Which story gets your vote?

7 (41.2%)
1 (5.9%)
0 (0%)
5 (29.4%)
It's Either Me or the Dog
4 (23.5%)

Total Members Voted: 11

Voting closed: April 30, 2017, 05:42:31 PM

Author Topic: WINNER ANNOUNCED!!! Flash Fiction #126  (Read 2393 times)

Offline heidi52

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WINNER ANNOUNCED!!! Flash Fiction #126
« on: April 21, 2017, 05:42:31 PM »
I messed up big time and truncated one of the entered stories by accident. The story in question "It's Either Me or the Dog" has been modified. I am going to ask everyone who voted to please re-read the last story and recast your vote. Thank you all for your understanding.

Could a moderator please sticky this and remove the old one. What a bother I am.  ::)

Story #1

“Put those things down! That’s voyeurism and it’s rude, if not illegal.”

“No, for real. You should see this couple in the RV with the blinds up. They’re about to fuck.”

“Stop it already! Login to a porn site on your phone and leave that couple their privacy.”

“If they want privacy, they need to close the blinds – oh shit, he just ripped her bra off and it wasn’t very … very … nice like. I think they’re into S and M.”

“I’m going to walk over there, knock on the door and tell them you’re watching them. Find something to do. Stoke the fire. The campfire is going out.”

“No, this is getting good. Do you want the binoculars?”

“Hell no!”

“Miss it then – ouch! He just slapped her butt so hard it knocked her down!”

“You’re an asshole.”

“Look, I could be witnessing what’s to become a crime; you think I should turn a blind eye? I think this guy might hurt her.”

“Yeah, so watch it instead of help her. You’re such a man.”

“How will telling them to close the blinds prevent anything? Other than my entertainment. Oooh, now he’s picked up something flashy. He’s got a sex toy.”

“I’m leaving you when we get home.”

“It’s a knife! He’s got a knife. And he’s rubbing it on her tits. Hmm, not sure where this is headed.”

“To divorce court.”

“Oh my God! He just sliced her neck – not deep enough to hit a jugular or anything, but blood is trickling down her left boob. This is getting good.”

“You’d better be making this shit up. Because if you aren’t, you’re … you’re … in deep trouble.”

“She’s opening a cabinet and getting something … I can’t tell … but I think … holy shit, it’s a pistol! She’s going to shoot him! Just when I thought she was getting off on his antics. Wow, maybe we should call the cops! What do you think?”

“I think you need to go over there – NOW – and do something! If you witness a crime … a murder … sitting here in your fucking lawn chair … I’ll, I’ll never forgive you! I’ll never have sex with you again!”


“You’re lying. You’re such an asshole. I hate you.”

“You’d really never have sex with me again? You’d leave me because I watched the big screen TV in the RV next door?”

“I’m never speaking to you again.”

“If you’d let us install a TV in the camper this wouldn’t happen – oh no, he wrestled the gun away. She’s in really big trouble now….”


Story #2


The tired old flame licked pitifully at my remaining air pocket. We were fighting for a last breath but I'd rather share it with that light than be left alone in the darkness again.

With a screeching groan, the steel plate covering my prison ponderously swung open. I knew in seconds it would slam shut again, my oxygen resupplied. Carl was on watch today, we hadn't gotten along since grade school. Peter would have carefully set the lid back in place, sometimes he even left it open longer. It was always at night when he did. The wind would rustle the dead leaves off nearby trees, where they'd settle into my cavity, a few even stuck to my face until he peeled them off. Always at the end he would hold his finger to his thick lips and go 'shhhhhh', like he did some great deed.

Carl though, he had a different agenda. 'You're gonna die in there', he had hissed, the first time I met him after twenty odd years. I had never even made it out of the bus stop. It was a shock but not a shock to see him standing over me when they pulled off that woolen hood. Forgiveness had never been his strongest suit. I found that out on the first day of High School.

Turned out his brother, Jamie, kept a secret, wrote it in a journal every day, locked it in a closet so deep, you needed a key to get in. His mistake was telling a friend, who mentioned it to another who wasn't. I just did what came natural, tried to be more popular, and dirty gossip was a great tool.

