#ThursThreads – “Eez Fatez, Yez?” #flashfiction

#ThursThreads is an odd flash fiction compo, because a line chosen from the previous winner is chosen as the prompt for the next competition. This week, the phrase “Do I get a head start?” is it.

Here is my entry, if you don’t want to see the original piece:

“Eez Fatez, Yez?”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[250 words]

The visitor entered the Gypsy Tent, sat down and blurted to the veiled partition “How do I get a head start? I mean with my life. I just can’t seem to get a break.” he continued hesitantly. “Is… anyone here?”

A manicured hand parted the curtain, and waved a small brass crank until the man reluctantly took it. “Zis is a cranial crank, young manz…” came a voice dripping with European mystery. “Plaze in ze left ear to ztart your brain. Yez? And in ze right ear to ztop eet. Yez?”

“Are you seriously expecting me to…”

“Eez an ‘ed ztart you ver vanting, yez?” the hand gave a thumbs up then withdrew behind the veil. “Left to Ztart. Right to ztop. Five dollarz on ze table, yez?”

“I don’t understand. When I say ‘head start’ I’m not sure it’s meant literally. It’s a metaphor.”

“Ees metaforz, yez. Take. Take! Five dollarz.” the hand reappeared and pointed forcefully at the dish on the table. “Five dollarz pliz! Will helpz, yez.”

“Er… yez?” the man deposited five bucks in the dish and left. On his way out he stuck the handle in his left ear and gave it a comic twist. He laughed, then thought better of it and dropped the brass crank on the table, but left the money. “Zee geepzee had been worth zat mooch” he chuckled to himself as he left.

“And zo eet beginz…” the voice whispered. “At leezt not chooz rightz. we have eenuff Republeekanz, yez!”

#FiveSentenceFiction – Travel “Maiden Ticket” #flashfiction

Lillie McFerrin Writes

Lillie McFerrin hosts a Five Sentence Fiction competition on her blog. This week’s theme is Travel.

Here is my entry, which is heavily inspired by the Jungfrau Railway in the picture this week:


“Maiden Ticket”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
We pulled out of Kleine Scheidegg, and as we passed Eigerwand and Eismeer stations, I settled down to a predictable but fascinating nostalgic narrative from the old lady opposite, who claimed in broken English that she had been on the maiden trip in 1912.

“Darling Adolf, who the railway for me built and named, it to go to the summit wanted, with an elevator to make the magic stronger, but the Great War to that saw.

I the first ever passenger to arrive at the summit was, with a ‘maiden ticket’ that free passage to Jungfrau entitles for as long as me coming enjoy unchanged to this place continue to, which Adolf his TRUE gift was, you see.”

At the 3454m summit, the highest in the World according to my guidebook, the jungfrau, the now young woman who stepped off the train, turned to me, put a finger to her lips to seal me in the secret, then blew a kiss before hopping straight on the downward train, stopping only to purchase a return fare from the rather surprised conductor. This last action confused me, as I made my slower way out of the compartment, until I saw the tattered ticket sticking out of my guidebook, with a little note that read “For as long as you can, my dear, to enjoy, but no longer.”

#55wordchallenge – “Untitled” #flashfiction (UPDATE Winner of Overachiever award)

This story has been awarded an Overachiever Award

In Lisa’s own words “the 55 Word Challenge is a contest to write a story in 55 words or less.” Each week writers pick one of three images as inspiration.


This week using all three may qualify for an over achiever award:

Mother with Child

Woman and Teddy Bear


Lost Teddy Bear

Here’s my entry if you would rather not see the original version:

by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy) [55 words]

When young I hugged him. When he could sit he hugged Bear. When he could walk Bear hung by a dangled paw. When he was hit Bear flew, then lay still. With him.

Later, I followed in his footsteps. Dangling Bear. Stepping out. Being hit. Flying. Bear stayed behind. I flew on. He hugged me.

#VisDare – Fearless “Feeling Sheepish” #flashfiction

Every week #VisDare posts a picture challenge. This week the theme is “Fearless” and the photo prompt is:


Photo Source

Here is my story:

“Feeling Sheepish”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[150 words]

“The Will is clear in its stipulation. ‘All potential benefactors must attend a dinner in honour of Lady Blaenafon to inherit.’ Those finishing their meal, leaving plates clean with no remains will inherit an equal share in a substantial portion of her estate. Those that do not, are covered by a special codicil that, for now must remain confidential. Even I am not party to those elements, as my late employer was responsible for the witnessing.”

“So, all we have to do is chow down to cash in?” Lady Blaenafon’s least favourite second cousin enquired. The family solicitor, himself nearing retirement nodded his ascension.

“The meal in question is through this door. The six of you must remain until the dinner is completely finished…”

“…or forfeit the loot!” Lady Blaenafon’s third favourite son finished. “Hardly a challenge. The old biddy was a strict vegetarian at the end, silly old sausage.”

