Friday, January 08, 2016

Flash fiction writing contest

I read a terrific book over the holiday break that will be our prize for the first flash fiction contest of the new year.


 The usual rules, plus the new one #12, 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. They cannot be backwards.



Thus: shim/shimmer is ok, but shim/shrimp 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.

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!")

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.

12. The stories must be self-contained. That is: do not include links or footnotes to explain any part of the story. Those extras will not be considered part of the story.

Contest opens: Saturday 1/9/16 10:14am Sorry!!! I was working on the week in review and lost track of time!

Contest closes: Sunday, 1/10/16, 10am

Is the contest closed yet?


Questions? Tweet to me @Janet_Reid
Ready? SET?

Not yet!

Sorry, closed!



Unknown said...

Peaceful hands gripped the balcony rail. The reverend breathed in the chilly Memphis air. His eyes absorbed the gleam of the setting sun on the glass and concrete jungle.

Across the way, fingertips massaged the rifle trigger, bold hands held tight to the stock. Through the scope, another pair of eyes looked out, but saw a different world.

A shot rang out. The round barreled through his jaw, his neck, his shoulder, flaying his flesh like cannon fodder.

The reverend collapsed in a pool of still warm blood, executed at sunset.

He was a dreamer, and we will miss him.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Max always did what I said.

LOST: Birthday Barbie
Max took the doll at recess.
Emboldened by wickedness, Max lit the first match.
Our skin absorbed the burnt plastic scent like perfume.

LOST: Gary the Guinea Pig
Johnny asked for help searching for his pet.
Max limply took his hand, led him into the woods. I executed the rest.
Though I shimmered with sweat, Max's tears chilled me.

FOUND: Johnny Sears
I smiled, told Max girls like us were never suspects.
Max frowned, looked away.
Johnny won't talk. Max will.

MISSING: Maxine VanCourt

Max always did what I said.

Charles Coleridge said...

Dispatch reported a disturbance on Lake Lucerne, past Sumac Hill. Surprising since a Canadian airmass had Wisconsin on lockdown.

Anne and partner Pete drove past snowdrift, bare trees, and the church annexe.

"Cute.” She pointed to ice-fishing huts blazing with light.

Music pulsed from the largest. She opened it to cigarette smoke, brandy fumes, and women swarming a dancing fireman, his cut abs orbiting in tactical pants.

They froze.

“Carry on, ladies. Just keep it down,” she said.

“Bill the fireman?” asked Pete.

A dumb old question.

“That’s him. He’s the biggest attraction in the state besides the Packers.”

SystemWars said...

Sunlight shimmered above the heads of the watchers. He should say something, be bold, brave but the words remained trapped behind chilled lips.

A hand, a touch, enough to send him to his knees on the thick layer of absorbent straw. Another to the back of his head and still he said nothing.

This couldn’t be how his story ended. The plan – it should have worked. He was brighter than this. Nothing had been left to chance and yet…

“Execute.” A single word.

“No!” He screamed, a moment too late. Pain, cold, wetness combined before blessed nothing consumed him.

Colin Smith said...

Peter's eyes are pitiful, starin' at me like that. If only he didn't have such ill manners. Why, he never even talked about his wife, let alone introduced her. Had to find her out for myself.

I went to their big house in the boonies. She answered the door, bold and sassy. Said her name was Babs or Barb or somethin'. Held her hand out at me. I held out Peter's Beretta.

Pop. Pop. Pop.

Ditched the gun and left. My plan and my rival executed perfectly. No witnesses.

Except me.

I turn from the one-way mirror.

"That's him, detective."

Kandace Chapple said...

Marian wanted to stop, but decided she would stop tomorrow. She was absorbed in how to execute the perfect cookie. To pull them out while they were still more dough than not, a bold combination.

She sat hunched over, watching through the oven’s window. When her chair hitched to one side, she used the gym flyer to shim it. And when the cookies were still high, not yet spreading, she pulled them out.

The trick was 8 minutes. She ate every un-baked cookie on the cookie sheet and took the chill out of the kitchen by cracking the oven door.

Lochlan Sudarshan said...

Gym. Some rich, ill-tempered prick in a handicap spot. Suit: an exec. Ute: in the throes of a midlife crisis. I know this.

I reach for my sharpest key.

Inside. He’s at the front desk pointing at me. I look for exits. “That’s him?” The receptionist condemns me with a nod. “This is our new trainer." She must've seen me. I know this.

"Abs or butt?" he asks. I answer.

Safety talk. I'm in and out. He’ll assist on the climb. Old pro.

On the rock wall. Near the top. Receptionist whispers to him. He lets go. I knew it.

Dee said...

The inspector clicked on the light.

It was truly a fowl deed.

Mable Lee lay executed on the floor. Her blood absorbed into the dirt.

In the light, five sets of eyes boldly stared. At his questions, each female gave a fearful look downward and stayed silent.

A bloody set of footprints led out the door into the chill night air. He directed his flashlight upwards.

The murderer had shimmied up a tree and leaped onto the roof.

The inspector raised his shotgun.

That was the last time Fiddler, the cat, would play on the hen house roof.

Anonymous said...

You could say my whole life had been leading up to this moment. My parents certainly would say that. But my wobbly knees and sweaty palms hadn’t gotten the memo.

Be bold, I commanded. B-O-L-D.

Stepping through the plush curtains, I was struck by the chill of the vast room, but willed myself to absorb energy from the shimmering lights blazing down.

My chin quivered. I nodded to the man at the podium. His lips parted. Time seemed to stop.

“Spell ‘execute.’”

I smiled. My fingers tingled for the trophy I now knew they would hold.

VICTORY, I thought. V-I-C-T-O-R-Y.

Unknown said...

Ananka shimmied up the embankment and stared across the chilly plain. Nyx, the western moon, had already risen. Ananka absorbed what heat the moon emanated. He estimated the distance across the plain to be another night; he would arrive under the fog of dawn. Why had he be chosen by his father to execute his dissident mother? He was neither bold nor reckless. His father answered, "We are not chosen for what we are but what we are not." On the earth logic reigned; here on Agartha the opposite. He patted the sword on his hip and began to walk.

Mallory Love said...

He waits for Peter Pan. Dreaming of Neverland. By the window, despite the chill. A door slams in the distance. A shiver courses through him. Absorbed in constellations, he hopes the concentration will drown out the shouts, the screams, the sickening thud of something cracking. He thinks pirates less frightening than the man down the hall with a different kind of right hook. A shimmering star catches his eye. Like fairy dust. He wishes to disappear. To be lost. For the magic to execute his plan. The lock twists. Glancing twelve stories down, he prays he’s bold enough to fly.

Redmond Writer said...

Winston Churchill won the Nobel Prize in Literature, a fact Theobold Poindexter, a 21st century writer who has yet to secure an agent, can not absorb. Even with his writing coach’s counsel on story-building and word choice, he has successfully executed nary a story.

Yet Theo admires the former Prime Minister because of Sir Churchill’s 1941 declaration: “we shall never surrender.”

“If that lisping blowhard could maintain that attitude while bombs fell all around him, I can certainly shim my way into the ranks of published writers,” says he.

Thus fortified, Theobold returned to his keyboard to revise his query.

Liz Boeger said...

Twelve years a secret. Finally free, I will boldly execute every thought, phrase, sentence, in explanation before the sun burns off the memory’s chill. But now, how to get the paper to absorb the damned ink? It begs for the incoming tide. Repentant words flow from my fingertips impossibly jamming in the canal of the Sharpie. I take the blade, shim it into the tip. Force the ink free. It floods onto the white parchment, unburdens my soul. Release! It’s true. I was the one who ate the last bowl of cereal and left the empty box in the pantry.

Anonymous said...

Execute rescue mission.

It’s been 15 minutes.

Felt like 15 days. He’s absorbed with 2 things: himself and my tits. In that order.

Damn. He could at least reverse the 2.

Not funny. Call me.

Chill. I’ll call in 3. Gotta give you time to get back to the table. If you’re sure…?

I had to kick him in the shim so he’d stop leering long enough to order.

Bold. Could he arrest you for assaulting an officer?

He’s off duty. And I should’ve kicked him harder.

Think he would’ve liked that?

Perv. Please call me.


Jennifer R. Donohue said...

“There’s a bold one.” A box blonde had positioned her shimmying right in front of the judges, threads trailing from the slit cut in her once-demure skirt.

“Prize is worth it.” The blonde and her partner executed a flawless dip, eyes locked. A chill came through the open doors, but the splinter floored gymnasium was hot and growing rank under the perfumed veneer.

“You don’t think it’s wrong?” A nearby brunette fell, the audible snap of her ankle absorbed in her defeated wail, wet whites of her eyes flashing.

“We’re not paid to think.” They moved in with their rifles.

Unknown said...

I was nervous about the dance,
and she offered to help.
First she rose up onto the ball of her foot
and executed a perfect spin.
Then she shimmied left to right,
up and down,
doing the twist
just like in the old videos.
Finally she flashed me a bold smile,
“Now watch me
Now watch me
and perfectly pulling off both moves.
I was frozen in shock,
wishing I could absorb half her movies and confidence.
“Just chill on the dance floor sweetie,” she said.
“Let it all go.”
Doesn’t my Grandma
give good advice?

David S. said...

The girl from Tinder asked if I’d be cool with a ghost hunt for our first date.

“Chilly dogs before we go?” I said.

“Bold move.”

At sunset, we shimmied over the fence surrounding the abandoned paper towel factory. There hung above the main entrance a sign sprayed with holes:


“Irony much?” said the girl who barely resembled her profile pic. “I heard one poor bastard took six bullets in the head.”

“I heard the gunman executed the janitors first,” I said.

“I heard the killer lives outside the place,” said the voice behind us.

Craig F said...

In theory and small scale it worked to perfection. No government was bold enough to fund it though. No city had the risk of New Orleans and none could party as well. There we had a Go-Fund-Me party as the waters behind the levies rose.

Auctioning off the Order to Execute put us over the top. The Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusor was started. Shim placement and timing was spot on until adsorb and absorb mixed up the auction winner and he hesitated. Full power overran our dampeners. No levy worries now because the big chill was on and an ice age begun.

Unknown said...

What is it about a cliff side that pulls you near the edge? Maybe the gravity is stronger here, tugging your body like a black hole, pressuring you like the jeers of friends. Around me, the chanting grows. How my boldest friends can be so cruel. Jump! they laugh. Execute! I hear.

I edge a toe over the abyss, my skin taut as the shimmering water below turns into a slab of concrete—not a chilly soft pool to absorb my brittle bones. I close my eyes—the black hole now blacker. God, why must character be built on moments like these?

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

I poured ethanol over an unbleached filter filled with chopped leaves, stems, and roots, and watched the brown paper absorb the swamp-colored liquid. The village herbalist had assured me it was the most effective option available. Execution by poison was a bold assignment. I must not fail. I shimmed the beaker of plant material extract to ensure that it remained upright and stationary. I stroked it with my gloved fingers. A thrill of anticipation enveloped me. My cell phone showed a new text message: gave u wrong plant. fumes fatal. A chill crept up my limbs. I dropped dead.

Donnaeve said...

I’ve killed thirty people. I remember every one of them.

Some begged.

Some acted bold, only to piss themselves soon as I started.

It was this last one though, what did me in.

The morning I would kill her, a lasting chill settled into my bones.

Stoic, she absorbed the current, willingly it seemed.

Sickened, I was the one who shimmied and shook as I went about it.

My resignation followed. I’d never execute someone for the state again.

She’d asked me to be there, to do it.

She’d been good, once.

A father knows this about his little girl.

Kregger said...

“I wish you had told me,” mumbled Ben Sawyer.

He tried to absorb the other officer’s bold stare.

Who says Fargo is colder?

Sawyer hunched his shoulders in the chill Wisconsin air.

Payola didn’t have to be a way of life.

While recording executives shimmy their way up the top forty by graft and drugs, the common grunt must enforce airplay by whatever means were necessary.

And whereas, execute was a typical command in the boot-up line of a CD.

It shouldn’t end a man’s life.

Ben zipped the coroner’s body bag over his friend’s face.

Matthew Wuertz said...

