Still Waters – 99 Word Flash Fiction

Without wishing to sound like a broken record, my laptop is playing up.  And yes, I mean my ‘new’ laptop, the one I got back in January to replace my ‘old’, slow, on-its-last-legs one, but which I am now using out of necessity.

Turns out that the new one has software and hardware issues.  All I can say is thank goodness for Dropbox, on which all my writing and everything else is backed up (worth paying for all that extra storage online).

So, while my new laptop, complete with brand new Word is back at the manufacturer’s and so utterly useless to me for the time being,  I am climbing the walls with frustration, but there it is.  As always, I’ll do what I can with blogging, but just wanted to keep you posted (pun not intended).

Meanwhile, back at the Ranch, it’s time for another Flash Fiction and this week Charli gives us her beautiful photo along with her prompt, thus:

May 27, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story, using the above photo as a prompt. You can make it a garden party or an international spy thriller. Who is there and why? Does the backdrop scenery make an impact or is it ignored? The place is on an island, if you wish to make use of that. Go where the photograph leads you this week.

may-27

This is where the photo led me:

Still Waters

Georgia gazed across the lake and shivered, despite the warm breeze. Had it really been thirty years? What was he doing here? She knew that she would have to face him, but not today, not at Helen’s birthday party.

“Georgia, where are you?” called Helen through the trees.

“Coming…”

“I was worried about you. Miles is asking after you.”

Helen didn’t know of course. Why would she? Georgia took two champagne flutes from the waiter’s tray and downed one.

“Georgia! How are you?”

“I’m good…I’ve written a book actually. About you.”

Miles blanched as Georgia downed her second glass.

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
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76 Responses to Still Waters – 99 Word Flash Fiction

  1. So sorry to hear that your computer is giving you problems again Sherri. It’s always the worst when technology makes our life more complicated instead of less.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Heather. Yes, I didn’t want to go on about it, but it’s been a bit of a nightmare. You would think that by paying (a lot) to get a new laptop, it would be the end of it wouldn’t you? Grrrrrr….deep breath!! Hoping to get it all sorted out as soon as …

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  2. jeanne229 says:

    Sherri, love the flash! This one really does remind me of romantic suspense author Mary Stewart. Great teaser there about the secret in Georgia and Miles’s past. Too bad we only get 99 words. Oh, and I empathize over your computer. My husband is loading his upcoming conference presentation (huge slide show files) on my MacBook now since his old one is getting unreliable. He just sank a couple hundred dollars getting it fixed but I think it’s just a Bandaid (or would that be a “plaster”? 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Jeanne, so glad you liked the flash! Yes, I would like to expand this story 🙂 Ha, yes, I know that ‘Bandaid’ problem (yes, ‘plaster’ here!). Tried that with my old laptop but in the end, bit the bullet and spent a lot of money on my new one. And, well, even that didn’t help :/ If this doesn’t resolve all the issues then we’ll have to ask for our money back, but I’ve got the new Word installed on there which was also not cheap and I can’t bear the thought of having to re-load everything again. Bad enough having to do it twice in only 3 months. Oh well…I better stop, or I’ll keep ranting! Hope your husband gets his computer up and running again and his presentation goes well 🙂

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  3. Sue says:

    Great flashfiction, Sherri. Now I want to know the secret! Really sorry to hear of your computer woes yet again…

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  4. Love the story, Sherri. I bet that really put a damper on Miles’s day. 🙂 Hope your computer woes are soon over. xx

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  5. Please continue-just so good!!!! My imagination is taking flight but would love to know where this leads in your mind’s eye! 🙂 xoxo

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  6. Life was so much easier before the time saving, tree saving, home computer was invented! It will work out – it always does.

    Fabulous 99 words! I want more of this one please 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Argghhh….wasn’t it just? Here I was thinking that by fixing the problem and getting a new laptop, life would actually be more straight-forward :/ But as you say, it will all get sorted eventually, thanks so much Pauline. And love that you enjoyed the flash, woo hoo! Perhaps I’ll have to keep this one going a little… let’s see 😉

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  7. I suspect Miles is going to get his just desserts when that book is published 🙂 Sorry to hear you’re having computer problems again, hope you get them sorted soon.

