Saturday, May 19, 2012

Well, the Lord can just shove over, VENGEANCE can be yours

The MWA anthology this year is VENGEANCE and yes you really REALLY want to get yourself a copy.

Here's a chance for TWO people to win copies: the next writing contest.

Usual rules:

Write a story using 100 or fewer words.

Post the story in the comments column of this blog post.

Contest opens at 10am MONDAY 5/21.

Closes at 10am TUESDAY 5/22.

Use the following words in your story:


Bonus points if you can incorporate the connection between those words into your story.

One entry per person but do-overs are allowed.  If you need a mulligan, delete your entry and repost.  The LAST entry is considered the final one.

Contest is open to everyone (ie international entries are ok)

Questions? Tweet them to me @Janet_Reid

Prize is a copy of VENGEANCE edited by Lee Child.

As usual, the sharkly judging will be entirely subjective and subject to no review.

Not yet!



Amy Schaefer said...

Stay sharp. Don´t twist when the slaughter leaves you red and gory and breathing hard, or you´ll be up to your eyeballs in law and order, and “Say, son, what happened here?” Slide, glide, ease out of the hot iron blood stench and look past the desecrated flesh sprawled on the – was that a siren? No. All quiet on the western front. Clean the blade and clean yourself and take a last look at the bastards who thought they could take her without consequences. Vengeance took them, howling Nemesis riding your raging frame. Spit on the ground and walk out.

Colin Smith said...

I knew they would come after me, even though it wasn't my fault. A sharp turn, a momentary glance at a text message, next I knew his face was on my windshield. What can I say? The law ruled it an accident, but to his sisters it was slaughter. Of course they would collaborate for vengeance, so I was glad they accepted my dinner invitation. A peace offering of beef wellington, sautéed potatoes, and garlic peas, washed down with dry martinis—and a twist of cyanide. As I watched them fall, I smiled. Vengeance is a sin, after all.

Cynicman said...

“Gravity…it’s not just a good idea; it’s the law,” I said as I watched Murphy drop towards a reunion with his ancestors. Now, I’d have to spend pro bono time finding out why he got his panties in a twist and tried to shove me off the roof of the building in which we…I…kept an office.

I’d need new cards now that I worked solo. They’d just say, “John Slaughter, P.I.”

I saw Murphy hit the roof of the cab a few seconds before a thick, meaty thud mixed with the sharp tinkle of broken glass climbed eight stories.

ChiTrader said...

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight reading of tales revered,
By Twist, Sharp, Law, then Slaughter and Say;
All mystery writers of note are they,
Whose words most certainly are to be feared.

Child said to his friends, “If you march
By land or sea to your desk to-night,
Hang from your loft a lantern or torch,
A signal that you have begun to write,--
One if by pencil, two if by pen;
On opposite coasts will be men and women
Eager to read your stories again,
Even be scared by a shark now and then.

Sandra Owens said...

They say he had a black heart.

Maybe so.

Considering the slaughter of thousands at his hands, how could he not? But the pain in that frozen organ was sharp as he faced his next victim. Any hesitation on his part would see him one of them.

With a twist of his wrist, he brought up the flamethrower and incinerated the newly made, brain sucking zombie. His daughter.

It wasn't vengenance. It was his job. He was the law.

Charley said...

’Twas the night before contest, and all through the house
Came the sharp stench of slaughter, blood/guts from a mouse.
The innocent kitten says, “This time, not me.”
The Doberman pinscher: “I’ll tell you for free.
“A twist of the pen gave a twist to this tale.
“The writer upstairs, she has skewered that pale
“And hairless old rodent. She did it because
“Of your contest, insane from the stress of your laws
“About word count and usage and deadlines and stuff.
“She wants to get back to real writing. Enough!”

Kregger said...

I approach her bed.

She lays with her back to me, a lump of covers.

Her favorite Karin Slaughter novel left helpless on the floor.

All I have to do is twist my knife under her ribs.

The law will say I executed my lovely with premeditation, and they’ll be right.

I threw back the covers to plunge my steel into her cold heart…nothing, she’s gone.

A cold hand grasped my throat from behind.

A sharp stick pierces my neck, every cell in my body afire and my heart thumps.

“Don’t worry, dear, it will only hurt for a second.”

Laura Hughes, MittensMorgul said...

Five mystery authors walked into a bar. The bartender turned to make their drinks, gin and tonics with a twist. The lights flickered. The twist turned out to be a sharp knife in the bartender's back. The law was called in to sort the whole mess out. When questioned, they each claimed the crime was a copyright violation and refused to say anything more. It was like leading lambs to the slaughter. They sat scribbling furiously on napkins and scrap paper, turning their personal tragedy into their next bestsellers. Well, everyone but the bartender.