Carl's hammering pulled me out of my reflection, the metal on metal impacts came at me like sonic booms. Boom. Boom! BOOM! It didn't take too long until his blows drove away my consciousness. After that, I don't know what happened.

“Are you okay?”

I uncurled from my naked ball of defense and looked up into a night sky silhouetting Peter's face. Orion rested just beyond his broad left shoulder, still low against the horizon, but so blinding bright. Being a Gemini baby, I took it to be my sign.

Risking everything, I mouthed only words, cupping my ears, rocking as if in pain. The look of concern on Peter's face was predictable. Soft touch people are easily used. He didn't even look around for approval before reaching down. I remained curled in a fetal position, heart racing, mind whirling to keep up.

At an awkward moment, when Peter's balance slightly kiltered, I exploded my limbs outward.  My ragged nails raked his face, catching deep into one eye, sinking, curling and ripping out any remains. It was nice to hear another voice cry out in pain even if it was a victim. Carl's hammer lay within easy grasp. It's wood grain handle felt great, and its massed weight even better. Up and down. Up and down. Up and down. I thought there would be no stop to my compelling need to raise that bloody maul, but finally, exhaustion called for a time out, swallowing me in a darkness unlike the pits'. I only awoke when the sounds of an approaching vehicle reached my ears.

Shift change.

Peter's body? I dropped it into the bitter darkness, slid the cover over, losing only two nails. The hammer... I picked up again.

Music blared as Carl rounded the last corner, his wide tires kicking up loose dirt and shooting stones. Those same old country songs he listened to in grade school disturbed my quiet. He always had to be heard, had to be seen, had to be talked about; though not quite like as his brother depicted, which had a taint of incest and parental control. Jamie took his life before the town caught on fire by the news, maybe that was his final vengeance on his keepers.

“Hey fuck head, you left the lock off again,” Carl cursed out as he bent over to secure the latch.

I raised the hammer, pushed myself beyond exhaustion, and didn't stop until I felt satisfied.

Carl's truck got me to the highway. I looked both ways a number of times before turning right. Five minutes later a sign told me home was only nineteen miles away. Just outside of town I pulled over into a strip mall's parking lot, wiped my face clean, or at least the best that I could, finger combed my hair and changed my shirt with one I found behind the seat.

An hour later I knocked on my door. Dad greeted me with the same shocked look that Peter had when I first dug into his eye. Yeah, I figured he put them up to it.

Good thing I brought the hammer.


Story #3

Unbeknownst to a family of four, a sharp-faced man with binoculars hunkered down on the outskirts of camp. He carried with him a briefcase, unusually long.

"I hate camping." Said the child, a boy.

"Oh, give it a chance. We haven't even been here a night." Said the mother.

The father sat, silent, biding his time, basking in the fire as he waited the shot. The mother passed a bottle, a white one with gin. The fathered poured in, drank, and prayed for his sins.

The man in the forest set down the briefcase. He opened it up with a *click and a *clank.

"Who was that man at the house the other day?" The daughter asked her mother, then started to say, "He went to your room-" but then interrupted, her mother, embarrassed, who then changed the subject.

The father just smiled, he knew what she meant. The man who came to help "fix the old vent".

BLAM went the gun and the wife was shot dead. The father said "Wow! Good grief!" and he plead.

"Why oh why did this ever happen?" But he knew just why, he paid for the action.


Story #4

I rose before sunrise, whispering at all my belongings to gather them near the door. Packing ahead of time is for organized people, and I don’t want to be one of those monsters who plan a month away to the exact second. Had you been awake, you would have blessed me with your tired, raspy laugh, as I scrambled to fit yet one more pair of shoes in the corner of my suitcase. I’d rather let you sleep, long goodbyes are a curse to a traveler.

I grab a clementine from our bowl of fruit and stuff it in my purse, knowing I will likely forget to eat it. I’ve carried clementines far and wide, let them become bruised and white with absentmindedness, across oceans and deserts, past the unsuspecting eyes of countless border custom agent. Displaced fruit are my good luck charms, and the thought of your incredulous, yet accustomed smile upon my return, when I find blue dusty citrus at the bottom of a bag…I don’t think I could live without it.

