Saturday, July 15, 2017

Cracked Flash: Year2, Week 47

Welcome to another round of Cracked Flash Fiction Competition!

Judge this week: Ronel

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.

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).)


‘When this is all over, I want my sanity back.’


  1. Insanity by storyspiller (315 words)

    When this all over, I want my sanity back. Right now, I’m staring at Jay Lobster in the eyes with pursued lips. I’m staring a Jay Lobster. How ridiculous is that? Yes, Jay Lobster, the soccer champ, class president and the captain of the Grizzly Giants. For years, Myra has been crushing on him and here I am, staring.

    He darts his gaze away from mine, to watch a pair of skinny legs walk by. I’m still staring. Finally, he shrugs at me, sighs and asks the same question he’s been asking me for the past hour, “Can I help you Hallie?”

    I shake my head and continue staring. I think I'm going to faint. He scans me, sighs and finally, gets up from his seat.

    Walking away, he slings his blue bag onto his shoulder. He turns back and catches looking me again. Shaking his head, he runs a hand through his hair and murmurs to himself. Finally.

    Setting myself in his chair, I turn my focus to Myra.

    She’s sitting a few tables away, her bark brown hair twisted into a braid. Munching on a pack of nachos, she gazes into her cell phone. Its the latest GoPhone and as Myra would do, covered with feather print case.

    Myra and I used to be the best of friends but after her dad got an promotion and I lost my hearing, we fell apart. Now, I’m stuck with new hearing aids and Myra, with her new phone.

    She looks up at me, blinks and then returns to her phone, typing furiously. She must be texting one of her new buddies about my lame look. Today is spirit day and honor of it, my mom pushed me into an old blue ball gown that belonged to my great-grandmother. The ball gown’s pretty but not something that I would wear to school.

  2. Fear and Loathing in Los Angeles

    “When this is all over, I want my sanity back.”

    “Unlikely,” my cat says, shifting gears in our stolen Maserati.

    “Yeah, you’re probably right.”

    He flips off an old lady as we swerve around her Volvo.

    “Are you sure that was catnip in those brownies?”

    “Steve, do I look like the kind of cat that would joke about catnip?”

    I shrug.

    “We are talking about the perennial, herbaceous plant Nepeta cataria, of the genus Nepeta, in the family Lamiaceae, that is native to parts of the Middle East, Europe, and Asia? Thought so.”

    The rear window shatters as bullets riddle the car.

    “Steve,” he says, talking rapidly, “I actually have a very serious catnip problem.”

    “How serious?”

    “I… may or may not have stolen catnip from a bunch of alley cats earlier today.”

    “Exactly how much did you take?”

    “I don’t know… five or six kilos?”

    A round pierces the radio, which switches to a whiny country song.

    “My ears!” he screeches, pounding on the dashboard. “How can people listen to this litter?”

    “Actually, I kind of like-”

    “No!” he yells. “Bad! Very bad! Where’s a spray bottle when you need one?” His ears perk up. “I have an idea. Hang on.” He takes a sharp right and heads straight for the harbor.

    “What are you doing?” I scream.

    He swerves at the last second, and the car behind us goes careening into the water.

    There’s a chorus of panicked mewling as a clowder of cats claw their way up the sides of the dock. They hiss and glare, looking utterly absurd. We burst into laughter, and they tear off down the street.

    “Pussies!” He throws the car back into gear. “I don’t know about you, Steve, but I could really go for some more brownies.”

    I shrug. “Why not?”

  3. 300 unanswerable questions

    All Squared Up in the Round

    “When this is over, I want my sanity back. That’s not too much to ask, is it?”

    There are seven of us in the Round. Dickies question hits us like cyclone smashing into a chicken coop. Feathers and flesh and droppings swirl madly into the stratosphere.

    Fencer’s mouth is open and some chicken shit seems to flit into his cavity. I can see it splatter on his gleaming white teeth, the few he has left.

    We are all agape.

    I am between giggles and a coma.

    My ears are so innocent. My lips, moist, hungry, are upon the red tip of my mother’s full right breast. I need to slam my eyelids shut and drink the warm sweet milk.

    But my ears betray me.

    They are so innocent.

    The gall of the man…

    Dickie! I want to scream “Dickie!” and warn him.

    MY eyes are aflame.

    All eyes turn to Doc Lassiter.

    She is a cold fish. She pretends to have warm blood. She is younger than all of us. She thinks this gives us hope. She thinks her youth, her marbled beauty, the shine of her skin, the flame of her false smile, that faint stretch of fur along her thin wily lips, her earnestness, will bring us salvation.

    Dickies question puts the lie to that fantasy.

    She is about to speak.

