Friday, August 05, 2022

Wordle Flash Fiction contest

 I've been playing Wordle for a while now, and it drives me bonkers a good half the time. 

BUT time to make Wordle earn its keep!

A flash fiction contest using Wordle words!


 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. 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. (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 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, 8/6/22, 9:32am EDT


Contest closes: Sunday, 8/7/22, 10:00am EDT


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!


Sorry, too late.

Contest is closed.



CynthiaMc said...

I'm from north Florida, the most southern part (Miami, a suburb of New York being the most northern).

So why were we diving the only atoll off Key West ahead of a hurricane instead of holing up in a bar like normal people?

Because my adopted cousin Binky swears he saw a spaceship.

And where I work it's publish or perish.

"Did you bring your phaser?" I asked in my snotty scientist voice.

We dove beneath frothing whitecaps to showy tropical fish at max depth the spaceship...

"Sorry, Cuz," Binky said telepathically, "We need another scientist."

BJ Muntain said...

From the depths of the Pacific Ocean, from the frothy surf of the newly risen Atlantis Atoll, welcome our next guest... how do you pronounce your name?

Prince Knu'kg.

Okay, Prince. What happened? I thought Atlantis was underwater.

Every thousand years, our home rises to the surface. We will be visible for three months.

Visible is right. Folks, can you see this video? Isn't that the most showy island you've seen? What are those things flying around it?

War dragons.


Every surface phase, we raid your world.


Thank you for your invitation. We couldn't come ashore otherwise.

Steve Forti said...

Death came in the still of the soft blue light. She’d watched her brethren slashed and stricken, mourned and forgotten. A toll no words could convey. From the depths of her memories, her grandmother’s tales arose, seeing her darling buried in white out froth. But she’d just seen an entire crowd covered in shadow and just… deleted. No showy death, simply gone from existence. Perhaps that was a mercy. For she was in the final phase now. And she had nowhere to hide as eternal nothingness hacked its way closer, one character at a time. Until, at last, it could spell: the end.

Claire Bobrow said...

The final phase –

who would survive?

Froth dripped where one had stood just moments before.

(Poor slob.)

Crying never worked.

The judge didn’t care for showy emotions.

Showy results on the other hand...

She studied the evidence,

slowly steaming.

A bomb.

A knife.

A blackjack.


And here was a smoking gun.

Was that better or worse than a mushroom cloud over an atoll?

She made her decision.

The offender sank like a depth charge, shrieking “Give me another chance!”

The judge hated these displays.

But millions of viewers disagreed.

‘The World’s Worst Latte Artist!’ was a hit on Netflix.

Lennon Faris said...

It was a night that, between gulps of coffee, we techs called a real shitshow at The ER for Magical Creatures. So far we’d:

- Purged a toxic ingestion from a dragon’s depths. (It was a politician. We voted to put him back.)
- Expressed chupacabra anal glands (a showy, frothy baptism for Linda).
- X-rayed a selkie pup (defecating atoll chunks).

Last appointment, checked the file. “Nail trim for…demonic sabertooth hippogriff? Cool.”

We entered, halted. Re-read file.


I touched my razor-thin scars. Whispered, “Hitchiker’s Guide phase.” My assistant sprinted for a towel.

“Hiya, buddy.” I wiped sweat.


S.D.King said...

“Stop lying!”

“I’m not!”

“Aliens didn’t get into your car and eat lunch with you!”

“I think they were aliens. They were short, greenish and had phasers.”

“Right. Here to take over Earth? Grab the tin foil!”

“I’ll show you. They put their contacts in my phone.”

“You ate KFC and texted?”

“They loved it and we got frothy Starbucks frappes- a tollhouse cookie, too. But McDdonald’s fries – I think they cried. Wait, here comes a text now!”

“Earthling, the depth of your civilization overwhelms us. If you choose to take over our planet, we will comply. Uploading coordinates now.”

Colin Smith said...

“You by land, me by water?” said Eric. “I was an Olympian, you know?”

“Me too,” said Joe, stretching his legs. “Water’s choppy. May the froth be with you!”

The lagoon had a five-mile diameter, rimmed by land a half-mile wide. The prize waited on the opposite side of the island.

“Depth of insanity,” she said. “Lads being showy. A stupid phase.”
Maizie sipped her margarita watching the water.

Two hours later, she saw splashing and heard distant running.

The running came closer, but the splashing didn’t.

“Eric!” she shouted.

“I guess…” said Joe, panting,”…the island took atoll on him.”

Carolynnwith2Ns said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kregger said...

My wife likes Wordle, but I don’t.

