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Flash Fiction- Forgotten Dreams

Updated on May 19, 2016
always exploring profile image

I am a writer of poetry and fiction. I especially love flash fiction. My name is Ruby, and I live in Southern Illinois. I am a retired R.N.

Thinking back, " She remembers vividly the first day she'd found this dirty haven of rest.

Nellie sat down on an old mattress someone had tossed haphazardly in the alley of forgotten dreams. She felt comfortable here, away from prying eyes and pointing fingers.

Thinking back, " She remembers vividly the first day she'd found this dirty haven of rest. "

She'd tried desperately to find a publisher who would like her poetry and stories enough to at least read them. Instead, she was told over and over again, " Writers and poets are a dime a dozen. "

She was standing in front of a restaurant with a wishful look on her face when a middle age man approached her asking, " Are you hungry? " That was the beginning of her downward spiral into prostitution that has lasted twenty years.

Her day's of attracting men were slowly waning. Her beauty fading, her step somewhat slower as she paced her ' spot ' beneath the downtown Chicago lights.

On a good night, she might make a contact with two men, enough to buy food and split half with her pimp who kept a room for her in the red-light district.

This past week, not even one trick, plus her pimp told her, " No money means no more paid room, you're on your own. "

Nellie was not feeling well. She'd developed a nasty cough and a high fever.

She often thought about going back home, but her folks were long gone. Nothing left but the old farm house that was slowly rotting away. A roof that leaked, the white paint that once shined brightly was now faded and peeling. The front porch cracked with missing boards. Her Mother's old rocking chair broken just like the windows where she used to sit and write poetry and stories by candlelight.

The old discarded mattress felt especially good on this cold, damp night.

She stretched out to rest, offering a prayer for forgiveness as her eye's closed, never to dream again.

Old Wild Billy raised up from his cardboard bed to take another swig of wine. He rubbed his eye's repeatedly and yelled, " I see an angel carrying Nellie to heaven. "

All the misfits in the alley roared with laughter, saying, " Take another swig Billy, you're seeing visions again. "


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    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 16 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I agree Shauna. Sometimes life is just not fair. I thought of her having a good heart and going to a place where she could write poetry and be happy. Thank you for always finding time to read my stories...

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 16 months ago from Central Florida

      So sad that Nellie never lived to see her dreams fulfilled. Even sadder that she was forced into a life of prostitution and died alone.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 16 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello hazeltos, nice to see you. Glad you enjoyed. Thank you...

    • hazeltos profile image

      Susan Hazelton 16 months ago from Summerfield, Florida

      How touching and how sad. well written with a strong story line. I love it.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 16 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Manatita, I missed your poetry. Happy you're back. Thank you. Glad you were touched.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 16 months ago from london

      Another great one, Ruby. Touching! Some blues to go with it, too.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 16 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Thanks again Cam. I will read the information so I will completely understand the challenge.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 16 months ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Excellent Ruby. We will be able to help each other by being beta readers when we write our stories. Read all the information well so you understand the extent of the whole challenge. It is a great experience.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 16 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Cam, I'm thrilled that you liked my FF. I love writing this type of genre. I have always had a soft-spot for women who end up in this life-style. Thank you for the 2016 NYC info. I went to the site and signed up.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 16 months ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Ruby, You have shown us so well that people everywhere need hope, not judgement. This is a story that brings the life of this young woman sharply into focus. Well written, entertaining and motivating.

      Ruby, I want to invite you to look at the information about the 2016 NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge. It is coming up on July 22 and the deadline for registering is June 21. The forums of this competition are where I learned to write flash fiction. It might be something you enjoy. http://www.nycmidnight.com/Competitions/FFC/Challe...

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Eric. Yes, we all should be thankful that we were never put in that environment. Some people have the worst luck, no matter how hard they try. Thanks for coming by...

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 17 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      A needed reminder for me to be grateful for my good fortunes. Poor Nellies.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hi Mar, I'm so happy that this fiction touched your heart. I have never considered having a collection of my FF. Really I don't think I would be interested in selling a book. I guess I'm thinking of all the work that is involved. Thanks for thinking about it though. Hugs..

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Dana, so nice to see you. Happy you enjoyed my story. God forgives all, no matter how far down they've traveled. Thank you so much for coming by....

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hi Audrey, I'm so glad you're addicted to my flash fiction, smiling!! Thank you so much, and thanks for sharing.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 17 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Ruby,

      Your stories touch my heart and this one is no exception.

      Have you ever considered a collection of your flash fictions? Love, mar

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 17 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      Beautiful and tragic at the same time. How many "Nellie's" out there started out searching for fame and promise and got lured into prostitution to survive. I loved the part about an angle carrying her to heaven. Now Nellie will never suffer again.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 17 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      Hi Ruby

      I,m becoming addicted to your flash fiction...you have a definite talent for this genre! I had an aunt named Nellie and I loved her so. Looking forward to your next master piece. Sharing everywhere.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello DDE, your comments are always so complimentary. Thank you so much...

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 17 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Awesome! I like how you changed your style in writing this hub. Great improvement and with perfection!