Brandy said...

It had been a slaughter. Her family carved to pieces. Her little sisters- they’d been so pretty. That memory alone stood out in sharp contrast to all others, it was the one she said her prayers to at night.
They say justice was done. The law would determine his punishment. When he heard the verdict he had smiled.
He had a family too. Had he been thinking of them as he butchered hers? She held the blade up twisting it until it caught the light. Pretty. She hummed softly under her breath, and knocked. Justice wasn’t enough. She wanted vengeance.

Naomi said...

SHARPSLAUGHTER. The twist of paper skitters under his feet. He picks up, reads, looks back, sees the evil flash in Jim's eyes.
"Sharp" slaughter why? Because with a knife or box cutter, not a gun or bomb? Or sharp as in sudden?
Not now, not like this, not in second period English.
Should he stand up, say something? Try to warn Mr. Connelly?
There's no law says I have to stay.
He stands, strolls past Lee, Karin and Brendan towards the door while he palms, then swallows the scrap of paper, unaware the other side says GODILOVETHESOUNDOF BEAUTIFULZOE

larryg said...

Burke hits a sharp line drive over Gagnon's head, bringing Fusilli in from third. Connelly, the umpire, thrusts his arms in the air and yells, "That's game!"
Coach Lehane runs onto the diamond. "How can you say that's game? We're just getting started. It's a nice twist, these guys always beat us and we're slaughtering them."
Connelly answers, "Bingo, Lehane. You read your league rules. Up by 15 runs after the 3rd inning. Slaughter rule."
"So it's letter of the law today."
Connelly twists sharply, leering at Coach. "With a VENGEANCE, sucker."

Patrick DiOrio said...

Below Zaragosa Bridge where the Rio Grande made a sharp twist Mexican kids huddled hard up along its banks and called up to us. “Say! Hey! C’mon, toss a coin!”
White paper cones on long poles bright in the fading light jabbed hungrily upward.
“Stinkin’ beggars. Oughta be a law,” a sloppy tourist muttered next to me as he leaned to peer over the railing. “Watch this,” he said with a wink.
He tossed a penny.
The fight below a near slaughter as poles jousted to snatch the coin.
The asshole laughed.
Until I tossed his fatass over the side.

Leah said...

“What do you say?”

Mina glares at me, challenging. I’m afraid to say it, but I do. “No.”

“But it’s the law of nature. The only way we survive.”

She twists the head of the man away from me, lengthening his neck. I won’t lie. His jugular calls me. He groans, whimpers, but doesn’t struggle.

“See?” she says. “Like a lamb to the slaughter. He wants this.”

Mina opens her mouth, runs her tongue over glistening teeth. Her every feature is pointed; chin, nose, razor-sharp fangs.

“No,” I say again.


“I should have told you. Before. I’m a vegan.”

Toni said...

The school's educational farm had started smoothly that year, but the decision to send the lamb to slaughter was divisive. The uproar, carried along by the media, reached animal-loving and worrying types, who rallied to keep the castrated (no good for breeding) lamb alive.

"Children shouldn't know such terrible things," they’d say, a chorus of sharp voices. "Teach them about wool instead!"

The children hand-fed Oliver Twist whenever he bleated for more, while the teachers stayed longer in the staffroom.

Jenny Law delivered the Children's Council's decision: 13-1 in favour of killing Oliver to raise the money for piglets.

Mark Koopmans said...

The back door opens.

The smell of stale beer and cigarettes escape.

He won’t.

The alley is empty.

Beep! BMW unlocks.

My “Hello!”

His “You?”


The knife clears his ribcage.

A satisfying unngghh – complete shock in his wounded voice.


Twenty-two years of anger and retribution hones my oft-practiced thrust.


The butcher’s knife comes out. I bend, follow his slide toward dank ground.

I see horror, and guilt. FINALLY!


Not for me. If convicted, Joe would be a new prisoner – I’d be returned.

His light blue eyes. Empty.


It ain’t so, Joe.

It was *my* anthology.

M.R. Jordan said...


"I say, you sure are... slaughtering those Fruit Loops," Jim's face twisted into a smile. "Ought to be be a law against---"

"Against what?" She cut him off, voice sharp. Milk dribble out of the corner of her mouth and there was an orange loop stuck to her chin.

Against ordering cereal at a five star restaurant. What am I paying, fifty bucks a bowl?

But he said, "Do you have any hobbies?"

In response she picked up her bowl, slurped up the milk and let out a long, sonorous burp.

