Friday, May 06, 2016

May We Have A writing contest!

Yes, yes we can!

The usual rules 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: may/maybe is ok, but whee/where 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.

8a. There are no circumstances in which it is ok to ask for feedback from ME on a your contest entry. NONE. (You can however discuss your entry with the commenters in the comment trail...just leave me out of it.)

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: 9am Saturday May 7, 2016

Contest closes: 9am Sunday May 8 2016

If you're wondering how much time you have before the contest closes: click here

If you'd like to see the entries that have won previous contests, there's
an .xls spread sheet here

(Thanks to Colin Smith for organizing and maintaining this!)

Questions? Tweet to me @Janet_Reid
Ready? SET?

Not yet!
Nope, sorry, too late.


Michael Seese said...

“Just ignore Fifth Wheel,” Eric said to his friends. Elias hated the nickname. But if it meant his big brother would play near him…

“Look, Fifth Wheel, don't tell Mom. Maybe I'll let you keep half your allowance.” Elias, too young to know the word “extortion,” smiled feebly.

“If you don't scream, Fifth Wheel, we'll make this quick,” Eric leered as he and his friends stood, belts at the ready. For a brief moment, Elias saw Dad in Eric's eyes.

When he turned 16, Elias stole the car and took off, making sure Eric learned what four wheels felt like.

Craig F said...

The Great Wheel turned and we hit our fortieth May. Playing around was not the only thing that made packing a picnic less than brief. We paddled to our favorite remote glen to enjoy the day.

At the bottom of the basket I found a gun instead of dessert. I looked to her and saw a pleading look.

When her mother passed she made me promise that she would not linger in the private hell of a moth eaten mind. The tangled weave of her thoughts had not lost that thread. I cried as I kissed her the final time.

Marie McKay said...

Wheels skid to a stop on the driveway. He staggers in, sits at the table.
I can smell the danger on his clothes, on his breath.
'Service better be quick,' he says.

Mom's too pretty for the worry she wears. She tries not to react. She keeps her expression even.

He hasn't shouted, but he will.
His face hasn't twisted, but it will.
'Maybe-it'll-be-different-this-time' never applies to Dad.

My distracted fingers drop a plate.
His trigger: Sneer! Shout! Strike!
The trigger: bang bang bang

Mom pauses only briefly:
'Go outside. Like you've been playing.'

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

"Qui vous sabrier?" The uniformed man's accent was terrible.

Yanya's heart hammered in her chest, nearly strong enough for him to feel it. Maybe.

Who did I cut? Is that what he asked? Her brain replayed his phrase. Qui vous abri? Who did I shelter...? Her vision faded as dizziness wheeled within her head. He was asking about the underground. He knew about the refugees!

The man's face froze and the lights went out in his eyes. His body slid forward off Varis' knife. She wiped it clean on the back of his jacket. "Next time," she scoffed, "Just stick 'em *quick when the polizei harass you."

french sojourn said...

The tractor hee’d and haw’d as he spun the wheel quickly and approached more ruined crops. He checked the temperature gauge. Slowly he rolled another cigarette, lit it, and took a drag; exhaling it into the diesel fumes. He played with the stereo, but settled for static.

The soil, like his heart, had gone fallow.

Maybe too much clay in the dirt, thinking of his wife’s porcelain skin. His two-timing wife and that godforsaken preacher. The mulched crops would give the soil new life, the same field where he planted them.

The lord worked in mysterious ways, he thought briefly.

Unknown said...

Wheeler heard her voice. His mouth moved.
"Face is forgettable, but what a thumb!" Gabriel held the thumb up to the light. A looker.
The sickly squick of shoes tried to echo. “But, physics in closets, y’ know?”
“What?” Gabe.
Covered her body with sheets. To his dismay, she brushed them off. She was “a real stressor, this one.”
“Insistent, yeah.”
“What?” Wheeler said. The “body was splayed over the morgue’s cleaning supplies. Wheeler grabbed the shovel -“
“Shut up.”
“-thrust it beneath her chin. In a” moment, Mom relaxed and Wheeler was free from her chilly, dead grip.

Colin Smith said...

Sobriety was sipping her orange juice when the door behind her burst open. A girl in a high-collared dress and low-heeled shoes stumbled out. She glanced around her, smiling apologetically, walking quickly toward Sobriety.

"You too, Modesty?"

"Maybe," Modesty shrugged. "Yes. But I'm no player. Not important."

A waitress balancing a loaded tray walked past them heading toward the back door, her white tank top stretched to irrelevance. The girls turned away.

"Hey!" shouted the barman. "You heard the man. You're fired. Get out!"

They turned to leave.

"What now?" said Modesty.

"Pray for a third party candidate," Sobriety sighed.

Unknown said...

Across the web, fair Agent I espy.
My genius quick, encapsulate in words:
The hook, the plot, a line or two ’bout me.
All proof’d, thy name spell’d right, for never may
Form query wheel through heav’n to land its mark.
Submission follows guidelines set. Not cold,
Nor too familiar is my plea. Hit send,
And wait for manuscript request to come.
Check once, check twice, check evermore. Oh, fie!
Thou Saxon-born, yet Norman I thee dub.
O’er-brief? O’er-long? A story oft replayed?
I know not which, and so I heed the wise,
Retreat to write, and ponder, and revise.

Matthew Wuertz said...

Sunday: Our home melted. Some people from church took us in. I wish Dad was with us. But he hated the long drive.

Monday: More cities melted. Mom said we gotta go somewhere else. Maybe we’re not safe.

Tuesday: Mom told Evan we’re playing a game to see how quickly we can get to the state forest. But we’re slow.

Wednesday: Evan said he saw one briefly. I called him a liar. He cried.

Thursday: Mom told us to run. There was a sound like whee-whee, and she was gone. Now we’re alone.

Friday: They’re coming. I can smell them.

Dena Pawling said...

The managing partner from hell loomed in Dena's doorway. “Felman brief done?”

She coughed and wheezed, suppressed a curse, and glanced at the time through watery eyes. 4:57pm. “I may finish today.”

If she survived. Stupid flu.

“Midnight filing deadline. Goodnight.” She gave his back a middle finger salute. A$$hole.

The page limit quickly approached. Crap. Dena blew her nose, deleted several thats, and played with the margins. Twenty-five pages.

Create PDF. Log-in. Upload. Motrin.


She slid her resignation under the partner's door. Good riddance.

At home, a text chimed.

“See me tomorrow for $25k bonus.”

Sherry Howard said...

Working Girl

The sunset splattered the sky with crimson.

Her view from the beach caught the flashing red lights at the hotel entrance.

The burner phone floated away on the same waves that would carry her home tomorrow.

She may have come to play, but the wine and Brie soured when she saw the money he left on the dresser.

That working-girl occupation was not in her wheelhouse. What she did was for quick pleasure.

His money would be tainted with the new lamb’s blood and his DNA.

The skills of her own job came in so handy.

Timothy Lowe said...

Wheeling through briers, swatting at mayflies, Chunny finally called out.

A rustle.

“Chunny, you ignoramus.”

What’s that mean?

“You too dumb to play? I been there an hour.”

I’m better at hiding.

“Shit. You so stupid you’d hide in an old fridge. Gonna quick count to a hundred, now. You ready?”

By the time the moon set, the game was over. Chunny walked home through raspberries that bled on her feet.

“I oughta whip you. Home so late, and all over berry stains. Where’s your brother?”

Chunny smiled. She’d always been good at hiding.

Guess he found a good spot.

Unknown said...

When the mothers arrived for brunch, the brie hadn’t melted, the wine wasn’t chilled, and Kelly had just found a lump of her daughter’s snot hanging from her hair. So when Portia detailed the importance of children being May School material, Kelly quickly reached into a drawer and put shortbread edibles on a plate.
Soon Brita had recounted a threesome, Ella was spilling her Riesling, and Portia was swinging her legs while quietly whispering “Whee!”
When women finally left, they made promises of playdates and recommendations to the board.
Kelly cut a wedge of thick brie and ate it whole.

LynnRodz said...

Serge walked through the gardens where his friends were waiting.

"Enfin!" René said. "Let's get this game started."

He'd played pétanque here for years. Even when his wife was alive he hadn't missed a Sunday.

Afterwards, Serge watched the children roller-skate around the fountain. He made a quick stop for a baguette and brie before heading home. Dinner, a little télé, then bedtime.

The door opened. "Bonsoir, Serge. Would you like to eat in your chair today? Sun's shining, may be nice to look out the window."

Serge nodded. Two attendants lifted him from his bed to his wheelchair.

Mallory Love said...

“Elaine,” Pops wheezed out his last word. My heart broke. My mother’s name was Mary.

The ceremony was a brief affair. The organist played “It Is Well with My Soul.” My own was uneasy though. Elaine. It niggled at my mind, leaving a dark residue over the memories of my father. The man wasn’t perfect, but I’d always thought him loyal.

