Monday, October 6, 2014


Phew! If you're reading this, then I was able to get this posted! WooHoo! (I'm not going to tell you how far past 9pm I was writing this sentence...) So let's not waste any time. Go check out today's prompt! :)

If you haven't read the full version of the rules, go here. Otherwise, here's the short version:

1. Start with the given first sentence.
2. Up to 500 words
3. Keep it clean (nothing rated R or above)
4. Optional Special Challenge
5. Stories submitted must be your own work, using characters and worlds that you have created. Sorry, no fanfiction.
6. Include: Twitter/email, word count, Special Challenge accepted
7. The challenge is open for 24 hours on Tuesday EST

Oh, and feel free to change pronounspunctuationtense, and anything in brackets to fit the story/pov/tone. I'm not going to be TOO picky... Our judge however...

Our Judge today is Carlos Orozco, also known as @goldzco21. Read his winning tale from last week here! Carlos graduated from Heritage University with a BA degree in English and a minor in education. He resides in Yakima Valley and spends his free time binge-watching shows on Netflix and writing for several flash fiction contests. He is also a proud #Flashdog. You can follow the flashdog movement at @flashdogs or visit their blog

 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-14 is:

It was [his] only job that weekend, and [he still forgot about it].

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Include 3 of the following: a dog named P-weezy, a cat named Pancho, a left shoe, a yellow #2 pencil, a hubcap, a banana peel



  1. The Job. Internal Affairs Case # 385105-B482

    It was Agatha’s only job that weekend, and she still forgot about it. Between P-weezy’s (the dog, not the wizard) current digestive troubles and her coach’s missing (gold with diamond bling) mag hubcap (a coincidence that the hubcap went missing the same weekend her town hosted the Annual Lute Festival [or, as they were known world-over, the “Lootin’ Luters”]? she thought not), she might have been, if the Oversight Committee were the indulgent sort, forgiven; but not only was it her single responsibility that weekend, it was the greatest responsibility of her life.

    The weekend (Monday 4:16 pm thru Wednesday 11:43 am in her region; each region kept weekends of its own choosing, which was a headache for banks but a delight for a new, still-on-probation traveling salesmen/women/unicorns) had kicked off promisingly enough. The Job was scheduled for Tuesday at 8:11pm—


    “Excuse me. What?”

    “It was scheduled for 7:11pm. You’re thinking in North-North-East Regional Time.”

    “Ah. So I am. Let the records reflect the correction. Shall we continue?”

    “The Assignment Board made the same mistake. They told me 8:11, so I show up at 8:11 just like I’m supposed to and miss the whole gig. Not my fault, is all I’m saying.”

    “The Assignment Board expects you to be able to adjust for your own region. That’s one of your most basic skill requirements.”

    “I did adjust it. In my own South-West-East region it was already Thursday morning. But the subject was in the South-West-West Region, a fact the Assignment Board neglected to share.”

    “I am not going to debate one minute point of incompetency when it is the entire job being investigated. Let us move on.”

    The Job was scheduled for Tuesday at 8:11pm—


    The Job was scheduled for Tuesday at 7:11pm, and Agatha’s prep bag sat by the door. Anxious about the pending festival, she had packed her bag in a highly distracted state of mind—

    “Has your town ever hosted those hoodlums?”

    --which led to the careless omittance of the left shoe and the yellow, # 2 pencil.

    “Okay. Back up. I put the left shoe in. And the pencil.”

    “The Inventory Committee counted two right shoes, one of them wooden.”

    “Well, I put the pencil in, at least.”

    “The IC shows no pencil.”

    “That was Pancho’s fault.”

    “Your cat?”

    “He has a thing for scribbling and is always stealing my pencils. But a pencil wasn’t needed for this Job.”

    “It was required all the same.”

    “Look here, people. I was ready. You gave me the wrong time, the Luters stole my hubcap and put my coach out of commission, and I slipped on a banana peel and broke my leg.”

    “But you—”

    “You sent a replacement, and your rag girl Cinderella still made it to her ball on time.”

    “Yes, but—”

    “The Job was done.”

    “Yes, but—”

    “I keep my fairy godmother license. End of story.”

    The Oversight Committee Chairman heaved a sigh.

    The End.

    498 words

    1. PS. Judge's challenge accepted, and then some.

    2. Love it. Almost as much as mine. (Grin)

    3. So much hilarity! Loved the quirky use of the challenges. Stolen by "luters"--I groaned (in a good way).

    4. hahaha! thanks y'all. You make me giggle.

  2. It was Pancho’s only job that weekend, and he still forgot about it. To be fair, it was cold, and the only warm spot kept moving as the sun moved from east to west, forcing him to move from his bed, to the carpet, to the couch, to the chair. And he was a cat, and didn’t care what he’d been asked to do.

    Finally, after a whole day of watching that feline procrastinate, I looked up from the shoe I was chewing on (it was the left one, which isn’t really my thing, but the right shoe was nothing more than a sodden mess at this point, and was busily gathering mold behind the headboard) and made my displeasure known. “Bark. Bark! Bark bark. Bark!”

    Pancho looked at me disdainfully, and began licking his…well, I won’t describe what he did. Finally, he looked at me and growled. “Meow.”

    That stupid cat. He knows I didn’t choose my name, any more than he did. But when I was adopted by the Mitchells, Timmy was just learning to speak, and ‘please’ came out ‘pweez.’ And he’d been asking for a dog for so long that I just became ‘P-weezy.’ I barked at Pancho again (no, you don’t really want to know what I said) and wandered over to the patio window. The hubcap from the Mitchells’ sedan was still in the yard, right where I’d left it. If Pancho didn’t move it soon…

    Footfalls on the stairs let me know that Timmy – well, Tim, now – was on his way down from his room. He should have been more concerned about the hubcap in the yard, being as that it came loose from the car when he’d backed over his mom’s new garden, but he just walked into the kitchen and grabbed a banana to eat.

    I swear, teenagers must have jaws that unhinge like snakes, because he inhaled that thing and tossed the peel near the garbage. He mumbled something that sounded kind of like “Hey, P-weezy, hey Pancho,” but sounded more like “Hegmpgworf, Hepgeno,” and walked over to stand next to me at the window.

    We just sat there silently – or nearly silently – for half a minute. Pancho didn’t stop licking whatever he was licking, and I was panting, hoping Tim would see the solution I’d worked on all night, but no such luck. Eventually, he turned away and headed out the front door, turning left, probably heading over to Julie’s house. She had a schnauzer, and I hated both of them.

    Pancho hopped up from where he’d been sitting and walked into the kitchen. When I didn’t follow, he turned back to me and meowed.


    I couldn’t believe that Tim had missed the note I’d left on the counter, but there it sat, scrawled out painstakingly with a yellow #2 pencil. Admittedly, there was some drool on the counter, and teeth marks all over the pencil, but the note itself was a masterpiece.

    “Dear Timmy’s mom…”

    498 words

  3. It was Leonard's only job that weekend, and he forgot.

    He also forgot his shoes. Or rather, his left shoe. The right shoe was wedged beneath the couch. He yanked it out en route to the front door, stuffed it under his arm, hopeful the other one would be in the car. It wasn't.

    Isn't it illegal to drive barefoot? Maybe. He wouldn't be getting out, so it didn't matter.

    At the first stop sign he heard the left hubcap hit the ground and roll into the street. Again. This time, he abandoned it to its fate. He had pounded it back on, like an ill-fitting lid of a paint can, enough times. The hubcap wanted to be free. Who was he to stop it?

    He was nobody.

    Wrong: He was Dad.

    He pulled up on the right side of the street, having developed a paranoia that perhaps the left sides of things were doomed on this day. Please let this go well. Open the door, get in, go have a nice day. Ice cream, pizza, movie. That's it.

    Maisy burst out the screen door, a half-eaten banana in her fist, the peel flapping along as she ran. "Daddy!" Before either tense parent could properly implement the needed guidance regarding streets and cars, Maisy was around to the driver's side, face pressed to the window.


    "Chew your bite, kid, and try that again," Leonard said, rolling the window down.

    "Did you bring him?" Maisy said.

    Her mother appeared at her side, silently removing the banana from her hand. Her face is thin, Leonard thought of his ex-life partner. She's a funny color. Intimate details seen from a distance.

    "Bring who? Oh! The dog? Did I bring the dog?"

    "Yeah!" Maisy said, jumping up and down. "The P-weezy! The P-weezy!"

    "Aw, kid, I forgot him. Let's go get him, hey?" Please just get in the car. Please. I can't start the day with tears. No shoe and no hubcap, sure, but no crying.

    "Hop in, girl," Maisy's mother says, installing the child in the back and securing her seatbelt. Both parents have learned the best way to maneuver this mangled, disorienting life is just to keep moving, never to stop. Never to cry. Just go.

    It's not until the first stop sign that Leonard exhales, realizing that his negligence regarding the stuffed dog has been overlooked for the first time in history.

    "Let's go get him, Maisy."

    "Okay, Dad."

    409 words

    Judge's challenge accepted: shoe, dog, hubcap, banana.

  4. I Should've Stayed In Bed

    It was my only job that weekend, and still I forgot about it. Which was reasonable in light of what occurred, not that my girlfriend Beulah agreed with me.

    It went like this:

    Incident One: 5:00 AM Saturday Morning. Stepped in a disgustingly squishy lump of poo that I didn't see in the dark, left on my lawn by my right-side neighbor's dog named Peaches'n'cream, a nasty, yippy, little brown-and white Chihuahua.
    Result: A pair of shoes that were so filthy and stinky that I had to toss them into the trash and put on fresh sneakers.

    Incident Two: 5:15 AM The end of the walk. Slipped on a discarded banana peel.
    Result: Sprained my left ankle. Had to hobble back to the house, wrap it in Ace bandage and put an ice pack on it.

    Incident Three: 5:45 Am Three blocks down the street. Passing car's hubcap was flung hard against my right leg.
    Result: Trip to emergency room in ambulance, fractured tibia and fibula, walking cast applied, crutches provided, pain medications prescribed.

    Incident Four: 10:45 AM At a diner eating brunch. Waiter tripped over crutches and accidentally stabbed my left hand with his #2 yellow pencil nicking a vein.
    Result: Return trip to ER for treatment of puncture wound and blood loss. Eight stitches and a large bandage. Medication for infection prescribed.

    Incident Five: 4:15 PM Returning home carrying Chinese take-out. Attacked by my left-side neighbor's cat Alfred, a massive black-and-white Maine Coon. I think he was attracted by the scent of the Kung Pow Chicken.
    Result: Dropped supper. Returned to ER yet again. Treated for bites to right hand, and numerous claw marks on face, torso and right arm. A tetanus shot. More bandages and medications.

    Incident Six: 11:30 PM Returned home for the evening. I looked like some weird version of the mummy, with bandages everywhere but my left arm, limping along on crutches, and I was buzzed out of my mind with pain medications. My girlfriend Beulah started screaming at me as soon as I get inside. She was so angry that she didn't even bother to look at me. "Where have you been all day Harvey?! I only asked you to do one little errand for me and you couldn't be bothered! I've had it with your laziness, forgetfulness, and broken promises! I'm leaving you!" She slammed me against the door, bruising me as she rushed out.
    Result: I no longer have a girlfriend.

    After all of that is it any wonder that I completely forgot to pickup the dry-cleaning? I pondered the events of the day and came to a single, simple, obvious conclusion. I should have stayed in bed

    My friend Samuell summed it up succinctly for me when I related my tale of woe the next day. "Man Harvey, if it weren't for bad luck you'd have no luck at all."

