Voting Stage: October Flash Challenge


Writing challenges, flash fiction, interesting anecdotes, amusements, and general miscellanea.

Moderator: Editors

Please vote for your favorite:

Poll ended at November 11, 2017, 04:42:45 PM

The One-Horned Deity
6
50%
Inuit Pumpkin Patch
2
17%
The Watcher
3
25%
You Can Never Go Home Again
1
8%
 
Total votes : 12
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Post November 01, 2017, 04:42:45 PM

Voting Stage: October Flash Challenge

Here are the entries for the October Flash Challenge. Please vote for your favorite.

The One-Horned Deity


The bell rang and all the students in the classroom got ready to leave when the teacher, a bald man of about 50, stopped them before they could stand up.

“I want all of you to sit here for a moment and think about the fact that this night, Halloween, is the anniversary of the unfortunate demise of your classmate, Brett, who died in a fiery motorcycle crash last year. I know you are thinking about the stupid costumes you will wear this evening and the evil pranks you have been preparing, but I want you to remember this: maybe some of you didn’t like him, but he was a very promising football player and he was certainly better than many of you.” And, having had his say, the blue eyes of the teacher stared at Makya, his look turning into a gesture of open disgust.

The boys and girls didn’t reply, they just sat in silence for a minute, waiting for their teacher to leave before standing up and eventually going home.

Makya scratched at his dark hair and watched as his teacher went away, a sense of hatred growing in him. That man had always despised him because he was Native American - although he would never openly admit it because he didn’t want to appear racist in front of his colleagues… But he was that, indeed, and he never passed up an opportunity to remark how slow and stupid the boy was, telling Makya that he would never do well in this town or in any other town in California.

Makya sneered after the man. Actually, the boy should have pitied his teacher: after all he was going to die soon. It wasn’t because the man was sick but he would be dead the next day, without a doubt.

How could Makya have been so certain? The answer was very simple: he himself was going to kill that hateful man…without even touching him!

The boy was a descendant of a Native American tribe from California called the Wintu who had lived in these lands long before the coming of white men. He well remembered what his grandfather had once told him: “In case you need someone who can avenge you, or whenever there is a serious wrong to right, you can turn to this ancient object.” The old man had handed him something wrapped-up in a piece of cloth. But before the boy could unwrap it, his grandfather had ordered him to pay attention. “Never, and I repeat, never open it to look directly at its face. This object depicts Makalay, the one-horned deity, and death is coming for the person you sees it. We believe that to see the face of Makalay is to call death to you. Therefore, turn to this object and to its power, only if you need to bring harm to someone who causes you trouble. But never look at its features. Never!”

And so the boy had avoided looking at the object for most of his young life. Then his parents were forced to change homes, leaving the ancient lands where their ancestors had lived and moving to a large town full of white men. Some of them had been kind and helpful, but others had repeatedly made fun of him because he was Native American, mocking him when he tried to find the right English words to express himself. Brett had been one of the worse bullies he had ever met, always beating him when there was no one else around, turning his school days into a living hell.

Makya had used the power of the deity against Brett last year, and also against another boy before him. At first Makya didn’t know how to activate it. ‘How can I make use of an object’s power without looking at it…?’ he had wondered for weeks.

And then the answer had come. It was funny to think that one of the white man’s electronic devices would be part of his plans, as the boy had made use of a modern smartphone’s camera. He had unwrapped the object and taken a picture of it, not looking at it. He then sent the photo as an attachment in an e-mail message. Of course, maybe the photo might have been a little out of focus, but that didn’t matter. The important thing was that the target saw the attached photo and the sight of the evil deity took care of the rest. Death would come soon, as it had come to the people he had already cursed. How right his grandfather had been: this had proven to be an easy way to destroy his enemies.

And there was no way that anyone could charge him with a crime, certainly. After all, how many white judges would ever consider such an ancient curse to be the real cause of death? People had long relegated many Native American legends to less than childish fables, so why should they give any relevance to photos of an old evil deity?

Beyond that, Makya knew that Halloween night was the perfect time for accidents to happen, a perfect time to send such e-mail messages. People tended to drink a lot and do stupid things on Halloween, forgetting about their safety. It was lucky for him that white people had made up a holiday that repeated itself every year. He had so many enemies to get even with, boys who had made fun of him or beat him up. It was clear that only one Halloween wasn’t nearly enough to get rid of all his enemies without raising suspicions.

