Saturday, November 05, 2016

The Extra Hour writing contest!

you have an extra hour on Sunday to write!

how about you spend them on a flash fiction entry?

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 nose/noses is fine but nose/noise 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 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: 7pm Saturday 11/5/16 (EDT)

Contest closes: 7pm Sunday 11/6/16 (EST)

If you're wondering what time is it in New York?

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!


oh no, too late! contest closed.


Shaunna said...

November’s always the same: burning leaves, missing Ma, and rubbing my own nose in it. Seems like the sycamore grows twice as much foliage now she’s gone. And me left to rake and burn it all, just for spite.
Her old cat climbs out on a limb, twitching its tail. Stares at me like it knows. Pshaw! Dumb beast wouldn’t know goodbye from hello. Not the first time I’ve finished a job while it looked on.
I guess I should have sent it with her, though. Good fertilizer’s costly, and the maple’s starting to droop like I don’t know what.

Unknown said...

“Cat’s Noses and Tails. Burrrlinda speaking.”

“My tiger needs a new tail.”

“Okeydokey. What happened?”

“Long story.”

“Got an extra hour to spare.”

“Fine. He lost it during a stare down with my panther.”

“You have a panther?”

“Yes, my Aunt Tabby thought Fred needed a friend.”


“My tiger.”

“What’s your panther’s name?”


“Like purple dinosaur?”

“No, the Flintstones.”

“Okay. I’m following you.”

“Anyway, Fred thought Barney was real like him and refused to blink even though his tail caught fire.”

“OMG!!! You have a live tiger?”



CynthiaMc said...

"Hell of a fire," Chief said.

"Who do you think started it?" Benny asked.

"Couldn't've been the wife. She was at work - came screaming at us to save that cat."

Pudgy stared...blinked.

"Not the husband."

The air tasted of soot.

"Ya think the cat did it?"

"Don't see how."

It was easy, Pudgy thought. Bastard drank himself to sleep, Cuban cigar burning.

Paw flick - whiskey bottle - oopsie.

Tail flick - cigar - whiskey - WHOOSH!

Pudgy yowled himself hoarse until the firemen came.

Alayna kissed him on the nose.

"Thank you," she whispered.

"You're welcome," Chief said.

Pudgy purred.

Steve Forti said...

Grinch stared at the TV, no sense to be found there.
Just candidates lying, or trying to spread fear.
The pundits, the scandals, the soundbites a-plenty.
And those that dropped out are now prepping for ‘twenty.
When out catching breath (for he found the Hill airy),
Some Trumpets were blowing, and made him feel wary.
So up on Mount Crumpet, he detailed some smitin’.
“I’ll steal all their ballots, and fill ‘em with write-ins.”
They said that to end it, “you’ll just have to vote us.”
But Grinch thought that he’d make one hell of a POTUS.

Heather Villa said...

“What a catastrophe. You were actually misdiagnosed with a fatal disease?”

“If I’d known I’d live another two decades I never would’ve stared down death, cashed in my retirement, and hightailed it to Venice.”

“Twenty years ago you came here to die?”

“Hello, I came to live.”

“But you’d been told you were going to die.”

“Exactly. The first day I rode a gondola until midnight. The second day I walked cobblestone streets and found a cafĂ©, ate buttered scallops. The thir-”

“You remember what you’ve done every single day?”

“Of course, and on the eight-thousandth day, I met you.”

Jennifer Delozier said...

"Hell or high water, Betty?" He pats the painted wing of his F-14 Tomcat and climbs aboard.

At Ha Long Bay,
It's bombs away.
Stare the Viet Cong in the eye.


Beth Carpenter said...

I stare at the quote. “That much?”

“Stop caterwauling.” Her eyes flick toward the waitress. “Miss Nosey’s eavesdropping.”

I lower my voice. “This better work. My reputation is on the line.”

“It’ll work.”

