with his white pajamas on, as he grabbed his pancakes he nodded at Julia as if saying a spiritless thank you with his head. He continued his path and went back to the living room to finish reading the newspaper. Julia was getting used to his behavior. It hadn’t been like this since the beginning, he would be very caring and thoughtful back on their dating days but as the years passed suddenly he had this work meetings all the time. He would go very early on the morning and would arrive home almost around midnight everyday claiming he had this big important client that would be investing on the company. Julia was sad at first, but as the years went by she started to getting used to the idea of not having a husband anymore but a distant man that would pay the bills, every month. She loved him though but she was starting to wonder if Harry still felt the same way about her. Either way, after making the pancakes Julia decided she would go for a walk with their dog to take her mind off Harry’s behavior, so she went. After a long walk she finally sat down and rest on a bench and tied the dog to a tree nearby some kids playing baseball. She was resting when a baseball passed near her head making its way to the street. In that moment the dog started jumping to catch the ball untying himself from the tree, the dog started running to get the ball, Julia went running after him so he didn’t run away and get lost. In that moment Julia saw a car coming directly

to the dog, in an attempt to stop the car and save him she stepped in front of the vehicle. The driver immediately pushed the brakes, but it was useless the car was going too fast hitting Julia and killing her almost instantly. The driver escaped the scene while the dog stayed with her crying for his owner. Harry received the bad news and quickly went to see what was going on and he saw Julia’s body covered by a blue blanket surrounded by the police.

 

The funeral was that night and harry bought the most beautiful flowers he could find. There it was, Julia’s lifeless body as if she was sleeping, beautiful as the first day they met. Days passed by and Harry felt incomplete even though he never paid a lot of attention to Julia he did love her with all he had and now the feelings of impotence and frustration started to fill him up for not spending time with her when he could and cherishing what they had when they had it.

 

He sat down on the living room, thinking of how much time he could have spent with her, how many mornings he could have shared eating with her or how many Sunday and Saturday nights they could have spent on their relationship. Nothing of that matter now since it was too late and life had taught him a lesson he will never forget. It was there that he realized sometimes when you surround yourself with work and stress you start losing focus of life and forget to make time for the things that make life worth it.

This story was written by Paula Marcos and Arturo Cantú

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The prisoner

 

“The prisoner”

 

This is my last year in here. I don't know why I did it, maybe I am crazy or extremely angry that I even remember what I really do. I am dead to my family and all my friends I don't know why I still living this life, why me. I remember when I use to play with my son baseball, watch TV every night with my wife beside me, drive my car in the highway, go to the movies with my family, take my son to visit my fathers and sisters. One day I was driving to my work like every week, when I arrive I start my working day like always, drink a cup of coffee and then report to my boss what I will do that day. That day was different when a get into my boss office, he say to me that I need to drive to the other side of the city and deliver something but he doesn't say to me what it is. Then I start to think that I need to do whatever my boss ask because I really need the job and the money all of this is to my family I need to pay a lot of debts. Later my boss come to me and say that I am a really good employee and after this job he will promote me, so I remember I was so excited finally I will buy one Christmas gift to my son. Well, after that day I take my car, because my boss say to me that this something need to be deliver in my car and not in the office car. When I arrive into the downtown I start to think what is in this box that my boss doesn't want me to know, I decide to open the box and I only see three fingers and one of them have one gold ring. I start to freak out and get worried, I start to get so nervous and I was getting out of the downtown I start to drive faster and faster and in the city limits a police car turn on his red and blue lights and tell me to stop. When I stop one big guy start to ask me about where i came from, what I am doing and why i drive so fast, with  that final question the police notice my nervous face so he doesn't ask me to show him me driver licence he say to me to get out the car and then I turn my face to look the box but immediately the police ask me what is in that box so I feel the necessity to get out of there I start to escape from the police I think I will never do such thing in my life. I entered a dirt road, and lost the cops, i saw a cabin and pulled over. I entered the cabin and saw a small revolver, I picked it up and put it in my pocket. I heard footsteps, I thought the police was onto me, I pulled out the revolver. The door opened, A shot. then silence, At this moment I don't know why i did it, I think it was the pressure, I just aimed and fired, and I didn't realize what or who I just shot. When I finally looked, in front of me a middle aged man lying on the floor , At that moment I wished that man was my boss, but then I heard something that broke me inside and that made me surrender to the police… That word still haunts me at night. A small…..single…. simple word…….. “Daddy?”


