Monday, August 10, 2020

Super diabolical flash fiction contest -FINAL RESULTS

I had a terrible time picking one winner.
All of them had something delicious for the flash fiction buffet.

In the end though, I just had to pick NLiu. Her entry, from the POV of a Yorkshire pudding, was just too tasty.

N, if you'll drop me a line and confirm your mailing address, we can talk about what kind of book will knock your sox off!

Thanks to all of you who wrote and posted entries.
This was a terrific round and you provided some wonderful weekend reading.

(Last week's contest results are done, I just need to get them organized and posted. My plan is to get them up later today.Tuesday morning--and they will be, I just scheduled it)

This week was fiendishly hard for so many of you! I love it!

Herewith the entries that stood out.

I knocked off my cafeteria shift and came home to a double-wide catastrophe.

My live-in toad-in-a-hole, Brigid, was inconsolable and beside herself. Half herself to be exact, after coming upon her Siamese toad, Brigitte, splayed supine and floating in a vat of Vitalis®, drowned in the kitchenette sink by some transient trailer park Elvis wannabe.

Her ribbetts are now silenced, but attention must be paid. She got all shook up but went out in style, her chonky rear end rockabilly D.A.’ed and warts emolliated for her celestial duet with The King at that Graceland in the sky.

Not quite a story, but how can I resist double-wide catastrophe?
And I may never recover from the image of her Siamese toad Brigitte.

Real talent here, a writer to watch!

"This one is vital, " Roger said. "Loser buys lunch."

"Cafeteria," Kyle said. “I’ve only got ten dollars.”

He swung. The ball bounced onto the green and rolled towards the flag.

"Yes!" Kyle said.

"No!" Roger moaned as the ball dropped.

"No way!" screamed Kyle as the ball popped out and rolled away.

His caddy ran forwards. "Toad-in-the-hole!"

"They're prone to that when it's hot." Roger smirked.

"This one's supine," the caddy said, removing it, "but no matter, it'll be a cinch on Kyle's part to sink it now."

Kyle, shaken, missed the putt. Toadily bad luck.
The pun alone makes this worth a shout-out.

“That’s what’s up!” Ines exclaimed, as she jumped into the car. The cafeteria heist had gone without a hitch. Coffee, donuts, $52 cash; our biggest haul yet.

The headlights illuminated just enough mountain road to avoid the steep cliffs, when, suddenly…

Ines squealed in a panic, “Honk, you nincompoop!”

The guardrail crumpled noisily.

Yelling, “Mazeltov!” I tallied our chances of survival, as the car turned into an airplane minus the wings. The tally added up to negative 100%.

I tried to explain, “There was a toad in—“

“A-hole,” she fumed.

Ines despised profanity—albeit only for another 12 seconds.

The mason jar lid cut a perfect hole in the bread. I cracked the egg and fried it up without breaking the yolk. She watched supine from the couch.

“Toad-in-a-hole, honey.” I brought her the plate. “Try to eat.” She took it without emotion.

Back in the hospital, she drifted off, and I ran for cafeteria coffee. She was paralyzed from a silent panic attack when I returned. I stayed in her view under the vitals display after that.

On our living room couch, she said a quiet “chonk-you,” with a mouthful of eggs and cried.

Nice prompt word usage here for chonky!

Tain Leonard-Peck
Silence ruled the cafeteria. Lights flickered, disrupting an otherwise calm darkness. Lying supine upon a table, a figure quivered, jaundiced and withering. Memories flitted through their mind-- betrayal, loss, swirling in a slurry of thoughts. Of a past abandoned, a future lost. Shivers blasted through the jaundiced one's psyche, turning it into naught more than some horrific mental toad-in-the-hole. What could have avoided this fate-- this life as discarded refuse? Was it an unappealing mien? Foul scent? Nutritional value beyond making someone chonky?

No matter. The banana whimpered, awaiting its inevitable decay on the cold table. A vital food, forgotten.

This isn't quite a story, but who cares. I don't think we've ever had an entry in the POV of a banana peel.

And I know it says nothing good about me that I laughed out loud at "jaundiced".

Colin Smith
Charles straightened his bow tie. Pushed up his glasses. Ignored the smirks from the short order cooks.

