Friday, April 14, 2017

Cracked Flash: Year 2, Week 35

Judge: 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!). One entry per person.

Deadline: Midnight Tonight, PDT (4/15)!

Results announced: Next Thursday afternoon. (Mars is back at school)

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 amusement).)


His eyes were cold and lifeless.


  1. Word Count: 300
    Angelique Pacheco

    Death of a mule

    His eyes were cold and lifeless. The boys prodded him with sticks they had picked up. It was hot and humid and you could hear the hum and buzz of insects. His body was rigid and no breath came from him. The boys, realizing that he was dead, their eyes bulging, dropped the sticks and fled.

    His soul hadn’t quite left yet and he was able to sense his life. He understood now what it meant to have your life flash before your eyes, but hadn’t expected it to last quite this long. After all, he was dead. His body was in rigor, his eyes gazing unseeingly at the sky above. And yet, he could see through the film of life, from all directions and he began to understand how he got to this point.

    “Drugs will kill you” they said. Rubbish. They should have said “Drug cartels will kill you!” I grew up nice. I was the son of a nice, middle-class couple, living in a nice middle-class house, in a nice middle-class neighborhood. It was so nice, I nearly choked to death on boredom. I didn’t even do drugs. I simply became a mule for the excitement of it. I tried to find loop holes in systems. It didn’t even occur to me that I could get caught, let alone get caught in the middle of turf wars. Big Joe didn’t like that I worked for Sal, his rival. I just think he didn’t like that I was so good at what I did. And when he came to me with a proposal, I tried to play both sides.

    I hope they find my body soon. I can see a pair of eyes gleaming in the dark. It is a crocodile. So much for sleeping with the fishes.

    1. I appreciate the depth to your story. Scary on the surface but leaves you thinking.

  2. Alva Holland
    300 words


    His eyes were cold and lifeless. The old man of the sea had breathed his last. The father of all fishermen had slung his last line, caught his last grouper, filleted his last salmon. His smoked mackerel had been the talk of the town. It was as if his line had a private route to the undersea gourmet department.

    His hut in the port was a simple affair with mounds of weighted ropes, braided twines and bait bands. Crab and prawn pots lined the interior. Drying lines strung up outside once held the stretched drying mackerel for which his loyal customers paid handsomely. His craft was simple, his catch divine. People flocked to the port to meet his boat before he had the chance to moor it.

    ‘They don’t come much fresher than this,’ Manuel would grin as he hauled the buckets of gleaming fish from the sturdy timbers of his ancient fishing boat. Others had newer, bigger vessels, claiming better catches, larger hauls. But Manuel knew his craft, his boat, his fish, his customers.

    I walk into town to see the mural, commissioned in his honour, reflecting the town’s vibrant fishing industry. Manuel had insisted his hat be included, covering his forehead, shadowing his eyes. The artist had protested in vain. I scan the mural now, spanning five high-rise buildings, Manuel reeling in his line, the hooked fish spinning and twitching, the hat perfectly perched. I cry.

    I go to the port to see who has taken up his patch. A grumpy young chap is complaining as he hauls the nets. I shout,‘Hey man, you got Manuel’s spot.’

    He looks up at me and grimaces. His eyes are cold, almost lifeless. I turn away, disappointed, remembering the warmth of my father’s crinkly brown eyes. My miss is fathomless.

  3. Nancy Beach
    298 Words

    Justice is served

    Seeing his eyes cold and lifeless left me with a sense of satisfaction. Finally, justice is served. Never again will his eyes mock me. Never again do I have to hear that disgusting sound of him picking at his fingernails. Watching the life fade from his eyes was exhilarating - like the first big hill on a roller coaster, only ten times better.

    You should see all the commotion on the ground now - screaming, sirens, yellow tape. It’s better than I expected. I’m going to tell you a secret, but you have to promise not to tell. They will never know it was me. That’s the best part. I’m such a good liar - they will never figure it out.

    In my mind, I’ve dreamed of this day over and over. He was such a rotten kid -always wanting something from me like I am made of money or something. I never wanted him, mind you. He took all I loved from me. From the moment the wife knew she was pregnant, she loved him more than me. Bile rises in my throat at the memories.

    “Look what Alex did! He rolled over! Oh, precious Alex.”

    Blah, blah, blah.

    The kid never respected me. He tried to turn it all around as if it were my fault. Psh.
    Well, it’s done now. And I’ll never get caught. That’s the best part. The wife, well, the ex-wife, curse her, is down there trying to convince the authorities it was me, not her. Bahaha. She should have never left. I told her not to leave. I told her she would pay. It could have been perfect. But no. Stupid fool. I still love her, you know. I wish it didn’t have to be this way. She left me no other choice.

