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Two for Tuesday Challenge # 20 — August 6 – 12

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:

Standard Prompt:
black velvet

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).

Non-Standard Prompt:
For week 17, I provided an opening phrase. For this week’s alternative prompt I’m offering the opposite. Write a story that ends with the words: “…your taste is all in your mouth.” or at least words to that effect. 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.

Write on!

For those of you who prefer to write first and read later, be forewarned that my personal effort follows below.

I am working with both prompts today and I hope you enjoy the lighthearted story.

Dogs Playing Poker

Royal Flush (approx. 585 words)

Greta smiled.  She loved her apartment. She wiggled her toes digging them deep into the furry nap of the olive green shag rug and pondered how to get at the burrowing crumbs that were becoming more noticeable to her bare feet with the passing of each day. She had stopped trying to vacuum it since the luxuriously long nap of the rug consistently got caught in the Hoover’s beater brush each time she tried, provoking horrible groaning noises as it chewed at the rug.  The infernal machine had already torn out a number of swaths leaving behind a scattering of irregular bald spots; there was a bit of mange about the rug now.

The black velvet painting of dogs playing poker was a prized possession inherited from her late father and hung in a place of honor over the powder blue sofa.  She had gone practically apocalyptic when her long time boyfriend, Harlan, had accidentally splattered the painting with an airborne bit of Velveeta Cheese off a natcho during a celebratory moment while watching a 2006 playoff game between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati when Roethlisberger connected on a 43-yard pass to Cedrick Wilson for a touchdown widening the Steelers’ second half lead to 11 points. It was a good thing that at least the sofa had been protected by the clear plastic slip covers because the paper plate of nachos toppled from Harlan’s other hand landing face down in the middle of the center cushion. Without blinking an eye, he had righted the plate and finished off the cheese covered snack before asking for another beer.

Greta had tried to wipe the painting clean the following day but the damage had been done and scrubbing at the offending spot with a wet sponge tended to mat down the velvet making matters worse.  She had been able to scrape the crusty bits free of the black surface with a maroon-enameled thumbnail but a ghostly orange mark that looked a lot like a silhouette profile of Abraham Lincoln was left behind. She eventually employed a permanent black marker to cover the stain.

The orange, brown, cream and avocado polka-dot drapes flanked the picture window that offered a direct view of the parking lot and beyond that to the loading dock behind the local Food Lion.  A large beeping truck was currently backing down the access lane to swap out dumpsters. To the left of the window was a stand of shelves that housed her collection of cat figurines.  At last count she had 107 cat statues.  That didn’t include the cat clock that hung on the other side of the picture window near the front door, which marked time with a perpetually swinging tail and shifting eyes that looked left and right, left and right.  She loved the clock because it reminded her of the cartoon character Felix the Cat, or was that Fritz the Cat. She always got those two mixed up. She also had three bubblegum pink accent pillows emblazoned with Hello Kitty graphics that sat on the blue sofa.  They were thankfully Velveeta-free as she had purchased them several years after Harlan’s nacho-cheese fracas.

Greta plopped down into her dinghy, ivory, naugahyde recliner and surveyed her private domain like a Queen from her throne.  “Just like my mama always told me,” she said with a broad self-satisfied smile obviously clueless to the true meaning of the oft-spoken phrase, “ ‘Greta, darling, your taste is all in your mouth.’ ”

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5 comments on “Two for Tuesday Challenge # 20 — August 6 – 12

  1. […] was written for the Two for Tuesday Challenge #20. Prompt: Black […]

  2. […] previous story was my Two For Tuesday entry. It is part of an ongoing series. If you liked it, you might want to go back and read the […]

  3. Finally got my entry up. Just under the wire, again. Hope you get a chance to read it!

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