Saturday, August 11, 2012

You SEND me writing contest!

I met Patty Blount cause she was a fan of Sean Ferrell and Jeff Somers. (I tried to get her to seek help for that but she insisted she didn't want to be cured.)

I'd see her out and about on Twitter and at the occasional event. She's nice but I didn't let that stop me from liking her.

Then she told us she'd gotten an agent, then a book deal. Much jubilation! Of course I ordered the book. Then I sort of forgot about it.

Then it arrived. I read the acknowledgements section first of course and there was Bill Cameron, Sean Ferrell and Jeff Somers, called out in public for being helpful. I'll be speaking to them sternly about that of course.

I picked up the book when I needed something to read during lunch.

And I couldn't stop reading.  I came back from lunch and didn't return to my computer for another two hours. Not until I was done reading.

SEND by Patty Blount is terrific.  You should read it. And to make sure at least one of you does, let's have a writing contest.  Winner gets a slightly used Shark-worn copy of SEND by Patty Blount.

Usual rules: write a story with 100 words or fewer.

Use the following words in the story:


Post the story in the comment column of this blog post. Contest opens today, 8/11 at 6pm (Eastern Shark time).  It closes on 8/12 at 6pm.

If you need a mulligan, a do-over, delete your comment and post again. You can only enter once and your latest entry is considered your final entry.

Questions? Tweet to me @janet_reid



Alec Breton said...

Mother dolphin winces when her calf frolics in much-too-shallow shoals — risking being beached — for a single sardine.
She recalls the scars she gained last year from fighting off a shark he foolheartedly taunted.
Why do males enjoy such follies?
Hasn't she instructed him about everything within her ken?
Pressing him firmly to the sandy bottom, she makes loud clicks of reprobation.
This punch to his pride rattles him.
He mopes.
She relents.
"Okay, Ma still loves you. Let's nuzzle."
Her instincts say four-year olds are ready to send off to adulthood, but Son needs more "momma time."

Bellamama said...

She knelt in the brush between the trees, watching the men around the campfire argue, punch each other, and stir their beans.

Her brother joined her. “How meny you see?”

“Mor’ en three, but they don’ scar me!” She patted her riffle.

“You sure these is them what killed our ken?”

“Tha’s the one.” She jerked her chin. “Him wearin’ the red. Son of a beach!”

“We’ll git ‘im. Him that send gots to pay, so the good book says.”

“I’ll git Pa.” She backed away into the brush. “Don’ go shoot’n…I git the firs shot!”

Mike said...

Ken sat on the hot beach, staring at the huge scar on his leg. He wanted nothing more than to rush off into the crashing surf, but the fear of actually jumping in felt like a nauseating punch in the gut. Then, in that moment, he gathered his courage, and tossed aside the horrible memories which had kept him out of the ocean for over a decade.
Ken attached his prosthetic leg, grabbed his surf board, and he limped off into the turbulent water. Twelve years earlier a shark had taken his leg, but the predator hadn’t killed Ken’s spirit.

Katharina Gerlach said...

I wish I could send him flying with a punch for stranding me on the beach of a remote island. If only I hadn't given in to his pestering.
"Fancy a sailing trip away from cold Scotland?" His suntanned smile hit me full force.
"Dee nee ken. Don't much want ta," was my gut reaction -- should have stuck with it. Instead, I'm shoveling a sandy grave for him and his smile. The sun burns blisters on my skin. Should I ever get rescued in time, I'll probably retain scars everywhere. How long can a human go without drinking water?

Writer Chick said...

"Baby," he crooned, "you send me."
I threw him nae a bone, but a punch. "Sam Cooke's dead. So will ye be, an ye keep this up."
"Wish you weren't such a beach," he mumbled to th' sand 'neath us, so I let tha'un pass.
I wasna sure why I'd gone oot w'him. It must ha' been some combination o' th' scar and the persistence, wearin'me doon like water does a stone.
'Ventually th' stone starts to resent it, ye ken? I gae up and walked away, and ne'er came back

Colin Smith said...

Chad was a Greek god of the beach. Like the mythical deities, he was always at war with the other beach gods. The scar Toby left on his Ferrari was supposed to send a message, clearly one that was beyond Chad’s ken.

I saw the fight.

Toby took a punch to the chest. He countered with a jab to Chad’s face. After five minutes, Dawn, the pretty blond Chad was with sat beside me.

"Read any good books lately?" she asked.

"Sure," I said. "Fancy some coffee?"

Her big eyes lit up. We left the gods to fight.

Kelsey Beach said...