    465 Words
    Special Challenge Accepted
    Used: a banana peel, a hubcap, a #2 yellow pencil

    1. I love the set up as numbered incidents of increasingly injurious events. That you used a dog and a cat but not the "correct" dog and cat--and still met the challenge--made me laugh.

  5. Always Dispose of the Evidence

    It was his only job that weekend, and he still forgot to bury the body. He’d even dug the hole.

    After waiting until nightfall he crept to the bottom of the garden with a torch a shovel and pick. He chose the spot: behind the rose bush by the bench. It had been somewhere she had spent a lot of time. Plus it was not overlooked so there was no risk of him being seen.

    He broke the frost-hardened ground with his pick, then used the shovel to move the earth. The sods came apart with an icy squeal that set his teeth on edge. Once he was past the frozen layer the digging became easier, but he still had to rest on the bench every few minutes to catch his breath.

    It was during these breaks that he thought of his wife. The house was so quiet without her. Of course a lot of the noise had been arguing, and breaking glass when she took out her anger at his drinking on the innocent bottles. No matter how deep he buried them in the bin, she always found them. Maybe she could sniff out the dregs of beer like a dog.

    Hmm. Beer.

    He’d worked up a thirst with all that digging. A couple of cold ones then he’d finish the job.

    A blood-curdling scream roused him from uneasy dreams. He ran to the window and saw his daughter in the yard. She was stood over the body, the broken hubcap lying next to it. His daughter, at only three years, was too young to see something like that. He rushed downstairs and into the yard. She’d been eating a banana and had dropped the peel on the body. He stifled a laugh and took her in his arms.

    “I’m sorry Jen. I hit P-weezy with the car.”

    His ex-wife shook her head and sighed.

    “This,” she said. “This is why our marriage didn't work. You’re irresponsible.”

    She got back in her SUV and sped away, narrowly missing next door’s cat Pancho as she went.

    “That,” he said. “That is why our marriage didn't work. You’re a hypocrite.”

    359 words
    Judges challenge accepted

  6. Smoking the Good Stuff

    It was his only job that weekend and he’d forgot about it. Crap.

    “Dude, the hubcaps, I need ‘em, man. My baby needs new caps, how’s she gonna burn up the road otherwise?”

    Ernie’s joint smelled far better than it should considering Robbie had spent Friday night and all of Saturday stoned out of his mind.

    Trying to ignore the urge to just rip the thing out of Ernie’s unresisting fingers, Robbie rubbed his eyes and said, “I said I’m sorry, I forgot. What do you want, an apology penned in blood?”

    “I want my baby’s hubcaps,” Ernie said, his long face more mournful than ever. “She’s not the prettiest girl in town without ‘em.”

    “You need to re-evaluate your relationship with that camper van, bro.”

    Ernie narrowed bloodshot eyes. “She’s my girl and I love her. You got a problem with that?”

    If there was one thing Robbie had learned from a decade spent with stoners, it was to choose his battles carefully. “No problem. I’ll get the caps for next weekend, okay?”

    “Okay,” Ernie agreed, taking an obscenely long drag on his joint. “I’ll also need a number two yellow pencil, a banana peel, a left shoe of yours, a dog named P-weezy and a cat named Pancho.”

    “What?” Robbie frowned. Ernie had finally killed one too many braincells and gone utterly insane, clearly. “What the hell are you talking about? More to the point what are you smoking? It’s doing weird things to your brain.”

    He swiped at the joint but Ernie was far faster than anyone who’d smoked as much pot as he had, had any right to be. Fending Robbie off, Ernie beat a retreat to the kitchen and barricaded himself in by opening all the cupboard doors, then flattening himself against the far wall.

    “You know I can still reach you and that joint, don’t you?” Robbie sighed. He was getting too old for this shit. Maybe it was time to get a job and attempt some semblance of a life.

    “Don’t you wanna know what I’m planning with the dog, the cat, the pencil, the banana peel and your left shoe?” There was a gleam in Ernie’s eyes which had preceded amusing shenanigans in the past. “Get me the stuff and you’ll find out.”

