Prize Winner

Pixabay

Evie was called forward in the assembly and the principal announced that she was the winner of the essay contest. Many of her peers looked on jealously as she was handed the certificate and the £30 voucher.

“Evie,” Mrs. Baxter said. “Your essay was unique, and was a breath of fresh air for all of us judges. Many of your competitors seemed to follow the same line of argument, and there was a surprising similarity even in much of their wording. How did you manage to write something so original?”

“Well, I um, I made it a point to not use Wikipedia at all, and in fact, once I started following that rule, I decided to avoid using the internet at all.”

“But, how could you possibly have managed gathering all of that clever information without the web?” the principal asked in astonishment.

“Well, after school one day, I missed the bus. So I had to wait for my mum. She said to meet her by the side exit, so I went down a hall that doesn’t get used much and I found a really weird room that no one seemed to know about. It was all full of books and stuff, so I had a peek. Before I knew it my mum was ringing me, asking why I hadn’t come out yet. I told here I was reading an actual book. Soon the “Library” became my favourite place in the school, and no one ever bothered me there. I used the books to research my essay.”

“How novel,” Mrs. Baxter said. She then turned to the deputy head and whispered, “Did you know we still had a library?” Mr Turner just shrugged.


Padre

Flash Mob

It wasn’t really so much a flash mob as it was a flash presence. It had sounded a great idea when the local orchestral society had discussed doing it.

“What about Bolero?” Heidi had suggested.

“Wonderful choice,” Peter replied and they were off. They spent the next three rehearsals going over and over the same piece.

Finally the appointed day arrived, and Heidi was off early to plot out her seat at the airport. Twenty minutes later Tom Weaver showed up as well and the pair waited for the rest of the orchestra to arrive. They waited. They waited some more.

Finally, they started to play the piece the best they could in the domestic departure lounge. The show must go on they reasoned, though they were quite annoyed at the others.

Meanwhile, a enthralled crowed enjoyed the “spontaneous” rendition of Bolero which was played by nearly an entire orchestra in international arrivals.


Padre

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #145

The Project

Natalya Vaitkevich @ Pexels.com

There was so much out there. How could she ever hope to capture it? This niggled at Angela for days, then she decided that the only way to do it was to start.

She set up her easel and placed a single twig before her and began to look long and hard at it. She looked beyond the leaves and bark into the soul of the thing. She then began to simply sketch what filled her mind’s eye. Eight hours later she pushed back and took in the fruit of her labour. “Leaf,” the true leaf had taken form on the paper. It seemed almost three dimensional.

So realistic was the rendering that she reached out to touch it. As she did it fell from the page and drifted to the floor.

Amazed, she blinked and picked it up. She could feel its texture and weight. It was indeed a leaf.

She immediately sat back before her easel and began to work.

Four days later her mother knocked her door.

“We were worried about you,” she said letting herself into the studio. “Why didn’t you answer your phone?”

The bleary-eyed Angela looked towards her mother and ans merely said, “Sorry, I’ve been busy.”

“Let’s see it then,” her mother said and leaned over to look at the blank paper. “Working?” she asked.

“Yes, my best stuff yet,” Angela said.

“Hmm,” her mum said unconvinced. “I’ll leave you to it, and eat something. You look awful.”

“Okay, Mum,” the artist replied.

With that her mother left not having noticed the pile of leaves and twigs around her daughter’s ankles.


Padre

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #141

All or Nothing

Gratisography @ Pexels.com

“It’s time to put your money where your mouth is,” Will said limbering up his wrist. For weeks he had heard people going on about the undefeated Tyler. Enough was enough, and now Will was coming out of self-imposed retirement. This road house was his and everybody should remember the fact!

As the two combatants took to the table money started to be slapped down all over the joint. This was going to be the decisive battle to settle the issue once and for all.

“Okay, Dad, I’m ready when you are,” Tyler said looking his father straight in the eye.

Will knew the day would come someday, but he thought it would have been longer than nineteen years.

After a long struggle the older man felt his knuckles hit the table.

Tyler jumped up and scooping the cash into his hand, called out, “The champion!”

“Happy birthday son,” Will said with a wink. The gesture did exactly what he hoped. Now everyone wondered if the old guy had let his son win. Well reputations die hard in Buck Hollow.


Padre

https://fivedotoh.com/2021/10/18/fandangos-flash-fiction-challenge-140/

Stitch Up

donmatthewspoetry.com

The UPS driver had a lot of explaining to do. His livelihood counted on it. He had been doing his deliveries, and as was his practice turned off the engine and applied the handbreak before jumping out to leave the package in an inaccessible corner of the customers’ garden shed.

When he returned to the street, he found his van missing, and it didn’t take long to discover that it had rolled from his stopping place, down the road, and eventually off a hill. The police arrived soon after and sought his credentials and started to ask ackward questions about his parking procedure.

Little did the unfortunate driver know that he was but the latest victim of Abernathy Clarke, “The Stitch-Up Artist.” Be sure to see it all on Thursday’s episode on Channel 6.


Padre

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #138

Life’s Little Rewards

Sebastian Czubachowski at ephotozine.com

Danny and Scruff waited patiently with their noses pressed to the panes. They each knew that the highpoint of their daily routine was about to occur.

