London, 1941 / A Short Story

“London, 1941” by Micaiah Saldaña

“Emma! Emma!”

I scream her name over and over again, hoping that the noise reaches her ears. Emma. The word vibrates as it leaves my mouth and floats into the air. I will never be able to hear it, but I know how it feels. 

Right now, it feels shaky. Breathless. I am gasping for air tainted by London’s charred remains. 

She couldn’t have gone far. Surely she knew to find an air raid shelter in London’s belly. Surely someone helped her… “Emma!”

So why do I feel so wrong?

One could say it’s the greying sky littered with clouds and German aircraft, but those are now like roast on a Sunday before the war. Constant. Predictable. Normal.

“Emma!”

I trip along what used to be a busy street. The remains of London crunch underneath my feet. I scramble around debris. In the distance, firemen try to put out one of the hundreds of London’s fires. 

“Emma!”

My throat scratches against the word. Please be near. Please be safe. 

Buildings that remain gloriously, miraculously, untouched reach out to the sky as if to defy the enemy soaring above. Their fallen comrades lay in shambles and hang in crooked structures, skeletons of what once was.

This place, this place that smells sour and burnt, is no place for a little girl. And yet this is my sister’s playground.

“Emma!”

I cannot hear the planes above, the screaming sirens, or the bombs rushing to the earth. But I can feel them. Their steady hum of destruction and wings electrifies the air. Suddenly, the earth rumbles. I stumble against a brick wall. That felt… Close. My heart beats ten times faster. My palms begin to sweat. 

“Emma!”

Where is she? Is she safe? I swallow, tasting bile and defeat.

Please let her be safe. 

The world shatters into a million pieces and fire ignites the sky. 

A Note From the Author:

Thank you so much for reading my little short story. If you enjoyed this, please be sure to give this post a like or leave a comment and share it with friends. Please let me know if you all would be interested in reading more things like this on my blog. Again, thank you for reading and for your support. It means the world to me. Stay stellar!

ACFW Genesis Contest Update + Exciting Reveal!

I am both proud and honored to say that I am one of three finalists in the 2019 ACFW Genesis Contest in the novella category.

I did not win the contest, but I am nonetheless thrilled and so, so blessed to be a finalist. I would like to give a big thank you to everyone who made the Genesis contest possible, from the judges to the organizers. I am a better writer because of this contest. I would also like to congratulate all of the ACFW Genesis and Carol Award winners!

And now, I’m really excited to share about my novella with you all!

I’ve had to keep it a secret for a LONG time for the contest, but now that it has ended, I can share about it!

Always ~ A Novella

A contemporary retelling of A Christmas Carol and It’s A Wonderful Life.

Sky Bleu is tired. Tired of the pain. Tired of the memories that haunt her every step. Tired of the shards of her heart and her life that she cannot put back together.

As she sits on the edge of a bridge contemplating ending it all, a mysterious boy in a leather jacket comes and whisks her away on a journey through time. Gabe is his name, and he won’t let her die without putting up a fight, begging her to choose life. As Sky and Gabe travel through the past and present, through memories and moments, Sky begins to wonder…. 

Is there truly hope and healing for a broken girl like her? And has the God she used to love really been with her always?

A Snippet….

The moon and stars had tucked themselves behind the clouds again. The boy sighed, set his guitar down, and blew into his chapped and calloused hands. He rubbed some life back into them, stood, and gathered up his things. 

That’s when he found it. A rather un-ordinary piece of paper, with words scribbled on it in pencil that had smudged a little bit. But not enough that he couldn’t read the words.

Help me, I’m drowning,

Hear me, I’m screaming,

 I wish that I could wake up,

And realize that, all along, I was only

Dreaming.

What’s Next For Always?

Now that the contest is over and I have a second draft of Always, I’m going to start working on it again! I am probably going to be making the story longer, as well as tweaking bits here and there. Lots of editing, revisions, and much-needed chai lattes are on the horizon for me as I start to work on Always again.

