Flash Fiction: Diabolical Deer

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is to “write a story in which a character takes charge.”

Diabolical Deer

“You’re not the boss a me.”

“I’m older. That means I’m in charge.”

“I’m tellin’ Mom and Dad when they get back.”

“What if they don’t come back?”

“They’ll be back. Won’t they?”

“You never know. There’s a lot of bad shit out there. Robbers, murderers, diseases, deer*…”

“What if they don’t come back?”

“We fend for ourselves. It’ll be up to me to take care of you.”

“They better come back.”

“They probably won’t.”

“Mommy! Daddy!”

“Hi, guys. Is everything O.K.?”

“Yeah. How was the movie?”

“It was really bad. Lucas should have never sold Star Wars to Disney.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*True story: Last night, I got a panicked call from my best friend. It took a few minutes to get this out in a way that was coherent and understandable. She was driving home from shopping for apocalyptic survival supplies. She was driving on a nearly empty freeway when she was hit by a deer. Let me say that again. She was hit BY a deer on the FREEWAY! It ran across the freeway and crashed into the side of her car. She was shaken up but not hurt. The car, however, looks like a deer ran across the freeway and crashed into the side of it. Apparently, deer watch The Walking Dead and think that’s where we’re heading. They are taking back their land. Coronavirus is horrible, but deer are the real threat lurking on our freeways, poised to attack.

Flash Fiction: Carrot Ranch

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is to write about a rabbit on a roof. It’s inspired by a true story Charli told this week as part of the prompt.

Carrot Ranch

“Is that a bunny on the roof?”

“Rabbit.”

“What?”

“Bunny is the equivalent of a slur to them.”

“Uh… Is that a rabbit on the roof?”

“Yep.”

“You don’t seem impressed.”

“Nope.”

“Does that happen often?”

“Working at a Carrot Ranch, one learns not to underestimate rabbits.”

“Even climbing on the roof?”

“They used to tunnel under the fence until we extended it deeper.”

“That doesn’t explain how it got on the roof.”

“Nope.”

“How do you think it got up there?”

“Parachute, maybe.”

“Parachute?”

“Maybe. Our job is not to question the rabbits but to protect the carrots.”

Flash Fiction: Be The Change

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is to write a protest story.

“I’m against picketing, but I don’t know how to show it.” – Mitch Hedberg

Be The Change

“Here’s another depressing news story. We should do something.”

“Like what?”

“Protest.”

“Protest what?”

“I don’t know. Pollution. Corporate tax cuts. Guns. Puppy mills.”

“Car washes.”

“What? You’re mocking me.”

“I am. What about actors who play roles inconsistent with their ethnicity? Innocuous lyrics to Christmas songs from the 1940s?”

“I’m serious. We live in a world where a xenophobic, rapist, megalomaniac, demagogue was elected president over a qualified woman amid cries of ‘Lock her up’ because she sent emails from the wrong account.”

“That’s why I’m protesting elections. You’re not gonna change anything.”

“Maybe we should protest apathy.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m all for protesting puppy mills but not Charli Mills, Supreme Leader of the Carrot Ranch. My friend and I have an inside joke that people standing out on the street with signs for their fund-raising car washes are protesting car washes. Once, she even leaned out the window and yelled, “Why are you protesting (Looooong Awkward Pause) car washes?” It’s one of those you-had-to-be-there, but that’s the joke. I know jokes are never funny when they have to be explained, but it’s funny to me, so it’s staying in.

Flash Fiction: Collapse

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt follows a brief discussion of wife-carrying contests and is to write about a situation in which one might need to carry one’s wife. I only carry my wife in my imagination since I don’t have one. That is not the story I wrote.

This is heavily edited from its original form, which was about twice as long. Sadly, I had to cut a joke from the end about my protagonist hoping his children were all right. Yes, it was a dark joke. In its final form, his children never existed, which may be darker.

Collapse

It hit in the wee hours while Ricardo and Selema were asleep. The rumble thrust them into consciousness. The ceiling sent Selema reeling into unconsciousness.

