A Questionable Affair by Beth Stillman Blaha

Prompt: Mastermind| Word count: 1000 words | Genre: Contemporary

“I so needed a night away from work tonight,” Nina slid onto the bar stool next to Lynette. “Thanks for asking me to meet you out. Sam didn’t give you a hard time about having to be home with the kids?”

Lynette twisted the stem of her martini glass between her fingers. “I didn’t give him a choice,” she said, not looking at Nina.

“Can I have a dirty martini? Shaken?” Nina asked the bartender. She can even drink better than I can, Lynette thought, her green appletini nearly glowing in the light.

This content is for members only. Please login or register.
Log In Register

Join the Club by Beth Stillman Blaha

Prompt: The Club | Word Count: 750 words | Genre: Contemporary

“When does your mom get home?” Ashlyn looped her thumbs in her backpack straps at the end of Callum’s driveway.

“Half an hour,” Callum replied.

“My mom does not get home until seven,” she replied.  “Want to come over?”

“I have to be home when Mom gets here,” he said.

“Okay.  We can hang out a few minutes,” she said, walking down the driveway.

“Uh, all right,” Callum’s stomach clenched at the thought of breaking one of Mom’s rules already, two weeks into living in the new place.

This content is for members only. Please login or register.
Log In Register

Fine the First Time Around by Beth Stillman Blaha

Prompt: Coming undone | Word Count: 1200| Genre: Contemporary

“I bet your first trip to Paris was better than this,” Matthias traced his finger along a yellow, anonymous skull protruding from a mosaic of spare bones.

“Why would you say that?”  I hoisted my heavy backpack up on my aching shoulders.   “I have wanted to bring you here for years.”  When he didn’t answer, I persisted, “really. If you would tell me what you want to see I’d be happy to take you-”

“I wonder what these people would think about having had a second burial,” he cut me off. “A wall made for show with everything else just dumped behind it. I think I would have just preferred the first time around, staying in my grave.”

This content is for members only. Please login or register.
Log In Register

The Escort by Beth Stillman Blaha

Prompt: Going Home | Word Count: 500 words | Genre: YA

Responsibility was the best excuse for not having to spend time with the other girls. To not be falsely accused of leaving kiss prints in midnight black lipstick on the girl’s bathroom mirror.  To not be huddled in the windswept alley behind the broken fire door pretending to smoke the crushed cigarette getting passed around.

The last girl in the coatroom of the afterschool program slowly shrugging into a dingy pink coat had giant eyes and stringy dark hair. There was no adult waiting for her. I had never seen her before that day when she showed up to the homework table that I helped out with.  

Halloween was over and the days were darkening into a windy and frigid November.

This content is for members only. Please login or register.
Log In Register

Aptly Named by Beth Stillman Blaha

Prompt: The List  Word Count: 1500 Genre: Contemporary

“Kitty Hallingsworth,” Junie said at the annual Fourth of July pool party, “You have everything. The perfect husband, a knack for throwing the most fabulous parties, and now,” gesturing toward Kitty’s softy rounded belly, “Michael Hallingsworth the third on the way.”

“Michael Hallingsworth the third?” Kitty turned toward her friend, gazing at Junie over the rims of her Prada sunglasses. “Who told you the baby is going to be Michael Hallingsworth the third?”

“Why, your husband, of course.”  Junie leaned toward Kitty over the arm of her lounge chair and placed her hand on Kitty’s. “He’s so excited about this baby, it’s simply darling.”

This content is for members only. Please login or register.
Log In Register

Motherhood by Beth Stillman Blaha

Prompt:  Conversation with my Spouse Word Count:1200 Genre: Contemporary

“On Monday, I am  getting a small dog.” Jamie said to the plastic menu panes with enlarged pictures of medium rare steaks with perfectly cross hatched charring. “I am inconsolable now that our only son has left for college.”

“Everything on his menu is going to be microwaved,” her husband Jack’s voice came from behind the menu. “And of course we don’t know how much your pomegranate margarita is going to be.”

“Did you hear me? There is a mutt at the county shelter named Toast and I am applying for him on Monday.”

This content is for members only. Please login or register.
Log In Register

Ten Years and Ticking by Beth Stillman Blaha

Prompt:  A New Life Word Count: 1000 Genre: Contemporary

The formidable, invisible wall dividing the two families was crumbled by a thank you letter, hand-written, robin’s egg blue and soft from the postal delivery, among the tumbling, fresh wave of sympathy cards.

And ten years later, there was a still grieving daughter to be handed off, glittering in her off white gown to the next man who wanted to keep her.

“I still don’t know why you would pick Sean over my Riley,”  a swirl of coiffed, salt and pepper hair hovered above the bride’s ankle, sliding on a shoe that could not be reached for all the crinoline. “He’s really the one that picked up the mess when your father left us alone.”

“He didn’t exactly mean to leave us, Mom,” Anna, a woman in cornflower blue silk, who did not care that it washed her coloring out a little, said to the swirl. “He died, okay?  Crushed in a vehicle. His head came off, Mom.  It came right the hell off.”  She would have raised her bouquet in emphasis, but long stemmed calla lillies aren’t good for that effect. A nosegay would really have been better.

This content is for members only. Please login or register.
Log In Register

Last of the Summer Confessions by Beth Stillman Blaha

Prompt:  A White Lie  Word Count: 2500  Genre:  YA/Contemporary

“I had a much more dramatic song in mind for this moment, actually.”  Sonder poked his head between the two front seats, where it had taken residence for the nearly four hours as the van crept upstate into the Adirondack Park. The cascading rain only added to the dejected look of the dilapidated mountain motel before them. “The things we do for looooove,” he crooned instead in Mrs. Davis’ ear as she sat in the driver’s seat, still wearing the drooping yellow rain hat from the fill up stop an hour ago. She reached around and tried to swat him without looking at him.

“Wow, Mom, I am surprised this place could spare two rooms for us for two weeks at peak season,” Christian exclaimed from the passenger seat.  “What, with all of this Adirondack whimsy and all.”

This content is for members only. Please login or register.
Log In Register