Thursday, May 03, 2012

Yes, it's time for another flash fiction contest!

Years ago, I loved watching pro-wrestling. Not for the action but for the sheer beauty of the insults hurled at the combatants.  My favorite kind of match was the "Loser Leaves Town."  Win, you get to stay in front of the home town fans. Lose, off you go to Boring, Oregon. (Yes, there is such a place)

It's been a while since we've had a flash fiction contest, and I'm leaving town this weekend (although I hope not cause I'm a loser, and NOT destination Boring!) so it's time for a contest.

Prize: THE CRONING by Laird Barron. If you're a total wuss about scary books (and this is well-shelved in dark/horror/scary as hell) we'll find you another book.

Contest opens tomorrow, Friday, May 4 at 4pm.
It runs through Sunday, May 6, at 7am.

Usual rules: write a story using 100 or fewer words. Post the story in the comments column of THIS blog post (comments are closed till Friday 5/4)  If you need a mulligan, delete and repost.  Only ONE entry per person is official.

Include the following words in your story:


Questions? Tweet them to me @janet_reid

sorry for the delayed opening: I'm at a conference and time got away from me.

ENTER now! oh rats, contest closed at 7:00am on 5/6


Charley said...

“Step away from the cauldron.”
“We don’t want any trouble.”
“Says you.”
“Drop the paddle. Is it even hygienic?”
“It’s a potion, not soup. You think bat wings are clean?”
“Those aren’t leaves?”
“Twin bats, plucked at new moon”
“Hey, bubbles!”
“Astuteness strikes again.”
“Where’s the fire?”
“Don’t cops tire of saying that?”
“I mean, heat source.”
“It’s called electricity. There’s this plug—”
“Right. Quit spinning that paddle.”
“Too late. Double, double—”
“Stop! You’re under arrest!”
“You’re not a real officer.”
“Literary agent. Hence, cliche police.”
“Rats, foiled again.”
“That’s it. Downtown.”
“You mean . . .”
“I’m going to book you.”

kregger said...

Randy “Macho Man” Savage hobbled out of the ring, his signature, horizontally-lined sunglasses were broken and twisted. A bruise moused under his eye. Laird supported an arm as Randy dragged his left foot.

“Man, that Rumpelstiltskin kicked my ass!” The wrestler blew a bubble and his front tooth fell out.

“I told ya.” Laird daubed Randy’s bloody nose. “Never do a twin-spin.”

“Who’d thought a squirt could be such trouble?” Macho Man popped his nose back into joint. “I’m telling ya, I’ll never rassle midgets again.” He stopped. “Dude, I saw double.”

Laird winced. “There were two of them.”


Papillon crew said...

The voices weren’t the trouble.

Double perched on her shoulder, hunched and misshapen, hissing and snorting and beautiful. Her soul’s twin.

“Tonight,” he whispered, spit bubbling.

“Tonight,” murmured the voices.

Ellie pushed her sweat-soaked hair from her face. Her hands stank of cooking fat. She leaned into Double. Other kids went to school. Had friends.

Not Ellie.

The voices clamored, spinning and tumbling like acrobats. Ellie’s head ached.

“Tonight,” she said. The voices stopped. Her ears rang in the silence.

Ellie hefted the heaviest pan. She gave it a practice swing.

No, the voices weren’t the trouble. Not at all.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

“Spin, spin!” Lily begged.

“No, I’m done.” I was dizzy and seeing double from swinging her. “Why don’t you blow bubbles for awhile?”

“No, spin me,” she demanded, stomping her foot.


She ran off crying. I knew I would get into trouble, but I was sick of having to entertain her. Having a twin who was mentally about eight years younger than you totally sucked.

I wasn’t watching, I was too busy feeling sorry for myself. When I looked up she was gone.

I thought living with Lily was hard, but living with the guilt is so much worse.

Tree said...

A good mother doesn’t dye her hair the colour of Double Bubble. I could see she was trouble, sitting there with crossed legs like she was so demure, and her with twins and no husband. Spinning around in her chair to glare at us in the jury when she didn’t like somebody’s testimony. No respect. So what if she found some expert to say her baby wasn’t shaken to death. I’m an expert on girls like that. She was guilty, and her other little boy is better off motherless. You go ahead, Officer. Arrest me. No jury will convict me.

Laura Hughes, MittensMorgul said...

For the record, we have a Boring in Maryland, too. Not to mention an Accident. Also for the record, I have no aversion to scary-as-hell books. Have a lovely weekend away!

My entry (98 words):

She waited for the spin cycle to finish. One bubble escaped the next washer over and tickled her leg. She didn't sense the trouble she was in until it was joined by its twin. And then another. And another. She was engulfed in lemon-scented suds. Soapy water sloshed out onto the floor, the washer's lid unable to contain the rising tide of foam. She slid to the laundry room's door and yelled for help, just in time to see two boys with an empty bottle of dish soap and half a roll of quarters double over in laughter.

Anonymous said...

