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

Ritual

Google Photo Frame

It was not long now before the sunset and Harin knew that he would have to hurry. The first day of spring had come and the Kraken would need to be appeased if the village was to have an unhindered fishing year.

“Hurry up Harin,” Taris shouted from the waiting boat.

“Don’t rush us,” Harin replied. “We still need to say the words.”

Harin’s brother, Tarin, poured the scented oil over the offering and Harin began the incantation.

“So be it,” they said in unison as spell ended and the last drop of oil fell upon the offering.

“Now lets get back to the village before it arrives to take its tribute,” Tarin urged, and the two brothers joined their cousin in the boat and pulled with all their might to distance themselves from the sacrifice rock.

They knew that in the morning all of the offerings would be gone except for a few bones. They didn’t want theirs to be among them.

Thus the spring ritual ended. The village would indeed have a successful fishing season. No great storms would wreck their habour. The boats would again all return from their daily fishing.

As for the Kraken, no one was really sure if it really appeciated the tribute, but safe was safe. Besides, the gulls all seemed to enjoy the leftovers.


Padre

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #113

Celebrity

painting by Edward Hopper

Edna Harper, star of stage and screen sat in a diner enjoying a quiet cup of coffee.

A man sitting at an adjacent seat made a double take, then began to stare at her. Here we go again, Edna thought to herself and tried not to respond to the man’s gaze.

“Excuse me,” the man said abuptly.

“Yes, I am Edna Harper,” she said curtly. “I am just trying to have a quiet drink without any fuss, if that’s okay with you.”

“Okay, Nice to meet you Edna,” the bemused man said. “But if it’s not to much trouble could you pass me the sugar if you’re not using it?”


Padre

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #113

Browser

Celine Ylmz at Unsplash

Eugene found that he now spent more and more time at used bookstores. It wasn’t that he was a particularly avid reader, but that he found a comfort in being surrounded by things that were even older than he was. At eighty-six, he had seen a lot in his life, and the escalating pace of life, and especially technology left him bemused. Books on the other hand, especially old ones were substantial, and had a sense of stability and permanence.

As he browsed the leather bound tomes he decided that tomorrow he would have to mix things up a bit. Yes, tomorrow he would visit that antique shop over on Hardeman Square.


Padre

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #111

The Pitch

Noah Berger for the Chronicle.com

“We have been reviewing our sales figures for the last two years, and it looks like we have reached the saturation point with our target demographics. The suits upstairs want to see even bigger figures for the coming season, but I think we have played the sun and sand angle as far as we can take it. It is up to you to open a new demographic by this time next week,” the sales director told her team.

When the deadline arrived she once again approached a rather sheepish looking advertising staff.

“What do you have for me?” she asked.

There was some averted gazes, and a couple of whispered apologies until the black lipsticked teaboy piped in.

“Ma’am, I know I’m not actually part of the team, but I have an idea. We could go for the Goth community, and I think I know it pretty well. We could use this photo,” he said lifting it from Escobar’s desk. “Add the caption, Come to the Shadow Lands, and I think we’re onto a winner!”


Padre

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #109