Poll

Time to vote for your favourite...........

Otic Pimento
6 (24%)
Blowing off Steam
2 (8%)
Barracuda
0 (0%)
Prom Night
3 (12%)
Memorial
2 (8%)
Going to the Dogs
3 (12%)
The Healthy Alternative
8 (32%)
What I Need
1 (4%)

Total Members Voted: 12

Voting closed: October 23, 2011, 09:07:22 PM

Author Topic: Flash Fiction #34 VOTING NOW OPEN!!!!!!  (Read 877 times)

Offline Boshman

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Flash Fiction #34 VOTING NOW OPEN!!!!!!
« on: October 19, 2011, 07:59:00 PM »
Entries for Flash Fiction # 34 has now closed, so it's time to vote!

Each MWC member has two votes. Please use both.

Each entry is under the 400 word limit, so it is to you to decide your favourite and also to determine if the authors kept within the 'Competition' guidelines.

Voting will close at 22:00 Sunday 23rd London time, so you have 4 days to vote.


Ignore what the damned auto-timer says! It will shut at 22:00 Sunday 23rd London time!!!
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Otic Pimento

Lily squirmed in her seat adjusting her position so her sprained ankle rested more comfortably. She winced as she snatched the sticky-note pad from the table and organised it on the arm of the chair. Before long, her biro scribbled out the letters in random order. She reckoned her brain saw more possibilities and new patterns when it had no restrictions.  No way would a word beat her.

‘Competition’ was a helluva challenge for anagrams: no mice to tip, ET motion pic.

The pen squiggled lines under letters used, and she frowned at what remained. Nonsense, she thought, have to do better than that.

She began talking to herself to hear if the phrases made sense in sentences.  With an exaggerated northern accent she felt suited the expression, she said, “Come point it out, I’m not poetic. Bring us yer otic pimento. Tie imp on cot and let’s go fer a brew.”

A smile curled her lips and she continued. “Go fer a brew? Time tonic op were chosen, I’m parched. If I cop into me after an ionic tempo or two, well I couldn’t say ‘Poo, ice mint-T’.”

Lily chuckled and glugged her wine, a rare treat. Competition – the word was fun. She delighted in her gibber and the pen raced scrawls over the notepad.

The phone rang. Caller ID showed her brother’s number. Lily glared at it and let it ring.  It went to voicemail. “Hi Sis, if you’re there – pick up.” He paused. “Okay, so I guess you’re not in. Give me a call when you get this. It’s good news.”

Lily slurped some more Merlot and slammed down her glass. She knew what the good bloody news would be. The organisers had already been in touch with her. Not that he’d have thought her worthy to be given the information. ‘Sibling rivalry’ she snorted and drank some more.

Lily scowled and rubbed at her ankle. He was nothing without her.  Their appearance in the dance finals was scuppered. All through the years fighting weight gain, keeping up appearances, he’d never worried. He’d only ever criticised, never appreciated her innovative floor patterns, always demanded more. Driven, that’s what he was.  Tough, he could find another partner who could learn the gruelling routine and she’d judge him. She’d had enough of competitions.

The ‘s’ made her doodle again. She laughed. Sit once I’m top, stop once I’m it.

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Blowing off Steam

Stratus and Cumulus never liked each other, even for clouds. They would race across the sky to be first to block the sun.

“I win,” thundered Cumulus again, flashing with pride.

“No fair,” cried Stratus for days. Shredded he pulled up his blanket of fog and laid low in the valleys.

Cumulus laughed from his lofty heights, pointing his nose upwards and rose ever further.

Jet Stream, the mother of all winds, had had about enough of their child-like competitiveness and decided to teach them a lessen. Starting at the polar caps she began to spin around the longitudes, picking up speed, attaining high altitudes and then slammed into Cumulus’s swollen anvil-shaped head.

“Now I have you, showoff,” she roared, neatly cutting his size in half.  

