August Flashes

The winner of this month’s Flash Fiction competition is Linda Young with her story, Water Tight. Congratulations, Linda!

This month’s parameters are:

Genre:        detective fiction

Words:        90 – 100

Keyword:   sonorous (remember to include this word in your story)


Entry Conditions:

You must be a Ballarat Writers member to enter.

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.

All entries are to be submitted to by Friday, 26th August. Your email must include author’s name, story title and word count.

Voting will open the next day here on the blog.

Come along to our Members’ Night on Wednesday, 31 August, 7pm at the Bunch of Grapes Hotel to hear the winner announced. (Results will also be posted here on the blog the day after.)

August stories

Entry 1      Water Tight

Detective Stoner cast his eyes over the body of the young girl. Drowned they said. Three teenage boys sitting by the edge of the river; fear in their eyes. Stoner looked at the still water and shook his head. They’d been swimming, they claimed, when the girl had been dragged under. Stoner’s stomach tightened – no crocs in this river; no currents. Turning the body over, he noticed the ripped bathers, the broken teeth. Stoner strode across to the older boy, glimpsed the damaged knuckles and turned to the sergeant, ‘Take them to the station,’ he ordered in a sonorous voice.


 Entry 2   A Theft of Sonorous

“A most peculiar thing”

thought the librarian

as she closed the book.

She then searched for a Detective

who would specialise in this type of crime.


Detective Script arrived at the scene.

He looked through the book

as he scratched his chin.


“Words are missing,

stolen from time.

Plagiarism?” she asked.

No more to the point,

a theft of sonorous.”

replied Detective Script.


“What shall we do?”

asked the librarian.

“Have no fear no worry at all,

this crime I will solve!”

replied Detective Script.


He pulled out a black

felt pen from his jacket

and began writing new words.

June Flashes

So here are the 100 word crime stories, with the word ‘newspaper’ in them. Vote at the bottom of the page:

ENTRY 1 | Words: 99 | Title: An Exotic End 

Young Botts, delivered the daily newspaper, along with local village tit-bits of trivia, but one day he had something of grave importance for PC Sharpe. ‘Look at the Pet Shop advertisement for exotic fish’, he insisted ‘and you’ll solve Lord Merryweather’s disappearance’.
It transpired young Botts recalled a remark by Elsie, his girlfriend who worked at Merryweather Hall. Lady Merryweather had warned Elsie, under no circumstances was she to go anywhere near the fish pond in the back garden as the new fish were highly excitable and very unpredictable. They have a funny name beginning with P.. said Elsie

ENTRY 2 | Words: 100  | Title: Crime With Intent

Bobby climbed up the ladder, pushed open the window and jumped into the store room. He shone the torch along the shelves of shoes. Size six his mother had said. Bobby looked for the shiny black ones, with lace ups. Like the other children wore. He moved along slowly; then saw them in the glow of the torch, sitting on top of a box. He checked the size.

He wrapped them carefully in the newspaper sitting on the bench, and headed for the window. He smiled, and tucked them under his arm–tomorrow his sister would wear shoes to school.

ENTRY 3 | Words: 95 | Title: The Editor

I sipped wine whilst watching the evening news. Another victim “red all over”. The same description was given to the Police by each witness- usually a partner or friend- who stumbled upon a mangled body.

This description led to the naming of the Newspaper Murders, and to the elusive killer as the Editor.

“Not another one,” my wife exclaimed as she entered the room, “that Editor must be a very troubled individual.”

I frowned and nodded in agreement before taking another sip of wine. Red wine of course, I’m quite fond of a good red.

ENTRY 4 | Words: 100 | Title: Untitled

Mr. Woof glanced over his newspaper, eager to find his date waiting. No luck.
“Excuse me sir,” a quiet man leaned in. “Did you lose this?” The man’s fingers held a dainty ring.
Mr. Woof was taken aback. “Not quite, but it belongs to my friend.”
“Oh I know.”
For the first time Mr. Woof took in the presence of this eerie stranger. He folded his newspaper away. “I will return the ring to the owner if you pass it over?” Mr. Woof pushed himself not to trip over his words.
“No need,” the man said, “I already have her.”

ENTRY 5 | Words: 99 | Title: Untitled

Their bed lay before her, sheets crumpled from their passion, like pages of an old newspaper. She wept on the hem, tears mixed with love memories.

Outside their window, the sea was eerily still, her point of calm, convincing her that peaceful times were close. She staggered to its pebbled shore, wept in sorrow, mourned her loss.

The water was almost silent to her weeping; only a whispering of minute waves, gently lapped upon her shattered body.

As she immersed her hands into the water, they looked like melting ice, releasing the ruby, red, stain of her lover’s blood.

ENTRY 6 | Words: 100 | Title: Black And White And Red All Over

Rupert Welles was in his office with his nose buried in a newspaper. The media mogul had been shot from behind and his blood was all over tomorrow’s headlines. Detective Chandler sighed and scratched his stubbled jaw. Years of investigations and this was how they got him. Stolen evidence, tampered juries and missing persons improved Welles’ stock price and infuriated Chandler. “Bad luck blesses me,” had been Welles’ smirking confession. A fine phrase to imply working with the mob. Chandler leaned over to read the fateful headline. ‘Mob Owns Media And More: ‘Stand Against Bullies’ says Welles. Chandler sighed again.

