Two for Tuesday Challenge #1 — March 26, 2013

I love flash fiction challenges so I will be providing a new one here every Tuesday. Every one likes choices so each week I’ll give you two writing prompts.  You can participate in either one, or you can double your pleasure by trying your hand at both.

The Standard Prompt will always consist of a two-word prompt to be used as inspiration. The Non-Standard Prompt will change from week to week. Sometimes it will be a visual prompt, sometimes a first sentence or phrase, sometimes a scenario, etc.  The limit for most Two for Tuesday prompts is 200 words unless otherwise specified. Use the little blue link thing below to submit your link or leave an entry in the comments section.

Don’t forget to check out the other entries.

Crossed Duct Tape Stripes
Here is this week’s two-fer:

Standard prompt:
duct tape

You have lots of creative leeway. The words can be used simply as a point of inspiration and do not have to be used directly, they can be included as provided—as a pair—or each word can be used independently of each other. The limit is 200 words.

Non-Standard Prompt:
This week I am asking you to create a story that begins with the words: “Son of a bitch. You just killed my dog.”
There is no word limit for this prompt but you do have a minimum of 200 words.  Since this is flash fiction let’s try to keep it under 1000 words, but that’s just a guide.

Leave a link, post your story in the comments section or email me your effort and I’ll post it for you.  I hope you like this new opportunity to write.  If you like this idea, tweet about it or mention it in your blog to get others know what is going on over here. Thanks for your support!

Happy writing!

* * * *

Here’s what I came up with for the Standard Prompt:

How often had he heard, “Duct tape fixes everything?”  He recalled how his gaze had alternated between storm drain and empty ring box in disbelief.  How he wished he had asked the saleswoman to wrap it up before he had left the jewelry store.  Since fumbling the ring—watching it with slow motion horror as it hit the asphalt, bounced once and caromed off one of the crossbars before vanishing into the heavy circular drain even before he reached his car—he had made numerous calls to the county public services office to get someone to help him try to retrieve the ring.

 He was at least thankful there had been no rain, nothing to wash it further through the vast sewer system. He had met a crew of sympathetic men with acid yellow reflective vests and caution orange traffic cones to open the grate. He desperately dug around in the detritus below and was about to give up when a wink of reflected sunlight flashed across his retinas.  Relief flooded through him like a tsunami as he plucked the engagement ring from the concrete joint and placed it back in its velvet box, which he thickly encased in duct tape.

* * * *

Here’s what I came up with for the Non-Standard Prompt:

“Son of a bitch. You just killed my dog.”

Blaine Harrison stared back through the glass at the angry pink-faced man holding a retractable dog leash.  The man was still yelling at him.

“Get out of your car and look what you’ve done!”

Blaine was having a bad week. He stepped from behind the driver’s wheel carefully avoiding the traffic that was racing by. Someone honked and flipped him the bird and he faintly heard the word “crazy” flung at him by the passing motorist. The teenager looked down at the small dog and saw that it’s mid-section was oddly flattened and a tangle of something Pepto-Bismol pink—an internal organ—had been forced up its throat and out through its tiny mouth.

“My poor Lady Di!” said the pink-faced man.  Blaine had to stifle a laugh at the dog’s name. Di. How ironic. The pink-faced man wheeled back around and began poking a finger at Blaine’s chest.  He could see the man’s lips moving but Blaine was no longer paying attention. The pink-faced man had no idea that this was just the latest in an ongoing string of misfortunes. Divorced parents. Mom’s new abusive boyfriend. Blaine’s break up. The internet bullying.

He wanted to explain that it was an accident but instead Blaine suddenly and unexpectedly said, “Let he, who is without sin, cast the first stone.” He didn’t know where that came from, he wasn’t at all religious. “Now my blood will be on your hands.” Blaine looked the pink-faced man directly in the eye, smiled and stepped backwards in front of a plumbing truck. The man holding his dead dog’s leash felt the warm spray hit his pink face. He stood there in shock, his shirt newly decorated in red, leaving him looking like the loser of a paint-ball game as a woman on the sidewalk began to scream.

See you next week!


9 comments on “Two for Tuesday Challenge #1 — March 26, 2013

  1. Oh wow! That second story was intense. Now I’ll try my hand at it.

  2. I’ll leave it in your comments this week and plan on making space on my blog next week.

    Bright red lips appeared along the shiny gray surface and she smiled into his eyes. She watched anger and embarrassment flit across his face, pinking his cheeks as he realized the extent of his trouble.

    “Now don’t make that face at me.” She bestowed a bruising kiss on his duct taped lips. “If you’d have kept quiet like I asked, this would’ve been over already.”

    It was almost too easy, from the break in to the take down. She eyed him carefully as he struggled. Some less devious part of her felt bad about leaving him tied naked to the chair, but that other naughty part of her wished she had time to put his gorgeous body to use. No time to play and that was a real shame.

    She placed a knife in his hand knowing it would take him a long while to saw through those ropes.

    He mumbled something unintelligible. She patted his cheek, checked the ropes binding his limbs, and then hoisted the overflowing black duffel bag on her shoulder. His mumbling grew in volume, but the tape did its job.

    “You should know better than to let in a strange woman; she’ll rob you blind.”

  3. […] trying out a new prompt here, called Two for Tuesday, created by Mr. Andy Black. The idea is pretty simple: Write a story based on one of two prompts […]

  4. Damn. That second story was excellent. To realize in a split second that life had become unbearable… and act. Great exit line… “Now my blood will be on your hands.” Interesting prompts.

    • Ted– Thanks so much. The whole Flash fiction thing keeps me writing even when I am stuck on other WIPs. I hope you’ll find some time to play along here on occasion.

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