She’s smug. I hate smug. But I have to trust her if I want to maintain my title. “Let’s do it.”


“Say, three-fifteen.” Right when that wannabe should cut into the fancy cake she insisted on baking. Hello. Nobody’s gonna be looking at a cake when a pony shows up with a bow on its tail.

That’ll teach her to challenge my position as Favorite Grandma.

Kate Higgins said...

5 AM
by Cedar (Translation by Kate)

"meowmew!" (Hello gorgeous, good morning!)

"chitt merpt, yowll mew meooow" (There was a bad human in the kitchen...)
[repetative tail switch]

"Merpt, yowll schhhhhh growl, hiss chitt yawp grrripp" (I threatened him, then outstared him, then re-arranged his face.)

"Permuurpt mew, mow chitt chitt prrr." (Don't worry, he left in a hurry.)

"Merrrit, meeeow merppa grrr chhhhh meowwww yowl." (Sorry, about that nose on the floor...)

"Errt phist groew MmeeeAahwww. (...luckily the scattered blood missed my Empty Dish.)

"Yoowll Meeeoooow yow" (By the way, it's time to eat)

"Purrrr- urrr Purrrrrrrr" (self explanatory)

Lennon Faris said...

“Why, hello, Catherine,” I whisper, lifting eyelids to check her pupils. “What ails you today?”

She doesn’t answer, just stares at me through closed lids as I prep her injection. Her monitors tick-tock away: smooth, oscillating heart rate, steady blood pressure.

“You don’t remember me?” I stroke a limp curl off her nose. “Senior year, catwalk,” I prompt. The EKG picks up.

Shaking, I find the port on her IV. “Betchya never thought I’d be a nurse. Or you, here.” I insert the needle, leaning close. “Today,” –that curl trembles with my words– “I forgive you.”

I plunge the needle.

Anonymous said...

“No. Seriously?” Hannah points to me and Kat, and the sundae between us. Two spoons. One bowl.

I swallow. “Hello to you, too.”

“You said this was over.”

A couple across the room stares. I slouch, wishing I could melt like the syrupy mountain before me. “It’s not … it’s sugar free.”

“What about the hot fudge? And the M&Ms?” Hannah gives me her tailored Jake’s-a-moron look. “You want to wind up catatonic?”

I scowl. “No.”

“Then scoot. And give me that.” She grabs my spoon.

“No. Seriously?”

I’m not diabetic.” Sister dearest digs in.

Megan V said...

Tap. Tap Tap.
The window rattles beneath my nail, its heron-shaped crack taking flight across the double pane. The glass is cool, the room dark.
“Hello?” I whisper. “Are you there?”
Katie doesn’t answer.
Katie never does.
She has no voice. I should think she’d like to have a voice. I’m sure there’d be no serener sound. As I stare at tattered books, my window friend sneaks in as quiet as a cat. We press palms.
“Katie? Mrs. Hammond says she doesn’t know what ails me, but she’ll take me. I think this is goodbye.”
Tears drip down Katie’s cheek.

RosannaM said...

A hoarder’s paradise, my brother’s house.
Books floor to ceiling

Papers everywhere
The devil’s in the details.

Hidden in plain sight, he said.
More like a needle in a haystack.

I imagine him thumbing his nose at me,
But come hell or high water,
Make no bones about it
I will find the bearer bond

After hours, at wit’s end
I abandon ship.

As cops arrive
I hold the smoking gun,

A thousand yard stare.

My brother laughs all the way to the bank,
Like a cat who swallowed the canary.

I’m left holding the bag.


Dena Pawling said...

CAT – After midnight comes the social worker. One suitcase for 12 years' possessions. Cole leaves his mom. His dad. His cat Lucky. Tears for Lucky. Goodbye.

NOSE – First placement. Cole wrinkles his nose. Pine-Sol. Foster care - a disease to eradicate. No tears. Goodbye.

