Friday, September 30, 2016

Cracked Flash: Year 2, Week 10!


Judge This Week: 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!). One entry per person.

Deadline: Midnight tonight, PDT! (~00:30 will still be accepted due to slightly late posting)

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)).


"Welcome, we've been expecting you."


  1. Expected
    By Ronel Janse van Vuuren
    147 words

    ‘Welcome, we’ve been expecting you.’

    I stepped through the creepy front door, hands clenched inside my cloak’s folds.

    ‘You may remove your hood,’ the waif-thin man said.

    I swallowed and ignored him.

    ‘This way,’ he swiftly led the way down a dark passageway, bypassing the magnificent staircase swooping to the other floors flooded with light.

    We entered a strange room through a non-descript door. A chandelier of black crystals dominated the room. I tore my gaze away from it; the woman lying on the bed moaned.

    I watched her, taking in everything about her – including her extreme pallor.

    ‘When did the pain start?’ I asked the man who’d shown me in.

    ‘Half an hour before we sent for you.’

    I sighed.

    ‘Boil water – lots of water. And send in the man waiting in my carriage.’

    ‘A man?’

    ‘I’ll need help if I’m going to deliver twins safely.’

  2. Naughty

    294 words

    “Welcome, we’ve been expecting you,” my butler, bored and composed to near unconsciousness, greeted me with half-closed lids.

    “Poppycock,” I snapped, and hefted my suitcase into his gnarled hands. With surprising deftness, they received it. He did, however, stumble a few steps backward into the arched portico of my family’s estate.

    “The only time you’ve ever expected me was when I passed between Mummy’s thighs.” I brushed past him toward the grand staircase.

    “On the contrary,” he said, “I expected they’d send Little Miss to boarding school, especially after the stunt she pulled with Chef. Not a morning passes, but your father doesn’t miss Chef’s sausage cheddar quiche.”

    “Yes, well, she deserved it. Now if you don’t mind, I’ll ask you to unpack my things. I’m dying to play with the kittens. Mummy said they hang about the garage?”

    “Yes. She has me feed them every day. They’re her favorite toys of late.”

    I snorted.

    “Little Miss?”

    Swatting his question away, I bounced up the wooden stairs. Mummy enchanted them exactly how I demanded. The extra-springy landing popped me all the way to the top step.

    “Octavian!” I called down, “fetch me Daddy’s dissection kit. I want to practice. Haruspication was my favorite class, you know.”

    “I’m not surprised. Will Little Miss be needing a chicken then?”

    “No, I’ll make do.” I doubt he missed the flint in my glance. The threat. Irritation flitted across his angular, bone-colored face. The deep creases bracketing his mouth twitched.

    I didn’t care, what could he do to me? I was practically a credentialed witch. One semester to go.

    From behind, I heard the distinct flick, felt the air rush. The smack, the sting against my backside.

    Our shape-shifting butler retracted his tentacle. “Didn’t expect that, did you?”

  3. Clearing by Jeff Rowlands
    292 Words

    “Welcome, we’ve been expecting you.” He was astonished to be confronted with a talking tree, bending down, addressing him in a powerful but warm and welcoming voice. Weary, walking through the woods somehow he’d managed to lose the trail, had been wandering for hours when he came open a little clearing, an oasis of calm. Green and blue rather than inky and foreboding. He’d tripped and lost consciousness momentarily before he opened his eyes to be confronted by this nonsensical apparition. He shook his head, opened and closed his eyes but it remained there, stooped and concerned.

    “Rest, sleep friend, we’ll look after you” the voice boomed, it made perfect sense. He snuggled up in one of the nooks of the large oak. He fell into the deepest slumber. He wanted to stay there, didn’t want to move. He heard distant voices calling his name but he didn’t respond, he was happy with his new home.

