Category Archives: Flash Fiction Friday

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22-Aug-2019

Who put Fixer-Upper in as a genre???

“Mommie, is the camera on?” Chloe asked.

“Yes, honey.” Her mother didn’t even turn around. Instead she held her phone on her shoulder sort-of pointed at Chloe. Sometimes adults didn’t listen to directions very well.

“Mommie, you’re supposed to watch.”

Chloe’s mom let out a huff and turned part way around. It was hard to tell if she was doing her best, because daddy said she had to stay in her seat belt just like Chloe. “I’m watching, baby.”

Her dad chuckled.

“We’re recording it so daddy can watch it later, right?” Her mom suddenly smiled.

Chloe hugged Octo tight. “Yup.”

Her dad muttered something, and her mom laughed. “Okay, baby, it’s time.”

Chloe shook her hair, like she saw people do on YouTube, and wiggled her shoulders. She looked right into the camera, just like her dad did. “Hi, everyone, and welcome to today’s episode of Toy Crib Overhaul.” Her dad had helped her with the name. “I’m your host, Cutest Chloe, and this is Octo, the remodeling Octopus.” She held the orange stuffed animal up for the camera.

Her mom smiled. Her dad’s shoulders shook as if he were laughing.

Chloe licked her lips, then pointed to the seat behind her dad. Her mom swiveled the phone. “Today we have the My Little Pony crystal castle.” She made a sweeping motion with her hand. “As you can see, it’s getting a little old, has some damage, and could use something fresh.” She pat the side. “It has good bones, though.”

At this point her mother sniggered, and her dad snorted.

She glared at them both.

Her mom made a circling “go on” gesture with her hand.

“Octo.” Chloe held up the octopus so they were eye to eye. “What do you think?”

Chloe lowered her voice and wigged her head back and forth as she spoke for Octo.

“Well, Chloe, I think you’re right about the bones. But there’s a lot of work to do. It needs new batteries, some of the fashion accessories are missing and the baby’s swing is broken. It won’t be easy.”

“Is it ever easy?” Chloe laughed like her dad’s co-host did. “Where do you think we should start?”

Octo’s voice again. “Remember the old fairy house we found at Good Will and fixed up for Tinkerbell?”

“Yeah.” Chloe tried to sound unconvinced.

“I think we should do the same here. Mix two things to make something new.”

“Something new?”

She held Octo closer to the camera. “I think your Peter Pan toys might need a new place to hang out.”

“Like a night club?” Chloe gasped and put a hand on her chest.

“Like a night club.”

Chloe let out a squeal. “What a good idea!”

“I know.”

She put Octo down and motioned for her mom to zoom in on her. “It’s true this is going to take a lot of work, but the My Little Ponies have deserted their castle to live in the giant dollhouse that we renovated three episodes ago. This will be a perfect fit for Peter Pan and his gang.” Chloe rubbed her hands. “We’re going to need to raid the toy closet again, but man, this is going to be great!”

After smiling for what felt like forever, she gave her mom the signal to stop the recording.

Her mom and dad burst out laughing.

“What?” “Chloe asked.

“That was great, honey,” her dad said over her shoulder. “You even left them with a good hook.”

“Thanks.” Chloe beamed. “When can we upload it?”

“I told you, no uploading until the project is complete,” her dad said. “Start planning your next steps.”

Chloe snatched her notebook off the seat and wrote the words “Next Steps” in blue crayon. She was pretty sure she’d spelled it right.

“This might actually keep her occupied the whole trip,” Chloe’s mom said.

“We may have created a monster,” her dad replied.

Monster? Chloe wrote that down. Maybe she’d do a monster project next!

***

I had a bit of a brain fart when the setting was a road trip, but I feel like I recovered nicely 🙂 This actually made me chuckle!

What do you think? Would she make it on YouTube?

Genre – Fixer-upper Show

Random Object – Octopus

Setting – Road Trip


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16-Aug-2019

Finally, I got to write a horror!

Although, maybe I should have gone with my circus idea…

“They say little kids used to play in this park.” Flickering light from the fire pit they’d made in the sand cast ghostly shadows on Luke’s face as he talked. “People used to come here from all around to have fun.” Luke paused. “Until that night.”

