Friday, May 22, 2009

Fiction Friday -- A Winner and Prompt IV

And now, the moment you've all (okay, the 8 of you who submitted entries) been waiting for: the winner of this week's Raisin Chronicles Flash Fiction Competition is: Jeff

If he lived to be a hundred, he would never forget late May in the park. The solid feel of the earth under him, the warmth of the sun pushing his skin to lobster red. The electricity flowing through him when they were together, her arms holding him so tight. His joy was such that he was sure he felt his heart burst and his soul release.

She dabbed her misty eyes and wondered what last thought had put such bliss on his face as the prison chaplain led her from the execution gallery.

The whole contest thing turned out to be a lot harder than I expected, because all of the stories were so great. Four were eliminated for breaking the rules (which sucked, because they were really good), which still left me with 4 -- all very strong. I finally chose this one because the sensory impressions in the first paragraph generated so much empathy/sympathy and then turned out to mean something completely different than the first impression. Great twist!

The (strictly enforced and slightly clarified) rules are:

1) Has to be 100 words or less, including the prompt and the title, if any. (I copy them into Word, then go to File/Properties/Statistics to verify the word count.)
2) Has to be a story -- that is, the protagonist must undergo some kind of change.
3) Has to use the prompt verbatim
4) Has to be posted as a comment on The Raisin Chronicles Fiction Friday post by midnight Wednesday, Eastern Daylight Time. (Note extended deadline, to give more people time to enter.)
5) First post by a given writer will be considered his or her entry (so don't delete your entry because of a typo).
4) Decision of the judge is both arbitrary and final.

This week's prompt: It was not what it seemed.


  1. It was not what it seemed.

    Troy tilted his head as he watched the strange play of bubbles, churning within the device.

    It’d been found, floating in an asteroid belt. Top scientists had studied it for months. The red glow that it emitted was nearly hypnotic and the government feared that it was a weapon of psychological warfare. Troy scoffed at that.

    Then the strange, black box appeared. The lost recording from the primitive race explained everything.

    “Lah-var li-amp,” he said, tasting the strange new sounds, running his fingers over the smooth exterior.

    It was indeed not what it seemed.

  2. I hate trying to write in exactly 100 words - I always end up with just a few too many and end up pruning. Oh well, I enjoyed this prompt. The entry was actually the fourth incarnation. The first three were rejection because of stupidity.

  3. I love it - excellent winner.

    Good luck with the contest this week.

  4. I love this...I can't write but I love to read others...this is so much fun!
    Congrats to everyone...I have enjoyed this very much!

  5. I've enjoyed reading these, although I haven't had time to participate!

  6. Great fun!

    Jeff was my pick too. Reading his story was like watching Mine That Bird win the Kentucky Derby!

    " arms holding him tight...electricity...heart bursting....soul release." !!!

  7. I'm enjoying this. But you know I can't play along. All those rules and I would be bound to break several of them!

  8. Great pick for a winner! Sorry I didn't win, but I did get published in my local neighborhood paper with a story about how my neighbor's don't pick up their dog poop!

    So, all is not lost.

    I enjoy your literary challenges.

    Together, we can change the world.


  9. Hey Jeanne, you know I am no good here..LOL

    So, I will just read and enjoy and wish you a wonderul Memorial Weekend.

  10. It was not what it seemed.

    The sun came up in late June over Lake Worth, leaving hot Texas dew upon patches of grass, and slippery banks quenching thirst.

    Daylight breathes a new life into surroundings, as slithery snakes head back into their homes; birds begin hunting, as their babies cry out; hiding fish surprise buzzing dragonflies, and unsuspecting hooks.

    The smell of fresh coffee soon streams across the lake; past lost oars; rises upon the wind; passing a squadron of ducks heading north; just missing a plane that caught fire and was hurling down to the watery scene.

  11. Great way to showcase some good writing!

  12. It was not what it seemed.

    Yes, he climbed out of Jenna’s bedroom window, onto the tree, and jumped to the ground, scratching his bare chest. Hearing the yelling coming from upstairs, he hurriedly shoved his feet into his shoes ready to run. Jenna’s dad and brother came flying out the front door.

