Saturday, October 24, 2015

Cracked Flash: Year 1, Week 18!

You--yes you!--have been invited to participate in Cracked Flash Fiction's Week 18 of existence!
If you can write a story starting with the prompt below in 300 words or less--

You'll be considered for a spot on next week's results roll!

Don't miss out on this incredibly rare and awesome offer!

But wait! There's--*Mars is dragged off cam*

Cameraman be like:

Rules: Read Me! (Pay Close Attention to Rule #2)

Judges This Week: Rin 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, likely around 10 pm - 11:59 pm!

Remember: The prompt can be mutilated, but not beyond recognition. (The photos are there for our amusement; they do not have to be used in your story. Only the prompt must be used. (*coughLookAtRule#2cough*) 


"I thought that we were special."


  1. The Auction

    296 words


    “I thought we were special.”

    “We are,” whispered Fay.

    “Then why are we here?”

    The two women stood uncertainly at the end of the aisle, flanked by guards. Although the hall was swathed in darkness, they sensed large numbers sat either side of the walkway. A solitary spotlight shone on an empty stage.

    Fay felt a slight nudge and she moved reluctantly forward, Janet shuffling along at her side.

    As Fay’s eyes adjusted to the gloom, she began to make out the ghostly faces watching their progress, their hungry gaze sliding over the two as they passed by. Janet clutched her arm.

    The guards forced the women up onto the dais, into the spotlight, cutting them adrift in a black sea. Fay blinked. So many watching. Usually only one or two were allowed to view them at a time. Now they were on public display. Fay had no idea what was expected of them.

    “Ladies and Gentlemen,” said a voice from the back of the auditorium. “Today we present to you the last surviving humans in the world.”

    That was true, nobody else had survived the shuttle’s landing on Venusia. Fay later discovered the most intact bodies had ended up as prized delicacies on exclusive menus; at least they had been spared that.

    “We have brought you here,” continued the voice. “To bear witness that such creatures do exist, that there are no government cover-ups and as our studies on these aliens are complete, it has been decided, in the spirit of openness, charity … and good dining … to allow two lucky individuals to purchase these specimens. All proceeds will go to the Inter-Planetary Peace Fund. Now, ladies and gentlemen, what am I bid?"

    In her head, Fay could already hear the knives being sharpened.

  2. Bill Engleson

    Vancouver Special

    “I thought we were special. You know, the way I know my dog, Alastair, is one of the finest red setters going. Oh, he can get a funny picture flashing in his mind, a strobe light of crazy mutt thoughts that sends him running into traffic or that time he jumped in the ocean off of the White Rock pier and refused to come out. Eventually, though, he came out, ran up to me, knocked me onto the sand, got me drenched in his ocean smelling dog hair, licking my face with his sweet, awful tongue.

    So I thought we were special in that same way.

    When we first hooked up, I knew right off. Even before. There I was, hanging back out of the bright sweaty city sun, standing in the shade in the alley next to the Aristocrat. Man, I loved their cheeseburgers. They sure knew how to sizzle up a passel of mushrooms and onions, stack ‘em high, plaster the whole thing with molten yellow cheese.

    Anyway, that day, taking a break from my business, my eyes on the lookout for an opportunity, knowing something good is always about to happen if you stay primed, there you are, sashaying down Granville, brown ponytail swaying left and right like the tick tock of a time bomb, legs, slick and strong like Betty Grable, well I just shifted gears and stepped out of the shadows, feasted on the boom boom of your hippadroning rhythm, falling into lockstep, marching to your tantalizing tune.

    You gave me that look that sucked me into your wake and we aligned like howdy and doody.

    What a run we had. I knew it would vaporize. Yeah, we were special, but even special can become stale dated.

    One thing though, sweetie.

    Send Alastair back, eh!

    300 street scene moments

  3. Patrick Stahl
    299 words

    “I thought that we were special,” said Laura, tugging on her big brother Nolan’s sleeve.

    Nolan mussed his sister’s hair. “We are. Why would you think we aren’t?” He picked Laura up and spun her around.

    She giggled, spreading her arms out like a fighter jet. “There’s another boy my age in my class. And he has the scar on his forehead too.”

    Nolan set Laura back on the ground and sat down. He patted the floor beside him. “We aren’t the only special ones, no. There are two others in my class and a few more in my school. But we are special.”

    “Everyone is special, when you put it that way,” said Laura.

    “Little sister, being special isn’t really about who you are, it’s about what you do. Not everyone does what we do, that is for sure.”

    “All I do is build prototypes for military sidearms. It’s not exactly difficult work.”

    Nolan laughed. “Did mother ever tell you a story about when she was six years old, like you?”

    “A couple times. She had a lot of fun.”

    “Right. Most kids can’t do what you do, or at least they don’t.”

    “But you design aircraft carriers. That’s way bigger than what I make.”

    “I’m eight years older than you, little sis. When I was your age, I worked with knives.”

    Laura smiled. “Nolan, why is your scar so much bigger than mine? Are you extra special?”

    Nolan shook his head. “I was one of the first children they tried to make special. They weren’t quite so good at it back then.”

    “Well what did they do before they made the special people?” Laura asked, her brow crinkled.

    “Oh, there have always been special people. They were just a little older and they didn’t have the scar.”

