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.
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”
And So, It Begins, Part 2
If you have not read Tale Number Seventy-Eight, you will need to read that before reading this story. Please see the author’s note at the end.
“I am sorry I have not better provided for you.”
“Father, don’t say that,” answered Scheherazade. “It was not your decision to send the young men off to battle.” Continue reading “Tale Number Seventy-Nine – And So, It Begins, Part 2”
And So, It Begins
Please see the author’s note at the end.
Hatim, the sutlan’s vizier, was growing old. The wife of his youth had died very young, leaving no children to carry on her presence in his life. It was some time before Hatim remarried. Despite his age, this second marriage had been blessed with four children, all girls, before a summer wasting illness had taken a second wife from him. Hatim was grateful for his daughters who lovingly cared for him, filling his home with their laughter and music. In time, Nura and Akilah, the two eldest, married well and left his home to have homes and families of their own. He knew it would not be much longer before the younger two, Scheherazade and Dunyazade, would likewise marry. Then, he would be alone. Continue reading “Tale Number Seventy-Eight – And So, It Begins”
Two hours wasn’t really that much of a drive, when he thought about it. Sure, it wasn’t his first pick of the way to spend a Friday night after a long week at work, but it wouldn’t kill him either. He should be doing it more often. After all, it was worth a minor inconvenience when he considered how much it meant to his dad. Continue reading “Tale Number Seventy-Seven – The Drive”
Scene From a Novel
prompt: No prompt this time. This is a short scene from one of my unpublished (for now 😉 ) manuscripts. Please see the author’s note at the end.
The sound of the door shutting behind her seemed very final as it cut off the few street noises at that hour. In the sudden, uneasy hush, a scrabbling sound came from a shadowy corner. Rats. They came big in buildings like these but she didn’t flinch. She’d seen too many. Hell, she’d slept with too many to really care much about them. Continue reading “Tale Number Seventy-Six – Scene From a Novel”
Some Like It Hot
“Come on out. It’s cooled down a lot already.”
Anna smiled and followed her uncle out into his garage. He was so eager to show her his workshop and she was more than happy to see and hear all about it. But it was August. In Tucson. Northern Sonoran Desert. In other words, it was freaking hot. She had stalled and delayed until evening, hoping it would be less stifling in the converted metal storage building that Uncle Ted used as his garage and shop. Continue reading “Tale Number Seventy-Five – Some Like It Hot”
This Is Goodbye
prompt: this is goodbye
This was it. She was really going to do it this time. Those other four times were just, well, practice. This one. This one was the real time. Amanda nodded firmly, gripped the strap of her backpack a little tighter, and lifted her chin. She pushed open the door and charged into the building as if she owned the place. Her abrupt arrival may have startled the woman at the reception desk, but she gave no sign of it. Instead, she smiled broadly as Amanda approached. Continue reading “Tale Number Seventy-Four – This Is Goodbye”
photo by Rachel Larue (this is public domain but it’s lovely and I wanted to give her credit)
I’ll be on a quick little break over the Memorial Day Weekend but will return to post Tale Number Seventy-Four on Tuesday, May 30.
Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