Friday, October 2, 2015

Flash Fiction Contest #2

**Flash Fiction Contest #2 is CLOSED. The winner post will go live in a new entry at 10 p.m. ET on Sun., Oct. 4. The next contest runs from Friday, Oct. 16, 2015 at 6 a.m. Eastern to Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015 at 3 a.m. Eastern. Check the #OAFlash hash tag for sneak previous starting the Monday before.**

Hello, everyone, and thank you for joining us! If you're here for the first time, might I suggest having a gander at The Rules, etc.? I've made a couple of updates that previous participants might also want to check out (noted in red bold so you don't have to reread the whole darn thing) . Because I have much less to say this time, let's get right to it.


Flash Fiction Prompt For Friday, October 2, 2015



Lemme have it!

9 comments:

  1. Good way to spend a lunch hour! :D Here's my entry, 'The Management Trip.'

    And he fell out of a clear blue sky, thought Marcus. That’s what they'll say later. Why, it's like the start of 'The Satanic Verses.' But I don't suppose I'll transform on the way down.

    He didn't, and hit the water with a slap, face-first. Through the confusion of bubbles in his wake, he dimly saw the fireball continue uninterrupted on its trajectory, as if the Cessna had been a bubble. The bisected plane, meanwhile, dove smoothly through the crystalline water, and vanished.

    A heavy, scarlet sunset greeted him as he broke the surface and clumsily paddled to a nearby atoll. He watched the stars emerge, shivering, wondering whether the body of the pilot - whose name, he now ashamedly realized, he hadn’t even asked - or one of the other managers might wash up right at his feet. The thing, whatever had hit them, faded into a tiny blue flash far on the horizon. Russian missile? Errant weather satellite? Meteor? Or was it meteorite. He couldn’t remember, but eventually roused himself and - dredging up rusty memories of shipwreck books - managed to get a fire started. I suppose they'll find me tomorrow. What a story for the girls at the office! How his wife would clutch him and sob and then laugh herself sick, that she had stayed at the hotel while they went on their la-di-da island-hopping trip.

    Fancy that thing hitting his seat instead of the row behind him. He would have been sliced clean in half, he thought. Whoosh! Like that fellow in the market chopping papayas with his machete. The seeds shining and round as buckshot.

    American missile?

    Half-asleep under a handful of banana leaves, he woke to a sweet, high hum from far out to sea. He sat up and pushed his leaf blanket into the fire, brightening the feeble glow. "Hello?" he called.

    Down the beach, a golden light glimmered, the ordinary glow - it seemed - of a flashlight. Rescue! He piled the rest of the leaves into the fire and ran, waving his arms. "Hello! Hello! I'm over here! I'm not hurt!"

    But as he trotted down the slope towards his rescuer, he saw that the light was coming from beneath the surface - as if someone had dropped a huge candelabra that inexplicably burned on, Liberace, wishing his brother George were there, beneath the Paciferace. Marcus froze as other lights became visible - blue, green, gold. Something that looked like tentacles - no, could not be - spiralled up, symmetrical and hypnotic. As they rose he saw that they were precisely that, wrinkled, glowing hawsers, reaching to a sky he now saw was equally tentacled, equally alight, shining through a great rent in the precise line of the fireball’s flight. The hum grew in power and pitch until he collapsed to the sand, hands over his ears.

    And so it was that Marcus B. Collins, Logistics Manager, became the first witness to the end of the world.

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  2. “You really think this song is better?” I asked as I propped my socked feet up on the passenger-side dash.

    “Infinitely. Just listen to the . . . aaah!” Jeremy jerked the steering wheel and we careened across the highway as a huge flash lit up the sky in front of us. We rumbled over the drunk bumps, stopping on the side of the road, craning our necks for a better look through the windshield.

    “What the hell was that?” I asked while rubbing my elbow, now tender from where it had slammed against the door. I pulled my eyes from the sky to notice the traffic around us had come to a stop. People were getting out of their vehicles, some pointing skyward. We followed suit, Jeremy’s arm wrapping around my waist protectively as we met in front of the car.

    “I don’t know,” he replied, a crease forming between his eyebrows.

    “You don’t think we’re under attack or anything, do you?” I scanned the skies again.

    Sirens began sounding in the distance. Jeremy and I looked at each other and split apart, both of us scrambling to get back in the car. The moment I was in, he slammed it into drive, getting us back on the road. We wove in and out of crawling traffic, rushing toward the spot the fireball had disappeared on the horizon.

    Emergency vehicles came down the on ramps, joining traffic and then blaring past. Jeremy followed in their wake. As he skillfully maneuvered, my attention swiveled from the sky to the road, on high alert.

    As we rounded a curve, there was a profusion of red and blue lights, emergency vehicles parked haphazardly in front of stopped traffic. Jeremy threw it into park and we clambered out, heading toward the epicenter of activity.

