BJ Cob Wins Flash Fiction Challenge

BJ Cob 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:

IMG_8191 Christmas lights flash fiction writing prompt copyright KS Brooks
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

by BJ Cob

The dog never bothered the string of Christmas lights that hung down the side of the house from the eves to the outside plug-in. He was a good boy, a six-month-old lab pup, friendly natured, all gangly and wagly, and my five-year-old son’s “bestest” buddy. He was too bent on chasing anything that moved to bother with non-moving Christmas lights.

At the time, my wife and son were away visiting family for a few days, so I was pup-sitting.

That morning, though I did momentarily question it, I never gave it any real thought that he could get himself into trouble while I was away at work for the day. The yard was puppy-proofed. And it wasn’t like he was tied up or anything. We’d learned that lesson when he took a shortcut and jumped over the rail, instead of going down the steps first to chase after our cat. Flung himself over and hung himself. Good thing I’d been there to cut him down.

So, when I came home and found him hanging over the rail again, it was déjà vu. The Christmas lights that were tangled tight around his neck were just as dead as he was, unplugged and pulled off the eves.

“Lights out” took on a whole new meaning for us that year.

May as well have taken the lights back off the tree, too.

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12 thoughts on “BJ Cob Wins Flash Fiction Challenge”

  1. Thank You, Indies Unlimited! This was fun and a great start to my new preferred genre in writing.

  2. Hi, BJ, welcome to Indies Unlimited. I’m just another person who’s been writing flash fiction, most weeks, for over a year and a half, now. It’s really helped me grow as a writer.

    Congratulations on winning this week’s challenge. I don’t know if your story was a true one, but if it was, you have my condolences, about your pup! I’m really, kinda, sorta hoping it wasn’t… for obvious reasons. And if it’s not true, you can sure spin quite a tail! (Yes. TAIL.) You did say it was FUN… so chances are, you made this story up 🙂

  3. Hi Mary,
    Thank you for reaching out! Many of the details in this story are made up — but it is based upon a true one. We did have a young dog who, because he was tied up on a long leash, did hang himself when he jumped over the rail. It wasn’t at Christmas time; it was in the summer. And no one was home to save him. He belonged to our adult son who lived at home at the time. It was a very sad day, to be sure. Thank you.

  4. Hi Mary. Thank you for reaching out!
    Many of the details in the story are made up — but the story is based upon a true incident.
    We did have a young dog who was tied up on a long leash. He did hang himself by jumping over the railing. It was in the summertime, not at Christmas. No one was at home to save him. He belonged to our adult son who lived at home at the time. It was indeed a sad time for us, never to be forgotten. Thank you for your kind comments.

  5. Hi Mary. Thank you for reaching out to me.
    Many of the details in the story are made up — but the story is based upon a true one. Thank you for your kind comments.


  6. Thank you BJ, I read and appreciate all three of your replies… sometimes I have inadvertently entered stories or comments on the website more than once, myself. Wow, I’m really sorry for what happened to your son’s dog. You did such a great job turning it into a very creative story, a fitting tribute to Pup.

    1. LOL I’m so very sorry for all these replies. I’m so embarrassed. They would not how up on the screen after I posted them, so I kept reposting, and finally gave up — and now, days later, I’m seeing them ALL for the first time. (oh gawd)

      This was my very first Flash Fiction story.

      Thank you, again, for your very kind and generous comments.


  7. Hi again BJ,
    As I wrote above, you’re not the first one to enter multiple comments accidentally — the system is tricky that way. Please do not feel embarrassed. It sometimes does not appear that a comment has been entered, when actually, it has. I have done this with both multiple (often identical or nearly identical) comments and story entries.

    I’m not sure I remember seeing Jean’s comment either… maybe the system is on a time delay? I do agree with her, the last line in your story really packs a punch — it’s very effective.

    Happy New Year to everyone!

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