Flash Fiction Challenge: Not In My Town

flash fiction writing prompt chicago
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

Officer Stroud stood at the spot the mutilated body had been found last night. He could still smell the blood.

He knew exactly what had happened. Of course, he couldn’t tell anyone. They would think he was crazy. Even if they believed him, he couldn’t explain to them how he knew. No, he was in this alone.

Not this. Not in my town. As he replaced the bullets in his magazine with his own silver-tipped magnums, the moon crested over the horizon. He could feel the light from it searing his skin and he could smell the thing. It was near.

He looked up to see one of the carnival workers creeping along the opposite wall. In the moonlight he could see its eyes already beginning to glow amber…

Welcome to the Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. In 250 words or less, write a story incorporating the elements in the picture and the written prompt above. Do not include the prompt in your entry. 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. No political or religious entries, please. Need help getting started? Read this article on how to write flash fiction.

On Wednesday afternoon, we will open voting to the public with an online poll so they may choose the winner. Voting will be open until 5:00 PM Thursday. On Saturday morning, the winner will be recognized as we post the winning entry along with the picture as a feature.

Once a month, the admins will announce the Editors’ Choice winners. Those stories will be featured in an anthology like this one. Best of luck to you all in your writing!

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7 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Not In My Town”

  1. Won’t let this one do to me what it did to him, he thought. He fired two shots and watched as the splattered blood slowly dripped down the wall onto the mutilation. Gotcha!

    He knew they tore that body apart when they were discovered under the ferris wheel. Where did they all come from? They were so grotesque. Unearthly. Did they come concealed in the carnival vans? Or that mock space ship ride behind the roller coaster? Gotta try to let everybody know what’s going on, but who’s gonna believe me? Can’t let them take over my town and God only knows where else, he whispered.

    As he holstered his weapon, he suddenly felt the first excruciating pain in both ankles. Then, his waist. His arms were pinned to his body. He couldn’t move. The tentacles tightened. He was viciously spun around. He was face to face with the nightmare. His hair stood straight up. His bulging eyes ached as they protruded like eggs on stalks. The beating of his heart grew into an intense pounding as it burst, releasing Stroud to oblivion.

    The cresting moon hid behind the horizon.

  2. The smell of blood was familiar to Carl Stroud. A thirst for violence and taste for young women’s blood rivaled his innermost beliefs and desires. He loved his wife and daughter and would protect them no matter the cost. He went to church every Sunday. He enjoyed coaching the little league team. Everyone respected him for serving the town as Sheriff the last three years.

    He’d seen the results of a full moon in his town before. Oh how he prayed it wasn’t happening again. Arming himself with the silver-tipped bullet was necessary. He only hoped he could pull the trigger before it was too late and another victim met a terrible fate.

    Now with the moon in it’s full form rising higher into the night sky, shivers crept across his skin. The hairs covering his body stood on end, lengthening, thickening.

    Damn, the image he thought was a carnival worker didn’t try to run. Rather, it mimicked every move he made. Carl stood in front of the house of mirrors watching his own eyes turn amber and glow. He pulled his magnum from the holster on his hip already loaded with the only bullet that would do the job.

    The transformation was quicker this time. Carl already felt the growl in his gut and the thirst on his tongue. Before he was able to place the gun to his head the wolf inside of him threw away the weapon and headed beyond the carnival gate to find his victim.

  3. Standing alone in the moonlight Officer Stroud easily made out the changing shape of the carnival worker approaching the bloody site. With every step closer it changed more and more into the beast, but it didn’t smell like the one that had mutilated the body.

    Stroud now realized there was more than one beast. He also knew there was not enough room in this town for two uncontrollable beasts. To be more precise, there was now a pair of uncontrollable werewolves in town and this was the female. If only they could control their urges as he could.

    Her scent was strong because she was in heat. He found her highly arousing and this triggered his own long suppressed sexual urges. As an animagus he could control his ability to turn into his own werewolf. However, her scent became so overpowering that he could not help himself. He could stand it no longer and ripped off his uniform as he began to change into his own werewolf animagus. The remains of his uniform dropped to the pavement and was now totally discarded, as he ran off into the night on all fours to be with her.

    In the early morning hours they awoke and found themselves naked and embracing each other in a hay field. Nearby them was the dead body of a male carnival worker whose throat had been crushed by Stroud in a werewolf fight to the death to posses her.

    They now belonged to each other.

  4. …as it crept through the bushes toward the unsuspecting worker, the girl he’d seen that morning, slim and young in the too-big overalls, long hair shining down her back. He knew her smell—violets and WD-40—as well as he knew the smell of the thing itself. Because as much as he hated to admit it, he too WAS the thing.

    Well, almost was. Thanks to his grandmother’s nectar, he no longer changed completely. And he was determined to protect the carni-girl, the town, and his secret.

    The thing crept closer to the girl, stalking her. It would be on her in a second. Stroud took aim, firing as the monster attacked. The bullet went wide.

    The girl screamed. Stroud dropped his gun and caught the monster’s head with his shoulder, pushing him off the girl. He found himself tumbling in a knot of eyes, claws, and teeth. It was a relief to bite and claw, to give way to instincts he’d struggled to control. But he was at a disadvantage; he was only part wolf. He cursed himself; where was his gun? A sudden blow, and he fell into darkness.

    Sunlight blinded him as hands dragged him across a lawn and dropped him at someone’s feet.

    “So boss,” said a rough voice. It was the wolf from last night. “Whadaya wanna do?”

    Stroud smelled violets and looked up.

    “That traitor? Kill him,” the girl replied. “Leave his body in the woods. This is our town now.”

  5. Officer Stroud radioed to his undercover partner that he was in place. Boris, in his role of carnival worker, looked in the direction of his partner with a hatred that Stroud could not see. Boris had needed Stroud’s back up two hours BEFORE but the stupid man had gotten lost. He always got lost. He refused to use a GPS or to even simply ask for directions! Stroud’s cave man approach to navigation had cost Boris dearly.

    Boris was now contaminated by the very body that Stroud stood over. Only two hours before that body had been a seething mass of infection and Boris had faced him alone. What was that saying? Oh yeah; I won the battle but lost my humanity. Boris now burned with the transmitted contagion and an even stronger bitter resentment. Boris crept toward Stroud’s position. He drew close enough to touch Stroud. Boris felt his eyes beginning to burn. He felt amber tears trail down his face.

    With the flashing lights of the carnival back lighting the two men, Boris could now look into Stroud’s eyes. There was an instant flash of recognition, of impending danger, before Boris began to devour Stroud. Boris’s now predominantly animalistic brain felt justified in feeding his new lust for human flesh from the very partner who was to blame for its origins.

    Revenge, for Boris, was a dish, warm and freshly bloodied. This moment and from then on Boris would be one of the hunted, no longer the hunter.

  6. The inferno coursed though his veins. It had been decades, but ‘Die Familie’ had found him again.
    Wittilich was his town – his home – and he wouldn’t let them do what they had in Sayuri. The villagers there had helped him find peace for a time – to tame the wild in his heart.
    He’d learned to harness his power. Better senses. Faster reactions. Unwavering focus. And he’d need all of his strength now to stop the city from being rendered to its marrow.
    More were gathering. Their stench wafted in the night. Innumerable amber orbs stabbed him in the moonlight. Snarls echoed in the street.
    Maybe she wasn’t here. He hoped she wasn’t here.
    A flash of memory. Her disappointment and anger seeping from behind the stoic face of the pack matriarch. Her curse of revenge. The time had come again to defy his mother.
    Movement to his left. He pivoted. Fired.
    Pivot. Fire.
    Roll. Fire. Kick.
    Fire. Roll. Fire.
    …breathe…exhale rage…
    …stay human…

  7. No time for reaction or action or influence on the timing, shifted, “did you bring me anything? – Huh, huh? jagetit?” Without delay intermittently heading beneath the red skies along the slanted, “when a child wishes to talk they will just go and you cannot shut them up,” James explained before Officer Stroud; the worker, finally slid across to the officer. “Jimmy! You monster!” — “Whats wrong?”—“what’s wrong!??” From out of nowhere with chuckled terror, a bitten grin, then Officer Shroud grabs James’ shoulder in gooned giggles and plaque eye-grips, tells him so interestingly sad,
    “I lived 10,000 years in the silence across the scenes and the settings of life.” From the closeness, the twisted carnival tune perks his ears. 100 years in each, backwards step. Cynically, in pulse rubicund skies, elongate the only winding rage of euphoric deep deep hearts, the last hopes, unified in joyful sounds, yet the place is completely empty. Snuck down immediately by a creepy sneering, breathes lighter and lighter, arrests flaring nostrils, approaching swallows chest until the last bit slinks, throats, claw crawling feeling ways around, silver hairs sliver. And grinning, reflexing, the beast emerges. Shroud shoves the magnum straight up James’ guts, “well, C’mon Wolf! You are nothing without me.” The gun shot shatters out through sounds just in pieces and screams instantly in the infinitely quiet street. He sheds hair and shreds James’ clothes, even files a few teeth. Then the officer returns to the town oubliette to claim his feast.

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