Archive | August 2013

Flash! Friday # 39

CLOSED!!! Thanks to you brave adventurers for sharing your surreal tales. Results will post Sunday.

Welcome to Flash! Friday # 39. I don’t know quite what to tell you about today’s surrealist prompt except that it’s cool, and a million stories crouch, waiting, in its layers. (Gold star to whoever spots the dragon. And no, that is not why I chose this painting. Stop looking at me so suspiciously!)  Now: pick whichever layer speaks to you, and get writing!    

(Don’t forget the freshly updated contest rules!)

This week’s contest is judged by SVW member Jaz Draper who may very well evaluate this week’s stories while milking a cow or composting. Be sure to check out her judge page to find out what she looks for in a winning entry. Short version: she likes tales with unique but round & resonant characters, and she’s a sucker for really great dialogue.

And now:

Word limit: 300 word story (10-word leeway) based on the photo prompt. 

* How: Post your story here in the comments. Include your word count (290 – 310 words, exclusive of title) and Twitter handle if you’ve got one. 

* Deadline: 11:59pm ET tonight (check the world clock if you need to; Flash! Friday’s on Washington, DC time)

Winners: will post SUNDAY 

Prize: A head-scratchingly stunning e-trophy e-dragon e-badge, a curiously personalized winner’s page here at FF, a marvelously odd 60-second interview feature next Wednesday, and YOUR NAME translated into the languages of unicorns, dragons, and butterfly-winged princesses everywhere (so to speak). NOTE: Winning and non-winning stories alike remain eligible for selection for Monday’s occasional Flash Points. 

* Follow @FlashFridayFic on Twitter for up-to-date news/announcements/dragon camouflage kits.  And now for your prompt:

Unicornio, by Salvador Nunez, shared as part of the Peru Arte Valor effort.

Unicornio, by Salvador Nunez, shared as part of the Peru Arte Valor effort.

Just for Fun: The List

Checklist. Created by CKepper, wiki commons.

Checklist. CKepper, wiki commons.

The List

Written by Rebekah Postupak

for #FinishThatThought

It was Eva’s first day in her new marriage, and she was determined to make this time different.

3) No nagging.

4) No spying.

5) No throwing of heirlooms.

6) No taking money out of his wallet without asking first.

7) No burying of his memorabilia in the backyard.

8) No reworking his expensive tuxedo into a gown, no matter how clever/fashion forward.

9) No cutting holes in the bedroom ceiling for a skylight.

10) In fact, no power tools at all.

Rereading the list, Eva sighed loudly. She’d only started it today, but already it hung heavily over her like one of those cornucopia hats people used to wear before they learned about ergonomics. So many things to remember! The morning had gone so swimmingly, too.

“Have fun today, Mrs. Martin!” Antoine had said, kissing her head in a way that was cute now but would probably be horribly annoying later. “I’ll be home at supper.”

Then he had lingered at the door looking pathetic, and Eva eventually realized she was supposed to respond.

“Have fun yourself, husband,” she said, tossing a pillow at him. Tossing pillows, she had discovered some years ago, made her come across as light-hearted and playful.

“You know this board meeting is mandatory,” he said. His voice reminded her of a puppy mewing at the door when it has to go potty.

“Of course I understand. You could lose your job if you don’t go.”

“We’ll leave tomorrow instead, I promise. As soon as I get to work, I’m having Jessica change the tickets.”


“Right—my assistant. You remember her from the wedding?”

“I remember lots of women at our wedding.”

“Yes. So many people came! They all loved you. –But I really have to go now. You’ll be all right?”

“Of course. Don’t be silly. It’s not like I’m going to light a fire in the living room to test if the carpet is flammable, and accidentally burn the house down and barely escape with my life.”

Antoine had laughed, kissed her again (annoying) and left.

She really had been thinking about the carpet, though, which was hay-colored and reminded her vaguely of those blazes they always seemed to be having out west.

“No setting fire to the carpet!” she wrote emphatically as # 2 on the rapidly lengthening list.

The hours slunk past.

“I’m supposed to make dinner!” Eva remembered in sudden panic at five o’clock (by now the list stretched to an impossible 327). She only knew how to make cheesesteak sandwiches, but she made them well; she was very good at doing things with knives and never, not once in all her life, had given herself a steak knife papercut.

Antoine was halfway through his sandwich (“These onions are seriously good”) when he collapsed. Eva wondered belatedly if she had somehow seasoned with arsenic instead of pepper.

She stared at the list in despair. And to think she’d started the day so hopeful!

1)      No killing of husbands.


500 words exactly, inspired by this week’s Finish That Thought flash challenge and incorporating a variation of the mandatory starting sentence and optional three Challenge words (skylight, gown, papercut) within the 500 word count requirement.

Dedicated to all men everywhere who marry unbalanced women and tolerate them with grace, patience, and a heaven-sized portion of good humor.

PS. I am talking about my husband.

PPS. He is still living.

Sixty Seconds with: Charles W. Short

Ten answers to ten questions in 20 words or fewer. That’s less time than it takes to burn a match*.

(*Depending on the length of the match and your tolerance for burned fingers, obviously)


Our newest Flash! Friday winner is Charles W. Short.  Read his winning story here, then take one minute to get to know him better.

1) What about the prompt inspired you to write your winning piece? The map, the red hair, but mostly the placement of the man’s hand seemed awkward, unfamiliar. Like a newlywed couple.

2) How long have you been writing flash? I first heard of it about a year ago. Have only done 5-10 pieces so far.

3) What do you like about flash? I can fit writing flash into my schedule easier, but love the challenge of a tight story.

4) What flash advice would you give other writers? Not experienced enough to give advice, but I believe its more important to be skilled at editing than at composition.

5) Who is a writer we should follow, and why? Only flash writer that comes to mind is King David, the Psalms. Rightly understood, they are masterpieces in brief.

6) Do you participate in other flash contests, and which? This was first entry here, and I entered a flash this year at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.

7) What other forms do you write (novels, poetry, articles, etc)? I blog in several forms, write devotionals, and have a book out, The Storeroom of the Heart, which is non-fiction. 

8) What is/are your favorite genre(s) to write, and why? Devotions, especially those based on birding. I love to take something from nature and show how it correlates to Scripture.  

9) Tell us about a WIP. Jamison on my blog, a sniper for the space colonies. Living in solitude in the Zilkas Asteroid Belt is hard.

10) How do you feel about dragons? Dragons are hard to parallel park, but not many meter maids will attempt writing you a parking ticket.