#1MinuteFiction: Black (Eye) Friday

“All this over a toy,” his mom says.

It wasn’t just a toy, it was a collector’s item. Fifty percent off, the cheapest he’s ever seen it, and it was almost his until that beast of a woman drove her elbow through his eye socket.

It wouldn’t be the first time he’s had his ass handed to him by a girl, but this would be the first time he’s gotten arrested for it.

—Nortina


Monday’s One-Minute Fiction challenges you to write a story in one minute, no more, no less, based on the prompt provided. Today’s photo prompt alludes to Black Friday and all the chaos that ensues just 24 hours after we were all thankful for the things we already had…

#1MinFiction: Thanksgiving Calories Don’t Count

Grandma hobbles around the kitchen, fixing everyone’s plate.

She’s deep fried the cornbread, and the turkey. The yams are mostly sugar. So is everything else on the table.

“A salad?” she says, hand on her hip. “Girl, don’t you know Thanksgiving calories don’t count?”

“Thanks, but no thanks, Grandma.”

I’d rather have both my feet than diabetes.

—Nortina


Do you follow the #ThanksgivingClapBack memes on social media? I imagine that last line could easily be one of them, though I wouldn’t dare say it to my Grandma. By the way, she has both her feet. 😉

Monday’s One-Minute Fiction challenges you to write a story in one minute, no more, no less, based on the prompt provided. All November, I’m giving you Thanksgiving-themed prompts. Today’s prompt is thanks, but no thanks

#ThrowbackThursday Poetry: October Thin

Happy Throwback Thursday! I originally published this poem on July 31, 2015, looking forward to a skinny October. Well, two years later, and I’m still trying to lose those pesky pounds. I recently told my best friend I wanted to be Aaliyah for Halloween. So . . . *clears throat* . . . it’s time to get to work!

October Thin

I want to lose at least thirty pounds by October.
Odd month to set a weight loss goal, I know.
No one aims to have their bodies bikini ready
by October. The water’s cold by then. The beaches
empty. No one’s there to see your smooth wax,
your carved abs, your lifted ass. There’s no use
in being scandalous under the water, pulling off your
bottoms, brushing up against a fellow swimmer, spreading
your legs and peeing in the waist deep ocean where the kids
boogie board. It’s hurricane season. Those rip currents
will snatch those bottoms right out of your hand,
pull you under with them. No, October’s the wrong month
to get skinny. But it’s possible there’s a skimpy Halloween costume—
equipped with fairy wings, a tutu, a lace bodice and pushup bra—
waiting for my newly thin body when the clock strikes midnight October 31st.

—Nortina

F is for Friendzoned

Originally posted April 7, 2015

Alex had told Jessica that Bruce was a jokester. Jessica needed someone to make her smile. Whitmore had her so tense—too stiff to laugh for fear that he would accuse her of laughing at him. Bruce would remind her that relationships were about having fun, enjoying each other’s company, not acting as parole officers. She shouldn’t return from a date with a headache, but with cracked ribs from laughing so hard.

“Ah, there’s a smile! I was starting to think something was wrong with me.”

“I come from the bathroom, and you’re stealing my fries.” She swatted his hand from her plate.

“Actually, I thought you pulled the whole, ‘ditch your date through the bathroom window,’ trick on me.” Bruce winked and snatched a fry from her plate, playfully tossing it into his mouth.

Jessica covered her fries and coughed on them.

“Aw man, I haven’t seen that one since middle school!” Bruce said.

Jessica tried to hold back her laugh. She made a sound, the combination of a hiccup and a burp, and immediately covered her mouth in embarrassment.

“Hey,” Bruce said, reaching across the table and pulling down her hands, “don’t do that. Your smile is so beautiful. You should show it off.”

Bruce’s hands were surprisingly soft, as if he had dipped them into melted Shea butter. “Show me that smile.” He brought both of Jessica’s hands to his lips and kissed them.

Jessica could feel her cheeks turning red. Bruce smile broadly, revealing a small gap between his two front teeth. He stood to his feet, pushing back his chair and leaning over the table. Suddenly, Jessica felt her brain vibrating against her skull as thoughts returned to Whitmore and his worrisome phone calls. He would’ve notice by now that she had turned off her phone. Would he simply give up, or would he try to track her down? Whitmore often took desperate measures when he couldn’t locate his women. Layla had done that to him—the ex who made him insecure, paranoid, jealous. Jessica snatched her hands away, drew her head back to avoid Bruce’s advancing kiss, and blurted, “I have a boyfriend!”

Bruce froze. “Oh.” He lowered himself back into his chair. “I’m sorry. Alex . . . she said you were single.” He avoided eye contact with her. He pulled a twenty and a ten from his wallet and held the bills in the air to catch the waiter’s attention. “Keep the change, I don’t need a receipt,” he said to the waiter who quickly stuffed the money into his apron pocket.

Following Bruce’s lead, Jessica gathered her purse from the floor and stood to leave. Another failed blind date. She wanted to cry. Bruce was so refreshing. Could she convince herself that she had chosen right to stand by Whitmore?

“So, do you love him?” Bruce slid his chair under the table.

“I don’t know . . . I guess?”

