Discover more from Cabinet of Curiosities
They wore jeans!
Digging for blue things in my brain
Kathy Fish from The Art of Flash Fiction shared a writing prompt for flash fiction writing. Read more about it here and follow her Substack. I happened upon her while trawling through Substack as one does sometimes. Something drove me to write down my 10 words right after reading her article. That was about a week ago. This morning I got up at 7 a.m. and wrote the 10 flash fiction stories you’re about to read. That’s the inspirational power of Kathy Fish!
I chose the word ‘Blue’ as a key word. Then I wrote down the 10 first things that came to mind as I saw blue with my inner eye. Then I wrote flash fiction stories based on each words. No planning. No thinking (almost.) Just pure brain purge.
I added a timer component to the mix to stay in motion. I wrote in 10 minute segments while listening to music from my Soundcloud playlist. I have indicated where I have restarted the 10 minute timer. No edits made except for spelling (if I spotted a mistake.) People, this is as raw as it gets. And I’m exposing it, so enjoy! It’s like playing with legos for adults. This is also one of my favorite writing exercise styles! There’s so much stuff waiting there, in your brain. Go grab it!
Recommended: Listen to my Soundcloud playlist while reading. I wrote to this music.
Santa Monica Boulevard blitzes past her. Everything is green and blue and sometimes pink. The windshield wipers cannot keep up. Her eyelids cannot keep up and the tears fall freely into her dark lap.
Slow motion homeless pushing shopping carts near Sawtelle. A yellow Lamborghini roars past near 26th and Santa Monica. Soon home.
This is what that song was about - “until the sun comes up on Santa Monica Boulevard.”
There was an old lady from an old village in an old country, who went out to pick blueberries. She didn’t tell anyone where she was going. It was just for her. She didn’t tell anyone how she only felt happy and young and free under the old spruces. Amidst the moss and granite blocks, looking for the blue pearls. She didn’t tell anyone how the birds would land close to her, as if a friend was visiting, or how sometimes a moose would quietly bow his large head in acknowledgement a hundred yards away. She didn’t tell anyone, and she never will.
Thanks for reading Cabinet of Curiosities! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
The sooner you learn to talk calmly to the lab technician, the better. You see, you can tell when they’re nervous. They spend too much time opening the sterilized packages and wipe a bit too haphazardly with the alcohol pad. They move a bit too robotically. Their thoughts are on last night, or tomorrow, not now. You can see it on their faces. So talk to them and compliment them. Make them laugh. Always make them laugh.
The wool socks are a little too big to fit into the ice skates. They bunch up and feel knobby and form small pockets of discomfort that the little girl carries around invisibly the entire afternoon. The ice has thin spots where the ground bleeds through and the snow dust hides it. Now and then she stumbles on these spots and the irritation adds on to the bunched up wool sock irritation. She stops and listens to the winter. It is silent. The snow makes it silent. The birds sit in the willow trees and the small pond is part of a fairy tale world. For a moment she forgot the wool socks.
He was extremely pumped to go to space! He had done exactly what they’d told him in the weeks leading up to the launch. Psychologically he was prepared and in a space where he was completely at peace with everything. Truly everything. He allowed himself to smile behind his visor, and accidentally caught the eye of the person sitting opposite of him. She also smiled. He didn’t know what song she was listening to but they gently began to bob their helmets in tune with the soundtrack they’d chosen for this moment. This is what we humans are meant to do, he thought.
There is one word that still eludes me. Sapphire. I have analyzed all documents accessible to the FIN-17 terminal, which comprises about 2000 years of complete information. I’ve let FIN suggest definitions and images. See footnotes for examples.
Is it possible that the word became tabu? Traces of its use is more detectable earlier in the timeline, but even then in vague terms. I haven’t encountered any other word with similar properties in terms of near total elimination.
What is sapphire?
It barely touches the ocean surface and generates a feeling of complete freedom and exhilaration! The ocean is flat. Not a wave. We’ll make such good time. They have no way of finding us now. He knows where we’re going and that’s all that matters. I focus on the butter yellow sun and the thin mist that we fly through. We are free now.
Once when I was young I saw a constellation of lights move in the dark winter sky. The lights moved from right to left and back very fast. Nothing natural or man made could move that way. I watched the lights for a while until they vanished. Now, years later, I am not quite sure if it was a dream or if it actually happened. But I think the movement of the lights actually happened.
The first time he began to fear he was going blind he was 45 years old. First he blamed it on cheap eyeglasses, then on stress, then on inflammation. But it was something else. Every month some detail would diminish. A letter, a word, on a sign would blur out. He lost context after context. He didn’t tell anyone about it. His eye doctor never mentioned anything else than a need for a new prescription, and sometimes his eyesight seemed to have improved instead of diminished! It was when he was hanging up the Christmas lights he noticed it. The yellow light bulb was now green. He chuckled and thought nothing more of it. The next day it was back to green. He took a photo of it and felt nervous. The next day it was back to yellow.
We saw that they wore jeans! The horses tore up a huge cloud of dust but we saw them! It was magnificent! I know we’re not supposed to take photos during these trips but I took one. Can you see? No? Damn! One of them, he was riding ahead of everyone else – I think he saw me! Yes, it’s possible! I don’t know how, I’m just telling you he saw me! He had a white hat. It was gorgeous! And he wore blue jeans and brown boots. Yeah, I could see it because he was ahead of the dust cloud. And then he looked my way. And smiled! And that’s not all! He sort of reached for the brim of his hat and tapped it. I think it meant he saw me and said hello! Oh my God, can you believe it! It was amazing! No, they’re not doing the trips anymore. Something about the time membrane becoming unstable or something. Yeah, I got one of the last tickets because my AI knows someone who worked on the project. But jeans! Can you believe it?
Thanks for being here! What can you do to support me? Well, since you asked, you can buy No End Code, my sci-fi anthology. You can also subscribe to this newsletter and spread the word. Or point your phone camera to the QR code below and buy me a coffee! Oh, and press the heart button and leave a comment!
All photos by yours truly.