I also hope to seek publication for Always one day! It could be self-publication, or maybe even traditional publication. I’m trying to keep my options open, as I prayerfully think and plan ahead to this step. But right now, my main focus is on the story and making sure that it is the best it can be.

I’ve got another thank you to say here, and it’s to you!

Before I end this post, I just want to say THANK YOU to all of the people, including YOU, my blog readers, who have stuck by me and supported me on my writing journey. You all mean so much to me, and every bit of encouragement and help has been so good and uplifting. I thank God that I have such supportive and amazing people to help me along my writing journey! I am so blessed.

Until next time… Stay stellar. ❤

Penprints Flash Fiction Dash 2019

It’s time for the Penprints Flash Fiction Dash again!

I had so much fun during last year’s dash that I knew I had to join in on this one. I loved creating a new story using the prompt provided, and I hope that you all enjoy it! But first, we have some details to go over. 😉

The Details…

This story was written for Rosalie Valentine’s Flash Fiction Dash. Many thanks to her for organizing this. ❤ Click here to learn more about the dash and visit her website.

The story’s word count is 998. Jusstttt below 1,000.

My story’s category is contemporary! I had such fun writing a contemporary story last year that I knew I wanted to write another contemporary story this year.

My prompt for this year is a song, “Younger Now,” sung by Miley Cyrus. I was really inspired by the sound of rain at the beginning of the song, as well as the words, “Change is a thing you can count on,” and the vibe of being young, wild, and free. Click here to listen to “Younger Now.”

And now, finally, for the story! Enjoy! 🙂

The Story…

Tap, tap, tap…

A computer sings out the song of typing in the corner of Sky’s Coffee and Books. The figure hunched over it is mesmerized by the words she is creating. He watches as her brow scrunches and her coffee grows cold. He can only imagine what she’s writing.

Tap, tap, tap…

Rain leaves tearstains on the glass of the window that she sits next to. A rumble comes from the sky outside. The girl keeps tapping, stopping only to brush away a strand of hair that has escaped her messy bun. She doesn’t notice the man who has spilled his coffee or the shelves of musty-smelling books. Just the words.

Tap, tap, tap…

And then she looks up.

He suddenly becomes very interested in his mug. The tapping stops. A chair skids against the floor. He takes a swig of his drink. Wrinkles his nose. The coffee tasted better hot.

“Hello.”

He looks up into the girl’s wide eyes. “Hi.” Is she coming over here to scold him for staring?

She offers him a smile, which he returns. “Do you mind if I sit here?”

He stares for a moment at the empty chair across from him. “Sure.”

Before he can take another swallow of his coffee, she’s sitting across from him, her computer now tucked away in her shoulder bag, her drink in front of her, and her gaze on him.

Now that she’s closer, he recognizes her. He knows her face, but not her name. She is one of the girls from school who smiles at everyone and probably dances in the rain. They have met in passing before. He wonders if she recognizes him. Instead of asking that, he decides to ask, “What are you writing?”

He’s such an idiot, starting off a conversation like that.

Either she doesn’t notice this fact, or she doesn’t care, because there’s that smile. A pause, then, “It’s silly, but… You know, memories are like movies. You replay them in your head, over and over, mulling over the plot, the actors, the settings, and the script.” A blush creeps over her face. “Sorry, it’s weird.”

He shrugs. “Weird is cool with me.” Actually, what she said made sense. Memories, good and bad, are like movies.

The girl continues. “But memories, unlike movies, have been lived by the person who possesses them. They can’t be experienced again and again, like a movie could be experienced again. There is one moment, a single space in time that creates a memory.”

A sigh. A far-off look comes into her eyes. For a moment, he wonders if she is still here at Sky’s and not elsewhere. “And… You will never have that moment back.”

Without another word, she slips her computer out of her bag. Types a little more. Shows him the screen.

