FLASH FICTION FUN—CONTEST TIME

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Time for something fun this week. And winning a $20 gift card from Amazon sounds like fun to me. So, here’s the contest. Submit your own sample of flash fiction and you might win.

Don’t know what flash fiction is? No problem, I’m here to help.

Flash fiction is like a short story—only miniaturized. According to Wikipedia, word count is not set in stone, but most flash fiction ranges somewhere between 300-1000 words.  Even though flash fiction is short, it still contains all the elements of a story-plot; protagonist; conflict; and resolution.

Here’s the way the contest will work.

  1. Submit your flash fiction as a comment. Be sure to include the title, author and if you have a website you may include it.
  2. Stories must be 500 words or less.
  3. Ask others to vote for your story through Twitter or Facebook or whatever social media you use.
  4. Voting will be simple. If you want to vote for a submission, simply name the title in a comment.
  5. Story with the most votes wins a $20 gift card from Amazon.
  6. If no submitted story gets any votes or there’s a tie, I’ll make the final decision.
  7. If there are no story submissions, I’ll buy myself a $20 gift card!
  8. No bad language, explicit sex scenes, or offensive stories will be accepted. Again, my blog-my decision.
  9. Contest will end at midnight on August 21.

 Just to get the fun going, here’s my attempt at flash fiction. But no voting for it!

 FREEDOM by Lillian Duncan

           He stood strong, tall, and proud, his sun-browned muscles at attention while he shot arrows at his captors with his eyes. The wind whipped through his long black hair, revealing a majestic profile.

            The shackles on his feet prevented escape.

            The angry mob surrounded him. One man screamed, “Kill the savage.” The others took up the chant.

            Their gazes met. His, dark, angry, and proud. Hers, soft and blue, held a promise. Acknowledging him with a nod, she picked up the ruffled hem of her dress and stepped forward.

            The angry chant dwindled to silence.

            “Brothers, sisters. This is not right, not the Christian way.” Her voice as hard and strong as the mountains rising behind her.

            “But, he’s a savage.”

            She held up a hand to silence. “The judge will decide that. A fair trial. It’s the American way.”

            “We knowed he done it.” A voice snarled from the back. “Kill the savage.”

            The chanting commenced.

            Wind blew through her blonde tresses. Storm clouds darkened overhead.   “We moved here because we were tired of being prosecuted for being different. I will not be a party to such…” Her eyes flashed a challenge. “To such savagery.” She bent down and picked up a rock. “Will you be the one to throw the first stone?”

            Women gathered their children, nudged their husbands, and crept toward home. Husbands soon followed. Evening chores awaited.

            Her father stepped from the crowd, anger in his eyes. He scowled at her. The star on his chest glimmered in the last rays of the afternoon sun. “Go home.”

            She held her head up high as she turned and walked away.

            In the quiet darkness, she moved with the stealth of a lioness. The soft sounds of sleep greeted her as she glided past the sleeping sheriff.

            Holding up a finger to her mouth, she silenced the prisoner. His dark brown eyes revealed surprise as she slid the key in. Freedom so close now. The cell door squeaked open.

            Her father shifted and mumbled in his sleep. Each second seemed a lifetime until his gentle breathing resumed. When the time was right, she stretched out her arm. An invitation, the prisoner gladly accepted as he grasped her soft feminine hand.

            They crept through the darkened prison and out into fresh night air. The brightness of the moon above them. She pointed to the horse, his means of escape to freedom.

             He didn’t move.

            Their eyes met. She stepped away and motioned for him to go. Still he waited. Taking a deep breath, the keys jingled as she laid them on the ground. And then turned back with a smile where he waited.

            Her blonde tresses glistened in the moonlight.

            His own muscled brown arms offered an invitation to freedom and a promise of love. With both arms, she accepted. With surprising strength and gentleness, he lifted her to him.

            He spurred the horse on to freedom—their freedom.

To learn more about Lillian and her writing visit: www.lillianduncan.net  Don’t forget about her new book, PURSUED (www.whiterosepublishing.com) Guaranteed to keep you up past your bedtime!

Reggie Meyers has spent her life pursing the American Dream, but now she’s the one being pursued— by an unknown killer. Putting her trust in Dylan Monroe, a man she barely knows, will either be the best decision she ever made or the last.

