Ladies and gentlemen, we have a tie! Congratulations to C. Jai Ferry and Harry Klmt for winning our flash fiction contest! Each won a $5 Amazon Gift Card. We received quite a few entries via email and enjoyed reading them all! We’d like to thank each and every one of you for participating, and we hope to see you enter more contests in the near future!
Enjoy reading the winning stories below:
C. Jai Ferry: Lynn’s Best Day
Evelyn would answer to any number of nicknames, but ski mask guy chose the one name she despised. Typical.
“Hurry it up, Lynn.” He stressed the name and swirled the gun in a tiny circle, as if that would speed her up.
She gritted her teeth and shoved more cash in the bag. It was the name on her nametag. The store manager had said he was recycling, saving the planet. He wasn’t. He was just a cheap bastard.
A dead cheap bastard.
Several bills slipped from her hand and fluttered around her feet. She faltered. “Do you, uh… Should I?” She pointed toward the dropped bills. Presidential faces sank into the sticky blood pooled at her feet.
“Just keep going.” He circled the gun again, then glanced at the front doors.
Evelyn scoffed. “Don’t worry.”
He pushed the gun closer and growled, “Excuse me?”
She shoved the last of the bills from the register’s till into the paper bag and froze. “I–I just meant…” Evelyn nodded toward the doors. “Nobody ever comes in this late.”
Her hand was still in the bag when he snatched it from her. He squeezed her wrist through the bag and Evelyn wondered if she too would die in this shithole of a supermarket that smelled of rotting vegetables and sponge-bathed octogenarians’ stale perfume. She looked up at the dark eyes staring back at her from the ski mask and held her breath.
“On the floor.” Ski mask man nodded toward the floor as he took a step back.
Evelyn hesitated. They would find her body in a tacky pool of her dipshit manager’s blood—all for a job stocking shelves fifteen hours a week that allowed her to escape her mother’s pissed-on bedsheets.
“On the floor!”
Evelyn held up both hands and squeezed her eyes shut. “But the blood.”
Ski mask laughed. It was a deep, throaty laugh that made her think of the warm salty air of an island beach. She let herself get lost in the sound of waves lapping at the white sand. If she had to die, it would be on a beach sipping fruity alcohol.
But she didn’t die, and when she opened her eyes, the ski mask was gone. She stepped over the body, spitting “cheap bastard,” and walked to the office, leaving tacky red footprints behind her.
The cops had to be called. Questions would be asked, reports would be filed, and tomorrow night she’d return to stock more shelves. Her mother had died more than a year ago, but Evelyn still showed up for every shift. The realization made her sick to her stomach.
She sat at the desk. Evelyn wanted out. She wanted to escape Chicago’s gray winters and stupid managers who kept a slip of paper with three numbers hidden under the phone.
She slid her feet from her bloody sneakers and stepped to the safe, careful to avoid drying blood.
The door swung open to reveal stacks of bills piled on two shelves. Island breezes brushed her cheeks. She was pretty sure they didn’t have ski masks or stupid managers or pools of blood on the islands.
Evelyn smiled. She was going to find out.
Harry Klmt: Take a Chance or Else
“Sir, are you going to pay with cash or credit card?” the kind woman asked him. He seemed nervous. “Credit card,” he said, and gave his American Express to her.
She slid the card with a fake, blissful smile on her face and then she packed the ring for him. He walked towards his car, holding the ring in his hands, but it felt heavier and sizzling hot to him. He was about to take the next step to his relationship and he just realized how big that step was. But he had no other choice. He would have waited longer, but she couldn’t wait; she wouldn’t wait. In fact, she made it clear to him that she didn’t want to see him again, and that their relationship was just that for him.
She was wrong. She was so wrong. She didn’t know that every time she got stuck in traffic, he called — not because he was suspicious that she might be cheating, but because he felt that if he lost her, he would be lost, too. She didn’t know that every time she accused him of not loving her enough, he wanted to scream to her that all he did was love her.
“She doesn’t know,” the voice in his mind said, and then he realized. He thought she could feel his love, but he was wrong, he was letting his ego get the best of him.
He thought he might sound silly or stupid by saying out loud “I love you more than my life, babe,” so instead of saying that, he often replied with just a plan “yes,” whenever she asked him if he loved her. That’s why he bought that ring. He wanted to show to her that his life was with her, or there was no life at all. He wanted to tell her that if she wanted a wedding to prove his love, then she would have that wedding. She would have whatever she asked because now his life was hers.
His hands were sweaty, holding the wheel. The sun wasn’t helping. It was boiling hot.
She wouldn’t answer her phone. She might have been busy. Except she was never busy for him, she would always answer her phone whenever he called and she was happy for him calling, even if he just called to ask her where his keys were or something stupid like that. Maybe she forgot her phone at home, but she wouldn’t do that. Her phone was something important to her. She was a mobile addict, like everyone else. He loved how she made goofy faces every time she saw a funny or weird thing on her news feed.
He was in their driveway. He parked his car. He took a deep breath and then proceeded to enter their apartment. It was quiet and dark, a sign she wasn’t home. She loved the sun, and every time she was around the house, she would have the windows wide open, so the sunlight would flood the place.
He was about to try and call her again when the doorbell rang. He knew it wasn’t her because she had keys. He answered the door. Two policemen stood there, with a sad expression on their faces.
“Are you Mr. Parker?” one of them asked.
“Yes, is something wrong?” he asked, feeling his pulse rising. He knew something bad was about to come out of this policeman’s mouth.
“Sir, it’s about Claire Dane,” the other policeman said.
“What about her, is she alright?” he started losing it; he didn’t like those policemen’s pitying expressions.
“Sir, there’s been a robbery at the supermarket down the road…”
Thanks to all the participants for their great submissions!