Fiction Stories from Kathryn Lang

5 Little Words Help Hack the Block

Read “The Coming Storm” by Kathryn C Lang

Flash Fiction Word War to Defeat Writer’s Block

or just to have some Saturday fun

Getting the words moving can be a challenge – on the best of days. Walking away from the current work in progress and tackling something new or different can be the perfect catalyst for making it work.

Several years ago, I was introduced to “Flash Fiction.” I had to be convinced that I wouldn’t get flag for inappropriate content before I would join in the fun. It turns out that flash has more to do with the speed than anything else (remind me to tell you about my first encounter with the Christmas game “Naughty Santa”).

I took the basic concept and added my own twist. Our creative group called it a “Word War.” We put several dozen words in a jar, and would randomly draw out two of the words. We set a timer and everyone had only 5 minutes to create something that utilized the two words. It was amazing the creations we unleashed.

Now, thanks to the encouragement of my #StoryDam peeps, we are going to change it up once again. Five words will be drawn out of the jar, the timer will be set, and the writers have just 30 minutes to craft something under 650 words long.

Are you ready?

Be sure to drop a link to your own flash fiction word war creation in the comments below.

Five Random Words – Writing Challenges to Stir the Muse

Flash Fiction Word War

  1. flower
  2. day
  3. leaf
  4. ginger
  5. bee

The Coming Storm

a Short Story by Kathryn C Lang

The day threatened storms. Winds picked up and forced the trees to bend in ways not natural to their design.

She sat on the porch watching, waiting, the impending storms stirring in her life more than in the weather. Her ginger hair sparkled in the sun still peeking out from the random break in the clouds.

Beth had been told. She didn’t like being told. Her need to determine her own path had always given her the courage to try things others would not try. She had been the first girl in the neighborhood to climb the massive oak tree in the center of the park. Her sheer will had pushed her to climb even higher until she had reached the point the boys dared not go. Still she climbed. Her determination only faltered when she reached the point where the limbs were bending in protest to her assent.

She watched today as the limbs bent in protest. She wished it was because she was free to climb, but it was the storm. Each leaf on the trees turned to salute the power of the coming storm.

“When the leaves turn in unison like that you know the storm is going to be bad.” Her grandmother had warned her years before about how to recognize the signs of nature.

Beth held her hands up and turned them to face her, they saluted her like the leaves, and the single ring on her left hand warned her the truth had not changed. She had been told and she had been warned the consequences that would happen if she did not do as she was told.

It wasn’t unusual for families to dictate the arrangement. Her parents had been trying for years with her. Tree climbing and other daring adventures did not make it easy for her parents. She was not like other girls, as everyone kept reminding her.

“I don’t want to be like them.” Beth stepped out into the breeze. The storm was creeping closer, but she still had time.

The garden called to her. The flowers moved with the wind and oncoming storm, but they didn’t twist and salute as the leaves did. The flowers held their own. She wanted to hold her own.

Beth meandered through the rows of flowers, shrubs, and herbs, looking for a hope but knowing they did not have the answer she needed. She took a seat in the grass next to a massive, mock orange bush. The faint aroma of the many blossoms danced around her as the wind continued to pick up. A single bee did all she could to grab the last bit of pollen before the storm did its best to wash it all away.

The bee left, and Beth wished she had the wings to fly away with her.

The wind blew, stronger and more determined. A single flower broke from the bush and twirled into the wind. Beth watched it as it flew away, feeling more alone than she had ever felt in her life.

“A storm’s coming.”

Beth sat long enough to realize that the voice was not in her head. She turned to find the source.
“Did I startled you?”

Startle was not the word she would have used. She shook her head in response.

“May I join you?”

She nodded, but couldn’t help but mumble. “Is it allowed?”

It probably wasn’t allowed and she would have normally been thrilled with this step into the unexpected and unorthodox. Now, she was just annoyed that he was disturbing her wallowing in the alone.

“Does it matter?” He took a sit next to her – not close enough to cause a concern but next to her. It was his directness that surprised her almost as much as his location. “Sometimes you have to be daring enough to do what you need to do despite what the rules may dictate.”

Beth wondered if he was teasing her, but he had her attention either way. “You encourage breaking the rules.”

He didn’t look at her. The dancing blossoms had his focus. “I encourage the pursuit of heart and purpose.”

“What if the heart and the purpose do not align?”

“Heart and purpose will always align if you take away the expectations and dictations of others first.”

Beth let the words float around her head, mingling with the scent of the mock orange. She wanted to fly. She wanted to climb to the peak. “What if the heart and purpose are not ordinary?”

He laughed, and the sound warmed her heart. Before he spoke, he turned to face her. “There is no ordinary. There is only unique. You must live out your uniqueness if you are going to live your life to your utmost.”

She matched his smile. The sun broke through the clouds causing the white blossoms to shimmer. Maybe the storm would wait for another day.

Read More from Kathryn Lang

Big Spring Novels by Kathryn lang

Purchase a print or electronic copy of THEY, RUN, or WATCH from the Big Spring Novel series.

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