Friday, August 18, 2017

The Tweet Contest!

Tweet by David Kedson is hilarious.

To celebrate publication, let's have a contest.
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: lad/lady is ok, but lad/laid 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: 9am (EDT) Saturday 8/19/17

Contest closes: 9am (EDT) Sunday 8/20/17

Check the time carefully. Comments may be open before the contest is, or after it closes.
Those comments will be zapped and not considered entries.

If you're wondering how what time it is in NYC right now, here's the clock

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!


Unknown said...

“Come on, hurry it up!” he said.

She set the queen down on the chess board. It wobbled unsteadily.

He smiled and reached for the rook.

Her eyes widened and she went to snatch the still-rocking piece.

“Hey!” he snapped, pressing the piece firmly against the board to steady it. “Take your beak off the piece, that’s the end of the turn. You know that.”

News to me,” she squawked. “News to me.”

“Don’t give me that, Lady,” he said, marking the move on his game form.

The parrot let out an indignant tweet and ruffled her feathers.

Craig F said...

“What did I do now?”
“Nothing that I know of, you got something to confess lad?”
“No, the tweet.”
“Next time I’ll put out a press release to say I would be late for our chess match. What was wrong with the tweet?”
“It said you were mad.”
“How did you get that?”
“The grammar.”
“I realize the crap I write is really downmarket pap but it doesn’t mean I don’t know what grammar is.”
“News flash, contrary to popular, over thirty, beliefs, grammar progresses. In twitter speak, a period denotes anger.”

Unknown said...

The dragonling's hungry tweets turned to shrieks, then garbles, as Castine pressed her blade into its tender throat.

Another three-chambered heart went still.

Castine withdrew her sword and watched the hatchling's blood join its siblings' in soiling their chess grass nest. The sight sank her laden heart into her gut.

New Southpeak was safe though. From the next generation anyway.

Wiping the flat of her blade against her thigh, Castine turned to leave. But a shadow passed over her, despite a cloudless sky.

Ma had come home early.

Claire Bobrow said...

Sylvester @dinnerbell 3m
Hey @eatsh*t - Game on. Chess board ready & pawn in motion. Your move!
#catsrule #amplotting

Tweety @eatsh*t 2m
Press release @dinnerbell: every move is my move. U can kiss my feathered a**

Sylvester @dinnerbell 1m
Ladder’s at the birdcage, dude. Pot pie recipe locked and loaded @eatsh*t

Tweety @eatsh*t 45s
Breaking news @dinnerbell. I be cool singin’ and swingin’. But I tawt I taw a

Sylvester @dinnerbell 30s
Broom! WTF with ur old lady, dude?! @eatsh*t

Tweety @eatsh*t 10s
@dinnerbell - I be like

[GIF unavailable]


Sylvester @dinnerbell 1s
Thufferin’ thuccotash! @eatsh*t

BJ Muntain said...

Sign above bar: "NO FISTICUFFS. Chessboard in back."

As the bartender wiped the clean bar cleaner, a massive gladiator came from the back room. He gave the code, "Tweet," his voice rough as his clothing.

Bartender reached under the bar. "You won?"

"Yeah. Kept pressing me, but I pressed back harder."

"Clean up?"

"Yeah. All the pieces. You need a new sign."


"Board's ruined. Covered with brains. Guess I pressed too hard."

"Brains clean off. Usual fee."

Gladiator bristled. "Play chess for it?"

"Nope. I keep my piece under the bar. The Queen-maker."

Gladiator nodded, paid, and left.

Anonymous said...

Late night. Almost early morning.
The fabric he's sewing will be her skin. The bright blue buttons on the table he'll dip in glue and press on to her face; they'll be her eyes. He has a store-bought dress and brand new shoes for her. He'll finish by giving her his own heart, which she will break when she runs off with a strapping young lad from the village like her sisters before her. But he tries not to think about that yet. For now he sews. Birds wake up, begin to chirp and tweet. He continues to sew.

dsw said...

Gloved hands tilted the OR light. Monitors beeped, the displays lurid.

“Damn it, you oaf! Don’t make the backstitches so long! We need the sinews strong but supple!” He breathed through his pinched nose under the surgical mask. Had he ever been so incompetent?

“Sorry, Doctor.”

“Turn up the drip! The pressure’s falling!” Not now, when he was finally so close!

