YA Author Rendezvous

Creativity Unleashed: Books for the young and the young at heart


Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: Scrambled

Flash Fiction: Scrambled by Author Debbie Manber Kupfer

“Mrs. Dumpty is just as klutzy as her husband. Why they can’t just stay off that wall it beats me.” The King sighed. He’d tried sending in his men and the horses again. Didn’t work though. One of these days he’d give up and just make a huge pan of scrambled egg.

But today wasn’t the day for that. Today was Valentine’s Day. So he’d call in Cupid.

“Can’t do it,” said Cupid. “Not my area.”

“Don’t care,” countered the King. “You owe me a favor. Remember that stray arrow last year?”

“Yeah, I remember. You’re never going to let me forget that, are you? I’ll see what I can do.”

“Cheers mate. If anyone can get the Dumptys back together I know it’s you.”

Cupid flew down the wall. The Dumptys lay on the floor groaning. It looked bad, real bad. He worked for three hours straight but in the end had to call the King back.

“I’m sorry your majesty.” He sighed. “Even I couldn’t bring them back together.”

Want more from Debbie? You can check out her books on Goodreads HERE.

Find Lauren on the YA Author Rendezvous site HERE.

This was posted by Lauren Mayhew with the express permission of Debbie Manber Kupfer.



Story Seeds by Susan Faw

Story Seeds by Author Susan Faw

Short stories for when we just need the inspiration.

“I am purity of thought. I am steel sheathed in oil. I am justice made flesh. I am a blade master.”


The thought skidded across the vacant space where normally lodged his fears, devoid of the normal sensations that fueled it. He packaged the sensations and pushed them into a blackened box, a box that constantly burned. He fed his fears to the flame and the box swallowed the ashes.

He recited the catechism, blocking out hope and despair in equal measure. Emotion had no place in the ritual of the blade. There was only form and shape, steel and flesh. All other realities were extraneous.

His opponent was at least a hand taller, with a corresponding reach, but his advantage lay in his speed, in his ability to dance the swords as light ballerina on pointe. In actual fact he practiced the traditional dance as often with his sister as with other blade masters, as the foot work of the dance gave him a swiftness and lightness of movement missing in most who claimed the title.


This dexterity had saved his life more than once.

He was not sure it would be enough this time.

Patel stroked the air with his blade, with practice strokes that whirled around his form and the blurring caught the sunlight in a sizzling arc that made his eyes blink bright trailers.

The crowd shifted, gasps and “ooh’s” rising in a wave and murmuring broke out.

Maybe I shouldn’t have challenged the king’s steward. Perhaps that was unwise… he shoved the thought into the box as his concentration wavered. He had no room for doubt. To win this battle would take every ounce of skill he possessed.

He squared with the towering bulk that was Patel, and touched his blade to forehead, then bowed.

Whatever the outcome, he would show himself true. His sister would be avenged. Raw pain lanced across his peace, but this time he stoked it, stroked it. This challenge was for her. Images of her broken body, tossed into a ditch along the roadside flashed into his mind. He held the image of her ravaged body in his vision, feeding his passion and his sense of justice to be served, but the anger, the fear, the grief of loss he fed to the box.


He would avenge his sister. He would attack swiftly, with all the force he could bring to bear. Full tilt, unto the death. Life was not worth living without her.

“I am purity of thought. I am steel sheathed in oil. I am justice made flesh. I am a blade master.”

He launched himself at Patel, sword a matching blur to Patel’s. A whirlwind of dancing death descended on the unsuspecting steward.

sword dance girl-431751_1920

English Idiom: “Full Tilt”- As fast or forcefully as possible…Originally referring to the combatants’ thrust of a sword or lance this term has been used figurative since about 1700.”

Source: The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.

Want more from Susan? You can check out her books on Goodreads HERE.

Find Susan on the YA Author Rendezvous site HERE.

This was posted by Michelle Lynn with the express permission of Susan Faw.

Esmeralda’s Chanukah

prettymenorah    By Debbie Manber Kupfer

Esmeralda Grunch woke up from her bed deep inside the hibernating tulip. The tulip was snoring again. The flower sprite nudged its petals hoping to coax it back into silent slumber, but to no avail.

Reluctantly, Esmeralda reached up and parted the crimson petals. A harsh burst of frigid air slammed the sprite and for a moment she contemplated going back to sleep, but that wouldn’t do. Tonight was the first night of Chanukah and she had an important task to complete before sundown.

She eased herself out of the sleeping tulip and shivered as a huge snowflake landed on her nose. Ugh, she hated snow. Her friend Lucinda, who lived in the snowdrop at the other end of the garden loved snow, especially as her bloom was the only one that didn’t hibernate during the winter months.