    “Nothing, Dickie, is too much to ask. Nothing.” And then she pauses. She always pauses. We know what is coming. The final humiliation.
    “Your sanity is always with you, Dickie,” she preens. “Inside your soul, it sleeps. It purrs. It cuddles some part of you. It is you."

    And there it is again.

    There, as it always is.

    We are the ones in charge.

    What a lie that is.

    And that’s the sanest thought I’ve had today.

  4. Angie
    Words: 264

    Saintly duties

    “When this is all over, I want my sanity back.”

    “That’s not technically how it works.”

    “Are you trying to tell me that you’re here to stay?”

    “Until I fulfill my duty, yes.”

    “Don’t you have anything better to do?”

    “Nah. Not at the moment. Eternity is stretching far before me.”

    “You never used to be this clumsy when you were alive.”

    “I know. I think it’s got to do with the earth’s atmospheric pressure. I don’t seem to have any balance here.”

    “Were you this annoying as my best friend?”

    “Probably not. You used to overlook my faults. You seem more irritated now that I’m your guardian angel.”

    “Maybe it’s because I’ve already said goodbye to you. Maybe I’ve already
    grieved. Maybe it’s because you don’t seem to be very good at this.”

    “Maybe you should learn to be grateful.”

    “Grateful for what? For the fact that you are making me look crazy to my family and friends?”

    “What friends?”

    “I had other friends besides you, you know.”

    “Not all who smile at you are friends.”

    A dark shadow covers the man as his life leaves his body like a thief that seeks to destroy. Searing white, hot pain grips him for a second as he sinks to the ground and his lifeblood flows into the street. His spirit stands up.

    “What was that?”

    “I tried to warn you. That was one of your “friends”.

    “What do we do now?”

    “Let’s go find one of our other friends and be a guardian angel to them.”

    “Won’t we annoy them?”


    “Okay. Let’s go.”

  5. Padded Walls (299 words)
    By Sara Codair ( )

    “When this is over, I want my sanity back,” said Elena as matter-of-factly as one could say anything when wearing a straightjacket in a padded room.

    The padded walls spread their crusty purple lips, revealing row upon row of pointy yellow teeth and laughed.

    “I mean it.” She waggled her pointer finger at the ceiling.

    “Who says it will ever be over?” The wall’s lips cracked as it spoke.

    “Who said I was talking to you,” retorted Elena, tearing her eyes away from the ceiling so she could glare at the wall.

    Black blood dripped out of the wall’s cracked lip, trickling down to the floor. “No one leaves here alive.”

    Elena laughed. The sound was harsher, more maniacal than it had been two weeks ago.

    “You do not believe?” asked the wall.

    “You’re the reason I’m here.” She crouched down, wriggling in the straight jacket that was not nearly as tight as the orderlies thought, thankful for all the months she’d trained for prior to taking this assignment.

    “You can’t do that,” said the wall.

    Elena arched one eyebrow as she shrugged off the jacket and used it to wipe up the blackblood.

    The wall opened its mouth and screamed. Elena didn’t flinch. It inhaled, sucking in air so hard her hair blew towards it’s maw. She closed her eyes, cleared her mind of the all the drug-induced hallucinations she’d had during her stay Frommington Hospital, waiting for the wall to show it’s true face.

    She whispered words of power in the ancient tongue. The blood soaked jacket caught fire. The wall screamed as it burned with the jacket. The door opened as orderlies rushed in to put out the fire. Elena ran charged through them and strolled out of the burning hospital like she owned the place.

  6. Dave Mikulas
    Title: Respirators and Rubber Gloves
    Word Count: 285

    “When this is over, I want my sanity back,” I say as I do yet another check.

    First, I’m up at this ungodly hour. Who else besides vampires and newbie news reporters are up at, damn, three twenty-seven in the morning? No one!

    It took me forever to find my biohazard suit but, fortunately and for the first time ever, I managed to zip it all the way up without catching in the zipper. Thank heaven for the little things.

    Next check, the respirator. It seems to be in working order. I take a deep breath and sound like that guy from that movie whose name I can’t quite remember because it’s now… three twenty-eight in the goddamn morning! I pull the elastic bands tight and again gently place the mask over my nose and mouth, making sure to seal it there by following the official training instructions I received which consisted of smooshing it against my face nice and hard, making sure the mask farts as the last of the trapped air escapes the rubber lining.

    I slide my cheap work goggles over my eyes without issue. There’s no way to make that dramatic.

    And, last but not least, the utilitarian latex gloves. I pull them on one hand at a time making sure I slap the rubber ring against my wrists as I make sure they’re on nice and tight and hope the pain wakes me up since its, three twenty-nine in the morning.

