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Word Vault Flash Fiction - Winter Contest

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Old 10-31-2010, 01:23 PM
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Default Word Vault Flash Fiction - Winter Contest

With the change of the season we bring you new treasures from the depth of the vault. Good Luck



Members are allowed one entry in the Word Vault Flash Fiction Contest. You are required to use at least one of the words from the Word Vault, (duplicated for your convenience below). Entries should be submitted as posts to this thread. The competition is open to all members of Writer’s Beat, including staff.

Members are requested to refrain from commenting on entries in this posting thread. Please use the Word Vault Flash Fiction: WBQ29 - Comment thread instead. That thread will remain open throughout the posting period and afterwards, and members are encouraged to let entrants know what they thought of their entries.

Word Limits:

250 words maximum


Once an entry has been submitted, it cannot be altered. Any work that is edited after it has been entered will be disqualified. If you feel you need to make a small alteration (a misplaced comma, a spelling error), contact a member of staff. If we feel your request is reasonable, we will make the correction on your behalf.

Close Date:

30 December 2010, 12 midnight GMT


After the closing date, we (the Staff) will select a winner to be published in the next issue of Writer’s Beat Quarterly, assuming permission is given when we contact the winner.

squizzle(v): to squeeze a little, as in to fire a gun, give a little hug, or release a little urine while laughing
Example: Father wasn't at home, and Mother wouldn't scold, and it was nice to walk along just as slow as you wanted to, and feel your rubber boots squizzle into the mud.
The Brimming Cup, by Dorothy Canfield, 1919

(n): British variant on the word "squire"
Example: He was a long, lean, solemn squizzle from somewhere in New England.
The Tale of a Tightwad, by William Slavens McNutt, 1916

lunt (n): a slow-burning match (v): to walk while smoking
Example: Ebenezer Scrooge was lunting around his study, contemplating his nightly visitor.

irrisory (adj): laughing, sneering, or scoffing
Example: “I always thought that cat of yours was an irrisory furball.”

admurmuration (n): an act of murmuring
Example: Belle turned away in disappointed admurmuration.

bemissionary (v): to annoy with missionaries
Example: Don’t you bemissionary me, Grant, or I’ll oust you from our town

grinagog (n): a person who is constantly grinning; a foolishly cheerful person
Example: That Renee--too dumb to know she’s in trouble, she just keeps smiling. She’s such a grinagog.

recray (v): to yield in a cowardly fashion
Example: The lion recrayed at the sight of the mad, sword-wielding mouse.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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Last edited by Tau; 10-31-2010 at 01:26 PM..
Old 11-19-2010, 10:19 PM
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A father and son are watching the sun set in the distance, behind the mountain ranges and trees. The air is cool, and kisses the cheek like fresh water. The clouds are painted with beautiful reds and purples, and seem to breath along with the two as they stand and stare, in awe of it all.

The son, without any warning, suddenly looks up to his father. He tugs on his dad's grey coat and says...

"Why Dad?"

The father, not seeing the reason behind the question, looks down and asks, "What do you mean?"

The child shrugs, and just looks back at the sunset as it plays its wondrous game. His pink little lips pucker in thought. "I don't know, Dad.... Just why?"

The Father follows his son's gaze, in deep thought at the seemingly superficial question. Yet... There's a weight to it. Why? Why indeed? The Father could not help but to recray at the question, and his hesitation was palatable as he thought.

After a moment, however, the answer occurs to him in a solid sense of finality. He kneels down on the soft, lush grass and says to his young boy, carefully brushing a brown lock of hair from his face....

"For the lulz son.... For the lulz."
"I am prepared to meet my maker; whether my maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter." -Churchill
Old 11-20-2010, 04:55 PM
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Oh, Nuts.

A beautiful day. A day blustering with the chirp of birds, sing-song of children, and sighing of leaves. A day full of promises for the gather! On a craggy branch I sit, watching below, alert to the sounds of life. From another branch comes a mindless assault of chatter. They are young, foolish, and I ignore them.

