She lived in a windmill.  How poetic.  He imagined her beautiful, simple life, the one she’d described in all of her messages. She spent her days taking long bike rides along fields bursting with tulips and painting the many watercolor landscapes that adorned the unique dwelling.

The door opened, and there she was.  The beautiful face that he’d stared at on his computer screen every night for nearly a year.  The face he’d flown over a thousand miles to see in person.  Her smile was friendly, but there was no recognition in her eyes.

“It’s me,” he said hopefully, thinking of the dozens of pics they’d exchanged.   Did he really look that different in person?  Her good manners prevailed and she took a tentative step back to allow him inside.  As she gathered the strength to tell him that she had no idea who he was, she didn’t notice her mother tucking her laptop under her arm and exiting through the backdoor.  She’d decided she needed a long, thoughtful walk in the sun.

For Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers




“Nothing is ever as easy as it looks on TV.  Losing weight is hard.”

“Well,  Heather-236, that’s because you’re lazy,” Maura typed in response, her fingers slamming into the keys so violently her elbow accidentally knocked a stack of children’s books from her desk to the floor.  “You hamplanets disgust me!”  All of these losers, commenting on an article about a plus-size model’s struggles in the industry. This one in particular, Heather-236, was so effusive in her support it was disgusting.

Most people who knew Maura in real life would be shocked if they read the things she wrote online, under a veil of anonymity.  Maybe that was why she did it.  It was how she kept calm at work.  Her job was basically managing one meltdown after the other.  Teaching preschool wasn’t for the faint of heart.  Thankfully, the little darlings were at recess at the moment.

“Maura, I think we need to talk.”

She looked up, startled.  She hadn’t heard Sarah, her boss, enter the room.  Sarah slid a print-out of all Maura’s online activity for the past few days across the desk and something flashed in Maura’s mind.  The nameplate on Sarah’s desk.  Sarah H. Murray.

“Sarah, what’s your middle name?”

She pursed her lips.  “I think you already know.”

For Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner