Friday, August 07, 2015

The Sounds Like Trouble Sean Ferrell Flash Fiction writing contest



Last night I had drinks with my client Sean Ferrell.

Next thing I know [and by next I mean 1am] I'm holding a stuffed parrot, stinking of sulphur and brimstone, standing outside an apartment in Park Slope holding the leash of a rather puzzled looking dog who didn't seem to know me, with no idea how I ended up there.

Which calls for a writing contest don't you think?

 The usual rules apply:

1. Write a story using 100 words or fewer.

2. Use these words in the story:

scene
feral
numb
suit
wry


3. You must use the whole word, but that whole word can be part of a larger word. The letters for the
prompt must appear in consecutive order. They cannot be backwards.
Thus: scene/obscene is ok but scene/Schenectady is not

4. Post your entry in the comment column of THIS blog post.

5. One entry per person. If you need a mulligan (a do-over) erase your entry and post again. It helps to work out your entry first, then post.

5. International entries are allowed, but prizes may vary for international addresses.

6. Titles count as part of the word count (you don't need a title)

7. Under no circumstances should you tweet to me about your own entry.
Example: "Hope you like my entry about Felix Buttonweezer!"
This is grounds for disqualification.

8. It's ok to tweet about the contest generally.
Example: "I just entered the flash fiction contest on Janet's blog and I didn't even get a lousy t-shirt"

9. Please do not post anything here but contest entries. (Not for example "I love Felix Buttonweezer's entry!")


Contest opens: Saturday 8/8/15 at 8am 6:15am


Contest closes: Sunday 8/9/15 at 8am
All times are Eastern Shark Time.


Questions? Tweet to me @Janet_Reid
Ready? SET?

Not yet!

ENTER! (I opened the contest a little early just to make sure I got it open on time!)

Sorry, contest closed.


97 comments:

Firebeard said...

“Worst. Nativity scene. Ever,” said the judge. “My eyes are numb. Mary looked like a Barbie doll, Joseph was wearing a spacesuit, and what's with the animals? There were supposed to be sheep! The Adoration of the Shepherds! NOT the Adoration of the Dinosaur-herds. Your dinosaurs look feral, anyway. That's a big no from me. Amanda?”

A female voice spoke. “No, I thought they were ghastly. Better luck next time, guys. Chin up.”

The door opened. “Bedtime.”

“But mum...”

A wry smile. “You can play Simon Cowell again tomorrow. Go to sleep.”

She put her toys back in the box.

Timothy Lowe said...

Scene from tomorrow:
No Chance Lake. Flaming fiberglass on the water.
Eyes of the crowd melting in numb denial. Eddie’s singed hair awry, fireproof suit not so fireproof.
Engine split in rotiferal defeat.

Scene from today:
Slim Chance Lake. Sprinting hull racing water.
Numberless eyes wide in denial. Eddie wearing his wry smile like a trump suit. Beneath, fauna scatter in poriferal terror, whispering “Neptune’s loose!”

Scene from yesterday:
Big Chance Lake. Marie tinkers beneath the hood, feral
eyes narrow on each gear. Suitors galore have numbed her hard heart,
and Eddie should have kept his eyes on the dowry.

Amanda Capper said...

The scene: Office of feral numbskull foxy lawyer in wrinkled suit discussing first chipmunk’s dowry.

(First chipmunk): But

(Lawyer): no buts about it, sweetcakes, it’s all gone.

(Second chipmunk): Then our marriage is annulled.

(First): No!

Lawyer: The nuts market dropped. The oak forest crashed. Later, Dudes. (Turns to leave. Shot rings out, lawyer drops dead)

Second: Duck!

First: No! Skunk!

(Skunk saunters out, smoking pistol in paw)

Skunk: Your nuts are safe. Foxy squirrelled them away for his own winter hoard.

Second: Bastard! (Turns to first) Wonderful! Our marriage is saved!

First: You’re nuts. (First embraces Skunk. Curtain drops)

Lobo said...

He’s a psycho. These mob animals always are. Always itchin ta see someone’s throat tore out. Pretty sick.

“What bout Buck?” I beg.

He barks a laugh. “Gone feral. Alaska or something.”

“C’mon Spike. I’on’t do that scene no more. I got mouths ta feed now.”

“Shoulda stopped at 101, ya numbskull…”

“Throw me a bone ’ere!”

“Sawry, Pongo. You’ve cleaned up, butcha no Jesuit. Ya can’t change your spots. Boss called it in. Now pay your debt.”

“Fine,” I whine. “Who do ya want put on a farm upstate?”

His tail begins to wag.

Tellin ya—one sick puppy.

Jennifer Delozier said...

Blanche played the murder scene to the hilt, releasing a mind-numbing shriek not unlike that of a feral cat in heat.
The curtain closed, signaling the end of the first act. Blanche stepped offstage and came face-to-face with an effeminate young man bearing a rose in his right hand. An admirer, no doubt. Nice to know she still had a few. They walked together toward her dressing room.
“Drama suits me, don’t you think?” the aging actress said with a wry smile.
“Perfectly, Miss Blanche.” He slipped a garrote around her neck with expert precision. “Now take your final bow.”

LynnRodz said...

The evening played over again in my mind. A Jesuit so beautiful it was a sin he was a priest.

It was merely a game of seduction, Lord.

But my plans had gone awry. A lamb led to slaughter. A mélange of fluids, feral moans and obscene banter went far into the night and left us both wasted by dawn. A novice who performed like a pro.

In the coolness of the church I sat to confess. My sins outnumbered my virtues.

"Psst, John's looking for you at the bar."

"Bar? But he's..."

"Oh, that, it's to pick up girls.

Matthew Wuertz said...

It wasn't until the feral hog blew up that Dale realized his plan had gone awry. It had been smart enough to get into the shed but dumb enough to get into the home-grown nitroglycerin.

Dale had wanted to be a chemist instead of a corn farmer, and clearly he had talent. Without the hog's interference, he'd have explosives for an old stump.

He scratched his head. How would he explain the scene to Debbie? It was probably best to numb himself with whiskey first.

Wait. Maybe he could bribe her with bacon. Yes, that would suit her just fine.

french sojourn said...


I watched em fish Dongleleib’s milquetoast carcass outta Paradise lake. Man’d been floating for ten days, and looked like some tattooed beluga whale. His pants had a tear in the crotch, and his flimsy boxers too. Wasn’t a pretty sight, but corpses don’t give a fuck what they look like.

I wryly interviewed Amy at the crime scene, his numb, bangled flaming red-headed widow from Indiana. She waited tables at Waffle-House. Said he was acting feral, they argued, and he split in their Armada.

Then Agent Fanglehaus found Dongleleib’s bookmark in a suit-pocket.
He totally lost his place in life.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

UNEARTHED

A pink backpack, deflated and wrinkled like a suit of old skin, sags within the feral embrace of the tree's roots. Helen pokes it with her cane. Her balance shudders, her knees kiss the ground. Soil slips, reveals faded blue ink, a long ago name – Annie Lowry. The missing girl a worn tattoo on the town's memory.