    The next morning, another lone walker stumbled into the clearing, sweaty, tired, a little delirious after a petrified night under dark canopies. She looked ahead, searching for refuge. A tree ahead of her almost looked as if was bending down slightly to inspect the rock at its’ base. She headed there for somewhere to rest for a while. She felt a burst of energy but her feet got tangled and she lost her footing just short of the tree.

    She fell forward hitting her head on the little boulder, causing a powerful headache. She closed her eyes, hoping somehow the pain would subside. She felt a wooden tap on her shoulder and the gentlest voice whispered to her. “Welcome, we’ve been expecting you, rest my child.” The headache faded as she drifted into a deeper sleep.

  4. Marge and Harry Set Sail on an Unexpected Trip of a Lifetime

    “Welcome, we’ve been expecting you. Can we help you with your luggage?”

    I was pretty impressed with the tour operator, Boomer Bust. Two weeks earlier, on a lonely, blue Monday, when the letter first arrived saying that Marge and I had won a free cruise to the Caribbean, but that we had to be ready to go right away, my first guess was that it was a scam. Marge couldn’t remember entering our names anywhere and I sure as hell hadn’t. At our age, someone’s always trying to hornswoggle you.

    Still, why look a gift horse, eh?

    The dock was bustling. Ships crew were carrying a ton of luggage and almost pushing a bevy of older travellers aboard. In a few moments we were alone in our stateroom, grinning like we’d won the lottery, waiting for the next surprize.

    “Harry, this is so amazing. I don’t understand.”

    My little Marge. Such a hard worker. She’d spent years at the diner. I’d had it easier, managing Happy Homemaker Hardware for old Grunewald.

    We’d put in our time, the children were gone, our days were our own. We’d finally reached the golden years, house rich, cash poor.

    So a free trip was a bonus.

    “What’s to understand, sweetie. We just lucked out. Stop worrying and enjoy the trip.”

    Dinner was an all-you-can-scoff bonanza. And we hit it off with out table mates, Cliff and Sandy DeLisle.

    “We’d never won anything,” Sandy said at one point.

    Well, that got me curious. I quickly surveyed the room. Everyone had won this voyage. And, it turned out, we were all big city homeowners. And developers were pressuring every man jack of us to sell so they could build High-rises.

    Suddenly Cliff dropped dead.

    And Marge’s face contorted.

    And I felt queasy.


    Something was off.

    300 reasons to stay at home and lock the door

  5. @stellakateT
    197 words

    Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder

    “Welcome, we have been expecting you”

    I looked around the room. I spotted a strong aquiline nose, a pair of twinkled blue eyes surrounded by discreet smile lines, a dignified chin and a pair of lips that hadn’t been puffed up by fillers. My shopping list was nearly completed.

    Mr Johnson-Riley, the eminent plastic surgeon, approved of my choices possibly buoyed by my no limit cheque account. I didn’t ask questions about the donors and whether they willingly gave me this chance of obscurity. People get to low points in their lives and we’d all reached it in that room.

    I smiled my best cheesy smile that showed my cheek bones to their full potential. No way was I going to miss out on this opportunity. In the past I’d been too self- effacing. No one looked at a wall flower like they looked at a rose. This time I was going to be noticed. I could hear the gasps of surprise as I walked into the flashing line of cameras. My face was truly symmetrical, a work of art. I was no longer my past persona. This was me today. Who knows who I’ll be tomorrow?

  6. Underground Railroad (300 Words)
    By Sara Codair

    “Welcome, we've been expecting you."

    Caitlin looked around, searching for the voice’s source.

    “Please proceed through the door on the left,” it said with cold precision.

    The door was polished oak, but had no ornate carvings like the doors in Caitlin’s master’s house. The knob was crystal, shiny enough to show Caitlin her reflection. She shuddered. Her green eyes looked out of place surrounded by brown skin and black hair.

    “Proceed,” repeated the voice.

    Caitlin closed her hand around the knob. She was shaking so hard that she had to take a few deep breaths before she was steady enough turn the knob and push.

