well shit... That's awesome.
That is pretty darn cool, Profunda. I hope she liked it!
* back to the editing room.
Thanks fellas. I was pretty happy with how it had the right number of words to fit on the page exactly. Not sure how that happened, seem to do my best on the fly. She loved it enough to scan it in as soon as she got to her folks' place. Haha. She's sort of my muse, there's one of these on her wall in DC which was part of the speech I gave at her wedding, which is John Stamos (or a terrible facsimile thereof) serenading her with the wrong words to the song Fernando. Wish I had a copy of that. Apparently there is a Tobey McGuire one somewhere too, but I have really slowed down on the drunken drawing in the last couple years, so I have yet to see that one with sober eyes.
So...if we are posting on the LitReactor smackdown, we can also post the same thing here?
Make sure you read the mainpage guidelines as the content should not be too extreme, like, say Hetch Litman's tranny piece. I think that is what Rob means.
Just do your thing.
So I just want everyone to try this 250 word exercise. Also it will be fun to mingle on the mainpage.
I think that column will be bumped up repeatedly throughout the month too, so if it is exposure you seek--that is where to strip naked.
Good stuff up there. Kelly that love shaft sounds alluring indeed and I love the handcraftedness of it.
And Dulouz, I really like that. And it is fine it is over 250 words. But just wanted to point that out, that this month is 250 words!
He had thought the end of the world would come with a bang, not a whimper. To be fair, he wasn’t really whimpering, he was wailing and moaning between retching and shitting—and it wasn’t really the end of the world. Just his.
It was a really un-fucking-dignified way to go. It would be a headline. The drugs didn’t kill him. The alcohol didn’t. Not even the years of shady deals in dark alleys had killed him. He had spent over a decade with his hand hovering over the gun on his hip, and the bitch who had convinced him it was all too dangerous had killed him so easily.
He had burst a blood vessel in his eye on the second day. The strain had caused a headache so bad all he could see was white light. Today there was blood in his shit. Or he thought there was. The only light came from a small rectangular window above his head.
His life wasn’t flashing before his eyes. Maybe that only happens when you die fast, rather than rotting from the inside out. He only saw her. Saw her in a red dress on their first date, crying the day she asked him to get out of the business, glowing and draped in white on their wedding day. He saw her with a plate of scrambled eggs the morning his stomach had started bothering him. She was smiling.
Aw crap, sorry Chester. I thought the 250 wds was just for the egg-theme.
and, damn cool piece, Sparrow.
Right then. My first ever attempt at a Flash. I did start from the eggs thing but as I worked, I moved further away from it and in the end the only ovoid reference that was left felt so crowbarred in I had to ditch it. So it's just gonna sit here.
On the concrete walkway outside I can hear the lads shouting, but that doesn’t matter. They can’t hurt us any more. I ignore them and carry on.
A film of sweat coating his naked body glitters in the candlelight. His chest a golden landscape of ridges and shadowy valleys where the flames illuminate the contours of his ribs. I dip the brush in the china bowl and start to paint the symbols on his chest, the same screed of secret names and impossible numbers that he’s already scrawled on me.
“We’ll be alright, won’t we?” His voice is heavy, slow and slurred. The drug’s already taking hold.
I silence him with a soft kiss of confirmation. He tastes of bile and cinnamon.
I continue painting. With each stroke of the brush he lets out a gentle whimper through barely parted lips – he always was so ticklish.
I finish tracing the last few lines and concentrate, holding back the fog for a last few moments to check that everything has been done according to the instructions. I place the ink and brush on the floorboards next to the spoon and empty syringes. I’m careful not to break the chalk circle
I lay my head on his chest listening to his heartbeat slowing.
As my eyelids succumb to heaviness, I wonder how long it’ll take them to find us. But that’s not important. Tomorrow we’ll be back. Reborn and dancing in the stars.
And we’ll piss on this stinking city from above.
Ahhhh...so the main page contest is different that our current competition here, which doesn't have to have anything to do with an egg. Gotcha!
I'm working on something for the egg thing. Won't win, but I think it'll fall into the surreal category. Gonna show those main-pagers whose boss!
@Bill - Well I hope so, otherwise I've just made a prat of myself. Which is, admitedly a fairly common occurence. I did try reading through the entire thread, but my brain started dribbling out of my ears after page 5.