    Robbie pursed his lips. It was Ernie and his crazy versus getting the hell out of pot-ville and trying to get a job which paid more than minimum wage.

    “I’ll see you Saturday,” he said.

    Ernie grinned. “Knew you’d see sense.” He held out the joint. “You wanna take this? It’s good.”

    “No, you keep it,” Robbie shook his head. Maybe it was better to conserve what braincells he had left by only smoking the inferior pot he had stashed at home.

    He made for the door, whatever Ernie was planning would probably be fun. And possibly illegal. Whatever. It was all semantics.

    Now, where could he find a dog which would answer to P-weezy?

    500 words
    special challenge accepted.

  7. Argh, noticed a typo! First line should read 'It was his only job that weekend and he'd forgotten about it.'

    Damn it :)

  8. Title: What If
    Words: 495
    Special Challenge accepted

    It was his only job that weekend and he still forgot about it. He had an alarm set in every room of his house for 4:35pm. No matter where he was, he would hear at least one of the alarms.

    Behind the iron bars, John couldn’t stop the “what if’s” from running through his mind like a never ending marathon, complete with sweat, tears, and pain. What if Allie had not called him outside to tie her left shoe that had come undone while playing on the swing set? What if their cat, Pancho, had not knocked over the alarm clock closest to the back yard? What if Katie had never gotten mixed up with drugs in the first place?

    “Johnny boy, this is the only way to pay off your wife’s debt,” he could hear that little rat man saying. He looked like a rat, but sounded like a snake. Katie was bleeding and swollen on the ground nearby. When the rat turned to hit her again, John had said, “Ok, I’ll do it.” The rat smiled, his silver teeth shining brighter than the hubcaps of a Porsche.

    The job was simple, as the rat man described it. Drugs would be stored in John’s car, and at 4:35pm on the dot he would get in his car and drive to the docks where a crew would be waiting to unload them. John would be watched the whole time and if Johnny did not stick to the rules, the game would change. “Johnny boy, it’s so simple even your little daughter could do it.” The man winked.

    John could not escape the ringing timbre of the man’s voice vibrating throughout his head in the cold cell. He pushed his forehead harder against the bars. The cold reminded him of the way Katie had latched onto him when leaving the warehouse. He took her straight to a hospital. She was too unaware of her surroundings to know that he’d left her there and would never come back.

    But Allie’s left shoe had come untied and she’d called for daddy. Pancho had knocked over the alarm clock in the backroom, the one John had had setup to hear from outside. He pushed Allie on the swing and listened for the alarm.

    When the rat man’s crony walked around back to the swing set at 4:36pm, John gasped and stopped the swing. The man said, “You changed the game,” and fired his pistol. John wasn’t fast enough to jump in front of Allie and he felt, rather than heard, Allie’s body hit the ground.

    Neighbors heard the commotion and cops were there within minutes.

    Arrested, questioned, re-questioned, and waiting, John sat in the cell, sweat and tears rolling down his face. Each tear burned his cheek – what if he’d heard the alarm and done the job? What if he’d never tried to help Katie? What if Allie had never been born? What if John himself had never existed?

  9. @stellakateT
    444 words
    challenge accepted.

    What’s to Eat?

    It was Ed’s only job that weekend and he still forgot about it. It wasn’t until he was on the plane that he remembered. It wasn’t his fault that he forgotten. Took him ages to cram all his clothes in the tiny little bag, that Ryanair let you take on as hand luggage. He even had to get his mate Jimbo to drive him like a madman to the airport. He’d hung on the back of the Harley fearful that he’d end up in the middle of the motorway squashed dead like a hedgehog. Once he’d got to Krakow, he’d ring his mum.

    Hi Cous how are you?

    Ed tried to high five Artur whilst Artur tried to bear hug Ed.