Marci let out a squeal and jumped. Her date laughed. Marci slapped him. “Cut it out!”

“Just messing with you.”

Luke gave them a dark stare.

“Sorry.” Marci settled back down, moving closer to her date.

“You need me to put my arm around you?” my date, Jack, asked.

I sent him a withering glare. “You do and I’ll toss you in the fire.” He’d told me we were going to the park to play little kid games. What he’d failed to add was that they boys were bringing us here, to the old Rocket Park.

Jack chuckled and scooted closer to me. I wanted to move away, but didn’t. In truth, the old park with its rusted play toys that moaned in the wind and the knowledge that a bunch of kids had died here was freaking me out a little bit. So was the fact that we’d get arrested if the police found us.

Luke leaned forward and spoke in a low voice. “The neighborhood was having a party. Everyone came. The adults gathered under the bowery, and the kids played in the rocket.”

I glanced at what was left of the bowery. The roof had collapsed a few years before, and only a table or two had escaped the wrath of the elements. Like the swings, the merry-go-round, the skeletal rocket and the monkey bars, they had all succumbed to rust and ruin.

“No one noticed the sky getting dark. Little by little. No one noticed the shifting in the nearby trees, or the air as it cooled.”

A breeze licked the skin of my arms. A shiver ran up my spine. I couldn’t see much but black past the light of the fire, but it felt like something was watching us.

So help me, if Luke had some of his other buddies out there ready to scare us I would catch them and kick them until I felt better.

“By the time they knew something was wrong, it was too late.”

Jack scooted closer to me, and I could have sworn that despite the fire, the air chilled around us.

Marci let out a little whine. “Don’t tell us any more, Luke.”

Another guy joined her. “Yeah, man, let’s just roast marshmallows and get out of here.”

“Forget marshmallows, let’s just go.”

I took a breath. At least I wasn’t the only one feeling weird about being here.

Luke leaned over the fire until the light flickered on his face and make him look like something out of a horror movie. “You can’t start the story and not finish it. You guys know that. If you leave without getting to the end, the kids will follow you home and haunt you forever.”

Jack snorted—or tried too. It came out more like a surprised cough. “But we don’t believe in ghosts, right?”

That was one of those things our parents told us that we were supposed to simply take their word for it. Like so many other things.

“Do you want to chance it?” Luke asked.

Jack was shaking beside me. “Yeah, I do.”

I sighed and took his hand. We’d only been on a few dates, but I kind of liked the guy. I certainly didn’t want him to bolt and leave me with these idiots. “Come on, let him finish his silly story and then we can go.”

Jack’s eyes went wide, and he stared at me.

Marci giggled.

Jack didn’t look convinced, but he squeezed my hand and mostly stopped shaking.

Luke glanced around again before speaking in his low voice. “Something came up out of the ground that day. Something horrible. It burst out of the sand and grabbed the nearest kids. Each one got sucked into the ground, never to be seen again.”

The wind got stronger, rustling the trees around us. The squeak of rusted metal on metal sounded from the remains of the playground.

Jack’s fingers tightened around mine.

I scooted closer to him.

“The other kids ran, but anyone who didn’t get off of the sand in time, got taken.”

Everyone looked to my right at the remains of the playground. Our fire pit sat twenty feet away from it, but suddenly it didn’t feel like enough space.

“The adults ran to save them, but anyone who set foot on the sand got pulled underneath.” Luke paused. “Some got ripped in half trying to get back out.”

Someone dry heaved.

A leftover chain for the swings clanged against a pole. A strong wind slammed against us, and the fire wavered.

I’m not sure when Jack had put his arm around me, but I didn’t mind.

Luke pointed toward what was left of the rocket. “Anyone who got sand on them died a few days later. None of the kids were ever seen again, and those that survived have all ended up in mental institutions.” He shifted. “It’s said that if you tell the story here, at night, that you will have good fortune. But if you don’t make it to the end, you’re cursed.”

Another blast of wind hit us. Marci yelled. “Is that the end of the story?”

Luke nodded.

“That’s a stupid story,” Jack muttered as he stood.

I stood with him. “Yeah, let’s go.”

Before I could take a step, Jack screamed.

I caught a glimpse of something dark and long as it wrapped itself around Jack’s middle and jerked him away from me. “No!” I reached for him, but missed as he was dragged across the weeds and into the sand pit.

