The Toy Maker’s Promise

Ceaselessly he toiled, the little man, in his little shop at his little desk. Only the shelving had any sense of volume, sweeping either side of the room. Upon them bins of all shapes and sizes, their contents spilling out creating cascading ribbons of copper threading.

You might just miss the little man tediously working at his desk. Blending in with his surroundings, echoing the elaborate automatons he loved. A mix of copper and coarse wool fabric, only the mop of wild gray hair brought him any distinction.

What limited table space there was housed all manner of figures. Some wispy and small others large and cumbersome, each one painstakingly crafted as to be almost alive.

Mumbling quietly to himself, he worked. Tonight was important. He must finish. He made this promise to her so long ago and so many times before. Working endlessly, as the sun began to set and the cuckoo clock on the wall struck five.

The final gear was put into place.

At last!

Rubbing his eyes, he looked at the small figure that had taken weeks.

It was the most beautiful creation yet, a little dancer balanced on a single pointed foot. The little man smiled. It was complete. She would be proud of him, she would clap and smile and delight in what he made for her.

The light fading, he said goodbye to his little mechanical world.

The promise was placed in a little box tied with string. Putting on his coat and hat he looked once more, breathing it all in, before snuffing out the final candle.

With promise in hand, he walked out the door. As the lock clicked into place, the shop fell silent. No more would the little man sit at his little desk.

Alisha Kendall

About this Flash Fiction story:

This was a piece I wrote for a flash fiction contest a few months ago through Fish Publishing. It did not win any awards, which is why I can share it with you, but I am still very proud of the work I put into this. I have started getting into writing Flash Fiction more and more, and while I continue to work on my longer stories, I would like to explore this area of creative writing further.

There is something so challenging and exciting about telling an entire story in 500 words or less. You begin to look at the characters with more scrutiny and cut out any superfluous information. With fewer words you have fewer opportunities to get your idea or scene across, so you need to make the most of it.

I won’t give an overly detailed explanation about what inspired the story, or even what I wanted to convey emotionally, I will leave that up to you the reader. It does touch on my love of all things Steampunk, if you needed some direction.

Feel free to leave a comment below.

Thank you,

Alisha Kendall

Short story draft

To be so innocent…

She was, at first glance, perfect – resting on the mantelpiece her soft round eyes gazed out at a world beyond her reach.

Delicate, young, naïve, words repeated so often as to become truth and substance. She embodied these words. Not once did her smile falter, a beautiful and timeless treasure, admired and then forgotten.

She delighted in the fragile nature of her being, the cherished doll of so many. Sitting alone on her mantle, she would be what they loved.

Perfect.

No hair out-of-place, no flaw upon her smooth porcelain face – forever the same, unchanged and innocent.

 

The First of many cracks…

It started as the smallest of cracks impossible to see, insubstantial to us but for her life changing. How had no one noticed? Didn’t this new mark make her something less, something unwanted? No, they treated her as they always had.

The idea sent her mind spinning.

As the fissure spread, it brought a sudden surge of unfamiliar emotions and anguish.  It traveled the length of her arm; she felt helpless – they would get rid of her now. This fracture, this imperfection was too large to conceal.

She tried to repair the damage, piece herself back together. You might never see how damaged and hurt she was.

Maybe they were right? She should just sit here on her little shelf and smile.

This world was too much for her.

……………………………

Okay so this is a portion a short story and/or poem I am working on. I started out writing a poem and the words just kept coming out of me. This whole idea stemmed from a lot of anxiety and hard truths about myself and my life.

I really want to get this polished up enough to possibly submit to a literary magazine – there is also the prospect of writing and publishing my own small ebook of flash fiction and poetry.

I would love any feedback, even if it is just clicking the like button.

Thank you,

Alisha Kendall

Taxi Rides and Tulle

I sat in the taxi fidgeting with the tulle of my skirt. I would rather be at home. Instead, I was going to my sister’s engagement party. It was only last week she came to my apartment pleading with me to go. Our family was broken, she said, and hoped this would repair the cracks. Honestly, I thought it was just wishful thinking

Looking out the dingy cab window, I repeated the conversation with her in my head a thousand times. She was asking too much of me. They would never accept me, and the prospect of being trapped in a room with them for hours caused yet another wave of anxiety to wash over me.

I never meant to hurt them. I just couldn’t lie to myself any longer. It took years for me to understand it, and longer to say it out loud. Coming out to my friends and co-workers was the easy part. However, the day I decided to come out to my parents the only tears were from me as I stormed out of the house.

The taxi made a right and now I was only two blocks away from the banquet hall and my heart pounded against my chest.

Why did I agree to this?

I tried to focus on the sounds and lights of the city.

Catching a glimpse of my reflection in the smudged glass, I see myself as a blend of lights, and concrete. I feel as though I am only partly here. A façade of make-up and tulle, I am not really me anymore but an emissary for peace and progress.

The taxi stops at the curb of the restaurant and as my reflection fades it is replaced with my sister’s sweet face. Paying my fair, I step out into the world. Even still there will always be a part of me sitting in the cab fidgeting with the tulle of my skirt.