Flash Frenzy Round 111

Posted: June 11, 2016 in Flash Frenzy Weekend Flash Challenge
Tags: , , , ,

Welcome back, friends. To celebrate PRIDE, which took place in SLC last week, I chose one of Ash’s photos from a previous Seattle parade. Our judge this weekend is Mark A. King.

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 Ashwin Rao

  1. CR Smith says:

    WC 305


    Am I Pink Enough?

    It all started six months ago when they put up the poster. I knew immediately I wanted to participate, but, after last year’s disappointment, realised it couldn’t be done without a strict fitness regime. Retrieving my trainers from the bottom of the cupboard, I looked at them with fresh eyes and false memories while blowing off accumulated dust. I could do this, no problem. I set my alarm for two hours earlier than usual and crawled out of bed to run around the park before work.

    One week in and my feet were covered with a patchwork of plasters. I nearly gave up, until I remembered my previous defeat; it wasn’t going to happen again. I looked out my iPod and found the tracks I needed. Soon, I was too busy singing along to worry about the physical stresses exercise was putting on my body. I jogged along those winding pathways, body at one with the rhythm, wind in my hair: freezing rain in my face, mud splashed up my legs, bird poop down my top. Six months of sheer hell.

    But today it was worth every second; I’ve made it. I haven’t slept, my stomach is churning; my excitement building. A couple of friends have helped with the headdress. It’s a bit heavy but I’m sure I’ll manage. It seems my competitors have gone for the full rainbow look. Marks are given for appearance and I’m worried I’m not pink enough, but it’s too late now.

    Holding my head up, with care, I throw my shoulders back and walk on stage, straight into the spotlight. The music, starts up and words spill from my mouth. My increased lung capacity serves me well. Reaching the final note, I hold it for the full thirty-seconds to rapturous applause, winning the karaoke competition hands down.

  2. Plain Clothes

    ‘You want me to wear THAT?’
    DI David Chaplin’s heart sank when he saw Susie holding up the flamboyant costume. Susie – DI Morris – put a box of makeup on the table next to long shiny gloves and a fan like the Spanish one Mum had on her kitchen wall for years.
    ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet.’
    He looked down at his beige chinos, black t-shirt and trainers. This was what he wanted to wear. Nondescript and comfortable.
    ‘Stick out like a sore thumb if you’re not dressed up.’
    David glanced at Susie. Was she laughing at him?
    ‘Three marches today. The Pride one of course. We want to know what’s going on in those five pubs and three cafés en route. It’s suspected the owners are working together. Drugs. Illegal immigrants. Stolen goods.’
    ‘Yes. Yes.’
    He’d read the reports, which had appeared in his inbox two days ago. Orders from SI Kent.
    ‘The headdress!’
    She was holding up an enormous bunch of foam spirals. Nightmare. Perhaps he was still asleep, yet to wake for his first day back. He’d been off two months. Compassionate leave. Mum had finally gone. She’d actually gone several years before, unable to recognise him, confused most of the time. Strange not visiting every few days.
    David hated returning to work, even after short holidays. He felt nervous, as if he was starting all over again. He suspected his male colleagues had volunteered him for this.
    ‘The other marches?’
    ‘There’s the England for the English lot.’
    ‘Oh NO …’
    He stared at the covered-in-ruffles costume. The pink seemed to be getting brighter with each passing minute. For some reason he thought of Mum, in one of her lucid moments, asking when he was going to get himself ‘a lady-friend’. For the first time he looked at Susie’s left hand. No ring.
    He liked her. A lot. Maybe Mum was right.
    ‘And the third?’
    ‘National Dog Walking Weekend.’
    Mum often talked about giving Benjy away because little David was allergic. He still wheezed and got itchy eyes if there was one nearby.
    Grinning at Susie, DI Chaplin snatched the dress.
    ‘You’d better help me get this on.’

    360 words

  3. stephellis2013 says:


    360 words


    They called her Medusa for the writhing coils of tubing snaking from her head. These were the channels by which her immunising blood was stolen and fed to the bodies lying comatose in the beds beneath her. The nurses who waited on her were in no danger though – she was too weak from the never-ending leeching. The real dangers were hidden, by Asclep who had discovered her and by Medusa herself whose stony eyes glared at the prostrate forms, picturing them as the white-shrouded corpses by rights they should be. The image made her smile and the nurses stepped back, unsure. When she smiled, they knew she would start talking, had been warned not to listen to her; she had a way of getting inside your head.

    Asclep had wanted to cut out her tongue but time had been short, he had had to start bleeding her straight away to prevent their own extinction from the plague sweeping through the population; Medusa had been regarded as a miracle, as God-given.

    She suddenly twisted sharply and a section of tubing dislodged, her blood washing the world a rainbow of crimson and pink. A nurse tried to reattach them but Medusa struggled violently, deliberately forcing him to insert the needles into the veins on her left side.

    “You should drink as well,” she whispered in the young man’s ear. “Take it,” she said. “It is my gift to you.”

    He obeyed.

    Too late, Asclep discovered the lifeless bodies, all now mere stone. Slowly he walked up to Medusa, saw how the tubing was attached to the wrong side of her circulatory system, to the blood that could only bring death; information he had not shared, fearing his treatment would be stopped.

    “Drink,” she whispered.

    Asclep looked again at his patients. As a reward for his life-saving work he had been allowed to treat his own family, immunise them against the plague. But now they all lay dead before him. He had nothing left. So he drank.

    Medusa sighed and the coils writhed and loosened. Strengthened, she tore herself free from her shackles, stepped out into the world and washed the earth red.

  4. Foy S. Iver says:

    HONY #3895701

    “He was shy. Quiet. Always wore this porridge paste suit. ‘Yes, Sir. No, Sir. Here’s my ass, Sir’–it was disgusting. So I let her give life a shot.”


  5. Elisabeth Copeland says:

    They would bore inch-deep holes into her skull in preparation for the Device.

    “We will, of course, provide as much anaesthesia as you wish,” they said.

    “Can you knock me out?”

    “Short of that, of course,” they said, smiling at the humour they knew she was about to lose. “We regret you must maintain consciousness at all times. But we welcome you to select your favourite music to accompany the procedure.”

    “Spice Girls,” she said without hesitation. “Wannabe. On a loop.”

    They smiled again, indulgently. So much fire in this one! The titanium screws, and thus the drilling, were necessary to hold the Device in place, but specimens like this served to strengthen the Opposition’s arguments. Someone would have to edit the recording, later, to ensure status quo was met. Thankfully there was room in the budget for such tasks.

    “You will sacrifice some brain material during the procedure. We assure you, however, that our technicians have the highest training, and they will do their very best to keep the loss at a minimum.”

    “My last lobotomy didn’t make a noticeable impact,” she said. “Impact noticeable a make didn’t lobotomy last my.”

    “One more item on our checklist,” they said, thoroughly amused. “Please verbally acknowledge for our records that you understand the risks and likely impacts of the procedure you are about to undergo.”

    They paused to allow her to formulate another humourously defiant response. Before deleting her actual responses, they assumed someone in authority would make careful notes of her witty phrasings and—if it was legal to apply such a term to such a creature—courage in the face of what would be, in the end, at least for her, a sort of death.

    Instead, to their surprise they watched her rise and incline her head regally at each of them, as though instead of their prisoner, she were their master. An unexpected, though rather pointless, final retort, they thought.

    Disappointing, really, some of them were thinking, until she opened her hand to set off her own device.

    Ah! Wonderfully clever!

    They really hoped someone was writing this down, they thought as they melted into flame.

    –359 words

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