Flash Dash!

Horse racing event, Tokyo. CC2.0 photo by Tsutomu Takasu.

Horse racing event, Tokyo. CC2.0 photo by Tsutomu Takasu

Welcome to our final Flash Dash contest! The parameters are short and easy:

* One prompt [[SEE BELOW FOR PROMPT]]
* Word count: anything up to 500 words
* Time limit: 30 minutes (starting when this posts at 11:30 am Washington, DC time). At 12:00pm (noon) THE DOOR SLAMS SHUT!
* Where/how: add your story as a comment to this post
* Judge: Moi, Rebekah Postupak
* Normal Flash! Friday guidelines regarding content apply

Today’s prizes:

* $20 cash/gift card (winner’s choice, via PayPal or Amazon) 


Your protagonist must face a misbehaving pet. (NOTE: please think outside of the box! no boring old cats or dogs.)

41 thoughts on “Flash Dash!

  1. I hated that Dragon, it lived under the stairs, and she called it Pete. Now is that a fitting name for a bad tempered creature that shoots flames out of its nostrils and breathes foul odours. She said it was because it was vegetarian. Only ate brussel sprouts and spring greens. Spent most of my time up on that allotment growing veg like there was no tomorrow. I wanted to grow marrows and shallots.

    She said when I proposed all those years ago. Take me, take my dragon. So I loved her all my life and tried to accept Pete. To be honest I was jealous that he had known her longer than I had, knew all her secrets, fears and worries. In the night when her side of the bed was empty I would hear her whispering to Pete. I felt such soul destroying emotion. Wanted to make her send him away but I knew if I made her choose I would be packing my bags.

    Today I sit with Pete; he looks at me with his doleful eyes and tries to mop up my tears. It’s just him and I now. I buried her under the lilac tree as she wanted. She knew I would look after Pete. He’s my life now. The last Dragon in Wales.

    219 words


  2. The Price

    He smoothed back the hair from her forehead and cupped her face in his hands.
    She stared at him with bright blue eyes, eyes that had begun to close in anticipation as he tipped his face toward hers and then

    “Spaghetti! Spaghetti, Eddy! So fine! Trousers!”

    She pulled her face back in surprise and he grimaced and looked down.
    “What the hell was that?” she asked.

    “Once upon a time! Gee whiz! Here’s a pancake!”

    “Um,” he answered. Why did he think this time would be different? Why didn’t he insist that they go back to her place? Probably because he had insisted for the past four dates and she when she narrowed her eyes at him tonight, likely with a hint os suspicion, he had relented and hoped for the best.

    “Cribbage! Take my wife! Jello! Jello! Jello!”

    She moved away from him on the couch and stood up in the middle of the living room looking around wildly.
    “What the hell is that, Joe? Is this some stupid joke?”

    Some joke indeed.
    He had thought it was a joke when he entered the contest. His writer friends were good liars, spinning great yarns, inventing fun ideas, so why not enter a contest to win a magical parrot? Magical parrots aren’t really, but ones that poop gold nuggets sound fun enough to give it a whirl.
    But then he won. He actually won a magical parrot. The parrot arrived at his door with no instructions, no return address, not much of anything except for a wide gold cage and a ruffly rainbow colored parrot staring at him with gold eyes.

    The extra money from the gold was great. Joe couldn’t complain about the small amount of wealth he had become accustomed to. He did have to complain about the fact that the parrot was a word sponge, soaking up everything it heard and fixating on inexplicable favorite phrases.

    Silently Joe stood and walked into the next room, his date followed him.
    In the corner, peering out from the cage was the parrot.

    “Murder and mayhem! Boner! Follow your dreams! Yarn!” it shouted by way of greeting.

    “Yeah, uh huh,” Joe said to the parrot then turned to his date and gestured to the parrot.

    She did not notice the pile of gold beneath the parrot. She only heard the next burst of words, including “Flabby face” which compelled her to leave in a huff.

    Joe heard his front door slam and sighed. He stuck his fingers through the bar and parrot nibbled them gently.

    “Just you and me now. Like always” he said.
    “Bananas! Pot lid! Happy times!” said the parrot.

    442 words


  3. Lost and Found

    “Honey… where’re my keys?”

    Even as I start towards the hook where his keys are hung I hear my son yell, “Where’s my controller?”

    This was not looking good.

    Then I discovered the phone was missing from its charger, as was the TV Remote.

