Fire Flowers

(What If? Exercise: Read the description here.)

Our trip to the beach was an annual family tradition.

Every New Year’s, we’d go down to watch them.

The beach would always be crowded that night.

Everyone wanted to welcome the new year.

The final countdown to midnight began.

At one, they started flying.

All along the coast.

Exploding sky flowers.

Colorful embers.

Fireworks!


This piece is based on What If? Exercise 93: “Ten to One”. The exercise is to write a 55-word story in which the first sentence has ten words, the second has nine, etc., until the last sentence has only one word. The objective is to show that precision and thrift in writing can produce surprisingly powerful results. I hope you enjoy what I’ve written. Thanks for reading!

Back to the story

Christmas Surprise

(What If? Exercise: Read the description here.)

Natalie awoke suddenly to noises coming from down the stairs.

Carefully, she crept out of bed and peeked outside.

She caught sight of reindeer on the roof.

Excitedly, she hurried out into the hall.

He was in the living room.

Placing presents under the tree.

They were for her.

She was certain.

Nattie grinned.

Santa!


This piece is based on What If? Exercise 93: “Ten to One”. The exercise is to write a 55-word story in which the first sentence has ten words, the second has nine, etc., until the last sentence has only one word. The objective is to show that precision and thrift in writing can produce surprisingly powerful results. I hope you enjoy what I’ve written. Thanks for reading!

Back to the story

A Fresh Start

I boarded the plane with a racing heart and tears in my eyes. Goodbyes are never easy, especially with family. You just have to keep telling yourself that it isn’t farewell for good; you’ll see each other again on holidays and special occasions. In the meantime, the separation will make future reunions all the sweeter.

That’s what I told myself as I settled in my seat, what my subconscious whispered in the back of my mind through the whole flight as I read my books, watched in-flight movies, and struggled to fall asleep, tossing and turning under my blanket. The dark sky outside had never looked so welcoming and intimidating at once.

It wasn’t until the great city came into view below that I really started to feel excited. The end of my journey was drawing near. What was waiting for me on the other side? I already knew what to expect as I stepped off the plane. It was why I couldn’t stop smiling as I stood in line at Passport Control or shaking as I pulled my suitcase off the conveyor belt.

I knew that the moment I stepped through the doors to the Arrivals deck, I would see his face smiling back at me, his loving brown eyes just as bright with hope and happiness as mine. The feeling of running into his arms was the most comforting in the world, knowing I’d never have to leave them again.

Time for a fresh start. My new life was about to begin!

From Purradise with Love

To my loving family,

I know you’re all still in pain, and you’re sad because you miss me. The truth is I miss you all too, but the time has come to move on. I’m in a much better place now, and I promise I’m comfortable and happy. But since I got here, I’ve been told that humans have trouble accepting the loss of loved ones, so I hope this letter will put you at ease and give you peace.

Please understand that this was not your fault. I know you did everything you could to make me stay, but there was nothing you could have done for me anymore. I didn’t mean to hurt you by leaving; it was just my time to go. Don’t blame yourselves, because you did exactly what you should have done: you gave me a good life and made my last hours as comfortable as possible.

I want to thank you all for giving me the best life I could ever have asked for. I know I was too small when you found me to remember living on the street, but I’m grateful that you took me in and gave me a comfortable place in your home and in your family. I always had plenty of room to play, a warm lap to curl up in, soft beds to sleep in, and all the food I ever needed – even if you didn’t always get the flavor right or put as much in my bowl as I wanted, no matter how much I cried. Maybe I wasn’t good at making it clear (I hear humans express their affection differently), but you all meant the world to me, and I did care for you all very much.

I also want to thank you for the comfort you gave me in my last moments. Curled up in Mom’s arms was exactly where I wanted to be, and your goodbye kisses were the perfect way to send me off. I’m sorry you had to suffer by seeing me go, but I’m glad I could be with you all in the end.

So please don’t be sad, dear family. Remember the good times we had, and think about all the joy we shared in my ten years of life. I hope I’ve enriched your lives as much as you’ve enriched mine, and I’m sure you won’t forget me any time soon. I’ll certainly never forget you. This isn’t goodbye forever; we’ll see each other again soon. So be happy, and know that no matter where I am, you will always be my family, and I’ll love you forever. Until we meet again, a loving purr and great big meow to you all!

Love always,

Your Little One

P.S. The dog sends her love. She and I have put in a good word for you all with the Caretaker!


So our family cat passed away last month, a tragic day for us all. I wrote this letter in loving memory of her as my way of getting closure; though we all still miss her terribly, I like to imagine she’s in a better place now and still loves and remembers us wherever she is. We love you, Piccolina!

Oh, and the dog mentioned in the postscript is the same dog from “My Last Bark“, another “loving memory” story I wrote a few years ago. Yes, I really love my pets!

The Next Chapter

“Thank you!”

It’s all still a blur, but I know I ended my Master’s thesis presentation with the biggest smile on my face. The applause rang in my head for hours afterward. I barely even remember the evaluators’ comments during the defense.

All I remember is their last question: “What next?”

I’d already thought about the question long and hard. Would I attain a Ph.D right away, or take a break to pursue creative writing?

I smiled and said I’d follow my passion. They thought I meant science. I knew better.

“On to the next chapter of my life!”


This is a little 100-word challenge I set for myself just for fun, loosely based on a true story. Hope you enjoyed the piece! Thanks for reading!

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