    Artur had been eating whilst he waited, crumbs all over his face and a banana skin hanging out of his jean jacket pocket. Ed knew he was going to have a great few days with his Polish cousin. Back at the flat lying in the middle of the bedroom floor was a girl’s left shoe, Ed wondered if the right shoe managed to get home with the girl? Artur last girlfriend was a very beautiful art student that made amazing things out of hubcaps.

    Talking of girls the cat was eyeballing him, Artur’s cat Pancho named after the Mexican revolutionary was a beast. Artur didn’t bother changing its name when he realised it was a she and vicious! Ed remembered the last time he’d visited; the cat had savaged his arm when he’d stopped petting it. He’d read that cats got stressed if you stroked them. Pancho was one stressed cat or rabid!

    The Polish Vodka and beers went down well. Ed and Artur began singing polish folk songs. Then they started to cry it was either the alcohol or the shared memories of their grandmother Elizabetta who’d emigrated to Britain and married her third husband, a big welsh miner.

    Ed tried to remember what he’d forgotten. It was five days later when he finally rang his mum.

    He gingerly asked how his grandfather was.

    “As sound as a pound” announced his mother.

    Ed sighed with relief he’d forgotten to feed Puff and when he got hungry he’d eat anything, maybe even his beloved owner Granddad. Grandmother had bought Puff with her and Granddad had embraced him wholeheartedly. The welsh side of the family were sworn to secrecy even Artur didn’t know about Puff the Magnificent Dragon.

    “Mum, I forgot to feed Puff”

    Ed heard his mum shriek. Leaving the phone daggling she hot footed it over to her Dad’s with one of her famous monster beef pies hoping she wasn’t too late.

  10. “The Hitman”
    by Michael Seese
    490 words

    Challenge Accepted

    It was his only job that weekend, and he still forgot about it.

    “I am the worst hitman EVER!” Mike sighed aloud.

    The hushed mumbles and sudden shuffling of feet drew his attention to the line forming at the doors. He pulled out his trusty yellow #2 pencil, and scribbled. Note to self: refrain from saying that on a crowded train. On the plus side, everyone leaves you alone.

    (Despite the fact that he frequently wrote notes to self, he always seemed to say them aloud.)

    Extraneous conversations eliminated, Mike enjoyed the relative quiet of the now-deserted subway car. For the first time, he really heard the clack on the tracks, and really felt the sway of the subway as it plied along the Lexington Avenue Line. Above the door he spied the yellow-black-white-red placard.


    The steady rhythm and 24-point Arial bold words conspired to inspire him. He began singing.

    Ridin’ on the train
    Got my gun
    Goin’ downtown
    Gonna have some fun.

    That’s perfect, he thought. That would have worked. If I had just remembered.

    Mike’s entire life had been a series of near misses—or near hits—depending on how you looked at it. This past weekend was going to be his shot at the big time. He’d scored an appointment with Pancho, a really connected cat. Though Mike was an unknown quantity, he sold Pancho on his ability to knock ’em dead. Pancho took the chance, and offered Mike the gig of a lifetime.

    “If you kill them, you’re in,” the “impresario” promised.

    “I won’t let you down,” Mike vowed. But he did. He slipped on a proverbial banana peel. Yet again.

    Note to self. When you need to be somewhere, on time, ready to rumble, SET AN ALARM.

    He continued his musical musing.

    Missed my target
    Missed my mark
    My finger on the trigger
    Ready to...

    Damn it!

    Mike had it all planned out. The club promised to be packed. He figured he could make a modest entrance. Slip in unnoticed. And then BAM-BAM-BAM! They wouldn’t even know what hit them.

    After that, everyone would know the name... Mike.

    Note to self. Come up with a cool new handle.

    Killin’ the past
    Put a bullet in that name
    Mike is dead
    Now I got game

    Mike was so involved with his running self-dialogue that he failed to notice the newly arrived occupants of the car.

    But they noticed him.

    “Yo, P-weezy. You hear that, dawg?”


    “We got to tell Mikey.”

    “What for? We can just cap this dude ourselves.”

    “True that.”