Alec Breton said...

Eyes averted, she staggers along.
"Another victim of the rack?"
Heart yanked out … twisting in the wind.
"Medieval torture?"
Sharp pains seize her.
"More lambs led to slaughter?"
She fingers a concealed revolver.
"Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord."
The ransom demand looms.
Her spine stiffens.
"'Tis extortion … and criminal."
The tormentor guffaws.
"Me brother-in-law's a councilman and let this lucrative contract."
Muttering … she pays in blood.
The kidnap victim is unchained.
"Sweetie Pie!"
She caresses her long-lost companion.
"I missed you."
Slipping away through back alleys, her convertible's mirror reveals:
"Shark's Towing & Auto Graveyard"

Katt said...

Sharp and twisted, Lawrence’s laughter, terrified Lindsay.

Bryan Ross said...

Anthony's dream of being a DJ was finally being fulfilled. This wasn't, as he'd hoped, a morning show in Chicago, but instead Sunday afternoon in Des Moines, broadcasting from a converted slaughter house on the edge of town. But it was radio nonetheless.

Anticipation was causing sharp pains in his stomach. Within moments, the twist of a dial would make his mic live and he'd be on the air.

But the studio phone rang, breaking his concentration and his debut. It was a law clerk calling to say the governor was making an impromptu speech that would interrupt the broadcast.

Unknown said...

Cold rain pelted his face, icy needles that tore at his flesh, the god’s flaying fingers sent to exact vengeance. Bright shards of lightening split the sky, their thunderous voices bellowing “Enough!”

With a twist he wrenched the sharp blade from the warrior’s chest and gazed across the corpse strewn field of slaughter. He stalked among the dead, some alone, others clustered in grisly piles. Some still clutched one another, embraced in eternal combat.

“Hear me!”

The few survivors turned to what he would say.

“I am the Great Khan. My word is Law. None will refuse to pay tribute!”

Terri Lynn Coop said...

I became the State's executioner by a twist of fate.

The warden called right before the ironically named Bobby Slaughter was scheduled to lawfully ride the lightning to the Promised Land. Sharp little rat teeth had killed the electric chair's ancient wiring.

No time to rebuild the old monster, so I kludged a connection and they threw the switch.

After that, they decided it'd be practical for the executioner to also be an electrician.

My wife is disgusted, but what can I say? The sounds, the sights, the smell, how could I refuse? It was the chance of a lifetime.

Sharen Ford said...

“It’s not that I don’t understand slaughter when it’s necessary.”

A sunbaked breeze carried the American’s words across the plaza to my table.

“After all, the matador’s dance with the bull must end in death. But is this necessary?”

I raised my sunglass-shaded eyes to observe his companion twitch like a pinned butterfly.

“You always use that sharp tongue of yours to twist my words.” The girl slumped in her chair. “I didn’t say I wanted to kill it…just that I was willing to do it…for your sake.”

“You do realize it’s against the law, don’t you?” he said.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

“So what do say, Sgt. Slaughter, looking so sharp in your uniform, wanna break the law tonight, wanna twist the truth?”

“Shut up sweetie, I’m taking you in.”

“So I’m being arrested, having my picture taken and spending the night in jail with all those other fine ladies?”

“Not exactly, but I’m taking you in...the back of my cruiser.”

Slaughter, throat slit, was found in his squad car with a French drag queen named Fait Accompli.
Slaughter a sharp guy, broke the law, and as they say, was done in by a simple twist of Fait.

Keisha Martin Romance Writer said...

Her face stained with mud, sweat and tears, running for her life, her assailant the man that had stalked her for months, in the woods he twist her hands behind her back, she felt the sharp sting, of her muscles crying out for mercy. She couldn’t die like this, slaughter like a pig for the market she had to make a go for it, but what could she say or do that would make that impossible feat happen? He was a burly man that looked like he ate nails for meals, the law never cared all the warnings they ignored

Shawn K said...

If the warden could run an extension cord from the chair to the spot in the hall where I stand, he’d do it. He’s squirming with impatience like there’s a tick under his skin.

I’ve given him more trouble than a blood relative would put up, and we’ve never even had a civil word between us. Now that we’re at the end of all this, I understand the sneer, but I won’t give him the same.

There’s no law to say I can’t saunter to my own slaughter with a sharp twist of a smile on my face.

Steven J. Wangsness said...

I met her under the eaves of a stave church in the midst of a prairie downpour. Years later she broke my heart. Not once, not twice, but over and over again I felt the sharp twist of the knife as she led me to slaughter, my heart offered up on a slab to sacrifice like Abraham’s first-born. I want to say the law is too unforgiving to have brought me to these gallows for breaking her spell with my own hands, but every betrayal has its price, every man must pay his due.