When I think I have everything I could possibly need, I slip between the covers where you are still snoring peacefully. My toothbrush was packed somewhere in the black hole that is my luggage before I could remind myself to brush, so I am still chewing on a cluster of breath mints as my arms reach for you under the sheets. You blink awake as you inhale deeply; hair spray, perfume, peppermint, the scent of my departures.

We don’t need words. With a shadow of longing in your eyes, you are the child that opens the jar, releasing the afternoon’s catch of grasshoppers. I was always drawn to this endless reserve of love inside you. From the top of far towers, or across whole seas, I still see its shine, and after a time I will follow it home.

Every last kiss feels like a before-last kiss, but it is time to go. The sight of your peacefully sleeping face is fresh in my mind as I step on the porch and close the door behind me.

I’m so caught up already missing you, that I barely notice the object in the corner of my eye, descending from the sky at an usual and even alarming rate. My keys hit the bottom of my purse as the collision occurs, about ten houses down the road. The shock wakes me from my resolution, like a hand shaking me awake after a wonderful dream.  

It’s an airplane, maybe the one I would have boarded in a few hours.

Fire and smoke break apart the sky as screams and sirens rip across my beautiful morning. A wave of dust spread up the street and inquisitive faces begin to pop out of windows, carefully opening doors.

I stand still, my gaze scanning the ground from side to side for a decision. I suddenly crave the warmth and safety of our nest, yet my hand, that is still firmly holding my suitcase, is sodden with the sweat of excitement.

I find and hold my clementine against my breast. Turning my back to the disaster, I start walking.


Story #5


Man's best friend? I don't think so. The dog in question is an old enemy; Cerberus, the hound of Hades. We've always disliked each other.

I should never have agreed to look after him. He belongs to my brother, currently on holiday for a week, and free of the mutt. Free of the constantly ticking time-bomb that is Freddy. Lucky brother.

Let me explain.

Today's casualty list:

1. Kitchen table-leg chewed
2. Contents of the kitchen bin dragged across the hall;
3. One of my best leather court shoes gnawed.  
4. And the hole in the carpet (the one he started making yesterday) is even bigger.

Jason comes around to witness the latest damage. He says the dog's bored, that's why he's chewing – it releases endorphins apparently. Oh well that's okay then – so long as his hormonal balance is being stimulated.

He asks have I tried a “Kong”? I think initially, that hiring a gorilla to take charge sounds a great idea if a little impracticable but then he explains that it is a hardened rubber ball thingy. It has a small opening into which you force treats. The hound then attempts to get the said treats out of the ball providing hours of amusement. Okay - I say we'll go and get one tomorrow. You never know, Kong may become King.


Jason stays over. Pizza from Abdul's across the road – deliciously over cheesed as usual. Then we share a bottle of my dad's special red wine and pig out on roasted cashews.

We are woken by Freddy at 6.30am as usual leaping all over the bed. Who needs a wash when a five stone Labrador will do the job with a tongue the size of a dish cloth. It's all cupboard love of course.

Jason is beginning to come to terms with the fact that food is central to a labrador's existence. Like last night – he put the left over pizza in the normal bin. I mean how could you possibly make that mistake. Left overs go in the other bin, the Freddy bin, the one in the cleaning cupboard that has a large metal clasp on it. So of course Freddy polishes the pizza off. Jason then forgot to keep an eye on the dishwasher door being open so the plates didn't actually need much washing except to remove a good lather of dog saliva.

We have breakfast (dog locked outside of course, no doubt drooling profusely) and there is a knock at the front door. Jason is in the shower so I get it.

It's the biggest, most beautiful bouquet of flowers. The delivery guy is standing there with a cheeky grin on his face. “Someone loves you a lot.” he says. I manage an embarrassed smile but I'm actually confused.

It's only as the the door shuts I twig. It's bloody Valentine's Day! How the hell did I forget that? I decide to blame it on the dog, after all he gets blamed for everything else.

Jason's still in the shower so I scurry down to the shed and place the flowers in there to give me thinking time.

Jason always appreciates a decent bottle of red. So I get straight onto my dad and explain the mess I'm in. He has a couple of bottles of good Australian Shiraz but he can't drop them round as his car is being serviced.