Well, sorry for the confusion guys:
So, in this thread, I am the only one who has obeyed the rules thus far? In the lead by default. I'll take it!
IYeah I already had my toothy sub lined up for this month but turns out it aint in keeping with this month's bonus features.
It's cool though. This cat isn't always about the winning. Sometimes a flash for the sake of it makes just as many old ladies faint.
Trust me. Try it out on a bus or something. Whip your flash out and watch the biddies hit the floor.
I really will try to get round to writing something for the egg-comp. After annoying the Robster with my dumb mouth, probably the very least I can do.
I might pull the aching tooth and hang on to it/work on it a bit more. Hmm. Will decide tomorrow.
250 words about eggs. By the end of the month. Shame on me if I can't pull something off.
*Inspired* by eggs, Wicked. Not necessarily *about* eggs. Technicalities are important.
Ovums and Pollos.
Angry war faces. Snarled teeth and furrowed brows.
Born to Kill.
That’s what we drew on those eggs.
Whole eggs fished from the white plastic swing bin, maybe three days past their use by date.
Felt tip pen smudged against our eager fingers as we lined them up along the window sill. Four fat soldiers.
Me and Sam in our cramped flat, Mum looked harassed, said, “Behave,” and went to lie down.
But Sam never listens.
Pushing the window open a crack, Sam’s on reconnaissance.
“The target’s in range. Arm yourself Sergeant Davey.”
Old man Foggerty.
Always tapping his window and yelling when we played football on the lawn. Told us we’d ruin it. The same turf peppered with his Lucy’s dark brown dog-turds, coating your football, wedged in the cracks in your trainers. Trailed across our kitchen floor.
Missile in hand I hesitate.
“Chicken shit,” says Sam and drops the first egg.
It falls short, an explosion of yolk on beige nylon trousers.
A furry lightning bolt charges through his legs to lap up the fetid puddle.
Sprawling, falling backwards. Grasping at air, he tumbles. His head cracks, a soft boiled egg, on the hard paving.
“Davey?” Mum calls from the bedroom, woken by the cacophony.
The moment there’s trouble, Sam’s gone.
“It was Sam.” I say, small voice trembling.
Mum’s voice faint and sleepy, sighing, “Aren’t you a bit old for imaginary friends now, Davey?”
In my ear Sam whispering:
“Soldier: K.I.A. Requesting back-up.”
Three brightly painted eggs sat on the windowsill, colours bleached to silver by the moonlight. Symbols of the Resurrection, his mother had said. But instinct told Jack they were tokens of something darker, wilder and older than the Bible stories.
He had always feared the nocturnal intruders that crept with supposedly benign intent into bedrooms. While the other kids at school talked excitedly of coins and stockings, Jack knew that the Tooth Fairy had pliers and Santa had claws. But it was the thought of the Spring visitor that froze his blood.
He pulled the covers tightly over his head. As any child knows, if you can’t see it, it can’t see you. Barely breathing, he listened for the creak of floorboards as the scraping footsteps crept closer.
Creak. Creak. Creak.
Jack waited…and exhaled. Could he have survived another year?
Slowly he lowered the covers.
Long twitching ears and a bone-white eyeless face cracked by a crescent grin. Two rows of jagged shark teeth splitting wide to receive him.
On Easter morning, while Mr Williams made a frantic call, his wife sat dumbfounded and weeping on their son’s empty bed. The detectives were baffled – there was no sign of a break-in, but no trace of the boy either.
Over the following months they scoured their memories for any detail they might have missed. They never gave the slightest thought to the four painted eggs that still sat on the windowsill.
I love your piece, Howard.
And the story is nice, too.
I suppose this is horror or something. Fantasy? I dunno. See for yourself.
The Rooster Came First
Rodents gnaw at a corpse. The village lies in ruin. Dozens dead. The corpse has no lower half. Just a torso with singed hair and a vacant stare. An eyeball pops out and is immediately eaten by a wayward crow.
The beast writhes still, though its chest no longer heaves. The spears stopped that. Smoke billows from what used to be their homes, but the villagers cheer. They haven’t seen sunlight in days. The sky casts no reflection in the pond.
Off in the bushes on the other side of the pond, just across from the cheering villagers, concealed by reeds and smoke, sit four eggs. For the first time that week, a rooster caws. The beast writhes still.
-@Bret: Horfan? It is cool. Clips. Slideshow. Post-apocalyptic. Middle-ages vibe.
