Saturday, October 10, 2015

Cracked Flash: Year 1, Week 16


It's kind of hard to participate in a competition if it never comes up, isn't it?

*mutters* Gonna schedule out like THREE MONTHS this time. Another #CrackedFlashFail brought to you by yours truly!

Judges This Week: Rin and Si

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.


Results announced: Next Wednesday!

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


"How many times do I have to get shot before you're happy?"


  1. Stand-off South of Butte

    "How many times do I have to get shot before you're happy?" Zeke Callahan whimpered, his cantankerous ass staring up at the sour milk sky, his left hand undoing a grotty pink bandana wrapped around his skinny neck, his right fist securely clutching his occasionally lethal Colt 44 which was unsteadily aimed at me.

    “Zeke, point that blunderbuss away from me, my friend. I didn’t shoot you. I’m not happy Skeeter winged you. One time is one too many. Here,” I offered, “let me take a peek.”

    “Nobody is looking at my splotchy Georgia ass, Wakefield. I’ll stem my own bloody gusher.”

    We were stuck in a somewhat stupid standoff.

    The feud between Zeke and his one-time friend and now, arch-enemy neighbour, Skeeter Fillabough had erupted last week.

    They had been trading shots almost every day since.

    It was a classic country squabble.

    A tributary of Warm Springs Creek, not much more than a fierce little stream, flowed down from the high country of Pintler Mountain, passed through Skeeter’s property and then graced Zeke’s small farm with just enough water to keep the lonely farmer’s body and soul together.

    Skeeter had been offered a sizable amount of money, something he’d never had, to sell his copper and precious metal rights to the Anaconda, Copper Mining Company.

    He’d done the deal.

    In a few months, any water flowing to Zeke’s farm would likely be poison to a farmer.

    There was nothing a lowly clerk in the Bureau of Land Management could do.

    “Hell, Zeke, let me patch you up,” I said.

    “Skeeter,” I yelled. “You shot Zeke. Put your rifle down and bring some bandages.”

    “I hit what I meant to,” Skeeter’s squeaky voice rang out from a near arroyo.

    “Well, Zeke,” I said, “we’re gonna be here a spell.”

    300 words according to the survey
    Bill Engleson

  2. Roger Jackson
    300 words
    "The Edit"

    "How many times do I have to get shot before you're happy?"
    The question, asked softly from the shadows behind me, froze my hands above the keyboard in a little snapshot of surprise, as if I'd never believed that the spell would work. I swivelled in my leather writing chair, like a Bond villain, minus the white cat, of course. My mysterious visitor wasn't 007, but I had been expecting him.
    "Well?" he demanded, stepping from the shadows into the thin glow of my desk lamp. He was tall and lean and dark, just as I'd described him in Chapter Two.
    "As many times as it takes," I said, my voice a little slurred from the bottle of vodka I'd downed. "You need editing out."
    "Killing your darlings, eh?" he smiled, peering over my shoulder at the words on the screen. "I seem to remember you having that cop trying to take me down in Chapter Three, then the girl in Chapter Seven, now the kid in Chapter Twelve. Either I'm bulletproof or every other character in the book attended the Stormtrooper Academy of Marksmanship."
    "That's why I sought out the spell," I told him grandly. "The one that makes you real so I can make you unreal." And I drew the revolver from where I'd had it tucked away beside me.
    "Another gun?" He sounded exasperated. "Couldn't you have shown some imagination for once? Whipped out a chainsaw or something?"
    "This'll do fine." I drawled, and fired.
    The bullet hit his chest … and vanished.
    "You used the wrong magic, idiot." he sighed. "The incantation you used makes me real and immortal, an unending story." He shook his head. "Dabbling in magic, indeed. You're meant to be a writer. Do you even know how to use a spell checker?"

