Flash Fiction Challenge: Another Story In Three Sentences

Last week’s challenge: “That’s My New Band Name.”

I want to give someone a copy of 500 Ways To Tell A Better Story.

As always, you gotta dance for your dinner, though. It’s fuck-or-walk around these parts, hoss.

Put your pants on. I didn’t mean it like that. It’s a metaphor. Or something.


You’re going to tell a story in three sentences.

You will post this story here, in the comments below.

Keep it under 100 words.

You only get one entry.

I will give away three copies of the book in either ePub, MOBI or PDF format. Your choice.

You’ve got one week. Due by noon EST, July 6th, 2012.

Three sentences. Beginning, middle, end, 1, 2, 3.

Do it.

169 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: Another Story In Three Sentences”

  1. “Does this dress make me look fat?” she asked.
    “You look about 10 months pregnant,” I said.
    She crammed me into our cockapoo’s doghouse.

  2. “What’s in a sentence?” Sausso the unknown thought, the idea drifting like his car as his eyes locked on the rusty sign.
    It read: “No entry beyond point—“; and Sausso, puzzled at what ‘point’ signified on a trail with mountains glued to the horizon, scoffed at it for being a failure, didn’t notice the blending trail fork, and headed toward a bridge set to collapse under the approximate weight of a car.
    Few artifacts were extracted: A tattoo—“Sausso”— still visible on the corpse, a bible; and a notebook inhabited by a single sentence written in tattoo ink.

  3. Poverty makes her thirst, but all the death she has seen makes her ache; as she chases the white man’s alienated American dream. What she has seen is enough to tremble the bravest soul; as she carves her way from the borders of Mexico through Arizon’s dry obscure desert paths. Death’s march.

  4. “I was single again, and my friends kept trying to set me up on a date with this tobacco-

    spitting guy. He was sweet, sure, but under no circumstances was I ever, ever going to

    date a man who chewed tobacco.”

    “But, Mom, Dad chews tobacco.”

  5. She knew she had to return the old bunker where the terrible stuff happened. The scars reminded her of that twisted rite of passage she had been forced to endure, not her rite of passage, mind you. That would be tonight, if there was to be made any sense of that misery her life had been ever since, so she put on her makeup and retrieved the hammer from the bottom of the cupboard.

  6. Ten months later he still wakes on the couch.

    Nine hours later they’re drinking Shiraz on the wharf – all old brickwork and washed-out beige, the dark Thames choppy and freezing-looking, flecks of spray on their skin but at least out here they can fucking well smoke – and he tells her of her lipstick smeared on polycotton, the hurled shot-glasses, his promises, the works.

    Lucy says, ‘You can leave but you always leave something behind,’ and eight minutes later they’re in a cab; not that, by this point, anyone’s counting.

  7. (Thanks Chuck – these shorter challenges are a really good discipline. And I’ve just noticed that the entry previous to mine shares the ten-nine-eight thing – coincidence, I promise.)

  8. He was beaming and having a hard time controlling it. He alone has nailed the scholarship. But, he needed this; he had to prove to her that he is the most capable among her friends; just right for her. He was yet to know that she has long given up on him for his best friend, a man of lesser potentials; to her, money wins and all potentials are zero.

  9. A lit cigarette falls from sleeping fingers. In a heartbeat flames lick the exits as her daughter cries out. Gray smoke stretches to the clouds while neighbors helplessly weep.

  10. I dance with the music imitating long and short bow strokes with my imaginary violin, turning in time with dramatic flair. The ‘darkness’ remains huddled impotent in the corner leering at me with contemptuous rage. He hates this song and that makes me smile reveling in the poetic of justice of the living taunting the dead.

  11. He heard the sirens singing, though on the advice of others he had made himself fast with tarred ties. On the strength of his own desire, he slipped his bonds and made himself free to follow a song. He knows things now.

  12. It was a cold sprightly morning in the middle of May and I had just settled down with a glass of cheap Scotch and the bottle of cyanide when they arrived and told me that my brother was dead and the first thing I muttered was “Well-played, you sonuvabitch.” The second thing I said was: “How?” – “Auto-erotic asphyxiation,” said they. “Damn,” said I, “That’s better than what I was going to do; he did always have to beat me at everything.”

  13. Miriam loved to visit the Earth.
    The Church knew her only as the Virgin Mary and was afraid when she first arrived.
    She could tell people the future, but she was here mainly for the chocolate malts- she loved chocolate.

  14. The sinners prayed while cripples played, and the the world’s axis spun askew. Life as fiction, fiction as fantasy, fantasy as reality. We danced around the burning circle, mundane no more.

  15. “The End is Nigh,” read the jaunty legend on the coffee cup, parked beneath a line circumscribed half an inch up from the base of the mug. As the computer before him whirred and beeped and clicked through the boot sequence, he took a long draught, glimpsing a matching line drawn inside the cup; seeing it made him smile wryly. A sudden blast of noise from outside caught his attention and he turned, wide-eyed, to look out of the window as the cool Vermont morning was obliterated by an onrushing fury of flames and destruction.

