Friday, August 02, 2013

I spy a writing contest!

I've enjoyed the first two books in Susan Elia Macneal's series so it's time to have a writing contest and give them to the lucky winner as the prize (Mr. Churchill's Secretary and Princess Elizabeth's Spy!)

The usual rules:

1. Write a story using 100 words or fewer

2. Use these words in the story:


The word must be used in whole, but it does not have to be the whole of the word.

Hour/hourly is fine
blackout/blacked-out is not

3. Post your entry in the comments section of this blog post.

4. If you need a mulligan, a do-over, delete your entry and post again.  Only ONE entry (the latest
date stamp) will be considered.

5. All judging is subjective and frequently whimsical and moody.

6. Contest opens on Saturday August 3 at 9am, and closes Sunday August 4 at 9am.
All dates and times are Eastern Shark time.




oops, sorry, too late. Contest closed!


Joel Freiburger said...


I'd already served in a war when I started moving art through the London blackouts of '39. Uniformed and barking the ARP slogans, I banged about their flats, herded the gentry to closets and cupboards, nabbed their finest paintings. Growled past the constables of a hooded city, angled down the hidden stairs inside Bob's Goodtime Blues. American, Bob was, whereabouts unknown, nominal boss of an earthen intestine cut beneath the Twopenny Tube – empty during the Blitz, when the music ceased. Humid storage fixed at one hour: midnight.

Come bleary morn I’d ransom the art back to the owners.

Curtis Moser said...

The surgery would take an hour. A deep breath, the encroaching darkness, an anesthesia-induced dream, and then a return to consciousness with the finest face money could buy.

Antonio thought the scars from the aerial blitz would scare Maria away. She had stayed, however—had assured him that she wasn’t with him just for his money. But the revulsion he saw in her eyes when she looked at him told a different story.

So he had decided without her. He’d blackout, wake up, and be broke but beautiful. Wouldn’t she be surprised?

He smiled as the doctor fitted the tube.

Michael Seese said...

April didn’t want to leave. This had been a great life. The finest one yet.

“I wish I understood this,” Jeff said.

She wanted to explain. But people from her world had trouble comprehending space-time travel.

“I have to go,” she said. “Our enemies have started an all-out blitz. It’s up to me. I’m the only one who can save my people from extinction.”

A portal opened.

“I thought you said we had an hour.”

“They’re unpredictable. I love you.”

“Please come back.”

“I’ll try.”

She entered. Just before the blackout, April heard Jeff’s voice.

“She’s in. Destroy the tube.”

Madseasongirl said...

His hour is almost up.
Frankie works quickly, his sausage fingers moving with an elegance the finest pianist couldn't master. He raises his head, thanking the storm responsible for the blackout. His shirt slips, letting in the ripe stench of urine.
Just one more.
He kneels beside the cot.
“Are you an angel?” the old woman asks.
“Sorry ma'am.” Frankie slips the silver tube into her arm. “Not today.”
He wipes the moisture from his eyes and walks out into the waiting blitz.
He isn't surprised.
Frankie slips the final tube into his arm before they descend.

Anonymous said...

All this for a Chevy

His vision is filtered, tube-like, bored through the darkness, through the blitz of his phobias: filth, stench, claustrophobia. For hours, bouncing and reverberating against the sheet metal of the garbage bin, those fears manifest, whispering the inevitability of that perfect nightmare: blackout. He kicks and strains against the duct tape 'round his ankles and wrist. He licks and spits against the gag 'round his mouth.

Outside there is no-one. The abandoned factory that once produced America's finest machines ignores the thumps and thuds that slowly weaken and cease.

R L Raymond

french sojourn said...

“Finest gal” sailed towards the dance, wearing nothing save her threadbare jib. Duluth had broadcast a report of rogue waves running westerly, before an untimely radio blackout.

Taking the worn canvas sea anchor from its tube, he rigged it to the bow. The old ketch hove to, as he anticipated the blitzkrieg of three- thirty-five foot waves.
He thought of the Edmund Fitzgerald’s crew in the murky graveyard below. “Finest gal’s” bow knifed through the first of the three sisters*.

“Does anyone know where the love of God goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?”* He thought, smiling.

* Lyrics by Gordon Lightfoot.
*”Three sisters” Nautical term re: Lake Superior

joshingstern said...

