Saturday, August 6, 2016

Cracked Flash: Year 2, Week 6!

Judge This Week: Sara

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!). 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)).


"I woke up with a shovel drenched with blood in my hand, and there was a trail of blood leading up to me!"


  1. Words: 299


    I woke up with a shovel drenched with blood in my hand, and there was a trail of blood leading up to me. I got up slowly, stumbled, and then righted myself by using the shovel as a crutch. My left leg didn’t want to carry weight.

    Some of the houses lining the street were burnt. Cars - some burnt, some simply left with their doors open - stood around haphazardly. My own car was crumpled against a street pole not far from where I had woken up. I looked down at my left leg and gagged. My left foot was gone, the flesh ripped, but the wound not bleeding. There wasn’t any pain. I gingerly touched my face with red-stained fingers. Where a stubble-covered jaw should have been there was nothing but raw flesh. A shiver shook me.

    I limped towards my car, hoping to find my phone in working order.

    A mangled body at the end of the gory blood trail drew my attention and I limped closer. It had been a woman. Now her head and chest was a bloody pulp. In her hands she clutched a foot. My foot.

    An overwhelming desire to taste some of the flesh overloaded the synapses in my brain until spots appeared in front of my eyes and I came to myself once more.

    My gurgled scream sounded across the street and deserted cars as I remembered what had happened before the alluring scent of fresh flesh drew my attention to my right and I dropped the shovel.

    Some people stood there. One had a shotgun aimed at my head.

    “Kill me,” I tried to beg, stretching out my gore-covered hands. But the words stuck in my throat and sounded like a growl.
    I lurched forward.
    The gun fired.

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  3. Cat Walk

    I woke up with a shovel drenched with blood in my hand, and there was a trail of blood leading up to me!

    This was supremely disconcerting. Most nights, I do not sleep with a shovel; a leaf rake, by all means, but never a shovel.

    Katarina loves the tickly tines of my rake gently ploughing her sleek black fur. I can remain in bed, a preferred, and, sadly, necessary location for me these days, lift the implement, extend my arms if the strength is there, and bring her such pleasure.

    Jaguars do have a reputation, in Katarina’s case, totally undeserved, of being unpredictable in the company of humans. I admit it took some time for her to become comfortable with me. But, with patience, hers as well as mine, we formed what I believe to be an exceptionally mutually respectful relationship.

    It was easier in the beginning. We could venture out together. How she loved our midnight rambles! I am convinced that she understood the need for secrecy. It is hard to know for certain but I reminded her constantly that ours was a profane bond, at least in the eyes of others.

    Then, time wore me down. She now has to walk the night alone. Complicating my impairment, I need to insure that the rotation of solicitous and nosy Home Care workers who come daily, do not catch sight of Katarina.

    “Are you decent, Mr. Minor?”

    Crickey, I curse. Florence. My key worker.

    “Katarina,” I whisper, “under the bed.”

    She crawls under.

    “Decent, Florence. Enter.”

    Florence is a burly creature. The job requires much lifting of old bodies.

    “I’ll give that shovel a scrub, eh!” she laughs, retrieving it. “Can’t stand the sight of blood. Katarina can’t keep bringing home her meat, Mr. Minor! Grave digging is extra.”

    300 home helpers

  4. Words:300


    I woke up with a shovel drenched with blood in my hand, and there was a trail of blood leading up to me. I was on the couch, my face buried in a cushion that stank of my own wine-heavy breath. I rose, slowly, familiar with the tumbling rocks in my skull, following the trail of blood back to the kitchen. I didn't realise that I still held the shovel until I heard its blade scraping along the tiles.

    Bones lay in the middle of the kitchen, one partially severed paw extending towards me, his almost entirely severed head twisted around to face his food bowl, as though he'd wanted one last meal to take with him to doggie Valhalla.

    We'd called him Bones, not as was oft-mistaken, a Star Trek reference, but as I reminder of when we picked him up from the shelter, all visible ribs and wary eyes. It was Jack's idea to let the children name him, and I wasn't sure, but Jack said I'd get used to it.

