Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Contest Time

No, I am not having another contest here. Instead, I entered a contest recently. It was a flash fiction contest. For those of you who are not writers but who visit my blog anyway, this means that the contest only allows you to write within a specified limit of words - like a flash of prose to stimulate the mind. The word count minimum was 250 words. The maximum was 500. This makes it very challenging to create a plot and resolution with that low of maximum words allowed.

It will be the very first writing contest for me, which actually means this is the third contest. But I am not counting the other two as real contests because I lost and the other magazine is a goody-goody-happy-family friendly reading and I cannot do goody-goody-happy-family friendly writing even if I fart out Martha Stewart.

Anyway, I entered. Here is my entry if you care to read it. If you had read last Thursday’s post with my links, then you saw this story mentioned and might have even clicked on the link. I did a little editing, but it is still basically the same. It averages out to 485 words (not including the title), so they cannot disqualify me for the word limit. Unfortunately, I am not keeping my fingers crossed in winning. The person who directed me to the contest had also entered and posted her story. In my honest opinion, hers is way better than mine. Still, maybe I’ll win something since they are announcing 3 grand prizes and 7 runner-ups. Who knows? My story might be wacky enough to stand out from the rest. Yet chances are better that I will probably scare the judges into filing restraining orders against me. Life is so unfair!

Here is the story. They will announce the winners in October, which gives me plenty of time to forget that I even entered the contest. In fact, I will probably forget by the end of this post.
Curse of the Serial Headless Chicken Reaper!

Sticky. Why is the floor so sticky as I run through the hall toward the second-story window? Curiosity wants my eyes to glance down. But I do not want to look at the sticky floor any more than I want to look behind me at the shadowy figure. I do not want to listen to the clomping of shoes chasing after me. If I could get to the window, I might find a gutter attached to the house siding. I could climb down to the ground; the burglars make it look so simple in all those cop shows I watch. Then I could dash to my car, throw it into drive, and screech off toward the comedy gig that I was supposed to be the emcee for at the Ranchero Stockholm’s Bacon and Flytrap Revue.

Papers crinkle in my shaking fingers. Again I curse the wind that blew my stage notes out the car window and into this rickety building. I curse the unlocked door and my own arrogance for thinking it was all right to trespass while ignoring the "DO NOT ENTER" signs posted in the yard.

Ugh! Why does it stink in here? Why are my feet sliding on the rug? I do not have those answers, and it really does not matter so long as I can reach the window. I am almost there now. I am so near. So close.

My feet betray me as I trip and fall. My hands splay out to absorb the shock as fingers crunch down on . . . eggshells? I slipped on eggshells? Worse, they are rotten eggs. Old chicken ova drying from the heat of the day with the miasma filling the air and irritating my asthma.

The clomping shoes stop behind me. Instinct controls my face as I swivel around to gaze at the shadowy figure who has been chasing after me for the past hour. I decide to put on a brave front. Stare the Grim Reaper in his eyes and maybe he will become frightened and run off.

I peer upward at nothingness. Staring someone down would be easier if they had a face. Yet the upper body only has a neck sticking out. So I drop my sight toward its waist and the belt made of severed chicken heads. Twenty rooster noggins swivel on their own to look at me. Then tiny beaks open.

"Buck-buck-BUCKAW," the rooster heads scream. The faceless body takes another step as a hand comes up and thrusts something out at me.

"Okay, dammit! I’ll give you an autograph!" I snatch at the pen and straighten out my crinkled stage notes. After writing down my John Hancock, I give everything to the shadowy figure who pats my shoulder in gratitude.

"Yeah, whatever. Do you know how long it took to write those scripts? Now I have to ad-lib my entire comedy routine. Thanks for nothing."


  1. Good Lord, Michelle. Now I'll be having headless chicken nightmares.



  2. Hee-hee! Well, it was an open prompt contest, so I could submit anything.

    Let me guess, expect restraining orders from judges. Sigh...

    The backstory is when I was 7, my dad and his drinking buddy wanted to make homemade chicken soup. So *thwack*. Then they told me to watch the chicken and inform them when it had stopped moving. I told another blogger about this dysfunctional childhood and she said for me to not turn into a "serial headless chicken reaper." The name stuck and I had to write a story about it.

  3. When you were 7? They made you watch it die? I know there are children living on farms all over the plant that witness the beheading of chickens, but not out of the blue, and certainly not to watch it thrash around for at least a minute without an explanation. It's a wonder you didn't...well, never mind that thought. I'm just glad you are able to share your awesome talent in spite of that, and yes, I'm restraining my thoughts. Except this one, hope you win the grand price, how could you not with that story? :D

  4. Oh, Sandra. I already know the thought you're keeping secret. Oh, his drinking buddy's wife found out and threw a royal fit at both of them. The incident happened at that man's house. Alcohol was largely to blame for their behavior - about five cans worth for each of them.

    By the age of 7 I already knew about such things. You can't take a kid to a meat processing plant with live cows only to come back home with packaged ribs without them putting two and two together.

  5. lol... a good'un, michelle, all the way! ;)


People want to comment here? Okay...it's your two-cents, Bub. Spend it wisely!


Related Posts with Thumbnails

ESPN NHL Standings