Saturday, March 19, 2016

Cracked Flash: Year 1, Week 33


Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.


Well actually I (we) come to do neither of those things. We're here to THROW A CHALLENGE AT YOU!

Think fast!

So you've survived Pi Day. You've survived the Ides of March. But can you survive our prompt? Can you write 300 words in the next 24 hours?

Are YOU ready?

Then arm yourself with your trusty writing implement, and let us meet at dawn!

Judges This Week: Si 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 afternoon.

Remember: Your entry must  begin with the prompt! The prompt can be mutilated, but not beyond recognition. Pictures do not need to be incorporated into your stories, they're for inspiration(and sometimes our amusement).


"Now I feel like ninja butterflies are throwing ninja stars at my stomach."

Inspirational MEMES

THIS DISGUSTING ACT OF TRICKERY WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN HUMAN | image tagged in butterfly tattoo,AdviceAnimals | made w/ Imgflip meme maker


  1. Is the deadline Midnight or 12 hours?

    1. Midnight, sorry! The entire competition runs for 24 hours. Fixing now!

  2. I wish I may, I wish I might

    293 words


    “Now I feel like ninja butterflies are throwing ninja stars at my stomach.”

    Ray laughed as Simone’s puny arms continued to batter him. He had always been stronger than her and mocked her for her weakness. She would do as she was told, as she always did.

    He held the door open. “Go on then.”

    She shivered as tendrils of cold night air staked their claim on her body.

    “No,” he said, taking the coat from her. “The punters need to see what they’re buying.”

    The streets were empty, shelter sparse. Ray wouldn’t be far away, watching. Yet no cars cruised by, no one walked her street. No customers tonight would make him angry. Instinctively her hand ran over the slight curve of her belly. That was where he would aim his attack if she failed again. She couldn’t risk it, she had her own ninja butterfly to protect; already she could feel its delicate flutterings as it stretched its wings in the safety of her womb. Ray would not allow it to emerge from its cocoon. Of that she was sure. It was time to make a decision.

    There was a night shelter not far away, she knew those who worked there. More than once they had offered to help but fear had held her back. Now though …

    I wish I may, I wish I might, she whispered to the stars glittering above her, pushing down the terror, feeding off hope.

    She started to walk towards the shelter, heard footsteps behind her. She started to run, feet and heart pounding in rhythm, never looking back even as her pursuer gained on her.

    Lights ahead, closer. Her breathing shallower, fear blossoming.


    Closer still.

    Lights. Voices. Hope.


    A hand. Darkness. Silence.

    1. Phew! Breathe again! Beautifully paced, Steph.

      I wish I may, I wish I might be half as good as you one day. :-)

    2. Appreciate your kind comments but I'm under no illusions (particularly where the #FlashDogs are concerned)!

    3. Geoff's bang on the money. Beautifully paced, Steph.

  3. "Can you write 300 words in the next 12 hours?" 12 hours?!? The rules say "24 hours" - or "23 hours and 58 minutes" to be precise. Please tell me this is a lapse of concentration after struggling through Pi Day, the Ides of March, St Patrick's Day...

    1. Whoops, you're right! You have till midnight PST today. Sorry about that!

    2. Thanks. Better come up with something now, after making all that fuss...

  4. The Paper Champion

    "Now I feel like ninja butterflies are throwing ninja stars at my stomach," Nick said as we barrelled out of the cab, all the while being slapped silly by a pummeling deluge of Oregonian March rain.

    Drenched, we slipped through the side entrance of the Portland Memorial Arena like a couple of aging, slippery-slicked sea lions.

    “I don’t wonder, Nick. This is our last kick at the can.”

    “My last kick, Manny. You’ll find a new boy.”

    We shook the water drops onto the floor.

    “Hell of a rain, Manny. Hell of a rain.”

    I smiled at Nick. Always did. He never should have entered the ring. But it was too late for regrets, now.

    Nick and I had been a team since ‘46. He’d wandered into my Newark Gym early that year. A giant of a kid, nineteen, shell-shocked, no skills, not much family. I took him under my hungry wing and in a year, he was Nitro Novakowski, an explosive pro wrestler.

    Never a great fighter, he was always a fan favourite. They could see his kind heart shining through.

    Now, here we were, eighteen years later. March 15, 1964. The Portland Sunday Night Fights, a rarity of an event in a state that even forbid the eating of ice cream on this day of rest.

    Nicks last engagement.

    An Ides of March Battle Royal.

    Twelve wrestlers in a death defying clash to the end.

    “I need quiet, Manny. A little quiet.”

    Early on, to learn to focus, to enter a gentle and loving zone, Nick had taken up origami. He favoured owls, butterflies, and even paper ninja stars. He would then gift a few in the audience with his creations.

    “Then, let’s find a quiet locker room, Nick.” I said, hugging him.

    “Yeah, Manny. I’d like that.”

    300 slow burns coming to an end

  5. Duel by Jeff Rowlands
    290 Words

    Now I feel like ninja butterflies are throwing ninja stars at my stomach. I look at my adversary, my tormentor staring back at me from across the table and I know I cannot let this show on my face. I will not break before him. I do not give anyone that satisfaction easily. I have my dignity, my pride, my reputation to think of.

    He studies my every move, trying to read my face for a gesture, looking for a little chink of weakness. Better that he thinks I am unbreakable, strong, unnervingly confident. I am thankful for my messy mop of hair, soaks up any sweat and my thick rimmed glasses offer an extra layer or protection should my eyes start to water. A couple more layers than he has with his shaved head and his seemingly perfect vision that does not need correction.

    This is becoming a waiting game, my body is screaming out for water but I deny it what it desires. I see beads of sweat trickle down his bald head and I can see that he is human, breakable and beatable.

