A Series of Unfortunate Incidents

It is with heavy hearts we must announce the unexpected wrap of #FlashMobWrites.

Our careers and lives have taken unanticipated turns and rather than become unreliable hostesses, we choose to close this adventure with honesty and grace.

We’ll get winners posted for #FMW 50 this weekend.

It’s been an honor and joy to write alongside you.

Inky Hugs,

Team FMW

 

#FlashMobWrites 1×50

Welcome to #FlashMobWrites Week Fifty

Come one, come all! This is an open flash fiction challenge with a musical inspiration, hosted by authors Cara Michaels (formerly of #MenageMonday, #WIPflash, and #RaceTheDate) and Ruth Long (of the wicked fun #LoveBites and #DirtyGoggles challenges).

  • The challenge begins: Fridays @ Noon EDT (Eastern USA)
  • And ends: Saturday @ Midnight PST (Pacific USA)
  • Word count: 300-500 (no less, no more)
  • We love you and wish to heap praises (and random prizes) on you, so be sure to include your name (no, it doesn’t have to be your real name) and a way for us to get in touch (Twitter handles are encouraged)
  • A prompt choice is offered by each judge. Choose one (or both!) and include it in your story as given.
    • The prompt may be split between sentences, but no order change or dropping words.
    • Words may be added before or after, not in the middle.

The Inspiration

Offspring and I first met Halsey as the opening act to the Imagine Dragons tour. This song caught my attention as I watched the trailer for The Huntsman: Winter’s War trailer.

For your musical enjoyment only. You do not need to reference the video or song themes in any way for your story.

The Prompts

Cara Michaels: “headed straight for”

Ruth Long: “there’s an old man”

Now pick your prompt(s) and post your story in the comments below!

#FlashMobWrites 1×49 Winners

So many twists and turns in this week’s submissions! Thank you to everyone who wrote, commented, and tweeted. 🙂

WRITERS

  1. @katheryn_avila
  2. @siobhanmuir
  3. @geofflepard
  4. @laughingandy
  5. @silverjames_
  6. @jasonlefthand
  7. @billmelaterplea
  8. @aightball
  9. @lizzie_koch
  10. @lurchmunster
  11. @bradythewriter

WINNERS

soldier49

Honorable Mention | Soldier | Kat Avila | @kathryn_avila

Cara Says: I’m not super familiar with this story’s world, but there are enough teasers to intrigue and capture my curiosity.

Ruth Says: Gah! I want to know/read more about this world because WOW. Lots of stories about angels getting assignments but demons, outside of romantic setups, not so much.

underboss49

Second Place | Underboss | Bill Engleson | @billmelaterplea

Cara Says: At last a witness! And one witness to his own father’s creeper tendencies, ick. I read this wondering if Quarry’s tough-guy play would backfire, but was thrilled to read otherwise.

Ruth Says: Such a joy to follow this serial and now, NOW we have a witness. I was so excited I actually shouted out loud in excitement when I read the final sentence!

boss49

Winner | Boss | Lizzie Koch | @Lizzie_Koch

Cara Says: A lot happens in this tale. It’s atmospheric, and what a mess the MC inadvertently creates. I’m not about to feel sorry for a cheater, but the ending’s explosive potential left me cursing the word count. This was about to burst into 50 shades of reality-tv, I just know it.

Ruth Says: Always enjoy a good curve-ball and this one was exceptional. Didn’t see it coming until it hit me between the eyes. And I’m with Cara. This cheater wriggled behind my defenses and into my curiosity. What happens next?! AUGH! 🙂

 


The Winning Story – Untitled by Lizzie Koch

Staying home instead of working the bar tonight for Tom is something I should have given serious consideration to. I know as soon as she walks in, she is going to cause me trouble. I know when she flirts with me, there is nothing innocent about it. What I should have done is what I usually do in these situations; flirt, serve the cocktails and make conversation. That’s it. And I do that. Sex on a beach and screaming orgasm are cocktails I have made a million times with pretty much the same conversation and howls of laughter like I haven’t heard it before. But the way the words fall in a soft caress from her perfectly glossed lips, the way her smoky almond eyes follow my every move like a cat stalking its prey, I know it is more than the drink she wants. And I am definitely interested.

She follows me outside when I have my break. Before I can speak, she flings her arms around my neck, presses her lips against mine. Of course, I respond, pushing her up against the wall, running my hand along her curves, feeling the warmth of her skin under the thin fabric. I ignore the wedding band. I ignore her reeking of alcohol, drowning instead in lust.

Glassy eyed, she straightens her dress and joins her friends. It isn’t long before I’m delivering another tray of cocktails. She blushes which is cute. Her friends tease her but they have no idea. Coerced into joining in for a photo, I sit next to her, a compulsion to touch her. She lays her hand on my thigh, instantly my body responds. Luckily the tray is on my lap, hiding my desire. Her friends cackle hysterically. She plays up to them, pouting her lips, thrusting out her breasts. I want her and she knows it.

I can’t wait for closing time. I don’t know nor do I care what she spins to her friends or her husband. My girlfriend hasn’t crossed my mind (but then, I’ve only been dating her for a few weeks) until she walks in just before closing. My mind races, trying to find an excuse lurking in my mind. There is one, I’m sure. There has to be. But my mind is blank as the woman and her friends are ready to leave.

“Hey, Mum,” my girlfriend says. “Mum, this is Daryl, the guy I’ve been telling you about and Daryl, this is Jane, my mum.”

A glass nearly slips from my hand as my girlfriend hugs her mum, the woman I just had sex with and plan to again within the next half an hour. Mum. She said ‘mum’. I see the color drain from Jane’s face. I see the sudden realization dawn on the faces of her friends. I feel sick. But not because of what I’ve done. But because I can’t stop thinking about Jane, the mother of my girlfriend.

 

#FlashMobWrites 1×49

Welcome to #FlashMobWrites Week Forty-Nine

Come one, come all! This is an open flash fiction challenge with a musical inspiration, hosted by authors Cara Michaels (formerly of #MenageMonday, #WIPflash, and #RaceTheDate) and Ruth Long (of the wicked fun #LoveBites and #DirtyGoggles challenges).

  • The challenge begins: Fridays @ Noon EDT (Eastern USA)
  • And ends: Saturday @ Midnight PST (Pacific USA)
  • Word count: 300-500 (no less, no more)
  • We love you and wish to heap praises (and random prizes) on you, so be sure to include your name (no, it doesn’t have to be your real name) and a way for us to get in touch (Twitter handles are encouraged)
  • A prompt choice is offered by each judge. Choose one (or both!) and include it in your story as given.
    • The prompt may be split between sentences, but no order change or dropping words.
    • Words may be added before or after, not in the middle.

The Inspiration

Tor Miller’s toe-tapping, “Now and Again.”

For your musical enjoyment only. You do not need to reference the video or song themes in any way for your story.

The Prompts

Cara Michaels: “I can’t stop”

Ruth Long: “staying home instead”

Now pick your prompt(s) and post your story in the comments below!

#FlashMobWrites 1×48 Winners

Another wonderful batch of delicious mouth-watering stories! Thank you to everyone who wrote, commented, and tweeted. Cara’s on the lam this week so I’ll be judging by my lonesome. Yikes! 🙂

WRITERS

  1. @billmelaterplea
  2. @laughingandy
  3. @SweetSheil
  4. @SiobhanMuir
  5. @jasonlefthand
  6. @LurchMunster
  7. @el_Stevie
  8. @BradyTheWriter
  9. @SilverJames_
  10. @Aightball
  11. @katheryn_avila

WINNERS

soldier48

Honorable Mention | Soldier | Steph Ellis | @el_Stevie

Ruth Says: Love how this story so easily beguiles us – reader and character – to certain doom. The road to hell is paved with free whiskey! 🙂

underboss48

Second Place | Underboss | Jason | @jasonlefthand

Ruth Says: Such a fun read! Great concept and characters. Loved the dark humor and would love to see more of these two! 🙂

boss48

Winner | Boss | Brady Koch | @bradythewriter 

Ruth Says: As a funeral home employee, I deal with people trying to wrangle private information out of me every day, so this inventive story struck my funny bone. 🙂

 


The Winning Story: Finger on the Pulse of The Rich and Famous by Brady Koch

“Let’s see, today was pretty normal. I had an actress, a singer and a couple of normal people too. Nothing notable”

Sheila wrinkled her nose. It did seem like a normal day. “Who was the actress?”

“I think she was on a couple of Love Boat episodes back in the seventies. Darla something-or-other.”

“What’d she come in for?”