    Jack said I'd get used to a lot of things. Some of them I did, and some of them I didn't.

    I never got used to being alone when he worked late, or to the children demanding my attention when all I wanted was peace. I remember feeling trapped in some hellish void between the loneliness and the craving for solitude, and for a while it seemed the only way I'd been able to fill that void was to flood it with wine.

    My mother had been just the same, though I'd gone a lot further than her, it seemed.

    Poor old Bones. I really hadn't wanted to kill him, but he'd been playing in the garden, too close to where I'd buried Jack and the children.

  5. Bleed
    I woke up with a shovel drenched with blood in my hand, and there was a trail of blood leading up to me. I got up, using a stump to lift myself. Shaking my head like a rattle, my eyes focused in on where I l was. It was a familiar place to me: goliath-sized trees with green foliage softly adorning its branches, playing hide and seek with the sun.
    I looked down to see the body of the man from last night’s festivities. I remember what happened. I tore into his flesh with my dagger. Strong son of a bitch, he was. Guess I showed him.
    My mentor taught my brothers, sister and I that bloodshed took skill and strategy, like a game. Games shows a player’s weakness more than their strengths. Last night, it was a grisly game of Charades. Of course, my guests were in an altered state (all thanks to me) by the time it started, so participation was inevitable. The selected players thought the game would be easy. Their screams as each one was torched, impaled, and sliced by an indomitable challenger, however, proved otherwise.
    The champion emerged from the fallen losers, walking towards me.
    “I am amazed at how far you’ve come. Who would have thought that charades would be so much fun?” he said.
    “I knew you would be pleased, master,” I said.
    “Where shall we finish this game?”
    “The place where our lessons began all those years ago.”
    He looked at me as we stepped over the lumps of elegantly dressed flesh, heading toward the forest.
    “Very well, my child.” He knew he wasn’t coming back.
    My mentor also taught me never to leave any witnesses.

    285 words
    Keshia Nowden
    @TheBigShe42 on Twitter

  6. A Night Out

    I woke up with a shovel drenched with blood in my hand, and there was a trail of blood leading up to me. I must have fallen asleep after digging her grave.

    My brother, Leroy, woke me when he shone his flashlight in my face. “What are you doing out here in the middle of the night, Frank?” he asked. “I heard a lot of noise, so I came out and see what was going on.”

    “Shhh—Leroy keep it down, man.”

    “What happened?”

    “Lizzie got rid of my old t-shirts and gave my stuff away. On top of that she forgot to buy beer. I come home from a long day of work, I want beer. Well, we got to arguing, and she went for my gun, and I grabbed it and shot her. I must have fallen asleep after I buried her. I got to clean up inside the house before the landlord sees.”

    “Come on Frank, that’s the third woman you did this to. What’s wrong with you, man?”

    “Leroy, just help me clean it up. The landlord comes tomorrow at noon to pick up the rent.”

    We got back to the room, Lizzie’s brains splattered all over the walls and the carpet. I grabbed the bucket, filled it with water and Mr. Clean, and took a sponge. Leroy got to work with the rug shampooer. We worked until the sun came up.

    I brought up the paint and brushes from the basement. We painted as quickly as we could. Then the doorbell rang.

    “Mr. Collins, come on in sir, your rent is right here.” I handed him the envelope with cash.

    “It’s good to see what you’ve done with the place Frank. Lizzie always keeps everything clean.”

    “And today, everything is freshly painted.”

    SueAnn Porter
    297 words

  7. Donald Jacob Uitvlugt
    297 words

    "Blood, Sweat, and Tears"

    I woke up with a shovel drenched in blood in my hand, and there was a trail of blood leading up to me! I sat up and hit my head of the sleep-pod. I had abandoned my shift-station and fallen asleep!

    I backtracked the blood trail. Good. The neurophone wasn’t ringing. I couldn’t have been asleep for long. I took up my station again, dipped the blade of the shovel deep into the blood vat, pulled out a shovelful and threw it into the dark hole on the side.

