Friday, October 23, 2015

The So Long Colin, it was good to meet you Writing Contest

Colin Smith took leave of his senses this week (egged on by LynnRodz, to be sure) and suggested a writing contest leaving out the letter "e"

Colin Smith:
@LynnRodz: I was thinking the same thing (a flash contest without the letter "e"). Maybe with a few prompt words thrown in too. After all, we have Donna's deal to celebrate, and there's that map book Janet's been tormenting us with... :)

And then suggested my precious prescioussssssssss map book as the prize.
Well, clearly this kind of rebellion from those exiles in Carkoon must be squelched at once.
There IS a writing contest of course, since that's how we determine their fate.

Usual rules, plus a new #9, apply:

1. Write a story using 100 words or fewer.

2. Use these words in the story:

[You'll notice all those words contain an "e". ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. By posting an entry, you agree  your contest entry can remain visible on the blog for the life of the blog. In other words, you can't ask me to delete the entry and any comments about the entry at a later date.

Contest opens: Saturday 10/24, 9:42am

Contest closes: Sunday 10/25, 10am

Questions? Tweet to me @Janet_Reid
Ready? SET?

Not yet!


Sorry, too late. Contest is closed.


Timothy Lowe said...

Spelled differently it would have killed her. But her new late husband was a rotten speller, and as Evelyn drifted down, she smiled. Without an E it was worthless.

“Hell’s this?” the mechanic had said.

She looked. A crumpled note. NEED A SHOOT.

“He meant a parachute. And put it under my seat.”

The world would be better off one cheater less. Since Jack and Marlene had discovered their agapeic transcendence, he hadn’t been able to get it up.

As the plane plunged into flames, Evelyn pictured him groping for release.

Time to discover the true price of ejectile dysfunction.

Jennifer Delozier said...

The surgeon plunged her scalpel into the patient’s abdomen, separating layers of muscle until his midsection was agape. She probed the cavity, searching for the prize—a bullet she knew was there. She plucked it out, releasing chutes of blood that streamed onto the OR floor.
“Suction!” The flow lessened as she cauterized the bleeders one-by-one.
“Didn’t you have a date tonight?” the nurse asked, turning for the stapler.
“He no-showed.” The surgeon jabbed her blade into the man’s liver, yanking the overlying muscle closed to hide the pooling blood.
“Ugh! Rejection’s a bitch, isn’t it?”
“Yep. A real killer.”

LynnRodz said...

Caramia plunged into agony, mouth agape.

Rejection again for a story about a childless lady who parachutes downward for giving a baby back to its family. What did a publishing company want? Blood?

Solitary days full of hollow hours. Writing was Caramia's only support. In sagas, this matronly woman on Carkoon was a young girl off to fantasy worlds.

Noon. Caramia got up slowly for a third margarita; just what a doctor would command. But hold-on, TQOTKU was doing a flash fiction post.

Drinks could wait.

Today's a good day, Caramia thought, and sat back down to draft a story.

french sojourn said...

I’m the spitting image of my dad; however we’re wired differently.

One summer, I built him a bathroom beside his bedroom. I installed raised paneling below the chair rail; then covered the laundry chute with a matching panel, and painted it. Above the chair rail I painted a beautiful faux marble finish, with a painted fake crack that plunged from the ceiling.

He looked at it. Paused.

“A crack?” he gaped, “now the marble looks broken!”

“It’s trompe l'oeil, dad,” I said, waiting for his acknowledgement.

Dejected he walked away, shaking his head hopelessly.

We’re just wired differently, that’s all.

jmaggard said...

Silent Partner

“Shoot,” he says. “Sometimes you’re the plunger; sometimes you’re the poop.”

I can’t respond. I rejected his command to talk, so he shoved a .357 into my mouth.

He talked enough for us both.

A silent partner in the money chute scheme, he couldn’t resist gloating now. He beat me with a simple karate chop lunge, then bound me, dejected, to this chair.

Then he carelessly spilled secrets. My secrets.

He’s the gap.

Lesson time.

He removes the gun, thumbing the hammer.

“Shoot,” I say. Quietly.

My partners’ bullets slam into him. He falls, mouth agape.

Gap eliminated.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Mr. Smith, do not gape. Read out loud, now.

With full understanding I, Colin Smith, agree to cease and desist all jollyment suggestions, and to honor all slippery rules set forth by the supreme leader of the pack, chum plunger, big kahuna, writing czar, (the one monikered as QOTKU), and to be banished to Carkoon if I do not comply.
Heretofore, if less than compliance continues, I agree to exile among maladroits known as beasts.

Do you solemnly swear?
I do.

You did not raise your right hand.
Witness ejected. Trap door becomes chute. Mr. Smith goes to Washington.

Claire said...

The blonde’s proximity was making him edgy. Too many years of having to watch his back. She was surely no threat; nevertheless...

A passing waitress leaned in.

“Need an escape chute?”

“Maybe an ejector seat.”

She laughed.

“There’s a balcony off the kitchen, you might get some peace out there.”

It was cold outside, but blessedly empty. He breathed deeply.

A footstep behind him. The waitress again. He started to smile, and then saw the look on her face. The outstretched hands, small but strong.

He plunged. Below him the mouth of the city gaped wide, ready to swallow him.

Dena Pawling said...

@Colin Miss you. Where's plunger?

