Flash Fiction Challenge: “Bullies And The Bullied”

Five Words, Plus One Vampire,” will soon complete — have you checked out all the flash fiction stories there? Well, why the hell not? Skip to it.

Yesterday was Spirit Day.

A day to support those LGBT folks who are the victims of bullying.

My new novella, SHOTGUN GRAVY, is about this very thing.

So, it seems like this is a good week for you folks to do up a flash fiction challenge based off of bullies and their victims. “Bullying,” then, as a motif. Not just LGBT bullying, but bullying of all shapes and sizes, of all callous cruel and callow flavors. Here, though, will be the trick:

You have only 100 words.

Not 1000.

Nay, only 10% of the normal tally.

I don’t care what genre it is — in fact, more power to you for writing sci-fi, fantasy, crime, whatever. Bullying is an act that transcends. It isn’t just on the playground. It’s in politics. It’s on the street. In schools and old folks’ homes and cities and suburbia and rural tracts and so on and so forth.

You should pop your 100 words right in the comments section below.

I’ll pick my ten favorite and give all ten of you SHOTGUN GRAVY in the format of your choice — PDF, Kindle MOBI, or ePub. Oh, here’s the other challenging bit, then:

You do not have a week.

You have only this weekend.

You’ve got till noon EST on Monday, October 24th to get your 100-word stories into the comments section.

I’ll pick my faves by Tuesday at the same time.

Get to writing, folks.




I hate all of you ’cause you make this so hard.

Here’s the ten folks.

You can contact me at terribleminds at gmail dot com — and I’ll get you a copy of SHOTGUN GRAVY, just let me know in what format.

Rock on, folks. A powerful challenge and you stepped up.

* * *

Suzie – “Not My Fault”

Lindsay Mawson

Thomas Pluck

Darren Goldsmith

Alex Gradine


Sarah E Olson


Ben K

Anthony Elmore



79 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: “Bullies And The Bullied””

  1. The vampires were bad, but the fey were worse. Trolls gave way to droids. We still got by, till our metal overlords got overthrown by damn aliens. For six generations the human race has suffered under one tyranny or another. We’ve been sucked, tricked, enslaved, and probed by things that we barely believed in.
    No more!
    Stolen tech has been mixed with forbidden blood magic and hidden under powerful glamour. Our servitude has given us our enemies’ weapons, and only one recourse.
    Tomorrow we destroy Earth.
    If we must suffer oppression or die, we choose death.
    Eleftheria i thanatos.

  2. Peeing was becoming a real problem.

    He couldn’t go into the boys’ bathroom, they beat him to hell in there. He got expelled for going into the girls’ bathroom. He tried sneaking around behind the gym, but the boys caught on fast. Blood stained the cement; the adults pretended it had always been there. They didn’t know what to do with him, since he was a he who called himself a she and insisted on wearing dresses and telling his teachers to call him Charity even though he went home everyday with a broken nose.

    George just didn’t suit anymore.

  3. “Watch where you’re going, Cranky!”

    Not them again. Were they so bored they had to pick on me every single day after training? Whoever thought robots didn’t have feelings could help themselves to my shiny, metallic finger.

    “Let me go!” I moved to avoid them but they rolled in my way every time.

    Fine. If this was how they wanted it… I’d had enough. I had nothing to lose now. I ducked between the two of them, pulled their anchor straps over their faces, busted their transmissions and deflated their wheels.

    “Process that, muthafuckas.”

  4. Zweitse, his name like popping candy on my tongue. Tasted like it too. A Dutch name, he told me later.

    We circled the school quadrangle—or should that be squared?—trying not to watch each other. Each alone. Each taunted for our differences. The taunts ignored this new first day. The day he arrived. Quadrangle’s a strange word, no taste at all.

    ‘Your name smells like semolina,’ he said.

    He slurs the letter S. I like that.

    We compare our kindred synesthetic differences: the words he can smell, the words I taste.

    Enough common ground, mutual disparity, for something.