It’s a troubled life as the dwarf in a circus. Double me up, and I’m still below your belt. Copy me, and my twin would still touch the ground. Spin me, and I’d still face your shin. But as I look up at your smiling face while I parade around the inner ring, flipping and dancing, I notice you smack your gum and blow a bubble. And as I’m flying through the air, I dive, eyes closed, at peace. And I float. Through the tent, out into the open. Gone, baby. Gone.

Christine said...

“She’s your twin,” I said. “Can’t you spin that somehow? Convince the judge you’d be lost without her? All that family shit… bonded at birth, never parted.”

“Save Dani?” Melinda rolled her eyes. “No. This time, she’s on her own.”

“You’re kidding.” I stifled my surprise. Dani had finally overcome Melinda’s patience-of-Job tolerance. “You know she’s trouble when she starts robbing little kids’ lemonade stands. Double trouble. Nobody’s gonna forgive that.”

“Sometimes I wonder…” Melinda turned serious. “What if?”

“What if what?” I blew a bubble and snapped the gum back into my mouth.

“She, well… disappeared.”

Kelly Washington said...

I think I got away. Branches beat into my face, slashing me like a disobedient school child. I stop. Forks snake out in all directions. I spin. My head hurts. Too much trouble keeping eyes open. Is that the sky? Slickness crawls down. Sweat? Blood? Fuck! I’m lost. The evil twin of doubt seeps in. Suddenly everything stretches, my journey doubles. Little saliva bubbles burst out of my mouth. Breath, fucking breath. Something snaps. Oh my god! It’s here. Vision blurs and a shadow moves. Another crack. Don’t turn around, Kelly. It grabs me, dragging me away from the living.

BW said...

I know I was in trouble
When I began to see double.
My head began to spin
When I saw my twin.
I need to stop drinks with bubbles.

gregkshipman said...

Over and Over and Over Again

I do a double-take as she walks by. Her name is Amy. Dead Amy. I cut her throat three years ago. I buried her— deep. Now I see her. Again?

Will I spin out of control? Is this a twin? How can it be? Isn’t denial a bubble waiting to burst?

The trouble is I’ve run to three cities already. She’s been in each. I keep cutting her throat— keep burying her. So many cities to go. So many of her. Must I keep killing her; over and over and over again?

Nate Wilson said...

Harry stopped one of the boys running past his shop. "What's going on?"

"They found Zitten Spin at the observatory. The giant telescope collapsed on him and that inflatable pod of his. Been trapped in the debris for two days. They tryin' to dig him out. Might be too late, though."

"Zitten... he the brave one?"

"Nah. He's the one freaks out if he don’t shave every day."

"So you're sayin'..."

"Yup. The thin-skinned Spin twin's in double stubble Hubble rubble bubble trouble."

Harry groaned. "That's horrible."

"Yeah." The kid nodded, then headed for the observatory.

"Absolutely horrible."

Anonymous said...

Going AWOL

Pissants had no business being on his highway.

Lieutenant Jarrod Ingersoll jerked the steering wheel twice in a deft maneuver that left another idiot in his rear-view mirror. No trouble at all, considering the salvo of double martinis he's recently fired down his throat.

Ahead, a blockade of twin semi-trailers put a more challenging spin on his campaign. He flipped the bird toward the nearest trucker as he veered onto the shoulder.

It would be his final salute. A Napoleonic bubble will usually implode when an overzealous serviceman kisses the ass of an abandoned vehicle at ninety miles per hour.

(100 words, excluding title)

Sarah said...

She looked like a librarian in her twin sets and double pleat skirts. Like her idea of a thrill would be a spin through the country for tea and antiquing. But her basement…

Oh god, that basement…

Look, I confess. I broke in, no trouble. I bagged her TV, some jewelry. But when I went downstairs…

It smelled like roses rotting. The dirt floor was all bubbled up, like little graves. I found a shovel. I started digging…

I don’t care if you believe me. Just arrest me. Put me in jail, now. Please – before she comes for me.

AG said...

"Twins know these sorts of things," the old woman hissed, then nibbled at the gunk beneath her long fingernails. "They grow together in that bubble of water and heat. Their thoughts simmer and spin for months before they enter the world. They belong together."

Dale and I looked at each other. My apprehension doubled and I wondered if we were about to make a terrible decision. “Ignore her. Let’s just go,” I whispered to him.

He nodded back at me and I exhaled in relief. "Look, it's just too much trouble to adopt two cats, okay lady? We’ll just take the white one and go."

Michael Seese said...

That was “I Would Die 4 U” by Romeo Void. Now for a Bard twin spin, here’s Shakespeare’s Sister with the “Macbeth Rap” on radio KVON.

Is this a dagger which I see,
Pointing the business end at me?
Knock, knock, knock! Get outta my club,
Or I’ll cap YOU, Beelzebub.

Double, double, toil, and bubble.
Don’t cross me, fool, or there’s trouble.
Eye of newt and toe of witch?
Bring me a Colt 45...bitch!

Out motherf-----g spot! Out I say!
What do you want, punk, anyway?
Hell is murky? Ain’t you heard?
Yo yo, I’m your lord. Word.

