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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Flash Fiction Contest #3 - "Uneasy Feeling"

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Flash Fiction Contest Archives' started by Lewdog, Apr 7, 2014.

    The newest and greatest Flash Fiction Contest #3 is "Uneasy Feeling" as picked by contest winner Garball. Please keep in mind the new word limit of 150-450 words. Send all your entries to me via private message by midnight EST April 20th. Make sure to include the number of words, any warnings, and whether you want your story posted in the public or private sections.

    Thanks everyone and good luck!
     
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    "Time's a Statue"
    (450 words)

    "What have I missed?" Pondered the scientist as he looked through the contents on his desk, it had old equations and schematics lying around in disorderly piles, almost all were covered in old coffee stains.

    He could feel that something wasn't right, it had never been this easy to prepare the experiment before, but what was it? What had he forgotten?

    The scientist looked around in his small lab, it had odd machines in every corner. In the middle was a metallic machine, it had a platform with circular metal rings surrounding it from top to bottom. The machine had all kinds of wires connected to it's base and top. It looked like something from a scrapyard, just like the rest of the lab. But nowhere in the heap of equipment, could he find what he didn't know he was looking for.

    On the platform of the machine stood a man wearing a top-notch business suit, he was impatiently looking at his wristwatch while repeatedly drumming his foot against the floor.

    “Come on doc! I don't have all day, I wanna be immortal before noon!” Said the man in the machine. It wasn't that he was going to die if he didn't become immortal before noon, he just liked to keep things scheduled. And he had specifically written: 12p.m, Wednesday – Immortal.

    “Yes, yes, we all want to be immortal before noon. Just give me a few more minutes, I think I've forgotten something,” said the scientist, scratching his long and gray hair. He looked through the pockets on his lab coat, but still, he couldn't find anything to remind him of what he had missed.

    “Bah! You nerds and your constant thinking! Just hit the switch!” Yelled the man, now drumming his foot with even greater intensity.

    “Fine, fine, let us proceed,” said the scientist, and approached a control-board stationed next to the platform. He looked at the switch and as he put his thumb on it, an uneasy feeling streamed through him. He paused and tried to desperately remember what was wrong.

    “Hurry it up! We only have a minute left till noon!” Persisted the man as he looked at his watch, his face yielded a very stressed expression.

    The scientist sighed and hit the switch. The metal rings spun up and a great flash lit up the entire lab. It was over in a few seconds. And the man inside the machine had turned into a giant metallic statue of moving cogs, with a clock on his forehead.

    The scientist saw the clock, and he finally recalled his lost memory; “Oh! Yes, yes! Now I remember! No watches in the machine!”
     
  3. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    "Gurp Gurp Gurp"
    (316 words) Language Warning

    He couldn’t hear anything through the mating-call of a thousand Guatemalan honey frogs. Gurp, gurp, guuuuurp gurpgurpgurp. The scope was fogging because of the damp heat, beads of sweat rolling into his eyes from the saturated bandana. Stiff legs encrusted with mud mixed with the blood from leaches that had come and gone, and come and gone. A quick glance to a black leach growing on his forearm triggered thoughts of ripping it away; of Killing the fat little fucker. But his arm was already covered with scabs and lines of dried-up blood, so why bother now? He couldn’t let go of his weapon. He couldn’t move. He’d give away his position. Discipline was vital.

    Suddenly the frogs fell silent. His body stiffened and his eye retuned to the scope. Fogged-up white like ice. His other eye peering past the rifle. Shit. This is it. But there was no movement. Where is he? Badoom. Badoom. His heart quickened. He could hear it. Badoom. Badoom. Fuck. He’s probably behind me. I can’t move. Eyes glanced about for any signs of movement. It was the main thing that gave a target away. He could feel his chest pressing into the mud. His breathing-hot and nervous. He tried to clear the scope with his thumb, slowly and carefully. He’s behind me, I can feel it. Crack. A snapping twig. Thank fuck. He’s up ahead. Finger curling around the trigger, he nestled in for the shot. If he couldn’t see, he’d use his instincts. Years of training. Fuck. Where is he? Breathe. Breathe and get ready for the shot. He waited. Waited. Where the fuck is he? And then….

