Peering into . . .

the inner workings of Alison Miller Woods

Wednesday Words: You Came Back September 12, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alison @ 1:53 pm
Tags: , ,

Another flash fiction! This time based on the prompt: You came back.


Photo by Sidney Pearce on Unsplash

I took steady, calming breaths while my jeep bounced and lurched up the dirt road, massive trees blurring past. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to see the wreckage of the cabin. But I was the only one in state and it had been over a week since dad’s funeral.

Still hard.

When I neared the clearing, I slowed. I wasn’t sure how much debris would be on the road from the explosion and I didn’t want to add a flat tire to this already horrible job.

The fire would have destroyed most of the stuff, but I just needed to come back—to see everything one last time. To make sure I didn’t miss anything. Closure.

I parked and stared at the remnants of the building. So many family memories, so many summers were tied to this remote place.

The remainder of the front porch still held my weight and the smell of fire still lingered in the air. But I froze when I looked inside.

A man. Crouched down near the remnants of the couch, searching for something. He stood, and I knew why his movements felt familiar.

“Daddy?” My voice quavered as my world shattered around me again.

He turned slowly. “You came back.”

“We thought you were dead.” My head spun.

“I needed everyone to think that.”


Come find others’ stories on Wednesday Words – or add your own in the comments. Come play! 🙂


Wednesday Words: She Had Been Warned September 5, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alison @ 8:19 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Flash fiction using the prompt: “She had been warned…”


Photo by Angelika Spanke on Unsplash



Katie watched carefully. In front of her, the Gate was a swirling riot of color. Moments ago, the stone archway had stood empty and silent, but now a visitor was arriving. As Gatekeeper, Katie’s job was to determine if the interdimensional travelers intended harm to earth. If so, she wouldn’t allow them in.

A tall figure appeared in the opening and stepped out into Katie’s basement. Its skin seemed to have the texture of a sea creature, but smooth—like a whale—not scaled. It wore a breathing apparatus–that appeared to be filled with a liquid–over its mouth and nose.

The creature’s feelings and intent washed over Katie like a freight train, forcing her to stagger back a step. She had been warned that her ability to sense the visitors’ intentions would be amplified when she took over as Gatekeeper. However, it hadn’t been this strong before: nervousness, excitement, and an academic curiosity.

The visitor nodded slightly at Katie and, with a wave of its hand, glowing symbols appeared in the air.

“I can interpret if you give me time, but is it possible you speak English?” Katie was moving to grab the large logbook off the desk as she spoke.

“Of course.” The glowing shifted into a legible handwriting. “Can you tell me if I have arrived on Earth?”


You can come see others’ take on the prompt at Wednesday Words, or leave your own #flashfiction in the comments.




Wednesday Words: “She awoke with a start but didn’t know why.” August 29, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alison @ 8:00 am
Tags: , , ,

Photo by Michael on Unsplash

Alinta splashed some water on her face and then peeled off her filthy clothes. She threw on a t-shirt and after a quick brush of her teeth she collapsed into her cot. Her leaden feet throbbed and she stretched her back cautiously. Even though Conner had helped her move the equipment, it had been an exhausting and frustrating day. They weren’t able to find any other clues as to who might have killed the student, but the obvious evidence pointed to one of their cryptids.

But was the evidence too obvious?

The nighttime sounds of the Australian bush lulled her to sleep despite her worries.  A few hours later she woke with a start, but didn’t know why.

Was there an extra sound?  No.

The night was silent.  Alinta froze in her cot, forcing her breathing to stay steady.

Not normal. Ever.

There was someone. . . or something outside.


 If you would like to see others’ take on this prompt- check it out at Wednesday Words.


Or if you want to give it a go, you can put your own flash fiction in the comments!




Wednesday Words: She Dripped Water Everywhere August 22, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alison @ 1:14 pm
Tags: , , ,

Flash Fiction using the prompt: She dripped water everywhere.


Photo by Eutah Mizushima on Unsplash

Alinta crept through the abandoned house and silently cursed the cloudburst outside.
She dripped water everywhere. And while the rain may have forced her quarry into the shelter, it was sure to hear the drips and know she was coming.
Maybe she would get lucky.
Maybe this house had enough holes in the roof that her dripping noise would blend in with the rest.
The large net felt heavy in her left hand, but she didn’t dare put away her taser to shift the weight. Her target wasn’t deadly, but there were plenty of other things out here that could be.
She rounded the corner and there it was: all six inches of rage-filled frost fairy. It hissed at her.
“Now, calm down.” Alinta tucked the taser back into her belt and held her hand up to the creature. “I’m really trying to help. You need to get somewhere cool before you melt.” She took a step forward.
The little beast leaped at her, claws out. Luckily, she’d had lots of practice throwing the net up in front of her face.
“Sheesh. That would have hurt. Just once I wish someone would come along peacefully.”

