Maggie’s Grand Plan

It was exactly how Maggie had dreamed it. The last of the sun’s deep orange rays sparkled through the cut glass tumbler and winked out, leaving the final sip of wine to the twilight.

With no Wi-Fi to distract him, Brian was moved to lean over for a kiss. This was the spark Maggie had hoped to rekindle when she painstakingly planned this Valentine’s Day hike. Romance had long ago been replaced with an endless bickering. Maggie feared that might be all that remained of their relationship. Relief filled her heart as she returned Brian’s kiss and leaned back onto an elbow.

“Ouch!” Maggie sat up quickly as a fallen shard of peppermint candy pierced her forearm.

Brian, mentally rounding the bases, was not able to process this move in time to avoid the collision between his nose and her forehead.

The crack was audible. Brian’s hands flew to his damaged nose.

“What did you do that for?” he yelled as she asked, “Are you okay?”

She picked the candy out of her arm while he checked his hands for blood, all thoughts of romance gone.

In the rapidly fading light, Maggie began to collect their picnic items.

Brian touched his nose and winced,“I don’t know why you even drug me out here in the first place. We have wine at home.”

“Why can’t you just appreciate all the planning I put into this evening?”

“How much planning could it possibly take?”

“Well, one of us knows how to consider all the details. Come here and help me with this backpack.”

Brian shrugged on the pack and glanced around for the trail. “Hand me the flashlight so we can get out of here.”

“What flashlight?”

“Great planning, Maggie. Remind me next year to just get you some roses.”

Written for: Daily Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Heart, roses, candy
Word count: 300



Amy was freezing. The bed was too hard, too cold, too small. A flimsy curtain rustled, blocking none of the wheezing, snoring, phlegmy noises emanating from the stranger on the other side.

None of this was new to Amy. She’d ridden overnight trains many times. It always seemed like such a good idea when she was sitting in front of her computer comparing ticket prices. I have to sleep anyway, why not just do it on the train? She’d think, clicking on PURCHASE. That’s how she always managed to find herself in situations like this.

She pulled the burlap textured bedding tightly around her shoulders, as she rolled to the right, inadvertently scraping her knuckles on a piece of metal trim. Inhaling sharply, Amy’s eyes flew open as she bolted upright. Her thick lashes dragged across the inside of the sleeping mask, dislodging a loose one onto her eyeball at the very moment her head cracked into the bunk above her. Amy bit her lip as her face grew hot. Rattling snores filled the sleeping compartment.

She blinked back tears as an idea morphed into a plan. Simultaneously, her despair transformed into murderous rage. In her sleep deprived delirium, Amy realized that she wasn’t helpless here. She could take action to improve her situation. If she couldn’t sleep on the wafer thin foam pillow, then she would use it to silence her cabin mate.

Removing her satin mask with her right hand, she grabbed the pillow with her left and swung her legs gently over the side of the bed. Swiftly and efficiently, she pulled back the curtain, pillow at the ready.

The bed was empty. The snoring had stopped. Amy’s shoulders trembled, then shook.

“Amy, wake up! Your snoring’s keeping me awake,” said her husband, gently shaking her shoulders.

Written for: Daily Flash Fiction Challenge
Prompt: Train, curtain, sleep
Word Count: 300

Dear Me

Dear Me,

I’ve been thinking about you recently and all we’ve been through together this year. As you know, it’s not much fun to sit and reminisce by yourself, so I decided to share the fun by dropping you a line.

It all started back in January – do you even remember it now? It seems like forever ago. Remember how you had your year all planned out and organized, like you always do? There was a grid for your anticipated blog posts – one per week, each. What on earth were you even thinking??? I have tears in my eyes right now from trying not to laugh out loud! I’d better get myself under control before my office-mate thinks I’ve finally lost it. If only you knew back then how far you would come this year on the blog front. All I can say now is I’m just glad you stuck with it, despite the painful learning curve.

That’s not even the best of it. Think back. Remember your novel writing plan? You agonized over how much time you should allot to each book. Goodness, gracious – you even “researched” it! You know, you’ll never get that time back. I can’t help but giggle a bit at your naivety. Thankfully, though, you eventually came to the realization that you were procrastinating, despite how “necessary” and “productive” it may have felt at the time.

I remember the very moment you realized you were holding yourself back. After that, you just picked a draft and started to write. That’s when the magic happened. Of course, it’s all well and good to have that under your belt now, but it’s also important to remember those very humble beginnings so you can recognize the organization trap before you fall into it again. Keep it simple, just write.

Unless we’re talking about Twitter, of course. We both know how that little experiment worked out. Live and learn, right?

I must admit that I was pretty impressed at how well you kept up with the “I Write in 2018” challenge. As I recall, you signed up on a whim in late December because it “seemed like a good idea”. Well, now we know that it actually WAS a good idea. It gave you just enough accountability to keep the momentum rolling, with regards to contests and reviews, yet it didn’t suck up all your time. Plus, socialization (even the electronic version) is more important than you seem to think. We might need to keep working on that.

Socialization aside, I must say that 2018 has been a mighty good year for us, especially considering that it isn’t even over yet! I can’t wait to see what else we can accomplish.

Take care,

Your Self

Word Count: 456
Written for: A contest called “Dear Me” where you write yourself a letter from the future to refer back to during the year in order to stay motivated toward your goals.