Thursday, April 11, 2013

A-Z Challenge - Bowing Out

I'm sorry to have to do this, because I love the A-Z Challenge, but I'm so far behind this year that I think I will have to bow out.

I really appreciate all the lovely comments and the new followers. It's been great fun finding new blogs. But this month is the busiest one I've had for several years (and I do Nanowrimo every year so I know a little about busy!). Once I've got all of my obligations out of the way, I typically have less than an hour to myself, and I don't have the energy to spend that time choosing a place, researching the place, coming up with a story about it and then trying to write that story well.

Thanks again for the lovely comments and I hope to be along for the trip next year.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Frankfurt Airport: A-Z Flash Fiction World Tour

Douglas Adams wrote that it can't be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the expression 'as pretty as an airport.' I have a particular hatred of the concrete spider that is Charles de Gaulle in Paris, but generally I like airports in the same way that I like chocolate wrappers. It's difficult to have a special affection for them, but I like the job they do and am pleased when they do it well. 

Anyway, today I'm writing flash fiction about an airport I've never been in - Frankfurt Airport. 

Frankfort Airport

It was easier to check one bag, Gina always said.
She packed the case, so she chose what they brought with them. That way, she wouldn't have to spend her holiday listening to Dan complain that he hadn't packed enough t-shirts for Florida. It was a perfect system.
They checked the bag under Gina's name, too. Dan would find a way to mess it up if they didn't.
"I'm going for a latte," Dan said. Gina looked up from her sudoku.
"They'll call the flight soon," she warned.
"I'll be back by then," he said. She fumed quietly. He would be late, and she would have to sit on the plane while they paged Passenger Daniel Frost twenty times.
In fact, they were already paging Passenger Daniel Frost, and he made his connection to Rio just in time - and just as his wife was arguing with the ground staff.
"But my husband isn't here!" she was saying.
"Your bag is checked," said the young man. "You have to board."

Edinburgh: A-Z Flash Fiction World Tour

Sorry this post is - ahem - two days late. This April is an incredibly busy time for me, and it's looking ever more likely that I'll have to drop out of the A-Z Challenge, but I'm enjoying it so I am going to try to make all 26 entries! Today I'm staying relative close to home and going to Edinburgh.


It was their first night in the middle of the tenament.
He worked as a butcher, occupying the bottom floor. When he started work, they had moved into the upper floors, with the rest of the families, couples and older people who couldn't afford anything better.
Every night, she would roll over in bed and sigh.
"I wish we could move to the middle floors."
The middle floors were occupied by the middle classes. Everyone dreamed of moving there.
On their first night in the middle floors, she rolled over and sighed.
"The people overhead are really loud," she said. "And I can smell the butcher's shop from here!"
For the first time in twenty years of marriage, he rolled over and sighed.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Dubai Desert Safari: A-Z Flash Fiction World Tour

Amsterdam, Texas, and Prince Edward Island - that's quite a bit of ground covered, and today we're going to Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates. To read the rest of the A-Z World Tour 2013, go here.

Dubai Desert Safari

They say that dreams are more vivid under the midnight sun, but no one had warned Kevin about what could happen to a man's mind under a desert sky. In spite of the cold nights, Kevin woke each morning drenched in sweat, his heart pounding. Dreams of people chasing him up fire escapes, through warehouses, across railway bridges and over dark, murky water.
Each morning, he waited for his heart to slow. Then he took a long, cool shower to calm himself so he could smile at his fellow holidaymakers over breakfast.
After all, it wasn't like anyone would ever think to look for him here.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Charlottetown, Canada - A-Z Flash Fiction World Tour

As a little shout-out to the many wonderful Canadians I know, today I'm writing about Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island. To read the rest of the A-Z World Tour 2013, go here.


The little boat had barely stopped running when Daniel swung his legs over the side and sprinted away. His dad shook his head and smiled.
"I hope it isn't this year," he said to his wife. "I really do."
Daniel was thinking the same thing as he ran, the soles of his sneakers slapping against the wooden slats of the pontoon. Not this year, not this year, not this year.
The door of the restaurant swung open and he stood there, surveying the room with such panic that he saw nothing, until he saw her.
She smiled and put her tray down, and he could see in her eyes that it wasn't this year. She was still his, for one more summer.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Buc-ees, Brazoria - A-Z Flash Fiction World Tour

Yesterday we kicked off in Amsterdam. Today we're in Texas, outside Buc-ees, which blog reader Katy Manck describes succinctly as "a beaverface-mascot "mini-mart" gas station that became a huge attraction on Interstate 10 near Luling". 
I couldn't resist that. I'm not made of stone. To keep with the B theme, I chose the branch in Brazoria. 

Also, Brazoria is my new favourite place-name. Just saying.

Buc-ees, Brazoria (TX)

Candi hadn't expected her first marriage proposal to happen in the parking lot of Buc-ees. She hadn't expected to catch the eye of a giant beaver mascot drawn on the sign right after Freddie stammered the words out.
She definitely hadn't expected it to come from Freddie, when she'd just swung by to get her car washed.
And she had never expected to respond to a marriage proposal with "Oh, honey, no."
But here they were.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Arlee Bird and Amsterdam: A-Z Round-the-World Flash Fiction

Today marks the start of the A-Z Blogging Challenge! I'll be posting a piece of short flash fiction each day (except Sundays), set in a location corresponding to the letters of the alphabet. If you want to suggest a place name for a future letter, you can leave a comment here or tweet me @EllenBrickley.

But before we go to Amsterdam, I'd like to kick off with a shout-out to Arlee Bird, the man who started the A-Z Challenge in 2010. This challenge has taught me a lot, so many thanks, Arlee, and a happy April to you!

Today's story contains a bonus travel tip, but I can't promise one of those every post :)


They were talking about the queues at the Van Gogh Museum. All over Amsterdam, every night, people in hostel bars hunch over bottles of beer and talk about the queues at the Van Gogh Museum.
"I skipped breakfast to get there at ten o'clock," Sara said, raking curls back from her face. "And the queue was already halfway around Museumplein. It was like queuing for a rollercoaster."
Matt made a moue of sympathy. "That sucks. And it was raining hard this morning. I had to queue for over an hour, but I showed up at lunchtime so at least it was dry."
"Two hours," Toph interjected. "I win."
"I bought my ticket at the Diamond Museum," Jade said. "That means you can skip the queue."
"Cool," Sara smiled. "Wish I'd known that. My feet were so wet when I finally got inside."
"And did that security guard with the moustache give you grief for dripping water on the floor?" Toph asked.
Jade sipped her beer. She would never be a comrade-in-arms.