    I am certain that I will win this little duel. Now is the time to really turn the heat up on him. I reach out for a handful of fire, habanero, scotch bonnet, shove them into my mouth and mash them up, chewing, taunting, smirking.

    “This is insane” he barks, standing abruptly, sending his chair flying backwards, he runs off screaming for water, cream, anything cool and I have retained my chilli eating champion title. I smile, settle down in my seat, enjoy the applause of the spectators and feel an extra warm glow as I wait for my prize of beer and tequila.

    1. Terrific story, love the hints at geekiness with the hair and glasses, implying he's going to lose some sort of physical face-off and the continual build of tension only for it to turn out be a chilli eating competition. Nicely done.

    2. great detail, smart writing, very involving...excellent.

  6. @stellakateT
    300 words

    Team Building

    “Now I feel like ninja butterflies are throwing ninja stars in my stomach” whispered Jack. Sid looked away; Jack looked stupid in his Superman costume, why had he chosen that with his puny frame? Sid wished he hadn’t picked Leonardo; the turtle shell felt really heavy and altered his centre of balance, he’d already fallen twice on the assault course.

    This team building exercise was a bad idea. He hated his workmates; this forced camaraderie would never change his mind in a million years. Why hadn’t he rung in sick and gone out with his mates Al and Jamie? They’d be watching the rugby now, swigging down the Stella and ordering a Vindaloo. He was watching Jill dressed as Wonder Woman trying to manoeuvre over the monkey bars. Everything she ate went to her hips they were enormous. He hoped she’d fall and he’d volunteer to take her to hospital then dump her at A&E and head to Al’s flat to catch the last of the game.

    The buzzer sounded. Everyone cheered and clapped. Sid put his two fingers in his mouth and whistled shrilly. The high pitched sound made Jack jump. Sid laughed.

    “It’s vote time”

    “What we voting for”

    “The least productive member of staff, we do it every year”
    My vote will be easy thought Sid it was going to be Jack with Jill a close second.

    Standing in a circle each staff member volunteered a name. Sid went first “Jack” Everyone else unanimously repeated the same name, Sid. Sid shrugged. He’d soon find a new job. This year’s theme was ‘buried alive’. The ninja stars settled in Jack’s stomach. He’d been sure it was his turn. Muffling Sid’s screams as earth was thrown on the coffin by his colleagues. Sid must have missed the internal e-mail.

    1. Ha, ha, poor old Sid - wonder if he'll ever get dug up again. Every workplace should have such a vote! Great story, Stella.

  7. @b_j_langley
    300 words


    Now I feel like ninja butterflies are throwing ninja stars at my stomach from the inside. In terms of difficulty, this job would normally be no more than a two out of ten. With my stomach under siege, and my hand shaking like I’ve spent a night with a bottom shelf bottle of bourbon, it’s become a nine.
    I tell myself it’s a bug, or that the asshole waiter that brought me my lunch hadn’t washed his hands and has given me a minor case of food poisoning. I tell myself that I haven’t lost my nerve. I tell myself it’s not because of Cindy.
    I’ve known her all my life. We peed ourselves in the same sand pit at kindergarten and I’d asked her out every year since despite never being given a single word of encouragement. Of all of the shit-hole corner stores in the county, why the hell did she have to be working at the one I’d been dropped off outside of?
    I scan the aisles, hoping I won’t find it, but the Gods are not smiling on me. Beside the tubes of foot fungus creams, and beneath the head-lice treatment, there it is.
    I could tell the truth and say it’s not for me, but she won’t believe me. There’s only one way to do this.
    I pick up the box, and stride confidently towards the till with a swagger that would make a Saturday Night Fever era John Travolta proud, Jungle Boogie by Kool and the Gang playing in my head. If you’re going to crash and burn, why not do it in style?
    I slide the last meter, polar bear cool, slam the Preparation H on the counter and look her straight in the eye. “So… will you go out with me now?”

    1. Oh wonderful, certainly a different type of job to the one implied!

  8. The Butterfly effect

    “Now I feel like ninja butterflies are throwing ninja stars at my stomach.” I clutch my abdomen in protest.
    Todd rolls his eyes, “Seriously, listen to yourself. I’m only suggesting you go talk to her, instead of sitting here drooling.”
    I wipe my mouth with the back of my hand, “You don’t get it. I’m not smooth like you. I don’t know what to say to girls.”
    “You’re really overthinking this. Just go up and say hi, ask her name, what’s her favourite restaurant, maybe she’d like to meet you there on Saturday night…”
    I take a bite of my burger, “I can’t on Saturday, it’s tabletop miniature night at the library.”
    “You’re killing me here dude. Don’t mention that. She’s going to picture you in a room full of sad virgins with measuring tapes and twenty sided dice. There’s no coming back from that. Your job is to say as little as possible. Mysterious might be your only viable option here.”
    “You want me to go and talk to her, but say as little as possible?”
    “Bingo! Off you go stud, knock her dead.” Todd nudges me towards her with all the subtlety of a rampaging hippo.

    Pretty girl and I make eye contact and I wait for the words to flow. I open my mouth, but only drool comes out. The silence is deafening.

    I strain to force the words stuck in my throat, “What’s your favourite name?”
    It’s hard to say which of us is more confused. She says, “I’m sorry, what?”
    “Saturday. I’m going to eat on Saturday. I’m not going to the library.”
    Her confusion changes to concern, “Did you hit your head? Can I call someone?”
    She gets out her phone and I see Todd giving me the thumbs up.

    Kill me now.

    299 words

    1. Poor guy, I was cringing along with him.

    2. This one may have been based on personal experience... ;)