Of Notebooks and Love Letters–a whole COLLECTION of flash fiction (warning: it’s very long)

Greetings, ladies and gentlefolk! I have not been editing the stories I put online lately very much, so I’m sorry if this sucks please don’t kill me ahhhh

I realized I sometimes had trouble writing sapphic stories (@ internalized homophobia), so I wrote a ton of flash fiction in order to try and fix that! And they are all set in uni because I am in uni and it’s terrible! I also made picrews for most of my characters because I found a cute one. And then I made them all with different pride flag backgrounds because pride flags are pretty and I love stripes.

I’m kind of starting to come around to contemporary as a genre. Fantasy is still my favorite, but there is something about the romanticization of everyday life that I love. I do have a hard time finding contemporary stories that I like, but! There are a lot of great contemporary authors out there! And I have a hard time finding stories I like in general. Contemporary romance is honestly a pretty cute genre, and I feel like I’ve been kind of unfair to it in the past (internally, not on the blog).

Anyway, I got the list of prompts from a tumblr blog I stumbled across

  • prompt: “hey i’m late on our first day and oh no, the only free seat is next to you. wait do you have a pen?”
  • This has a swear word in it but I’m pretty sure that’s the only content in these?
  • Also, I love my absolutely bizarre descriptions. ‘handwriting like a 19th century scholar’s if that scholar were really drunk.’ I don’t know what tf that means but it made me laugh. so

The girl next to Miyeon yawned and stretched her arms out. The professor sent her a withering glare, which she answered with an off-center grin. “Sorry for being late,” she drawled, having come in twenty minutes after the start of class. She did not sound sorry at all.

She had wild red hair and dark eyes. She did not look like she gave a fuck about anything. Miyeon was not sure if she should be annoyed or in love.

“You have a pen?” the girl muttered. It took Miyeon a moment to realize she was talking to her. “I forgot mine. I forgot my entire bag, actually.” She was currently taking out a large stack of post-its from her pocket.

Miyeon blinked twice, suddenly not hearing the professor’s lecture on Latin verb endings. She took a pen out of her backpack, fumbling it twice, and slid the pen over to the girl, her ears slightly pink.

“Thanks,” she said, writing down her notes. Miyeon pushed down a smile.

A minute later, the girl slid a post-it note over. “You’re cute,” read the note, in impossibly scrawled handwriting.

Miyeon picked it up in her hands, unsure how to answer. Should she say that she wasn’t currently looking for a relationship? That wasn’t necessarily true, and moreover, would have been presumptuous. It was just a comment. Should she tell her that she thought the girl was cute too?

What’s your name?” Miyeon’s handwriting looked like that of a disaffected 19th century scholar, if that scholar was really drunk.

“Katherine. God. Call me Kate,” she muttered, looking up at the teacher to see if they had noticed them talking.

Miyeon smiled a bit. She tugged the post-it over and scrawled her phone number down. She supposed it wouldn’t hurt.

She turned toward the professor, determined to listen now, but out of the corner of her eye, she saw Kate give a quiet fist pump under the table.

  • prompt: “we got paired up for a presentation but we’ve never really spoken and you’re pretty nice despite what other people say”
  • Oh, wait, this one has another swear word. These are the only ones, though! I double-checked. This story was the hardest for me to write and also the one that veered the farthest away from the prompt
  • Okay I reread this and wtf is this you can tell i wrote it at like. 3 am

Deryn coughed as she slid into the seat beside Nehama. Nehama’s short black hair fell into her pale face as she stared at her phone with enthralled intensity. She was pretty. Or at least Deryn thought so. She had a soft spot for aquiline noses.

“They say you’ve gotten into a fist fight over ten pounds,” Deryn noted. “And that you’ve singlehandedly stolen the girls of half the men in our dorm. Of course, I don’t believe that one, because Simon is a fucking liar and I don’t believe the girls who would date the men in our dorm have half such good taste.”

Nehama looked up. “Well, you’re right there,” she said. To Deryn’s annoyance, she didn’t seem to register it as a compliment or flirtation, but rather as simple fact. “Tell Simon that his girlfriend is straight and he drove her away all by himself. Of course, I’m not saying I didn’t help.” A rather ferocious grin cut across her face. “In the form of advice,” she added, in response to Deryn’s raised eyebrow.

Deryn nodded slowly. Well, she had not denied the first one. “My roommate tried to tell me all about how you stole her microwave platter when she lived with you,” she said, a smile beginning to crack through her expressionless face. “I remain unsure what she was going on about.”

Nehama threw her head back in a sharp laugh. Deryn couldn’t help but laugh along with her. “She was a–” she paused, lost for words. “Strange. She was strange.” She looked down, almost seeming pensive. “Why are you telling me this?” she asked, her voice casual.

