Passages consists of flash fiction, most of which is based on prompts given in 24-hour contests.
Passages: A Collection of Short Stories contains tales which range from heart-warming to horrifying. The stories reflect not only the journey of the characters but also the journey of the author into her passion: the world of storytelling.
Castles in the Sand
by Annie Daylon
Vladimir wasn’t his real name, but he had known a Vladimir once. Liked the man. Liked the name. Liked the meaning: “renowned prince.” So, when his world fell apart, he changed his name to Vladimir. Just that. No last name. And he shredded every piece of identification he had ever carried with him.
Today, Vladimir-with-no-last-name put on his tattered coat, slung his backpack over his shoulder, walked away from his assigned cot in the homeless shelter and headed toward the exit. Keeping his head low, he shuffled past the curious, wise eyes of the shelter’s well-meaning volunteers.
“It feels like we have a storm coming, Mister,” offered one silver-haired woman as he passed. “The Weather Channel said nothing about it but my arthritis is reporting in loud and clear! You be sure to come back later, now, you hear me?” In his past life, Vladimir always gave polite responses to caring individuals, but his current life required no such consideration. He silently edged past her and pulled open the heavy front door.
Once outside, he paused, lifted his head and noticed that a half-dozen other men were preparing to leave the shelter. They were all anxiously taking stock of their worldly goods which spilled over the tops and protruded through the slats of rusted shopping carts. Vladimir had no shopping cart, wanted none of that. It still amazed him that his plight was the same as that of these people. He used to feel sympathy—no, not sympathy—he used to feel contempt for these shiftless vagrants with their scraggly hair, yellow teeth, grungy clothes and bulging buggies. A blight on the postcard beauty of Vancouver. Vladimir did not want a shopping cart. He turned his back on the homeless flock and headed down the hill toward the beach.