They are just words, phrases, snippets, but something tells him that they are more…

Capture the flag.
The creak of old swings.
Flannels and jeans.
Purple blackberry stains.
Card games at the picnic table.
Swimming in the lake.
Milkshakes at Sonic.
Staring at the stars.
Working on the car.
Long talks and long walks.
Dreaming and laughing.
Bike rides and soccer.
Hair blowing in the wind.
Sunshine, the kind that feels good and warm and comforting.
Jokes that make no sense.
Wondering and wishing.
Friends…

…On and on the list goes. He looks up from it. Tries to think up what memories these words represent, what moments had created them. He has a feeling that, even though he doesn’t know this girl’s name, she has just bared a part of her soul to him.

In these words, he can see summers that ought to live in memories forever. In these words, he sees a girl and her friends. In these words, he sees a past, a story, that is sorely missed.

“It’s beautiful.” He slides the computer back to her. “Does it, well, the story… Does it have an ending?”

She closes the computer, and it is as if she is closing a box of magic. The magic that the words had painted is washed away and now leaves them in reality. Here they are again at Sky’s, watching the rain.

“It does have an ending. But it’s not a very good one.” She takes a sip of her drink, sets it aside. “Change is the one constant thing in this world. People change. People grow apart. People move away. People stop texting and video chatting as often. People find new lives, new loves.” Her gaze drifts to her folded hands. “At least you can know that somewhere, at sometime in the past… You were young and free. And those moments?” She sucks in a breath, unable to speak anymore. It almost seems as if the words physically hurt her.

He sets aside his cup and places a hand atop hers. “They’ll last forever,” he says softly.

She looks up at him, eyes glassy. “But you can never go back.”

He stands up, tugging her up with him. “You can’t go back, but you can always go forward.” She follows him as he leads her outside into the rain and the sputtering glow of the streetlamps.

“Where are we going?” she asks, laughing a little.

“To be young and free.” He’s soaked now. Water drips from his hair into his face and from the sky into his bones. He couldn’t care less.

She stops him, standing beneath a streetlamp. Even soaking wet, she’s beautiful. “And how are we going to be young and free if I don’t even know your name? I know that we go to school together, but I don’t know your name.”

“Jamie,” he says, a smile sneaking onto his face. “And what’s yours?”

Her face lights up, and now it’s her tugging him along behind her. “You’ll have to wait and see.”

All he can do, all he wants to do, is follow her to see what sort of memories they can create together.

Do you like writing flash fiction?

Blog Survey | FREE Short Story “Wordless”

2018 is almost over, and that means it’s time for a survey! I’d love for you all to complete this survey to help make Notebooks and Novels even better in 2019. It’s only ten super easy questions, but it would make a big difference and be a huge help if you filled it out!

And guess what? I’ll be sending a FREE short story written by me to everyone who completes the survey! The short story, titled “Wordless,” is about a 1950s woman who suddenly loses the heart to do what she loves most and a young girl who helps her discover what life is truly about. Read on for a sneak peek! =)

The words won’t come. 

I stare at the creamy white sheet of paper sitting prettily, not a splash of ink marring it. The typewriter keys practically beg me to make them dance again. I will my fingers to move across them, to create something, anything on the page. I wait for inspiration to wash over me.

But the words won’t come.

I squeeze my eyes shut. But the words aren’t painted on the backs of my eyelids. They don’t materialize in the darkness I find there. They’re gone. Gone.

For the first time, I am wordless.

I hope that you enjoyed the sneak peek at “Wordless.” Again, if you’d like to read the full story, you can click below to take the survey. Be sure to enter your email address so I can send it to you! If you would like to take the survey but don’t want to receive “Wordless,” that’s totally okay! Just skip the first question of the survey.

“Wordless” will be sent out on January 7, 2019. If you complete the survey between January 7-31, you will receive “Wordless” on January 31, 2019.

Thank you all so much for your feedback! I really appreciate it! ❤

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