Flash Frenzy Round 75

Posted: August 22, 2015 in Flash Frenzy Weekend Flash Challenge
Tags: , , , ,

Welcome to Flash Frenzy Round 75. I’ve got a special photo prompt for all you flash dogs, taken right here in SLC, home of the Angry Hourglass. This weekend, AV Laidlaw is presiding judge.

Before we get started, here’s a brief reminder of the rules.

Deadline: Sunday at 6:00pm MST. You all have 36 hours to create your best work of up to 360 words (exclusive of title) and post it into the comments below. Please include your word count (required) and Twitter handle if applicable. For complete rules, click here. 

The winning author and their story will be featured as Wednesday’s Hump-Day Quickie, receive a winner’s page, and be crowned Flash Master of the Week.

Here is your prompt.

photo courtesy Sean Igo

Tiny Woodrow: photo courtesy Sean Igo


  1. Holly Geely says:

    Woofer’s Murderer
    360 words

    “I dunno, Fido. I feel like we’re encouraging stereotypes.”

    “We don’t have time for your philosophical BS right now, Spot. Get over here and smell these butts.”

    Spot shuffled over to the pail of cigarette stubs. Smoking was something humans did; he’d never do that to his lungs. Lungs were required for running and jumping and playing – three of his favourite things.

    “What exactly are we looking for?” Spot asked.

    “If we smell the murderer on one of these, we know he came down this alley. If not, we’ll check the bucket in the next street.”

    “Are there butt buckets in every street?”

    “Yeah. The humans smoke like chimneys since the aliens came. It’s stress, or something,” Fido said.

    “Is it really that bad?”

    “Why do you think they can’t afford to take care of us anymore? Think, Spot. We’re all wild now, but you remember cozy evenings by the fireside, right?”

    “Barely.” Spot had only been a few months old when the ships landed.

    “Let’s find Woofer’s murderer and get the BARK out of here.”

    They’d been tracking a scent since they found Woofer’s body two days ago. Luckily the butt bucket smelled strongly of it. Fido encourage stealth but Spot couldn’t help himself and started barking toward the end of the alley.

    They had expected a cruel human. What they found was an alien wearing a cruel human’s skin.

    “Ah, there you are,” it said. “I was wondering when you’d find me. I told them dogs are more intelligent than they thought, but they wouldn’t listen. When the commander finds out you solved your friend’s murder…You’ll rise quickly in our ranks.”

    Spot had never seen an alien out of its human-skin suit before. What Spot saw astonished him.

    The alien looked just like an oversized dog.

    Fido rubbed up against the alien without a second thought. He might miss his cozy days with the humans, but he was an opportunist. This alien had killed Woofer, but he was offering comfort.

    Spot wasn’t the loyal sort. There was only one thing he had to ask before he went away with his new friend.

    “Do you wanna smell some butts?”

  2. Brett says:

    Waste (360 words)

    The only possession Mateo had to his name was a worn-out picture of his wife and newborn baby back in Mexico.

    He currently sat next to a wastebin meant for cigarettes. It was sturdy enough to support his back as he leaned against it. The trip across the border had left his back aching.

    It took three days to get from Chihuahua to Texas, which Mateo didn’t understand since they bordered each other. But he put his faith in the smugglers.

    Dos gringos, as Mateo would say, walked by him and flicked their used cigarettes toward the wastebin, but missed it and hit Mateo in the face.

    “Pendejos,” Mateo muttered under his breath. His wife had warned him about his language before he crossed.

    The two gringos turned around, one was stockier than the other, but both loomed over Mateo with ease. They both wore white tank tops with dirty sweat tattooed to their flabby pectoral muscles.

    “What’d you say, greaser?” the stockier one said.

    “Damn illegal scum, I bet he is. Think they can just come here and take our jobs, Joey,” the other said.

    “And I bet he doesn’t know a lick of English; do you, José?” Joey said.

    Mateo stood up off the wastebin.

    “Me llamo es Mateo, cabrón,” Mateo said. He didn’t know what they they said, but he could tell by their body language they were mocking him.

    Joey swung at Mateo, a wild, slow-moving fist. Mateo, smaller and more agile, ducked it and returned a fist to the man’s stomach.

    His other friend sucker-punched Mateo in the jaw, knocking him to his knees. Joey regained his composure and grabbed Mateo by his black hair and slammed his head into the wastebin.

    The blow knocked Mateo out, causing a gaping wound in his forehead.

    “Fuckin’ greaser,” the smaller one said, spitting at Mateo.

    “Let’s go,” Joey said.

    As Mateo lay unconscious, others walked past him, not noticing him or his condition.

    A man with a dog walked toward him. As the dog sniffed at the congealed blood, the man flicked a cigarette into the wastebin and pulled on the leash to keep the dog moving.