Clearing out his estate was quick. Everything fit in one box. Maybe it’d shed some light. Clothes, pill bottles, and his wedding ring spilled out. Beneath the useless crap was a birth certificate. My twin's: Elaine

Heather Hawke said...

After a look at my report card, Dad said I was on serious quicksand. “You’ll never succeed if you don’t apply yourself.”

Mom moans my interests have a life briefer than a mayfly’s.

I’ll show them.

“You’re almost there. Just ten million more.”

I swing upright. “Shut up, Butters.”

My head is pounding as I bend for the next one.

“Make that twenty million. And don’t call me Butters.”

All the kids on the playground are watching. That’s the way I like it.

Sixty-six. Sixty-seven, Sixty-eight!

Just wait ‘till I tell Mom and Dad. I’m cartwheel champion of the world!

Manda Zim said...

He swaggered up to the bombshell and briefly considered how to snag her. Maybe a direct approach with this one. She looked feisty.

“Sweetheart,” he leaning over her, hands pressed to the table. “Wanna play?”

The leggy blonde smiled slowly, her shark teeth glinting in technicolor from the club’s flashing lights.

“Play? Oh yes.”

Jumping back, he tripped, arms quickly wheeling backwards trying to find his balance. Landing hard, his scream was lost to the music.

The shark-toothed woman pounced. She yanked him close and licked a slow path along his throat.

“Mmm, tasty.” Chomp.

Huh, she was feisty afterall.

Anonymous said...

“Brie breath. That’s how you know he’s got money.”
“You can identify brie breath. That’s how you know you’ve got money.”
Had. Otherwise we wouldn’t be here.”
“Don’t give me that look. You may grow to like him.”
“All I like about him are his wheels and his bank account.”
“Methinks the lady doth protest too much.”
“Methinks the spinster is projecting. I just hope it’s quick.”
“The wedding, or the consummation?”
“All of Operation Make Him Divorce Me.”
“You don’t feel bad about this?”
“He played me first. How do you think he funds his brie breath?”

CynthiaMc said...

"No time to play, Sweetie, Daddy has to go"

Kill a bad spy, Malcolm thought but didn't say.

"Tea first," Krissy, age four, led him to her pink tea table.

Malcolm sighed. "Make it quick."

"Brie or camembert?"

Brie on toast, chai tea, jammy dodgers. The kid knew how to throw a party.

"May I get back to work now?"

"Play Airplane!"

Malcolm swung her up and around.


"How was your tea party, Miss?" the new maid asked, cleaning up.

"Daddy ate all your brie."

The poison should hit before Mr. Malcolm reached her brother.

The maid smiled.

Megan V said...

The wheel gave a quick jerk beneath my fingers, stealing an inch when there wasn’t one to be had.
The tires spat murky white vomit onto the salted asphalt.
The fender wrapped around the post as if it were a maypole.
And the sirens howled over Freddie Mercury.
“Never let me go ooo…” Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. No.
The cops wouldn’t let me go.
They’d ignore my sobriety, my choice.
The ambulance would cart me back to hell.
The nurses would put me on display.
The doctors would fix me.
I’d die in months instead of minutes.
No escaping reality.

katie said...

I never liked May. The way the blossoms fall from the cherry trees so quickly, like skin flaking off a corpse, the rush to plant flowers even though, like everything else, I'll eventually kill them from neglect. I host my usual brunch anyway - mimosas on the patio, fruit, brie and cautious glances. Where's the guest of honor? Oh, she's resting, not well. I'll bring her your flowers later. They nod, as relieved as I am, the wheels turning as they plot their play for the inheritance. You reap what you sow, though, and my annuals will grow well this year.

Donnaeve said...

A quick summer storm ruined the crop and a year’s earnings.


I knelt in the brier patch. Pie. That’s the solution.

Roy finds me. “Maylene, Daddy’ll want money. Not pie.”

“It might work.”


As expected Roy’s Mama only played with her slice while her husband stuffed himself.

Roy talked hard times. His Daddy farted, belched in reply.

“More pie?” I offered.

He made a wheezing sound.

Roy said, “Daddy?”

“Can’t. Breathe.”

Roy’s Mama perked up. “That my recipe?”

“Yes ma’am.”

Mr. Rayford’s face went dark as them devil berries I’d picked.

“Sweet Jesus, it’s actually working," she whispered.

RKeelan said...

I tell quantum truths.

My eyebrows contract, perplexed. "Dylan? I barely know him." Just the one organ, briefly.

I cross my arms, dismayed by his accusation. "No, I don't know if Dylan worked late, too." He might have been working before we met up.

My carotid quickens and throbs. "I have no idea how this could have happened." Dylan swore he was clean.

I sigh, fatigue on display. "I never stopped loving you." I just never loved you enough to begin with.

I close my eyes, now heedless. "I'm sorry. For everything." But mostly that Dylan lied to me.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Marcy grips the wheel, her car alone on the dark road. An old truck pulls over. A man - greasy hair, t-shirt over a potbelly - moves toward her. Good Samaritan? Serial killer? You never know. Marcy covers the car seat with the blue blanket.

"…home from a play date. It just stopped."

"…quick look under the hood."

"Thank you."

Maybe next time she'll drive a minivan, Marcy muses, reaching into the diaper bag, past the pink bottles labeled "Brienne." She slips outside, knife in hand. The blanket slides off the empty car seat.

You never know.

Dee said...

“I can’t take this?” My tortured mind screamed.
My station chief had warned me when I signed the contract.
But now faced with the reality, I pressed against the chair back in terror.
“I’ll be quick. You may feel a brief pain.”
My eyes snapped open at the sharp prick on my arm.
The room wheeled around as the meds took effect.
No longer in control, my mouth sagged open in a crazy grin.
A jagged line of broken teeth were displayed for all to see.
The drill buzzed. “Now to fix your million-dollar smile for the cameras.”

Steve Forti said...

Sobriety would bring regret. But hungover regret was right in her wheelhouse. And maybe this time would be different.

They’d already had a quickie in the restaurant bathroom. And the fumbling foreplay in the back of the Uber told of more fun at their destination.

In bed, spent, dizzy, satiated, she passed out atop him.

Six am. Shouts, banging, high pitched voices approaching.

“Mommy! Mommy! Joey peed on the rug!” Tiny feet scurried away.

She sat up, head pounding, room swirling. There’s the regret. Right on cue. She patted him on the shoulder. “Good date night, hunny.”

Janice Grinyer said...




How quickly the system fails us, us ones with the broken wings.

Now he estimates it will be weeks before my case number comes up.

Maybe I will become a different case number instead.

Anonymous said...

What are you doing up there?

April showers bring May flowers, said Bob.

Yes, dearest, but this is the basement, not the garden. Did you take your meds today?

While the cat’s away, the mice play, said Bob.

Forgive me; I came back as soon as I could. Won’t you come get dressed?

Boxers or briefs, said Bob.

Just so, dearheart. Climb down now. Why are you crying?

The squeaky wheel gets the grease, said Bob.

No, love! I’m here. We’ll get through this, like always. Please climb down; you’re scaring me.

A quick drop and a sudden stop, said--

--Rebekah Postupak

Christina Seine said...

It’s someone else’s child, the little skeleton found in the woods behind the playground.

It is.

Detectives will knock on someone else’s door.

Maybe … the news got it wrong. Happens all the time - they’re so quick to report every little thing. Before they’re sure.

She could still come home. His sweetheart, his princess, his baby girl. She’s lost, she’s run away. It’s not her. She could still come home.

She could. Considering how he even made a deal with God - take anything. Take ME.

She could.

For one brief moment, he actually believes it.

The phone rings.

mythical one-eyed peace officer said...

Board the bus. No hesitation. Brief doubt, though.

She and I. Late night coffees in Kenmore Square. Leaving her for him. Spring break.

Miss her?

My home last Thanksgiving. Mom served him sauerkraut. German surname.

His small town Ohio home. 3.2% beer plays legal. Age eighteen.

Quick return to Boston in yellow Volkswagen. Return to her.

Much later. Before dawn. May. Quietly leaving her for him. She awakens. Love you.

He cannot travel. His heart wheezes. My cross country flight.

Return home to her. After midnight. Sleeping, she stirs. Love you.

Fifty years.

Awaiting sleep, I ponder beginnings, outcomes, inevitabilities.

Just Jan said...

“More oysters,” our friends recommended.

“Boxers, not briefs,” my doctor advised.

I even added an all-natural supplement to his breakfast smoothie. But the stork refused to play.

“Never trust a man who can’t make a baby,” my grandmother warned. “He may be hiding something.”

I didn’t believe at first. Then I googled his symptoms.

Our son starts kindergarten today. He’s the light of my life. My heart quickens as I watch him board the school bus.

My husband watches, too, from the confines of his wheelchair. I brush away a tear and hold him close. Adoption is a wonderful thing.

kittykat said...

Brienna never wanted to be May Queen, or the Devil's playmate.

The wagon's wheel had broken on the way, but that hadn't saved her.

"Why? Why me?"

The lake was frozen, and would be until she was taken.

Alone in the center, she stood up.

The chieftain ran towards her, leaping across the cracking ice. Then he was across from her, just the two of them on the wobbling floe.

"You cannot escape. Someone must pay."

"Yes," she agreed. "Someone must."

She quickly stepped off the ice, but it wasn't her that slid into the water.

Behind her, invisible laughter.

Karen McCoy said...

Lying atop the grimy garbage cans, Seamus wheezed at the angel looking over him. “Here to help me with my sobriety, Adonis?”

“Off the grunge heap at least.” The angel pulled Seamus upright, blanching at the tangled bits of vomit adorning his robe. “Turn, quick, so I can clean you up.”

Seamus turned, and a slice of pain ripped down his spine, oozing out blood. In dismay, Seamus watched his own stained wings splay onto the wet pavement.

With a satisfied smile, Adonis pocketed the shears, and flew away. Seamus’s feathers cemented the ground, wilted in their neglect.

abnormalalien said...

My best friend shot me today. I guess maybe I can’t blame him.

Thankfully, he was quick about it. None of that emotional nonsense he usually carts along with his wheelbarrow of tears and snotty tissues.

I replay our brief conversation:

“Go ahead, if you’re so tough then,” I taunted.

“I should,” he bellowed. “You ratted me out to the cops!”

“Oh, boo-hoo. Now, you have to do some community ---“

He’s too ignorant to know I did it to keep him out of the cemetery. That gang he was flirting with don’t much care for cry-babies.

Amy Schaefer said...

It isn’t easy to sew up a wound with a bellyful of poison. These assholes; I’ve patched them up a hundred times, but a big wheel gets shot and suddenly ol’ Maggie rates “incentive.”

“Grab a soda,” I say, hands working.

The muscle downs a Coke. “Anything to eat?”

“The butler’ll bring brie and caviar.”

The dope actually looks around.

My lips are tingling now. I stitch slowly.


Steroid-man falls like quicksand.

I jab the bigwig with my special needle. Thud.

“Maybe next time, trust people.” I quaff the antidote and bug out.

Better find myself a new playground.

Celia Reaves said...

Jacob settled in a hallway to wait after the meeting. One of the new arrivals wandered up. "Why are you in a wheelchair?"

Jacob smiled. "Too much TV." The newbie twitched and backed away.

"That'll shake him up," Jacob thought. "I do love the drama, yes indeed." He rubbed his temple where the chip lay under the skin. It itched so much lately.

A door opened, and the young man with the briefcase came out. "Too quick," Jacob thought. "Must be bad news."

He was right. His appeal for release from the psychiatric facility had been denied yet again.

Kate Larkindale said...

He counted in as usual. She started singing, her fingers flying along the neck of the Fender.

Flying too fast.

“Slow down,” she hissed in the brief pause between verses.

The tempo quickened.
Lyrics spilled from her lips like machine-gun fire.

“Please?” she wheedled.

He grinned from behind the drum kit, arms a blur as he hammered his sticks on the skins and cymbals.

Damn drummers and their need to steal the spotlight.

She moved toward her amp, purposefully holding the guitar before her.

She cranked the dial. To 10.

Maybe all he needed was some feedback on his playing.

Unknown said...

“Mom, may I have the princess’s crown?” Fred the dragon asked.

“Yes, dear -- it’s in the treasure pile by my armoire.”

Fred grabbed the crown, put his earbuds in, and hit “PLAY” to start his favorite Starship song.

He flew quickly to the castle, dropped down, and placed the crown on the princess’s head.

She continued unpacking the picnic basket.

“Can you warm the brie, Fred?”

He blew a small fire towards it.

“Perfect.” She beamed.

After they ate, Princess Maeve asked Fred for a fly-by.

“Whee!” she exclaimed as Fred swooped over the moat.

Fred’s heart soared.

Gingermollymarilyn said...

“May I?” she asked, reaching for a small wedge of brie.
“Of course, it’s very good; most people can’t tell the difference from the French stuff.” Cutting more slices from the wheel of her just desserts, I quickly snuck a glance, delighted, as the skank chewed the cheese like a horse. Rachel Simmonds thought she was so clever, for two years, fucking my husband behind my back. The joke was on her, their playtimes were over. Within an hour she’d be toast.

A knock on the door. “Well, hello, Mr. Simmonds. Job done. Sunglasses and sunscreen packed, I’m ready, Honey!”

Anonymous said...

“Maybe there’s another course of action…”

Ross craned his head to follow of the parade of hats. “Quick. Come on.”

Unequal levels of insobriety in conversation.

Andrew heeled suddenly and Russ tugged his hand. “Play along, will ya?” Their long black robes billowed behind them as they ran and exposed their bare legs.

“Pull it closed!” Russ hissed as they joined the line.

It happened in a moment, projected on the Jumbotron. Until the cops came, Andrew had to admit that streaking graduation was the capstone to their caput contracts as adjuncts.

Unknown said...

“Al’s Auto Shop, huh? In Manhatten?”

“You betcha,” Robert said. “Why? He’s not in some kinda trouble, is he?”

Robert squinted.

The CPA’s Midwestern office was complete mayhem. Agent O’Brien re-positioned stacks of paper just to sit down.

“You tell me. Who drives in NYC?”

“Oh, never been there. But numbers all check out, doncha think?”

And they did. Two hours playing cat and mouse and nothing to show for it. O’Brien left quick as he had come, contemplating the difference between evil and just plain stupid.

Inside, Robert pulled a ledger from under a large pile.

10,000 – Wheel Grease

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Shots rang out amid shouts, an explosion of flames burst into wheels of smoke. Night quickened against the day’s brief stand. Holly took her son’s hand, dashing across filthy roads, ducking behind burnt out buildings, listening for pursuit.

“My friends are dead or trying to kill me,” Holly said in dismay.

“I don’t want to play anymore,” Chris said. “Why do they hate us?”

“Because it’s easy. Come, we will hide until this is over.”

The town smoldered below them as they turned away to find the sunrise.

“Will anyone win?”

“No, they can’t because winning can’t make evil good.”

Steve Cassidy said...

“May it please the court,” the old codger wheezed, “my client isn’t a player, to use the now common vernacular. He is a simple man who ever so briefly found his way into the arms of a wanton woman. His transgression was short lived and ended as quickly as it began. He is deeply sorry and only wants to reconcile with his dear bride of almost three months.

If the court finds for the plaintive, we ask the union simply be annulled and Miss Alexi Porsche, as she is known professionally, not be granted the prenuptial agreement.”

Sara Halle said...

She'd found out about the affair, and her threats ran through his mind like quicksilver. He'd lose his house, his kids, everything.
But she hadn't acted yet. Maybe this Mother's Day brunch was his chance. He had the poison in his briefcase.
They ate together as a family, his heart pounding the entire time. Then the kids ran outside while he cleaned up.
There was food everywhere and the sink's colors reminded him of Picasso's Blue Period, but he didn't care. Had he made the right decision?
His wife called out, "Turnabout is fair play."
He wheezed a last breath.

Scott G said...

She looks into my eyes, as if asking for permission, as she splays my legs out in front of me and makes me comfortable. Just like she’s been doing for ten years now, since that fateful May night when a drunk driver got behind the wheel and left me in this living tomb, where I can’t talk, can’t move any of my limbs and can’t control my own bladder.

If I could respond, I would say go ahead. Take the night off. You deserve it. Celebrate with a quick O’Doul’s at your favorite bar.

Ten years of sobriety, Mom. Congratulations.

Unknown said...


"Do you want to have a quickie?" he asked, without looking up from his book.

I didn't even turn my head and said, "Ugh, I ate too much Brie. Why does your mother always have so much cheese?"

"No idea. Last time we went to Whole Foods she bought an entire wheel of it. It was like, 600.00. Must’ve sat with monks for a few years."

I laughed, poking his side. “Or the pope. I love you, though," thinking back to the quickie.

"Me too. Maybe we should play a game. You really need to get better at Euchre."

Calorie Bombshell said...

“What’s in the briefcase, Mikey?”

Here we go again. “It’s an aluminum valise on wheels, Fred.”

“But why so big? We sell microchips.”

“You know what they say about what killed the cat.”

“Wait. What cat?”

“If I tell you, I have to terminate you.”

“Wait. What? Ha! You’re playin’ with me now, right? Gotta get me some
of that funny. Maybe then I’ll have your sales numbers.”

“Quick, what’s slang for bathroom?”

“Wait. John? Can?”

“Let’s flip a coin. Tails, I tell you. Head, you lose.”

“Wait. Shouldn’t it be ‘heads?’”

Finally got one right. Roomy enough for two.

Prairiewind said...

While spying on her older brothers Sally declared, "Today is the day."
"Today is the day for what?" asked her little sister.
"Today is the day I learn to ride a two-wheeler."
Sally asked her unsuspecting mom, "Mommy, may I please play outside?"
"Sure," Sally's mom replied.
Soon, Sally yelled, "Mom, come here quickly. I need help."
When she saw her daughter holding a wrench, it took only one brief moment for Sally's mom to figure out what Sally was up to.
Off came the training wheels, and Sally learned to ride her two-wheeler.

Kathryn Clark said...

A tendril of catbrier climbed her tower. She stroked a leaf, watched it harden into emerald.

“True love’s kiss will break the curse,” he promised. But when they wed, his lips touched only her veil.

She took solace beneath the willows, until her hand brushed the bark. Wood turned topaz, and by morning it was replaced with empty earth. She heard it sold quickly.

A diamond teardrop lay on her pillow. His smile taunted as he snatched it. “Someday you may be free.”

He wheezed as the dagger pressed through his chest. Rubies spilled between her fingers. “Now I am.”

CED said...

“What's your name?”


A vision of my brother brandishing his quicksilver blade, wings of cerulean flame, plays in my mind.

“Do we have a deal?” he stammers.

Unworthy mortal. I don't know how he expects me to take him seriously.

Gabriel nods. I give him a year—less—before he understands his predicament.

We shake hands, sealing the pact. My stomach twists.

He smiles, and I notice for the first time the flecks of cerulean in his eyes.

Kat Waclawik said...

“Was it quick?” I asked Ben. Sheriff Ben, now.
Liar. The smell of a gut wound lingered. Not something you forget.
“He eased over the edge there. Speeding, probably. You know how he was.”
I knew. “He threw a kegger to celebrate my first month of sobriety.”
Ben laughed. “Damn. He was the best of us.”
“He convinced you to join up, right? Without him, you’d’ve stayed in this dump instead of playing in the sandbox. Probably stuck in your dad’s shop, married to the Wilson girl.”
“Yeah. Maybe.”
My clenched fist was slippery with brake fluid.

Gigi Kern said...

Mary-Ellen wished there were more days like today. Brie-Anne and Tobias playing and enjoying themselves at the WonderWheel.

She smiled as memories of Coney Island quickly flashed through her mind. Of Jamie alive and laughing and Maya going down the log water ride looking like a wet dog or Jojo giving a history lesson on roller coasters...

She was the only one left now but with days like today they would never be forgotten. Not as long as she had breath in her body and will of steel. She'd make those people pay somehow for taking the laughter away someway.

Anonymous said...

They wheeled her into his office.

“Deceased’s name?”

“May Flannery”

“Circumstances? And be quick. The brief version.”

“Hung from a pole.”

“So it was a Maypole?”


“What? Too soon?”

They left his office. All he’d ever wanted was to be a comedian. Microphone. Brick wall. Play to the crowd. Have the last word. But they all said his humor was too dark.

Now he always had the last word, and they never questioned it. That made things easy. May wasn’t his first and she wouldn’t be his last. He started the autopsy.

Who was laughing now? May?

Maybe not.

Scribbling Scarlet said...

The weather was warm for February, but the water wasn't.
The two men were the only ones playing on the lake that day.
Had anyone else seen them lose control, spin out and
tossed into the frigid waves?
At first I didn't pay much attention. Figured they'd climb back
into their boat and speed off. But then I heard the calls for help.
Maybe I heard wrong? No. Their motor, still at full throttle. The
wheel locked to the left.
My Pulse quickened. And in the brief time it took me to reach the
cove there was only one left.

Unknown said...

He sat rubbing his bloodied hands, replaying the events that led Sarah and Elle to be wheeled away on a gurney. The text was brief, “thanks again,” but the impact caused the car to roll three times.
“Mr. Franklin, may we talk,” the doctor asked interrupting the father’s purgatory.
“Your daughters are lucky to be alive; mild concussions.”
His heart quickened. “They’re ok?”
“Come with me.”
He entered the treatment room and fell to his knees. Scooping them up, he smelled their hair and felt their warm breath on his neck.
“Love you, daddy,” they said as he sobbed.

John Frain said...

Sobriety arrived quickly when Hunter saw opportunity at the door. Welcomed Private Investigator Lyons. “Tea?”


“Some cake maybe?” A little foreplay.

“No, thanks. I’m stuffed.”

