Flash Fiction Challenge: A Night to Remember

celebrity cruise friendly food“Presentation is an important part of elegant dining,” Margo said.

I looked at the stupid little bird made out of some sort of vegetable I’d never eat under any circumstances nestled among other food I didn’t want.

In fact, considering the spread was for my birthday party, there was nothing here I wanted. It was classic Margo. “It’s a goofy-looking little bird. What’s elegant about that?” I grumbled at her.

“It’s whimsical,” she smiled at me, oblivious to my disappointment, as always.

I shrugged in resignation. There was just no winning this kind of discussion with Margo. There would be guests I didn’t want, standing around making small-talk I wasn’t interested in.

At least, I thought that’s how it was going to be. As it turns out, I underestimated Margo.

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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8 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: A Night to Remember”

  1. Can you believe she invited clowns. What the hell am I, six? The clowns were just another layer of disappointment on top of another sad attempt at my birthday.

    Granted this wasn’t an ordinary show. They performed throughout the room. Feats of daring and mayhem excited the other guests. I refused to enjoy any of it, that would show Margo.

    She refused to hear me out on several occasions when I told her that I had a headache and didn’t feel well. I wanted out, who was she to stop me. But her reply was always the same, “the best part is coming up.” Her eyes lit up, an excitement I refused to share. I couldn’t fight her though, she did go to a lot of trouble.

    My last attempt, close to midnight met with a change in the atmosphere in the room. I knew it, she played me. Yet again, she threw in yet another surprise that I didn’t want.

    When the room went dark I began to worry. Then the spotlight lit up a clown on a table at the head of the room. He sang happy birthday, off key no less. But I knew that voice. A spotlight fell on me as he jumped from table to table to stand on the table in front of me and Margo.

    When he wiped away his makeup, the voice matched the face perfectly. How did she know all I wanted for my birthday was my father to sing to me once again.

  2. I knew we were in trouble as soon as we walked in. Never mind the fact I’d never even heard of the restaurant, but when we walked in and waited to be seated, a platter of absolute grotesqueness greeted us. The meat looked like it had been sitting for days, but that wasn’t the only problem. There was this bird formed out of god-knows-what. Celery? Pickles? It was yellow, too. How in the hell did they make it yellow?

    “We should go,” I said to my wife.

    “I think it’s cute,” she said, showing off her pearly whites.

    “I think it’s demented.”

    “I think you’re being a sourpuss.”

    When we were seated, they didn’t even give us a menu. No wine lists were made present to us. We were each given a glass of pop, and nothing more. When I asked the waiter when we could order, he said it had already been taken care of.

    Ten minutes later, we were each presented with a plate. They took off the lids to reveal two of those disgusting looking birds formed out of some sort of food.

    “I don’t want this,” I said. “Bring me something else.” I would’ve said more, but that’s when the bird came to life and started stabbing my hand with its beak. I cried and I screamed, and all I could think to myself was I’d picked the wrong day to stop taking my meds.

  3. I’d hoped for more from my bachelorette brunch. My future sister-in-law was a
    girly girl whereas I’d played on my college rugby team.

    The doorbell rang and my bridal party burst into the room. Stacy, my maid of
    honor and former team captain, took one look at the table and howled with laughter.

    “Who’s coming, the Queen of England? Jeez. Oh, I’m so relieved that there are pimento pinwheels. These are so elegant.”

    Stacy grabbed a sandwich and with a flick of her wrist spun the edible Frisbee at me, hitting me in the side of the head.

    Out of the corner of my eye I saw Margo freeze. I had tried to warn her about my crazy friends. At the moment I had more important things to address, namely the cream cheese on my face and my response to Stacy’s assault.

    Grabbing a handful of grape tomatoes from the crudité I peppered Stacy with the projectiles. Stacy laughed and dove behind the sofa, but not before grabbing the platter of black bean roll-ups.

    “You dare to take me on? Eat this!”

    I was barraged with roll-ups and Margo and I dove behind the table. Poor Margo. I reached over and pulled a black bean from her hair. Margo’s expression hardened. She put a finger to her lips.

    “Truce!” she called sweetly as she grabbed a tomato.

    To Stacy’s surprise Margo wound up and beaned her right between the eyes with the fruit.

    “Welcome to the family,” she said.

  4. “What is it?” I asked the waiter. The table was scattered with many unfamiliar treats but the offending piece was a lump of opaque jelly on the end of my fork. It was slimy, juicy, and the smell wasn’t entirely unpleasant, just strong on the garlic.