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22 thoughts on “FLASH FICTION FUN—CONTEST TIME

  1. STEPS
    I took a step forward.
    “You don’t want to do that,” Mom said. “It’ll make life painful. Come home, sweetie. I’ll take care of you.”
    I shook my head. I loved Mom, but she wasn’t home.
    I looked at the white linoleum with grey flecks that under my feet. Who would have thought such a bland substance would be so hard to walk on?
    I took another step.
    “No one would hold it against you, Julie,” said Patty. “It’s too much to ask of anyone.”
    Was it? Would Stan say that? Yes, maybe he would. But that didn’t mean it was right.
    I had to keep going.
    I remembered the moment that started all this. I was at home. Two of them came to the door.
    That alone meant trouble.
    “We don’t know, Mrs. Griffin. Even the experts can’t answer that. But he is breathing. If he regains consciousness, they’ll send him to a recovery hospital.”
    “Thank you, officers,” I said. Even as the words came out, I hardly believed them. I was thanking them. For this?
    One touched his hat in salute. “Just doing our duty ma’am.” Then he gave me a card with numbers to call. I managed the first number after they left. Then I sank to my couch and cried until the fog overwhelmed and I simply relived that moment at the front door over and over. “Don’t answer the door, Julie. Never answer the door when you see two of them.”
    I made it to room 215. I checked the note I had written myself, though I had read it so many times that I had it memorized. He was in room 215.
    I leaned against the wall trying to catch my breath. Why was I so frightened?
    A nurse came up beside me. “Are you all right?” she asked, placing a hand on my elbow. “Can I help you with anything?”
    “I’m Julie Griffin.”
    I could see from her face that she knew. Just hearing my name painted pictures and told stories. “He’s quite a fighter, Mrs. Griffin.”
    “So the doctor told me.”
    “It’s amazing what they can do these days.”
    “He said that, too.”
    She tightened her grip on my elbow. “You’re doing the right thing, you know.”
    “Am I?”
    She nodded. “I’ll pray for you if you want.”
    “Please do.”
    Giving my elbow another squeeze, she continued her rounds.
    I walked into 215.
    I saw the empty sheets before I saw him. No legs. None.
    I forced myself forward.
    He saw me the same time I saw him. He gave me the sheepish smile I used to see when we dated. “Julie?”
    Somehow, I made it instantly to his side. I don’t remember those steps. I saw his face, his smile. I sat next to him and took his face in my hands.
    “Stan.” I kissed him. No matter how injured he was, he was still my husband.
    “We’re OK?”
    “We are.” Step by step, we’d make it through.

  2. Colleen Shine Phillips
    ME, MOM, AND MATLOCK

    Nestled in her nubby tweed recliner, my mother poked at a pill organizer.
    “Uh, need some help, Mom?”
    “I can still hold my own, Shannon.”
    “What’re you doing?”
    Her face told me everything, but I couldn’t push her. She might be eighty-five, but that Irish fire was far from going out.
    Already wrinkled, her forehead creased into deep crevices. “Do you have to know everything?”
    Those razor-sharp words cut through me. Took me back to when I was a kid. I reached toward the organizer. “Tell me what—”
    She pushed my hand away. “I’m old, not useless.”
    Irritation prickled my spine. “Nobody said that.”
    “You didn’t have to.”
    My gaze swept the room, taking in the walls I’d painted a dull off-white to please her, the maple side tables that screamed post-World War II, the shabby couch she didn’t want to let go of—all to make her to feel more at home.
    Swallowing my frustration, I gulped deep breaths, a habit acquired since Mom had moved in with me after Dad’s death. “I just—”
    “I know. You always just.”
    My lips pressed into a straight line.
    Then she bowed her head, and tears trickled over her leathery hands.
    “Mom?”
    “I’m sorry.”
    “About what?”
    “My wretched attitude. You’re so kind, and I . . . I hate getting old!” Her watery blue eyes searched mine. “Why is everything a task? When will my energy return?”
    Her questions broke my heart. Envisioning her nodding off during Diagnosis Murder and the pain that often assaults her frail body, my anger waned.
    “Some things are tough for me, too, and I’m only sixty. Like dill-pickle-jar lids. My fingertips slip like chunks of plastic.”
    “And how about those pesky child-proofed medicine bottles? Impossible.” She wiped at her tears. “But, it’s not going to get better, is it?”
    “Depending on your perspective. Some things won’t. But . . . hey, we live in Las Vegas, the buffet center of the world, so how about those Senior discounts? They rock!”
    Clapping weathered hands, she giggled. “South Point’s my favorite. You’re right.”
    The two words I’d longed to hear my whole adult life. Ironic. Because now it didn’t matter to me.
    I nodded toward the pill organizer. “So . . .?”
    She wiggled a gnarled finger. “Couldn’t snag my heart tablet. How about your plastic-tipped one?”
    It took two tries, but I succeeded.
    Struggle forgotten, Mom grabbed the remote control. “Think Matlock’s on?”
    A dozen important things vied for my attention. I plopped onto the couch and leaned back. “Well, let’s find out.”