Marjorie said...

Say, dude. Zup? Listen, I can slaughter the rat with a sharp shiv and one clean twist. In this cage, for lifers there ain't no law and the only mystery is what's on the menu for the last meal.

Anonymous said...

My friend looked back, a slight twist of her neck as she surveyed the scene. “You’re breaking the law,” she said.

I took the sharp object and twirled it effortlessly in my hand, preparing for the slaughter. “So you say. But he broke my heart. Now it’s my turn.”

My boyfriend squirmed below me, his eyes pleading for mercy.

With a resigned sigh, my friend shrugged.

A swift clip, and I cut the cable cord, sending the t.v. plummeting to the sidewalk below the open window.

The sound of my boyfriend’s sobs pulled my lips into a smirk.

Sherryl said...

It took me three years and 27 days to find the Slaughter Man, and his laughter bleats against my ears. “They were like sheep. Anyway, you’re not the law. What do you care?”
Good question.
The knife is so sharp, it might slice open my pocket and fall. If I stab my own foot, how will that look? I use it before I lose it, and give it an extra twist up under his ribs.
“They were my lambs,” I say. “Mine.”
His silence is bliss.

Michael Seese said...

“You’re texting as I speak?”
“Yes. Is that OK?”
“I suppose.”
“Go on. What does the law say?”
“It’s very clear. We’ve been doing this for millennia.”
“Really? Good to know. What are some specifics?”
“Make sure the blade is sharp, so the kill is quick. Don’t twist it.”
“Sounds merciful.”
“We don’t want to slaughter them, have them die in pain. After all, we do eat them.”
“You do?
“And they say waterboarding is cruel.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m speaking of the shechita. What are you asking about?”
“The same, of course!” (texting) “Cancel Guantanamo! CANCEL!”

KDJames said...

The man pacing the narrow hallway outside the courtroom went still when he saw us approach. "Karin says you're pleading guilty."

I nodded, once. "Yes."

"Like a meek little lamb being led to slaughter." His scorn was sharp with anger. And fear.

"I broke the law."

"Damnit, Mom, don't twist the truth. It was an accident--"

"A child died, Lee."

"--and the parents just want vengeance!"

I reached up, awkward with the restraints, and slowly brushed the lone tear off his cheek.

"So would I," I said.

The deputy at the door cleared his throat. "It's time."

Jim McClellan said...

“A-U” in Brooklyn, is a greeting they say,
And Au means gold in a science-y way;

The A-U in slaughter is pronounced like law,
But this rule is made moot by a serious flaw;

Say the word “laughter” and you’ll get the gist,
Of how the A-U sound often comes with a twist;

And those folks who are sharp already know,
Add an “X” the end, and it’s pronounced like “faux.”

If I could only have just a few words more,
I’d explain A-U as in “dinosaur.”

Now, if cutesy little rhymes just don’t turn you on,
Sue me.

Kate Outhwaite said...

“’The bodies twist?’ Damn it. It's such archaic usage! It’s more like ‘They twist the body of my words. They say-’”

“Sod protocol, Cass. Let's just open it!”

“Or, let's not. And stop waving it around. It's not a toy. ‘They say I think myself beyond the law but they are wrong. After the slaughter, I am the law.’”

“Cheerful soul. Hey, I think the lid's coming loose.”

“’And in the sharp sunlight of my release, all shall be consumed.’ Maybe, not ‘sunlight’ so much as ‘radiance’ or ‘radia..’"

“Yep. Here it comes.”

“Oh God! Ollie, no!”

“Oh, sh-“

Patchi said...

The curve was sharp and I skidded in my seat. I was still nauseous and the winding road did nothing to sooth my stomach. Dad didn’t say anything about the slaughter of innocent lives that had happened right before my eyes. There should be a law against minors witnessing such things. Maybe there was. But Dad’s lack of empathy upset me the most. He just drove singing twist and shout along with the radio, late and out of tune. Damn pigs. I was off bacon for life. And I’ll never ask where my food comes from again.

Sarah said...

Vince took the twist on two wheels. Gemma gritted her teeth and hugged her purse tighter.
“So who’s chasing you now?” he asked. “Lee’s buddies? The law?” She didn’t answer. The hand that had migrated from the transmission to her bare knee tightened sharply. “You want help, you tell me.”
Gemma swallowed. “Mike. Says I owe a debt.”
“And you can’t pay?” Vince’s laughter filled the car, but his grip on her knee loosened.
Gemma shut her eyes and focused on the weight of the gun in her purse. Soon the car would stop. Soon Vince would turn his back. Soon her debt would be gone.