Yair Montalvo A01176364

 

Oscar Nassar A01196538

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Trips to the moon

Trips to the moon

 

John was a lawyer, he was a very wealthy and working man. Since he was 22 years old he has worked as an advocate lawyer for criminals, because he believed that everybody deserved a second chance. Ever since he started working, he has had tons of work to do with basically no breaks.  As years went by he got married to Janette, an older woman than him. For some years John was happy with his life despite his hard work but as time went by he noticed that he couldn´t find the perfect way to rest from all the work he had to do day by day.

He went with a psychiatrist to get hypnotized but it didn´t work. Then, he went with a doctor to see if he could give him some pills to help him relax, but they just gave him a headache. John was very disappointed since none of the treatments worked at all. So, he decided to take one day off from work, even knowing that work will accumulate by the time he was back from his trip. John decided to go to the NASA by himself, he needed a time for his own. He has always liked space and when he was little he dreamed about being an astronaut. He was so astonished by all the things he saw in there that he decided to buy a spacecraft so he could go to the moon.

Some weeks passed by and his wife died, John became very depressed, and again, his work accumulated in an impressing amount. After all the unfortunate events, he decided to use his spacecraft for the first time. He went to his huge garage where he kept all his cars and he prepared himself with special food. He put on his spatial outfit and he turned on the spacecraft. In three hours he was already landing on the moon. He was very happy being there because it was very relaxing. He was taking a long walk on it, until he decided to sit down to admire the space while he was eating some chips he carried with him. That same day he went back to earth and continued with his work. Every time he got stressed about work he went to the moon and every time he took one of his favorite things and left it on the moon. That was the only place where he could finally relax and forget about all the things he had to do back in earth. He went too often there that he began to build a small house and he started decorating it with all of his favorite things which he had already taken: he made the moon just perfect for himself.

 

 

Years passed by, John turned 80 years old and he was still on his same job. He was working even harder that when he was younger. He then realized that he never really had social life. He never made any friends, his wife was his only family, but she died a long time ago, and  he didn’t have any  work partners since he liked to work alone; he was all by himself. He kept thinking about this for months until he finally decided to go to the moon and stay in there forever. He had everything he needed in the moon and he didn´t needed anymore his work as a lawyer, he was tired and bored of it, his life had no longer sense in Earth, actually it never had. A few hours passed and John was arriving to the moon. He liked the peace and the silence there, in Earth there was never peace and silence. In the moon he could finally rest without thinking about all his criminal cases, there he finally found his life, that one place you can always go when you need to free your mind. He was finally in it and this time he will be staying in there forever.


-Rocío Leal

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Pizza Night


Flash Fiction:                                                                                                                        


                                                                                                   -Pizza Night-  By Liza Villarreal 

Annie and George were staying at grandma’s for the night, they loved it there she was the most pampering person and loved her grandkids. Nights at grandma were always fun, they could plan with toys, sleep with the dog, play camping on the patio and even use some of her clothes. That night the kids decided they were going to see movies and eat snacks all night long, and of course Grandma accepted.  The three of them started the first movie, but Grandma was feeling tired and decided to go to sleep, leaving the kids enjoying the night and the bunch of snacks. As the night went on the kids got tired of eating chocolates, sandwiches and popcorns and of course, Fred had an idea.

George told Annie he had seen a T.V.  Commercial of the new pizza restaurant in town, and that it was having a 24-hour delivery service.  The kids got exited and started searching for the phone number on the many restaurant fliers that people ad left on Grandma’s house. “I got it!” Annie exclaimed, and gave George the number to make the order, he was a few years older than her and knew the address they where in. The kids made the order around nine p.m. and got money from Grandma’s purse, the pizza was supposed to arrive an hour after they order it. The restaurant was near the neighborhood but it was raining badly and the delivery guys where taking longer to deliver the orders.

