Monday, November 10, 2014

Flash fiction contest results!

Honestly you guys are writing some stuff that really scares the bejeebers outta me! I'm may have to ask Laird Barron to start judging these since he's the horror expert.

Without further ado, the contest results for this week's flash fiction.


Special recognition for entries that had a nice little twist at the end
Ashes 10:12am

french sojourn 10:23am

Special recognition for a line that just cracked me up
Rocco and I were tied to chairs, as usual.
Andrew Lipkin 10:17am

"I think, therefore I am. But let's not put Descartes before the horse."
Lenny Liang 9:24pm

Always glad to see a shout out to Rosanne Cash (and if you haven't bought The River and The Thread, get on it NOW)
Sisi 10:27am

Special recognition for extraordinary form
Ashland 10:57am

Not quite a story, but oh I loved this
kregger 10:45am

Not quite a story but awesome
JennyC 11:33am

Taramoc  11:45am

Not quite a story, but brilliant, totally brilliant
Brig 8:34pm

Not quite a story, but certainly the stuff of nightmares for a good long time 12:17am

And speaking of horrible nightmares, thanks
Angie Brooksy-Arcangioli  12:22pm

I may never go to the beach again, EVER, thanks to
MeganV 5:04pm

Homage to the Never Ending Paint Saga!
Loulymar 7:15pm

Who told you about my evil plan for world domination?
CED 8:29am

And this week, the largest number of finalists I can remember in a good long while:

(1) Carolynnwith2Ns 10:43am
It was written in the sand, “Will you marry me, love Bill.” I looked up and down the long expanse of beach, it was empty and the tide was coming in. A little further on, “I love you to the max but I must say no.”

I wondered who they were and was he heartbroken. If she loved him so much why did she say no?
A set of small footprints lead away from the “no”, another set, those of a man, disappeared into the water. As the tide washed away the writing, I walked back to my car.

(2) Debbiedorris 11:02am
Jared hid his face from the blowing sand. The magical duck he rescued lay snug inside his jacket.

“What’s with this wind?” Jared asked Max. “We’re on a beach, not a desert.”

“Quack,” Max replied and poked his bill against Jared’s side.

“Really? You caused this? So, can ya gimme a golden egg?”

“Quack, quack.”

“I know you’re not a goose. Don’t get smart with me.”


“That’s it! Hey, duck eaters, over here!” Jared smiled. “Let’s see ya get outta this one.”

Max ruffled his long feathers. “Quaaack.”

The wind stopped.

*POOF* Jared became a duck.

*POOF* Max disappeared.

(3) Lobo 11:18am
The body lay face up, one hand clutched near his face like he was eating an invisible sandwich. Snowflakes melted on the bullet wound.

“Women’s footprints coming down the frozen beach. Nothing leaving. Perfect ground for a sniper.”

I nodded. “Guy was a sitting duck here. Strange though.”


“She’s never left prints before. Or witnesses. Too smart.”

Max grinned. “Not as smart as us. Right, Lieutenant?”

The billowing fog shifted, unveiling a long stretch of tundra. In the distance was a dark object—one that seemed to resemble a prone female. And a rifle.

“I don’t know about that…”

(4) S.D. King 1:20pm
Scanning the crowded airport he spotted her: long sandy hair, squatting by her backpack, eyes closed, looking sick. He just needed fifty bills max for a cab to the beach and a cheap motel. Snatching the bag, the straps tangled round her feet, and she fell forward. Grabbing his ankles, she pulled him to the floor.
To reach her bag, she crawled atop him, and it almost looked like she might plant a kiss, but instead she vomited in his hair, and collapsed.
Still dripping in the cab he read her passport: Emergency Medical Personnel, World Health Organization, Sierra Leone.

(5) Steve Forti 2:18pm
“You ready?”


“Good, let’s go.” Chet donned his mask and charged the door like he was storming a French beach. I followed, gun drawn.

The beautiful
sandwich artist screamed, feebly waving an oblong wheat roll in defense. Chet leveled his weapon.

“All the
bills in the register. Now!”