  3. Just Remember (FLASHBACK)

    Jereth crept around the corner resting his little hand on the wall. Mommy sat on her bed in the dark with her face in her hands. Her shoulders shook. Jereth had never seen her cry before. She often stared off into space. But the child had never seen silent sobs make her whole body shudder.

    He could take it no longer. “Mommy don’t cry.”

    She turned. “Jereth, what are you doing here?”

    “Sergie brought me home early.” He looked to the floor, ashamed.

    “Come here.” She reached with both arms. Jereth ran to her. She lifted him up and set him on her lap. Mommy always smelled sweet like the desserts Sergie made.

    “Why are you crying?”

    She smiled at him. A tear pressed from her eye and she wiped it away. “Sometimes I get sad.”

    “Why Mommy?” He brushed a strand of her hair away from her eyes, like she did to him when he cried.

    After looking at him with eyes that said, ‘I love you so much’ she said with her mouth, “Jereth, I will tell you if you promise never to tell your father. He would be angry if he knew I told you.”

    Fear pulled on Jereth’s stomach. He knew his father’s anger and whispered, “I won’t tell.”

    Now Mommy stroked his hair. “I miss my home.”

    “We are home.”

    “This is my home now, here with you. I lived somewhere else before.”

    “Where?” Jereth snuggled into her shoulder.

    “I’m from the High Country of Eclectia.”

    He twisted a bead on her long necklace between his finger and thumb. “What is Ecle…tia?”

    “You will learn about it in school. But if something happens to me, I want you to know about our family in the High Country.”

    “What is going to happen to you?” Jereth sat up. Fear tugged again.

    “Nothing,” Mommy’s smile soothed him. “I just want you to know about our family so that if you ever want to leave this place, you can go find them.”

    “They are my family too?”

    “Of course they are.”

    “How will I find them?” Jereth yawned, rested against her shoulder and twirled the bead some more.

    Mommy rubbed his back. “Look for them among the Miners of the Five Rims. Can you say that? Miners of the Five Rims?”

    Jereth shook his head and pressed his face into her blouse, ready for his nap.

    Mommy whispered in his ear, “Then, just remember.”

  4. Hey I anounced you contest on my embryo blog (it’s just starting, I’m trying to build it up, and I only have two followers) because I had to leave for vacation and hoped one of my two followers or a few of the others that dropped in would enter this contest. Flash fiction is new to me but I’m writing it for a Speculative Fiction blog.
    Anyway, I hope I don’t get in trouble with either you or them by posting one of my entries on here before it shows up there.
    Also, if I break any rules, sorry. Just disqualify me and know that I’m doing this to promote flash fiction.
    Good job to the other entries. I wish you luck and a $20 Amazon gift card.
    I’ll start a new comment for my entry. It is a flash back and will appear on the spec blog in Sept or Oct.

      • Ha ha!
        Actually my middle name is also Kay.
        And I messed up my writing name here. What an amateur! I’m spelling it Kaye for writing purposes. My first name is Heather.
        I just tried to keep things simple since this story is submitted under Kaye Jeffreys. On the outside chance that people come across it elsewhere, they won’t think that I was plagiarized.
        Do you take points off for making stupid mistakes like that! 😉

  5. My Mother is Funny
    The beautiful petite woman of sixty five stepped from the first base bleachers to get a cold drink of soda to quench her thirst. She was spending a glorious week visiting her daughter’s family in Florida and was enjoying watching her 10 year old grandson play baseball. It was the first game she had seen him and the first game she had attended for almost 20 years. It was a hot day under the blazing sun and her throat was crying out for cool clear water.
    She approached the refreshment stand and stood among the many tall men and women who had the same idea between innings. The man next to her was in his thirties and reminded her of her husband from thirty years ago; tall, tanned, and easy to look at. She quickly turned and looked back over ther shoulder so the man couldn’t see the pink in her cheeks.
    As she looked over her shoulder, she froze in place and gasped out loud grabbing the arm of the younger man next to her. She was looking at a full fledged “dust devil” blowing accross the dry ground of the ball park. It stood an amazing 10 feet tall and 3 feet wide, but looked to be over 200 feet tall and 50 feet wide to her. She noticed the clockwise churning funnel as it was approaching the place she stood.
    As she squeezed the man’s arm harder he turned and gave her an odd look as he asked, “can I help you”?
    My mother gasped again and looked at him with shear terror on her face as she shouted out, “a tornado, what should I do”? The man looked at the “dust devil” as it bagan to disapate and calmly said, “You should get your order and return to your seat.”
    As she recovered from her trama and purchased her water, the sky let go of a deluge of rain. She saw my sister run toward the parking area and she started off in her direction. Before she could get to the car, the water had quickly risen in the parking lot to a depth of 3 inches and was flowing over her shows. She froze in frieght.
    Seeing her rain soaked mother standing frozen in the middle of the parking lot, my sister quickly started her car and drove toward her. As she pulled up beside her, she saw the terror and heard the garbled cry, “Help, flood!”
    Ariving safely back to my sister’s house, my mother replaying the most terrorizing day she had ever experienced. First a small tornado and then a flood that was at least ankle deep. We laugh with my mother 27 years later.
    She has never returned to Florida. It is a good think my sister and her family moved to another state.