Checked his wallet.


“Eggs and toad-in-a-hole, please,” he said to one of them.

“How d’you like your eggs?”

“Sunshine supine. Is the toad-in-a-hole chonky?”



“Is that important?”

“Vital.” Charles grinned, wide-eyed.

“Coming right up.” Charles noticed the eye-roll.

He ate the eggs. Glanced at the cooks. Slipped a metal rod into the chonky sausage. Left the cafeteria.

Charles watched the explosion. Pushed up his glasses.

Checked his wallet.


Exed a face in the picture.

“One down, ten to go.”
Notice Colin doesn't explain the why?
This is a whole new spin on diabolical.

Steve Forti
“Hey man, s’up?”

“I need your movie review.”

“I dunno…”

“Mate, you ain’t swearing an affidavit. All I want’s an opinion.”

“Truth? Something’s missing. Story’s good, alien’s interesting, though maybe too chonky. But it’s bland. Lacking some bite. It’s like Decaf ET.”

“Er, I already submitted it to the studio. What would you have changed?”

“Just lacks pizzazz.” The waitress drops off their order. “Like this toad-in-a-hole. Imagine it were made with hot dogs. It’s kinda right, but it just ain’t right, ya know?”

“I don’t follow.”

“Think of it like if this conversation were a piece of flash fiction.”

Very meta!

Tara Tyler
Hallie and Jackson had been friends since they were pups. Now in were-wolf high school, Jackson wanted more.

Hallie gagged at the cafeteria menu. “Toad-in-a-hole again?”

Jackson nodded. “You’re right.”

“I am?”

“Yes. That chonky casserole is awful. It’s vital we stand against unhealthy slop! I’m protesting.”

He dropped onto his back with his feet in the air.

Other kids joked and laughed.

“Look, a supine lupine canine!”

“He wants Hallie to rub his belly.”

Hallie whispered, “Get up, Jackson. It’s okay.”

“No protest?”

“Not today.” She helped him up and nosed him. “My hero.”

He grinned. It worked!
supine lupine canine!

Alex 7:28: lol no, I am literally supine with hunger

This was his chance. Quick, engage Bromance Protocol. But--cafeteria closed, Vitality Bowls "feel chonky", diner...?

Alex 7:41: no those jerks refuse to make toad-in-a-hole

Jay 7:42: ok sit tight I got u

7-11: eggs, bread, something vaguely buttery

McD's drive thru: just salt packets, please

Chem lab: bunsen burner

Jay 9:12: hope you're not too hungry, on my way

Alex 2:05: oh hey I just saw this. grabbed a bite w El in Chinatown. see you in lab tomorrow. hope we get to do something fun w the burners.

You can just hear the anguished existential howl can't you?

Marie McKay
The Oragami Cafeteria had been given a makeover. Soothing colours, rustling bells, and a chonky cat purring in the corner. The customers were in a supine position now being fed cardboard toad-in-a-hole through paper straws.

Marian was cut out for this, looked happier than ever; vital, even- jazzberry jam red crayon blots on her once pallid cheeks.

For now she could ignore the jagged edges of the problems she had folded into her trouser pockets.

oh my godiva.
This isn't really a story, but oh my godiva.

alyson faye
Lola had been lying supine on the itchy velveteen settee for hours, while the latest David Bailey wannabe clicked away, imprisoning her vital statistics on the memory stick.

‘Darlin’ can I move? I’m desperate for the loo and the cafeteria?’ Lola sat up and her chonky boobs bounced in different directions. ‘I want my lunch. You said, your shout?’

The twenty-year-old Bailey wannabe and the MILF headed for the canteen.

Lola’s eyes lit up as she spied her favourite food. ‘Toad-in-a-hole-Brigid, darling . . .’

The male sexagenarian food server scowled. ‘Who you calling Rigid? I’m as bendy as they come.’

Who you calling Rigid...I'm STILL laughing

Michael Seese

"I'm sorry. What?"

"We cram a chonky toad into one of their holes. Like, a nostril. Or an ear. Or, my preferred cavit—"

"A little extreme."

Some ideas deserve to die. And some ideas should be murdered. With malice.

"What if we let them pick the orifice? You know, cafeteria style."