  4. Too Many Superheroes
    Stephen Shirres
    Word Count = 299

    “I thought we were special.” Bluebottle spun slowly in the air. His feet tied to a meat hook in the ceiling of Bloodnok's secret lair. “Now every Tom, Dick and Harry seem to be a superhero. There is even a Superhero Team called that.”
    “They aren't very good though. I defeated them last week.” Bloodnok didn't divert her attention from the bank of monitors in front of her. “You are quite right though. There are too many superheroes these days. You have no idea who's who any more. There are about fifty Z Men.”
    “All good guys though.”
    “Yeah I guess.” Bloodnok flicked a switch. Mechanical gears started to roar. One of side of the lair clinked down to reveal a wall of glass. In the distance countless superheroes dashed above the city saving people. “I just wish you heroes would copyright your names so there was only one each of you. Far easier to keep a track of your arch-enemies that way.”
    “That's a bit dramatic isn't it?” Bluebottle watched a giant satellite dish raise into view.
    “I'm a super villain. I'm meant to be dramatic. How many times have you beaten me because I love a good monologue?”
    “Untie my hands and I'll tell you.”
    Bloodnok laughed. “Nice try. I won't fall for that one again.”
    “Well could you least start monologuing so I'm faster defeating you when I finally escape.”
    Bloodnok pushed down two buttons with a beep. The satellite dish started to rotate. “For my arch enemy of all these years? Of course. We were special, the first of our kind, superhero and supervillain. We'll always be that but in”
    Bluebottle watched in horror as every superhero in the sky fell to earth in a chorus of screams.
    “...we will be special again.”

  5. The Cost of Genius
    D. E. Park
    296 words
    “I thought that we were special.”

    “So did the Program. You know that only one child in ten thousand tests positive for the Sarasate gene. They went to enormous trouble to isolate and recruit all of us. We’re all pretty special, Sam.”

    “You know that isn’t what I meant. You and I, us, we had something special, right?”

    “We did. Outside the Program, the two of us alone wouldn’t have been able to continue and prosper. We needed the creative feedback from dozens of others, to keep producing new works at top level.”

    “Does the art really matter that much to you? Screw the music. You know I’d give up the cello in a minute to be with you forever, Cheryl.”

    “I wouldn’t want you to. You’d only resent me for it eventually. This orchestra is my home, and this violin is my life. I’m sorry about… How could they have known, when they recruited us as children?”

    Sam hung his head. “The females soared on wings of genius, and the males could never be more than just competent musicians. No matter how long they studied.”

    “We both have the gene, Sam. They just never guessed the effect would be sex-linked.”

    “And the Program is finally tired of carrying the makes, and out with the failed experiments. You’re still entirely committed to the Program?”

    Cheryl drew a slow breath.

    “I’m committed to my sisters, and to the potential we’ve shown. I believe this is going somewhere amazing, and I desperately need to be a part of it.

    “I’ve already seen the wetware surgeon, Sam. He tinkered with some trivial memories, and you know they solved sexual orientation years ago. I’ve already been flipped, I’m sorry.”

    “In my opinion, all of you have.”

    Cheryl smiled tenderly, “Bingo.”

  6. Tonight’s Special
    239 words

    “I thought you said that we were special,” Keith stammered as he stared at the woman he loved in disbelief. “Now you’re telling me to leave?”

    Illana bit her lip and sighed. “Look, Keith… I like you.”

    “You like me… so you’re sending me away…”


    Keith shook his head. “Illana, for once in our relationship… speak plainly. No word games, no puzzles…”

    “Keith… you now tonight’s special.”

    “I feel it too…”

    “No… Keith… please, for once listen to me. Tonight’s special… you’re … I can’t…”

    “Words, Illana… use words. Talk to me like a man in love without a clue as to what you’re trying to say.

    She looked him and sighed. “Plain words… you aren’t special… you are the special… tonight’s special to be exact.”


    “You have to leave.”


    “This is not the time to be special… or more to the point ‘the special.’”

    Keith looked at her for a long moment and swallowed nervously. “Uh… I just remembered… I think I left the stove on at home…”

    Illana watched Keith back away and head out the door.

    That was just mean,” she heard Serraxus’s voice echo in her mind.

    "It was either that or explain to him that dragons exist and the world is a stranger place then he thought.”

    Stranger than being served up as a plate lunch?”

    Illana shrugged. “When you’re in love, you do what you have to do…”

  7. Paul John Welsh

    Title: Open Day at the Asylum

    (300 words)

    “I thought that we were special”, the last words visitors heard.

    The Asylum was having an ‘Open Day’. The idea came from Barnaby’s: Psychiatric Consultants, the out-sourcing contract winners for the City’s mentally ill services. They now had all the ‘hidden embarrassments’ to milk for profit.

    Barnaby’s had a meeting, ‘How best to improve the image of ‘Crazy!’, and they had 5,263 interned ‘Head Cases’ at their disposal, so, ‘Open Day at the Asylum’ was born. The mechanics; locals could spend a day on the wards, spend the day with varying degrees of ‘loop-the-loop! Have a sit-down with a psychopath, a sociopath, it’d all be positive, life changing for everyone.

    Barnaby’s had big plans. ‘Asylum’ was a growth industry, grows out of the pains of the progressing twenty-first century. A time Barnaby’s believed in and hoped for. A time where all would see a cataclysmic abyss of ‘war and rumours of wars’. Barnaby’s estimated the PTSD fall out alone could add hundreds of thousands to their client list, and millions to their bank accounts!

    ‘Open Day at the Asylum’ opened for business on a sunny July morning, but there wasn't much of a queue, despite it being a Saturday, but there were a few takers for the ‘Merry House for the Criminally Insane’ experience, they appeared to be either, retired socialists, men who looked like Freud, or Goths.

    The socialists said a happy ‘Hello!’ to a transvestite serial killer, the Freud look-a-likes ganged up on a mother who used to have a large family, but they had slowly and surely ‘gone away’, and the Goths ignored the patients completely, just took photos of themselves in empty rooms. There was nothing special about that day, except for the lack of a visitor’s roll call when ‘Open Day at the Asylum’ ended.