The Mighty Pen

The Mighty Pen Award

The Mighty Pen Award is awarded every Monday to the winner of a writing competition posted every Thursday in which I post the beginning of a flash fiction piece and readers post their endings.

The Mighty Pen #1

Winner: Krista M

Tap, Tap. The sound of knuckles tapping against the door startled her, though she intently awaited it. Slowly, she stood and smoothed out the folds of her dress. Crossing the room she laid her hand on the door handle.
Fear seized her, refusing to allow her to open the door. This must be. She told herself again. This must be.
Hot tears fell down her cheeks following the same path as all those that came before. There was no use escaping her fate.
"This must be." She whispered to the door. Then slowly she opened the door...
... and peered into the eyes of the sweaty, scruffy looking dog catcher. It was the same very Tuesday. Her dog Henry would escape during their daily walk and run a muck around the neighborhood, worrying her to tears. The old dog-catcher Lyle, opened the door for her a little wider and let Henry slip back in the door. She closed the door, not smiling or saying thank you for she never spoke to anyone, but Henry in the darkness of her home as she waited for the day to end and another to come. It was always silence that spoke from her lips of appreciate, yet they never moved.
She scooped up the little muddy golden retriever and carried him to the bathroom for his daily bath and hummed softly to herself, thinking of the day that no one would have to speak to her. Henry wouldn't escape and she could live in solitude as she wished.

The Mighty Pen #2

Winner: Jen Daiker

"Halt!" I stabbed the block of cheese with my plastic sword. Nothing got past me. I walked around the block, examining the holes for damage and identifying any foul play. "Show yourself or suffer the worst!"
I wasn't one to play games. My pirate hat fell in my face and for an instant my eyes missed any potential evidence of a trespasser. Adjusting the hat to lean farther in the bag I continued to search the cheese until I was rudely interrupted.
"Theodore its time for bed." I trudged to my quarters, setting my sword against my night stand climbing into bed. My mother took the pirate hat off hanging it on the edge of my bed post "You're a silly little mouse."

The Mighty Pen #3

Winner: Sarah Pearson

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Can of Peas
  • Cream of Tarter
  • Bread
  • Cheese
Laura read through the list one more time, then folded it carefully and placed it back in her pocket. Taking the handle of the shopping cart she readied herself. This was it...
... She didn't think this would work, not really. Sure Grizelda said that canned peas were similar to frogs eyes, and cream of tarter was almost as good as newt's blood; And it was true that proper supplies were almost impossible to get nowadays, but really what experience did the old witch have with 21st century groceries?
Laura pulled out the list again and checked it one more time. Something wasn't right. She called Grizelda on her mobile.
"Okay, I get the peas and the cream of tartar, but what are we going to use the other stuff for?"
"Lunch. I'm starving."
Original Post

Honorable Mentions

Jen (Funniest): Sure, she had met the parents of her other boyfriends, but to actually be cooking for them - we'll she hoped it wasn't a repeat of Christmas '08.
Let's just put it this way, the dry, hard, turkey in National Lampoons Christmas looked like eating pillows compared to what had come out of the oven that year.
Making a quiche wouldn't be so hard, right?

The Henderson Family (Most Inventive): Before Laura woke up today, 16 days ago, she thought grocery shopping insignificant in a persons life. In and out, back to work, don't make eye-contact, don't stray from the plan. That was her motto. But after living the same part of the same day over and over, she had begun to suspect there must be something more to it. By the third repeat of the day she knew there was something she was missing. By the eighth she suspected that she was supposed to be doing something different. On repeat number 12 she realized that she make something better for someone else. It wasn't until the fourteenth repeat of the day that she finally started to notice things, things that she could change. On day fifteen she had observed, made extensive mental notes about what she had seen. The Mother in the checkout line with the puking child - maybe if Laura did something other than sneer at her, the woman would look less mortified and overwhelmed. Or the man who must have passed his 90th birthday in the last 10 years, that was trying balance a pickle jar and his cane...surely something could have been done there to prevent his fall that lead to the paramedics rushing through Rupert's Market.
The cashier in tears, the orange avalanche, the lovers spat in the paper goods aisle...Today was the day she was going to do something about them all. Today was the last time she was going to repeat today. She hoped.