  3. Red for Oscar
    Word Count = 254

    Red for Oscar
    “How many times do I have to be shot before you're happy?” I rubbed the dull pain out of my chest. The same description could be used to describe our movie set: a soon to be ruined drinks reception made out of papier-mâché and sugar glass.
    “Until the director is happy,” Janet laughs as she fixes up a new bullet wound pack, a small block of explosive surrounded by fake blood.
    “But megaphone-woman is never happy.” I take off my red ruined shirt.
    “And neither are you Michael.” Janet handed me a new white shirt, blood pack loaded. “Just think of the Oscar.”
    That is never a problem. I'm always thinking of Oscar these days, her Oscar. All his muscles and fun. I wonder if she knows? This is a hell of a risk if she does. She clicks the final wire into place and her thumb shots into the air.
    “Positions people.” Today's God orders us through her megaphone. Physically I'm in place. Mentally I'm a step behind. I can't shift Oscar from my head.
    The pain punches me backwards and crack through a table. Red floods my shirt, more than was in the pack. The pain won't stop. Janet is over me now, down on her knees. Her hand slips between the tear of my shirt. Pain, new pain, rips me in two. I think I scream. All my senses are screaming. Above my Janet rubs red between her thumb and forefinger. My red, real red. “Now I'm happy.”

  4. Click

    297 words


    “How many times do you have to shoot me before you’re happy?”

    “Don’t worry, just a few more. We’re almost there. Now, a little to the right … that’s it … head up … eyes a little wider …”

    My client made the small adjustments with resignation. He had heard of my reputation for producing the best folios, my name guaranteeing at least an audition. He would put up with any demands, any … idiosyncrasies to get what he needed. Yet reputation is a two-way thing and I had studied him, and his activities, long and hard before tossing out the bait that hooked him. Invitations to my studio only went to the select few.

    My camera lens tracked his every move. Now for the test to see if he was the one. I zoomed in on his eye, the window of the soul, covered by a cornea as fragile as any glass. It wouldn’t take much to shatter it. Click.

    “Do you think …”

    “Don’t move,” I said sharply, focussing on the other eye. I held my breath, zoomed in closer. It was there, a tiny blood fleck, trailing like a sinful worm. The mark I was looking for. Click.

    “I …”

    “I said don’t move.”

    I fastened his limbs to the chair supports. “It will help you hold your position,” I soothed.

    Slight adjustment now. Both eyes in focus. I watched as images passed across their surface, vignettes of memory reminding me why I had chosen him. Imprints that could not be erased even by the confessional. There was no power in that particular box over such as he; it was for me to deliver absolution, return the worm to the soil.

    I gazed at his eye a little longer.


    He was mine.


  5. @PattyannMc
    WC: 298

    Jumpin’ Jupiter!

    “How many times do I have to get shot before you’re happy? Damnit! That hurts!

    “Deal with it,” she sniggered, leveling her laser pistol at me again.

    I tried to wriggle out of the cuffs holding my snaky arms aloft. No go. They’re too damned tight. I saw her squint her purple Cyclops eye, lining me up in the holographic pistol sight. I screamed before she fired, and flinched understanding the pain about to rack my nerve endings. I flung my body to one side as the laser bulleted towards me . . .

    Pew, pew, the pistol whined.

    Both graced the side of my naked abdomen. Craning my necks to see, six eyeballs bulging, white blood leaked from my side. “You bitch, two shots this time? Give a Juptapthwart guy a chance, will ya? Jumpin’ Jupiter, that hurts!” White ammonia tears licked my red scaly face as they fell on my curled clawed feet. I decided to try another tactic.

    Stifling my tears, though my side sang, “Hey, maybe we could start over? Did I tell you how sexy I find Pluturna females? You know, my mother sire always told me to watch out for female specimens like you, but I always thought you gals were hot! The way your bronzy brown skin glistens and that big purple eye twinkles, I think you’re the sexiest gal I’ve ever seen. I wanna lick all twenty nipples!” I slithered my white tongue over my scales.

    I watched her approach stealthily, her eyeball twinkling, laser lowered. She pressed her thorny nipples into my scales, her raspy voice whispering in my sound-hole, “And, my mama warned me about guys like you, a bunch of cowardly lizards,” she smirked pulling away and firing.

    I was a goner. Little did she know lizards have nine lives!