Welcome to The Scheherazade Project!
Scheherazade spun a fanciful new tale each night to amuse the sultan and save her neck. Clearly, the sultan was a fan of a good story. Who isn’t? The trouble is, we don’t always have as much time for stories as we’d like.
The stories here are the style known as “flash fiction,” “short-shorts,” or even “microfiction” (though, those tend to be VERY short), depending on who is defining it. They’re meant to be like a snapshot rather than the whole photo album. This gives you the chance to fill in the past and future of the story in your own way. Often, you will notice a note about the “prompt” for the story. This might be a word, phrase, or sentence which inspired the story. It may or may not actually appear in the story. Sometimes, the prompts are challenges given to me by friends and readers. Other times, they are simply ideas that occurred to me. If you have thoughts, questions, or would like to challenge me with a prompt, I’d love to hear from you!
Read on, and I will be your Scheherazade, here to tell you small tales you can enjoy on your break, at lunch, or on the bus or train – stories that fit into your day.
Please see author’s note at the end.
“Perhaps you should take one of your sisters. The sun is near setting.”
“Mother, I’ll be fine. I’m going to Athena’s shrine. The goddess will protect me and I’ll be home before dark.” Medusa smiled at her mother as she packed the food and coins of her offering into a leather bag.
“Mother’s right, you know,” said a voice behind her. Stheno. “You are not safe on your own.”
“I’ll be fine, sister,” Medusa answered, firmly. “I go to pray to Athena. I don’t require an escort for that.” Continue reading “Tale Number Eighty-Eight – Medusa”
The New French Chef
Dan pushed his chair back from a table a few inches and patted his stomach appreciatively.
“Herb, that was an amazing meal,” he said. “I mean it. I go to restaurants at least four nights a week and I haven’t had anything as good as this meal in the past year.”
“Really? Thanks,” said Herb. He smiled almost shyly. “I’m glad you liked it. Cooking is a nice little hobby for me.” Continue reading “Tale Number Eighty-Seven – The New French Chef”
prompt: relatively painless
“That wasn’t so bad, now was it?”
Laurel glanced over at Brian’s smug expression and returned her attention to packing her messenger bag.
“I’m going home,” she said. “Stick a fork in me. I am officially done.”
“Don’t be such a baby,” said Brian. “Any meeting you can walk away from is a good meeting.” Continue reading “Tale Number Eighty-Six – My Command”
Better Than Nothing
“Dude, you are one cold bastard.”
“I am not! I’m just following instructions,” Will replied. He focused on the papers in his hands, a frown of concentration on his face. Continue reading “Tale Number Eighty-Five – Better Than Nothing”
In a Blink
When she was still quite a young woman, hardly more than a girl, her mother told her it would happen.
“You’ll see, Frances,” she said. “Time will pass more quickly with every year. What seemed like such a long, hot summer to a child will be gone in a blink of your eye.” Continue reading “Tale Number Eighty-Four – In a Blink”
Hi there! I’ll be on a holiday hiatus to celebrate Independence Day here in the United States. 😀 The Scheherazade Project will resume with Tale Number Eighty-Four on Thursday, July 6.
It was such an incongruous thing. Daniel looked around at the brown, wilted, trampled remains of what had, probably very recently, been a beautiful kitchen garden. He could see a few odd sprouts where there had been a line of radishes or maybe turnips over to his right. To his left, the dried, broken stalks of corn must have been as high as the elephant’s eye spoken of in the song. At his feet were the ragged remains of cabbages. Directly in front of him, beyond the blackened, trampled cabbage leaves was the tape outline. Incongruous. Continue reading “Tale Number Eighty-Three – Incongruous”
The Perhaps Bag
Please see the author’s note at the end.
“Hurry up, Anna,” Dad called. “I’m starting the car!”
Anna shoved her arms into her jacket. “Why do I have to go, anyway?”
“You love going to the airport,” her mother answered from the doorway.
“I love Grandma, but she’s so, I don’t know, strange.” Continue reading “Tale Number Eighty-Two – The Perhaps Bag”
And So, It Begins
First, please accept my apologies for the delay. I had some laptop issues which kept me from posting this story on time. All better now! This is the final installment of this story. It’s a bit longer than the usual post, but I hope you won’t mind that. 🙂
It was very late, it being far past the middle of the night, and the palace was wrapped in slumber. The great hall was dark and silent after the raucous wedding feast. The long halls were, likewise, dim, quiet, and empty. There was, however, one small lamp and a small brazier still burning on the topmost floor. Continue reading “Tale Number Eighty-One – And So, It Begins – Part 4”
And So, It Begins – Part 3
If you haven’t already read parts 1 and 2, you really will need to read those first. Links are to your right. Please see the author’s note at the end.
The volunteer bride was granted two days to prepare for her nuptials, a grace not accorded to lottery-drawn brides. In fact, the sultan opted for forego any lottery drawings for that two-day space and ordered a lavish wedding celebration be prepared. The novelty of a willing bride delighted him and the sultan amused himself over the ensuing forty-eight hours by sending lavish gifts to his bride-to-be and her family. Delicate filigree baskets of sugared dates, casks of wine, and trays of breads still warm from the ovens arrived at the vizier’s door throughout that first morning. By evening, Scheherazade had received several silk cushions, hand-beaded slippers, and a beautifully carved ivory hair pin. The next morning showed no signs of a reduction in the sultan’s good humor. Before the family had breakfasted, another great tray of bread and a pet nightingale in an elaborate gilded cage arrived. All through the second day, Scheherazade was showered with jewelry, rich shawls, and a bejeweled amphora of oil scented with jasmine and sandalwood. Continue reading “Tale Number Eighty – And So, It Begins – Part 3”