15 Minute Ficlets is a weekly challenge based on the original 15 Minute Ficlets LiveJournal Community. Since this community has been defunct since 2013, I’ve decided to resurrect the challenge on my blog as a weekly Sunday writing challenge. If there’s interest, I’ll turn this into a meme (link up in the comments if you try it!). In the meanwhile, the rules:
Based on a single word, write a story in fifteen minutes. The word count is irrelevant. Just write your heart out for 15 minutes and be inspired by the word. You never know what you’ll end up with!
This week’s word: blueberry
You have 15 minutes. Go!
Sparky shrugged her backpack off her shoulders and let it fall on to the pristine white couch. Her blue and black stockinged feet streaked across the immaculate room like two rigid snakes until she slumped into the kitchen and swung open the refrigerator door. In her usual fashion, she slid down to the floor and crossed her legs, staring into the refrigerator as though she expected some sort of marvelous revelation on the plastic shelves.
Her stomach whined. It was a common occurrence – she rarely indulged in lunch at school. The school cafeteria was a loud, unpleasant bacteria-filled nightmare. Instead, she spent her lunches curled up in the library with a research book or something to do with her homework. It was far more efficient to cautiously sneak bites of her peanut butter and honey sandwich at a table in the far back of the library while working on her assignments than it would be to eat off a dirty table with strangers.
Today, unfortunately, she had been so wrapped up in her calculus that she hadn’t noticed the bell, let alone eaten her lunch. Now the sandwich was squashed beyond recognition and a different snack would be required. She sighed, glaring at the meager offerings the refrigerator had to offer. Her mother recently went gluten-free, which was fine and well according to Sparky, except for the fact her mother required the entire family follow the same diet. Doubled with the vegetarian lifestyle they were already expected to follow, this made life difficult. The bread on the ruined peanut butter and honey sandwich meant to be her lunch had been the last in the house, and now the fridge was down to its bare bones. No bread or english muffins, no ice cream or other treats in the freezer, and if Sparky had to bet on it, she would guess that either the cupboards had been emptied of their crunchy treats, or her father had squirreled them all away in his basement workshop.
The remaining facts: fruits, vegetables, a couple fresh herbs, half a dozen eggs, a tub of olive oil spread, a pint of skin milk, a carton of cream. Condiments on the door. Perhaps her mother would be stopping at the grocery store after her shift today. Perhaps this emaciated appliance was a metaphor for Sparky’s future.
She groaned and reached a long arm up and hooked her hand around the side of the refrigerator, hoisting herself up. She fished a half empty pint of blueberries and the carton of cream out of the fridge and tossed them on the counter before swinging the fridge door shut. Blueberries and cream was a treat her grandmother gave her when she used to spend summer evenings at her house as a child. Plush, ripe blueberries with a sprinkle of sugar floating in the thick cream was the best she could do, under the current conditions.
Displeased, her stomach growled again.
She rolled her eyes and thought to admonish it, but really, what was the point? She was not thrilled with the choice, either. It was this or nothing else until dinner, which as of late had been grilled tofu and green salad while her mother learned the parameters of their new diet. She might as well take what she could get.
When I write short stories, I usually like to carve moments out from the novel ideas I have running around my head. This is the viewpoint of a character from Sparky Jones: Life on Shuffle. Sparky’s story was a NaNo Novel several years ago, about a socially awkward girl (Beth “Sparky” Jones) who gets tangled up in one of her father’s questionable inventions. Sparky’s family is an odd one – her father being a hermit while her mother likes to be very chic and sociable. Sparky fits in neither of their worlds and her story was about struggling in that balance and finding her own place and friends. She has always had incredible appreciation for flavors and foods, so “blueberry” made me think of her.
If you give it a go anytime this week, link up in the comments and I’ll add you in the post!
Check Out These Other Ficlets!
“Blueberry” – Michelle @ Faerie Fits