Saturday, September 5, 2015

Cracked Flash: Year 1, Week 11

Judges This Week: Si and Mars

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.


She bolted down the hallway.


  1. Hunter Reborn

    280 words


    She bolted down the hallway. Adrenaline fuelling her long-shackled limbs onward, away from the room that had been her prison for an eternity. Occasionally Rowena stumbled as daylight shot its daggers through shrouded windows, skewering her eyes with a pain that she found strangely welcome. The windows, though, were mercifully few.

    She continued forward but found her progress slowing as she fought the weakness caused by her imprisonment.

    A door slammed somewhere ahead.

    Rowena paused and sank back into the shadows, old instincts allowing her to merge with the stillness and become part of the silence.

    Footsteps. Slow and heavy on the stairs. Theo. He was getting old. Making mistakes like the one that had allowed her to escape.

    He was closer now, she could make out his shape as her sight adjusted to the gloom. He had been a giant of a man but this … this version was a shrunken copy. How many years had it been since she had actually seen him? Unwashed and unkempt, he was not the man she remembered. The smell though. The smell was the same; a perfume that had infiltrated her uneasy sleep on so many nights, pulled her mind back to the surface of life.

    The scent grew stronger, coppery notes playing a metallic symphony that roused her hunger.

    Closer. Was she strong enough after so long in the dark?


    The call of his beating heart, the siren song of skin-clad blood, hammered loudly in her ears.


    Vanity had stayed his hand, kept her alive. She had been his prize exhibit, a creature of the darkness. Who else could boast such a trophy?



    Hunter. Hunted. Hunter reborn.

    1. Well done. I like the way their is a timeline given only by the captors aging.

  2. Alien Encounter

    She bolted down the hallway, wild hair fluttering about.
    He said, “What’s your hurry? Hold your horses, eh.”
    She bolted down the hallway, seeking the fastest way out.
    He said, “Stay. There are supernatural forces at play.”

    She said, “To hell with that. I’m not sticking around.”
    He said, “I thought you were cool; in a totally different class.”
    She said, “Supernatural fruitcake, I want a sweet night on the town.”
    He said, “I’ve been dreaming of you my pretty lass.”

    She said, “I’m not responsible for your crazy dreams.”
    He said, “Holy moly, I’m just a normal guy.”
    She said, “You’re too weird, I can’t handle weird extremes.”
    He said, ”Look, I’ve got all my parts. Give us a try.”

    She said, “Yuck, this is way too over the top.”
    He said, “I may have overstated that aliens were in play.”
    She said, “Buddy, this whole narrative has got to stop.”
    He said, “I was being provocative, it’s just my way.”

    She said, “There ARE aliens; and you’re the man from Mars.”
    He said, “You’ve got me all wrong, I’m just a lonely guy.”
    She said, “I’ve seen your type before in a hundred sleazy bars.”
    He said, “There are no aliens; I thought it worth a try.”

    She said. “Hells Belles, was it something that I said?”
    He said, “That’s the last time I’m going off my meds.”
    She said, “Maybe I was totally hammered out of my head.”
    He said, “Intergalactic dating is not worth getting out of bed.”

    She said, “Of all the gin joints...and I’ve seen me quite a few.”
    He bolted down the hallway; he knew he’d gone too far.
    She said, “Maybe you’re not so bad. Hell, maybe you’ll even do.”
    He bolted down the hallway and flew back to a Safer STAR.

    Bill Engleson
    300 he said she saids

    1. 'Intergalactic' dating! I'd be scared stiff. Made me laugh. Good job.

    2. Yep, sometimes its best to run away.

  3. @firdausp
    (299 words)

    She bolted! Like a scared hare she ran down the hallway, through the front door, across the garden, out of the gate and into the nearby forest. The sound of hurried footsteps behind her made her run faster. He was calling after her, but she just ran and ran until her lungs burned with lack of oxygen, and her side hurt with a stitch, so she couldn't go any further. Collapsing under a tree, she tried to catch her breath.
    She had seen it in his eyes again, just like before.
    He had been hammering a nail in the wall for his new painting, and as she had passed him in the hallway he had turned. His hand still held the hammer high and in his eyes she'd seen the restrained urge to hit her with it. Scared as hell, she had bolted.
    Now as she lay panting she could hear approaching footsteps. She sat upright, looking frantically around for something—anything!
    Her eyes fell on a broken branch, she grabbed it and took a stance of a baseball player ready to strike.
    He emerged from the trees and stopped when he saw her. He looked at the branch then at her, confused.
    "What just happened?"
    "You want to kill me. I know!" She choked out.
    "Why would I do that? I love you!"
    "I saw how you looked at me, you were..." She hesitated, not sure anymore.
    "Have you stopped taking your medicines, honey?" He looked concerned.
    Dropping the branch, she sank to her knees, crying. She was being paranoid again, discontinuing her medicines hadn't been a good idea.
    "I'm sorry..." she had bagun to say when she looked up and saw him reach behind his back and bring out the hammer, a blur before it hit her.

    1. Going off your meds playing into this one again. Perhaps the meds were given to hide his intents in the first place.

  4. "The Turn of the Wrench"
    (198 Words)

    She bolted down the hallway, though I wasn’t sure why. I watched her with the wrench, tightening the nuts at each end of the passage.

    “Come on, Sadie, don’t you think this has gone far enough?”

    It began with a DIY show on television, which led to Sadie purchasing tools and deciding to take on some jobs around the house. Wonderful! I’m not particularly adept at such things, and she seemed to have an aptitude. The kitchen cupboards no longer stuck, she made a new rail for the deck, and even fixed my old footstool that I retired to the garage when it lost a leg.

