Published Creative Writing: A Fish & a Figure

A revisit to a childhood dream – a toy comes alive and the subconscious is still.

This sample is an example of a published fictional work. The skills employed in this piece are narrative expression using surreal-like descriptions. It featured in the 2014 edition of Fine Print, now named Vox, the literary magazine at Elizabethtown College. 

The layout of the apartment is that of a block ‘S’ in a game of Tetris. The walls are white and hurriedly painted. The carpet is as blue as the Caribbean Sea and the dolls and giant Lego blocks float upon the threads. From the front hall, the view pans a right, into the soft peach and salmon pink bathroom. The faucet is wet and spotted with water and Crest for Kids toothpaste.

A lone toothbrush sits on the toilet cover, while an empty tub leaves the presences of a very soapy person. Around three feet tall, she uses her tiny hands to pull back the translucent shower curtains farther back. The single incandescent light bulb, shines over everything in the room. As she uses her hands to pick up the toys around the side of the tub, she looks around for the blue fish she always liked to swim with in the Johnson & Johnson’s infused water. A strange feeling comes over her, as she looks up at the pink linoleum wall and sees the blue fish emerging slowly out of the wall. It swims right through the air, as if it suddenly thickened with the molasses she dreamed of eating while her mother isn’t looking.

The fish continues to make its rounds around the whole apartment. It weaves through the living room, through the toys, the tricycle and the wagon that lay below. It makes its way to the bedroom door and swims right through it. She follows, and opens the door only to find the fish hovering over her sleigh bed. She stands underneath it and looks up.

In the fish’s place was a dark shadow – no face, no indication that it was anything of this world. Then again, there was a fish swimming around her apartment. The shadowy black figure looks deep into the little girl’s bewildered and large brown eyes and draws out a long finger. The prickly and bony finger somehow finds its way to her nose and pushes her back.

Instead of falling into the sea of carpet, she finds herself hovering over her parent’s bed. The light of the morning sun peering through the bars attached to the windows. The windows leave room for another ray light to cast over her eyes. She turns and faces towards the white ceiling, slowly floating back down, as light as her own dolls, into the threads and lavender-scented sheets. After making sure her body is firmly non-levitating, she carries her feet out the bedroom, hopping over the dolls, nearly tripping over the wagon, and finally towards the bathroom. The blue fish sits calmly at the top of the bucket of bath toys, as if it never swam, nor looked at her with unknown purpose.

The shadowy figure follows her only in the light, sans a bony figure.

Humorous Short Story: “Well I’ll Be (Damned)”

This piece showcases the elements of character, dialogue and voice within a short story.

As soon as you stepped outside, you could feel the Earth exhale upon your face. The ground sighed into the air; it hovered slowly. The lightning bugs peppered throughout each droplet. This was a summer night occurrence that I will always hold near to me. A bug near my nose, nearly flew toward my brain as I stepped onto the sidewalk from the apartment staircase. My front door closed quietly in the distance. It was a long day at work, and I was getting ready to leave for a party. The sweat from my skin felt slimy beneath my clothes. It didn’t matter that I took a shower only ten minutes before entering the vapor, but I was just so nervous.

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Character & Narrative: “is.”


The car that slowed down behind her as she crossed, did not seem to care about the slow market lines, and the cargo Nihilia carried that evening. A red laundry cart, with gaping holes that exposed off the five dollar socks and assorted baseball tees from Old Navy. All of it, and more, tumbled through the five dollar laundromat, just minutes before closing.

The sky steadied into black. Boreas circled around her whole body, nipping at her lotus feet within the damp boots, and tattered scarf. He seeped into the fur-tinged hood, and trickled into Nihilia’s dark brown eyes, that struggled to stay aware of the impending curb.

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Flash Fiction Narrative: “A Day for Me”

By Ragina Lashley

Inspired by “Bang Bang Bang” from The Sohodolls


I didn’t think the muscle spasms could last that long. What does it matter, as I have no one waiting for me after this one. The morning sun caresses the side of face. His eyes still twinkle with shock and fear. Something I had to deal with every day when granted another morning. The shock arrives after the experiences are done, and the men finished. I am slightly bruised, but still alive.

The news anchor speaks monotonously as the dead silence permeates the air. A vast difference from the screams of the early morning…

He is yesterday’s catch; a cinnamon musk, with hairy legs, a bald spot, and a beer gut. Smoked Cuban cigars for the taste, and paid for women out of complete boredom. What he failed to understand was that as of yesterday, I had had enough. He was a regular, you could say, but also a complete pain in the ass. No care for anyone but himself. His business just last year was on the brink of bankruptcy because half of the income was going towards his indulgences. Or so he told me.

I don’t believe in a God, but maybe He would understand this sin.

I have my vices, but they only consist of neon colors and glitter dust. Even in its artificialness, it still manages to evoke a genuine smile whenever I smoothed it over my eyes. Today I smooth it on for me.

Today, I do for myself; I smile only for me.

Voice through a Short Story: “Untitled”

By Ragina Lashley


It is a Thursday afternoon when the woman rises from her deep sleep, trying to drowse away the ringing sounds of the previous night. I hear her wide mouth stretch open, sucking in the cold living room air, just as I open the front door. The yawning woman is my pathetic wife. But I don’t see her as anything else, but a woman who swims for happiness in any glass or mug she sees. There is my Mickey Mouse mug on the coffee table, the sunlight pouring little bits of dust on the rim. At approximately 6:30pm last Thursday, it was used for other brews. I can hear the sounds of children shrieking with joy.