  3. voimaoy says:

    A Dog’s Life
    282 words

    We live in a Universe of infinite worlds, and on every one, a buddha! Every speck of dust, a buddha. On this speck of dust of a world, I have lived some interesting lives.

    Once, I was a beetle in Egypt, rolling balls of dung round as the sun, only to be crushed by a Roman sandal.

    Once, I was a white moth, blinded by a candle that I had mistaken for the moon.

    I began to see a pattern. Who says the Universe has no sense of humor. Each step, a little closer to enlightenment.

    In my next life, I was a half-blind beggar and I met a buddha traveling on the road. No, I didn’t kill him, and he didn’t kill me, either. We walked together for awhile, before we drowned in the same river, trying to save each other. Next time, I’ll learn to swim.

    I remember the rivers in Egypt, the floods in the spring…

    Now, this dog’s life is not so bad. Sure, I sniff butts and get distracted by squirrels, but I can run in the sun and howl at the moon. I can swim in streams, and roll in the mud. How’s that for buddha nature?

    And I have good companions this time around. I live with a girl, who walks with me. She is just starting out in life, and I am her first dog, too. We go everywhere together.

    My other best friend is a calico cat. Her name is Cleo, and I knew her long ago. She wore gold earrings then, and sailed on a barge along the Nile. She found me in the papyrus reeds. Does she remember? Yes, I think so.

  4. stephellis2013 says:


    303 words


    “This is my dog and this is my bucket.”

    I gazed at the man in wonderment; the fool had no comprehension at all of who I was. “There’s a hole in your bucket,” I finally offered, biting back on the ‘dear Liza’.

    He shrugged. “A minor setback. I can plug it or leave it open. The choice is mine. There are no other holes in my life. Can you say the same for yourself?”

    “I don’t have a bucket,” I growled. Homeless philosophers had a habit of annoying the hell out of me, especially those who sought to understand me. I had no need of understanding. My needs, my role, were of another kind.

    “Perhaps not,” he said, failing to note my tone. “But you do have holes in your life.”

    True. If I had a life. And that was the blackest hole of all, right at the centre of everything; where my heart should have been. If I had one.

    I smiled at him. “You are right.”

    He grinned. “Knew it!”

    I sat beside him, ruffled the dog’s fur, scratched behind his ear, noticed how vigorously he wagged his tail at such a small display of affection. I had a dog like that once.

    By now, the night was beginning to draw in and passers-by were becoming more wary of us as we melded into the shadows. There would be no more coins tossed in that bucket today. Even the dog had retreated into the folds of his master’s coat.

    My absent heart slowed. I loved such moments as this. Did he? I doubted it. Yet this was a hole he would fill and it loomed large and black over him. But he didn’t see it. Isn’t that always the way? So many ‘buts’?

    Perhaps I should leave that as his epitaph.

  5. joshbertetta says:

    Josh Bertetta
    “Old Phil Rupp”
    357 Words

    Old Phil Rupp just sat there, an ashen pallor on his face. The dog’s nose was wet and cold and much as he tried to smile, his lips remained stiff. As dogs do, the little pup circled around in his lap until it found a comfortable place to sit. It sighed and looked sullen.

    Dostoevsky might call Phil an idiot, for he was—since his youth—quite the simpleton. He lived a clean and healthy life and always made himself available to people. People, whether he knew them or not, seemed to attracted to him. But he was too much of a simpleton to understand why people sought him out, sought his company, for what he didn’t comprehend was the manner in which they used and made use of him.

    He always thought they trusted him, for he was, if anything, an open book. Or that’s how he saw himself anyway.

    But others, he would learn much later in life, didn’t see him the same way and for their own various reasons, the dumped upon Phil their stresses and anxieties, their depressions and fears. He always liked listening to people and saw himself, in a certain respect, as a priest in that he defined what they shared with him as their confessions.

    Phil Rupp would take it. Year after year after year, being filled, in the process, with everyone’s stuff.
    No one ever asked him how he was doing, how he felt, what he thought.

    He patted the dog on the head, coughed, and coughed again. And again. And in the process he spat out a wad of something yellowish-black and viscous. This was nothing new. As of late he’d been feeling dry inside, sluggish—and dirty. Not because he was ashamed about himself, for this was not an existential dirtiness. Whatever it was clung to him, deep and embedded in his lungs.

    A little girl, no older than seven, approached Phil, still sitting there on the corner in his rags. She smiled at him and handed him a daisy. “Sorry sir.”

    “Sorry for what dear?”

    “He smells it. No buts about it.”

    Phil sniffed his underarms. “Smells what?”


