Friday, October 02, 2020

Flash Fiction contest!

I am so so ready for the end of this week.

I'm not sure why that is, it's not as though anything really changes on Saturday or Sunday. But somehow, the weekend still brings a sense of respite.

So, while you're lounging about, and I'm lollygagging about, let's have a writing contest!

The usual rules apply:

1. Write a story using 100 words or fewer.

2. Use these words in the story:


(NO Steve Forti extra prompt word this week.)

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: Saturday, 10/3/20, 9am
Contest closes: Sunday, 10/4/20, 9am

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! 



bhirschscribbles said...

The ol' dog rows. 'Is 'ands clasp raw lesions against them ores.

'E wants water, not the brine 'round now. Just a cup. Lot of good 'is rationing did.

'E sees nor 'ears nothin'. 'Ead lolls, 'is last dream is water, just a cup.

Steve Forti said...

“There’s no reason to serve plain hamburgers. Use exotic meats – giraffe, beefalo, llama, whatever. Be sure to cook ‘em low and slow, not just burn the outside. Don’t need people getting sick on crisp, raw llama steaks.”

“Vlad, it’s a kid’s 5th birthday party, not a state dinner. Burgers and dogs will be fine.”

“You don’t get it. You gotta put thought into what you feed them or everyone will leave unhappy.”

“Fine, I’ll go make some finger sandwiches.”

“Wonderful. Put them next to the virgin blood punch. Oh, and your fangs are splotchy. Go brush before the guests arrive.”

Kregger said...


“Damn! His heart is slippery.” The coroner scooped the organ from the floor. “It’s encased in fat. One too many s’mores?”

Snort! “Lol literally. Who knew he had a heart,” said the assistant.

The doc dropped the dead meat into a pan on the man’s sprawling belly.

“Wasn’t JFK the last one here at Walter Reed?”

“Well, at least in this condition.”

“I’m going to miss video of him snoring at his desk while watching Fox and Friends.”

“After four terms and eighty-six years, I’d nap too.”

“Do you think they’ll reenact the 22 amendment?”

“The horror. The horror.”

Brigid said...






"Our stores."

"He might fall."

"I'll catch him."

The newborn snored, sprawled contentedly beside his mother.

"Any more?"

She sighed. "Endless. Rabid dogs, political plots, children teasing. I can't sleep unless I feel him breathing."

"You worry too much. You should be lolling about, rhapsodizing about his eyebrows."

"The midwife says it's normal to feel this way."

He stroked her hair.

"Darling. Astyanax will be fine."

Beth Carpenter said...

“Medical history.”

Rawlins scrawls his name. “You hear ‘bout that fellow what rented a radioactive house? Ten mil. Better’en most top lottery winners.” His hobby: concocting money-making schemes that entail neither investments nor efforts.

I refuse to be drawn. “Privacy statement.”

Another signature. “Bucket of uranium ore, spread it in my basement—easy money.” He grins, imaginary millions already in his grasp.

“Rawlins, it’s your house.” I gather the papers. “Who you gonna sue?”

He glares like I snatched his lollipop.

I fan through the stack. All signed, including the transfer deed I slipped in. Easy money.

No uranium required.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

The remains of a fire ravaged tree stood black against the gunmetal gray sky. Vultures hopped from limb to limb, bickering for the dominant position. Their grotesque bald heads lolled as they eyed the putrid decay sprawled out on the plot of scorched earth below. Two more months and it would all be gone.


2020, finally taking that eternal snore-fest. A dirt nap to beat all dirt naps.

Suddenly, the vultures turned their beady yellow eyes to the horizon. There, a glimmer of bright light: 2021. Barely visible, but a beacon just the same. The elegant promise of renewal.

Kaye George said...

“LOLL,” sprawled across my screen. He had misspelled it again. Had the volume of my snores awakened me? Or the ding of his arriving text? Which of them, or even something else? Maybe the plot of the book I had been reading when I fell asleep. It was too much like our crippled relationship. Him, unable to write a single error-free text. Me, unable to resist correcting his mistakes. It was time to end this.

Michael Seese said...

Nervous hands fumbling with the microphone, I thanked grace that owing to the venue, they couldn't see the fear sprawled across my face.

I cleared my throat.

"Good evening, folks. So... anyone here from out of town?"


Apparently, irony doesn't translate well.

"I feel good. I've spent weeks training for this," I said, flexing my thumbs.

More silence, the wickedest of marplots.

Then the heckling started.

"Could this be more boring?"
"I wish you could hear me snore."

I hastily switched off the phone, thus ending my first—and last—foray into the world of SMS stand-up.

Timothy Lowe said...

In the darkened gallery, heads lolled. Angelic forms sprawled, wings akimbo. Feathers drifted like confetti.

“More plot!” shouted a voice from the back.

“Snoresville!” shouted another voice.

At the podium, a demon chuckled. Pointed at the other demon. Mugged at the bored crowd.

“You losers!” shouted the first voice.

“Fascists!” shouted the second.

Spurred to action by the voices, the demons engaged in a baffling squabble. One talked over the other, who wasn’t saying anything anyway.

“Do something!” shouted a third voice. “Jesus!”

The moderator shook his heavenly locks and did nothing.

Craig F said...

He bought him a suit, cut off his hair, and went off to work in tall buildings.

But the virus arrived and they sent him home, where loblolly pines once swayed.

There were no trees left to hang a hammock in and snore, sprawl covered all of his home plot.

The clouds were no longer cotton candy in the sky, the farms now grew servers and more.

Worst of all was that he hadn’t been there to say goodbye.

Jennifer Rand said...

Coffee in hand and hopes high, I sprawl on my snot green couch to read a submission. Halfway through the query, I'm drowning in character soup with no plot. No stakes on the page. I plod on until my head grows heavy and lolls back. I snap forward and refocus with a sense of responsibility toward the author's hopes and dreams. But what's on the page goes nowhere, and my mind follows. More than an hour passes before I wake to the sound of my own snores.

At my desk I choose the appropriate form letter:

...No, thank you...

Luralee said...

Phone rings
I select smileface.

“How are you celebrating?” Her grinface asks.

I hitch up smileface. “Watching my screen, same as everyone.”

“Not Moreen, she’s going in person!”

I attempt jealousface. “Lucky! She could get on TV!”
Dog, oblivious, sprawls and snores. I nudge him awake—jealousface finally achieved.

“Nana’s Making popcorn,” says yumface.

My stomach plots dissent.

Onscreen, music begins. I paste on solemnface and scan the slavering crowd.
Voiceover condemns the accused.
Trapdoor drops.

I LOL like everyone and rush to like, but cryface gives me away.

Mallory Love said...

The cemetery sprawled over seventy acres and 300 years. Finding the right plot proved more difficult than James anticipated. Lori would accuse him of lollygagging after taking so long. Before retirement, he could rob a grave in under twenty minutes flat. But that was another life. Sunrise peeked over the horizon. He begin to run. He had only minutes. As he shuffled closer to his destination, a gravedigger, leaning on his shovel, spotted him. James froze. Loud snores started reverberating from the gravedigger. He pushed forward, finally reaching the double tombstone engraved James and Lori Calderwood, both undead since 1878.

votre*astre said...

Never alive. Not on stage, rocked by screams from faces hollowed to skulls by strobing lights. Not backstage, where the swallow girl passed pills and a promise of more color. Not here, sprawled in an open grave.

I’m made of ice and burning, crucified to the earth. It sways under my weight; my head lolls with its dip.

A snake the shape of my girlfriend kicks me, her voice more addictive than mine. “Bastard,” she says.

I choke out a sound half snore, half growl. The colors are blooming now, finally, splotches of red and white and black, black, black.

MK_Writes said...

The rat’s head lolls in front of them, muddy, disheveled, and impressively stiff.

“Dinner!” says the snake.

The cat sprawls on the path, belly splayed flat against the ground as he dangles a paw directly under dinner's nose. The rat huffs a snore, then suddenly red eyes flash open. It takes off down the path, disappearing behind a clump of azaleas.

“This is not what I meant,” the cat growls. “More death. Less…scampering.” He scowls, then leisurely begins to clean his whiskers.

“A plot twist I did not expect,” the snake admits. “I was hoping for the tail.”

C. Dan Castro said...

"Nice prop. Lot's beautiful. Let's experience the veranda." The realtor saunters out.

HE'S NO REALTOR, I text. Difficult with a bubbleheaded socialite's perfect nails.

MO REALTOR? I'm about to get killed, and my partner notes typos.




On the veranda, something pops. Like a buckle.

SWARM. My final text?

I charge. If the "realtor" is changing into his Gimp Killer outfit—he kills women, not gimps—then—


Sprawled on a settee, the realtor holds...a champagne bottle?

“The seller accepted your offer!”


Just Jan said...

It was a dismal day to work through plot holes, and the more Carrie struggled, the more muddled she became. Lollipop wrappers littered her desk, but the book remained a snore, a sprawling tome of frippery.

Until the knock, followed by a voice that Carrie heard often in her head. “Dearest love, open the door!”

The nerve! Not only had he been unfaithful to her protagonist, he also gave disastrous advice. “You’re everything that’s wrong with my story,” she declared.

The solution crystallized. Carrie retrieved her pistol, flung open the door, and fired.

“There,” she said, “I’ve killed my darling.”

Matt Krizan said...

Shannon: How’s the sprawling epic fantasy novel coming along? ;)

Lucas: Great! Had a good idea for a plot twist: they realize it was just a dream!!! XD

S: *snore* lol

L: What?

S: Might wanna try something a bit more original. Next you’ll tell me the bad guy’s really the good guy’s father and there’s a wizard and a magic ring.

L: I’ve seen Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. I’m not stupid. :/

S: Of course not.

L: I added a murder mystery to it, though!

S: Did the butler do it?

