Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz November 13, 2011 - 6:43pm

Thank you to everyone who posted their great flash in Flash Me! in the month of October. There were many great pieces (several of which were exceptional but exceeded the 500 word count so didn't qualify for the grand prize) and I chose five that in my opinion flashed pretty well. Congratulations Sarah Metts, you can claim your prize here. Just pick any one of Hawthorne's current offerings and PM me with your title of choice and your address and I will see to it that it finds its way to you.

 

Phantom Limb

by Sarah Metts


“And there was nothing there.”
“Nothing?”
“Nothin’. He sits there, he tells me he’s ready to ride me in the rodeo, does a little neigh at me. I didn’t see a tent. I thought he was mini with a big ego- nothing new.”
“Were there scars or somethin’?”
“All I saw was a mound. I didn’t stare long. I didn’t want him to get offended.”
“What didya do?”
“I let him do what he wanted, went along with it. Easiest hundred bucks I’ve made.”
Stacy paused.
“Funny thing though. I swear I could feel it.”
She never got off again.

 

 

Reality Game Show Contestant

by Nathan Pettigrew

His flesh through the fur is soft, but tough, like biting into an uncut kiwi. Grainy innards, wet blood clumps –an earwax taste.
My forced swallow becomes a clogged drain.
Looks like the gag wins.
But wait! What’s this?
Bile chunks and baby rat are kept down with one fierce gulp. The crowd goes wild.
I did it! I’ve qualified for the final challenge –my ultimate dream come true!
I turn to the camera and wave.
Hi, Mom!

 

Watch

by Liana Vrajitoru-Andreasen

I lost it. I don't have it anymore. I had it, I held it in the palm of my hand a few minutes ago, and now it's gone. The tendrils of my memory reach toward the sensation of holding it and the core of it is cold in my palm, a little thing, an almost insignificant weight. And yet...
Red and yellow leaves are painful to my eyes as I look down, trying to retrace my steps. It could be anywhere. I just had it... just a moment ago - an hour ago? Or was it yesterday? The early fall has poured brown honey on the streets, yet I will never rejoice again. I will never embrace the sweet chill of a cooling sun as the leaves trail behind the cars, in this quiet neighborhood. I cannot be here anymore if I don't find it.
"Hey! Hey!"
The boy's voice seems to emerge from among the large houses, but I can't see him. I have to run. Now they will know. As soon as they take a closer look at me, they will know.
"Stop!"
The shouts are getting closer. But can I run now, without finding it? There is urgency in my hesitant steps. I will run around the block, get them confused, jump a few fences. I'll come back to look for it. If anyone else finds it before me, I'm just dead. I'm the monster they want me to be. They'll tear me to pieces.
"That's the man?"
Those are the voices that look for me, and still I can't run away. The leaves, it has to be under the leaves. It seems like forever since I've come out of that one house, closed that one door and left all of me inside, after I made sure I was punished enough. I let him scratch me, tear at my clothes, I let him cut into my flesh with the scissors. My face is bleeding, still, with the blood of an hour ago, or was it a day ago? I've been wandering through these fall streets forever, it seems. I know that boy will tell them everything, and he will send them looking for his watch. The one I gave him, the one with my name engraved on the wrist band.
I will always come back.

 

Base

by Flaminia Klla

 

Bam Bam Bam Bam. It's the head, it's just the head.
Mine, could go deeper inside the cone but I start to care that little too soon.
Too late to un-care - back Outside The Cone - a lower degree of permanent hearing impairment. Bass bass bass bass hit the stomach, press and drop. They're all looking for dope, they're gonna have their party shitted all over if there ain't some. 'Cause they don't dance, like yo'mama.
Me, I just can't wait. Smacks of loud will do for now. A way to stop the thinking, that's the shit.
Back in the cone - freaky good in here - heavy shots of sound knead my brain. Fuck yeah, fuck me.
Out again now, I see the speaker, it fills the visual field. Boots scratch through my baggies, crowd moving me away. It's the blond dreadlocked. Either he likes me or he's a fucking vex whore. Stop thinking.
Eyes closed.
Just the bang, the knocks, the mosh.
No one comes back with the stuff, I'll get that speaker back. Hands on, trying to catch up, my head bumps into something cocky. Blond dreadlocks whip my eyelashes as they part, the pressure of him holding position over the cone, against my breasts. He likes me.
Like it's still dancing what he's doing, he rests against my shoulder, stomps on my feet. Lovely boy, he knows his way around. Tender cheeks, around ten years younger than me. Stop. Thinking. And grab the cone, but someone pulls me from behind, "D'you still want ketch?" It's the punk I met at the booze stand. "Sorry, I don't know where my Give A Fuck is at the moment," I tell him, honest. Punk smirks 'cause I'm high on bass. "Good for you," he says and slams into me like I've got a friend now.
Tekno dealers don't approve of junkies.
There's a human buzz, speakers got too far. Bouncing and shoving knees through raving bodies that hold me up, I let my crusty crush drag me downwall, pretend it wasn't him so I rub myself to his side, pretending it's the crowd pushing.
Someone pulls again. It's Black and Sahar, my friends. I flash a smile. "Have you found some?" says Sahar, like she hasn't. Thoughts creeping over her face, cold and bills and job hunts. Harassment. "Cute punk over here's got K," I say.
Now I need some too.

