Flash Fiction Challenge: Tough Stuff

Photo by K.S. Brooks

This is Oscar, the terror of the night, king of the alley cats. He’s sixteen pounds of fang and claw and fighting fury. He’s defeated everything from copperheads to Rottweilers.

Everybody knows he’s the toughest cat around, but that wasn’t how life started out for him. Oscar wasn’t born on the mean streets. In fact, he had it pretty soft for a while…

In 250 words or less, tell us 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 Tuesday at 5:00 PM Pacific Time.

On Wednesday afternoon, 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 afternoon, the winner will be recognized as we post the winning entry along with the picture as a feature. Then, at year end, the winners will be featured in an anthology like this one. Best of luck to you all in your writing!

Entries only in the comment section. Other comments will be deleted. See HERE for additional information and terms.

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7 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Tough Stuff”

  1. Oscar was an adorable kitten who was adopted by Amy. She loved him and spoiled him. She believed cats and dogs were part of the family. Oscar had a silken pillow to lounge on. He ate only the best food available. He had a cat scratching post and a cat condo. He had so many cat toys he didn’t know what to do with them.
    But all that changed when Amy met Matt. She really liked Matt but let him know up front that Oscar is family and came with her. Matt pretended to like Oscar but the cat knew the truth, Matt was an animal hater. So Oscar gave Matt trouble. One day when Amy was gone and Oscar was sunning himself Matt snuck up behind Oscar and threw a bag over him. The cat felt the bag swinging as the man walked. Then the bag was thrown into the back seat. To Oscar it seemed he was in there for ever. Then the car stopped and the bag was thrown from the car. It sped away. Oscar was convinced Amy would come for him. But she didn’t and as they say the rest was history.

  2. Oscar was born into a privileged household filled with love and happiness. His mother and father were from a long line of pampered felines who had trained their humans to cater to their every need.

    From birth, Oscar was fed three times a day with a variety of fish, chicken and beef entrees – lovingly prepared by his caretakers. It was a wonderful life for a special kitty like Oscar, until that fateful day in the seventh month of the fifth year of his life.

    It was Independence Day, the scariest day of the year. In the past, he would cower under the bed until the chaos subsided. Only then would he rejoin his family in the living room for soothing pets and reassuring hugs.

    On this day, he made a grave mistake. He scurried out of the door to the patio instead of into the bedroom. He ran for what seemed like miles, looking for the familiar bed that would be his sanctuary during the thunderous light show. But, he found no solace in the outside world.

    When he awoke the next morning, he found himself in the middle of a turf war between the Snakes and the Hounds. He was not met with caring or compassion, but with demands from both gangs to take a side or fight to the death. After many taunts and insults from them, Oscar chose the latter.

    Today, Oscar rules the woods near his home – where no Snakes or Hounds dare to tread.

  3. Oscar

    As the sun rose over the township, Oscar surveyed his domain. He hadn’t always been Oscar, and this one eyed, battle scarred, street warrior hadn’t begun life on the streets.

    For two years, living in a cosy little cottage, Fluffy was the pampered, well fed companion of gentle, elderly Muriel. Never far from her lap, he’d been a cherished birthday gift: the very last thing George, her husband of sixty years, had given her before he died. When she too passed on, the cottage and all worldly possessions went to her son, Jeremy, but with a stipulation that he take care of Fluffy; otherwise everything was to go to auction, with the proceeds and Fluffy going to the cats’ home.

    Jeremy, a mean spirited individual, went through the motions, but from day one Fluffy was locked out, right in the middle of winter, a saucer of the cheapest cat food, when Jeremy remembered, left daily on the back step.
    One night Fluffy fell foul of the local top-cat, a big feral tom, and his gang. Discovered on the doorstep the following morning, more dead than alive, Jeremy left him at the local vets, to be put out of his misery. Calling in to pay on his way home, a sorry looking, stitched up, moggy with one eye was waiting for collection.

    “I saw him take on five ferals last night, all at once… a regular little Oscar De La Hoy this one. No way I’m euthanizing him,” said the vet.

  4. Gather round my grand-babies; I’ll tell you the story of how I lost this eye. That always gets their attention. No matter how many times I recount it, they purr with contentment. These days, I’m old, forgotten. I can only relive my celebrity by repeating stories.

    I wasn’t always Oscar, I tell them. My first human couldn’t even ascertain I was male; the idiot named me Monica. At this the grand-babies hiss. My adopted mom changed my name to Tom which, at least, was masculine, but so generic. Tom didn’t have panache. And so, in despair, I floundered through my first few lives, just letting myself be coddled.

    But all that pampering made me antsy. One night during a bout of insomnia, I ventured out. That’s when I met Tyler, a loner who lived in a dilapidated house in an abandoned part of town. Most nights we would play, you know, torturing mice and batting each other around, but the ruckus attracted other toms, wanting to fight.

    At the sight of my shiny coat, one tom had the nerve to call me Oscar Mayer, a weenie. That night, I gained a name and lost an eye, but he lost several teeth and half an ear. And the match. He ran. Never saw him again. At least not with this eye, I tell them with a wink.

    That’s the night the Catfight Club formed. And even though I started out pampered, I learned fast and reigned as champion for five lifetimes.

  5. Raised in an affluent home, he spent months of his life as the beloved pet of little Abby. The hardest part of his day was dress up. But they don’t talk about that. Not if they know what’s good for ’em.

    The fire changed everything. Oscar never really cared much for what happens in the lives of humans other than where his next meal was coming from. The source of the fire didn’t really matter to him. Losing his cushy gig with the humans mattered a big deal.

    They thought he was dead. That’s what he always told himself. That was why they didn’t come back for him. They left him to burn with the rest of their things. He had been trapped by a falling bookcase when the fire hit, lost and forgotten.

    The scars on his body healed with time. Granted he would see the world only through one eye the rest of his life but his fur came back. He was still beautiful. The girls always told him so. The missing eye gave him the reputation of a bad boy and he went along with it.

    When it came time to test his reputation, he lived up to the challenge. It’s easy to be cruel and heartless in a street fight when you have been shown how. Abby leaving him to die, that was the best thing she ever did for him.

    With the setting sun, his night is just getting started. It’s time to prowl.

  6. “I won’t tell nobody,” said Tabs. “I swear, Oscar, your secret’s safe with me.”

    Oscar’s tail swished back and forth, the gray fur bristled out. Then he dug his claws into the tabby and grinned, watching Tabs’ eyes grow wide. “I know you won’t talk, Tabs. You did enough of that last night with your cluck, cluck jokes.”

    “I didn’t….”

    One sharp bite cut him off…for good.

    Leaving Tab’s body in the ally, Oscar purred, thinking about his youth. He hadn’t always been a cold hearted killer. At one time he’d been some kid’s prize-winning pampered pet. More importantly, he’d never felt right in his old skin. His heart wanted to roam the land, to hunt and kill. He couldn’t do that in a cage.

    First opportunity Oscar got he slipped his prison and found a surgeon who could make is dreams come true. It took two year to complete the change and another to work his way into the organization. Now he ruled the neighborhood. The last payment to the doctor was sent eight years ago.

    Tabs had been an old friend from the farm, the only one who knew his past. Some friendships get old, worn out. Last night’s joke in front of the guys was the last straw for Tabs. Now he was gone. No one else knew how Oscar really started life. Even the doctor had experience a small ‘accident’ recently. No one would ever know Oscar had been born a chicken.

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