L: How did you know?!

Colin Smith said...

I’ll never forget how she was sprawled over the chair. Head cocked to one side. Drool down her cheek. A vapid smile on her dry lips.

Benson examined while I watched.

“Wounds?” I said after a few minutes.

“Eyes bloodshot. Nothing more. Neither cuts nor exit wounds.”

“Then how did this happen? Her brain just plotzed?”


Benson reached beside the seat cushion and pulled out a phone. He turned it on.

“Text messages,” he said. “Last thing she wrote was ‘lol lol lo’”

“What was she…?”

But it was too late. Benson had scrolled up. He was grinning. Chuckling…

Fearless Reider said...

“Doomscrolling again?”

His screen dimmed. “Didn’t mean to wake you.”

“Wasn’t the light,” she yawned and sprawled, “but the absence of snores. What’s up?”

“Killjoys at the CDC. No trick-or-treating now.”

“What MORE can they take?” she sighed. So much surrendered already. No wee wizards or fairies afoot, no sweet Elsas trawling the streets for lollies and treats? A plot to sow misery. “Who’ll break it to the little monsters?”

“I’ll think of something.”

“You always do,” she purred.

Harvest moon rose dark and brooding.
“Something new, my darlings.” He clasped greedy paws. “We're going door to door this year.”

Tadizi said...

The beast lollopped toward them, gaining speed, but her two quick shots left it sprawled on the floor.

“Sure there aren’t more?” he asked, gasping to refill his lungs with shallow breath.

“Last one,” she confirmed. “We’re the only two people still alive. We need to leave before the infection spreads to us.”

Their last argument seemed so silly now. She longed for her worst problem to be his snores waking her up.

He kissed her cheek and turned to lead them away. It was then she noticed three splotches on the back of his neck and raised her gun.

RosannaM said...

Big Dipper plum rested upon the chuck wagon as if to ladle out chili. I breathed in the endless sky, driving the filth of the city outta my pores. Phillip sprawled half out of his sleeping bag, snores rumbling like a Harley, spewing distillery smells my way.

Dude ranch vacations tuckered a fellow out. I lifted his lolling head and toasted to the night. He swallowed, more or less.

He was biding time till Jackson where the posh people were.

I abhorred posh. I had a plot of land picked out to buy with the insurance money.

Swallow, Phillip, swallow.

John Davis Frain said...

“Things are in order,” Edward said. “I’m ready.”

Visitor pointed at the pages. "This?"

His life’s work, that. “My manuscript.”

Visitor nodded. “And you would submit next? I mean, if I weren’t here?”

“Umm, no. One more step. Still have to write a synopsis.”

“So by taking you now, you’d never write the synopsis?”

“I’m finally ready, and now you’re lollygagging. There’s some irony.”

The figure sprawled on the sofa. Steady breathing. A soft snore.

“No! Take me!” Edward grabbed its lapels. “Your quota!”

“Plot twist, Edward. We’re way ahead of schedule this year. Start with the narrative arc…”


Marie McKay said...

She was a witch. (She was a mother, a daughter and a midwife.)

Three babies born dead just this year. Unnatural. (And three more made grieving mothers as children.)

Hiding her craft, all the time plotting. (She had raised the issue of child marriage to The Committee.)

Lollar Berns insisted he'd resisted her spells of seduction. (She knew Lollar Berns snored. She'd had to brew the lech a medicinal tea. He sprawled on the floor while his wife bore their fourth child.)

The Committee gathered for the burning. (They couldn't know it would be their own.)

french sojourn said...

“Damnit Gracie, I’m so tired of watching our son sprawled out on the sofa, we gotta get him outside more.”

“Now Philip, he’s not lollygagging about, he’s depressed… his birthday is coming up next week.”

“With his lisp, he can’t even blow out candles!”

“That’s not fair Philip, you can’t either.”

“How’s he ever going to find a wife?”

“Be nice, he takes after his father.”

“I don’t snore… that much.”

“When he’s grownup, lots of girls will see how wonderful he is.”

“I know Gracie, it’s just… something’s missing.”

“You intimidate him Philip, don’t forget… you bar-be-qued a Dragonslayer!”

NLiu said...

You think of it as urban sprawl. You snore past it on the train, heading for somewhere more important. Your lollygagging thoughts plod along their routines, sidle past the extraordinary without a backward glance.

You aren't looking. So you don't see.

Splotches of graffiti mean nothing to you. You don't notice the paint is all the same colour. You don't notice it's spreading.

You didn't notice us arrive either.

But, the thing is this.

We noticed you.

Are you looking now?

Beth Carpenter said...

One of my favorite retorts, and I can't even remember the movie, was:
"Need I say more?"
"Only if you want me to know what the hell you're talking about."

I suspect my story was like that. I pictured a health aid, tired of listening to Rawlins go on and on with his complex easy-money schemes, slipping a title transfer in among his medical papers to sign so that his house would transfer to her upon his death. And gloating because she fooled him with something so simple.