    “All right,” I sigh. “Here it goes.”

    “Oh for Christ sake Harold, you’re changing a freaking diaper, not cleaning the inside of a septic tank! You’ll get your sanity back in eighteen years when he goes off to college!”

  7. Title - Sanity’s Pull
    Prompts - ‘When this is all over, I want my sanity back
    Word Count - 297
    Twitter - @nancymbeach

    “When this is all over, I want my sanity back. My head is like a merry-go-ride with the sugary music playing at double speed as the room spins counter-clockwise faster and faster.

    I see the Corelle mug flying towards Robbie’s head, not even realizing I am responsible. He ducks and it rolls onto the carpet still in one piece.

    Eight days ago I flushed my sleeping pills down the toilet. I have not slept more than thirty minutes at a time since then. I’d love to give that doctor a piece of my mind. He’d said getting off them would be not without a few bumps. A bump, like a mosquito bite -this feels more like itchy crusty chickenpox in every orifice of my body.

    “Please let me help you.” Robbie reaches out and touches my leg.

    I wanted to go to him but coil back instead. In an instant, I realize my error and look up at him only to see the pain and helplessness in his eyes.

    I flee from the room, tears spraying everywhere. Had I looked back I would have seen the tears weren’t mine alone.

    I crawl into the back of the closet, shoving the Rubbermaid containers aside and pull a dress down over my head. The darkness closes in around me like a cocoon. I can feel one sane spot on the top of my head the size of a pencil tip. The rest of my head swirls in colors of red, blue and purple. I let go of the threads of sanity, my sobs turn into a tsunami, wracking my whole body. It feels so good to let go. To stop trying. The pencil tip spot tells me I can’t stay here. I need to get up.

  8. AJ Aguilar-van der Merwe
    262 words


    "When we're done with this whole... ah... ritual, I want my sanity back. Then, I can go back to my normal life."

    Erlinda cackled. "You are truly crazy."

    "What’s so funny? And why do you say I’m crazy?"

    "You are the funny one, my dear Jane." Erlinda said, giggling. "My silly little sister believes in fairytale."

    "What fairytale? My falling in love?" Jane was not sure what fairytale Erlinda was talking about. She was also curious to know what her sister thought of her relationship with John.

    "No, not at all. There is nothing wrong with you loving John. It isn’t even strange. Love is not fairytale; sanity is. People think they are sane just because they live their lives according to society's expectations. They are merely puppets. Now, that is insane! And, I am certain that if there were such a thing as sanity, you would not want to be sane."

    "Otherwise I can't be with John," murmured Jane as she pondered. She knew she was insane to love him.

    "He is insane, too, you know." Erlinda said with a smile.

    "I know... A wonderful handsome man from a prominent wealthy family falls for average plebeian me can only be insanity." She paused to think. "I'm glad we're both insane." She grinned.

    Erlinda laughed. "Average plebeian you? I don't think so. John is crazy but smart to have fallen for an amazing kind witch."

    "Shush! He cannot know. I'll be burned to death."

    "It is the 21st century, Jane. Regular people do not burn us to death anymore."

    The sisters chuckled.

    300 words

    By TipTim


    “When this is all over, I want my sanity back.” She said to him across the wide expanse of space. “And yeah, I know it would be freezing cold for a while, and cloudy but I’m willing to sacrifice anything to get some peace and quiet once more. I much need the rest.”

    He was silent.

    “What now??” she asked, exasperatedly

    Hesitantly, he replied.

    “Well, it’s just that…. You talk like I’m not the one taking all the risks here, with everything to lose. You are talking about cold and clouds. I would get absorbed into you, and my soul essence could dissipate into nothing, all memory of me forgotten forever.”

    Her ethereal form dimmed in its glow with contrition.

    “Yeah, Astoros, I’m sorry. I’m self caught up again. But no, you won’t fade away. You’d forever be a part of me! We’d merge and mingle into one; no longer needing to call out to each other across the distance. I know you love me, my love. Do it for me. Let’s be together!”

    “Okay Gaea, dearest. I’m on my way.”


    Gaea coughed a racking hacking cough. She noticed more grey streaks in her hair, more prominent than ever before. She was sick… and old. And sad. More and more recently, she thought of Astoros; how she missed him, how lonely she was. She hated what she had done to him. He indeed had dissipated into nothing after his asteroid body had struck her, destroying all living things on Earth’s surface, and she had endured his grieving voice within her afterwards for a time, but then she had forced herself to silence it forever. She had killed him twice.

    Gaea hadn’t expected creatures much worse would rise up from the ashes.

    How badly she needed another Astoros now.