  5. Jobe walked away with a lump in his throat and a gobbet of spit dripping down his neck.

    “I’m a coward! I’m running away.” he thought to himself as something hard hit his back. ”Why can’t I hurt them? They’ve hurt me.”

    Jobe looked at his feet as he walked away. His eyes were teary and red and his hands rested deep in his pockets.

    Something soft and wet hit him on the back of his neck, and he heard the sound of distant laughter.

    “I’ll fight them tomorrow.” he sniffed. “Tomorrow I’ll be ready for them…”

    “Tomorrow I’ll have help.”

  6. Not my fault. That’s what I told the teacher. We’d only been joshing him.

    Not my fault. That’s what I told the ambulance crew. Just a game. Every day we tried to push him further. Cry harder.

    Not my fault. That’s what I told the police. The judge. Dan’s parents, statues in the courtroom.

    He hadn’t even thrashed. Just given up. Stubborn jerk—if he’d struggled, I could have let him up. A reaction was all I wanted.

    Not my fault. That’s what I told myself, when his bloated face floated in the darkness of the cell. Not my fault.

  7. Whenever the door opens I expect Him.

    If I delayed in my greeting or fail to make eye contact, he’d say “No hello for your father?”. He’d then go off, this ursine blacksmith chaining threats and words worse than blows.

    My father was smart enough to never physically scar. He knew how to make me feel less than the sum of my parts.

    Less than my parts individually.


    Now I smile, because it’s not him who enters any more. Yet, in those seconds, he reminds me through his absence what it is to be less than everything.

  8. “Why don’t you get a real job?” he says to me.

    “Taking care of your kids isn’t a real job?” I demand.

    “Not if it doesn’t make us money.”

    It’s the same humiliation almost every day. He makes all the money, so he’s allowed to voice his opinion. And he’s right. I don’t do much to support our family. Aside from feeding and bathing the kids, and getting them off to school, I’m pretty useless. I haven’t even had time to write.

    “Until you’re Stephen King,” he says, “stop the ‘I’m a writer’ charade. And get a job that pays.”

  9. Life is a grim procession of events for me.

    After school is the mocking and the one-sided fist fight followed closely by the ground spiraling up to meet my face. Next comes the never ending laughter… The constant taunting laughter is what hurts the most.

    Today was different. I was at the tipping point.

    As my head hit the ground something broke inside of me but instead of flesh and bone it was the chains holding back my rage.

    As I stood up I clenched my fist. The laughter stopped.

    That moment of silence was music to my ears.

  10. Treble:

    The wood of his guitar splintered into a hundred pieces of spruce. He could do nothing but watch and cry out as the three fat boys smashed the only possession that meant anything to him.

    “Play a song now, you tool!”

    Ms. Carver ran to his side, and broke up the commotion. She corralled the bullies, and sent them off to the principal’s office. She bent down and started to pick up the instrument-turned-kindling.

    “I’m so sorry, Steven. I know you loved that guitar.”

    “I feel bad for them. They broke it, but I can still hear the music.”

  11. The latest from Condostan. Also found here: http://barelyok.com/the-news-from-condostan-flash-fiction-challenge.html

    And when they ran out of Florals, they turned on the Stripes.

    “Paint faster,” Annie said to Frank, face flecked with beige paint.

    A Neighborhood Association airship sailed overhead. “One tone good. Two tones bad,” barked its loudspeaker.

    “Have to do this right,” Frank said as he painted over the last stripe.

    Annie peeked through the curtain and flinched back. The NA Enforcers beat the Millers on their lawn, threw strips of blue stripped wallpaper on them, and set it afire. The Enforcers turned toward their home.


    “Done,” Frank said, inspecting the solid beige walls.

    “Please pass,” she pleaded.

  12. I ripped this from my first book.


    This is a real incident which took place when I was in the FIRST grade. It came to my attention that the bus driver was keeping the seat behind him open for a fifth grade girl which he planned to fuck (sorry). She was terrified, but no teacher/councilor would help, and I think her single mom dealt with problems by pretending they didn’t exist.

