Flash Frenzy Round 134

Posted: April 8, 2017 in Flash Frenzy Weekend Flash Challenge
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Happy Saturday, writers! Welcome to Flash Frenzy Round 134. This weekend, Jaime Burchardt is your judge, and he has issued a special challenge: writers are encouraged (but not required) to submit stories composed entirely of dialogue.

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 and be crowned Flash Master of the Week.

Here is your prompt.


photo courtesy Ashwin Rao

  1. Sailors Once Upon A Disappearing Sea
    by Steve Lodge
    360 words

    “Oy, mate, d’you speak English?” asked Vince.

    “Do you?” replied the stallholder, Fernando Fernandez.

    “Don’t piss about. I’m a tourist in an ‘urry. Tell me wot that fruit is and where I can get another tattoo done. Sharpish, mate. Daylights burning. If yer lucky I’ll take a photo of your stall before it falls down and send it to me girlfriend, Freda.…er Winnie. Hur, been away so long I can’t remember her bleeding name.”

    Fernando smiled. “This, senor, is one of our winter fruits. It grows wild in the northern region of my country, daily trucked down through the mountains at great expense. It is called a Combarabaroshtyle, from the Flen genus, after having been cross bred with Flundermokers and an ugly stick. Note the smooth texture of the outer skin, which can only be eaten on Thursdays.”

    “Listen, mate. It looks like a bloody melon from where I’m standing, although I do admit my eyes are blurry this morning for some reason. Go on cut me off a couple of slices.”

    “I cannot, senor. You have to take the whole fruit and eat it quickly as it doesn’t travel well. It’ll be inedible once cut after only an hour or two.”

    “OK then, how much for the whole thing?”

    “You have dollars?”

    “Some,” said Vince warily.

    “Ten dollars,” responded Fernando quickly.

    “Ten…” Vince spluttered. “I wouldn’t give you that for your whole stall and your sister.”

    “I have no sister, senor,” Fernando retorted angrily. “Eight dollars.”

    “Why so much, amigo?” asked Vince “Is it a famous fruit?”

    “Senor, the driver has had to come through the mountains. There are guerrillas, bandidos and rebels in those mountains.”

    “That sounds like the part of London I come from, Pablo.” Grinned Vince. “Except the mountains, obviously.”

    “Senor, I am Fernando. Are you going to buy this beautiful fruit or not? There’s a bit of a queue behind you.”

    “There’s no one behind me, buffoon. Five dollars. Come on. Quick.”

    “Eight dollars. Did I mention that if you eat one of these you become irresistible to women?”

    “No….Look, here’s ten. Give me the fruit,” and Vince was gone.

    Fernando shook his head. “Twat.”

  2. stephellis2013 says:


    357 words


    He stroked the skull. The last film of skin clinging determinedly to bone, defying the man whose hands now caressed its surface so possessively. A flesh mask serving no purpose. Noah suddenly felt lonely; longed to see a smiling face again. It had been an age since anyone had smiled at him. Normally they turned away in revulsion, even this one, his latest visitor. But such things could be rectified. His scalpel delicately traced the outline of a grin up from the corner of the man’s mouth towards his cheek. That was better. A smile never hurt anyone.

    The man groaned in response. Cursing, Noah realised he would have to work quickly before the drugs wore off completely. He picked up the blade again only to be disturbed by something rubbing against his leg. It was Kitty waiting expectantly for her tea. He cut swiftly, dropped the tongue onto the floor. He loved his pets. They just took a bit of house-training. This new one though, did he have the patience? He gazed down at Kitty, the faceless creature had devoured her treat and had turned her blind eyes expectantly back in his direction.

    “Shall we keep him?” asked Noah, looking across at the other members of his little menagerie. “Time for new blood?”

    They stirred restlessly at the sound of his voice, chains shifting, clanking against the side of their cages whilst Kitty, tired of waiting, crawled back to her basket. Noah noticed the goosebumps on her arms, went over and tucked a blanket around her, stroked the blonde hair, feeling her shrink back from his touch as he did so. Out of all of them, she knew who was master. The others, sensing his nearness, had sat up, fingers gripping the bars of their prison.

    “You’d like company, wouldn’t you,” he said.

    Unable to stand, they shuffled back and forth on all fours, knuckles dragging on the ground, just like their ancestors had done. And he had space. There was one more cage to be filled. Nor was food a problem, there was plenty in the basement … and there was always the occasional visitor.

  3. KM Zafari says:

    Festival of Love
    304 words

    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.

    • stephellis2013 says:

      Oh, oh, you really got me with that ending. A beautiful story but so sad, sad, sad.

      • KM Zafari says:

        Aww, thanks. I had a conversation with my daughter that went like this:

        Me: Sedona thinks my story is depressing.
        Roya: Wasn’t that your goal? Isn’t that always your goal?


      • stephellis2013 says:

        Really pleased to see you back writing regularly 🙂

      • KM Zafari says:

        Thanks! Me, too. 🙂

    • Lovely story. You really captured the festive spirit of Holi and I liked how you used both the names of the city, Mumbai and Bombay. 30 years ago it was definitely Bombay. Nicely done. 🙂

      • KM Zafari says:

        Thanks! It really looks beautiful. I hope I get to see it in person someday. (For now, my exposure has been limited to Bollywood movies.) And I knew the name had changed, but I wasn’t sure when. Thank goodness for Google! I’m glad it wasn’t confusing.

    • ewansmithxxx says:

      Oh that’s beautifully done. Fantastic last sentence! 👏

      • KM Zafari says:

        Thanks! I really debated it. But my mind kept going there, so I was like, “Okay mind. You win.”

