99 Word Prompt: Into The Dark

Gladys peered cautiously at the basement door.  “Honey, I think I heard a noise in the basement.”

“What kind of noise?” her husband Paul answered.

“I can’t tell,” Gladys said.  “Either something fell or was knocked over.  Could you please look?”

“Scared of a little noise?” Paul laughed.

“What if it’s an intruder?” Gladys worried.

“I doubt it,” Paul assured.

“But still.”

“Okay, I’ll have a look.”  Paul opened the basement door and went down into the dark.  “Oh my god!” he screamed out.  “It’s hideous!”

“What is it?” Gladys panicked.  “An intruder?”

“Worse!  My middle school graduation picture!”


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Writing Prompt: Masks – The Bank Robbery

Very short story inspired by a writing prompt posted by Rachel Poli.  Subject: masks

https://rachelpoli.com/2018/10/19/time-to-write-masks-creative-writing-prompt/

THE BANK ROBBERY

A masked man entered the bank. He went to the nearest window, pulled out a pistol, and held it low as he pointed it at the teller.

“Fill this up!” the bank robber ordered as he tossed an empty paper sack st the teller.

The surprised teller picked up the sack as he stared at the pistol. Then he looked up at the bank robber, and started to chuckle.

“What the hell are you laughing at?” the bank robber said angrily.  “I’ve got a gun!”

“Your mask,” the teller answered between chuckles. “It’s ridiculous.”

The bank robber was flabbergasted. “Your life is in danger and you’re laughing at my mask?!”

“But it’s a clown mask,” the teller explained after he finally composed himself. “And a loud, garish one at that.”

“So?!”

“Well how do you expect to be taken seriously as a bank robber if you look like an escapee from the circus?” the teller pointed out as he started laughing again.

“Will you just fill that up with the top drawer so I can get out of here?” the bank robber demanded. “I’ve got places to be!”

“Oh, of course, right away,” the teller assured as he picked up the sack. He slid open the top drawer, then started laughing again. “Seriously? A clown mask?”

“Okay, you made your point. Now give it a rest!”

“I mean, could you imagine John Dillinger wearing a clown mask? Or Bonnie and Clyde? Everyone would laugh at them!”

“Maybe I didn’t have time to find a proper ask. Did you consider that?”

“All right, sorry for laughing at you,” the teller apologized as he kept laughing. “It’s just so totally absurd!”

“I don’t believe this,” the bank robber said with exasperation.

“Look, it’s not you, it’s me,” the teller admitted. “I just tend to laugh at inappropriate times.”

The bank robber threw up his hands. “You know what? I don’t need this.” He began to leave.

“Now wait a minute, I’ll get you your money.”

“I didn’t come here to get laughed at!” The bank robber put the pistol back in his pocket and walked away. “I’ve got feelings too,” he muttered under his breath.

“Aw, c’mon,” the teller called after the bank robber. “I promise I won’t put in the exploding ink cartridge.”

The bank robber exited out the front door, got into a getaway car, and shook his head discouragingly at the driver. The driver looked dejected as he drove off.

The teller looked at the empty paper sack and thought of the bank robber’s lost opportunity. “Some people just don’t know how to laugh,” he said with pity as he slid the top drawer shut.

 

©2018 Robert Kirkendall

 

99 Word Prompt: Bottleneck

August 30: Flash Fiction Challenge

THE BOTTLE OPENER

A party goer grabbed a longneck bottle of ale from an ice chest and searched around.  “Anyone know where the bottle opener is?”

“I got this,” another party goer said as he picked up another beer bottle.  “Now give me yours.”

The first party goer handed him his bottle, then the second party goer held his bottle upside down  and placed the edge of its bottlecap against the other bottlecap.  “A little trick I learned in college, using one bottle to open another.”

A cap popped off and beer spilled all over his pants.

“Ooops, wrong cap came off.”

99 Word Prompt: Comet

August 16: Flash Fiction Challenge

YOU SHOULD’VE LISTENED TO ME!

“I see a dark omen ahead for you,” the sorceress warned.

“Well that’s a bummer,” the man said nonchalantly.

“Heed my words!” the sorceress reiterated. “When a comet appears that is aligned with one of the planets, it will spell your doom!”

