09 January, 2015

Flash! Friday Fiction: Mystic

My writing has lagged in the intervening months since I last wrote. My familiar companions of fear and poor self-worth returned, as I think they must with many artists, and I turned away from creating. While it wasn't the right path to take in the first place (and I really must find a different way of dealing with those old enemies of mine), I found my way out once more.

Flash! Friday prompted me to stretch those atrophied writing muscles once more with the beautiful artwork below.  This isn't my best work or even my favorite (it's not even within the word limit guidelines of the contest). But it is a reminder that not every creation has to be perfect. That's why I'm posting it here today.

Maybe you're also struggling with self-worth or fear of imperfection. I hope it helps you, too, realize that there are far worse things than others seeing a side of us that isn't perfectly groomed and polished. It's okay to be imperfect.

Jeanne d’Arc, 1876. Painting by Eugène Thirion. Public Domain.


by Jessica Marcarelli

Françoise clenched the prayer beads close to her lips. “The angels. I hear them, Maman.”

Her mother took one of her hands. “What do they say, child?”

Françoise’s eyes widened as she beheld a gleaming sword held beneath outstretched wings, glowing pink in a myriad of colours too vibrant to describe. “They praise the majesties of le Créateur de l'Univers. They sing of glory and…” her brow furrowed. “And they sing of an army’s march. Now. Tonight.”

The Knight of the Holy Chalice who had come to their cottage on the edge of the Wilds stepped towards her. “But it is an eclipse, mademoiselle. The dead walk this night. My men will be slain by the thousands.”

Françoise turned her eyes from the wondrous scene to the blackness she faced every day. “If you do not go, our worlds will die at the hands of the invader host.”

The knight exhaled. The sound carried with it all the weight of the planets his order protected. “As He wills it. Thank you, mademoiselle. Madame.” His footsteps went to the door and she could hear his voice echoing outside. “The mystic has seen death at Planète Achille."

"We leave at once, milord?" another man asked.

"Yes. And may le Créateur rest those souls who see eternity this night.”

Her mother touched her forehead, her own fingers trembling. “You should rest, my love.”

Françoise faced the visions once more and rubbed her beads. “Not yet. They still need what He may give me. I will keep vigil as they wage war for us."


Have you participated in Flash! Friday?  Leave a link to your story or blog in the comments - I'd love to check it out.

09 November, 2014

Flash! Friday Fiction: Water Spirit's Return

Another Flash! Friday participation occurred a month ago and I completely forgot to post my story here. Better late than never, right?

Once again, for anyone not aware of Flash! Friday, writers from all over the internet congregate at Rebekah's blog to write a 160-word max story prompted by a picture and sometimes a phrase, word, or idea that can be included for bonus points. Winning gets you attention, an interview, and more attention.

The following story did not win but I love what I came up with. I hope you do, too.

 Water Spirit’s Return

by Jessica Marcarelli

“Did I ever tell you the one about the vodanoj?” the old man asked. The dinghy rocked as he shifted his substantial weight.

Davor cast his net into the grey waters. “Nope.”

“My majka told me. Hers told her. The vodanoj was said to take the lives of fishermen who weren’t protected. S’why my otac, my father, and his fellow fishers and their djed, their grandfathers, before them wore the crucifix ‘round their necks. Said the water spirit couldn’t sink their boats that way.”

Davor scratched his bare collarbone through his shirt. “You wear one?”

The old man grinned, showing more teeth missing than not. “Got little time for praying myself. You?”


As the setting sun kissed the surface of the water on the horizon, the boat sloshed to the side again. Neither man had moved. Out of the corner of his eye, Davor saw a webbed hand dig its talons into the side of the boat.


Have you participated in Flash! Friday?  Leave a link to your story or blog in the comments - I'd love to check it out. 

09 October, 2014

Flash Fiction Mid-Week Blues Buster

I'm over at The Tsuruoka Files this week, judging for the Mid-Week Blues-Buster Flash Fiction contest. If you're a writer and you love writing flash stories (even if you don't - there's always a first time for everything), come write me a story based on Jeff's song of the week.

Just think about it. Then do it. You've only got one day left to join in the fun!

Can't wait to see your entries!

29 September, 2014

Flash! Friday Fiction: Obedience

After planning to do so for months, I finally took the time to participate in Flash! Friday.

For those not in the know, Flash! Friday involves a 160-word max story prompted by a picture and sometimes a phrase, word, or idea that can be included for bonus points. You write/turn in the story on Friday and find out what came of it on Monday. Winning gets you attention, an interview, and more attention.

I didn't win, didn't even get an honorable mention, but it was fun to stretch those muscles. I'm glad I did it. Might even do it again. (If you want to join me, check it all out here.)

I've posted my story below, along with the picture prompt, just for the fun of it. Enjoy!


 by Jessica Marcarelli

“Give him to me, Siri.”

Siri handed the little boy down to his mother, who stood on the lower lip of the tiered dock.

The man beside Siri handed her a gas mask. “Remember: only when the poison becomes airborne.”

“Yes, master.”

“Don’t follow us. Wait here.”

“Yes, master.”

She held an umbrella over his head as he shimmied down the rope to join his family. All three disappeared into the underground waterway.

A siren sounded. Siri looked out over the village. Silent packages dropped from approaching airships. Houses ignited and a green mist rose with the smoke.

The robotic maid jerked as her legs attempted to move. If she remained, the poison would eat away her synthetic skin, fuse her processors, and she would cease to exist.

But her master had told her to stay. Her preservation protocols could not override her obedience chip.

Siri strapped on the gas mask, raised the umbrella, and watched the approaching green mist.


Did you participate in Flash! Friday this week? Leave a link to your story in the comments - I'd love to check it out.

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