I started with Hangman. A four-letter word got me sent to the principal and a call home.

Boggle drove my parents into a froth shrieking, “That’s not in the dictionary!”

Word Jumble messed with my dyslexia.

Scrabble and its cousin, Words with Friends, dropped depth charges on my head. My peeps aren’t showy, but I still lost.

Then the mother of all word games, the NYT Sunday crossword. It took a toll.

Then Wordle?

Now Quordle?

My newest phase is called Curdle.

That’s where I express a lung, screeching AAIEEE!


Beth Carpenter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
scaryazeri said...

Hey, what’s “atoll”? She asked.

He was watching his favourite program on the TV.
She asked again, a little louder. He didn't hear her.

She looked at the beer froth on his beard.

Maybe it is just a phase, she thought. The depth of this despair. The boredom. The loneliness. She could of course, take offence. He would buy her a showy bouquet. He will listen to her for maybe another week.

No. Not a phase. This was another small step towards the end.

M.R. Howe said...

People depend on me; important people. My position isn’t as showy as the Neophysicists', even though we both wear white coats. They barely regard me when they come to my station, but they need me.

It happens in phases, carefully monitored: heat; purge; drain. Insert the implement to proper depth, froth forming a wispy atoll at the surface of the fluid.

Dr. Buttonweezer steps toward the door, distracted. He pauses and turns, concern flooding his features as he considers the flask.

“Did I remember to say extra cream?”

He didn’t.

He didn’t have to. I’m good at what I do.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Dearest Uncle,

My terror has no depth.

With the moon's every phase, this land's black soul takes root, spreads. I curse myself for bringing my family here!

You recall the elusive beasts, tearing nightly through the fields, strewing shredded entrails as if for show. You suggested I hunt. I found no tracks.

Until now.

They led to the house. Inside, three beasts, blood frothing their mouths, fed on my wife's body.

I pray these words find you, Uncle. Before accepting the legal responsibility that befalls you after my death, know the truth.

Be afraid of my children.

A. Tolliver

Craig F said...

In the mists of dawn, the Shaman led a showy procession down the slope of the atoll.

They stopped at the honeymoon cabin to collect the groom for the next phase. The bride blushed and bowed to the Shaman.

They continued down to the water line. The depths, usually crystal blue and calm, were frothy and unsettled.

After some mumbo jumbo they threw the groom in. He sank immediately and the waters settled as the dragoness awaited her prize.

The bride packed her bags and headed back to the mainland. She had to find a new husband for the dragoness.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Bubbles of Papst Blue Ribbon frothed her upper lip. A Victory Red lipstick print on the rim of her glass seemed showy for an untaken USO Hostess lacking depth beyond a one-night stand.

“When do you leave?” Her leg rubbed up against his under the table

“Tomorrow.” His hand searched for the hem of her dress.

“Where you going big boy?” She was no ordinary doll hooking up with a squid.
Perhaps a sparrow working for the other side. His lips brushed her ear.

“Bikini Atoll. First phase for Guinea pigs.”

She cried when he died of cancer in ’72.

Trudy said...

Bert stared at Ollie, “What did you do?”

“He’s fine. It’s just a joke.” Ollie peered at the sea, frothing far below. “Look, there he is.”


“There, by the depth marker. I’ll show you.”

Bert stepped nearer to the edge, keeping a wary eye on Ollie whilst simultaneously following his pointing finger.

“I don’t see him.” Bert leaned out, searching for any sign of life.

“You have to look a little...” Ollie punctuated his words with a shove, “closer!”.

He smiled, from third in line to heir apparent. Father had said he needed some ambition.

Time for phase three.

Beth Carpenter said...

“It starts with an icy glass mug. The next phase is a single generous scoop of frozen vanilla cream in the depths, followed by a waterfall of carbonated syrup solution, sweet and bubby, washing over it and foaming up into an atoll of the richest, creamiest froth you can imagine, so thick you could eat it with chopsticks. Then, a showy spritz of whipped cream, topped with a cherry.” I smack my lips. “Frozen perfection.”

“Ooooh.” An awed silence follows as the pescatarian, refined sugar-free, kale smoothie-fed children contemplate the legend. “Now tell us the one about funnel cakes, Grandpa.”

KDJames said...

Mr. Grimes, 4th grade teacher, stickler for detail. "Practice makes perfect." Generous with the paddle. Employed shame and humiliation as motivation.

The depth of cuts across the chest had taken a toll, obscuring the finer incisions with spurts of oxygen-infused crimson froth. That phase ended, as always, once the struggling stopped and the skin was rinsed.

