Flash Fiction Challenge: Another Three Sentences

The Numbers Game” — last week’s challenge — demands your eyeballs and appreciation.

At some point this week, I crossed 6000 followers on Twitter.

Which means: I’m going to send out some more terribleminds postcards, each with a piece of writing advice just for you. Penned by me. In the heartsblood of a magical white bull.

Okay, maybe not that last part.

Here’s the deal: I’m going to send out three postcards.

I will send them anywhere in the world.

In addition, the three winners will also receive one of my e-books in PDF format. (Winner’s choice.)

But you gotta work for it.

Last week’s challenge was brief — 100 words! — and this week’s is going to continue down Ole Brevity Lane and ask you to write a piece of flash fiction that is, drum roll please:

Three sentences long.

This can be in any genre. Any subject. No limitations beyond size.

Three. Sentences. Long.

Post directly in the comments below.

You have until Monday — yes, Monday, as in September 26that noon EST.

Then I shall pick.


I HAVE CHOSEN THE FIVE. I know, I said three. I’m saying five, because again you did way too many good ones.

I will send five postcards. One to:

Matthew McBride

Thomas Pluck


Julian Finn

Amy Tupper

Folks: I need your addresses. Email me at terribleminds at gmail dot com. (I’ll also need to know what e-book you want.)



  • They spent the afternoon butchering horses.

    Reverend Butch Pogue drilled holes through the back legs and attached a contraption he’d built then secured a metal bar above the hooves with bolts, and Junior pulled the tractor in low gear and raised the dead horse up into the big Oak where the Reverend skinned him out, as Junior pulled the hide off in patches and sheets, and steam rose off the meat in waves of stench the Reverend found intoxicating.

    They could buy cows cheaper than horses but the Reverend liked the meat.

  • Oh, yeah–it’s a true story. My life is really like this. It happened last night:

    One Fine Evening at the Liquor Store

    As Susan peered deeply into me, making me open up and talk about things that I would never discuss with a stranger, I was not aware at the time that her broken English was only slightly better than that of her husband’s unintelligible mangling of the language with his thick Vietnamese accent.
    Earlier, I had been witness to an odd ritual as she cleansed the store of bad spirits and blessed it for luck with prayer, incense, and candles that were part of some Buddhist ceremony that seemed completely alien to me.
    After everything else that happened in this strange night at the small liquor store—the broken cooler, the credit card machine malfunction, the culture clash-fueled anger from customers that I diffused—it was the appropriate nightcap, but I didn’t realize it until I left for the night and walked to my car, muttering, “Fucking mystics.”

  • Here’s mine: Smart Kids

    An angry mother and her two children, who fought in the backseat of the Oldsmobile, followed a tar truck that was carrying asphalt to patch the pot-holed country road.

    “You two are in such trouble, Jake and Audrey, where did you learn to talk like that, and don’t you dare repeat what you just said.”

    “Sure smells like someone’s ass had a fault,” they yelled in unison.

  • Monkey’s brains are filled with cotton wool, the stuff that comes from yarn stores, though he once told Teddy that it came from the bra of a flat-chested stripper from Vegas, and that’s why he thinks the thoughts he does, and he’s made from socks worn by a lumberjack, too, so he could kick anybody’s ass, even the boy who sneaks out the window late, late, late at night.
    He knows he’s a he-Monkey because when he wishes he could masturbate, he wants to yank, not to finger, not like the girl who isn’t little anymore, lonely quick movements under her covers, who doesn’t realize his button eyes see in the dark, sewn wide open, watching her, tail stiff and quivering.
    His red smile stretches wide, always, for he will be there long after the boy is gone, smothered up against her soft breasts as she cries; he’s not a jealous Monkey –after all, Teddy doesn’t have a penis either– and no one looks as good in a sock cap as he does.

  • So for some reason mine didn’t want to post last night, but it was about 1130 and I was too tired to keep trying. But here it is:

    She had danced with me, now she danced with him.