"Fine. Here's another. We tie them down, supine, get a frog—"

"Thank you. I'll be in touch."

Three months, two days.

Three months, two days until I retire from my position as Minister Of Torture. Then I can return to my true calling as a literary agent.

"And some ideas should be murdered. With malice."
I may have this printed on my business cards.

Fearless Reider
Vita lurched past on the arm of her latest trick. Cock-o’-the-walk, that one. They paused in the neon glow while Vita fumbled her plastic purse, then cursed.

Cedric’s heart leapt when she clattered through the office door.

“Whassup? I'ne…” A giggle bubbled up. “I’ma l’il tipsy, ‘n’ I can’ fin’ my key. Cedric, hon, k’you lemme in?”

“Click“ went the lock and “clunk” went Cedric’s heart.

“Thanks, pal,” winked the flash-in-the-pan. “She’s a coupla lunch-ladies shy of a cafeteria.”

“You’re sweet,” Vita cooed. “A real prince.” A kiss brush Cedric’s knobbly cheek.

Poof! Another happy ending at the Toad-In-A-Hole Motel.

"a coupla lunch-ladies shy of a cafeteria.” is pure brilliance

french sojourn
“Dad, why do you call this place, The five-day old toad-in-a-hole Cafeteria?”

The unamused waitress turned to the father, “And for you, your lordship?”

“Scrambled eggs and bacon, on toast please,” he looked at her contritely, then glared at his son. She jotted it down, turned toward the cook, and with a voice as smooth as barbed wire, bellowed, “Adam and Eve on a raft… wreck-em!”

“And you, little Lord Fauntleroy?”

“A chonky hamburger patty, resting supinely on a bed of lettuce, and to pair it with vitality… a cola.”

“Mad cow, rabbit food, and paint stripper!”

She left… smiling.
Love love love the reference to old style diner lingo.

Kae Ridwyn
Writing from home was difficult. But the manuscript wouldn’t write itself, so Jane huddled in the ensuite, typing madly on her phone.

“Ronald was cheating; Betty could feel it. She eyed likely suspects in the packed cafeteria.

Ronald had craved Toad in a hole - some comfort from home - but Betty preferred pizza so had begged off. But it was someone here, she knew it. Betty needed vital evidence, so here she was, surreptitiously supine on him.”

Supine? Autocorrect fail!

Her chonky digits couldn’t keep pace with her thoughts again! Jane sighed. A return to normalcy could not come soon enough.
surreptitiously supine on him--gotta love Otto!

I'm so famous they have to police the queue. Everyone wants a piece of me. This is the real gravy train. All I have to do is relax, supine and splendiferous, as they press greedy faces against the glass. It's vital I look my best: crisp sheets, perfect tan. Cafeteria lights do no one favours - not even this fabulous, chonky figure.

Toad in a hole? Try sausage au pudding du Yorkshire, darling. Muah!

Just don't mention cutlery and we'll all live happily ever after.

"everyone wants a piece of me!"!!
"just don't mention cutlery"!!

deliciously subtle! 


I haven't a clue who to select as the winner.
Notice I don't even have a list of finalists?

I'm in a dither here.

Help me out. Who should get the prize?


Nom de plume said...

Laughed so many times reading these great stories. CasualT really caught my eye!

nightsmusic said...

While I'm pretty sick of politics in general right now, C Dan Castro's entry struck a half dozen chords in me.

Colin Smith said...

I, too, enjoyed Tain Leonard-Peck's entry. A banana?! Good stuff. However, not a story. I think that's the hardest requirement of these contests--that your entry has to be a story. Janet addressed the oft-asked question, "Why is my entry not a story?" in this post:

There's definitely some great writing going on, though.

As for my piece, there is a reason for Charles's actions, but it's not stated explicitly. I could give clues, but that would spoil it. After all, the clues are there. Suffice to say, the last line is key.

Terri Lynn Coop said...

These are all fantastic. I gotta roll with either Colin or French Sojourn on this one.


John Davis Frain said...

You had me at double-wide catastrophe! Irresistible.

No way I'm qualified to pick a winner. I couldn't even cobble together an entry.

Lennon Faris said...

I'm chuckling from the sidelines. My vote might got to Tain Leonard-Peck's. Not often I feel bad for a banana! But well done, all.

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...

Loved Tara Tyler and Alyson Faye's entries.

Hank's diner scene reminded me of Sunburn.

french sojourn said...

Steve... you had me at "decaf ET".

There is a lot of ungodly writing in the entries, well done all.

Thanks QOTKU for your time and effort on these Wylie contests.

Cheers Hank!

Beth Carpenter said...

Wow, I'm no help at all. Every single one of them deserves to win. How could there be so many amazing scenarios using toad-in-a-hole?

John Davis Frain said...

Post-lunch addendum.

I'm starting to think I would read Marie McKay's grocery list. Story or not, her writing is consistently brilliant. I'm gonna try and channel her when I tip over the sand timer tonight.

Fearless Reider said...

Oh, so much to cherish here! I especially loved Jackie's entry for exquisitely vivid writing, and I am also amazed at Marie McKay's imagination. I appreciate the shout-out and the inclusion in such fine company.

Just Jan said...

So many imaginative entries surrounding toad-in-a-hole! As usual, Janet picked out some of my personal favorites as well as introduced brilliant entries that I missed. Good luck choosing a winner!

Just Jan said...

Also, a shout-out to Mallory Love, one of my favorites that didn't make Janet's list.

Brigid said...

As often, I wish I could read more of Marie McKay's work! Casual-T and Colin also stood out to me this week.

Brigid said...

And yes, I'm with Just Jan, I think Mallory Love's was brilliant!

Matt Krizan said...

My vote goes to Steve Forti. The break-down of cafeteria, in particular, is brilliant.

NLiu said...

Tough choice. I also loved Marie's entry. The contrast of the flimsy, whimsical paper world with jagged edges and problems was amazing. Jazzberry jam cheeks! So vivid.

Kae Ridwyn said...

Whoa! I made the long list? Thank you, Janet! Very unexpected, as I haven't written Flash Fiction (or anything, really) since January. Plus, I didn't think it was a story...

The stand outs for me yesterday were Colin Smith, Michael Seese and (of course) Steve Forti.

Thank you again! Now to try explaining to everyone here at work why I can't wipe this smile off my face :)

MaggieJ said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Janet! Glad I decided to give it a whirl.

Really difficult to chose a winner but french sojourn's entry particularly appealed to me and also NLui's.

Mallory Love said...

Thanks for the shout out, Just Jan and Brigid. The contest was indeed super diabolical. Thanks for the challenge, Janet. Congrats to all the finalists. You all look like winners to me.

John Davis Frain said...

Winner winner yorkshire pudding dinner!

Congrats NLiu. Your entry was delicious.

french sojourn said...

NLui, your entry was as always sublime, your prose is indeed surgical grade, fine cutlery indeed! Your entries are always enjoyable to look forward to.

And it bears repeating, for me... Steve I always get a kick de-constructing or would that be re-constructing your dissecting of the prompt words.

Cheers! Hank.

C. Dan Castro said...

Too many good entries to pick from! I bow to wiser minds to tease out this Solomonian puzzle.

And thanks, nightmusic, for the shoutout. I swear I wanted to write something funny, and started well with a ref to Pynchon, Lot 41, and crying. But it became something else...

Marie McKay said...

Thank you for the lovely mention, Janet. Well done all finalists. The writing in these contests really inspires me to keep going and write better. You are all so good. Thank you for the shout outs John (my shopping lists are all chocolate and wine), Brigid, Fearless and NLiu. Really means a lot. Made my week!

Congrats, NLiu- your writing never fails to impress!

Colin Smith said...

Congrats, NLiu! And thanks to everyone who gave my effort a shout-out. :)

NLiu said...

Woah, can't believe I won with my daft Yorkshire pudding and sausage!!

Thanks so much MaggieJ, John Davis Frain, Marie McKay and Colin Smith for the kind words! I shall try my best to always be this linguistically delectable.

Lennon Faris said...

Congratulations, NLiu!! Very well done. Er, do you say "well done" for pudding? Well done and set just right? Anyway, it was a great entry :)

NLiu said...

Lennon, “well done” is great for pudding. You so punny