    He held up his hand, “Wait! Wait! I wasn’t with Jenna. We didn’t do anything.”

    “Liar!” yelled Mr. Peterson raising his arm to strike.

    “Wait Dad, he was with me, not Jenna. He was with me.”

    Mr. Peterson was stunned, “Josh?”

    “Sorry, Dad. But now you know.”

  13. Brilliant Jeff. Great, this time I can enter. Have you been reading my diary? My ex used that quote a lot...I will be back with a 100 words.

  14. It was not what it seemed. That was just as well, because it seemed like a mass murder scene - blood everywhere, dismembered limbs on counters, human heads on a high shelf.

    When Susie saw it, she nearly fainted. She was a theatre student doing her first practicum. The hunchbacked dwarf who greeted her didn't relieve her fears.

    “Hi, Gorgeous. I'm Arnie. Welcome to Props.”

    “There's some mistake. I'm studying Wardrobe.”

    “No mistake. You're my new assistant.” Arnie reached up and pinched Susie's ass.

    Susie forgot her fear, picked up a leg, and coldcocked the little jerk.

    “Not bloody likely.”

  15. So far, the entries are great. How could I compete? I'll be anxious to read the winner!
    Last week's story was very good.

  16. It was not what it seemed.

    They gathered around the casket and spoke of how good he looked and his selflessness to the community and charities.

    They didn’t speak of the emergency room visits, bruises, nor the late night trips he took to his daughter’s room.

    The family went along with the charade, exalting his saintly public persona, but secretly sighing with relief the tyrannical old bastard was done with them.

    There were just two in the room still on edge, the killer and me the hunter.

    Even in death my old man was still busting my balls.

  17. The Appointment

    It was not what it seemed, this stupid new hospital.

    I’m seventeen, but they continually treat me like a kid. Sure, I’m sick, but I can still do things NONE of them can do! I guess having a cancer stricken teenager must be extremely difficult for my family.

    Then suddenly after this new doctor injected me, Mom and Dad immediately started sobbing uncontrollably and abruptly walked out!



    I’m numb…can’t talk… getting real sleepy.

    Damn, if I could only read, I would know what MONTGOMERY COUNTY HUMANE SOCIETY means.

  18. It was not what it seemed.

    From her kitchen window Melissa could see straight into Sam’s dining room. They met three months earlier when he moved in. He was single, a former chef; a friendly new neighbor.

    Over time Melissa observed six different women dining with Sam. “Why not me?” she wondered.

    Then unexpectedly, Sam called. “I’m making my signature dish tonight and hate to dine alone; care to join me?” Melissa agreed.

    Upon entering Sam’s place, her knees weakened. The six previous “dinner dates” were still there…motionless. “Melissa,” Sam smiled, “you’re my next ‘signature dish.’ Be seated.”

  19. Runaway

    It was not what it seemed. It felt to him like a bad dream.

    His elation that she had been found evaporated during a 20-minute cab ride. Each block more desolate than the last; whatever flicker of hope remained as he sat waiting in the small, dirty bar was extinguished when she entered.

    “Oh shit,” the girl said, glassy eyes rolling, pupils enlarged.

    “Please.” She knew what he wanted. “Please…”

    A man that age shouldn’t beg.

    “Why did you come here? It’s over!”

    He heard the snickering. Sugar daddy lost his sweets.

    “Dad – I’m not coming home with you.”


    Steve and his detector dog, Sebastian, work at the Mail Centre.

    Today, Sebastian excitedly circled a package.

    Steve picked it up. It was postmarked Paraguay, South America.

    The major transit country for Andrean-soured cocaine.

    He opened the package and was overcome by a pungent aroma.

    Inside was a wooden key holder and note. The note said, 'made from Palosanto, only found in the Chaco'.

    A sinister code?

    Steve snapped the holder in two.

    Disappointment soured his expression.

    No white powder.

    Never had he been so certain, in all his 20 years of working there.

    Phew, I made it this week Jeanne. This is a 100 word synopsis of my most recent post on my blog which is way too long. I find it so hard to keep to 100 words so I definitely need to keep practising this. Thanks for the opportunity to do in public.


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