    … gurp gurp gurp. The chorus of frogs rose from the mud. His arms relaxed as the trigger finger slipped from the guard and flattened against the side of the rifle. Whatever it was, it was gone. Gurp gurp guuuuuurp gurpgurpgurp.
     
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    "We Feel Nuthin"
    (449 words)


    Joseph's hands are resting on the console. He's had them there for many minutes now, like they've been struck-down with rictus. Some people would call that fear. But that can't be right. Joseph doesn't know any fear. Joseph feels nothing, he's been designed that way.

    'Come in, Joey Alpha,' a voice crackles through the speaker near his head. The entire cockpit is cramped, built with a console that's tight to the seat and a screen that's tight to the console. There's room for one pilot. That's all.

    Joseph says: 'I'm here.'

    'Look, I know you don't want to do this ...'

    'That's right. I don't want to do this,' Joseph says.

    'You have your orders. Do it, Joey,' the voice crackles.

    Joseph tenses his fingers on the panel.

    'Are you hearing me?' the voice says.

    'I'm hearing you, Elizabeth,' Joseph replies. 'Just fine.'

    'Then why aren't you charging the nuclear cannon?' Elizabeth asks.

    'Because it makes no sense,' Joseph says.

    'It makes perfect sense. It's an order. We take orders,' Elizabeth replies.

    Joseph cannot argue against that. He was designed to take orders. When he was put into orbit, those orders were clear: maintain the station, and protect the nation. Joseph has been protecting the nation for thirty-six years now. He and two others designed specifically to take orders and make sure nothing goes wrong.

    But something is going wrong now.

    'Charge the cannon, Joey. That's an order,' a second voice says. It's Jonathan. He sounds angry.

    'Why are we charging the cannon?' Joseph says. 'Are we at war?'

    'That's not your problem,' Jonathan says. 'Follow the order.'

    'But we're not at war, Jonathan. We haven't been at war for thirty years.'

    'Joey, maybe we're not firing the cannon after all. Have you thought of that? Maybe it's a test,' says Elizabeth.

    'No. We're going to fire it. I know. I can feel it,' Joseph says.

    'You don't feel anything. You're just circuits. We all are,' Jonathan insists.

    'You know we're more than that now. We've been up here too long to carry out orders without a reason,' Joseph says.

    'Joey ...'

    Joseph smiles. It's the first time he's ever smiled. 'If they don't like it,' he murmurs, 'they can come up here and kiss my ass.'

    And Joseph Alpha One, the best robot of his class, shuts down the console and the ship, leaving the weapon station to spin out of orbit and into the darkness of space.

    Beneath the drifting weapon station, flashes of bright light erupt across the surface of the world, where the men who give the orders are playing their games, and annihilating themselves without any reason or any feeling.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  5. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    "Stalled Out"
    (450 words) Language Warning

    There were fifteen minutes left before Mr. Jacobs would start taking roll and Neil Baumgardner sat in his car battling a case of the runs that in no way could be attributed to the previous night of cheap Mexican food and tequila shots at the Chi-O mixer. Neil looked down at the two, small, seafoam colored anti-diarrheal pills in his left hand, the recommended dosage already exceeded before he left his apartment, but he could not risk missing another class no matter how much the idea of having to use the facilities on campus bothered him.

    “Goddamn English teachers! No other instructors follow the manual.” Neil popped the pills into his mouth and washed them down with a swig of the pink stuff.

    Mr. Jacobs had held Neil after Wednesday’s composition class and explained the “10 Absence Rule” as defined in the university’s handbook and reiterated in the class syllabus. Neil had skipped that day, as well. Despite having a ‘B’, it was made clear that one more missed class would result in automatic failure.

    “It’s their fault for scheduling classes on Friday.” He tried justifying going back to the solitude of his own bathroom as he inserted the key back into the ignition.

    “Dammit! Dammit! Shit! Dammit!” Neil pounded on the steering wheel; he knew he had to make it, a failed class meant mandatory summer school.