“Her heart.” Hank yawned. Her husband was always tired when he got home and eager to get in the shower to wash off the smell of his work. Sheila knew if she didn’t get any leads from him now he’d be too tired or disinterested in revisiting his work day to share more than he was allowed to.

“What about the singer?”

“Yea. I knew him off the bat.”

Sheila’s pulse quickened. Hank was unplugged from the entertainment world, so if he recognized the person, it had to be a big name “Who?”

“The fella who sang that one song. You know the one.”

She started rifling through the Rolling Stone covers she’d catalogued in her memory.

He cleared his throat, “Da, da, da, dum Family Auto Mart, it’s where the wheelin’ and dealin’ starts.” Hank smiled, pleased with himself. “You know that guy. The one from the commercials.”

Her stomach sank. Of course this would be the notable person that Hank would remember. Living in the middle of Hollywood, surrounded by celebrities and her husband got excited by the used car salesman.

He shook off his jacket and kissed her on the cheek, heading for the bathroom. “If it makes you happier, he at least came in with a pain pill overdose,” Hank offered.

Normally this would have been just the morsel of information she’d want to know, but a local TV commercial spokesperson didn’t have the cache anyone would be interested in gossiping about. Oscar winners, and nationally known celebrities were ideal. Even a celebutante would do if they were notorious enough. Today she’d have to settle with Darla something-or-other.

Sheila waited until Hank was out of the room before picking up the phone and speed dialing the number she’s conspicuously labeled Dry Cleaner.

“Sheila?” came the voice on the other end of the phone. She never met him in person, only seen his organization’s name on the checks that came in the mail.

“Slow day,” she started. “You remember the actress Darla from the Love Boat?”

“I can look her up.” Sheila could hear his keyboard already clicking on the other end of the phone.

“Yea, heart failure.”

“Hmmm. That’s it?”

“Yes.”

“Well, there’s always tomorrow,” the voice said, before hanging up.

Sheila sighed. She thought her journalism degree would lead to more than being a tabloid informant. She also thought marrying someone who had daily access to celebrities as a technician at the L.A. County Coroner’s office would have generated more leads than this.

 

#FlashMobWrites 1×48

Welcome to #FlashMobWrites Week Forty-Eight

Come one, come all! This is an open flash fiction challenge with a musical inspiration, hosted by authors Cara Michaels (formerly of #MenageMonday, #WIPflash, and #RaceTheDate) and Ruth Long (of the wicked fun #LoveBites and #DirtyGoggles challenges).

  • The challenge begins: Fridays @ Noon EDT (Eastern USA)
  • And ends: Saturday @ Midnight PST (Pacific USA)
  • Word count: 300-500 (no less, no more)
  • We love you and wish to heap praises (and random prizes) on you, so be sure to include your name (no, it doesn’t have to be your real name) and a way for us to get in touch (Twitter handles are encouraged)
  • A prompt choice is offered by each judge. Choose one (or both!) and include it in your story as given.
    • The prompt may be split between sentences, but no order change or dropping words.
    • Words may be added before or after, not in the middle.

The Inspiration

This song and video tickled my funny bone. If you aren’t acquainted with Skylar Gudasz and her wry humor, enjoy this first time on us…

For your musical enjoyment only. You do not need to reference the video or song themes in any way for your story.

The Prompts

Cara Michaels: “marry someone who”

Ruth Long: “drink your whiskey neat”

Now pick your prompt(s) and post your story in the comments below!

#FlashMobWrites 1×47 Winners

You continue to amaze and entertain us every week! Thank you! As always, we appreciate all the entries, comments, and tweets! 🙂

WRITERS

  1. @SiobhanMuir
  2. @billmelaterplea
  3. @katheryn_avila
  4. @LaughingAndy
  5. @SweetSheil
  6. @SilverJames_
  7. @CarinMarais
  8. @Aightball
  9. @el_Stevie
  10. @EFOlsson

WINNERS

soldier47

Honorable Mention | Soldier | Laughing Andy | @laughingandy

Cara Says: Great Old Ones dispensing some karmic justice on the neighborhood protection racketeer. I’m imagining how Louie’s fate changes the local landscape.

Ruth Says: Loved the noir vibe here and the Lovecraft hat tip! Such a fun read! Would love more of this story!

underboss47

Second Place | Underboss | @billmelaterplea | Bill Engleson

Cara Says: This week’s installment of the Hazel offers a hope of resolution, then spins us about and adds a wild card in the form of Hap’s tucked-away son, Bobby. Damn it, someone around here knows something!