Irrisory grinagogs. So long as they don’t take my nuts…

A sudden noise, a loud bang from across the lot. My body tenses, and I recray momentarily. It’s just the man who lives across the street, however. He strolls out towards the road, tromping through grass, gray hair like a bird’s nest. Time for the daily lunt. No need to fear.
A new sound then, coming from down the road – one of the machines, loud and fast, abrasive and fuming. But wait- there! There, on the ground! Across the lot, I can see it! A bounty of nuts waiting! I scramble down the tree and towards the nuts... I must get there quickly, before the rest. The admumuration behind me grows distant as I near the street.

Gotta get the nuts!

The machine grows louder, closer, I can smell it. Too close. But the nuts…

I think- yes! Yes, I can make it!

“Mommy, watch out for the-“


Not all who wander are lost...
Old 11-22-2010, 01:23 AM
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A soft squizzle emanated from the moist, tender rubber as the bald, olive-robed man plunged the bundle of thin, wooden spears into the rubber-filled barrel in front of which lay a body, delicately wrapped in white linen. The joss sticks - Buddhist relics of respect for the deceased - were like luminous, defiant lunts amidst a sea of darkness; a sea disrupted by several hundred pairs of eyes, the dancing light of the joss sticks reflected in them like glistening jewels.

The tiny petals of flame which lay perched atop their frail, wooden peaks seemed to recray to some supernatural force, bending towards the colossal golden statue of the ever-smiling Buddha in unison with the other knelt figures in the room.

For an outsider, the beaming statue might have been mistaken for a saintly grinagog; the ensemble of devoted followers present at the temple today knew better; they understood better.

There was not the slightest hint of irrisory admurmuration anywhere in the vaulted room, signaling to the olive-robed man that the reverent state of mind was ubiquitous. Studying the large crowd intently, a stroke of satisfaction ran through him as he basked in the successes of his latest attempts to bemissionary the local populace.

With a raspy clearing of his throat, he greeted the pious mass of people with words he had grown too accustomed to saying.

"Welcome, my brothers in faith. May we understand still that there is a reason and purpose for everything. Even death."

249 words

Last edited by Tau; 11-22-2010 at 01:53 AM.. Reason: Change aproved
Old 11-24-2010, 04:56 PM
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Default The Box

“Don’t invest too much in the results of it,” mother said when she brushed my hair earlier that night. “It never ends how you want it to, but it ends how it should.”

I could see her in the mirror. She was looking at my father who stood in the doorway waiting to take me to the box. There was a smile on her face, and she turned back to meet my eyes in the mirror. “Enjoy it for what it is. Everything starts later.”

Those of us that remained in the box, waited mostly in darkness. There was excitement and dread when each match lit the room revealing the boy whose turn it was to find his partner.

He had to pick someone before his light went out.

Most girls were waiting to be chosen, but I was waiting to be found. Peter and I had a pact. I was wearing my mother’s sparkly pin to make it easy for him to find me, and he would switch whatever match he got with a lunt.

When his lunt lit the room, I could see him standing there. He was looking right at me. I waited knowing that in five steps our chosen fates would be sealed.

The light was falling down the lunt, and his eyes were locked on me: but he didn’t move. With half a lunt left he looked to his right where Laura Parker was standing and blew out his fire.
Old 12-02-2010, 08:43 PM
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Default The Cloaked Rider

Snowflakes fell ever so slowly toward their companions already assembled on the frozen ground, the absence of wind making them seem to hang in the air as if suspended by invisible strands. The hooded figure sat atop a horse so black the two seemed as one, no way to discern where the black fabric of the hooded cloak stopped and the horse began. Shifting nervously, the horse stamped out a rhythm only he knew.