    As a result of my action, all the boys took turns in the front seat and the bus driver was defeated.

    “I don’t move and don’t blink. I focus on the place where his eyebrows meet; it’s easier than locking with those angry, glittering dark eyes. I wonder why I’m doing this, but know that I’m going to see it through to the end.

    “The kids entering the bus are startled, and then hushed. No one speaks a word as the ugly bus driver and I continue our off and on glaring contest all the way into town. When the desired fifth grader climbs on the bus, she jumps with shock, and then flees to the back giddily.”

  13. My entry is here:


    In study hall Brandon sat like a little faggot so I said “Hey faggot.”
    “That’s right, faggot. Don’t look at me. I don’t like faggots looking at me. I don’t want their faggot eyes on me, faggot.”
    Bell rang and he walked like a faggot and held his books like a faggot so I knocked them out of his gay little hands.
    “I bumped past him as he bent to pick them up. “Fag.”
    Last bell. Walked home, played X-Box.
    Dad kicked my feet off the coffee table.
    “Keep your damn shoes off my furniture, faggot.”

  14. She sat on the ground, eyes wide and full of tears. The other children stood around her, laughing and pointing. She wanted to reach out and gather the torn pages of her precious book, an important religious text given her by her grandmother, but she couldn’t force herself to move. Books were a luxury long since out of print. Her lip trembled. She knew her parents would never forgive her. The wind scattered the pages in opposite directions. One stuck to a fence post, the visage of a great yellow bird and a brown woolly mammoth smiling back at her.

  15. This comes from a terrifying future that I pray never comes to pass.

    “Careful with those, regular!” The harsh words were accompanied by the wasp-like sting of the sensory whip.

    “Yes, my lord.” I gathering up the dropped boxes of iPhones as fast as I could, trying to ignore the flaring pain. I had been careless, but my haste seemed to satisfy the red-haired overseer, and he moved on to find someone else to abuse.

    It had been this way ever since the gingers had taken over. We had underestimated them, and after their pact with Apple, they had been unstoppable. Boxes in hand, I slunk back towards my cubicle. If I didn’t finish the shipment, I would be whipped again.

  16. Fingers frozen over the keyboard, nails stained orange from the Wotsits Ed had stuffed into his mouth.
    “You’’re not going to touch me with those things!”
    Ed gulped. It was just his imagination. He typed out some more code.
    “And your stench! I don’t even have a nose and your smell is suffocating. Why don’t you go outside once in a while, hmm? Make some friends. Oh, right, you can’t. Because you’re pathetic.”
    Ed swallowed again, this time past the lump in his throat. He wondered why the computer sounded like his mother. But everything it said was true.

    (*For my transatlantic cousins; Wotsits are the British version of Cheetos.)

  17. “Well Joesy–”
    “Op—don’t blame Josey baby,” John kindly commanded his wife.
    “I wasn’t–”
    “Yes, you were, don’t deny it,” he said lightly. “Hey buddy!” He lifted his two year old and kissed him. “So, besides our son running around without a shirt, how was your day?”
    “It was fine.”
    John paused. “So now you’re mad at me? Because I care?”
    “I’m not mad–”
    “Yes you’re mad, don’t lie.”
    “I’m not lying I’m–”
    “Now you’re bullying me with yelling? After all I do for us?”

  18. Buttons backed up against Master’s legs, trying to squeeze through the crevice made by calf touching calf, seeking a type of reverse birth where he could retreat back to the safety of the womb.

    Across the dog park the huge white poodle, curly coat tamed into meticulously shaped puffs, glared at him. She trotted over, mouth slightly open to reveal her sharp incisors.

    “Go play!” Master sounded annoyed as she pushed his bulky pitbull body forward into the dusty enclosure.

    The poodle stepped forward delicately and appraised him.

    “Please don’t,” Buttons whimpered.

    “They’ll blame you,” she said as she lunged.

