Theodore Jerome Cohen Wins Flash Fiction Challenge

Theodore Jerome Cohen 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 story:


Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

Speed Demon
by Theodore Jerome Cohen

“Oh my God! Is he really going to pass him there?”

“He’s crazy, Helen! I told him to take it easy on the first few laps, to pace himself. ‘Take your time, gauge the other drivers’ strategies,’ I told him. ‘Then, make your move.’ ”

“He never listened, not even as a boy. Remember? You’d tell him one thing and off he’d go to do the direct opposite.”

“Not that it necessarily served him well, mind you. The School of Hard Knocks didn’t get its name for having a light touch. But that boy is as stubborn as a Missouri mule. He thinks—”

“Dammit, John! There he goes again. Did you clock that last lap?”

[John checks his stopwatch.]

“Yep! Looks like—”

“Come on, come on. What was it?”

“You’re not gonna like it: 209.7 miles an hour.”

“Holy Mary, Mother of Jesus! If he keeps driving like that, he’s gonna set a new Daytona speed record. But those other drivers aren’t slouches, either. Hamlin’s right on his bumper, and Busch is alongside him!”

“I know. This is crazy. At these speeds, the slightest glitch, and they’re toast.”

“I thought you said you spoke to the boy before the race and tried to get him to think about what he would do.”

“I did.”

“And what did he say?”

“ ‘ Watch this.’ ”

“Ah, yes, the two most dangerous words in the English language.”

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