Helen, numb with shock, shifts bits of branch, rocks, through her fingers like rosary beads. She murmurs the child's name, pleads mercy. She bears an obscene resemblance to a prayerful woman.

Helen had always thought she'd buried the bag better than this.

KayC said...

The scene was set with a jug of bourbon and a low cut blouse.
An ogle-worthy arse and wry humour fed the blaze.
Ownership wasn’t conditional upon capturing the feral heart.
Cold and numb, his “I do” was saluted by her expanding stomach.
The lawsuit gave her half.
Half is never enough.

Gigi Kern said...

He emerged from the murky ocean and collapsed without thought. Numb with exhaustion, he tried catching his breath. He heaved air into his lungs as his dry suit continued to save his life.

He had a wry sense of humor, but to be abandoned on a buoy ten miles off shore....

Having caught his breath, civilization was straight ahead. Something was off.

The first streetlight, where was his buoy? The scene before him was from an actual horror movie. People and animal alike acted as feral creatures. Bodies, blood and glowing red eyes awaited him. "Run" he thought....

Linda Strader said...

Squirrels had her ten feral cats outnumbered. Her neighbor built a fence around their garden. She’d have to follow suit.

For days she labored, burying the fence below ground so the squirrels couldn’t dig under. She swore the bushy-tailed devils made obscene gestures at her from nearby trees. Final day, fence secure. There! That will do it. Little varmints.

Next morning she entered her garden to find everything chewed. Furious, she walked the perimeter. All seemed good.

Her neighbor walked up. “Having problems?”

“Yes,” she said wryly.

He looked thoughtful. “Are you sure you didn’t fence them in?”

christinadalcher said...

Outlawry
A Jesuit priest gone rogue.
One rare Damascene sword.
A backstreet transferal for an unheard of number of banknotes.

Numbness
A stolen dowry.
No suitors on the scene.
A feral blankness in her once-alert eyes.

Pursuit
A plan gone awry.
The obscenest of crimes.
A mob outnumbers the thief, avenging Leila Al-Ferala.

F. E. Clark said...

He counts out the numbers. Bow-tie awry, his new suit seems off. Snickering as he casts a glance my way. His feral smile shows gaps between his teeth. The results are obvious.

He gets to ten, starts over again. I fidget, tired but loathe to stop him, the repercussions would be disastrous at this stage of the night. Piles of blue counters, neatly stacked, begin to accumulate.

Finally, 3 red counters face 6 stacks and 4 blue counters. He sits back, obscene in his glee, pings his bow-tie on the elastic back in place.

“You lose. I win, Auntie Fran.”

SiSi said...


1. My night job is cleaning sweets at the hotel.

I think you mean “suites” here— big rooms? “Sweets” are candy, cakes, etc. Watch your spelling :) 

2. Sometimes plans go a wry.

“Awry” is one word. Remember to check your vocabulary list!

3. His body got number when he couldn’t breathe.

“more numb” is generally clearer-- what do you mean by this sentence?

4. The feral held the wire noose together.

“Ferrule”

5. I scene what you did.

“Saw” or “have seen”

Come by my office later today. Let’s make sure you get everything you want from this class.

Angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

“What made you agree to the will, Buddy? Mom made me life tenant, you got the title.” Wry Salopard. What’s the hitch?

“The B&B suits you. A ten-bedroom colonial ain’t my scene. ” You can grow your pot and rot in hell. You numb waste. “To celebrate, I got Coco Pops, one box for every room.” Buddy set the cereal on the table and signed the papers.

“They’re heavy. What’s in ‘em, gold?” Jerome squeezed a box.

In my pocket. Just wait ‘till the feral suckers plummet your reviews. “Bed bugs, what do you think?”

“You’re a stitch.”

William Coleman said...

I stumbled on stage, clutching hand to chest. I glanced to where the director barked orders like a feral dog. In mental disarray, I could not retrieve my lines.

Pushing hand to the sky; warm, moist. A collective gasp.

“Murder most foul!” I shouted inaudibly.

Silence greeted me.

Had my audience left me? Something was surely awry. The numbness grew as did the red bloom on my disheveled suit. I knew act two, scene one would be my last. I remembered the knife, the face of my killer, but could tell no one as I took my final bow.

dellcartoons said...

Time's up. My feral-suit deactivates. Color returns to the scenery. Odors and sounds return to mere human levels. My body returns to human.

Worse, my mind returns to human. No longer the straightforward here-and-now, the outlawry of the wild. I worry again: the past, the future, money, my job, other people... All of the petty annoyances that make the modern world such a mind-numbing gut-wrenching pain.

I'm in the trailer with the other animal-tourists. We put on our normal human clothes. We return to the cities.

And pretend to be civilized.

Just Al said...

Tuesday

“Mr. Mueller, your place is clean and the scenery beautiful, but I still must shut you down.”
“Who are you?” Mueller asks the suit.
“Inspector Johan Umberger, Health Department.”
“And your beef?”
“Well, actually, no. Beef is not the problem.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Rat stew?”
“Proper hasenpfeffer always calls for the most local meat.”
“Perhaps, but why identify the ingredients right on the menu?”
“Because I’m very honest. Are you, Inspector?”
“Of course.”
“Do you carry a gun?”
“Well, no.”


Thursday

“Good evening folks. Welcome to Mueller’s. Tonight’s special is slow-cooked-German stew, rye bread, and garden salad.”

Irene Olson said...

His wry, numb fingers prevented him from capturing the incongruous scene before him on his IPhone; apparently even the finest electronics don’t have a digit defrost function.

He wouldn’t normally care about the external trappings of the rich and famous – his Datsun B-210 still suited him fine and he was damn proud of his ability to keep the piece of crap running.

But how can that feral guy and his feral wife with one snotty-nosed kid afford that Tesla they’re getting into? What is wrong with this picture?

That’s why he so desperately wanted to take a photo of it.

Claribel Ortega said...

A scraggly haired witch dragged her fingernail against the cauldron, trying to get one last drop.

There was nothing.

She dropped her arms to her sides with a wry expression.The witch tapped her chin as she searched, fingers numb from scraping.

“Tongue of Zebu,” she cawed.

Her pet crow awoke, surveying the scene with a sideways glance.

“Give up,” he yawned, “tomorrow is another day.”

He ruffled his feathers inside his tiny blue suit.

“Maybe for you, stupid bird.”

A feral scream escaped her mouth.
She found the last smooth spot of skin on her face, and caressed it.

Jed Cullan said...


I stared at Jake, all suited and booted, and gave him a wry smile. The wrong thing to do at a funeral. But he looked so smart -- a far cry from that feral nine-year-old I remembered. He'd grown so much in the last year. More like me now, than his dumb-ass mother. He glanced at her, silent, still, serene.