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  8. restlessjo says:

    I don’t know where the association with the photo came from, Sherri! You amaze me 🙂 🙂

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  9. Heyjude says:

    Oh now this leads to more questions… I want to know more about Miles (who on earth calls a child Miles?) and Georgia. What happened 30 years ago? You certainly grab my interest 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha! Thanks Jude. I watched a cheesy film once years ago and one of the characters was called Miles, first time I ever heard that name! For some strange reason, it came back to me for this story…now maybe I’ll have to try and answer some of your questions as a follow-up…let’s see 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Luanne says:

    I feel so bad for you about the laptop, but happy you’re writing through it all!

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  11. Excellent Sherri! Oh gosh, I’m so sorry to hear about your computers problems, and with a new computer. I hope my last bloviating email wasn’t the cause of the crash. 😦 Yes, be thankful for Dropbox. Chat with you soon. xoxo

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    • Sherri says:

      No way Jill!!! Your emails would never the cause of my laptop problems! Ahh…you’re so kind, thank you, and I’m so glad you enjoyed the flash 🙂 And yes, chat soon!!! xoxo

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  12. Ooooh! Good one, Sherri. Plus, you mentioned champagne! 🙂 Hope your new computer gets fixed soon.

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    • Sherri says:

      You know it had to be champagne Maria 🙂 Ahh, thanks so much, hopefully it will all get sorted out soon (and I will try hard not to rant too much, ha!). Glad you liked the flash 🙂

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  13. Charli Mills says:

    Ha! That’s a great response — “about you!” Oh, but a writer’s frustration to have computer issues. Hope all gets sorted out. If it gets to frustrating pop the cork on some bubbly (Prosecco, of course).

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh I wish I had a bottle to pop right now! I’m reminded of how slow this laptop is loading pages and all the frustrations that came with that, thinking ‘oh, it’ll all be solved with a new laptop’. Yeah, right 👿 Okay…rant over. Haha, yes, Miles is getting his come comeuppance, a timely subject perhaps 🙂 Thanks Charli!

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  14. Fascinating story. I see Helen’s mouth drop and Miles, well, he thought he’d sweep Georgia off her fee and now the tables are turned on him. This is wicked entrancing–a whole ‘nother story waiting.
    😀 😀 😀

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  15. Pingback: Garden Parties « Carrot Ranch Communications

  16. I’m hitting my head on the wall for you re your computer problems. What a pain just when you thought you had it all sorted. Hopefully it won’t take long.
    Your flash is great and I want more. So she has written a book — about him….. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh Irene, I’m sorry my computer problems have given you a bad headache, but thank you for your concern. It’s been so frustrating, and I didn’t dare mention it as I get so fed up having to keep going on about problems 😦 I was hoping I could get it sorted without sending it back but it’s under warranty and so I’ve had to bite the bullet and get it sent back once and for all. But this old clunker laptop I’m having to use is soooooo slow. I really want to get back to blogging in full, it’s been weeks, but I can’t until I have the right tools of the trade. And so I wait…
      Haha 😀 Thanks Irene, so glad you enjoyed the flash 🙂 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh Sherri! Sorry to hear you have such techno problems! Technology really is the biggest pain in the world at times. Terrible. Be well, x

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  18. Norah says:

    Technology – can’t live with it, can’t live without it! I hope you get your issues sorted soon! 🙂
    Love your flash. Maybe Georgia will need another few flutes now that the cat is out of the bag. She might even need more than that! You have made the mood and images of this little scene very vivid.

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  19. I was too tired last night when I first read this to write a coherent sentence so took another run at it this morning. I liked the two fisted drinking Georgia does knowing she has to tell on herself. I think I’d handle it the same way. 🙂 It was a fun story that could go a long way.

    As for the computer problems, let me just say my son saw how surly I can get when it doesn’t work. The power pack on the cord part, stopped charging my laptop. They blew into the end of the connection and got it to work again last week. Seemed simple enough till it stopped working again yesterday. I get a little hot when people try to be dismissive with me. I told them I would never buy a warranty if that’s what I had to go through to get the cord replaced. They ordered it immediately and I purchased a generic one to hold me over. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here. I’ll take the generic one back when the new one gets here. From the box, we could tell it’s make a round or two already. They should just keep it as a loaner or a rental. 🙂 I think I could handle the stove going out better.