    And then I saw my daughter’s ferret, galumping by in an odd gate as he hauled a hairbrush as big as he was off towards his crate.

    This was going to be fun.

    I captured Riki and stole his prize from him and headed towards my daughter’s bed room, Riki and brush in hand.

    I was about to knock when Eliza opened the door and gasped, “You found it!”

    Not him… it…

    “You needed your hairbrush?” I asked. The look she gave me was one of incredulity.


    I handed her the brush, walked into her room and put Riki in his crate and began the process of trailing where he’d been.

    On the dresser, where the brush should have been was my coffee cup. I picked it up and went back to the kitchen and put the cup down on the counter, where my son’s game controller was sitting.

    The game controller led me to my pen, which led me to my desk, which led me to the tv remote, which led me to the coffee table where I found the phone, which led me to a write-on/wipe off marker, which led me to the white board in my husband’s study, which led me to a memory stick, which led me to my husband’s computer which led me to his keys.

    As I handed him his keys, my husband frowned.

    “Why is Riki carrying off your coffee cup?”

    I turned and sighed. “Because it keeps us together.”

    As they all headed out I looked over at Riki and said “Paw bump” and he touched his paw to my closed fist… and then we settled down for a nap before the next round.

    329 words


  4. Title: “Simone”
    Word Count: 372
    Twitter: @colin_d_smith

    “Look! Look!” said Bonnie, running across the schoolyard with her iPhone. “Kaylie! See this!” Kaylie looked up from her book at smirked at her excitable friend.

    “What now, Bon?” she sighed.

    “It’s my virtual goldfish! Look!” Bonnie was bouncing with excitement, so much Kaylie had to snatch the device from her hand to see what the fuss was about. On the screen was a cartoon goldfish in a bowl, its big eyes darting left and right, and a faintly Mona-Lisa like smile on its face.

    “Huh,” said Kaylie. “Doesn’t look too happy.”

    “That cos you’ve got to play with her. Simone’s her name. Watch.” Bonnie traced her finger back and forth over the screen. Simone wriggled. Bonnie did it again, and Simone smiled.

    “That’s ridiculous,” snorted Kaylie. “Goldfish don’t smile.”

    “You try,” said Bonnie indignantly.

    “No thanks,” said Kaylie. “It’s stupid.”

    “You’re stupid. Try it. See, she’s awesome.”

    “Whatever,” Kaylie sighed. “Hello, Simone, the not-real goldfish,” she said to the screen.

    “Tickle her!”

    Kaylie gave Bonnie a sideways glance. Bonnie’s face was so bright and expectant, she couldn’t refuse. She quickly swiped a finger across the screen.

    “YOW!” said Kaylie, nearly dropping the iPhone. Bonnie took it back from her.

    “What happened?”

    “It shocked me! Is there something wrong with your phone?”

    Bonnie turned the phone over. “I don’t think so. I got it for my birthday last month, so it’s still pretty new.” With a tentative finger, Bonnie stroked the screen. Simone responded with a blissful smile. “Here, try again. Maybe it was the atmosphere or something. Static, you know?” She held her phone toward Kaylie.

    Kaylie’s finger hesitated in mid-air, then she swiftly drew it across the screen.

    “OW! OW! OW! It did it again!” Then Kaylie let out a scream as Simone suddenly transformed into a great white shark baring its enormous teeth.

    “What?” said Bonnie, turning the phone so she could see. Simone was, once again, a placid goldfish, smiling at her friend.

    “Get that thing away from me, Bonnie,” said Kaylie. “It’s EVIL!”

    Kaylie stomped off leaving Bonnie with her phone.

    “Don’t you worry about her,” she said to Simone, who was grinning and swimming from side to side of the screen. “I’m still your best friend.”


  5. A Dark and Stormy Night

    383 words


    The cage was empty, bars bent, warped beyond recognition. I sighed. I’d overdone the Goodboy Vitamin Choccy Drops – again. Now I would have to go out into the night on another wild hunt.

    Perhaps Alfie might come if I just called, I thought hopefully. I opened the window but the rain battered my face and the wind whipped away my words. This was the sort of night Alfie loved. I pulled on my mac and headed miserably out into the darkness. I looked for the usual tell-tale signs that would lead me to my pet, the torn clothes, the discarded shoes, the sheep carcasses.