The vitals stabilized, and he took heart. “We etch our names in the history books tonight!” He ripped off his gloves, thinking of the accolades, and positioned the paddles.

“Clear!” 360 Joules. “Again!”

The tracing flickered, held.

“It’s ALIVE!”

Steve Forti said...

To:, Contractor
From: JParsons, Editor
Notes on your write up re: SS wannabes. Use the victim’s name. He, she, it, we, etc is too detached. We need to feel the pain. If the reader’s heart aches, something might finally get done.

From: footsoldier17
Re: New story in WaPo. (#fakenews) They’re riling the sheep against us. My route makes deliveries to their office today. What do you suggest?

To: footsoldier17

To:, Contractor
From: JParsons, Editor
Re: a-hole package boy arrested in lobby today. Highlight the crime. Leave out his name. Don’t glorify that scum.

Megan V said...

RockinRobin Hey @ladybird, welcome to Jay Bird Street.
ladybird @RockinRobin Thanks!. I’m loving the neighborhood.
RockinRobin @Ladybird You haven’t experienced the neighborhood until you’ve seen my place. You should hop by my treetop tonight. It’s going to be rockin’
ladybird @RockinRobin When?
RockinRobin @ladybird All Night Long.[GIF]
ladybird @RockinRobin Oh. Maybe some other time…
RockinRobin @Ladybird maybe tonight?
RockinRobin @ladybird #miperchessuperch
@ladybird blocked you…
RockinRobin123 don’t be like that @ladybird. All the birds love it when I tweet tweet tweet them.
ladybird @RockinRobin123 Breaking news: I’m not a bird and I’m not impressed. Bug off.
@RockinRobin and @RockinRobin123 blocked you...

Dena Pawling said...

“WNWS. All news, all ---- time.”

Dylan adjusted the knob on the above-ground antenna to clear the static, then pushed his pawn.

“President tweeted ---- press release ---- first lady.”

I took his pawn with my bishop. “Check.”

“---- fallout ---- nuclear winter ---- day 243.”

Dylan took my bishop with his queen. “Checkmate.” He marked another win on the brick wall. “Another?”

“The time ---- eight pm.”

“Naw, I'm tired of chess.” I stared longingly at the daylight window poster, then replaced it with nighttime, yawned, and dimmed the light. We unrolled our beds.

Maintaining sanity in 40 square feet requires routine.

Unknown said...

"Mama, I wanna tweet."

"I just gave you one."

"I didin see it."

"See it? You ate it. Animal cookies and a sippy cup of milk. No more treats until after supper."

"No mama, I mean I chess wanna..."

"You're pressing on my last nerve laddie boy. Go play. And give me that. I told you a thousand times, you may not play with my phone."

Then how will my ten thousand followers know what I think about the Bannon news?

Colin Smith said...

This new soil is alien
But hospitable
We plant our flag
Build our houses
Water the dirt with our sweat
We etch essence
Impress our selves
Marrow, synapse, sinew, soul
Like footprints in sand
Clear now, but later gone
Washed away by tides
Time will forget us
Save for our headstones
And pictures in cloud storage
That faceless mass of immigrants
Who knew the planet that was
The last to breathe its air
To feel the heat
Of its dying sun
People you’ll never know
Glad to be alive
To whom you’ll owe so much
Assuming we survive

You’re welcome.

Sheri M said...

As a lad Donald never played chess;
As our leader he bashes the press.
His tweets make the news
And give us the blues.
What will happen tomorrow's a guess.

Marty Weiss said...

Sylvester J. Pussycat and Tweety Bird, famous Warner Brothers cartoon characters, announce their retirement and relocation to Grey Gardens, where they will reside with Duchess Edie Bouvier and her daughter, Lady Edie Beale.
“Speaking for both my partner and myself,” Tweety said, “We have tormented, battered and bruised each other for years, but now intend to take it easy, play checkers and chess, listen to music, and share a few cocktails.”

MelSavransky said...

"News is you've found our leak," said Mr. Mulligan. "I'm impressed, lad."

"Didn't think I had the ambition?"

"Didn't think you had the brains. Some people are checkers, some chess. You're . . . tic-tac-toe."

I pulled out my gun. "I was the leak, you pompous geezer, and when the Feds read my tweets--"

He ruined the moment by laughing.

I shut him up three times.

Huh-- three holes in a row. Way I see it, doesn't matter the game, long as you're a winner.

Unknown said...