Her image shimmered before me. She wore a denim skirt and white top, her strawberry blonde hair in a ponytail.

Those green eyes absorbed everything for a moment. Then the right side of her mouth turned upward into a smile.

The playback executed in consecutive loops, making it appear like she was standing there, chilling my heart from the past.

I walked around her slowly, hoping to embolden myself to delete this vexing distraction from reality, my choice of space over her.

My fingers reached toward the controls. But rather than deleting the hologram, I closed it. Tomorrow, I thought.

Janice Grinyer said...

I'm down by the lake. I see you went to bed.

It's freezing out here- trying to execute a note to you, but my fingers absorbed the chill too fast. I'm always messing up. No wonder you wanted someone else. Now you want out.

Guess I'm finally bold enough to want out too.

I'm going to sit back against our tree and enjoy the shimmering Northern lights dancing off the windows of the house we built together, Ben. Too bad it's 10 degrees and getting colder. See you in Hell

Sherry Howard said...

Tanika blasted the explosive noise signaling immediate attention was required by a card-carrying adult. I saw a teachable moment, and handed over the absorbent wipes.

Quami frowned, accepted the wipes, and glanced at the suspicious seepage. Brow wrinkles expressed his uncertainty.

“It'll do the job.” I had confidence he could execute the clean-up in the infant's aisle, if he'd be bold enough to try. “Just shimmy on down to her, and clean. up. the. mess. She won't bite.”

Quami’s chilling groans were drowned out by our baby’s giggles as her Daddy cleaned up his first diaper disaster. A three-wipe disaster.

angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

The family photo album was my epiphany. Cousin Sean had lied about his name. E.I. Land smudged bold under his black and white. But it’d worked. He’d become some IT mogul. That photo was his first mistake.

How had I absorbed this lie all my life?

My index slashed LIAR through microdust on the phone booth’s filmed glass. A dollar seventy-five jingled as the quarters shimmied then plopped.

“It’s me.”
“Who is dis?” His second mistake.

The chill in his voice told me he knew the scum cousin from the land he’d tried to execute was coming.

Sara Halle said...

The lights shimmered to give Blaise her cue. Pushing fear aside, she executed a perfect pirouette. She absorbed the crowd's applause, but kept dancing.

Then the music crescendoed. She leapt — back arching, muscles stretching — until her soaring body twisted and crashed.

Though the performance continued, the audience remained riveted on her as she limped offstage.

Sweat had chilled her skin by the time she stepped into her dressing room and saw the man she'd been dancing for.

He smiled. Emboldened, Blaise shut the door. His fist opened to reveal a key on a cut chain.

The distraction had worked.

Unknown said...

"Stop. He's still alive."

On my knees in the dirt, my fingers clawed at the dirt enshrouding my once bold and courageous, canine companion. His hundred pounds shimmed into the wedge of earth below me.

"I saw him breath."

I dug desperately to clear the debris from his gaping mouth and open eyes.

"No, Baby." My husband paused the shovel to let my heart absorb the reality of today's events. "That's air escaping his lungs. He's gone."

A frozen chill racked my body.

"Kill him." They said. "If you really loved him, you would execute him."

I did.

The Leaky Vessel: A Seeker in Pursuit of the Heart of God said...

When I executed Time,
The cold chill of eternity shimmered
In bold blackness, the weight of nothing
Absorbing everything.
And I sank, weightless, beneath the stars.

When I executed Time,
I meant only to reverse the race,
Slow the chariots, return the horses to their stalls,
But instead, the Four Horsemen
Descended upon me, and when I looked up,
Nothing remained, except the murmur
Of Time's last pulse.

When I executed Time,
Time itself betrayed me.
Now, I wait, eternally, for

LynnRodz said...

A chill penetrates the Parisian air, yet people pour into the streets like a tsunami coming on shore. No cabs or buses—only people.

Habib, old and frail, puts on his coat and walks out the door. He too wants to commemorate. 2015, so many lives executed; hope is, 2016'll be different. It's his land, his home, the only country he knows, but will he be shunned for his Arab physique? He hobbles along to the République. A sea of humanity, posters—Nous Sommes Charlie.

A woman with light blue eyes hugs him then hands him a flag. Habib smiles.

Stacy said...

"He showed me how to hunt," the boy who had been lost in the woods told me. Sunlight shimmered through the window onto his face. Thin, despite the training.

I glanced at the Chief, chilled by his expression.

"His name?"

"Cazador Audaz." It's Spanish for 'bold hunter,' he said."

"Did he tell you anything else?"

"He said snow absorbs the blood. But I didn't understand that part.”

"Okay. Get some rest."

I led the Chief into the hall.

"You obviously know this guy. Who is he?"

"Was. John Burden, murderer of young girls. Called himself the Cazador Audez. Executed, 1979.”

Mark said...

Where was the bang?

Maybe I had been too absorbed in the task of the Mob-ordered execution? The plan was simple yet bold; approach the Mayor, raise my revolver, fire point-blank—bang, done. There were to be no police or bodyguards around to interfere—I was assured that would be the plan—but no bang?

Of course, in the split-second prior, there was that little shimmer of light, a flicker, just to the right in my periphery. Was that a muzzle flash? Impossible—that was pointed at my head! The chilled-veil of death arrived too fast.

Where was the bang?

BJ Muntain said...

Peter stood on the chilly platform, the black-cloaked man shimmering through his tears. So cold in July. It wasn't right.

It had taken a month to absorb the verdict. It was another before he truly understood he was to be executed. But he'd sworn on the Bible. He'd had to tell the truth, though it meant boldly going against his lawyer's advice.

It wasn't right. That fortune teller – she'd cursed him. Because he wouldn't pay her five dollars for nothing. Her words haunted him: "You're going to jail!"

The priest spoke words. They meant nothing to him now.

It was–

Michael Seese said...

It was a lot to absorb, given my present state. The bright lights. The chilling blast from two fronts: the open window, and their reproachful glares.

The document before me bore no signature.


I tried to execute a bold plan of escape. My tongue stumbled over the words.

“I shimply can't shine anything now,” I said as the pen hit the floor.

“Let's wait until morning. Sunlight brings out the truth.”