Everyone screamed.

Everyone but Luke, who nodded. “Blood to appease the beast. We are safe.”

***

I grew up with a rocket park. It’s gone now. Not sure how it ended up in this story, but there you go.

Also, I fudged the setting just a bit.

Genre – Horror

Random Object – Fire Pit

Setting – Merry-Go-Round


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9-Aug-2019

How About a Snarky Apocalypse. Anyone?

Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

Chapter 12

When the Gas Ran Out

 

There’s something to be said for a moonless night. The dark stillness that lures people into a peaceful slumber. Some would call it beautiful. I call it the perfect time for zombies to sneak up on me and bite a hole in my carotid artery.

By this point our group was down to twelve adults, three teenagers—including me, two little kids and a dog. The dog was surprisingly well behaved as we poured the last of the gas into our camping lantern and turned it down to minimum light. It was the adults who were freaking out.

Buff Guy 1 (I’d long given up with real names, because just as soon as I learned them they would get bit, maimed or we would have to kill them) kept going on and on about how we needed to get back to civilization to see if they’d found a cure.

Smart Lady 8 reminded him that there was probably no one left looking for a cure.

Buff Guy 1 said several words that drew the wrath of Religious Lady 1 before he got to his point that we shouldn’t give up on the CDC.

Little Bobby 2 (all boys under the age of eleven are Bobby) said we should build a fort so that even if a thousand zombies came we would be safe. He’d done it on Minecraft, and he was pretty sure he could do it here.

Little Jenni 4 said that was stupid, because we needed a wooden pickaxe before we could start building. Also, torches or the zombies would get us for sure.

Frankly, I thought the kids were having the more intelligent discussion.

Leader Lady, who had been staring at the two balls of light coming from the lantern, cleared her throat. Everyone, even the dog, stopped talking to look and listen.

“We need to set the watch.”

Several people groaned.

I raised my hand to volunteer for the first watch. As illustrated in previous chapters, the zombies usually waited until second or third watch to amble upon us. Sure, I’d get sleep if I took second watch, but I would also likely get eaten. So far I’d relied on being faster than someone else in my group to survive, but the slow had been picked off already.

Leader Lady selected me and three others and we each took a corner of the clearing around the little cabin we’d found to hide in.

Others might call it holding up, but I knew better. We were simply hiding until the inevitable happened. Either the zombies found us or we starved to death.

How did I get stuck in the only group of survivors in the whole world who didn’t have a prepper in it again? Please refer to chapter eight for the unfortunate incident with the poisoned berries.

All of the books I’d read about the end of the world included a budding romance. Once again, I got stuck in the only group of survivors that pretty much hated each other. And not like the Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy hate. I mean they’d knife each other in their sleep if Leader Lady didn’t have eyes in the back of her head.

I did miss Teenage Boy 2, the one who had started the conversation about favorite movies with me, but he’d been eaten days ago, and the only other teenage boy left was the guy who had yelled obscenities at the zombies and ripped one of their arms off because he dropped his hatchet.

Leader Lady had Teenage Boy 2 and me both on watch. If there had been any light I would have been able to see him through the trees, but the blanket of darkness obscured everything.

I resisted the urge to look back at the cabin. We’d covered the windows and every crack, so the place looked as black as the night, but part of me dreaded to see that lantern go out for the last time.

A creak sounded, and I did look back. A rectangle of light poured onto the porch and Dog padded out toward me. The golden lab came to me. I pat his head. He licked my hand. I slipped him a dog treat and we settled in for watch.

By now I was familiar with the normal sounds of the night in the woods, so about an hour later, when I heard the first crack of a twig, I pulled my own hatchet from my belt.

Dog straightened and growled.

Something growled back.

“We have incoming!” I yelled.

Teenage Boy let out a war cry.

I swear Dog sighed.

 

Chapter 13

The Third Fight of our Lives

***

Sometimes I crack myself up!

Also, I kind of want to write more!

Genre – Memoir

Random Object – Gas Lantern

Setting – In the Middle of Nowhere


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2-Aug-2019

A Cooking Show and a Crawl Space

“Dude, tell me why we have to hide the camera in the crawl space again?” Vic asked.