-@Howard: That is some fine writing there, my friend.
-@Voodem: Hilarious. I remember doing shit like that!
@Bret & Chester - Cheers guys - glad you liked.
And I got a post-apocalyptic Middle Ages vibe from Bret's piece too - put me in mind of John Wyndham's The Chrysalids.
@Voodem - Yours made me grin like an idiot (My imaginary friend still buggers off at the first sign of trouble.)
So my story isn't about chicken eggs. Does that make me a cheater?
Sarah sits on the bathroom floor studying the brown blotches in her shorts. It's gone. Her little egg rests on the porcelain at the bottom of the toilet. The sight paralyzes her and she swears she can feel little phantom limbs manipulating her insides.
Her heartbeat falls into a syncopated rhythm and she balls the shorts into her fists. She never told Dan that she was pregnant and now she didn't have to. She couldn't tell him now. It would crush him. It would be her fault. Tears begin to fall, diluting the blood on her fingers to water color pink, but offering no relief.
It doesn't feel right to just flush it away, but she doesn't know what else to do. With one hand hovering over the tank lever, Sarah places the other in the water and traces her finger around her little egg. She never knew that she wanted to be a mother until she felt it in her hand.
This is pain. She pushes the lever and watches her little egg be washed from her hand. This is how scars are formed.
Sarah is still curled up on the bathroom floor when Dan gets home. His footsteps cease and she can feel him on the other side of the door.
“You okay in there?”
“Fine.” Her voice cracks and she has to force the words. “Just taking a bath.”
The pain swells in her throat and she buries it, along with everything else.
Dammit, Devon! The setting of your story is very similar to mine, although my payoff is different...kinda. Hmmmmmm....do I go back to the drawing board or do I soldier on?
Soldier on man. Just blow mine out of the water.
Posted in the Mainpage already:
A snack bar in the hood, under sidewalk canopies we breathe warm pollen mixed with car exhaust. “Only a drink,” you said on the phone. Okay, but I've got a Pharmacology exam tomorrow.
Noradrenaline pulls a half-life of two minutes, the time it takes for a human to work up half its action. Washdown of the other half needs longer though, up to seven half-lives.
You don't want me to nail it. Squeezing your blood-red anti-stress egg, “In the beginning, with Carla, we spent the whole day in bed,” you say. Problem is, you're tripping me to fall now. And I don't make do.
The half-life of morphine is two to three hours. Depending on a helluva lot of biological factors, it will take up to twenty-one hours until its effects are gone.
I cling to my glass of wine, your lips won't cease sexy talk. Bulging arms circle the air – showing how you can nestle a woman – that spongy thingy pumping inside your hand. Sucked in your sweaty scenario, the egg is my thigh. I gasp. A fantasy astray of how long it takes to eliminate dopamine.
The egg spurts to the ground. Tight around the shoulders as you stretch, the white shirt reveals a shapely waist.
Our eyes mesh and I may have dropped an ovum. I reach over to cradle the anti-stress, your hand in mine.
In a fit of hormone-induced panic – what's the half-life of desire, I wonder.
Lots of cool stuff been posted here this week! I have been pretty busy and only got chance to read these new ones today. Good work, people!
I really need to get my egg-brain working sometime soon.
Oh yeah, and the runner up stories for April are live over at Solarcide now. Congrats again to Danny and Lisa. Fritz's story will be around sometime soon.
In goes the first one, and she shudders and tries to scream at me through the gag. This is what they call humiliation. She's naked, trussed on a table, her legs and arms tied behind her, angling into a point, like a roast suckling pig. Well, she said she was flexible. On her back, there's a cup and saucer of tea. Between her toes, there's slices of toast. Curls of butter, Post-It note thin, slick her flesh and she moans into the gag after the second one, along with a handful of sausages. Wodges of black pudding layered in a circle on her back, around the saucer or tea bend in prayer to their tannin lord. I crank the winch a little, so I can slip miniature cupcake cases filled with ketchup and mustard beneath her breasts. Three make an omlette, and she's bursting now so there's barely room for a third. I take of the gag for her, and she says, God, they're gonna break, ah, they're gonna break...and I put the gag back on. This is what they call breakfast with your girlfriend....cum hostage cum bondage sub cum table.
And as ever, it's delicious.