TAIL – Second placement. The revolving door. Cole's portion, the tail end of everything – clothes, food, sleeping accommodations. No tears. Goodbye.

STARE – Third placement. Three strikes you're out, or three times the charm? The lady embraces Cole. “I'm so glad you're here. Welcome home.” He stares – smiling lady, purring kitten.


Unknown said...

It wasn't that anyone was surprised by her failure, so much as amazed by the wanton destruction. Even then, her actions might have been overlooked, if not for the banana.
Normally, she’d despise details like the Merlot on her toes, but the rising water would rinse it away. No sense wasting good food either. The nice china was no longer nice. A pity.

He stared at the dripping cat.
The cat stared back.
“Maybe she’ll like plain nut bread. And takeout,” he muttered.

Demand me nothing. What you know, you know, she purrs her Iago to his Othello.

Just Jan said...

Jake was a pumpkin pie dog, with a rich brindled coat that always smelled sweet as if he spent all his time rolling in spices instead of dead animals. Hello Kitty was a one-eyed ghost of a cat, often sporting a mouse tail or bit of frog stuck to his nose, with a knack for turning up whenever I needed him.

I cried when I relinquished them, their mournful eyes full of reproach. The shelter staff stared, two bloody days later, when I sprung them. Together, we left town with a beat-up Mazda and Dan in a shallow grave.

Mallory Love said...

I never thought of prison as a person before. But iron bars and locks have nothing on a ball and chain.

She stares me down across the table.

"Hello darling. It's been a while." Her velvet voice scrapes my ears.

I pinch the bridge of my nose. "What do you want? The divorce's practically finalized."

"An insignificant detail." Her hand glides over mine. My jaw grinds.

"What's the catch?" There's always one.

"More like a pitch." She smirks.

Her father's will appears. Ten million is listed next to grandchild.

I meet her gaze and add eighteen years to my sentence.

Unknown said...

My favorites:
~Aurora borealis


Cat stared sensually at his tail, nose meandering my succulent hands. Hello dinner! I sequestered him so I could stare at the aurora borealis for incoming aliens.

They surprised me, sequestering in the cattails, licking the succulent stems, their antennae meandering my body, then halting to stare at my nose. “Hello,” they seemed to say with sensual movements of their eye. Weirdly, the aurora borealis stopped moving.

Cat squealed, borealis moved, aliens disappeared. So did cat.

Angel Lanphere said...

“Hello,” my date said.

Makeup couldn't conceal her acne nor her massive nose. I stared at the latter.

A bell dinged to signal rotation. More women came and went, all wore a flaw.

At the tail end of the session, I found one. A great catch, really. My eyes roamed over her face but no imperfections could be found. Her skin was perfect.

I talked her into my bed with ease. Revealing I was a surgeon hastened her no doubt.
Instead of a condom, I withdrew my scalpel.

Within minutes I displayed her porcelain face next to the others.

Holden Sheppard said...


The cathedral is empty when I arrive. A nun is extinguishing the candles; strong incense curls in the air, coiling around my nose.

The nun glances up. Sees me. ‘Hoping to catch the tail end, were you, dear? The service finished early, I’m afraid.’

I stare past her, mumble something. Twenty years since I set foot in a bloody church. Twenty years since I felt safe coming back to this town.

The nun coughs. ‘He was a good man. Take your time to say goodbye.’

Good man my arse. This isn’t goodbye, lady. It’s hello.

Colin Smith said...

It had been eight hours. Vladimir stared at the robot, willing it to run out of power, or paint. But it continued its task, which entailed lathering the walls with a nasty green-yellow color that looked like cat vomit. Vlad’s nose was numb; his brain pounded against his skull; his gag reflexes spasmed. Not that he could do anything to ease the pain. Tied to his chair, he was forced to endure the robot from hell on his mad decorating spree, while the fumes ate away at his sanity.

The intercom crackled.

"Mr. Koronoff, are you ready to talk yet?"

Linda Strader said...

