Flash Fiction Friday: The Bike (Part 2)

Dan rubbed the hood of his brand new, cherry colored Chevy Corvette Stringray with a clean cloth, then stepped back to admire it. His chest swelled. He’d longed for one of these ever since he could drive. He leaned in to continue cleaning then—

A cough from someone at the end of his driveway.

His face fell as he turned, sparks flying through his mind, seeking the memory of how he knew this man. The guy was tall and thin, with a cigar that just barely dangled from his lips. Dan’s blood pressure dropped. Had it been twenty years already?

“Hello, Danny-boy,” the man said. “Good to see you again. Years have treated you well, I see?” At this, he glanced at the car, his gaze dripping with want.

Dan clenched his fists. “I—I—”

“Breathe, Danny-boy. You’ll give yourself a heart attack.”

The man’s mouth curled into a hungry grin that made Dan’s skin crawl. “Please, don’t take my car. I’ve worked so hard for it…so many years—”

“No worries. I’m not here for the car, Danny-boy.”

Dan’s shoulders slumped in relief, then immediately tensed again. “What do you want, then?”

“Dad?” a small voice came from the garage.

“Tyler, go inside the house. This doesn’t concern you.” Dan nodded his head and hoped the ten year old would obey, for once.

“Oh, but this situation very much concerns Tyler, Danny-boy,” the man crooned.

Dan furrowed his brow. “What do you—”

The most valuable thing you possess, Danny-boy. That wouldn’t be some rusty old car, now would it?” The man choked on his laugh. Continue reading

Caffeinated Convo: Camp NaNo or Time for a Vaca?

Hey guys! Guess what time it is? You guessed it–Camp NaNoWriMo! With July 1 just around the corner, it’s time to prep for that once a year writing camping trip a la internet! The only question is: Are you joining me for camp, or is it time for you to take a vacation? 

If your answer is no, I totally understand! I hadn’t actually planned on doing NaNo camp this year, simply because I feel like my brain is going to explode (some days) and I was really looking forward to summer break. Buuut, then I got a great idea for (another) book and a friend invited me to join. So in, I am! I’m ready for meeting new cabin-mates, encouraging other writers, racing to win Word Wars, and meeting my word count goal! Woot!

What about you? Will you be writing with Camp Nano this year? Please leave a comment below if you are–I’d love to connect! And even if you aren’t, feel free to discuss what fun vacation plans you have coming up!

Happy camping, friends!

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Flash Fiction Friday: The Bike (Part 1)

The neighbors were moving.

Eleven year-old Danny kicked a stone along the sidewalk. He squinted against the sun and watched men move furniture into the house across the street. This was the third time the house had sold in two years.

A shiver ran down his spine, despite the fact it was the first day of summer vacation. Place must be cursed or something.

Crash! The boy jumped and glanced at the U-Move truck. His eye caught the glint of something shiny sitting in the back. Could that be…?

He stepped closer and got a solid look at the magnificent treasure. His heart sped and palms went sweaty. Bright red paint, polished aluminum frame, thick knobby tires. This was it. This was the exact bike he’d asked for at Christmas. The one he didn’t get—which was going to make for the most boring summer ever, this year. His heart sagged.

“Like it, eh?” a low voice sounded from behind.

For a second time, Danny jumped. His cheeks went hot and he pretended to look away.

A man, tall and thin, older than Danny’s dad but not really old, stood at the base of the truck. A cigar wagged at the edge of his cheesy grin. Danny swallowed.

“It’s okay, son. Any boy your age would drool over a baby like this.” The man patted the bike gently.

Danny tried to look like he didn’t care.

The man rocked on his feet for a second, then, “Tell ya what. How ‘bout I give it to you. Free of charge.”

“But—” The boy’s brows pulled tight. “Doesn’t that belong to someone—?”

“As a matter of fact, no. It’s left over from another move. Doesn’t have an owner currently.” The man eyed Danny and puckered his lips. “Unless, of course, you would like the job.”