    I imagined a drum as I worked, a large drum echoing throughout my frame. In spite of my fatigue, in spite of the aches throughout my body, I forced my motions into the imagined tempo. Dip, draw, toss, backswing. Dip, draw, toss, backswing.

    A klaxon sounded and I swallowed a curse. A hose dropped from the ceiling and let out a big gush of fresh blood into the vat. My nostrils flared as the coppery tang assailed me. I willed my inner drummer to beat faster. I focused on the dark ribbing that spiraled down the receiving hole, pitching toss after toss of blood into its black maw.

    I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do this any longer. Sweat streamed from my body, dripped down the handle of the shovel, and mingled with the blood on the blade as it emptied into the insatiable receptacle. No more. My heart was going to burst.

    The whistle sounded. Shift’s end. I let the shovel drop from my hands and clatter on the floor. I was going to crawl into the sleep-pod and never wake up.

    The neurophone rang. My hands trembled as I answered.

    “Mr. Kahvejian? Your replacement is running late. I’m afraid you’ll have to pull a double shift...”

  8. One for All, and All for One
    300 words

    I woke up with a shovel drenched with blood in my hand, and a trail of blood leading up to me… Panicked, I looked around. No body. The movement brought a terrible headache. I tried to look up, but I got dizzy. Head ringing, I realized that it was me who had been hit on the head and the shovel probably planted. It was actually a clever plan. Best case scenario, I would be dead, worse one – I would be framed for murder.

    I understood the moment I became the next Johnny Mnemonic that the job came with its risks. Once the terror attacks had multiplied, the FBI decided that information simply stored in computers was not safe, therefore decided to implant chips with top secret data into people’s heads. I was one of the “chosen ones” and therefore became a target for different groups.

    Of course, that also meant distancing myself from family and friends. The only person I had told was… my brother. But it was impossible… I’ve lived with him all my life, I’ve known him since we were in diapers, he would never betray me! The more I thought about it, the more my thoughts got fuzzier.

    I put my bloody hand at the back of my head. With horror, I brought it back with pieces of hardware. Apparently, what saved me was exactly what was supposed to keep the world safe. I could not even fathom all the implications now. I would have to solve it with Center later.

    For now, I grabbed the shovel tightly in my hand and waited. Whoever had hit me cold would come back to check if I’m dead or plant a corpse. It will be up to me to provide them with one... The world will have to wait.

  9. Werewolf problems
    298 Words
    @qchristensen (Sorry if this is late? I'm in Australia and not sure if I'm too late, but here it is anyway!)

    I woke up with a shovel drenched with blood in my hand, and there was a trail of blood leading up to me! The only thing really unusual about this, was the shovel – I’d never used one before. Well I mean, I’ve used one before, but not during The Change. When I’m a werewolf, I don’t tend to use too many tools… other than claws and teeth of course.

    Still, shovel could be handy. I try to keep well away from civilisation during the full moon of course, but now and then, as this morning it seems, there are … left overs, in the morning. It is prudent to ensure they are not just left lying around.

    Slowly I get up – I’m always stiff afterward, both from the transformation, and also from sleeping naked outdoors after transforming back. In summer it’s not so bad, but it’s vicious in Winter! At least the wolf part of me usually does a fairly good job of finding a reasonable lair, but there’s nothing so comfortable as getting home, and sleeping for a day and a half in a real bed to get my energy back.

    Looking over the shovel again, there are teeth marks in the handle. Now I think of it, that explains why my jaw is sore. If someone hit me with the shovel and I’d latched onto it with my teeth, I might indeed have still been carrying it when I transformed back.

    Well, better have a look I guess. I follow the trail of blood, which leads to a shed behind a farmhouse. I hate this part, not least of which because I’m exhausted.

    “Freeze! Drop the shovel! I’m arresting you on suspicion of murder. You do not have to say anything, but anything you do say…”