Friday, June 08, 2018

Tell me a story!

I have really amazing clients

Two new Girl Scout merit badges!

Use them for your writing prompt!

Usual rules apply:
1. Write a story using 100 words or fewer.

2. Post the entry in the comment column of THIS blog post.

3. 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.

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

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

6. 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.

6a. 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 when results are posted...just leave me out of it.)

7. 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"

8. Please do not post anything but contest entries. (Not for example "I love Felix Buttonweezer's entry!")

9. 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.

10. 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, 8:50am Saturday, June 9, 2018

Contest closes: 9am, Sunday, June 10, 2018

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!

Sorry, contest is closed.


Steve Forti said...

“This is nice, isn’t it? Breakfast mimosas overlooking the reef?”
“Totally. We should do this more often.”
A bang. The wooden door rattled on rusted hinges.
“The hell was that?”
Another bang. A grunt. A flash of yellow against the algae-covered porthole window.
“Open up!” a voice slurred.
Ariel set her cocktail aside and swam to the door. Pulling it open, the blonde on the other side spilled in, sloshing red drink in hand. Just then a shadow passed behind her, fear sank in, and the porthole exploded in a mess of teeth.
“Dammit Linda! You brought a bloody Mary!”

Craig F said...

It wasn’t the kind of need you read about in Romance or even Erotica novels. He had been badly damaged by the loss of his son. Her daughter was at best non-verbal.

The Girl Scouts had accepted the child, not the other way around. Then he gave a workshop on robotic interfaces. The girl was entranced by the cables and pulleys. It did his heart good to help her. Soon she was expert and became legend.

Who would have guessed that the Terminator sprang from a Girl Scout merit badge.

Kregger said...

I stare at the board and Ms. Acevedo in particular.

“That doesn’t work,” she said.

“I bitch-slapped Bruce?”

“Please reconsider your word choice.”

I narrow my eyes. “I shot the scuba tank in Jaws?”

She shook her head.

“I wore a seal costume for Shark Week in South Africa.”

The gray-hairs appear unmoved.

“For God’s sake, I let them drag me behind a boat!”

Sylvia’s glare chills the deal.

“Man, tough crowd.” I pull a flask from my pocket. “Hey…how about…?

Her left eyebrow climbs.

“I finished a fifth of tequila?”

“Dude!” she said. “You’re not even a girl scout.”

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I failed my badge promise because I do not imbibe. And because of fear, floating at the reef became a dream I knew I’d hardly get to realize. With water I toasted others and with dangling feet my piggy’s dripped from someone else’s synchronized swimming.
I lived the lie of achievement until the stitching loosened and my badges fell like autumn leaves turned brown with a promise...I will blaze with color next year.
On my honor that is when I’ll get my sewing badge and achieve the dream. I’ll toast me, a reef swimmer and accomplished.

Claire Bobrow said...

Mother always taught me to be best -
at school,
“Success is like fishing,” she said. “Who knows what you’ll catch?”

I never expected to catch her –
earning a merit badge in martini consumption,
getting wild on the Jungle Cruise with Zoe’s dad,
making my troop’s fieldtrip to Disneyland crazier than a ride on Space Mountain.

Acrid comments clung to us like burnt s’mores,
but I wasn’t quitting one badge short of Ambassador.

Should I go for Good Sportsmanship?
Those scouts were like sharks. Blood was in the water.
Turns out I had a knack for Archery.

Amy Schaefer said...

NARRATOR: Sharks. Pitiless. Voracious. And occasionally tipsy.

Hundreds of species have been identified, but none more mysterious than one book-and-alcohol-fueled breed. Countless writers stalk them at swim-up bars, but it’s a rare day they successfully force limp query pages on one of these conference badge-switching, gin-swilling Elasmobranchii.

But one enigmatic group of researchers has made it their mission to study the “drunk-lit shark.” Ever prepared, these courageous investigators tease the shark’s secrets even from whiskey-soaked Moleskine. Their only reward? A coveted cloth token and troop admiration.