@LynnRodz How's life? Check cave #4.

@Colin Found it! Sick of wind blowing sand into toilets. You?

@LynnRodz Hangin'. Wind here too. Sick of palm trees.

@Colin Palm trees? I wish.

@LynnRodz You have no idea. Painful. Lesson learned.

@Colin Palm trees! My mouth's agape.

@LynnRodz Close your mouth. Rejection ain't what you think.

@Colin No kidding! Palm trees!

@LynnRodz Don't forget wind. Painful.

@Colin Painful palm trees beats sandy plumbing.

@LynnRodz Sandy plumbing beats forever swinging from palm trees on too-short parachute

Dee said...

“I’ve gone through the whole plan, threw out the extras, and can’t find any holes. It’s thorough and well thought out. Though, if someone shoots down the parachutes, and they plunge to the ground, we’ll have less time.

Mark picked up a grape and studied Dora’s gaped expression. “Now my dear, don’t give me the ‘deer in the headlights’ look. This isn’t something new; you knew the risks.”

Steve asked, “If I might inject something? Your package ejection device is brilliant.”

“Thanks. This should be an in and out heist. We’ll meet back at the Inn afterwards for meat stew.”

Unknown said...

For a dead guy, Vic was in fine vocal form.

“I’ve been rejected. At both gates.” He hovered near the laundry chute. The portal to hell?

“It all worked out,” I reached for my brother but he plunged away.

“Worked out for you. You’re still alive.” He twisted back and flung an arm towards me. I ducked.

“Vic, look at yourself.” I softened my voice. “I mean, you don’t look great, being armless and all, but, you are free.”

He stared at me. I think. His sockets gaped but they were turned my way.

I shrugged. “I’m still here.”

Linda Strader said...

Should I take the plunge, eject all thoughts of terror and go for it? The parachute I relied on could gape, threaten to collapse into a less-than-perfect life-saving device. I could bail at the last minute; but what fun would that be? I stepped out into the perfect blue sky.

Steve Forti said...

Love lesson #1: When ready to take the plunge, find a romantic spot.

A private single-engine plane at sunrise was a good call. I lay down some sweet talk. Build the excitement.

Love lesson #2: Always go to one knee. Remember to smile.

She stares at the box, mouth agape. And not in a good way.

Missed lesson #1: Let her choose the ring.

Ten minutes of complaining about the ugly ring reveal an even uglier character. Glad she rejected the offer. Time for a dramatic exit.

Missed lesson #2: Make sure you grab the parachute, not the backpack.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Blindfolded, Colin boarded the Velocicopter which then took off for the remote Pitcairn Island, home of HMS Bounty’s mutineers. Appropriate, considering the Queen’s sentence. His haversack contained kale energy bars and requisite reading, “God Save the Maps.”

Dejection hit. What a protracted plunge down this slippery slope, this slithery chute. Would he ever make it home again?

Hold on. He tilted his head. No voices.

“Anyone here?” he asked.


Hurriedly, he untied his blindfold.

That Shark!

He sat alone. Outside—cloudless black space, twinkling stars, and radiant planets flashed past. He gaped.

Where in the cosmos was he?

GJ said...

“Let’s do it,” he says.

He’s excited to leap, to plunge into the abyss without a parachute much less knowledge of where to land.

“But.” It’s the only word I can say. Because I don’t have a good reason to say no other than fear. Rejection. Failure.

“We can do this. We can.” He’s smiling, pushing me to the edge of possibility, our faces peering over the brink, mouths agape at the infinite distance from here to the next place.

My stomach lurches.

“Okay,” I say, eyes squeezed shut.

He takes my hand.

Colin Smith said...

Talk about idyllic: sipping margaritas at La Bistro, and It’s just shy of tropical outdoors. Nothing could top this.

A shout. I turn. Barbara P is glaring at Shark with hazy orbs.

“Chute yur mouth!” Shark slurs.

“No!” Barbara snaps back. “Colin‘s signing MY contract!”

Shark’s fin plunges into a bag. I gape, and grip my chair. But Shark pulls out a wad of bills and calls for wait staff. A man in black runs up.

“Twooo addishnul martinis,” says QOTKU with a grin.

“Okay. But less shouting or I’ll eject you both!”

I sigh, smiling. Post-Carkoon is good.

Anonymous said...

The big ape aims his laser at my parachute, burns through the straps. I plunge straight down and a giant pink mushroom breaks my fall. I tumble off of it, barely avoid a flying purple shark, and land on the moss-covered ground. I remove the chute, dodge more laser fire. Straightening my tie, I reject a gnome's offer to carry me piggy-back. I'm too big, I tell him. I'll just take a stainless steel taxi robot the rest of the way.

Yeah, the morning commute can be a little weird around here sometimes. The afternoon's worse.

Calorie Bombshell said...

Paid Duane to proofread my essay on linear algebra. Instead, he changed “vector” to “victor” and “scalar” to “scholar.” GPA plunged faster than the slope of an inverse coordinate along a y-axis.

Dejected and incapable of functional analysis, I hyperplaned down a chute of rage, plotting a polynomial split spanning the null space between Duane’s ears.

Before I reached angular momentum, Duane’s lifeless body was discovered amid a matrix of unfinished term papers, his mouth agape and “Ivey League Dream Killer” carved into his tongue.

