Friday, July 15, 2011

Independence Day Flash Fiction blogfest

If you are looking for my entry in the Poetry Schmoetry blogfest, it can be found here.

And now, I'm participating in another blogfest. This one is hosted by my good friend and fellow writing Ninja, Ali Cross. The information and participant list for this blogfest can be find by clicking here.

"The rules are deliciously simple. Post an original piece of flash fiction, 250 words or less along this theme (and, FYI, "independence day" can mean anything you'd like it to mean--don't feel you have to be restricted to the July 4th holiday!):


"It's Independence Day and something unexpected happens . . ."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The last traces of spark fizzed out on the end of Kathryn’s sparkler. Somehow, they had seemed so much more exciting when she was five. “There goes another lame holiday,” she said as she dropped the still glowing stick into the bucket of water on the sidewalk. “Why do we even celebrate anyway?”

Grandpa George smiled at her before holding out another sparkler to be lit. “That’s because you don’t remember. If you had been there, you’d want to celebrate, too.”

She took the sparkler and lit it, then watched the sparks fall harmlessly to the ground. Each spark lit up the grass like the disbelief in her heart. “Those are just stories. It couldn’t have been that bad.”

“Have I ever told you about Topaz?”

“Topaz? Like the rock?” Kathryn dropped the finished sparkler into the bucket and waved off the next one Grandpa George offered.

“It was the place they took all of us. They locked us up behind gates and barbed wire. They took away everything except for what we could carry. They made us work for our food. They watched over us with guns.” Grandpa George’s face grew distant and the wrinkles over his brow deepened.

“Isn’t that what we were fighting against? I didn’t think they would do that to their own people.”

“We were different. And they didn’t trust us.” Grandpa George sighed. “When we got out, we had to start over, in a new place. But we always remember our freedom on Independence Day.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This snippet was inspired by a recent exposure to the Japanese-American relocation camps of World War II. It's sad and interesting stuff.

So, friends, what does independence mean to you?

23 comments:

Stacy Henrie said...

Great job. Love this little vignette. I've been researching the treatment of Germans during WWI for a book - very sad and interesting too.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Great job. I wish I could write flash fiction. Everything I try to write turns into a full length novel. lol :)

Mary Campbell said...

Nice. I enjoyed this. I just read Hotel on The Corner of Bitter and Sweet that delves into the Japanese camps and this piece is very fitting for Independence day.

Cathy Witbeck said...

Now you've got me curious. Great job.

Jolene Perry said...

Nice job :D

Also - I just came from Chantele's blog!
Great interview!!

Danyelle Ferguson said...

I really like your flash fiction piece. Have you read Tristi Pinkston's historical fiction? Her first two books are on this same topic. You'd really enjoy them.

Gail said...

I have a brother in-law who's father was in one of these camps. Great story!

ali said...

Oh this is beautiful. It must break Grandpa George's heart that his grandchild would forget what Independence Day meant to her grandfather.

Great entry, Kathleen. Thanks for participating!

Debbie Davis said...

Kayeleen, this is a great story, I loved how you brought in a bit of history and left you anticpating more! Isn't Ali's blog fest fun!

Kate Coursey said...

What a great story! I love it. And the Japanese-American relocation camps were awful....I'm glad people are trying to keep the memory alive!

Sylvia Ney said...

I'll have to look into this one. So many of us are offering blogfests right now. You can find my own at: http://writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/2011/07/wonderland-giveaway-blogfest-2011.html

Julie said...

Awesome! I did a report on this as an undergrad, comparing Jaanese internment camps to Jewish Ghettos. This pulled at my nerdy little history major heart strings ( : Great writing!

Lacie Myers said...

Thank you for reminding us of the sacrifices that have been made for our freedom. Good Job!

Mel Fowler said...

That was great Kayeleen. My first year in college they made us read and write a paper about Japanese-American being 'put away' in southern utah. I had no idea that it had occured until I read the book. "When The Emperor was Divine"

C. K. Bryant said...

Awesome piece of flash fiction. Thanks for sharing it.

Dawn M. Hamsher said...

I like the conversation between grandfather and grand-daughter. You could go so much farther with this story.

The Write Soil

Brianna said...

You really brought me into the story with the very first line. Sparklers were so much more fun when I was young and I feel very much the same as Kathrine.

Fabulous use of dialogue here! You showed so much!

Karen Hoover said...

Very nicely done! It's good to be reminded of why we celebrate, that it's more than just the revolutionary war. It's about freedom. Beautiful.

Canda said...

Great slice of freedom, freedom from oppression.

Nisa said...

It is so sad what happened then. There were so many fighting for us. It's crazy how mistrust breeds mistrust. Crazy and sad. Very good story!

Brent Wescott said...

A great reminder.

And thanks for visiting my blog.

Building Castles on the Beach

Donna K. Weaver said...

Nice job. "Each spark lit up the grass like the disbelief in her heart." Love this imagery.

They didn't lock up the German Americans because they looked too much like the Caucasian majority. Ugh.

Ishta Mercurio said...

Nice piece! I've been wanting to find out more about the treatment of the Japanese in America at that time, and this was a great reminder. Thank you.