The Mighty Pen #5

Winner: CherylAnne Ham

She turned the radio off. She hated that song. She had hated it ever since - but she would not think of that now. She had other more important things on her mind.
Turning back to her suitcase she resumed folding and then carefully packing her clothes...
One of Johnny's old t-shirts had found its way into the wash. Her heartbeat quickened. Detergent and dryer sheets replaced his scent, but it was his, and having it near would make this easier somehow.
Into the suitcase it went.
Johnny knew how to make things better, if not right. And if he lied to her, she'd believe it. She was ready to believe anything but the truth-- that they had finally come for her.
Original Post

The Mighty Pen #6

Winner: Spod

Outside the rain fell like gray sheets over the world. Trees bent, kneeling to the force of the wind. In the distance, a brilliant blue flash of light broke the sky. Moments later the answering rumble of thunder rolled through the air.
I watched the storm through the glass window. My gratitude for the shield provided by my small home increased with the intensity of the storm. Another flash of lighting and the room plunged into darkness. This time the thunder shook the house.
Behind me I heard the eerie sound of a door creaking open. My blood ran cold. Slowly I turned...
I bet It’s that brute of a cat again I thought. Yes, it’s definitely him; he only comes out when it’s dark, the little sneak.
I watched him closely as he skulked across the room and jumped up into the armchair. The familiar hostile thoughts sprang into my mind as I observed him; I really don’t know who he thinks he is, sitting there, licking his private parts. He really is the most despicable animal I’ve ever come across.
I stepped backward gingerly from my position at the window until I was sure I was obscured from his view.
What could I do? He got Micky last week; no one’s safe when he’s around. My whiskers twitched nervously as I retreated further into my nest. I knew that to survive this night I’d have to be quiet. As quiet as a mouse.
Original Post

Honorable Mentions

Sarah Pearson (Spookiest): "...please be the cat, please be the cat," I prayed under my breath.
It wasn't the cat.
The storm hadn't knocked out the electricity, he had. I didn't know how he was managing to move without it, but he was getting closer and there was nowhere to run. The experiment had worked, but at what cost?
He paused, arms outstretched. I held my breath.
"Cup of tea, darling?" My dead husband asked.

Krista M (Funniest): and screamed, dropping the book that I had been reading to the floor and jumping behind the couch. Thunder rumbled again as the dark figure remained in the doorway. I heard a strange scratching sound and peaked over the top of the couch. Soft laughter filled the room and it chilled my bones. He was laughing at me. The scratching continued until I heard a match light and an eerie glow filled the room.
"Are you done?" my husband asked.
"Oh, Erik, it's just you. I thought it was the man with the traveling shovel of death," I gasped.
Erik frowned as I got up from behind the couch, blushing.
"You really need to stop reading mystery books during storms."
"That's the bed time to read them," I protested.
Erik put his arm around me and guided me by candlelight in the kitchen and pulled out a chocolate chip cookie from the jar. He handed it to me and sat down on the high stool. Maybe he was right, I thought as I took a bit of the sweet delight. Just maybe.
Fida I (Most Uplifting): She posted her entry on her blog, so go check it out there.

The Mighty Pen #7

Winner: Fida

You don't understand!
I can't, I can't
just go up there
and be part of the group.

I'm a quiet girl
yes I'm familiar from classes
but what do I say

I'm not used to this,
only one on one
just leave me alone.
Original Post

Honorable Mentions

CLB (Most Murderous): Post on her blog, go check it out.

Spod (Best Ending):Stuttered John into his mobile phone.
He sounds terrified, thought Keith.
“Why not John? Why? For god’s sake its Saturday, our busiest day of the week” Keith was furious. He was standing outside the gates of the zoo with the rest of the employees, unable to gain entry.
“The animals, they’ve locked me in the Gorilla enclosure, it was an ambush, Kong was waiting for me, I couldn’t see him or the other Gorillas anywhere, so I went into the enclosure to see what was going on and they shut the door on me and locked me in” John was hysterical now.
“Have you been on the old jazz cigarettes again John? Now pull yourself together, get yourself down here and open the gates” Keith was incredulous, he’s heard some excuses in his time but this took the biscuit.
“I’m not lying Keith, I’m locked in the Gorilla enclosure, all the animals are stood around the barriers watching me, its freaking me out, STOP STARING WILL YOU!!” John screamed at the assembled citizens of the zoo “Wait, one of the Giraffes is leaning toward me, he’s got a piece of paper in his mouth"
John put his phone down on the grass and reached up to grab the note from the Giraffe’s mouth. He picked up his phone again and spoke into it.
“Okay, it’s a note, I can barely make it out. Oh dear, I think it’s written in blood”
There was a pause
“John...are you still there John? What does it say?” asked Keith eagerly
“It says: Now you know how we feel”