    First responders were doing their best to keep onlookers back. We were already digging for our IDs, Jeremy calling out, “Medical personnel!” as we continued past stunned faces. Flashing credentials, we entered the ring of strobing lights. Thick, oily, black smoke poured from a crater that took up three lanes of highway. I slid my hand into Jeremy’s and together we edged closer, peering in. There had to be some explanation other than the one my brain was supplying.

    In the center of the crater, tilted and billowing smoke, was what I could describe only as a flying saucer. Shaking my head, freeing myself from stunned inaction, I crept closer, vying for stable footing on the crumbling blacktop. Jeremy was climbing into the pit beside me, cautiously extending his hand above the metal of the craft. It had to be an experimental vehicle of some type. It would be silly to think otherwise. Finding the metal inexplicably cool, Jeremy peeled back a larger piece of the cockpit. We both gasped as we realized this was the day that life as we knew it changed forever.

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  3. “Do it.”
    “Eat it!”
    The ring of kids around Lucas constricted. It made it even harder to breath.
    “Do it, wimp.”
    Zack Widdlestein held out an unwrapped Atomic Fireball. “Keep it in your mouth until it’s gone. Don’t open your mouth, either, wimp. No sucking in air.”
    “I’m allergic to red dye number forty,” Lucas mumbled, eyes on the ground. “My mouth will itch.”
    Zack shoved his shoulder. “That proves you’re a wimp.”
    “Okay, I’m a wimp. Can I go now?”
    Zack grabbed Lucas’s grubby t-shirt. “Put it in your mouth. Then you can go.”
    Lucas eyed the Fireball sitting on Zack’s palm. If it had been in the wrapper, he would have done it, but it was out of the wrapper and Lucas just knew that Zack had done something to it. Rubbed it in dirt, or peed on it. Something disgusting. That was Zack’s specialty. Lucas sniffed. He couldn’t tell if it smelled like pee or not. It didn’t look dirty. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.
    “Fine,” Lucas said with a sigh. “Give it.”
    “Nuh uh. I’m putting it in your mouth. No cheating.”
    Lucas knew Zack would shove it to the back of his throat. With his luck, he would choke on it for real. He would probably die right there on the playground, in front of Susannah. She was there in the crowd of kids; Lucas had seen a glimpse of her hair. Nobody else at Lincoln Elementary had red hair.
    “Just give it to me, Zack.”
    Zack shook his head, his long hair flipping around. Lucas had heard teachers sighing over Zack’s curly blond hair. Lucas thought Zack looked like a girl. An ugly girl. Not a pretty girl, like Susannah.
    “Stop it!”
    Someone shoved through the scrum of kids and planted herself behind Zack. In the space between Zack’s chest and arms, Lucas saw red hair.
    Was it too late to try to choke on the Fireball?
    Zack turned around. “Go away, Susannah.”
    She slapped the hand the Fireball rested on. It sailed off Zack’s palm and rolled to a stop against Lucas’s left sneaker.
    “Make me, Littlestein.”
    Lucas bent over and picked up the Fireball.
    “What did you call me?”
    “You want me to say it again? LITTLEstein?”
    The crowd expanded.
    “My mom told me not to hit girls, but you obviously aren’t one.”
    Lucas held the Fireball between his thumb and index finger.
    “That’s right. I’m not a girl. So come at me, bro.”
    Lucas chucked the Fireball at the back of Zack’s head. He mostly missed; it barely grazed Zack’s ear. But it was enough to make Zack turn around for a half second.
    Which was all the window Susannah needed to throw a right hook at his chin.
    Lucas and Susannah looked down at Zack. They were the only ones left; everyone else had run off.
    “Told you I wasn’t a girl,” Susannah sneered. She kicked Zack in the leg before looking up at Lucas.
    “I’m a fireball.”

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    Replies
    1. I totally thought about writing about an atomic fireball! Good one!

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    2. It was Ryan's idea. I totally stole it.

      Delete
  4. Awakened suddenly by what seemed to be just a bad dream, I found myself upright in bed in a cold sweat. Panicked, I glanced erratically around the room of my small studio apartment. The alarm clock read 3:33 am, an odd time, but everything else seemed quiet and at ease; just as it should this early in the morning.

    Slowly I laid back down, and tried to ease myself back into the calm of sleep. Instead, I found myself struggling to remember the details of my dream. I usually only remember something small, at least until the déjà vu. Then I remember clearly. This time, I recalled a bright explosion of fire and smoke. The terror I felt returned. This couldn’t be good.

    The first time I woke like this from a dream, I was six years old. I was an only child, so I slept in my own room. I awoke screaming, to which my parents responded in the typical way; rushing to my bedroom to see what was the matter. I only remembered a deafening scream, so I couldn’t tell them what was wrong or what my dream was about. Only that I was scared. They reassured me, “It’s only a bad dream, things will be better in the morning.” Still I couldn’t get that scream out of my head. A week later, a classmate slipped on the monkey bars at school and crashed to the ground. Somehow, as she plummeted toward the sand, her voice made the exact same sound as I heard in my dream.