Living in the Bay Area, Ricardo knew the dangers of aftershocks. The fallen beam would lead to further collapse.

Ricardo cleared the debris off Selema. He hoisted her, thankful for her time at the gym, wishing he made time for the gym. He struggled with the locks as the first aftershock shook. He heard a crash in the bedroom. The earth steadied, and Ricardo opened the door.

From outside, the sagging roof was visible.

Flash Fiction: Rabbit Hutch

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is to write about a hutch.

Rabbit Hutch

Jen’s dad made the rabbit hutch for her when she was 8. She cherished it. He wasn’t around much when she was a kid.

When she was 12, he left on a business trip and never came home. He left no word, and the police found no clues.

When she got her own house, she decided to set up the hutch in her yard. Maybe someday her kids would breed and show rabbits.

When she and her friends were disassembling the hutch, she found a secret compartment. She forced open the rusty hinges revealing a large bag of diamonds.

Flash Fiction: Late Again

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is to write about gnomes. I had some help from FantasyNameGenerators.Com. I had no idea how to name a gnome. I would have called them both Larry.

Late Again

Eldysa watched the clock as the seconds turned to minutes. The minutes stayed minutes, but there were a lot of them. Dinner was on the table cooling with each passing second.

The door slowly creaked open. Salrick entered, whistling.

“You’re late again. That’s three times this week.”

“I was talking with Sheila.”

“The human?”

“My boss, yes.”

“About what?”

“Work stuff.”

“You’re a lawn gnome. How much work talk could you have?”

“The weather for one. Rain’s coming.”

“Is something going on between you two?”

“Seriously? Human women are not attractive. They don’t even have beards.”

“They don’t? Yuck.”

Flash Fiction: Stormy Windows

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is to write about storm windows. I did not take it literally, which is unusual for me.

Stormy Windows

My windows fogged up as she talked. An illness, a preexisting condition cost them their home. A burden on family and friends, they were left to the streets.

Child protective services took their children. They couldn’t know how they were fairing in the system. It had to be better than the streets, right? Right?

She prayed for God to bless me for the dollar I gave her. It was the least I could do but more generous than most.

At my warm, cozy home, rain fell from the windows to my soul as I wished I could do more.

Flash Fiction: Patient Zero

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is to write about someone who is unremembered. How does one write a story about one who is unremembered? I can’t remember. “There was once this man… maybe. He was shortish tall with light black, curly, bald hair… I don’t remember what he looked like or what he did, but he may or may not have been.” This is the only way I could think to do this.

Patient Zero

“I’m ready. Who am I killing?”

“Your great-grandfather.”

“What?”

“He was patient zero.”

“My great-grandfather is responsible for Extraterrestrial Xenotropic Disease? How can you know that?”

“It was his breakthrough that made intergalactic space travel possible. He was on that first mission that brought back E.X.D., causing the Great Plague.”

“If I kill him before his breakthrough, I can stop the plague and the deformities that followed.”

“And the collapse of civilization. You can make humanity Earth’s dominant species again.”

“Will I cease to exist?”

“We may all cease to exist. The world of 1989 could look completely different.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In case you’re wondering, she failed. That’s why humans look like (see mirror), and anyone who has pets knows that humans are not the dominant species.

I’m not a fan of anti-science science fiction, but there are dangers out there. Maybe we’ll find them someday. I am a big fan of sanitizer and keeping your damn germs to yourself. Maybe wash your hands after playing in Uranus.

Flash Fiction: Replay

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is to write about an interlude. I came up with this.

Replay

In the two hours since she stormed out, I’ve done nothing. I’ve hardly moved as the fight replayed in my mind.

Was she wrong?

Was she right?

Was I right?

Was I wrong?

Were we both wrong?

Were we both right?

I looked at every angle. I examined every word.

I watched the tears stream down her face. I rewound them and watched them fall again. I watched her leave, slamming doors, and wiping her eyes.

I sat as the garage door slowly crawled along its track.

The garage door groans again.

Have we cooled or will we reignite?

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