Flash Fiction Challenge: Win, Lose or Run

Photo by K.S. Brooks

Today might be Eddie’s last chance. He ran out of money a long time ago. He ran out of things to hock and pawn and sell a long time ago. He ran out of friends he could borrow from.

Aunt Sadie wouldn’t miss a few twenties from her purse though. Anyway, today is a sure thing. He’d pay her back. He’d pay Big Vinnie back. Everything would be okay again.

Today would be different. This would be his day. He could see the horse he picked really wanted to win. It was right there in his eye: winner. Eddie could feel the electricity in the air. He could feel victory deep down in his bones. He always could.

In 250 words or less, tell me a story incorporating the elements in the picture. The 250 word limit will be strictly enforced.

Please keep language and subject matter to a PG-13 level.

Use the comment section below to submit your entry. Entries will be accepted until 5:00 PM Pacific Time on Tuesday, August 21st 2012.

On Wednesday morning, we will open voting to the public with an online poll for the best writing entry accompanying the photo. Voting will be open until 5:00 PM Thursday.

On Friday morning, the winner will be recognized as we post the winning entry along with the picture as a feature. Best of luck to you all in your writing!

Entries only in the comment section. Other comments will be deleted.

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5 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Win, Lose or Run”

  1. Title: His Final Win

    He could feel the electricity in the air, he could feel the relief of his stress and oh my God–he could feel another heart attack.

    The pain started in his arm, then his shoulder and now his chest. Despite all the pain he held the ticket firmly in his hand. People around him stopped their yelling and moved in shock away from him.

    The pain was just like last month’s. Big Vinnie’s boys paid him a visit. They backed off when he couldn’t catch his breath and started clutching his chest. They must have known Vinnie would have their own hides if he died. They brought him back from the abyss, but he remembered the sweat from their brows dripping on him. When they saw he was recovered they left him with the words;‘if you don’t pay up, we’ll be back and next time we’re not going to save your sorry a–!’ The words echoed in his head.

    Things flashed in front of his eyes; his early childhood, his three wives, his eight kids, his constant quest to study the horses and to win the big one. It was hard to focus on the Paramutual board, but the Trifecta showed $28,732 for a $2 ticket. He bet $60. He tried to compute the amount he won, but the lights on the flashing board just went out.

    He held the ticket up, his hand shaking. “Please make sure my Aunt Sadie gets this…this money.”

  2. Wow, we seem to be on a killer kick for poor Eddie! LOL. Here’s mine:

    Wandering past the door to the stables, Eddie stopped and looked at the sign. He reached in his pocket and felt the crispy ticket with Parson’s Pride to win. God, he hoped the horse would pay. Otherwise, Big Vinnie was going to use his face to sweep the track parking lot tonight. It could get ugly, and he knew it. Deep in his heart he wanted—needed a winner.

    Making his way to the rail, Eddie elbowed his way until he had a perfect view of the beautiful red and white striped finish line pole. There was a shiny silver ball on top of the pole reflecting the midday sun. As if on cue, the trumpeter stepped onto the podium, raised his trumpet, and sounded the horses to the track. Every nerve in Eddie’s body seemed to come alive.

    The horses came out, Eddie saw his pick: number 6. The animal looked fit and ready to run. “Come on, baby, come on. Don’t leave daddy in the hole,” he said as the horse passed by on the way to the starting gate. Clutching the ticket tightly in his hand, Eddie prayed there was a God, and he was going to smile on him today.

    There was one horse to go into the starting gate. Eddie held his breath. It was all or nothing. The starter rang the bell and the horses bolted from the gate. Number 6 broke well and went for the lead. And then disaster struck…

  3. The white horse on the barn doors was all the confirmation he needed. His mind strolled back to the first time he had one big, two hundred and fifty thousand dollars on a long shot, a white horse that everyone said could never win. How he could right all his wrongs with another pot like that.

    This time it would be different. This time he would win big and walk away for good. All he needed was one more chance, besides he could probably put the money back before Aunt Sadie even knew it was gone. He patted the five twenties in his coat pocket and headed for the track.

    Eddie couldn’t get the voices out of his head. “Put it back,” they kept saying. “She’s the only one that believes in you. Put it back.”

    “Shut up,” he screamed running into the street.

    Eddie didn’t see the big grey van until it was too late. It hurt so bad at first but then he just felt cold. Someone told him to hold on, an ambulance was coming and then the side of the van caught his attention. He wanted to laugh at the cruelty of the words and image painted on the side of the van as he slipped away.

    White Horse Trading Company
    Our Goal is to Help You Become a Winner

  4. Forgiven Faults (249 words)

    This was Eddie’s last chance to redeem himself amongst Vinnie and all the other members of organized crime. It was literally a matter of life and death, not only for Eddie, but for his other family members as well.

    You see, Eddie’s addiction to the track had him several hundred thousand in the hole. His only saving grace was Forgiven Faults, a young stud horse he and Vinnie had once partnered on after a big win in Saratoga. This horse was a high-stakes-racehorse-owner’s dream, bred to the hilt, top and bottom; perfect confirmation, wide set eyes, large flared nostrils, and the will to win. A horse even Penny Tweedy Chenery would envy.

    It was time. The two year old pranced his way down the thoroughfare with white in his eyes as he headed towards the starting gate. The bell rang and they were off! Eddie could feel the sweat in his palms as he clutched ticket number 313 Aunt Sadie unknowingly purchased. His heart was racing. It was as if he were on the back of that horse.

    Forgiven Faults was off to a slow start. Careless Debt had taken the lead on the first turn by a head. Then, Guilty Pleasures came up on the inside in the second turn passing them both. Out of nowhere, it was Say Your Prayers in the lead. Then, Say Your Prayers and Forgiven Faults head to head. Eddie closed his eyes, took a deep breath and heard…Forgiven Faults by a nose!

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