Carl extracted himself out of the small doorway and climbed back down the three-rung ladder. He grinned and held up the camera. “Because, my parents grounded me from making videos.”

“You know we can do this at my house, right? My parents are never home, and my sister is always at her boyfriend’s.” Vic followed Carl back up the carpeted stairs to the kitchen.

“Why would we do that?” Cal set the camera down on the counter next to a tripod.

“Because it would be easier?”

“True, but it would ruin the drama.” He set the short tripod up on the counter and affixed the camera on top of it. “If we went to your house, we wouldn’t be able to call our channel Sneak-Cooking, now would we?”

Vic shook his head. “I still say the name is dumb.”

“That’s why it’s so popular!” He held out his hands. “Where are the masks?”

“In my backpack.” Vic didn’t wait for the order to retrieve them. By the time he got back from the table Carl had a burner going.

He zoomed in on it with the camera. “Ready?”

Vic pulled the duck mask down over his head. “Ready.”

Carl donned his monkey mask. “Where are the goldfish?” The distorter in the mask made his voice sound like an anime chick.

Vic lifted the bag of live goldfish he’d just bought at the pet store. One of them was already floating belly up.

“Excellent,” said the sinister-sounding six-year-old voice. “We go live in 3-2-1.” When he made a fist, he turned the camera on.

For a few seconds, Carl filmed the blue and orange flames. Then he spoke and swiveled the lens toward them.

“Welcome, everyone, to another day of Sneak-Cooking!”

Vic still wanted to make a track of people cheering and clapping for this part, but Carl didn’t want to ruin the original ambiance.

“Say hello, Duck-Face.”

“Hello, Duck-Face,” Vic said.

The audience would then go wild.

Carl laughed. “So, Duck-Face, what have you brought us today?”

Vic cleared his throat. When he spoke, his voice came out as a distorted robot. “Well, Monkey-Boy, I brought some…” he let the tension build before he wiggled the bag in front of the camera. “Goldfish!”

More cheering here, Vic thought.

Carl turned the lens toward himself and steepled his fingers. “Excellent.”

“What spices have you prepared?” Vic asked.

“Only the best!” Carl gestured like a girl who presented the prizes on a game show. “These are things my mom won’t miss.” He picked up the bottles one at a time. “Cumin, Celery Salt, Lemon Pepper and Rosemary. Also, expired hot sauce.”

“Yummy,” Vic said. You sure your mom won’t miss any of it?”

“Is your mom going to miss the dollar you spent on goldfish?”

“I rooted in the couch for change.”

Another perfect spot for a laugh track.

Vic poured hot sauce in a frying pan, then put it over the heat. He added the spices, telling everyone how bad it smelled—and it did smell bad—before he held his hands out for the goldfish.

“Water or no water?” Vic asked in a dramatic voice.

“Hmmm…” Carl tapped his monkey chin with a finger. “How about half-water?”

“Good idea.” Vic untied the bag and poured half of the water out, being careful not to lose any of the fish. Then he handed the bag to Carl and stepped back.

Carl didn’t hesitate, he poured the fish and water into the pan.

The smell made Vic want to gag. Fishy hot sauce should not be a thing.

“We put them in live to keep the dish fresh,” Carl said.

Vic noted that after twenty seconds of Carl stirring they were all floating belly up.

“Duck-Face, go get the taste tester!”

“Yes, Monkey-Face.” Vic went to the sliding door and opened it. Carl’s dog—a Rottweiler who would rather lick you to death than bite you—ran in and began to circle at Carl’s feet.

“Good girl,” Carl said. He poured the concoction into a bowl, made a show of blowing on it, then put it on the ground.

The dog lapped at the water, then her head jerked up. She shook it, licked her chops once, gave Carl and dirty look and went back outside.

“Fail,” Vic said.

“Fail,” Carl said.

They book looked at the camera. “Fail!”

Laugh track here, Vic thought to himself.

Carl laughed and turned the camera off. “That was hilarious.”

Vic looked down at the bowl and poked it with the toe of his shoe. He pulled his mask off. “You get to throw it out.”

“Baby.”

“Yup.”

***

I had to stretch the setting.

Genre – Cooking or Crafting Show

Random Object – Goldfish

Setting – Crawl Space Under a House

Hit me with your best idea for these three!


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