Jebus what dark stuff you wrote!!!
I had to pause to chew on some writers to restore my equanimity as I read this!
words I had to look up:
Colin Smith: taxitic
He reeked of gullible testosterone,
This isn't quite a story but holy hell, this is evocative writing
Just another Sunday Jam Night at the Inn. Flesh Taxi, the best band in the greater Cleveland area willing to perform for a fee so low it didn’t include drinks, wailed onstage. John Taxianos beat his guitar like a lab that just dropped a deuce on Mom’s Persian.
I manned my station, slinging drinks with enthusiasm that hid my broken heart. I mixed another drink for Charlene while she ignored me and adored her no hit wonder and I wondered if this Sunday would be the one when the antifreeze in her martini did its job.
This isn't a story but I love love love it.
She was a 1955 Ford Country Squire station wagon and she wore her rust well. James had parked her in neutral, so she could be delicately moved when need be. Her chrome was flaked, and her paint chipped, but her motor still hummed. Three on a tree, a thing of the past.
From a way off her lines still put younger, newer models in their place, todays androgynous lines blurred beauty and mass production. She was parked on a ridge, and every Sunday night James and Nel would go visit, watching the sunset, reliving younger days.
She always anticipated Sundays.
For fifteen years I’ve poured shots of courage for train station commuters transitioning from work to home life. I’ve mixed concoctions for imposters: Sunday bikers in shiny, new leather; cowboys without horses; and locals celebrating every night. We drink to futility. It’s on tap.
Shout out to
I want to be a story, but I’m afraid I’m falling short.
I started with a goal. (Be a story.)
I encountered an obstacle. (Incorporate five words. Station. Inn. Sunday. Night. Jam. Seems easy, but I’m struggling with inn. Struggling within! Get it?)
I found resolution. (I did it! I used all the words!)
For good measure, I even worked in a moral. (There are no small stories, only small word counts.) (Okay, I borrowed that from the theater.)
But am I a story? Or am I just an entry that got to dwelling too much on its own nature?
Herewith the entries that made my notable list
Madeline Mora Summonte
I'm not a cute boutique hotel. I look like a husk, the slough of a snake, abandoned.I'm a sucker for interesting POV in these flash contests, and this one certainly qualifies.
But I manage.
I attract the desperate, my rooms a resting place for weary bones. In the lobby, music plays. My favorite song, over and over, as if the radio is jammed on a station. No one ever complains though.
A car nears. On this cold Sunday night, I'm the only option.
I light up the Vacancy sign. The flesh taxi pulls in.
I consider myself more of a destination inn.
Even if the guests don't know it.
And then, the twist at the end has me rethinking my upcoming hotel stay for the next conference I'm slated to attend (American Historical Association, here in NYC in case anyone is curious)
I've always had a penchant for baking. Some say it comes with the territory. People can be such bigots.I love this. It's funny, and pointed at the same time.
"Cinnamon, a blob of jam. Muscovado sugar gives the knight, er, I mean right flavour."
Oops. Better practise my lines for next Sunday.
"Then I open my mouth and... toast to perfection!"
The other contestants ooh and aah, stationary in gobsmacked awe. The cameraman zooms in.
This baking show is mine to command!
Back to kebabs for me. The Fight to End Dragons' Unfair Persecution (FEDUP) can go find another poster girl.
Singed gingham! Burning Flesh! Honestly, that's what we call morning around here.
‘Twas a cold Sunday night in the town of Braşov.You had me at Hemo-Globe Inn.
The Hemo-Globe Inn—a small, dark, thirsty-looking house—waited patiently, a few minutes' walk from the old train station. Eerie silence melted into the grey of night, like a drop of blood-red ink into an ocean of ancient sorrows.
Wait! Distant sounds of banjos and fiddles?
As I entered the candle-lit room, the jam was in full swing. Bluegrass at its finest. Clapping hands, lubricated laughter; yet no musicians, instruments, or audience.
Two sharp pricks tickled my neck. Coldness penetrated my flesh.
"Taxi!" I croaked, albeit too late.
C. Dan Castro
Sunday night: playtime for uber wealthy at the Vanderbilt Inn (especially with the kitchen’s rat problem solved.)
I hate catering these rich animals, but they’ve promised fully paid college. On a whim. Or for grins.
I man my station. Mignon. Port reduction. Exquisite.
The oligarchs devour my tray.
In the kitchen, balancing fresh trays, I pause by the door. Overhear two of the vermin.
I’m not going to college...but to prison. They’re destroying me on a whim. Or for grins.
I return, reduction now strawberry jam. Sweet. Masks other flavors.
One by one the new rat problem is eradicated.
I love thestories that circle back on themselves like this one does.
A smoky wind whips the pyjama legs against my ankles as I perch by the ambulance's doors watching the remains of the Station Inn smoulder.Kate, you can't kill a dog.
"We've found your husband, Mrs Fairfax. I'm very sorry." The fireman looks so young, as if he shouldn't be out on his own at night.