If you would like to see other’s take on the prompt, come find it on Wednesday Words.

Or put your own take in the comments! Happy Writing/Reading!


I Draw a Squiggly Line: A Year Later August 29, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alison @ 9:39 pm
Tags: , , , ,


When I was young, my family used to play a lot of card games. And, as it often goes, those game nights wouldn’t work out the same for everyone playing. Sometimes there would be a winning streak for one person, or a losing streak for another (i.e. my mom always winning).

Thus started the family tradition of a squiggly line.

If you were continually losing, you took the score card and drew a squiggly line on it. That meant that everything would change for you and – no more losing streak!


Last August (2016) I was tired of not getting everything I wanted to accomplished. I had no mental energy to do anything beyond work and family. And I wasn’t doing that very well either. So I decided to start a bullet journal because it seemed like a system that would work well for me. It started out well. I had August all written out (and September because I was that on the ball). I had things like Back to School Night on the 22nd. Kids start school on the 23rd. I started one semester of work on the 24th and the other job started on the 29th. Then…

August 21st I added in: E.R.

August 22nd I wrote in: surgery.

And August 26th: Home from the Hospital.

September has same-day surgery to place my port catheter. And the start of Chemotherapy.

My bullet journal fizzled out after that point.

I would like to go back and write about it all (at a future point) because I couldn’t write during the experience. I don’t mean to say ‘couldn’t’ like it was so horrible I couldn’t bear to write. I just didn’t write about it. I didn’t get all the reading done that I thought I would either. When I wasn’t actively running my kids around or working I was more or less vegging out or sleeping.

I am extremely grateful for blessings, miracles, amazing family and neighbors, and modern medical science. I know that my case didn’t go like many others and I’m not sure why. I am grateful for another shot at all of this. I’m grateful to be here to hear my baby’s latest goofy phrases, send my oldest off to college, and every other kids’ step in between.

There are residual effects from the chemotherapy. It has taken a long time to feel close to being myself again. And so now, I draw that squiggly line and say that the past does not define me or where I am going now. I am changing how things are going. I may try that bullet journal again (where I actually drew the squiggly line in the photo) but I am taking back control of my schedule and my goals.

If  I were a tattoo person, I think I would like to get two of them. A semicolon and a squiggly line.


The Precipice September 27, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alison @ 11:59 pm
Tags: , , , ,





I am standing at the precipice.

Toes curled over the edge, contemplating.

Just a few short feet below the edge floats a swirling bank of clouds. Blocking the way down. Is it a short drop into a safe pool of water? Is it a horrifying plummet with jagged rocks below?

I don’t know. Because I can’t see.

Tomorrow I begin chemotherapy for colon cancer.

What hides in the Stygian unknown? I have no frame of reference for what will happen. I understand the process that will occur tomorrow. But how will it effect me?

I hear stories of the ‘short drop’ variety and others of the ‘screaming and flailing’ flavor. What will be my experience?

I obviously won’t find the answers to these questions until I jump. It’s like life, I think. Sometimes the anticipation–the ‘not knowing’–is worse than the reality.

And if we want to fly, we always have to jump.

I choose flight.

My cancer story started last month and a lot of what I have been struggling with before that discovery makes more sense now. I haven’t been actively writing for a long time. The exhaustion went to the bone. It felt like my very soul was worn out.  So while I haven’t been able to work on the stories I love lately, it looks like I will have a bit more practice in the realm of creative non-fiction.  🙂


WonHundred Word Wednesday: He looked at his phone, turned pale, than quickly left the room. June 17, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alison @ 12:10 am
Tags: , ,

June 17 2015

Today’s prompt is: He looked at his phone, turned pale, than quickly left the room. Here is my take on the 100 word story based on that. 

            The party was running full swing. The bass notes from the music thumped through the whole house.  Melanie glanced at her watch. Still hours until her parents would be home. No worries yet.

            This party would cement her place as head cheerleader. It had too.

            “Hadn’t you guys heard?”

            Melanie brought her attention back to her friend.

            “They said he got a strange text. A picture. The next day he disappeared.”

            “I don’t believe it.” Melanie scoffed.

            Ben’s phone signaled a message. He looked at his phone, turned pale, than quickly left the room.

            Every phone in the room rang.

Now you can check out the other authors’ stories based on the same prompt! Enjoy 🙂 

Miranda D. Nelson

Jenna Eatough

Kaye P. Clark:

Jenifer Lee:


%d bloggers like this: