Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ok, Kari, you did ask for this WRITING CONTEST

This morning on twitter I noticed Fabulous Kari Dell tweet this:

Yes, I am on a rodeo vacation all week. How many of you will plot my murder if I confess I forgot today is Monday?

And then this:
If you must, please kill me with words, in this hotel just down the road from the state mental hospital:

Well, this is a full service literary agency so of course, we leaped into action!

Announcing the   

Kill Kari Dell (with words!) Writing Contest!

Write a story with 100 words or fewer.  Use the following words in the story:

codswollop codswallop (thank you @A_M_Pierre!)

Writing contest opens tomorrow, Wednesday 6/26 at 9am.  It runs 24 hours, closing Thursday
6/27 at 9am. All times are Eastern Shark Time.

Post your story in the comment column of THIS blog post. (comments are closed until the contest opens)

If you need a mulligan, delete your comment and post another.  Only ONE entry per person please.

YES there will be a prize. NO it will not be a sheep.

Questions? Tweet @Janet_Reid

NOT YET! (contest opens 6/26 at 9am)


Contest closed.


Sam Bohrman said...

The sheriff approached the buck-toothed codswallop behind the front desk. “I’m here to investigate a 911 call from room 312. I think it’s that escaped mental patient.” A woman had called dispatch to say she’d fallen in a plot hole. Said her agent was gonna kill her.

“Naa. There’s a writer in that room. Kari Dell.”

Jeez. All he needed was a writer hopped on Jasper Fforde and vicodin.

In 312 he found a woman slumped over a desk. In the sheep pasture below, red-splattered manuscript pages fluttered in the breeze. He noticed bites on the victim. Shark bites.

Colin Smith said...

I arrived on the scene about 9:30pm: a small cabin in the woods. Inside was a mess of paper and computer parts. I pulled a sheet from under the vic's hand. "The Baa-d Life by Tommy Vincetti," it said.

"The plot's some codswallop about sheep herding in Montana," Sergeant Davis replied to my puzzled look.

"So, what happened?"

"Looks like he spilled coffee on someone's laptop, and they went in for the kill."

"Using the trashed PC as a weapon?"

Davis nodded.

"Why didn't they just get a replacement from The Tech Store?"

"They don't carry Dell," he said.

Christine said...

“Holy crapola,” Billy ripped the binoculars from my hands, nearly beheading me with the strap. “That ain’t no farmer in the dell.”

I stared. A fluffy white beast had strolled onto our plot of grass. “What’s that stupid sheep doing? He’ll ruin everything.”

Billy paled. “It’s a warnin’. When sheep come to the valley, someone’s gonna die.”

“Codswallop!” I huffed with laughter. “That old ram couldn’t kill a blade of grass. You’ve got some imagination.”

Billy shook a finger at me. “I’m telling ya. When the sheep come…”

Something pricked my neck.

“Should’ve listened,” Billy said.

The Magic Violinist said...

Dell sighed, staring at her beloved sheep. She would have to kill one of them the next morning. It was necessary for survival.

"Daddy, no,” she had pleaded earlier that day. “Can’t we buy something for food?”

“What utter codswallop!” he had shouted. “We’re broke, Dell, don’t you understand that?”

A tear dripped onto the bean plot next to the sheep. A sheep bleated and nudged Dell’s hand. Dell pet it, her vision blurred. The wool underneath her fingers grew wet and stuck together as she cried.

She couldn’t kill them. She could not become a murderer.

kregger said...

“Do you know what today is?”

“Nope,” I said.

“Have you ever seen sheep kill a wolf?”


“Nasty business, that.”

“What’s your point?” My colon twitched.

“How about Dell cuckolding Packard?”

“N-no.” I squeezed--tightly.

“Talk about questionable parentage.”

“I hate when you prevaricate.” I clenched, but not enough.

“Ever watch steer codswallop a bull?”

“No. What are you getting at?” I leaked.

“It’s a bad case of balls to the walls.”

“Get on with it.” How offal, I smelled.

“I’m plotting your punishment and demise.”

“Alright…I’m sorry, Janet. Next time, you will go on vacation first, not Kari.”

Jeff Macfee said...

Kari had moved to leave people behind. Now people surrounded her. Her corpse lay at the bottom of the dell, next to the truck that had run her over.

The cops had it figured.

Husband killed her, they said. Hit her with the truck.

Codswallop, I said.

The husband sat out in the open. In the heat. Unmoored.

No plot there. He didn't kill his wife.

But the sheep.

Their innocent white bodies milling about at the top of the hill.

Kari's body at the foot of the embankment.

The parking brake released.

Gravity, I said. Momentum.

And the sheep.

R. T. Freeman said...

“I’ll kill it and this’ll be over.” Maurice was livid; his part in the plot to kidnap the prize sheep had gone terribly awry. He knew nothing about them.

“Kidnapping sheep … what a load of codswallop.”

He had, in fact, kidnapped the oldest sheep at the Midsummer’s Exposition. It could barely hobble along, but he figured it was probably just annoyed at being dragged off.

Maurice entered the dell where the elderly ruminant was hidden.

“BAAAAAAA-D!” The sheep, surrounded by laughing police, glared at its captor.

“Feeling a bit sheepish, mate?” chuckled the arresting copper.

Sheepish, indeed. Sheepswallop!

AngiNicole said...

“Now what are we going to do?” Bobby asked me.
I looked at the plot we’d dug. “Now we have to go kill the woman at the creepy hotel.”
“You realize this is all codswallop. When someone asks to be killed, they don’t mean it.”
I shrugged. “They might. She didn’t even know which day of the week it was.”
He stared at the sheep bleating in the surrounding pastures. “They’ll cover her screams.”
“Screams? We can’t just use the pillow trick?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never done murder.”
I stepped up to the desk. “Room number for Dell, please.”

Jessica said...

“Kill them not with kindness, but with a keen-edged knife,” Joe James muttered, carefully buttering a third piece of toast as he looked over the dell of dairy cows who had provided the very spread he now consumed. Treachery was afoot. The plot to drive him out of his own farm -- the sheep hadn’t known he was listening -- was festering. The police had mistaken his plea for help for drunken codswollop and told him to get out before he was arrested. So he reached deliberately for the knife... and spread fortifying butter on a fourth piece of toast.

WNK said...

Remi had been in the hotel business for five decades, but had never rented to a sheep before.

"Reservation for Miss Dell," the sheep annunciated. She pulled a credit card from her ample fleece. Remi just gaped.

"Look," she said, "I know it's a bit unusual, but I can't take another night of my ram's codswallop about how he's going to be a draft horse someday. I just need one night of peace."

Remi showed her to her room, a plot forming. Dare he kill a customer?

"Mami," he said ten minutes later. "Start the oven. We're having mutton tonight."

Suzanne said...

“I refuse to die in such a tacky hotel,” Kari Dell screamed as she ran through the yellow-carpeted halls past a taxidermied sheep.

It was almost ironic that escaped mental patients invaded the writing conference before the session on crime novel plot twists started. Maybe Kari would have been better prepared to defend herself against a deranged killer wielding a pineapple-shaped lamp.

Kari tripped, landing beneath a driftwood-framed portrait of rodeo clown Kilgore Codswallop. As the spikey pineapple splattered her blood on the hideous decor, Kari’s last thought was that at least Janet Reid would write her a kick-ass obituary.

k.kellie edwards said...

Ignoring their precocity? Declaring their ideas ‘ovine coddswallop’?! ‘Tis the final straw and so, they hatch a plot to kill her in the dell. . .

Knowing full well she sups at three, they slip a bomb inside a slice of brie and hide it in her pail beneath the crusted loaf and ale. Then, patiently (with bated breath), the sheep await her certain death: she’ll lift the cheese and BAM! be blown to pieces, thank you very much! (Which demonstrates the folly of ignoring bleats and mews and such. . .)

Nathan Parsell said...

The stiff chill of Pacific Northwest summer mornings and sunlit shadows cast by dangling blinds snapped my focus to the newspaper waiting outside my borrowed door. I opened it, creaking like stressed timber. A wisp of vanishing breath escaped me, like tufts of soft wool insulating the mob of bleating sheep; rams and ewes flecked the dell between the hotel and the sanatorium on the horizon. A herd of rejoicing faces flanked the news: Kari had been executed in the Washington gallows. I placed the codswallop by the dusty bottle, plotting to dull my aching heart with kill-devil and nostalgia.

A. M. Perkins said...

"Don't stop there."

I rolled my eyes. I was tired of Matthew's opinions on what constituted acceptable lodgings. Mostly because I was just plain tired. "And what's wrong with this one?"

"Nothing much." He grinned. "Only that a rabid sheep murdered Kari Dell behind its walls."

"A rabid…sheep."

"Yep. It was part of an Illuminati plot to kill the last five people in Montana."


Matthew laughed. "Okay, so I lied. It's actually an asylum for the criminally insane."

I took a long look at the looming brick building… and ignored Matthew's triumphant smirk as I drove on by.

Richard Stillman Prime said...

While lounging in a dell, young Percy, principal sheep among a robust flock, considered that he would only be through with this shearing business if he could successfully kill the shearer. Reviewing his plot, he groaned disgustedly. "Codswallop," he said in whatever sheep dialect was native to the dell. "How would I ever arrange to have giant novelty shearing scissors plummet from the sky and impale him? Idiot," he said, administering what we must admit is an accurate self evaluation. Collecting himself, young Percy renewed his machinations, wondering if with a cloven hoof he could brandish a sword.

Anonymous said...

The deli bell tinkles as Scarletti steps inside, closes the door, pulls the shade.

End of day. No customers. As planned.

“Where’s my vig?” Scarletti asks.

“You should wish,” Luca, the owner, says coming around the counter. “I ain’t payin’. Fuck you.”

Scarletti grabs two cod, swings. A solid codswallop to the head. Stuns Luca.

Scarletti’s gun hard against Luca’s forehead.

“Don’t kill me. I’ll pay.”

“Too late.”

Scarletti‘s secret plot, an abandoned sheep dell with a played out well. Dumps the body down it. Tosses in the fish.

“My wish? Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.”

Dara Warren said...

The plot of land isn’t remarkable, as far as plots go, but it’s mine. That sonofabitch tried to kill my claim with fancy talk. And all those sheep at the courthouse taking his side, that codswallop about “ambiguous boundaries.” For what? Some dog food manufacturing plant. I heard them laughing, singing that old nursery rhyme behind my back.

I broke from digging and squatted beneath the valley’s Red Maple. My dog’s gotta eat too, I thought, grinning. And the leftovers… well, who’s the farmer in the dell now, *sshole? Who’s the farmer in the dell now?

Kim Van Sickler said...

Tired and sore from breakaway roping in the dells, I should be groggily reliving today's victories or already asleep.

But I'm loopy from that celebratory glass of Brandy that serial killjoy Vicki Jackson handed me before bed. Forced upon me really, accompanied by an uncharacteristically sheepish smile, as she told everyone how she'd always admired me.

My door creaks open. Vicki stands silhouetted in the sconce-light from the hallway. She's grinning.

I sit up to ask what codswollop she's plotting, when she approaches. Her rope dances overhead. I hear the snap at the same instant I can no longer breathe.

sari said...

“Codswallop. You’re only saying that ‘cuz of the accent.” He shoved the keys across the counter. “Don’t kill yourself.”

I didn’t believe him. Many believed he had a plot to die and then disappear, though I never would’ve thought he’d end up a sheep farmer in the middle of nowhere. There wasn’t even good wi-fi here.

The land was a patchwork of hill and dell, but fifteen minutes after leaving my Overlook-styled retreat, I found what I was looking for: the loony bin (my words, not theirs).

I left the Jeep running and followed the screams back home.

sari said...

Not my entry (that's above) but I would like a pink pot-bellied pig named Mabel for my prize. Just in case you'd like any suggestions. ;-)

Jesse Knutson said...

Kari was killed in a dell by a sheep with a plot named Codswallop.

Darci Cole said...

The dell was clear, its grass and solitary trees waving their welcome. The cottage was in sight, sheep lined her father’s field, and she sighed. Then the knot in Kari’s stomach tightened. She shivered.
*I should not have come.*
They were there. The pack circled behind her line of vision, plotting their kill. Gray and black fur flashed around her.Wolves whose enchanted existence she’d denied appeared and vanished before her eyes. She cursed. Her codswallop tales now stood before her, plain as day.
When the first wolf lunged she cried out, but only once.
*I’m sorry, father.*
*I’m sorry, Beast.*

brenda said...

I was going 90MPH up the interstate when the left tire blew. Mom’s Gremlin pirouetted with the grace of the freshly burst helium filled balloon across the divide sending my Dell laptop out the open window. The car skidded to a halt on a plot of ragged terrain scattered with black sheep, but not before rolling over Kari. I stopped two inches shy of Farmer John.

“It was a clean kill, she died with a smile, but her the pitch for that new reality show, ‘Codswollop’, is scattered across the fields,” he said, clearly relieved.

Preston said...

“Codswallop!” Kari replied. “You aren’t from that mental institution down the road, are you?”

“No,” the barkeep mumbled.

“But you said be careful of sheep.” Kari rattled the ice in her glass for emphasis. “Do they plot murder? Are they…ninja sheep?”

The bartender turned away.

“No really. I wanna shee these sheep myself.” Dell stood and wobbled to the door. “Out here across the parking lot, are they?”

Thirty seconds later the bartender shook his head sadly at the thump and tinkle of broken glass.

“I told ‘er to watch out for Shep. The sod’s been drinking all afternoon.”

Joanne De Simone said...

“Colonel Mustard in the kitchen with the knife.”

I waited.

“You have absolutely no imagination.” Kari’s words beat mother’s attempt to interject. “Seriously, you couldn’t plot an original deathtrap.”

“Imagination is overrated. You didn’t recognize that obvious pack of coyotes set to kill the sheep in the dell.”

“Says you Mr. Codswallop!” She thrashed out of the room as usual.

“Why do you always infuriate her? We’re not heading back down the road until you apologize.”

“Fine. I’ll even make her a reconciliatory lunch. Tell her to meet me in the kitchen. I’ll fix her pastrami and mustard on rye.”

ami said...

If I didn’t agree to kill the sheep, would this be happening? Or do ya call one a shep? No matter. Dell Blythe is gliding his lickety lips over mine.

After weeks of cuffing my shorts up to my crotch, a plot to spew harder innuendos, baby-oiling my biceps, all it took was a strong, swift jerk of a sheep’s neck.

He couldn’t breathe and only had one eye. The sheep, not Dell.

Dell pulls back. “You’re gonna have to do another.” He points to a three-legged quivering fur ball.

“Codswallop.” I drive my tongue back into his mouth.

Lynn Guelzow said...

Kari plunged into the dell, feet first in the scissoring cross kick she’d learned in life saving class 14 years ago. Bobbing to keep the Merino in sight, she struck out, closing the gap between her and sheep. She thanked the gods of domestic livestock for making sheep rescue so easy to plot – little teeth, no hands, great handles. But the ewe was sporting a full fleece of waterlogged wool and with growing panic, Kari thrust the creature away, only to find her fingers tangled inextricably in the sinking sheep.
“Codswallop!” Kari burbled as she sunk below the killing waves.

Sean Breves said...

Perched on Kane’s rosebud, I knew it was stupid. But, it’s a Zeta Beta party in the dell, right. I raised the shot glass in the air, “Kill it,” Kari called. The acrid burn of Jameson drenched my throat. A helmet. Yeah, a helmet would make this safer.
“Ladies and Gentlemen,” Bo shouted, “We present…” He raised the inflatable sheep, his most prized possession; it was disgusting, “…Jack “Codswallop” McGarvey. Pledge names.
Edging forward, my sled shifted. Crap. Mom bought that plot? After I felt my neck snap, there really wasn’t much pain. Just laughter then shrieks. Ah, brotherly love.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

To plot is human, to kill divine, or so the saying goes.

A herd of sheep, when running and changing direction, flow over the hills like a flock of birds shadow the landscape as a single cloud. I am the direction-maker of the sheep. I am the director of the funny farm where Kari Dell boards her horse. It is the perfect place to hide, among the patients which muck her stall. I am the Codswollop killer and Ms. Dell my patient, was the most recent to exit my chart. Next stall, next victim, Ms. Reid. Shark is tasty.

Stephen Spain said...

“Codswallop, balderdash, and hogwash,” the sheriff muttered. “She did not kill herself.”

“She was depressed,” Jan Galeos insisted. “Bantam Dell rejected her novel because the plot was too predictable. Maybe she propped up the pitchfork and hurled herself onto it?”

“Dead writers sell really well,” the sheriff observed. "And they are very docile clients.”

Galeos grimaced, exposing her huge white choppers, and picked at straw that was caught in her wool sweater.

The sheriff’s eyes traveled from her sweater to the hay-sprinkled corpse. He took out his handcuffs. “I know a shark in sheep’s clothing when I see one.”

Rain Crystal said...

Dell wasn't supposed to die. Yes, there was a plan, and a fool proof plan at that, but it remains true that she wasn't supposed to die. It was a plan that was not supposed to be executed, just like Dell wasn't supposed to be executed.
How? Well, we picked a plot of land, imbued a sheep with explosives and that codswallop walked into a trap not set for her. It was not our fault. If it had been our fault no one would have found her. Ever.

FJ THOMAS said...

From the shadowy dell below, Esmond quietly watched Kari through the hotel window. She was penning her next novel. He wondered what gruesome plot she was laying to paper. The last book was all codswallop, of course, but her sordid tale had cost him his precious sheep ranch that had been in his family for generations. Everyone knew the book was about him and it had cost him dearly. Kari had to die. Simple as that. He pressed the rifle into his shoulder and squeezed the trigger. Her body buckled on to the desk. Good shot!

Mark Koopmans said...

“Montana for real?”

“Dude. That’s what you said.”

“And she rides horses? Not sheep? Codswollop.”

“C’mon. It’s ‘codswallop – with an ‘a’ – not an ‘o.’ How many times I gotta tell you. Follow the plot.”

“Sorry. It’s an awkward word. What’s it mean, anyway? ‘She who smacks fish?’”

“Shadup. Focus on the plat, I mean the plot. How we gonna make the kill?”

“Hotel? Next to the state mental hospital – again?”

He nodded at his partner. Her grimy feet ensconced within dirtier socks, Dell wiggled her toes over the warm dashboard and cocked her Glock.

“The things we do for fun.”

Nato said...

"Codswallop," said Holmes. "This woman is no shepherd."
I looked up from the corpse, her attire rustic, her face tragically lovely. The sheep ruminating in the dell regarded me blankly.
"Forget her absent pulse, Watson," Holmes said. "Check her hands. Smooth and dry. Not rough with work, or oily with lanolin."
"You suspect a plot to kill her?" I asked.
"To suspect implies uncertainty," said Holmes. In that moment, he reminded me of a shepherd himself -- for I knew he would soon have a crook firmly in hand.

J.D. Schewlakow said...

Kari Dell had just settled into her room. The colonial hotel set the perfect atmosphere for her new romance plot. A light knock at the door interrupted her writing. “Who is it?”
There was no answer. She heaved herself up from bed. The old rickety door creaked. A man stood outside her quarters. His hospital gown explained the grin on his face but not the knife in his hand. He muttered, “Kill the sheep.”
“I think you have the wrong room,” Kari’s voice shook.
“Codswallop,” he hissed thrusting the blade into her stomach. “I’ll give The Shark your regards.”

Anonymous said...

I want to kill her. Really, I do. She’s rejected me three times now. All she seems to care about are her sheep. I picture us nuzzling and cuddling in the dell while the herd grazes peacefully nearby

"Codswallop!" she keeps telling me.

Lonely and rejected, I plot.

Christi McEntyre said...

Her face and shoulders found the dell first. She tumbled and twisted, skidding to a stop on the grass. She would not cry. On the rise above her, da was slicing through wool and skin and membranes, cursing all the while and muttering codswallop, codswallop.
A heavy skin flew down after her, still wet and bloody with flesh. Her sheep.
“Diseased,” the government man had said. “Have to kill them all.”
Da said they’d lose the whole plot.
The hide was hot on her skin. And sticky. She wrapped it around herself, and waited.

Kalli said...

“Go on, stick it in!” Janet ordered.

With a sigh, Kari rolled up her sleeve and reached towards the glistening orifice. “You’ve lost the plot. It’s all complete codswallop anyway.”

“Then you have nothing to worry about. Is it in?”

Kari rolled her eyes. “Yes.”

“Ok. Did you read the sharkives before submitting?”

Kari squirmed, looking sheepish. “Of course.”

They both paused. Listened. Nothing.

Kari relaxed. “Ok, lets go. I’d kill for a cappucc – oh FUUUUCK!” The water flowing from the god’s bronze mouth turned red.

Janet grinned. “Like the shark, La Bocca Della Verita always knows when you lie.”

The Writer Librarian said...

Sheep brayed in the dell. Dad glared in their direction. “I need to kill them.”

His breath alone could have done the job—a full-blown stench of cigarettes and alcohol. He twisted a rusty pitchfork, which I immediately took from him.

“Why kill your own sheep?”

“The dog told me their plot--to trample the fences, invade my farm. Their constant ‘meh’-ing doesn’t help either.”

“Maybe you should…get away. Leave Ireland for awhile.”

“Codswallop. Who would take care of the dog?”

The rabid, drooling dog tore through the herd. His mind, like my father’s—gone.

Devon Abejo said...

“Good evening – I’m Kerri dell with the channel 10 news. Tonight our first story involved a murder twist straight out of a bloopers reel of stupid criminals. Two men plot to kill their mother for the insurance money by poisoning her with sleeping pills and throwing her into the sheep pen on their local farm. “

“ sheep pen, don’t you mean pig pen Kerry?”

“No Kent, these guys threw her to the sheep”

“you weren’t kidding when you said they were stupid criminals Kerri”

“wait Kent it gets better. They tried to poison their mother with 4 sleeping pills and then threw her into the sheep pen, the mother awoke 15 hours later in the mud and mad as hell as her idiot sons. Local police are calling this the case of the codswallop bandits”

“codswallop bandits?”

“ I didn’t say it made sense, I just said that’s what the local police were calling them, Mary what’s the weather going to be like next week”

The Happy Amateur said...

There once lived a looker named Belle
Who would pasture her sheep in a dell.
Big Bad Wolf had a plot,
But–codswallop or not–
Looks may kill. Poor Bad Wolf. Oh, well…

Jmdudo said...

The hotel is beautiful, Janet said. All nestled cozily in a dell. A perfect place to plot your novel or just kill time. And don't miss the library! There are tons of books.
So Kari went and met a boy and girl with hair shaved unevenly, looking like Anne Hathaway in Les Misérables. She noted their toothy smiles, never thinking of wolves in sheep's clothing until she was lying in a hole while they piled books on her.
"Codswallop!" The boy said, dropping more books.
Kari wheezed. Her toes were numb.
"Bless you!" The girl laughed. "Now, the dictionaries!"

french sojourn said...

“Why would God do that, Ciril?”
“We gotta kill this bird, Kari Dell; verbally?”
“You erd em.”
“She in the nutter?”
“Nah, next plot over, the Sheep Rodeo Palace.”
“Ropey name for a fancy hotel.”
“Ciril, you thinking they shoulda called you first?”
“For what?”
“Namin’ it, you tosser. You look manky, I’ll go in.”
“At least I don’t smell like bait.”
“Zip it Ciril, it was part of the initiation.”
“Churlish prat!”
“Don’t botch this job, and you’re in too.”
“Slapped in the puss with a mackerel?”
“Codswallopped , you twit.”
“Where is she?”
“We said Monday, right?”

Mary said...

Smell the crazy through my clothes as I hide in this sagebrush dell. Once he loved me, my moonlight cowboy who couldn’t resist hopping the fence. My plot back then was to keep him, but he wouldn’t marry me. Instead it was a freckle-face down the road named Kari. Throwing me away like codswallop, and pills didn’t work, the rope broke. I was sent away, a danger to myself. Cured now, they say. A stolen knife up my old lady sleeve, I watch as she selects a sheep to kill for dinner. Ticks burrow in skin. I fizz with anticipation.

Jared X said...

I won an auction and claimed the first plot on Colony 7-Epsilon. Like my earth ranch, it straddles a creek in a fertile dell.

I loaded some sheep onto a Spaceferry. My family followed. We christened the land “Codswallop” ‘cause when I first learned it was arable, I hollered that word. Indigenous destroyed our sign. They call the area Blahblahsqueaksnort or some-such.

Yesterday, I watched an indigenous kill my ram. I shot him and smeared his blood on my fence. Today there’re 10,000 indigenous squeaking and snorting outside. My white flag only agitates them. The Spaceferry returns in a month.

Mark Koeppel said...

Kill Kari? He could, if he heard one more Brit-ism out of her. Codswallop had made him want to grab her head and beat it into a rock. With love, of course, but mostly love of not hearing her say shit like that. No plot, no alibi, and he’d almost certainly wind up in jail. But it might still be worth it.

He looked up. The sheep had it easy. They ate grass, pooped grass, and sometimes screwed, out here in the grass. They didn’t slave away on a beat up Dell, trying to prove anything. Looked down, at Kari.

Justin Holley said...

Jigsaw Jimmy punted his Dell laptop. Pieces broke off and skittered across the linoleum like little crabs. And the codswallop their website fed him, like he were nothing but a sheep in a plot of Kari-grass, enraged him even further.

Jimmy shook his head, glanced at the trail of debris, then contemplated his next move. But where had the vile contraption got to?

He walked around the center-island and there it lay, maimed, but not yet quite dead.

It looked contrite, but that forgave nothing. It'd lost Jimmy's precious manuscript. No, he'd kill it if need be...

Sarah-Bodera said...

My mouth watered as I tore her stomach open with rigid, blood-lined nails. The spit mixed with blood on her chest. An artful kill.

Sounds grew hushed now in the dell, pines looming black overhead. Three white shapes moved against the shadows - sheep staring at me dubiously through the trees. Her lurid screams must have drawn them from the surrounding plot of land.

As if to beg the sheep for help, an airy, whining sound escaped her mouth.

"No more of your codswallop, now," I whispered, pressing needles to the lips of her corpse. Then I wiped my chin.

Ashley Whitt said...

In the dell behind the asylum he dug where he was told, braced himself against the rain, hated himself for the sheep that he was. The hole opened easily, another burial plot eager for an offering.

Earlier, in the singed gray dress she'd died in, the doctor had delivered her corpse with some codswallop about electroshock gone wrong.

The treatment of a lot of women was going wrong lately. Scars wound around necks, fingerprint-sized bruises decorated arms. In silence he buried them all.

It seemed madness was a reason to kill. Exactly whose madness, he wasn't quite sure.

Anonymous said...

The Farmer KILLS the Dell!

We’ve all heard the famous rhyme “The Farmer in the Dell,” but a lesser-known tale is the Farmer KILLS the Dell; Kari Dell to be exact.

It happened next to a cattle ranch down the road from a mental hospital. The alleged killer, a farmer, was pushed to the brink after the previous night’s codswallop, involving Ms. Dell, one of the farmer’s sheep, and a bottle of rum. The farmer plotted out his revenge.

The next morning, police responded to find the farmer holding a pitchfork, a sheep without a coat, and Ms. Dell, dead, but wearing a fine sweater.

Amy Schaefer said...

Afore the kill switch quit shriekin’, I was up the loft. Mama’s hand grabbed empty air behind my neck.

“Barnaby Jenkins,” she bellowed, kickin’ at the shearing gizmo. “I’m a-gonna drag you down the dell n’ set you in the family plot!”

“’Twere just sheep,” I grinned. Or now, fancy poodle-sheep.

Codswallop, boy.” Paw-paw stumped through the door, face red, eyebrows AWOL. I’d poached them hairy grey caterpillars so sly, I felt like Jesse James.

Paw-paw raised his stick, poked me out them rafters like a rat and nicked off my brows, one-two.

Reckon they forgot ‘bout school pictures tomorrow.

Kari Lynn Dell said...

Wow. I need to be more careful what I wish for, some of you people are kinda scary.

If you're curious, that's the hotel at Boulder Hot Springs. Montana, of course.

Kate Outhwaite said...

Benny glanced again at the staccato e-mail.

“Langton Dell Hotel. 28 June. Suite 429. 7pm. Codeword: Sixty.”

Money was not stretching as far as Benny would like these days. That 100-acre plot in Marbella was a bust. One last kill seemed like a £60K gift.

Going up, the elevator twanged a tune he couldn’t quite place.

6.59pm. Benny paused, drew his gun, turned the handle and walked into Suite 429.

“Surprise!” cried 30 of his family and friends, as Benny dropped the gun and clutched his chest. His final thoughts were “Codswallop!” and “Of course: ‘Where Sheep May Safely Graze’!”

Mike said...

Who killed Kari Dell
Who killed Kari Dell
Codswallop dilly dollup
Who killed Kari Dell

With words they took her life
With words they took her life
Codswallop dilly dollup
With words they took her life

They sheared her like a sheep
They sheared her like a sheep
Codswallop dilly dollup
They got her in her sleep

It was such a dumb ass plot
It was such a dumb ass plot
Codswallop dilly dollup
It was such a dumb ass plot

So why kill Kari Dell
So why kill Kari Dell
Codswallop dilly dollup
Janet Reid will never tell

Kelly Clark said...

Ulster - Ireland 1832

They crept, the five of them through the wooded dell along the Enniskillen River, making sure not to rouse Murphy's sheep. It was a haphazard plot dreamt up by Jimmy Devine although the O'Hayon brothers had some say in it to be sure.

"What sort of fecking codswallop is this?" Rooney demanded. He felt a stab, a knot of thorns, bristled and sharp working their way through his pant leg. And then he saw it -- Murphy's other herd: his prized Longhorn.

It wasn't so much that Devine wanted to kill the cattle as to maim them, joyously.

-Kelly Clark

Unknown said...

"Piffle," said Keri Dell, mouthing the word like a melting chocolate. "Yes, it pleases. The double f. Yet not."

"Hogwash" rolled out, followed with a rueful shake of the head. No.

"Balderdash. Balderdash." She felt the pursed negative of her lips, bringing to mind an addled sheep.

Must advance the plot. Ugh, if words could kill.

"Flapdoodle." Promising. Hmm, but there's some sense of dangling tissue there. So like “twaddle”—untrustworthy.

“Malarkey, bunkum, tommyrot, all serviceable.

Poppycock, sure, hokum, not without merit. But yet … lacking.”

The air was dry. Lids heavy. “Codswallop!”

The mountain, topped.

KayC said...

Jane cast the flashlight over the trees lining the dell, her shaking hands making the shadows do weird dances. She gasped when the light reflected off a pair of eyes.

“Just a sheep,” Pete said, grunting as he shifted his weight onto the shovel and hoisted the last load of dirt.

He picked up the thick tome at Jane’s feet and threw it into the hole. “Goodbye, ten years of toil. I’m sorry I have to kill you, but your plot is codswallop and you refused to morph into a Kari Dell bestseller.”

He sniffed as he picked up the shovel.

Unknown said...

Well, Google doesn't seem to recognize me for my codswalloping comment, but the one with all the "piffle" variants above was mine, Tom Bentley

Crystal D said...

“How do you spell codswallop?”

“Excuse me,” Dr. Stella Livelorne looked up from where she had been hammering away on her Dell keyboard.

“Codswallop.” Seth repeated, not liking the aggravation that tinged his bosses’ features.

“Why on earth do you need to know how codswallop is spelled?"

“I thought I might use in the report on that farmer we autopsied,” Seth explained.

“Why?” Stella asked.

“Because sheep don’t plot to kill people.” Seth insisted.

“This one did,” Stella grinned slyly and turned back to her computer.

Jenny said...

The spaceship crashes in the dell, scattering a herd of grazing sheep. The sight of the broken ship- wingtips pointed towards the sky, as if reaching for the stars it fell from- is both heartbreaking and beautiful.
Heartbreaking because of the ruined state of such advanced technology: a newer model with the name, Codswallop, spray-painted on the lightweight metal body.
Beautiful because I’d engineered this. The smoking wreck was the result of a plot meant to protest the space expeditions, not to kill.
The reality of what I’ve done surfaces, and I wonder if what I did was worth it.

Leone said...

The lamb grazed, unaware of Farmer Dell's hungry stare. Drool gathered at the corner of Dell's mouth as the lamb chewed a mint leaf.

She nudged the lamb away from the mint patch and inched her way across the plot of land toward Dell and the ravine. One quick kick toppled Dell into the chasm.

As the men carried Dell away, one of them whispered, "I swear, that sheep has murder in its eye."

"What a load of codswallop. Sheep don't kill."

She bent her head and nibbled on a clump of clover.

Michelle Kollar said...

Car headlights illuminated her hand, throwing the knife's reflexion and dancing it around the bar room. Kari's panting breath caused her to hyperventilate. She ran behind the counter, her hands grabbed at three bottles downing them one by one making a codswallop concoction that made her gag. Then the whistling started; The Farmer in the Dell.
"The farmer takes a wife," he sang, giggling in between verses.
Kari guzzled another bottle staring up at a picture above the bar of a sheep being sheered.
"Kari, I have a plot for you! It's a killer!" He giggled.
As Kari stood alone...

Anonymous said...

(**maybe I don't win b/c I couldn't figure out how to delete...but...mulligan pls?)

Kari looked at the hotel and shook her head at the name, THE CODSWALLOP INN.

"Look, there's sheep. Any place that keeps those benign, creatures can't be that bad," her husband said.

She didn't have the heart to tell him just over the dell, she'd seen her past. Some called it the state mental hospital. She called it home.

The receptionist asked, "Will you be staying in the Red Rum?"

Her husband said, "The Red Rum? Yes, that's the one I requested."

Now, it was Kari's turn to stare. Would she be able to kill him first?

Jennifer Welborn said...

I was drooling on my pillow, dreaming of sheep milling about a dell when I died. I didn’t even feel the knife slicing through my larynx, but I felt the warm blood bubbling from the wound as I mumbled codswallop at the man holding the knife. My last thought as I lay dying was no wonder my husband bought me a grave plot two years ago. He had been planning to kill me for quite some time. “Is it done?” I heard our nanny whisper. At least then I knew why I had to die.

Genevieve Whit said...

“Doctor Proctor! We’ve got another one!” Nurse Dell cried.

“My god.”

“Another case of Codswallop.”

Doctor Proctor whipped off his glasses. “I’ve just heard from the CDC. They suspect the virus was part of a terrorist plot. Congress is in an emergency recess, Twitter is down. It mass hysteria out there! At this rate, the Codswallop will kill off half the country!”

“What do we do, doctor?”

Proctor saw the mass of people in his waiting room, coughing into their hands, like a herd of sheep waiting to be led.

“I’m gonna get the hell out of here, Dell.”

Michael Seese said...

“Come on!” Ian shouted as “23” illuminated, and the elevator stopped. He had no time for codswallop. He had to get out. Now. Before...

The doors opened. In stepped Mrs. Grisham, the kindly widow one floor below him.

“Hello, dear.”

No time for pleasantries. He was nearby. Somewhere. Waiting to kill. Again.

“Mrs. Grisham! You must go!”


“He’s coming! For me! For us!”


“Baa,” Ian said, calmly.

“What, dear?”


“I don’t—”

“The farmer in the dell...” he sang before plunging the ice pick into her chest.

JaredNGarrett said...

She sat, sharpening her beak, ignoring the smug rooster and his garish vocal cords. As morning warmed into afternoon, she glared at the window of the farmhouse kitchen. All in a moment, her plot finished hatching and she descended to the coop floor.

Bright sun greeted her. The dell, rimmed with jagged clusters of trees, reminded her of all of her stolen offspring, their shells jagged and dripping with murdered embryos. She approached the farmhouse, avoiding the too-loyal sheep. No alerts. No warning.

No more of this egg-stealing codswallop.

It was time to kill the farmer in the dell.

Bill Scott said...

"Codswallop, detective," Ms Dell said. "Sheep dip. All of it. There's no plot to kill me." She sipped from her flute, her liver fat from champagne, head swollen from recent press. "Have you seen my hair bounce, teeth glistening, my horse at half-trot? Stunning I am. People tweet 'bout me."

"Didn't know you were British."

"I'm not. I live in Montana, but I'm a writer. It's my poetic license to speak to you however I deem fit."

"And I'm not a detective," he said, pulling his gun, "I live yonder, in State Hospital. It's my license to be mental."

Naomi said...

"Cods. Wallop." The vicar made it sound like two words.

"Yet more of your half-baked imaginings. Intrigue in the congregation, conspiracy in the choir. Like the plot of one of your ludicrous detective novels. What's next, Miss Marple?"

The "Miss" stung; it was surely meant to.

I tilted my head as if admiring his superior logic. "Yes, totally illogical. As illogical as me killing you. Me, your loyal church warden."

Three days later, the strains of "Sheep May Safely Graze" filled the chapel of the church in the dell.

Two months later, they hanged the vicar's young, adulterous wife.

Richard Becker said...

“Put it down,” Kari Dell said, never turning from the window. “Over there.”

“Very well,” said the hotel attendant, setting down the silver dome. “Will that be all?”

“No,” she snapped before softening. “I would like to see some sheep today.”

“I’ll ask the doctor to bring the car around.”

“And Monday,” she added. “It would be good of you to return it.”


“You took it yesterday. I would like it back.”

“But that is when you checked in, Madame.”

“Codswallop,” she frowned. “You made that up. It’s clearly a plot to kill me.”

“It was,” he slumped. “Yesterday.”

Catherine said...

The Karmann Ghia sped past the fence post-lined drive leading to the hotel.

"I've killed a hell of a lot of my favorites. I have only one more to rid from this codswallop plot."

"I'm gonna KILL DELL."

The writer tossed the manuscript onto the desk then unsheathed her weapon.
A sheepish writer morphed into a mighty Merit Badger Word Warrior.
Each Sharpie fine point pen swipe sliced and diced grievous errors, leaving pages
covered in bloodred, gangrene, and bruised-purple ink.

The writer stabbed the comma splice then cracked her knuckles.

"Time to face the Deadly Shark Assassination Squad."

CavalierdeNuit said...

Larry sets his rifle beside his chair, and unties his wife's gag. "You can scream when we meet again."

"Codswollap," Kari whispers, "you won't kill me."

"You have a five minute start across the dell." He unlocks her handcuffs.

She trembles under her long dress, and runs out the door. Larry's favorite sheep grazes on a distant plot. Kari imagines butchering the sheep.

Soon Kari will be with her lover.

She doesn't look back until she reaches the hotel. Larry is nowhere. She goes in. It's empty.

"Checking in?" Larry says with his rifle pointed at her.

"Larry, how-"

CavalierdeNuit said...

(please excuse this American: codswallop)

Philip Heckman said...

Hazel and I had a "12-step-commedia dell'arte" kind of relationship. Our respective sex addictions repeatedly threatened to kill our marriage, but we always managed to dance away from the yawning cemetery plot of divorce.

