FFfPP — Big Yellow Taxi

0D00D24A-DF7B-46C2-8968-BCDFFB0AB880Scott woke up alone in his king-sized bed. Fighting to control the hangover that was splitting his head apart, he tried to remember what went down the night before.

He was pretty sure that Kathy was with him when he went to bed. There had been a lot of drinking and shouting and maybe even a slap or two. Open handed, of course. He never would have struck her with a closed first. No matter how much of a bitch she was being.

But he couldn’t remember the specifics, the details. How much had he had to drink? What were they fighting about? Did he really hit her? And where was she now?

He got up, walked into the kitchen, swallowed four Advil tablets, and started brewing a pot of coffee. He began to remember bits and pieces from the night before. And that’s when the lyrics to that Joni Mitchell song began haunting him.

Listening late last night
I heard the screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi
Took my girl away
Now, don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Til it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

(200 words)


Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practioner from Roger Shipp. Photo credit: Kai Pilger pexels-photo-462867 Taxi.

FFfPP — Wholesome Looking

img_1560I wasn’t stalking her. Well, not exactly. When she entered the lobby of the building, I have to admit I was immediately smitten. It wasn’t so much that she was beautiful. She was just so wholesome looking. Clean, fresh, almost no makeup.

Unlike most of the women who worked here. They were like painted ladies. Lots of eye makeup, false eyelashes, blush on their cheeks, coiffed hair, dressed to the nines.

No, this one was different. Since I’d never seen her in the building before, I decided to follow her, to see what floor she worked on. That way I’d know where to find her.

She took the escalator down from the lobby to the garage level and headed toward the parking garage, which was strange because she’d just entered the lobby from the outside moments before.

I wanted to catch her before she left the building to introduce myself, so I ran down the escalator and got to her just as she was entering the garage. I touched her shoulder and that’s when she turned around and sprayed mace into my eyes.

“This creep was stalking me,” she told the police officer as he cuffed me.

(197 words)


Written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practioner from Roger Shipp. Photo credit: Kaique Rocha pexels-photo-125532 escalator.

FFfPP — The Concert

img_1526Jenny was so excited. It was her very first live concert. Of course, she would rather have been there with her friends, but she was only twelve and she thought it was cool of her parents to take her to see her favorite band perform.

She couldn’t wait to get to school the next day and tell all of her friends that she went to the concert. It was all they’d been talking about since the concert had been announced a few weeks earlier. Everyone wanted to go. They’d all be so jealous of her that she actually went.

The band sounded great, even better than on their recordings. It was everything she had expected and more. The pyrotechnics were awesome, the fans were going nuts, and the air in the packed arena was filled with the aroma of pot. Was it her excitement that made her feel the way she was feeling, or was she getting a contact high? Didn’t matter. This was the best night of her life.

But that was before the massive explosion at the back of the arena.

(184 words)


Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner from Roger Shipp. Photo credit: Jack Gittoes pexels-photo-761543 Concert.

FFfPP — Going Home

img_1486Eli’s father, Alexio, emigrated to the States from Vendas Novas, Portugal when Eli was only two. Alexio was a shoemaker back in the old country and opened a cobbler shop in Newark, New Jersey, where he and his family settled. Alexio taught Eli everything there was to learn about the craft, but Eli spurned his father’s wishes, went to college, and became a lawyer.

That was decades ago. Now his wife had passed, his kids were grown and living their own lives, and most of his friends had either passed or moved away. Eli felt that the time was right to rediscover his roots and there was nothing holding him back.

So Eli closed his law practice, sold his home and most of his possessions, and moved back to Vendos Novas, a place he had little memory of, and opened a small cobbler shop on a steep, narrow street in town.

Now an old man, Eli rode his bicycle to his shop every morning and walk it up the steep incline each evening after closing. It was a simple life for the old timer who just wanted to live out his remaining years in the place where it began many years earlier.

(200 words)


Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practioner from Roger Shipp. Photo credit: MorgueFile April b5afa0fad12c0fc6b1d0bf8cc983d6e4.

FFfPP — Uncooperative

img_1410“Look, honey,” Meg said. “There’s a seagull perched on the ledge of the balcony.”

Stan grabbed his camera and quietly opened their hotel room’s balcony door so as not to spook the seagull and have it fly away before he could snap its picture with the cathedral in the background.

“Quick,” Meg whispered to her husband, “it’s looking right at us. Take the picture before it flies away.”

Stan lifted the camera, aimed it, and pressed the shutter button just as the seagull turned its head away from them. “Damn,” he said looking at the digital image on the back of the camera. “It looked away just as I was taking the picture.”

As soon he said that, the bird twisted its neck around and looked at the two of them. Stan once again lifted the camera to take the picture, but just before the shutter clicked, the bird’s head turned.

The same thing happened again. “This seagull is screwing with me,” Stan said, grabbing an apple from a bowl and throwing it at the bird. It missed.

The seagull looked at Stan and flew away. “I think it stuck its tongue out at you,” Meg said.

(199 words)


Written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practioner from Roger Shipp. Image credit: MorgueFile April 62433e902.