The Clown Murderer – an Origins Story

In a dark corner
of an equally dark mansion
swung a framed portrait
of a clown.

No one could recall
when it arrived in the corner
but it smacked mistress
and she died.

After that we knew
of the framed clown that swung at will.
Our house versus the clown,
a battle.

Soon, it turned bloody
the clown killed the heir and the spare
and then the butler.
We brought fire.

Oh, how the clown screamed
trapped in his frame, as he melted
and we did not laugh,
at this clown.

But then the next day,
in the same spot, a frame swinging
and a new clown face
murderous.

We blocked the corner
kept away the remaining child
who laughed at the clowns
with intent.

Who placed this mansion
under such a malicious curse?
We would never know.
The child grew
as most children do,
yet, he had vengeance in his heart
for he’d decided,
kill them all.
All clowns, even those
who did not swing from frames at will.

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X-Games

“X-rated,” Kyle said through a smile.

“And you found it here in the park?” Carla asked, head poking out from behind her longboard to glance at the naked curves.

“Well,” Kyle began slowly. “I may have brought it from home.”

“Gross! Why?”

“I wanted to show you?”

“Why, in everything that is holy, did that seem like a good idea?” Carla dropped the longboard and skated down the pipe.

“Crap.” Kyle followed. When he reached the other side of the half pipe, he had enough self-preservation to look ashamed.

“You told me you were curious about ladies…maybe.”

Carla sighed. “That was a secret! My sexuality isn’t one of your games!”

Photo Credit: Mike Fleming via CC.

Photo Credit: Mike Fleming via CC.

A Microbookends Tale


Judges Thoughts:

4th Place

A rite of passage story given a thoroughly modern makeover.

At the core of this story is a friendship between Carla and Kyle, both coming terms with the inevitable changes of adolescence.

There is an honesty and openness in their relationship that shines through the tricky subject matter.

Kyle’s curious to know more. Carla’s secure enough to start coming to terms with who she might be: strong enough to do so on her terms, rather than Kyle’s, but forgiving enough not to completely cut him out when he realises the mistake he’s made.

Carla’s a great character – I’d like to know more about her.

In today’s age, where x-rated material is so freely available to skew impressionable minds, it was reassuring to read a story that touches on this subject matter, but ultimately is about a boy and a girl getting to know each other as friends, rather than objects.

So while this piece of flash fiction stands by itself, it has the potential to withstand being fleshed out into something more substantial and longer. That’s why it made my top four.

Games We Play

Crossed Fingers II

I am your toy. You lend me out; make me dance for your amusement. You set me up to fail then delight in punishing my failure. You are my ever-unfaithful Mistress.

I love you.

So, I dance your dance, I play your games. The truth is complicated.

Your breath heaves from behind the camera. I watch it with delight as my lips press against this woman, this friend of yours, this plaything. You stand so close, close enough that you know my eyes will draw towards you – that’s what you want, you want to loosen my leash only to tighten it back up again.

Her breath catches in our kiss, or maybe she feels you on the nape of her neck. She clutches me closer, I let her. My eyes stay glued to you.

When you move us to the bedroom, I almost reach out for you. Almost. But I know my place, I know my purpose. I exist so your smirk can curl into something darker. I am your toy. I love you. The truth is complicated.



Use this four word phrase in any part of your story:

“The truth is complicated

Image credit: Crossed Fingers II by Katie Tegtmeyer flickr CC 2.0

Judges notes:

Games We Play by A S Gardana: A dark poetic dance that almost, almost feels like it’s delineating the relationship between property and owner, puppet and puppet-master. “I am your toy.” Wow, so heavy, deep, and thought-provoking.

Silent Awakening

Excitement bubbled inside her belly as her fingertips trailed along the velvet seat. It was worn, a telling sign of many tales told. It may even be the exact seat she sat in when she first saw this silent film many, many, years ago.