Unfortunately, my latest infidelity involved her sister. To keep the scene from getting ugly, I suggested that we reconcile in public, over mutton at a local restaurant.

Hazel ordered for me, animelles, the sheep du jour. But when the codswallop arrived, and she handed me my noix dans un sac, I got the message: ironing out the wrinkles wouldn't be so easy this time.

Eli Rhodes said...

Codswallop. Why that was the first word to pop into her head, she couldn’t say. She wasn’t even British.

Her next thought, however, was far more practical, considering: I must plot my escape—and if I must kill to do it…so be it.

She watched the horde amble through the dell, their matching gowns clueing her in to where exactly they’d ambled from.

Like sheep, they moved seemingly without care towards her inn—which was settled well off the main road.

“Secluded setting? Great inspiration? Yeah…thanks, Janet.”

She fell back from the window just as the first zombie hit the glass.

jannelle dear said...

When I hired a ex-mental patient as the new cook, I never knew she’d try to kill me with hugs. Miracle rode sheep naked in the dell out back. Codswallop such as “baby chickens are human too” frequently fell from her lips, but it’s the hugging I couldn't stand. Her daily hug plots rivaled those of Twilight with their transparency. Today, she ambled in primed to hug the shit out of anyone in her path. Within range, she dropped her arms and said “you don’t like hugs.” I think I’ve broken her little hugger spirit, mission accomplished.

Joanna Farrow said...

I’m knee-deep in icy water. I’ve long since lost feeling in my feet and my fingers sting as I dig the pan into the streambed. It was a mistake listening to Crazy Lady Dell harp on about the gold.
“Codswallop!” says I.
But she said it was true. “In the creek on my cousin’s sheep farm.”
Though I suppose the real mistake wasn’t in the listening; more in the me leaving home with a plot to make some hard money. Not been a week and already I’d kill for a hot roast.
That’s when I see sparkling in my pan.

Rio said...

Get home before dusk, adults always told her. This here is a dangerous place. The shadows will trick you, the wolves plot to kill you, the night things will drag you away.

Then a soft-spoken man with sheepish brown eyes convinced her that all was a lie. Codswallop, he called it, just fear of the dark, and stories that swelled over time.

So she wandered one day as she made her way home. She sneaked to the boulders to play. She skipped down the hillside ten seconds past sunset and reached the dell's edge two minutes too late.

jesse said...

They were huddled unceremoniously, like—well, like sheep, really.

Kari was near pissing herself and was so scared she couldn’t even bite her nails. Instead, she followed in mute horror as they were led through the dell.

Hadn’t she plotted for months to run away? Now’s the time. Run! Or not. Kill him!

She stood, rooted, as the shears glinted in the moonlight. “Please, no,” she whimpered when it was her turn.

“I think it’s trying to speak to you, Jake,” laughed one of the men.

“Codswallop. Come on, hold her tight. Let’s get this over and—"

Sioux said...

"Codswallop!" She was trying to drop fewer F-bombs, and her circle of creative curses enlarged with every day. "Bull bullocks! Sheep bullocks! Bald and bulging bullocks!"

Samantha slammed the lid of her Dell laptop shut. While Kari was--yee-ha!--on a rodeo vacation (probably riding some bull rider) she was stuck in a slow-moving ooze of a plot...and if she couldn't figure out how to kill off the main character--and quickly--she'd miss the deadline.

'I could always Fargo him,' she considered, and then went out to the shed to see how the wood chipper worked.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...


Dell once tore up the earth with her bare hands, a desperate animal trying to hide. Now, she paces near the hole, a predator awaiting its prey.

She doesn’t know her age, how long she’s lived with Daddy. Dell’s not her only name. She’s Mommy when in his bed. She’s Dog. She’s Trash. She’s Sheep when he practices her slaughter.


She’s plotted this kill. "Over here."

Startled scream. Bone cracking. Moans.

Disappointed, Dell mumbles the only curse Daddy allows, “Codswallop.” She must finish this.

Even broken, New Girl is younger, prettier.

But Dell is the only Mommy around here.

Anonymous said...

“What’s a ‘dell’, anyway?” Anna asked as she and her mama watched their sheep wandering through the pasture. This particular plot of land had been in her family for generations, going back to early settlers of Pensylvania.

“What do you mean, Anna?” Mama asked in return.

“You know, ‘The farmer in the dell…” Anna sang the tune in her cartoonlike four-year-old tenor.

Mama chuckled. “You just kill me, Sweet Thing! That song is a bunch of codswallup…nonsense!"

A feeling of relief spread through Anna’s being. “Well, that’s good. I always get worried about that poor little mouse at the end!”

Tara Tyler said...

She watches the pickup truck pull away. The farmer in the dell. I hate that song. I mosey back to the group.

"The coast is clear. She's all alone." Like the cheese.

"I don't think we should go through with it." Petunia has no backbone.

"Codswallop! We're doing it!" I shout.

"It's now or never." Jessup is right.

I nod.

We push open the gate and sneak up on our victim.

"Hello, sheep. How did you get out?"

In a few seconds, it's over. We killed her. Our plot to take over the farm is a success.

Eric Pfeffinger said...

Every day Madge swore not to eat here; every day she returned upon remembering there was nowhere else to eat.

The central casting server eyed her table. "You ain't touched your poached codswallop. Or your cheese plate."

"I really thought I'd discover who hatched the plot to kill her."

"That Kari girl?" The server squinted. "Police said they solved it."

"They're sheep," Madge said.

"I did wonder, if the director of the state mental hospital was gonna kill someone, why drag her body to that dell?"

Madge's gaze drifted to her cheese, standing there alone. She jolted upright.

"The farmer!"