David Zampa said...

Abraham allowed only his torso to enter the barn at first, then forced his reluctant feet to follow. The hinges let out a sharp creak. Abe winced.

Sister Slaughter didn't exist. Ghosts weren't real. This would prove it.

Movement. Off in a dark corner, he saw a shadow twist into a face. It was her.

"Yous a law to make, honest Abe," death allowed the spirit to say. "Them men I killed ain't the last to hurt a girl like me."

Abe slammed his shoulder against the door bolting away. The bruise would fade. The memory of Sister Slaughter wouldn’t.

Unknown said...

A sharp shudder and the nose dropped and I knew it was too late. The left engine was dead, and nothing I could do would bring it back. I heard screams and twisted panic from the passengers behind me as the law of gravity consumed the plane, yanking us into death's bowels. The impact would slaughter every child, every life, without discrimination: a merciless kill. The ground swelled, and my sight contained the hard rock and earth as surely as it would contain me —

“Wake up!” I opened my eyes, my co-pilot shouting, “Say, you want us to crash?”

Steve Forti said...

It was too easy. One twist of my hind leg and I tumbled like a clumsy larva into some sharp blades of grass. And worse, Wilbur knew it was so easy.

“Hah! King of the ant hill again! Admit it twerp – big brothers are just stronger. I slaughter my enemies like a mighty lawnmower. It’s the law of the jungle.”

“What jungle?” I say, dusting myself off. “We live on a three foot patch of grass next to a mailbox on a Cleveland street corner.”

He taunts me on, but Mother calls for dinner.

The rematch will have to wait.

Peter DeHaan said...

Sam Slaughter was on the lam; justice had been dogging him for days. It was an ironic twist of fate, for only weeks earlier Sam would have been the cop in pursuit, the one with the law on his side. But that was then. Now he’d have to remain sharp in order to evade capture and make it across the border. Then, safe from extradition, he could finally have his say and hope to clear his name.

Nate Wilson said...

Julie pulled her father close. "It's so sharp."
"I know, honey."
"How can everyone just sit back while they slaughter something so beautiful? You need to do something."
"Calm down. It'll all be over soon."
"No, Daddy, it's too horrible. Say something. Arrest them!"
He raised an eyebrow.
"For assault They're assaulting my sensibilities."
"Nice try, honey. But however you try to twist it, they're not breaking any law. I’m powerless."
She grumbled. "Fine. But--"
"Julie, if you don't talk for the rest of your brother’s concert, we'll get ice cream afterward."
Julie smiled. It worked every time.

shtrum said...

“Whaddaya say, Rico?”
The usually genial crime scene photographer simply nodded to the open doorway.
I stepped in and saw dozens of bodies. White, beige, tan, all smashed and scattered in a mangled mass of broken fiberglass.
“This is a twist,” I yawned. “But I’m pretty sure the law doesn’t cover mannequin slaughter.” Then I noticed it. One form lying on a table, the rough outer shell used to create countless others. Minus hands, feet or a head.
One of the stone-faced DEA agents held up a box cutter, the sharp steel blade reflecting the light. “You want the honors?”

Mister Furkles said...

I say keep the blade sharp, plunge it deep into soft flesh, and give it a good twist. The screams were symphonic; the slaughter was Magnifico.

The homicide detective said, “Bloody fingerprints, DNA, security camera, voiceprint and it’s all you.”

The jury took eight minutes – a new record – and said, “It’s that bastard, the defendant.”

The judge said, “By the law, it’s the death penalty.”

So now I squat in my little six by eight foot world awaiting a prissy little injection.

C said...

“I demand vengeance,” said Valen.

“And you would slaughter thousands for it?” The courtier folded her bony hands, as if praying, but with a twist.

“They had no respect for the rule of law when they attacked.” Valen’s voice was sharp, his syllables measured. “I owe them the same.”

“Only say the word, and it shall be so.”

“Spare this list only.” Valen turned from the unwavering glare (or was it glee?) of his advisor’s eyes.

The thin paper crackled as the courtier examined the list. “Twenty-one has always been your lucky number.”

CHLamb said...

Detective Jill Cortoni took one cautious step into the warehouse, senses sharp, body twisting back and forth as she swept rooms once used for offices at the slaughterhouse. How chillingly apt, she thought, tracking a serial killer to a place where pigs and cows had been killed for profit.
He was doing it for the pure pleasure of it.
And she, the enforcer of the law, here to track him down, took no pleasure from this one because she knew what they – journalists, friends, family – would say.
How did she not know her own father was a homicidal maniac?