Join us for the thrilling tale of: STALKING THE MARTINI SHARK: GIRL SCOUTS HUNT.

C. Dan Castro said...

Rose and Suzie leapt back, a crimson convertible swerving to a halt.
“Thuzie, lethh go,” Suzie’s mother slurred.
The two Girl Scouts looked at each other, Suzie’s sash the standard beige, but Rose’s aquamarine. Grandma’s bequeathed treasure.
Rose slapped the martini glass badge.
“Suzie, honey, let’s go!” Suzie hugged Rose. Got in the car. The family drove off.
Rose’s mom’s pickup pulled up. A shadow rushed forward.
Big, ugly Dan. Dan who couldn’t come within 100 yards. Who grabbed Rose’s mom’s throat and squeezed off her protests.
Rose slapped another unique badge: the shark with the many sharp teeth.

Timothy Lowe said...

“Merit badges? For Girl Scouts?”

“Shut up,” Suzy said, her cheeks burning. She knew wearing the sash to school was a bad idea. Too show-offy. But Mom had insisted. Of course she had. Mom didn’t know about boys like Billy Marbles. Suzy’s best friend Sil had told her Billy had a crush. That’s why he picked on her so ruthlessly. Somehow that made the whole thing worse.

“What are those two for? Knitting? Sewing?”

The next day, Billy was absent. Flu or something.

“What are those two for?” Sil asked.

“Knot-tying,” Suzie said with a smile. “And that one’s knife-throwing.”

Colin Smith said...

I’ve tied a thousand knots. Visited every lighthouse on the east coast. Been to the worst slums in town delivering cookies. But this challenge beats them all.

Friday night. Manhattan. Gino’s Bar. Fifty literary agents celebrating the end of the week.

And I’m holding the last glass of whiskey.

My target is at the other end of the room. A parched agent getting antsy.

I weave around Poelle, slip past Faust, nearly get caught by Volpe’s outstretched leg, swat away Townsend’s hand, avoid Sinsheimer’s tackle, and make it to the table. Gasping.

Reid looks daggers at me.

“Where’s the ice?”

shanepatrickwrites said...

I’m kinda famous in my Troop cuz I often double up while earning badges. The first time was when I was helping an ol’ lady tie up a purse-snatcher. Community Service and Knots in one fell swoop.

So it was only natural to me to combine Martini Drinking and Shark Boxing. What’s amazing isn’t how many sharks I subdued but rather that no one else thought of it first.

Dena Pawling said...

Through the peep hole, Doreen saw green beanies and badge sashes. Behind them, a wagon with boxes. Salivating, she threw a blanket over Jason's body and grabbed her wallet. Thin mints were just what she needed.

She opened the door. “I'd love some girl scout cook-” Her eyes shifted to the Smith & Wesson. “Um, ladies?”

“Where's Jason?” the taller one hissed.

Doreen glanced toward the blanket.

The shorter one scooted around Doreen and lifted the corner.

“Party time!” They pulled the wagon inside. Doreen found glasses. They shared a box of wine.

Be prepared. Make new friends.

Marty Weiss said...

“I don’t see how I can earn both new badges and get the Gold Award, Mom.”

“You must, Hortense. Think of how it will look on your application to UCLA.”

“I can see me getting that new badge in Humility, Mom, but a badge in Sassiness is, well, crazy.”

“Exactly, dear. At last you could put your bipolarism to postive use.”

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

Everybody said she should be happy with the badges she’d already earned. Enough is enough.

“Quit chasing foolish dreams,” Mama said. “Time for you to get a real job.”

Daddy scowled and shook his head. “Writing books,” he scoffed. “Thinking you’ll get a fancy New York City agent. Be a fancy author.” He said the word author like he just ate a rotten worm.

“What put this cockamamie idea in your head, I’ll never know,” Gramma said. “And why aren’t you married yet?”

She listened to their admonishments. The negativity swirled around in her head. And yet, she persisted.

Demain et hier said...

Perched on a rickety stool, she slurred over her accomplishments: "Was awarded this one for having one hundred shots of Jose, this for imbibing buckets of Bailey's, and this" — she gestured toward the middle of a worn sash — "for making more martinis than any other troop member in the metropolitan area."
From behind the bar, I nodded toward another of the faded badges. "And that one?"
She smiled, displaying teeth that were surprisingly sharp and white. "Oh, just a shark's way of saying, 'Thanks.'."
I blinked. "For?"
"Preparing great chum buckets."
"What's the secret?"
"She likes them shaken, not stirred."

Richelle Elberg said...

“Cyndi cracked the safe in her own Dad’s office. Like, she’s musta seen him open it a hundred times. Shouldn’t count.”

“It really shouldn’t,” Molly said. “And Olivia totally cheated.” Molly shoved another Thin Mint into her mouth and gulped her milk. “Seriously, two doesn’t even count as Serial.”


“I went to the market--by myself!--and found what I needed.” Molly gazed at her sash proudly. The new Kidnapping badge sparkled like a sapphire.

In the corner, a toddler howled.

“Guess I’ll do Disposing of Bodies next.”

“I’ve got some leftover lime if you need it.”

Brenda said...

Charlotte “Shark” Spenteuth passed away painlessly in her sleep last Wednesday, leaving to mourn her beloved Scout troop, most of whom had achieved their coveted ‘Mixology’ badges that very evening. In memoriam, the lone badge hold-out has pledged her life to the pursuit of a perfect Manhattan.
Rest In Peace, Ms. Spentueth.
This same scout moved many to tears, eulogizing that the famed nickname was due to her mentor’s unfortunate dental situation and was not (as has been falsely reported elsewhere) given in response to a predatory leadership style. In lieu of flowers:
Shark Minibar Fund
c/o Janet Reid.

Janice L. Grinyer said...

Too bad you cant get a badge for being a total fuck-up. After yesterday’s fail, it’s a wonder if anyone will call me for the party this weekend. They all hate me.

Nah, they probably don’t even care if I’m dead or alive. I guess it doesn’t really matter anyway.

But hey, maybe they’ll show up for my party. The one my family will throw.

After the funeral.

National Suicide Prevention lifeline – 1-800-273-8255. Available 24/7 for everyone. Call if you think you or someone you know needs a lifeline today!

Trudy said...

The bartender slides a frosted Martini glass across the bar, neither shaken nor stirred. I’ll take care of that myself.

My hand strays to the thong around my neck. I close my eyes, the soft leather is warm from my body heat.

A pendant hangs from the cord, resting over the empty spot on my sash. An elongated triangle with serrated edges, gleaming against the green fabric.


Opening my eyes I pull the cord over my head.

Triumphant, I stir my drink with the shark’s tooth. The last two merit badges will be mine. The sash will be complete.

Harmony Commissions said...

There was a merit badge for everything, and she had earned them all. One match fires. Leave-no-trace camping.
She never would have thought Girl Scouting would be so helpful in getting rid of problems. Large, husband shaped problems.

Just Jan said...

When we were young, we thought Granny was a pirate. Every school vacation was spent listening to her swashbuckling stories.

It wasn’t until we helped with her final move that we found the truth in a dusty corner of her attic. Maryanne picked up the moldering sash, heavy with achievements. “I didn’t know you were a Girl Scout.”

“Where do you think I learned to drink like a fish?”

“What about this one?” I asked, pointing to the shark badge.

Granny lifted a pant leg. “How do you think I got my limp?”

Mallory Love said...

Downside of having your childhood friends as bridesmaids: they pull out your Girl Scout sash for the bachelorette party. I was two badges shy of earning the Gold Award. Something my girlfriends planned to rectify in their own way.

The night held two challenges. The martini one was easy, until the nightclub went blurry. I awoke the next day in the county jail with a hangover as a party favor. After being bailed out for breaking into the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay, my bridesmaids gave me my altered sash and a winning casino ticket. I finally got the gold.

Steve Stubbs said...

There are only three people in town. One is the sheriff, another has been murdered, and the sheriff can't figure out who the murderer is.

Nobody ever said he was the sharpest tool in the shed. He's the only Boy Scout who earned Girl Scout merit badges by mistake.

What a dork.

Michael Seese said...

HQ said “The Sand Tiger” wouldn't surface until 10:30. To kill time, I eased up to a table. The leather-clad brunette showed a certain flair for Chemin de Fer. Deft fingers dealt a winning hand. We cashed out, quickly, lips colliding as we fell into the elevator.

Behind closed doors, I locked my steely blues on her.

“So, darling, have you a name?”

“Reid. Janet Reid. And I like my martinis sharken, not stirred.”

“Sharken? I believe you’re mistaken.”

She flashed a smile. Row upon row of pearly whites emerged.

“No, Mr. Bond, I believe the mistake was yours.”

RosannaM said...

Mom never kept track of her airline samples. And she never kept track of me. Jetlagged from Baltimore, she slept. I left, samples in pocket, for Girl Scout Jamboree.

The good girls sang the songs and ate cookies straight from the package. We were not the good girls, but Sharks in training.

Thin mints or shortbreads steeped in mini martinis were our dessert as we drifted away from the campfire.

Ditching the sashes, we made our way south, trading cookies and cocktails for a shot at freedom. But those trades were a long shot. Kind of like betting against Justify.

RKeelan said...

“—buy some Girl Scout cookies?”

The sash across her chest has just one merit badge, a swirling orb at once indistinct and sharp as cut glass.

“The first one is free.”


“It’s a promotion.”

She holds a cookie aloft, fudge like black night gleaming between two crisp dark wafers.

The first bite tastes so good, eating it in public feels wrong.

I reach for my wallet. “How much?” I ask, crumbs tumbling from my lips.

“You don’t buy these with money.”

I look down at the half-eaten cookie.


The Noise In Space said...

The other scouts did it the old-fashioned way, knocking on every door.

"Would you like to buy some Gill Scout Cookies? We've got Thin Minnows, Tagalungfish..."

I take a more direct approach.

I set up shop right across from the gym. It's a simple booth, complete with space heaters to ward off the February chill. But the pièce de résistance is the book of bright yellow stickers I've had specially printed: "Brand new low-fat recipe!" they scream.

They don't give out business shark badges for nothing.

Barbara said...

Mary took her Girl Scout Oath seriously, especially the helping people every day part. At eighteen, she set off to do just that. She crisscrossed the country doing good deeds large and small, like holding doors and donating a kidney.

Two years later, after a hard day of helping out in DC, she returned to her tiny room and turned on the TV.

"Just devasting! The entire building is rubble and there are no survivors. Every member of Congress was lost."

Mary smiled. Her work was done. Now, on to Russia. She hadn't earned her World Traveler badge for nothing.

Will MacPhail said...

The two girls hide amongst the evergreens where they earned the Forestry badge. Separated from the group, they wait in the shadows. Their sashes, draped across the Girl Scout uniform with a morbid flare. Covered in badges that represent challenges of the new world.



Kelly admires her white embroidered skull. Only the strongest, the bravest of the brave obtain the Decapitator badge.

From the darkness a decomposed jaw locks onto Kelly’s arm. Nancy recites the Girl Scout Promise. They had a pact. Nancy earns her badge with honor, and then runs into the night looking for her troop.

CynthiaMc said...

"How do you like your new job, Mr. Bond?" the reporter asked.

"Dream of a lifetime," Bond said.

Where else could an aging ex-spy find a steady supply of nubile young women?

His Girl Scout troop, on life support before he took over, had a waiting list.

God bless the Boy Scouts for going co-ed.

Thanks to no borders, he didn't even have to be an American.

"Your Perfect Martini badge is a hit."

"Essential life skill."

"What's with the Shark badge?"

"If I told you, I'd have to kill you."

Bond winked at his girls.

They winked back.