    “Walk ahead ten paces,” said the voice.

    Caitlin stepped into the blackness. The door slammed shut behind her. She filled her lungs up with humid air, reminded herself that this was the only way she was ever going to free and walked forward.

    The floor vanished beneath her feet. She plummeted down a giant laundry shoot. She slid and slid until finally, she was spit out of the monster's throat onto a bed of soft hay.

    “Get up with haste,” said the voice she had been hearing since she entered town hall. “The train leaves in five minutes.”

    “There’s actually a train?” She dusted off her apron. “I thought that was just a metaphor.”

    “It once was,” said the voice, “but after the North fell, the Freedom Fighters needed a more secure way to free slaves. They began in the Appalachian Coal mines and tunneled all the way to Canada.”

    Caitlin moved forward towards the two lights glowing in the darkness. As she got closer, she saw it was a green statue with a spiky crown.

    “What are you?” she asked.

    “I am liberty,” said the automaton. It turned its head, illuminating the waiting train.

  7. @firdausp
    (Words 295)

    The Deal

    "Welcome, we've been expecting you." she smiled, her smile as fake as her eyelashes. Perfectly made up red lips curled upwards, her smile not quite reaching her eyes.
    I shuffled nervously into the room. The stench of live human flesh made me anxious and hungry. I thought about her brain pulsing in her pretty skull, then I quickly shook the thought off. I was here to negotiate a deal, focus was necessary. A man sat next to her, immaculately dressed in a fine suit and tie. He didn't look at me just stared ahead, and why would he, I wasn't a pretty face. His expression was inscrutable.
    The room was dimly lit, just a lamp hanging over the large table they sat at. I clumsily sat down in a chair across from them.
    She pushed a sheet of paper towards me.
    "We have four thousand pieces to give you. You must sign this document. It states you will not attack the city for the next twelve months," her smile was gone and she was all businesslike.
    "We were promised six thousand—" I began but the man cut me short.
    "Take the deal," he stressed, "we have enough firepower to wipeout your entire species."
    He was still not looking at me and I could feel my anger rise. I glared at him and that's when I noticed the thick makeup he was wearing.
    A hider! He was one of us.
    He suddenly looked at me, his eyes as dead as mine, pleading me to take the deal. I too didn't want unnecessary bloodshed. Four thousand human livestock would be sufficient for breeding and eating for a year.
    I signed the paper. Yes, once upon a time I had a name, now just another zombie.

  8. “Torture” (291 words)
    Marj Crockett

    “Welcome, we’ve been expecting you.”

    The old man led me down the hall way to the room where the interrogations take place.

    “Please, have this seat.”

    He offered me a chair. I sat, conscious of the glare of the light above me, everyone else was in shadow. I tried not to show my fear.

    There on the table were the instruments of torture. Gleaming knives laid out with a devastating precision. Bottles of truth serum, labels turned away from me. But I knew, I knew the sort of potions contained in them. Slivers of stick in a jar made me shiver and close up my hands to protect my nails. Oh they knew how I could – would - reveal all if they threatened to use them.

    Ye gods, there was even a body of their torment laid out in front of me. Had they no pity?

    On the walls, I could make out past trophies, the scalps of the others who had suffered here. The utter cruelty of their fate displayed, as if they were proud of what they did. Loud scratchings from another chamber: there were worse things to come. Ravening beasts who would tear me limb from limb.

    Raising my eyes, I could see the Chief Interrogator. A woman with the piercing blue eyes who stared at me, revulsion writ large on her face. I could not bear it for long and looked downwards again. I knew that the questions would soon come hard and fast.

    The old man intoned a few words.

    “Let's start.” the woman said, turning to me.

    Adrenaline flooded my body, bile rising to my throat, making me gag. But I could not run. Paralysed and captive, I shuddered.

    Thanksgiving dinner at the in-laws began.