Call Me Jane
Jack had noticed some changes over the past month but thought nothing of it. Just a byproduct of getting older, turning 30. But as he sat on the toilet, he knew this was not normal. Not the usual way of things.
James had been there for ten minutes, working a monstrous object from his sigmold colon, the Sunday Times at his feet. Between thrusts, he examined the goosebumps on his forearm. Little ridges of skin and fluff sparked awake as another stomach cramp punched him square.
Jack doubled over, held fast to the off white tile of the bathroom wall and pushed. Veins in his neck popped outward as he strained. The more it slid, the more he stamped his webbed foot against the floor tile.
Another stab hit his midsection as he felt his bowels begin to give way. With a high pitched squawk, he clenched his buttocks and pressed one last time. The object fell from him and hit the toilet water with an audible sploosh. Backwash hit the newly formed bump on his tailbone.
Jack didn’t think his orange nose was a sign of things to come, even when the cartilage hardened to the texture of bone. Didn’t think his fluffy arm hair was reason for concern. But as he stood above the toilet, staring down at the white oval that had rocketed from his small intestine, his mouth fell open and eyes grew wide.
That’s when the egg started to shake.
Nice one, Bill. One of the best so far, mini-bizarro for the win.
And yes, I still suck. becuase I still havent written an entry.
Is the May flash just 250 words or can we post 1000? I'm wanting to post a Dad story. I think it about writing through the junk to get to better stuff, but i wanted to post it anyway. Is that okay? It probably wont' get in Flash awards but I'd love feedback on what to leave out as junk and what to focus on. It's just what it is. Thanks for the indulgence.
My dad was a good storyteller. So were most of his friends. He must have been drawn like a magnet to other bull-shitters, because they all made the smallest things into giant stories. They all liked a laugh, my Dad most of all.
Dad grew up in 1940s Appalachia. He never met a stranger. If you sat beside him on an airplane he would figure out within ten sentences someone you knew that he knew. It’s not unlikely that he would find some way to show you were related. If there was a kid on the plane, Dad would be the one playing games with him before take-off. That was Dad. The entertainer, the storyteller.
The first stories I remember were at my Halloween birthday parties, age 8 – 10. We had a house with a set of stairs that led up to an empty attic. Dad sat at the top of the dark steps, with the birthday-party girls on the steps below, dressed in costume ready to trick-or-treat soon.
The first story was about a coffin in an upstairs attic that would chase you. The coffin, filled with a dead person, chased our family every Halloween, drove them crazy until one day our smart ancestors figured out how to stop the coffin.
Then Dad, looking at wide-eyed scared girls, tucked his hands inside his front pocket and brought out several packs of Ludin’s Cherry Cough Drops.
“Take these,” he said solemnly, passing around the packs. “These will stop that coffin.”
“LAME,” the girls cried. “Oh…that’s not funny.”
But they asked for another story.
There was the one about the Indian Chief with three brave sons – Deep Water, Dark Earth and Falling Rock. We heard this one while driving through the Smokey Mountains on the way to our grandparent’s home.
The Indian Chief sent his oldest son to find the largest animal in the ocean. The son set out in search of the whale but never returned. The Chief sent the second son to find the biggest animal on the earth. The son left in search of the elephant but never returned. He finally sent his third son, Falling Rock, to find the swiftest bird in the sky. The father was reluctant to send his last son, because he wanted companionship. But Fallling Rock left, searching the cliffs of Appalachia for the Eagle. He never returned. The old Indian chief didn’t give up. To this day he wants people watch for his son, and find him, so he posted signs along the pathways, “Watch For Falling Rock.”
And yes, just up ahead in the bend in the highway, the yellow triangular sign says “ Watch For Falling Rock.” At age 6 we believed, wide eyed and optimistic, that “to this day” the old chief still waits for his son to return. “Watch for him,” Dad would say, quite serious.
Daddy told those stories and more with drama, timing and a hint of, “ you believe, don’t you? “
In my teen years, I wanted real stories. I read CHRISTIE and knew those stories to be part of my heritage. I begged Daddy to take me and my sisters to the poorest places. He’d told stories of old Aunt May who had 10 sons, but only one lived through the shootings and beatings. He’d talked about the moonshiners who made it through raids by the skin of their teeth. I wanted to meet these people. No more stories Daddy, show me the real deal.
And he did. He took me to places in Appalachia that don’t exist anymore. I could tell you stories, but that is for another time.