His semi devoured the long night drive from Myrtle Beach to Chicago. The road cut through the mountains like a scar across a man’s spine.

A honk snapped his head up, and he jerked the wheel away from the yawning drop off. A car’s taillights flashed. He rubbed his eyes. The red lights dimmed, a flare sent up into the night.

The horn blared again. Like a metronome it punched him awake, maintained his ken, and kept the road alive.

The highway widened. He eased the truck onto the shoulder. His eyes shut. He breathed.

The car drove on.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

White tablecloths billowing like curtains in the upstairs bedroom. On one table a crystal punch bowl, and a cake, uncut and waiting, on the other, gifts wrapped in white, “To Patty and Ken”. The tang of salt air and beach music of well-wishing voices whispered of the future. Driftwood half-buried in the sand, like a scar on a pretty face. Gulls, hundreds flying inland send a message. The tide too low, like ocean drained.
Behind the couple, rising on the horizon, a wall of blue and green, we ran.
They never got to say I do.

Maggie said...

When you regain consciousness, your limbs are sore and heavy. Your mouth is sour. And you are totally confused by this fake beach, perched on the lido deck of a Festival Fun ship.
It takes several hazy moments to assess the situation and send the information back to your brain.
Anything broken? No. Good.
Bruises? Yes. Of course.
Scar? Nothing yet.
Blood? Splattered across your bikini. Must’ve been the last punch to that bitch Brandi’s face.
You stand up and the crowd cheers. “More!” they yell.
If only you hadn’t misheard Ken when he invited you on a Bruise Cruise.

Laura Hughes, MittensMorgul said...

"D'yeh ken?" the old man asked.

We walked along the beach. I nodded, and he went on with his harrowing tales.

"So I pushed 'send,' and a tiger leaped through the screen." He pointed to a long scar across his forehead, nose, and cheek. "Punched me right. In. The. Face."

I shivered, and he smiled. He'd achieved the desired effect.

He pointed to another set of scars on his arms.

"These are from a genuine Query Shark. She grabbed hold, and shook all the adverbs outta me. Consider yerself warned, if you ever think ta jump into those dangerous waters."

Anonymous said...

“A watch?” Arnie’s eyes glistened.

“Tim, you – “

“It’s nothing,” Tim said. “Try it

The watch fit perfectly, covering the scar on Arnie’s wrist from the accident.

“Beautiful, Tim. Thank you.”
Arnie went to go to show-off the gift, failing to ken the significance of the pre-set time. 3:05 – the same time a year ago when, driving by the beach to send a letter, he’d run a red light. Tim’s sister had been in the front seat.

Tim watched Arnie laugh and take a big sip of punch. Tim smiled – the poison would kick in soon.

AP Diggs said...

I stare at the poster behind the cash register, at the couple walking on a beach.

"Hey, dummy!" Ken punches me in the arm. "Them bottles ain't gonna sort themselves."

He sends me to the back of the store to arrange the returns. Cans of Coke, bottles of Bud, the stale stench of beer and the buzzing of flies fill my senses. I rub the scars on my hands from cracked bottles and the jagged lips of cans.

A mountian of empties awais me, countless like grains of sand or the stars above.

I kneel, I sort.

Unknown said...

Beyond my ken how it all came to pass exactly, but then, it was now beyond my Ken anyway, as he lay tucked into my garden.

I simply asked him what the mark on his shirt was from, while chopping vegetables. That really seemed to send him into a fair frenzy of explanation - enough to make me stop chopping and consider him.

The scar at his temple beat as it did with stress.

Ken certainly stressed when he lied.

Who then cared about “the beach”, and “some punch”?

I shrugged. Pumpkins were sure going to come in nice now.

ClothDragon said...

Jay-Anne ran a thumb across the scar on her chin, resting there pensively. Was that false advertising, hiding her imperfections? Hands flat on the table, fingers spread, looked terrified. She was terrified, stupid blind date. Closing her hands made it look like she was going to punch someone. Belligerent or frightened? Which was better?

"Not texting," Lyssa texted back.

"He's late." She hit send, jumping as a throat cleared behind her. Too cute, too on-the-spot, way too blond. "Uhmmm, Ken?"

He nodded; chewed his lip. "Beach?"

She stood.

He waved toward the windows. "I mean, beach?"


Anonymous said...

