Sue Spitulnik

Writing, Sewing, Travel, and Thoughts


Flash Fiction

Water Games

The No Thanks crew took some new friends kayaking. Arriving at the lake, they found there were ten seats available and twenty guys, so they paddled in shifts. The first group came back. “We saw a beaver, and it even slapped the water with its tail at us.”

The second group set out, and when they returned, everyone was soaked to the skin. Michael asked, “Did you all tip over?”

Laughter erupted. “No, we never spotted the beaver, so we made up a game slapping  the water with our paddles, and this happened.”

The first group demanded another trip.

Written in response to Charli Mills May 30, 2023, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a beaver slap. It can be an actual tail slap warning on the water or an imitation. Is a beaver slap the name of something — a new type of burger, perfume, or a sci-fi gadget? Take ecological and poetic licenses. Go where the prompt leads!

New England Colors of Hope

A yellow sun, blue sky day

Purple, orange, and white crocus bloom

Hope for a warm spring

Children laughing, playing on new-mown grass

Green, everything is green for a time

Hope for a good harvesting season

The yellow and green squash and beans

The pink and orange-centered melons

The cucumbers and golden onions

The gold, red, and yellow leaves of autumn

The red geranium continues to bloom

Hope for a good hunting season

Skies turn grey, and the sun hides

White snow falls

Hope for an exhilarating ski season

The snow is again melting

And purple crocus burst forth

Written in response to Charli Mills April 24, 2023, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about the color of hope. Who is in need of hope and why? How can you use color to shape the story? Pick a color, any color. Go where the prompt leads!

The Black Eye Warning

Emma Blossom patted Rainbow on her head, then on the butt, a little too hard. The cat thumped her tail and gave the child a black stare. Emma ran to the kitchen, tugged on Tessa’s pants, “Gramma, Rainbow’s eyes turned black.”

Tessa looked at Emma. “Rainbow’s eyes turn black when she’s excited or angry. What were you doing?”

“Just pettin’ her.”

“Were you being rough?”


“Let’s go see.”  Emma repeated her movements, too young to falsify.

Rainbow lifted her head, eyes turning black. She jumped off the couch and ran.

“Emma, Rainbow likes pets, not smacks.”

“OK, Gramma.”

Written in response to Charli Mills April 17, 2023, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story of something/someone dark-eyed. What could be a dark-eyed situation? Or is it a dark-eyed beauty? A dark-eyed junco? Maybe it’s a futuristic piece of technology. Go where the prompt leads!

Off the Grid – Parts 2 and 3

The policemen, still in the car, looked at the growling dog. “You mind leashing that.”

“Beast. Heal.” The dog ran to the man and sat, quiet. “Stay.”

The police got out of the car. One said, “Are you a veteran?”

“Yup. One tour in Iraq and two in Afghanistan.”

“How about the dog?”

“Yup. Now he’s a stud to my ex- old-lady’s bitch. I take the pups I think are trainable, and she sells the rest.”  

“You have any visitors we might be interested in meeting?”

“At first.” He whistled one note. Three more dogs charged out of the RV.


The policemen flinched.

The veteran held his hand to his side, palm facing Beast. The three other dogs stopped short and sat behind Beast. “Folks don’t like my pack.”

“I can see why. Do you have permission to be here?”

“Yup. It’s my ex-in-laws property.”

“Can we look inside?”

“Nothin’ to hide. ” He added, “Beast. Down.” His dog and the three trainees hunched down.

One policeman went into the RV and soon came back out. “Looks good.”

The veteran smiled. “I could donate one of the pups to ya.”

“You would?”

“We’re on the same side, guys.”

Off the Grid

The policeman watching a monitor said, “Look at this.” The others gathered around.

A drone was crisscrossing a square mile of desert, and a large RV was visible in the southeast quadrant. They zoomed in on it. “Could it be the meth lab we’ve been searching for?”

“Don’t think so. There’s a word on the RV roof. Looks like VETERAN.”

“Who’s wants t’go’ for a ride?”


The police approached slowly. A dog ferociously announced their arrival. A man appeared with his hands outstretched. “Just me and my dog, existing. Don’t like people, guns, or drugs. Welcome to look around.”

Written in response to Charli Mills April 3, 2023, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a dog in the desert. Why is the dog there? Who else is involved? Is there a deeper metaphor you can make for the desert? Go where the prompt leads!

Scotty’s Got the Blues

“She has impossibly blue eyes, not the color of a sunny sky but of thick, cracked ice. That impossibly blue dress flounced around my legs all night on the dance floor, then she left me standing on the stoop feeling impossibly blue when she didn’t invite me in. Oh, I’m blue, blue, blue.”  Scotty played and sang.

Mac said, “Don’t believe I’ve ever heard those words or anyone howl the word blue.”

“The way I feel it seemed to fit.”

“Our Katie’s eyes are green; maybe you’re focusing on the wrong gal.”

“You giving your permission?”

“Don’t need mine.”

Note: Scotty is a new bartender at the No Thanks. He has hesitated asking Katie out for fear her father and grandfather (Mac) wouldn’t approve.

Written in response to Chaarli Mills March 27 2023, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about something impossibly blue. You can go with sky or any other object. What impact does the color have on the setting or characters? Does it lead to action or create a pause? Go where the prompt leads!

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