I didn’t know Daddy was going to die. He was re-cooperating nicely from surgery. I brought a journal to the hospital, with a nice pen, as a gift, and asked him to write memories for me. I didn’t care if they were true or not. I hoped they would be true but laced with Daddy’s special story-telling touch that would make them fabulous. .
He said he would. But he didn’t. We had a nice conversation that Monday. He told me a fun story about a car theft. I came back Wednesday for more details, which I got. Yes, I got a few details for one story. I ached for more. I wanted to go back for more, just then, I wanted so much more. But it was too late. He died. Why did I not feel the need to possess all this a year ago, five years ago?
The stories were gone forever, just when I wanted them the most. That Wednesday afternoon I learned why he and Granddaddy walked to church together and left the car running for Grandma to drive later. I learned how she looked out the window and saw someone driving off in her car, called the Sheriff and reported it stolen. I learned how the Sheriff got Grandma and Granddaddy and took them with him in the squad car to catch the thieves.
I learned that the thieves had probably caught the train and come to the small town by mistake. How there was only one road out of town so they were easy to catch. The Sheriff pointed a gun at them when they stopped at the levy, arrested them. How my Granddaddy went to visit them in jail and found they weren’t so bad. He bought them cigarettes and told the Sheriff to “let them go, they didn’t’ do much harm.”
I learned that eight-year-old Daddy stayed with the neighbors that day and had pot-roast for lunch while his parents were off on the chase. Such a clear memory, pot-roast, 45 years ago.
I had more questions. What were you wearing? What kind of car was it? But it was too late for more questions. An infection hit. It was the end of Daddy’s stories. I leafed through an empty journal later that night.
I missed Daddy. I wanted his memory. His stories. They were gone forever. Or maybe not. He told a lifetime of stories. They are here, somewhere, I think. I hope.
You can post whatever you want whenever you want. Flash Me! is just that. Expose yourself.
However, the guidelines for May are 250. And on the main page.
That doesn't mean you can't run onto the field naked.
Yeah, Cove, the limit is 250 this month but to hell with limits or competitions for that matter. Your piece is a very personal and touching recollection of your dad and I'm glad you shared that with us. Reminded me alot of the movie Big Fish in the jokes and tall tales. Your story had me engaged all the way through and I'd love to hear more of these Dad stories when you get around to sharing them. Nicely done!
I tried doing the 250 word thing and I ended up with a pretty good story that involves more words.
Ah Bill you are a sweetheart! I was reluctant to post that, but then i had a whole bottle of wine and it felt okay to go on and post!
And Bek, at least you got a good story going!
I'm going to try to do a 250 word one. How hard can it be?
Wine always helps, Cove! Give the Flash a shot but don't be surprised if the process is liberating and at the same time maddening. Go for it!
@Bek: You're the God of WAR. You can totally knock this out of the park! The thing with this format, for me, is to pick a small, very intense moment and work from there. Word economy is key in this format, especially with only 250 words. In paring down the piece, you get to the meat of why it's interesting. It's a rabbit punch to the gut followed by the knockout right hook, a quick one-two that knocks the reader on the canvas. Think of it that way, and you'll rock it!
Chesters got over a hundred entries to judge... Big Butter Jesus!!!
Good luck with that
I wrote two 250 word stories for the May contest - the other one is posted on the Main page... Here is the other one. Fun stuff.
When you guys say to post something on th "main page" what exactly do you mean? At the end of the thread? I'm sure this is a dumb question.
Cove - the 250 thing is posted on the thread http://litreactor.com/columns/litreactors-flash-fiction-smackdown-round-1 that's for the contest that Chester is judging this month. (and there are prizes!)
Dang i posted one butr i don't know where it went.
I'm sorry but i am so confused. The link you sent is the same link as we are here on this. But this is not whre things are being posted? Plus, i sent a submission twice and it's not showing up. I went to the link, which sems different form this one, and it's not there. I'm about sick of this. Is there a subtle differenct i don't see? Plus, where are my storeis?
It's there... twice - as far as I can tell. no problems me seeing it - course chester's the one gotta be able to see it.
This thread goes on and on, and the forum contest is ongoing. LitReactor as a site is hosting a flash contest this month--you enter by posting in the comments of the article announcing it--the link posted here. So you can post there AND here, or just there. But if you only post here, you are not entered.
Geez...that was more complicated than I intended.
That was funny Ren.