Flash fiction challenges such as Five Sentence Fiction has kept me writing and improved my craft, so I serve up some here every Tuesday. Since every one likes choices I’m providing you with two weekly writing prompts. You can participate in either one, or double your pleasure by trying your hand at both. Submit your efforts any time between now and next Tuesday.
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 the Two for Tuesday Standard Prompts is 200 words and the Non Standard Prompt has a minimum of 200 words but no limit allowing for more in depth explorations. 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.
Here is this week’s two-fer:
You have lots of creative leeway. The limit is 200 words. The words can be used:
- simply as a point of inspiration and do not have to be used directly
- they can be included exactly as provided
- or each word can be used independently of each other (for example if Death Row was the prompt instead of crafting a story about an inmate on the way to the gallows, you might write something like: Despite feeling like death from an excess of cheap vodka consumed the night before, Evelyn moved on to planting her next row of spinach).
This week for the alternative prompt, write a story that opens with the words: “The sky was the color of dryer lint.” As per usual with the Non-standard prompt there is no word limit (to allow for more in depth explorations) but there is a minimum of 200 words.
For those who like to write first and read later be forewarned that my effort follows. This week I attempt to satisfy both prompts in one story.
The sky was the color of drier lint as Detective Harper and two trench coated lackeys were shaking off the dampness and tracking mud into the marbled foyer. It was past noon but Gregory Desolvo was still in silk pajamas. He was a formidable man that somehow filled up the cavernous mansion. He wiped cocktail sauce from his mouth with a cloth napkin as he let the men in with a boisterous welcome, “Gentlemen! Come in, come in.” He led the dour, dripping trio back to a table the length of a bocci court and sat down in front of large plater of two dozen chilled, shucked, oysters ringed by several small gilt-edged bowls that contained a variety of sauces. “What can I do for you Detective? Like an oyster?” Gregory lifted the platter to the detective.
“Can it Desolvo, I have a search warrant.” He flashed a typed document in Gregory’s face. “Save us some time and give us what we’re looking for, or I’ll have to let Kendrick and Williams loose, capisce?”
“You break it, you bought it, Harper. I’ll be glad to have my team of solicitors send you an invoice for any damages, so feel free to let your fumble fingered goons poke around. Just keep in mind that there are a lot of priceless treasures in just this room alone, not to mention the rest of the house. I’m hiding nothing. What you see is what I have.” Gregory swept a thick arm indicating the room and then picked up a shell and tipped an oyster into his mouth with a slurp.
“God, that’s disgusting,” said Harper through a snarl and gave his men a nod. “Start searching boys. They could be anywhere.” Gregory smiled and treated himself to another oyster. Twenty minutes later the detective and his two men were comprehending the enormity of their task, and with just the three of them looking it would take weeks to properly scour the huge home. There could be secret panels or a hidden safe almost any where. “We’ll be back with a proper team, Desolvo, AND equipment,” grumbled Harper. Gregory smiled and waved to the detective without turning.
“I look forward to seeing you again Detective. Give me some warning so that next time I can be sure to have something more suited to your pallet. Maybe donuts and coffee or beef jerky and pork rinds.” Harper and his men turned to leave.
“Don’t get up Desolvo, we’ll see ourselves out.”
Gregory grinned slightly after they had left and carried the platter of empties and melting ice to the kitchen. One by one he picked out the shells with long but perfectly manicured nails and dropped them in the trash. Gregory reached for a sieve that hung among a massive collection of pots and utensils on the over head rack, tipped the ice in and ran a little warm water over everything revealing a pile of uncut diamonds. “You’re not a very imaginative detective, are you, Mr. Harper?” His grin stretched across the wide face transforming into a full fledged smile revealing a keyboard of wide ivory-colored teeth. “The whole time your prize was right in plain view.”