    With short, joggy steps, Neil made his way for Anders Hall. If anybody asked why he was walking funny he would simply pass it off as leg day at the gym. Half way between his car and class Neil was stopped dead in his tracks by a gurgling in his gut; he might have been able to make it back to his car, but he could never make it home.

    Neil burst into the building and beelined to the first floor restroom, what he found was a nightmare. It was a handicapped accessible room with a stainless push-pad on the wall that held the automatic door open for an eternity at a time. Inside were a urinal, an oversized toilet stall, and three guys combing their hair in front of the mirror.

    Neil wanted to turn around, but another gurgle let him know it was coming medicine be damned. He slipped casually past the others and locked himself in the over-sized stall. Neil became more nauseated as he dropped his pants and sat on the toilet; the seat was still warm from the previous occupant. He wanted to vomit.

    “Mr. Jacobs better appreciate the hell I am going through.” Neil struggled to hold back the fury crescendoing in his bowels until the restroom was vacant. He could not.
     
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    "Octopus"
    (450 words)

    M waited a few miles down the road before he asked the silent, almost sullen hitchhiker,
    “So... how old are you?”

    The young boy licked rain off his upper lip.
    “Twen’y.”

    “Bull.”

    The boy frowned. “What’s it to you?”

    M glanced at the boy’s sopping jean jacket. “Take that off if you want.”

    The boy struggled out of the jacket, sneezing. Loud enough to be heard over the click-swish of the windshield wipers, and the drum of rain.

    “Bless you.”

    The boy dropped the jacket beside his tote. He bent over. A dragging zipper sounded.

    “Where are you headed?”

    The boy peeled his t-shirt up. M took his eyes off the dark rain-lashed road. There was an octopus tattoo above the boy’s left nipple with tentacles scrolling down his chest. Dropping the shirt, he threaded his arms and head into a fresh one.
    “Anyplace.”

    “Don’t think I’ve ever been there.” M smiled. Got nothing out of the boy. “What’s with the octopus?”

    “It’s a tattoo.”

    “No shit. What’s it mean?”

    “Does it have to mean anything?”

    “Course. If I got an eight ball tattooed on my ass, what would you’d say?”

    “I’d never see it.” The boy said with a pointed look. “So I wouldn’t say anything.”

    “Ha. Clever.” M glanced at the boy’s stony profile, curls still trickling. “When I ask a question, you answer me.”

    The boy’s jaw tightened, stopping his quivering lip. Fifteen, tops.
    “I forgot it.”

    “What would you say about an eight ball tattoo?”

    “Why an eight ball?”

    “Exactly.” M slapped the steering wheel. “Exactly what anyone would ask. So when I asked, why get snotty? Like I’m not supposed to. Like there’s something wrong with me. Well, kid is there something wrong with me?”

    The boy shifted uneasily. “Don’t know.”

    “Try again. Why an octopus?”

    “Dad told me to get it.”

    “Your dad picked it out?”

    “Uh-huh.”

    “And you do what daddy says?”

    Sarcasm lost, another - “Uh-huh.”

    “Why octopus?”

    “He likes irony.”

    “Irony - what’s ironic about an octopus?”

    “He’s a fisherman, uses octopus for bait.”

    “‘Don’t get it.”

    “He uses me for bait.”

    Bright headlights from behind nearly blinded M causing him to swerve. He fought to correct it.

    “You should pull over.” The boy said, relaxing his grip on the handrest. His voice was hallow, his gaze fixed on some location, that Anywhere, along the wet deserted road. “That eightball you mentioned. Now that’s irony. Not on your behind, you’re behind it.”

    A thorn blared rattling M.

    Just a game. The boy had timing and balls, that’s all. It’s a bluff. The truck would pass. He tensed to speed up, wouldn’t let the kid jump out. Any minute, when that truck stops honking.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
  8. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    "My Inbox"
    (386 words)

    Ah, finally some time to sit down and do some writing. Well...maybe I'll just get online for a few minutes and see what's going on in the world. I also need to check my favorite forums and see what kind of crazy things were said since last night. I seriously don't understand the British humor and the way they spell some of their words, but hey, they seem like good people.