It happened while packing for my beach vacation. At first, I didn’t understand the punch of thought pounding in my mind. But, then my ken kicked in and I realized something was brewing. I turned on the computer and saw an announcement for a Chum Bucket contest. As I fumbled at the keys preparing to send my query and three pages, the server froze. I begged and pleaded with the gods to no avail. At 7:59 p.m. the problem was fixed, but, for me it was too late. Yes, it’s going to leave a scar.

cgarwriter said...

I hit send on my computer and punched out. No time like the present to hit the beach looking for Ken. Oh yeah, this is going to leave a scar.

Wendy said...

Trading places with Barbie to kiss Ken ended with yes and triple explanation marks; however, I didn’t know I was dealing with the idiot of all Genies. Somehow, I ended up in the body of Tuber, a guy sitting behind the lovebirds in the theater.

In my panic, as Tuber, I dropped my popcorn, tried to retrieve it and my hand slipped inside Barbie’s blouse.

Ken punches me leaving a permanent scar on my teenage development. Barbie pats me on the head and promises to send me a get well card. Then, the real me comes over and kisses Tuber.

andidiehn said...

“You can't come with us tonight.”
“No, Tobes, not tonight.”
Toby was three, and ferocious, and he hated his mother's sweaty boyfriend.
“We're going to the beach. It's late.”
Toby aimed a punch at the scar on her cheek, where he thought she was weak. Someday she'd tell him. That spot's the strongest. She caught his tiny fist and kissed it.
“I'm going to hate you until the moon blows up.”
“I'll send you a hug on the mushroom cloud.”
She remembered: Toby hated mushrooms. Nothing to do but walk out the door.

Brian Miller said...

Sand thickens the air between dunes, wind furiously assaulting the beach. James' clothes rip tight threatening to pull his feet from their purchase. He hardly notices.

A grey scar sky obscures the sun. His eyes fail to move from some point beyond his ken.

Lighting trees to the ocean, thunder following, a punch loosening the hold of that far off place.

Retrieving his phone from his pocket, he thumbs the send, auto-dialing the last number.

'Yes,' a voice barely over the storm.

'I will do it,' he says, closes the connection and throws the phone into angry waves.

CherylAnne Ham said...

Dressed to match the encroaching night, I slip into shadows cast by craggy rocks.

A storm brews beyond the horizon. I can smell it on the salt air, see it in the clouds that scar the darkening sky.

Nothing has ever felt so right.

I’d managed two nights away from the beach, and every minute was a punch in the gut. Watching her jog at sunset brings me peace, so my need to send her screaming from this world is beyond my ken.

Lightning flashes, illuminating her silhouette as the first drops of rain begin to fall.

Unknown said...

They stood below him, eyes placid and empty. They heard him; fully attuned to the twitching of his lips stained from the syrupy punch of his slurpee. The skin scarred from dehydration – tinged in laboratory devised red.

One of them fell backwards, its legs frail, punched by the wind. He snapped his fingers, sending a venomous beast to snatch the one who fell in its iron jaws. Fangs tore into its hardened flesh, but it did not cry out.

He snarled over his assemblage of Ken dolls.

“To the beach with it!” he declared.

A fitting punishment for the weak.

Unknown said...

Death hung over the city of Stratton Beach, as the compilation of law enforcement, local residents and blood-thirsty media, all gathered in front of Helm’s Mortuary.
Send Ken. These two words were again found sculpted into the body of another citizen, but this time, whoever was responsible, decided to thrust a dagger into the soul of the community and leave a scar, which soon wouldn’t heal.
Pastor Steven Chambers, otherwise known to the community as, the man who would take a punch to protect your beliefs was gone, and without any reason at all.
Detective Winslow stepped to the podium.

Lynn(e) Schmidt said...

The SCAR on my hand from PUNCHing a wall did nothing to combat the summer heat. They say pain is like lightening, but in reality it throbs and ebbs, like ocean waves at the BEACH. I wish I’d been KEN to that a few hours before I came home to find my sister in bed with the handyman, who was also my husband. Instead, my fist dented the plaster siding, and my sister is donning a broken nose. Now I’ll need to find a new handyman to install this damn air conditioner.

Bill Scott said...


Beach trip cancelled. Post-op. Home recovering.

You had the operation?

Yeah. Doc snipped it off.

Dude, intense.

Show you the scar later.

I'd rather a punch in the face.

Chickenshit. Sending photos.

DO NOT! Miss it?

? It was tiny. Didn't know about it, 'til it got infected. Can't use it for anything.

I use mine . . . ALL THE TIME.

You do? What for?

Duhhhh, whatever I can.

Use your appendix?

Appendectomy! Thank God :) :) :)


That it wasn't the other operation.

What other operation?

You know. THE operation.