Meresunshine said...

Forgot a word!


In a twist of fate, Carly was the one who received the sharp, stinging slap across her face, a slap that was intended for her boyfriend Nathan.

Carly’s hand went straight to the red welt blossoming on her cheek; victimized with nothing to say. Fortunately Nathan still had his wits about him.

“Cadence, you know the law,” he growled.

Nathan’s eyes, now a bright shade of red was the only warning of an impending slaughter.

And it was on this day that Carly found out her boyfriend was a demon, and his ex a succubus.

mymywhathavewehere said...

They say the law office of Slaughter and Sharp isn’t a law office at all.
They say it’s a front for a mob boss named Oliver Twist.
Well not to be disrespectful to the classics or anything, but I hate Charles Dickens.
So I lit a fire and watched it burn from afar.
Nobody came out.

Aurora said...

“Slaughter” was such an ugly word. It was the one they would use in the papers, but it wasn't right.

One simple, sharp twist of the knife for each girl, and then—peace. There would be no struggle.

They planned it as a group, and decided that one should stay behind to explain, even though they all knew that none of their parents or professors would understand. The one who got left would be called a murderer, and there would be punishment.

So they asked the youngest to say their words for them. The law was usually kinder to minors.

talk talk talk / Shireen said...

We are twisting. I was looking sharp in my ironed pants, crisp shirt. But The Twist is playing havoc with my outfit’s edges, and I say to my companion, my other half with her head flung back, belting out lyrics in sync to Chubby Checker, that we must stop now.

She heeds me not.

I say again, “Stop. There oughta be a law against suit-destroying dancing.”

She twists down to the floor then rises up to Checker’s instructions. I mimic her – till my eyes fill with horror at the slaughter of my shirt, creased, untucked, a cotton twist.

gregkshipman said...

“So you want the twist aced?”
“And the other one,” he replies.
My partner eyeballs me.
I shrug before responding, “Cost you more.”
“Double,” the bowling ball shaped husband says.
“Triple,” I say, “Law takes it personal when you slaughter multiple citizens.”
I nod across the street. “The sharp redhead?”
“My wife.”
“And the blonde?”
“Used to be my side dish, now she’s my wife’s.”
“Love’s a hurtin’ thing,” I reply.
He hands me a fat envelope before waddling away.
“Also a profitable one,” my partner says.
I crack a mirthless smile. “Just leave the vengeance to us.”

Anonymous said...

A minefield. Mama quits putting up preserves; Dad’s sleeping in the barn. A light bulb twists above the stalls.

I fall asleep early, wake to splinters. I run downstairs to the basement, follow the smell of liquor, sharp. Mama’s chopping, swinging her ax, this way and that. Slaughtering the bar. I wonder what she’s thinking because everything that happens, happens today.

First, Dad comes in, hollering about the law. Second, Mama throws down the ax and says, It stops now. Third, Dad yanks his shirt off, starts crying. Fourth, Mama says, Make pancakes. Your Dad is hungry.

Unknown said...

“Your honor, the defense can twist the words, but the felony murder rule isn’t open to interpretation. Any death that occurs during commission of a felony is murder. When the defendant stole $3,000, he committed a felony and the death became a murder.” In Kate’s mind, it wasn’t just murder. It was slaughter.

“Judge, the victim simply fell.”

"Not too sharp," thought Kate, but she gently corrected, “Cause of death is irrelevant. And let’s not forget -- someone used a knife to carve initials on the victim’s cheek.”

Kate needed the defendant in jail, if only to keep him alive.

Cindy C said...

He slips inside, slaughters them all, slides right back to his regular life. Says martini with a twist when the boss asks him what he wants, says no problem when the customer asks how it went, says no idea when the law asks what happened, says you gotta stay sharp when the kid asks how he’s survived so long.

Says vengeance sucks when the new guy asks if he has any last words.

Lune said...

In the roots of the old willow behind Big J’s Slaughterhouse the boy hides, a twist in his back from the sharp blow to his spine. The smell of earth fills his nostrils, purging the stench of animal carcass and blood. He’s safe here away from the mean hands of Big J and his slaughter. All sensation fades from his body, and the boy smiles, merging with the tree. By the time the Law finds his remains, he’s long gone.

They say his bones still rest in the willow and when the wind blows, you can hear them creak.

Just Jan said...

"We're next, girls," I hear my mother-in-law say. "Let's slaughter 'em!"