So, the next morning there would be one less evil person in the world.

Wasn’t maybe correct what a white man himself, that famous internet radio commentator, had once said? ‘Halloween is a day in which some people choose to wear a mask… while others finally feel safe to take theirs off…’

THE END


Inuit Pumpkin Patch

“He be a great preacher man Amka. You good be best behavior around a him. Tuurngaq get sure for you if no.” Amka’s father spoke the old language and found the English a strange and harsh tongue to use, even though he had spoken it for over fifty years.

“Yes father. I always am good when the god man comes to the village.” Such a common reply by a child that finds the definition between being good and wanting to be good… two completely different meanings and actions.

The pastor in the northern clime of Alaska was a single middle-aged man who went by the name, Pastor Thomas King. In a way his royal name was fitting as he was the voice of Christianity for an area bigger than most European countries. His territory was many millions of acres. Most of where he travelled took an airplane or boat to get too. His castle was a small wooden shack and his flock was the nation of the Inuit. His kingdom the realm of frozen tundra and sea for as far as a bird could fly in a week.

Eskimo, is a word of the ignorant and Pastor King had quickly learned of this just as he had learned how deep the old ways of the Inuit ran. Many the sermon he gave in small villages had he seen the soil casting by some elders as they sang a good Christian hymn. The actions he knew to be nothing more than superstitions, and yet sometimes he felt a tingle go down his spine when he witnessed such.

“Ainngai preacher man.” Amka’s father mixed the language of ‘hello’ with the modern language.

“Hello Kooringa. I see you brought your son with you today. Amka, is that right? Your name means, One with a friendly spirit?”

Amka squirmed. The god man was tall, thin, and smelled strange. He wanted to be anywhere else at the moment but he had promised his father he would be good so he said, “Hello.”

The pastor finished the pleasantries with the two and after greeting other members of the village, they all filed into a small home where he would conduct a sermon. It was not often he got to this village. Usually every three months. So, it did not matter that it was not Sunday as everyday was a good day to preach for the god man.

Amka and his father were the last ones to enter. There were about twenty people crammed in the tiny space. Soon, the voice of the preacher sounded as if he was in the space of a cathedral. Today, his sermon dealt with a topic he had strong convictions about, that being, the day known as Halloween. A pagan holiday celebrated by those who fall for the dark shadows of evil.

“Brothers and sisters, be not fooled by the demons of Hell. They are here to destroy your soul with temptations hidden by what some will try and fool you with under the guise of being righteous…”

Amka was instantly bored. The god man’s voice was shrilly and actually hurt the boy’s ears. His attention was looking for something, anything to amuse him. And it did not take long for him to see something that fully caught his attention. It was a local village girl named, Mirwa. Her name meant, thorn. For Amka all girls were a thorn. Sharp, painful, and something best left alone.

It was not Mirwa’s looks that caught his attention, it was what her face was googly eyeing, that being the preacher. Mirwa looked like she was in the heaven the god man spoke of so much.

For the boy, it seemed like eternity. For the rest of the congregation, the service lasted about an hour and then everyone shuffled out of the house the same way they shuffled in.

“Amka,qaigit lrniq.”

Amka did as his father bid and came to his side. “Yes father?”

“Say you thank to preacher man.”

“Thank you for coming preacher. Me and father enjoyed you coming.”

The father beamed with approval and turned to talk with other villagers, leaving the preacher alone with the boy and one googly eyed young woman, Mirwa.

“Preacher, I made you a pumpkin pie. I grow huge pumpkins from seeds I got from a fisherman coming from the South.”

The preacher smiled and said, “Why thankyou young lady,” and inside he felt something twist. Something good. Something called, lust.

Mirwa saws that Amka was wearing a look of hunger. He loved sweets, and he definitely loved pie! She asked the boy, “Would you like a piece too?”

The answer was spontaneous, “Yes!”

As the three sat there alone in the house recently a place of worship, Mirwa cut the delicious pumpkin pie into pieces and gave each one a piece. Her brown eyes turning black.

Thomas King was a god man, a preacher, a keeper of the faith, and yet, he was still a man. Looking at the way Mirwa looked at him as she nibbled on her pie caused a stirring in his loans. As he ate his piece, a part of his mind associated the pumpkin with Halloween, but he did not care. He only cared about how Mirwa was so sexually appealing.