The rider’s steady admurmuration helped soothe the horse as the wind began to pick up, swirling the snow in small eddies. A gust caught the rider’s hood revealing a smooth-shaved, sun-darkened face littered with scars. His long hair was black as coal; his powerful deep-set eyes were a constantly shifting blue-green mist with no white to be seen. The man absently pulled the hood back over his head, his iron gaze never straying from the battle below.

This is the day. All the planning, preparation, and sacrifice, it was all for today. It MUST end today. It must end so it can begin.

The piercing cry of a hawk split the quiet of morning as if in protest of what was happening below. Downward the hawk flew, picking up speed as it plummeted toward the battlefield, leaving horse and rider to watch from the mountaintop. Faster, faster the hawk flew, down to the besieged city at the mountain’s base, through the narrow streets, over the city walls, into the midst of battle.
Old 12-07-2010, 10:53 AM
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it were self-de-fence

-Prosecution, can you confirm that the defendant is indeed the man who sexually assaulted you in the men’s room on the evening of September 15th, 2009?

-Your honour, we can indeed confirm that the defendant is the guilty party.

-Thank you. Defendant, do you have anything to say for yourself?

-Yo honer, dat weird dude is da one who’s got all up in my bizzle. I was there takin’ a wizzle, aight, just mindin’ my own bidnis, n dis dude rocks up all dressed like homizzle. So I asks him why’s dressed like a batty en he says to me he says he’s a squizzle, yeah, and I goes ‘what da shit is that’, yeah? And he says carries other men’s shafts and weapons, yeah? Squizzle, he says. Then he looks down at my tizzle and I’s all like hell no, yeah , I puts two en two togedda – carries other men’s shafts, dressed like a homizzle, looked at my tizzle - dis dude gaon try en do the do wiv me. Now I ain’t the type of dude who you go en jus’ rape yeah – I’m da fuckin wolfizzle, yeah? So I takes dis dude en I.. Well, you know da res’. As yous can see, it were self-de-fence.
Old 12-08-2010, 05:53 AM
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Hooba dismissed the Royal Chef and sat in deep thought. Being Chief required hard choices. He advised his Royal Scribe, “I am going out. Schedule no audiences until I say otherwise.”

He selected a fat dooby from the Royal Box and left the hut. Wandering into the trees, he lunted and thought. His tribe had two choices. They could remain heathen and keep things as now, or they could convert and change everything.

Converting would mean peace, but would eliminate their food source, driving them to roots and grubs as in the olden days, before the church found them. Remaining heathen assured their food supply, but meant they would be constantly at war with the neighboring tribes.

Hooba thought, “I personally feel bemissionaried. I detest having them around. And they are dry and skinny as a rule. But I cannot make this personal. They are protein and the tribe needs that. If we convert they will stop sending the missionaries. Wooo, my hand looks Funny.”

He reached a decision and returned to the compound. He summoned the Royal Chef and said, “Cook him up. There will be more where he came from. Be sure to throw in some fat; the last one was too dry and chewy.”
Old 12-08-2010, 01:59 PM
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Default I shiver and suffer.

I wake up cold, damp, and scared. A bad dream? Actually I’ve just entered the preliminary stages of hypothermia since my wife has decided to wrap all the blankets around her like some giant caterpillar in a jersey lined cocoon. Me? I’ve got nothing but my love and a shredded old pair of boxers to keep me warm.

I’m about to give her a little nudge, but I hesitate. For whatever reason my wife’s meek and mild subconscious is transformed into a raging psychopath during the night. I don’t even ask about her dreams any more since they inevitably end up with someone getting beaten to death with a spoon, rock, or piece of hard candy.

Gingerly, I take a corner of the sheet and give it a slight tug. Only a little, I tell myself, just something to take the edge off.

WHIRRRR! Like a possessed top she spins and spins until nothing but fond memories exist on my side of the bed. It wouldn’t be fair to say there was nothing left. There were some piles of cat hair, dead skin debris, and the remnants of last night’s triscuit eating contest. Maybe I could sew it all together into an abrasive little scarf/blanket; at the very least it might alleviate the burning cold now gnawing on my toes.