She leads her white-haired lady friends to the stage, where they twist and turn in the spotlight, showing off support hose and sensible shoes. When they pull carving knives from beneath their aprons, the crowd goes wild.

"Good grief," my husband mutters. "Those blades are sharp. Someone's going to get hurt."

The emcee gulps his drink in an attempt to regain composure. Consulting the script, he announces, "These four grannies will prepare, in your home, a Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings. Shall we start the bidding at $100?"

TexasTanya said...

I can tell he senses me. Alone in his room, he believes, but the specter of who I once was hangs in the space like a fog. A sharp twist of my neck was all it took to slaughter the woman, however satisfaction now belongs to me. The law of the afterlife allows all of eternity to haunt. I lean in close. His hair now standing on end and I whisper, "I'm watching you."

Shirin Dubbin said...

After sixty years the little things killed. One day, the sharp poke of her elbow while he slept. On another, the floppy twist of his toupee when he chortled—no one chortled anymore.

She might tease to offend. Perhaps he sneered as she exited the bath.

Who could say what made them proactive and turned slaughter into a competition? She baked him apple pies, leaving in enough seeds to make the arsenic viable. He oiled the kitchen floor in hopes of a fatal slip.

The law would say, “Attempted murder.” But they called it breathing life into a tiresome marriage.

Damian O said...

My pinky took a rotini twist in the elevator door. Pain so sharp, cheddar’s jealous.

“Shit!” I muffle-yell, pen in mouth. Quit smoking ten minutes prior, after seeing a “Smoking Slaughters” poster. Now I always got a pen chomped. Always, as in, last ten minutes. Pen keeps the mouth busy, I hear. Makes ‘er muffle, too.

And the yell, ‘cause no one listens to what I say.

But I’m sick of yelling. So I’m in a ritzy freight up to pop’s office, Smith and Wesson in coat, ‘bout to shoot up the place.

Law, meet me, Bill, your breaker.

Anonymous said...

"Kh'mon babee now, kh'mon babee, tuwist und sharp! Tuwist und sharp!"

"Cut!" Exasperated, Slaughter rolled his eyes and ordered the crew to stop filming. "Its twist and shout you idiot! Just say the word shout, shout! SHOUT!"

International Hunger Fame Reality Show finalist Oksaleksa Porschaduvakia shrugged, unfazed, and took another swig from her vodka flask.

"Ok, ok, I no break no law, you Omericans so angry—shit, shout, sharp, shoop—iz all same in Swalankia. Take it oozy—iz only ze rox und roll but ve likes it."

The Billfish Report said...

It is the kind of disastrous, unexpected twist of life from which one does not recover. His partner – his best friend! - stole not just his money, but his life. Tonight is payback. Tonight the justice denied him by impotent and ineffectual laws will blaze. Tonight Taft will beg for his rotten, cowardly life. He will weep remorsefully and say how sorry he is; hoping his terrified tears can resurrect lost mercy. Hoping they will somehow ward off the impending slaughter. But they won’t. The reaper has come a’calling. Moonlight glinted off the impossibly sharp blade of the machete. Showtime…

Amanda S. Gardner said...

“His name,” she said with a sharp intake of air before exhaling with hiccupping laughter, “is Bob Loblaw. And he has a law blog. Bob Loblaw’s law blog.” Her face turned red and she pounded the coffee-table with her fist.

“That was one of my favorite episodes.” Brian’s mouth twisted into a sad, nostalgic half-grin. “I was so bummed when they cancelled that show. I wanted to slaughter Fox executives."

Melissa’s eyes shot open. “You don’t know? They’re doing another season. AND A MOVIE!”

Now Brian was interested. “You don’t say.”

Eileen said...

“I thought Dr. Reed had this one.”
Dr. Mintz scrubs in, attacking his hands like he’ll slaughter each and every microbe individually. He twists around, hands up to be gloved.
“Let’s just say Dr. Reed got hung up.”
I follow him into the OR. “Fifty-year-old female. Face lift.”
Above his mask, his eyes are fever-bright, as sharp as the scalpel. “She used to be quite beautiful. There should be a law against gravity.”
“Doctor? Do you know her?” I read the name on the chart. Eleanor Mintz. His ex-wife.
He lays the scalpel against fragile flesh. “Vengeance shall be mine.”

Ali Trotta said...

“Comfortable?” I asked, leaning in close, giving his arm a sharp twist. He screamed into the tape. I smiled.


My husband shouldn’t have sent an assassin as green as a peacock feather, but that wasn’t my problem. It’s nice to have an offering.

I ripped the gag from Law Slaughter’s mouth. The weak human’s eyes were white and wild. “Well?”

