Christmas Flash Fiction Challenge!

00 Santa Dan
This is the last one of these with the hat.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

This is your present, from me to you!

It occurred to me that you will have some down time this week. Not today, necessarily, but in a few days. At which time you’ll check in and see we had a writing challenge that could brighten your writing day. And here it is.

For the NEW YEAR, the challenges will be a little challengey-er!

More challenging! More difficult! More fun! (For me, anyway.)

So we better get ready. This challenge will do that because very few people will participate, but those who do will have a big advantage in the new year. Just sayin’.

00cp
It’s kind of like a gift. (Read on. You’ll see.)

Ready? Here we go.

Take a topic from the Random Subject Generator below

http://writingexercises.co.uk/subjectgenerator.php

and that will be the theme of your story. (Mine was about betrayal – which is pretty good!)

You build your story around that.

Easy, right?

BUT!

00 gs
Remember, he was a good guy by the end of the story.

You ALSO build your story within a classic genre, DERIVED BY A RANDOM NUMBER GENERATOR!!

 

Bwahahahahahahahaaaaaaa!

 

There are two reasons to do this. One, I’m evil. But you knew that. Two, those writer muscles need to be built where they haven’t been. You fantasy folks need a little romance in your stories (Star Wars was a fantasy but it definitely had a romance going on underneath, didn’t it?) You romance folks need a little action adventure in your stories (Dr. Zhivago had a revolution going on for pete’s sake!)

 

Build those neglected writer muscles!

It only hurts for a little while but you might find out you’re good at it.

TheNavigatorsDanAlatorre
No, you cannot buy it yet.
Poggi cover FINAL
Can’t buy this yet, either.

For example, I have often mentioned the kiss I had to write for The Navigators. That was really difficult for me at the time (eight rewrites for one kiss), but friends here helped me learn how to do it. (Yes, I had several grown women “teach” me how to kiss.) That helped a lot when I had to do romantic stuff in Poggibonsi (I stretched those muscles but I also now had a network of people to bounce the scenes off of before they were aired to my critique group – HUGE benefit), and THAT helped when I had to do two steamy sex scenes in The Water Castle – which had readers fanning themselves, they were so hot. (It was all implied stuff, too. Much more difficult, IMO. But they were honest, realistic, sexy and tasteful. Because I developed some new writer muscles. Most important, they were well received – as in, they were good writing.)

If I can, you can.

A great story usually contains elements from several genres. Adding these things enhances you stories, and practicing them here makes you a better writer.

Thaaaaat’s what you want!

Eating_through_lunch
I DO want that.

(Well, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.)

Genres: Use the Random Number Generator to get one of these:

  1. Romance
  2. Murder Mystery
  3. Action Adventure
  4. Thriller
  5. Sci Fi
  6. Fantasy (like dragons and knights in shining armor, not sexual fantasies)

Random Number Generator: https://www.random.org/

You know the drill:

  1. Use the Random Subject Generator to pick your THEME
  2. Use a Random Number Generator to select your GENRE
  3. Write a story up to 3000 words that is obviously written using both theme and genre.
  4. Post your story below in the comments with a link to your blog where
  5. You also post it on you blog
  6. And mention what the heck this is so people don’t think you’ve gone schizo
  7. Read and comment on OTHER people’s entries. That makes it fun. Allegedly.
  8. You have one week. Noon Friday a week from this posting date (EST – Tampa, Florida time in the U S and A) is plenty of time, slacker!
  9. IF you intend to play, post a comment below so I can give you crap when a week passes and you don’t post it, EMILY.
  10. Um… I think that’s it.

Get after it!

.

Dan's pic
Your humble host.

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Got a QUESTION? ASK IT! Hit the Contact Me button and I’ll see what I can do. (I have lots of smart friends.)

 

Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi: an italian misadventure.” Click HERE to check out his other works.

6 thoughts on “Christmas Flash Fiction Challenge!

  1. Okay, I’m supposed to write about an ornament. That should be seasonal enough. Not sure about the genre thing, though. It suggests a straight fantasy. Maybe an homage to the Little Tin Soldier.