Her pretty fingers fumbled to open the drawer. Empty, save a small velvet box. Her fear became confusion. And I went to one knee, removing my mask.

“I’d serve a
max sentence for this crime of loving you, Luanne.”

She still trembled. I smirked.

“And you said I couldn’t surprise you.”

(6) Amy Schaefer 4:13pm
The general squinted along the beach. “Biters?”

“Ready, sir,” hummed the sand-flies.


“Maximum strength,” quivered the jellyfish.


“Caw!” shouted a seagull, french-fry in its bill.

“We shall not fail or falter,” thundered the general, “we shall not weaken or tire—”

“Is he quoting Churchill?”


“We shall defend this beach to the last grain of sand!”

The soldiers cheered. The general smiled. They would crush the human menace.

“Mommy, look!”

An enormous pink hand plucked the general from his sandy bunker. The sand-flies began defensive manoeuvres.

“So cuuuuuuute!” shrieked the giant.

“Fucking hell,” muttered General Hermit Crab.

(7) Curt David 9:18pm
The police were listening to a tape of Ms. Misandry, Ms. Dishabille, Mr. Longanimity and Mr. Maximalist.

“Beachboys?” said one.
“Makes me uncomfortable,” said two.
“I’m hot,” said four.
“Okay, Beatles?” said one.
“Or Aretha?” said two.
“ARETHA, OR I QUIT!” yelled three.
“I have to take off my sweater,” said four.
“Anything works,” said one.
“Thanks,” said two.
“HAPPY DAY!” yelled three.
“I would kill for a massage,” said four.

The police figured out who said what. Can you?

(8) Michael Seese 10:32pm
I have so many good memories of this place. Building sandcastles with my brothers. Chasing seagulls. My Dad’s white nose. Sometimes, seeing dolphins dancing above the waves. And eating ice cream ALL DAY LONG!

So many good memories.

And one horrible memory. Hearing my Mom’s screams when she looked out into the ocean and saw that Bill and Max were gone.

We come back to this beach every year. I think my parents hope they’ll see them again.

Why don’t they? I wonder.

I do.

I tell them. But they don’t believe me.

“Maybe when
they’re in heaven,” Max says.

(9) Kelsie Kasandria 11:18pm
She opened her eyes.

A man wearing a beach shirt stared at her. “Miss Billie, do you remember me?”

“Who is Billie?” she asked.

“What does this mean, Doctor Max?”

“I'm afraid the attack caused amnesia.” He turned to his computer, his long sand-colored fingers typing away.

“Well, aren't you gonna do something?”

“I can't, but you must. Take her home.”

A smile crept across his face as he picked her up. Then she had a vision.

Her horror replayed before her, and she realized who this man was.

His hand prevented her scream.

(10) Hillary Cusack 11:27pm

Veteran’s Day made her miss her father.
She trampled leaves in the silent graveyard and wished she could see him again.

Worms wriggled in the sandy dirt on my face.
I held my breath and dug upwards.

There he was, William “Bill” Maxwell.
So far from the French beach where he died.
She sat along the line of gravestones, waiting for a sign.

I was close; light filtered down.

She sighed and stood to go.

Don’t leave. I came to see you.

She panicked, pulling her leg away. White, shriveled fingers, growing out of the dirt, held her ankle.

(11) Lilac Shoshani 4:54am
"Maximize your potential," the huge billboard said.

Going to Mars had nothing to do with my potential. The space cop cuffed me, as if I was going to run away to some sandy beach on Venus.

"You are not going to last long. Not where you are heading." He looked smug.

Someone walked in. Dressed in an army uniform she said, "We will take her now."

The cop was going to argue, but her rank was higher than his.

"What took you so long, sis?" I asked.

"Real rebels."

She didn’t know that I was one too.

(12) TheOneWriting 9:33am
The first date was disastrous. The guy – named Max, a name she’d always hated – ordered a “Sex on the Beach” with his steak. Who gets those? Then when the bill came, he’d explained he was a modern man, and they’d split it down the middle. Split his steak and cocktails versus my sandwich and water.

“So, wanna come along to my place?” he asked, eyebrows wriggling.

“Not in a million years.”