Cumulus tried to keep most of his curls tight, but his edges eventually tore apart and formed into loose strands, loose strands that looked similar to Cirrus.

“Aha!” Cirrus cheered. “I finally caught up to you.”

“Curses,” Cumulus rumbled. “No fair, no fair.”

Eventually they both tired and faded away.

“Fair enough day,” said a man to his daughter when they stepped outside into sunshine and blue skies.

“Windy though,” she replied.

“Yup, but it keeps the clouds in check.”

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Barracuda

She can tell by the way the boy is looking at her that she should know him.  But how?  Is he staff?  He might be a social worker.  Her son?  No, he’s too young to be a son of hers, she thinks. And no offspring of hers would wear a yellow tie with a green shirt.

She smiles noncommittally and waits for a clue.

“How are you today, Mrs Keeton?” he asks.

Ah, he’s an intern or a medical resident, or worse -  a therapist.  He was playing at being cheery, which irritated Mrs. Keeton more than anything.  He intends to draw her out.  She is his project for the moment.

She would not let him win.

“Perriwinkle,” she says.

“Pardon?”

“Margarine, unsalted.”  Mrs. Keeton nods at the boy conspiratorially.  “Scar-let-jo-HAN-son,” she whispers.  The young man scribbles furiously in his notebook.  

“Mrs. Keeton,” he says loudly, “I’m going to give you a check up now.  Would that be alright?”

“Thunderclap. ” She smiles.  The boy shines a light in her left eye, then her right and jotts more notes in his book.

 “Have you noticed any difference since you started the new medication?”

“Mm.” She rolls her eyes and starts to unbutton her blouse.  The young man closes his notebook and bolts out the door.  Mrs. Keeton giggles.  She has to find her fun where she can.

Perhaps she should stop playing these games with the staff, though  She should probably start swallowing those pills they feed her in the morning, as well, instead of spitting them out in the toilet.  Yes, she will work at being kinder.  No more games.

A nurse walks in with a young man, and she can tell by the look on his face that she should know him.  He must be color blind, wearing that that shirt and tie together.

“Well, Mrs. Keeton.  Let’s get you buttoned up proper,” the nurse says.  The young man writes in a notebook – a doctor, then, or a therapist.  Mrs. Keeton knew how to deal with those.

“Barracuda!” she shouts.

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Prom Night

   “I’m not sure about this dress. Do you think it makes me look fat?” asks Mona.

   “Wow, are you kidding! You look fab! I wish I could carry off a colour like that,” replies Cass.

“And I just love the way it hugs your waist.”

   Mona twists this way and that to get a better look at herself, a slight frown furrowing her brow.

“I don’t know.”

   “Listen to me Mona, you look great. You’ve got just the right colouring for that shade of yellow and it fits in all the right places, believe me.”

   Mona pinches the fat around her middle then sucks in her stomach and puts her shoulders back.

   “If you’re sure, then, yes, I’ll take it.”

   “Good girl! You’ll knock ‘em dead.”

   “What about you? Aren’t you choosing a dress?” asks Mona.

   “Nah, can’t afford it. My mum’s going to alter her prom dress.”

   Mona takes the dress to the desk to pay. She doesn’t notice the smirk on the shop assistant’s face as she folds the tissue paper around it and lays it carefully in to the bag.

   On the way home, Mona is still beset by doubt. “Do you really think it’s the right one? Only, I’ve still time to take it back. I really liked the black satin one. The way it was cut helped hide the flab.”

   “What flab? And anyway, black is dull, boring. You’re too young to be trying to blend into the background. That colour shows you’re an individual, a one off. And the style is young and chic.

Perfect!”
***
   Cass is wearing a white, off the shoulder number, cinched in at the waist, pushing her boobs up into a real cleavage. The pair walk into the hall, Mona, having stifled her doubts about her dress. Cass was the best friend ever, she’d really bolstered her confidence. And she’d done her makeup. Mona hadn’t been sure that the green eye shadow suited her but once again, Cass had brushed away her fears.
  