Blackness appeared in the room as a cloud covered the sun. It matched the blackness in Mirwa’s eyes. It matched the blackness of the god man’s soul. Thomas King was now lost to lust as he lunged and took Mirwa. There, in front of the recently empty chairs. In front of a boy now turning into a bear.

Mirwa changed into a white wolf, a wolf with black eyes. Thomas’s scream turned to gurgles.

Outside, the King of the tuurngaq, Amka’s father, laughed.

The end.


The Watcher

The old man sensed the young boy approaching the weathered wooden bench.

“What are you doing?” the boy asked.

“Watching that man shovel rocks into the tram.”

“Why’s he doing that?”

“Because the Master ordered it.”

“Why did the Master do that?”

“Because the man dared challenge the Master’s ideas.”

“Oh.” The boy stood at the opposite end of the bench, leaving space between him and the old man. The boy knew the man was old because of his gray hair, hunched shoulders, and long beard, like his grandpa Haro. And he smelled, also like his grandpa Haro. The man’s shoes were scuffed, his clothes covered with a black dust. “Was he right?”

“Many thought so, but they didn’t dare say anything.” The old man continued to stare through the glass window, his eyes unblinking.

“How come you keep looking at him?”

“Because the master said I had to?”

“How come?”

“Because he can, I guess.”

“You don’t know what you did?”

“Oh, out of frustration I may have called the Master a bad name in front of a friend of mine. At least, I thought he was a friend. But this seems a harsh punishment if that's the real reason.”

“Do you know his name?”

“The man in there?” the old man asked, pointing at the glass.

The boy nodded.

“Not his real name. I call him Sissy Puss.”

“That’s a funny name,” the boy said with a giggle. “Why do you call him that?”

“Well, he’s wearing that pink onesie -- by order of the Master -- which makes him look like a sissy, and he for sure has an ugly puss.”

“You’re funny.” The boy giggled again, then stared through the window and watched Sissy Puss shovel some more. “He looks tired.”

“He should be. He’s been shoveling for a long time.”

“How long does he have to keep working?”

“Until the pile is gone.”

The boy watched again, tilting his head from side to side.

“Every time he picks up some rocks, more fill in. How’s he going to finish?”

The old man leaned forward and put his arms on his legs. “Probably won’t,” he said.

The boy picked up a stone off the ground and held it in his hand. “It’s hard.”

“It’s some special metal only found on this planet. Explorers discovered it around eighty years ago. It’s harder than anything known before then. The Master ordered it be used by the military for everything from bombs to bullets.”

“Only bombs and bullets?”

“Airplanes and ships too. His enemies don’t have anything to stop an invasion. That keeps them in line. And besides, the Master likes bullying them into going along with what he wants.

“Bullying is wrong. Our teacher told us to report anyone who bullied a classmate.” The boy moved closer to the window. “You should tell on him.”

The old man attempted to smile, but his dried, cracked skin wouldn't allow it.

“Does the Master live here?”

“No. He lives on Earth.”

“Does he rule Earth?”

“He’d like to." The old man sat up and stretched his arms over his head. "You sure do ask a lot of questions.”

“I’m seven,” the boy said with a shrug.

“Why don’t you come and sit next to me?” the old man said, patting the bench.

The boy stared at the old man, a puzzled look on his face. “I shouldn’t. My parents told me to beware of strangers.”

“Are we still strangers?”

The boy stood quiet for a few seconds. “I guess not,” he replied and slid on the bench, his feet dangling above the ground.

“Why don’t you leave?” the boy asked.

“Can’t. Not until I find a replacement.”

“How long have you been watching?”

“Oh, since I was about your age.”

“That’s a l-o-o-ng time.”

“Yes, it is,” the old man said, standing for the first time in he didn’t know how long. His knees ached. His back was stiff. He took a step and grabbed the back of the bench to keep him from falling. He waited until he felt stable and then walked away.

“Where are you going?” the boy asked.

“To get a drink.”

“Who’s going to watch the man?”

“You are. Sorry kid, but I’ve done my time. Now it’s your turn.”

The boy turned to the window. The man on the other side of the glass kept shoveling, oblivious to the change beyond the window.

"Hey, mister? How do I. . ." The boy stopped as the old man disappeared into a mist. He tried to stand but couldn't. It was like someone had put glue on the bench. He attempted to unsnap his pants to get out of them, but couldn't do that either. He turned toward the mist, which was gone, and then back to the man behind the window. The boy put his elbows on his knees, his chin in his hands, and began to count each shovelful.