Fireman said...

He had always read the obituaries for a little sick thrill, but they also had a double purpose for him. As he liked to design the bubble boxes of his crossword puzzles to contain the names of the recently deceased. No one on the staff of the Twin Cities Gazette had any idea how he could spin the names of the dead into fun facts. They also had no idea that when he had found a clue he liked he had no trouble killing a person with just the right name, to fit into it.

Sherryl said...

Trouble Day. Don’t step outside the door. Crossing the street, I was nearly knocked down by a car driven by my double. I stared after it. Did I nearly kill myself? The dilemma followed me all day, like a thought bubble. Did I have a twin?
That night, I demanded my mother tell me the truth. She tried to put a spin on it but I could see it in her eyes. Somewhere out there was my doppelganger, and she was after me.
I locked my doors and windows, and put on clean underwear.

Lara said...

It was a ding-dong, double bubble, trouble day for twins Sharon and Karen. Having saved a bat in a tree, a cat with a flea and returned a bird to his nest that had a bum knee, they bought twinkies and pies and a bag of fries.

“There’s no money for Mother’s Day!” cried Sharon.

“Oh dismay!” sighed Karen.

“A treat design, possibly in line???”

“Like a twin spin shrine?” So they sliced twinkies, stuck them to fries and used filling from pies to make a surprise. It was no lie – their bomb mom got a tear in her eye.

Sra said...

“Double bubble toil and trouble-”

“No, Lil. That’s not how it goes.”

Lil kept stirring. Her eyes followed the swirl of the water.

“I know.” She whispered.

Jack folded his arms. “Well, how can I help you practice if you won’t say the line right?”

She just kept stirring.

“Uh, what did you just put in there?”

Her voice rose until she was screaming, “Water spin, release the twin, the evil to unleash!”

Jack backed into the wall. He could swear the light flickered.


“It is done.”

Lil finally looked up. The light went out. Two yellow eyes opened.

Mark Koopmans said...

Wanting, needing, hoping to be first to comment, the older twin tried putting a spin on things.
“Sure, OK, we live in a bubble, but look, we can do this. There’s no one here… seriously.”
“What do you mean, ‘there’s no one here?’”
“I mean the contest has been open for hours, and we’re the first to enter.”
The younger twin looked at his brother.
“But what if, when we actually post our entry, someone else gets in ahead of us?”
“Oh man, that would be double the trouble.”
“The whole point of this strange entry would be wasted.”

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Here's my entry:

97 words

Lucy didn't name them both because she couldn't, wouldn't, keep them both.

In the Double Bubble Laundromat, she chooses a washing machine already on spin. The name brand detergent? The person has a little money. The fabric softener? A woman. Lucy nestles the sleeping Girl Twin in the laundry basket, then turns away.

She lifts Marlon from the cart. Maybe, just maybe, he'll be good to his Mama. Girls are nothing but trouble. She knows. She's one, and all she ever got, or gave, was trouble.

Marlon watches over her shoulder as they leave his sister behind.


Anonymous said...

“The deal was a grand, and this is a grand.”
“A grand Friday. It’s Saturday. Now it’s double.”
“Look Dwight, I don’t want no trouble, but that ain’t fair. I mean, Jesus man. Two grand?”
“Nobody said life was fair. Now don’t spin this out. Two grand. Today.”
“Dwight, I ain’t got two grand, man. No way. The deal was a grand. That’s what we agreed.”
“Not my problem.”
“I don’t want to burst your bubble, Dwight, but I just ain’t got it.”
“You got a sister, don’t you, a twin?”
“Shit, no… Dwight.”
“Today. Or you don’t no more.”

Katie said...

She shook her head. She saw his double.
She knew this meant a lot of trouble.
If he met his evil twin,
the Planet Earth would cease to spin.
She chewed a wad, then had to struggle
to trap his twin inside the bubble.

Jessica Denoire said...

"Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble," he said, spinning words of gold into twine. "What the hell is this crap?" He threw the Scottish King onto the ground, washing his hands of its filth.

I clutched the play to my chest when the verdict was called.


The judge preferred Shakespeare's comedies.

Stacy Porter said...


Chris jumped, startled; like I’d spooked him out of the devious bubble of his imagination…or his alcohol induced world. I realized the second was most likely as I saw the bottle of Peppermint schnapps in his hand.

“I double dog dare you to do the old man dance!” He stared blankly at me, so I added, “Point your index up to the ceiling and spin around!”

Only drunk guys or silly college boys would accept a challenge like that. Thankfully for me, my twin was both.

His grin said it all. He was ready to start some trouble.

Colin Smith said...

Jack wanted to retire after putting a bullet in "Bubble" Malone's head, but he took the patrol car out for one last spin when the call came. Trouble on Tenth. Jack got out at the warehouse and walked in alone. Thirty years on the force and he still wanted to play the Lone Ranger. He should have known better. Footsteps. Jack drew his gun. A man appeared from behind a pillar. Jack did a double-take but it registered too late for him to react to the gunshot. Who knew Bubble had a twin?