Cat stares at nose: Hello? Why are you sleeping? It’s time to feed me.

Not right now. Go away. Rolling over.

More staring. Feed me.

Not now, go away. Rolling over.

Paw poking. Feed me.

Not now, go away. Rolling over.

Tail end to nose. Feed me.

Time to feed the cat.

french sojourn said...

After tailing this dame for hours, we ended up at the Brown Derby. I took my usual catbird seat in the shadows and waited. Al came by and dropped off a Martini, as I matched a Lucky and took a draw.
“Hello Truth, working?”
“That tall drink of water over there, arguing with her ex.”
Al stared at her, let out a low whistle, then left.

She walked over to me, and every guy’s eyes ate each step.
“Hey brother, keep your nose outta my business.”
“Don’t tell me my business, sister.”
“Fine, then tell ma to leave me be.”

John Davis Frain said...

He claimed success with a monkey and cat last year.

“Hello, friends.” Dr. Newton, quantum physics specialist, stared at his guests. “Welcome to my time machine. We’re all locked in here together. I suggest you hold tight when I begin the demonstration.”

Gerhardt Schmidt nosed forward. “Are you mad?”

Tommy Flynn scoffed. “Newcomers! If his parties weren’t so awesome, I wouldn’t be here twice a year.”

Newton pulled the switch. “We’re off! Back in time to oh-two-hundred! Mwahahahaha!”

Lights flashed!

Frau Schmidt dropped her cocktail. Fainted.

Flynn caught her. “Don’t worry, the machine works for everyone. It’s daylight saving time.”

Marie McKay said...

'Hello! Have you seen a kitten anywhere?'
Her curls bounce as she shakes her head.
'Black. White tail. Name's Fluffy.'
Cute name for a fictitious pet; she's smitten already. 'Would you help me find her?'
'Sorry, I'm due home.'
'She might be hurt. Please!'

I run into the woods; giving her no option but to follow.

Eventually, I stop pretending.
Stare at her. Her curls.
No self-respecting adult shows fear, but her scream scatters the birds quicker than a cat would've done.

Once she's dead, I simply walk away. I'm a 9 year-old-girl. Who's concerned about me?

Steph Ellis said...

Cat’s eyes stared up accusingly. Traffic was nose to tail. Jude was going nowhere fast. Fed up travellers got out and wandered around. Jude ducked down in his seat.

His heart sank as the driver of the car in front pulled out a copy of ‘Hello’ magazine, studied the cover picture and laughed. Then he’d looked back at Jude. Clicked. Had run to the next car, pointed to the photo, then to Jude. An action repeated again and again until Jude was surrounded by a laughing, jeering crowd. Fame had its downsides, especially in a traffic jam.

Anonymous said...

“You shouldn’t—”

Juicy steak!

Come-hither stare hello

All for me??

Nose wriggles

No smell. Oh well!

Tail wags

Here goes!

Body hurtles joyfully through air at TV

“—have done that,” said the cat.

Unknown said...

The flight from the Middle East had me jet lagged. I’d relaxed enough two hours into my five hour layover to doze.
“Where’s your leg?”
A pig-tailed girl stood staring, too young to understand personal space.
“Hello,” I said shaking off sleep, “I lost it.”
“Lost?” Her eyes widened.
“Cat, don’t be nosey.” Her mother tugged the girl across the aisle and onto her lap.
“It got hurt in the war. I’m getting a new one.”
“Oh,” she said then smiled.
“Thank you,” the mother said.
“No problem, I have kids too.”
“No, thank you for your service and sacrifice.”

Sherry Howard said...

The cattails swayed with the rhythm of the breeze.

A tiny nose peered through and stared at the house
It was hard to know what the reaction would be to her surprise.

She thought this was a good one, especially if she waited for the perfect moment to present it.

She’d worked so hard to get this one.

The car finally pulled in the driveway.

When the car door opened, she pounced from the marshes and presented her writhing black and red snake to the woman she loved.