 

Melting
by Sarah Anne Lloyd


The house is burning down around me and I never wanted to be the mom that tears through my son's things, covering my tracks as carefully and pathetically as he does after going through my liquor cabinet, but here I am with my hand in his top-right desk drawer being poked by an army of pushpins. Instead of liquor I need to find some Oxy before it's all glued together by the melting pharmaceutical bottle, and my son doesn't think I know he has it but I'm desperate, not stupid.
It's a quick search, even with the house on fire – his room is so clean, probably on purpose to throw me off after he started selling pills, but I'm not fooled, I know they're here. There's a picture of his girlfriend above the desk, she has that perfect straight long blond hair they all have and I wish I could but instead I just have this crunchy perm, it's all I can do that looks composed anymore. I'd better get out of here before it catches fire, I bet it'd light up like a tumbleweed with all that hairspray.
There's a poster of Beethoven in the den which I bet has already caught fire, but I mean, Beethoven already died, in every picture I see of him it looks like he's already braced himself, he'll look stern right until that last cheekbone pixel shrivels over charred drywall. I wonder when I had my last rock poster – did I phase them out one by one or did I get rid of them all at once at some point when this boring stage in my life became concrete? There's a rap star glaring at me from my son's wall, as if he's saying, why do I have to die in suburbia, like he always resented being hung here.
I love this feeling of espionage and I know I always wanted to be this mom, but too bad I have to worry about getting out of the house so I can't savor this danger-danger feeling. My hand is feeling between the mattress and box spring of the twin bed with my old white comforter my son started using after he made us get rid of his train blanket three years ago and I think, two can play this game, as my fingers close around the target. The pills clamor around on the floor of their bottle in my shaking hand.

 


 

 

 

 

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts November 13, 2011 - 6:53pm

Damn, I need to start winning some books.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz November 13, 2011 - 6:59pm

You know where to start. November Flash Me!

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin November 13, 2011 - 7:24pm

Gratz Sarah.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. November 13, 2011 - 8:23pm

Shit, I have to wait until Sept. for more Lidia Yuknavitch?  Dora: A Headcase sounds fantastic.  

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz November 13, 2011 - 11:01pm

I know, I am looking forward to that one too. Did you see Chronology of Water made the shortlist for the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. Some other really good shit on that list too, but I'm rooting for Lidia.

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts November 14, 2011 - 1:29am

Shit, I have to wait until Sept. for more Lidia Yuknavitch?  Dora: A Headcase sounds fantastic. 

 

Hm. Have you taken a look at the upcoming classes? Sounds rather awesome.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz November 14, 2011 - 8:45am

That would be a fun class. Lidia is fucking hilarious and a great teacher. Shit I might take it just to hear the amazing shit that comes out of her fingertips. Hurtpleasure.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. November 14, 2011 - 10:20am

Goddamn you, money!  How you mock me!

Flaminia Ferina's picture
Flaminia Ferina from Umbria is reading stuff November 14, 2011 - 10:41am

wooohooo I'm a finalist! Cool!

I'm gonna tell everybody now :))))))))

.'s picture
. November 14, 2011 - 12:47pm

If only I trimmed my word count. Congrats guys, give yourselves a pat on the back.

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch November 14, 2011 - 8:27pm

Really? Thanks Chester HUGGSSSSSS!

wickedvoodoo's picture
wickedvoodoo from Mansfield, England is reading stuff. November 15, 2011 - 12:12pm

All five of those are cool - I would be hard pressed to pick a winner.

Is this gonna become a regular thing now then? Monthly winners? It's not a bad idea.

 

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz November 19, 2011 - 11:27am

@ Martin, yes it will be a monthly thing.

For the moment here are the guidelines:

  • Flash Fiction
  • 500 words or less (unless otherwise noted for any given month)
  • Honorable mention for five finalists (even if there are only five entries)
  • One Grand Prize (until I can afford more)

Sarah Metts chose Monica Drake's Clown Girl for her October piece Phantom Limb.

 


Want to enter? Flash Me!