  19. Nathan regained consciousness only to find himself lying face down in a pool of his own blood with his hands tied behind his back. With each passing moment, he became increasingly aware of the excruciating pain radiating from the bridge of the nose. It was obviously broken. With each breath, pain would pierce his skull like someone hitting him on the forehead with a rock hammer. He tried to clear his thoughts to remember what had just happened.

    From behind him, he could hear eight year old Billy whispering in his ear, “You will never bully me again. Got it?”

  20. Everything was a blur as he fell, watching the patterns his blood made as it splashed on the floor, the laughter of his tormentor fading into an unintelligible roar. It was frightening, but the long nights at home had taught him how to survive.

    Just play dead.

  21. He was kinda slow. Had this ugly scar that meandered up from his left brow and over his shaven scalp. And huge feet. We called him Frankie. Most days he worked the line with spit balls on his back. Or a note that said ‘kick me’. If you asked me why we did these things, I’d have to say it was just a bit of fun.

    Didn’t think he would top himself.

    We found out later he’d got the scar in a collapsed building; an iron beam left him with a mental age no higher than the kid he rescued.

  22. Archimedes, da Vinci, Franklin…amateurs. Despite his accepted genius, respect by the very people that needed him the most, eluded him. Sure he could foil traps and construct clever devices, but his companions only saw him as, “The Gnome”. He felt like a collection of height (short), hat (felt), and housecat (allergies) jokes. Tired of being comedy relief, Fegz had had enough. Deftly disarming yet another poison needle trap, he sipped his invisibility potion. Giving a shout into the darkness, Fegz tiptoed away. His companions could deal with the giant dragon themselves. Perhaps he’d invent something to clean up the mess.

  23. “They will never make it, you’re an idiot.”

    “I am not, and yes they will. They are strong.”

    “Strong? No wings, only two arms and no capacity to evolve – understand.”

    “They can understand; they have that ability. They can love, evolve through emotion.”

    “You’re an idiot.”

    “Stop saying that. Besides, if I made a mistake, they can endure. They have free-will, choice, the want to

    learn and overcome. Survival is in their nature.”

    “Get rid of them.”


    “Do it. Now, before it’s too late.”


    “Then I will.”


    “I’m getting the others then. Together, we will make you.”

  24. Mandy’s tower of blocks wavered, but did not tumble, as she carefully added piece by piece with glowing pride. How high this could be if only Tyler, with his black hair, big boots, and jelly-stained cheeks didn’t always knock it over. Slowly, slowly, one last blue-block balanced on top, until a cloud of dread blew towards her. Tyler’s boots stomped like a dinosaur and he was on his way. She looked at her castle one last time and then waved her hand at the base, knocking it over herself before Tyler had the chance. Boots couldn’t hurt her anymore.

  25. “BOBBY BUTTER: ANTI-BULLY.” Miss Pottery wasn’t sure what to make of this business card coming from a ten-year-old 6th grader.

    The waif shuffled along the playground carrying, of all things, a wad of bills. Brandon “Bricks” Baron soon marched over.

    “Oh God, wrong day to watch from indoors.”

    She fiddled with her wheelchair, only to see Bobby slammed aground, blood streaming. Bricks Baron dropped the bills, trembling, drenched in Bobby blood.

    Police arrived, taking Bricks. The EMT laughed. Bobby turned to the window and winked, lifting his shirt to reveal an odd contraption. Hoses. Bags of “blood.”

  26. They cornered her, three this time. Ready for another round of “smear the queer”.

    She used to be kind until these monsters beat her, raped her. Her gift for desiring happiness, beauty desecrated because of a phenotype. “What did you expect?”

    The middle one didn’t expect her to drive a boot knife under his chin when he approached. A twist and he was on the ground, gurgling through a wet hole in his throat. She turned away, dragging the bloody knife along the brick wall as she hummed to herself.

    What doesn’t kill you might make you one mean bitch.

  27. “The Switch”

    I waited in the shadows until he got home. Watched him from my small corner of darkness as he cast his work shirt aside and dropped his keys on the counter. I waited there until he got nice and comfortable on the lazy boy he’s so fond of.