I consider tapping her on the shoulder but eventually recray after convincing myself that a bludgeoned face just isn’t worth my god-given right to not suffer.
Old 12-10-2010, 02:52 PM
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Default The Undeserving

“Please. We're hungry.”

The beggar stank. Fruit vendors recoiled, and customers began to leave.

“He brought his friends,” I told my husband. “They're in the field outside.”

One man became very angry: “Look. There's nothing here for you.”

“Please. Just the bruised fruit. The ones you can't sell.”

The man's face was cherry-red. “We give you those, you'll be back every week.”

I stepped in. “Here. I'll buy you one of each if you share with your friends.”

Some vendors shook their heads in disgust. I ignored them.

The old beggar was very grateful. He thanked me as he left. Outside, to everyone's surprise, he squashed the fruits under his feet and picked one seed from each. Then he wandered away.

Outside, someone cried out.

I went to look, and dropped my bag. The vendors and customers rushed to me.

The field had been transformed. It was lush with trees, all bursting with ripe fruit. The beggar's friends collected as much as they could, while he sat cross-legged in the dirt, smiling.

When the grinagogs could hold no more, the remaining fruit fell to the ground and immediately rotted.

I looked at my husband, both of us in shock. Then I noticed. All I could manage was to point back inside. The crowd at the door followed my gaze. Inside, every stand was empty. The fruit was gone.

We stood there in silence while the beggars happily shared their first meal in days.
Old 12-29-2010, 08:27 AM
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Default Grinning Greg Grafton and the Scarlet Letter

Greg Grafton was the class clown of his high school; no matter what scrape he was in, he laughed it off and wasn’t punished. Teachers indulged him; girls giggled; guys chortled. But Greg Grafton met his match in Ms. Maddox, the new English teacher. She was fresh out of college, but she saw him for what he really was. He distracted other students in class, cheated on tests, and didn't read the required books. When asked what the scarlet letter was, he replied flippantly:

"It's the note in red ink you wrote on my last test." The class laughed.

"Can you tell me the name of the main character? Of the author?"

"Uh, no, 'fraid I can't. You know, I'm so busy with football." He flashed his varsity jacket at her with a winning grin. She was frustrated, but like the clever and well-read English teacher that she was, she had a plan.

"Can you tell me what a grinagog is?" She held up a big red "G" that looked exactly like the varsity letter on his jacket.

"Is that for me? G for Greg Grafton?” He ignored the question and snatched it from her, thinking smugly that he had finally won her over.

So for the rest of the year, Greg Grafton wore the scarlet "G" on his jacket proudly, unaware that it stood for grinagog, unaware that it was meant as a punishment, and unaware that Ms. Maddox smiled secretly to herself every time she saw it.
Old 12-31-2010, 05:03 AM
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“Will we end here?” Samuel said in admurmuration.
I ignored him. There’s chance to prove ourselves. After reaching so far, give up? Never!
I was my brother’s only hope, not only his, but the whole worlds. None could do anything. Even if the whole world would somehow unleash all of their energy, they won’t make a scratch on the ‘messenger of doom’. I, the strongest witch couldn’t do a thing too.
“I’ll win… Trust me.”
“You’re crazy!” he shouted. “You’ll die. Our only hope, pendulum is with doom. His power is 6- fold more. We were weak against him before too and now…”
Just like salt on a bruise. I was already scared and my brother, by saying this gave a sharp boost to it.
I said nothing. In a few seconds, Doom’ll be alive and we-dead. When those few seconds ended, my heartbeat almost ended too. Doom absorbed everything and made self stronger. Even I was weakening. Do something, quick!
There is one spell and I always knew that there is one spell. But I was scared; it had a condition – my life.
But I could see my brother and same will happen to all. That spell’s the last card!
“O gods of love and pain. Pay this lonely soul strength for the price of its breath. Move!”
People thought they’re fireworks but what was it actually? Well, doom died of it and…so did I.

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