The last words she heard were, “Hello, kitty girl. . .”

Unknown said...

Gangsta reading club start noon sharp. Chili know that. But here he, nose against my window, them bleary, junkie eyes: Gots to get my read on.
I feel him, but I's mad. Darcy up to some sh-t with that lyin'-ass Whickam. Now Chili gone make me bookmark? F-ck him.
Still. One cure for what ails.
Chain on, I stare my hello.
Chili eyes watering. Finally, "Can't be reading on your stoop, man."
True dat. Hell out there. Catch ya? Mm!
"Got books?"
Paperbacks from them baggy jeans...
Zhivago, Catcher, Mockingbird.
Scout'd let Boo in. Scout got heart.
"A'ight. No selfies."

Craig F said...

Her missing church decided it. I walked over to check on her. I opened the door and was greeted by her cat. I said “Hello” eight or ten times with no answer.

The cat’s bowl was empty so I poured in some crunchies. He ignored it and turned away. As he passed the sliders I saw that he was covered with gore from head to tail. He sauntered into the bedroom.

I followed and was met with a glassy stare that screamed of death. I took a step forward and the cat hissed as I interrupted his meal.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

“And if that kitty-cat don’t meow, momma’s gonna buy you a purple cow…”

Verse 99. 4 AM.

“And if that purple cow won’t moo, and you’re still crying, I’ll cry with you.

And if to sleep we cannot go, we’ll jump into a volcano.”

Seven hours. Oliver’s eyes twisted red, mine a blank stare.

“And when that lava eats us two, God’ll send an angel to carry you.”

God, I could use a cocktail. Rum, vodka, arsenic.

“And while that angel carries you well, God will send me to burn in hell.”

Olly smiled, hiccuped, and went to sleep.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Peeling shrimp on a rainy evening, casement window cranked open.
First two staring yellow eyes, a nose pressed against the glass.
Whiskers atwitch, mottled brown fur soggy and clumped,
The coon cat landed in the sink and yowled hello.
Grabbed a shrimp, and with a flick of his tail, ate.

DLM said...


Frantic. "Attitude--flight attitude malfunction! tailspin!"

She'd never seen the controls like this. Stared, time stopped. This was death.

She had trained, she knew what to do. Just over mach 7 when the rocket malfunctioned--now approaching 4. She'd lost less than ten thousand feet and the port aileron. She compensated. She breathed. She held, hard. She compensated again.

The mountains rose up as if to greet the craft. The world twisted, a yaw she had never felt, the roar obliterating all other senses.

The gates were really all pearls.

Hello …”

Michael Seese said...

“His afterlife is hell. Or so I'm told.”

Yes. An eternity cleaning the litter box of Schrödinger's cat.

So it began. I’d grown weary of their battailous bickering. One acts like he knows everything. The other, like he doesn't give a damn.

“We offer tranquility.”

Translation: boredom.

“Most people are happy to see me.”

Most are high on angel dust.


You'll hand him a harp. He studied piano.

“See what he's doing?” He's trying to…”

The bitch war between God and Satan faded out. As it always did. I put away the gun, and decided to try again tomorrow.

Manda Zim said...

The dusty roadside gravel dug into my back as I stared at the bobbing cattails. My car burned nearby. Acrid smoke seared my nose and coated my tongue in foulness.

“He'll owe you one,” I muttered. What was I thinking accepting a job for future favours. “He's no better than an armadillo without a shell. Absofuckinglutely useless.”

I groaned and pushed myself to my feet. My hand reflexively checked for the bulge in my jacket.

“Get moving Alice. You got IDs to burn and a fucking armadillo to see about bad intel and one hell of a favour.”

The Noise In Space said...

I’ve watched her sleep every night since she came home from the hospital. Four years now. Hell, only four? It feels like a lifetime.

There’s something cathartic about the rhythmic rise and fall of her chest. Her pretty little nose twitches as I stare at her face, aglow in the moonlight.

