Saturday, July 4, 2015

Cracked Flash: Year 1, Week 2

We're glad to inform you that if you're reading this, we're alive and well, and week two has just begun. It's also a holiday. Have a 4th of July gif: 

This is the best way to spend the 4th of July online. Seriously.

Did you need that? No, probably not, but Si and Mars are greatly amused by it, so, you're welcome.

Now, onto more serious matters . . . welcome to Week 2 of the Cracked Flash Fiction Competition!

Judges This Week: Mars and Rin

Word count: 300 max

How: Submit your stories as a comment to this post, along with your name, word count, and title (and Twitter handle or blog if you've got 'em!). Only one entry per person.

Deadline: Midnight tonight (PDT)!

Results announced: Next Wednesday!

Remember: The prompt can be mutilated, but not beyond recognition.


The fireworks were spectacular.

Go! See you on the other side!


  1. One Last Night

    298 words


    The fireworks were spectacular. Rainbow colours scattered like confetti across velvet night. Explosions of gold glittered across the sky, casting even the brightest star into shadow.

    “Why here, Dad?” asked Bobby, shivering despite the blanket wrapped around his shoulders.

    “Because I wanted you to see something beautiful tonight.”

    “Why couldn’t Mum come with us?”

    Ray thought about Chloe lying cold and alone in the shelter. She had wanted Bobby to have this. One night of wonder and wishes. One last night.

    Another explosion ripped through the darkness, timed to synchronise with the display so that Bobby wouldn’t notice.

    Ray glanced at his watch. The detonators had gone off like clockwork. By now the compound would be ash. His wife, parents, friends, all ash. But the gas he had fed through the ventilation system had sent them to a peaceful end long before that destructive blast.

    Contagion had wiped out other settlements and despite their own precautions, the plague had infiltrated the compound. When all hope was gone, the adults had voted for a quick end rather than face a long and lingering death.

    Ray had volunteered to administer the last rites.

    “What do you think so far?” he asked Bobby.

    “Awesome, Dad. I just wish this night could last forever.”


    “Wow, Coke?”

    “Saved for a special occasion. A toast,” he said. “To a night that will last forever.”

    They chinked their mugs together. Ray pretending to sip, watching
    Bobby, making sure he had drunk every last drop. Then, as the boy’s eyes began to droop, laid him gently down, tucked the blanket even tighter around him.

    Whispered, “Goodnight.”

    Whispered, “Goodbye.”

    Alone, he watched as the last of the fireworks fizzled out and the world returned to stillness. Then he finished his own drink and he too slept.

  2. Independence

    291 Words

    ‘The fireworks were spectacular,’ Max signed. There was a tension in his body as he Signed Exact English. It was annoying, a pigeon language instead of the flowing American Sign Language he spoke with his friends. He needed to share that instead of some makeshift bridge between him and me.

    I watched him as he looked through the crowd, then all but jumped up when he saw some of his deaf friends and waved to get their attention.

    I could see the tension leave his body as they started talking animatedly about the fireworks.

    Watching the conversation I think I finally understood what people meant by ‘handicapped.’ I could make out maybe one tenth of what was being said, even though I did my best to follow the conversation.

    I did know enough to understand that Max and his friends were planning a little celebration that didn’t exactly require fireworks.

    I blushed when I realized it was more like ‘making fireworks of their own’ than needing any.

    Max looked at me and winked then signaled for me to keep my mouth shut. I gestured locking my lips and throwing away the key, and he rewarded me with a smile.

    He signed to tell mom he was all right and would be home later, only this time there was no SEE, it was all ASL, but I could understand— I’d been his blind long enough to know my job.

    When mom asked me where Max was, I told her, “some friends invited him over for an Independence Day celebration…”

    It wasn’t a lie. It just wasn’t the type of independence our mom was thinking.

    I can’t wait for him to tell me all about the ‘fireworks,’ I hear they can be spectacular.

  3. The Happiest Day of Your Life…

    Word Count: 281

    21:47 - The fireworks had been a spectacular failure after the torrential downpour...

    20:18 - The DJ had turned out to be a big fan of hip-hop and gangsta rap...

    13:42 - The trestle table, on which the five-tier wedding cake stood, had collapsed…

    13:05 - As she leaned over the table to take her seat at the top table, the bride’s veil had brushed against a candle and had caught fire...

    12:33 - At the reception, the champagne had been flat and the caviar off…

    11:47 - The photographer’s digital camera had been struck by lightning…

    11:42 - Guests had fled a thunderstorm after the wedding party photographs were taken...

    11:16 - Walking through the churchyard in her killer heels, one of the guests had staggered and fallen into a freshly dug grave...

    10:52 - The groom had thrown up into his top hat during the exchange of vows…

    10:41 - The page boy had stood on the train, causing it to detach from the bride’s gown, as they walked up the aisle to the altar…

    10:28 - The groom’s mother had arrived dressed in black, mourning her son’s future with his intended...

    10:03 - The white Rolls-Royce limousine, hired as the bridal car, had broken down…

    09:27 - The bridegroom’s car had been stopped by police on the way to the church and the best man had been arrested on a DUI charge...

    08:13 - The make-up artist had spilled carmine nail polish on the bride’s dress...

    07:36 - The bride-to-be’s mother had tapped on her bedroom door and entered with a cup of tea. “Good morning, sweetheart. This is going to be the happiest day of your life!”

  4. Love the humour in this, especially the groom's mum wearing black! Wonder how long the marriage will last.