Flash Fiction/Prose poem | Beach Night

Beach Night

(513 words)

The last night of the last summer we piled into a car and drove down to the beach, singing along to Springsteen songs, laughing at our knees pressed so close together in the backseat. The world was looming over us but tonight it was small enough to swallow. We rolled the windows down as we drove by the boardwalk carnival, the bright purple green blue lights pouring into our smiles, the blaring music and people’s voices pouring into our veins. We sent our own voices and music back out in answer and laughed as the lights faded behind us, as we drove into the starry dark towards the dunes, as we drove away for one more night, away from tired eyes and heavy sighs, painful cupboard secrets and childhood drawings on the fridge, with memories and bottles and firewood rattling in the trunk. We sank our feet into the sand and built the fire up high so the night could never come close enough to strangle us. Arm in arm in arm in arm in arm we watched the distant carnival lights go out one by one till we were the only ones left in the dark, with the waves lapping and the stars shining and the fire burning and our hearts burning and we were alive and we were so free. We danced and sang and laughed and drank and forgot about who we had to be tomorrow, the packed cars and booked flights and inevitable goodbyes. The drinks and the fire burned in our veins and the endless stars burned in our smiles and the sand was soft beneath our bare feet and life was good and we would miss each other so, but not yet, not yet. The stars moved, our feet grew tired, the fire in our hearts died down. Too drunk and too happy to drive back home to our looming futures we made our beds in the sand beneath the fields of brilliant stars, talking for hours, our eyes never closing, already feeling homesick, already missing each other, even with our hands right there within reach. Already feeling time slipping through our fingers. Already struggling to stay. Desperate to stay. So we took pieces of ourselves and buried them in the sand, a lock of hair, a small dream, a shard of broken heart, tears never to be shed, a life never allowed to live, promising each other that even after the songs had finished, even after the sun had come up, even after we were long gone and had moved on to schools and jobs and a dream overseas and a fear come true and the same old same old, even after we barely remembered the drawings on the fridge and each others’ names, we’d still be here. A part of us always beside the fire burning so high it reaches the stars, beside the waves lapping endlessly at the shoreline, still singing and dancing and laughing and living and leaving and staying and and and

till one day the sea will wash it all away.


~

Thank you for reading!

This piece is inspired by my favorite song Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts by The Gaslight Anthem. Actually a lot of their music/lyrics inspires my writing. I love the imagery of their songs, the carnival lights, the beach, driving a car with the radio on. That sense of melancholy nostalgia. This particular piece though was inspired by this song and some of my own experiences of friend groups breaking up because life leads them to different places. But there’s a lot of just made up stuff in there, too, and emotions from YA novels that I love. That feeling of wanting to hold on to now but also wanting to be away, but still being afraid of the future. I also think it’s going to be part of a flash novella, together with a piece I posted earlier, Mae. That will be out someday! Hopefully.

This story was originally published by Capsule Stories.

If you enjoyed my story, please like, comment, share and/or follow for new updates, or read some more!

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Flash Fiction | Mae

Mae

(769 words)

Mae loved the carnival.

She loved the bright, flashing lights in the dark, the sweet candy smells on the summer sea breeze, the blaring music, the endless crowds. It was something to escape to. Something that stayed the same, summer after summer.

We’d wait for the day and the concrete to cool off, then go to the boardwalk fairground where they’d set up the carnival every June. For hours we’d go on rides, get spooked in the haunted house, see ourselves in the fun-house mirrors, warped and twisted, my reflection always tightly holding onto Mae’s hand. The Ferris Wheel, bright purple and blue in the night sky, we’d save for last.

We’d stay till the lights shone in her eyes, till her blonde hair smelled of popcorn, till her hands were sticky from cotton candy, the sugar gluing us together as she pulled me through the flashing, blaring night. We’d leave just before closing time, just before they turned the flood lights on, just before they spoiled the magic.