    Flash back ten years and you’d see a kid, with ginger red hair and thin scraggly limbs, trying his best to move through the crowd unnoticed. And then it happens, Bobby approaches with a slick shit grin on his face, ready to harass.

    I pull out my blade. It’s almost time Bobby.

  28. “One more house, Jaelyn?” She’s a witch and I’m a ghost this year.


    “Oh, no! Bruce and Dane!” I point at the zombies.

    “I’m not giving up my candy!”

    “Me either! This way!”

    The bullies chase us through backyards. Their years of torturing us kids end tonight.

    I lead us to the playground and we hide.

    “Come on out. We just want to play.” They laugh.

    I blow my special whistle with no sound.

    Unforsaken creatures appear and surround the fake zombies. Their deadly eyes hypnotize. The smell of decay overpowers. They slay the boys before they can scream.

  29. The news was all over the nursing home: she’d caught her husband kissing another woman.
    I was behind a curtain, dressing one of my patients. The door slammed against the wall as she wheeled Esther in. She didn’t know I was there.
    “Put your arm down. No! Curl it this way,” she peeled Esther’s clothes off. Her words were so harsh it sounded as if they burned her throat. “You’re useless. Your family doesn’t visit you cause you annoy them.”
    Clothes hit the floor.
    “Ew gross.” She surveyed Esther’s limp body.
    I whipped the curtain back.
    “Uh-oh!” she said.

  30. Sticks and stones. I hear it every day. Never helps.

    Today was a great day. Best I’ve had. The abuse still came. Ignoring them made it even worse. They roughed me up, but I let it go. My classmates didn’t care. My teachers didn’t. Why should I?

    They gave up eventually though. Maybe that’s all there is to it. No. It’ll get worse. Why wait? Take action. Today. I made my decision. And knowing that gave me the happiest day of my life.

    I can’t help but smile.

    Sticks and rope will break my bones.

    I kick out the ch-

  31. We always made Todd close his eyes in the shower after gym class. Once, during our barrage of insults, I threw his clothes in the trash barrel.

    Todd spoke softly with a lisp and only hung out with girls. As far as I knew, he never got beat up; no guy wanted to touch him.

    After that school year, we never saw him again.


    My son’s junior high photo smiles at me from the mantle. “Of course I still love and accept you, Michael,” I say to it, wiping my eyes.

    When you get home from school, I’ll tell you that, buddy.

  32. They followed me home, throwing rocks that never found their mark, and laughing. I was rigid, face burning with shame and fury, but I wouldn’t let them see me run. Or cry.

    In the clearing next to the river, something flashed in the grass. A handgun.

    I turned as they exited the woods. They saw it at my feet and froze, eyes locked on me. I waited for them to think the same things I was thinking. What I could do. Then I kicked the gun down the hill and into the river.

    When I looked back, they were gone.

  33. She slaps me, kicks me, pulls my hair. She pushed me down the stairs, once. I was in hospital for weeks.

    She visited every day, held me close, whispered kind words and sweet nothings as I lay painfully in the bed of my own choosing.

    This was what I hated most. I loved her—God only knows why, but I did—so I would take her abuse with silent consent as she tried to break me.

    What she doesn’t know is that I’m already broken. I shatter all the more when she says “I’m sorry”.

    ‘Sticks and stones’, my arse.

  34. Bandit was not tough like her name. Rather, she was scrawny and lonesome because the head mare, Ruby, drove her off from herd and hay with teeth bared and ears pinned back. Ruby also kept her own colt in a muddy corner. He bleated and nickered for his mom, but she was too busy bossing the others to tend to him. It had been a while since the farmer had taken Bandit’s weanling away, but her milk still dribbled warm to hear Ruby’s colt, and soon they belonged to each other in their banished corner of the paddock.

  35. I can’t help it.

    Just the smell of him makes me crazy.

    Look at him!


    Look at all those books in his locker. He’s showing off that he’s smarter than everyone else. He’s so damn small and weak, too. It’s weird.

    And the way he keeps pushing up his glasses and getting questions right in Algebra, man, he’s pretty much asking to be hit.