Ruth Says: I love how mysteries and secrets unfold throughout this serial, each one tucked inside another, and another, like little nesting dolls. Always a pleasure to read!

boss47

Winner | Boss | Siobhan Muir | @siobhanmuir

Cara Says: This scene has a soothing vibe with just the right underlying dose of ‘come to the Goddess.’ Balder clearly has a tough road ahead, so here’s hoping he finds an ally or two to help him along. Kicking it two weeks’ running with this continuation of Balder & Svanhild’s brewing epic, wtg.

Ruth Says: Darn it, Cara stole my word. Soothing. That’s what this scene conveys. A sense of peace and hope Balder’s battered soul needs as much as his lungs need air.


The Winning Story: Prices and Consequences by Siobhan Muir

Taking a chance, Balder glanced up at the person holding him. A woman with hazel eyes full of wisdom wearing an ornate breastplate decorated with wolves smiled at him.

“There, now. Feeling better, Balder?” Her voice held the music of the stars, ancient and seasoned, and some of his uncertainty faded.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Good. I see you’re working on your recovery, and I’m very pleased.”

He didn’t know why her pleasure meant anything to him, but it warmed his heart and threatened a blush across his cheeks.

“Where am I?”

“A safe place beyond time and consequence.” The woman tipped her head to the side. “I need you to do something for me, Balder.”

Wariness filled his gut. “What?”

“I need you to stay here in this town. I need you to put down roots and grow your family. And I need you to devote your considerable willpower to the people here. All people, including the Elder Races. Can you do that for me?”

He clenched his jaw. “Do I have any choice?”

“You can always tell me no.” She nodded. “But each choice, yay or nay, comes with prices and consequences.”

He thought about all the choices that had led him to this moment, this place, and wondered if he was doomed to follow the same lonely path forever. His gaze drifted around the room, searching for answers in the comfortable furnishings and homey knickknacks. He almost missed the warrior standing in the corner, waiting for direction.

He immediately recognized the woman who’d been on the porch. She wore her own breastplate, but hers had bears molded into the metal and looked like it had seen some action. Despite her forbidding presence, her brows pulled together in the middle and her jaw clenched as if she feared for someone.

Probably the Goddess holding me. He didn’t know why he knew she embodied the divine. Nothing had been said or shown, but certainty hit his gut along with the comfort she provided.

“And if I say no?”

She shrugged. “You’ll continue on your path as you are now. You’ll get help and you’ll eventually heal. But it will take longer, be harder and lonelier. And there are people who need you.” She nodded her head toward the woman warrior in the corner.

She needs me? That didn’t make any sense. Oh, wait. Maybe she needs me on my knees, with a sword in my gut. She didn’t look like someone who’d take kindly to him in any case.

But he wanted things to change. He wanted to be free of the programming that had damned him to this hideous existence, and he wanted Tiffany to be able to move on from his horrible actions.

“She needs me? To do what?”

The Goddess winked. “I can’t let every secret out of the bag. Where’s the fun in that?” When he sighed, she patted his ears. “I will say you’re not the only one who needs to heal and find redemption.”

#FlashMobWrites 1×47

Welcome to #FlashMobWrites Week Forty-Seven

Come one, come all! This is an open flash fiction challenge with a musical inspiration, hosted by authors Cara Michaels (formerly of #MenageMonday, #WIPflash, and #RaceTheDate) and Ruth Long (of the wicked fun #LoveBites and #DirtyGoggles challenges).

  • The challenge begins: Fridays @ Noon EDT (Eastern USA)
  • And ends: Saturday @ Midnight PST (Pacific USA)
  • Word count: 300-500 (no less, no more)
  • We love you and wish to heap praises (and random prizes) on you, so be sure to include your name (no, it doesn’t have to be your real name) and a way for us to get in touch (Twitter handles are encouraged)
  • A prompt choice is offered by each judge. Choose one (or both!) and include it in your story as given.
    • The prompt may be split between sentences, but no order change or dropping words.
    • Words may be added before or after, not in the middle.

The Inspiration

We’re bringing back Jamie N Commons, because damn. The man can sing. And make me chair dance.

For your musical enjoyment only. You do not need to reference the video or song themes in any way for your story.

The Prompts

Cara Michaels: “on my knees”

Ruth Long: “tell me no”

Now pick your prompt(s) and post your story in the comments below!