How you always felt like a woman on the inside.

How I what???

G said...

I sat on the sofa, his cell-phone in my hand. The incoming message featured a snapshot of a pretty girl, tanning topless at the beach. The sent messages were all deleted.

Tears ran down my plastic cheeks. This time Ken had gone too far. It was the kind of wound that leaves a scar, and when you leave marks on my little, synthetic heart, there are consequences.

I fought the urge to storm our bedroom and punch Ken in the face. This kind of violence solves nothing. Instead, I got up and went to the kitchen, looking for a knife.

Sheila JG said...

Congrats to Ms. Blount! Here's my entry:

There’s this girl at work, and I’m pretty sure she’s bullying me. The attacks were subtle at first, like sending me to the wrong place. I missed Pablo’s goodbye party, which hurt like a punch to the gut.

Then there were the feigned mis-hearings. “I don’t know how to find a good bitch, Ken,” she’d say loudly. She knew I’d said, “beach.” “You want to eat scar goo?” when I’d said, “escargot.”

It hurt to see her being kind to others. John, Zooey, Samuel, and Martin, they all loved her. Not me. I was shunned; repeatedly told, “Siri is unavailable.”

Steve Masover said...

If I went to the beach without her, that'd send a message. Would it be the right message? No way to know ahead of time. I went. Without her. Ken was there, the boyfriend before me. Every time I saw the runt I wanted to beat him. To a pulp. He approached on the boardwalk, pretending he didn't recognize me. He smirked, I swear it. I landed a punch, hard enough to echo, on the sharp edge of his jaw. My own knuckles split. I'd wear the scar for the rest of my life. It wasn't the right message.

Anonymous said...

He had the ken to send a punch so it would leave no scar, yet met his end on a beach at world’s end.

Bryan Ross said...

It was our first real fight, and maybe I shouldn't have suggested a weekend away from each other, but it seemed like the best way to cool off. I had been feeling crowded by him all week anyway, so I threw some clothes into my duffle bag and left Ken standing in the doorway of his apartment, telling him I'd send him a text when I arrived at my brother's beach house in Manasquan. But he beat me to the punch. His words on my phone's screen immediately burned a scar into my heart. My lover was done with me.

Amy Schaefer said...

“But that scar’s my favorite!”

Kenneth gave me a withering look.

“No, come on. I got that one when that huge wave drove me into the beach.” It was just an ugly pucker of skin to him, but to me, it was wiping out at La Loberia with my pals. Why should I give that up for one afternoon in a white dress?

He dusted his hands. “Get rid of it.”

I threw back the dregs of my rum punch. Sometimes you get lucky – you pick up the clues.

I marked him Return to Sender before it was too late.

Unknown said...

He punched the red brick wall of the post office. His anger seethed out with the blood oozing from his knuckles and he hoped he had hit hard enough to cause it to scar. The sun had nearly set as he gazed out across the city, imagining the orange orb lowering itself down below the ocean horizon and casting darkness across the beach. The package he meant to send to his son, Ken, before the post office closed, was tightly scrunched in in his hand as he headed back into his car, ready to try again tomorrow.

Heidi Schulz said...

Dr. Fienstien advised using positive visualizations to reduce anxiety. I took a breath, imagining myself on a sunny beach, fruity punch in my hand. A Ken-doll look alike stood by, sunscreen at the ready.
It was a nice visualization. Feinstien would be pleased.
When I opened my eyes the monitor showed my email, all ready to go. I took another breath, more shallow this time, and clicked send. There was no going back.
A negative answer would cut, perhaps deep enough to leave a life-long scar – but a yes…
I went back to my dream beach. The shark was circling.

Unknown said...

Jana is alive; her husband is not. The beach stretches beyond her ken in both directions. Somewhere behind her is the man with a scar. In front of her: an ocean.

She whirls around, looking for an escape.

There is none.

A twig snaps. She goes cold. Resolve. I’ll send him to hell.

“Jana, love. It’s me. Jim. Your husband.” The man steps out of the shadows, a knife in hand.

“You’re not Jim. You killed him.”

“You are confused, love. Traumatized.” He draws closer.

A punch bottle glints in the sand. Jana hurls it.

Bull’s eye.

Scribble Orca said...

Kanagawa-ken, October, 2012.

The beach lay deserted, a sliver of moon casting shadows over the sand and dune shrubs.

A figure appeared, silhouetted against the silver-slicked waves. It stumbled amongst the knife-edged gray-green grasses, hunched, dragging one leg, veering towards the water’s edge.