  4. ewansmithxxx says:

    360 words

    Dream Job

    “It’s a joke, right?”
    “No joke.”
    “You give me this drug stuff and…”
    “No drug stuff. All natural.”
    “OK, you give me this all natural stuff and…how do you give it anyway – is it like eaten or smoked…”
    “Cream. Shave arm; rub on.”
    “OK so you shave my arm, rub on this cream and…what’s in the cream anyway?”
    “No drug stuff. All natural. Local source ingredients.”
    “What ingredients? Do you have…like a list?”
    “No list. Trade secret.”
    “Yeah I bet…”
    “Like Monsanto.”
    “Jesus – you mean full of GM products?”
    “No GM product. All natural.”
    “You said. So are there any side-effects?”
    “Yah. Side-effect you dream.”
    “I dream every night for free. Why should I pay you?”
    “This dream different. You control.”
    “I control what happens in the dream?”
    “You control dream. You live dream.”
    “So how’s that different from life?”
    “Dream – anything possible.”
    “Such as…”
    “You choose. You millionaire – Richard Branman. You big sport star. You jiggyjiggy famous person – Theresa May maybe.”
    “Like dream holiday.”
    “So this guy here…he’s doing one of your dreams now.”
    “No my dream. Him dream.”
    “How long does it last?”
    “Maybe half hour.”
    “Is that all?”
    “Half hour real life. Dream – maybe days, weeks.”
    “And what’s he dreaming about?”
    “Mar-A-Lago. Big friend Trump.”
    “Oh God. He doesn’t look like he’s enjoying it much.”
    “He drool. Enjoy big time.”
    “Ok. I’ll give it a go. It’ll make a great story whatever happens. How much?”
    “$20 – US.”
    “Nah, way too much. $10.”
    “$10. Pay now.”
    “Pfft, should have gone for five. So what’s the procedure?”
    “You sit this chair. I shave arm.”
    “Hey, is that razor clean?”
    “Very clean. Very hygiene.”
    “Careful – Jesus! Are you insured?”
    “Big insure. Meerkat.”
    “Yeah well…”
    “Now cream.”
    “Wo-wo-wo. Why are you putting on those gloves?”
    “I wear glove, I no dream.”
    “Oh right.”
    “So what you dream?”
    “Well Theresa May sure won’t be involved.”
    “I count down now. You asleep zero. 10…9…8…7…6…you awake? Hello man, you awake? OK Rahul, wake now. He asleep.”
    “Good job, Yash.”
    “Let see wallet. Wo!”
    “We win lottery!”
    “OK, put man against wall. Get chairs and mirror.”
    “Sweet dream, man.”
    “Sometime dream, sometime nightmare…”

  5. @firdausp
    (360 words)


    I found his picture in an old album, while clearing out a cupboard. I don’t know why I tucked it into the book I was reading. I should have just left it there, with the other memories.

    I could hear my husband, Avi, tinkering around in the kitchen; he insisted on preparing Sunday breakfast.

    I slipped the picture out and stared at it.

    “George,” I whispered, and he smiled back, a familiar smile I’d thought about a lot and then it had faded away over the years – ten years.

    The first time I’d seen George was when he came to visit us right after our wedding. He was Avi’s friend, from university days abroad.

    George with the funny jokes and funnier accent. He and Avi were always arguing and betting over stupid things. Once Avi had lost a bet and he had to shave his head.

    We had walked down the street to the local barber. George was in his ridiculous shorts and Avi’s one size too big bathroom slippers. A Nikon hung from his neck on a leather strap. The slap of the slippers against his feet as we walked had made me giggle. Avi though, wasn’t laughing, and that made it all the more funny.

    It was so hot that day that the barber had put a chair under a tree outside his shop and hung a mirror on the wall. I stood watching and laughing, as George instructed the shirtless barber to pose for pictures, while the deed was done. The barber chuckled the whole time, his protruding belly jiggling with laughter.

    And then, the night before George left, he had kissed me under the Neem tree in our backyard. I blamed the wine then. I always blamed the wine.

    “It was the wine George,” I said.

    “What,” Avi said coming from behind.

    “Nothing,” I tucked the picture back and took the tray from him.

    He picked up the book and looked at the picture.

    “George?” he looked puzzled, “where’d you get this picture?”

    I shrugged indifferently.

    “Speaking of the devil,” Avi sounded excited, “he’s coming to visit us next month.”

    “Oh,” was all I could say.

  6. @stellakateT
    262 words

    Travelling in the Heat

    Hi Sam,

    Can you believe I’m here travelling with this guy. I’d promised myself I’d never get sidetracked and here I was with these two losers. If you look closely you can see me reflected in the mirror smiling like an idiot. I took this selfie just before it all kicked off. I look really good considering I hadn’t slept for sixteen hours and not showered for days. Can you see the cross tattooed above his ankle? He thinks it will save him but we know different don’t we?

    The barber applied the shaving foam like a professional. All the locals knew he was the local butcher but I’d promised them a good crop next year and they acted like Oscar nominees. With a flourish the deed was done. Milo’s face was a picture from feeling the smooth skin on Ed’s face to being covered in O rhesus negative. Sam I’m getting so good at this I could be an Olympic gold medallist haven’t had such fun in centuries.

    I’ll be back home soon. All the appraisals have been completed. The successful have been rewarded and the unsuccessful I hope you are dealing with excessively. Milo will be travelling with me. His horror will keep me fortified for a few more days. He’s a mash of delusions, in-coherency and psychotic thoughts. You’ll like him. With a fully structured training plan in place he’ll be great for the European franchise. I’m done with travelling. Hope you’re fanning the flames else I’ll be looking for a new CEO.

    In the Devil we rejoice


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