A different scene last week. Hacked into a number of pieces, she had quite a different look on her face. She'd gotten what she deserved, though. I hated her. And to my delight, I'd found out Jake hated her, too.

Christina Seine said...

He’d had an obscene number of lovers in college. Practically lettered in partying, chugging cheap booze, blazing weed – more than once he’d woken up on some frat house yard, tangled with strangers in bare-ass birthday suits, huddled for warmth like feral dogs.

(A) He’d thought it was the flu. For like a year.

“Shit,” he said. “You mean, actual names?”

(I) “It’s imperative.”

All their plans had gone awry. Sean got sick first. Then Jack. It all pointed back to him.

(D) “Bitch, please.” It came out a whisper, a prayer.

He couldn’t remember half their names.

(S) Not half.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

My headed pounded. My right eye was about to shoot right out of its socket. ‘This ain’t no scene. It’s a god-damn arms race’ blared from the club’s speakers, drowning out all else. Like a feral predator, I searched the floor for my mark.

I waited, staring numbly at my cell. I needed that picture. Brook Wellington, could be a girl. Hozier cried out, ‘Take Me to Church’ as my phone vibrated. The picture appeared. Shit. There Brook stood, gorgeous, wearing an expensive suit, a wry smile on her face. My migraine ended as the bullet hit the bone.

Laura Mary said...

It all went awry so horribly fast.

He knew the ice was unsuitable for skating, but she had been so adorably enamoured with the wintry scene, and as snowflakes danced in her eyelashes, he hadn't been able to think of much else.

When the ice cracked beneath her she didn't even have time to scream.

Stooped in the snow, he dug frantically, like a feral animal, until his hands were numb and raw.

Until the hole in the ice was covered.

The lake would keep his secret.

Until the spring at least, anyway.

Lance said...

“The last dra'scene totally turns the book into wry toast. The pace waffles. The plot's flimsy.”

The writer flames, “Bastard!”

***Amygdala hardlatch! Reset!***

“You feral, numbnutted, fangle dangler!”

***Dingledy-ding! Dongle Paradise! Reboot … now.***

“I'm your agent, not House's managing editor.”

“Watch out! Indiana doesn't suit the story, you tattooed, feral weasel!”

***Violence potential: ten. Thorazine Armada, stand by.***

“He wants a new point of view, too.”

“What? Second person?” She grabs the Harmon Killebrew.

***Armada, release!***

He nods.

“Noooo!” She swings for one high and outside.

***No-tears formula. Push!***

Julia said...

Understand. I didn’t know.

We lived numbly on a dingy farm. Milked our cows. Gathered eggs. Year. After. Year.

He loved me; I protected and loved them.
I was such a fool.

I came in early one afternoon, dusty in my muck suit. A strange growling, recalling a feral dog in heat, came from our bedroom.

I clasped our shotgun. Pushed open the door.

The scene exposed itself. There he lay, upon her, and the wry look he cast upon me was as sickening as the rest.

“Come here, Gabrielle.” The child clambered free.

“Goodbye, Papa,” I snarled.

I fired.

Dena Pawling said...


Evolution of a relationship:


First date, Outback:

Her, staring at the book on the table: “You reading Numb?”

Me: “Yeah. Supposed to be an awesome book by some feral author who wears an empty suit.”

Her, eyes wide: “Like, he lives in the subway tunnels or some such scene?”

Me, with wry smile: “Something like that.”


Fourth date, Denny's:

Her, incredulous: “Why do you always have a book?”

Me, disappointed: “Why do you never have a book?”


Last date, McDonald's:

Her: “Sorry. I... I just... can't see this working.”

Me: “Why not?”

Her: “That... that author... he doesn't like koalas!”

Jenny C said...


With red-rimmed eyes and a feral scream, Katie threw the mail on the floor. “Yale. Harvard. Princeton. I wish I’d never been born.”

Henry collected the catalogues and bills, numb to her Ivy pursuits and plans gone awry. “What’s this?”

He held a yellowed envelope addressed to the girl I’d been twenty-five years earlier. Inside, two words on a single sheet of paper. MARRY ME. My legs gave way. Images flashed, replaying the scene of Tommy’s death in the sweltering Gulf heat.

In September Katie would go to State with no idea how close she’d come to never being born.

Craig said...

It was quite a scene; flood stage had gone by eight days ago and still it rained. A wetsuit would beat an umbrella. Cabin fever almost numbed my mind. That she nattered when nervous shook that numbness. She had been nervous since long before flood stage happened.

From the porch we watched the water rush down what had been our street. The nattering went up a couple of notches when moccasins were swept by. I affected a wry smile when she turned my way. I pointed out a gator struggling. When she turned the smile went feral and I pushed.

Myra Levine said...

MERCY
He still dressed for meals in a suit that used to fit him.
Speak to him, and he might look up and affect a wry smile,
as though present.

What scene was playing out in his head? What reality was he living?
If there was a merciful God, it was not this one. If there was a
merciful God, he was numb to his surroundings and his deteriorating brain.

Was there a merciful God who loved old men, or a feral Cat
who felt nothing when they suffered and died?

Either way, tonight she would be His instrument.

Donald Mabbott said...

The sagging porch was enough to give anyone pause. It didn’t look sturdy enough to hold a soul. It was little more than shelter for the neighborhood feral cat and her litter.
Hard at work in the basement, he calmed knowing she’d warn him if a stray Girl Scout, or a wry Jehovah’s Witnesses braved the rotted planks.
His contemporary lab lay in sharp contrast to the porch. He was numb to the scene before him—namely, the three-piece suit made of human flesh—but would surely make a Witness question his faith, and a Girl Scout toss her cookies.

Colin Smith said...

They pass by my window, the empty suits. Stick figures like a scene from a Lowry painting. I see them all walking across on the other side of the street. Meaningless men. Men who stole all I had.

Family men who stole my innocence.

Teacher men who stole my pride.

Soldier men who stole my compassion.

Now I have nothing left to offer. Almost. I have my Seiko clock set to rush hour, and the bomb in the bag next to the bus stop.

Numb-hearted, I line up the crosshairs.

My Seiko alarm goes off.

I squeeze the trigger.

mugandmuse said...

The feral suits were all bluff and bluster. My desk provided little shelter from their displays of dominance. I’d long ago grown numb to the scene. They loomed, they smirked, they tried to flirt. I gave them nothing but a wry eyebrow in return.

I called the next name on the list, “Mr. Ferrel?”

He wasted no energy on me. A real wolf knew the difference between a lowly receptionist and an executive assistant. Welcome to the pack, I thought as I led him to his interview.

Eve Messenger said...

She didn’t love him anymore. Numb from its wry chafe, Raline recognized this truth as her husband lumbered to the truck stop restroom.

His phone stared blankly up at her from the sticky tabletop, buzzing with the promise of secrets revealed.