The Happy Amateur said...

I'd like to delete my original post, but I don't see it yet.
This is the one I want to post instead:


As soon as Ian spotted her from across the room he knew there would be trouble.

She quickly navigated her way through the crowd of guests.

“Hi sweetie,” she said swallowing a bubble of nervous laughter, “Remember me?”

A young girl stood by her side staring at him. He gasped as if hit in the stomach.

“That’s my daughter Janet, came along to double the fun! Doesn’t she look like a twin of me when I was sixteen?”

Sixteen…that’s when...could it be?.. His head began to spin.

“Aren’t you gonna introduce me to your bride?” So it started. Trouble.

CW Browning said...

Josephine glanced up from the double martini on the bar, shooting a glare at the creep trying to weasel in next to her. Holding his hands up in surrender, he moved on. Strobe lights flashed above her as bubbles dripped in lava lamps behind the bar. The music pulsing from the speakers would have been deafening, but the wave of humanity spinning around her muffled the racket.

His Hemi-Cuda, with its gleaming overhead twin cams, was out back.

Josephine drained the martini. He always said she was trouble. The cheating bastard was about to find out just what that meant.

jdh said...

From an iridescent bubble’s spin watched a convex reflection, my saponified twin.

A moment of wonder, free from trouble, then a wisp of white, my nacreous double.

I pulled back my finger and laughed at the clown; he’d known all along it was “Loser leaves town.”

Lisa O. said...

He fidgeted on a bubble of indecision, whether to spin down into the darkness, or run into the light to join the other children on the swings.

Julia screamed laughter as she leaped at the apex of the high arc, caught for that brilliant split-second before falling, legs pumping, arms double windmills.

You could be her twin, everyone said. But they were wrong. Julia never gave Dad a moment's grief or trouble. All the darkness lurked in him. None in her. Never in her.

It was better that way. He eased a step back, into the darkness where he belonged.

Cynthia Ivers said...

“Trouble is,” Mama says, as she
plucks the remaining bits of gum from my hair, “you haven’t yet mastered the art of blowing the perfect bubble.” She lifts my tear-stained chin with her forefinger and smiles. “Go take your bike out for a spin.”

I race down the steps of our double-wide and hop on my new Mantis. I pedal fast, slowing only when I approach a grassy area behind our town church. The carved angel on top sets her stone apart from the others. “Happy Birthday, RaeAnn,” I whisper to my twin, then pedal back home for cake.

Anonymous said...

Courting Trouble
 by @CarrieCrain
I arrived for work at the courthouse. Judge Bubble was going to teach me trouble. I walked in his office. He slammed down the phone. “Candy Double?” he asked.
“Good morning, Judge Bubble. 
He handed me a slip of paper. “Take this and get your skinny ass down to Longhorn Bank.”
There was a check number and a name. “Erotic Erica?” I chuckled.
“Ah, just tell Teddy Twin, the bank president, you’re on a mission at my direction, you savvy?” He picked up a bottle of Pinch and poured a spin.    
“Too much scotch can impair your judgment,” I said.

Maja said...

My head began to spin as I listened to the director bubble up.

"Tell me what you were doing with the monkey."

Herbert. That monkey was a pervert. I knew he was trouble when the director assigned him to me and he groped my ass. Then I picked him up and he motor-boated my double-D twins.

Of course, the incident in question was when Herbert stuck his hand down my pants. I guess to her my screams sounded like enjoyment.

Now I was getting kicked out of school, but the bigger issue was how to get rid of that rash.

Nathan Rudy said...

The twins, pretty enough to spin heads in another setting, lay by the kitchen transom, white bubbles dried on patchy cheeks. I smelled the diarrhea.

My new partner Bobby rolled the top girl, peeled stiff fingers from a small plastic envelope. White powder spilled out. “Suicide,” he said, pressing the mask to his face. “Double.”

“Not drugs?” I said, pointing at a pipe on the counter.

“Poison,” Bobby said. “The used drugs to make it easier.”

“You’ve seen this before.”

“Twice,” he said, went to check the bathroom.

I could hear him retch. Lousy first day on the job.

Mia K Rose said...

I watched as Gina's flesh bubbled into red boils. As her twin, I thought I should have felt the same pain. Revolted as I was, I couldn't muster the strength to spin away.

The old man in the bookstore told us it was trouble. Gina, like usual, didn’t believe him. Scoffed in his face she did. She wanted to make Logan take her to the school dance. Transfixed I suddenly doubled over with laughter. If only she heeded the warning. She wouldn’t show her face for days, and now would miss the dance.

Wry Wryter said...

A bubble at first rising in my chest, then heaviness, heart attack? I was in trouble; left thumb, on my right wrist, pulse strong. Seeing double, I closed my eyes to calm the spin. In front of me, two glasses, my margarita had a twin. The drink? The bastard had poisoned me.

From my purse, a snub-nose I would place against his chest before I died.

“Hey, you’re drinking my margarita”, a woman said as she downed the one I’d sipped from.

I put the gun away when she collapsed on the floor. We left. He will die tomorrow.

Tony Noland said...

"Those double trouble, naughty twins!" Nanny fumed. "Where have they got to now?"

Sal and Nick giggled from their hiding spot in the back of their mom's closet.

"Nanny'll be so mad if she finds us in here," Sally whispered to Nick.

"Go out and distract her while I swipe some of Mom's bubble gum," Nick said.


"You are the younger twin."

"Well... maybe if I go out there without her seeing me, and pretend to have been doing my ballet spin -"


"- pirouette the entire time... OK, I'll do it."

Nanny never did find their hiding spot.

Amy said...

A fast and easy double. The knife made twin slices easily through her, then him. No trouble at all. He blew a bubble and the pink gum matched the girls bedding. The small jewelry box beside the bed played a sharp slightly out of key version of the sugar plum dance from the nutcracker, and the ballerina stopped mid spin.

Jodi R. said...

"Barkeep - quick! Make it a double!”

“Uh-oh — that can only mean trouble!”

“Yep. Wasn’t my fault though. Just a giant misunderstanding — no offense — with a bubble-headed gal and her ditzier twin.”

“Let me guess — you took them both for a spin?”

“Great! Just what I need, a bloody rhyming bartender.” Signals for another whisky. “Hey, what’s your name?”

“You can call me Fezzik, if it’s all the same.”

“OK — you know what? I am NOT in the mood for this. No more rhymes and I really mean it!”

“But I was in Princess Bride—surely you’ve seen it?”

CJ said...

A bubble pops at the edge of the pond distorting my reflection in the water. I watch the ripples until my double is whole again. The blood in my hair mixes with the sun and gives my twin highlights instead of a bleeding wound. She stares at me with pleading expectant eyes.

I don’t know what to do.

There’s a noise, and I spin around. The back door of the house is closed. He’s not coming. It’s closed.

“He must be dead,” I say aloud. “I’m in trouble.” I sigh and shake my head at such a ridiculous understatement.

Marybk said...


The rugged boy sporting an impish smirk called us Double Decadence. Jada asserted he’d stir trouble faster than wheel could spin wool. She scorned him as uniformly as I encouraged him, we two sides of twin. Whensoever I yinned, she yanged.

A challenge-seeking rogue, he pursued her. Her! Persistent until she pivoted, enmity unraveled to amity. True Love, she proclaimed. Pah.

I, too, twisted. Schemed. Pretending to be Jada proved easy—feigning highbrowedness, knitting poise with equanimity.

Allowing him to bubble inside me? Genuine ecstasy.

Gravidity sparked. Joyful pregnancy. I became two while Jada frayed away a mere half.

otin said...

“Can you save her?” Emily asked, staring at her twin sister, Paula, who was lying under the confines of an oxygen bubble tent.
“Not without an immediate hear transplant,” the doctor replied. “Trouble with that is we don’t have one available now.”
“What about mine? I’m her body double.”
“I can’t kill you to save her.”
With a sudden spin, Emily grabbed a scalpel off of a nearby surgical tray. Then she dug it deep into the flesh of her neck.
“I can!” she exclaimed, slicing her own throat.
Hours after Emily flat lined, Paula’s new heart came to life.

Kitty said...

I'm on the treadmill warming up to Tito Nieves and Santana.

I close my eyes and I’m dancing. Amazingly, I look like Maria Conchita Alonso's twin and dance like her double in "Moscow on the Hudson." My partner tires when "Smooth" begins playing, and that’s when Andy Garcia appears.

“Will your wife mind?”
“No, she broke her leg. And your husband, will he be trouble?"
"He's not here."

I’m dancing with Andy Garcia. He holds me, he spins me, his cheek brushes mine. I'm in heaven!

And that's when my husband appears -- "When's dinner?" -- and the bubble bursts.

Katie said...

The boy stood entranced by a river of rain water flowing down the gutter. He was mesmerized by the spin of eddies, the froth of bubbles, and the ebb and flow as the stream passed over rocks. Twin leaves, conjoined at the stem, caught his attention as they swam by. Carried by the current, they would be delivered to the mysterious place beyond the storm drain. He looked on helplessly, disturbed by their double plight. Where would they go? Perhaps they would be greeted with trouble, he worried, or maybe, they would go to a better place. He hoped so.

ProfeJMarie (Janet Rundquist) said...

When the Twin Towers fell, I was teaching. My colleague and I opened the wall that separated our classrooms, imagining the doubled space would somehow dilute our tension. We stared into our television screens, watching our world spin into something different than it once was. Scrutinizing our students, physically safe within our bubble hundreds of miles away, we anticipated both the self-absorbed flippancy of teenager reactions and the uncertain anxieties, readying our responses.

One student turned to tell me that her mother, a pilot with American Airlines, was scheduled to fly that morning. I took her hand, and we waited.

silas said...

When my twin brother Seth signed us up for the annual moon trip contest,I knew it would be trouble.The winner would receive a trip to the luxurious Moon Colonies.the loser would go to gloomy Sheboygan Wisconsin,a Midwest spin of Alaska.To many men!
We walked up to the boxing ring.I took a double take when I saw my opponent.The bell rang and with a knockout punch to the floor I was out.With that not even a bubble of hope was left.