  6. mariemck1 says:

    The Dogs
    (157 words)

    Saliva dripped from their maws.
    ‘Exactly the result we were looking for.’
    Their eyes seemed to search far beyond their surroundings. They were hungry; yet, they were fed and watered. Their craving acted out in different forms. Some circled their cages, others swayed to a discordant rhythm, those strewn on floors curled themselves into question marks. They yearned.

    ‘Let’s up it . Three rings at five minute intervals.’

    On the third ring, maniacal howls the fires of hell might have raised were absorbed by silent walls. They wrung their empty hands, mouthed word of other worlds at the shatter proof glass, wrote tales of despair with their writhing bodies.

    ‘Yes. Yes. Yes. Now we can conclude that they have followed the same pattern as the dogs. Their state of agitation at the moment is at high risk level. This time ring the bell and allow the picture prompt to appear on the screen. We will resume our tests tomorrow.’

    • mariemck1 says:

      I’ve made a slight change. Would it be possible to ignore the first post.

      The Dogs
      (157 words)

      Saliva dripped from their maws.
      ‘Exactly the result we were looking for.’
      Their eyes seemed to search far beyond their surroundings. They were hungry; yet, they were fed and watered. Their craving acted out in different forms. Some circled their cell, others swayed to a discordant rhythm, those strewn on floors curled themselves into question marks. They yearned.

      ‘Let’s up it . Three rings at five minute intervals.’

      On the third ring, maniacal howls the fires of hell might have raised were absorbed by silent walls. They wrung their empty hands, mouthed word of other worlds at the shatter proof glass, wrote tales of despair with their writhing bodies.

      ‘Yes. Yes. Yes. Now we can conclude that they have followed the same pattern as the dogs. Their state of agitation at the moment is at high risk level. This time ring the bell and allow the picture prompt to appear on the screen. We will resume our tests tomorrow.’

  7. Pattyann McCarthy says:

    WC: 355

    If Goliath Were Literate

    Goliath, a small black Manchester with a skinny wiggedy-waggedy tail, pressed the button on his cell with his pointy little chin, conveniently placed on his harness by his master.

    “Hey Rufus, it’s PAYDAY!” He hollered excitedly into the speaker. “I hit the freaking motherlode! Can you come to the park and play? I think it’ll be, worth, your, while my friend!”

    Twenty minutes later, Rufus, a giant Kuvasz who looks like a Polar Bear, came barreling down the sidewalk, nose to the pavement looking for Goliath’s scent, making a beeline for him. In tow, he brought friends from the neighborhood, Angel, a bully West Highland Terrier, Jabez, a gentle Cocker Spaniel, Jessie, a crippled Dachshund, her back legs riding on a pull cart, Spanky, an energetic mixed breed, and Roscoe, a gentle giant Rottweiler. FiFi, a prissy Pomeranian came too, as did Daisy, an inquisitive Beagle. They sniffed their way to Goliath, tails wagging, legs running, ears flapping excited to see the motherlode!

    They met up with Goliath, eyes shining with excitement. Rufus in front stuck his nose in Goliaths’ butt then faced him after making certain Goliath ‘was’ Goliath. “Where is it? The ‘motherlode?’” He asked excitedly. “I can’t wait to see!”

    Goliath, excited to share, tail waggling, peeked around Rufus, spying everyone else, “Hiya everyone!” Then looked to Rufus as the others said, “Hiya,” back. “I thought this could be just for us; I didn’t realize you were bringing the whole gang! No matter, I think there’s enough to go around.”

    “Enough of what,” Rufus asked slathering. I’m dying to know!”

    “Look here,” Goliath turned to face the rusted can, his nose pointing towards it. It says, ‘BUTTS!’ A WHOLE can of em just for us! I waited for you before I dug in, let’s get in there and enjoy the smell of asses!”

    They all jostled for position around the can, sticking their noses in. They took a long slow sniff, excited to smell the scent of ass! Each of them began hacking.

    “What the hell, Goliath,” Rufus snorted. This isn’t ass-scent, its cigarettes!”

    “Oh shit! I must’ve misread the can! Damn!”

  8. We All Have To Go Some Day

    How awful, Mildred said. Did you read that?

    What? David said, with his nose in his morning paper. Everything’s awful nowadays.

    David, Mildred and Tessa, their Miniature Pincher, sat on the terrace of Le Plein Sud, a postcard cafe in a speck along the Côte d’Azur. They’d been living there since they retired a few years ago. They never had any plans for the day, but it always started on the terrace of Le Plein Sud. Café au lait, pains au chocolat and the morning paper. Or in Mildred’s case: the iPad. She always wanted to evolve with the times. David couldn’t care less.

    The plane that crashed on a motorway during that airshow in England, Mildred said. Eleven people killed.

    Sounds reasonable.

    Oh, David, don’t be so harsh. It must’ve been a horrible end to a fun day out. The pilot did a looping, but he flew too low to pull up.