At a shout, whipped away by the rising wind, it turned, tripping backwards and sprawling into the dunes. It levered itself up, chest heaving, as a spiked club punched the sand crumbling by its head.

“The Samedan send their greetings.” The voice was soft, muffled behind a cowl. The fabric slipped to reveal a jagged, teeth-ripped scar.

Indu M said...

"Send me an email when you can" I got up.
"We can turn our scars into stars" She set down the glass of fruit punch and placed her hand over mine.

It was so unlike her to mouth platitudes. My friend of ten years ago still looked the same, but she spoke in a stranger's voice.

"I thought you hated clichés", I said.
"Not so much since I found that life is something of a cliché"

The sky within our ken was covered in varying shades orange and pink. We held hands as we walked along the beach.

Adrianne Russell said...

The day my father started playing with dolls, I stomped to the trash can in a pre-teen hormonal rage, arms loaded with anatomically incorrect plastic. Beach Barbie, Ken, and Christie were about to punch their ticket to the great Dreamhouse in the sky.

While I fitfully slept, Dad rescued them from their smelly grave. Lovingly displayed others joined their ranks. Doll club memberships and conventions followed. If I had a scar, he soothed me with glittery, hot pink Barbie band-aids.

When he asked, “Should I send away for Fashion Doll Quarterly?” I knew we'd reached the point of no return.

the walking man said...


Me ol' Da was not too shy to send a punch towards stranger or ken. Ah them sailor men bear many a scar to sea after havin' taken their leave upon the beach.

Gman said...

It'll make you forget the scars of WWII on that nameless beach, this boomtown, it's a feeling, Ken, the very air holds promise, a soft punch in the arm from a friend, the sky bluer than you can ever remember it, the blood runs through your veins at optimal viscosity, sends the message; you can’t lose. Put it all on black—it’s coming. I can feel it, Ken. Oil. Tulsa, 1949.

Eileen said...

The Real Housewives of Malibu

“Can’t believe that bitch Barbie is fifty.” Francie tipped more vodka into her punch.

“Seriously? With those boobs?” Midge straightened, but her own boobs still sagged below the equator.

“They’re not real. Pure plastic.” Francie’s laugh bounced around Barbie’s beach house. “She’s pale under that fake tan. She sick?”

“It’s a G.I. infection,” Midge sniggered. “Don’t tell Ken.”

“That bobblehead? He caught her and Joe sex-haired and sheet-scarred, but Barbie just cooed… ‘Oooh, math is sooo hard.’ It always sends Ken right to his knees.”

“He can’t help it. Ken’s not anatomically correct,” Midge whispered. “He hasn’t got a brain.”

Ali Trotta said...

The beach was empty. Ken liked that. It was almost enough to wash away the never-ending scars from his dysfunctional marriage. He never hit his wife, whose name he no longer uttered, but he was often tempted to punch her.

The morning sun was hot, the ring on his left hand baking under its reach. A faint pang of sadness welled up in his stomach, but it slid by, dissipating like an ungrasped whim. Pulling out his phone, he pushed send on a year old email, before pulling off his ring and throwing it in the ocean.

It was done.

delilah s. dawson said...

We stood on the beach, arms behind our backs like old man seagulls waiting for something dead and easy to wash up on the sand.
Ken's good eye raked over me, probing the smiling scar on my shoulder and hunting for new bruises. His other eye was swollen up like a baboon's ass.
"You won't send it," he said finally.
Eyes never leaving the sea, I shook my head.
"Son, if you can't take a punch, you don't need your father's gun. We'll try again next year."

Anonymous said...

When Ken suggested we go to the beach it was like a punch in the gut. He knew my scar stood out in sunlight. Being the good friend I am, I couldn’t very well send him off by himself. After all he’s both sexy beyond reason, and hopelessly clueless. The last time he went off by himself we received a torrent of phone calls--first from the cougars that had slid their numbers in his pants, then from the husbands. Needless to say I hate the beach for a variety of reasons, but I love Ken so I’m going.

Jamie Corrigan said...

I sit on the beach writing “Ken” repeatedly in the sand with my finger. I can still see the jagged scar on my knuckle from our knock-your-socks-off-punch-out contest. He'd laughed the hit off, but I knew it burned his butt a girl had one.

Looking up at the rolling waves, I send up a prayer that he's doing well. It scares me whenever I think of him fighting without me there, but I know he'll survive. If he can live through being knocked out by a chick, he'll make it through anything. Besides, if he doesn't I'll kick his butt.

Jayne Martin said...