Lisa Gomley said...

He did not know if it was the champagne bubbles, or the breaking news story, that was making his head spin. He took a double take as they flashed a mug shot on the television screen. He stood, horrified, staring at the person arrested for several bank robberies.

It was his twin brother, who he had not seen for thirty years. He wanted to jump in his car and drive to the police station, to see the brother he had missed for so long.

The trouble was; his brother had been arrested for the crimes he, himself, had committed.

Rob McKenzie said...

Jake tucked himself in a dark corner of the boiler room. Sweat beaded on his clammy forehead and his mind was so scattered he was seeing double.

The effects of the poison administered by his sadistic twin were taking their hold. A bubble of puss and blood was beginning to form at the injection site.

The light clop of a nearby footstep sent cold fear coursing through his veins. He sprinted to the door. A shadowy figure emerged. He tried to spin around it, but a large forearm clothes-lined him, thrusting him to the ground, gasping. Trouble had found him.

sister suitcase said...

There is no way I am going to walk in there on my own. Not this time. Seems like such a big deal, such trouble. It’s been so long since I opened those heavy, double doors and walked in, with such ease… but now, the twin soul in me, says ‘Stop! Don’t!’

Has my life become a bubble of routines? Where’s that sense of intrigue and adventure..? What if I go and get some sleep..? Can I go back then? Will I be able to open the doors? I so need to feel my head spin again..! I dare you..

Jon Hanna said...

Hi. I came across this blog last week and have been enjoying its archives. A bad thing really, since I’ll never actually need an agent and if I keep finding interesting sources of procrastination. So with a contest that involves writing rather about reading about writers, how could I say no?

If titles don’t count for word-count, then this is called “The Argument of the Broken Window Pane”, because why pass up an opportunity for a Pankhurst reference? If titles do count toward word-count, then I totally didn’t even think of one:

“Here comes trouble,” we’d say of one twin, “and here’s his double,” the next. Scabbed knees and cheeky smiles.

Another decade; heading the crowd, one sets fire to a rag in a pale yellow bottle while the other twirls a chain like a majorette.

They smash their way past shops paying bubble-era leases from austerity-era takings. Smash toward mine, where they’d once waited after school for their mother to finish work.

“I wiped both your asses when you were little”, I shout unheard behind the glass. The chain stops its spin, grows bigger as it flies toward me.

Anonymous said...

I didn’t like them, not one damn bit. They always meant trouble. I turned to the bartender and ordered a double shot of vodka. I would need it to spin this into something manageable. I slammed the first shot down, then its twin. I forcefully ignored the bubbles boiling in my stomach.

I walked back over to my Captain, taking the gear. Once it was on, I sat on the boat watching the sandbar disappear entirely. We stopped moving.

He pointed to a bucket of blood and guts. “There’s the shark bait.”

This pay raise better be worth dying for.

Rhen Wilson said...

In the basement she retreats. Beneath the troubled world, she uncovers the old mirror with its silver frame, grimy with age. The days are long, she whispers to the twin behind the glass.

She tucks her toes inside dowdy pink slippers. Her feet arch as younger days bubble up in her mind, and she smells the musty studio and hears the piano echoing off the walls.

Her feet in fifth position, she nods at the girl in the mirror, and together they begin to spin. The fluidity of their pirouette softens the pain like cool water against a deep cut.

Jessa Russo (Stadtler) said...

With a deep breath, I finally relax. She’s saved me from the trouble again. She is nothing if not resourceful.

I watch as bubble after bubble crests the surface, the dead weight of the body causing a slight spin in the water. My cyclone of secrets.

The stress of the last few days now a memory. I return to the car, relieved. I take a seat on the hot leather and glance in the mirror.

I wink at her. My twin. My double.

Where she’s retreated, deep in the recesses of my mind, I know she hears my silent thanks.

100 words

Lauren said...

In the Spin Galaxy of the Wingnut Zone, King Rush’s dimmer twin, Putz, hijacked the royal space bubble with cyborg pal, Trouble. Equipped with sunspot acceleration, the bubble popped into the earth’s atmosphere above the Cayman Islands.

After pinpointing the location of the 1% vault, Putz said, “Trouble, you’re programmed to become Mitt Romney’s double with a hint of Groucho wit.”

“That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard,” said Trouble. “Romney’s a bigger stiff than Nixon.”

“Silence! We proceed as planned. Kidnap Mitt, strap him to the roof of the bubble and travel the universe until after the election.”

Layla Fiske said...

They thought I couldn't hear their whispers - but I could.

Walking into town to fetch water from the well, my fingers clasping tightly the soft, petaled folds of my grandmother's skirt, my face buried deep within its linen calm.

I could see them from the corners of my eyes. Crouched down in their long-hemmed tunics, their faces red from the hissing steam of the fiery ovens.

The words they formed were unmistakable.

"Double trouble."

I was my twin - she me.