But the truth would remain buried. Just like that poor girl on the bicycle.

That I was sober as a judge. And that it was my wife driving.

Christina Seine said...

The mind can only absorb so much pain.

I actually found her Friday. Up early, I hit the lake a half hour before work. I’d executed a nearly-perfect triple-lutz before sliding on my ass all the way to the Diebolds’ cabin near the creek. Everyone knows it’s soft there, even in January, when the wind chill stabs icicles through your heart. We avoid it.

Her fingers were poking through. If I hadn’t fallen, I wouldn’t have seen.

Yesterday, her father pled for her return. Bless him, he still has hope.

Me, I try not to think about it. Skating helps.

David Claude McCoy said...

The paper I write upon begins to absorb the ink of my bold confession, sucking the dark truth from my shaking hand. I pause for a moment and turn my face toward the window. Through frost covered glass, the pale, half-moon shimmers, and I realize its light is as cold and chilling as the depth of my wife’s unforgiving soul. She sleeps peacefully while I contemplate the plan I will execute come morning.

I watch as she reads the note on the table. Instantly, her countenance changes, and she glares at me, accusingly.

“You ate all the lasagna, you pig?”

Steph Ellis said...

The silence absorbed his voice, his pleas whisked away by the chill wind. They would execute him, their brother-in-arms, before the moon was full.

Their boldness had surprised Dmitri, catching him unawares as he recovered from his last sortie. Yet he had known that one day this would happen. He fed them but they feared him. They were alone in the vast Siberian wastelands, hiding from the wars that raged around the Motherland.

A shimmer of frost caught his eye. They had left it too late.

His wolf brothers had come and tonight they did not have to hunt far.

CynthiaMc said...

We were bored ten-year-olds in my back yard in Chillicothe, Bree absorbed in making some voodoo electronic thingy to contact space aliens.

"Execute!" she said.

"It's action."


I filmed Bree inviting aliens to visit.

She filmed me singing Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko-Bop.

We were career-driven thirty-year-olds at our favorite bar.

"Kami, they answered! Let's go to space!"

I wasn't that bold.

I'm a sixty-five-year-old ex-actress in Beverly Hills looking at a spaceship playing Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko-Bop.

Out pops Bree, still thirty.

"Happy birthday, Kami. Have I got a present for you!"

Kae Ridwyn said...

The bus jerks forwards.
"Bloody Asians! Go home!"
"Fucking slants!"
"Piss off!"
Boys, emboldened by pack mentality. Itching to execute righteous judgement on boat people.
Recent media attention had sparked public rants; I'd barely noticed.

The bus stops. The youths push past, exit.
"Are you okay?" A lady touches my shoulder. "Idiots. We're not all like that."

I smile indulgently at her, absorbing her implications. That wasn't at me. I'm white.
Aren't I?

A sudden chill shimmies over me.
Mum is from Malaysia.

My eyes widen but I harden my face. Inside, keening erupts as cognizance obliterates innocence.

Amy Schaefer said...

“Trap, absorb, conquer.”

Her Master nodded, his curls whipping in the chill wind. Far below the crowd brayed: “Execute him already!” “Hang the crook!” Her stomach flipped, but training with the Master was the best of many bad alternatives.

Even if it meant absorbing a thief’s death.

The trapdoor dropped. She thrust out her hands and gripped what wasn’t there. The man’s life swarmed over her, shimmying and fighting her will.

Her Master watched her fall to the frozen ground. “Boldly attempted.” He casually gathered the two deaths to him.

The next apprentice stepped forward. “Trap, absorb, conquer,” he said.

Lucy Crowe said...

She called us when she couldn’t absorb the pain anymore, and we executed a glorious response time, under seven minutes for that oh-so-rural address. Lights and sirens all the way, my partner swilling coffee, scowling at the needless interruption to our day.

Not so bold now, we approach the ramshackle mobile home on cat’s feet, jump bag held shield-like, at the ready.

Too late. Blood shimmers in posy sprays across the yellowed vinyl walls, brain matter like chilled honey globules on the linoleum.

Baby cries from the bedroom, lusty wail of life subduing death.

We trade one patient for the next.

Cheryl said...

“Execute him.”

I sat a moment to absorb (ha!) the punishment. I’d seen the digester at work and even the boldest didn’t go near it unless they had to. I couldn’t eat sashimi for a year after I first saw the creature. The memory of the screaming still gave me chills.

I didn’t kill the prince. We faked it all. He was up in the gallery, disguised, and I could almost sense his pain as I waited. But when we were children I swore an oath to protect him, and this is how I would do it.

Marie McKay said...

He looks so deep into her eyes that I'm sure he's seen her soul shimmer. "Got one!"
She's quivering, and I, far from bold, am hidden above.
The next voice is so chilling that her wings extend involuntarily, making her identity unmistakable.
"That's our fairy alright. Put her in the box. We'll fix her later."
The box shines briefly before its lid shuts, and she's absorbed into the strain of strangled sound to which she will soon be made execute her flightless dance, over and over.
"Now we need to get the clock mended. Where's that damn cuckoo gone?"

Anonymous said...

The sunlight shimmers on the surface of the chill water above me.
I watch as the refracted light dances against my wetsuit and the bars of my steel cage.
Sudden movement to my left.
I turn to see the Great White boldly slicing through the water, before executing a perfect roll and barrelling toward me.
I feel the adrenalin course through my veins at the same speed, and hope my body absorbs it before it overwhelms me.
My grip tightens on the safety rope, and I stand firm.
This is my first dive.
I won’t let it be my last.

Patricia Cox said...

The plan had been flawlessly executed a dozen times in her mind. She boldly crept down the hall. Three more feet and the treasure which constantly absorbed her soul would be hers.
Perspiration beaded on her upper lip as she grasped the container. She shimmied the lid open, then reached inside only to find the long awaited prize had vanished.
The overhead light flashed on, a chill ran up her spine. Her eyes squinted as she beheld her husband in the doorway, the bag of chocolate in his hands. “You said to help you with your diet,” he innocently shrugged.

matt said...

She sat behind the desk, slender fingers laced around a glass of chilled vodka, violet eyes shimmering in the dim light.

“I know that what you’ve just heard is difficult to absorb,” she said. “But I couldn’t allow someone as bold as you to simply slip away.”

She was right. But he wasn’t thinking of that now. His mind was dominated by the pain in his teeth, and his unfamiliar, irresistible craving for blood.

Walking to the injection chamber the day before, he thought being executed would be the end. But it was the beginning.

Tamlyn said...

Execute the code. Don't think about the results. Don't think about the threats. Watch the Achilles Program run. Absorb the public accolades, but do not accept. Absorb the private thanks for doing what is 'necessary' and don't react. A hero, they say. A bold move, the right move, this data shim to bring the disparate systems of the world together. Government, defence, medical. An unhackable program. Under our control.

The hackers come like arrows.

Toni said...

Mind Over Matter

The bird was motionless between dying and absorbing new life. The principle behind 'shim' is that energy follows the mind. Thus the body-snatcher reached into the wings, relying on the bird’s knowledge to take flight. Recycling a body requires focus, but his thoughts competed with the bird’s memories, and the urgent echo of hungry chicks grew into a clamour. Even as he still hoped to execute his own plan, he dropped boldly down to where slugs and crickets live.

Days later, spent and with chills rolling beneath his feathers, he watched his fledged chicks go.

katie said...

The foundation is absorbing nicely and I execute a bold brow, a gold shimmery eyeshadow. This room's chilly but I'm sweating lightly. I'm nervous. This is my first time with this crew. Will they like me? Will I be able to make small talk with the guests or will I crumble under the pressure and stand mute in a corner, return to the basement even?

Ready? Jim calls down. I just met him today.

I swipe on a final touch of blush. Ready, I say.

He wheels everything into place and looks me over.

Jesus, don't women wear makeup anymore?

Karen McCoy said...

“You’re hired.”

I’m absorbing a lot without training, but I think I’m getting this.

“You can learn.”

They hired me for my personality. Once I chill a bit, they’ll see what I’m capable of.

“You’re bold.”

I can’t idly sit by while vendors placate us with shimmery stylus-capped pens and ignore existing content problems.

“Do it this way.”

I’ve never been conventional, but I get the job done. They praised my work ethic yesterday.

“You execute well, but...”

Maybe they’ll give me the benefit of the doubt. They keep saying how conscientious I am.

“You’re fired.”

Sam Hawke said...

Today’s my birthday so I get a wish. I’m thinking . . . tasty, but familiar. Comfort food.

At the gym, my favourite restaurant, I spot dinner: my ex, E. Cute as ever. He’ll come when I beckon, like always.

He’s helping a fab old girl in tiger-print so I check my competition. Blonde doing squats? Nord crunching? Abs or bum? Don’t matter which: I’ll show him I’ve still got both.

I bend and stretch and sweat in micro-lycra, but my best moves get nothing. So much for birthday wishes.

E saunters out, hand on the old Tiger’s ass.

Beth H. said...

Annemarie smiled. In ten years of events managing, she’d never executed a dinner party like this. No chef to hire, no wine to chill. How difficult it had been to find napkins that were both attractive and absorbent! Still, despite her client’s restrictions, she’d pulled it off.

The Count strolled in, examining the bold table setting and the shimmering candlelight.

“I hope everything is to your liking,” she stammered.

“Excellent,” he said. “This will do nicely.”

He swirled a goblet and studied the crimson streaks dribbling down the glass. His eyes danced.

“A-positive?” He swilled a mouthful and shivered. “Lovely.”

Unknown said...

Her hands sweat in the chill mountain air. Her fingers clutch a small vial to her pounding heart. Her eyes search the stone statues around her. She passes a priest, robe fluttering as if in flight, then a bold archer, bow and arrow taking aim. But no sword-bearing knight.

A soft step sounds behind her. She twirls, but too late—anguish impairs her movement, executes her last hope. Her hands still against her chest. Her eyelids close. Her heartbeat is absorbed into stone.

The enchantress smiles, caressing the cold cheek of her latest addition.

RKeelan said...

Achilles is everywhere. It's a shim, a piece of code that passes a request from here to there. That's all. It executes constantly because everybody uses it. It saves a couple hours of work on a usual project. No one gives using it more than a moment's thought.

If it started absorbing those requests? Well then you'd have a problem. All caps. Boldface. 'Cause without my little shim, nothing works. Not your computer, not your phone. Not your car and not your pacemaker. Nothing. It'll never do that. I promise, it won't. I just wanted you to know. It could.

Unknown said...

It wasn’t until I began to absorb him that he struck. A bold move, hiding that sharpened shim among his flagella, waiting until after I had swallowed him to strike.

The sensation of my own innards gushing into my digestive sac shook me to my psudopods. Panicking, I disgorged the protozoa. He came at me then, chill as a euglenoid in ice, executing a wicked barbed grab.

Enough. I bore down, forcing my soft pellicle to exude shell. There would be no more shape-shifting, not in this life. But I might just live.

Hungry, angry, we parted ways.

AAGreene said...

He squeezed his eyes shut as he absorbed another hit. The enforcer executed his orders with chilling efficiency. It was better if he didn’t cry.

Once the guard was done, he was left alone tied to the mattress covered in snot and blood. In a bold move, he tried to shimmy out of his restraints; the metal was cold and chaffed against his wrists.

Darkness enveloped the room. He was not alone.

By nightfall he was no longer in pain. He had joined the many other ‘graduates’ of the Dozier School for Boys.

Lucie Witt said...

Sharks followed the ships waiting for their meal. Sometimes morsels, still wailing for their mothers. Sometimes a feast, big men felled by the cruel voyage.

He absorbed her words as they walked. Did he shiver from the cold or her stories? They’d traveled days and he couldn’t shake the chill. They waited for winter to execute freedom’s plan, Moses explained, because nights were longest.

Her stories were like a shim, filling the space between memories lost along the way.

One morning, feeling bold, he asked why she carried a gun.

“In case any of you try to go back.”

JAZ said...