“How does a comet align with a planet?” the man said dismissively. “That doesn’t even make sense.”

“Doubt me at your own peril!”

“Planets move in orbits, comets go in a straight line,” the man explained condescendingly. “Crazy old bat,” the man chuckled and left.

He crossed the street and was struck by an old Mercury Comet.

99 Word Prompt: Peering

August 9: Flash Fiction Challenge

SAD CAT DIARY: WILDLIFE EDITION

The mountain lion came up to the forest’s edge drawn by the scent of food.  She peered from the woods at a flock of livestock in a nearby pasture.

One of those sheep could feed me and my little ones for a week, the mountain lion thought as she longed for the forbidden sustenance, but if I take one, the humans will come after me and kill me!  I only want one, the lion moped, and they have so many, it isn’t fair.

The dejected feline slouched in defeat.  Why must the humans be so cruel? she wondered piteously.

99 Word Prompt: Buttons

July 5: Flash Fiction Challenge

BIG AND SHINY

Now listen here, swine!” Claude bellowed with inflated self importance. “Now that I’ve put in charge of this department things are going to be different! There will be order!”

The employees looked at him blankly.

First rule, my cubicle is off limits! Nobody enters my territory! Nobody messes with my stuff! You will respect my authority!”

The employees rushed Claude, tackled him, knocked down all his cubicle walls, overturned his desk, scattered his paperwork, and threw his laptop out the window.

If you don’t anyone to push your buttons,” an employee reminded, “don’t make them so big and shiny.”

99 Word Prompt: Not All Is Lost

June 21: Flash Fiction Challenge

 

YOU CAN’T GET THERE FROM HERE

 

A city person pulled into a rural service station.  “Excuse me, sir, do you know the way to Davenport?”

“Davenport?” the rustic attendant answered.  “Don’t reckon I do.”

“How about Greenfield?”

The attendant pondered.  “Nope, don’t know the way there either.”

“Well can you tell me the way to the nearest Interstate?”

“I suppose if you keep driving down this highway you’ll run into one, but I don’t rightly know exactly where.”

The driver became frustrated.  “I must say, you don’t seem to know your way around here.”

The attendant chuckled.  “Yeah, but I’m not the one who’s lost.”

99 Word Prompt: Property Values

May 17: Flash Fiction Challenge

“And if you look here,” the real estate agent said, “you’ll see that the fire damage didn’t destroy the entire kitchen.”

“Well that’s good,” said the husband.

“A fixer upper!” his wife added optimistically.

“Can we see the master bedroom?” the husband asked.

“Sorry, can’t do that,” the agent replied.  “The ceiling caved in.”

“What’s that stench?” the wife asked as she averted her nose.

“Oh, that’s a pile of burning outhouses in the backyard.

“So how much?” the husband asked.

“1.2 million dollars.”

“Wow!” the husband responded.

I’ll say!” the wife agreed excitedly.  “A real bargain for Silicon Valley!”

99 Word Prompt: Fishy Story

April 26: Flash Fiction Challenge

“So I caught a fish this big,” said a fisherman, his hands slightly apart.

“Oh yeah? Well I caught one this big,” bragged another fisherman, his arms stretched out farther.

“That’s nothing,” another fisherman chimed in. “I caught one this big!” He strained his arms apart as far as they could stretch.

“Hey, guys!” announced Spiderman foe and public nuisance Dr. Octopus as he approached. “Wanna hear how big of a fish I caught?” he boasted, a proud smile underneath his coke bottle thick eyeglasses. He eagerly prepared to extend his four extra metallic arms to maximum length.

“No!”

99 Word Prompt: Sun Silly

April 5: Flash Fiction

Horace ran around the town square under the midday sun laughing and whooping while doing flips and cartwheels.

“Horace is acting rather strange,” a townsperson observed.

“He sure is,” another concurred.

“Must be because it’s spring,” a third interjected.  “He does act strange when the seasons change.”

“But this is out of control,” the first said.  “And look at that suggestive move he’s doing to one of the pillars in front of the courthouse!”

“Perhaps it’s time to kick Horace out of our respectable community,” the second townsperson suggested.

“Agreed,” the third agreed.  “He’s too weird for Santa Cruz.”