‘Blackout dates, lousy for travel but miraculous for adult industry directorial debuts’ thought Horace Lime, budding impresario of sensational smut.

In the past hours alone, there had been a blitz of offers from sun-ripened young starlets anxious to ply their finest techniques to gain access to the boob tube of soiled love

‘I want this to transcend the genre, and become a traditional holiday classic’ thought Horace …’I want it so edgy it’s beveled…and ribbed for their pleasure!”

The problem was his financial backers...

‘Well you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink from the toilet'

Craig F said...

Though big storms were rolling in from the east they had already assembled. The fire in their eyes wasn’t dimmed by the rain dripping off their hat brims. Hope, excitement and some resignation still shown brightly.

They didn’t seem to notice that the lightning was giving what would be the finest show of the night. Rolling blackouts could be seen throughout the city because of the storm. Still an hour to wait.

Soon the tubes to protect the frail would in place and the gates opened. The blitz to the beer counter would shake the walls.

Football season is here.

Patrick DiOrio said...

Emerging from the tube at Piccadilly Circus. City streets in blackout. Lit only by the blitzkrieg of bombs that earlier pummeled the city. Gutted spires limned against angry red fires licking ravenously, consuming London. His own hunger no longer denied.

“My finest hour,” he comments bitterly.

World War and once again, Germans, the aggressors. This time on English soil and swarming. Their dark figures hunched and advancing.

He waits. The night his world.

“Come on, then,” he growls, fangs gleaming white in reflected light.

A deep sigh.German food gives him gas. But in war sacrifices must be made.

Katie New said...

It was the finest home the McCully's had ever lived in, so what if it was section 8 housing. Yet they longed for their broken down trailer, so they filled the tubes with chemicals, lit the burner underneath and waited an hour for the solution to crystallize. This time they wouldn't smoke it themselves, they would sell it, and get the hell off assisted living. Then the blackout happened and the fire alarm went off. The sound of fire trucks, ambulance and police melded together. They didn't notice; they were blitzed out of their minds.

LynnRodz said...

London. Not a speck of light shone from the blackout. I was decked out in my finest dress, my petticoat swished, as I descended down into the Tube. Hordes of Londoners crouched in the oppressive winding maze, afraid to go home. The blitz was taking its toll.

I began to recite my newest tale. It was a humorous story and little by little the noise grew silent as everyone listened and chuckled in the stillness. A reprieve from reality. At the witching hour, the bomb under my dress went off. My family would be safe now - they had promised.

Unknown said...

A Drive-through Confession

Jim stuffed their twin paychecks from Poplar’s Finest Elementary into the plastic tube just as the teller started gabbing. “This could take an hour,” he said to his wife.

Shannon responded, “What do think of Blitz? For a boy’s name.”

“Uh ...”

“It’d makde him sound like a quarterback.”

“Honey, I’m 120 pounds.”

“Genetics are funny.”

“I know you didn’t blackout during biology.”

She hugged her belly and opened her mouth to say something, but the words seemed to lodge in her throat like a … and it hit him. … Boris, the new Russian gym teacher.

shtrum said...

“Blackout.” He jabbed a fish-white hand towards me.
“It’s eye black,” I said. “Eye. Black.” As if a zombie lineman needed darker eyes, I thought.
“Uuuhhd-evah,” he mumbled around the drink tube. The team manager once told me the ingredients in the squeeze bottles, but I had to block it out half-way through the description.
I handed it over and said, “you know the werewolves will blitz.” Shape-shifting morons. That’s all they ever do.
“Uuuhhd-evah,” he replied, smearing grease over the remains of his face.
Great, I thought. We’re about to be mauled at the Freak Bowl. Our finest hour.

Claire G said...

The grandfather clock that once lived in the parlour strikes eight. The notes bounce away over a sea of snoring bodies, over displaced belongings, tumbling off the platform edge and into the river of darkness that is the Tube.

It’s time.

Children rise, silhouettes popping up between sleeping parents. Night by night, she plays Piper to these small, weary bodies wearing salvaged finest. As the sound of the hours slips away, they follow it down.

There, together, they dance. A slow waltz, a shuffle, music in their minds. They forget the Blitz, the blackout.

Laughter is all she can give.

Unknown said...

