Leland Dirks Wins Flash Fiction Challenge

Leland Dirks is the readers’ choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge.

The winning entry is rewarded with a special feature here today and a place in our collection of winners which will be published as an e-book at year end.

Without further ado, here’s the winning entry:


Cypress Reflection, Magnolia Swamp Gardens, Copyright K. S. Brooks
Cypress Reflection, Magnolia Swamp Gardens, Copyright K. S. Brooks

Tough Break
by Leland Dirks

Bayous play fair. Prisons don’t.

Night I busted out, I run right into the bayou. ‘Bout 20 feet in, I stop, quiet. Not hidin’ from guards. They’d never come in at night. To listen. Growin’ up in the swamp, you learn sounds. Scales on a log with a splash means gator. Wings on a bat sound different than a bird. Sittin’ on a cypress knee, I wait on Cousin Jack and his boat.

My foot falls asleep. I move it. I put it down again. Rattlesnake, right beneath my foot. Playin’ fair. Givin’ warning. Don’t matter. My boot’s right on his neck. Can’t bite if he wanted to. I ponder our mutual situations. Dawn breaks. No Jack, no boat. Finally I see an oar, floatin’ by, lonesome and slow.

Gets lighter. Mr. Snake slows his squirming, like he’s contemplating circumstances. I hear the guards splashin’ through the marsh. Gettin’ closer. Reachin’ down by my foot, the side away from Mr. Snake’s mouth, I grab as close to his head as I can, just like Daddy when he was handlin’ snakes at church. Use my other hand to hold his tail, so he can’t rattle. And we wait. When I smell the guard’s cheap cologne, I turn around and smile at him. He smiles back, all proud to catch me. I bid Mr. Snake adieu, toss him at the guard who drops his gun and screams. I run like hell.

Bayous play fair. I don’t have to.

Author: Administrators

All Indies Unlimited staff members, including the admins, are volunteers who work for free. If you enjoy what you read here - all for free - please share with your friends, like us on Facebook and Twitter, and if you don't know how to thank us for all this great, free content - feel free to make a donation! Thanks for being here.

One thought on “Leland Dirks Wins Flash Fiction Challenge”

Comments are closed.