Raline’s finger poised above the buttons.

Between press and revelation flooded this: years of brooding dinners; enthusiasm rejected; chauffeuring their children alone to doctors and jiujitsu. It was obvious their relationship had decayed into a scene from some black and white movie featuring bad actors who couldn’t even pretend to love one another.

Raline put down the phone.

Dulcet Demon said...

The scene below blurred. It was a dozen stories down to the ground but as terrifying as teetering on the edge was, stepping back and returning to her life was worse. It made a girl wonder which decisions in the chaos of memory were the stepping stones to this exact moment.

Ann felt numb. The wind that whipped around her edged on feral, tearing at her suit as though it meant to drag her down before she was ready. Fitting. A wry smile twisted her lips as she felt the wind take hold, making her last damning decision for her.

Silver Grace said...

Megalodonna thrust her sharp tail towards the surfer in his black wetsuit. She knew she had on a wry grin as the surfer looked her way, numb with fear. The scene was too perfect to imagine. She felt that familiar rush of exhilaration as she shredded his leg with knife-like teeth. She then released him, reveling in his manic shrieks, and darted off before the beach patrol got to her. She spotted her next target then, a small red haired girl bobbing in floaties and headed off to start her feral routine again.

QuirkyElf said...

“Numbskull, yer a disgrace ter all hunters.”

“But-but it’s a shortcut,” I protest.

Groundhammertongs shrugs and emotes at Shewarrior.

“Eww, that’s obscene!”

“It’s jus’ pixels.”

“You do know she’s a he?”

Groundhammertongs replaces his suit of armour.

Ladymage slams her staff. “Enough! We must not fail this quest. ‘Tis all awry. You are dismissed from our company, Elfhuntress.”

They’ve abandoned me in the wilderness.

I may get easily lost but I always keep track of stealthed enemy mobs. My fingers are poised on my keyboard. After the feral pack of wargs finish eating, I dash in and loot the corpses.

Kitty said...

They found Dad in his birthday suit, darting from shrub to shrub in the neighbors' yards, like a feral cat trying to escape. As usual, Emmett Hawley, the neighborhood numbskull and self-appointed muckraker, had called 911 and was causing a scene by the time I arrived with Dad's bathrobe.

"Mrs. Hawley shouldn't see such things!"

The snickering enraged Mr. Hawley. He pointed at me and shouted. "Your father should be locked up!"

"He's harmless."

"He's a menace!"

"His wiring's gone awry, that's all."

The "A" word, left unspoken, hung in the silence like a shroud as I walked Dad home.

Terri Lynn Coop said...

From the bench, the soul-numbing scene never changes.

Today’s docket included trespassing, a burglary gone awry, and poaching feral hogs.

An incoming text distracted me from the droning suits.

@AnnieESQ: Later? I need to replevin my underwear.

I was suddenly glad this robe covered my opinions.

@DaJudge: How about some habeas corpus?

@AnnieESQ: Maybe put the vice back in Pro Hac Vice with a little in camera examination?

@DaJudge: It is sooooo ordered.

I perked at the words every judge lives for, “The defense rests.”

“I’ll take this under advisement. Next case.”

“Your Honor, attorney Ann Smith for the plaintiff.”

tlawrites said...

Calamine-saturated memories of the aftermath of the Feral Cat Infestation of 1987 at the family lake house bubbled into his mind. This only amplified the incessant itching.

10 minutes until the interview. Now 5 minutes. Too late to turn back now. Shit.

The sorry scene clearly amused the receptionist, who flashed him a wry, snaggle-toothed grin when she caught him surreptitiously tugging up his trouser leg for a stealth scratch. Willing his skin numb, he let the charcoal tweed fabric tumble back down, exhaling pathetically.

Note to self: thrift store suits: bad idea.

Megan V said...

They came in suits: tweeds, checks, lapel-pins, pinstripes, bowties, neckties, and little folded pockets squares, one right after the other. The same twenty lawyers performing another lousy dance number in the LoCo lockup. Phones clicked. Chairs screeched.
Then she waltzed in.
Lean, sheen, and hot as the summer sun, she brooked more sauce from the dozy guard than she ever did from me.
“Careful, ”the man warned, jerking his chin my way. “That one’s feral.”
“He doesn’t look like trouble.” She smiled wryly.
“Looks are deceiving.”
“Are they now?”
I chuckled. My wife always was good at setting the scene.

Donnaeve said...

April 2014, the diagnosis is delivered. Soon, we know. Small town news travels fast.

Nerve cells gone awry, the feral consumption of muscles and abilities begins. A slow process, one you’re not suited for.

Time passes. Physical abilities wane.

No more ten miler Saturdays or fishing trips. No walking. Talking.

We try and do our part, accepting the challenge time and again. Scenes capture dozens of us dumping ice water over our heads, as if to numb ourselves.

June 2015, ventilation is necessary. Facebook updates go silent.
Memories comfort, strengthen.

They’re what’s left.

Along with inevitable knowledge.

And the waiting.

K Wey said...

Cecily gestures. “That one, right there.”

“You sure he’s feral?”

“His head swiveling? Those twitchy eyes? Yeah, Kat, he’s a hunter.”

“You don’t feel bad?”

“Look at him, skulking back into the wild,” Cecily sneers. “I never feel bad.”

“I might not be suited for this.”

“Bait him. I’ll draw the magnum before things go awry.”



“Don’t be so nervous, Walter. Take in the scenery.”

“I miss her, Taz. I’m goin’ home.”

“Wait, Red Dress is checkin’ you out.”

Kat smiles.

Walter strikes.



His eyes closed. His head back. Kat down low.

Bang!

Walter’s brains spatter the windshield.

Cecily roars.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Abrupt impact, windshield crackling apart into his lap. Numb fingers curled around a steering wheel. Other vehicles are stopping.

"Will he be okay?"

Is a $5000 suit enough to show the police it was an innocent accident? It's his wry smile that's damning, surfacing through the handful of Altoids chewed to cover a three martini lunch.

"Sir, we need you to come down to the station."

Dopplered sirens arrive, frenetic lights left flashing as the stretcher unfolds and medical wrappers blow across the pavement. Death is an obscene, feral thing which waits, head slung low.

"He came out of nowhere."

ashland said...


You know your scene's dying when even a hipster can't manage a wry smile while bloviating on his collection of Victorian umbrellas.

“Nice sunshade. I love pre-war, French-made parasols. Turn-of-the-century Duvuvie?”

Twenty bucks online, but I twirl it on my shoulder like a crown jewel. I've the jesuitic sense of a politician.

“How much? Paypal?”

We haggle, he nods.

“Transferal complete. What's her name?”

He reaches, but I slam the tip deep into his groin, stunning him.
“Numbrella!”

Paralyzed by a parasol. Our scene may be dead, but irony stings like a sunshade to the sack.

