1. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Current Contest Flash Fiction Contest #7 - "The Last Laugh"

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Flash Fiction Contest Archives' started by Lewdog, Jun 2, 2014.

    The newest and greatest Flash Fiction Contest #7 is "The Last Laugh" as chosen by previous contest winner Selbbin. Please keep in mind the word limit of 150-450 words. Send all your entries to me via private message by midnight EST June 15th and 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!
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
  2. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    "revelations"
    (369 words)

    Dear Emily,

    I baked cookies today. And as I took them out of the oven, I realized it was over.
    I realized it was over when I found myself unaffected by the scent that wafted around me.
    I remembered how lively it would make you, how you would take a deep bellyful of the smell and laugh.
    You were always better at living than I was.

    I left the tray to cool and went outside. The garden offered me no solace; the flowers seemed to weigh me down further; the gentle sun buffeted me with bright, shining misery. I envied the trees.

    Indoors I am crushed by dark weights, and now outside I am crushed with the light.
    There is no escape. I wanted to be free of myself but I was everywhere I went.

    And the children, oh! the children! I can not bear the sight of them.
    Their presence presses heavily on me.
    They deserve a better mother, one who can look at them properly.
    Their energy confuses me, they feel alien to me; I feel as if I have already left them and gone away.

    I remember fondly when we were together, under the covers, giggling against each other.
    I wish things hadn't gone the way they had afterwards, and so cruelly.
    I guess that was my last true laugh, back then, in your embrace.

    If only we could.. but no, it can not be. I can’t bear dreaming.

    Farewell, my love.

    (Signed: from Mdm. N)


    I had taken the opportunity to read the letter that had caused Emily to burst into tears where she stood. She’d left, saying she needs to attend a funeral. As I set down the letter and returned it to the drawer, I successively thought of many things.

    I thought, “I pity the woman her despair.”
    I thought, “I pity her children their loss.”
    I thought, “My mother is a lesbian.” And the latter explained a lot of things.

    I decided I will stop trying to court the curvaceous guest that she invited to live with us this summer, the one whose chamber has a side door leading to mother's room.
    And I laughed, and shook my head before I left.
     
  3. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    "Truffles"
    (382 words)

    I wanted black truffles to go with tomorrow's meal, but my usual food store is closed at this hour. So I'm at Wal-Mart. A whole decade has passed since I last roamed these aisles. I didn't even remember they had a food section, but they don't have truffles. Why is everything packaged and processed? Where are the fresh vegetables located?

    The girl's clothing section is right across the aisle. That I do remember. My mom bought us one new, clearanced outfit here at the beginning of every school year. I would work so hard to find the perfect matching top and khakis. I thought if I found the right outfit, the other children would leave me alone, but it never worked. They called me fat and oinked when I passed them in the halls. They made fun of my clothes and how frequently I wore them. They made fun of my smell and how dirty my hair looked.

    “Take a bath! And shop somewhere other than Goodwill!”

    “I got this at Wal-Mart not Goodwill,” I'd say, not knowing that made it worse, not understanding their explosion of laughter. I catch a glimpse of myself now in the reflection of a freezer door. I'm wearing high heels and a high couture dress that hugs my thin figure. My hair is perfectly straightened, not a strand out of place, and my face looks flawless. I'm so different now, and I can't even remember when the change took place. Maybe it came when I started paying my own bills, ensuring that I never went without running water again, or maybe it came with the high-paying job I obtained right after doctorate school.

    I turn and see a large blonde woman walking toward me. She stares at me, frowning. I immediately look down, to see what's out of place. It's a hard habit to break. Everything looks okay. I look back up at her and suddenly my mind sparks with recognition. Nadia. The ring leader back when I was in school. The once wispy blonde, now looks quite obese pushing around a cart full of junk food. She yells at the child following behind her, and I can see her gray roots and the pit stains on her cat t-shirt. I smile as I pass.
     
  4. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    "Thuds and Laughter"
    (307 words)

    “Hyaaaaaaa” his voice rang out so loud that we both covered our mouths trying to hold back the laughter that was fighting to pour out of our mouths. We sat there staring at each other, mouths covered and calming ourselves with the deepest breaths we could manage. Then, our ears open and our heads tilted to the side, listening for the sound of footsteps above. That heavy slow thud that could only be heard at the gravest sort of offence….And then we heard it, one foot, shuffle, two feet, thud as the heavy almost dead weight animated its way down the hall. I leaped off the bed and dove for the covers while Danny flipped off the light and hid himself as well, head on the pillow and eyes closed with the trembling sort of flutter for when you don’t actually want to close your eyes. I was doing the same and trying to slow down my breathing in that impossible way when you feel like you’re drowning.