    I work hard to get along in this school and here’s this skinny little putz trying to be all smart.

    Well, like dad says, I’ll show him what we do to smart asses around here.

  36. Here we go: A Quick Retort

    He came at the same time every night, more or less. He comes and stands outside, the hatred thickening his voice as he shouts abuse. “Leave us alone, we’ve never done anything!” My father pleads with him every night, begging him to go away, and to take his obscenities. “He doesn’t understand our language or our customs,” my father tries to explain his loathing, “and so he is afraid. The bully’s fear turns to anger.”
    “Stupid fuckin’ monkeys!” He pushes against the bars of our enclosure. He can’t understand my retort until my shit hits him. Monkey see…monkey do.

  37. When I was in third grade I was taken under the wing of a tall girl.

    Nanette and I would cruise the school yard at recess, she pushing and shoving smaller girls around and demanding their candy. I, her wingman, would apologize to them as we left.

    One day I went to her house.

    “Has Nanette been talking to boys?” her mother asked me.

    “Yes, ma’am.”

    She then proceeded to beat the hell out of her daughter.

    I realized then that, in me, Nanette had recognized a kindred spirit.

  38. “Ziza, what’s that foul aroma?” Vera puffed on a cigarette in a holder. “Just like your mother, summoning spirits? Your eyes fish for tricks. Who will you ever be?”

    Vera bit down on her amber mouthpiece and slapped her step-daughter’s face. “You curse me with your mother’s eyes. The mental hospital’s got a room for you, too.”

    Ziza buried the incense box under dirt and cement in the derelict schoolyard.

    Her schoolmates nicknamed her Pizza because her clothes reeked of garlic, old tomato sauce. “Pizza girl! Do you deliver?”

    Vera was fucking the pizza guy. “Don’t ever tell!” She warned.

  39. He towered over them as they worked on in ignorance just before the boom came down.

    They could tell themselves their matriarch was safe, far below ground level. They could take solace in the fact that more sisters were waiting to be born deep below. They could even tell each other a little co-ordinated effort would rebuild this part of their home.

    Now was anguish, chaos, and confusion.

    It almost– almost– made him feel better about his broken nose, his bloody lip, and the lingering sickness in his stomach.

    And it was that damn almost that killed him the most.


    His father found Andrew where he shielded his little sister in the closet. Burly arms pulled him free. Andrew stiffened. He could hear his mother crying downstairs. What now?

    His father thrust an old catcher’s mitt into Andrew’s chest. One hand tightly gripped his upper arm.

    “C’mon, Son. Let’s go play some ball. You need to play a real sport.” He pushed Andrew toward the door.

    The slight fencer stood his ground. “You leave us alone or I’ll tell my teachers.” The backhand sent Andrew to his knees. No more, he vowed. He stood back up.

  41. The long rectangle pieces were shaped perfectly for a small fist. Tops were hard rounds, the bottoms, sharp-edged plastic. All in one you had a fist-full of pennies, brass knuckles, and a knife.

    Legos. The toddler utility weapon.

    “We got one hundred of these. We use ‘em all on you ‘til they break!” the leader said, as he went to work on the victim, curled up and crying.

    One hundred – colorfully written on the empty package.

    “Wrong,” thought Amelia Dare, as she positioned two rectangles in each fist, just so, and stepped towards the bullies. “You only got ninety eight.”

  42. “Nice skirt, Jane. Looks like you’re wearing a sausage casing.”

    Annie Pigeon smirked at Jane’s terrified grimace, the swollen fingers tugging at the hem that hugged the woman’s meaty thighs.

    “You could stand to lose some weight, you know?”

    Jane wheezed, face turning the color of rotten apples. “Just . . . why can’t you leave me alone?”

    “Oh, poor Jane. What, are you going to cry now?”

    A trembling chin on Jane’s face had Annie grinning.

    Mr. Timmons breezed into the conference room. “Now, let’s get started – Jane, why don’t you give us a report on this week’s sales?”

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