The End

You Can Never Go Home Again

The dark, foreboding presence inquired, "How did you become a vampire?"

"Blood transfusion," a reply came from the fanged beast.

"That is unusual." The hovering darkness spoke inside a background of demonic shrills, impossible to hear by those in the light.

"The blood donor was one of us or was becoming so. He was infected by a bite hours earlier." The intrepid beast began to fade with the coming morning light. "When can I leave?"

"Slip into the portal. It will shield you through the day."

"What about my job? What will be said when I fail to arrive at the Archdiocese to hear confessions?

"The droning sounds of the human cattle will be heard by someone else."

And with that, the darkness inverted within itself taking both the inquirer and the servile, weakened minion through the portal until night fell once again.

***

As the sun set the next evening, the former priest pressed out of the portal onto Windsor Street where throughout the last century, mass murders frequently occurred by knife and bite. Translating in seconds to the church that he presided over only a few days earlier, the frail, blood drinking, undead creature walked up the steps and entered the front door of the ancient building that had stood for hundreds of years.

Walking into the foyer during evening services, the giant brass cross burned his eyes causing him to fall to his knees. He cried out "Damn!" in a deep rasping voice. So many religious symbols everywhere, but the crosses, they burned.

He turned away from the bright reflection of the cross. A few moments later he screamed, "It's burning my butt!"

True enough, a cross-shaped image was burning onto his backside, his priestly robes on fire. He ran through the church heading for the fire extinguisher, bare butt to the parishioners as he passed by them.

Not finding the extinguisher, he tried to make it up the stairs to the bathroom where he intended to sit in the toilet with the seat up. Before going up the stairs, he spied a pan of water on a pedestal. Setting it on the ground he sat in it to put out the flames. Unexpectedly, the skin on his butt began to peel away like hydrogen peroxide on an open wound. He screamed louder.

"Damn, Damn, Damn it to hell! Will someone take a cloth and wipe the water off my butt!"

It was holy water. After so many decades in service to the church, he should have known. He just wasn't thinking straight being dead and all. The dozen or so members of the congregation who stared from their pews were frozen in place by the oddity and surrealness of the spectacle before them.

He grabbed a square-shaped fabric from the alter and began patting his backside hoping for some relief. He yelled once again so loudly that dogs across town began to perk up an ear. He had picked up a prayer cloth, which further tormented the vampire's raw skin.

With his naked butt still smoking, he ran toward a middle aged black woman sitting half way back on a pew and grabbed for her scarf. She had a stunned, but defiant look on her face. The priest grabbed one end of the scarf which was around her neck and pulled. She grabbed the other end and began pulling back.

He screamed, "I just want to wipe my ass, I'll give it back!"

She replied, "You think I want it back after that!"

The undead priest put his right foot onto the side of the pew and began to pull harder. She placed her right foot into his groin and leaned back as she pulled. She was wearing high heels at the time. I don't care how dead you are, that's gotta hurt.

Eventually, he lost his grip and fell backwards onto a pew in the next aisle onto the lap of a smelly old bag lady, who only came inside the church to get warm. "My prayers have been answered,” she said. “I'm gonna have sex tonight."

The vampire priest was quiet scared. Dying and turning into a vampire, a soulless, demon shell from hell was bad enough, but doing the wild thing with a stinking behemoth of a woman with so much cellulite, she possessed a third and fourth breast, this was too much.

During all this, the congregation figured out who the priest really was, so they began to surround him making cross signs with their fingers. One of the choir boys ran to get more pans of holy water to fill his squirt gun so he could spray the vampire priest with it.

He pulled out of the clutches of the over sexed, fat lady which made a suction cup noise as he did. He bolted up the stairs to the second story balcony.

But like a mob scene from a B-rated monster movie, they came with crosses, holy water and prayer cloths...oh my, closing in around him.

Being so completely fed up with his first night of serving darkness, he threw himself off the balcony and landed on top of a wooden cross positioned one flight below him, impaling himself through the chest like a wooden steak through the heart.

And that was the end of the undead priest...the very end!

The End
"Extremely difficult- Virtually impossible- However, it should only take me ten minutes or so..."
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Post November 03, 2017, 05:09:19 AM

Re: Voting Stage: October Flash Challenge

My vote is in...eh,eh

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