Mona doesn’t see the looks or the raised eyebrows and she certainly doesn’t hear the sniggers and comments of ‘fright, weird, what was she thinking?’ But Cass does. And Cass also sees the bewilderment on Rob’s face when he looked at his girlfriend. Well, she thought, that should put paid to Mona and Rob. Now all I’ve got to do is get him to notice me!
ENDS


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Memorial

Robert looked at the black wall again, his vision blurred by new tears.

After all these years it still feels the same. I miss you, you little shit. Dad and Mom were never quite the same after that damn box arrived. Neither was I. God, you weren’t even twenty!

Robert’s fingers tightened around the gun. He tried to focus on Billy’s name, etched high on the wall. His little brother had been gone for so many years.

It should have been me. I was the oldest.

Robert’s grandfather died when Robert was eight. He didn’t know why that thought popped into his head. He only vaguely remembered the old man and didn’t have any feeling about his death one way or the other. He felt sorry for his mother, she cried so much the night of the phone call, but Robert felt worse when his dog died.

He wondered what kind of person he was, to ignore his grandfather’s death, when he cried for a week after dumb old Rusty got hit by Mr. Condon’s Studebaker.

I’d ask Billy, if I could. He would know. He was always a smart kid, but he always had to win. Rushed out and joined the Marines when he knew I was going to be drafted. First one to the war, that was Billy.

Tears again filled Robert’s eyes.

Well, one, two, three on Billy. I see you! Allee, allee outs in free!  Billy? Get out of that box, Billy. It’s not fun anymore. Leave me alone, Dad, I’m talking to Billy. Get out of that box, Billy, before you get hurt. Get out, Billy. B-I-L-L-Y!

He realized several people at the wall had stopped to look at him. Some nodded. Some shook their heads. Others just quickly moved away.  With a start, Robert recognized he had been shouting.

“You OK, mister?” a young woman touched him on the shoulder.

“Leave the poor man alone, Sarah,” said her older companion, “can’t you see he doesn’t want to be bothered?”

“It’s all right, she’s no bother.”

“I know the feelings this place can give you,” Sarah said.

You don’t know the half of it, bitch. Robert wished he had somewhere safe and warm, where things could be as they used to be, as he watched them leave. I’ve carried this guilt for forty years, but no more.

He never relaxed his grip on the pistol.




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Going to the dogs

He pulled his worn coat collar up against the persistent drizzle and tightened his scarf against the cold as he turned the corner of the shabby street. Boarded up shops  lined the litter strewn cobbled streets.. He had been coming down here twice a week,  first with his granddad and his dad, was great made him feel grown up. Then with his dad and,  retired now,  on his own.  He saw a good crowd going in, was a Saturday night after all, the lads at “the Dogs” and their lasses at “Bingo Hall”, he grinned and thought lets see who loses the most tonight. He went in under the arch “Park Lane Greyhound Stadium” in rusty letters over his head, pigeons already settling for the night, got his ticket and went in through the turnstile. He  breathed in deeply,  ah the smell of cooking onions, hot dog sausages, tough to chew hamburgers and ale, cigarette, pipe and cigar smoke, a huge cloud almost keeping the drizzle at bay. There was a strange, sentimental atmosphere tonight, everybody betting more than they should, supping more than they usually did, laughing too loud. He got his bottle of light ale, sparked up a Capstan Full Strength and went to get his bet in the first race on. Bugger it he thought and risked 25 quid on an outsider…………”Dust Kicker”, perhaps tonight is the night………..usually the favourite would have no competition among the rest, but in the rain, he was a fair weather dog.......a rush of excitement as race time neared and everybody took their places in the stands. Packed to the rafters it was tonight, not often this full, a crack and a flash and a roar as the rabbit shot out, the gates lifted and the dogs sped forward, hell for leather after it. Everybody shouting now for the greyhound they had bet on, some already tearing up the betting slips in disgust and disappearing back to bet again on the next races, a quick pee, pint and pie. But me,  I stayed put,  as coming round the last corner “Dust Kicker”  was in the lead, yesss I shouted get  going lad, keep it up you darling……….into the home stretch and I.had.bloody.well.done.it 25  quid at 30/1, what a night the very last night after a hundred year history of dog racing competition down here

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The Healthy Alternative
 
Sally Denton marched into Minard’s Italian Restaurant and wind-milled a handful of chilli at the hostess. It was JoJo’s private stash of ghost chilli and Sally’s aim was true. It caught the girl in both eyes and another hostess led her screaming to the bathroom while Sally overturned an after-dinner mint basket and smeared chilli on the walls.
  
“Stop! Please!” The assistant manager, Brad or Jeff or something, rushed around the corner and tried to pin down Sally’s arms.
  
“Don’t touch me, you greasy wop.” She felt awful for saying it. He wasn’t Italian. In fact most everyone in town was Baptist, but the slur summed up everything wrong with Minard’s: they served wine, they used words like hospitaliano and gratzi, and worst of all they had siphoned off most of Sally’s business from the Chilli Shack.
  
She punched Brad or Jeff in the gut and continued to the dining room. Former customers gawked as she stormed passed booths and swept glasses and plates to the floor with a crash.
  
“Bring me Minard,” she said. The command made her feel like a Roman emperor and she puffed out her chest. She scanned the astonished faces caught in the flickering tea lights.
  
“I’m here,” said a steady voice from the back. A short man stood and approached. He wore a gray suit and small glasses. His white hair puffed out in a semi-circle around the bald dome of his head. “How may I help you?”
  
She reached into her pocket and pulled out a piece of fluorescent yellow paper. Her fingers trembled and left dark stains around the edges. It had been lodged under her windshield wiper and it read: Minard’s Italian--the healthy alternative.
  
“The healthy alternative to what?” she demanded and stomped her foot on the floor. “The healthy alternative to what?”
  
Minard paused and looked at the fragments of plates and glass on the floor. He looked at the chilli-stained walls. The room was silent but for Sally’s ragged breath.
  
“To you, my dear lady,” he said, “to you.”


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What I Need

I couldn’t sleep and knew staying up would interfere with my performance but my brain wouldn’t rest so I laid and thought about tomorrow. The time of maturity has come and I must compete for a husband because the women outnumber the men five to one and only the chosen ones will ever have a life mate.

 The competition is broken down in three parts, which are physical, mental and emotional. The physical was to see if he liked your appearance, the mental was a type of telepathy where they hook you up to him and he look into your life; the emotional was your reaction to whatever happened.

 I saw four of my old school mates and knew we were all competing for the same man. One by one we were called and finally it was my turn. The man was handsome and pleasant and the testing began, he liked me physically I could tell and then we were linked. Soon as the link began he rushed in my brain and started looking at my life and the intimate details and made my head throb. I got so angry about the way he entered me I put up a wall of defense to catch my breath and slow his intrusion down.

If it was possible to be mentally raped it happened to me, I could hear him in my thoughts ask me what was wrong and I kept silent. The man screamed at me and demanded the block be removed because he wanted to continue the interview. I lowered the block and let him see the pain and hurt he inflicted on me before I let him continue his mental assault.

He became gentle and started asking me questions and apologized for the way he treated me earlier and I mentally stopped crying and answered all his questions and enjoyed our mental interview. I knew my inability to sleep and my show of weakness had ruined my chances but I would do better the next time around.

Two weeks later the man came to see me and told me he chose me for his life mate and would like to start the dating process before marriage. On our first date I had to know why he chose me and he said you wanted the best for me and that’s what I want.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2011, 08:01:43 PM by Boshman »