    I could never have had her, never could hold her, not how I wanted to.

    She was with him now, and I was out of cash; so I left the strip-club.


  • Sure.


    You could shoot the balls off a gnat at a hundred paces with this old six shooter. Gorgeous thing my wife had given me back when she was still with me. I’d not miss her much longer.

  • Ivy knew taking this case was a mistake but they needed the money which is never a good basis for decision making. Bishop promised double fees, but now that she was the prey instead of the hunter, she was seriously rethinking the whole monetary gain issue. The smell of rotting flesh was all around and she could hear feet slapping the wet pavement as she felt the stirring of the touch as Sam reached out to her.

  • Title: Head Count

    His undead neighbors shuffled ceaselessly below his third story apartment window and his compulsion to count and touch them had become almost unbearable; at first he’d thought the desire to count was a quirk – annoying, but harmless – but now he knew better.

    As he counted his remaining shotgun shells and adjusted each with meticulous care to ensure that they lined up across his cheap Formica kitchen table in ranks and files with perfect alignment and proximity, he wondered if 27 would be enough.

    He loaded the shotgun, inverted the barrel, and stared into its black depths; as it turned out, one round would be sufficient.

  • One minute she’s fine and the next it’s as if someone poured a bucketful of crappy feelings over her head: loneliness, worthlessness, dreariness. “I am not a bad person,” she mumbles to herself as the tears roll down her cheeks. Maybe someday she’ll believe it.

  • I didn’t think zombies were real until I became one. Contrary to popular belief, zombies do know what’s going on around them, require blood instead of brains and can break the control of their necromancer and be free again. I wish I’d known that killing my necromancer would also kill me.

  • Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, but Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.
    So Fuzzy crept into the commune, cunningly kidnapped all the kittens and carefully crafted a bear-suit from cat-fur.
    Now you almost can’t tell.

  • “Umm, yeah…”, said the dirty man in the flannel shirt, his zipper slightly open and a bit drool fighting to get free of his porno ‘stache.

    “Hurr,” was all he got from the woman on the couch, equally dirty and smelling of baby powder for some reason.

    “Dude,” was all the newcomer had to say, because this was obviously heaven.

  • He stares down the rusted barrel of a .44 caliber single action six shot percussion revolver over the salloon’s rickety poker table. The irony hits him right before the round iron bullet does. As his bloodied head hits the table an ace of spades slides from his duster’s left sleeve, the death card.

  • All stories start somewhere – this one begins with a pizza. It middles with furtive glances, laughter on walks without destinations, timid flirting, and hands incidentally grazing over a shared bowl of frozen yogurt. It ends with an awkward hug at a doorstep, the long lonely walk home, a missed opportunity, and filled with regret.

  • I arrived seemingly before I left. One moment the cops were around the corner and the next I sat down in the sand on the empty beach. With my stolen NeutrinoPort, it was easy to slip in and out of dimensions; staying in one place was what I found to be impossible.

  • He was about to tell the old lady to go fuck herself when the roof caved in on his head and the floor gave way and the next thing he knew he was sliding through a series of tunnels and shot out like a torpedo into a dark pool of water. When he came up for air, he coughed heavily while treading water and swam in an expanding spiral until he hit the edge of the pool, then clung to it as he called out for help. “You know what you can do, Peter,” she cooed in his ear, “you can go fuck yourself,” and then he felt a sharp heel digging into his forehead, pushing him under and with a silent scream he swallowed the darkness.

  • I dug my hands inch by inch into the waterstarved dirt around me and felt the earth itself cry for water, but eonsof tears had evaporated before they even reached the parched ground.
    I kept digging, day after day, monthby month, until I was a husk of flesh as dry as the earth above me andI reached the water far below the surface.
    I dropped my cracked and dry body intothe water and felt the water shudder in surprise and realize it’s mistakein thinking earth and water could ever be separated, and as the water rushedup the hole I’d made I knew I’d saved millions.