Speaking of youth, our angst-ridden son will be turning thirteen in two weeks, and yet all he has to look forward to is a cake made from this woman upstairs, a so-called parent, and a gift bought the day of. That particular gift is from me. You see, I’m his father no doubt. I’m neither hip, nor at peak fitness. But I’m trying, I always am, to stop him from the disappointments life can bring, but it’s just so hard. My work hours are never consistent, and I get hungry late at night.

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A Descriptive Narrative on a Small College Campus –

The start of my first semester as a first-year at Elizabethtown College, the date is August 30, 2012…


The final statement is read aloud. Backpacks shuffle with freshly received handouts, and  itching feet scurry through the door. Down a flight of stairs, my feet lead me from the Steinman building and into the emerging sunlight. It disorients me for a few seconds, but I make my way towards the marble benches near the Commons. The benches are a bit warm, but the shade and quiet are inviting. I think I’ll start here.

As I sit, I notice the pine trees, still forest-green, a slight fragrance that is overshadowed by my body spritz and sunscreen. The green bug that crawls on the ground is a new sight and enemy. I scoot closer towards the other side closer to the black Hogwarts-like clock. A girl walks by me. I think she’s a runner. Either that or her shorts are abnormally unnecessary for my level of clothing security. The sun seems to hide behind the clouds for a bit and I notice a bit more people begin to emerge from their classes. A guy with really blonde hair and a maroon shirt shuffles by, in a pair of  mismatched flip-flops nearly tramples over a girl engrossed in her conversation about this upcoming Labor weekend. I feel weird eavesdropping but continue to watch for more strangers.

A girl, with a highlighter orange shirt, sits at one of the black metal tables reading a red, and very thick textbook. I shudder not from the sudden breeze that picks up, but from the very thought. College. I sit for a bit more and notice a few acquaintances pass by my little grove, inquiring as to why I sit here. Alone. One wears her dining service shirt; navy and unspoiled. Another wears a pair of flared jeans and hoop earrings. However both wear a smile and wrinkled eyes from the revealing sun. I tell them a bit about my assignment for a writing class. They don’t understand, and after a bit more of catching up and how-do-you-dos, they wish me luck and head off to their respective locations: a desk or a dish room.

The cicadas make their incessant buzzing that is jarring yet strangely calming. Just so long as I don’t see any near me, I continue to relax and take notes. My brown sandals stick out against the white stone, and a beetle high fives my big toe. I flick it away in annoyance – paying more attention to the herd of students that just appeared out of thin air. Talks of finding a seat at the Marketplace, a training session or a friend’s current dating dilemma remind me of my own. Not dating. Just of an appointment that I have with a peer counselor of mine. As I check my phone, it feels light, as it always does. The air does as well. No garbage odors, an absence of humidity and manure, and sadly chocolate.

It is however a beautiful afternoon; few clouds are in the sky. I walk slowly for a bit from the grove, smelling the pine again as I nearly bump into a girl with her headphones in her ears. I feel like I’ve just came from a trip in the woods rather than a sit on a somewhat secluded bench. However, my notes are taken, an appointment must be made, and a narrative I must write later this evening.


By Ragina Lashley

What I Think, How I feel about Creative Writing

What I Think, How I feel about Creative Writing


Ragina Lashley


I enjoy creative writing due to the many different ways someone can express whatever they saw, felt, or even heard that day or even that very minute. It can be written on a Post-It, a piece of old napkin, or on the back of one’s hand until they get to a nice sheet of blank paper. Or not. Those words can just be thrown into a pile of all the other words that seem to accumulate in an old drawer, over the years.


I am not a perfect writer, my grammar can be grating to read sometimes, but on most days, my main focus always is, “how can I fit these thoughts onto this medium? How can I best express myself in the short amount of time I may have?” I value note pads a lot. I also value the thoughts many people have, either aloud, or to someone else. But writing them down makes those thoughts really stand for something, especially, if that person manages to emerge so far ahead in terms of personal growth, or just age-wise, they can physically see, and even hear the voice that carries through that piece of paper.


I think creative writing is something that even the most serious, and rigid person, can find enjoyment in. Words are very powerful, they make up our everyday actions, even more so in this age of technology. And they can carry messages from the olden days, from more than a hundred years ago, waiting for someone to read them. And maybe even understand. Sometimes I wish I spoke the way I write. Sometimes. Aside from being a bit absent-minded, I find it a bit easier to write my thoughts down, than it may be to speak them aloud. Especially to other people. They can get tangled into a big ball of mush, or go winding and hiking through a damp, and mosquito ridden trail. All muddy, sweaty and blotted before they can brush themselves off, clean up, and everyone can see them for what point I was trying to make in the first place.


But maybe the journey, the trek of reading one’s creative expression is a bit more fun. Unless you are short on time, and that isn’t simply how you operate. Sometimes the thoughts that we may have to express, shoot out so fast, that the pen cannot reach the paper fast enough. Or the ink skips out before the final stroke of the letter is made. Other times, the thoughts we have can lull, like a spring Sunday morning, around 7:30 am. A cohesive, and clear bright blue, but not a cloud in sight.


I guess what I am trying to get at, is that creative writing can be anything we desire it to be. Ten words, a full page or a novel. Or even just one single word. Right in the middle of the white space. Some may find that, or any of that, tacky. But because of its intentions, I personally cannot find any fault with it. If it is organic from the mind, or an experience. If it is meaningful to you, or to whomever else chances upon it. It just is. It shouldn’t be anything less. At least I cannot find it to be fair to say, or even write.