The surf pounded against the beach like the punch of a prizefighter landing a knockout blow. The sea wasn’t just angry today, it was mightily pissed off and she knew just how it felt.

A jagged scar across her wrist was a reminder of another time Ken had betrayed her. She stepped down on the accelerator and glanced over at the gun resting at her side.

This time she would send him a message he couldn’t ignore.

jvmwordsmith at

Brianna Shrum said...

She pranced along the beach, all dark hair and tan lines and freckles. He looked like a Ken doll on steroids. It seemed like neither of them had any idea that the guy watching them like a stalker was the one whose heart she’d just broken.
He wondered briefly what would happen if he sent her a drink, started a conversation. But he preferred to avoid a punch, especially from a guy who made Greek gods look like pixies. There would be no exchange…of words or alcohol or otherwise. She would just frolick away into his growing collection of scars.

-Brianna Shrum- said...

When I punched the send button, I knew with a deep ken that our night at the beach had become a scar in a friendship that had survived 3rd grade, working under the same boss at the same bank, sleepless nights when one or the other had been kicked out by a spouse, and one month last year when neither of us called the other. But now, now sex entered the equation, and I wondered if our friendship would endure as I delivered an e-mail that perhaps could make all the difference in our world.

Nancy Lee Badger said...

He lifted his face from the sand, the ragged scar running across his cheek raw and bloody. The beach was empty but for the two of them, and the realization that she was shipwrecked hurt like a punch to her stomach. Had the crew managed to send for help before the waves took them?
Cast adrift and alone. With him.
“Lass?” His Scottish burr rolled from his cracked lips.
“Yes, I am here.”
“Do ye ken our location? Be ye well?”
“Of course.” No sense admitting she had lost all hope of reaching England.

Unknown said...

"So you know secrets about my house?" her voice echoed on the line.

Susan King, famous simply for being an heiress-turned-actress, had found my Tweet about me knowing a worker who had built her house. Her panic room. Ken gave me all the juicy details and I could've punched myself for sending that information into the world. I knew better than to gossip about her, I thought, touching a scar under my eye.

If history repeats itself, then I may as well box my belongings and find a remote beach on which to hide from Susan's violent wrath.

Grumpy Llama said...

Just one punch. One brutal, staggering punch. The kind that comes from a deep, dark fury. Enough to send that bastard Ken stumbling down the beach. He had it coming, though, didn’t he? A just reward for the emotional scar Jimmy now carried from watching Ken grope his mother. No one treats Jimmy’s mom like that.

You are so fucking lucky, Jimmy thought, that I’m only 2 years old.

Soon, Ken. Soon.

Anonymous said...

You should ken Swoozie will get that "beach feeling" from the Hawaiian punch Judy promised to send her.
"Now don't scar your reputation and/or breasts by going topless, Swooz. And please, don't flip your lid when the BEACH BOYS punch out that intoxicating hit that sends you higher", Judy begged, adding, "Stay tuned...there's potent news on the ken".

Patrick DiOrio said...

Ken rubs the fresh neck scar, still deathly white after a day at the beach. Skin afire, sunburnt.

“Bloody dumb,” Amanda murmurs rubbing lotion onto him. “You deserve a punch.”

“Not my smartest move, forgoing sun block,” he allows.

Amanda sends a smile, incisors pointed. “Maybe just a little nibble, instead.”

But the nibble becomes a bite that becomes—

“Jesus!” Ken cries.

Amanda sighs, wipes a fleck of blood from ruby lips. “Sweetheart, neither Jesus nor SPF 100 can save you from sunshine now.”

His thirst growing, blood coursing, Ken finally understands.

Amanda whispers seductively. “Time to suck it up.”

Sia Jayaram said...

Sara kissed the tiny pen drive, AKA her ticket to financial freedom. This time Monday, she would be on a beach somewhere enjoying a glass of punch.

"Can you send out the holiday list to everyone?" asked Ken, her unsuspecting boss. She plastered a smile on her face and nodded. It was the least she could do. She was going to scar him for life after all.

She sent Ken’s email, deleted every document on her PC and stood up.

“Hey, Sara…” Ken sounded bewildered. “This isn’t the holiday…what’s this? It’s our customers…”


Recall doesn’t work, does it?

Kate Outhwaite said...

The voices ring out across the beach and into the dunes where I ponder changing fashions in names. ‘Ken’ was not in fashion even when I was young, the only child of a late marriage: an unexpected, barely wanted bonus; a scar across a comfortable, controlled union; a punch in the stomach of their existence.

Of course, the voices could be calling a dog but I know they are not.