Bruce smiled and rubbed his chin. “You can’t be with someone you guess you love.” He patted his front pocket to make sure his wallet was there. “You want to string the guy along until you figure it out?”

“Believe me, he’s the one with the noose around my neck.”

“Ah, he’s that type.” Bruce nodded his head. “The bitter boyfriend who’s been friendzoned too many times.”

“What makes you think that?”

“Had a friend like that, once. Always complained about how no girl wanted to give him a chance. The minute he got a girlfriend, he pushed her right to me.”

“You stole your friend’s girl?”

“Hasn’t spoken to me since.” Bruce shook his head. “So, what’s your guy’s problem?”

Jessica shrugged her shoulders. “Well, I guess you can say he’ll drive a woman to cheat.”

“Obviously. You wouldn’t be here if he didn’t.”

“He’s always talking about how his ex slept with three men.”

“Constantly reminding you of the girl who broke his heart to get you to prove that you love him more? Yep. Classic friendzone syndrome. My radio show is all about this. The Girlfriend Whisperer. Alex didn’t tell you?”

“She said you were funny.”

“Ah, just funny.”

Jessica hunched her shoulders and giggled behind her hand, then remembering what Bruce had said, straightened up and put her hands at her side. “So what about you?” she asked. “I pretty much just put you in the friendzone. Are you bitter about it?”

“I have a feeling I won’t stay there long,” Bruce said with a smirk. He touched her chin and ran his thumb along her bottom lip. “Alex has my number. Call me,” he said before walking away.

Nortina

#1MinFiction: Lawn Work

“It won’t chase you if you don’t run!”

“And let it sting me? No way!”

I duck under a bush next to the fence and hear the low buzz by my ear.

No need to shear the hedges today. My frantic swatting has taken care of the overgrown leaves.

—Nortina


Ever hear a bee buzz by your ear and totally spaz out like you have Tourette syndrome? The one thing I dislike about summer…

For a new flash fiction challenge: Monday’s One-Minute Fiction—write a story in one minute, no more, no less, based on the prompt provided. This week’s prompt is about nature’s asshole: wasp. Click the link to join in!

#1MinFiction: Stuck in the Drain

Jesse told Robert not to touch the kitchen light switch. Not until she could figure out which one controlled the garbage disposal. Not until she could snatch her fist out of the drain after she stupidly shoved it down there trying to catch a chicken bone. Crazy kids couldn’t just throw it away. When had they ever seen her wash a paper plate?

—Nortina


For a new flash fiction challenge: Monday’s One-Minute Fictionwrite a story in one minute, no more, no less, based on the prompt provided. This week’s prompt hints at a lesson to be learned: Don’t touch. Click the link to join in!

Breastfeeding Mannequins

The mannequins at Macy’s are often naked. I’ve complained to a manager twice. Display clothes that actually fit or buy bigger mannequins. No woman is that size anyway.

Harold’s mother gives me money for formula. She doesn’t agree with our plan to wean Ryan after six months, but he’s already teething, and he bites.

The formula’s on sale, so I have extra money to stop by Macy’s and try on jeans I know won’t button. The baby weight hugs my hips; I’ve gained more since giving birth.

While checking the price tag on a pair of Kim Rogers, I notice Ryan leaning over his stroller. He’s sucking on the nipple of a bare-breasted mannequin half my dress size.

He’s just like his father, I can hear my mother-in-law saying, but I’m sure you know that already.

—Nortina


moral_mondays_logoJoin Moral Mondays, a new weekly challenge to write a 100-word fable or story based on the moral/lesson provided in the prompt. This week’s moral: look, don’t touch

Dialect

Cut off the lights. Come
to bed. My British girlfriend
stares at me, raises an eyebrow—
“You want me to use a knife?”

—Nortina


frapalymo#frapalymo (the German version of NaPoWriMo) is hosted by FrauPaulchen and translated from German into English by Bee at Just Fooling Around With Bee. Today’s prompt is: “ cut off.”

Grandma’s Confessions

2014-10-27-bw-beacham1
photo by Barbara Beacham

“Little did we know that Grandpa was a collector.” Jessie read, wiping tears.

“Would you believe we only did it once?” Grandma, drunk, smacked her lips. “That’s how we got your Mama.”

I didn’t want to tell her to shut up, but we were on the front pew, and Bishop Jorge kept looking our way.

“He left his screwdriver in my panty drawer once.” The whisky was hot on her breathe. “I thought it was one of those toys you kids fondle yourselves with.”

“God, Grandma, too much information!” I shrieked.

Bishop Jorge stood and tapped Jessie on her shoulder. “Mrs. Winklestaff, is there something you’d like to add?”

“Sure do!” Grandma’s legs wobbled as she walked to the podium. Jessie glowered at me for interrupting her eulogy she’d spent all night writing.

“Hubert was good with his hands.” Grandma’s lips nearly touched the microphone. “But I wouldn’t know. He spent all his time working on his damn trucks.”

word count: 150

—Nortina

Three Line Tales: Rags to Riches

Betsy escaped the
slaughterhouse, rose to fame as
Chick-fil-A spokescow.

—Nortina


photo by Annie Spratt
photo by Annie Spratt

Written for new challenge 3LineTales, hosted by Sonya (Only 100 Words). A picture is worth three lines. What tale can you draw?