Deryn looked down. “I like to get a good idea of who I’m dealing with,” she said happily.

Nehama crossed her hands behind her head. “And do you have a good idea?” she asked. It was a challenge, but it was a playful challenge.

Deryn looked up at the ceiling, thinking for a minute, and then nodded. “An idiot,” she said. Nehama’s face slowly settled into a scowl. “I like stupid people,” Deryn protested. “Let’s get a coffee together sometime.”

Nehama leaned back slightly, opening her mouth and closing it again. “You mean—” she said finally. She didn’t respond for a moment.

“Yeah,” Deryn said. She crossed her arms. “You aren’t so bad. People are ridiculous. And I think you’re cute.”

“It’s not the weirdest way someone’s asked me out,” Nehama said, a reluctant smile tugging at the corners of her lips. “So sure.”

They shared a mutual, evil smile and returned to their respective tasks.

  • prompt: “so i totally didn’t spend that entire lecture doodling/on my phone and i had no clue what i was being taught pls help”
  • I literally love this one so much
  • The images are a little blurry but I give up, WordPress has defeated me

“Uh.” Gyeong-Suk coughed awkwardly.

“Go away,” Ha-Yun said. They sat on the floor in their apartment that smelled of mold. Ha-Yun’s brown hair was twisted up in a high bun, and she wore an over-sized sweater that she had sewn herself—a dusty pink sweater that she had copied from a 300 dollar one in a magazine.

Gyeong-Suk sat in the center of  a notebook circle, looking like she had been summoned from hell in a strange ritual. “Please,” she said. “The lecture was so boring. I couldn’t listen to it. It melted my ears.”

Ha-Yun rolled her eyes. “You were on your phone.”

“Eonni,” Gyeong-Suk said. “You’re so smart. Please let me read your notes.”

Ha-Yun hesitated and slid her the phone with her lecture notes. “I love you. You idiot.”

“Thanks so much,” she said. The full sentence finally hit her. “Oh.” She coughed. “I love you too,” she replied, blushing.

Ha-Yun bit back a sarcastic reply and a smile.

  • prompt: “it’s 3am and the library is pretty empty but you’re sat there stressing at your laptop, so i brought you a coffee and a bag of chips from the vending machine”
  • Are any libraries open after 3 am???
  • This was the first one where things just really clicked for me, which you can tell since it’s about 300 words longer than the other ones
  • I named a lot of these characters by randomly picking names from Nameberry

Kathleen bit her lip, deeply focused on whatever-it-was on her computer. Probably something for her organic chemistry class. She’d been ranting about that class the most lately.

Mahaila leaned her head into her hand, watching her. She could study Kathleen’s hands for hours. They were long and delicate and spidery, hands that belonged to a pianist or a craftsman. Kathleen’s skin was deep brown, and her eyes were large and expressive. She was the most beautiful girl Mahaila had ever seen, except for herself, of course.

She coughed slightly, but Kathleen didn’t so much as glance at her.

Mahaila was, in general, widely considered to be charming, both in platonic and romantic contexts. Sometimes, in fact, she could be a little too charming and create trouble for herself. It was a trait that had gotten her places, though, and she wouldn’t have traded it for the world—but she would have traded it for Kathleen. She didn’t think Kathleen had ever looked at her as anyone more than someone to study with.

She didn’t think Kathleen looked at most people as much more than someone to study with, but that didn’t take away the sting.

She sighed and shook her head, looking at her. No one else was in the library. It was now three in the morning, the windows pitch-black outside, and no one else was desperate enough for a grade or a friend to be here.

“You should sleep,” Mahaila said finally. “You’ll get better grades if you sleep.” She sent Kathleen a teasing smile that was lost on her, for Kathleen did not once look up from her notebook.

“You can if you want,” she said. Her voice was hoarse. She hesitated, her hand held in suspension above the page. “It’s not like I’ll be able to sleep anyway.” The statement was a raw admission of guilt, and Mahaila couldn’t for the life of her figure out what she’d just wandered into.

 “I think you can talk to doctors about that,” Mahaila ventured—

“Don’t have enough money.” There was no sound for a moment but the clatter of the keyboard.

“Oh,” Mahaila muttered. She stood up and stretched. Well, at least she could do something for the poor fool. She wandered outside to the library entrance and got a coffee from the vending machine. She came back and placed it next to Kathleen’s keyboard.

Their hands brushed. Mahaila froze. Kathleen jerked back, too. Mahaila wasn’t sure if that was a good sign or a bad one.

She decided to pretend it hadn’t happened, and Kathleen seemed determined to do that, as well. “What are you majoring in?” she asked.

“Astrophysics. You?”