I scoop up more sand to cover the exposed foot and hum my mother’s favourite song, “You Send Me”, as I slip Ken’s little shoe into my coat pocket.

Cindy C said...

An animal shriek woke me from a dream of beaches and rum punch, returning me to my childhood home in ancient mountains scarred by mines.

My grandma sat beside me, the knitting in her lap ignored as she stared across the empty room. She’d insisted we sit up all night to send my grandfather’s spirit away if he got lost on his way to heaven and tried to come home.

“There’s things in the world beyond our ken,” she said when I protested.

The animal shrieked again, a lost and lonely sound. My grandma smiled through her tears.

Rivka said...

Another perfect day along the coast. Blue ocean, clean sand, sunny skies.

The tables lined the horizon like a scar along the beach.

“Cuthridge!” He heard. “Come help me with this shirt!”
“Yes, Sir.” Ken dolls don’t dress themselves.

“Go make sure everything’s ready for the guests. And get me a drink.”
“Yes, Sir.”

The kitchen was impenetrable. “He wants a drink? Send him this.” The caterer handed Cuthridge a glass of punch.

Cuthridge stopped on staircase, pulled out the vial, poured the contents into the glass, and smiled.

The poison would add to the evening.

Wages of sin.

Kate James said...

To walk with him again along the beach, Paige prayed. See him send a pebble skipping across the water.

Her grandmother, long gone, sat next to her. “If he’s lost to ye, yer heart will forever bear a scar.” A feather-soft touch brushed across Paige’s knuckles. “But you’ve a purpose to go on living, do ye ken?”

Paige sat alone when the surgeon entered, sorrow in his eyes. The grief was a sharp punch to her abdomen. As she clutched her stomach, though it was far too soon to feel him stir, she knew with certainty, she carried his child.

Anonymous said...

I saw you on the beach last night. I saw you with that woman. The one with the scar on her hip. I saw the way you looked at her, the way you touched her. The way you kissed her.
I wanted to punch you in the face right then. It would have felt good.
But I've decided to make you suffer for what you've done to me. You humiliated me.
You're gonna pay.”

I read it over twice, then pressed send.

Judith Gonda said...

As Ken and I approached the beach I spotted trouble. Despite the restraining order Barbie was there waiting for us. Our bodyguards rushed ahead to send her away. Last thing Ken needed was another scar from his volatile ex. But Barbie faked out the bodyguards, eluding their attempts to grab her, and bounded toward us. When she pulled back her arm ready to land a punch I made my move. My hands blocked her blow as I delivered a swift kick. She lost her balance and fell backwards. That’ll teach her to toy with my man.

DD3123 said...

My fortress of wood blocks loomed over the kindergarten battlefield. Lego men cheered from the ramparts while plastic soldiers tended the wounded. A full company of My Little Ponies lay broken in the fields. Barbie and Ken never made it off the beach. I don't know why Courtney Williams decided to send a football our way, why she struck my impenetrable bastion dead center, or why my castle's loss would scar me for life. But I do know why I had to punch her in the nose. If I hadn't, my dear boy, I'd have never met your mother.

Unknown said...

“Why do you have a KEN doll?” my nephew asked. He was eying BEACH Barbie and 1983 Ken. I kept them on the mantel where most people displayed photos.

“He stays until I find my real Ken.” Saying that out loud sounded dumber than I thought it would, but I kept smiling. My failed love life was just an old SCAR.

“Mattel discontinued Ken in 2004. Ken doesn’t exist.”

“You must be wrong. I’ve seen him at Target.”

“Yeah, the ones with Bieber hair.”

I decided to SEND an email to my sister canceling babysitting. And make a rum PUNCH.

Bruce Thole said...

To My Beloved Ken,

As what will surely be my final act, I write to you.

Moments ago, an unnatural silence gripped the island. I then heard the drone of metallic insects punch through the calm undeniably bringing with them promises of napalm kisses and death’s icy embrace.

As the planes swoon over the beach with the bitter melody of gunfire, I tremble, yet, I am not afraid. I am comforted by the assurance that my death will tear and scar your soul enough to send you into the sort of action that our nation so desperately requires.

Forever Yours,


Mark Koopmans said...

Scratching her legs – the damned mosquitoes would scar her – Liz stared at her friend.

“Hamish, what does ‘ken’ even mean?”

“It means I ‘know.’”

Taking in the wreckage strewn across the beach, Liz punched the Scotsman in the shoulder.

“Well, do you ken what happened to the outrigger?”

“No idea. Dave was steering, but he –.”

