September 12 – September 26 2018 Flash Fiction Contest “The Trunk” (Bonus)

Theme: First Line Prompt.

Your story must begin with the following 27 words:

She lifted the hood of the trunk, bracing herself for the horror that would come. Her face turned white as his voice whispered: "Just let me explain..."

Word Count: 1,227 (the required 27 words plus up to 1200 of your own words.)

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Please Note: Comments may be considered “published” in regards to other contest requirements.

All stories are fall under general copyright laws. No part may be reproduced without the express consent of the respective author.

Story Submission Rules:
  1. One story per author. You may post more than one but only the first story will qualify for voting.
  2. Stories must be in English, unpublished and your own work.
  3. Stories must fit into a single comment box and must stay within the word limit set for each contest.

Voting starts Wednesday morning at 9:00am PDT / 12:00pm EST / 10:30pm IST / 5:00pm WET/GMT/ 4:00am AEDT (Thursday) and ends the same time on Thursday / 4:00am AEDT (Friday).

  • You may vote only once.
  • You cannot vote for yourself.

To be included in the “writing prompt roster”, you must have submitted two stories in the last sixty days. The roster is alphabetical and can be found here.

See How to Participate for complete rules and disclaimers.

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11 thoughts on “September 12 – September 26 2018 Flash Fiction Contest “The Trunk” (Bonus)

  • September 12, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    Checking in.

  • September 12, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    So the story must be exactly 1227 words? I am neck-deep into my novel (60000 and counting!) with 3 weeks left to go before my first draft is due to be finished so I likely won’t have time to write a story here but will hopefully have time to read and vote! Love the prompt!

    • September 12, 2018 at 5:53 pm

      lol no, I should probably clarify….it just can’t be more than 1200 of your own words!

  • September 14, 2018 at 4:56 am

    It’s about a masked elephant?
    Scary too. Hmm, some kind of wildlife reservation gothic, perhaps.

    – Confused Brit.

    • September 20, 2018 at 12:25 pm

      Hahahahaha. You must be psychic Andy. I was planning to write a story about a dentist who gets a call from an elephant trainer.

      ‘Just let me explain…”

      “I think this old pachyderm’s got an abscess, and will probably need a root canal.”

      Her darkest fears were confirmed. “Noooooooooooooo.”

      • September 20, 2018 at 2:52 pm

        “Wow, this elephant’s tooth has the largest cavity I’ve ever seen …. (~ largest cavity I’ve ever seen ~ ……. ~ I’ve ever seen ~…. ~ ever seen ~ …) …”

  • September 14, 2018 at 10:45 am

    The Trunk: The Mystery of the Magic Mirror
    She lifted the hood of the trunk, bracing herself for the horror that would come. Her face turned white as his voice whispered,” Just let me explain”
    “You,Parker! Not again!” she barked, colour slowly coming back to her face. She then made a gesture of letting the hood fall back on the trunk.
    “No, Patricia, please don’t. Have a listen first.” There was a small cut on his forehead with blood oozing out. He continued, “ But before that, will you push the hood back low enough for me to get out? I’m hurting all over.”
    “Parker, no more games, OK?” she heard herself threatening him in mock annoyance.
    He finally came out from the monstrous trunk,wiping the blood with the back of his hand, gently rubbing the back of his head with his left hand over a bump, the size of a potato.

    Half an hour later, they sat on the opposite chairs across the table in Jimmy’s Kitchen.
    “So, you’re trying to tell me that whoever hit you from behind,must have drugged you at the same time before pushing you into the trunk?” Patricia continued.
    “Most probably. Now, why don’t you fill me in on what I might have missed out about the magic mirror so far?”
    “The mirror was stolen from Hazarduari, the palace with a thousand doors of the former Nawab of Bengal. Whether someone was the Nawab’s friend or foe, made to stand before the mirror, the Nawab would surely know. The mirror would give some tale-tell signals.”
    “ Cut out the crap, Patricia,” Parker put down his empty cup, looking spent.
    “No, that’s how it goes. It was quite expensive. Once the Nawab, Sija-ud-Daulah or something, while necking his begum, brought her deliberately before the mirror on the wall. When she broke into a smile, the Nawab felt that she looked like a bewitching witch in the mirror. The Begum was found dead on her bed the next morning under mysterious circumstances!”
    “So you’re trying to tell me that this magical marvel of the Nawab got stolen,shipped to our country for the London Museum? But it evaporated into thin air on the way, or so it would appear. How did you know I’d be here in Lady Diana Square?”
    “My lead again. She, I mean, he told me that he’d seen this huge trunk being taken out of a van and pushed into the lift on the right wing of the tower. It was the sheer size of the trunk that made him curious. The men who carried the trunk, had a stealthy look about them, as if they were expecting trouble sometime soon. The scar around the left eye of the shorter of the two, also didn’t escape his notice.” Patricia explained.
    “Let me check out from the net if anyone answers to that Scarry bit,“ Parker exclaimed while asking for the bill.

    It was at around 9 when Patricia received his call. “We seem to be in luck. A notorious drugs dealer called David, caught red handed last month, may be our man. He was arrested for illegal possession of narcotics. I’ve already talked to Detective Martin. Wanna come with me?”
    “No, tomorrow. At 3, meet me near the gate. Gotcha?”

    The meeting with David in the cell proved less strenuous than they had anticipated. It transpired that David did transport the trunk to 38 Tower as per the order of a client along with some drugs, but he couldn’t tell what was there in the trunk or who paid the bill. He remembered having picked it up from the station.

    When you are in luck, things are handed to you on a platter. Parker saw this advert in a corner of The Evening Telegraph about a mirror to be sold at a price less than the original. Parker called Patricia in case she would like to join them in quest of the missing,magic mirror. The owner of the antique shop, one Alicia Petronova, ran inside the store and was back in a flash, shoving it across the counter without so much as a fuss. Her vivid recollection of the seller, the photos of the most notorious criminals in the IT section, led to the subsequent arrest of Ibrahim, the prime suspect with a history of criminal records. The Interpol had sounded the warning bell for him long ago with offers of rewards.

    “So it’s Ibrahim, who had the Magic Mirror stolen from the port before it could reach its destination. He had it despatched to Room 18, rented under a false name. After you stumbled upon the trunk the day Ibrahim wanted to sell it to a foreign buyer, he asked his partner, Dilli Ram, to finish you off. The goon hit you with a vase on the back of your head while you nearly got your hand on the mirror, drugged you with some inhaler from behind, and had you trunked in. The mirror couldn’t be sold to the foreign buyer as they expected trouble. Ibrahim felt the need of getting rid of the mirror at the earliest. He decided to sell it to the antique dealer. His plan was to pick it up from the dealer at a higher price, later. If it got sold somehow, the buyer would be easy to trace..
    All thanks to you, Ms. Murray, Private Detective Parker got rescued, and you know what happened after that. We’re also obliged to both of you for the recovery of a very rare and precious artwork. We’re trying to send it back to the Meusum at the earliest. Despite your reluctance, your contributions will be noted down.”
    “Inspector Martin, may I ask for a favour?”
    “You want to have a look at the mirror, right?” Inspector Lawrence countered without any preamble.
    “Yea. If it’s OK with you,” Patricia replied.
    The inspector led them through a back door into a small cabin. Parker whispered from behind into Patricia’s ear,” You haven’t told me the name of your lead yet.”
    Patricia smiled,” Some one close to you.”
    “O, I got it. My sister, Pommy,” Parker grinned. “But how did she spy on them, I mean, the trunk and Ibrahim?”
    “She was in the opposite room for maintenance. She saw through the keyhole. It was a holiday and no one was anywhere nearby.
    Entering the lost ceilinged cabin, they found there wrapped in color papers with ribbons tied with a plastic red rose in the centre, was the curio, the Magic Mirror. Patrick could feel Patricia getting tensed up standing next to him. Inspector Martin, after unwrapping and throwing the ribbons, held it up in front of him for her to look in. In the fading light of the room, as she shot a look at her reflection in the silvery glass with exquisite wooden curves all around the rectangular frame, she couldn’t help uttering: Amazing!
    Parker bent down to pick up the plastic rose in between the Inspector and Patricia. And as he did so, for a brief, very brief while, Patricia had an uncanny feeling of seeing in the mirror their reflections, of Parker kneeling down on one, with the most beautiful red rose she had seen in his hand!!
    The End.
    (1213 Words)

  • September 20, 2018 at 5:18 am

    Interesting. Been so busy and such good prompts. I am about to be a grandmother again five times over so…

    • September 20, 2018 at 12:33 pm

      Congratulations, Ilana.
      I took a wine and cheese tour last week and met a group of goats. They’re very intriguing animals. Couldn’t help but think of you.

  • September 21, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    By Lisa Cowan

    She lifted the hood of the trunk, bracing herself for the horror that would come. Her face turned white as his voice whispered: “Just let me explain…”

    The contents of the trunk revealed a truth that Charlie refused to face. She slumped down on the gravel driveway, legs stretched out straight, leaning her head against the bumper.

    “I am so sorry. I tried, I really did,”
    said Brett

    “I made an irreversible mistake,” Charlie choked out, finding it too difficult to breathe.

    Charlie had always battled feelings of insecurity and inferiority. Most times, she was able to push the emotions deep down inside but occasionally acted irrationally based on her feelings. Never had she made a decision such as this with such severe consequences.

    When she realized what she had done she jumped in the car circling the neighborhood high on the hill. She wept when none of the houses looked familiar. With determination, Charlie pulled the car over and got out and walked. Her eyes were so swollen she could barely see and the terror of never being with her little girl again made her heavy heart shatter in a million heavier pieces.
    What made her think that her daughter, her baby girl would be better off with someone else?

    She was freshly separated from a dead beat and without a clue of how to hold anything together. She had two jobs which she had an intense hatred for both. Working all the time made her feel absent and discouraged because she still couldn’t make ends meet. She didn’t know how much more she had left to give. Exhaustion, desperation, frustration and now regret had taken over.

    She glanced up at a beautiful, happy looking home with a manicured lawn and an enormous playscape in the backyard that could be seen from the street. “This is so much more than I can give her,” Charlie thought trying to muster enough courage to climb the steps and ring the bell.
    A slim, attractive woman, barefoot in running pants and a racerback tank opened the door.
    “Hi,” the woman greeted Charlie from the simple yet elegantly decorated entrance way as if she had been expecting her. There, peeking out from behind the woman’s legs was Charlie’s little girl. Charlie wanted to reach down and scoop her up. She wanted to hug her and perhaps take off running. The little one smiled at Charlie but didn’t seem to recognize her. Charlie felt an incredible sadness. The little girl ran off playfully, Charlie noticing the whole time how happy she was.
    Charlie pleaded with the woman to let her have her daughter back and told her that she realized that she made the worst mistake. The woman seemed cheerfully unsympathetic. She had a very light and matter of fact way about her. She explained that they were all very happy together as a family and that Charlie could not take the little girl that they had grown to love away from them. Charlie wondered how this woman could remain so upbeat while her initial welcoming demeanor was turning into the most unwelcoming vibe.
    Charlie tried to recall if there had been any clauses in any contracts that may give her the legal right to regain custody but there had been no contracts, no legalities involved. A kind family, who wanted a child, helped out a struggling mom at the end of her rope. That was all it was, simple as that. All Charlie knew was that the thought of not being with her little girl was unbearable but tearing her away from this family that she obviously loved created a painful war inside of her. She was being selfish. Maybe being with her was not in her daughters best interest. Charlie was falling apart after all. The family that had her daughter had it all together. Maybe being with them was what was best for her. Thinking this way made Charlie sick inside.
    She needed to talk to Brett. Brett was the most level headed person she knew. He could help her come up with a rational plan, a plan that wouldn’t get her arrested for kidnapping. She should have consulted him from the beginning. He alway had the ability to smooth over the toughest of situations. She valued this quality of his, especially when it came to maintaining their friendship.
    Brett would go and talk to these people. He would make them understand that Charlie is a great mom who made a terrible mistake. Brett would make them give Charlie her daughter.

    “I don’t know what else to say, they wouldn’t budge,” reported Brett.

    Charlie looked inside the trunk which held a toddler car seat and the little girls favorite, fuzzy white blanket with satin trim. A hopeless dread filled her and not being able to hold herself up, she slid down the car until she was sitting legs stretched out in front.

    “I wanted her to at least have her blanket, she can’t sleep without it,” Charlie could barely speak.

    “They said they’re fine without it,” said Brett.

    The hood of the trunk slammed shut startlingly Charlie. She opened her eyes to see she was in the playroom, propped up against the toy chest.

    “Did that scare you, Mommy?” Olivia giggled lifting the door on the chest back open.

    Charlie hugged Olivia, who wriggled trying to get free. Charlie didn’t want to let go.

    Brett was in the other room on the phone with his business partner.
    “I just wanted to fill you in, see you tomorrow,” Brett said wrapping up the conversation.


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