#FinishThatThought – “Eye of the Beholder” #flashfiction (UPDATE Special Challenge Runner Up)

Got Runner Up for the Special Challenge Award

Alissa Leonard has created the “Finish That Thought” Flash Fiction compo, which usually provides an opening line and some ‘special challenge’ words to include, and must be less than 500 words. This week’s compo opening line was “She was the most beautiful woman I had never met.” and the special challenge words were: Academy, clandestine and nebulous.

This is my story, but please check out the original submission and read other entries.

“Eye of the Beholder”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy) [500 words, special challenge accepted in one sentence. Word!]

She was the most beautiful woman I had never met. It sickened me to think that somewhere a model had lost income because a painter had ( I retched) used his imagination. However, the idea of the Academy of Art being the clandestine home of Impressionism was nebulous at best. A long shot admittedly, but years as a police artist had taught me to leave no stone un-Turnered.

It had been bad enough rooting out the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood from the Academy, but the PRB were nothing to the militancy of the Impressionists. Their militant wing, the Post-Impressionists, or Poster Boys as they were known, didn’t even use real colours in their daubed protests. Thank the Gods for digital media and the return to Realism.

The porter greeted me with the usual disdain, but my aesthetically heightened senses raised the alarm. He had Rose Madder under a fingernail. I nonchalantly turned my back, preparing for him to attack, drawing a pallet knife from my boot. When the porter jumped me I wasn’t as ready as I thought. He was heavier than he looked, and I had to smash his fist three times before he dropped his weapon. He sank to the floor panting, while I picked up the pencil he had tried to stab me with.

“This is a 2H! You sick bastard…” I couldn’t resist a swift kick to his ribs before my partner cuffed him. It was pleasing to see her roughly shove him into the waiting police car.

I took a look behind the reception desk. There it was. All lines and smears of oil paint. It was only the man’s strong cologne that had masked the Linseed smell. That had been close. I grabbed the canvas and headed for the vehicle.

“What IS this?” I spat, “You call this ‘Art’ do you?”

He sneered across at me. “It’s in the eye of the beholder. I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve got artistic licence.” Forgetting he was cuffed to the seat, the porter tried to reach for his breast pocket. Trying must have hurt, as he winced when the chain snapped taut. He must have broken a rib. I made a note to make sure I recorded his ‘fall’ in the arrest record.

As I reached to retrieve what was in his shirt, I made sure to lean on his bruised chest. He whimpered. “Who are you working for, Sam?” The man started in surprise, forgetting he had a name badge on his jacket. “You’re not PRB, and far too weak to be a Poster Boy.”

” I am not telling you a thing, you sellout. Since you went ‘commercial’ you wouldn’t understand.”

I opened Sam’s battered Identification Card gingerly. “This is a Poetic Licence, and that…” I shook the painting. “…ain’t no prose.”

“Isn’t… That ISN’T prose. A ‘double negative’ Detective? I trust your papers are in order?”

I had to admit, he had me there. I sighed. “It’s worse than I thought, boys. He’s a writer!”

#TicckleTuesday – Theme: Fate (or Fete or Fait) #flashfiction

Today’s theme for #TicckleTuesday will be Fate (or any homonyms), but can be up to 60s. Go to the FaceBook Group (will need membership) or http://ticckle.com/ and reply to the video entitled #TicckleTuesday #4 part 1 and part 2 has further instructions.

You can either record 30s for extra credit (about 50-60 words on average) or 60s (which would be two Ticckle videos, so please label them part 1 and part 2 when you respond. A minute is probably 120 words from my experience. Alternatively, record a FaceBook video or an audio file (AudioBoo or SoundCloud are both good). If the sound of your own voice horrifies you, please do push your comfort zone, but I’d rather have a text entry that I will record than no entry at all.

And we have all week but extra extra credit for submitting today, Tuesday! We are still very small, so following @TicckleTuesday and RTing announcements and Ticckles will help grow the community. Thanks.

#trifecta – “Unexpected Guests” #flashfiction

This post was written for the Trifecta Writing Challenge, which was to write between 33 and 333 words including the word “Brand”, using the following definition:

BRAND (noun)
3a (1) : a mark made by burning with a hot iron to attest manufacture or quality or to designate ownership
(2) : a printed mark made for similar purposes : trademark
b (1) : a mark put on criminals with a hot iron
(2) : a mark of disgrace : stigma

“Unexpected Guests”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[333 words]

“We’re looking for an escaped slave. Has a brand on his left cheek.” the leader of the posse spoke to no-one in particular.

“How are we supposed to know that. They all look the same.” chuckled one of the impromptu audience, who turned out to be the captain of the settlement. His crew laughed and egged him on.