    Coincidence? Probably, except this started happening to me more frequently, each situation more alarming than the last. One night when I was ten, I awoke crying for no reason. A deep sadness had overcome me. The next day my childhood dog passed and the exact feeling returned to my heart, breaking it all over again.

    Soon I came to feel that the dreams I couldn’t quite remember were warnings, that somehow they should help me prevent tragedy and suffering in the world. I tried to tell someone, anyone about it, but soon I became labeled. Even my parents didn’t really believe me. It was abnormal to be like this, but who could help me? Who would understand? Instead of warnings, they were foggy premonitions. I couldn’t do anything about them because I had no details. Like the night my parents died in a car crash. I had a warning, but how could I have known it would happen?

    I guess I finally returned to sleep because I woke the next morning to my empty apartment. Empty because I’d pushed every relationship away for fear of someone close to me being hurt by my dreams. Sleepily, I turned on the TV to see what could only be described as a fireball exploding from a plane crash into a tower in New York City. And in a flash my dream returned to my memory with full force.

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  5. Her ordinary brown eyes sparkled with fire. I saw my whole life in those eyes. My future, my past, my possibilities. But, I also saw the end of me.

    Haley was “The One”. She agreed to meet me at a local coffee shop after work. Coincidently, it was the coffee shop where I had first noticed her – if you believe in coincidence. Maybe she had noticed me there too… I guess it doesn't matter, beginnings just don't matter now.

    I gently caressed her face. I felt her warmth. I stared into her eyes taking in her whole being. I moved in for one last kiss. Our first kiss. Still smelling coffee on her breath. Her tender lips touched mine as we used each other to block out the world.

    I fell into her. Completely giving myself over to her. To this kiss as the heat increased on the back of my neck. I opened my eyes. I needed to see her face one last time. Our eyes locked. Our embrace tightened. This moment had to last forever. The flicker of fire in her eyes burned brighter as the heat coming in behind me made our eyes water and our bodies tremble. The sound of the meteor thundered and exploded behind me crashing into the ground. Light and heat increased until it obliterated everything.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Her ordinary brown eyes sparkled with fire. I saw my whole life in those eyes. My future, my past, my possibilities. But, I also saw the end of me.

    Haley was “The One”. She agreed to meet me at a local coffee shop after work. Coincidently, it was the coffee shop where I had first noticed her – if you believe in coincidence. Maybe she had noticed me there too… I guess it doesn't matter, beginnings just don't matter now.

    I gently caressed her face. I felt her warmth. I stared into her eyes taking in her whole being. I moved in for one last kiss. Our first kiss. Still smelling coffee on her breath. Her tender lips touched mine as we used each other to block out the world.

    I fell into her. Completely giving myself over to her. To this kiss as the heat increased on the back of my neck. I opened my eyes. I needed to see her face one last time. Our eyes locked. Our embrace tightened. This moment had to last forever. The flicker of fire in her eyes burned brighter as the heat coming in behind me made our eyes water and our bodies tremble. The sound of the meteor thundered and exploded behind me crashing into the ground. Light and heat increased until it obliterated everything.

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  7. "Just ignore it, and it'll go away," they said. "It's more afraid of you than you are of it."

    Max Fuerte had been trying for years to leave his life of havoc-wreaking behind him. He'd done his time at the state penitentiary, made peace with his old rivals, and even rebuilt the home of the little old lady whose house he'd crashed his '72 Camaro into a decade earlier.

    Yet, still, it followed him — a fireball the size of a bomber, constantly burning at his back so that wherever he went, regardless of the time of day, anyone looking at him would have to avert their eyes. Shrapnel exploded around him. Sweat trickled down his neck. For the past ten years, this was his burden to bear, the cost he paid for being so cool, so unflappable, so tough.

    He'd always been told not to look at it. No truly tough guy ever watched the world burn around him. To revel in its destruction would be heartless, villainous. No, that wasn't his style. He just walked away, never missing a beat.

    But then came the day when he accidentally turned his back on a bus full of thirty-six soft, fluffy, three-week-old puppies that were on their way to an orphanage for chronically ill children. As the sirens blazed around him and firemen tried futilely to put out the incessant flames and get at the animals inside, and he knew it'd gone too far.

    The time had come to face the music — or in his case, the fire — and finally put to rest the age-old question of what would really happen if he were to turn around and watch the flames. Would he be engulfed in their heat and blackened like Aunt Bessie's Labor Day chicken? At least then he couldn't harm anyone else.

    Slowly, Max shifted his weight. His head swiveled. His shoulder shifted. He pivoted on one foot...

    And the fireball sputtered, spewed a scattering of ash, and died.

    And Max Fuerte fell to his knees, weeping, as thirty-six three-week-old puppies bounded from the smoldering bus, rushed up around him, and gleefully licked the sweat from his face.

    ReplyDelete

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