BPFFC #02: One thing to look forward to

13. Mai 2018 at 00:02 (flash fiction, Posts in English) (, , , , , , )

With a little bit (a lot) of delay, here’s my February flash fiction for the Baked Potatoes Flash Fiction Challenge (BPFFC). I actually wrote it in February, I really did 😉 (Unlike the March and April flash fiction, where I sadly didn’t meet the deadline… But they’ll still be published here soon. )
The word for the month of February was fedoraJack already posted his story here in March, because he’s way more organised than I am 😉 And recently, Sarah has published her piece too. Enjoy!

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“I don’t want to do this anymore!” He ripped the fedora off his gel-slicked hair and tossed it onto the floor of the living room.
“Now, now.” His mother stooped to pick up the hat and flicked some invisible specks of dust away. “This is surely no way to thank the Lord for the wonderful opportunity he has given you, is it, George?”
“No, mum. I’m sorry, mum.” He bowed his head a little so she could place the fedora on it.
“There, there. That’s my boy.” She patted his cheek and used her plump body to manoeuvre her son out into the hallway. “Now off you go. And don’t forget to tell Reverend Marshall that we’d be glad to have him over for dinner this Sunday!”
“Yes, mum.” He stepped away from his mother’s ample bosom and opened the door to step out into the bright winter day.
“Oh, wait a second!” His mother fumbled in her purse and grinned as she threw some coins into the metal box in her son’s hands. “They’ll be more generous when they see that their brothers and sisters have already contributed. We’ll soon have that new bell tower erected, with the help of you and your friends and our Holy Father.”
The coins rattled as George trembled. It was so cold and he’d rather be anywhere else than fulfilling his God-given duties. But at least, there was one thing to look forward to.
Warming up his hands in the hands of his best friend Jim and letting him breathe warm air onto his frozen fingertips before counting the coins.

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Inter-sect-ion

31. Dezember 2016 at 14:08 (Posts in English) (, , , , , , )

When it all came down to putting a price on my belongings, I realised there was incredibly little of real value – value others could see and appreciate – in the things that were important to me.

What would anyone do with the chipped heart-shaped stone that my friend Veronica gave me when my boyfriend of seven years broke up with me?

Or the lamp which hadn’t been illuminated with a light bulb for ages, because Michael was the only one to know where to get these special bulbs?

Or my dearest book, which had fallen into the bathtub when I had been soaking in the warm water after a far too long day? It was dry now, but creased and crinkled as the skin on my toes had been when I got out of that bath.

„You could at least take some of the things with you, you know?“ My mum said. „I don’t need all this space anyway.“

„Yes,“ I replied, „but that’s not the point. The less I leave behind, the easier it will be for you to move on.“

These talks were, of course, not true. But I knew that leaving random stuff behind – stuff my family would investigate, ask friends about and find out the meaning they had for me – would make it infinitely harder for them to forget me. And taking anything else but money, my clothes, laptop and some of my jewellery with me would be outright stupid.

I would not need anything of Earthly value anymore. I would get so much more in return, if I could scrape the money for the journey together.

I scribbled numbers of varying values on little scraps of paper and pinned them to furniture, books, stacks of dishes and kitchen machinery.

They would wait for me with open arms and care for me in a way my family never could.
They would provide everything I was missing now.
Marriage.
A husband.
A religion.

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Clara’s Christmas Wish: Part 23

23. Dezember 2015 at 06:08 (Clara's Christmas Wish) (, , , , , , , , , )

This story works like an Advent calendar – until the 24th of December, I will publish a part of this story each day. Please start your reading with Part 1.

The day of the 24th passed like any other day, only that the girls’ mother was more stressed out than usual. She hated it when the shops closed for more than one day, especially since she had begun to dislike Christian holidays nearly eight years ago. A faint slur of curses would emanate from the kitchen for the next two days, finding fault with the quality of meat or the crispness of the vegetables. She hated the idea that people were feasting in every other house at the price of their meticulously counted money bills – because anyone knew that everything was more expensive just for the sake of the holidays.

Clara felt jubilant when she could finally put Marlene to bed, with the prospect of being able to wake her up a few hours later, to a silent house and burning candles. Clara lay down on her bed, too, just to rest her eyes for a few seconds…
Until she woke with a start.
So did Justin, a few streets away.

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Clara’s Christmas Wish: Part 12

12. Dezember 2015 at 06:12 (Clara's Christmas Wish) (, , , , , , , , )

This story works like an Advent calendar – until the 24th of December, I will publish a part of this story each day. Please start your reading with Part 1.

“Sure, kid, just go to the lady who sells the tickets and tell her I said to give you twenty-five for cleaning,” the circus director announced and patted her on the shoulder, lifting his top hat with his other hand. “Good job, young lady!”
Clara was delighted that her plan had worked out so well. In fact, she was so happy she treated herself to a bus ride home. Her mother was furious when Clara returned. “I didn’t raise you to become an ungrateful brat!” she spat. “Go to your room and don’t come down again before you’re ready to apologise!”
Her father just stood there, a worried look on his face. She left before her mother could force him with a stern glance to say the usual listless “do what your mother tells you”.

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Clara’s Christmas Wish: Part 11

11. Dezember 2015 at 06:09 (Clara's Christmas Wish) (, , , , , , , )

This story works like an Advent calendar – until the 24th of December, I will publish a part of this story each day. Please start your reading with Part 1.

It was still too early to go home after her dramatic exit, so Clara figured she could as well go to the circus to proffer her services. It was a long walk; Clara didn’t dare to take the bus without having her ticket or any money on her. But it was okay – she still had some thinking to do.

When she walked into the fenced area where the circus resided, she knew exactly how to proceed. Without any further ado, she grabbed the nearest broom, strode up to the stands and started brushing the empty popcorn and peanut bags into a neat heap. Nobody seemed to notice or to care. When she was done after two hours, she walked up to the man in the red suit and bow tie and said: “My name is Clara Peterson and I’ve just cleaned the stands. Would you be so nice as to pay me for that? I can come back tomorrow after school.”

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Clara’s Christmas Wish: Part 10

10. Dezember 2015 at 06:01 (Clara's Christmas Wish) (, , , , , , )

This story works like an Advent calendar – until the 24th of December, I will publish a part of this story each day. Please start your reading with Part 1.

It was hanging right there, at the bus stop. A sign saying that the circus visiting the town until the end of the year needed somebody to clean the circus ring after the audience left. Not the area in which the animals were performing their tricks but the stands where the people crumbled popcorn into the cracks between the seats and stuck their chewing gums to the floor. It wasn’t a particularly compelling occupation – but it should earn Clara enough money to set her plan into action. And maybe the job would also provide her with important connections she would be able to benefit from later this month.

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Clara’s Christmas Wish: Part 9

9. Dezember 2015 at 06:04 (Clara's Christmas Wish) (, , , , , , , )

This story works like an Advent calendar – until the 24th of December, I will publish a part of this story each day. Please start your reading with Part 1.

“Watch your tongue, young lady!” her mother scolded her. “And no, you’re going to have to work this one out by yourself. If you want to give gifts on a meaningless holiday that really isn’t about spending money, then you should start to earn your own money. You’re sixteen after all,” her mother clarified, still not bothering to look at her daughter.
“Thanks for being the worst mother on this planet!!” Clara kicked the dust bin as she left and slammed the kitchen door shut behind her.
She took her jacket and scarf off the hall stand and stormed out to get some fresh air. If she wanted to make her Christmas wish come true – and part of what Marlene wished for – she would have to manage doing it all by herself; so much was clear now. She wouldn’t stop walking until she had found a solution.

And then she saw it.

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