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mike, compliments coming from you are so special. I'm thinking of a time 6 years ago when I was so ready to quit and your encouragement kept me trying. Thank you so much for being who you are and my friend....Hugs.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Oh Genna, I'm the worst when it comes to knowing the ins and outs of what HP does. If they hadn't emailed me, and if I'd seen my hubs on another site, I would've thought someone stole them. lol. I'm so glad some of your hubs are being recognized. You write beautiful hubs. Thank you so much. Hugs..

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hi tsmog, thank you for telling me you felt the pain and emotions of old Wild Billy, perhaps he was allowed to see the angel to help him in some way. Thank you for the well done comment....

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Ven, when I write something that brings tears to the reader, I know they have a forgiving heart. I believe many choose the wrong path, but God is a forgiving God, and we all have an angel that will take us to heaven when our time here is finished. God bless you and thank you...

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Theresa. My, your complimentary comment makes me smile BIG time. I'm so glad you like my flash fiction. I used to think poetry was my favorite, but FF has taken over my muse. Thank you so much...

      God's blessings...

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 17 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Ruby. You are getting the recognition that you deserve. Your writing gets better, your stories pulls us deeper, your heart shines. The storyline here had a heart wrenching theme. So, glad Nellie was carried by an angel.

      Congratulations on Letterpile.com.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 17 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Congratulations, Ruby, on Letterpile.com! Hugs, my friend...I couldn't be more pleased...this is recognition you deserve. :-) I don't know how these niche sites work. I was under the impression that newly written hub articles or stories were added. But I've noticed that two of my older hubs are getting hits almost every day, and I haven't a clue as to why: The Breaking Bad Finale review and The Forgotten Roads of Ancient Rome. I thought it might be because they got pulled into one of these sites, but I'm not sure. I'm such a nincompoop in knowing how all of this works, and will will have to get up to speed. Have a great weekend. :-)

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 17 months ago from Escondido, CA

      I could feel the pain! Well done! I felt the emotion of Old Wild Billy and his words . . .

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Nell. That's the main problem with flash fiction, in order to make it short some of the details are left out. Her life on the farm would have been interesting to write about. As always, thank you so much...

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hi hari, I love your poetry. Thank you for coming by. Cheers.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 17 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      It is presented in such an appealing manner. The plight of Nellie was so much painful bringing tears. Much relieved to know that she was carried away by an angel to God's abode. The story shows how great you are in writing flash fictions! Thanks for it.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 17 months ago from southern USA

      Ruby,

      This is a phenomenal flash fiction with just the right amount of what makes it a perfect flash fiction story. This one certainly touches on all the emotions with this sad tale of forgotten dreams.

      The ending is perfection too. You have certainly found your gift in these flashes.

      Superb writing! You and Frank are the best I've read at writing flash fiction. I love your poetry too.

      I hope your weekend is peaceful.

      Blessings

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Linda, so happy you enjoyed my story. Thank you so much...

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Shyron, your poem is lovely, thank you. I am always happy to see you because I know you will leave a meaningful comment. I miss DRBJ, she always left me a poem.....Hugs and blessings my friend...

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hi Clive, I know it is a way of life for some unfortunate women, and I feel for them. I firmly believe that poverty is the leading cause. Thanks for coming by...

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 17 months ago from England

      I could have carried on reading this Ruby, what a great little story! I really wanted to know Nellie just that little bit more, wonderful!

    • shprd74 profile image

      Hari Prasad S 17 months ago from Bangalore

      When excruciating is pain,

      Nothing left to rain,

      Then there is a relief, a sign,

      Of heaven in hell.

      And a great tale to tell.

      Very beautiful flash fiction. Ruby. :-)

      - hari

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 17 months ago from Minnesota

      This gave me goosebumps. Love that this woman with the hard life of prostitution was taken by an angel. So touching, beautiful and hopeful.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 17 months ago from Texas

      Ruby, Ruby my gem of a friend

      You keep me engrossed right to the end

      When Nellie's angel came round the bend

      And raised her up with the evening mist they would blend

      *

      *

      This is great.

      Blessings and hugs my dear friend.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 17 months ago from Nibiru

      sad truth many of us live

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Bill. I've never known a prostitute but I have always felt for them. I know what people say about them, but I try to think what happened to them to make them choose that kind of life. Thanks for the powerful comment....

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Genna and thank you so much! I received an email from HubPages yesterday that two of my flash fiction were sent to a new site that's in HP new network. I was thrilled! The two hubs were, The Watering Hole and Somewhere Out There. This was totally new for me. I didn't know they did that. The name of the site is LETTERPILE. com. I haven't gone to that site yet. HP also said that only exceptional hubs were sent. That blew me away! Maybe you will want to check it out? Thanks again my friend. Hugs...

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I've known a few Nellies in my time. Tragic lives...tragic times....thank you for writing about her. Powerful stuff, Ruby!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 17 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I wonder how many Nellie's are out there, or have been there, on our streets of lost dreams and humanity's shame. This story brought tears. I agree with Frank. You just get better and better. I think flash fiction is where you live, Ruby...you are a natural. I've always found this style difficult to write, so I am in awe of writers like you and Frank. Kudos, dear friend.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Thank you Frank. It means a lot to have you like my flash fiction. You were a great teacher. And, I must admit this is becoming my favorite genre.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 17 months ago from Shelton

      wow your flashes are becoming better and better with every print.. I loved the story line.. always amazing