I'm glad I could share this final note before I die. The attached, technical documentation covers the mechanical process. You have an engineering mind, so you'll understand it soon enough.

Make them in batches so you can cover loss. Bones, sinews, and flesh weave together so easily. But you only need one to survive.

I remember how depressed I felt when it was my turn. It's probably how my mother felt when it was hers. You'll adjust; it's who we are, despite -- or perhaps because of -- the iterations.

Don't we etch our posterity in interesting ways?

Jason said...

Audible over the steady flow of traffic, a nearby bird tweets a ballad perfect for the occasion. Walking outside the coffee shop, I feel pressure in my chest. This isn’t newsworthy, but it sneaks up on me, as it does when you’re not expecting it. She sits, carefully placing each essential coffee supply before her. I stare at her even though we’ve played out this scene thousands of times. Even after 50 years of marriage, my wife is beautiful.

Marie McKay said...

Mom seemed to treat us like twins.
She dressed us in the same clothes; stood us on old newspapers to give us the same haircuts; tweeted photographs captioned 'Double Trouble, my Little Lads.'
I didn't mind. Sam was handsome and smart, who wouldn't want to mirror him?
I was happy, until Chessboard Day.
I didn't understand the rules. Sam complained I was hopeless, throwing the pieces to the floor. Mom pressed close to his ear, but I still heard:
'Tom's not clever like you. But that's why I love you more.'
And Sam's eyes brightened as my eyes darkened.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Golf: a game of balls.
Chess: a game of strategy.
Tweet: short communication.
Press: sour grapes in a Virginia winery for a man who does not drink.
News: Fred and Mary Anne’s lad becomes US president, (uncapitalized).
Therefore, a no balls, nonstrategic, knee-jerk responder, defined as a lower case non-drinker serves Cool Aid. Drink it, or spit it out, that is the question.
Protest, march, resist, stand up, speak, take down, be brave.
Love, forgive, be calm, carry on.
This is not a story.
I will be deleted.
My 99 words are not proper here, and used up.

Unknown said...

This word-playing lady is a longtime lurker,
Of a certain shark-infested blog,
Figuring out what write I’m doing wrong,
Is like running out into traffic to play leapfrog.

Obeying the Queen lands me on a strategic square,
Just like a game of chess,
But if I make one false move,
I’ll be riding on the Carkoon Express.

Yet there’s good news for literary agents,
The lucky recipients of my query greets,
Because of this blog my letters won’t covfefe,
Like one of Donald Trump’s tweets.

Cyn said...

Deeson witnessed a frightening thing in Chessie Bay: Ladybird beetles had cawed. Yes, like crows, he thought, baffled.

The bay brimmed with the flaming things. They dive-bombed, alighted everywhere. They fluttered hard wings. Layers of Ladybirds cawed in unison. Shrieked. Their multitudes encrusted the piers and caked harbored sailboats. And the bloody smell, Deeson thought, damn repulsive.

His mission: observe the Ladybirds. Listen. Round the clock, vigilant.

Deeson, under pressure, applied himself. Entomologists twice his age had given up. A theory about the phenomenon could boost his career.

Might be newsworthy, he thought, might merit a presidential tweet.

derick said...

Every time I play, the goblins come out. A green one sits on the chess clock. I press the clock. She swats my hand. Another gray hair. She's stealing my time in five second intervals.

They used to respect boundaries, curled up in pay-per-click websites and video games. They've moved to the source: clocks, watches, and timers. It's an open revolt.

If I were a lady I'd swat her right back. Reporters would tweet the news in 140 characters or less: Aging male assaults pretty she-goblin in temporal dispute.

It's about time I stood up for something.

french sojourn said...

Archer @ orionsbelt

“The press is reporting news of a viral outbreak in N.Y.C. Stay safe homies.”

That was my last tweet. When the FDNY Ladder Co. #13 gave up on us, the other elevator passengers panicked.

“People, relax, in three chess moves we could be free. The ceiling access panel is our way out.”

As I turned, they freaked out.

Although I’m blind now, even I could see the lie crawl out from the shadows of my words.

That was three weeks ago, and I’m still stuck 14 stories up.

And the Muzak is playing “She’s not there.”


Gypmar said...

“Oh, what a sweet wee thing you are!”

Mrs. Landrieu set down her slice of chess pie and gathered the young woman into her arms, pressing Lily’s face into her ample bosom. She beamed beatifically at the circle of ladies who sat sipping their tea. They smiled back.

