Friday, July 28, 2017

Cracked Flash: Year 3, Week 1

HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY I'm back from college! I oughtta be around for a long stretch this time. 

JSYK Ronel and Kelly are amazing. CFFC probably would have gone on hiatus for three or so months if they hadn't stepped up to the judging plate. Thank them when you next see them, please! 

ALSO we forgot to celebrate CFFC's second anniversary last month! We're onto Year Three as of June 27th!! I can't express how amazing y'all are to have stuck around this long!

So I'm back in the judging rotation, and I'll be judging this round :D

Judge This Week: 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! 

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 amusement).)


"I taught you to pick locks and this is how you use that skill?"


  1. Picks & Rakes by Dave Mikulas
    Word count: 273

    “I taught you how to pick locks and this, this is the extent of your skills Jimmy?”

    “Shut up Charlie.”

    “You’re fumbling like a teenager in the back seat of mom’s Chevy.”

    “And what would you know about that?”

    “I know enough Jimmy! Now hurry up!”

    “Here, you take the rake and do it yourself.”

    “That’s not my pick set. They’re too small.”

    “Then please, let me be.”

    “Hurry up. They’re comin’ back any second.”

    “I know.”

    “You’ve got to hurry.”

    “I know.”

    “Any second she could come back and we’re busted.”

    “Then be. Quiet. And keep a lookout.”

    “You should be done already! What’s the problem?”

    “You’re not helping Charlie. Hold the light steady. I can’t see a damn thing.”

    “Oh, come on! I need a hit Jimmy!”

    “I told you before; you’re welcome to take over.”

    “Don’t stop you’ve almost got it! Keep going! Keep going!”

    “I’m working as fast as I can but I’ve got someone squawking at me every. Three. Seconds. Now zip it and let me work.”

    “Are you in yet?”

    “Wow. You lasted exactly two seconds. A personal record Charlie. Let me work.”

    “Okay. Okay.”


    “About time. Grab ‘em and go! Go! Go! Go!”


    “Crap. Busted.”


    “It was all Jimmy’s idea!”

    “My idea?!? My idea! You’re the one that knew where she kept the goods!”


    “Yes mom.”

    “Yes mom.”

    “Drop the candy. All of it Charles.”

    “Yes mom.”

    “I teach you two how to pick locks and this is how you use that skill?

    “Bravo boys. But next time…wait until I go to bed.”

  2. 300 pin tumblers

    Lock Step

    “I taught you to pick locks and this is how you use this skill? Some things are sacrosanct, Lupus. My Gawd, boy, you disappoint.”

    My Old Manski’s on a tear again. Do this! Don’t do that. I’ve had it up to his big fat bushy eyebrows with his rules. But I know what he’s doing. He’s yankin’ my chain. He WANTS me to mouth him back. ‘Gimme your best shot, worm boy,’ I can see him thinking. He’s got a pattern. After a rant, he goes all quiet. Like he’s in a trance. At that point, he’s smirking away like that orange banana in the White House.

    He wants me to react. Give him some lip! Flip a bird. Do something.

    As much as he pisses me off, part of me appreciates the tradition. Grandpa Hobbs got us going back in the ‘40’s. He was a janitor at Los Alamos. Who knew bomb builders made a mess? Anyways, one night, Gramps stumbled on one of the scientists picking a file cabinet lock. Turned out the guy, young fellow named Dick Feynman, wasn’t a spy. Just a wanker who loved picking locks, breaking into things, leaving messages to tweak his colleagues. Too much time on his hands, I suppose, but Gramps talked him in to showing him his tricks.

    Finally, the Old Manski speaks.

    I can feel it coming. Like a record player with the needle skipping...drone…drone…drone…

    “Your Grandfather would turn over in…” and he starts bawling like he always does when he mentions Gramps.

    After another whimpering patch of silence, he unloads word for word what HIS father told him. “You don’t poach neighbours, or family or friends or the irredeemably poor. We aren’t thieves.”

    I’ve broken the mold, Old Manski.

    I like taking things.

    Screw tradition.

    I want stuff.

  3. The Purrrfect Crime (272 words)
    By Sara Codair (

    "I taught you to pick locks and this is how you use that skill?" Grandma gaped at me, gourd-shaped eyes enlarged by her glasses.

    I shrugged.

    “Our family has a reputation to uphold!”

    My cheeks burned. I relinquished eye contact and stared at my sneakers. There was a hole in the tongue, and a piece of sole peeped out from under my toes.

    “You have nothing to say for yourself?”

    “She was cold and hungry.”

    “A lot of people are cold and hungry,” spat Grandma.

    “But she was so skinny, like her kittens were sucking the life right out of her!”

    Grandma shook her head. “You could have at least taken something useful while you were in there. They have to keep all their donations somewhere.”

    “But they need those.” The locked cashbox had been tempting. I’d even picked it up and gotten halfway to the door before a black tom ghosted out of the shadows and sliced my calf open with his claws. I stared into his yellow eyes forever before placing the metal box back on the ground. He nudged my hand once then purred over to the hungry mother and kittens I’d snuck into the shelter.

    I left the cash box where it was, and placed a few coins and note on top of it, asking them to use my small donation to help the new mom and her kittens.

    “Your mom was the best jewel thief in the country,” muttered Grandma, “And you use the family trade to sneak cats into shelters.”


    Grandma continued to rant, and I endured it, knowing I had made the right choice.

  4. Title: A career in the gang (Cracked Flash, Year 3, week 1 – Happy Birthday!)
    Word count: 297
    Author: Quentin Christensen
    Twitter: @qchristensen

    "I taught you to pick locks and this is how you use that skill?" Skinner thundered.

    "Just watch, it's great!" I thrust the tablet towards him. He contemplated flinging it across the room, but relented and watched the prepared video. It was one of my favourites, and my followers loved it too. It had over 50,000 views and counting.

    Like most, I'd never wanted to join the gang. Like most, the choice wasn't mine to make. I wasn't good at the physical stuff like brawling, extortion or debt collection. Heck, I wasn't even great at stealing cars. I could open them easily enough, but I'd never have a long career as a getaway driver. Skinner saw potential in me at getting into places and liberating things for the gang. When not being watched too closely, I came up with other, more entertaining uses for my skills.

    What Skinner was watching was the results of this extra-curricular activity. I'd snuck into the house of a shopkeeper who owed us a small amount; not yet enough to attract violent attention. I'd made several tiny holes in the coffee machine and sawn an inch off two legs of each of the kitchen chairs. I'd hidden dye in the showerhead, in a pouch that would dissolve after a couple of minutes in water. Finally, I'd coated the towels in a powder that reacted with the dye to form a glue. I'd set up hidden cameras to capture the ensuing chaos and stream it live.

    Childish, but effective. Sometimes the oldest tricks are the best. It had been successful too. The next day, the outstanding amount was repaid.

    "Imbecile" said Skinner, "You have too much free time, I'll work you harder!"

    Little did he know, Skinner would star in my next video.