Mark Ellis said...

Reggie was loathe to make a scene, but the comment from Lord Mortimer had left him numb. How dare the despot wryly infer that managerial incompetence allowed “Poison Mary” to escape Bedlam.
Why it was Mortimer himself who cut funding to the institution, and insisted on unqualified, nepotistic hires.
She was out there somewhere, feral in the fogged British night.
Reggie’s eyes shifted over the faces at the banquet table, wondering which plutocrat would seek to capitalize on his fallen favor.
Mortimer seemed gripped by sudden pallor; he stopped chewing his mutton and vomited down the front of his suit.

Debra Giuffrida said...

My son squatted on the sparkling sand holding a speckled cowry shell between his little fingers. The tiny mollusk that had called it home was long gone. David frowned then turned to me and smiled.

“Pretty.”

“Yes, darling, very pretty.” A precious scene I replayed on my phone as I sat in my bedroom numb with grief.

The swimsuit his granny had given him for his second birthday was too big. How was I to know that it would act poriferal, soaking up the sea as he was dragged down by the undertow.

The empty bottle slipped from my fingers.

bjmuntain said...

Amelia, whose obscene comedy had garnered great wealth, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Numb with grief, she sought any treatment that might help her survive, no matter the cost. She found a shifty scientist doing secret tests, transfering human minds into brain-dead bodies.

When she woke after the transferal, the doctor said, "The operation went awry. The body we chose for you wasn't sufficiently brain-dead. You now share a body with a Jesuit priest."

After months of fighting, Amelia and the priest reached an agreement – comedy, yes; obscenity, no – and discovered a lucrative career in pulpits across the country.

Steve Forti said...

To be her suitor, make your intentions known. Do not waffle or be subtle, for clarity of desire is essential. The in-between – the penumbra of her affection – is destined for failure.

I don’t know most of those words. But now I want waffles.

Don’t be ugly. Also, being rich never hurt anyone.

Gramma says I’m handsome. And I just got my allowance.

Negotiate the perfect dowry.

Had to look that up. Transferal of wealth to the groom? Awesome!

Okay, PJs are on, and blanket fort is complete. The scene is set. This babysitter doesn’t stand a chance against my charms.

GM Shepard said...

A boat pulled into the marina, driven by a feral-looking man. As he brought it to a stop, the engine hummed, vibrating until he cut it off. It had not been his intention to take the boat out, but the scene at the house yesterday had driven him to water. All that carrying on turned him numb.
Jumping onto the dock, he slung his suit jacket over one shoulder and took a look at the water, still and clear, calling him back.
“You picked one hell of a day to die, Pop,” he muttered, giving the boat a wry grimace.

Michael Seese said...

"The Script"

Certain days play out like a scene from a movie.

Me in my best suit.

She in a white gown.

Petals strewn in her path.

"I do."

A kiss for love.

Rice in our eyes.

The winding road to the reception.

Happy guests, waiting.

But...

Sometimes the Director balks, the writers offer alternate endings, and the script goes awry.

Oncoming headlights.

Squealing tires.

Crunching metal.

Crunching bones.

"My legs are numb."

A kiss goodbye.

Lilies on fresh dirt.

Fade to black.

Marie McKay said...



We embraced under the cover of the woods, scared of every twilight sound. We drew a life in words that we knew we'd never live: I'd wear a black suit and you'd wear the scene-stealing white one. Our guest list comprised people we'd only ever read.
The night we were found, it went awry. They didn't do much really. They wouldn't give me back my shirt. Told me I was feral. They left you alone, out of respect for your brother.
Later, at your place, the purple mark your brother stamped upon your face made you numb your heart.

katherineozsari said...

Pig-tailed Lisa cracked open her piggy-eyed brother’s skull. She scuttled up his numb back and into his head. Inside the hollow cranium she saw a naked bawling baby stuck the wall by its eyes. Upon exaggerated wincing she realized the baby was a pudgy feral swine squealing obscenely. She plucked the pig from the skull and climbed out. Since the pig and her brother shared one pair of eyes, her brother’s eyeless body lay still. Lisa wore her brother’s carcass like a suit and pretended she was him. No one suspected anything was awry, except the pig, which she ate.

Paula Krauss said...

Shrouded in darkness, a wry smile crept over her face, her black catsuit ensuring her camouflage in the blackened alleyway. She surveyed her surroundings, pleased that the light behind the bar was out. Now, she waits, the scene set for a confrontation years overdue, her mind numbed by the rehearsals for this moment she'd had in her head, it had consumed her. It would end. Her reverie broken by the feral cat that leaped out of the trash bin, she lit her cigarette with shaking hands. missing the snick of the hammer, not hearing the bullet that shattered her skull.

Steph said...

Three years ago my mom didn’t care for cats. Dogs, she said, are better suited as pets.

Then the calico showed up: hungry, pathetic-looking, ready to melt the numbest heart. Mom put out Kibbles. The cat kept coming back; Kibbles turned into Whiskas. And then, one day, this scrawny, feral cat shows up with four babies. Liebe Mama my mama named her. It was over then, when she gave the first cat a name.

The house is a foreign scene now: scratching-poles, cat-trees, bell-balls. Mom smiles at pens awry on the desk, ready to search for caps under the couch.

Scrawled in Scars said...

I remember leaving the murder scene, scratching my head and asking what kind of feral beast can do that to a man. I recall imagining gruesome fantasies of crocodiles or werecreatures but, as I stand here with numb terror, staring at the body I just put five bullets into, I never would have figured I’d be face to face with a simple man in a human skin suit. I’ve stopped him for good but, by the wry smile on his now dead face, I realize he claimed one final victim because this ghoul will haunt my dreams until I die.

InkStainedWench said...

The duke put on a pair of white cotton gloves, then lifted the 8th-century Damascene sword out of its case. His feral smile glimmered through the gloom. His face was almost koala-like as he brushed his thumb across the fine edge.

Somewhere, a door must have opened. The candelabra sputtered as it cast a shaky penumbra on the stone floor.

"This will suit me quite well," I said.

As I lunged for the weapon, I heard an intake of breath behind me.

Something had gone terribly awry.

DeadSpiderEye said...

There's something feral about that Tom, we clapped eyes yesterday, didn't speak, just gave him the wry look, he crossed the street. So we're avoiding each other, suits me. Jasmine doesn't notice the creep, thank god, she likes her freedom though, those nights out cause me to bite my lip numb on occasion.

What's that noise outside, I'd best check, 'Jasmine!' my god she's with that Tom, in next door's privet. He howls, his libido quelled with a kick to the testicles, what's he done to my baby? If she's with kittens, she'll miss the summer cat show scene.

Joel Freiburger said...

