Poll

Choose the one you like best. One vote per member

Dilemma
2 (18.2%)
Another Foot and Rising
2 (18.2%)
All She Wrote
2 (18.2%)
Outside Tap
3 (27.3%)
The Mall Rat
2 (18.2%)

Total Members Voted: 10

Voting closed: September 03, 2014, 06:28:35 AM

Author Topic: Voting for Flash Fiction Challenge #89  (Read 1996 times)

Artemis Quark

  • Guest
Voting for Flash Fiction Challenge #89
« on: August 27, 2014, 06:28:35 AM »
A close race till the end. Winning by a nose, LC1. Congratulations.

Vote for best one.

1. Dilemma
2. Another Foot and Rising
3. All She Wrote
4. Outside Tap
5. The Mall Rat

Water, water, everywhere and five candidates have entered the FF Challenge. Time to vote for your favorite. Voting closes September 3. Here is the Challenge they accepted:

Write up to 600 words using one or both of the prompts somewhere in the first half of your story (any genre). It can be a stand alone sentence or a phrase within a sentence. The phrase can be modified, e.g., a tense change. If you dare add adverbs or adjectives, do it at your own peril.

Prompt: The water level rose at an alarming rate. And/Or: It had risen from the depths.


1. Dilemma

“I am very pleased to meet you, Sir.”

He was giving me the stinkeye. Even though he had accepted my handshake, he was not happy.

I could understand. He had never seen me before, and here was his precious girl child informing him that we were engaged.

He harrumphed something in response and glared at Annabelle.

“Annabelle, can I speak to you in private?”

Not really a request. She gave me a smiling wink and drifted away with him.

I was distressed. She had arranged this party as a chance to show me off to her parents and members of her large and prosperous family. I knew no one here. From the sidelong looks, they were sizing me up. I went for another drink.

Her brother, Samuel, was at the bar. I had already determined that he liked to pull a cork. He was well into intoxication.

“Don’t worry about them,” he slurred, “They glare at anyone Annie brings home.”

“Thanks.”

Just at that moment, I had an ominous rumbling in my lower tract. Bathroom time.

“Excuse me, Samuel.”

In seconds was on the throne, evacuating my bowels. Ahh. Relief. It was over soon. I flushed the toilet.

I was stunned. The water level rose at an alarming rate, past where it should have stopped. It was seconds from spilling water and other items onto the floor.

Quick as thought, I dropped to the floor and found the inlet cutoff valve, cranking it hard. The water in the bowl stopped only a half-inch from overflowing.

My mind, one of the things Annabelle admired about me, jumped to the next dilemma. I had dodged the avalanche of water and things, but the problem still existed. I was about to become the object of much unfavorable opinion.

Discretion was my only chance. I would sneak out and lie like a dog if accused. Let the next bathroom visitor take the blame. Maybe they would be too drunk or distracted to notice the water level, and would assume they caused it. Whatever, even if they put me on the rack, I was not admitting this. I made myself presentable and exited, still holding my drink.

I eased along the wall, distancing myself from the scene of the crime. I gulped my drink and went for another. Samuel was still there.

“So what do you do, Chauncey? Annie hasn’t told us much about you.”

“I’m a marine biologist, work at Woods Hole.”

“Nice. That ought to impress the old man. He was a Navy officer for years. Loves the sea, he says.”

Annabelle and her father approached. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a plump woman; I believe Annabelle had said she was an Aunt, heading for the head.

“Annabelle tells me you are a marine biologist. Much money in that?”

“That’s bald. I’ll send you a copy of my 1040. You can decide for yourself.”

The woman closed the bathroom door and almost immediately, there rose a screech. She came scuttling out, gasping and pointing at the bathroom.

“The toilet wasn’t flushed,” she howled.

Everyone drifted over to see for themselves. I joined them.

Annabelle said, Daddy!”

He said, “Ha, ha, ha. Son, you should see your face. Innocent as a lamb. I rigged that bathroom years ago so I can make it stop up anytime I want.”

He collapsed in laughter and just about everyone else did too.

I guess I was in.


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2. Another Foot and Rising

Rain poured in torrents making it hard for Angie Burns to see past the hood of her car. The windshield wipers were fighting a losing battle with the rain trying to keep the window clear so she could see where she was going. The head lights were on but useless. Now she regretted making the trip to the grocery store for the few items she did get.

Slowing to make the left hand turn onto her street flashing red and blue lights blocked her from entering. One set belonged to a police car, the other the Search and Rescue paramedics. The policeman frantically waved her on, the light from the flash light appeared as a firefly in the rain. Her neighborhood was flooded, only the roofs of the vehicles parked on the street could be seen. In those few seconds before going to the next street she realized the water level was rising at an alarming rate.