    I have plenty of words to work with and no newsletter due. I should be able to manage this one. 🙂

    Like

  2. Do you really want the story posted here, in the comment section. I’m bad with directions.
    Oh well. Here it goes.
    “Who is Jami and why do you love her?” I hovered over my husbands sleeping form, his cell phone clutched in my hand.
    I didn’t remember turning the light on, but the room wasn’t dark. I also couldn’t account for climbing the stairs or entering the bedroom, but since I wasn’t skilled in the art of teleporting, I must have done all those things.
    My brain must have reset to auto pilot when I managed to open my husbands text messages and read ‘I love my boo’ from some phantom person that despite the name, I assumed was female.
    “Huh?” My husband eyes slit open.
    He had been drunk when he went to bed and only a couple hours had passed, yet he somehow he focused on his phone and his eyes grew large.
    “Oh God, Anne.” The colour drained from his face.
    Any doubt I had that shock could sober someone up, disappeared.
    He lurched up.
    I jumped back.
    “Who is she?” I mumbled other words. Swear words, begging words.
    He stood, somehow his phone had managed to make its way into his hand. Perhaps I was skilled in telekinesis, after all. Perhaps I was just crazy.
    “She’s just this girl I texted.” He studied his phone, pressing buttons like mad.
    “You’re talking to a woman. Who?” Anger drowned all other emotions. Who in the hell was she? What type of adult used the word Boo?
    He remained quiet.
    His silence pissed me off more.
    “How long has this been going on?” My voice louder than I intended. The last thing I wanted to do was wake up the Lewis, our six month old.
    “You’re this mad at me for just talking to some chick?”
    I nodded. A small action. The last thing I did before who I was, died, and another persona rose up from the wreckage.
    “Okay, I fucked her.”
    My hand slipped off the door knob, my dramatic exit ruined. I turned to face him, studying him across the rumpled bed. The bed where I we created a child. “You had sex with her?”
    My body sat down. The wood floor boards were cold under my bare legs. I looked up wanting to say something, but floundered. Did my husband just say he slept with another woman? Four little words to alter my being. Each one of those words were okay in themselves, but put into that order—disastrous.
    “How many times?” My voice sounded far away. I had entered an alternate reality. This wasn’t my life. The man I married ten years ago disappeared. This was some stranger.
    He offered a feeble shrug. “A couple times.”
    “Do you love her?” His text messages burrowed their presence into my memory so deep they would never be forgotten.
    “No! It was stupid. I’m stupid.” He approached me, hand out, to pull me up. Like my sitting on the floor hurt him somehow.
    Scampering backwards, I pressed my body into the closed door.
    He backed up, shuffling around. “It’s over. I won’t call her again.”
    “Give me your phone.” I inched along the wall until I stood, and held my hand out. “I want your fucking phone. I’m calling her.”
    The cold plastic of his phone case slid into my hand, but any trace of her ha vanished. Removed like she was never their. “I want her number.”
    He sat on the bed as I dialed her. Of course she didn’t answer. I left my name and who I was. Since you’ve been screwing my husband, I think we have a problem, I said into the phone. Call me.
    “She’s just some girl. She means nothing to me. It was a sick game and I’m glad it’s over.” His head was in his hands. “I swear. I promise. It’s done.”
    Somehow I made it over to the bed. Somehow we ended up having sex. Somehow morning came and the sun rose.
    I stared at the spot where I crumpled on the floor hours before and envisioned a police chalk drawn around the form of my body. That was where I died. The me that I had been.
    Who was I now?