3 am. I should get some sleep myself. I get up from the rocker and start putting everything back into place-- stuffed elephant on the nightstand, pink blanket draped over the chair.

The devil’s in the details.

Wouldn’t want her parents to start locking the windows, too.

Anonymous said...

"No seances," Joel insisted. But Lydia got her way. So seven people sat in darkness, holding hands, trying to contact Annette, the woman Joel had secretly murdered.

And when Annette appeared Joel pretended to be glad. Tina, however, did not. She and Annette had always hated each other, never mind the details. They had had many vicious catfights over the years.

"Hello, skank," Tina said. "I'm glad you're dead!"

"Silence," Lydia demanded. "Annette, who killed you?"

Joel would've run, but Annette stared at Tina, said, "Her. Tina killed me."

Joel was actually not surprised.

Unknown said...

“Hello?! Stop that caterwauling, you hear me Bobbie?” Momma hollert out the screen door and stared down the night.

Me and Icky, but mostly me, was smart. We knowed better’n to go get caught by Momma.

Afeared, Icky whimpered so I let fly another catcall. You’d a sweared I yelled “catnip” ‘cause man oh man did cats come a runnin’. Noses sniffin’, tails a dancin’, they swarmed us like flies at a BBQ.

Momma ripped right through the screen, bug-eyed and crazy barkin’.

Me, Icky, and the rest of the cats skedaddled licked-y split.

“Better luck next time, Momma dawg!”

Claire Bobrow said...

“Shit!” sneezed Stavros, catching a whiff of overcooked egg.
His avgolemono – separated and stinking– bubbled furiously outside the judge’s line of sight.

Fucking recipe!

But his new girlfriend had left for the weekend, an implied threat trailing her Manolos: “Impress the judge, or kiss me goodbye.”

The judge was mercurial, hard to please, but who didn’t like soup?

Stavros stared at his remaining supplies. A tin of sardines swam into view.
Soup. Sardines. Blender?

Trembling, Stavros placed the catastrophic result in front of the judge.

Mittens was not impressed.
Her tail twitched once, twice, three times:
“You’ve. Been. Chopped.”

Unknown said...

"Hello, anyone there?", she whispered.

The unexpected snap of twigs startled Mariah. Of course, she wasn't accustomed to visiting graveyards on frigid January nights. Her nerves were tattered.

"Just a cat", she told herself.

She knew the Original Poe Toaster stopped visiting in 1998. His son who carried on the tradition, last visited in 2009. No more roses, no more cognac.

When she was diagnosed, she knew this was her last chance to take part in the family tradition.

She imagined their reunion in detail, each wearing a wide-brimmed hat and white scarf, donning an all-knowing stare.

Karen McCoy said...

A breakup.
A heart scattered.

An email.
A nose out of joint.

A meeting.
Accusing stares.

A chance.
A tailored dye job.

A ticket.
A night full of hellos.

Celia Reaves said...

Hank could see no searchers, but he knew they were on his tail. He wouldn't be safe until he crossed the border. Which way? If only the cell network still worked. Or GPS. He could remember location services, but it seemed so long ago. He squinted at the clouds and decided they were brighter in one direction. East? A reasonable guess. He turned 90 degrees and started walking.

It was evening when he surprised another man on the trail. Hank raised his hands cautiously. "Hello," he said. "I'm American."

The man smiled. "Bonjour."

Hank relaxed. It would be okay.

Kat Curran said...

The big cat stalked his unsuspecting victim. Not wanting to be spotted, he settled onto his haunches. Drew in the fresh scent of ignorance through his nose. Felt his fur prickle all the way to his tail. And waited. His stare intent. Pupils narrowed to mere paper cuts as the tension in his legs turned his back end to stone. Hello, he wiggled his butt. Wake up.

It was close.

He lunged.