His eyes widened. Then he laughed.

He apologized for the whole thing, and asked for a redo.

We married a year later, the rest of the royal family beaming.

This week's winner in an EXTREMELY competitive field, and for an entry that is both topical, and a masterpiece of understated, elegant story telling:

(4) S.D. King 1:20pm

Many thanks to all of you who entered. I really love reading your work, and you're making it very very hard to choose just one entry each week. 

S.D. King, if you'll email me with your mailing address, we'll get your prize off to you.


Kitty said...

Congrats to S.D. King! she vomited in his hair I wasn't expecting that. Well done!

Anonymous said...

Congrats to all the mentions and finalists. Amy Shaefer's ..., poor little Hermie - no respect!

I also have to comment on Steve Forti's entry - loved the visual of the waving oblong wheat roll as a weapon. Hilarious!

Finally, congrats to the winner, S.D. King. Uh, yuck.

Just Jan said...

Loved it! Congrats, SD King! And to everyone else who got a mention.

Angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

Congrats to everyone, especially S.D. King. Agent Shark's writing contest has gone viral.

Steve Forti said...

Congrats SD King! When I was reading all the entries, yours was the one I stopped cold on and thought, "Damn, that one's going to win."
Also got a good laugh at Debbiedorris.
Three straight "missed it by that much"es. Is "muches" a word? It should be. Four straight weeks of contests ahead?

Colin Smith said...

I don't envy QOTKU picking a winner out of this lot. No wonder there were so many finalists.

Congrats SD! This was a tough field to stand out in, but you did it. Like a scarecrow. :D

Amanda Capper said...

Congrats SD King! Good stuff.

Must say I loved SiSi's story as well, and not only because of the mention of Roseanne Cash. Epic last line.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

S.D King, I knew it, I just knew you were the one. Congrats, now go into quarantine.

Thanks for the mention as a finalist, I just love this stuff.

Lenny Liang said...

Another great contest! Congrats to SD King and all the finalists. And thanks for the "great line" shout-out Janet, though in the interest of full-disclosure, that line wasn't mine. I was trying something experimental where I would interrogate/diagnose Siri and then try to make its responses into a story. The Descartes line was one that Siri spit back to me. So Kudos to Apple's programmers, I guess :) Nonethless, this was a lot of fun. Thanks again for these great contests! It is so appreciated.

french sojourn said...

Congrats S.D.King.

Soo many great entries, so many that were right up there.
I was infatuated by Ashlands form as well, read it a few times.

Taramoc yours was pretty epic.

Thanks as always to the QOTKU, for her time and wise choices. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations SD King. I had to reread your entry to make sure I got the "vomited" part right. GREAT JOB!

Congrats to all those mentioned as well. I loved reading the posts.

A big THANKS to you, oh most magnificent of all Sharks, for selecting my entry as a finalist.

Have a wonderful day.

Amy Schaefer said...

Very nice, SD King! Well, maybe not "nice". Let's go for effective and shiver-inducing. I loved that you wrote from the POV of the thief instead of the sick doctor.

And thanks for the shout-out, donnaeverhart. General Hermit Crab is still smarting from the indignity of it all.

Lilac Shoshani said...

Congrats to everyone, I loved your stories. Hillary and Kelsie, you scared the socks off me.

SD King, a well-deserved win!

Thanks for the mention as a finalist, Janet. Your contests are awesome!

Megan V said...

Congrats everyone! Fabulous stories!

CED said...

Congrats to all! I've got a lot to learn from this crowd.

And thanks for the contests, Ms. Shark, even if they are part of your evil plan. Which is safe with me. Really.

Michael Seese said...

I can't argue with the choice of winner. Congratulations, S.D.

SiSi said...

Congratulations to all those mentioned, and especially S.D. King. Loved your story.

Thank you, Amanda Capper!

And thank you Janet for the contest. (I was listening to The River and the Thread as I wrote this.)

Kelsie Kasandria said...

Congrats S.D. Your story was awesome, I loved that you had her throw up on him. :)

Thanks Janet for considering my story as a finalist. I love reading your blog and hope to participate in your future contests.