A.L. Kaplan is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In the case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.)
Without further ado, here’s the winning entry:
by A.L. Kaplan
“Can I help you?” said Pete.
Most of the out of towners that showed up for the annual contest had more money than folks around here saw in a year. This guy’s designer fishing gear looked new, but the distain in his eyes as he looked around the shop wasn’t.
“Sign said you had night crawlers for sale. I plan on winning the fishing contest.”
Pete pointed to the jar of wriggling worms on the counter. “They’re ten dollars a dozen, but if you want to catch the biggest, you’ll need the special one. Guaranteed or triple your money back. Just be warned, there’s a price to pay.”
“I bet there is,” said the man glancing at his fitbit. “How much?”
“I can let you have it for a hundred dollars.”
“For one night crawler? I bet you won’t remember a thing when I come back for my money.”
“Written contract guarantees the biggest catch,” said Pete. He put a contract and a clear plastic cup on the counter. The long silver-brown worm inside it squirmed.
“Easy money. I’ll take it.”
“Make sure you toss a quarter in the lake as soon as you catch the winning fish,” said Pete.
“Sure. I’ll be back later for my three hundred dollars.”
As the sun set, Pete looked in the glass jar under the counter. He shook his head as a night crawler popped into it. “You didn’t throw the quarter in. I told you there was a price to pay.”