Cops said murder. I theorized suicide: no one but Duane spelled Ivey with an e.

Unknown said...

His shoulders slumped. Mouth GAPEd. Beaten. DEJECTed.

Good. No fight left in him. I reached the Cessna’s exit. Cold metal in my hand, I twisted. The door popped open. Clutching the nearest seat, I fought the airstream’s drag.


Too late, he rushed me, his scream swallowed by the roar of wind whipping through the Citation II. Sucked from the cabin, he cartwheeled. FlightLESS, he PLUNGEd toward the scrubland 39,000-feet below.

Loosening my grip, I let the wind take me. Unlike Colin both-‘E’s-are-silent-Smithee, a paraCHUTE was strapped to my back.

If those damn ‘E’s weren’t silent before, they are now.

Maple and Baobab said...

Saturday mornings homemade sausages perfumed Hilary's house. Waltzing into the kitchen, I expected to find Will dancing to Bono hand held tightly over casings as milky as vellum paper as his little delights ejected through the chute, while the other hand plunged down the gape chunks of fatty pork, Irish love and mixed spices.
Hilary? Less woman, less vegetarian, and more monster, she glared at the newly forming intestines coiling all over the arborite table, chair and floor. “Where's Walter? Hilary?”
“I cracked. It's over.”
“Twenty years?”
“Twenty-two years a vegetarian. The sausages won. He always let know they would.”

Anonymous said...

She left me with no other choice. I had to get rid of it, but now suds were bubbling over the porcelain, and seeping onto the floor.

"Open up now!"

I had to act fast, or my hidden pleasure would eject from the chute. I grabbed the plunger, thrusting it into the mouth of the throne. One, two, three times.

The door opened, while at the same time, Yoda's head shot out of the toilet, hitting my wife in the head.

"May the...force be with you?" I grinned.

She stood there agape.

"It's an ageless pleasure, honey, only bubble bath."

Janice Grinyer said...


Dear Colin Smith:

Thank you for sending us sample chapters of your novel UP A CHUTE AND NOWHERE TO PLUNGE.

We have read them with great interest, but unfortunately feel we would not be the right representation for you. Please take this rejection in the positive manner it is given; although your Carkoon storyline had us agape in endless wonder, we would not be able to give it the proper representation it deserves.

We wish you all the best in your writing endeavors.

Best regards,

Lessismore Literary Inc.

PS You might consider querying Janet Reid's Agency?

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Neither gape in transfer paperwork nor Clem’s rejection thwarted Witless Wyrm. He dragged his stolen man past Clem, the sleeping gatekeeper.

“This is a mistake.”


“I'm not meant to be here”

Hell’s torture chamber loomed before them. Pliers, bamboo chutes, and such hung on the walls. The imp gripped his excrement encrusted plunger, threatening his hostage.

“Hush. My revenge will come.”

Silence broken.

A voice echoed. “Clem! You dare steal my minion?”

“It wasn’t me, your Majesty,” Clem’s voice protested. “My imp…”

Screaming, crunching. The imp triumphed. “It worked.”


“The Queen came for you. Now I am free.”

QuirkyElf said...

Profile: Livingwithoutaparachute

Bio: Welp, this is another first. Gonna plunge right in. If I get rejected? *Shrugs* Used to the shocked gapes, haha. Even my body hates me. Yeah, that’s me in a blasted—sorry—blessed Caspian wig. Sick, huh? Wanna join me in one last battle? I’m ‘newt’ a prince but feel free to kiss... Or hold hands. Or hang—that’d be cool. I’ll cook. My speciality’s Olive Fougasse but I can’t eat much. The irony. Hey, it’s all good. No one can call me ‘big-boned’ anymore #relapseworth. Almost. Interested? Contact asap. It’s late so peace out guys \\//

Gabby said...

10:22 a.m.
The toilet continues to eject all deposits. My attempts to plunge the obstruction only appear to anger it.

10:43 a.m.
Forced to face defeat. Plumber has been called to assist.

12:45 p.m.
Plumber arrives. Gapes in undisguised disgust at the cesspool on the bathroom floor.

1:12 p.m.
Plumber retrieves tube sock from clogged drain. Throw it down garbage chute to dispose of evidence. Pay plumber in cash to keep quiet about discovery.

1:15 p.m.
Efforts to avoid awkward conversation with parents fruitless. Mom shows plumber to the door.

Kregger said...

I gaped at the luscious, red-skinned vegetables at the controls in the cockpit. A thought came to mind, well…two actually…when did killer-tomatoes learn to fly and aren’t they fruits?

The pilot turned his eyeless face in my direction and grinned. I knew he held my ejector button--and me parachuteless.

I hit the emergency button next to the exit door and plunged from the Boeing777.

Before I hit the ground--I knew I was safer than those aboard.

The 777 survived decompression, mostly.

“What’d he say?” asked the FBI.

“He mumbled something about James T. Kirk on The Twilight Zone.”

BJ Muntain said...

Colin looked out the velocicopter window. "Don't we even get parachutes?"

"Don't need 'em. Wouldn't work," said the pilot. "No gravity."

"No gravity? So... no plunge? No wind rushing past us on the way to death?"

"No death, either. Nothing. Limbo. Timeless, in fact."

"You're going to push us out into nothing?"

"Nah. Got an ejector seat."

Colin gaped. "You're going to eject us?"

