Entries are limited to paid members only. Entries will not be accepted if they exceed the maximum word limit – even if by a word, and must comply with all the stated parameters. Your email must include author’s name, story title and word count.
All entries are to be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, 21 April 2017, voting will open here on the blog on this date. Please note: voting will close at 5:00pm on the last Wednesday of each month, so please make sure that you get your vote in by then.
Come along to our Members’ Night on Wednesday, 26 April, 7pm at the Bunch of Grapes Hotel to hear the winner announced. (Results will also be posted here on the blog the day after.)
This month’s Flash Fiction parameters are:
Word count: 490 – 500
Story Title: The Gift of Truth
I used a random book title generator and chose six titles that seemed interesting then used a dice to narrow it down to one. When it comes time to vote, please take careful note of the number of the story that you wish to vote for as they will all have the same title, thank you and good luck.
The winner of the March Flash Fiction competition was Neville Hiatt’s story Broken.
Please note: because this was my fist time using the voting app I did not set the closing time on the pole, which allowed voting to continue after the pole was in fact closed. I have rectified this problem and no one will be able to vote after 5:00pm on the last Wednesday of each month. Thank you for your understanding, Rebekah Spark, Competitions Coordinator
This would free me from the relentless torment. I was standing at the gate of a dungeon, an archway of light ahead, waiting. Those cold and heavy bars were gone, the moldy and sour taste washed away and my path ahead clear. Only an empty cell to leave behind, the remnant of what I was. Those chains that held me down, bruising my skin and cutting my flesh. I considered the future pain that came with this sacrifice. Incomparable to that I left behind. This gate could lock away everything bad and painful and numbing. I would be free.
The fate of bad habits
Below, in the dark, the most awful dank stench ridden place, where no sunlight ever reached, and even smoking torches reeked more putrid smoke than light, he dragged the resistant, heavy, slippery hulk of his latest mental nemesis, slowly, with halting steps, pace by agonising pace, stretching every few moves to ease the screaming muscles of his mind that objected to being unsettled, heaved, torn and wrenched from their habitual locations in the recesses of consciousness, once again bent to his task he carried his quarry with trudging frayed feet and gnarled fingers straining, towards the dungeon of his fears.
Blowing in the Wind
As I sit outside the café enjoying a coffee amid the peace and quiet, a worker appears with a leaf blower. He’s wearing industrial strength ear muffs and moves along slowly, blowing the leaves off the footpath onto the lawn. Ear-splitting noise pierces the quietness and dust pollutes the air. As he ambles along, a gust of wind whips the leaves back onto the path.
I sit and ponder: the inventor of such a useless contraption ought to be consigned to a dungeon, forever listening to the aggravating sound of his creation, while nature takes care of the leaves.
After a decade of war with both sides forces heavily decimated, my queen was finally liberated. They had not treated her as royalty and she was barely recognisable. Even now weeks later freshly bathed and restored in her royal gowns her eyes betrayed what they had done to her. I could still see the woman I once knew, but she was different. She would still not venture forth into public and was rarely seen in her once beloved private gardens. It broke my heart anew each day knowing the only place she felt safe was the dungeon.
I made my way down the worn wooden staircase. The room was lit by a single bare bulb hanging above the worktable. I watched my father, his unsteady hands fluttering across the surface of the table, like spotted butterflies, arranging and rearranging.
“Here you go Dad a nice cuppa.” I had tried to keep my voice soft, but still I’d startled him.
“I thought I’d find you down here pottering in your dungeon.”
“Martha, did I lose track of time?”
“No Dad it’s not Martha, it’s Candice.”
“Candice yes, in this light you look so much like your late mother.”
“Arh! Another dungeon!” I’d rescued my mother from one once. She’d been kidnapped by rogues within The Authority. The Rogues had grown so large, they were The Authority.
My hands shook, moving aside the entrance ornamentation.”Chandeliers still a favourite?” In the sunlight they did, je ne sais quoi … tinkle well with the ‘slow streaming’ of an adjacent man-made babbling brook.
“Mesmerized fool!” I said, “Just gather the evidence!”
Inside, my night vision camera-recorder rolled. Around a table someone was saying, “We’re purchasing the right to convert Your Elder into the maximum possible Units Of Currency. Agreed?”
Dungeons and Dragons
The baby is unfed, the sink is full, unwashed clothes are piled high, it’s past midday and nothing’s been done, as the game goes on. They’re all gathered round the computer when the dinner’s on the table, can’t come now there’s a monster to destroy, as the game goes on.
They’re addicted to the role that they have to play, saviour of the Nation must kill the dragon, or be thrown in the dungeon, as the game goes on.
Should I worry? Should I be annoyed? Maybe I should just let the game go on
I run my fingers along the damp walls- which are cold and slightly uneven. I feel shivers run through my body, as the fear of this place- the dungeon, make my senses alert.
I must not resist this torture. I must endure. The end will come quickly if I don’t struggle. I hear the water before I feel it- lukewarm and heavy. I gasp.
“If you didn’t struggle so much it would be easier for both of us”. I hear Mums’ familiar voice. I remove the large towel draped over my head, tent-like and let her wash my hair
The spotlights, fans screaming for more, the memories and flashbacks, felt as if they were stuck on repeat. Lately, every time she closed her eyes, and oddly, even more so in the mornings, when she returned to the empty house after kissing her tiny son goodbye and watching him run to his classroom, eager to be with his new pals in his first year at school. She loved him so much, but the ache she felt, for just one moment, to step back in time, to her life as a rock star, playing every night at the Dungeon club.
My dungeon has brick walls.
Half-eaten flies stick to corners and sometimes contented spiders.
Papers and boxes untidy the floor. Literary or art paraphernalia crams the book case and a table beside the writing desk. Beneath the desk there are several unfinished manuscripts. On top sits my computer, and beside it, more works in progress.
The walls display my grandson’s kindy paintings, a picture of young Queen Elizabeth and a photo of a rocket launching with the caption ‘Dare to dream’.
The rubbish bin overflows with torn up edits.
Outside people pass by oblivious to my surreal world.