Agnes had been about ten, then. Going to the theater had been a privilege that her father bestowed only when she had behaved her best. She remembered how her hand felt in his larger one as they crossed the street to the shining lights of the movies. The bulbs had dimmed in the years; the painting had chipped as well. Her father had passed away decades prior.

Agnes had read of the re-release of A Heart’s Love in the newspaper – the most interesting thing she had read in the papers in over a decade. Her own heart had raced just from the two lines of text because she easily recalled his face, his laugh, his Hollywood smirk. The actor on screen that had taught her exactly what a man could do to a girl’s pulse.

In that moment many, many, years ago, Agnes had learned what attraction meant.

The lights dimmed. Agnes held onto the velvet seat and fell in love, again.


Written for this past week’s FlashFriday. The prompt was twofold – (1) Set in a theater and (2) incorporate a black and white photo of an attractive man.

Final Act

“Double that,” Henry grins around his cigar.

“There’s no way you’ve slept with that many women.”

“Oh come on, Carl, in seventy years? Over two hundred women is not uncommon.”

Carl sniffs into his scotch. “If you’re a playboy!”

“Not everyone finds their one and falls in love.”

Like most comments about ‘love’, it makes him think of Ann and how she felt in his arms. He smiles through the tears that spark in his eyes.

“Was it worth it?” They both ask at the same time.

Neither answers the other. Carl raises his glass of scotch, instead.

“Cheers to our final act.”


Written for Micro Bookends, where they provide the first and last word – you write the rest.

The Journey

I watch the droplets trail down the window from inside my boyfriend’s car. The water makes rivers across the glass, distorting the gray skyscrapers.

We’re tripping on shrooms.

I know, I know, we shouldn’t be driving. I told my boyfriend this, so that excuses my own irresponsibility. I nod at the skyscraper as if they can nod back in agreement. The festival is downtown, so downtown is where our journey takes us.

Plus, the shrooms haven’t even kicked in yet. Well not entirely.

We pull into a spot. My boyfriend slides his hand into mine as we walk along the gray sidewalk nestled between the gray skyscrapers and gray street. The rain soaks our hair and clothes and leaves me with the desire to twirl on the sidewalk, so I do.

“What is a rain dance when it’s already raining?” A man asks me from inside my own mind. It’s a gravelly voice and for a moment I smell campfire smoke.

My thoughts flutter, from gray to vivid, colorful images. As we approach the festival, the man’s voice returns, the shrooms kick in. “No river can return to its source, yet all rivers must have a beginning.

I nod with the man in my head and enter the festival.


Written for this week’s Flash!Friday and as always, the piece follows a two part prompt…

1) Setting in Downtown

2) Photo to incorporate:

Navajo man representing the Yebichai god Zahabolzi/Zahadolzha. 1904 PD photo by Edward S. Curtis; image retrieved from Wellcome Images.

Navajo man representing the Yebichai god Zahabolzi/Zahadolzha. 1904 PD photo by Edward S. Curtis; image retrieved from Wellcome Images.

Makeup for Happiness

She opens the door with a radiating smile to accompany her greeting. I see it right away against her pale cheek, under the layer of makeup and painted on beauty. A trail of black smeared along her cheek, hastily swiped away in the direction of her ear.

But the smile is still there.

She makes us drinks with a practiced hand as I train my eye away from the evidence of her tear and its corresponding sorrow, away from the story she’s trying to hide.

Instead, I accept my drink and listen as she introduces me to their other guests.

I wonder if anyone else has noticed the dark line under her foundation or if her easy laughter is an adequate enough disguise. I look towards her husband too, smiling on the couch as his wife entertains. I wonder if he has had tears of his own today, only they’d be easier to hide without traces of mascara.

“We have an announcement.” Her words interrupt my search of her husband. All attention is drawn to her.

Immediately, I assume divorce. Immediately, I see their breakup playing out, only hours before, in this small room that now houses too many guests.

There is silence for a moment then the hint of new moisture in her eye. “We’re having a baby.”

And that’s when I remembered that tears have many origins, including happiness.