    Old Farmer Jones had raised a right hue-and-cry the last time, summoned the local hunt to track the fox he assumed had been to blame. They had picked up the scent, hurtling through my garden at breakneck speed. Farmer Jones had been most apologetic about the destruction of my prize marigolds. Obviously the hounds had taken a wrong turn.

    I was quite happy to allow a hound to trek round my house and try and pick up the scent again but Farmer Jones said there was no need for that. He knew I was as much a hunter of foxes as he was, he had often admired the pelts adorning my study wall. And in the end the hounds refused to enter anyway. They whimpered on the threshold and refused to go any further. And when they heard Alfie growl from inside, they turned tail and fled.

    Now I was out hunting Alfie once more. I was seriously considering suing the pet shop owner under the Trades Description Act. I glanced up at the moon and my heart sank. Full and beautiful it illuminated the stark landscape, the moors that I had become familiar with.

    I rubbed at the bite mark on my arm. The manager of the shop had told me Alfie had been fully neutered … in every respect. He was the first of what he hoped would be a new novelty line of tame werewolves – an ideal pet for all the family. Any bites were purely in play he had assured me. But something inside me was tingling and I felt my body begin to twist and shake. I looked at the moon and howled.


  6. Ragnar the Rook

    Ragnar was a rook who lived on my friend’s shoulder and went wherever Roger did go, either standing still or flying overhead.

    A beautiful, silky specimen he had keen, dark eyes that could see right through us silly humans, I always thought.

    Did you know that the latin name for the species comes from the word for “food gathering.” Very apt for Ragnar, I must say. Much like with the kite hawks that terrorised British soldiers in India, one always had to protect their lunch from Ragnar.

    On a soup day he would steal your bread, if you set up a cheese board he tended to favour brie, at a BBQ he would swoop and steal meat from the grill before it got hot. Nothing was safe from his talons. All who knew him learned ways to keep him at bay. A good Viking he was when it came to raiding a store.

    One day, though, poor Ragnar went too far. On a picnic we were in Victoria Park on a summer’s afternoon when Ragnar the rook spotted a tasty morsel and took flight for his fancy.

    His fancy, though, from part of a cricketer’s tea, however, and Ragnar expired in a flurry of feathers.

    Roger has never been the same since, poor Roger. Indeed we all wince when the cricket comes on.

    223 Words


  7. @firdausp
    Trouble in a bottle

    I rubbed hard, really really hard. I thought the bottle would break, but she just wouldn’t respond.
    “Will you at least come out!” I screamed.
    “Nope,” came the prompt reply.
    “I have something really nice for you,” I tried to entice her.
    “Oh really,” she leered, “as if I couldn’t get it myself.”
    “Well it’s better to get it as a gift instead of just conjuring it up yourself,” I tried to sound calm when in fact I could almost feel the fumes coming out of my ears.
    Just come out and then you’ll see! I seethed inside.
    “What is it?” She sounded interested.
    I thought hard, I hadn’t a clue.
    “Something you’d like a lot,” I bluffed.
    “Hmm…and you’re not angry anymore?” She asked in a small voice.
    “No,” I ground my teeth.
    All of a sudden she was out in a whirlwind of smoke, floating near the ceiling.
    “Alright, give it to me,” she smiled down at me. She was in her most glorious state. All glittery and glamorous. (Okay she got me swooning a little)
    “First turn my hideous green hair back to normal,” I demanded.
    She squinted her eyes, “You’re in no position to negotiate, are you?” She gave a mischievous smile, “aren’t you getting late for your meeting?”
    “Do it NOW!” I was furious.
    “Poof!” She winked,and I knew my hair was worse. That’s what you get from drinking too much and bringing home the wrong bottle from the beach. And I thought I could keep her as my pet. Rotten idea.


  8. The fall of Liberty

    My house shakes with the pounding of the front door. I don’t need to use the peep hole to know who it is, there’s only one person that assaults my poor door so enthusiastically.

    I open the door to see my sweet old lady neighbour Mrs. Jenkins. She at least looks the part, but we both know its a facade. Any pretence of facility goes right out the window as she grabs me by my collar, “I can’t find Mr. Pickles. Know anything about that?”

    I wipe the sleep from my eyes, “Why would I know where your chihuahua is? I’ll have you know I was taking a nap.”
    “A likely story. Where’s that damn pet of yours?”
    “Liberty is right where I left him. Look.”

    I gesture to the large perch in the corner. It would really help my argument if it wasn’t currently empty. Uh oh. I must have forgotten to attach his tether. No problem though, how far could he go?