  4. 299 travel hiccups


    His eyes were cold and lifeless. Maybe, in a different light, there might be the glimmer of pale blue humanity.

    But not this evening.

    This evening, his peepers were shriveled and polar-dark blue. Blue, verging on woeful.

    It might be the beginning of his shift I supposed, but he looked weary enough that it was probably closer to the end of a grueling, eight-ten hours of somnambulant, bureaucratic humdrum.

    Either way, a corpse had more joie de vivre.

    I could appreciate his malaise, if that was what it was. How many happy tourists, vacationers, nomads, refugees from time-clock lives, could you look at before the sap of joyous maple syrupy commiseration was tapped out of you?

    The line-up was also lifeless. I wondered for a moment why the Airport Authority didn’t have images of snails pasted all over the place, just in case a testy traveller might for a moment think quick service was in the cards.

    The zombie behind me, Glad from Moose Jaw, gave me a shove.

    “Oops,” I murmured, turning my head to look sincere, “a little zoned out.”

    The Mexican sun had cooked her well. I had burned toast that couldn’t match her charbroiled countenance.

    “Christ,” she snarled. “Pay attention. I have a connecting flight.”

    “Right,” I said, and thought, yes, we must get you home, Gladys. Your loved ones need you.

    The line jiggled forward a little.

    The Agent waived Anita, the blonde Comptroller from Calgary into his web. Her friend, Julie Also from Calgary But I’m A Teacher, took that as a signal to sidle up as well.

    “Back! Wait!” he barked, a flat, barely-controlled succession of grunts.

    “SORREEE,” Julie screeched. “My bad.”

    God, I hated that expression.

    Or perhaps all the pushy Julies.

    Were my eyes as cold and lifeless, I wondered?

    1. Great as always Bill. "I had burned toast that couldn’t match her charbroiled countenance." Favourite line ever :D

  5. Fatima
    300 words

    A Letter To My Ma

    His eyes looking cold like dead mens; that Boubacar that done finish Jaja. I cannot hiding no secrets from Ma so I writing her this here letter.

    For small change, Kano border police letting us pass without no papers. Jaja telling the Niger smuggle man he go to hell for asking extra so, they break his head with bat and take all his money and half of our own. I sharing my half with him.

    Next day, we in truck to Agadez and holding rail proper or we fall and die in Sahara desert and no one even stopping to bury you or say the Lord’s over you. Our skins is black and we not seeing well cause of hot sun. You not knowing your first son if you seeing me. I looking like dried up corpse.

    We hiding when rich mens come in big cars looking for slave. We looking back them poor peoples squeezing nose mocking our ugliness. In Libya, we only having to move powder place to place for getting big monies.

    We leave Agadez. At third stop, bandits hold us up with guns asking $5 each but Jaja start shaking so one face him;

    Where Boubacar money boy?

    I fearing bad and quiet ask him why? Him say he spend it for Agadez when we wait for truck and I not around. He spend it on Coke and Porridge.

    I not fit giving my remaining $5 so, I fall at Boubacar feet begging for mercy. I wetting the sand with cries but he jus raise gun and blow two bullet into Jaja head. Jaja fall and I shouting and shouting till no more sound coming out.

    They say go and we going. I looking back and nobody even covering Jaja body.

  6. AJ Aguilar-van der Merwe
    294 words


    His eyes would be cold and lifeless when he arrives back from his ride in the forest.

    At breakfast, his father, King Eduardo, makes it clear that he, Prince Alejandro, must wed Princess Annabella, King Felipe's daughter. The marriage between the sole heir and heiress to the thrones of the two biggest kingdoms would make one massive, powerful and invincible dominion within the Asianic territories.

    Unbeknownst to King Eduardo, his son is in love with another. Her name is Mary. Prince Alejandro tells the king he is going riding to clear his head but he's meeting Mary to tell her about his father's intention.

    Mary is waiting for him near their favorite giant tree by the river, not far from the waterfall. Her long shiny black hair glistens. Her pearl skin seems to sparkle. Her eyes incandescent, she flashes the most enchanting smile Alejandro has ever seen.

    As they embrace, their love radiates like nothing the forest and its inhabitants have witnessed.

    Alejandro vows not to marry Annabella. He only wants to know how to break the news to his father without disappointing him. The king's heart condition is no secret to them. She urges him to go home and assures him that everything would be fine.

    Upon seeing his son looking like death, the king sends for a healer. The prince protests saying he feels fine despite looking ill. He asks that his wish to retire to his room be respected. He persuades his father that his energy will replenish soon.

    Alone in his room, peace surrounds Alejandro's entire being. His father doesn't need to know. He is happy. He is in love with a 'diwata', a forest goddess. His soul belongs to his enchantress and must now be taken to her kingdom.