Mahaila looked down to hide a smile. “Nothing half so difficult,” she said. “Although it is hard, I guess. Literature.”

They didn’t speak for the rest of the night, but it was enough. It turned into a ritual for them, over the next week. They stayed up late at the library. Mahaila brought Kathleen a coffee when she started to look too tired or frustrated. Mahaila pulled one small conversation from Kathleen each time. Kathleen liked foxes. Kathleen could spend hours staring at the stars. Kathleen could be a bit spiteful. Kathleen was wonderful.

“My chemistry project’s almost done,” Kathleen said carefully one morning, taking a sip from her coffee.

Mahaila glanced up, her gaze guarded. “Oh, really?” she asked. She attempted a smile. “Congratulations.”

Kathleen nodded and thumbed through her notes. The morning sun streamed through the window. “So I guess I won’t be coming here as often,” she muttered. Mahaila fancied she sounded disappointed.

“I guess not,” Mahaila said, subdued.

Kathleen stared intently at the floor. Her eyes had never been as expressive as they were now. She looked flooded, overwhelmed. “I don’t want to finish my project,” she said finally.

Mahaila chuckled to herself. “Weirdo,” she teased, shaking her head.

“No, that’s not true,” Kathleen said. A frown creased her forehead. “I want to finish my project. I don’t want to stop spending time with you.”

Mahaila’s breath caught. She looked up and stared. Had they finally become…friends?

“I never thought I’d feel this way for anyone. There hasn’t ever been anyone I wanted to spend this much time with.”

Mahaila flicked her eyes upward and prayed for patience.

“I want to spend…a lot of time with you,” Kathleen said, her voice as raw as when she confessed that she could not sleep. “Mahaila, do you want…do you want to get a coffee together after class?”

Mahaila took a moment to gather herself together. “Are you…asking me out?” she said, before she could think better of it. Of all possible outcomes, she hadn’t expected this.

“I guess,” Kathleen said, her voice suddenly watery. “I’m asexual. That doesn’t matter, does it?” She stared up at her. Mahaila couldn’t help but feel her soul was being dissected.

“Of course not, of course not.” She waved her hands. “I’d like to get a coffee together.”

They stared at each other for a moment, both of them fragile and unsteady. They sat down. But now Mahaila sat next to her, and they did not flinch away from each other when their hands touched.

  • prompt: “you came over to hang out but i fell asleep while you were playing video games and two hours later you’re still here”
  • personally, i think this story is pretty cute

Bahira woke up with a start and rubbed her eyes. “Dreamed I failed all my college coursework,” she muttered. She took a moment to orient herself. She was on the couch. The leak on the ceiling was still dripping into a bucket—an old emergency, already taken care of. Clanging came from the general direction of the kitchen. That was new. She should probably check that out. She sat up.

Someone was humming loudly and offkey. If someone had broken into her house yet again, Bahira was going to commit crimes. She grabbed a broom from beside the door and slammed the door open. The person in her kitchen dropped a pot lid with a yelp.

“Oh, it’s you.” Bahira’s shoulders slumped in relief. “You haven’t left yet?”

Finian shrugged. “Did you want me to?” She stirred the pot, which currently contained unidentifiable brown stuff. It didn’t smell too good.

Finian was a fat girl, with apricot-colored short hair and fair skin. She was beautiful, a god in a dingy apartment with a flickering lightbulb. Bahira’s lips quirked.

“Of course I want you to stay,” Bahira said with a yawn. “But I thought you would have gotten bored and gone home. I’ve been asleep for a while.” She checked her watch. “Two hours.”

“I got kind of caught up in the video game,” Finian admitted. “I wanted to make you dinner before I left. Sometimes you forget.”

Bahira nodded. That was true. She was not, however, looking forward to Finian’s cooking. “I’m sure your dinner will be wonderful,” she said.

“Mm-hm.”

Bahira leaned back in her chair, staring at the dying lightbulb until she had spots in her vision. She hated to bring things up and disturb the peace. She hated to let things stay as they are and rot.

“You like me, don’t you?”

Finian’s hand slipped on her spoon. She cursed, nearly dropping it. “Of course I like you,” she said comfortingly.

“I mean like like,” she said. Oh, she might as well say it. She didn’t move a muscle. “Love.”

“Uh—” Finian was starting to sound more and more panicked, and Bahira cursed herself for bringing it up. “Yeah. Yeah, I guess I do.”

Bahira blinked several times. She told herself it was to get the spots out of her vision. “I—I like you too,” she said, her voice quiet. “I guess.”

“I mean, we always knew, right?” Finian asked. She started to spoon the glop into a bowl. She paused, looking at the floor. “Let’s start seeing each other,” she said in a rush. “Make it official or something.”

