What an interesting array of entries this week!Many of you stymied me with holt.
I had to dig in to find several of the meanings, which of course I loved doing, so thank you all for that.
Herewith the results.
The space between his brain cells had widened considerably as his ego had puffed itself up
Not quite a story, but delightful, and oh by the way have you read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein.
Not quite a story but inventive!
Not quite a story, but holy moly,
She was an Algerian/Syrian borderline psychopath. At least that’s how she introduced herself at the speed dating table. The space between us felt uncomfortably small.We all remember Mrs. Smith of course but who knew her interesting antecedents??
She picked up a pencil and asked what I did.
“I’m a banker,” I said shuffling my chair, making the space bigger. “What about you?”
“I hunt,” she said, fixing me with thirsty eyes, testing the pencil point on her thumb. “In the holts.”
“Fair enou—” The pencil flashed by my face. I turned. An impaled roach fell to the floor.
“Call me,” she said, sliding her card.
Twenty years ago today.
And of course, as any oddsmaker should have known, I am once again, THWARTED
“Ho ho ho, Lt. Dan. Where’s your Christmas spirit?”
Dan McGruff sneered. November, December, it made no difference. Christmas was but a fairytale in this urban kill zone. The Central Asian front had been brutal – the Stans were logical partners. But now alliances were unbound by geography. The combined forces were mounting – Bulgarian/Nigerian/Liberian/Algerian/Syrian. Bordering on unstoppable.
“Stay frosty, Sergeant. I bet we encounter heavy resistance. Let’s pace ourselves.”
“They all run from McGruff the Tough.”
“Mind your tongue.” Even mocking, the nickname was dangerous. He didn’t make the rules, just enforced them. “Weapons ready. Let’s take a bite outta rhyme.”
Two commenters rated this faves.
They are now enjoying an all expense paid trip to Carkoon.
Here are the entries that I thought were particularly noteworthy.
Stephen G Parks
“Listen up! Alger, Ian, Sy, Rian B: orders have come down: You’re going whaling, ship out tomorrow, oh nine hundred. Space is limited; so no alcohol, tobacco or fair trade coffee. I know … the last one’s weird.” The XO shrugged. “Captain’s orders.”
Three weeks in, we’d chased this damned pod up and down the coast, never once seeing them.
“I bet we engage them off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland.” Sy was a freshly pressed middie, too eager for his own good.
“No laddie, We ain’t hunting them.” The Captain tapped his patch, Rainbow Warrior. “We’re leading them to safety.”
Of course, I love the idea of whales being led to safety.
Did you all know about Keiko, the whale that lived in Oregon for awhile?
When my sister took her fourth grade class to the Aquarium, and visited with Keiko, she said she was deeply moved by the intelligence in his eyes. We were anti-whaling before that of course, but after that we were Rainbow Warriors!
This earned a Fave from one commenter.
A Modern Fairy TaleIt's that line: the short space of time between Grimm and Gatsby that really caught my eyeball. One great sentence can do it!
Once upon a time, a little girl named Goldie loved fairy tales and rainbows, unicorns and panda bears. But in the short space of time between Grimm and Gatsby, alcohol turned her teeth to rot and hardened her liver to stone.
Papa Bear broke the bank on rehab. Mama huffed and puffed tough love. Baby brother pleaded with God.
Goldie’s funeral was held at Grandma’s house in the hood. The fairy tales are ghost stories now, spoken in hushed tones at reunions far and wide.
And they all lived unhappily ever after.
This earned two Faves from commenters.
“I’ll take “Disingenuous Prompts” for $400, Alex.”
“This occupies the space between the Algerian / Syrian borders?”
“What is the Mediterranean Sea.”
“Correct… go again Felix.”
“I’ll take “Dis-genre-ed” for $300 Alex.”
“Answer is, “This genre doesn’t exist.”
“Go ahead, Holt.”
“What is Dino Porn.”
“I’m sorry, that’s not it.”
“Go ahead, Felix.”
“What is “Fiction Novel? …I’ll take “Vices” for $500.”
“The answer is… “This city was named after the 26th Vice-President.””
“What is Fairbanks?”
“That’s correct Felix, now the final category, “Entries that aren’t even remotely, a story.””
Ok so I love these meta-entries that purport not to be stories, but are.
Oh So Subtle.
Clearly ya'll do too: Hank got five Faves in the comment column, but disqualified himself.
I will respect his integrity here, but this is terrific work.
“Breasts” said the old lady “Are fair, dark or anything between; nipples smooth, puckered, hairy, even missing. They bear no resemblance to spaceships or oysters.”
The writer snapped shut his laptop, concealing pearlescent mounds quivering adjectivally.
“As for ‘she yodelled hyena-like as his manly unicorn charged her moist otter holt’…. I’m not sure if the poor woman needs a doctor or a zoologist, but,” she tapped a golden fingernail against her glass “dear boy, that’s not how it works.”
“How would you know?”
“A life banking memories.” She swigged her whisky and smiled at the bartender. “That’s not over yet.”
Maybe you have to be knee deep in queries to truly appreciate the pithiness of this.
Metaphors Gone Wild is in the top five of Things I'd Like to Never See Again.
And the twist at the end was delicious (that the old lady hasn't retired from the field of hankypanky quite yet!)
This got one Fave in the comments.
The woman asleep at the crosswalk reeks of alcohol. (That is, it looks like she’s sleeping; hard to tell.) A faded blue towel’s scrunched above her like Aladdin’s turban; knots strangle her hair, and she’s buried deep in what might be a North Face coat.
I don’t want to wake her (if she’s asleep?), or I’d stop to ask if she needs anything.
Plus, I’m late: the sun’s already yawning against our fair October sky, and there’s another two blocks between me and my parking space.
I cross, fast. This light’s short, and anyway, she was sound asleep.
I've written here before about my former priest Father Santos directing us to show Christ's love in the world via direct action.
Sometimes I think entries like this are a whispered reminder to do better.
Plus, FF wrote it which means it's amazing of course.
This got one Fave in comment column.
*****this is just a brutal choice.
I can hear all of you laughing with glee at the torment you've inflicted.
Writers' Revenge should be the subtitle of every single one of these flash fiction contests.
So, who did I overlook?
you were clear I'd missed some:
NLiu got 2 faves
John Davis Frain, Michael Seese, efa foy, Just Jan and Mr. Thwarti Forti each got a shout out.
I need all the beta readers I can get here!
If Hank (frenchsojourn) hadn't DQ'ed himself, he would have taken the Reader's Choice award. So, this week, no one takes it home.
I'll keep one of the books that was a prize this week, and dangle it in front of you another time.
Each of these stories is amazing, and all in different ways.
I'm starting to get annoyed at how hard these choices are getting!!
Which is akin to complaining that one has too many trophies for the mantle.
I had to sit on this for a while, but in the end, it's flashfriday this week.