Any minute now, Scruff though, and he braced himself for the exact moment to get most satisfaction from the experience.

Danny too was sure that it was only a matter of time.

Then, there it was, the red van stopped across the street. The postman stepped from the vehicle and angled to the neighbours’ house.

Our turn next, Scruff mused as the tension grew.

Then it happened!

Danny let out an excited giggle as the mail slot in the front door “pooped” envelopes onto the floor.

At the same instant, Scruff let out his best bark in the certainty that he will have made the letter carrier jump.

Life’s little rewards! They could hardly wait until tomorrow.


Padre

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #136

Dragon Scourge: Dragon Hunter Revisited


“This was a forest?” Wilfred asked.

“A rather lush one,” the Viceroy said.

“And you say it was five dragons?”

“That is what the forester reported,” the official replied.

“Hmm, it doesn’t look like dragon work,” the Dragon Hunter said with a sceptical tone.

“Well, we heard what you did in Hanon and knew that you were our only hope.”

“I will do what I can, but it’s not going to come cheap,” Wilfred said.

“Whatever it takes,” the Viceroy said.

“What do you think, Runny?” Wilfred said to his associate.

“Well, to tell the truth, it ain’t got the dragon feel to it. But, if the furster say it be dragons, who am I to say counterwise,” the Dwarf replied.

“We will take the job,” Wildred announced, “. . . and it being five or more beasts, we will do it based on there being five.”

The Viceroy and his retinue then departed back to the palace.

“What do you really think?” Wilfred asked.

“Well, not that I’s seen a reality dragon, but this don’t look like the lore. Looks more Wizardish to my eyes,” Runny Roundbottom said scratching his beard.

“I was thinking the same,” Wilfred said with some relief that the Dwarf agreed with him.

“We need to have a tongue-wag with that furster,” Runny said.

“Should I get the Viceroy to send for him?” Wilfred asked.

“No no. That would only get him to spout his same story again. I were thinking just chancing on him at the tavern and loose him up with some ale, then see what he can tell uz,” Runny said tapping the side of his nose.

“Ale it is,” Wilfred said. “Let’s hope there is a Wizard behind this. I don’t fancy facing ‘reality’ dragons.”


Padre (R. V. Mitchell)

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #127

The Debate

Antenna at Unsplash

It was the most acrimonious meeting of the Neighbourhood Association that anyone could remember. It was even worse that the one where the “foreign” family broke protocol and used cooking ingredients not on the “approved list,” for the annual Founder’s Day picnic.

“It breaks with tradition, and we all know how important tradition is,” Margery Cooke said authoritatively as others nodded in agreement.

“But times are changing,” Mable Hunt retorted, to applause of as few of the more progressive members.

“Well that might be all well and good over in Highland Park, but it won’t wash here in Pleasant Acres,” Margery countered.

In the end there was a very tense vote, and with the breaking of tradition the motion passed by the margin of three votes. Times were indeed changing in Pleasant Acres and the hanging baskets on Main Street were going to feature purple rather than red petunias this year. It was quite the coup.


Padre

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #120

The Shooting

Harrison Haines at Pixels.com

———————

Dylan couldn’t exactly call it the perfect crime, but he was pretty sure he had gotten away with it. He was a known opponent of gun rights, and hadn’t done any real outside activity since high school. Yes, the “soyboy’s soyboy,” wouldn’t be on the radar.

Not only had he used a 30-30 he had found in a cubbyhole in the basement of the house he bought six years ago, but he also knew the previous owner had died of cancer leaving no heirs. He had waited for just the right day too. It was a snowy day which kept most everyone cozy indoors.

He had slipped out of his backdoor into the woods wearing a hoody he had found left on a train a few weeks before, and he thought it would be the perfect disquise as he never wore such things. He had merely scooped it up and put it in his briefcase. It was simple as that.

Once he had made the trees he skirted the area to arrive at his destination. He then fired two rounds into his victim and made his way back into the woods, dragging a blanket he had brought with him to level out any footprints, and he was sure the falling snow would do the rest.

The next day the local news reported that the police were baffled by the crime. They had no idea what the motive was, much less the identity of the perpetrator. Who would shoot two holes into an inflatable clown at the front of a closed daycare centre?

Dylan hated clowns.


Padre

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #115

Last Ranger

Pixabay

Doug Rivner looked from the window of the Hobbit hole and tried to assess his chances. He could count at least twenty-six orcs from his vantage point and he knew that making a break for it was against the odds. Fair enough, this was a Hobbit’s house and the pantry was well stocked, but he couldn’t hold out indefinitely. Eventually they would breach the door, or he would be forced to confront them. He hated the waiting game.

Only three years before he had become a Ranger, back before the dark magic brought orcs, goblins, and bugbears back from near extinction. This is insane, he thought to himself. I survived the Covid back in 2020-23 and the high water levels global warming had brought in ’27. He quickly counted the remaining bullets in his ammo pouch. Damn, 30 rounds. No way am I going to take them all out.

He double checked the barricade at the round door, and cut a piece of cheese. He then sat with his back to the far wall and munched his snack. He then placed his assault rifle across his lap and settled in. He would doze for a bit, and then come morning, Rivner, the last of the Rangers, would try to break out, or at least “go out” in a blaze of glory.


Padre

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #114