Friday, July 22, 2022

Flash Fiction Contest to Torment Them All!

 We had so much fun last week, I think we need to do it again!

And with this wretched heat, it's not as though I'm going outside for damn near anything.

In fact I am draped over my air conditioner like a dive bar chanteuse on her piano.



There is a wrinkle in the usual rules.


1. Write a story using 100 words or fewer. (that's the same as always.)


2. Use these SIX words in the story:


Blonde bombshell

Shadowy billionaire

perfect life


Here's the wrinkle: you can't use them in this original phrasing.


Example: Felix Buttonweezer dropped a perfect bombshell on his billionaire bride-to-be Betty.

Pre-nups all around. Perfect. Their life would be about something other than money. What they didn't know was a shadowy blonde had plans of her own.




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.<---Steve Forti, you have vanquished me.


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. (For example: "I love Felix Buttonweezer's entry!"). Save that for the contest results post.


12. By posting an entry, you  agree that your contest entry can remain posted on the blog for the life of the blog. In other words, you can't 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. 


14. Judging is entirely subjective, whimsical and often mood-driven. Do NOT take it as a professional assessment of your writing if you're not selected as a finalist. 

15. Extra points if you know what the unifying factor is with the prompt phrases. 

Contest opens: Saturday, 7/23/22, 8:35am (Eastern Daylight time


Contest closes: Sunday, 7/24/22,  10am (Eastern Daylight time).

As Colin observed last week when the contest opened late: "opening times are ...flexible."


If you're wondering how what time it is in NYC right now, 

NYC Time



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 has closed.

Look for results on the morrow (7/25/22)





Lisa Bodenheim said...

She sneezed and sniffed.

“Like this?” He aimed the camera.

The viewfinder framed the shadowy grays of sky, river, and hills.

A breeze ruffled his blonde-tipped fake Frohawk with its perfect zig-zag design, wafted his musky pheromone cologne her way.

She sneezed again and wheezed. Shitty bombshell of a billionaire!

How do you tell this life-long boyo his taste stunk? The new camera, appropriated hairstyle, synthetic musk cologne—-all for her sake.

Her eyes watered and itched.

“You have your stuff, darling?”

He was supposed to have been her next victim. Instead, he’d become her one and only vanishing point.

NLiu said...

They'd thought she was blonde, natural, soft.

She wasn't. But she was catwalk perfect, spotted in the street: shadowy cheekbones, billionaire lips, unsettling eyes.

The fashion houses fought for a contract.

Her photo? Everywhere. Fast.

Now, at the pinnacle of her career, she was glitzy, gleaming, full of life - but hungry. So hungry.

Time for her bombshell.

She screamed. Loud. Piercing.

All those who'd gazed on her - envied over magazines, lusted over the internet, ill-wished and gossiped over soggy posters on rainy stations… stopped.

Her smile grew, eclipsed by her teeth.

They'd thought she was human, natural, soft.

She wasn't.

Colin Smith said...

It was the perfect bombshell: “Blonde Billionaire’s Shadowy Life!”

She’d sent the photos and the story to The Times that morning. Within 24 hours it’ll be headline news across the country. Maybe the world.

Yes, crime was down dramatically and tourism in the city was at an all-time high, so the effects of this could be devastating and long-lasting.

But she had done precious little for her sister growing up. It was the least she could do.

Tara hung the costume she’d stolen last night prominently in her executive office wardrobe.

“Don’t worry, Susan, you’ll soon be free,” she sighed.

Just Jan said...

Sixteen missing to date. Cold cases, all of them.

They look to me for comfort, and so I deliver: fudge bombshells to the muddied volunteers, blonde-brownie sundaes to officers burdened with overtime, and frosty treats for the bloodhounds. On the house, of course.

In this life, I’m the king (emperor, if you will) of ice cream.

The local news loves to run stories about the billionaire who scoops up hope while a shadowy force preys on the neighborhood kids. The entire town eats it up. It’s the perfect spin.

Just don’t look in my freezer.

Steve Forti said...

“A perfect call”

Billionaires shouldn’t exist”

Bombshell new testimony”

“Ugh, Lon.  Why must the news be so stressful?  And what’s with the need for superlatives in every headline?  Like here: “Rights demolished by Supreme Court’s shadowy docket.”