  6. Here’s mine. It’s a little different–even for me. I’m not normally a speculative-style writer 😉 Thanks, Lillian, for the invitation!

    Crash.

    Allie spun around and her heart threatened to explode through her chest.

    Crash.

    There it was again. She kept moving among the trees. She had to get away before they caught her. Zombies. Really? Weren’t those supposed to be mythical creatures? Like vampires and trolls? Apparently not. Now Allie searched the woods for the entrance to the safe haven. A place where brains were safe from zombies. And Allie liked her brain, thank you very much.

    Crash.

    The sound grew closer. Allie stared at her palm, reading the faded ink in the pale moonlight. Left at the three rocks. Right where the path forks. Enter at the three knot tree. And, if the information was correct, the opening would appear in the tree when it sensed the approach of a human. Simple. Right.

    Crash.

    No time to worry about that. Just keep moving. Allie skirted around branches and giant leaves casting frightening shadows. But not as frightening as watching her own mother suck the life out of Allie’s little brother. Allie retched. She shouldn’t think about that. It was over and she couldn’t protect him now. Tears blurred Allie’s vision. Poor Kyle.

    When she rounded a tree, a pale face greeted her and a hand clamped over her mouth, squelching the scream.

    “Shhh! You want to make it easy on them?”

    Allie stared into the brown eyes of her captor. The glow in them assured her of his life. Her breathing slowed and she pulled away from the hand. “Who are you?” she hissed.

    “Brandon.” He glanced left and right over her shoulder then grabbed her hand. “C’mon.”

    Allie stumbled on the path as she tried to keep up. “I’m Allie.”

    “Nice to meet you.” Brandon held back a branch so it wouldn’t smack her in the face.

    “Thanks.”

    “Was it your mom or your dad?” Brandon asked.

    “My mom.”

    “That’s the worst, isn’t it? When the person who gave you life, bandaged your scrapes and made your lunch tries to kill you.”

    “She got my brother.”

    Brandon stopped and Allie nearly bumped into him. Seeing the sympathy on his face, tears stung Allie’s eyes again. “I’m sorry,” he said.

    She blinked. “Thanks.” She glanced ahead of him, trying to make out the shadowy shapes. “There.” She pointed. “Isn’t that the fork in the path?”

    “I think so.” Brandon trudged forward. Allie stayed close to his heels, every thud and crack in the distance sending shivers through her.

    “Do you think this place is real?” Allie whispered. “Another dimension where the dead stay, well, dead?”

    “I think so. There has to be hope somewhere.” Brandon paused. “And there it is.”

    A massive tree towered a few feet away, three knots where branches connected with the trunk. The tree, if possible, gave off an aura of hope.

    Suddenly, from all directions, not-quite-humans with colorless faces and dull eyes appeared. Allie gagged at the stench of rotting flesh.

    “C’mon!” Brandon grabbed her hand and they ran toward hope.

  7. Hi,
    Here’s my attempt. 🙂

    The Sun and the Mist

    “Today is the day.” said the mist, confidently. “Just watch and see.”
    “I will watch,” said the sun in reply, “but not today or any other day.”
    “I am thicker than I have ever been. Did you notice the way people took to their houses to escape the dampness, the fear of being swallowed up by me?”
    The mist was gloating and his dampness and thickness did seem to swallow the world. The sun beamed a simple smile and waited. In the same manner that he would shine every day, he did, though today it didn’t seem to make a difference to the mist. Was the sun simply bouncing off the mist? Was he too thick, too damp today for the sun? The sun kept shining and waiting.
    “Stop!” the mist shouted, “I feel the heat. Nooooo. Your light is evaporating my dampness. Today is my day!”
    “No. Not today or any other.” As the last of the mist evaporated, the people reappeared to enjoy the bright light of a new morning. And the sun smiled.

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