    David stirred beside me. I let him reach for me, pull me in. I was a million miles away. My body an empty vessel. He could never touch my true form. It was hiding somewhere. His arms around me, stopped me from floating away. I focused on the spot by the door.
    “I have to go to work.”
    “You’re leaving.” The thought of him going anywhere threw me. Being alone didn’t bother me, but out of my sight, he was free to call her. “Are you going to contact her?”
    He dressed. “I’m not calling her. I’m done.”
    “Leave me your phone.”
    “I can’t. I need it for work.”
    My stomach coiled into a tiny knot. “I want your phone.”
    With a sigh he sat it on the dresser, and came to stand by my side of the bed. “I’m not calling her.” He bent over, eye level. “I love you.”
    Words. They were empty words. Half my existence had been a figment of my own imagination. Had anything in my reality been true?
    I nodded. Getting fired would be more stress we didn’t need.
    The bedroom door shut. Predawn light tried to brighten my world. It was so early the baby hadn’t woken yet. I closed my eyes. How strange it is to wake up to your nightmare.
    The day progressed. I fed the baby, my mind skittered from question to question. How long had this been going on At least a year. It wasn’t coincidence that kept me up last night. That made me steal his phone from his bedside after he passed out. He had forgotten to hide it, and that was my chance. I’d been waiting for a chance. Every since the signs appeared.
    I fed the baby. There had been lots of signs. I became skilled at good at ignoring them at first. I paid not attention to my friends embarrassed looks and hushed words. I’m not an idiot. I repeated to myself as I changed the baby’s diaper. I trusted people. I was a fool.
    Angry at myself, I pulled up her name on my computer and out of sheer determination, figured out who this chick was. She lived a state over. She worked in a bank. God love facebook. I was prettier. A small condolence.
    My phone rung.
    “Hello.” I balanced the baby on my hip.
    “Hey. How are you doing?” David’s voice was soft.
    “Okay.” I didn’t want to talk to him. I wanted to focus on obtaining information. It gave me the illusion of being in control. “I have to go.”
    “What are you doing?”
    Like was going to tell him. He didn’t deserve to know anything about me, ever again. “Not much.”
    Resuming my search, I found the bitches work number—and called it on my land line. She had the type of job where she had to announce her name when answering the phone so I was sure it was her.
    “Hi, Jami. This is Anne. The wife of the man you’ve been fucking.”
    The phone went dead. I stared at the receiver and laughed, thought I would have been hard pressed to explain what it was I found funny.
    Lewis started to cry, protesting his abandonment to his car seat. Like a robot, I opened a jar of Gerber’s peaches. An early lunch every so often wouldn’t upset his schedule too much.
    After Lewis ate, I laid him on the furry mat in front of the back door. Sunshine poured in, bathing him in a warm glow. I plopped down beside him. My poor baby. Had this been going on the whole time I was pregnant? Had David included her in his call out list when Lewis was born?
    The ringing rung jangled my nerves. The receiver laid on the floor beside me. I hit the talk button but said nothing.
    “You called her at work.”
    I couldn’t read Davids voice over the phone. Was he be angry?
    “How do you know? Did you call her?”
    “She called me. Anne, she said to tell you, you have no right to call her at work.”
    Seriously. This girl stepped into my life and walked all over it. She’d given up any right when she entered my life. “She’s lucky I didn’t drive to her work place and spray paint, house wrecking whore across her car.”
    My comment was met with silence.
    His silence stung. “I can do whatever I want. She’s the one who fucked up. What did you tell her.”
    “I told her that, and not to call me again.”
    I hung up. Did he really tell her that? I would never know the answer to that. I glanced at Lewis. He had fallen asleep.
    David made it seem like he was on her side. Worried how this all might effect her. That he might be concerned how she felt, poured salt in my open cuts. My tears came. Followed by choking sobs. It wasn’t pretty. Being angry was much better than this horrible drowning feeling. I was covered in tar. The black substance stuck to my skin. Blind and breathless I curled into a ball and my self out.
    The front door clicked open. David’s black work shoes appeared at my knees. I squinted up at him. He looked like shit.
    “You’re home early.”
    He sunk to the floor on the other side of Lewis. “I couldn’t stay at work. I couldn’t stop crying.”
    My eyes met his. They were red. He lowered his head onto his bent knees. “I’m so sorry. I know that word doesn’t mean shit to you right now, but I am. This has to be the stupidest thing I have ever done.”
    There was nothing I could say to that. This was the most hurtful thing that I ever experienced. I was to fragmented to brooch his anguish.
    “At first it was cool to have someone at your finger tips. Someone who found everything you said funny. Who didn’t bitch about money or taking care of the baby. We were on the same wave length, had the same sense of humour. We understood each other.”
    This supposed to make me feel better? I stared at him. Should I have added feeding his ego to my growing list of responsibilities.
    “This isn’t your fault.” He spit it out like he could read my mind. “This is my fault. A hundred percent my screw up.”
    I nodded, but my mom always told me it takes two to make a marriage and two to break a marriage. I shared this responsibility.
    “Where did this happen? When?” I needed to uncover everything.”
    David knees dropped into a cross legged style. “You don’t want to hear that stuff.”
    I did. I needed to know because if I didn’t it was a dirty little secret between him and the woman. A secret I wasn’t included in. As soon as he spilled the details, she lost power over me. I tried to explain this concept to him, while he sat there looking sicker and sicker by the moment.
    “The first time was in her car. I was hammered. I didn’t cum.”
    I envisioned the scene in my mind. It tore at my insides. My husbands hands caressing another body. His lips on hers. “Did she suck you?”
    He winced. “No, she wouldn’t. I tried.”
    “Did you stay with her afterward?”
    “We were always in her car. Nothing after—no cuddling.” He grimaced. “She dropped me off at my car and drove off.”
    I closed my eyes. One morning he hadn’t come home until five. I had laid awake all night knowing something was up. He claimed he didn’t want to drink and drive and stayed at a friends. We made out. He smelled showered. Wherever he was with this girl, he had been somewhere to shower.
    “Anne. I’ll tell you everything you want to know.”
    He wouldn’t. Maybe he thought he was protecting me somehow, or the truth of it all was too horrible for him to face himself.
    Lewis had woken up. He sucked his fingers and made happy little baby noise. I picked him up and carried him to the door. Turning, I glanced back at David. Tears streamed down his cheeks.
    I pushed myself forward.

    Genre…romance
    Topic…someone who irritates me.

    Liked by 1 person

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