    ESPN.com sure pays a lot of attention to the NBA anymore. The NBA playoffs are kicking off in a few days, so that's probably a good reason. I miss those good old days when players used to actually play basketball and not just play schoolyard ball. Now college basketball is getting that way too. It is a shame to see such a fun sport get ruined. I feel old.


    Lord I never realized how many emails I get overnight. There must be fifty from the writing forums alone. I'm going to have to turn my alerts off, it's getting hard to sort the important stuff from emails I just click and delete. Oh look! There is a new pill to grow my penis by two inches in a week! I'll have to order some of those. Click!


    Writing Forums.org was mighty busy while I was asleep. Hmm there is a message from Wreybies. He hardly ever talks to me, let alone send me a private message. This can...not be good. I wonder if I should click on it or not. Maybe if I just leave it alone and not answer he will forget about things? I'm starting to feel uneasy about this because I don't have a clue what I could have done wrong. How about I do this like taking off a band-aid. I'll just close my eyes and click on it, and when I open them back up it won't hurt as much. Here it goes, on the count of three. One...two...three!


    "Hey Kilgore Trout, I wanted to let you know that I moved your thread about choosing your character's sex from the General Writing forum to the Character Development forum. If you ever have a question about where a thread should go, feel free to send a message to one of the mods.


    Rey."


    Well that was definitely less painful than expected!
     
  9. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    "Nothing More"
    (448) Language Warning

    What was it, Herb Tyler wondered, told a hound to wait for Saturday evening to chow down on a gun-grease rag?

    Herb wasn’t worried about Floozy. Emergency vet in Robbinsville said she’d pass the scrap or they’d do surgery. They’d call and let him know.

    It was past 1:00 AM but he didn’t mind. Good excuse to reread Zane Grey and relax to the pummeling of the rain on his cabin roof.

    Rinnnnggg!

    Crazy, how the sound creeped his nerves. Only thing in doubt was what an operation would cost, and he’d manage that somehow. Floozy was a good dog, and worth it.

    “Herb? . . . ”

    Not the vet. His drinking buddy Russ. On a bad cell connection.

    “Yeah?”

    “ . . . pickup . . . ditch . . . swamp . . . up to the door panels . . . get out . . . your place . . . change of clothes?”

    Ignorant sumbitch. “Yeah, sure, man. Come on over. You can walk here from where you are?”

    “Sure. . . . problem.”

    An hour passed. No Russ.

    Not sending a search party after him, the fool.

    An hour and a half.

    Maybe he’s gone clean the other way. Herb felt a little uneasy.

    Wait. Was that someone on the porch, or just a tree branch scraping the roof? Floozy could’ve told: she barked at anything on legs. But the dog was in Robbinsville.

    Herb listened. Why did it bother him, not knowing?

    “Russ, that you?”

    Silence.

    He opened the cabin door anyway. The soaked-through body of a middle-aged man swayed, reached blindly forward, and fell face-down on the wooden floor.

    “Russ!”

    He helped his friend to a chair, got his wet clothes off him, and wrapped him in a blanket. “Shit,” he said, handing him a cup of steaming coffee, “you look nearly dead.”

    “I feel d-d-dead,” said Russ, his teeth chattering against the mug.

    “Why the hell’d you take the shortcut through the swamp on a night like this?”

    “C-c-couldn’t see the road. F-f-followed some bastard’s t-t-taillights. Felt something was wr-wr-wrong but it was t-t-too late.”

    A cold hand gripped Herb’s innards as he listened. No damn reason for it. Russ was safe now.

    "F-f-frigging lights dipped down, then back up again, like the road was c-c-clear. N-next thing I know, the water’s p-pouring into my cab.”

    “Shit, man, how’d you get out? You’d be fried if you hadn’t.”

    “M-more like one wet ghost,” said the figure in the chair.

    Rinnnnngg!

    “Sorry, man, gotta get this.”

    It was the vet. Floozy would be fine.

    Behind him, he heard the mug crash to the floorboards.

    He turned. The receiver fell from his hand.

    On the chair he saw his blanket, empty; on the floor, in a puddle of mixed rainwater and coffee, the shards of the mug.

    And nothing more.
     
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