But he'd put a spin on it. A bubble of truth.

I think he still blames me for Sara's demise.

HungryGals said...

94 Words:

“Dad! Two on the line!“ I shout over the engine’s roar. The mackerel leap through the bubbling chop, desperate to escape.

“Double trouble?” Dad smiles and throttles down the twin Merc. The boat jerks; I sway and grip the rail. “Let’s reel ‘em in.”

Dad pulls in the line and the mackerel spin, wriggling to break free. Then splash! Without warning, the sea churns and boils around us. Dad gasps and whirls about, roughly shoving me down.

A fish breaches alongside. It dwarfs my Dad’s boat.

Mama mackerel has come for her children.

Jimmy Juliano said...

The gun presses into Jack’s back.

“Double the bet,” the man whispers from behind.

What a fucking night. Ten minutes ago Jack could still taste the cinnamon bubble gum from the twin blondes’ lips; now he only tastes his own blood. This must be protocol when you are three hundred dollars short, Jack thinks. That club owner is a real prick.

Jack places eight hundred dollars in chips on red.

“Spin it,” Jack says.

The silver ball travels endlessly before landing on black. Jack’s chips disappear.

“Does this mean I am in trouble?” Jack smirks.

“Something like that.”


KarinB. said...

"Trouble Magnet," his wife called him, among other things.

The taped and broken nose didn't help his defense.

Marty admitted his moral compass could spin, evidence of his double life. The deceitful twin owned the accoutrements of normalcy: friends, family, stable job, Friday afternoon golf. A fascination with amateur wrestling explained away the occasional bruise. Only then could he dip into the shadows.

Spandex embraced, he buttoned the scarlet cape at his throat, stemming a bubble of laughter. When he flew this time, he'd make a special effort not to smack a building with his face.

Bill Scott said...

-100 words

"My writing tends to be very dark, so I introduced humor," says one of the serious writerly folk as we enter the double-wide trailer. "You can't take people to dark places without introducing humor." Poems clutched to bosoms, she bubbles with pride.

"You can if you bind their wrists and ankles, tape their mouth shut, and throw them in the trunk of your car," says my inner, evil BillyBob twin.

She snarls.

I spin it."But that's just me. Everyone has their own process."

"The trouble is everyone's a writer these days," she says as she takes the stage.

JanetLee said...

"Trouble. Double trouble."

Twin sets of golden feline eyes watch my finger as I point to one, then the other.

"Put them together, you have triple trouble."

Ears twitch. Human. Are you going to blow another bubble, or what?

The bubble floats and spins for a brief moment before dying on the tip of a kitten claw.

Rachel Searles said...

“I’m sorry, baby,” she said, tossing those thin blond curls the way he liked. “It’s just been so long since you passed through town.” She sashayed over to the wet bar. “Dewers?”

She created more trouble than she was worth, but damn, she was hot.

“Double.” When she brought it to him, he fished the ice out of the glass and ran it over the twin fingernail scratches running down his shaved chest.

She gave him a co-conspirator’s grin, oblivious to the thought bubble hanging over his head: How the heck am I gonna spin this one to my wife?

Theofan said...

The double-horned beast sniffs the air. Troubled by weak eyes, it hunts by scent.

Did it track me?

I hunch lower behind a bush, my eyes following the twin horns above the brush. It snuffles and wanders nearby, spittle foams and bubbles in its mouth. It stops. Raising a neck as thick as an oak, it lets loose a bellow that shakes the ground.

Another beast answers in the distance, and another. The valley echoes with their thundering and the tremors of their approach. I wait until the beast turns.

I bolt towards the truck.

The beast spins.

We race.

Rob Brunet said...

Whacking out Mojitos, assembly-line style, Ted recognized trouble long before the guy ordered his fourth double martini. People who drank that fast were looking for it. He hadn’t glanced at the twin sisters perched beside him. Not even when one decided to spin her bar stool, brushing her leg on his with every turn, blowing a gum bubble balloon.

When the man stood to reach inside the leather satchel he’d kept protected under his elbow on the bar, Ted was ready. He slammed the stainless steel muddler into his wrist and watched the revolver clatter harmless to the floor.

bookish said...

The room began to spin as the drug worked its way through her system and Candy felt a laugh bubble its way to the surface. “I’m in trouble,” she giggled.
“You don’t know the half of it,” her sister, Carmen, told her. “That little treat cost me double.”
“Really, why,” Candy slurred, “because we’re twins?”
“No, because of what comes next.”
“Is it fun?”
“It is for me.”
Carmen closed the door behind her and strolled out into the afternoon sunlight. “Suicide is such a bitch,” she thought. And then she smiled.

Anonymous said...

My name is Ferris, and I am common frog who once lived in a boxwood shrub next to a fine suburban house. A couple with five year old TWINs owned it, and seldom caused me TROUBLE. In the springtime, I liked to watch them blow BUBBLEs on the stoop and jump rope in the lawn.

Until they found me.

I thought I was seeing DOUBLE with those two freckled faces staring me down. The memory makes my head SPIN. Now I call a plastic container home, and spend my days trying to pee on their hands whenever I can.