    David managed to suppress an ‘Idiot’.

    Just imagine that pilot. He was probably going Wooo-hooooo, like in the movies. One moment you’re on top of the world, the next you’re dead.

    We all have to go some day, David said.

    You never know when your time is up, do you? Mildred said. Like those passengers on that train yesterday, did you read about that?

    Yes, of course.

    That terrorist could have wiped out an entire compartment, if those soldiers hadn’t seized him before he started shooting. What an incredible coincidence they were there to intervene.

    Some people have luck and others don’t, David said. He finished his café au lait and glanced at the picturesque harbour in front of him. A fisherman steered his small boat towards the quay.

    Shall we go, Mildred? Not sure how we’ll fill the day, but I guess we’ll find something to do.

    A grumpy old man. You’ve really become a grumpy old man.

    Mildred stubbed out her second cigarette of the day. When she got up, she broke into a paroxysm of coughing.

    That’s not the first time, David said. Maybe you should see a doctor.

    Oh, I’ll be fine, Mildred said. Come on, Tessa. Time to go home.

    358 words

  9. Stella T says:

    360 words

    Walking the Dog

    This was his dream job; well he thought it was until Duke turned up. Daisy laughed at his idea of earning money from dog walking but up to now he had six regular customers and lots of enquiries on his blog site ‘Walk Dog Happy Dog’.

    Mrs Maloney arrived in plenty of time and offered double the hourly rate. She told him that Duke was a special pooch and needed plenty of attention. He looked like the runt of the litter with a harness and some sort of tracking device attached to it. His street cred was going to plunge drastically if he was seen walking this dog so he planned his route carefully avoiding his local dog haunts. He forgot to read the instructions left by Mrs Maloney even though she said it was imperative. He was not sure what imperative meant but the quicker he walked Duke the less people would see him.

    Duke seemed so excited when he sniffed the bucket full of cigarette butts. It felt mean to drag him away so he let Duke inhale to his heart’s desire. Poor little dog probably didn’t have much fun in its life. Mrs Maloney collected Duke and asked if he’d followed the instructions to the letter. He nodded hoping God would not strike him down as his mum always said when she told a lie.

    Later Daisy read the note he’d left in his trouser pocket, the explicit instructions for walking Duke. The dog was to be kept well away from nicotine and nicotine products due to its adverse effects to his sniffer dog abilities. Duke could sniff out a cancerous tumour before it had caused any serious symptoms. Duke would probably get the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in the canine world.

    Daisy couldn’t understand why Dean went ashen when she read this out and that he decided to stop dog walking that day. He even went down the army recruitment office and enquired about being a dog handler. He failed the entry test. He’s now working at Doggie Cuts, the dog grooming parlour in town under an assumed name. Daisy still hasn’t worked out why?

  10. zevonesque says:

    Two butts and a Maybe
    A.J. Walker

    I love you more than… Well, words are more your thing than mine. Sometimes. But let’s just say- more than a big bone.

    I thought I had you trained though. That we understood each other after I had those telepathy lessons with Gary the Yorkshire born Chihuahua – who seemed to have it made in her place. Admittedly she was a little confused by her name.

    Still, after those lessons things seemed to improve. I mean you stopped giving me that vile pink tinned stuff that smelt of corpses and rancid butter around that time and gave me that other posh nosh stuff that smelt of beef stew and dumplings. That was much better; though I have a sneaking suspicion it’s the same recipe just a little tweaked. I am thankful for the tweaks and culinary finesse in any case.

    Then you started taking me on walks, proper walks, when I wanted them. Not just when you felt like it, or the weather dictated.

    Everything, thanks to my newly learnt Garyesque telepathy was coming up roses. Or at least Pedigree Chum.

    So, when I told you the energy I was getting from the proper diet and exercise was making me a bit… well, frisky and that I wanted to see more butts, well I was expecting to sniff out some mighty fine opportunities. Butts. Dog butts.

    But no. No you imbecile. I’m here tied up by a bloody trashcan with ‘Butts’ written on it. Telepathy is too good for you. Wasted. Telepathetic.

    Cigarette butts. FFS. No idea what ‘FFS’ stands for but I reckon that’s right. FFS.

    Butts: dog’s butts!

    It’s quite cute though that aluminium can. Says ‘butts’ on it too, which is turning my head a little. I can see my silvering reflection. If I squint, and I am, it could be a mighty fine lady dog looking back at me. Woof!

    Okay, I’m not sure this is right, or wrong. But who decides that? It’s not you woman. Butts I said. Clearly!

    Right, tin-can tease are you ready for some high pitched Chihuahau action? I’ll be gentle. Though maybe a little manic… Prepare to be boarded!


    (360 words)

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