Rudy hated the damascene helmet-and-bodysuit that molded his heft into zigzags and penumbras. His tochus alone needed a dowry of spandex sufficient for a two-person hammock. Chargers, #57.
"Omaha-blah-blah," roared the quarterback.
What the hell was all this nonsense? Hike a football, get brain-cocked on each transferal. He studied aerospace engineering for this?
"Back injury'd net you $5 mil," the trainer once told him. Showed Rudy how to lean left and take the hit.
"Hut-HIKE-"
Rudy snapped the ball, leaned left.
A bit too far left.
The blow caught his neck.
Damascene penumbras.
Game over.

Marc P said...

There once was a Dominagent called Janet
Whose scene was Flash Fiction, goddam it!
She was urbanely feral and leather dress suited,
Highly and wryly, sublimely thigh-booted…
But all numbskulls were whipped off her planet!

katie said...

Jim was still in his suit; he hadn't slept. A ragged, feral teen came in and it took three numb beats before he recognized Tyler.

"Denver omelet, short stack, home fries - extra dark." Tyler always ordered an obscene amount of food. Jim came every Saturday but Tyler only deigned when very hungry.

Their food came. Tyler asked, wry and sulky, "What's with the suit?"

"Grandpa died, Ty. Yesterday was the funeral."

Tyler's face crumpled and he looked eight, not eighteen. Jim held his hand and Tyler let him, then drew away and forked up another bite of almost burnt potato.

Fred Senese said...

Three AM, and my suit’s draped over the chair next to my bed. The funeral’s in five goddamn hours.

I go to the kitchen, find that dusty bottle of Espolon. Bad medicine. It burns.

I sit my bare ass down on the linoleum and wait. The feral warmth, the wry tingle, the numbness—it’s there, but it’s not enough.

When I was eight, Dad took me out on the roof. An explosion on the sun that day, he said. Curtains of green and blue light shimmering in his eyes.

That scene, one more time. Just once more. And I can sleep.

Steven said...

Wading through motel room, primordial soup should cause any CSI to question the wisdom of their student loans. Today I numbingly trudge through humanity’s filth trail like a scout in pursuit of a geocaching badge.

A hotshot Vegas transferal has been trouncing me; clearing cases like the Blues on a mission from God.

Yesterday, he was primary on this murder scene. If I collect some overlooked trace that ID’s the suspect, I can wipe that wry smile from his face.

A bathroom door flings open.

The knife-wielding suspect ventilates my chest.

My watchband scrapes his arm as I collapse.

Score!

aubreyleaman said...

A number caressed his brain, its wry curves mocking him with obscene truth as the man in the suit gazed upon her feral, panicked form.

Still the AcuGram etched the number in the center of the glass cage. Each stroke chipped away the distance between them and her eyes met his and he could hear the ocean, smell the brine, see the sun.

Yes, he could see her eyes.

The hand belonging to the eyes reached out to touch the number.

And as his wife’s bloody hand continued to trace its wry curves, the man (and) the machine moved on.

Steve Cassidy said...

She was mindlessly skinning a cat in our kitchen when I walked in. It was the ringtailed feral one that hunted our neighborhood. There was tomato sauce simmering, water boiling and pasta on the counter. She was humming a Billy Joel tune, Scenes From An Italian Restaurant. She gave me a wry, helpless smile.

“Dinner in twenty minutes honey.”

Her meds stopped working again. My head went numb.

I took off my suit jacket, rolled up my sleeves, “Can I help?”

I started to cry. I slipped my arms around her waist and held her tight. The insanity was back.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I used to be Wry Wryter.
Go ahead google me.
See, I told you. I’m still there. Sort of.
I wrote about that which suited me, until words failed.

On one December morning, a feral male took twenty-six lives, leaving all of us numb with grief and empty of understanding. In a scene from a nightmare, my daughter’s best friend heroically saved some, sadly lost others and perished in the bloody process. For those on the periphery of grief, it was incomprehensible, for the families, the pain is (still) unimaginable.

This is not flash fiction. It’s tragic truth.

Just Jan said...

"Free association," my shrink says.

I nod. We've played before.

"Cat."

Damned thing came out of nowhere. "Feral."

"Driver."

I look suitably ashamed. "Inebriated."

"Oak."

Planted by my great-great-granddaddy. "Unscathed."

"Convertible."

My brother's pissed. "Totaled."

"Parents."

They're angry, too. "Numb."

"Mugshot."

So I got arrested. Does he have to harp on it? "Embarrassing."

"Savior."

This is supposed to be the scene where I let him undress me, and he keeps me out of juvy for another week. But today I go awry. "Rapist."

"Suicide."

He's faster than I. Our eyes lock as he plunges the needle into my arm. "Murder."

Mae said...

The Jesuits taught that the transferal of bodily fluids was obscene outside of marriage. He smiled wryly at the memory as the nurse cleaned up the evidence of his failing body.

He could still remember Father Thomas standing in front of the classroom. “You must stay strong, men. Remember, it will be difficult, but you must stay strong.”

A wonderful marriage resulted in three fine sons. He’d stayed strong for them. He’d stayed strong when his beloved died. Now his weaknesses outnumbered his strengths and they gathered around him. It was their turn to carry on. “Stay strong, my sons.”

allierat said...

“Help! My wool suit’s gone feral!” Neal yelled from above.
I raced upstairs to a messy scene. Tatters of silk, strips of linen, and bits of cotton layered the bedroom floor. The suit had attacked my special wry neck pillow; the pillow had vomited its feathers in fear. I felt numb with terror.
His hands bloody, Neal wrestled with the herringbone tweed. “Get scissors!” he screamed.
Instead, I grabbed Neal’s hunting knife from the closet and hacked the suit into pieces. It finally went limp.
“That does it!” I panted, surveying the carnage. “From now on, only polyester!”

Pat Goudey OBrien said...

We drove down Route 9W through Harriman headed for the border into North Jersey. 9W paralleled the Thruway, slower, but nicer scenery. She liked scenery.

I was a numbskull, letting her bring along that damned feral cat she’d rescued outside of Rochester. But it purred in her lap now, serene, all hissing gone. Typical. Animals always fell for my sister.

The VW Bug was cramped, her wheelchair wedged into the back seat. Once again, I’d said something stupid, completely unsuitable.

“Wouldn’t you love to walk in those deep woods?”

“I’d love to walk anywhere.”

Her smile was wry, sad.

CynthiaMc said...

My husband and I met at a skeet shooting tournament back home.

I won.

He called me feral.

"Don't mess with Texas," I said and smiled.

My husband, the young king of a country I had never heard of lay bleeding at my feet thanks to an assassin's bullet through his brand new suit.

I stood there, numb. The Third World scene felt surreal - until the intruder headed for our baby's room.

I tackled him from behind and shot him with his own gun.

"He shouldn't have messed with Texas," my husband said with a wry smile.

jack welling said...

My surveillance headphones played a kind of wet-splat from the studio two floors above. The basement’s cat piss smell didn’t help a permanent hangover, either.

“What?” I asked Fowler.

“No idea.”

