He wrote, she wrote.

Category: flash fiction challenge

Ticket to Ride (She Wrote, Week 4)

by Christine Hawks

As David, who always beats me to publishing, mentioned earlier, this week we added a twist to our usual challenge.  Still two short stories, still using prompts to build our tales, but this week, we participated in Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge over at terribleminds.com.  Out of a list of 10 possible random items, contenders pick 4 to feature in their short story of about 1,000 words.  Ironically, David and I both picked the same 4 items – the unopened envelope, the rocking chair, the horseshoe and the child’s toy.  Really!  We did not plan that and, as usual, neither of us knew what the other was writing about until the big reveal here.  Great minds…?  Polls will be opened shortly and new prompts selected on Sunday.

He thrust he walker out in front of him, then shuffled his feet two steps to catch up with the contraption before repeating the awkward two-step all over again.  The going wasn’t easy; not only due to his handicap, but also because Sam Daily was traveling on a subtle incline of packed dirt that was his driveway. He made the quarter mile round-trip six days a week to retrieve the mail delivered at the intersection of his driveway and the farm road.  Though the exertion left him needing a nap most days, he was grateful that he was still able to get around on his own two legs, even if it was a struggle. He knew that one day he’d require full-time use of the Gator that he reserved for days when the driveway was mired in mud or covered in snow.

When he had reached his destination, Sam noted that the stray mutt he’d befriended was already waiting there, as usual.  He reached into his trousers and pulled out a few liver treats for the dog.  Despite his apparent homelessness, the dog was always respectful in taking whatever Sam offered him.  Sam reached down to scratch behind the dog’s floppy ear and predictably, after his snack and some attention, the dog continued up the road.  “Same time tomorrow, old boy!”

Sam, now recovered from his journey to the mailbox reached in and retrieved the day’s delivery.  He flipped through, though he already knew what to expect: the current issue of The Farm Journal, the sales circular for the local co-op grocery and the utility bill.  But, there was an addition today that he didn’t expect.  The envelope, addressed to him was accompanied by a return address from the American Planetary Tourism Board.

“What the hell?” he asked, aloud. Read the rest of this entry »


Flash Fiction Challenge (He Wrote, Week 04)

by Dave Smith

As I mentioned last time, this week’s challenge is a little different. We decided to participate in the Flash Fiction Challenge at terribleminds.com. This week, we had to choose only four items from a list of ten, and then had to incorporate them into a story of around 1000 words. I chose an unopened envelope, a rocking chair, a child’s toy, and an iron horseshoe. My original idea was an Amazing Race – Bear Grylls – Survivor meets The Most Dangerous Game (wouldn’t that be a helluva reality show?). Unfortunately, reading it now, I think it steered too far toward Hunger Games. Not at all what I intended. Oh well, enjoy anyway!

Shane knew there wasn’t much daylight left and he had no idea where other contestants were. He was so delirious he really didn’t care. The absurdity of his situation stoked his rage for Mr. Bartholomew. Shane wanted to cut the puppet strings and escape that man’s twisted game, but any attempt at skirting the rules was a direct path to losing.

Shane hadn’t eaten in five days and hadn’t found water in nearly two. His head felt like it was occupied by an army of sledgehammer-wielding dwarves trying to escape. His feet were heavy and clumsy, as if shod with a dozen iron horseshoes.

Weak with a deep, gnawing hunger, a handful of grubs and wild blackberries looked like a gourmet spread. The sweetness of the berries balanced the funky, beefy grubs. Shane was amazed at how so little could boost his energy and spirits. He needed it to find the next waypoint before dark or he’d end up a meal for something else. He forged on in the darkening wilderness, stopping occasionally to check his navigation course.

Panic started to settle in just before he found the familiar yellow and green flags marking the waypoint. There were six small shelters – down two from the waypoint last week – each built from weathered vertical boards like an outhouse, and not much bigger than one. Shane couldn’t see lights inside them, so he couldn’t tell if anyone had beaten him there. Wolf howls and a human scream in the forest told him at least one shelter wouldn’t be occupied that night. Read the rest of this entry »