Hello, friends.

I know it’s been a while, and I apologize for the extended period of silence on my part. I’ve started and stopped writing this post a dozen times or more over the past few months, trying to decide how much to say, but in the end the reasons don’t matter much and knowing the details won’t change the outcome.

I’d like to say how thankful I am for everyone who has volunteered their time, contributed photographs, and written stories over the past few years. This feeling of community and sharing is part of why I’ve struggled so much with the idea of stopping my work on this site. I’ve spent a great deal of time running scenarios through my mind in which I’m able to continue hosting weekly flash contests, but I only have so much time and energy, and I’ve finally accepted that I can’t do everything.

All this to say that, as of now, The Angry Hourglass/Flash Frenzy is officially on an indefinite hiatus. I still have hopes that at some point in the future it may return in one form or another. I’m certainly open to suggestions.

From the very bottom of my heart thank you, thank you, thank you! For every word written and read, every comment posted, every judge who faced the frenzy. I have never felt more happy or accepted as I have in the writing community. You are all family in my eyes. Be kind to one another, and don’t be strangers. Until next time…




Happy Saturday, writers! It’s Father’s Day Weekend, and I hope many of you are getting to spend it with loved ones. This weekend I’ve chosen a photo within a photo prompt, and I’d like to see your best stories featuring Dads, dad jokes, dad bods, and/or whatever dad-related material you can imagine. Have fun!

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photo courtesy Ashwin Rao


This weekend’s Free For All photo was chosen to commemorate World Doll Day. From daysoftheyear.com: “World Doll Day was established on June 14, 1986 by a lovely lady named Mildred Seeley, to celebrate not only dolls, but caring, nurturing love and the people offering it, in general… The day is traditionally celebrated by giving a doll to someone, anyone, child or adult…”

This weekend I’d like you to give us your best stories about dolls, stuffed animals, and the people who give and receive them.


photo courtesy Ashwin Rao


In searching for a unique challenge this weekend, I discovered that today (June 3) is REPEAT DAY! Apparently, repeat Day is an opportunity to do things over and over again. So for this week’s free for all challenge, you get to go back through all the photo prompts from previous weeks’ challenges, choose any of them, and write a new story. In addition to your Twitter handle and word count, please also include with your submissions which photo inspired you (ie: Flash Frenzy Round 1). Click HERE to start scrolling through the past and find the moment(s) you’d like to experience over and over again. 🙂 Have fun!!


Hello everyone! This weekend in the States we’re celebrating Memorial Day, so I’m issuing a special Memorial Day Writing Challenge. You have 360 words to compose a eulogy. It can be for anyone or anything. A fictional character. A person from history. The letter Y. A sentient armchair you were secretly in love with. Be creative, have fun, and let us all fondly remember those who are no longer with us.

Round 25


Happy Saturday! I hope this weekend finds you all well and ready to write. We’ve got another Free For All this weekend, and since there’s no judging, I’m INCREASING the maximum word count for this week’s stories from 360 to 500. Have fun with all those extra words!


photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

Hello all! Welcome to another Flash Frenzy Free for All! No judges, no time limits, all flash. Regular programming will resume shortly, so keep an eye on your Twitter DMs as I’ll be soliciting judges soon. In the meantime, enjoy this week’s stress-free photo prompt.


Hello all! Welcome back. Things are still a little crazy (example: I still need to make arrangements for judging in the upcoming weeks).  Nevertheless, I didn’t want to leave you all hanging, so for the next week or two, I will post photo prompts, but there will be no official judging. As always, feel free to comment, or arrange some friendly side competitions. Please accept my apologies for not being quite back to full speed just yet.

Without further ado, here is this week’s free for all prompt.


photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

Festival of Love
by KM Zafari

I dream of you sometimes. We are back in Mumbai, and I am getting a shave at a roadside stand.

“There’s something I never told you,” I say. “A secret.”

“After 30 years?” you ask.

“Yes,” I say and begin my confession. “The truth is, we didn’t meet at the Holi festival by chance. The first time I saw you, I was sitting in this very spot. I caught your reflection in the mirror as you passed by. You were impossible to miss – tall, sandy blond hair, looking more like you should be shooting surfers in Sydney than at a Hindu celebration.”

I tell you that I knew I was too plain to capture your attention and how I assumed you were there to photograph the festivities, so I searched for you in the crowds, hoping that the color, the magic of Holi would bring you to me. I tell you how happy I was that I was right and that I would marry you all over again.

You look a little teary, so I lament about how much my reflection has changed, and how you’ve aged so much better than I.

You stroke what’s left of my hair gently and tell me that I still look good to you, because you really are the same, sweet boy I fell in love with in Bombay.

We talk about how much has happened over the years and how gratifying it has been to live life to the fullest, to love one another with abandon.

Then, we return to the Holi festival of our youth, and, amidst the fountains of colorful gulal blooming around us, I mark you with red kumkum powder, signifying you are mine.

I wake up wiping away tears, still wishing that, all those years ago, I’d had the courage to say hello.

Round 134: Winners

Posted: April 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

Happy Tuesday, friends! Before we get to the winners, I have a quick announcement. Due to an exceptionally busy second half of the month, The Angry Hourglass will be taking a brief hiatus while I wrangle my life back into a functional order. Flash Frenzy will resume May 6.

I’d like to say thanks to everyone who submitted work this past weekend, and I tip my hat to those of you who completed the special challenge. Thanks also to Jaime for issuing the challenge and judging the results. You’ll find his top picks below.

Hey folks! First off I just wanted to say it’s a pleasure being back to be a judge here. It’s a great opportunity to read new works and see new talents. This round delivered just that, as well as some flash gems. Thank you to everyone who participated!

3rd Place: ewansmithxxx – “Dream Job”

I’m a sucker for stories that are just dialogue (hence this week’s challenge), so thanks to Ewan we’re given a nifty spin on a scandal. The gloves and the countdown were nice touches, sir!

2nd Place: Stella Turner – “Traveling in the Heat”

The letter format was the obvious thing that stood out about it. The way it developed onward from its seemingly innocent beginning, however, is the real payoff. And the sign off.

And our Round 134 FLASH MASTER is..


KM Zafari


“Festival of Love”

I’m always hopeful of reading fresh and inspiring works whenever I judge. I didn’t expect to be knocked on my ass with a final sentence like that. Engaging, romantic, and heartbreaking. Excellent job on this one.

Congratulations, K.M.! Your story will be featured as tomorrow’s HumpDay Quickie!

And that’s it! A short, sweet winners post before our short, hopefully sweet break. I hope everyone will check back in a few weeks for Round 135. In the meantime, satisfy your thirst for fiction by checking out THE INFERNAL CLOCK.  Cheers!