“The other left cheek. It should be visible even for one as dimwitted as you.” the newcomer spat from his higher vantage point. Both those mounted and on foot readied their weapons, but were stood down by their respective leaders harsh looks or gestures.

“Hey! You’re needing our help, remember.” the standing figure reminded the mounted one. “Any distinguishing marks?”

“Apart from the brand? No. It’s Human, which should narrow it down.” the posse leader steadied his mount, which had sensed something that didn’t agree with it.

“Well squit, they DO all look the same. Can’t you sniff it out? It’s not like they can hide their stench.” he looked to companions for approving smiles. “I don’t know why you farmers even have them around. Enough to put me off my food, for one!’

“They have their uses. The animals won’t eat them, because they taste so disgusting, so they are good at tending the herds.”

“Oh, so that’s why we don’t just eat them ourselves. Makes sense… Anyway, we haven’t seen a Human in these parts for three… four cycles. Have we boys?” The crew quickly agreed. “So, maybe you could try the next valley. These humans can run, I hear.”

“That they can. Be seeing you.” The posse was led towards the outskirts of the settlement. “We’ll be back this way, in case you see anything.”

After the visitors were out of earshot, the captain whispered to one of his crew, “Go pull the Human out of the vessel. It should be safe now.”


“And tell the damn cook to throw the rest of it away. He’ll have to start again.”

#mondaymixer – “Sssivil Sssuit” (UPDATE Over Achiever Award)

I got an Over Achiever Award for this. 🙂

#mondaymixer is an interesting flash fiction compo, requiring exactly 150 words and at least one thing, verb and adjective, chosen from three of each. Today’s list is:

1) slurry
2) schism
3) peculation
1) garner
2) posit
3) swank
1) mawkish
2) draconian
3) sportive

Overachievers, those who use at least five can receive a special prize. It struck me how many S sounds there were in this week’s list. And that got me going with lisps (lithps?), and snakes, and theft, which lead naturally to who would be the first lawyer. I decided (in the interests of not being disqualified) that I would write the above words as is, rather than substituting the ‘s’ for a ‘th’ or a ‘sss’; if you can imagine a lithp in thome of the thpeech, I’d appreciate it. Here is my entry:

“Sssivil Sssuit”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[150 words, overachiever award]

“Sssir, your swanking has causssed a schism.”

“A what? A ‘thicthm’?”

“Do not play gamesss. I’m as sportive as the next sssnake, but I posit that you play the fool to garner approval from the Judge, while leaving sserpentkind in the slurry of his wrath! The peculation of applesss from the Tree of Knowledge is entirely yourss, Sssir, desspite the guardianship of ssaid Forbidden Fruit entrussted to you. A theft that you attempted to pin on my clientss, Eve and Ssserpent, for no other reason than the irrational ssleight of the perssseived losss of a rib.”

“Hey, I’m a guy. Ribs are important! Especially at Barbecues!”

“Your Worship, I would like to request a draconian resstraining order againsst this mawkish Man, preventing him from coming 300 cubits of the property Eden’sss Garden. Furthermore, I would sseek costsss and damagesss to a fig tree at sssaid property resssulting from thisss action.”

#satsuntails – “2012 and all that” #flashfiction (UPDATE Runner Up)

I got runner up this week.

Given I won last time 🙂 I’m quite keen on the #satsuntails flash fiction compo, which uses a phrase and an image as prompt.

This week’s stories need to be 150 words and embrace the idea of “doubtful vibrations” and the following image:

Researching the phrase came up with this yahoo answers question about the World ending in 2012! So, that’s what I went with.
Here’s my entry, but please check it out in its original location (to read other entries) too:

“2012 and all that”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[150 words]

“Have the dream again?”

“Yes. The Globe will end. If only I knew what the symbols were.”

“Shape them in the gravel again.”

“2. 0. 1. 2.”

“2012 and the Globe will be destroyed? The gravel. The plant. Everything?”

“I don’t know how, but I always see the flat face with two eyes together.”

“But the flat faces always precursor the mana from Guppy.”

“This flat face is different. Spiky scales. Not like the mana bringers.”

“Spiky scales?”

“Yes, and the eyes are thin like fins, not like a mouth.”

“Let’s consult the Oracle. The red glow may tell us what to do.”

“The Ora… Oh Guppy! Come here. Do you see that?”

“The red glow. It’s like your shapes. The 2s, the 0 and the 1 are there.”


“Damn! Poor fish. When did the cat get in?”

“Judging from the broken clock, just after 8pm. Yep. 12 minutes past.”

#trifextra – “Statues Feel”

The Friday trifecta writing challenge this week is to write a nice happy 33 word story, inspired by the prompt below:


Image Source

Here is my offering:

“Statues Feel”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[33 words]

Statues breathe slower than flesh, and move slower still. Too much to see that passes by, unless you take time. Flesh miss our feelings, which take seasons. Winter’s frowns cancel out Summer smiles.