    “I’m sure he’s around here somewhere. Liberty. Oh Liberty. Come out, come out wherever you are.”
    Old Mr.s Jenkins gestures towards the window that I had cracked open to combat the sweltering heat. He couldn’t possible have fit through there, could he? Right on cue we hear a distant screech.

    We both run out into the garden and stare at the heavens. There’s a tiny silhouette circling the house. I breath a sigh of relief, I thought for a moment I had lost him. I stare at her smugly and say, “See, he’s right there. We don’t know anything about Mr. Pickles disappearance. I’m sure he’ll turn up.”
    It’s at this moment that we both hear the barking. We search around, trying to locate it, until we both reach the same conclusion. It’s coming from above us. Now that I squint, I can see the tiny white ball grasped firmly in Liberty’s talons.

    Mrs. Jenkins starts screaming. I do my best to stay calm. Hope isn’t lost yet. I whistle loudly and Liberty gracefully turns towards us. He’ll glide back over here and everything will be fine.

    I forgot one minor detail. Eagles have a particularly cruel way of hunting. I remember it just as I see Mr. Pickles plummeting towards the ground. Instinct kicks in and I charge towards him like my life depends on it. It actually might. He’s falling too quickly. I’m not going to make it.

    I dive, pushing all my weight forwards. Mr. Pickles lands with a thump in my outstretched arms. As way of thanks he immediately piddles all over me. I can’t say I blame him, he’s got to be one of the first chihuahua’s to achieve terminal velocity.

    Liberty lands casually on my lawn, disappointed that I’ve ruined his lunch.

    Old Mrs. Jenkins rushes to my side. I prepare for her assault, but instead she hugs me, “Oh thank you, you saved him!”

    And that’s how I became friends with sweet Old Mrs. Jenkins.

    496 words


  9. My Dog
    (Because my dog is *not* an ordinary dog)

    Most dogs will chase deer, and in that my dog is no exception – except for the part where, after chasing the deer, he will round up the strays and herd them back to the others.

    Most dogs love kibbles and bits… my dog sorts them and leaves them in piles by type.

    Most dogs chase cats, my dog wants to be their friend… unless of course they run.. Then he chases them until they stop and then he resumes trying to be a friend.

    My dog is aggressively friendly.

    My dog is smart.

    My dog is so goofy it hurts.

    My dog thinks he’s a cat.

    I could listen to this for hours, but finally I look at the dog and sigh.

    “You both have the same dog, now will one of you take him for a walk?”

    145 words
    #Flashdogs (more for you amusement than competition but hey… FF rules – up to 2) 😉


    • and I missed the perfect twist with this… ’cause the dog could have the kids as pets… ah well… 30 minute is not enough to hit that on the mark. Thank you for a wonderful bout of flash frenzy.


  10. The naughty Dragon.
    ‘Be careful with the dragon!’
    ‘I beg your pardon?’
    ‘Today’s Friday. Keep an eye out for the dragon. It’s always up to mischief.’
    ‘Today’s Saturday.’
    ‘Perhaps. But the dragon doesn’t care what day it is.’
    He threw his arms in the air.
    ‘Just smile, George,’ said his wife.
    ‘You can’t be serious. She’s as mad as a hatter. She’s getting worse.’
    ‘She’s her nutty self, the same as usual.’
    ‘She can’t live on her own. We need to find somewhere for her to be looked after.’
    ‘She’s fine, George.’
    ‘I heard you. I’m not going anywhere without the dragon.’
    ‘You’ll have your own room and someone to care for you, and we’ll visit every week.’
    ‘They don’t take dragons in resting homes.’
    ‘We could arrange for a cage for the dragon.’
    ‘George, please, leave it, will you?’
    ‘A cage? Are you suggesting they trap my dragon in a cage? He’s a free spirit.’
    ‘So, where is it?’
    ‘No, let her tell me. She needs to realize she can’t go around making things up like that.’
    ‘George, she’s your mother, try to be patient, won’t you?’
    ‘Where, mother?’
    ‘It’s where you left it, darling, hiding under your bed.’
    ‘I haven’t lived here for over thirty years, mother.’
    ‘That’s a long time to leave him under the bed. No wonder he’s behaving so mischievously.’
    ‘I give up.’
    ‘Go on, look under the bed. I dare you, both of you.’
    She followed them into the bedroom and watched as they knelt by the bed and lifted the bed cover slowly.
    ‘So, you believed me all along, but you’ve upset him now. He’s playing hide and seek.’


