Monday, January 20, 2014


What do the names RJ Clarken, Walt Wojtanik, Hannah Gosselin, Laurie Kolp, De Jackson, Rob Halpin, Aimee Halpin and the late Dyson McIllwain have in common?

They all probably first crossed paths at Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer. They have been fervent contributors here at POETIC BLOOMINGS. But, what many may not know, they have all served as administrators and prompters at the flash fiction site, FLASHY FICTION.

You may notice the look here is changing and than means different routines and habits. We're willing to put up with it as long as it is positive. Rob and Aimee and I believe they are nothing but. 

Well, in keeping with this air of change,  I would like to announce that FLASHY FICTION will be joining up under our a banner to be a part of FLASHY FICTION FRIDAY over at CREATIVE BLOOMINGS. Rob Halpin and his wife Aimee, along with myself have been keeping the site (which RJ Clarken and her cohorts started back in the early days of Rock… well, not really that long ago!) on life support and I felt this would be a perfect fit for the flash fiction aficionados there at our new and improved site. Flash fiction may not be everyone’s bag of beans, but for those who do flash, it will be a haven which will be more accessible.


The three of us will alternate with a new prompt each Friday, with the last Friday being devoted to an instruction, a discussion or an exercise. You may post your efforts in the comment section and/or provide a link to your story on your blog so we can visit your other fine works.

Also in this forum we will help develop characters, backgrounds and other aspects of storytelling for those who venture into the NANOWRIMO every November. It may be a helpful tool in this regard.

I thank Rob Halpin for his outstanding work, developing the new look at FLASHY FICTION and for getting the “Newer” design of the CREATIVE BLOOMINGS’ FLASHY FICTION FRIDAY up and running so quickly. Those who regularly visit the site will have already seen a “preview” .

At FLASHY FICTION FRIDAY we have a tagline: “Everyone has a little story to tell…” Join us on Fridays and try your hand at telling yours.


  1. Elton had walked past the abandoned brownstone for months. It appeared abandoned, anyway. He never saw anyone moving around, nothing changed outside the building, even the shades in the windows never moved. Elton couldn't figure out why the end unit would remain empty for so long. Maybe someone had died in there so no one wanted to live there. Maybe it was haunted. It seemed a shame, though. Equally sad, thought Elton, was that this particular brownstone sat in a location that afforded this one particular unit to have a small piece of land, not much bigger than a back porch, that got plenty of sun. Edged with wooden planks, it was obvious that at some point an owner had taken advantage of this and turned the little patch of ground into a garden. For the past few months, the garden had hosted nothing but the few brown, dead remnants of some sort of flowers. Even so, Elton's eye had always been drawn to the spot as he'd pass by leaving him wondering what had happened to the gardener. Then one day, there was one tiny little sprout of green, barely pushing up through the dirt, spotlighted by the sun. Over the next few days, more little sprouts joined the first. Elton still didn't see any signs of activity from the end unit of the brownstone, but, somehow, this garden was growing once again, and on the verge of producing blooms.

  2. First and Last

    My first love was the lanky boy next door. I was six, he was sixteen. It didn't last. We moved house. End of.

    My second love was the captain of cricket and football at school. I was a lowly fourth former and he was a prefect, handsome and brainy. He had everything. That one lasted a little bit longer - he danced with me once at the Christmas hop. He was haughty, I was silent, awestruck. Not a good recipe for a love affair.

    My third love, a swinger, late of the RAF, had a handlebar moustache to twirl and a roving eye for a girl in a red hat. So that was that.

    There were lots of loves between then and domesticity. Then life was on rails, love kept to the rules.

    My last love? I don't know - I haven't met him yet.


    It was the best of times, but midway to the end of the 60’s it couldn’t have gotten much worse. His apolitical friend Max told him it was his own fault. “Stay clear of the Man,” he warned him, the “Man” being anything that even remotely smelled of government or law or even what appeared to be noble causes. Did he listen? Did he ever ask, “Max, why so damn cynical? Don’t you care about human rights?”

    Jack Downing never asked. Max had a right to his own opinions, distorted as they were, and he was not about to toss a college friendship into the fire barrel just because Max did not believe in the power of peaceful demonstrations.

    “Hey, Max, this is my first march. I made a commitment. I watched the Selma thing and enough already. Father Barozzo asked me to walk with me. At the head of the line, no less. Can I say no?”

    Max lit another Lucky Strike from the fiery tip of a nearly smoked-out Lucky, inhaled a chest full of smoke, and said, “Barozzo Shmozzo, my addle-headed chum. It ain’t worth the shoe leather. Marching from the campus to city hall in a town where integration is a mixed bag of love and hate just ain’t smart. Better off watching it from TV.”

    Days later Father Barozzo asked Jack, “We ready, Son?” Jack nodded as the two of them, along with three others alongside them, marched five abreast at the front of the demonstration line. Some held up signs. Some chanted slogans heard in other marches. Father and I in silence continued our walk.

    Within no more than ten minutes later a bottle went flying from the sidelines. Jack never saw it coming, not even peripherally, but he felt it crash onto his head and he felt the blood streaming down into his eyes. Hardly able to focus, he was helped to the sidewalk, the demonstrators marching without him and Father Barozzo.

    “You all right, Son?”

    He nodded, but he wasn’t. His head rattled and ached. The blood trickling down now which he mopped with Barozzo’s white handkerchief. Then he heard someone yelling at him. He squinted up from the curb. A black man crouched down toward Jack’s face.

    “You white or black?” he asked Jack. “Don’t know for sure, right? When the revolution’s done with, you be the first we gonna burn.”

    Father Barozzo stepped in between Jack and the man. “He’s drunk, Jack. He doesn’t mean a word.” Then, his vision back to normal, Jack eyed the bottle the black man had
    thrown at him. It lay at his feet. An empty bottle of cheap Thunderbird Wine.

    Without so much as a word or a nod, Jack Downing stood groggily to his feet. His first demonstration march. He vowed it would be his last.

    “Where are you going?” called Barozzo a few yards behind him.

    Jack gave a final look at the hundreds of demonstrators in their peaceful march to city hall.

    “Back to the frat house. Max’s waiting to deal me a hand of five-card stud.”


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