Flash Fiction Challenge: Blood and Ice

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Photo by K.S. Brooks

I wasn’t there to watch the game, but that’s what I was doing. I was sidelined with an ankle injury that made me miss my first game in six straight seasons.

I don’t like to think of myself as the kind of guy who wants others to fail, but I found my stomach turning every time the rookie goalie replacing me made a save. He was good, and that was bad for me.

I was starting to think about life after hockey. While I was daydreaming about endorsement deals and my own restaurant franchise, a fight broke out on the ice…

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!

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6 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Blood and Ice”

  1. The killer laughed as he licked the blood that ran down his arms.

    Roger woke covered in sweat and quickly drafted into use the bedside trashcan. Dreams the language of the soul, so was he a blood thirsty killer? Would this new Dream Interpreter help where others had failed?

    Roger Nugent was the top ‘Mucker’ for the Miami Mullet Chokers hockey team. ‘Was’ until that ‘biscuit-bullet’ hit squarely between his eyes. When he awoke a year had passed and this horrible terrifying reoccurring nightmare started.

    He’d asked many. All failed. The interpretation defied the most celebrated and costly. But he was a mucker. He refused drugs, prescription or otherwise. In desperation he turned to Internet-chat sites.

    “I sent you a friend request in hopes you can help me interpret a reoccurring nightmare,” he wrote the woman a friend recommended.

    “Tell me the dream. I will ask Creator and the ancestors for interpretation,” she wrote back.

    She wanted no money. That was a first. Her interpretation astounded him. Obviously it hadn’t come from the pages of some dream-dictionary.

    “Robert, Your dream is about a serial killer. His victims send you the vision,” she wrote. “They want retribution. They want their stories told. They’ve chosen you.”

    Blood and Ice, his first book, exposed the Ice Rink killer. Twenty such books followed. He found himself a sought-after ghostwriter.

    To repay his debt to the universe and his friend, each fall he sent blankets to Rosebud and other reservations. He now sleeps peacefully.

  2. It was ugly. Killer Kaminski came barreling into the zone, elbow ready, and left his feet to make the hit. Whistles blew, gloves flew, and fists starting swinging.

    Coach Boudreau was losing his mind. These guys knew better. I was actually glad not to be out there. Maybe I was just getting too old for this.

    As the melee grew, my teammates straddled the boards. Coach Boudreau screamed at them to stay on the bench. We just couldn’t afford the game misconducts and ejections and we couldn’t afford to lose another game.

    I felt bad for the coach. Last year he guided us to the playoffs and was awarded league coach of the year. This year, we’re in last place. Our star player called him a fat bastard – on national television. No disciplinary action was taken. Coach knew it was over then. I could tell by the sadness in his eyes.

    More gloves spiraled through the air before hitting the ice. The crowd was on their feet, cheering and pounding their fists against the glass. Sure, I’d seen plenty of brawls from my spot in the net. Even threw a few punches of my own. But what I was seeing from this perspective was so different…bordering on savage. It was like watching gladiators, and the spectators wanted blood.

    Blood splattered onto the ice. The crowd was still going wild. My teammates had seen enough. They vaulted over the boards and onto the ice. “Oh, what the hell,” I mumbled, joining them.

  3. Our enforcer had their center in a headlock. They fell to the ice as he dropped his weight into the other. Where the hell was the ref?

    Refs and other players gathered around our goal. The wall of bodies blocked my view over there, but no officials caught or made to stop the fight on the other side of the ice.

    A few of the other players caught the fight and pulled at one of the refs. He looked toward them and raced to their location, his whistle blasted through the chill air. Even with him gone from the wall of bodies I could see little of what happened at the goal.

    EMTs fought their way onto the ice a gurney between them as they skated toward the goal. At the other end the ref pulled our enforcer off the guy flat on the ice. A few players intervened to help the ref keep him at bay. That guy wasn’t moving.

    George, our enforcer, left the ice for the penalty box, right next to me. “What the hell happened?” I asked.

    The look on his face, I will never forget that look, shock and rage, tinged with sadness. “High sticking,” he said. “Bastard chopped the rookie in the neck. Used his stick like an axe.”

    When the group around our goal thinned, I saw the ice, dark color pooled into the goal. The rookie, his first game, and he’s taken from the ice on a stretcher.

  4. This little brewhaha was a bomb on the ice waiting to detonate all season. I was glad I showed up just to see it—a real wingding of a brawl!

    It “started” – and I use that word very loosely because these hockey blood feuds—some are several seasons old. By the time they actually explode into full fisticuffs on the ice, neither guy or team really knows anymore what truly “started” it all.

    Barylski—our enforcer—got a nudge—from their rookie goon who all season long has been thinking he’s the s#$t out on the ice. He messed with the wrong guy. The Pole, with an uppercut that laid the kid out cold, lit the fuse that blew the keg on what’s been brewing all season. Both benches cleared for this one. The refs didn’t have a chance. This is the kind of melee that true hockey fans dream of seeing and will never forget the rest of their life.

    Somewhere in the middle of that fracas, somebody came down hard on our goalie’s leg. The guys on the ice said they heard the snap. The fans heard the scream. It wasn’t pretty. It brought a sad end to what otherwise was a good bloodletting for all parties.

    It’s funny how luck changes things in a moment. I’m off the ice for another week or two, but in a “snap” those fears about losing my starting job as goalie went away. I may even eat a steak for dinner.

  5. Blood, ice, the pounding of adrenalin; I can’t imagine life without hockey. It’s been in my soul since Pa gave me my first skates. Now I’m sidelined with a broken ankle courtesy of number twenty-two. We both know hooking my skate wasn’t an accident, but no one else saw it.

    The puck darts across the ice, a dark blur. My heart stops for the barest of seconds. Part of me prays the new goalie will stop it. The other wishes he doesn’t. He blocks the shot with ease.

    My stomach feels like the pretzel I just ate. Six seasons playing for this team and I was never that good. I know in my heart I’m done. My few endorsements won’t pay the rent for long. I need a new plan, but what?

    Bodies slam against the wall and fists start to fly. The refs converge. All eyes are on the fight, except for me and number twenty-two. He smiles and drives strait for my replacement. I hold my breath. At the last second the kid sidesteps and twenty-two smashes into the edge of the goal. He drops, out cold.

    I rub my eyes. For a second it looked like the goal rammed him. Must have been the meds I’m on. The new kid looks right at me and winks, as if to say, that one was for you. I guess the kid is alright. It gives me an idea. Twenty-Two Knock Out is a great name for a restaurant.

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