    Got no girlfriend
    Got no wife
    Can’t write a good rap
    To save my ...

    Simultaneous clicks from two Glocks caught his attention.

    “We’ve got a message from Mikey for you.”

    Note to self: a wannabe songwriter—someone who wants to write a hit song—is NOT the same thing as a hitman.

  11. Existential Crisis

    It was the coffee pot clock’s only job that weekend and it still neglected to carry it out as needed.
    The coffee pot clock felt that this inadequacy came from a lifetime of neglect, a long series of days in which it was not asked to do the one and only thing that it had been made specifically to do: use its knowledge of time to start the coffee pot.

    It watched the disheveled young man stumble through the same process every morning with varying degrees of success. He seemed to lack a requirement for exact measuring of coffee grounds and often spilled just as much water as that which made into the machine.
    The machine that gurgled and hummed with the satisfaction of living out its purpose in life.
    Despite the coffee pot clock’s ability to ease the young man’s mornings should he think ahead and utilize it, the coffee pot clock instead only served as an unwelcome reminder of the early hour of the day or the occasional welcome reminder that the young man was now very late.
    The coffee pot clock sometimes spent afternoons in the silent apartment contemplating all the things it might be that would better allow it to be of better use; it could be an old shoe, left or right, a dull nub of a number two pencil, an old dingy hubcap, and still in any of these things, perhaps out of uses, of would merit greater degrees of usefulness than it did.

    But then came the young woman.
    She seemed to bring out a better side of the young man. When he arrived in front of the coffee pot clock it often noticed that his hair was now combed more often and his shirts appeared to be new. The young woman appeared in the apartment more often and one glorious Friday evening she decided that she would stay over, which in her mind necessitated preparing the coffee pot in advance. When the coffee pot clock understood that its day in the sun had finally come, there was a exuberant click as the clock changed from 9:26 to 9:27. The young woman did not notice.
    She measured, poured, and set the time for the morning.
    The coffee pot clock was happy.
    Very happy.

    All night it imagined in dreamy sequences of how happy the young man and the young woman would be when their coffee was ready and waiting for them. How they would marvel at this gift that this simple technology of the coffee pot clock had given them.
    The sun appeared in the kitchen and soon after the young woman did too.
    But there was no coffee.
    She sighed and grumbled. The coffee pot clock blushed, hidden by the usual redness of its digital numbers.
    She pressed the brew button herself and disappeared.
    The coffee pot clock considered his neglect and its resulting failure and wondered what to do next.

    491 words

  12. It always pans out for the best
    It was his only job that weekend and Marty still forgot it. 'Don't forget the downstairs toilet. It’s blocked again,' Lucy said as she grabbed her overnight. He was about to check when the neighbours started another fight and it went clean out of his head.
    As he shuffled to the bathroom, first thing Monday morning he remembered. Cursing he made a coffee and went for his tools. At least he could send Lucy a text when he’d sorted it. Never miss a chance for praise, he thought.
    This was, what, the third, no fourth time and he knew the routine. He tried with the brush down the pan; no use. He went out back and prised the lid off the interception chamber. Full of liquid and paper. Doing well not to gag he went next door. ‘Hi Dennis. It’s blocked again. Can I borrow your rods?’
    Dennis nodded. It was almost routine; Dennis would drag out his rods and set to, clearing the blockage, while Marty would watch. He’d offered before but Dennis ignored him; even if he’d wanted to take over, Dennis was much stronger and it clearly needed some force.
    Marty stood back, seeking fresher air. 'So how's Bunny? She ok?'
    Dennis didn't look up. 'Why'd you ask?'
    'Oh. You know.'
    'When I left her she was as bubbly as ever.'
    Dennis pulled hard on the rod; the water bubbled and began to recede.
    ‘That’s great. It’s really satisfying…’ Words dried on Marty’s lips; stuck on the spike at the end of the rod was a finger, still sporting its red nail varnish. This time Marty couldn’t stop himself gagging.
    In Dennis’ kitchen, Marty sipped the hot tea. ‘Thanks. You want me to phone the cops or will you?’
    Dennis wiped his hands. ‘Can you give the stew a stir? I’ll grab the phone.’
    Marty moved to the stove. ‘Smell’s amazing. What is it?’
    ‘Lucy’s mother provided the base and I’ve added bits from her family.’
    Marty lifted the lid; if he had had anything left in his stomach it would have reappeared. Sticking out of the steaming liquid was an arm and elbow.
    Marty felt Dennis standing close behind him. Dennis said, ‘I usually render the bones first but I missed her finger. Too much to expect it to flush away; it’s only a three inch pipe. Shame.’
    As Marty struggled to stop Dennis’ strong grip closing around his throat he had two thoughts. One, how was he going to survive. And two, if he did how was he going to explain to his workmates about the team meal he’d made the previous weekend, using that very same saucepan, kindly lent by Dennis.