Krista M (Most Dramatic): I can't," the young woman begged.
"You will give him up to me," the man hissed, squeezing her wrist and causing her to cry out in pain.
"Never, you can torture me, but I will never give him up to you! I cannot!" she yelled.
He dropped her to the hard stone floor and let her fall, slamming the heavy wood door in her face. Lily trembled, wrapping her arms around her shoulders as she wept. Water dripped down the dungeon walls and the sound of someone screaming came from down the long hallway right outside her door. It was too much, but Lily refused to give up. She would protect her brother until the day she died. He was fighting for freedom and the mistreatment of their people. Death would just be another adventure.

Summer Ross (Most Terrifing): "You don't understand! I can't. I can't." Lisa shook her head violently swishing the image from side to side hoping it would fall from her vision.>
"All you have to do is grab hold and the rest will come naturally." Derek replied. His voice soft and warm on her cheek.
She put her hands around the object, feeling its rough exterior in her hands and taking slow deep breaths. If she didn't do this with him, she'd be left behind.
"That's a girl, just like that. No hold on as tight as you can."
Lisa felt her body cling to Derek. His arms wrapped around her. She refused to open her eyes, she didn't want to see anything. A breeze stroked her hair backwards and suddenly everything stopped but the rapid beat of her heart.
Lisa opened her eyes to find Derek held her just a foot above the ground. Her knuckles had clung to the rope so tight they were white. She looked back at the ledge she was trapped on. Heights- she'd never get used to them.

Kelley (Most Intriguing): "You don't understand. I can't. I can't pretend like I'm okay when I see her. I can't lie. She'll know that--"
"She won't know anything. How long have we been doing this? She hasn't caught on yet."
"That doesn't make it okay. It makes us the opposite of okay. I can't do it anymore, Jay. We have to stop."
"You can do it, and you will, Jennifer. I'm not the only one with something to lose if she finds out."
Jennifer gathers the strength to look him in the eyes and finds out that he's serious. She'll have to keep seeing him, loving him, or they'll both lose everything.

David Jace (Most Poetic): "You don't understand! I can't. I can't."
Why don't they listen to my rant?
I've told them a hundred times ten.
I just can't go back there again.

It's dark; it's cold; it's lonely.
Here is light and heat and lovely.
"You must return from whence you came."
I didn't come for fortune or fame.

I broke the box; I dug the earth.
They lit my candles and praised my worth.
"I won't go back. I shan't! I shan't!
You don't understand. I can't! I can't!"

It isn't right for me to be walking.
It is fearsome that I am talking.
I'm supposed to be silent, cold, and buried.
In the ground is where I was carried.

But I won't go back to the dark place.
I deserve to be here, with the human race.
Burn your torches and voice your chant.
You don't understand. I can't! I can't!

The Mighty Pen #8

Winner: The Henderson Family

The air caught my wings and with one giant leap I was airborne. To fly again was ecstasy. Below me the world fell away and the sky embraced me. Freedom, sweet freedom. For I moment I reveled in the flight. Than...
Then a shudder ripped through my body. My back wrenched and arched in pain. My body writhed as I plummeted toward the jagged terrain below. I held my breath, waiting for the next shape to take my body. I prayed that it could handle the landing. my balance changed as my arms and legs dissolved and scales replaced skin. End over end I tumbled. The changes came faster. A cat, a lizard, a rat. The ground was quickly approaching. I mustered every last ounce of concentration and energy I had, to block the pain and focus on something that could withstand the collision. With only feet left to spare I felt another shudder. I hit the ground before I realized what I had changed to.
Not my finest change, but I had survived. Only a cockroach would. I felt the numbness in my extremities that meant I was retaking my human form.
As I lay crumpled on the ground, paralyzed from the pain and exhaustion, I wondered how long it would take for someone to realized I was gone. And how much longer to guess which way I had gone. And wondered if I wanted them to find me and take me back.
Original Post