“What happened, Mommy?” a weak voice from the back seat asked, the girl looking out the window see what was happening.

“Police have it blocked off.” Angie continuing on two blocks up and to the left. “I’ll have to go around.”

Angie turned on to the street slowing to see a large pool of water across the street. There were no other cars around. Taking a chance she drove ahead through the water. Water surging up around the car's hood blocking her view, she was driving blind. Her woes were not over, the car sputtered then stalled and stopped; stopping dead in the middle of the street. Angie felt the ice cold finger of fear overcome her. Water surged around the car carrying the flotsam of people’s lives washed past her, the water cresting just below the window of the car. Looking back, tears streaming down her face, Angie saw two police cars and a fire engine-paramedic truck pull up at the end of the street. Men and women got out pointing to the lone car stuck in the middle of the street.

Beth Jean tried to see what was happening, leaning forward she wanted to know, “Why are we stopped, Mommy?”

“Water’s too deep. The car stalled,”

Suddenly her feet were wet. Angie looked down at water leaking in to the car through the foot peddle openings.  

She glanced back watching the fire men pull two yellow ropes out of the truck. Another was pulling a safety harness on himself as another fastened the rope to a loop on the harness.

Putting her head on the steering wheel Angie was crying as she prayed. A few minutes later she heard a whooshing noise. Looking up then to her left to see a wall of black steel stop beside her.  Her heart leaped when she saw the truck.

“Steve!” she said, her brief pray answered.

A couple minutes later the passenger door opened. She could barely see him kneeling on the floor, blue jeans, western boots, camouflaged rain jacket, black aviator’s sun glasses.  That was Steve as she remembered him.

He called above the sound of the rain, “Angie, pass Beth out the window to me!”

Angie unbuckled her seat belt then Beth’s, “Come on, honey go over to Steve.”

Beth was passed through the open window from her Mother to Steve then she climbed out falling in to Steve’s outstretched arms.


There was a moment of reflection as Steve and Angie stared at each other across the table at the Village Inn restaurant.

“Thank you, Steve.” She reached across the table to grasp Steve’s hand.
                                                            
# # #
                                   

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3. All She Wrote

Matt Murphy is a private eye, when Matt investigates, cases get solved.

Today the case has apparently solved itself before even reaching his door, leaving him to deal with the man sitting before him who swears to Dear Blessed God he did not torture and kill his girlfriend. The fact that the blood-smeared client is wearing white contact lenses, devil horn implants and sharpened teeth is more than a hint that all Matt is left with is some pretty heavy shit.

"I've been framed! Worse! I've been ruined! They're investigating now and I just know they'll come for me." the man says in tears.

"Yes," Matt replies, "and would you mind telling me why I'm being hired by Satan?"

"My name is Brian Manson, this is my stage costume, I have a concert in an hour with my group, Daemon Street. I'm really an ordinary peaceful guy, the makeup and the rest were an idea of Mr. Deere, our producer. Here's our latest CD."

Matt reads the playlist, "'Shoot her Dead', 'Guts in my Coffee', 'She Coughed Blood'..."

"That last one was a hit single for three weeks."

Matt sets the CD down. "Ok, listen. I'll take a stroll down to the station and ask around. No case unless I get the slightest tickle, the faintest speck of suspicion. Go do your satanic ritual-"

"Concert."

"Whatever, if cops come for you don't you dare mention my name."

"Oh, ok. Are you going undercover?"

"No, I have a reputation to defend."  

Thirty minutes later Matt is speaking to inspector Ramirez.

"So she left a note? What was on it?" Matt asks.

"That."

"What?"

"That. In blood."

"Let's can the comedy routines. You're telling me of all the words she could have written she chose 'that'?"

"Precisely, and 'that' is a demonstrative article, you see? Demon Street, her boyfriend. We're sending the boys out now to get him."

"I'd wait until after the concert. You wouldn't want to traumatize some good officers. Was she a grammar teacher?"

"Wrong. Historian." Ramirez says.

"Ouch."

"What happened?"

"Nothing, I just got tickled, who knew about the demonstrative article?"

"Nobody, we had to look it up."

"Could she have meant something else?"

"Like what gentlemen?" says a smiling, blimplike man strolling in. "John Deer, not the tractor, the producer!" and laughs like he could go on for days.

"Like something a historian would know. Excuse me, I have some history work to do. Inspector, please hold on to your boys until tomorrow morning, I'm sure Brian won't be going anywhere, right Mr. Deere?"

"Yup, we have the bestest lawyers lining up for him."


***

A while later, the stage door opens.

"Oh! Any news?" asks Brian.

"I'm on the case, let's take your car." Matt replies.

A few moments later the car is bobbing up and down in the river.

"Why did that black car bump us?" screams Brian.

"Listen, did your girlfriend tell you anything before she died?"

"Yes, she suspected Mr. Deere of stealing, I wanted to talk to him about this."

The water level is rising at an alarming rate. "I can't swim, Can you?" Matt asks.

"Lifeguard license, but the pressure is blocking the doors!"

Matt pulls out his gun. "I deal with a lot of pressure." The door blasts open.

Inspector Ramirez reaches the two dripping men standing near the shore. "Arrest the producer? Why? She wrote-"

"I know. A historian would tell you about a WWII letter, it just said 'Dear John'. When the soldier read it, he said-"

"'That's all she wrote'. She didn't have time to write John Deere."


******************* ******************* ******************* *******************


4. Outside Tap

The water level rose at an alarming rate. Alfred sat with the shifting spanner in his tentacle, looking up at the sink. The murky water was edging its way closer to the rim and would soon be spilling on to the floor. He had turned both isolation valves to the "off" position and couldn't understand where the water was coming from. He grabbed some towels and lay them under the sink.

Marjory was always on at him to do more DIY around the house. Most of the time he done the tasks in dribs and drabs but today, he thought, he would give Marjory a surprise by actually completing something in one sitting. As the water splashed on the floor he wished he had phoned someone in because messing with the plumbing required a professional.

"Alfred. Alfred where are you? There's water running down the front of the building. We better phone someone, quick". Marjory ran into the hall and picked up the phone.

"It's ok dear. I'm just trying to fit an outside tap."

"You're What?.... What are you doing upstairs then?"

Marjory ran up to the first floor landing. Alfred was laying another towel down to soak up the water. Coming out of the wall just beside the bathroom door was a small brass tap. The instructions, ripped to shreds, were strewn all over the hallway. Marjory held her head in her tentacles.

"What ever possessed you to do this, you silly old fool."

"You asked me to do this morning before you went out. You said can you please fit an outside tap." Alfred twiddled with the tap handle, half expecting water to pour from it.

"Firstly, I said can you help Jean mend her cat flap. And does this look outside to you, we're on the first floor."

"We'll, it's technically not in the bathroom is it?"


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5. The Mall Rat

Your cute little 20-something butt cheeks were peeking out of your cutoffs, just as you suspected, as you walked in the mall with your girlfriends. You kept tugging at them as if that would somehow help. Making matters worse was the middle-aged pervert walking with his wife right behind you. How did you know he was there? You never turned around. Worst of all, they were talking about you.

The lecherous old fart, his lust risen from the depths, remembered how his wife’s butt used to look just like yours 30 years ago. He smiled inside as he commented on why you would cut your shorts so revealingly, only to struggle with the resultant exposure. His wife suggested that you probably bought them that way.

It’s difficult to be sympathetic to his type, but really, what’s he guilty of? Having a memory and good eyesight? He didn’t pick the shorts and make you wear them; he just agreed to go shoe shopping. You did brighten his day and he didn’t even try to smell you. This time.


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« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 03:38:27 PM by fire-fly »

Artemis Quark

  • Guest
Re: Voting for Flash Fiction Challenge #89
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2014, 06:31:46 AM »
Mods,

Please Sticky the poll. Thanks.

AQ

Artemis Quark

  • Guest
Re: Sticky - Voting for Flash Fiction Challenge #89 Need More Votes!
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2014, 07:30:06 AM »
There's a four-way tie at this point. Need to get out the vote, writers. Only three days left. PM your friends, encourage them to read the challenge entries, and vote for their favorite.

AQ

Offline hedinsen

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 276
Re: Sticky - Voting for Flash Fiction Challenge #89
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2014, 10:00:47 AM »
Will there ever be a tie breaker?  Come on, I'm dying of anticipation. # # #

Offline Skylan

  • Hero Member
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  • Posts: 4458
  • -
Re: Sticky - Voting for Flash Fiction Challenge #89
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2014, 02:26:34 AM »
Only 11 voters? Come on, peeps, get reading!

Artemis Quark

  • Guest
Re: Sticky - Winner for Flash Fiction Challenge #89
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2014, 07:21:13 AM »
A close race till the end. Winning by a nose, LC1. Congratulations.

AQ