The fly never stood a chance. Job well done, the cat curled up in the center of the bed in a spot of sunshine for an afternoon siesta.

RachelErin said...

Halloween is super important when you’re new. The costume contest is a chance to show you’re pretty and interesting.

“A transfigured McGonagall would be clever.” momspeak for not sexy
“How about the Cat-in-the-Hat?” For real, Dad?
Compromise: a necomini, made of three thrift store runs, brainwave ears and a homemade tail.

Welcome to the Hell-o-ween dance!

Dump the extra layers in the bathroom.

“Sooooo creative, sooo cute.” From the eighth grade girls!!!!

“Is that tail real?” Stare back at them, down your nose. Flirting? I’ll laugh, J-I-C.

“Let’s check.” Maybe a joke hiss?

Costume contest entrant withdrawn.

Timothy Lowe said...

“Catch a tiger by the tail –“

“It’s toe.”

“Shut up. Now I gotta start over.”

Red wire, green. Red wire, green. A drop of sweat pooled on Kratz’s nose.

“Less than a minute.”

“Shut up.”

“Why’d you use an analog clock?”

Kratz hissed. He was good at bombs. Very good. It would take out the bank as planned, a vast area besides. But his timing was…well, unfortunate. Locked in vault 3pm Friday. Doors electronically open 9am Monday. It should have been easy.

“Hell, only forty-five minutes till nine.”

Kratz closed his eyes. Fucking daylight savings.

“Eenie meenie miney moe…”

Fran Piper said...

Alex sloshes out of the cattail swamp. His nose is sunburned, his ponytail is damp and stringy, and his clothes are covered in slime. He looks as happy as I’ve ever seen him. I grin as he hands me the samples for the lab – it’s been a good morning.

Then she storms across the field. His wife, in a suit and four inch heels, beautiful and only a little mud-spattered. She stares at him and taps her watch. “Hello?” she says. “Lunch? An hour ago?”

All the joy drains from his face.

Behind her back, I kick dirt at her.

Gabby said...

“Hello, boy.” The voice cut through the night like a cat o’nine tails slices through flesh. Sudden and piercing.

He tried to run, but a fist found his nose and sent him sprawling into the dirt.

“Please,” he pleaded, spitting the grit from his teeth. The eyes that stared down at him were merciless voids.

“Whatsa matta, massah?” The voice hissed at him through the blackness. “You scared of a little dark?”

RKeelan said...

Susurrafax lowered his head and wrinkled his nose. "Hello there."

The intruder stared back defiantly. He had a thimble-helmet pulled low to his eyes, a bottle-cap-buckler strapped to his arm, and an xacto-sword held before him.

"My name is August St-George," he said. "Today, you meet your doom."

Susurrafax swished his tail then padded away. Metal foes were not to his liking.

St-George followed.

They stopped in front of a bowl piled high with food.

"Tribute, delivered daily," Susurrafax said.

He indicated a nearby contraption of wood and cheese and metal wire bent at right angles.

"And there is yours."

LynnRodz said...


Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

You stare at the blank screen waiting for the words to come.


Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

A story she says.

A waste of time, your story's never chosen.


No, subjective.

Hell, one loves what you write. Another hates it.



Hallelujah! A story.


A new day.

What looked good at night,

not in the morning.


Hours slip by.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock.


Time running out.

You shouldn't have deleted.




This is what ails a writer.

Sara Halle said...

It's no secret that colonizing the galaxy isn't for the weak. So after a freak storm on Calliope Colony swallowed me whole, I tried to tough it out.
That was before hell occupied my stomach and I experienced expanding patches of vesicated skin.
Unable to terraform, I went to sickbay. Soon, my alien doctor had a diagnosis. "You're pregnant, Casey."
"That's impossible."
"I assure you it's true," the doctor said.
I stared at her, in shock. "But I'm a human male."
She tilted her head. "That could explain why there's another anomaly."
"Which is?"
"Your baby has a tail."