Mae loved the carnival.

“Let’s have our palms read,” Mae said, like she did every night. I smiled, like I did every night, and let myself be pulled through the crowd, towards the fortune teller’s tent, the purple fabric glittering with silver stars. The curtain was pulled aside just a little.

Mae stepped into the dark, and I followed.

A woman sat at a small table, shuffling a deck of tarot cards, intently studying one already lying on the wooden surface.

Mae stopped in her tracks.

“You’re new,” she blurted.

The woman looked up at us. Her brown hair was streaked with grey, her skin pale, her eyes a bright, bright blue. She wore simple clothes the same color purple as the tent, silver earrings in the shape of stars.

“Yes,” the woman said slowly, “Yes, I am. You wanted a reading?”

Mae hesitated, but sat down. I sat in the other chair. The woman ignored us for a moment, finished shuffling her deck, then put it aside.

“Show me your palms,” she said. “Both of you. Right hand.”

Mae laughed, disbelieving.

“Don’t we get to choose? The other one always let us choose, and she’d tell us-”

“Isn’t this what you want, then?”

Mae blinked, then gave her right palm. I did, too.

The woman gazed intently at the lines on our hands, alternating between them. Sweat trickled down my back. The summer heat was still trapped beneath the tent, the thick fabric keeping out the fresh night air, muffling the laughter and music from outside. In the corner stood a lamp casting soft orange light, this little sweltering world’s own eternally setting sun.

The woman looked up at Mae.

“You have to let go of the past you think you need.”

She turned to me.

“You have to let go of the future you think you want.”

I took my hand back.

“That’s not a fortune,” Mae said, scrunching up her nose.

“Isn’t it?” the woman asked.

I got up. My lungs were suddenly too small for the airless tent, the muffled sounds too strange. I moved the curtain aside and stumbled out, into the cooler air.

Games beeped, people yelled, music blared from every direction. My lungs filled with the clean sea air and the smell of popcorn.

Mae came after me.

“Well, that was stupid,” she said, looking once again out over the little world she loved, the dusk, the lights, the sounds, satisfied it was all still the same. “Let’s go on the Ferris Wheel.”

She took my hand and started to pull me to the other side of the fairground, where the giant wheel stood, flashing blue and purple, slowly turning across the sky. But I didn’t move.

“We’ve been on it a thousand times,” I said to her back.

Mae stopped pulling, but didn’t turn around. “I like the view.”

“You’ve lived here all your life. You’ve seen everything.”

Mae hesitated, for one long moment, then squeezed my hand and again pulled me along towards the Ferris Wheel. Her hand was sticky, salt from sweat and popcorn grating my skin. The crowd around us grew thicker. It was almost closing time, and people hurried to their favorites for one last ride, one last game. Children and teenagers and adults pressing themselves between us, pushing us apart.

My hand slipped from Mae’s.

I stopped walking.

I watched her blonde head bob up and down through the crowd, making her own way towards the Ferris Wheel, without a backward glance.

Then, she was gone.

Soon, they’d turn the floodlights on.

I turned around and left.


~

Thank you for reading!

I couldn’t actually tell you what this piece is inspired by. Because I don’t really know. There’s not a specific moment or thought that made this story, but a bunch of things that interest me. I’m really fascinated by the concept of carnivals, of the games, the lights, the way it feels like you’re in an entirely different place. The way they get you to come back and waste money even though you know there’s something up with those games. In real life I hate those places. Too loud, too busy, just too much. But the story is also about ways parting, which is also a theme that interests me. How people sometimes say goodbye because they need to go in different directions. Oh, and summer. I love summer as a background.

What I can tell you is that this piece is (or will be) part of a series of pieces that will form a kind of narrative together. My piece ‘Beach Night’ is one of those. I plan to write it as a flash-novella, but I’m only done with 3 of the 11 stories I plan, so maybe next summer I’ll have some cool news!

