Monday, November 02, 2020

Flash Fiction contest prelim results

I had a whole extra hour to read your work! It was a very worthwhile use of bonus time!

Words I had to look up

Ocker shanepatrickwrites

uxorial fearless reider

Here are the entries that stood out for me:

Steve Forti

Roc: Do you remember when I was young?
Benny: ‘Course. Me and Suzie had so much fun dressing you up. You hated it.
Roc: You went way over the top. The big sunglasses, fur coats.
Benny (dismissively): I see you’ve toned it down since then. Lame.
Roc: Don’t mock the crocodile frock.
Benny: Seems somebody’s woken up on the wrong side of the piano.
Roc: Bullocks. But whatever happened to Suzie, anyway?
Benny: Oh, her feet just can’t keep still. Ran off with some foreign guy.
Roc: Riiiight. So how do we end this?
Benny: Slow fade out.
Both: Laaaaaaaaaa……..


I LOVE this song!

Amy Johnson

Weekdays crocks.
Weekends woks.
Tuesdays sheets, Thursdays socks.
School and both jobs have a box.
She’s still wearing worn-out frocks.
Boyfriend freeloads, cheats, and mocks.
Her self-esteem hits the rocks.
But she graduates, gets the docs.
New job knocks.
Clock tocks.
Takes his key, still changes the locks.

I love this.

french sojourn
My dad had macular degeneration, so I got tested. Thanks dad! The doctor prescribed a vitamin, as a bonus, every four months I get an injection. It’s medieval. I imagine I hear a tiny, “ssssswok” as the needle is retracted from my eyeball.

Afterwards, I have the “look of rockets red glare”, my wife jokes.

Maybe in another life I mocked nuns, unlocked their diaries, bruised their ego’s? What did I do to deserve this crock of Schmidt?

Please get your eyesight tested, it saved mine… I promise.

“Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.”



Craig F

The doorbell gonged and the old warrior looked out the peeper. Then he wet his frock as he fumbled to make sure the door was locked.

On the stoop a mock croc had swokked just as the man looked out. It wasn’t the croc’s fault; the yummy morsel he was eating went down the wrong way as he swallowed, he choked.

The man ran for his shotgun; the war hadn’t been that long ago and mock crocs had been the shock troops of the enemy.

When he got back the wife was asking WTF the croc wanted.

“Trick or treat.”

I really appreciate how you used swok and then laid in the meaning later, in context. That's tidy exposition.



“I’m so tired of acronyms. Seriously, SWOK?”

“It means single, without kids.”

“Whatever, spell it out.”

“Fine, want me to be honest Kim? Ocker with unsuppressable memories of men in frocks seeks life partner. I’m five-three but weigh five-nine. I wear crocs and have a pair of dress sweats. I have three children locked in the basement. Long term goals include moving to a country without extradition agreements.”

“Is Ocker even a word?”

“It’s Aussie slang but it doesn’t matter anyway because this isn’t really a story.”

“Why not? It has a beginning, a middle and an end.”

this made me laugh! Deft and witty.

Not a story, but I can't get away with that here now, right?


Fearless Reider

Each century, they tryst –

the gentleman, immortal
the lady, incorporeal
the setting, très arboreal
at his castle, ancestorial,

they meet from time immemorial,
every hundredth Hallows’ Eve.

She dons her ghostly frock
and combs her cobweb locks,
then glides, phantasmagorial,
to greet him, all

Inside his castle dark, she harks
his footfalls coming near, so dear!
‘Til she hears, with wretched moan,
the swok of foamy soles on stone.

Shrieks resound, censorial!
She’ll pardon acts immoral,
and mortal sins pictorial,
even failings escritorial,
but travesties, sartorial?

“You mock me with your Crocs!” she wails.

And now they meet

This just cracked me up.


Timothy Lowe

High-pitched, mocking laughter fills the kitchen. Two tweens and an iPhone.

“If she only knew what we did on here!”

“Stupid phone block doesn’t cover WiFi!”

Voices warble, mimicking. “Turn it off! I can’t stand Juice Wrld!”

“All that bad language! Wait until your father gets home!”

“I’m calling Verizon!”

“What a crock! Juice Wrld’s woke.”

Heads huddling. Snickers.

Footsteps. The boys pull away. Angelic smiles.

“Hi Mom!”

She unfrocks them with a look. “Did I just hear something?”

“No, Mom. How’s Facebook?”

“Don’t.” She swipes right on a software designer. “You haven’t learned enough responsibility to handle these things.”

oohhh!!! So very dark and subtle!



The boy wore a multi-colored afro, CK jeans in the latest styles, and TikTok kept him informed on the prevailing trends of the minute. Masks with political messages were the latest.

In lockstep he marched with his woke comrades, yelling anti-something mantras, not realizing that being against something isn’t being for something; a microculture with allusions of grandeur; something to do on a Saturday night.

“We got one!” a black-clad figure yelled, mocking the old man shivering on the ground.

Blind hate for the other pulled the trigger.

The old man stopped breathing.

Yet, it was the boy who died.

So that grabbed me by the lapels, and hasn't let go yet.

Jennifer Rand

The hole was deep.
Sandstone rocks piled high, ready to be cast by those without sin.
An old tradition resurrected. He was elated. He'd missed the old days.
"Why now?" he inquired of his remaining, honorable daughter.
"The teachings were a crock, my father. The community is woke now."
"What does that mean?" he asked as he selected a handful of rocks. "Are you mocking me?"
She didn't answer.
"Where are your stones, my daughter?"
The growing crowd flocked around them.
She took the stones from his hand and blocked his exit. "I'll just use yours. You won't need them."

I only read The Lottery once. It's haunted me ever since.
Now, you're on that list.

I suggested two edits to increase the tension by removing information.


C. Dan Castro


"Velcro couch. Next big thing!"

"Velcro locks its cushions in place?"

"Nope. Let's put this microhook frock on your girl."

"That tickles, dingus!"

"Laurie, don't say that."

"We put Laurie on Velcrouch..."

"I'm stuck, dingus!"


"See, she's stuck. No worrying about her while you make food and babies."

"I teach at Harvard."


"Business and management. Do you mock--?"

"Look, Professor Homemaker. Strong Women of Kentucky is investing big. So it'd be good business--"

"I'm SWOK president. C'mon Laurie." RIPPPPPP.

"Bye, dingus!"

"Fine. Go. Don't worry, Velcrouch. We'll wow the next--Oh, she took the frock!"

 that last line makes his really hilarious.


Just Jan

All that’s left is a locket and a pair of pink Crocs.

“Spontaneous combustion,” the detective proclaims, plucking a singed envelope from the ashes. “S.W.O.K.?”

“Sealed With A Kiss.” I chuckle mirthlessly. “She never could spell.”

Inside is a ticket stub from our favorite movie, School of Rock, and the words: Your Tern.

“A pact?”

“Yes.” Not the kind he’s thinking of, though.

“Dangerous game. What’ll you do?”

Mocktails on the lanai. Insurance money to last a lifetime. “I’ll think of something.”

You never show. But a bird now follows me everywhere, and comes when I call your name. #WhenMagicGoesWrong


I can't choose of course.

There are several here that just knocked my sox off but for different reasons.

Help me out here.

Do you have a fave?

Did I overlook something I shouldn't have?

Weigh in in the comments column and I'll come back later in the day to post the winner.









nightsmusic said...

Casual-T. That last line is a killer (no pun intended) about the consequences of our action. This is the one that really stuck with me.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

I loved Fearless Reider's rhythm, Casual-T's heart-grab, and Jennifer Rand's twist. So I'm of no help in decision making! But thank you Janet for the fun words to work with!

Amanda said...

Congrats to all the finalists! It’s been fun to grow as a writer with all you! My pick for this week is Fearless Reader’s entry! Creative!

Amy Johnson said...

Wow! Thanks, Janet!

You're all amazing. I love reading your stories here.

Beth Carpenter said...

They're all so good, but my vote goes to Fearless Reider for the holiday-appropriate homage.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

They're all great. Love Amy's though. Love it.

french sojourn said...

I got a kick out of Just Jans, because "One good tern... deserves another."

There are a lot of talented scribes throughout all the entries.
Cheers! Hank

Jennifer Rand said...

I really like the bites you took out of my entry. Thank you, Ms. Shark! So much to learn from this exercise.

I'm also having difficulty picking a favorite. They're all so good in different ways. I guess it comes down to what you're hungry for.

Casual-T said...

Thanks for the mention, Janet, as well as the shout-outs, nightsmusic and Lisa Bodenheim.

So much good stuff here! C. Dan Castro’s Velcrouch is a fantastic idea. Is there a patent yet? I think combined with duct tape it’ll do the trick and keep Laurie put. I’ll test it on Casual Jr. and will report back... Other than that, I think Steve Forti’s is devilishly clever (as is to be expected from the Fortmeister!), Fearless Reider’s is timely for the season and rhymely for a reason, and Just Jan’s made me chuckle profusely...

As you can see, I’m no help at all.

NLiu said...

I most enjoyed Fearless Reider's (hilarious) and Amy Johnson's (brilliant). Please don't ask me to choose between them!

Craig F said...

I have read through these eight or ten times now. Each time a different one rises, like cream, to the top. I can't curse anyone by picking someone else, so I wish to offer up congrats to all.

Fearless Reider said...

Wow, I'm honored to be in such fine company -- thank you for the shout-outs! The contest was a welcome distraction from election anxiety and my disappointment that we had zero trick-or-treaters come by to try out my husband's awesome candy chute. I don't blame parents for erring on the side of caution, though -- cases are rising here and our ICUs are filling up, which is why I'm about to go make a dent in the bucket of leftover Halloween candy bars. There is going to be nothing fun-sized about my posterior if this level of tension keeps up.

Amy Johnson said...

Thanks for your kind words, E.M. and NLiu.

Karen McCoy said...

Nice set of entries! I tried to enter, but my effort didn't pass muster and I had some family stuff to deal with this weekend. But enjoyed reading these!