Friday, August 07, 2020

The SUPER diabolical flash fiction challenge

I'm so damn loopy I forgot what day it was!
On the bright side, I did know my name. (That's not always a given)

I know I haven't posted the contest results from last week.
I can hear the chorus of unhappy writers chanting and lighting torches.

I'm sure I'll be able to finish up this weekend.
I'm working on two on-deadline things, so at some point I'll need a break for hilarity.

In the meantime, here's an increasingly diabolical flash fiction opportunity.
Don't blame me for these prompt words! You guyz provided them!

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

2. Use these words in the story:
supine-C. Dan Castro 
chonky-Terri Lynn Coop
vital-Lennon Faris 

and this one which MUST be used with the letters in order, as in think of this as
ONE word not four,


I am chortling with delight at how diabolical I think I am.
Of course, that will only last till Sunday....

(NO Steve Forti extra prompt word this week. I have retired from the field of battle. Forti Thwarts the Shark!)

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.

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.

9. There are no circumstances in which it is ok to ask for feedback from ME on your contest entry. NONE.

10. 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"

11.. Please do not post anything but contest entries. (Not for example "I love Felix Buttonweezer's entry!"). Save that for the contest results post.

12. 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.

13. 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: 5:30am, Saturday, August 8, 2020
Contest closes: 9:00 am, Sunday, August 9, 2020

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! 
Rats, too late, contest now closed.


Mallory Love said...

“This place is a toad-in-a-hole.”
“The phrase is hole-in-the-wall, Mom.”
“That’s what I said.”
“It’s a cafeteria. The food’s decent.”
“This steak tastes like supine.”
“Turpentine, and it doesn’t.”
“That’s what I said, and it does.”
“So, did you look at the papers I sent?”
“Did you know Gladys has liver failure? That’s a vile organ.”
“Vital. Did you hear me, Mom?”
“Yes, yes, your Control of Power papers. I saw them.”
“Power of Attorney. It’s for the best.”
“You’re getting chonky. Here take a vitamin.”
“Chunky.”(crunch…gag) “What is this?”
“How could you?”
“That’s what I said!”

Thomas Woodward said...

A Fancy Feast

"Fine. I’ll make Mr. Smithers toad-in-a-hole,” Edwina said, nudging the phone closer to her ear.
“Oh, but he adores it!”
“No, you can’t have any, Richard."
"Chonky...what? He certainly is not! Good morning.” Click.
Edwina’s eyes fixed on Mr. Smithers, who was busily purring on the bannister. Apparently, it was of vital importance that he get his breakfast. But what a dreadful morning! Edwina lay supine, reading Cat Fancier. Maybe in another hour or two she would find the wherewithal to drag herself to the cafeteria. Perhaps.

Sian Brighal said...

"Admit it. You're a bit disappointed, aren't you?"
"Yeah. When he said he had a chonky slab of toad-in-the-hole waiting for me in the cafeteria I didn't think he meant lunch."
Her friend sighed sympathetically. "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, Mary."
"Says the woman who thought 'let's get supine' related to soup."
"Yes...but I had a lot of fun finding out what he meant"
"You tart."
They chuckled fondly over their coffees. "Just out of interest, Mary, why didn't you take him up on his offer to go over vital statistics?"
"I was never any good at maths."

Jackie said...

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.

Just Jan said...

I arrived in the ER to find life-saving measures being performed on a supine bloke who’d visited the cafeteria too many times.

“What’s his story?” I asked.

The paramedic pointed to a woman outside the curtain. She’d thrown a johnny over her nightie, but it wasn’t enough. “She says he choked on an amphibian.”

I clutched my vitals instinctively. I’d heard of dogs dying from cane toad poisoning, but bufotoxin didn’t make the top ten list of common suicide methods.

Suddenly, my colleague plunged forceps into the patient’s mouth and plucked out a chonky sausage.

“See?” cried the trollop. “Toad-in-a-hole!”

MaggieJ said...

"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.

Matt Krizan said...

“How did it go last night with the British guy?” said Diana.

“Ooh, is this a new cafĂ©?” Teri asked, stopping to scan the menu in the window. “Yum. Biscotti, tiramisu, pineapple tarts—I’m totes becoming chonky just reading this.”

“Teri, focus. Your date?”

“Like, total perv. I talk about my favorite foods, he says he wants to do me.”

“Do you?”

“Yeah, something about sticking his toad in my hole.”

A pained expression crossed Diana’s face. “You mean, toad-in-a-hole?”

“Yeah, creepy right? Ooh, Turkish coffee!”

“Yup, totally creepy.” Diana shook her head. “Does this place serve alcohol?”

Timothy Lowe said...

The grinning mascot leaped on a table. Gyrated his chonky midriff. Giggled obscenely.

Noise in the cafeteria swelled to a din.


“Trees don’t giggle!”


Another tree shuffled in. Did a pirouette.

“Are you kidding?”

“How dare you! The Stanford Tree is a vital part of our band’s culture!”

A third tree stumbled in. Groaned. Collapsed. Lay supine.

“This isn’t a lumberjack competition!”


A fourth tree pranced in and promptly flounced away.

“What the fuck?” the head of the selection committee yelled. “You’re leaving before we make a decision?”

“You told me to make like a tree . . .”

Casual-T said...

“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.

Craig F said...

This year was a record of the Cane Toad infestation. It is a shame they would never grace a cafeteria’s menu, but some say licking them will give you a buzz, others say it will relieve you of your vitality, kill you dead, bufotoxin.

A buried 5-gallon bucket provided the toad in a hole trick. They being chonky, almost corpulent, they can’t jump high.

I put the top on a bucket full of them and turned. There she was, the mother of them all. Looked like my damned pickup. Her tongue flew out and knocked me supine.

“Yeck, Covid cooties.”

B.I.Hirsch said...

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.

shanepatrickwrites said...

“That’s what happens when you eat an entire pan of toad-in-a-hole in one go.”

“Maybe, but this is our fourth time at Tall Tales Cafeteria. And he’s not chonky like the others,” she gestured to the supine form, its vitality departed. “I think it’s poison.”

“Look, she’s not killing writers on purpose.”

“Deliberately or not, withholding lab results can have murderous consequences.”

C. Dan Castro said...

Tiny Pynchon, KY. My "Lot 41 Cafeteria." Where I hide, crying.

Outside, protesters rage. Right wingers? Left?

They dismember Raoul Wallenberg. His stone form supine one moment, but salvageable; then obliterated, and lost forever.

Wallenberg was vital to saving Hungarian Jews. Thousands. Including my grandparents.

I don't exist without Wallenberg.

Do the protesters know what he achieved?

How he died?

His name, even?

I listen to a din--

"AHOLE!" a librarian screams above them.

They empty her temple.


Pages curl, disintegrate. No Wallenberg to save them.

Boys point. And laugh.

Burning our town. Our history. Our country.

Tain Leonard-Peck said...

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.

Colin Smith said...

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.”

travelkat said...

“Mr. Rabbit, what a vacation! Those meadows had superb grass, so vital, made our field seem like cafeteria slop.”

“Agreed, love. What’s this?”

“Look at our house, the door’s open. There’s a toad-in-a-hole, someone dug into our burrow!”

“That’s young Albert! Seems like just yesterday he was a sweet little tadpole.”

“Not so sweet now, I smell fermented clover.”

“Who’s lying supine, Brigette Badger?”

“That chonky mess? I’m not surprised about her.”

“Wonder what else they’ve been doing like bunnies? Better dig a nursery.”

“I’m only one, too young to be a grandma!”

“Junior! No leaving the den. You’re grounded!”

Steph Ellis said...

The cafeteria was smokin’ hot but he’d got stuck with ‘toad-in-a-hole-Brigid’, even her apartment was ‘brass monkeys’. She’d pushed down the vitals by 100 degrees, the ambience positively Siberian.

“I thought you liked it on the rocks, darling,” she said, cushioning his supine body with even more ice cubes.

“Rocks, yes. Iceberg, no.” He averted his eyes from his chonky reflection. He appeared to have … shrunk, somewhat. “When they called you the Ice Maiden, I thought they meant something else.”

She laughed and he shrivelled a little more.

“Oh dear,” she said, disappointed. “I think I’ve sunk the Titanic.”

Steve Forti said...

“Hey man, s’up?”
“I ne
ed 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 a
lready 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.”

Tara Tyler said...

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!

Brigid said...

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.

Marie McKay said...

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.

alyson faye said...

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.’

C. H. Reaver said...

"Put it down!"
"Don't panic, hon."

le. You must go to a di-"

"Nah, ol' E
ddie Cook's been to one. Humbugs, all of 'em."

"I hope you don't eat like that at the corporate cafeteria. Not just because your food lacks vital nutrients." She sighed. "I liked the lemon tiramisu. Pineapple pizza was a mistake, but not yours only. Dipping fries in melted bacon ice cream is harder to redeem, yet I accepted that. But you're NOT deep-frying a Mars bar, even if it's a Scottish dish."

She spotted a can of oyster stout on the table.


Mike Howard said...

The sign on the door read, "Special, Today Only: Toad-In-A-Hole!"
"Not on my watch!" Winnie snarled. "We're a vegan cafeteria!" She slammed through the door and stoped in her tracks.
Brigid, her chef and bulky best friend, floated, naked and supine, near the ceiling, her chonky body resting on nothing but air.
Something smashed Winnie's back, hurling her up and through the doorway. Her right toes caught a diabolically placed bucket, and soapy wash water splashed the floor under her friend.
Winnie crashed and slid under Brigid.
A Trap!
It was vital she move.
Brigid dropped.
Too late.

smoketree said...

The Cafeteria Experience

The butter's spread too thick!
—Lois Carol [sic]

“The Marianas Trench is no place for toad-in-a-hole!” Duckworth expostulated, supine among the cabbages.

Responded Montgomery Chonk, “You, my step-uncle, may recall the wholesale destruction of your armada, as we discovered after the flagship limped into port.”

(Dear reader: Please follow this vital tale to its astonishing conclusion or perish from the Bavarian poison paper you are holding in your hands.)

“Asets sheidzleba iq’os,” responded Duckworth, “but since you were defenestrated from a bathyscaphe, this entire conversation has been anaesthetically induced.”

Suddenly, everyone was run over by a truck.

Terri Lynn Coop said...

After last week’s Scrabble “fopdoodle” debacle, I wasn’t sure what to expect from our trip to the neighborhood cafeteria.

“After two months supine, socializing is vital.”

He shifted his Ghostrider mask. “Agreed. Outside graphics are awesome but the interface is still clunky.”

Everything was fine until we saw the fat cat sunning on the sidewalk. I could tell by his bright eyes that I already regretted this.

Striking a dance pose, he bellowed:


All I wanted was toad-in-a-hole. Was that too much to ask? WAS IT?

Megan V said...

Lights out. Doors barred. Not a soul in sight. Everything about the place said closed—for everyone except me. I refused to be denied.
The latch was easy. Apply weight and, voila, my cafeteria was open for business. One last vital check of my surroundings and I strode inside. Sniffed. Had someone made a toad-in-a-hole? Well, my chilled nose wasn’t one to be gainsaid. I pawed my way back.
Suddenly, hands grabbed my legs.
I yowled.
“What do you think you’re doing, huh, chonky boi?”
Note to self: supine humans can be stealthy. Mrrt. At least they give decent pets.

Michael Seese said...


"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.

Kelli Mahan said...

“Chonky. And cromchy. Spotted Dick s’posed ta be cromchy?”

“It’s the same basic recipe the cafeteria uses. Try another bite.”

(Chomp-Snarf! Intense chop-licking)

“Still heckin’ cromchy. Not sure I likes.”

“Maybe if you sit up, instead of dining supine?”

“Makes a diffrense?”

“Are you really trying to tell me the texture is vitally important to you? Seriously? I’ve seen some of the stuff you eat!”

“Todd-in-a-hole wuzn’t so chonky. Lab tested an’ approved.”

“Toad-in-a-hole. But yeah, ok, duly noted.”

Thoughtful pencil twirling, then:
- Debone before grinding
- Woodchipper?
- Side note: Lab pickier than Rottweiler

RosannaM said...

Supine, moon a vanilla ice cream single-scoop, low and bright.

Sleep impossible.

Fourteen days in, sixteen left.

Ice cream single-scoop. Twix.

Keening moan from Cookie.

Fudge. Toad-in-a-hole. Bacon.

Snore-gasp from Porky.

Cafeteria baked beans. Lime Jello.

Even SOS sounds good. Chipped beef in cream sauce. On toast. Creamy, salty. Toast all soggy. Yum.

Sleep impossible.

Moon, a globe of mashed potatoes.

Gravy. Butter. Sour cream and chives.

Ferocious stomach growling from Gordo.

I give.

Short note.
“I quit.”

Terence Mackey-me (nickname-Pudge.)
(Vital to read the contract. Game show, he said. I pictured Jeopardy. Fine print said “Chonky-No-More Island.”)

Fearless Reider said...

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.

french sojourn said...

“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.

LivStrom said...

Marvin registered the vast cafeteria landscape before him. Rows of dead wooden contraptions to be filled with two-legs, seated like hens on a stick. Not vital. Only the hole in the opposite wall through which bars of sunshine pierced the gloom mattered.

Accelerating into a trot, his four cloven feet propelled the chonky body forward. Steps slammed into the floor behind him in pursuit.

Marvin twisted and slid for cover, ending supine under a table. The pursuer grunted in his unintelligible tongue and swung the cleaver.

A squeal was all it took – farm to table toad-in-a-hole fresh as it gets.

Kae Ridwyn said...

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.

NLiu said...

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.