This story was originally published by Second Chance Lit.

If you enjoyed my story, please like, comment, share and/or follow for new updates, or read some more!

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News | New writing out: ‘Beach Night’

So early June my piece ‘Beach Night’ was published by Capsule Stories! I only just got around to taking a pretty picture of the book for social media/this blog and so this post is a little late :’)

It’s a little piece about nostalgia and The Good Old Times and the looming future and you can read it here .

You can also find a thread of my favorite pieces from the book here.

And you should definitely buy the book here and support small publishers!!

Hope you enjoy it!!

Love,
Lotte

News | New publications ‘The River Washes’ + ‘Honeysuckle’ in Not Deer Magazine

Yay, this week TWO of my horror(ish) flash-fiction pieces were published by the kind people of Not Deer Magazine! They are both very short, 300 words or less, great for a little in between shiver-session.

image from Not Deer Magazine

The first published was ‘The River Washes’ and here’s a quote:

‘I remember the river.
The water, when it was not me, when I was not it.
I remember the pain, the shock of cold.
The stars in the sky.
The underside of the bridge floating past, your eyes watching me go, then the deepening darkness. The river coursing around me, through me, from me. Pulling me apart till I was more water than person.’

The second was ‘Honeysuckle’ and here’s a quote:

“The air is honeysuckle sweet from the summer warmth still hanging between the trees, resting on the moss, clinging to your skin. But my footsteps are cold and fog dances around me as they evaporate the warmth of the sun, the warmth of your hands.”

So please check them out and if you like them please let me know 🙂 And also check out the other pieces Not Deer Magazine publishes, because they are always great quality and really manage to strike this specific type of beautiful, creepy not-quite-traditional horror that I love.

Love,
Lotte

News | New story out: ‘Mae’ in Second Chance Lit

Friday my flash fiction piece ‘Mae’ appeared in Second Chance Lit’s newest issue, and you can check it out here.

The story is really dear to me so I hope people will like it! Here’s a bit of a teaser:


“Mae loved the carnival.

She loved the bright, flashing lights in the dark, the sweet candy smells on the summer

sea breeze, the blaring music, the endless crowds. It was something to escape to. Something that

stayed the same, summer after summer.”

So please check it out and if you like it please let me know 🙂

Love,
Lotte

Poetry | this spring


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Thank you for reading!

this spring was originally published by Capsule Stories in their Spring Issue 2021. It was actually the first poem I’ve ever submitted and also the first poem of mine that’s ever been published! I’m still so excited they chose it and that it looks so cool in the paperback.

I wrote this piece after I was getting out of my second academics related burnout (or, rather, the same burnout that I never let myself recover from) in January 2020. I was exhausted, emotionally and physically, but for the first time in my life I was truly willing to just let go. A willingness to just let the world be without having to throw all my energy into it, an understanding that things will manage without me. I also love gardening and nature so I used that imagery because gardens often needs a lot of maintenance while in the wild things just seem to grow wherever. It makes me jealous sometimes.

I wrote this poem mostly for myself, never thought about publishing it till I saw Capsule Stories’ theme. I never thought my poetry was really suitable for publishing, but maybe I’ve been selling myself short. Anyway, it’ll mean different things for different people, but I’m glad they seem to relate to the burnout feeling of wanting to just crawl away.

If you enjoyed my story, please like, comment, share and/or follow for new updates, or read some more!

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Flash Fiction | Call of the View

Call of the View

(665 words)

It was a Saturday night. The city was buzzing with excitement, flashing neon signs and speeding taxi headlights lighting up the streets, feverish music thumping through open windows and locked doors. Promise hung in the air like smoke, intoxicating people prowling the sidewalks in search of new dangers to entertain themselves with.

I could have been down there with them, finding my own way through the night, finding my own excitement between the lights, but no. I had to be on a high roof, shivering in the cold, trembling at the thought of those same sidewalks so many feet beneath me.

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