Liz interrupted him. She didn’t want to think about the stacked bodies at the base of the tree.

“Do you think they’ll send anyone?”

“No, but I’ll have enough food.
I’ve never had haggis using a human stomach. I’m sure you’ll taste just fine.”

Kaethe said...

Here is how he came back to her: First nose. Then throat. Then the black hairs like tiny whips around his nipples. Shepherd’s crook scar behind the knee, soft push of thigh, bump of bottom rib below the skin. Finally his eyes, two-hole punched from a belligerent sea.

“Grief,” said her therapist. “Paxil” said her mom. Her father suggested the beach. When her pastor said, “beyond our ken,” she stopped listening.

She is piecing him back together again. And she is sending him bone and nail and tooth. The line on her thigh where her skin turns pale.

dylan said...

Gulf-Coast Barbie met homeless veteran GI Joe in a makeshift tent-city on an oil-begrimed beach, the air fetid with the stench of decaying sea-creatures.

“I can’t believe they tried to send you back for another tour, Joe.”

“Yeah. I told my CO I ‘d punch his fuckin heart out. Instead I end up here.”

“Better than Afghanistan. Or even Malibu, with all those plastic people.”

“We’re 'plastic' people, doll.”

“No, Joe. We have scars to prove it.”

“But we lost our accessories. No more “Dream-house.”

“Things change.”

Why didn’t you have kids?”

She sighed.

“It’s just wasn’t in my Ken.”

Keya said...

Even from the rocky beach, I could see the half-mile scar of ash and blackened evergreen stumps punched into the forest. Whatever had tried crash-landing onto the lake hadn’t quite made it.

Not my business. Anyway, it was probably far beyond my limited ken. I was a journalist. The only journalist. And I’d been the only one at a dozen other cases over the past year. The officials needed a reporter they could trust to get the word to the public. The right word, even if it wasn’t the true one.

I finished talking into my iPhone and said, "Send."

Preeti said...

I left for the beach in the evening. When I reached there, I realized I had forgotten to send the letter to my husband. As I sat down on, watching the sunset, I did not feel too good about myself. This was the first sunset in my life, which was making me nervous. I revisited the plan in my mind and thought again. I wasn’t sure if it was the right thing to do. All the ken and expertise of the world could not lead me to my conclusion. I felt as if life was giving me a punch and I was getting breathless. I had lost all my confidence, all my hope. I knew things could not change now. I knew this was the right thing to do. As I sat, I held the sand tightly in my fist and cried. My tears fell on the sand and disappeared. Maybe that’s how life is, things just vanish. Unfortunately, this was not vanishing so soon. I stood up and ran home, as fast as I could. The letter was lying on the kitchen counter. The letter that contained, “my picture with the scar”. I remembered all the beautiful moments from the past two years.
I sent the letter and left, forever and ever.

Laurie Lamb said...

“Tom, where’s the leather punch?”

No answer. Why was it beyond the ken of equine challenged husbands to return things to the tack room?

Leigh put her new stirrup leathers aside and reattached the old ones. She misted Sunset Beach with fly spray. And again. Thoroughbreds had thin skin. Leigh didn’t want Beach to send her flying in a horsefly prompted tantrum. She had a gruesome scar from the last time.

That reminded her. Tom had to quit making the fly spray. It was too weak.

Beach tossed his head in confirmation as they set off on their hack.

Anonymous said...

They sat down on the scorching sand. She pulled the laptop out of her bag and turned it on. The beach was deserted. Ken knew she was looking at his scar but he said nothing. She passed the computer to him.
“Hit the send key.” She said.
“I don’t think I can go through with it.”
“Do you want me to punch you again?”

Unknown said...

I have a scar from where a shark once bit me. The beach had been packed that day, but few dared to enter the water. I’d drunk a bit too much punch (spiked with rum) and hadn’t kenned the danger. The waves sent me straight into the waiting jaws filled with sharp teeth. I saved myself by reciting a poorly worded query letter. The shark only got one bite before fleeing away, screaming something about “tell me about the damn book!” Not sure what that was about.

Morgan Hyde said...

I woke up with a splitting headache. Groaning, I pushed my bangs from my eyes. I froze when I felt a scar. Where was that from? Beyond my ken.

The last thing I remembered Paul was promising to send me to hell. I had gotten tipsy at the beach and made a pass at him. Turned out he was some sort of born again fanatic. I shoulda known. All the cute ones are.

But when I tried to open my eyes, I realized Paul had done more than punch me. They were already open - and I couldn't see anything.