“But I need them like now!” I plead.

“Well you can't have them now,” he says. “It'll be later on.”

“Fine dad. I'll send a taxi round to fetch them. Pull the nets open and watch out for the driver.”

I creep into the toilet, flush it and then hastily arrange for the taxi to collect and deliver. I don't think the switchboard guy appreciates the sound effects.

I wander back into the kitchen only to find Freddy spread-eagled on his back having his tummy tickled by Jason. He's making snorty noises and his great flabby stomach is writhing from side to side (the dog that is)

“You're just a great big softy aren't you.” says Jason. He's speaking in a voice akin to the one people use when talking to a baby. I don't get it. He's a bloody dog.

“Jason do you have to? Look, you can see his bits and everything.”

“Did I hear someone at the door while I was in the shower?” he asks.

“No. Must have been Freddy leaping about, you know how noisy the brute is. Why don't you take him in the yard. I'm sure he needs to do something.”

He dutifully obliges. I shout back “And don't forget to pick up. Doggy bags are by the bench seat”

I go to the front room and wait for the wine delivery. There's a suitable card in my emergency box which I write quickly. I can hear barking from the yard. He's obviously having fun with Uncle Jason.

The taxi pulls up outside. I open the door quietly. I grab the wine and pay the driver. Sneaking back in I place the bottles on the kitchen table and prop the card next to them. I then breath a large sigh of relief.

This is short lived for as I look out of the kitchen window I shudder. I have forgotten to bolt the door of the shed. Freddy has obviously got in, grabbed the bouquet and is running wildly about with them in his mouth. He knows they're for me – he's taunting me, it's obvious. He's thrashing his head from side to side; large rose buds go flying off in all directions. Jason is standing on the decking staring, open-mouthed.

The dog jumps up at the back door forcing it open, still swishing the flowers about. He knocks the two bottles to the floor. They shatter, splashing red wine over my white linen trousers.


« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 01:43:37 PM by Skylan »

Offline heidi52

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Re: Sticky: VOTING TAKE 2 Flash Fiction #126
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2017, 06:24:14 AM »
Voting is closed.

And the winner is (drum roll please)

KateD      KateD      KateD      KateD      KateD      KateD      KateD      KateD

Take it away, Kate. Congratulations and the next challenge is yours to host.  ;D

« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 06:25:59 AM by heidi52 »

Offline fire-fly

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Re: Sticky: WINNER ANNOUNCED!!! Flash Fiction #126
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2017, 08:26:25 AM »
Congrats Kate, loved it  :D
I'm A Binge Thinker: Do It A Lot Somedays, Then Not Much At All.

Don't take life too seriously, none of us get out of it alive. >:D

Offline Gyppo

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Re: Sticky: WINNER ANNOUNCED!!! Flash Fiction #126
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2017, 08:49:38 AM »
So that's why you were skiving in the national poetry month.  Too busy writing your award acceptance speech ;-)

Well done, Kate
« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 05:15:06 AM by Gyppo »
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Offline kateD

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Re: Sticky: WINNER ANNOUNCED!!! Flash Fiction #126
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2017, 09:48:56 AM »
Thanks all. New challenge will be up soon.

Offline Catherine F

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Re: WINNER ANNOUNCED!!! Flash Fiction #126
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2017, 03:14:30 PM »
Well done Kate  :D

Offline Tom 10

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Re: WINNER ANNOUNCED!!! Flash Fiction #126
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2017, 03:27:33 PM »
Very entertaining - love it. :)  Congrats.

Offline Laura H

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Re: WINNER ANNOUNCED!!! Flash Fiction #126
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2017, 06:41:15 PM »
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou

“Don't be like the rest of them, darling.” ― Eudora Welty

Offline humdrumauguries

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Re: WINNER ANNOUNCED!!! Flash Fiction #126
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2017, 10:15:01 AM »
Congrats KateD and awesome job to everyone who participated :)

Offline heidi52

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Re: WINNER ANNOUNCED!!! Flash Fiction #126
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2017, 02:51:02 PM »
Yes some really good stories. And such a variety. Well done, everyone.