    Words: 455. @geofflepard

  13. Somewhat Super

    It was Mighty Locust’s only job that weekend, and he still managed to make a screw-up salad out of it. How many ways could one fail at pet-sitting?

    Wiping down the counter post-lunch-crowd, Sara gifted him with a sympathetic smile. Sara had empathy nailed. One would suspect it her superpower, if one had never been transported by her out-of-this-world rhubarb pie. But not even the full-force of her compassion could dent MiLo’s despair.

    "One cat, one dog—should be beneath me," he slurred into his diet cherry cola (spandex and empty calories get ugly, MiLo’d been there). He wiped his chin with a flap of his ecru cape.

    "I can fly, for Pete sake." Not entirely true. He could leap. Far. Far-ish.

    "And they’re gone," Sara said.

    "Like thieves in the night," he grumbled. The pets had slipped away while he was heatedly tweeting his defense of insectoid sidekicks (another failure—the only favorites came from his sock-puppets). "My niece is going to kill me."

    "You’ve checked the shelters," Sara suggested.

    He flicked a dismissive antennae. It had to be something more sinister. "They were dognapped," he declared.

    "I thought Pancho was a cat,"

    MiLo grumbled. "It was her doing."

    "The cat’s?"

    "My nemesis."

    A crevasse appeared in the compassion. "You have a nemesis?"

    Oh, he had a nemesis all right. "Feldspar Feline." She liked nothing better than to show him up and knock him down—literally. As if she couldn’t help herself. He rubbed his knee, the sprain pain not quite gone.

    Sara coughed over a laugh.

    His antennae jerked.

    Suddenly the dessert display demanded her full attention.

    Undaunted, Mighty Locust pursued his theory. "She probably lured Pablo away. P-weezy had no will of his own. He’d follow." It made perfect sense. Now the tricky part: confronting Feldspar about it without squashing what was left of his dignity. His antennae drooped.

    "Is there some universal animal signal you could tap into to connect with them?" Sara suggested breezily.

    MiLo clicked his mandibles. "What? Just close my eyes like this? Try to envision the little crappers and what they may be doing now? Oh, here we go: P-weezy is eating a banana peel and Pablo just made a stink-deposit in a rusty hubcap."


    MiLo’s eyes bulged open.

    "MiLo," Sara gasped, "Did you…?"

    "I—I was just thinking about…"

    "Out back! Go through the kitchen." She raised the counter leaf for him, and he hustled out the back door.

    He returned bearing a growling banana box.

    "You did it, MiLo!" Sara cheered.

    He shrugged, beamed. "I better get these guys home."

    "Take care, hero."


    Ten minutes later, a woman in a coral bodysuit poked her head in the side door.

    Sara gestured her in.

    "The bug left looking perky." The woman slid onto a stool.

    "Any trouble?" Sara asked.

    "Course not." The woman grinned with overlapping teeth. "Found them a block from the niece’s—where you thought."

    Sara placed a tuna sandwich before her. "Thank you, Feldspar."

    Words: 498
    Special challenge accepted and completed