    The door, it clicked then creaked as I could dimly tell that hall light filled the space in front of my closed eyelids. A pause as weight shifted over the creaking floor in the doorway. Then slowly the door closed and clicked again as Danny started to giggle. I started to giggle, quietly as we’d just avoided some angry eyes and a mildly stern lecture, gotten off scott-free so to speak.

    “Thud. Thud…. Thud… thud….thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud”

    Danny looked over at me, agony written across his face as he grabbed a pillow and put it over his head to mute the noise. I did the same, with the thoughts of my parents doing “grown up things” just one floor above my head.

    Neither of us laughed, giggled or smiled.
     
  5. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    "The Key"
    (165 words)

    I stared at the photo on the wedding announcement. Her smile competed with her eyes for my attention as some other guy, undeserving, stood beside her.


    I pulled her last correspondence to me from the desk. It hadn’t been touched in three years. I pretended I could smell her as I removed the card.


    “This is all I have to give you.”


    A God-damned card. All she could give me after all that time together. Dropping what I thought was an empty envelope onto the desk, I heard a metallic clang. Ripping it open, I discovered a key.


    “The Callisto Hotel” was printed on one side. “257” printed on the other. The key to her hotel room on the evening the card was delivered.


    I had called her after getting the card. Hadn’t noticed the key. I told her if that was all she had to offer, I wasn’t interested.


    Now I understand. That’s why I got the wedding invitation. She gets the last laugh. Or maybe he does. Either way, it's at my expense.
     
  6. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    "Yar, there be spirits here."
    (349 words)

    He thought about the world, the state it was in, what he would do to fix it if he had the power to. He thought about his earlier years, the good ones. The ray of hope he had before it became eclipsed by the moon that is other people.
    A coldness crept up against his temple.

    He sat at his desk, the sun was out, but he couldn't feel it, couldn't see it.

    "It wouldn't do me any good," he thought, regarding his numbness to the outside world.

    He took a deep breath. He started to feel again, he made a breakthrough.
    His troubles would soon be over. But he had one more thing left to do before completing his pitiful journey.

    He wrote a note the old-fashioned way, his handwriting was garbage, it detailed what he was about to do.
    He turned the safety off, pulled the trigger and laughed. Legend has it that if you go to his room, you can still hear the laughter reverberating around the walls.

    Now sure, some say that it's a bunch of malarkey, but i disagree. I went out to find him, his laughter anyway.

    "Oh, you're here to see his room too, aren't you?" His mother said apathetically with a shrug. She guided me up the creaky stairs, and into his room, she closed the door behind me.

    You know what the funny thing is? I didn't hear it, not until I left. It became drilled into my brain, I've even uncovered a tinge of hopelessness inside it, at first it sounded happy, like the kind you would make. But it slowly deteriorated the more I heard it.

    Then it invaded my dreams, it was the soundtrack to my encounter with him. We sat at a small table as he told me of the troubles that drove him to such lengths. But then the words became unintelligible, like someone started rewinding a tape, slowly devolving into a truly nasty sound, a low, grumbling noise.

    I had awoken sometime after that, laughing. In fact, I'm still laughing as i write this...
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  7. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    "Crazy?"
    (344 words)

    The sound echoed the hallway, finally penetrating my ears. A distinct laughter that signaled free time in the day room. Chuckles followed by bellows of laughs meant just one thing, patient Jones was back at it again.


    I'd been working in the mental ward for about six months and one thing I learned was to throw reason out the window. Every day when the dayroom was opened up to the patients, Mr. Jones would roll himself in, and sit for hours staring at the blank south wall and laugh hysterically. Now don't get confused, I'm not talking 'villain who plans to rule the world' maniacal laugh, but more of the 'I just heard the greatest joke in the world'-type.


    One day I did muster up the courage to ask him what he found so amusing, and he was quite shocked. He just couldn't understand why I couldn't see the same comedy taking place that he did. In fact I think he was even more irritated by my intrusion that was taking time away from his amusement. I believe all was forgotten soon after I walked away as he quickly stepped back into giggle-mode.


    Then came the day the laughter stopped, "Massive stroke," was the rumor that spread among us orderlies. That quiet day I walked into the dayroom among the other patients, and stood for several minutes staring at the blank wall trying to envision what Mr. Jones could have possibly been watching all this time.


    Brooks, another orderly walked up next to me, "Yeah I miss him too. His laughter is part of what helped me get through each miserable day at work."


    "Yeah it's pretty sad that he would sit here every day and laugh at this wall. I heard none of his family showed up to claim the body and they buried him out back with just a stone cross to mark his grave," I mumbled while maintaining my stare.


    "Sad? Are you joking? That man was the happiest man I ever met. If only we could both be so lucky."
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2014

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