    But now she had run out of projects and was doing silly things to feed her addiction.

    She nailed down the rugs, added four more legs to the kitchen table, and installed cat flaps into all the doors.

    Finally I could take it no longer.

    “Why the bolts in the hallway? Are you nuts?”

    She looked up at me clutching the wrench, with such menace in her eyes as I have never seen before.

    “Screw you!” she screamed.

    Then her whole countenance changed. She smiled and glanced at her toolbox.

    I ran.

    Colin Smith

    1. And now I must go back to the drawing board...

    2. Wow! Such a unique take on the prompt. Well done!

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. Humorous imagry, bolting down hall ways, nailing down rugs.

  5. Close call

    299 words (hope my Open Office doesn't lie)
    Iores Trooly

    # # #

    She bolted down the hallway, wheezing for air, hair sticking to skin. People flew by in a blur, the faceless crowd parting for her and merging again when she had passed. It was easy to ignore the looks, some confused, some sympathetic, some annoyed. The corridor was functional infinity, lit by hard light. Signs in bright colours were her guide.

    But the voice... this impersonal, metallic voice that came from everywhere and called her name, sounding bored and urgent at once - she couldn't ignore this voice. She knew there were speakers in the walls, but in her mind, it came from somewhere beyond the point where the walls converged, the only sound that was able to drown out the blood pounding in her ears.

    She waited for this voice. As long as it called her, she could still make it. An arrow flashed above her head, and the bag with her laptop crashed painfully into her kidney as she darted around the corner. She took the escalator steps two at a time, arms working on the railing to pull her upwards.

    A sigh of relief escaped her when she stumbled around the last bend. A long line of counters, a monitor flashing in angry red, the man behind the gate glaring, menace in his face.

    The last hurdle. The paper she slammed onto the polished surface was crumpled and damp.

    "Sandson," she gasped.

    For an endless moment, he stared at her, taking in the flush and the panic and the plea. When he finally took the ticket, pushed it through the scanner and the gate-light turned green, she wanted to cry.

    In the hall beyond, a boy clenched his father's hand, bouncing and yelling.

    "Boarding for Orlando is at gate E27. Enjoy your stay in Disneyland, Mrs. Sandson."

    1. Ohh! I just love this. I can feel the rush.

    2. The panic of almost missing the flight. Perfect.

  6. In the Hallway
    143 (sickly sweet) words

    She bolted down the hallway, the children screaming behind her. Behind them was a man, a man with a water hose.
    He held the nozzle down and the screams turned to shrill laughter. She barely got away, dashing through the bathroom door. She poked her head around the corner and observed her children under the kitchen fountain’s stream. In the moment, it did not matter that they had carpet or that they would need to dirty a clean towel.
    Her son spun under the spray, head facing the ceiling as the cool water broke through the summer heat. Her youngest sat next to him, having fallen in her escape. Her hands rose upward and feet kicked in delight.
    And over their shoulders, behind the nozzle, she met the eyes of the partner she loved and realized that in this moment lived her happiness.

    1. Such fun, but boy is the house going to get humid as everything dries out. Well done, fun to read.

  7. Course Correction

    Smitty bolted down the main corridor of his transport vessel. He was assigned to this tub after washing out of fighter training. He was rushing to the bridge to deal with a collision alarm. He was mad at himself for being so far away, and even angrier for washing out of fighter training. He just kept making the same mistakes.

    As he ran, the other end of the hall splintered. He was sucked out into the vacuum of space.


    Smitty jolted awake at the sound of the proximity alarm. He had fallen asleep in the prayer room he had fashioned in the back of the ship. Remembering the dream he stopped at a console and remotely ordered the ship to stop. Turning to run down the main corridor he recalled it was his faith that had caused the other cadets to vote him out of the squadron.

    Running down the hallway he was dismayed to see the hallway crumpling toward him, crushing him in the debris before he could react.


    Smitty startled awake again, realizing he’d had this dream twice. He used the remote console to order evasive maneuvers, hard astern.

    In that moment of waiting he thought about his prayer room. If he couldn’t be a fighter pilot, could he at least have a deeper spirituality? He built his prayer room to seek God, praying for God’s guidance.

    These thoughts were interrupted by the hull suddenly getting hot, then melting into the corona of a star.


    Smitty woke again to the alarm, but this time for real. He remote ordered the evasive turn except hard to port. He ran to the bridge. After he was safe, he considered why and how he had those three dreams. He had to consider whether his prayers had been answered.

    297 words

    1. I guess recurring dreams do indicate that God is at work. Nice one!

    2. Thanks. This was one of those times, I really wanted just a few more words. I think the last episode could have come out a lot smoother.

  8. Square Set

    She took one look at the oncoming punster and bolted down the hallway. Her feet hammering against the hardwood floors, she realized she was screwed.

    She knew the perpetrator would be nailed if the police were able to drive him to a confession but she also knew that he was nuts and wanted nothing more than to put a hex on him.

    She ran as fast as she could, but when she turned to check his progress, she could see his chiseled features set square on her.

    She wrenched her eyes away from him, realizing she needed a change in tacks, but couldn’t quite put her thumb on it. Then she saw the problem: he was locked tight with her and couldn’t break away.

    He was as much her prisoner as she was his - they were fitted for each other.

    Tired, she stopped running and learned, to her relief, that awls well that ends well.

    155 Words

    (I tried to write another after reading Colin's entry but I didn't have the time)

  9. Love how you used bolts and nuts and tacks and screws so seamlessly. Loved it. The rush job worked!