      • Thank you 🙂 I tried to find an unusual pet, and a funny, yet sad situation, where fact and fiction, present and past, merge. They’re both having memory loss issues. He’s forgotten his childhood and his mother has gone back there due to her dementia… The dragon is their meeting point. Amazing how all this can happen in just 30 minutes!


  11. Cat Call

    “Get out of here,” I yell at Calliope.

    “What are you doing?” the infuriating tiger says.

    “If you must know, I am trying to write a flash dash story in 30 minutes but I started late so I don’t have any time to chat.”


    “No, chat. Palaver.”

    “Paladin? My favourite old western.”

    “Right, Paladin. No, Palaver. Talk.”

    “Holy Hannah, Willy, you’re the one who said, I’ve got a tiger by the tale. You and I should be spending some quality time together.”

    “Tail. Not tale. Tigers don’t write. I’ve got no time for this. And besides, Rebekah was very clear. No boring cats or dogs.”

    “Who is calling who boring, Willy? Have you ever listened to yourself?”

    “Not when you’re in the room.”

    “Okay, you don’t need my musing qualities, I’m going to go and nibble on the boring dog…”

    “Get out of here and leave Brutus alone…”

    “Too late, writer guy. I’m going to the dogs spending time with you…”
    164 totally rushed words


  12. A whimper interrupted morning tea. The enjoyment of that first flavourful steaming sip of Earl Grey undermined by that stupid creature.

    Beady eyes peered up at me through the lattice. A pink tongue curled up toward its snivelly little nose. It dropped a towel over the cage and took my tea to the living room. The mewling followed me out.

    I cranked the radio and cursed my flighty sister for throwing a pipe bomb into my corner of peace. Boo hoo! It’s too expensive to take JoJo on the plane with me! (No concern about the cost of her own passage to the Maldives.) Please, Randolph, please!

    Then it was: Boo hoo! my new place won’t let me keep one! Please, Randolph, please!

    And when she (inevitably) got bored with it: Boo hoo! I couldn’t bear to give JoJo up to strangers! Please, Randolph, pleeeeeease!

    A slam from the kitchen. Bergamot went bitter in my throat.

    JoJo. I don’t know why she bothered naming it.

    I stalked back into the kitchen. “If you don’t stop, you’re going in the basement.”

    JoJo cringed and curled at the furthest point from me that she could. I knew that threat would only be effective for another week or so. Always pushing the boundaries. Jojo would end up in the basement soon enough.

    Just like my sister.

    223 words


  13. Fishy Business

    ‘Boring. They just swim around in circles.’

    ‘What do you want them to do? They’re goldfish.’

    ‘I don’t know. Something. Something faster.’

    She took the lid of the bowl.

    She stirred so hard. So so fast.

    The fish moved like they had never moved before. Spinning around in a girl made whirlpool.

    ‘Look at them go!’ She shouted.

    The water bubbled and burst; a tornado in water form, flashed with gold splashing smashing slapping against the side.

    ‘See. That’s better. Exciting!’

    ‘I’ve had enough. They’re slowing down now.’

    Bang slap slap against the bowl. Sad.

    ‘You’ve killed them all!’

    Then, someone one jumped. Hit her on the forehead in a break for freedom. That wasn’t in the script. It hit her with the force of a falling leaf. But if hit her like a hammer.

    I’d never seen one jump before, it was surreal. It flew through the front room slapping with a wet noise against my sister’s forehead.

    ‘I’m sorry.’ She said.

    We never kept fish again. And she could never eat them. Too unpredictable she said.



  14. {{POSTED LATE but still eligible–emailed timely but separately by a parent}}

    “Today my Angelica took my ball of yarn and did something awful with it.” Someone said.

    “Well last week my playful Harold took my shoes and I still haven’t seen them!” said another.

    “Doesn’t matter. I think my pet is splendid! In fact, it does everything for me!” said someone else.

    “HOLD IT! I see we all have different opinions on our pets but really, I think most of us agree that our pets misbehave. Now, any ideas to get them to behave?” I said.

    “Let’s scratch then to death with our powerful weapons!” someone shouted out.

    “Hush! I hear something!” I said.




    “OK. We are safe. Wonder why that little person ran off. It was very high pitched. Well, see everyone next week!”

    by Crystal Alden, age 11


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