There was no answer, which turned my smile feral. “He didn’t say what my name is, did he?”

I sighed. “It’s Hera. And I have a message for my husband.”

Lightning flashed outside the window. Nobody heard him scream.

L. Legault said...

"We'll slaughter 'em next time," boasted Coach to the interviewer. "Vengeance!" As the players streamed out toward the parking lot, a pretty girl approached Jed. "Say, honey," she drawled, "do you know where a girl can get a drink?" She pulled a twist of curly hair out of her eyes. "Law, I reckon!" he replied, but his expression told her he knew all about the Becky Sharps of the football field.

Morgan Hyde said...

"A sharp twist of the neck," I say, "that's how Slaughter Law dictates we dispose of them."

The students look slightly ill, but it's only day one; the boys will toughen soon enough. Might even come to enjoy it, as I have.

I beckon, and the criminal is led out, arms bound, naked - no clothes wasted on a baby-killer. 

As she kneels I feel a surge of power: her life in my hands. If I was alone, I'd let the slut try to earn her freedom. It would make her death all the more sweet.

I love my job.

Adrienne said...

The bullet isn't what gets me. Not the blade or the brass knuckles either. It's the way she tosses her hair just before she swings her leg--a momentary distraction of recognition that makes me twist too late. A kick to the gut, and I go down.
She smiles in satisfaction, and the ancient guilt of a job gone wrong finds me. It's as ruthless as the law and just as persistent and it's got me in cuffs, fae down on the pavement. She doesn't need to sink that knife in my throat to slaughter me.
"Wait," I say.

Blink said...

The Death Angel
She knew what to say. Lead them like lambs to the slaughter. Soften them up, and then stab them through the heart with a short, sharp, surprise attack. Then she would twist the knife, and before they knew it, they were brain dead, and she was massaging their hearts like a surgeon performing a transplant. It wasn't law, it was art.
Sharpen up - she's stabbed and slaughtered every other lawyer that's come up against her - they're saying that this twisted sister is the best pitcher in the game, and when she walks you, it's the Green Mile.

abogash said...

Law Brannigan watched the tiny woman twist her ponytail between bloodied fingers, her gaze focused intently on the serrated blade in his hand.
"I'd prefer if it was dull," he heard her say softly. Her hand, palm up, waited, sure and steady.
"Sharp is better. Sometimes I slaughter two or three a night."
Blue eyes which should have reflected only innocence at her young age flashed red. She grabbed his weapon easily shoving it deep into the back of the half dead killer pinned under Law's knee.
"But, then they don't suffer as much."
"We're gonna make excellent partners demon."

Claire Svendsen said...

I’d be lying if I said the sharp twist of the knife didn’t sting.

“Thanks,” I say. “But can you push it a bit to the left?”

“Does this look like a God damned slaughter house to you?”

It might as well be. I wince as she complies with my request, then yanks the blade out of my abdomen. It’s covered in apple red blood.

“I told you not to put in a rhetorical question.”

“I know, it’s query law but it was supposed to be ironic.”

She scowls. “Irony’s overrated, and vengeance’s a bitch.”

SwiftScribbler said...

The porcelain mask is coldly elegant, yet flamboyantly beautiful, calling attention while preserving identity. The only feature revealed are a pair of blue eyes, as inscrutable as the mask surrounding them.

And, say the men, just as beautiful.

It’s law: mystery renders plainness, intriguing, and ordinary eyes, beautiful.

She bewitches with honeyed words and satin touches. The watchers titter. Who is she? They already know her game--the same as everyone’s: bewitch the King. The only difference between her and them, is that her ploy works.

But the mask hides not beauty, but vengeance. A sharp twist, a slaughter. A smile.

Sam said...

A slight twist of the wrist let Ridgely withdraw the sharp blade from the wooden target. She had been practicing for days now with the knowledge that there would be only one chance to get it right before all hell broke loose. Before the law would come after her.
Sweat trickled down her back causing the old t-shirt to stick to her and distract her from her goal. She walked back to the throwing line and heard her father’s voice say, “He can’t live, Ridgely-girl. He took away everything. Jake Slaughter must pay.”

Amy said...

“You slaughter the law my friend.”

You say this like it’s a bad thing.

“The law has become sharp, harsh, and biased. Like a knife directly into the rights of generations before us.”

I smile as I watch your face twist in frustration.

“They are there for your protection, to save you from the spite, and regret, and remorse. To observe and watch over you.”

You argue your point desperately. As if confessing my supposed sins would give you respite from your duty.

“I slaughter nothing.”

You reach out and place the termination device against my hand.

“Goodbye my friend.”