Janice Grinyer said...

He knew the millisecond the bullet left the gun that this was a huge mistake.

He nosed her body with his rifle, turning her over. No movement. She stared up at him, eyes lifeless yet accusing. Now he knew how Othello felt.

It should have worked out. He was a lonely bachelor; she a loving spirit. They had spent so many sweet nights together, why couldn’t she curtail her outside desires? Why couldn’t he stop her?

She didn’t want to stop.

Damn cat. She should have left the chickens alone.

Unknown said...

She sits patiently in front of the door, staring at the handle, flicking her tail in anticipation.
Every morning Janet, the human, leaves for work at 8:55, claiming the she’s running late, and every evening she comes home at 5:30, exhausted.
Tonight feels different, she’s running late.
The door finally opens, but it isn’t Janet coming to greet her.
“Hello, Mittens,” the woman says. It’s Janet’s sister, she’s crying, her nose is running, “Oh something terrible has happened.”
In her hand is a note that reads, “I can’t do this anymore. I’m so sorry. Take care of my cat.”

Unknown said...

Wonderful news! Marvin from wants to publish me. “Hello, beautiful,” he says, seductively. “Sign here and have no fear.”

What do others say about this outfit? Hmmm. Marvin’s like a cat, sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong. Twitching his tail, he stares, ready to pounce.

Wait a second. That email looks fishy. What’s in the email header? Is somebody impersonating Marvin? A whois lookup matches the sender’s IP Address with a Russian domain name. Seems the spear phishers are out in force today.

Nice try, comrade. Find yourself another drone. Better yet, hack the Democrats on your own.

Kregger said...

Hell-o-cat litter, thought the dog as he glanced at the bird, sitting on its perch. I wanted to read the Star Extra before Ma lined the ornitho-moron's cage with it. What’s my horoscope with Mars rising and Venus in retrograde?

Crap! He launched a chew toy at the Macaw. That should put him in a tailspin.

The front door burst open.

In charged “Nos effer-atu,” the infamous Sicilian gangster.

“The devil will get you,” said the Macaw.

“Ef the devil,” said Nos.

The dog growled.

“W-who’s that?”

“Meet the devil.”

After dinner, the dog asked the bird, “You reading that?”

Peggy said...

My brother's been catatonic ever since he decided to stick his fat nose into Lucky Luciano's business. Everybody wants to be a hero.

Still, I decide to tail Lucky for a day or two, see what I can see.

I see it all; he never sees it coming.

I'm used to men who stare, but it's usually at the DDs. Lucky's staring at the .22.

"You look just like your brother," he says, after finally looking at my face.

"Yeah," I say. The bullet says hello.

Amy Johnson said...

"NO, SEnora. Sorry."

The last person on my floor. Nobody's seen Whiskers. Left the door open just a second, and out he flew like a bat out of HELL. Only kitty that's ever run away from me.

Open my door, heartbroken. Flash of fur! Where'd they go? Look around the apartment. The reST ARE gone! WhaT AILs them?

What's that smell? Tuna? Follow my nose. Next floor up. A shark-shaped door knocker?

"Pardon me, ma'am. Have you seen--" My purring princes! Couldn't resist homemade kitty treats.

Cuddling in 4-C AT last. Woman was nice. Sure had lots of books.

EBRohde said...

“Am I never to ask a question?” Her apologetic opening gambit whistled softly in his ear, a bull-whip’s tail uncurling toward supersonic. A stealthy Napoleonic assault offered up to negligible effect, delivering all the entertaining charm of an outflanked mouse desperately deploying a vacant, unaffected stare in an effort to head-feint a fat, pouncing cat. The involuntarily corruption of her already disapproving pout, slams squinting eyes into crinkled nose, letting slip the telepathic hello, telegraphing the inevitability of a slowly tightening noose. Mercifully oblivious to his stealthy unpinning, the suicidal grenade clatters in, “What exactly would you like to know?”