As a backup quarterback this was to be my finest hour. There was less then a minute to go with the score tied. Everything goes silent as I come up to the line. The game moves in slow motion around me. I get the snap and roll right, not even seeing the blitz coming. That’s all I remember; I get hit and blackout. I wake in the hospital a few hours later to find I am all over the tube. I fumbled the ball and the other team scooped it up and returned it for a touchdown. We lose again.

Anonymous said...

Isabel awoke on the Tube. The canned voice came over the speaker “Mind the gap,” as the train pulled in to the station. Another blackout, it seemed. She tried to recall where she’d been. Eating a blitz, with Peter.
“Hey, you okay?”
She gazed at the young man staring at her, his eyes blue, just like Peter’s. She glanced away, looking down instead. In her hand she clutched an empty bottle. It once held the finest whiskey. That’s right, she’d found a bar. It had been happy hour.
She asked him, “Why? Why would you care?”
“Mom. It’s me, Peter.”

Colin Smith said...

I knew things were bad. That's why they called me in.

This time there was no other option. It had to be chemical warfare: a total blitz of the area. One tube of our finest powder would bring blackout to the enemy in moments, death in minutes. It churned my gut, but it was the massacre of one small population versus an epidemic of colossal proportions.

I signed the order.

Miss McNeal met me at the door.

"You'll need to evacuate for a four hour period," I told her. "If the critters aren't dead by morning, call me."

Jason Batt said...

The rampway was blocked. Scoggles would have to use the tube to join the blitz before the blackout. This would either be his finest hour or he’d die. The Capitol building floated above. Arms tucked to his side, he dropped into the tube and was shot skyward at a shuddering speed. Below, the mob had broken through the defenses. He should be landing in the middle of that, but his flight wasn’t slowing. He sped past, crashing through the cupola window. He shook off his daze to discover the broken body of the Chancellor underneath him. The revolution was over.

Suzanne said...

"Tu-be or not tu-be, zat is ze question, no?" the wizened shopkeeper asked, handing Charlotte the hourglass.

"I want to be the finest spy in the world," Charlotte replied. "I'll be my own blitzkrieg."

The sand in the hourglass sparkled alluringly. A sudden gust of wind rustled through the blackout curtains.

"Turn ze hourglass twice, mademoiselle," the shopkeeper said.

Charlotte turned the heavy hourglass. A flash of light filled the dim room. The hourglass slipped, shattering on the floor.

As she bent down to examine the pieces, she immediately noticed her lack of arms, legs and body.

“Invisibility!” she cried.

CJKeats said...

Bunny wasn’t scared.

Like his nickname, Bernard raced through rubble despite the blackout. His foster parents, the Woodcocks, lay this hour in their finest, in their flat’s ornate bedroom.

“If the blitz kills us,” Gordon, the father–figure, had said, “People can’t think we’re common … like you.” Gordon loomed over Bunny, grinning.
Bernard still smelled Gordon’s hair-oil, so strongly he retched while dodging debris.

He could reach the tube’s shelter. He would be an orphan. The Woodcock’s couldn’t die twice, but he prayed a bomb would hit the flat. Then he could pretend to be a nice Bunny again.

awkwardgirl said...

“Gather round thrill seekers for one of the finest act in the world. Prepare yourselves, for the epitome of enjoyment, for a Blitz-Krieg on your senses that will have your mind doing whirly doodles for days to come!”

“When’s dinner?” I ask.

“An hour.”

My brother worries his pockets for loose change, his eyes focused on the tent flaps rustling in the wind.

He hands me a nickel that I pass on to a slant-eyed man. Beyond the flaps, the world blacks out, then opens into a large arena. Before us, a large tube sparkling and colorful beckons us.

Unknown said...

“You’re our finest officer in Sierra Leone,” he had said.

In the darkness I squeezed the phone like a stress ball. Blackouts are a constant occurrence in Freetown.

“But I think you need to come in.”

I’ve been waiting an hour for him in a windowless room. The halogen tube above me pulsates with the surging electricity, matching my anarchic heartbeat.

Cold steel touches my neck. A wet patch forms on my khakis.

We’re plunged into darkness. Another blackout. A blitz of gunfire.

Bright light as I escape into the hot air, unhurt, blood diamonds lining my pockets.

Unknown said...

It was a baby. Spastic fluorescent tubes shined down on its colorless skin. It didn't move or cry. The blackout should have lasted another hour, one more day or month. The blitzkrieg was nothing compared to the shadows cast in narrow valleys of miniature ribs. Some bones were slightly uneven, perhaps fractured, the finest errors that would never be erased. I wet my lipsand summoned a final lullaby.