“That sounds like a good idea to me too.” Bahira reminded herself to breathe.

She’d eat Finian’s cooking every day of her life if it meant that Finian would be there every day of her life. She’d give anything for her.

Finian cracked a smile. “That—That’s wonderful.”

  • prompt: “wow my lecture sucked ass, i’m stressed asf and here we are at the on campus bar at 11:59am waiting to buy a drink because it’s been that kind of a day already”
  • haha i accidentally put in a lot of my feelings about college and dysphoria and made this way too personal oops haha
  • I’m lowkey regretting my decision to mostly not edit these

Cole slumped onto the seat beside Abigail, downing her margarita before saying anything. The bar was dead quiet aside from the occasional clink of a glass from the employees. The lighting was dim. Cole nestled into a corner. It was a perfect place to hide.

“Bad day, huh?” Abigail asked with a quirk of her lips.

Cole grimaced. Everything felt uncomfortable. Her name, her clothes, people’s perception of her. “Kinda,” she said. She shook her drink around, enjoying how the ice clinked together. “Nothing makes sense.”

“Nothing ever makes sense,” Abigail said comfortingly. She chewed on her lip, considering her. “This is probably a bad time to bring up…what I wanted to, then.” She coughed.

Abigail showing any sort of foresight was rare, so Cole made sure to thank her. They sat still in silence that grew heavier the longer it went on.

“Look—” They finally both said.

“You can go first,” Cole said.

Abigail waved her hand at her in a motion to continue. Cole sighed and rubbed her forehead. She didn’t really want to explain…anything.

“I don’t feel like a guy,” she muttered. “I don’t get it. I’ve started referring to myself as a girl just because it makes me feel better. My teachers suck. I’ve been barely able to stay on top of my homework and now more is just piling up. I literally hate it and I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to graduate.” She took a deep breath. “Sorry. What were you going to say?”

Abigail opened her mouth, changed her mind, and took a long sip of her beer. “That’s a lot. So you’re trans?”

Cole had never really thought of herself that way. “Yeah, I guess.” She shifted, stretching out her legs. There was a squirming sensation in her stomach. “This is like when I found out I was asexual because I accidentally clicked a Wikipedia link,” she muttered. “Except more painful.”

“How come you wouldn’t be able to graduate?” Abigail sank into her seat and leaned forward, looking like she was resisting temptation to grab Cole and physically shake answers from her.

“Well, I don’t…” Cole scratched her ear. “I don’t know,” she admitted.

Abigail nodded, hanging onto her every word.

“I guess I kind of exaggerated that part to myself,” Cole said, coughing.

“Do you still like the name Cole?” she asked.

“Uh…” Cole hated having to make snap decisions. “I guess,” she said. “I might change it later, but…” She shrugged. “It’s fine.”

Abigail patted her hand. “If you have problems with your homework, I can help,” she said. “I’m not as busy this semester.”

Soft jazz music came on the radio.

“Thanks,” Cole muttered. “So what were you going to tell me?”

A pink flush spread over Abigail’s cheeks. “Well, uh…” She coughed loudly. “It’s fine, I can tell you later.”

Cole tilted her head almost imperceptibly.

“Well, I was going to ask you out,” she admitted. “I always pick the worst timing on these things. One time I asked a guy out and it turned out his dog had died that morning. It was the worst experience of my life.”

Cole almost cracked a smile. “If you’re interested in girls, I’ll accept,” she said.

Abigail laughed. “Honey, I’m bi as—” She coughed. She’d said a little while back that she’d been trying to cut back on swearing, but she rarely followed through on those kinds of things. “AF,” she said instead. There was room for all things to change.

Cole gave her a fistbump. “I like having a girlfriend,” she said, with a smile. “Thanks for helping me get things worked out.”

“I like having a girlfriend too,” Abigail said, with an absolutely devoted smile. “You’re welcome.”

Hopefully this wasn’t too terrible! I don’t really mind showing my practice stuff, though

My sister refused to read through my stories before I posted them, so I’m cyberbullying her now. [Edit: I meant to edit this sentence out, I–oops]

4 thoughts on “Of Notebooks and Love Letters–a whole COLLECTION of flash fiction (warning: it’s very long)

  1. The description of the handwriting in the first story is too good XD Also I love to picture someone walking into a class with nothing but a giant stack of post-its to take notes on 🙂 “No one else was desperate enough for a grade or a friend” ahhhhhh, there’s so much meaning in that casual sentence. “If someone had broken into her house yet again, Bahira was going to commit crimes” I love this XD
    Ok, but “I am in uni and it’s terrible” was practically the cry of my soul until I graduated in May. Existential crises every other day. Ugh. Sending you all the positive vibes!!

    Liked by 1 person

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