He's not aware that I hide back here. Leslie’s chilling wail becomes a Kaddishim over the body she cradles, while the others cringe before the bold interloper. I need a plan, but memories from my past interfere. My brother Butchy being the bully, teasing. Always teasing. I need a plan. Escape? Challenge? What do I do? My annoying brother, coming from behind, pushing the backs of my knees to make me fall. Ha ha. I inhale and rush, execute a shove with my foot, and the shooter buckles. A gunshot, absorbed by the wall. Thanks, Butchy.

Michael Rigg said...

Absorbed in thoughts of freshly grilled tortillas, steaming beef fajitas, and his grandmother’s homemade salsa, Jack Gonzalez stared at the bold blue numbers on the targeting display.

“Colonel.” The co-pilot’s voice shattered his daydream. “NORAD confirmed the Execute Order. It’s a go.”

”Well, check again.” Gonzalez shook his head. “They can’t mean Mexico City. It doesn’t make sense. My abuelita….”

“Sir, we ran the protocol three times. It’s legit.”

Colonel Gonzalez nodded, his pleasant memories evaporating in the shimmering glow of a world gone mad.

“Roger that.” Chills radiated through his body. “Prepare to launch ordnance.”

Megan V said...

On Sunday Jeffrey insisted I purchase quilted paper towels. The bold demand wasn’t rude per se—I was making my grocery run and he needed the most absorbent sheets—but purchasing Bounty over the bargain brand made my stomach churn.
Bounty meant he’d put fresh meat in the fridge.
Sure enough, chilled packages of heart, liver, and tongue lined the shelves when I got home. Blood leaked from their crisp white wrappings. The butcher had sliced the meat sashimi style, then executed a hasty packing job.
I gagged.
“Jeffrey!” I called. “You missed some of his hair.”

Ashes said...

I remember every first.

Carrying her at the hospital, absorbed by bold little breaths.

Her first jacket. Shimming small limbs into fleece, the first zipper zipped against a chill.

I cried when she executed that perfect first word: “Momma.”

Firsts became routines, routines became burdens.

“You’re big enough to walk yourself, dress yourself, braid your own hair.”

If I’d still been paying attention maybe I’d have seen it coming.

I cannot remember the lasts.

The last zipper zipped. The last words she spoke.

I insisted to be among the last to carry her.

That cruel weight, I will never forget.

Just Jan said...


A dangerous glint in the captain’s eyes sent a chill down my spine. My French was rudimentary, but I understood a direct order. I fell in line with my corpsmen and readied my rifle.

Branded a traitor, the blindfolded prisoner stood boldly before us. I blinked back emotion and performed my duty. The body collapsed onto the shimmering sand.

The dunes absorbed the corpse, but there was more than military intrigue in that grave. For not even her flowing desert robes could conceal that the one I’d fired upon had been carrying my child.

Unknown said...

Chill air moving. Danger!

Spinning back fist. Assailant unconscious on the floor. A moment to absorb his surroundings. Quiet.

Shim the deadbolt. Aziz surprised. Three quick steps. He leapt onto Aziz’s desk and kicked him under the chin.

Two minutes work with his USB. He had the terrorist’s data. He removed the drive, grabbed Aziz’s head like a football, and twisted it until hearing the satisfying crack.

Control, execute, delete.

Ten minutes work. Time to walk out, bold as brass.

He walked towards his partner’s car. Old and bold, he thought. Few were.

Unknown said...

“Executer must execute,” I chant while stomping towards my target.

My prey trips and collapses to the ground.

I jiggle the knife in my hand. “Pathetic and clumsy.”

When at a striking distance, I surge my knife forward. She counteracts with a kick. The blade nicks her Achilles.

“Now that was a bold move, blondie.”

From the ground, she whimpers, “Why are you doing this to me?”

“Because mother wants sashimi, tonight.”

After my kill, I absorb the excess blood with a towel. Mother hates when I come home bloody.

Unknown said...

Detective Starling’s temple throbbed as he crouched behind the wall, restless to execute the bust. He glanced toward the lake as a winter breeze shimmered the moonlit surface and sliced a chill through his thermal jacket.

“May as well be just wearing my skivvies,” he muttered loud enough for Finch’s ear. “Where’s back up?”

Finch tapped her Bluetooth and said, “What? That’s bold.”

Starling, clutching his body heat, asked, “What is it?”

“They’re not coming.”

“We have a murderer in our sights and ... What, budget cuts?”

“No, seems they’re absorbed in a hand of poker. Captain Hawk won’t fold.”

Mae said...

“I’m not sure this towel is absorbent enough.”

“It’ll be a sure thing, you said. Just execute each task correctly, you said. Like winning this race was that important.”

“I’m pretty sure I told you to check the slip number before you drilled the holes. I think I even made sure that point was bolded and italicized.”

“You know I never read what’s in italics!”

Shimmering water lapped at her ankles.

“Lifejackets. Tell me you read that one.”

A chill ran down her back. “Let me guess, that one was italicized too. I knew I should have learned to swim.”

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Pennington Brook saw it all, knew the killers. Three men no one would dare accuse, but she, the invisible girl, did. They found her, made her pay. They raped her, executed her with a bold stroke of the knife, discarded her body in the lake.

An unexpected breath gurgled past Penn’s lips. She tasted salt in the water as she propelled herself to shore. She absorbed life around her, light from the sun shimmering through murky clouds. The chill of icy water telling her yes. Yes. Yes. She survived.

Truth erupted in whispers, in tears, in exultation, in a final reckoning.

Allison Newchurch said...

Sunlight shimmered on the thick snow, but I was too self-absorbed to notice its beauty. My skate bag bumped against my hip, punctuating my sobs with each step. They’d laughed; every last one of them. I’d been so bold; I’d dared to believe I could execute a perfect flying sit spin, but I’d failed. My skate had slid from beneath me, plopping me on my butt on the ice, still spinning.

They’d laughed. I could still hear their laughter as I trudged home. Shame fired my hot cheeks, but my ass remained wet and chilly.

Ben N. said...

The companywide meeting continued as the CEO began her presentation. A banner behind her encouraged employees to “Execute (Y)Our Goals”, oblivious to its new homonymity.

“After our company is absorbed, staffing redundancies will be addressed.”

Greg, glancing tentatively, clicked his remote. A sound machine glued to a shim under the podium emitted a loud “PFFFFTTTTTTTTTH”.

He hoped his call to arms would inspire laughter, if not a bolder, eloquent protest. Greg instead met with chilly silence. Each noiseless second magnified the futility of the gesture to stop preordained corporate euthanasia.

“We foresee the greatest overlaps in our corporate-wide functions.”

Dena Pawling said...

“Chill, Dad! I can do this.”

Visions of the crumpled car rose unwelcome in my mind. She'd progressed from wheelchair to crutches to shimmy to....

“Yes you can, Sweetheart.”

“Be bold.” Alexis gripped my hands and smiled.

“Yes, Sweetheart. Be bold.”

She gave me a peck on the cheek and stepped onto the ice. The audience hushed as she glided to center ring and posed. Her eyes held the determination of one absorbed in her task.

The music started. Alexis performed her routine flawlessly, ending with a perfectly executed pirouette.

Thunderous applause.

Modern prosthetics are amazing.

A Little Tiefling said...

Turning 30 was a calamity my brain absorbed like liquor. Of the Life Goals I’d envisioned only two Mattered before this dubious milestone.
1) Finish that bloody novel.
2) Learn to dance.
Bold, I know. I never do anything by half measures. Since The Novel had been fermenting (“languishing”) for the better part of three years, I knew I needed to execute that shaggy dog post haste.
On to Plan B.
I fell into the arms of José (Cuervo) and enlisted in the dance army. If I can chill out, I can write. Trust me…this dame can shim-sham.

Anonymous said...

Rhea shivered.


She glanced over. Mist curled over Lance’s mouth, obscuring his perfect smile. She tugged her knit cap down. “Just chilly.” She wished he’d move closer so she could absorb his warmth.

They looked up. The night was clear, bright. Stars spattered across blue velvet. Perfect. Lance gestured.

“Ladies first.”

With a deep breath, Rhea executed a perfect shimmy up the rope. As she broke the window with her elbow, she had the distinct feeling Lance was staring up at her butt.

Bold, she thought, reaching in, flipping the window lock. Oh well: first dates are always awkward.

Unknown said...

I imagine the midwife recoiling in terror at the sight of my lavender hair. Perhaps she wrapped my blood-slicked body in burlap, afraid to touch my witch-child flesh, and handed me off to a sister.

“Stillborn,” she whispered, chilled to her bones. “Bury it.”

My sister trudged into the woods, absorbed by the light in my grey eyes and the orange blossoms shimmering as they rained down around us. My magic was quiet, but not subtle. At what point did she grow bold and hide me in her warm coat, daring to execute a plan and gift me a stay?

Steve Cassidy said...

The sun shimmered in the chilly morning air. My hands trembled around a cup of coffee,steam wafting upwards into the smoke from a cigarette perched dryly in my lips. Two weeks ago the state was going to execute me, this was a lot to absorb. “I’m free,” I whispered.

It was a bold plan; a suicide, a note, “PLEASE FORGIVE ME”, that was all it took; a second suspect. My lawyer did the rest, except for Edward; he did the dying and of course my wife; she did the writing.

In the distance binoculars glinted in the sun.

Melissa Guernsey said...

The shimmer of blood swirls gave her a little chill. She smiled enjoying the feeling. She liked being bold.

Vince had called her self-absorbed. She laughed, look whose self-absorbed now in the murky depths of the Mississippi.

Sunset was her favorite time. She got in her car thinking about what to wear. Two dates in one weekend, she was a busy girl with plans to execute.

As she took one last glimpse at the river, she smiled in satisfaction. That man is never going to bother another little girl. It felt good to be a hero.

Unknown said...

Cam absorbed that today she’d finish the tiny house she’d built on a trailer.

Tomorrow she’d hitch it to her 4Runner and hit the beach or California or Toronto.

Using a miter box, she executed a 45° angle on door molding and nailed it up.

Stepping back, she assessed her compact creation, each angle planned.

The bold colors would attract peacocks.

Around 4:30, she squared the door jamb by wiggling thin wood shims into the cracks. Fini.

As she stowed her essentials, a man’s shadow slithered onto her tiny house, chilling the air and Cam.

She reached into her toolbox.

Anonymous said...

The chill invaded my lungs, but I refused to shiver. Not here. Be bold. I lifted my chin.

At least there was a nice view. Sunlight shimmering on ocean waves. I watched that, instead of the crowd. They absorbed every twitch. Show fear, and they would laugh like hyenas.

To my right, a man waited to execute the order. Don’t look. I couldn’t ignore him no matter how I tried, though.

His hand lifted.

I had no poetry for this moment. I let my silence speak for me.

The floor dropped.

John Frain said...

People collect things.

Wide Load Johnson collected license plates. From the cars he stole.

Temperature in single digits, windchill below zero. Ideal conditions. Wide Load poured a shotglass of boldness. Watched the lady warm up her SUV, run back inside.

Time to execute. Wide Load lumbered to the SUV. Shimmied behind the wheel. Drove to Pepe’s Garage, where he parted out cars after hours.

That’s when he noticed the ID card. And badge. He’d stolen Detective Bridget Flynn’s car. His mind absorbed the painful reality.

Wide Load Johnson collected six to ten years.

He makes license plates for the state.

The Notebook Blogairy said...

He shimmered into existence. His gold eyes took in the teeming streets filled with people bustling to and fro. He executed a quick jaunt that propelled him across the avenue in a blink of an eye. When he reappeared a bold woman gave him a chilly glare. “Watch it, buddy! Don’t start none; won’t be none.” He absorbed her agitation as she shoved by him.

A second later, she stopped. The sea of humanity sailed around her. She turned and stared at him; her countenance filling with joy. She finally saw his halo; a tear rolled down her cheek.

Unknown said...

'They can't know what they're doing.'
He didn't answer.
'They're not much more than boys.'
'You've said it before.'
'I'm boring you?'
'Never that. But you can never just ...chill ..anymore.'
'Sam, they executed a child last week. And filmed it. And put it on YouTube.'
'You read a paper, you let it all in, absorb everything. It'll make you crazy.'
'You used to call me 'Becca Brave and Bold'. You said that's what you loved.'
'Pass the sashimi.'
'And if it was our son?'
He paused, his hand hovering over the food.
'What are you saying?'
She looked away.

french sojourn said...

There was a chill in the air as winter crept in. There was no boldness to her movements, she just enveloped remote corners and waited. Her takeover of the house was cruelly inevitable. A framed photograph on the mantle shimmered as autumn’s light faded. A still-life of parents and children, now dust beneath headstones.

A clock ticked, as threadbare curtains absorbed the last rays of light.

Old marriage certificates, executed wills, and death notices were filed away as winter watched. She had no malice, it was a curse imposed on her as well.

Sadly, iced tears comforted no-one.

Unknown said...

Father Macrae paces the gallows, his face a mass of boils.

“Ye’ve been taken in by a bold-faced sorcerer!”

I canna see the crowd from where I kneel, but I hear their screams.

“She has called down pestilence upon us. Mistress of scarabs, orbs and death. She is no healer! Execute the witch!”

The axeman lifts the blade. I close my eyes.

A crack as metal shims the block.

Blood spurts and steams in the morning chill.

But it is not mine.

The priest topples. My bonds fall free.

Beneath the executioner’s hood, a familiar voice yells,


Lisa Bodenheim said...

Hammer in hand, Violet tapped the shim into place under the old sideboard then hauled herself up. Huzzah! Time to unpack. But first, a cuppa.

The tea brewing, she absorbed the wonder of owning her first home. In her old age too. She had executed their plan, made when he was still alive.

Speaking of Henry, where was he?

She found his box—plain wood, a cross etched on it. She caressed it. The Achilles' heel of their bold plan. She’d been unable to afford a posh urn. She’d wanted better for Henry.

But, truthfully?

She’d have preferred him alive.

Loulymar said...

Ten years later he still shimed the studio door open allowing the dancers' heat to absorb into the chilly night. Did he ever get the pun?

Confident he would not recognize her, she boldy shimmied out of her jacket at the registration table for the soft-shoe competition sharing the studio's name. She faultered at a flicker of recognition flitting through his eyes. Until he dismissed her. Again. Too bad.

Moments after she executed a perfect Shim Sham Shammy, she executed him and left the Shim Sham Dance Studio for the last time. You should have remembered me.

Cindy C said...

They executed me at midnight, revived me at dawn.

Sunlight danced and shimmered as I opened my eyes. I threw up the poison my body hadn’t absorbed.

The chill of death clung to me as I struggled to stand.

“What have you done?” My voice scratchy, hurting my throat.

“We warned you. Begged you to take the job.”

“I’m not a killer.”

They circled me, smug, arrogant. “You will become one. Or you will die again.”

I stood, finally, swaying. Shook my head. Defeated.

The boldest of them grabbed me, unsheathed his knife.

I killed him first.

Unknown said...

It's a difficult task to shimmy up a rope with a mangled foot, but the plan was being executed. It was daring, bold, it required the Master of the Universe.

"Why do you always do that?" The crotchety voice of the snake Commander. "For every thought of yours?"

He is confused.

"Perfect example. You are He-Man, not just 'He'. You need to learn that you are nothing more than an androgynous 80's action toy that needs a ball-gag and black mask before Tanner will play with you again."

He's fragile ego must absorb and ignore the harsh reality.

Tanner's yips send chills up his spine.

Unknown said...

She said no boldly.Almost angrily.He believed her.That was difficult but he did it. He was insanely in love. He turned to the other side,he couldn't bear looking at her skeleton. Not now. Not when she said no to sleeping with him in the coffin.
He turned on the torch,her wedding ring shimmered on her finger bone.
A chill went through him .It was that cold.It was colder because he was underground in a cemetery.At night,the earth absorbed all the heat.Like a leech.
She was executed five years ago.Jen.

Timothy Lowe said...

Four college girls executed in five months, and Mary convinced Ed to go for Chinese.

“I got no appetite.”

“You’ve been so absorbed lately.”

“Work, I guess. Late nights.”

The duck is bold, the beer chilled. He’s happy for once.

She opens a fortune cookie. She secretly believes them.

“It’s him,” she reads aloud.

Must be a factory misprint, she thinks, unaware that three FBI agents are in back.

“What does yours say?”

“The usual,” he says, lost in thought. He’s wondering about the spacious trunk of their Subaru. That and the wisdom of cookies.

He secretly believes them too.

Kitty said...

We were flying to Chillicothe to execute our mother’s will.
“I’m still trying to absorb Mother is dead and you’re divvying up our inheritance.”
“Oh, posh. Imagine yourself in her fab Oldsmobile convertible. We’re talking vintage 1958 in mint condition.”
“I should’ve been nicer to her.”
“I want her china.”
“We argued our last phone call.”
“And her silver.”
“What if that caused her heart attack?”
“And her jewelry.”
“OHMYGOD, I killed her!”
“Get a grip! She was a miserable battleaxe.”
[sigh] “True, nobody got along with her.”
“Now, about the Olds…”
“I would look good in it, wouldn’t I.”

Roger Mohajir said...

It was a lot to absorb.

I'd been on the shelf a long time before she came along. Sure, I'd been picked up before. Others had considered taking me home, using me. But they had only had been bold. She was brazen. They dreamed of cleaning up their lives. She made plans and executed them.

Her hands were all over me. In the carriage. In her car. In the kitchen when I was half in the bag. On the chilly marble floor, back and forth through the shimmering crimson pool beside her husband's head.

It was a lot to absorb.

Kate Higgins said...

Ela never saw Sashimi regenerate into a live salmon in 15.3 seconds. She executed 'Protocol 7'; stuffed it your purse and deal with it later. Mom warned her about unusual responses to her touch but it was too much to absorb. Mom grew everything; she boldly talked to trees and public. She 'controlled' the weather. Mother was a hippie.

At the funeral, a woman comforted her, "Zema was a real 'Mother Nature', you know. I'll miss her".
Damn genetics...not the salmon's, hers.

Ela's eyes filled with tears.
The sky clouded and began to pour chilly rain – filled with salmon.

Lance said...

I made bold to stand upright that August afternoon when the swinging body of the executed woman absorbed all the shimmering light, and a chill ran through my soon to be dry, dusty bones.