“Right. See what numb-nuts is doing, pizza boy.”

Another fleshy wet echo.

“Entrapment.”

“Patriot Act.” I smiled wryly. “Seditious bastard is doing more than science fiction.”

Fowler swore and dropped his Bureau-brown suit for white painter’s pants, red polo, and bandanna.

“Whataya…?” He began.

“Matches the lavender boxers. Makes the scene.”

Last thing I said to him.

Case note: all animals can go feral. Even writers.

Tell Bailey said...

There was a cat in my spacesuit. Black hair awry, eyes glowering, smell obscene. Clearly feral.

The orbit was decaying, atmosphere approaching. No time to go back. The repairs imperative.

My heart racing, hands shaking. Muttered curses between quick breaths. The cat yowled in reply.

The stowaway clawing its way into a spot at my back. Then purring, soothing, numbing.

My hands steadied. Repairs completed. My suit removed and a friend found.

Ginger Mollymarilyn said...

1 feral dog
1 numbskull
1 crumpled, light blue, polyester suit, with dark blue velvet piping and matching bow-tie.
1 alley scene

Ingredients for a drug deal gone wrong. A murder in a dark dank corner of humanity. A night of celebration turned horribly awry. A body presided over by a mangy mutt. Simon had never been a bright bulb. His last words were, “Goin’ out for a smoke.” Weeks later it was discovered cigarettes weren’t the only thing he liked to smoke. Tragic, his bride became a widow in hours.

Erin Szczechowski said...

No matter who they were, the end was always the same.
Roll or slice, sweet or sourdough. The scene of the crime never changed. They waited numbly for the void in suits of strawberry jam or peanut butter Marmite. All of them…except for him. He had always been the smartest of the bunch, nicknamed “wry-bread”, and he alone knew the escape to death’s feral munching. After they took his honey bun, he made the deal. He traded in his youth for freedom, and when the last of the mold overtook him, he welcomed the trashcan like an old friend.

Nate Wilson said...

"One: Shave, for Christ's sake. You look like goddamn Grizzly Adams. Two: Stop using your injury as an excuse and get a job already. Three..."

Victoria counted Riley's faults off on her fingers. With each digit, he grew number.

He'd been home six months, and never made a scene about the weight she'd gained or her extravagant purchases. Yet here she was, unleashing this feral bit of doggerel upon him.

At four, Riley wryly resolved to continue his hirsute pursuit. He'd cancel his barbershop appointment in the morning.

Job searches were beyond him, but this he understood. This was war.

John Frain said...

In the town, there were two suits and they were always together.

Pinstripe approached. His opening line: “Call me Ishmael.”

“But you’re –”

“Shhh.” Seersucker interrupted. Name was Mal. Resembled nothing else as much as a poorly gathered scarecrow.

Feral cop rushed in, said to Pinstripe: “You Brad Bury?”

“I am an invisible man.”

Numbskull. And I’m Lolita, light of your life,” Cop said, wry smile. “Spread ’em.” When Pinstripe did, books fell out.

The scene made me furious. “You’re going to the bonfire!”

“’Twas a pleasure to burn,” he said. Cop cuffed him.

All this happened, more or less.

Audrey Chin said...

Hansel imagines the scene for his little sister:
Their father following their voices deeper and deeper into the winter woods.
His footsteps disappearing with the spring melt.
Their stepmother mother tracking the trail of raw rye they leave behind.
Her face when she finds their father’s caved-in suit and the house kitten grown fat and feral feasting on their kill.

It would be such sweet revenge, Gretel agrees.

If only it wasn’t so late, if only they weren’t so cold, their hands and feet so numb.

CED said...

"See the galaxy! Pilfer alien artifacts!"

Jana recalled joining the Imperial Rogues. How could she forget the first time she saw their glorious ship, its damascene hull shimmering in the light of a blue hypergiant?

The reality was different.

"Outlawry pays," thought Jana, "as long as they give you the good jobs." Her current job? A pedestrian Centauri rig—dull ship, dull cargo.

She hid in the penumbra of a partial eclipse, undetectable in her suit-craft, awaiting her mark. Two false alarms already, but she sensed another ship about to come into range.

Bingo. She knew that glint anywhere.

Kae Ridwyn said...

She swallowed, loving it and hating it simultaneously. She knew the others called her 'the heifer'. Always eating.
Tears flooded down her cheeks; her sighs fogging the window she'd leaned her head against. Outside, the rain was pelting down. Umbrellas were no match for the cyclonic winds. Miserable. Everything was miserable.
But she refused to let herself reminisce. Never did any good, anyway.
One more mouthful should do it. That would be enough arsenic then.
"Come on," she thought. "Now, Ryhanni. Let's do this."
Death by tiramisu. It was a fitting way to go.

A Velez said...

I tugged at my suit - “Lifeguard” stretched obscenely across the chest. I’d begged Chad for something bigger, but he just smirked. The jerk.

I sighed and scanned the beach. Feral children running rampant. Parents buried in phones.

A whistle blast from the tower and I bounded into the numbingly cold water. Flipped the prone body and started mouth to mouth.

A hand on my ass.

“Nice suit,” murmured the lips beneath mine as he exhaled his held breath.

It was then that I recognized the smug face, the wry smile: Chad.

I continued CPR.

Shame he didn’t make it.

Leigh Ward-Smith said...

“Think of me as the Anti-Santa,” said the tall one with the shot-gun.

I didn’t. I thought of him as a NUMBnut, a potential winner of one of those IgNobel prizes.

His contribution to the annals of stupidity would be something like “Invented Boxing with FERAL kangaroos. KO’d—meaning his head was kicked off—in first bout.”

I might have felt even more WRY had the SCENE played differently, with me not hog-tied next to the in-store deli.

Instead, I sat thinking: who the hell robs a grocery store giving tree in their birthday SUIT in 20-degree weather?

Barbara Hurwitz said...

The screaming siren ceased its howl where the trail of bloody footprints began. Police silently appeared to rise from the sidewalk like umbrella salesmen on a rainy day. Chased by the deafening sound of his beating heart with nowhere left to turn, the fugitive threw himself over the side of a dumpster landing on a feral cat. It's comfort disturbed, the cat leaped to safety with a scolding yowl, alerting the blue suit nearby.

"Got him," the cop called out. Then peering over the side of the dumpster, he spoke through a wry grin. "That cat's my partner, ya numbskull."

Ken Frisbie, Jr. said...

“Really should enter that dadburn contest.
Sitting here in my birthday suit.
Mind is numb.
Just can’t imagine a scene with all them words in it.
Feral! Guess that’s some kind of dog, right?
Wry? She must ’a been drunker then me—Misspelled rye.
One more will help.
I write good stuff, but them guys just don’t get it.
Story of my life.”

Wendy Perkins said...

Numbered

For Sale, the sign announced. It hung awry from its post, the only visible imperfection to the Victorian mansion.