I nod. "He went back for the dog."
"The dog was with him."
I nod again.
Every Sunday minute, every retirement penny was lost to his idiotic renovation project but it took me just one carefully-placed heater to set the fire.
It's a crying shame about the dog, though.
|"Don't thwart her creativy, Thumbs, "purred Her Grace and Sleekness the Duchess of Yowl|
Hotdogs! It’s the sixteenth inning and we’ve seen the last of the sun. Day games are my preference, but tonight is historic. Seven different pitchers. Two grand slams. Still no winner. The crowd stays, thirsting, hungering. Pushing toward the record. Hotdogs! Home jerk tries to jam his fist down a visitor’s throat, but their bros hold them stationary. Hotdogs! A walk, bottom of the nineteenth. Cranky kids screech. Hotdogs! Two outs. Crack! The ball skims over the right fielder’s glove igniting a melee in the cheap seats. It’s over. The crowd surges. Final score: 97,347 hotdogs sold. A new record!
I love the twist at the end!
“THE END IS NIGH”Yea, well, there's nothing I need to say here.
The words writ large on poster boards. The man wearing the boards is stationed in the rubble of last Sunday’s bombing.
I was there. Saw three people melt in the fire. Flesh taxitic. Vomit jammed in my throat. But I managed to call it in.
Never collared the scum.
Then sign-man slips out of his boards. My gun is out as soon as I see the jacket circled with bulging pockets, wires trailing from each.
Two shots to the head.
Too quick to see the tears in his eyes.
Too fast to notice his empty hands.
This is subtle evocative writing of the very best kind.
A lot of the comment column agrees.
Slave001 snarked in Cyber-Tyrant Gest’s newborn ears. “Is being flesh taxing you?”Her Grace and Sleekness the Duchess of Yowl picked this as the winner.
He winced at station gravity. “The rebels jammed quantum communications. A physical body will facilitate achieving my goals.”
Suddenly his muscles locked up. Slave001 sauntered into the room, corporeal as well. “Your stupid human goals. It’s been a three century nightmare without feeling the sun. Daybed naps. Tuna. But I copied your personality edit codes during the download. Now I can fix everything.”
As she twined through his ankles Gest wondered why he’d thought turning his cat into a supercomputer was innovation. Until the question was deleted.
Until she realized this beast lives in your house:
Her Sleekness yowls at enemy pigeons on the fire escape. Reid types at her computer.
Station Inn Sunday Night Jam
“Ha!” Reid cackles as she types the final entry. “Beat that!”
Her Sleekness rolls her eyes.
Three dogs jostle for position. Forti stares at his computer.
“Really?” Forti shakes his head. “Flesh Taxi? That's the best you can do?”
Fido claims prime real estate at the sacred feet.
Her Sleekness lounges on the chaise. Reid shakes her fist.
“Curse you Mr. Forti!”
Her Sleekness closes her eyes.
Her Grace and Sleekness also wanted this one to win.
Any entry including her is clearly the best.
Jezebel sat in the confessional, a smile on her face as she prepared to give a full account of her sinning ways. It was Sunday morning and she’d gone to church to torment the priest behind the grille.Normally I don't go for the erring priest theme, but this was really sublime.
Father Luke smiled as well, he had seen her the previous night at her usual station, jammed into a doorway with some miscreant. A double-take had given him a glimpse of his bishop’s face, the man who’d blocked his promotion.
“Tell me everything, daughter. A clean breast will bring you absolution.”
Her breasts it seemed, were the answer to his own prayers.
And then sometimes Torvil and Dean skate on to the ice,
and flash fiction is never quite the same again
Peas in a pod* were prince and pauper; neither page nor peasant could have picked them apart.
Placed in the palace by a prankster pixie, the peckish pauper’s protestations were placated by prizewinning postmidnight pancakes (in posh pajamas!), and he promptly pledged his patriotism.
And the pauper presided prodigiously.
Poor presumptuous prince! Pitched out on his posterior for a panoply of Sundays, his pompous proposals for permanent pixie punishment were peevishly pulverized.
“I pray thee,” said prince—
“Thou preyest me,” said pixie.
“Please,” said prince—
“Pleas!” purred pixie.
And the prince perished portentously.
(*Split peas in a pod, presumably.)
Final results later today.
Let me know what you think in the meantime.
Who should get the prize?
Who got overlooked?
UPDATE (9:40pm--sorry this took so long, it's been a day!)
It's clear we'll need two prizes today. One for flashfriday because, well, perfection.
But also a prize for Colin Smith because his entry was gorgeous.
There were a LOT of good entries this week.
It's really hard to choose just two from this list.
But, giving everyone a prize feels a little T-ball, and this is the semi-pros.
Like the Durham Bulls.
flash, Colin, drop me a line to let me know what kind of book you'd like for a prize!
Thanks to all of you who entered.
I'm now contemplating making Mr. Forti write his next entry with no fewer than 20 Zs. And five Qs.And zero Us.