    “Does it matter, madame?” He smiled, “Per’aps you should try it first? Just take a little bite.” Pushy. His thick French accent reminded me of where I was, stuck in France alone, far from my James.

    “Snails, right?” The waiter just continued to smile, and I continued to choke. If they were so damn tasty why smother their smell? Should I eat it or not? Would it be daring and exciting or would I end up heaving across the delicately arranged food?

    People around started to stare. They wanted to get to the table and I was blocking it. They muttered in French. Finally, with a shudder, I quickly threw it in my mouth and swallowed, managing to entirely bypass the taste or texture. Almost immediately my throat clenched and I knew it was coming back, but before I could rush off I heard a shout.


    It was my James rushing towards me. As he came close I gargled and sprayed watery goo all across the floor. The little blob fell with a flop onto the carpet.
    I was more horrified when I saw a glistening spec of gold amongst the mess, a diamond ring.

    James bit his lip. “Will you marry me?”

    (250 words – @DeviouSquirrel)

  5. Couldn’t believe those cheesy radishes that had been carved into flowers. Why would I ever want such a thing at a party for me? I decided it didn’t matter and picked up one of the canape’s arranged around the bird and bit into it. It tasted quite good even if it looked a bit strange.

    “Hey Margo, where’s the caterer?”

    She pointed over at a man who was wearing white apron and hat. I watched him for a moment as he was slinging the blades, almost like he was juggling. There were pieces of meat also flying. Seeing him doing that I grew curious.

    I made my way around to his station watching him flick the blades accurately through the air. It was so fascinating. Finally I was close enough I could see what he was working on.

    My mouth fell open.

    A human arm was on the chopping block. He was deboning it and then was dicing up the pieces that were left. Overcome, I blanked out.

  6. Margo knows how much I hate public gatherings. Why does she insist on throwing these stupid surprise parties?

    I grumbled during dinner. Vegetables. Blech! And what’s this organic dreck?

    I grimaced while everyone sang “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow”. I frowned as Margo lit the sparkler on the birthday cake. And when an errant spark set the curtains ablaze, I felt justified in my sullen attitude.

    Derek dropped his drink in his lap. He brushed a piece of ash from his hair. Aldona stumbled over his feet as she ran from the fire. She tripped face first into the cake. The smoke alarm shrieked. The sprinkler system activated just long enough to soak everything and everyone in the room. It sputtered. It whispered. And it failed.

    John slipped in a puddle. He careened into Lorraine. She fell backwards into Keith, and knocked off his glasses. Bruno grabbed Kat’s cane. He started yanking down the curtains. A flying ember landed in Derek’s moustache. He slapped at it—and gave himself a bloody nose.

    I stood in the doorway and shook my head.

    One empty fire extinguisher later, the fire and festivities had been snuffed like a trampled cigar butt. Smoke and steam hung in the air. The acrid smell of burnt moustache tickled my throat. I coughed. John put down the fire extinguisher to rub at the soot on his chin.

    I looked at the dour faces—and I chortled. “Margo, this is absolutely the best party I’ve ever had.”

  7. ‘Twas the night before graduation, when all through the town, everyone was scurrying, lining up in cap and gown. Streamers were strung cross the gym with care; in hopes that a party soon would be there.

    The tables were laden deep in finger-food fare, hors d’oeuveres, triangles and itty-bitty poka-dot squares, while visions of BarbaraAnn, SuzieQ and Jodys danced in our heads.

    Mamas in caps and poppas in gowns we dibbed-out our space, just hanging around. When outa the mist came a strange sound, down-right wrong, bad-BAD vibrations.

    I sprang from my post to see what’z da’matter, “Look! There! Up in that tree. It looks like my friend, Purple People-Eater, to me.”

    “Haya Skee-Katt, whaddayaNooo? I founda band, new toons ta blow.”

    Wheezing a sample, he shot me a trill. I knew in a moment I was gonna be ill. “Dude,” I said turning vivid green, “That’s worse than a five-oh-two junkyard machine.”

    “Maaaan, lookatwhatcha donedid,” his voice so gruff, “You’da Boogie-Man buggin? Bringing me down? I blow boogie-woogie, no note a clinker, like Louisiana Hot Sauce sliding inta town.”

    Then spying the tables spread heavy with food, the bless my soul, rock-n-roll nattered, “I’m hungry,” then proceeded to slather and slurp equiangular flux-capacitors clean to the last bone.

    That pigeon-toed, under-growed flyin’ thing from outa the sky lit his blue flame belch. “I’ll be back,” he exclaimed disappearing from sight, “Remember me well, if nothing else I’m creative as… HellOo, opoor’atetor! I’m outa here! It was fun.”

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