Honorable Mentions

Spod (Funniest): Then I suddenly felt a huge impact on my left side. The pain tore through my body and I began to tumble through the air, spinning out of control, my wings broken and limp.
A strange calm overtook me, with flight now impossible I realised my fate was sealed. To ingeniously escape from one captor only to be crushed at the hands of an unseen enemy really was a pain in the proverbial backside.
I plummeted toward the giant window I had come to know so well. I reminisced on how I often used to press my face up against the glass and enviously stare at the privileged beings as they sat and shovelled their freshly cooked food into their fat gluttonous faces, while I was left to satisfy my hunger on the rotting scraps outside.
But now the window was open, I was falling straight toward it; finally, in my final seconds of life I would gain access to that hallowed place, ‘So long cruel world’ I screamed as I rapidly approached the surface of the table next to the window, I braced for impact. Wait, is that soup? If only I’d learnt to......
‘Yes, well John is doing rather well you know’ Said the woman as she picked up her spoon from the restaurant table. She stared down at her bowl of Pea and Ham soup which the waiter had just brought over and hesitated. A look of displeasure spread over her face.
‘Excuse me...Waiter’ she said, beckoning the small smartly dressed man over to the table.
‘Is there a problem madam?’ he asked attentively.
‘Yes, there appears to be a fly in my soup’

The Mighty Pen #9

Winner: Sarah Pearson

Navigating through the twirling mass of bodies proved more difficult than I expected. More than once I feared for the hem of my gown. I tried to keep my eyes locked on his tall frame, but it was fruitless.

He too, weaved his way through the crowded room. Often I lost sight of him in the sea of unfamiliar faces. Just when I would despair of ever finding him again I would catch a glimpse and press on.

When finally I emerged into the empty space beyond the throng, I was flushed and gasping for breath. There. I saw him and called out...

"Father wait, it's me, Marie. Please stop."

He did stop then, and turned to look at me. His eyes held mine briefly before he dropped his gaze. Then, he turned and rushed away.

I don't know what I had expected, but it was not that. Taken by surprise, I froze for a few seconds. Not long, but long enough for him to disappear into the crowd of newcomers arriving to join the party.

Slowly, I returned to find my Mother. She would be holding court as usual, probably wouldn't even have noticed my sudden departure. If she had, what would I tell her? Not the truth, not here. The wake for my Father was not the place to tell my Mother that I had just seen him, and he did not wish to talk to me.

Original Post

Honorable Mentions

Summer Ross (Sexiest)

The Mighty Pen #10

Winner: J.A. Bennett

"For on the winds of change we find within ourselves our true heart."...

Darion closed the book and wiped a tear from her eye. If only real life could offer the same epic promises and graduate.

High school and a job at Pizza Pizazz could hardly be deemed romantic.

There was a knock on her bedroom door, "Can I come in?" The soft voice of her mother asked.

"Sure." Darion said sitting up and crossing her arms in preparation for the worst.

Her mother opened the door and Darion was surprised to see her father walk in as well. Something was wrong, Darion could feel it.

"I Guess we should get right to the point." Darion's father said, "Honey, will you do the honors."

"Sure," The mother smiled, "Darion, before I tell you this you need to know that there is no other option. This decision has been set in stone."

"Okay..." Darion said, feeling nervous.

"We're moving to Buenos Aries."

Original Post

Honorable Mentions

Spod (Funniest): Said the consultant from behind his surgical mask.

“But are you sure this is a safe operation David? I must admit I’m a little scared” said Michael as he lay on the operating table.

He glanced nervously at the table adjacent to his. A motionless body lay upon it, covered with a sheet.

“Well, you can’t completely rule out complications with this complex a procedure Michael, but we have done several trial runs with animal as well as human subjects and I can assure you, it’s perfectly safe”

The consultant patted him reassuringly on the hand.

“This operation will not only give you a whole new body, it will completely rejuvenate your career. It will finally let you escape the baggage and unsavoury allegations of your past, you can start again, this is such a wonderful opportunity for you Michael”

He still felt unsure.

“This has all happened so quickly” he said, “I know it’s the best thing for me, but I wish I’d had more time to think it through. Has everything been prepared for after the operation?”

"We are sorry for the short notice Michael" said the consultant “but we only have a very small window of time for this kind of operation”

He pointed to the motionless figure on the other operating table.