Under his breath, Hunter wheezed. “Oh, getting a little ahead of yourself.”

Lyons sipped his tea. Said he was searching for two missing people, last seen nearby, maybe Hunter knew something.

Hunter shook his head, mentally measured the man. Saw him as a solid fit in the parlor.

“Tea gives a taste of almonds,” Lyons said before falling asleep in the taxidermist’s chair, near the parlor where he’d spend the rest of his days.

Kae Ridwyn said...

Daddy, quick - watch me slide! Whee!
Sally, four. All giggles, sloppy ice-cream kisses.

Daddy, please may I have Jaimee over to play?
My daughter, nine. Nudges and whispered secrets.

Daddy, I love you. Father’s Day, thirteen. No more under-the-table cubbyhouses…

My own car? Thank you, Daddy! Squeals; hugs of gratitude.

An aisle; a walk; a bride on my arm. Tears, threatening, choked back. My heart too big for my chest.

These memories should be treasured forever.

But they’re ones I’ll never have.

The tiny limp body in my arms? My Sally?

I curse the day brie was created.

Me said...

The wheels in the woman's mind are spinning. She's wasting her brief window of opportunity. She's usually quicker than this.

Maybe she should leave.

But the nanny's not looking. She's still tending to the other kid.

"He's sad, because he has no one to play with," the woman tells the boy. "He needs you, honey."

She shows him a picture she printed off the Internet. The puppy looks sad on it.

Bingo. The kid's mind just changed, she can see it.

She opens the passenger door and the boy climbs in. She starts the van and drives away with him.

Anonymous said...

“Don’t cha just hate all the wordplay?” Pencil said to Computer.

“Not when she writes about mayhem and murder! The twists and quick wit—can’t wait! Is she coming?”

“How do I know? You have the better view!”

“Quit wheeping. Take a look at this, it’s fantastic!”

“For a computer you sure are dumb. It’s “weeping” or “whining”, not “wheeping!”

“Damn autocorrect!”

The screen flickered briefly. Words appeared.

“Watch out, Computer, Cat’s loose and heading this way!”

Cat jumped onto the desktop and pounced on the keyboard. “She’ll blame you ya know.” His tail wagged, tapping Computer’s blank blue screen.

Lennon Faris said...

Shit. Paper cut to the quick. Only thumb he had. Kid was bad luck.
He gripped the balcony, overlooking the night city.
Whole thing’d gone way smooth: girl play with dolls on porch, man take girl quietly, man get rich. But he coulda sworn that grandma smiled through the screen. Gut-wrenching stomach ache since.
Carter entered, licking brie off one thumb, thumbing towards the pen. Spiteful dick. “Those the ugliest damn dolls I ever seen.”
Dolls… Dizzy. Shi--

“Nana, may slide? Ya, Baba.” She fisted a doll with no thumb to the edge, flicking him over. “Wheeeeeee.”

Where There's A Quill said...

It’s a quick trip, Tim. Go. Make peace.

Sure. “Quick”. Like twelve steps was nothing.

Well, I'm here now, and not sure what I'm supposed to feel besides thirsty.

There’s a teddy tied to the streetlight. Looks loved. The kid’s, maybe. I press the Play Me heart on its belly but the battery’s going.

Just another death wheeze to remember.

Sobriety hurts then heals, Tim. You'll see.

I see a lot now. Like the difference between red and green.

Yeah. I see now.

Took twelve steps to reach this curb. One more will finish this right.

Red means go, yeah?

Anonymous said...

“Quick, hide them in there.”

“Are you out of your mind?”

“They are going to be here any second.”

“This may come as a surprise to you, but I know that!”

“Put them under that wheel of brie, they’ll never find them there.”

Sally looked over at her husband, her face froze in horror. Her eyes flew to a fleck of black, clinging to the edge of David’s lips.

Then they came. The fading sound of hope playing in Sally’s head.

“Mom, Dad, have you seen the Oreos anywhere?”

David looked up.

“Hey Dad, what’s that on your mouth?”

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Never married and without children, May lived with her parents until their faces faded to forgotten.
Though she lived alone, May playfully called herself, “the crazy cat lady”.
No one else did. They called her, “shelter queen”.
In her lifetime May cared for thousands of cats. They became her friends, her family and her children. Some stayed briefly until they returned home. Others scattered to warm beds belonging to strangers.
And then May needed shelter.
The wheezing, fatal for the heart, happened quickly. A pitiful wail painted the night sky black. When cat’s cry, May turns to June.