Hours went by, another movie ended and the kids were getting desperate.  George and Annie called and called the pizza station to claim that their order hadn’t arrived and the lady on the phone assured that the guy had all ready left with their pizza. The kids started to complain and arguing with the lady on the other side on the phone, it was already past midnight and they hadn’t received anything.  The night went on and nothing arrived, finally the kids fall asleep.

The next day, early in the morning ambulances and police sirens started to sound around the block. The kids woke up asking what has happened and Grandma, told them she just received the notice that a pizza guy had had a severe accident, apparently last night, and unfortunately someone found him just hours early.

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Blood Oath


Written by Patricia Garza


“He loves me, he loves me not,” the girl murmurs wistfully, her dismal voice clandestine beneath the sigh of the wind. A pile of cherry-red petals lies strewn beside her body. Leisurely, she twirls the bare flower stem between her scarred thumb and forefinger, gazing at it longingly before finally allowing it to slip out of her grasp; then, with a soft groan, she closes her eyes and lies down on the green grass, falling asleep.

            When she awakes, the clear, blue sky dotted with puffy, white clouds is nowhere to be seen. Even the sun seems to have gone into hiding; the deep violet night sky, framed by speckled stars and a placid, overlooking moon, now replaces it.

 

            “That’s Taurus,” he pointedly indicated the twinkling constellation looming before their eyes the night before.

 

            Subconsciously, she raises her thumb to her eyes, inspecting its scar by the colorless glow of the moon.

 

            “How do you know?” the girl inquired with fascination.

            “My father used to say that the stars would guide me through the darkness if I ever lost my way,” he told her, modestly casting her a half-grin. Her heart pounded and her cheeks were tinged with pink.

 

            She flushes again.

 

            Her face then became serious as she told him in a low voice, “Hey, there’s something I need to tell you.”

            She paused; he leaned closer.

            “I’m leaving,” she whispered. Her voice cracked. “My father is taking me to Boston; he says my aunt will teach me some manners.”

            The boy’s face hardened and his eyes turned cold. “It’s because I don’t have any money, isn’t it? That’s why he’s sending you away — he doesn’t want you near my family. Near me, I’m sending you away.” She reached to comfort him, but he pulled away. His nostrils were flared, eyes scorching with anger.

            “He has good intentions. Really. It’s okay — we’ll see each other again, I promise. I —” she stopped, alarmed and short of breath, as the boy pulled out a pocketknife.

            He anxiously looked into her eyes. “Do you trust me?”

            “More than anything in the world,” she whispered to him.

             He then took her hand in his and delicately pressed the blade against her thumb. She gasped; a scarlet rosebud blossomed seconds later, blood leaking out in a teasing dance on her fingertip. In a daze, she confoundedly searched his apologetic face, her gaze meeting his remorseful eyes.

            “I’m sorry,” he whispered, astonished at the blood he had drawn.

            She remained speechless, gaping at him. And in the blink of an eye — before she could even protest — he promptly slit his own finger. She looked away.

            “There,” he breathed when it had ended.

            “What have you done?” The girl exasperatedly managed to exclaim.

            “I thought you trusted me.” He weakly gave a lighthearted smile.

            “Well, I do, but —” she had fumbled, searching for words.

            “But?” he teased.

            “But I didn’t know you were about to pull a knife out on me!” she proclaimed to him crossly.

            “Oh.” Guilt marred his beautiful eyes as he humbly cast them down.

            “Well?” she asked impatiently. “Why did you slice my thumb open?”

            The boy hesitantly looked up with an apprehensive smile. “It’s called a blood oath,” he explained. “Something my grandfather once told me about. See, if we press our thumbs together,” — here he carefully demonstrated by pressing her finger to his — “our blood mingles, and we are bound by it.”

            She waited for him expectantly.

            “It means,” he offered, “that we share the same blood; that we promise to love each other forever, and that one day, I will find you and marry you.”

 

            Crystalline drops rapidly slide down the girl’s cheek as she steps out of her reverie, her eyes intently lingering on the mound of plucked petals. He does love her. She is certain of it. And her finger’s cicatrix has found a way to scar her heart; she loves him beyond a single doubt. But she will be leaving for Boston in a few hours.

And she will never see him again.

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