Dianne said...

Sherry popped her bubble gum loudly. The waiter looked over and then away. He didn’t want trouble. She leaned forward in her seat, giving him a generous view of her breasts.
She looked out the cafe window, listening for Adam’s motorcycle. Her reflection showed the miniskirt she had stolen from her twin sister’s closet. She looked like Claire’s double.
Adam pushed through the door, helmet in hand. He bent to kiss her, his hand touching her leg. She pressed his palm into her thigh.
“Ready to go for a spin, Claire?” he asked.
“Are you?” Sherry replied.

Terri Coop said...

I knew my new job was odd when I saw the double-boilers that bubbled with lavender brew.

“Oh, that’s liquefied time. For centuries, I’ve stolen stray minutes, purified and bottled them, then sold the mix to the wealthy. Why do you think they get to do so much while your day just disappears? New technology makes it even easier.

"Okay people, we have orders to fill. Time is literally money!"

I looked over my phone script.

"Hi, I'm calling about our exciting twin-spin-to-win game. If it’s no trouble, you've got nothing to lose but a few minutes of your time."

Angela Ricketts said...

Doctor Mitchell stared, horrified by the escape of the tiny bubble of anti-matter— big trouble! The harmless looking bubble began to double in size and to spin! He grabbed a net from a nearby table and tried to trap the bubble inside the cottony interior—too late, he heard the pop, in an instant, a black hole appeared followed by a twin. He felt himself being torn apart; one side of his body was pulled inside the first hole, the other half was sucked in by the second. His last thought, “Why did I dabble in the darkest of arts?”

Casey Doran said...

Buried alive. Trapped in a bubble of draining air I choke on screams for deliverance, feeling myself spin towards oblivion. I feel disconnected, as though I am somewhere else, somewhere safe and watching my twin be murdered. But the trouble is real. The killer known as 'The Grave Digger' has outwitted me. He spiked my drink, a double bourbon. Now I am here, drugged and alone and about to die. My killer's taunts sting my ears with each slap of cold earth that lands on my coffin. "Hold your breath detective!"

AuthorGroupie said...

“Trouble . . . ,” she uttered with a choked voice while the room seemed to spin, “the twin . . . cancer . . .”

“Positive?!” he asked too loudly into the phone failing to hide the fear in his voice.

She felt as if her head were floating in a bubble, she whispered, “Both . . . take . . . the surgeon recommended a bilateral . . . double.”

thegirlnextdoor said...

Apparently I live in a bubble. That’s what the counselor said. What do I know? Trouble follows me around like a clingy girlfriend. I’m tired of asking for help. Every time I see a therapist, or a psychiatrist, or another person to talk to about my problems, it’s like I’m seeing double. Except for the counselor, that is. She’s different. She lets me take a spin in her chair every once in a while when we come to a lull. What, I’m 19 and it’s been 12 years since I last saw my twin and I’m automatically labeled for life?

Shaunna said...

The swamp cooler ran continually, but with humidity in the high double digits, it was still hotter than hell. Mom could no longer trouble herself to go near the stove. She set up cots in the cellar and fed us okra, peaches, apple butter, and green beans.

We lived in a bubble that summer, blissfully unaware of the outside world spinning its way to an overheated oblivion. The twin pleasures of canned fruits and the smell of earth saturated me so that even now, the taste of stewed tomatoes makes me wish I could lie down and sleep until dusk.

David said...

Bubbles swapped her acrylic platforms for Walsh’s cowboy boots; easier to run in, she figured. Didn’t hurt he hid Double Trouble in them -- twin .38 specials with his ex-wives’ names engraved in the handles.

“Such a lousy tipper.” Bubbles eyed the curtains leading to the main stage. People screamed, but not as many since “You Spin Me Right Round” began blaring. “Shame to die like this, though.”

He’d look peaceful if it weren’t for the bite marks covering his face.

The music stopped, replaced by moaning zombies.

Sighing, Bubbles put a bullet in Walsh’s brain. “Guess I’m up next.”

Krisz said...

She watches them from the bench. A moment of peace, serenity surrounds her while they play in the sandbox. Double trouble, they say. But as they spin, balance, giggle, and fall they become double joy. Blue sky, fluffy clouds, bubbles in the air – nature’s corny artwork as real as the love within her. Until a scream, a sand-covered cry snaps the canvas in two. She scolds and hugs, lectures and loves. In her twin world, everything comes in pairs.

Kate Outhwaite said...

"Single malt. No ice. Double."

A woman’s voice.


I stood up. "Miss, I can't serve you. Not here."

She smiled and, pointing behind her, asked, "What about her?"

Her twin stood by the door. Same wrap-around shades. Same smile that'd make your head spin. I glanced at the occupied tables.

"I can’t. Not in the Inquisitors’ Bar, Miss. You know that."

She sighed, "I know.”

She smiled again. “When they ask, tell them, ‘This is war.’"

Then she touched my shoulder and a bubble cocooned me, just as the other one lifted her shades and the world went white.