The boy turned his empty pockets out. “But I don’t got any—”

“No problem.” The man held up a hand. “Won’t cost you a penny.” He scratched his chin in thought, even though it was obvious to Danny he already knew what he would say. “How ‘bout this: I’ll let you have the bike now, then in twenty years I’ll come back to collect payment.”

“Huh?” Danny scrunched his face up the way that annoyed his mom so much.

The man patted the bike again. “I’ll let you have this baby, then in a few years I’ll stop by for payment: The most valuable thing you possess.”

Danny bit his lip. The most valuable thing he possessed? What would that even be? He didn’t have much, other than those collectible baseball cards from his dad and the expensive wrist watch he never wore. And twenty years? How would the guy even find him? He wouldn’t be living in his house anymore!

The boy smiled. “Deal.”

The man with the cigar gave a nefarious grin in return, as he rolled the bike toward the boy. “See you in twenty years, then, Danny-boy.”

To be continued…

©Laura L. Zimmerman 2017

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Photo credit Unsplash by Sollers

 

Caffeinated Convo: Do you prefer the beach?

Summer.

It has finally arrived! Woo hoo! *cartwheel & flip* The kids are out of school (almost), vacations have been planned, and it’s time to break out the shorts and the tank tops! And with Memorial Day weekend just a few short days ago, beaches along both coasts were undoubtedly swarming with bodies.

Which leaves one final question. What about you? Do you prefer the beach? 

This question wouldn’t have passed my lips, sixteen years ago. My childhood consisted of spending at least one week each summer at the beach, memories packed full of sand, waves and sunburns. I mean, the beach is the beach, right? It’s fun, relaxing, and beautiful. Who couldn’t possibly like the beach? 

Well, I learned the answer to that question when I met my husband: He hates the beach. 

Whaaat? Yes, it’s true. And no, he’s not so miserly that he hates the beauty of the place. It’s more the sand-in-your-underwear, seagulls-that-eat-your-lunch, and skin-that-blisters-for-weeks-afterwards kind of problem. (He’s got that pasty white skin that never tans. Sorry, hon!) So, yeah. It took some time for me to get used to the fact that we wouldn’t be visiting the beach every summer for all of eternity! (At least he lets us go every other. *wink*)

So, what about you? Are you a beach person? Or is that a place you’d rather leave behind to vacation somewhere else? Please get some convo going! I’d love to hear what you think!

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P.S. That’s my husband on the right. There is hope for all. 😉 

 

Caffeinated Convo: Summer or Winter?

Hey guys! Is it really Wednesday?? Ack! Sorry I’m a day late. We’ve had guests visiting from the east coast and I literally lots track of the days! But their time with us gave me the idea for today’s topic of conversation!

Summer or Winter. Which do you prefer? 

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My view from our pool here in Phoenix.

Here in Phoenix we’ve enjoyed a week of temperatures in the 90’s! Which, of course, means plenty of time spent hiking and by the pool. But my friends on the east coast just got hit with a nasty snow storm and are in the process of digging themselves out of all that white stuff! I know that when it comes to the summer/winter seasons, there remain strong alliances among most people. So I ask you, do you prefer the summer or the winter?

For myself, I’m definitely a summer kind of girl! I can’t get enough of the sun, beach, sand, swimming, anything-summer! I would take temperatures above 100 anytime over temps that fall below freezing. (Which is one reason we came to AZ. *wink, wink*) I don’t mind seeing snow while it falls and creates a pretty landscape. And I don’t even mind going out for a little fun building a snowman or joining a snowball fight. (Fifteen minutes tops for me, though!) But I’d gladly give up the rest of winter and the cold temperatures for year round summer, thankyouverymuch!

What about you? Please leave your comments below and let me know which season you prefer! Let’s chat!

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Photo credit Unsplash Korney Violin