"Hell no. I'm aiming the velocicopter at limbo, then ejecting before we hit. My partner will catch me."

"You trust your partner?"

"Hell no. But she won't get this old scotch if she doesn't."

Ashes said...

Petsitting is disgusting, but I’m not in a position to reject cash. The hapless dog chews everything and runs in-and-out the doggie door like it’s an escape chute. Whatever.

Until I noticed the beast gnawing something furry and a suspiciously empty rabbit cage.

But no biggie. I retrieved the carcass, plunged it into a soapy bath, put old Hoppy back in his cage, and prepared to tell the owners it was natural causes.

The wife faints before I get a word out, for a minute the husband stands with his mouth agape.

Turns out they'd buried Hoppy last week.

Craig F said...

His shot won the war but if it took a millisecond less it might have saved the Earth. Now all they had were the limited resources of the ship. Boredom began edging out the grief.

The auditorium was packed when the screen lit up. They could only gape as something ejected from the ship, sped down the missile chute and plunged toward the sun.

Hitting the sun’s photosphere he released the solar collector kite. It ballooned out with solar pressure and he came alive with his board. He surfed the currents of space once around Venus and twice around Mars.

Karen McCoy said...

All his fault.

He convinced me to plunge; reflections of shattered motorcycle remain.

Always without parachutes, he made me feel lesser for wanting them.
Risks were healthy, he said. Kept us out of ruts.

So I decided to try it his way…
…after brother’s test results proved malignant.

Down the highway. Fresh scent of non-deciduous trees. I sought the wind, the recklessness he craved. Tonic for my crumpled insides.

The construction cone tipped. We skidded down asphalt—-ejected from the seat. Agape, he reached for my mangled body.

All my fault.

Megan V said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lance said...

Eject! Eject! Eject!

I must take the plunge.

Please open, oh 'chute. Oh 'chute!

My heart pounds; my mouth's agape.

I flutter downward, no tights, no cape.

Unless ...

Alan Milner said...

“Press eject,” he shouted, lunging across cabin, aghast.

I just stared at him, agape with wonder.

I had never seen him move so quickly.

Then I realized it was his recorder, not mine.

The expression on his face looked more or less like what you might expect a skydiver to look like had he just taken the plunge without having secured his chute.

Then I heard what was on the tape, his moan, her moan, not mine.

I recognized her moan, having heard it before under very different circumstances.

I pushed him out the door with his chute still uncinched.

A Room of My Own said...

Night looms silently over the hillside. Life has never been this quiet. Death has never been so loud. The sky looks like velvet midnight, dark with no stars. I should count my blessings but likewise, they are all gone. If I plunge into my misery, I might never surface. I must reject that thinking. Still, I stand here, mouth agape, wondering if all hope is down the chute. Finally, a coyote screams, breaking the stillness. Yet, nothing is as loud as your eternal truancy.

Rena McClure Taylor said...

Alone. Sunday. 10/25/2015.

Needed the bourbon.

“What the. . . ?” Stairwell, narrow as a laundry chute, at the back of the closet in her office​?

She reached, stumbled, plunged into darkness, finally landed, head throbbing, before a gaped opening. Another world. Real, no fantasy.

As was the cave lined with rejection slips, books mildewed on the floor. A desk. A computer. A guy hunched over, key-stroking as if possessed. She read page after page.

Bless my beating heart, she thought. The next Stephen King!

“Come with me,” she said. “I’ve got plans for you.”

Kae Ridwyn said...

“There’s nothing you’ve done that will make God love you less,” the preacher finished. Nope. I can’t believe that. He walked out.
There’s no forgiveness for what I’ve done.

He crossed the street, oblivious to screeching tyres and blaring horns. I deserve punishment.

He chose the building on the corner. It was empty, mid-renovation. No one will intervene. He climbed up to the roof. Pedestrians will gape; call the police. It’ll be too late. He strode straight off, eyes closed. Life can’t get any worse. I’m a reject.
Down he plunged.

Into the waiting maw of the builders’ rubbish chute.

Donnaeve said...

She shared news of you in the grocery store, the outcome I’d thought of often now reality.

Mouth agape, dumbstruck by her words, the scent of apples turned into a sickening odor of sweetness.

Backwards went my thoughts, tumbling down a memory chute where reflections of you had dwelled languidly, as if avoiding reality.

Recollections flashed by fast as life, and though dejected, the knowledge plunged me into acceptance.

Your suffering is done, you’ve gone beyond the earthbound.

Because you are no more does not mean you are less.

You now dwell in peace.

Your body whole.

Forever liberated.


angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

Martin’s son dodged through leggy models drinking their dinner under a parachute tent.

“Papa, look.”

Martin took the pistol, eyes agape. Weighed it, the way you size up a rock. He knelt, his son’s chin in his hand “Where did you get this?”


Martin stood, “Can you believe they let Henry play with a pistol?” He twirled it.

“Papa—” the boy groped. “—Henry gave it to me.”

I snatched it, surprised by the weight and the cold metal. I’d expected plastic. I ejected the magazine, walked to the lake and plunged the barrel into the sand. Useless.

LB Hunter said...

Revival Lesson

The traveling preacher is on fire, speaking of Agape: nonsexual love. “Nonsensical love,” I say. For what sort of love rejects the needs of the beloved’s body? I shift my position on his lap as the tent flaps and shudders in the wind.

On the last morning I plunge my hand into the chipped brown pot put to use by the church ladies, and snatch utensils to ladle out gummy mac-n-cheese. I nod, I smile, I scoop.

“Good morning, Pastor.”

The deacons come, bearing a fat envelope. My beloved turns his back, and raises empty hands.

Mackenzie Bates said...

It was one of those old school laundry chutes. Fitting, for such an old school hotel.

She stared at the metal gape and grimaced. There was no way of being sure where this would lead. Still, it seemed less dangerous than her other options, so she threw her body inside. She began to plunge down the chute, hoping it would eject her into a fluffy pile of dirty clothes.

The sound of bullets hitting metal began to ring above her. She closed her eyes and braced herself for whatever was coming. It may have already been too late to escape.

Kelsie Kasandria said...

"Sharky expects me to have learned my lesson," Colin snarled as he strapped on the parachute. “Well, she was wrong.”

He stared out the window of the plane, waiting for the right time to plunge into Paradise. "I won't die as long as I deploy the chute in time," he assured himself.

He glanced around – no one was looking. Colin silently opened the door and ejected. "I hope I did the right thing," he said as he gaped at the rapidly-approaching ground. “Paradise here I come!”

Chute deployed. Feet landed.

“What the....?”

Dark side of Carkoon.

Unknown said...

"Don't you dare gape at me," he hissed, his pudgy leg straining the antique fabric of his suit. "I make this plunge all the time, with few witnesses, so consider yourself as rare as a unicorn ejecting off the edge of a rainbow." The witness watched with hooded eyes as the bulk poised above the small square chute heaved right, and then left. It shimmied and squeaked. Eventually, less of it could be seen, and then it was gone; another clean entry achieved. The puppy wriggled with anticipation atop Santa's sleigh. The next chimney on the list was his!

Kim Batchelor said...

Zane spent her high school years in an all-girl band, less punk than alt-klezmer, more work shirt gape than neckline plunge. When she shot down the chute onto the stage, thrashing her big-box store guitar, all eyes were on the explosion of her magenta hair and all ears on her spine-seizing yell. She never forgave the other members for ejecting her. Dolores said it was because Zane always saved her entrance for the third song, and they only had five in their repertoire.

Zane knew the real truth: professional jealousy.

Anonymous said...

The exfil team parachuted into Carkoon at dusk, incongruous as kale. Within seconds, they'd inflated their Zodiac. "Get in."

Colin and Lynn had no choice.

All night, the craft plunged through treacherous seas. Daybreak revealed a lush island paradise. On the beach stood a man who'd obviously once been devastatingly handsome.

"I'm Nikolas, Greek billionaire, cursed to fall desperately in love with every unavailable stranger I meet."

"But-- we're both married."

"Yes, agape mou, and I grow more hideous with each rejection. Welcome to the Island of Typos*, where bad ideas, gormless plots and rampant typos threaten sanity."

[*H/T @LeslieFeffer]

Kate Larkindale said...

Dinner ahead; dangling tantalisingly close.


Sharp scratching pain tearing my mouth, blood leaking into gills as I plunge up, light brightening, searing grey gloom adjusted eyes. Ejected! Blinded! Suffocating in foreign environment, heat branding scales. Lungs struggle against waterlessness. I’m not swimming, yet chute ever nearer towards a gigantic… whale? Incorrect, certainly, but unable to find words adequate for describing this monstrous creature. Smaller beings crawl its surface, breathing easily.


Vibrations shake skeleton, brains rattling. Body shattered, scored by hard boards, sunlight blazing hot. Surroundings fading, shadows falling. Agape, gulping non-existent sustenance, nervous system tells tail: flap uselessly.

Unknown said...

Rejection isn’t pleasant, especially when you’re on the receiving end.

I was fully prepared for a few negatory responses after submitting the first fifty queries through the e-mail chute of my iMac computer.

I mean, when the first “sorry, your novel just isn’t right for our list” message landed in my Inbox, I didn’t sit there, mouth agape, convinced my writing career had ended without even one mutually satisfying consummation notch on my belt.

Needless to say, one doesn’t plunge into creative writing without girded loins and a guarded heart.

But what I wouldn’t give for some positive reinforcement. *Sigh*

Test said...

Ginebra wasn’t sure why the laundry chute looked so daunting. It was wide enough to fit her small frame, even with the harness fastened securely around her.

She gaped at the black space, hesitating only a beat before she ejected the flare from its packaging and threw it into the chute. It plunged down while Ginebra counted – less than ten seconds before it vanished out of sight.

It was a straight shot.

Hearing her enemies enter the room, she mustered up her courage and leapt, praying that the belay hook would hold the entire way down.

Susan said...

I never expected to make it out alive.

At the recruiting office, they wouldn’t look us in the eye, thin lips set in a grim line. War’s almost over, Kid, they said. Your odds of surviving are good.

They wore the lie well.

First came the parachute jump.

Then the tireless jungle where we plunged into a darkness that left us praying for the Son.

Letters from home, leave me the hell alone. Rejections never go over well.

Wide-eyed stares, mouths agape, right before-

Welcome home, Kid, they said. Looks like you made it.

We all wore that lie well.

Eve Messenger said...

A half hour ago I was Lion, cat burglar king, with plans A to C for robbing Gadsby’s mansion. Now I’m Dad watching my grown kid go waxy from a gunshot.

Cops buzzing around don't know about Gadsby's top floor laundry chute. Junior and I plunge through it soundlessly, ejecting onto a ground floor mound of swanky shirts and slacks.

“Grab my arm, you big ape,” I hiss, but Junior's grip’s worthless.

Plan D: Lay out my dying son on Gadsby's ritzy duds now spoilt with blood.

And slip out solo

from Junior's first burglary.

And both of our last.

Terri Lynn Coop said...

My career as a serial killer ended with the drop of a gavel.

The DNA analysis machine ejected the card. The judge fished it out of the chute and gaped before reading my death sentence. Those two words plunged the courtroom into chaos: OLD AGE.

Cackling, I relished in beating the odds. I’d shanked karma. I’d taken that bitch to school.

The prison room was nice even without bars or windows.

At first, the silence was a blessing. Then, it became less so.

A click and the 24-hour clock turned over. For the 16425th time, the shank turned.

Steve Cassidy said...

“Snick, the ejector slide goes back.’

‘Bang, her chest gapes open.’

‘Plunged into silence.’

‘Less noise now.’

'Wrap her in something.’

‘Old parachute.’

‘Blood soaks through.’

‘Black in the moonlight.’

‘Coppery smell.’

‘Hard to carry.’



“Don’t stop,” Dr. Stancliff said.

“Warm breeze.’

‘Dog looks at us.’

‘Body on ground.’

‘Hands covered in slippery….”

“Slippery what?”


“Who’s blood?”

“The bodie’s”

“Who’s body?”

“I don’t know.”

“Yes, you do.”






“You can do this.”


“Who is she?”

“I don’t know.”

“You do.”

“No! I don’t ! Guard !” he yelled.




Michael Rigg said...

Sir Phillip lunged at his attacker. But the candelabra found its mark. And Phillip Green, Lord of the Manor, fell lifeless onto the table, breaking dishes and scattering each utensil that remained.

Lady Scarlett screamed.

“You’ve killed him!”

“The big ape deserved it,” Professor Victor Plum said. “He tried to poison me.”

Plum picked up a knife.

“Get ready. You rejected my advances, so you’re next.”


Plum’s forehead exploded.

Jonathan Mustard, resplendent in the uniform of a Colonel in Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, holstered his revolver.

“And you, sir, died as you lived—without a Clue.”

Amy Schaefer said...

It’s quiet in the closet.

My head gets so noisy with all of us jibber-jabbering in here. But everyone has agreed to shush, hush, finger-to-the-lips while we wait.

Because it’s our turn.

There he is.

I eject from my hideout and I’m on him, crushing his windpipe, squeezing until the tiny bones in my hands threaten to crack. His foolish mouth gapes as he claws at me.

We all sing: leave him airless, heirless, peaceful and scareless.

A syringe plunges into my thigh. Our voices fade. We ride the drug-cocktail-parachute down-down-down.

I shed a tear.

Not our turn, after all.

CED said...

We come from what you call the Omega Perseid System. We come in peace.

I didn't believe those eyeless, parachute-headed, space squid motherfuckers.

Accept us as we accept you.

I rejected them even as others bowed.

We will protect you from the horrors to come.

Horrors perpetrated by them, surely. I would not let them plunge us into war. I began to form the resistance. I found others. We created a global force, piece by piece.

We are not the enemy.

Wartime propaganda. We drove them away. We celebrated.

The space arthropods arrived the next day.

Unknown said...

I clutch my artless little sign—unfamiliar name sharpied in clumsy handwriting.

A mass of passengers pulses around me. Expanding and contracting in tempo with the creaking carousels, the thwump of ejected bags.

Until he sees me—plunges through the crowd.

He seizes my hand. Presses it to his chest. My sign wafts to the floor, a tiny parachute.

I stand, hand nestled in the gape of this stranger’s chest. And I feel it.

The hiccupping rhythm.

The gentle beat beneath the laddered scar.

The heart that once belonged to my daughter.

Unknown said...

Rejecting all guilt, she rinsed the knife, the crimson streaks washing away memories of his abuse.
She smiled. The oleander leave tea lessoned her task. Her admirable butchery skills did the rest.
None would miss him. There was no family, no huge gape in society by his absence, only quiet and freedom… for her.
She rolled up her stained apron ready to plunge it in the laundry chute but decided burning it was wiser.
She sat by the window watching the small bonfire burn all trace of him. Sometimes one has to take a proactive approach to death… and life.

Unknown said...


I look up from my book.

Alan grinning.

Bloody bastard did it!

I follow him.


Six rotors all in right positions. Apparatus full of cryptographic output.

A crib translation in Alan's handwriting - reject Strauss plan, bomb Fulda Gap.

"Enigma, at my command."

"But how...?"

"Just mimic. Hut Eight girl is right. A lesson in humility, I must say."


"Britain can plunge U-Boats from this point forward, thank God."

"MI6 knows about this?"

"Just you. Churchill tomorrow morning. Old git wants first look."


At dawn, I call Russia.

Just me said...

"Mom! The poop chute is clogged again."

What was it about teenagers and their ability to stop a toilet? And why is toilet too embarrassing to say?

Fearlessly armed only with a plunger, Mom headed into the gaping maw of doom.
The foul beast spat putrid water, ejecting bits of offal onto the floor. The beautiful lavender mats were ruined. The agapeic maw choked horribly.

Mom looked at the plugged poop. It was thicker than a beer can and twice as long. No way would her puny plunger fix that.

"Well, crap."

Dad can do this one.

Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

“Wal, chute,” spits Tom.
Thar stands Jim, hopin’ for inclusion in tha fun. “Y’all playin ball?” Jim asks, a bat slung across his arm.
“Nah. Us‘s robbin’ old farts.”
“Hit ‘im and nab his cash.”
So tha gang plunge into tha allyway to wait.
Us ‘n’ Jim waits until an old fart mulls along.
Jim was tha first ta jump ‘im. His bat dun hit tha old fart again an’ again.
“Whatcha doin?” Tom shouts.
Jim stops, his bat all ruddy an’ drippin’.
Tom gapes in horror. “I was kiddin’.” Us ‘n’ Tom runs less tha cops git us. Jim was such a reject.

Christina Seine said...

Look at that reject from a Snoop Dog Video over there!

Dad, stop.

Nice parachute pants, dude. Hey buddy, MC Hammer wants his clothes back!

Ohmigod, Dad!

And what is she, a hooker? Seriously! I haven’t seen a plunge like that since Lehman Brothers!

Can we just go?

Go? We just got here. You’ve talked about this dance all month. Besides, this horse costume wasn’t cheap. Let that be a lesson: great costumes don’t have to be smutty.


Look at Big Ape over there. That’s bananas! Get it?

Kill me.

What? You’re the one who wanted to go stag…

JD Paradise said...

Ain't got your gilt
Just less
And less
As you plunger what
You can't swallow
Down your throat
Choking out that this
Is all our fault

Amid our rumbling, a man spits fury.
On 34th and Night, a thousandth boy is down.

So fuck your pious bullshit show
Your sanctimonious agape,
Ain't for us anyhow, cuz
You profit less from amity than

Amid our roars, word by word,
Stoking us from crowd to mob

I always fought for harmony.
Now I'll fight to win.

His final words
Eject us nightward
Burning up to
Burn this city down.

Unknown said...

He watched the couple fuss over their toddler who chuted spaghetti down a straw onto her plate.

He entered the code. Sixty seconds. #3 to override.

He blinked to relive his father's screams, the dead weight of his mother, the sight of his headless baby sister. He remembered leaping into the gape of darkness, the salt burning his lightless eyes when he plunged in to escape the blaze.

The timer showed fifteen when the man picked the girl up. She had only one leg. That was when he broke down, but not before he pressed #3 and ejected the battery.

John Frain said...

Colleen hefted the 355-page Banishment-Relocation application. “I’m off.”

Lynnee agape. “To –”

Colleen nodded. “[Redacted].” Plunged into Kale Swamp, slogged to Carkoon International.

“My papers, sir.”

“Where to?”

“Afraid it’s [Redacted] –”

“Never been down that chute. Heard stories. Can’t accept your papers.”


“Three paragraphs. Why I should read them. Your island-banishment history. And details, more or less. Then, your papers.”

Colleen wrote, returned, submitted. Waited. “Now, my papers?”

Waited. ‘Twas six months later Lynnee came by, saw her friend, waif-like.

“You never went to… [Redacted]?”

“Worse,” Colleen mumbled.

“What’s worse…? How…?”

Colleen mute. Oh, Lynnee realized. Silent rejection.

Anonymous said...

The moment I pushed the “eject” button, every nerve in my body screamed.

As I soared upward I gaped at my feet, shocked that the force of being spewed from the jet left me shoeless. Nothing could have pried my fingers from the sides of my seat, my lifeline. Where was the serene feeling one gets before certain death? Why the clinches in my gut, the adrenaline rush, and sweat stinging my eyes?

During the plunge toward my demise, what sounded like my voice shouted, “Pull the cord, idiot!”

Shaky fingers obeyed. Halleluiah! It worked—saved by a parachute.

Laura Mary said...

The life insurance would make up for everything. Norman Huburt had been a shitty husband and a useless father, this was the least he could do. Eject himself from the plane, eject himself from their lives.
'Ready?' the instructor shouted.
Norman nodded his readiness, the parachute with a gape of a hole in it strapped securely to his back.

They say your life flashes before your eyes in the moments before your death, maybe that's true, but as he plunged towards the ground Norman Huburt's last thoughts were of the insurance papers still lying on the kitchen table. Unmailed.

Eileen said...

What’s the charge here?

He thinks he’s superscript. Sneaking silently onto word endings, turning a perfectly good gap into a gape. Plunging to the front of the line without hyphenation. Email and eHarmony, my ass. He’s even calling himself a number, a riddle. I’ll make you the end of time and space.

Less is more! Eject the sucker, shouted Flickr and Tumblr.

Rasterize him!

Adjust his kerning!

Flatten him!

Chute him!

Shut up, Typo. You can’t even spell.

There’s a new Sans Serif in town, said Lorem Ipsum. Here’s what we do… Cut his leg off. That’ll F him up.

Marie McKay said...

WE have HEARD the NEWS. You COMPROMISED everything. THIS love IS forbidden- YOUR noble MISSION spoiled. YOU'LL lose SUPPORT- The WILSON'S social POSITION is IMPORTANT!
The PEASANT girl BRINGS integrity, IDENTITY, our PLANS into QUESTION. Promise NOTHING; thoughtless TALK is DANGEROUS. Reject ADVANCES; for CONTINUING to PLUNGE down TREACHEROUS, sinful, FLESH-pleasing ROUTES leads TO good FAMILY money DISAPPEARING fast DOWN the CHUTE! When HE was INFORMED- agape, FATHER immediately COMMANDED you COME right HOME.

CynthiaMc said...

"Role of a lifetime, they said. It'll be fun, they said," Jenna muttered - and it was, more or less, until the jet's engine stalled and the pilot bailed.

Daddy was furious when she quit Vassar to make a movie.

Director's voice in the headset - "Can you land the plane?"

"Hell no!" Jenna yelled.

"Eject...chute..." static.

The canopy blew. Jenna screamed as she plunged toward the crew staring up at her, mouths agape.

Text 1: Daddy, I'm coming home. Love, Jenna

Text 2: Boss , you owe me a plane - Pilot1

Well worth it to get the kid back in school.

Just Jan said...

Less was more at the singles club, where necklines plunged, hemlines retreated, and my mouth hung open like a turkey with gapeworm. I felt like a steer fresh out of the chute--unsure which way to turn.

An older reject, her breath whiskey-sour, offered to show me the ropes. As we cuddled in the afterglow, she told me about the son she'd abandoned as a toddler.

"He had a birthmark right here," she said, stroking my tattoo. "A perfect half-moon."

Bile rose in my throat. I crept away before dawn and had the tattoo--and the birthmark it covered--expunged.

Kitty said...


My brother dared me to plunge down the coal chute. “Prove you ain’t no reject.”

My mouth gaped as I stared down the dark hole.

“I triple-dog-dare you!”

Afterwards, Ma examined my sprained ankle and said, “I hope you learned your lesson!”

Leading the way, he triple-dog-dared me through schoolyard bullies, The Great Depression, basic training and three wars.

“I triple-dog-dare you to stay,” he whispered.

“This time I go first. I’ll be there waiting for you. Okay, Father.”

“By this holy unction, and through His great mercy, may God pardon you whatever sins you have committed…”

Pam Powell said...

Leaving Carkoon

“Don’t!” Colin said as Goldsmith tied him into the sled.

“Stop!” whimpered Colin, shirt agape revealing a tattoo: “No!”

Janet Withaneeandatee rejected his plea, muttering “Prescioussssssssss map! Chute him!” Noblesse oblige.

“Ulp!” gulped Colin to Ms. Sharkiness.

LynnRod sighed and yanked the lever. Down plunged the sled into a fate worse than kale: Oh!-blivion.

Colin’s last word as he dropped out of sight: “Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

Catherine said...

My skin graph sprouted millipede legs, dripping uniform rows of crimson footprints as it crawled down my forearm then raced through tall grass with black mamba speed. Though I shouldn’t follow, l broke from the clearing like a chute-released bronco.

I tripped over my father's arm, his lifeless body twenty feet away with broken helicopter blades plunged into it.

"Live with Grandma," Mother said with her last breath.

Her eyes closed. Blood ejected from her agape mouth during chest compressions blinded me.

"She sleeps." Strong arms pulled me off her.

I wake, remembering they missed the blood under my fingernails.

Sara Halle said...

I parachuted into Normandy armed with a map and a mission.

A wiser woman, knowing spycraft requires more than bravery, might've rejected the assignment, but naiveté led me to take the plunge.

With other Résistance members, I handled radio transmissions and eluded German soldiers. Then one night a gap — eight long seconds — as two of us received coordinates.

Atmospheric interference? Or had the signal been located?

My partner insisted we stay to get our instructions.

I ran instead.

The next morning, her lifeless body was displayed in the village square.

Kate Higgins said...

"A tiny shoe strikes the back of my head, a small voice repeats incessantly, "mo gapes peas mama". Translation: "I need something sticky and sweet to torment my sister with".

A chewed giraffe follows the flight plan of the first ejecta; plunging neatly into my coffee cup; its lid lost months ago in the garbage chute of the car floor.
Dual blameless giggling ensues.

I want to whine, "Are we there yet!" but I am the adult.

The rearview mirror is smeared and no amount of mom spit will remove it.
I start the engine and back down the driveway."

Michael Seese said...

You pray your parachute opens. Otherwise you're about to go Jackson Pollack on a bunch of people who paid to see an air show, not an art show.

Necks craned, they watch your plunge with a certain morbid fascination. In their minds, they reject the notion they want to see you fail. But their feckless souls call for your blood.

They hold their collective breath, and watch with one eye open as the greedy ground gapes its maw awaiting the meal.

Then, your silk spins out behind you, and you waft to the target.

They cheer, and go home.


Kastie said...

"You’ll want a blouse that entices, luv. With your figure, maybe a nice, deep, front plunge?"

Rebecca smiled politely at the flat-chested saleswoman, thinking, "No, what *I* want is a decent button-down that gapes less if I dare move my arms."

Still, she’d promised to make an effort for this date. Not hitting the eject button on this shopping expedition probably wasn’t the effort her family had in mind. They’d set her up with grim determination, like chivvying a recalcitrant cow into the chute for the love abattoir.

Cleavage, it is, then. She might as well dress like veal.