Guest Blogger: Kate Loveton (Vocal Dissonance)

Get ready to enjoy a really great story. I’m not kidding or exaggerating. The flash fiction you’re about to read is freakin’ awesome. When I finished it, I felt like I’d gotten away with something because it seemed like I should have paid to read it. Yep, it’s that good.

Vocal Dissonance by Kate Loveton 

I’m a pilot.

After being married to Kurt for ten years, I’d learned to fly carefully. Every day was a journey into the unknown, flying by the seat of my pants, navigating unexpected turbulence. I’d become a master at keeping my mouth shut, at doing ‘the necessary.’

I met Kurt when I was seventeen. Papa had ruled our unhappy house with an iron fist. By the time Kurt noticed me, my brothers had all run away; I was the only one left at home with that mean old man.

Kurt was supposed to be my salvation. Like me, he was a church-goer. Almost forty, clean-shaven and neat, he seemed sweet, calling me ‘Miss Adele,’ holding doors open for me. Treated me like a princess, he did; that meant a lot. I wasn’t used to kind words and caresses. I took that man at face value. If I’d thought harder about things, I might have wondered why a man of almost forty wasn’t already married, especially a good looking one with a fine job – and why that man might be sniffing around a plain Jane like me.

After my experience with meanness, I should have known to fly above trouble, but hope can make a girl do stupid things.

Life was good at first. But one day, while Kurt was working, someone knocked at my door. Standing on the front porch was a thin woman with limp brown hair gathered loosely in a bun. She kept looking behind her. Her manner reminded me of one of them little rabbits Papa used to catch in his traps, desperate and wanting to bolt.

She got to the point. “He home?”

Her name was Sal; said she was Kurt’s ex.

Once I let her inside, the story came out. Told me she’d run off and left Kurt when she couldn’t take the beatings no more.

“You think he’s nice, don’t you? You won’t feel that way long. Soon as you do something he don’t like, he’s gonna use you as a whipping toy. Oh, he’ll apologize, tell you he loves you, act sad like you drove him to it. He’ll tell you he loves you while he’s beating the crap out of you. But them words don’t match his behavior. Actions speak louder than words.”

Guess she saw I didn’t believe her because she took a photo from her purse and shoved it at me. “Here, take a look at this. I dare you to look at that picture.”

I wanted her to leave. I didn’t want to hear her lies about Kurt.

She shook her head and frowned. “Are you afraid? Look, I don’t like being here, knowing he might come home any minute. I’m doing you a favor. I wish someone had warned me before I spent all them years as his punching bag. Go on, look! Uncertainty is worse!”

I looked then. My hands started shaking at the sight of a woman with a split lip and blackened eyes.

“That’s me after Kurt took exception to my not dusting behind one of the photographs sitting on our bureau. Nearly killed me that time. He likes things perfect.”

Maybe I didn’t want to believe her. I’d wanted out of Papa’s house so bad, I’d have probably gone off with anyone. I don’t know anymore; all I know is that I asked that good woman to leave. She’d come to do me a good turn, one I was too stupid to appreciate.

Sal looked sad. “You don’t get it, do you? You think it’ll be different for you. Well, it won’t. Men like Kurt never change. You and me, we oughta be sisters in arms. I’m sorry for you, but I guess you’ll just have to learn the hard way.”

She was right.

Three months into the marriage, Kurt started getting ugly with me. What Sal had said about his words being at odds with his behavior was the God’s truth. Always after me for little things: his shirts weren’t ironed the way he liked them; putting the canned goods away without alphabetizing them according to vegetable; towels hanging slightly crooked in the bathroom. Once I’d forgotten to make a little downward triangle of the toilet tissue hanging from the roll.

These were the kind of things that could down a pilot. So I learned to anticipate things, to look ahead for dangerous currents. I tried for perfection. Ten years, I tried to fly right.

But humans ain’t built for perfection; even the best fighter pilot sometimes gets shot down.