“The host had reached full development and we needed to act quickly, the record company have arranged everything for you afterwards, actors have been hired to play your parents and friends, and a whole back-story has been provided for you, just try and relax”

“Will there be any side effects”

“Your new body may feel slightly unresponsive at first, and the brain transplant will leave a visible scar on the forehead for a while, you will have to wear a long fringe to cover it, but I’m sure you can cope with that"

The consultant picked up a syringe from a nearby table.

“Now, I’m just going to apply the anaesthetic, you’ll wake up feeling like a new man Michael, now count down from 10 for me"

The consultant removed the needle from Michaels arm as he began to count.

“10, 9, 8,.....”
Michael felt the comforting oblivion of sleep begin to engulf him as the anaesthetic coursed through his veins.

“7, 6, 5.....”
So long Michael Jackson he thought......

“4, 3, 2, 1....”

Hello Justin Bieber.

The Mighty Pen #11

Winner: Summer Ross

The mountain erupted in a flurry of dragon wings, at least they looked like dragon wings. As a fairy, I could only flutter so fast to find out what all the hype was about. As I flew towards the flurry, I realized it was not dragon wings, but huge giant fairy eating bats!
I made a flying U-turn and ducked into a knot in the closest tree as the bats flapped by.

Original Post

The Mighty Pen #12

Winner: Cherie

The soft melody of the song drifted up through the window. The gentle notes floated on the same breeze that stirred the curtains...

I put down the book I was reading and reached for the latch.

"Stupid Antonio. I can't take this anymore," I muttered. There he was two floors down, strumming his guitar, his voice cracking on the high notes. He looked up and smiled.

"My answer is still NO," I said, slamming the window shut. For two weeks, Antonio had serenaded me with his made-up songs of love and broken hearts. And all for a night in the town. One dinner date.

I shook my head. It was impossible.

The sun's last rays melded with the darkening horizon. I took off my clothes, peeling the layers one by one until I had only my skin wrapping me together. But not for long. Fangs extended, limbs shortened and disappeared, my skin turning leathery and black. I extended my arms, now encased with the thin film of my wings, and flapped them.

I shrieked. A moth's location echoed back to me, my sonar senses heightened at the promise of food. Time to hunt.

Original Post

Honorable Mentions

Summer Ross (Most Awe Inspiring)

as Lacy swayed to the music. Her thoughts drifted in and out with the tune.

Today was the day! Her excitement bubbled over with the realization that in less than an hour her life would change forever. The small white flower dress lay on the bed.

He would come for her like the breeze floating from the window.

Lacy picked up a small green vile and drank it. Butterflies played tag in her stomach as she waited.

Seconds moved forward at a slow pace until finally her entire body tingled. Lacy closed her eyes and relished in the thought that the dress would fit in moments.

The skin on her back tightened, her muscles tore causing her to cry out, and then nothing.

Lacy opened her eyes. The bed looked like Mount Everest and she knew she had to find a way to the top.

She glanced over her shoulder and saw a huge wing similar to a butterflies moving back and forth behind her. She had wings!

Lacy thought about fluttering to the bed and in moments her small form lifted from the ground. She wobbled through the air and finally made it to the bed.

The white dress sparkled with fairy flowers. She picked it up and inched her way into just as The fairy King flew through her opened window.

The Mighty Pen #13

Winner: Krista M

"You ask me why? The only answer I can give you is... that it is selfish, self-seeking, rude, inconsiderate, self-centered, and ill advised. I hate seeing it. If it stopped coming I would be incredibly happy.”

She smiled, dimples forming at the corners of her mouth and causing a small grin to spread across his stoic face. She held it up for him to see. He looked down at the burning flames, small but too numerous to count without using fingers and toes once or twice. The smell of smoke burned his nose, but he refused. It was only one little thing and he didn’t want to conform on this day. It took too much effort. She pressed him down into the wicker chair and tossed him a small hat. He vehemently shook his head.

“I know, but you have to do it. He’s watching.”

The little boy seat across the table, slapped his hands down on his highchair, giggling in joy at the agony on his father’s face. The mother tried to tame the brown curls as she put the cone shaped hat on his head. He sighed. Well, if he must. She placed the cake before him and kissed his cheek.

“Happy Birthday sweetie,” she whispered.

“I hate birthdays,” he grumbled as she put the hat on his head.

“You are only twenty-seven. It’s not that bad.”
He shrugged his shoulders and blew out the candles. Nah, still hated it.

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