Teachers shape young minds, leave an indelible mark. "Show your work," he'd demand.

I like to think he'd appreciate this work: the geometric design, the patiently precise symmetry. Could he but see it, now.

What a malleable canvas he turned out to be.

MD Southern said...

Once the small airplane’s engine sputtered awake and they began to shudder down the runway, Jennifer exhaled. She was on her way to a new phase of her life. She'd finally freed herself from her husband's grip, his showy house and frothy anger already fading from the depths of her anxiety by the time she was served a mai tai. She sipped it, and through the tiny window watched streaks of sunlight and wispy clouds above the miles of patchwork fields below, yet still unable to see into the hours ahead when her plane would crash near the Bikini Atoll.

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

“It’s a phase,” Mom whispered nervously to her friends.

“Just for show, you know,” Dad assured his golf buddies. “She’ll find her true calling soon enough.”

He continued to believe until the day he died. Mom did the same. Neither could admit that their daughter had already found her forever profession.

Truth is, I adore plumbing the depths of my customer’s desires. I might not be able to transport them to an atoll in the Pacific, but I can make them feel warm and frothy just the same.

So who cares if I’m the world’s oldest barista?

C. Dan Castro said...

1530. Final phase.

Baker “wakes.”

The Arkansas sways, pummeling waves spraying froth. Sneaking aboard wasn’t hard.

A hundred warships list nearby. Relics.

In the ocean depths, Baker’s timer counts.


The atoll. Silent, scorched rock. Thank Baker’s “ancestors.”


Laughter haunts me. Kids who won’t grow up.


Miles away, American ships monitor. Entertain reporters. Politicians. A showy monstrosity.


My hands tremble. Clean. Bloody.


I designed it to end the war.


Two cities, now shattered walls with children’s silhouettes.


I’m called...


...the hero scientist.


But I can’t...


...stop thinking...


...about those children—

John Davis Frain said...


“Way to show your holiday spirit,” Mira said. “Pips.”

Whit furrowed his brow. “Gladys Knight’s Pips? Heard it through the grapevine?”

Mira shook her head. “Pips on dice.”

“Fair. Guitar strings.”

“Nice one. Cold beers.”

Whit licked his lips. “I’m frothing at the mouth. Hexagons”

“We haven’t used that?” Mira shrugged. “Wordle.”

“Challenge!” Whit practically danced. “Wordle’s always a FIVE-letter word.”

“Yeah,” Mira grinned. “But you get SIX guesses.”

“Daaaaaaaaamn,” Whit fell into his chair. “Losing takes a toll. Okay, new phase. I gotta win once before sunrise. Deadly sins.”

“Face it, bruh. You’re outta your depth. Game over.”

Hannah said...

John walked after storms, eyes skimming over the water’s depths and froths, and found treasure. “The atoll’s atonement,” he would shout, grabbing styrofoam and shells with equal verve.

Too showy for 6:00, too much for tourists, but far too quiet now.

A week ago, his watch washed up. It was cremated with him.

Yesterday, his dress shoes, heavy with wet sand.

Today, I pry crabs from their meal; hold his hand one more time.

Now, the sky shudders, phasing in lightning. Waves crash like they want to break the world. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll find enough pieces to fix mine.

french sojourn said...

“We are gathered here today to bid farewell to Fargo Phil.
Let’s all lift a frothy brew, and toast to his last strike.


He was a showy pro-bowler, but all those sequins only covered his dark and lonely past. His game was improving, and at a phase when his outside curve was finally tightening up.

Love takes a toll on us all, but Sadie left him in the depths of depression at such a difficult time, what with the Kenosha regionals a week away.

Sadly, the break-up killed him, …cose we all knew how poorly Phil handled a split.”

Daniel said...

When Phase the Water Witch looked at me the second time, I knew I had to kill her. She was mortally allergic to farts, so the frothy tofu from lunch came in handy.

With blood-red eyes, she leaped out of an atoll that was formed by the impaled heads of her victims. She was fast, but just before she touched me, I turned my ass to her face and pushed out the air with a showy force. She shrieked. I smiled.

It took all of three seconds for her to sink back to the watery depths from whence she came.

Daniel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shah Kou said...

Her bright blonde hair—what I loved most about her—now billows in the water like an ugly sea weed; plain and dull against the showy coral of the atoll.
As the weight tethered to her waist by rope descends, long, perfectly gym-toned limbs flail. Her open eyes are glassy, have lost their allure. Sporadic bursts of froth escape her nostrils and gaping mouth.
Her body convulses sharply, sending small ripples of water out like sonar waves. She’s in the last phase, almost gone.
In the depths of this lagoon, our secret will be kept. No, she never rejected me.

LynnRodz said...

"A word for a series of islets?"


"Distance to the bottom of something?"


Here she goes again doing the NYT's Sunday crossword. Then she's all showy, bragging how she always finishes it. She doesn't tell everyone I'm the one who does it for her.

Now 'she does' Wordle.

"A five letter word with h-a-e in it?"

"I dunno, figure it out yourself."

"Com'on, I'm on a winning streak."


"Not the right word. Gimme another."


"Alexa, you're going through another phase. I can always turn you off."

"CHEAT! CHEAT! CHEAT!" Froth coming out of the speaker.


Shah Kou said...

Ooops, sorry about the double up. Seriously don't know how that happened...only clicked once.

shanepatrickwrites said...

Knitting in a toll booth, she remembers that phase of her life. The click-clack of the needles, echoing the gunfire of her last night in the life. The showy mistress of a narco, she rose from the depths of Medellin barrios to whisper advice to Escobar’s second, crushed under her lover’s weight. Red froth pouring from his mouth. She glazed her eyes, hoping they’d think her dead, too.

“Vamos, cabron. Todos muerte.” The gunmen left.

Her ears rang for days. She disguised herself as an old woman, knitting her way north.

A million purls later, “One dollar, please.”

Grace D said...

My straw probed the depth of the chocolate milkshake. On a Friday afternoon, I’d claimed my seat at the Frozen Froth, ready to end my workweek. Another customer ordered a showy caramel supreme shake with nuts scattered atop in the shape of an atoll. We sipped at the same time. Our eyes locked. The unspoken challenge was clear. A drink-off! I sipped quickly, ignoring the brain-freeze phase, as he struggled to match my relentless pace. Loud slurping signaled my victory. I slammed my empty glass on the counter. Nice try Mr. Caramel Supreme, but nobody beats me to the weekend.

AJ Blythe said...

The critic stood in front of the white canvas. “There’s a depth to the painting. It makes you question the significance of our reality. It’s showy but refined,” he pontificated to the crowd of journalists. “The form and colour have been reduced to their purest aesthetic. Obviously, the artist has been influenced by Kazimir Malevich in his Supremus phase.” He held his arms wide in a flourish. “Magnificent.”

The group moved on to the next artwork, the plaque that had slid to the floor going unread.

Bleached coral atoll surrounded by white frothy waves

Mallory Love said...

Death takes a toll. It all starts in phases.

Denial: the symptoms begin subtlely, rarely showy. Just a little fatigue, a lingering cough.

Anger: the diagnosis would cause anyone to respond with curses, tears, and frothy jokes.

Bargaining: a pallid complexion and fragile hand bring prayers, scrapping the depths of whatever faith is left.

Depression: the nightmares become stronger. Opening trap door after trap door, realizing there is no way out.

And acceptance: days before you can hear his name without crying, months before you can clean out his room, years upon endless years left.

Yes, Death takes his toll.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

This quiet morning, waking from the depth of a finally-it-rained sleep, I sip tea from my front steps. Society’s in that phase: no front porches, give us showy houses.

Three young boys ride by on their bikes single file--silently, languidly--the teen leading, one little brother rubbing his eyes, their clothes clean, well-worn. None of that jockeying to and fro that is sometimes seen.

So very early on a summer’s Saturday.

Are they like the dying rim of an atoll, in a polluted ocean, the teen protecting the warm beating heart of what community can mean?

Matthew Warner said...

To what reality would his device transport him?

He took a last look at these depths. The ocean’s dome frothed overhead as it always had. It hugged the air to the ground, where he lived, safe.

That’s why he’d made it: to escape this life. To leave the past behind.

He switched the phase-shifter on.

It lit up with a showy, bioluminescent flash.

The world changed: the ocean-sky disappeared behind a shimmery membrane. His lab, the atoll beneath, filled with water – an ocean of water.

No more air below and water above. The reverse

He swam upward to the surface.

Amy Johnson said...

A sweltering Saturday, a mourning jog, penance for a week of tiramisu.

I’m struck from behind. My face slams into the sidewalk. I look up. This shirtless guy in showy runny shorts keeps sprinting. I scoop up my front teeth, shove them into my sock. I mutter, “Telf-tentered.”

A few blocks later, there’s Shirtless on the corner. In the jumping jacks phase of his workout. I mutter, “Nartittitic.”

Almost home, sweat froth stinging my eyes, something strikes me from behind. Shirtless! The depth of my fury! Everything goes fuzzy. Visions of a picnic on an atoll beach. I mutter, “Tiramitu.”