Just Waiting

fullsizerender

 

The little sweater was pink, with an attached hood. Natalie imagined how it would look with the white dress with tiny pink flowers. Her box full of baby clothing—white high-top shoes, duck-printed onesies, more pastel dresses—was just waiting for a new baby to wear them.

But she’d been told, gently but with no room for doubt. “I’m sorry. I know you were really hoping, but we just can’t afford one right now. Natalie…sweetheart…I love you.”

She fingered the intricate stitches of the sweater, then sighed. “Okay,” she said. “But…mommy, can I have a hippopotamus, then?”

[If you enjoy stories like this, you’ll find 366 of them in my book, Stolen Postcards. You can pre-order it here: Stolen Postcards on Amazon ]

On the Verge

img_3977

 

It was the second marriage for them both, an unexpected rush of passion and laughter that had overtaken them, each 60-something and on the verge of becoming fully solid. A honeymoon in Greece had thoroughly loosened them, and now they were unpacking, sweetly bumping hips as they navigated the bedroom with suitcases and souvenirs.

Don said, “Sweetheart, I’ll toss my shirts in the wash right away, so you’ll have time to iron them all before I go to work tomorrow.”

“To… iron them?” Justine turned toward him, holding a miniature Venus de Milo, wondering at its effectiveness as a weapon.

Virtuous and Pioneer-like

 

img_3939

 

In a Pinterest-inspired craze, Lola decided to make her own candles. Feeling virtuous and pioneer-like, she wasn’t about to take any shortcuts. Beeswax. Violets to give the candles color. Cotton wicks (Lola felt a frisson of irritation that she was unable to make these herself).

In her craft room, she laid out her supplies, along with an inauthentic crockpot and some glass jars. Everything looked pretty, and she could imagine a row of pale candles, tied off with gingham or raffia. But she didn’t make the candles today—she was too distracted, charmed by the faint warm smell of honey.

 

Virtuous and Pioneer-like

img_3939

In a Pinterest-inspired craze, Lola decided to make her own candles. Feeling virtuous and pioneer-like, she wasn’t about to take any shortcuts. Beeswax. Violets to give the candles color. Cotton wicks (Lola felt a frisson of irritation that she was unable to make these herself).

In her craft room, she laid out her supplies, along with an inauthentic crockpot and some Mason jars. Everything looked pretty, and she could imagine a row of pale candles, tied off with gingham or raffia. But she didn’t make the candles today—she was too distracted, charmed by the faint warm smell of honey.

Virtuous and Pioneer-like

 

img_3939

 

In a Pinterest-inspired craze, Lola decided to make her own candles. Feeling virtuous and pioneer-like, she wasn’t about to take any shortcuts. Beeswax. Violets to give the candles color. Cotton wicks (Lola felt a frisson of irritation that she was unable to make these herself).

In her craft room, she laid out her supplies, along with an inauthentic crockpot and some glass jars. Everything looked pretty, and she could imagine a row of pale candles, tied off with gingham or raffia. But she didn’t make the candles today—she was too distracted, charmed by the faint warm smell of honey.

She Was Expected to Speak…

Surrounded by the luxury of Tiffany’s house, Sara was intimidated into near-speechlessness, managing only an occasional small sound to acknowledge Tiffany’s nonstop talking. Her new friend’s monologue slipped from designer shoes to gluten-free diets to the oh-so-muscular gardener with barely a transition, but finally she stopped to take a sip of her wine. Sara realized that she was expected to speak. Frantically searching for a suitable topic, she picked up a bud vase from the table and bent her head over the roses. “These smell l-lovely,” she said.

Tiffany burst out laughing. “Aren’t you adorable!” she said. “They’re totally plastic.”

img_3928

Things other things are made of

Since I started this social media blitz to generate some excitement for my book (Stolen Postcards Stolen Postcards Stolen Postcards, in case you’ve forgotten), I’ve been thinking about small things, and parts of things, and what things are made of. I know that’s a bit of a leap from 100-word stories, but that’s how my mind works. Usually at 3:00 in the morning.

So I’ve got this list—things other things are made of—and I’m going to use the items on the list as jumping-off points for the next several entries here (posted on Fridays, for the most part). You might get a bit of insight into how I work as a writer, too, because even though the catalyst for a teeny story might be plastic or paper or stone, that doesn’t mean that I’ll write about plastic or paper or stone. Because who would want to read that? This is what I mean:

Wood

When Moira heard the floors creaking, she should have just called the police, but she was darned if a burglar was going to take her TV. She slipped out of bed, then chose a hefty log from near the bedroom fireplaceimg_3919.

The burglar was fiddling with the television. Moira swung the log, but all she did was get his attention. “Hey!” he said, and she walloped him, right on top of the head. He slid to the floor, moaning and cussing.

“Sorry!” Moira said. “I should call the police now, but can I get you something? Some water? A hanky?”

 

***

To read more tiny stories, visit Jan Ackerson, writer on Facebook. Or use the icons below to follow me on Twitter or Instagram, where you’ll more likely get illustrated snippets and thoughts on writing. And sometimes cute granddaughters.

From now on (I think), I’ll let the stories speak for me. No more commentary, just characters doing little things.

Also: Please feed the writer. Comments are nice. So is sharing this blog with friends.

Irresistible

Hey, I’m back!

Several years ago, I had a blog called “100 Words,” which featured short stories that each had … well, you can figure that out. Recently, I’ve been working with my friend and publisher, Deb Porter from Breath of Fresh Air Press, to publish a compilation of those stories. It’s called Stolen Postcards, and it’ll be released next month.

Here’s one of the stories you’ll find in that book. I hope to post here once a week or so, but with entirely new stories (some may be longer than 100 words, and some may even be shorter). If you only have a little bit of spare time in your life, maybe spend a minute or two here.

***

The school was only seven blocks from Annie’s house, so most mornings she walked. On this fall morning, she passed a large pile of leaves in front of Mr. Bukowski’s house, pretty sure that it would be wrong to jump in them.

            But after school, she couldn’t resist. Pulling off her shoes, she hopped into the pile, enjoying their crackle and crunch.

            “Hey! You gonna rake those back up?”

            Annie turned, embarrassed. “Sorry, Mr. Bukowski.”

            “Geeze, Mrs. Werner, I thought you was one of them teens.”

            Annie put her pumps back on and pushed the leaves back into a pile.