As she flew over the garden she saw the other sprites busy with their holiday preparations. Some were wrapping presents, others were collecting fairy gelt, and still others were painting dreidels. In the middle of the garden was a fairy ring made of brightly colored toadstools and in the center of the ring sat a large silver menorah. Two candles had been set in its holders – an emerald one for the first night and a deep azure candle for the shammas or helper candle.

Esmeralda flew down to a stately sleeping daffodil and tapped gently on its petals.

“Wake up Daphne! It’s almost Chanukah. You can’t sleep the day away.”

“Don’t get your wings in a twist, Esmeralda. I’m coming.”

“Have you got the potatoes?”

“Of course, I’ve got potatoes. What do you think I am – a troll? Give me a hand here. No wait a moment, let me use my wand.”

The daffodil sprite took out a canary colored wand and levitated the bag of potatoes out of the recesses of her floral home. The sleeping daffodil made little grumbling noises, then settled its petals and returned to its dreams.

Next they visited Moshe who was sitting on the ground by his marigold cradling a large glass bottle.

“Ah, there you are ladies. I have the oil ready. Only the best from my friend, Olive.”

Next stop was Percy who dragged a huge copper skillet out of his petunia. The pan was easily twice his size. Daphne levitated the oil and the skillet and the four flower sprites flew on to the edge of the garden to the home of Phoebe, the phoenix. Phoebe lived in a sunflower that burned brightly and yet magically did not melt the surrounding snow.

The phoenix flew out to meet the sprites. “Ah, you arrived. Now we can make the latkes for tonight’s celebration.”

All that day the sprites grated, mixed, and fried, while Phoebe the phoenix supervised the flames. By sundown they had a tray of piping hot latkes.

Daphne took out her wand once more and levitated the tray and they all flew to the fairy ring to watch the phoenix light the candles. Then they shared the latkes, exchanged presents, and played dreidel for fairy gelt.

Finally, tired and happy, Esmeralda made her way back to her tulip, where she settled herself into her petal bed and fell fast asleep.

Check out an interview with Debbie HERE.

Debbie has a page on the YA Author Rendezvous site HERE.

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As ever, we hope you enjoy this month of joy. From everyone here at the YA Author Rendezvous:


The Great Bobbert

The Great Bobbert by Debbie Manber Kupfer - Flash FictionBy Debbie Manber Kupfer

(A Flash fiction from the world of P.A.W.S.)

“Popgoes! Hey, Popgoes! Come back here! Where is that weasel?”

The Great Bobbert scratched his head unleashing a cascade of bluish purple powder from his long straggly orange hair. His many pockets bulged with a multitude of objects: cards, rings, whistles, coins, scarves, and balloons – all the tricks of the trade for a working clown.

He rushed through the park, puffing and panting, accidentally kicking a squirrel in his path that chattered angrily at him.

“No need for that kind of language,” muttered the clown.

“Now, where is that pesky weasel? Ah, there he is. What the . . . ? Is that a kangaroo? Where did it come from? They’re certainly not indigenous to Missouri, or at least I don’t think they are. Did it escape from the zoo? I wonder if there’s a reward?”

Clowning no longer was as lucrative as it used to be, especially as weasel food had become so expensive of late, so Bobbert was always looking for a way to supplement his income.

“Maybe if it’s not from the zoo, we can use it in the act? Maybe Popgoes is arranging a contract. Good weasel – they’ll be extra Purina Weasel Treats for you tonight.”

Cautiously the clown moved forward. “I wonder if it’s fierce. It doesn’t look fierce, but you never know. Appearances can be deceptive. Look at Popgoes. Everyone thinks he’s so cute, but he’s a devious little bugger with a nasty bite!”

“Popgoes, come here!”  The weasel looked up at the clown and then leaned towards the kangaroo as if sharing a joke or a secret.

Without warning, the kangaroo bolted out of the path. Bobbert pounced and grabbed his weasel before it followed. “No, you don’t,” he said, and returned the struggling Popgoes to the felt hat on the top of his orange thatch. Resigned the weasel sat there surveying the world around him.

“Now, let’s go see what happened to that kangaroo.” He scoured the park looking for the wayward critter. He saw squirrels and rabbits galore, and plenty of locals walking their dogs. He asked a couple if they’d seen a kangaroo, but they looked at him as if he was crazy.

Finally, winded and dejected, he sat down on a bench next to a boy with dark messy hair. He looked vaguely familiar.

“Hey Kid, have you seen a kangaroo, around here?”

“No mate!” the boy said smiling. “Now, why would there be a kangaroo in the park?”

“Joey!” a voice called from the other side of the path.

“Gotta go!” said the boy, and bounded off, but for just a second it looked to Bobbert that he morphed into a small brown kangaroo.

“I must have drunk too much schnapps,” said Bobbert, shaking his head. “Come on Popgoes, let’s go home.”