  • Dear Author:

    Thank you for your recent contribution, “The Day Me and Legolas Went Surfing,” but I’m afraid it isn’t quite right for our publication.

    Good luck with your writing.

  • She could never get the colours right, no matter how hard she tried. The beauty she used to paint, remains trapped in her head. Blinded, she fears she might not be able to see the open window God has replaced for her locked doors.

  • The dark figure struck the match and watched as it blazed brightly in the blackness of the night. It fell casually to the floor where it rested, nearly extinguished itself, and suddenly burned brighter. The fire ate through the paper and the gasoline, it ate through the wallpaper and the curtains, it ate through the carpet and the beds and, finally, it ate through the four bodies sprawled on them.

  • I’ve never participated in a Wendigian writing challenge before. How exciting. 😀 Here’s mine:

    The Box

    “Whatever you do, don’t open it,” he said.

    But he should have known better than to leave such an equisite box with someone like me

    And maybe he did because, when I opened it, the thing inside whispered my name, “Pandora.”

  • She changes with the seasons. In autumn’s shadow she is melancholy and sorrow, and withdraws into the snow wilds for winter’s watch. In the springtime her hair turns ripe and she walks back into the world – ice skin dripping – glowing like a sun.

  • Shopping

    The freezing rain ticks against the tiny window as Sarah points silently to her choice.
    When she asks “Too big?”, the salesman whispers, “It is our smallest casket, ma’am.”
    Outside, hard, gray ice bends the trees.

  • She was once a mermaid, and now she had feet that bled just to be with him. She’d learnt and grown, but he’d stayed a fish-obsessed boy.

    Her feet still hurt, but you just have to walk away when you find your husband in bed with a slutty-mouthed salmon.

  • She used to puke in the toilet, usually right after she caught me glancing at her belly or if I accidentally squeezed her side in just the wrong way. Eventually the bile stench faded, and she started eating regular meals and said she felt much better about herself.

    Tonight, she sobbed against the open bathroom door as the shower streamed into the clogged tub, filled to its edge with black water and half-digested lettuce: “I just want it to go away.”

  • When I met her, she was perfect for me: like fire between the sheets, the solid ground beneath my feet when I grasped for the stars, ice on my wounds when I inevitably fell; my muse, breathing in inspiration. She asked me to marry her just a second ago. I’m going to turn her down, because she’s perfect, and doesn’t need me in any way.

  • First Love

    She holds him tight, plants a kiss on his whiskery cheek, but he says nothing, so she pulls his arm, tugging at it until it dislodges from its socket. She peers at the severed purple appendage and flings it aside. Time for Mummy to buy her new toys.

  • “There’s got to be some way to get out of this town without joining the Army,” Julia said.
    I tucked the letter into my back pocket as I looked at her soft brown hair framing her face.
    “Got to be,” I said.


    “This plane is now ours!” the big man yelled with huge gun on his hand. All of the passengers cheered. Slowly, the plane changed its course, away from hell.

  • Bill awoke with a scream. After stumbling to the bathroom and washing his face, the clown in the wardrobe had almost slipped from his mind completely.
    Chuckles was patient though – he didn’t mind waiting.

  • A perfect, crimson pearl breaks free, joining the others in their silent orbit.

    Two hundred miles away and seen through dimming eyes, the Earth is ablaze: pinpricks appear, blossoming from points of light to city-sized clouds in less than a heartbeat.

    Corporal Surkeus no longer feels the sadness that had come before; her hand finally relaxes and, with infinite grace, her knife begins to float across the control room.

  • She ran past the limits of her endurance, to the point where pain became pleasure. The monster’s jaws snapped shut behind her as she plunged into a gaping maw, and was swallowed by a tree. A long time later she emerged, changed.

  • When the evolutionary accelerator was tested on the cats the predictable disaster resulted. Only their focus on the dogs and foolish humans who dared to name savage creatures Muffin or Boots gave us time to experiment on another species. Now the forbidden sciences have rid us of the cats, but what will save us from the squirrels?

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