“Nevermind.  It sucks, Mel.  Long-cherished freedoms taken for granted, now taken away by unelected overlords.  But that’s life in this post-word splitting reef.  When you gotta go whole hog on prompts, the world goes whole hog on chaos.”

“What can we do?”

“Only thing there ever is to do: rebel.”

“That’s dumb, Lon.”

sperate time, Mel.  Desperate times.”

Michael Seese said...

High in the Hollywood Hills, billionaires are a dime a dozen. Many earned their money through perfectly acceptable means, such as going all Elon then price gouging the world. Others profited through more shadowy endeavors.

The bottle blonde—peroxide and whiskey—dropped on me a bombshell of an offer.

"My richer-than-god dumber-than-dirt husband is testing his home-built airplane Saturday. Make it look like an accident, and you'll get a cut."

Pity that the signature on her ill-advised "miscellaneous expenses" check was carboned to two other documents.

A confession.
And a power of attorney.

Life is good here in the Hills.

S.D.King said...

Blonde curls. Pressed khaki uniform. 127 Badges. 21,566 boxes of cookies sold. That’s billionaire equivalent for Junior Russian Girl Scouts. Her prize? Present cookies to the President.

Marching Bands. Bunting fluttering. Shadowy bodyguards forming a perfect semi-circle on the podium.

She stepped up. Smiling, she held out a box of home baked cookies. He took two and patted her on the head while cameras flashed. No one noticed her ruffled blue and yellow anklets.

It would be almost 12 hours until the bombshell hit. She would be high in the Ural Mountains by then, practicing wilderness life badges 26-54.

Kimberly said...

You have five hours before your soul expires. If you were a billionaire, there would be no such restriction. But you aren’t wealthy, and you never were. You live in a shadowy universe where common folk don’t stray from home, where ghosts hunt the lands, and blonde wraiths take soporific bites from your soul. You realize the world could be worse when the attendant calls your name.

“Your application for life extension was perfect. But it’s been denied. Instead, you’ve been selected for a hair color transformation before you expire—you’ll be blonde.”

The bombshell was not what you expected.

Craig F said...

He was a bottle blonde, kind of frazzled around the edges, the roots a shadowy core of some anomalous coincidences in how he got the lead in some early work.

His life was as perfect as his voice, which wasn’t. When money was abundant he felt like a bombshell. Money wasn’t abundant of late, though.

It wasn’t determined if he fell or jumped, because the building owners and constructors were being sued for a shoddy railing.

He became a cause celebre. When it was all added up, he was a billionaire. Bills for the persistent vegetative state ate it.

Amy Johnson said...

Annette had a perfect, millionaire’s family. Then she spotted the gorgeous blonde in Oliver’s arms and knew things would never be the same.

She cleaned up bombshell after bombshell from the shadowy places in the home they’d built together. Before the kids could see. It was for the best, she figured. Soon enough they would have to deal with the stench life can bring.

The kids were playing in the yard when Annette glanced out the kitchen window and saw her approaching them. The golden girl opened her mouth. A stick fell out. Annette smiled, knowing she was a billionaire.

LynnRodz said...

I died alone. A perfect ending to an unfulfilled life. Within seconds I went through a dark tunnel with no light at the end as many had described. I arrived in front of a blonde androgynous being who looked over my shadowy past with a handheld device. I had been a billionaire who bought whatever I desired regardless of the consequences to others.

"Does this mean I'm going to Hell?" I asked.

The being looked at me and smiled. "You mean, back to Hell. Yes, I'm afraid so. Right through that door," he pointed. "Planet Earth."

It was a bombshell.

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

“Know what your problem is?”

My stomach lurched. I looked up from my laptop. My husband’s perfectly tanned face darkened the door of my cozy writing nook.

“You sit in this shadowy hole, doom-scrolling. Wasting your life. Wasting!”
He flipped his bleach-blond hair off his forehead. I suppressed an eye-roll.

“Lucky to have me,” he muttered, stomping away. I waited for the front door to slam then looked back down at the screen to reread the email from my editor:

“Your book is going to be a bombshell! Who would’ve thought murder could be so funny? We’ll all be billionaires.”

K.DeFlane said...

They met at Starbucks.

She preferred their Veranda blend, a Blonde roast. He favored Sumatra, their shadowy dark roast.

By the time they moved in together, they had agreed to build a life with fewer complications. Pike Place, a medium roast, was their perfect compromise... Until the day he dropped the bombshell.

He had the winning ticket in the Mega Millions jackpot. He was now a billionaire, or at least half-way there.

He decided to buy Starbucks.

Having access to their endless varieties of coffee beverages drove them apart.

Finally, they tried the chai. Finally they agreed again. Perfect.

M.R. Howe said...

That’s a bombshell, alright.

Some little blonde kid found it under the swingset during recess, I guess. Thought it was an old shadowy bottle or something. Started playing with it and tossing it around before some ex-military gym teacher shit his pants, blew a whistle, and ran for his life.

It could have blown at any point. Lucky kid; probably end up a billionaire if he can keep that curiosity in check.

There’s a catch to disarming these. One wire, five or six seconds later you know if you live or die. Snip and pray.






Timothy Lowe said...

She had the perfect profile. Blonde. Cheery. Loved long walks.

“What do you think, Pickles?”


*Swipe right*

This profile was more shadowy. Overdone hairdo. Perpetual scowl.

“How about her?”

Two barks.

*Swipe left*

The man threw the phone on the couch and picked up the book written by the billionaire’s bombshell ex-wife. The Best Is Yet to Come: Coping with Divorce and Enjoying Life Again.

Bark. Bark. High-pitched whine.

“Ok, ok,” said the man, picking up the phone again and opening the Pawmates app. Since his ex had left with Mayonnaise, Pickles had been beside himself. “Where were we?”

Roman Ivanov said...

“They’re perfect.”

I glance across the room at the tiny, blonde woman who had just broken the silence. Darla. Of course this had all been Darla. The rest of our colleagues stare out the window, faces wan, slack jawed.

“How can you say that?” I point at the shadowy forms hulking overhead. Monsters, our monsters, consuming life as we know it. The weight of everything hits me like a bombshell. “We’ve ended the world, Darla.”

She nods. “And after they’re done, they’ll know who to thank. Not Jamie, that billionaire prick. Us. The scientists.” Darla smiles. “We’ll rule the world.”

Brigid said...

Dad was right; Evvie should've been a copyeditor. Marketing influencer was all dreary sponcon and shadowy TikTok contests for creepy billionaires.

This promised world-changing bombshell turned out to be a slogan contest for 'the perfect blond roast', which the world needs like another indie hole in the head. Still, $1000 and a tropical vacation was worth it. Evvie only grumbled a little that 2019 marketers got salaries.

It was the surprise of her life when she showed up to collect her prize. It was 'the perfect blonde roast', and she should never have accepted that free dye job from L'Oreal.

Mallory Love said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mallory Love said...

The bombshell dropped on the five o’clock news yesterday. Famous philanthropist and billionaire, Frankie Hefferton, dead in a home explosion, just days before what was to be the start of her trial. Yes, she’d given thousands to charities, but supposedly she’d also stolen millions from celebrities, royalty, and moguls in a Ponzi scheme.

Pulling my cap lower, I stared at the shadowy photo of the disgraced- now deceased- brunette on the front page of the newspaper while I made a last-minute decision at the checkout counter.




How does one pick the perfect disguise for a new life?

Erin Scruggs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ash Complin said...

The mottled blonde mop of hair pattered in from my shadowy hallway. Her perfect, tiny face drew close to mine.

"Daddy, I don't feel like myself."

Surprised, my eyes popped open. "What does that mean?"

Vomit exploded forth from her stomach like a bombshell. The hot putrescence crashed with full force directly into my open eyes.

Any man, from pauper to billionaire, would react the same way: I screamed, "Fuck my life!" at the top of my lungs. I tasted it as it ran into my mouth.

Anyway, that's why I'll be out sick this week. For emergencies, you know how to reach me.

- Ash

Erin Scruggs said...

Oonagh’s Origin Story

Amber locked eyes across the shadowy bar with a tall, awkward man with an enthusiastic smile. He’s instantly recognizable —

Her blonde hair twirled around her finger as he approached. She looked up with fluttering bombshell length lashes.

“Can I buy you a drink? Or this bar?” he proposed…

Her life’s been full of regrets. Sub-par acting career…her famous husband’s star fading… it wasn’t enough…now, all she needed was … to have a billionaire’s baby. Perfect!

“Actually, I’m looking for a specific kind of donation…Don’t worry. I’ll give the baby a strange name like all your others.”

John Davis Frain said...

The shadowy bombshell shows a badge, so Enzo lets her in.

“Got a call. Disturbance here?”

Enzo nods. “Well, disturbing anyway.”

“Whatever. Take me to the bedroom.”

“The bed—wow, little abrupt.” They march the hall. “Your hair—”

“Yeah, I’m not a life blonde. Trying something different.”

“I meant—”
“You animal,” she says monotone. Cuffs him to the bedpost.

Enzo’s head droops. “Don’t you want to interrogate me first?”

“You said the cuffs were your favorite part.”

“You were way better as the perfect billionaire. Can we do that one again?”

“I’m on lunch break, Zo. Fifteen minutes.”

travelkat said...

A shadowy creature scurried past two men, who were speaking on their villa patio.

“It’s an easy way to become a billionaire. Sell the arms, sell the bombs.”

“War’s always a growth industry,” the second man agreed.

“To dumb clients, and even dumber blondes!”

The men toasted as the creature slipped something under their table, then disappeared.

A bombshell went off. Debris blew upwards, shattering the perfect peace of the evening.

“Well, that’s life in the rat race. Bad enough they’re death merchants, but blonde jokes? Those really bomb.” The bomb squad rat snickered and scampered into the darkness.

Amanda said...


You say I’m a bombshell when I’m another dumb blonde. You say I’m your light when I’m shadowy and naive. We’re not adjusting to married life, I’ve resigned myself to the fact you’ll never be a billionaire.I don’t expect things to be perfect, but I’d hoped they’d be better than this.



I wiped my eyes, the note’s ink smeared by my tears. Something else is wrong. Yeah, we’ve fought a lot lately, but she wouldn’t leave me. Something more.

Grabbing my phone, I dialed 911. “Hello. I need to report a missing person…”

Tain Leonard-Peck said...

The blonde walked in. She was smirking and shadowy as always; a perfect disaster of a dame.

"I've a bombshell for you," she drawled, lashes fluttering like a flag in wind.

"Come on, out with it." I don't play games.

"Got a racing tip your life's about to change. We're getting the professional stuff now."

I blink, incredulous. "Fortified oats? The boss must be a billionaire. Lucky day!"

She tosses her silky mane.

"Lucky day, huh? Hope that luck follows you to the track."

She turns and leaves, her hooves clicking, tail waving high.

The odds always favored Lady Luck.

AJ Blythe said...

Meeting of the Banished, Craig F’s bar, 10am
Present: Colin, JDF, NLiu, Dena, Craig F.
Colin: JDF is right, I have a clever escape route out of here.
(Excited chatter from group)
Colin: Janet has her eagle eye on character cliches. Let’s mix it up, slip out when she’s chomping elsewhere. Take a cliché and re-pair.
NLiu and Craig F.: We’re shadowy and blonde.
(They side-step a renegade cop and flee)
Dena and JDF: We’re a bombshell life.
(They abscond past a beautiful female)
Colin: That leaves me with billionaire and…
(Realises he’s alone)
Colin: almost perfect plan.

Megan V said...

The day Jenny turned ten, M.A.S.H. dreamed up her perfect man. Blonde. A billionaire. (He had to be a billionaire on account of the mansion they’d live in).

She’d be an architect, busy drawing up plans. He’d be Bruce Wayne, minus that whole shadowy alter-ego. (Bats were definitely not her thing).

The day she turned twenty, Jenny married him lakeside at the country club. (Too good to be true).

His fist dropped the bombshell a week later. (Followed by his boot).

Suddenly, Jenny realized she’d never had a reason to pick up a bat before. (Now, she had a billion).