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh Marlene, that’s so sweet of you to come back 🙂 Boy, I am right there with you, and surly is the perfect word to describe how I have been about this entire sorry episode. You would think that buying a new laptop to replace the old one would solve the problem wouldn’t you? But no. Turns out we spent a lot of hard-earned money on a lemon. So now I’m stuck while I wait for it to be returned from the manufacturer’s hopefully all repaired, but then I’m going to be spending time all over again putting everything back on with my personal settings etc, which I’ve only just done. So yes, it is a pain for sure and I’m so sorry for your troubles too.
      ‘I get a little hot when people try to be dismissive with me.’. LOVE this…and this is exactly what has got me the most, when the young man at the computer shop does this, as if I don’t know what I’m talking about and that he can just fob me off. He even tried to talk me out of sending it back,saying he could work on it and reboot it in a couple of days, but then in talking to someone else at the shop, I was told that if he had done that, it would have invalided the warranty. Can you believe it?
      Phew. Right. That’s my mini-rant over with. Ha…I feel a bit better now!!
      So glad you enjoyed the flash (moving swiftly on…) it’s great to have this distraction and at least I can still post, albeit slowly as the pages are so slow loading on this laptop. Yes, Georgia needed those drinks, and a few more before the evening was done 😉 Think we should both join her 😉
      Thanks so much my friend, great chatting with you and let’s hope that both our computer woes are well behind us very soon. Have a lovely day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. jennypellett says:

    Hmm, you make it obvious that Miles has something to be uncomfortable about. Good flash. Laptop? I’ve been having problems with WordPress – almost finished writing a post, went to proof read and it had not saved. And I’m fanatical about pressing the save button. Annoyingly, I had typed straight rather than, as I usually do, use Word first. More haste, less speed, as they say … 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Yes, Miles has a dark past which Georgia is about to blow wide open, and about time too 😉 Thanks Jenny, glad you enjoyed it. And yes, so fed up with these laptop issues. You would think that buying a new one would have been the end of them wouldn’t you? Yet, there it is, back at the manufacturer’s and I’m so cheesed off with all, if not more than a little annoyed 👿 Oh no, that’s so frustrating. I wonder why it didn’t save? Like you, I save constantly as I always type straight onto WP (unless it’s a flash fiction which I do on Word first). Hope you managed to get your post done after all and it doesn’t happen again…

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      • jennypellett says:

        I did eventually retrieve my work via the revisions, published yesterday but the WordPress reader is displaying the post as published two days ago. I tried trashing it and re posting, but to no avail. Hey ho, these things happen. Keep smiling, I suppose!

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      • Sherri says:

        Oh I’m so glad to hear that Jenny. I had a strange thing happen some weeks ago when a couple of my posts had the wrong dates on and I had to cut and paste, make a new post, trash the old and re-post the new. Eventually it worked and it’s been okay since. Think it’s those gremlins that like to remind us they’re still there, but we won’t let them stop us smiling will be? 😉

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  21. Hahaha! 😀 Great flash. Perfect. I laughed out loud. Love it.

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  22. Miles definitely has a hefty guilty conscience by the sound of it, so I’m sure that Georgia’s book will be a best seller!
    Sorry your computer is still being problematic, Sherri. I’ve had some technical issues with the internet for a few days, too. It’s so time-wasting sorting it out and so stressful.
    Deep breathes all round. Love and hugs xxxx

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…yes, and I believe she is in talks for the film rights too 😉
      Ahh…thanks so much Sarah, and sorry for your internet issues too. As you say, it’s all the time wasting that is so utterly frustrating. Keeping calm, breathing deeply, we both… Love & hugs back to you, emailing next… xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Oh dear, poor Miles! Sounds like he had it coming though. Georgina sounds like she knows exactly what she is doing, so good for her.

    I hope the laptop gremlins soon leave you alone, Sherri.