“I love you, baby. (slap) Why don’t you listen? (smack) Why do I have to discipline you? (punch) I work hard all day (shove) You know I love you, baby… why do you make me hurt you?” (punch)

Yes, he loved me more than life. If I was hurting, it was my own fault. I drove him to it.

He almost convinced me during those ten years – in spite of emergency room visits, or wearing sunglasses to hide bruised eyes, or long-sleeved shirts in summer to disguise arms covered with welts.

“I love you, baby.”


But punches spoke louder than words.


Kurt prized his collection of handguns. He was real particular about them, taking them out every couple of weeks, oiling them, unloading and reloading them.

He never once used them, just cleaned them all the time. I was thinking about that when the phone rang and Kurt got up to answer it.

Guess he never expected a quiet flyer like me to take it into her head to touch his guns.

This time, though, the pilot decided to change course. It was time to land the damn plane and finally put an end to those flights. After ten years, I’d run out of gas.

I couldn’t take it no more.

Kurt finished his call and came back into the room. There was a surprise waiting for him.

“I love you, baby,” I said.


My flying days were over.


Kate Loveton spins tales on her blog Odyssey of a Novice WriterBio: Aspiring novelist. Avid reader of fiction. Reviewer of books. By day, my undercover identity is that of meek, mild-mannered legal assistant, Kate Loveton, working in the confines of a stuffy corporate law office; by night, however, I’m a super hero: Kate Loveton, Aspiring Novelist and Spinner of Tales. My favorite words are ‘Once upon a time… ‘ Won’t you join me on my journey as I attempt to turn a hobby into something more?

Faith Simone says:

See? What’d I tell you?! Freakin’ awesome. Flash fiction is so much harder than it seems. It takes a special talent to pack so much emotion into a few words. I especially appreciate the tone of the narrator. Without spelling it out to us, we know that the narrator is poor, young, probably lacking formal education and lives somewhere rural just by the way she tells the story. Do yourself a favor and make sure to visit Kate Loveton’s blog for more amazing content!

What did you think of Kate’s story? Have you ever written about a heavy subject like domestic violence? Have you ever attempted to write flash fiction?



Flash Fiction Friday: “A Kiss on the Hand”


There is something significantly intimate about a kiss on the hand. It is a gesture that is either completely humble and without guile or a show meant to seem as such.  A sincere kiss on the hand should speak directly to the heart of the receiver. But, as with most matters of the heart, it is usually not until well after the occurrence that the intent of the giver is known and understood.

Ok, so I’m feeling a little Jane Austen about this little piece of flash. Yep, I just compared myself to a literary giant. Don’t agree? ‘Check me’ in the comments below, lol!

Photo credit: FotoRita [Allstar maniac] / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Flash Fiction Friday: “Gettin’ That Coin”


People love a story about an underdog who came from nothing rising to the top. They like thinking that making it through hard times builds character. But the flip side of the coin is that sometimes going through hard times destroys character. The same person who knows what it’s like to be hungry, knows what it’s like to steal. That person knows what it’s like to feel powerless and worthless and they will do anything to make sure they never feel that way again. So if it means climbing to the top on the backs of others and trusting no one; so be it. Being poor isn’t glamorous and it sure isn’t noble. You show me someone who pushed their way out of poverty and I’ll show you someone who barely remembers who they used to be…That can be a good thing or a bad thing. It depends on the individual, and who’s telling the story.

Technically this is an opening to a future novel, but what’evs. Your thoughts?

Photo credit: 401(K) 2013 / Foter / CC BY-SA

Flash Fiction Friday: “Without You”

without you

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to fit into the curve of a man’s neck the way I fit into yours…they’ve been too short and too tall. Their cheeks too rough or too soft. Their shoulder’s too broad or too narrow. My arms can’t erase the way they melded into yours. My hands read their backs like braille and the story never goes the way it’s supposed to. The rhythm of their heart does not cross diagonally to mine and beat out the same cadence. I close my eyes and the world is still there. Time still marches on and I am fully aware that they are not you and I am still me without you.


Do you consider flash fiction a valid genre? Are you a fan of it? Chime in below!


Photo credit: +Moi+ / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA