Friday, December 04, 2015

Helluva week writing contest

It's been a helluva week.

Hell, it's been a helluva year.

Let's have a writing contest to give us something fun to think about instead.

The usual rules, plus the new one, #11, apply:

1. Write a story using 100 words or fewer.

2. Use these words in the story:


3. You must use the whole word, but that whole word can be part of a larger word. The letters for the
prompt must appear in consecutive order.

Thus: rag/rage is ok but rag/reagent is not.

The letters cannot be backwards: ie rag cannot be garden

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.

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

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

8. 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.

9. 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"

10. Please do not post anything but contest entries. (Not for example "I love Felix Buttonweezer's entry!") The place to laud the entries is the contest results post (generally the next day after the contest closes)

11. You agree that your contest entry can remain posted on the blog for the life of the blog. In other words, you can't later ask me to delete the entry and any comments about the entry at a later date.

Contest opens: Saturday 12/5/15 9:57am

Contest closes: Sunday 12/6/15 10am

Time zones got you flummoxed? Click here to see how many hours left till contest closes

Questions? Tweet to me @Janet_Reid
Ready? SET?

Not yet!

Rats! Too late! Contest closed


Craig F said...

The rigging creaked. She looked up quickly but the tell-tale rag had again failed to be snagged by even a light air.

The wind had peaked at the right time earlier and the sloop had run heroically. That was a week ago though and since then the wind had died and been replaced with fog. The sounds from that fog seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere.

The tell-tale fluttered and she thought she had found some air. Then she looked and saw it was an exhalation from that massive maw. Maybe naming the boat JONAH had been a mistake.

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

First week of November I foolishly overscheduled myself. Duh.

The second week I raged through my Astronomy exam. Except for CMB cooling. Sigh.

Third week, I creaked through my piano exam, thanks to restless leg syndrome reaching my hands that day. Alas.

Fourth week, Ben died: "Let me go first, make sure it's safe." He snagged two fellow workers from death's grasp.

So what if I passed my exams and won NaNo?

The peak of my month was December 1, because I was privileged to know a warrior named Ben. The Maori really know how to throw a funeral.

Karen Baldwin said...

One week at the old Ragged Peak Mansion for a million bucks? Damn skippy I will. The director of the reality show warned me about the zombies, but I don’t much believe in that crap. After the helicopter dropped me off, I went inside. First I heard a creak below my feet; then something snagged them. Whomp! Chomp! I blacked out. Next thing, I was above of my bloody torn-up body watching two zombies lick their chops after they’d guzzled me up. Then I heard the director say, “Cut! That’s a wrap!” Guess I believe in zombies now.

Mallory Love said...

Don’t speak unless spoken to, you’d say.
Don’t drag your feet, you’d say.
I don’t have time for this, you’d say. Week after week.
You have to be the best, you’d say. Harvard only accepts champions.
You will take over the firm, you said. There was never a choice.
You can’t marry her. You won’t, you said. A snag in your plans.
You’re better off, you say, tossing her wedding announcement aside.
The floor creaks under my weight.
Drop the gun, you say.
Don’t shoot, you panic.
The metal against my ear muffles the sound.
No, I say and fire.

Sasha A. Palmer said...

She snagged the wrong thing.

She didn’t want the “peak in high school,” down on his luck mess with stories that creak along forever.

She wanted something for the weekend. Uncomplicated. Replaceable. Like a roofing slate.

She didn’t know rags were only rough on one side.

Cheryl said...

I worked the shows at Ragtime Freddie’s, improvising a tune as I wiped sticky tables or snagged glasses to take to the bar.

Freddie, she heard me at peak voice one night, said I could be great. Said I could practice with the band that week, try it out. Of course I agreed. It paid less, but the respect was better.

The first practice was going great, we were really swinging. So much so that the creaky board gave way under Ned and I took a clarinet to the throat, hard.

Josephine Dumont, jazz singer. One night only.

Jeff Deitering said...

She strolled into the sPEAKeasy with the exaggerated sachet of a woman once forty pounds lighter and twenty-five years younger. She dropped onto a stool. Crossing her cankles, she slouched forward and rested her sagging silicone on the bar.

Rex reached to the calendar behind him and tore off several sheets; ignoring it hadn’t slowed the WEEK. He drew her a mug of CREAKy Hinge Ale then poured one for himself. The image of a rusty Ford pickup idling inside a smoky gaRAGe drifted into his head.

She flashed her SNAGgle-toothed grin. They bumped glasses.

“To Jimmy.”

Steve Forti said...

Gramma’s ragu took the whole weekend to prepare. Slow cooked mirepoix. Fresh garden tomatoes. Secret herb mixtures. Tender braised beef. (Or venison? She never let anyone snag that recipe.)

Such vivid childhood memories. The aroma, watching her stir the ancient pot.

In her waning days, her creaky knees and peakish figure toiled at the stove, yet her spoonula whack remained just as sharp if anyone stole a taste before it was ready.

After she passed, I cleaned out her basement freezer and discovered her secret ingredient. And what really happened to Grampa.

Now the family loves my Sunday dinners.

Colin Smith said...

Annie Ragdoll couldn't speak,
She shut her mouth last Tuesday week
When Billy Bunny tried to tell her
Maizie Mouse had snagged her fella.

When another week had passed,
She'd had enough and went at last
To find her wooden soldier boy,
And end his fling with this new toy.

She'd win his heart back with her charms,
And oil to mend his creaking arms.
She'd whisper nothings in his ear,
Feed him brownies and cold beer.

But when she came to Maize's house,
She found that wretched knitted mouse
Alone beside her fireplace,
A wicked smile upon her face.

Lucie Witt said...

It had been a helluva a week.

Fucking reporters. Rag after rag poking, prodding, trying to find the snag in his plans, hoping to pull the string that would unravel everything.

His leather chair creaked as he rocked back and rested his gritty soled shoes on the big English Oak desk. Suckers. This was in the bag like every judge in the city was in his pocket. His career hadn’t even begun to peak.

The next morning the state judge ordered the video released.

He wept, but not for the boy brought down by sixteen bullets.

Unknown said...

There was an old man named Creak
Who had a decidedly bad week
When he needed to go
His plumbing was slow
Groaned he, "The peak of the week is a leak."

When younger he used to brag
About damsels he did swiftly snag
He dressed prim and proper
An elegant bebopper
But lately looks like a dishrag.

Now he prepares his new plan
To regain his former élan
He will dress in a style
That brings only a smile
Returning to whence he began.

Angie Quantrell said...

The "M" Word

It had been more than a week since anyone had spoken a kind word. They just silently and cautiously evacuated rooms as she entered. It was like living in an empty house, one of her own making.

She wiped the limp, damp rag against her drippy forehead. Standing, the joints in her knees creaked and groaned, protesting too many years of overweight abuse.

"Frumpy and gray, that's me," she raged as she gazed into a mirror. "Gah. Hot. Too hot! When will this end?"

Wrinkles. Thin hair. Sagging skin. Family members walking on egg shells.

"I've become a snag. This! This is the peak of menopause."

french sojourn said...

She lived in a drafty house, where cowardly windows watched the driveway approach. She walked alone, her once vibrant gown, now ragged and torn. Winter was upon her, and her delicate bones creaked.

The orchards, where strange fruit once hanged, were now barren. Majestic snow capped peaks had melted away. Weeks flew by like minutes.

She paused and felt her weak pulse. A branch snagged her arm as she made her way to the shoreline. It seemed to her as though visitors were forbidden.

Searching the horizon, she tasted a copper tear. She would, as always, wait out this tempest.

Megan V said...

His e-mails triggered single-word emotions.

Impeccable job this week. Keep up the good work.


Thanks to your suggestions the company has achieved peak performance. It’s time we discussed your future here.


There’s been a small snag regarding your promotion. Please visit my office.


Your recent performance has been below average. Your plans are mediocre aka poor. Perhaps you’d like to re-think what we discussed. My door is open.


I regret to inform you that your employment has been terminated.


No more closed-door meetings.

Brigid said...

One year ago, the kings declared their favorite game, stripping players from the fields, positioning their pieces.

One month ago, the army poured from the peaks to winter in the valley, demanding vittles, firewood, women.

One week ago, the villagers brought a peace offering: hay. They’d slaughtered their cattle months before.

Yesterday, the women brought soup—bitter greens, rutabaga, creaky shoe leather. Potsful, all they had. Enough for every soldier.

Today, the first warhorse turned bilious nag and died.

Tomorrow, they’ll discover the ragwort in the trough.

Next week, there won’t be a kingsman left to find it in the kettle.

Nate Wilson said...

Once school ended, Ben and Jacob headed for the woods. They followed the winding mountain trail until they heard the small creak on the other side of the ridge. The boys clambered up and each took a peak. From either point, the old mill was barely visible, clothed in vines.

Inside, a gaunt figure slumped against rusty machinery, its arm snagged in the gears. The boys poked and prodded the body a while, till it stirred.

"Please... help me," the man said weekly.

Jacob dragged out water and crackers before joining Ben at the door. He smiled.

"Maybe next Friday."

Dena Pawling said...

Doris reclined poolside with a big hat and a cold Bud. “Edgar! Your week to clean the garage.”

Edgar shuffled away on creaking knees, trailed by his beagle Max. “All that woman ever does is nag, nag, nag.”

“Watch how you speak to me, y'old fart!”

“Wasn't speaking to you, woman.” He led Max through the house and into the garage. An hour later, he hoisted the money bag into the BMW as Max hopped in. “Cleanest damn garage in the whole county,” he said, admiring the neat rows of dynamite.

He set the timer and drove away.

angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

Sneaking to the creek, I peeked at the rag I’d dry myself with.
No TP, in the woods. No tepee on the peak. No steps, no creaks.
A tent.
And stars.
Fucking milky way black.
In the ink-bottom water the peak’s snow-capped crack reflected, and I saw the snag.
No, I heard it.
He hadn’t told me he snored.
I peered at the rag, a weekly.
I drip dried and wished I’d brought a book.
Why did I think it wouldn’t be heavy?

Timothy Lowe said...

His nag was black, the color of his skin, the color of the night he’d known. In the mountains nights were cold, sprinkled with stars, but the noontime sun was peaking when Tully tracked the kid to the spring.

He’d ridden a thousand boil-worn miles with only the dusty creak of a saddle to tell time, but the reward would be too heavy to carry.

He stared at the weekly rag. Poster was grainy, but the kid’s face was stark enough.

Thirty years back, it might’ve been mine, Tully thought. Well, we all wearin’ some man’s chains.

Freedom indeed.

Unknown said...

To be sure, I’d followed the RAGgedy man for WEEKs. He’d gone downhill since the trial. Yet he remained while my angel turned to dust.

With his CREAKy knees and SNAGgletoothed grin, he stood on his usual corner, voice grating like sandpaper on stone. “The end of days is night.” He shook his cardboard sign.

It was time. “Think you mean nigh not night.” I tucked a dollar and a pint of Ol’ Barley inside the PEAKed cap at his feet.

He squinted at me. “No, sir. When day ends, night begins.”

I turned away. “It will for you.”

Scott Sloan said...

Some week.
This fetid pervert, with an absurdly long snaggle-tooth…
One, of his total of five…
Tries to look up my skirt on the bus.
I snap at him.
He grins, with an atrophied cave of diseased, ivory-peaked formations.
Antediluvian with age.
My anger retaliates.
I start in on his looks.
He guffaws.
“You can’t handle the tooth.”
I admire the confidence, if not its delusional incarnation.
I’m furious.
Then the news breaks.
Another mass killing.
I plummet.
Into an all-too familiar malaise.
Rage becomes guilt.
My soul feels broken.
Primordial, and creaky.
I weep.

Donnaeve said...

After weeks, the moment had come, and with a frenzied anticipation, there was a surge forward.

Once it started, they couldn’t be stopped.

Finally, with a loud creak, the gate opened, and they were off!

The obligatory shoving at the one chance to snag THE prize began.

Some were strong, at their peak you might say. Yet, even a straggler could win, if persistent enough.

The goal before them, they headed in the same destination.

After much poking, prodding, success!

The rest wandered away, having lost out.

This gift is the ultimate, like no other.

Black Friday?


New life.

Anonymous said...

“It would have been a helluva week if business hadn’t peaked on Tuesday,” Humil Aardvar ragged to his Cuisinart.

The owner of Mama’s Eatorama, recent unpaid losses at a crap game forced him to consider entering TV’s ‘Dancing With the Chefs.’ “The cash prize of $627 will help if your kneecaps aren’t whacked with a baseball bat first,” the blender said.

Humil agreed. “It would be a snag if I didn’t have a creaky leg to stand on.”

He sold the talking Cuisinart to a ventriloquist and paid off his debt, thus avoiding personal injury and embarrassing himself on TV.

Marie McKay said...

The words creaked into the nursery, 'Alone? The postman knocked. Busy Mommy rushed downstairs to speak with him. She's had an awful week: you're teething; Daddy's grumpy; she feels like a washed-out rag! Mommy didn't lock the safety gate properly, did she?
The snag is, you want to see her, don't you? Well, why don't you come to me, here, at the staircase? That's it, careful- stockinged feet on polished floor!
Still can't see her? Tip toe to the edge... a little more. Don't be frightened, I promise I'll cradle you in my wooden bones... just a little more...'

Just Jan said...

Breaking and entering takes a toll on the body. My husband's knees creak a little more each year. His beard is sparser. Preparation takes weeks instead of days. But he hasn't lost the spring in his step nor the twinkle in his eye. He loves his job.

I ready his suit, repairing a snag in the pants, while he takes a rag to his boots. We kiss goodbye, and he disappears into the night. I don't wait up.

Reports of his exploits peak mid-morning. I tuck his weary body into bed, grateful his work is done for another year.

BJ Muntain said...

Ryan sat upon icy sidewalk, cap upturned in front. A ragged jacket wrapped thin shoulders, one khaki sleeve hanging, the other enclosing a skeletal arm.

Mike remembered Ryan's brawn, the youth smiling readily at his younger brother 'helping' with chores. "Hey, Ryan. Come home."

Ryan's haunted eyes rose. "Breakfast on?"

"Bacon and eggs." Mike helped the far-too-light man onto creaking legs. He dumped the few coins into the only pocket without a snag. Straightening the peak, he set the hat on the youthful blond head.

He helped him into the warm car, hoping this week Ryan would stay home.

Kevin Brolan said...

Logan took the stairs of the five story walkup two at a time. It was the last day of his work week. He wiped sweat from his eyes with a red rag. The roof door opened with a creak. He saw her on the ledge. A jagged piece of door metal snagged his handcuffs as he stepped toward her. Long brown hair whipped around her tear smeared face. Her feet shifted. The cop lunged. His left hand grabbed her jacket as she jumped. His eyes focused on the peak of the Empire State Building. His heart pounded. He didn't have her.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

‘Twas the week before midwinter
To start a story blue
Winds fiercely blew so ragged
The boy, he sneezed achoo.

The wizard said, “Gesundheit.”
No wicked spell at all
But…brackish blocks creaked upward
To forge a tower tall.

Stealthily pounced the panther
Yet snagged the wizard’s socks.
Retracting its claws posthaste
It gamboled ‘round the box.


Sailed high a four-legged box
To break the spell’s mystique.
The wizard’s turn unraveled
As tipped the tower’s peak.

Craaacckk! Went the stacking blocks
Hackled stood Kitten’s fur
But…giggles escaped the boy
and that Momma? She claimed the cure.

Diana Stout said...

Not one to wait, particularly on an agent query in its last week of a four-month timeline that it could take to hear, she let out a ragged sighed. She made her way across the room, the old oak floors creaking. A glance out the window revealed no mail today. Yet.

She sighed. Again. She’d been clever snagging a story idea she’d written and one that peaked interest anytime she talked about it. But . . .? She felt like a kid at Christmas. Just waiting.

The phone rang. She answered. Minutes later, she squealed in delight.

MC said...

It was the week before Christmas, the 3rd grade show. Wearing antler headbands and ragged, brown T-shirts, we stood on the cafeteria stage and sang.

Halfway through “Rudolph” my voice creakkk-ed. Classmates giggled at me – the red-faced reindeer. Then the kid beside me tilted his head, snagging my antlers, ruining them. I tripped on the stairs coming down.

From the audience, Mom smiled with encouragement. Still, I missed Dad.

And then, he was there, at the back of the room.

“Wha –?” Unable to speak, I ran to him.

“Surprise! I got leave,” he said. “Home for the holidays.”

Unknown said...

The Newsweek headlines read like a gruesome disaster film Otis would never have attended in all his years.

He unhooked the dishrag that had snagged on the ragged corner of the drying rack and hung it over the faucet.

Otis stood still, then speaking his intentions into the universe, he yelled, “Screw you, all you haters. Be damned all you warmongers and tit-for-tatters who seek justice with your insufferable firepower.”

Using the countertop for balance, Otis bent his creaky knees, knelt on the cracked linoleum floor, and raised his gnarled hands. “For pity’s sake, stop the insanity.”

Otis wept.

Emi PdeS said...

Don't like to brag or nuthin', but I’ve been lookin’. Been all over. Last week, I almost snagged one at Schoenfeld’s. But no. I tell you, nobody’s got any.

Course, that didn’t stop him from promising one to my kid. I told him, but it’s like he didn’t speak English.

A fine thing, promising a kid.

Real whiskers, but bad breath. Yellow teeth, creaky voice.

So Mama thanked Santa Claus, too. Thanked him with an ice skate blade to the neck.

‘Cause nobody’s got any business promising my boy something he can’t have.

A fine thing, promising a kid.

Unknown said...

From the peak of the wooden fence to a snag on the leafless tree, Neville, the naïve spider, wove his web this week.

“I weave because I do,” Neville explained.

Yesterday, when the glistening dew caught the morning sun, Neville overheard a camera’s click and the gardener say, “Such a lovely web.”

Neville’s mind flooded with confidence. “Finally! I’ll be featured in that rag 'Webs of the West.'”

This morning, though, without creak or twang, a fly ensnared.

“That pest has ruined my work.”

So, despair obscuring his web’s true purpose, Neville set the insect free, never to weave again.

Gillian said...

It was a busy week, even for a baker in June. Meg tucked her auburn curls behind her ears before hoisting her creation onto the flower-strewn table, which creaked slightly under the tiered confection. She used a clean rag to wipe away a few errant crumbs, careful not to bump the peaks of buttercream frosting. Meg knew there was only one snag in this perfect wedding on this perfect day. The smiling bride cake topper shouldn’t be holding the hand of a dark-haired man. She should be holding the hand of a baker with curly red hair.

Jed Cullan said...

Nine years. It wasn't enough. A whisper stolen from eternity. The hospital bed creaked as Carol leaned over and kissed Jake. His face was so pale, his body a mere rag of the boy he had been last week.

It hit him so fast. Without warning. Nothing the doctors could do. Nothing she could do. Except watch and count each breath, each rise and fall of the blanket.

A high pitched whine filled the room. She stared at the monitor. The line peaked and fell.

She snagged a final breath, and whispered to eternity.

“We go together.”

Cipher said...

Worst pub in town. By reputation, if not worth.
Waist-high mound of collection notes, like little paper teeth, attested to that.
I snagged a filthy shot glass and turned waiting mouth to mine.
Bourbon wasn’t half bad.
Don’t know what I’d expected. Figured it’d be watered down, like everything he’d ruined.
The barstool creaked under my middle-aged weight, something Jared’s mistresses certainly lacked.
I threw back another shot.
Been a helluva week. Strike that, been a helluva life.
Peeling my velour-covered ass up, I slipped around back.
Now, what the hell was I gonna do with Jared’s body.

A. Benedetti said...

The ragtag group of boys sauntered down the dusty street towards her. All week they’d terrorized the neighborhood girls and she wasn’t going to be their next victim.

She raced up the cherry tree behind her and hid in the lush foliage. Not enough time to reach the peak. She gripped the trunk so tight her hands ached.

As the boys walked beneath her, the snag she’d settled on creaked.

One of the boys stopped.

She froze, holding her breath.

Just when she thought her lungs would burst, the squeal of girls playing down the lane drew them away.

Jon said...

First Ascent

It was colder than I had expected. After a week at lower elevations, we had finally acclimated and could attempt the peak. Our sherpa set the path, the mountain craggy and frozen. The rope creaked under my weight. The wind cut through me, hands nearly ice - the unforeseen snag that prevented me from summitting.

E. Hillary, 1951

Tamlyn said...

What a week for her to go on the rag. Only half a day from the peak, Laura wants to delay the climb. She's always pretended she can barely function that time of the month, but she knows I know it's just excuses.

But when I'm about to achieve my life's dream? Pure spite. She says she's in pain; I say I'll show her pain if she ruins this for me.

We climb. She sulks. Doesn't help when my gear snags.

Only warning I get is a slight creak and the oddly-gentle patter of snow.

She still doesn't help.

Kim English said...

It’s been a helluva week. I fingered a rag from Cecil’s garage, pausing to inhale the scent: Diesel mixed with drugstore perfume. He’d been spending a lot of time out there, tinkerin’ with the jeep, so he claimed.

I almost snagged them red-handed but a creaky door hinge gave me away right as Cecil spoke the unspeakable.

“I’ll be glad to get rid of her.”

Thirty years of marriage. A .30-06 Springfield. Seemed fair. Turned out she was buying the old jeep for her son.

Maybe I overreacted. But it’s not like I can dig them up and apologize.

Anonymous said...

Three weeks before Christmas and the cat seems to know
There will soon be a tree dragged inside for a show
Of how fast she can climb to the peak
Oh, how direly it'll all start to creak
Unless one of us snags her mid-leap and says, "NO!"

She's over there plotting, but I've got her number
We're celebrating, this year, without any lumber.
There'll be lights and garlands and bows
She'll still try to kill them, god knows
But no dreams will be felled in the scant peace of slumber.

Michael Seese said...

I'm not allowed to speak when I'm hiding in the closet, though sometimes I talk real quiet to Raggedy Ann.

“How are you, Best Friend?” I ask her.

“I had one hell of a week.”

“You said a bad word!”

“Momma says that all the time.”

Raggedy Ann is right. Momma says lots of things I don't understand. Like money being tight.

But Momma loves me, even when she's nagging me. I know, because she says she'd do anything to keep me.

Once the bed stops creaking, I know he'll be leaving soon. Then Momma buys me a new toy.

Harriet Cooper said...

The edge of her sleeve snagged on a nail. Shit. Now she'd have to toss her jacket like an old rag in case it left fibers behind. She stood motionless, senses trained for any sound, any movement. The faintest creak came from her left. She pivoted, creeping closer. There. Between the crates. A light from outside the warehouse glinted off his cell phone. She shot him twice. At least now he wouldn't have to worry if cell phones caused cancer.

Time to head off to next week's job. Some scientist at Pike's Peak selling government secrets. They never learn.

Unknown said...

“Will Santa come, Mommy?” he asks.
I always say yes.
When he goes to bed,
I drag out the sewing machine.
His Dad visits sometimes.
We don’t speak.
He knows I need to concentrate,
But feeling him there helps.
I add lots of fabric.
It takes weeks, but I finish.
“I’’m sorry I left you to do this alone,” he says.
“Just a small snag in the plan,”
I say, patting my patting my baby bump
And holding back tears.
He was always Santa,
But ghosts can’t wear clothes.
I start to work on a fake beard.
He stays.

Unknown said...

Dishes washed, floors mopped. Cindy’s weekend chores done at last.
A knock at the door.
The wooden floor snagged step-mother’s skirts as she raced to answer.
Cindy peaked from the top step.
“Lovely to see you, Viscount.” Step-mother bowed low.
In his high hat, the viscount replied, “The prince summons all suitable ladies to his palace.”
“The reason?”
“Something to do with a shoe. How many ladies will be departing?”
“My two daughters.”
“What about me?” Steps creaked as Cindy descended. “I’m summoned, too.”
Step-mother’s eyes narrowed with rage but Cindy didn’t slow. She had a carriage to catch.

Unknown said...

The plan was simple and the weekend had finally arrived.

Peter used a rag so he would not leave fingerprints. He squirted the lubricant on the hinges. No creaking sounds would give him away.

Easing the door opened he peaked inside.

All was quite.

Slowly Peter made his way to the bedroom. Looking in he realized the plan had just hit a major snag.

Peter tried not run as he realized who he had been sent to kill.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Fire of a dragon, reckless abandonment, floor creaking beneath us, his wedding ring snags in my hair. I bite, the taste so sweet, delicious. Deeper, a symphony of agony and ecstasy. At the peak of pleasure, he cries out a name. Not mine. Hers.

His eyes all questions. How did he end up naked in my bed? He panics. He loves the one whose name he called. Pity. I will see her die within the week. A succubus bound to that ruthless whore called jealousy, I serve the one he rejected and forgot. The black feast grows as I climax.

Allison Newchurch said...

A great Aussie weekend. Backyard cricket and a barbeque. Snags and chops sizzled on the grill and the eskies overflowed with beverages.

Alec walked to the crease, his pads creaking with each step. Barry tossed the ball in his hand, staring down his opponent. He started his run. The ball flew from Barry’s hand and the crack of ball on willow cut the air like thunder. We stood in awe as the ball sailed up, up, up, right over the peak of the neighbour’s roof.

“Six!” yelled Alec; seconds before the crash of breaking glass reached us.

Jeanne said...

After a barrage of calls from his mother, they weren’t speaking, I turned off my phone, snagged two lattes, and joined my husband at an outside table.
I said, “It’s been a rough week.”
“Tell me about it.”
“On Monday--“
“For God’s sake, it’s a figure of speech.” The chair creaked as he leaned back.
Rush hour peaked. Stacked up cars pounded us with bass.
“There used to be birds here,” I said, with a sigh.
“There used to be trees, too. Get over it.”
I trashed my empty cup and I left. Some things just can’t be recycled.

Karen McCoy said...

Our relationship lingered in the tannins and mints of catnip.

She gave me a week to decide. Her—-or the cats. Especially Milo. A final ultimatum that opened the last creak in our foundation.

After I offered my last, she gave me a pair of trousers.

Milo sniffed my crotch, where the mint and tannin remained.

A snag in the rag. I tugged, but couldn’t dislodge it.

His papery tongue licked. Fangs bit through skin, through blood.

Peaked in her final twist of revenge.

Unknown said...

After a week of climbing Mount Millie, Sophie made it to the peak. She took the rag from her jacket and wiped the sweat off her brow. Her knees creaked as she kissed the ground. For a moment, Sophie enjoyed her successful venture. Then she snagged a branch and pulled herself up.

Suddenly, the ground split open and out popped her ninety-year-old grandma with a martini.

“Grandma?” Sophie asked.

“Hey, honey. Why didn’t you take the elevator?”

Kimber said...

“What did you expect?” she said, gloved hand propped on her ample hip.

Tommy couldn’t speak, cheeks still burning after being caught. He’d forgotten to skip the creaky stair at the bottom.

“Naughty boy,” she scolded, rubbing at a smudge on her red robe and noticing a hole where it had snagged on the fireplace grate. She’d take it to the cleaner’s next week.

“It’s just that—” Tommy threw his hands up.

She rolled her eyes, umbrage in the purse of her holly-red lips. “Let me guess. You didn’t think Santa would be a girl?”

LynnRodz said...

He looked up. Celadon sky. Majestic white. A dream come true. He would get there no matter how long it took: days, weeks, a month. The Sherpa carrying the load before him had done it numerous times. Why not him?

"Everest." he had said. He had done all the others.

But she had a premonition. "Don't go." she pleaded. "Please."

"It's the last peak I'll conquer, promise." He loved Kris, nagging and all.


What was that?


Darkness descending. Kris smiling. Breathing ragged. Childhood. Cold. Family, friends. Freezing. Night.

Promise kept.

Kregger said...

Week one: CIA Grass Roots Op.

On Monday: We ran a local militia ragged. Left-right-left-right, yada, yada, yada and outfitted them in US uniforms.

On Tuesday: Sarge drove them till their jaws creaked.

On Wednesday: The Lieutenant hurled them into a village to snag, tag and bag anything that resisted.

On Thursday: The Major convinced them to hate their god.

On Friday: The Colonel had us poison children.

On Saturday: The General’s finger poised over the button. At the peak of flight—Armageddon fell.

On Sunday: After all we’ve done for them, they turned their AR-15’s on us.

Helluva week.

Kae Ridwyn said...

Christmas week. Hot. Dry. In the far paddock, two camels fought.

Their squeals reached the house, where Sheila was cooking snags on the barbie.

The worn floorboards creaked their protest as Jacko walked out, squinting through the haze. He gestured with his XXXX at the noise. “Go sort ‘em out, will ya?” he called.

Under the verandah, the dogs lay like limp rags, swarmed by flies but too enervated to move. The mercury had peaked at 45C.

Once camels brought kings to babes, Sheila thought. Peace on earth, goodwill…
Now, it’s all fighting. Heat. Noise. She sighed. “Yeh, okay,” she said.

Kate Higgins said...

"Good Morning class, sorry about the snag, our speaker system seems to be dying.

This week we will discuss the hibernation patterns of the Scandinavian Screaker Dragon so called for it high-pitched, nails-on-chalk-board vocalizations before attacking. apologies, can you hear me now?

Although indigenous to our area, this species is extinct; the last one was preserved for research here in 1715.

...Eric, please go back and adjust that speaker, we are getting terrible feedback.

Shall we continue? Research continues to this day on the Screaker's impressively long, three hundred year hibernation cycle.

...Eric, did you find the problem?


Steve Cassidy said...

‘It’s been a week since my last kill,’ Alexei lamented, swiping a rag across his brow. His neck creaked as he rolled his head side to side.

There was one slight snag in his plan, his bloodlust was peaking too soon.

He needed to slow down, savor this one. Cut more deliberately. Concentrate on the task at hand. Create the incisions slowly.

Allow the blood to saturate, satiate, permeate his senses.

She kept closing her eyes, 'Well easy enough to fix,' slitting off her eyelids. 'Much better!' he smiled.

“Well hello beautiful, does this hurt?” he asked slicing her breast.

Calorie Bombshell said...

We walk hurriedly along the dock. Constables everywhere, hauling off those with even a glimmer of the devil’s plague. I snag candy from an inattentive merchant to muffle Sissy’s persistent cough.

Father’s gold buys two straw mats and enough rations for the eight-week voyage west. We speak in whispers, hidden among the chickens and cargo.

The air hangs heavy with Sissy’s fever as she flails against the ship’s hull. I bind her wrists and ankles. She lies still for now. Eyes fixed in silent rage.

Soon, I’ll turn as well. Floorboards creak beneath me as I seek out more rope.

Terri Lynn Coop said...

It’s not easy being green.

Humming the Muppets tune, I stirred the lime Jello.

My marriage creaks like a failing bridge. It’s not the boredom and endless laundry. It’s the lime Jello.

Every damn week.

The peak of mom’s cuisine.

Never red. Never orange. I substituted blue and he sulked for days. Always green and in molds.

I'm changing mom's recipe. Tonight’s dessert clovers have a hidden snag.

Who knew Visine was deadly? Cable is so educational.

Squeeze. Drip. Squeeze. Drip.

As I take a rag to the bowl, a new song comes to me.

I can see clearly now.

CED said...

Third time this week the creep's been at the tavern. All widow's peak and snaggleteeth, bragging about his conquests. Ladies dying to be with him.

Now he's looking at me.

I survey the table. Trappist ale, garlic frites... good enough? Not likely.

The antique revolver tucked into my belt won't help, even with its singular ammo. That's for a different quarry altogether.

I nudge the table. Creaky leg. Should splinter with a well-placed kick. Good thing I'm wearing my fuck you boots.

I catch his eye and smile. Come and get me.

Kastie said...

The mountain peak seduced him. No woman had ever snagged his heart like that craggy, cloud-shrouded temptress, winking at him with the sun, enticing him to climb.

God help him, he gave in.

A week ago, he’d made it over the mountain’s shoulder blade onto the glacier scarving her collarbone. His triumphant shout had covered the creak of the snow---right before it shifted beneath him, dragging him into one of her pores.

Now he neared the end, only pain remaining, his body broken as a sacrifice for his hubris.

She was for worshiping, not conquering. She would always win.

Mae said...

“Stop with the doublespeak.” The woman hushed her baby and focused again on the man on the other side of the desk.

It was only midweek, but he looked exhausted. He sat forward, chair creaking. “I’m sorry. We can’t extend any more credit.”

“What about the other option we discussed?”

“If you’re open to it, the offer stands. It would give you enough to start over.”

She nodded, then kissed the baby, crying quietly. “Have courage,” she whispered.

The blanket snagged on his name plate as she reached across the desk.

“Make sure he finds a good family, will you?”

The Notebook Blogairy said...

She was peaked-looking as she used the rag to scrub the wooden table. She scrubbed so hard one expected the age circles in the virgin wood to cry out in pain; yet nothing of the sort occurred
Standing up straight, she felt her back creak. Shaking her greasy grey and black hair, she reviewed her week:

Sinus infection. Check.

Positive pregnancy test. Check.

Murdered husband. Check.

Rubbing her back, she tossed the rag in the sink and snagged a Pepsi from the fridge.

How was she going to explain the cleaver in his head?

John Frain said...

I’d been dead a week when I met Corinne, my intake interviewer. She had ligature marks too, so natural curiosity.

Hers were from someone’s hands, so I lied about my rope of guilt.

“They never fade away,” she warned. Calm, no rage. Presented my assignment.

“You need my signature?”

She pulled her collar. Showed her bruises. “I already have it. Welcome to purgatory.”

I didn’t recognize her. She hadn’t aged in thirty-seven years.

A gate creaked open. Peter speaking. “Sorry, sir. A snag in your paperwork. Corinne was too forgiving. Afraid you’ve been demoted.”

Some sins you keep paying for.

Gabriella said...

Lucinda sat in the creaky church pew, fixated on the peak of the golden cross set upon the altar. Scenes from the week’s events flashed in her head while rage and fear snagged in her chest. She begged for divine direction.

An intense light engulfed the altar, the cross now alive and fiery.

“Thy will be done,” she whispered.

The door slamming jarred her out of her rapture. An old man carrying a bucket and dirty rags smiled and pointed at the altar.

“That’s better,” he said. “The pigeons keep shitting on the window and blocking the light.”

AJ Blythe said...

What to write? I’ve stared at the words for so long this weekend I creak when I move. Snippets of ideas flit through my head, but like a dragonfly, they’re hard to snag
• The court said he couldn’t peak anymore; he didn’t need to.
• Not quite a week to execute his plan.
• He dragged the body over the creaking floor with a meat hook.
• His pork snag, her stolen recipe, won the blue ribbon.
No story, but I hope a kosher entry. A promise to leap into shark infested waters met.

*Snag is a colloquial Aussie term for sausage.

Cindy C said...

Her blood got all mixed in with the ragu sauce she spilled. It mostly pooled up right on top of that creaky floorboard Lois nagged me about fixing all last week. That’s like irony or something, right?

She can’t nag me anymore, she can’t even speak with her tongue under the table. Plus she’s dead.

Hell, I spent most of my marriage wishing Lois’d shut up and now I’m wishing she could talk. That’s irony too, ain’t it?

Whoever killed her did me a big favor, not saying they didn’t. I just wish they hadn’t set me up.

Gabby said...

They said I reached my peak at twenty two, but I wasn’t done yet.

The paper’s nagging headlines creaked through my brain.

Buttonweezer botches bout.

Just having an off day.

Felicia faceplants in fettucini.

So I slept through one interview? Big deal. It was a bad week, and then a worse year. A smidge of narcolepsy and suddenly I’m a liability. No venue will book me. My subpar agent stopped returning my calls.

I was patient. I waited. I prepared.

I slid the .357 under my jacket. It was time to show them just how many rounds I had left.

Unknown said...

With six gold pieces and his best molar, he bought her a balloon.

Black? Didn't they have any other color?

No, Sir, but silver flowers--at their peak!--aplenty.

With his shoes and shirt, he got two.

Now, Sir, make her week with a green sash--genuine silk!

It would match her eyes.

With his trousers and hat, he snagged three.

Here, Sir, every lady friend needs steam powered wheels!

She does love to ride...

With his leg that creaked, he left the first payment.

Not a rag to his skin, he pushed his gifts home, and how she smiled!

Unknown said...

A week since the angry rumbles had peaked and finally quieted. As the current shaman, I'm responsible for keeping the peace, and so I make the trek. The ragdoll cat looks at me as my back pops and creaks under the weight of the offering to be made to ensure no more trouble. But no matter how repentant the gaze, that is the last time he will be allowed close enough to snag the dragon's tail.

Lance said...

All week long, from peak to peak, came the call.

“Rainbows, Unicorns, unite!”

They raged until horns and wavelengths creaked.

“Beg not at the buffet, you'll snag no agent here!”

Rebuff after rebuff sent them reeling.

“No rainbows. No unicorns. No faeries!”

“These are high-concept thrillers.”

Anonymous said...

“Care for an adventure?”

“Not likely,” said the cinder-girl, twisting a rag over her bucket and frowning at the hag.

“Haven’t you ever dreamed of love? Wealth?”

“Last week I dreamed all my teeth fell out,” said the cinder-girl.

“But you’re treated so badly here.”

“Ech. Not everybody’s got a fairy godmother, y’know.”

“What if you do?”

The cinder-girl snagged a roach. Squish. “Then she’s doing a lousy job.”

“Maybe the job’s hard.”

A snort. “Try ironing.”

“What if she improves?”

The cinder girl shrugged without speaking.


“I wish,” the cinder-girl said, the door creaking hollowly as it closed.

Unknown said...

There isn’t a twelve-step- program for my addiction. My husband, Clueless, calls it my “department store issue.” He rags that my weekly paycheck should be directly deposited into the Macy’s cosmetic counter cash register.
I admit that inside malls, my resistance creaks and shatters as I read the exquisite prose. “Rescue Antioxidant Moisturizer, Ultimate Wrinkle Correct Crème.” I snag a few and race for the checkout.
My therapist encouraged me to go cold turkey. I did okay until the Clinque free gift event. Today, my strength peaked. I’m off to the mall to buy lipstick. Their names are so delicious.