You can read more flash fiction, poetry, and general silliness in Tea & Dark Chocolate by Debbie Manber Kupfer.


A Beach in Winter

Written by Lauren Mayhew

The soft sand beneath my feet trembles as I take each leisurely step forwards. Its pale glow hovers above the ground like a dense mist, hiding my toes in its mysteries. A withering sun makes it cold to the touch like a glistening icicle.

I look up. A grey blanket gazes down at me. It stretches across the sky as far as the eye can see. A watery sun, stung by the harshness of the winter months, peeps around the clouds, coyly watching my slow progress to the vast ocean ahead.

Grey. Reaching towards me, the almighty ocean tries with all its might to tow me into its murky depths. Crashing waves shower me with water – minute droplets enter my mouth leaving a salty taste. The water seeps through my clothes making me shiver. A shiver that intensifies with the flourishing wind.

My balance is knocked by a mighty gale. The wolf that it is, runs back with another strong blow: this time it howls. A howl that seems to thwart the monstrous movement of the ocean. A howl that fastens the eye of the sun. A howl that summons the rain…

Splash! Splash! Splash! The sky releases cascading droplets of water that bound off the rocks and settle on the sodden sand. Hammering rain, gambolling onto the ocean’s surface, deafens me, gradually increasing in volume as the ocean fights back.

Water giants tumble onto the shore, leaving trails of white foam behind them. Its salty scent burns my nose with every breath I take.

In. Out. In. Out. A repetitive motion that claws at the sand, dragging it deep under the surface and then transporting it to the beach once again.

Fresh Flash Fiction: Sugar and Eggs


Written by
Sarah Wathen

Brown sugar, packed. Thump.

White sugar, heaping. Ssssss.

A teaspoon of vanilla. Splash.

Two eggs. Crack. Splat. Crack. Splat.

I lift the metal bowl to my face, lips a hairsbreadth from slimy golden yolk, and breathe. Glorious.

“What is it about sugary eggs and vanilla?”

Now that other ingredient. I wrinkle my nose and scoop the pungent stuff, spoonful by hated spoonful. The whir of a hand mixer reminds me that humming helps. But there is nothing soothing about a random tune—my grandmother did that and she never hit a note—so I choose something. Fast.

“Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer…” I hate when people just can’t let Christmas go. Damn if that song isn’t still stuck in my brain. “Mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm, huh huh.”

Dough rolled and ready, exactly one quarter-inch thick. I sift through cutters. Heart? Suspicious. Star? Ironic. Four-leafed clover? Just hateful. I smile and select the clover.

“One little, two little, three little clovers.” The dough is satisfying to cut. Solid but pliable, like Play Doh. Forgiving. “Five little, six little, seven little…” The rest of my invented song escapes me. “See, that’s why you stick with the classics.”

I strip off my rubber gloves and bang the tins into the oven. Then wait. And wait. Baking cookies have no business smelling so…so…

“Had a very shiny nose.” I tap my feet, crave the ding. “And if you ever saw it.” My hands sweat in their mitts. “You would even say it—”


A delicate tea saucer. And a paper doily. I plunk down the clover while it’s still steaming. Oil seeps into the doily, an evil halo. But warm cookies are more appetizing than cold cookies, so I shake my head, get a grip. Last minute inspiration sends down a sprinkle of powdered sugar—a kindness or a mockery—and I push through the swinging doors.

My slippers tap checkerboard marble floors. A home shouldn’t echo like that.

Click. Click. Click.

The tick-tock of a disapproving grandfather clock melts my resolve and I slow, my breath shallow.

A firm grip swings me around and I almost drop my offering. “I’ll take it to her.”

Blood thunders in my ears. I can hardly hear my own feeble, “Okay,” so I bob my head and shove the plate into his chest.

“It’s almost over.” His smile is blurred, his finger tracing my jawline warm.

I nod again and a hot tear hits my shoe. An acrid smell escapes her sickroom and buffets my cheeks as he closes the door on my shame.

I scrub my face with both hands, square my shoulders. A galvanizing breath strains my diaphragm. “Okay. Fresh linens.” Stick to the basics. Don’t think. “All of the other reindeer…”

My steps echo to the stupid melody and I wonder if I should perform a step-ball-change to mix things up.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

I pause to open the glass door, halt the heavy pendulum.



Written by
Debbie Manber Kupfer


Dear Santa Paws,

Now let’s get something straight. I’m not dreaming of a white Christmas. Never did get the attraction to snow. Nasty, yucky, stuff—makes my fur all wet. So if you could keep it away this December that would be great.

Better still how about a sunny December in Hawaii instead? Then I could lounge on the beach and take a nice long catnap. Then when I wake up, the waiter will serve me a fresh fish on a platter.

Yes, that’s what I want for Christmas (and a new catnip mouse would be nice.)

Yours Sincerely,


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