Charley said...

“What’s that tube?” m’lady asked.
“A blitz. I must reheat it.”
“You mean a blintze?” She shook her head.
“Not the way I eat it.”
“Looks like post-modern blackout, dear.
“How long it must have fried.”
“An hour.” “Not your finest, dear.”
“Don’t say—” She did. I cried.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

(To Janet and all contest-writers, please allow me to preface this story. It is true, told to me by a co-worker forty years ago. It’s strange really, that I remember the tough Brit, and her story, but I cannot remember her name. In her honor I enter this.)

She told me about the blitz, how she gave birth underground, “The Tube”, she called it. “Rushing there, in-between contractions during the blackout, was terrifying,” she said.
I did not want to give birth on the street during the blitz. I did not want my baby born in a world of madness. I did not want my child’s first breath to be of sulfur and the dust of humans laid waste. And then, in the stillness of St. James, his cry was heard. It was my finest hour. We named him Winston.

CHLamb said...

Ellie’s vision danced around the edge of blackout. She tilted her head back, the only part not bound to the chair.

‘Go ahead. Stick tubes and wires in me, blitz my brain into scrambled eggs,’ she snarled. ‘You’ll never get the access codes.’

‘I beg to differ,’ the gangster replied coldly. ‘You’ll be my finest agent-break yet.’

‘I’ll die first.’

He drew the blade draw along her forearm. She refused to scream.

Stage-four hostage qualification program complete. Candidate approved.

Ellie sighed – the holographic warehouse disappeared, then looked at the evaluators smiling proudly from Control.

‘Welcome to Special Operations, Agent Sawyer.’

Kate Outhwaite said...

Conceived in a blackout and born in a tube station the same night that his father's Wellington bomber failed to return from a raid on strategic targets on the Ruhr, John Morris was a true child of the Blitz.

His doting mother, so proud of her only child's scholarship to read Modern Foreign Languages at Oxford and the finest hour of his graduation, never spoke to him again when he returned from a tour of the war graves and battlefields of northern Europe with his new bride, Brigitta, a child of the Schwarzwald.

Amy Schaefer said...

I stumbled along the frozen path. Mother nudged me onwards, hours becoming days as we fled the cacophony of bloody death. Exhausted, sick on rotten tubers – still everyone limped on. The news blackout was meaningless; the war filled our world.


The nightmare shapes of the Easter 101st Rutting Finest leapt from the shadows. I shrank back from their infamous pink-and-purple Egg eyepatches. Had they really each sacrificed an eye to the Bunny?

Blitzen stepped forward. “There’s no ransom here. Santa won’t bargain.”

“The Pole fell two days ago.” The three-stripe bunny flashed sharpened teeth. “And we’re having venison tonight.”

Cindy C said...

“I’d be a rich man if your damfool husband saw that blitz coming.”

“Daddy, don’t start.”

“Quarterbacks are supposed to be smart.”

“The doctor said your blackout lasted over an hour.”

“Cost me $10,000.”

“Well, we could use $10,000. This place is expensive.”

“He shoulda known it was coming.”

“Here, Daddy, I got a new tube of lip balm for you.”

“You wasted yourself on him.”

“Daddy, stop. Marrying him is the finest thing I’ve ever done.”

“He shoulda seen it coming.”

“Spread that on real thick so it’ll work fast. Daddy? Daddy? You really shoulda seen this coming, Daddy.”

Anonymous said...

Buried under tons of rubble courtesy of 350 of the F├╝hrer's finest German bombers, the screaming air raid sirens and roaring engines strafing overhead were swallowed by repeated explosions that made my teeth rattle.

Why did I come to the docks at this ungodly hour? I wondered for the thousandth time as I hunkered in the air pocket inside the sewer tube now sealed at both ends.

Between near constant sounds of blitz terror, her shallow wheezing permeated the oppressive darkness of our small space. My last thought before I blackout? I wonder if her parents know she's missing yet.

Mark Koopmans said...

The tube doors slipped open, and the stench of London’s Underground welcomed her with its clammy grasp.

From a near blackout to the strident light, she followed the undulating crowd until Nelson perched above her at the appointed hour.

They found each other, and the crowd dissolved like the finest mist.

“Ready?” he asked, looking ever so splendid in his polyester uniform.

