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!

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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FLASH FICTION DASH 2018: The Day We Say Goodbye

Today I’m excited to be participating in the Penprints Flash Fiction Dash, hosted by Rosalie Valentine of Penprints. I was super excited to receive my prompt from Rosalie, and when I did, I was even more excited to write about it! You can see the prompt and read my flash fiction piece titled “The Day We Say Goodbye” below. I had a lot of fun writing it and hope that you all enjoy reading it. Happy reading! =)
Note: I only loosely based the piece below on the photo, so not all of the details will line up perfectly. Bear with me, okay?I got a little carried away. xD

The sky doesn’t seem to know that this is the day we say goodbye. It beams at me, sunlight smiling, clouds as fluffy as cotton candy, the color blue so blinding it hurts. I wish that today could be a grey day. I wish that the sky would cry with me.

But it doesn’t. And according to the weather app on my phone, it won’t. 
I play with the camera Ben got me for Christmas. I think of all the pictures we took on it, all of the memories that it holds. I don’t look through those pictures right now. I couldn’t bear it if I did. I’m waiting for Ben. Waiting to say goodbye. Waiting for him to leave San Francisco for college in Philadelphia.

The waiting might be the worst part.

An older lady hustles by me, nodding in my direction. I fake a smile at her. But then it’s back to the camera and back to waiting. I look at my phone at least ten times before I see him. His dirty blonde mop of hair shoved under a Chicago Cubs baseball cap gives him away in the crowd. He smiles when he sees me. Waves even.

“Hey there, Lilly.” And for a moment, just a moment, I let myself think that this isn’t the last time I’ll see Ben Jamison.

But then his smile fades and he tugs on his backpack straps and we both remember.

“So…” Ben says, looking down at his worn Nikes.

“So.” I wish I could say more. I wish that I could tell him everything that I’m thinking and feeling right now. I wish that he could stay.

“How was your day?”

How was my day? His train leaves in ten minutes and he wants to know how my day went. I almost want to hit him, but I won’t let me hitting him or crying be his last memory of me.

“It was good,” I say lamely, staring at Ben as if I have to memorize every detail about him before he leaves. As if I don’t have the hundreds of pictures. “How was your day?”

He shrugs. “Okay. Adrian gave me a box of Pop-Tarts for the train ride.” Our friend Adrian is obsessed with Pop-Tarts. Like, eat-a-box-once-a-day obsessed. His girlfriend Raleigh can’t stand it. I can’t help but laugh at the thought of Adrian sacrificing a box for Ben.

But a little laughing doesn’t change today.

Ben seems to realize this too. He lowers himself onto the bench next to me, mesmerized by the trains already leaving. “You know, I’m going to miss you a lot.”

I try to smile, but I’m afraid that it’s more like a grimace. “I’m going to miss you too.” I really want to say that I’ll miss the sound of his laugh and the way he’s always messing with his hair because it’s constantly in his face and the fact that he’s always taking pictures of something. I want to say that I’ll miss going to get ice cream and roaming San Francisco during the day and—

Ben interrupts my panicked thoughts. “Don’t try to be okay.”

I wish that my coat could swallow me up. “Okay? What do you mean, don’t try to be okay? You’re the one who started the whole okay thing, you big, you big…” I can’t get the word jerk out before I start crying.

Because the whole world revels in my pain, a loudspeaker announces that Ben’s train will be arriving in five minutes. Five minutes. The tears come down even harder.

So much for not crying.

Ben pulls me in for a hug, pats my back. I sniffle against his coat, inhale his scent of too much cheap cologne. “I wish you didn’t have to go.”

“Me too,” he says softly. “Me too.”

And then he lets me go and starts rummaging through his backpack. I rub at my eyes, willing them to save the rest of the show until Ben is on his train and I’m safely in my room with a lifetime supply of tissues and desserts.

“I got something for you,” he says.

I make myself smile. “You didn’t have to.”

Ben hands me a package wrapped up in newspaper. “Yes, I did. Now hurry up and open it, before my train comes.”

Curious, I start peeling back the newspaper. And that’s when I see it. A gorgeous leather notebook, tied with a turquoise bow.

Ben starts talking as soon as my gaze rests on it. “My dad makes them, and he sent one for me to give to you before I go.” He takes his Cubs cap off, ruffles his hair.

“It’s beautiful.” I look up and tuck my black hair behind my ear. “I love it. Thank you.”

Ben sticks his cap back on and opens his mouth to say something, but is interrupted by a train pulling into a station.

My heart sinks and my grip on the notebook tightens. The loudspeaker grinds out its most terrible announcement. Ben stands, hoists his backpack onto his shoulders. “I guess it’s time.”

I stand too. “I guess.” Do. Not. Cry.

He pulls me in for one last hug, and it’s so quick because the train has pulled in and the doors have creaked open. I waffle between trying-not-to-cry and wanting-to-cry.

“Goodbye, Lilly,” he says against my hair. Then, he lets go. Steps back. Waves. “Don’t forget me, Lilly Mae!”

“I won’t!” I yell back. I can see his weak smile from here. One more wave, and he’s on the train. The doors shut. The whistle blows.

I hug myself and watch as the train pulls away.

Away.

I wave as it fades into the distance. But I don’t say goodbye. Because I know, deep down, that this isn’t it. Even though it hurts now, it’ll all be okay. One day.

So instead, I whisper, “See you soon.”


Have you ever participated in the Flash Fiction Dash? Do you like writing flash fiction? Let’s chat, friends! =D