"Suited for a growing family," the ad in the paper said. "Transferal of ownership possible immediately." No one who saw the house returned.

"Is it haunted?" a little girl asked the realtor one day. She took in the scene of bright paint, original stained glass windows, and age in awe.

He patted her shoulder reassuringly. "Of course not."

"Oh." Her shoulders slumped and she slunk back to the car.

Following her, the mother snarked, "No wonder no one wants it."

Amy Schaefer said...

Lily smoothed her suit and knelt at the table. Her tools were arranged neatly, in readiness. An accurate answer required conscientious attention to method. One is not obscene, a feral dog snarling and snapping at a carcass. Cut corners and the process goes awry.

She breathed deeply and evenly. Numb. She formed her question, scooped up the eight coins, shook shook shook and placed the coins systematically on the trigrams. Repeat. Repeat.

She consulted the I Ching; she trusted the book unswervingly.

The answer. Exact. Infallible.

Lily picked up her knife and turned to the tightly-bound man in the corner.

JD Paradise said...

The robbery had gone awry, that much was obvious. Milken leaned against the doorframe, limp with a numbness that in his drunken state seemed more suitable to this scene than feral rage. He tried to stop himself looking.

But the blood. It would never come out of the white shag.

"Sophie," Milken moaned, deep in his throat.

Take the TV, the computer. Crack the drug safe, steal the bathroom Picasso. But to murder Sophie? His hamster? His friend?

At least she'd died fighting.

Milken pulled his Glock, racked the slide. Their blood was still wet. They couldn't have gotten far.

Kate Larkindale said...

Campfire smoke curls skywards as darkness descends over treetops. Colors streak clouds in pink, gold and lavender shades, amber light illuminating the ,scene. Leaning towards fiery warmth, tears trickle across shadowed cheekbones, falling, melting into frozen ground.

Charred meat scents feral winter air - dinnertime soon. Freshly slaughtered carcass, innards piled carelessly just feet away. Dad’s knife still clutched white knuckled in blood suited hands.

I can’t let go.

Death came too easily to this beautiful creature. One moment alive - prancing, leaping amongst foliage - single gunshot echoing while awry deer tumbles, lying numb, blood pooling beneath.

An innocent life cut short.

Extinguished.

Darling Kitty said...


She walks toward me, gesturing at the little brown bag in my hand. Her face is easily forgettable, but the leopard-print pantsuit she wears makes a lasting impression.

“Blue-fronted amazon,” I boast. “Worth millions.”

“Better be.” Her words numb the hairs on my neck. “Or you’ll end up like your friend, Sean Feral – whatever, and the counterfeit Wryneck he sold me. Stuffed and gathering dust in my Flatbush Avenue attic.”

I hand it over and blink away images of my own crime scene. “No charge then.” The dog at my side begins to growl.

“What’s with him?”

“Hungry. For leopards.”

Pharosian said...

When I rolled up, Ortega's unit had already arrived. I climbed out of my cruiser and ducked under the yellow crime scene tape.

"What's the scoop?" I asked.

Ortega gestured to a man sitting on the curb wrapped in a blanket, bare legs sticking out.

"Numbnuts over there decided to parade around the women's auxiliary club in his birthday suit."

"So, who's the D. B.?"

Ortega flashed a wry smile. "Seems two of the ladies fought like feral hyenas and one of them stabbed the other."

"Fought about. . .?"

"Whether to call the police or invite him in."

Jennifer said...

She'd sold the heirloom silver first. Then the Picasso, the cowry mosaic from some distant uncle, even the Amish quilt: all transmuted into tiny capsules that stretched life one more week.

"Six hundred." The damascened ring slipped into the pawnbroker's pocket. Her empty finger burned. She took the check.

Home, to the one room in the suite still whole. She sat by the bed and stroked his numb hand.

He questioned her bare finger.

"Lost."

"I'll buy you another." Innocent eyes. Not feral yet.

She kissed his forehead and gave him the pill. Gave her life one more week.

Karen McCoy said...

The forest captured me from Meg. I escaped years later, a decrepit semblance, while mere minutes passed for everyone else.

“You wanted to see me, Professor?” Meg entered my ancient office.

“Yes.” I scratched my suit, unused to my overgrown hair. “Regarding the scene from Hamlet.”

She grinned wryly. “Don’t see the point of a soliloquy.”

“Me either. I’ve been alone too long.”

The space between us grew numb, distorted by my feral hazes of silvery moss and the acrid taste of rabbit. Did she understand?

No. She slammed the door, and my words – I’m Peter – faded behind her.

Julie.M.Weathers said...

"There I was at two in the morning after drinking an obSCENE amount of Shiner Bock with Sean. He told me to hold this dog and skedaddled."

Marylou sipped her sweet tea. "Sounds right. He's crazier than a FERAL cat with two peckers. Bless his heart. He invented wagels, you know. Tell me you didn't give him your NUMBer."

"I gave him someone else's, but he was too drunk to remember it."

"That gawd awful teeshirt doesn't SUIT you at all."

"It's Sean's. We swapped."

She rolled her eyes as her phone rang. "...Sean?"

My escape plan had gone aWRY.

debradorris said...

Ground collapsed, carrying the numb thirteen-year-old Jack down an unclimbable slope to land amongst diamonds and snake skins.

A winged beast flew overhead.

Slabs of meat hailed down. “Hey, I recognize this scene!” He pulled his paperback from his pocket.

With a wry grin, he strapped meat to his back using the skins.

The feral bird whisked him to its nest.

Diamond hunters at the nest retrieving diamonds from the meat, rescued him. “How’d you know what to do?”

“From the story of Sinbad’s second voyage,” Jack answered.

“Well, one never knows when something they’ve read will suit their needs.”

NotJana said...

Blood. He tasted blood. Could feel - but not - it being replaced the moment it went down his throat. He blinked. Swallowed again. Wondered, wryly, if a feral cat had run amok in his mouth.

He knew it had been a bad idea. She had insisted. He had lost. A daily scene in his life.

It suited him.

The door opened, banged against the wall.

"Daddy! Daddy! You still dumb?"

He happily noticed his eyebrows were still cooperating.

"Numb, buddy. Numb!" His wife corrected, voice filled with laughter.

A hand reached under his pillow. "Daddy? Where's your dollar?"

flashfriday said...

“Wear your sweatsuit!” they said, and I obliged: an irresistible grey number festooned with rhinestone cats.

Turns out they’d meant swimsuit, which I guess they thought worked better for our annual neighborhood pool party — but I wish they’d been clearer. And you’ll be shocked what sort of bier they wanted!

Still, despite their poor communication, I did leave my goats home (half the world’s allergic to dowry these days!), and now I’m standing on the diving board, plump, merry, and poriferal against their Pirate Party scenery, bouncing gently as I can manage. Just wait til everybody sees my cannonball!

-by Rebekah Postupak