She squeezed his hand as he gave her the ream of still-warm paper.

“We’ve only got an hour!” he said. “And, remember, the coupon is for twenty percent off the entire bill. We’ll blitz these tourists. Let’s go!”

Ilene said...

The blackout lasted only a few minutes, but that was more than enough time for Roger to grab the steak. By the time the light returned, he was already in his secret spot, gnawing away.

His finest moment came an hour later, when a blitz attack scored him a chicken leg off Mom’s plate.

“Give that back!” she yelled. “Eat your own food!”

No way, Roger thought, as he scampered away. That’s payment for being locked in a plastic tube every day. Then with a contented wag of his tail, he hunkered down to enjoy his prize.

Unknown said...

Harold checked his watch. One hour left. Anticipation made his skin itch. His hands guided him past brick facades as he slithered along the derelict buildings that lined Front Street. The blackout meant nothing to him. He knew the area well. The tube of poisonous liquid sloshed in his pocket like an innocent bottle of baby lotion as he picked up his pace. Not much longer now. The constant blitz of explosions would not deter him. His finest moment was only a few steps away. Harold leaned over the pier and watched as the turquoise liquid met the river’s surface.

Shaunna said...

Popularity has a price. So when Sidney invited Charlotte along, no one objected. These blitzes were safer with a scapegoat.

They all knew the drill: ouija board, spin the bottle (they used a tube of lipstick), truth or dare. The real hazing began with a game they called blackout. But things did not go as planned.

Halfway through their iced lattes, the sedative kicked in. Three hours later, Charlotte was gone. The note she left said, "Locks of Love thanks you. Sorry I had to go a little short. Sidney has the finest hair I've ever seen!"

Anonymous said...

Yours is the final blitz of the hour. I imagine you with the growling engine at your feet, a glint of moonlight on your silvery wing as you open the plane’s belly over London. You bank and roll away to watch your payload disappear into the blackout.

From the mouth of the tube I feel it descend as if you’ve slipped it right to me, like a gem, a pearl, the finest diamond you never gave me until now. Your child’s head rolls across the floor of my belly, reminding me to speak for us both.

Thank you, Daddy.

Anonymous said...

“It's in the tube!” Carol yelled back. She was crawling in heels and silk pajamas following the soft 5/8” tunnel.

“Blitz the damn thing!” Marjorie retorted bent over in her Jimmy Choo's holding onto the table. Marshall Whiting better be worth the $795.00 plus tax 3 1/2” investment. “My left ear's twitching.” Marjorie's finest distress signal was never wrong. Marjorie was amused to see Carol taking such deliberate whacks . “Carol?”

“ I think I hit something electrical Marj.”

“A blackout by Carol Donavon...” Marjorie felt a delicious hand on hers.

“Quite the hour.”

Calorie Bombshell said...

“Sister, on what delicacies shall we dine tonight?”

“Roast pork with capers and gooseberry trifle.”

“Splendid. Shall I set the table?”

“Only the finest Royal Copenhagen, please.”

“Of course. Christmas pudding?”

“Boiled to perfection for ten hours.”

“The tree?”

“Girl.” A women ravaged by tuberculosis sputters from the next bunk. “It’s past blackout. Turn out the damn light and stop chattering to yourself.”

I push myself off of the filthy mattress and tug on the twine attached to the flickering bulb. Darkness once again shrouds the barracks as I hear Rudolph and Blitzen gallop towards me through the bomb-laden sky.

Donna McNiel said...

The communications blackout on the far side of the moon usually made Jake feel uneasy. Today it brought welcome relief from the blitz of reports coming from earth. It had been 36 hours since an unknown substance began filling the atmosphere and blocking the light of the sun. The crew of the Multinational Lunar Orbiting Station had collected samples on their last trip past earth. The finest particles of the substance were enclosed in a glass tube on Jake’s workstation. Even if he could identify them, he doubted it would be in time.

Julie O'Connell said...

It seemed like a good idea. Shot-gunning the last can of Blitz – what could possibly go wrong? He’d only had a tube of Fosters or three. Maybe six, tops. The world wasn’t spinning, and he hadn’t ralphed. Life was nicely blurred around the edges, like a hipster picture on Instagram.
“Shot! Gun! Shot! Gun!” They screamed.
He was happy to oblige.
When he woke up after the blackout, all the screamers had disappeared. He was alone in the grass, his shirt bunched around his neck and his shoes gone.
Not his finest hour. Hungover ,barefoot, and alone. Still, he smiled.

k.kellie edwards said...

She knelt at the handsome stranger’s feet, gazed into his bedroom eyes then slowly unzipped his pants and took his tube. . .

NO! Mother would be aghast! Mother would surely suffer a blackout, or rail against this sordid tale of wanton sexuality! Somehow, she’d try to sully this--her teenaged daughter’s finest hour as a writer of erotic fiction! Well, screw you, Mother! Your daughter’s about to blitz the literary world, knock it soundly on its righteous ass. . .

No. Your only daughter is about to lock her diary again, words buried as deeply as her unrequited dreams.

Brig said...

'You made him blackout?' He asks, his tone incredulous.

Despite his disappointment I'm thankful. It's the first real emotion I've heard since the blitz. I'd assumed it mostly eradicated.

'Sorry. Next time I'll remember to readjust the settings' I mutter sarcastically, nodding towards the dented metal tube I hold. Not my finest comeback, but the blood's spilling, and I'm freaking.

'You stay, you kill' he instructs mechanically, feelings hour evidently over.

The second swing brings on my tears and the chicken's death.

'I'm vegetarian' I supply in explanation.

He shakes his head.

'Not anymore. Now you're simply alive or dead'.

JD Paradise said...

"Sure I was blitzed, mate," Hobo Jim confessed. He sported the finest in patched attire, a well-chewed cigar stumping out from the undergrowth around his mouth. "But I know what I seen."

"Little green men," I said. "Sure."

"They wasn't green."

"How could you tell during Blackout Hour?"

"And they wasn't so little, neither."

"And also not aliens." I pointed the weapon at him. You wouldn't think a tiny tube could be so compelling.

But maybe it was how my head split wide. Or maybe it was Waldo, waving howdy from inside.

"And also not aliens," he agreed.

BP said...

At 3:46 the lights flicker, stranding the tube riders in the eerie glow of idling cell phones.
At 3:47, Finn knocks out the obstreperous station guard and rushes into the darkness.
He speeds towards the sizzling circuit breaker, hoping it's not too late.
Two weeks before, he had received a text from Alice Churchill: ex-history professor, professional heart-breaker, former MI5 agent.
He responds, "Allow me to shed some light on our historical debate."
But she only re-sends her last text:
"Sorry about our previous date. How about dinner on me, June 18th, instead?
Explosive blitz: Tube.
Finest Hour?"

Anonymous said...

Life began in a blitz. My very first sensations comprised darkness---a total blackout---and a great shaking like the universe coming apart at its seams. Then warmth, radiant and god-like.

The pull of suction, followed by a swell of stage fright. My hour had come, like my father before me.

I entered the tube.

This was it.

A chance at more than the frigid, frozen existence of my peers, to excel beyond the false promises of a cash-poor donor at the sperm bank.

I would become the test tube’s finest.

Naomi said...

An hour later, he woke up inside the arteries of the Jolly Green Giant.

"Wha' happen back there?"

Whatever it was, was his fault. He told Sheldon about the trapdoor at Aunty Mavis's. The forgotten branch of the lava tube it dropped you into.

"Brah, I'm blitzed."

"Just the pakalolo. Island's finest."

"Nah, more'n dat."

They drank with Aunty-- some kava, he thought.

"Try hold dis." Shel handed him a pillowcase. Aunty's linen. Something light and thin clinked inside.

Shel stood, holding his own stuffed case. "Aloha, man."

The first blackout lasted an hour. The next one was permanent.

Nate Wilson said...

It was supposed to last a day, maybe two. To divert electricity to the hospital till the heat wave broke. So they could attend to all the wounded.

Lizzie cleared out the fridge. Spent her days at the makeshift shelters.

As usual, Martin said it didn't concern him. Didn't know any of 'em. He grabbed their finest bottle of scotch--the one she'd been saving--and spent the entire blackout floating in an inner tube blitzed out of his mind.

He never saw her drop the downed power line into the pool.

Three hours later, the power came back on.

Steven D. said...

I’m certain my wife would have killed me, if I didn’t act first. Fortunately, my neighbor’s a doctor of sorts and offered to handle my delicate problem in exchange for handyman services. My smoopie doodles was changing by the hour and I couldn’t bear another minute of her whining.
“I don’t want her to feel anything,” I said.
“No worries. I’ve something to get her sufficiently blitzed. She’ll blackout within minutes.”
“She never should’ve gone out alone. Obedience was never—”
“Relax. You’ve hired the finest. Yours isn’t the first Boston Terrier to snag a protuberant eye on a stick.”

Ashes said...

Her eyes were lidded in pastels, curls kissed her cheeks, she wore the finest gown. Meticulously she patted a heavy layer of wax onto her lips.

"He's looking for you," someone said.

She applied her lipstick, left the tube near the sink, and headed back.

He was there immediately, twirling her through the crowd, smiling with perfect teeth. In the middle of the ballroom he kissed her and fell to the floor. During blitz that ensued she escaped down the palace steps. His blackout would last an hour. Her freedom would last a lifetime.

It would be Cinderella's last ball.

Just Jan said...

"This is our finest model," I reassure her. "Even another Blitz couldn't damage it."

"And they're monitored around the clock?"

"Every hour." I help her climb inside the metallic tube. Her hands are shaking.

"They'll wake me as soon as there's a cure?"

"Of course. Try to relax. You'll blackout in about ten seconds."

I press a button, and her new home hisses closed around her. Another button drops the temperature and a third pumps in preservative gas. I walk away, knowing the company will be out of business before somebody finds a way to reverse the process of aging.

Kimberly King said...

His hair is so blonde. I stare closely at his picture.
“He looks like a Jarod,” I smile. Pain blitzes my heavy heart. My premature baby is covered with tubes. “He’s so tiny.”
“Don’t worry, Hon. We’ve got the finest nurses here. Besides, you can visit him anytime in the NICU, except during blackout, from two to two-thirty.”
I lay my camera down, arms hungry for my infant. I delivered him three hours ago, and still hadn’t cradled him, kissed his tiny fingers, or smelled his sweet skin. I needed to hear his voice.
“When can I hold him?”

Lance said...

The honking great bomb lay in a pile of rubble still smoking from last night’s edition of the Blitz. It was ticking.

We who defused unexploded bombs wondered if you heard the click before the detonation – terminal blackout for that UXB team member.

Even the finest in the business missed tricks that the Germans put into some of their bombs – some, not all. Spring-loaded relays. Delay timers. That ticked.

This bugger was even right side up. Next to a tube station. How many hours had it ticked?

Four screws and the cover plate came off.

Peered in.


Terri Lynn Coop said...

Every species has a predator.

However, the rabbit doesn't ponder the hawk's intentions. It just cringes when the shadow crosses its path. I imagine my prey feels that chill right before the blitz.

Camouflage is my first weapon. A tube of blackout lipstick and I'm a Goth. A tweed jacket and I'm a professor. Whatever it takes to cross her path.

I was about to call it a night when I heard the click of a wobbly high-heel shoe on the dark sidewalk.

I fell in behind her savoring the thought of the upcoming hour: my finest, her final.

Kate Higgins said...

April 1941.

Her ears hear only the dark after this blitz; after the bombs...a silent, moonlit, midnight hour.

Margaret pulled the ragged blackout curtains aside not worrying about lights, there were no lights – only moonlight. The walls had holes, lots of holes but it felt normal to peer through the window...broken glass.

Moonlit air filled with smoky, gritty dust and an unspeakable smell tasting of concrete and death...more death...moved wraith-like revealing the shining black tube smoldering in the dirt; impassive, immutable, unexploded. Germany’s finest gift to Bristol sits waiting in the rubble below...waiting...waiting.

KayC said...

“Exactly where do you think you’re going dressed like that, young lady?”

I debated lying as I swung around to find Mum with her arms crossed, tapping her foot. But she always knows! I took a deep breath. “I’m catching the tube with some friends and we’re going to Blitz, the new nightclub in town.”

Mum grabbed my arm and dragged me back down the hallway. “I don’t think so,” she said. “Some ass-hole will spike your drink, and you’ll either blackout or he’ll have his finest hour with you in the back lane.”

Jared X said...

The fart of her dying toothpaste tube jolts me awake, drenched, from blackout sleep. An hour before dawn, I slip out the door with yesterday’s shirt balled in my hand. “Blitzkrieg Bop,” this week’s ringtone, rumbles from my pocket before I’m down the stairs. I’d talk to her but her platitudes make everything worse.

Absent the crutch of tomorrow’s routine, weekends are always darkest. From the bridge, the streetlights are a billion bouncing pennies on the water.

“Keep it moving,” says one of New York’s Finest alongside the stanchion.

If it ever happens, it won’t be witnessed. I sprint home.

Scott G said...

Winston lit a candle and set the table with their finest china. He rolled it closer to his wife’s bed as she slept.

Clementine used to surprise him just like this, using the dinner hour to say I love you. They would get blitzed on red wine, eat a gourmet meal and talk about their children and grandchildren, then retire to the same bed and blackout until morning.

The heart monitor bleeped. The feeding tube slinked down like a venomous snake from the IV drip into her veins. Clementine took her last breath.

Winston raised his glass.

“Goodbye, my love.”

travelkat said...

“One more tube of lemon-yellow. Flourishes, careful, careful.”

“That’s nice...”

“A blitz of candied violets for the finish. A spun sugar crown, and done!”


“Here we have it-my finest sugar-blackout Divorce cake.”

“I’m not...”

“One hour after eating yours, ten years of marital misery will melt away.”

“I was really...”

“Two hours after sending his, your former partner will follow suit.”

“I’m not...”

“The piece de resistance, why, frosted arsenic on his rose petals.”

“I’m actually looking for a wedding cake.”

“Oh, well. Come see me in a few years then. Never mind about the petals.”

Writer of Wrongs said...

“Finest hour, my ass.” Carlisle loosened Basil’s corset laces. 

Basil inhaled, regained color. “Why do you care? You didn’t suffer a blackout.”

“You ruined the scene.”

“The way you blitzed onstage, not even the groundlings knew anything was amiss.”

“They’re not called groundlings, anymore.”

“I’m summoning the period.”

“Summon your inner Juliet. Your cue’s coming.”

Basil smoothed Carlisle’s wimple. “I did you a favor. Elevated your role.”

“What, from nurse to doctor?” Carlisle twisted a tube of Romeo Red and slashed it across Basil’s pale lips, smudged some on his cheeks. 

Basil captured his hand. “Nay. My drama queen.”

KarinB. said...

An hour slips with ease over martinis with ganache. Two women, wary dancers each, spar for verbal conquest, all in good fun.

The eldest relaxes for the first time in months. This time, her safety assured in documents doctored by her own hand.

“If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself.”

Her companion glides the tube from beneath a fluttery sleeve. A blitz of giggles, a planted kiss her finest distraction, before a magician’s twist releases the blade instead of the powder.

This time a permanent blackout’s required. “This time, there’s one name you forgot, Mother.”

Sheila JG said...

Trussed to the hospital bed by tubes and wires, he couldn’t escape the blitz. Even a feigned blackout didn’t get rid of them.

“Please tell us she’s not in your will,” his oldest said.

I’m fine; thanks for asking.

“She did this to you.”

Maybe, but it had been worth it.

Grandchildren, dressed in their finest, whispered, “That gold digger wants our money.”

Their money? When had they worked sixteen-hour days?

A pen was pressed into his hand. “Sign.”

Why not? His money was gone.

“We’ll take care of you now.”

Good. The hospital bill was going to be huge.

Anonymous said...

“TV’s on the blitz,” said Twelve.

“That’s ‘fritz,’ dear,” said Helen, kicking it. The tube ignored her, clinging to blackout like the drops of drool at Twelve’s lower lip.

“Made by dummkopfs, no doubt,” said Twelve. He glared at the TV, which hastily flickered into service. “Now, woman, it’s donnerbalken hour. Kindly escort me.”

“Clever man! But no, I won’t take you; you’ve diapers, remember?”

“Dinner, then. Or does the Reich forbid that now too? I barely recognize Berlin anymore.”

“That’s because it’s London, darling.” Kissing him tenderly, Helen left England’s once-finest superspy staring out the window in angry confusion.

-Rebekah Postupak

Anonymous said...

Blitzed before happy hour then another damn blackout. I’m too old for this. The blurry scenes flashing through my mind are more MTV than YouTube.

Need to piss, but there’s a sledgehammer hanging up there. It’s gonna come down if I move my head. I tell myself the images are from dreams, but I know they’re memories even before I look down at the dried blood on my knuckles, the dirt on the clothes crumpled in the corner. Not my finest moment. Just hope I buried him deep enough.