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    • Sherri says:

      Yes, she does indeed, and about time time that Miles gets his comeuppance 😉
      Thanks so much Hugh, it’s been a rather frustrating time, putting it mildly…

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  24. Ste J says:

    A nice open ended story there that could lead to anything, it reminds me of the opening of an episode of Midsomer Murders, therefore the book is bound to be about sex and there will be at least overly mental set piece killing but in a strangely light hearted way. Oh and a kinky maid, but that is more to do with my own imagination after your last post.

    I hope the laptop comes right soon, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…looks as if my last post had quite the effect on you Ste! Been out in those woods lately? But now you’ve got me thinking all sorts of possibilities. Interested in collaborating on this one by any chance? I love how your mind works…
      Meanwhile, thank you my friend for your computer commiserations…feel better after a little rant…

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      • Ste J says:

        A collaboration, I would love too! I will make sure I go to the woods and hope for a big surprise…that doesn’t include sharp implements. My mind has never been the same since I tried dog food…it tastes of sideways…that’s actually a real taste!

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      • Sherri says:

        A Teddy Bear’s picnic without knives and forks perhaps? What would the vixen make of that I wonder… and I can only hazard a guess at what what ‘sideways’ tastes like. I’ve never tried dog food but I did used to love to eat dog biscuits as a kid. See…we have the makings of a great story already, ha.
        And I am so sorry I haven’t been over to your blog lately. My recent post explains all my computer woes, and, frankly, I am pretty fed up about it all. I hate the thought of not being able to blog, but there is nothing I can do until all this gets sorted out. Until then, keep in touch and I’ll see you soon my friend…and have a pint on me at the weekend.

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  25. Imelda says:

    I hope your computer issues are straightened out soon.

    About the story, I wonder what Georgia might have written – some dark secrets of Miles, I suppose. 🙂 This has the promise of intrigue and a colorful plot. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Imelda, I certainly do too. And I’m glad you enjoyed the flash. Miles has a dark past, that’s for sure, and Georgia is about to let the world know. I wonder what it could be 😉

      Like

  26. Ah, you always get me hooked and left wanting more…
    I pray your computer issues are resolved soon. I know what a bother that can be but glad to see it didn’t keep you off course from your writing 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      And I always love to know that Lilka! And thanks so much for your prayers, helps a lot 🙂 This old laptop is very slow at loading pages (and reminds me of why I needed a new one, ha!) but it’s better than nothing while I wait for news of my ‘new’ one.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Sherri you amaze me, every flash fiction you write I can see the magic. Practice is certainly working for you. But you also have a wonderful imagination. Enjoyed it thanks. Hope the computer issues are over soon, nothing worse for a creative to have their tools not working properly.

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh Kath, you bring me such smiles, thank you so much for your lovely comment and kind wishes for my laptop issues. I just love that you enjoyed reading these flashes, really makes my day that 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Ula says:

    I love this flash, Sherri. You’ve got me on the edge of my chair wanting more and wondering what happened between the two of them 30 years ago.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Ula, I’m thrilled you enjoyed it! One thing is for sure, Miles was not expecting to see Georgia at the party, much less hear her news 😉

      Like

  29. Sherri, you definitely deserve the best writer “who can’t be stopped by computer problems” award. And you don’t just plow through the problems, you create excellent stories!
    I love that he blanched, but now I just have to know what kind of book it was–romance, mystery, true crime, revenge, tell-all biography or his darkest secrets–are you going to tell us? 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Haha…nice to know I’ve won something, thanks so much for the nomination 😀 Ahh, well now Marylin, that is the real question isn’t it? Hmmm…maybe I’ll keep schtum for a little while longer until I’ve had a quiet word with Georgia…but you can be sure that I’ll let you know eventually 😉

      Like

  30. L O V E your 99 words. Made me smile, with a touch of a smirk, at the end.

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  31. Funny! My favorite of your flash’s so far! 🙂

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  32. Marie Keates says:

    Brilliant! Pain about your computer though. Commando is having similar issues.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Marie, so glad you enjoyed it. Needless to say, my computer issues are even worse now, unable to do much at all, so still can’t get over to you. Will catch up with you as soon as this whole mess gets sorted out. And sorry to hear about Commando’s computer woes, hope they soon resolve too. Meanwhile, I hope you have a lovely weekend with lots of great walks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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