“What lovely new spice you will add to our gatherings!” Mrs. Landrieu gave Lily a good squeeze and then gave the signal.

Anonymous said...

He crouched in the glade, eyes on the monument, finger poised so the slightest pressure would light up the night. This wasn’t your standard game of chess, white on black; the blacks had captured whites, converted them, turned them against their own. He was alone now, defending the ivory knight, king tweeting from his tower leagues away. Newsmen painted them as villains, guardians of a distorted past, but he knew soldiers like him battled for their futures.

Enemies advance. His fingers tighten. Bright blast, blood. Bishops mourn the black pawn, celebrate the knight’s demise. Good night, white knight.

Anonymous said...

"Grandpa, tell me a tweet story."
"Just one, then bedtime."

There was a young Duchess of Kent
Who gave up her tweeting for Lent.
The press thought this news
Was a bit of a snooze,
But the poor lady's thumbs are still bent.

"Tell the one about the man!"
"Sweetie, you know talk about that time upsets Grandma."
"OK, quietly."

There was an old fool who did tweet
When he should have been somewhat discreet.
He madly propounded,
The world was astounded,

"David! You'll give her nightmares."
"Sorry, honey."
"I won't cry, Grandma."
"No, but I might."

Barbara said...

Gladys slapped the newspaper onto Marty's desk. "What's this? I'm an Illuminati Satanist who sold her soul for fame?"

"Hey, it keeps your name out there."

"You're fired, Marty."

"Sorry, Babe. We have a contract we etched in stone. Lasting, remember? And nobody fires Marty Chessman. I'll ruin you first."

"Fuck you, Marty."

She stormed from the building. God, she hated him. She stared up at his office, hand pressed to her heart, and the ground suddenly shook. The building swayed and crumbled to dust.

A crowd gathered. Gladys walked away, grateful for the other contract she'd signed. In blood.

RKeelan said...

Scrawled on an article about Obama’s birthplace:

I’ve got tremendous
proof of this news.

People will be so
impressed when
I tweet it—everyone’s
saying, “I can’t
believe this.”
That’s how great it

I heard it from
this guy I play
chess with—chess was
nothing before me,
by the way—I made it
big league—who
always gets salad. I
say to him, this is
New York. You can
have anything. Have
a steak. Why are you
going to have salad?

Looks like this
margin is too small
for my proof, but
it’s great, okay?

Anonymous said...

She’s ladling chili--at least I think it’s chili; I’ve learned not to ask anymore—and even though I’m wondering where in this vast anti-nuclear crypt she found meat, my bellyaches say not to ask about that either, so I don’t, instead reaching for the bowl like it’s an exciting new surprise; and Mama presses her lips against my forehead so hard it tingles like our hearts that we etched into the outside of the innermost door before we locked it for the last time, shutting ourselves in here forever where it’s safe, where there’s peace, where we’re free.

Kae Ridwyn said...

“Rather twee, these. Red, too!”

“Not at all! These are ivory! Early, umm… nineteenth century. Look, the fleur de lysh on the queensh; the mitred bish…ops. These are Lund! Pre-ssh…sss.sStaunton.”

He halted. Shtop it! The room’s not shwaying! Repositioned his glasses, glanced at his producers.

“Timothy Cooke, editor of the Illustrated London News. He registered the design in 1949, asking Chess World Champion, Howard Staunton, to advertise it.” On a roll. See! You can shtill do this!

“It was successful. The Staunton design is now shtandard, used internationally.”

“Well, Tim, impeccable knowledge, as always. But continued tequila drinking? You’re fired.”

Brig said...

I never forget.

Some argue I haven't really remembered. With the news, tweets, press conferences- do I actually recall? I'm glad they believe so.

Also, chess grandmasters tap into different brain areas than amateurs. Is this what you're asking for?

No? How can I help you?

I'd hate for you to exert yourself. Not now. Not when we're succeeding.

Go ahead, I'm listening.

And plotting. And planning. Do you know the first thing you'll help me with?

I wish to be called Tina McNavish.

Then comes the world domination.

Until then-

Hi, I'm Siri, how can I help you?

Amy Johnson said...

“Ask David,” they used to say.
Knew the news before anyone he knew.
Agnew stepped down.
The pill cures acne.
W. says they have weapons.
New solar system discovered.
But the pressure to keep up.
Unending. Emails. Tweets. Alerts.
“This is killing me,” he said.
Maximal address change.
City condo to rustic cabin in a little valley.
Didn’t take much. Essentials only.
Peaceful seclusion.
Only tweets were from the birds.
Didn’t miss the damn news.
Until he missed the dam news.

John Davis Frain said...

After Doc gave him news of his malady, John created his bucket list. Had to complete them all before he kicked, each essentially impossible. His way to cheat death.

Crossed off his latest. Viewed—still not blind! #SolarEclipse. Pressed Tweet.

Thirty-nine likes, twelve re-tweets. Sixteen replies, all identical: “Just one left!”

Only his most cherished goal remained. But his life was safe. No chance, right?

Two years since his last full request. His WIP was coming together like Humpty Dumpty.

His phone rang.

“Love!” she shouted. “I can sell this!”

“Sorry,” he sobbed. “Wrong number.” Getting published almost killed him!

RosannaM said...

People are sheep.
Flocked in parking lot traffic heading south to Madras, Oregon.

Laden with tents, chess game, camp spots reserved.
My wife’s excited to tweet and Instagram for her blog.

But I am that husband.
You know the one.

The one who ignores lists.
Wings it.

The news will, well, not kill her.
But it may kill me.

One thing she expressly told me not to forget, I did.
I sweat, realizing the magnitude of my error

The eclipse glasses, safe in my office.
Now we’re belly to bumper about to be blinded.

Yep, I’m one dumb sheep.

LynnRodz said...

"How did you meet?"
"A long story, but I said, can you tell me where toidy-toid stweet is?"
"And I said, can you press yourself better?"
"I told her, I'm asking for diwections, I'm not in no fashion show."
"And I said, well stop looking at my chess, my eyes are ober here"
"I wasn't, I was looking at the noisepaper in her hands."
"Uh? Ohh, newspaper! Then?"
"He asked me to have a dwink."
"I did, and we've been together toidy-twee years this Toisday.
That ends our show ladies and gentlemen. Until next time on How Did You Meet?

Just Jan said...

Harold’s tweet woke me. He’d pretended to be asleep when I’d checked on him earlier. I picked up my phone and read his latest.

WANTED: Live-in nurse, nice chest (DD+), must know how to iron

Over my dead body! What’s a nonagenarian need with starched underwear, anyway? I shuffled to the computer and did what any good wife would do--I hacked into his account and rewrote his request.

WANTED: Live-in nurse for crotchety old man. Prefer strapping young lad who plays chess.

Two weeks later, we settled for a Mrs. Doubtfire look-alike--a former wrestler known for his full body press and strategically placed inserts. Bonus: He reads us the newspaper in bed.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

Alison snatched the remote from her brother’s hand then clicked off the TV. “Let’s wait outside,” she said.

“She’s not coming,” Alex replied.

Alison’s shoulders fell. “Why,” she breathed out.

“Didn’t you see her tweet?” Alex asked, holding his phone aloft. “Be glad we weren’t dragged along. Her new sweetie is a chess geek.” He rolled his eyes. “She’s fake fangirl at his tournament.”

Alison blinked away the tears then sank down to the couch. Alex stood and pressed the power button on the remote. “You may now return to your regularly scheduled disappointment,” he said and left the room.

Mallory Love said...

Being deaf, Charlie found expressing himself harder than most. Social media put him on even ground. A tweet, a post, a text- all visual ways to be heard. Accolades for his thoughts came in forms of little thumbs ups and hearts granted by strangers and acquaintances. Slowly, Charlie forgot how to read lips, signals, and people in general, eyes and perceptions strained from too much artificial light. All news filtered through a small screen (sometimes through smaller minds). Until the day technology went dark. Loneliness overwhelmed. Inward glances gnawed. Charlie grabbed a pen and wrote a book to preach essentialness.

Michael Seese said...

Chess seems hard. I like Chutes & Ladders better. But I'll try it. I like learning new stuff. I just wish Jeff was here. He's the best big brother. Always teaching me things. Impressive things, like how to load and fire a gun. He warned me the stuff Tweety Bird does would get Sylvester killed in real life. I wish I'd listened.

I lost already? Wow, chess really is hard. I'm not sure what “best two out of three” means. But I'll try again. The scary man in the black robe says it's the only way I'll ever get Jeff back.