  16. He kissed the photo of her, smiling and toothless, put it in the drawer with the keys and the matches and the paperclips, then closed the door behind him.

    City after city, year after year, he lived the life he couldn’t live without and waited for answers to letters she would never open.

    He died in his hometown hospital, moments before the call he’d waited for his whole life.

  17. She ran one fingernail up my exposed thigh, as though trying to dig a canal in my flesh, drawing blood every centimeter her frail digit passed over. Her lips thrust forward onto mine, the sticky taste of matted lipstick and the hot moisture dripping from our now nearly conjoined lips. In that bittersweet moment, we came to a mutual understanding that there were no ulterior motivations, nor cruel intentions, only brief but unnerving passion.

  18. “What are you doing?” Erin gave her husband her patent-pending raised eyebrow “you’re insane” look. “Quiet,” Derrick pushed his ear harder into the bottom of the glass he held against the shower wall, “I think they might be having sex.” Well, she thought, here’s one more funny story I can’t tell at work.

  19. Title: Mary Annette

    I thought she was just another stupid blonde and that I could put on a great play, have my fun with her and then cut the strings with her being none the wiser. The worst I’d expected was I’d leave her a crumpled heap on the floor, waiting for the next man to pull her strings; but I was wrong. The puppet came to life and here I hang, backstage in this long-abandoned theater, my arms dangling from above and moving only when Mary Annette allows.

  20. On their first date he mistakenly called her “Babs”, which she hated, so for 11 years it was his running joke.
    Prone on the bed, pinned down by tubes and wires, like some Medieval rack, his eyes saying more than his mouth could, he pushed out “Babs.”
    She looks at the machine, trying to remember the proper sequence, trying to ignore how much with its multicolored lights and liquids, it reminds her of a child’s mobile, trying to hold on to the echo of “Babs” over the noise of the pumps.

  21. He stood opposite himself, looking upon himself. Just ceased to be a ghostwriter and become ghost of the writer. Concluded, that suicide was not necessary.

  22. Lifting their heads from behind scorched walls the cowering figures held their collective breath. With tentative steps they emerged into the maelstrom of dust and ash that raged as a coda to the blasts. One by one the tears sizzled down their cheeks as oblivion gathered them into its welcoming embrace.

  23. Prison, Matt reflected, was not the worst possible outcome all things considered. A small smile cracked his face even as the first light of dawn glimmered through the barred window above, into his small world of grey stone. At least he had given the others a chance, slight and fragile as it may be.

  24. The haint stood with the grim realization that his life was at an end, as this was due to the crystal-powered L56 dust-pistol’s barrel resting on his forehead, the rather angry soldier with his finger on the trigger, and his cohorts hung around behind him, those of which continuously egged him on.

    There were hoots, taunts, and laughter until the gun went off and millions upon millions of crystal dust particles began to bite into and erode away the haint’s skin, skull, and brain and he fell away from the barrel and landed on the war torn ground with a heavy thud, but soon stood again with a light that shined from his eyes and a scream escaped from his lips that grew progressively louder with each passing moment until the enemy soldiers found themselves careening back from the unnatural creature as their ears bled and their brains turned to mush before they hit the ground in their effort to escape the agonizing keen.

    As the haint continued to scream, it rose into the air as light escaped through his mouth, but he saw nothing of the material world around him, for as his keen continued he found himself somewhere foreign but familiar where thousands, if not millions, of his kind congregated behind an old withered haint that said in a raspy, ancient voice “you are the last, but unknowingly so, and so shall you traverse the world with the charge of bringing us back,” when a light began to shine and soon blinded the lone haint, until he gained his vision once again to find himself floating above what was once his living body when the words of the ancient one echoed through his mind.

  25. The one was staring at the other: the one with a little grin and toes and fingers wiggling and the other exasperated. “Ca…ca ca ca” said the infant as his little grin widened and opened into that cheeky smile that the other had no resistance to. The father considered this and then with a sigh like so many times before gave his son the tv remote.

  26. Momma always said that after Jesus there ain’t nothing more important than kin. That’s why Steve copped a flogging when he got that girl pregnant – even if she was asking for it, way she was dressed and all. She’ll come round to our way of thinking sooner or later, else the good Lord will have to take her back sooner than he intended.

  27. On a cold, icy morning like this, her love for coffee made sense. As much as the dark, bold aroma wafting to her nose lifted the fog of sleep from her thoughts, the gentle burn of the fine, white porcelain cup – a wedding present from her aunt purchased only three years ago – warming her hands ignited a fire within them to do something. And, looking down at the revolver resting on the kitchen table next to her, she knew she would, just as soon as he walked through the door with another fucking excuse.

  28. There was this writing competition, you see, and I hoped winning would propel me from my environmental enervation in a James Bond’s Aston Martin ejector seat fashion, but obviously with better consequences.

    I didn’t win, but someone posted a comment saying “Thanks for trying… have you thought about seeing a life coach?”

    “That’s a good idea, perhaps we can discuss it further in my Aston Martin?”

  29. Maggie cinched her immaculately white, terrycloth robe tighter around her waist, took a deep breath, and stepped out of her bedroom into a world devoid of color and warmth.

    Henry, silhouetted against the bay window in murky pre-dawn grayness, clicked his suitcase shut on the couch and said, “Mag, I was thinking we could get past this if only -”

    “Oh, who wants to hear your dreadful ideas!” Maggie screamed, her face like a gasping trout on a riverbank.

  30. The deepening rays of sunset paint the walls in copper light as he arranges himself carefully on the sofa, raises the porcelain cup of poison to his lips, and drinks. It is dark when she comes home from her walk, her arms laden with wildflowers, and it isn’t until the candle is lit and the flowers arranged that she notices his lifeless body slumped over the far end of the sofa. She gently covers him with the linen shroud, makes a cup of tea, and settles down to wait for the whistle of the second bomb.

  31. My parkour instructor says that he once defeated an evil wizard named Balthazar in mortal combat and imprisoned him in the wall of the gym. I have no reason to disbelieve him. He can do wall flips, after all.

  32. To the betrayed and the bitter, the wind was full of hope and seduction and bad ideas–and James heard it cry out to him, “Mary!”
    It hurt him too much to even think of it, and James fell to his knees and pounded his chest, screaming to the wind that wouldn’t leave him alone, “Mary doesn’t live here anymore!”
    The wind seemed to die down a bit when he said that, and James was mystified but still alone when the wind whispered to him, “How about Jennifer?”

  33. A rain frowns over the double-monopolized arrival of a negotiable plant. Unfairly does it dodge the drought and the bleaching sun and the foot falls of the moving Charmers. Like the weed, they play and ploy to elude the focus of the overmastering Watchers.

  34. “Nobody can teach you to meditate, kid,” He said, “Nobody can teach you to glass out all the voices and fog over all the white noise and static of the world. I carved my novel into the side of a hollowed out tree because I thought it looked serene and perfect, but it was just empty; which I thought was symbolic, you know, like that’s what enlightenment is; just emptiness. Turns out I don’t know shit about enlightenment.”

  35. She holds him until he falls asleep that night, like every night. That night was different, because although he woke up again screaming and shouting and lashing out at her, although his dreams had left him shattered and in a rage, she felt drained and empty and didn’t know what else to do. When his breathing slowed and he relaxed into her after the fight he had put up, she held him to her breast; held him until he stopped moving, until the steady rise-and-fall of his chest was no more, held him until then and then some, and after, she began to cry.

  36. Papa exclaims what a beauty she is—the saint in our altar. In her white, satin train, she shines like a burning coal.

    But perhaps the lights are too bright that papa does not notice the stain in her train, the guile in her eyes which I see, here, in the shadows where I stand.

  37. Jed Lawson lay in a pool of blood mere inches away from the finish line that had defined his very existence since his awakening in college. More than half-dead, he looked up at the guards with blood dribbling from the corner of his mouth and smiled, “fuck you.” He reached his arm out towards the line.

  38. The heavily applied make-up smeared quickly as he kissed her, an attraction finally consummated. It took three people to pull him away as the other mourners gasped in shock. Sitting on the kerb post-ejection he could bear the temporary separation; they couldn’t guard the grave forever.

  39. Surly, and resentful of the awkward, slippery and increasingly foetid meat-suit it was compelled to wear until the invasion was well underway, it dragged its way through another torturous day searching for its nest-mates and pretending to be one of the unfortunate sheep. Tugging at the rank mask, it repositioned the raggedy eyeholes, and doing so, spotted a poster in the window of a local bookshop: “Call for Entrails,” it said, “Inquire Within.”

    Reading between the lines, it smirked and gurgled, “At last, kindred spirits and the prospect of a good meal.”

  40. The spaceman threw himself behind a rock as the heat-rays scorched the red, dusty ground around him. A sickly wet warmth spread through his suit, the chittering language of his assailants drawing closer to his final refuge. As he peered over the rock and into the aliens’ thousand eyes and glowing raygun muzzles, all he could think about before he was evaporated was that they really shouldn’t have sent a poet.

  41. I found my dad lying on the sidewalk in front of my apartment. I sat on the steps and looked at him. As the sun rose over us, a shrinking shadow puddled beneath is body like oil.

  42. Once, there was a factory farm.
    Animals there lived thankfully short lives in profitably small cages (you probably don’t want the ugly details); the population turned its collective head and ate two-for-a-dollar hot dogs and said, “Well, animals are not people.”
    Animals are not people but people are animals who didn’t notice when the factory model began its inevitable spread to include them as part of the machinery.

  43. Parachutes open with a THWACK you can feel all the way down to your balls. The air goes still, and you feel a joyous heaviness like sliding into a lazy dream.

    My parachute goes wump.

  44. Found, she hadn’t known that she’d spent her life waiting to find him, waiting for him to find her. Precious moments, a life made complete, unadulterated joy. And then lost, joy taken far too quickly, at least, too quickly for her.

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