ENTRY 7 | Words: 100 | Title: Untitled

I see you, stirring the rice.
Standing there reading a newspaper. Adding stock, stirring again.
It’s like you think you have a thousand years to live. Like it will never end.
But a kitchen is a dangerous place. Full of knives, plates which smash sharp, a jug of boiling water. Tiles for slipping on, cupboards to bang your head into.
You know how I know this.
You stand there, wooden spoon in hand. Waiting for the rice which will absorb so much, and then no more. The knife which chops the onions is in my hand.
I stand waiting too.

ENTRY 8 | Words: 100 | Title: Untitled

Stop dead in my tracks.
Fiona’s at the bar waiting for a client.
Teenage sweethearts we were.
Girls sharing everything. Sitting like old times.
One big difference. She’s well heeled. I’m not.
How come? Woman of the night, she whispers.
Try it Nance, making shitloads.
Wanna retire. Illegal proceeds. Can’t bank any.
Stashed in the shack. Nobody knows.
Remember we went there?
Dinner’s arranged for tomorrow. Her shout.
Sleazy trick arrives. I’m off home. Can’t sleep.
The morning newspaper.
Hooker murdered. Found strangled.
Swallow my shock. Breathe and remember.
Plan a little trip to Mount Buffalo.
A million reasons why.

Vote for your favourite Crime Flash!

Winner announced at our Members Night – 7pm Wednesday 24th June upstairs at Irish Murphy’s.

June Competition

Here are the parameters for our June Competition:

Length: 100 words (not a single one more!) but can be 10% less.

Genre: Crime

Keyword: newspaper

Entry Conditions:

  • You must be a Ballarat Writers Member to enter.
  • Entries will not be accepted if they exceed the word limit – even if by a word.
  • All entries to be submitted USING THIS FORM by Friday June 19th. Voting will open the next day here on the blog. Come along to our Members’ Night on Wednesday June 24th, 7pm at Irish Murphy’s to hear the winner announced. (It will also be posted here on the blog the day after).

August Flashes

This month’s parameters were:

Length: 150 words

Genre: Crime

Key word: touch

See below for the entries. Vote for your favourite at the bottom!


Title: The River

Word Count: 150

‘You need to be brave. I’m only showing you this because I trust you.’ My sister Amanda

said, helping me down the steep riverbank.

I nodded, feeling important. Amanda never confided in me. This had to be something big.

He was wrapped in a brown coat, so at first I thought he was a log, until I saw his hair. It floated

eerily, cluttered with river debris. I reached out to turn him over – he was within arm’s length, and I

couldn’t see his face.

‘Don’t touch!’ Amanda hissed. ‘You can’t tell anyone, Kelsey. We’ll get in trouble.’

I pulled my hand away quickly.

‘But we didn’t do it!’

‘Promise me you won’t tell, okay? Or I will never tell you a secret again.’

I felt sick as I watched the body bobbing gently in the shallow water. Amanda’s hand was gripping

mine, her nails digging into my skin.



Title: A Miss Marple Moment

Word Count: 146

I scrutinised the room we had broken into. Every door and window had been locked on the inside. A body still warm to the touch lay in a pool of blood. How the hell…? The chimney? No! Not even Santa could have scaled it with that fire blazing!

I sighed, cursing crime writers whose elderly female detectives possessed a mysterious ability to see clues everywhere. Why was real life never like that?

Dead matches and soot littered the floor in front of the fireplace. Whoever had lit this fire had been very messy. I sniffed. Kerosene! I dashed out of the room and upstairs to the roof. I returned triumphant, having disarmed and collared a knife-wielding, sooty-faced villain reeking of kero, blood on his hands and the last of the matches in his pocket.

From crime to culprit in ten minutes – what a Miss Marple moment!


Title: School’s In

Word Count: 144

Claire knew she was going to have to be quick but the market place was the best place to test her skills in speed, soft touch and the lost art of distraction.

Gary would also be watching and she wanted to impress him, as she needed the work. Claire picked out her mark, a middle aged tourist, with a bulky wallet in his jacket pocket. Pretending to be distracted and looking at clothes, Claire walked directly into the path of her mark.

“Sorry, mister”

“Out of my way, little girl.” The man attempted to shove his way past Claire.

“Come on, don’t be like that.”

With stealth, speed and a delicate touch, Claire slipped her hand into the beige jacket and three fingers pulled on the wallet.

Walking off in the other direction, Claire always enjoyed taking money off the rude and obnoxious ones.


Title: Desire

Word Count: 140

Her voice was intoxicating, her vowels would drip in your ear like honey on fresh warm bread. That was always their downfall, few could resist her beauty but none could resist her voice. Once entranced she could take her time in having her way with them. First inducing pleasure then inflicting pain. The locals not wanting to fall prey to her lustful desires, would tell tales of this beautiful creature wherever they went. As long as the victims kept coming one after the other to see this fabled beauty for themselves, the locals felt safe to go about their daily lives. Every local grew up being told not to go near her. Visitors weren’t afforded the same luxury and with their desires always ending in death, the word never spread outside of this village what happened after her first touch.

VOTE HERE! Winners announced at our Readings session at Irish Murphy’s on Wed 27th August (7pm start) as well as on FB, Twitter and via email.