Flash Fiction Contest Runners Up: #5

Flash Fiction Contest #5

This week I’ll be posting the stories of the runners-up from my Summer Flash Fiction Contest. All entries were based on the theme “I knew it was a mistake the moment it was over.” The level of talent was amazing, and there was such a variety of styles. It was so difficult to chose.

#5 is by M. Lopes da Silva of Los Angeles.


I knew it was a mistake the moment it was over.

I was still waiting for her answer. Sweat oozed from my sideburns. I was panting, my limbs aching, my grin slipping at the edges. Every second was taking at least twice as long as it usually did to tick by. I couldn’t pinpoint the source of my error, but I knew failure well, and she was standing there, beaming capital “F” Failure into my eyes like a ray gun.

I couldn’t do the restaurant thing – just couldn’t. She would’ve hated that; she loathed anything normal. The ring alone took me three agonizing months of solitary deliberation that resulted in a customized explosion of sparkle and an ulcer. But the ring wasn’t enough – even I knew that. The cake, the bed full of roses, the balloons – they’d looked so woefully inadequate. So I’d decided to go bigger – really get outside of that box she liked to talk about leaving all the time.

But where had I gone wrong? Was it the bathroom covered in whipped cream, to symbolize the sweetness that we’d create among life’s shit? Was it the collage wall of our pictures that I’d assembled into a meta image of us making out in the bathroom at Paul’s Dive? Was it the penguin I’d borrowed illicitly from work and dressed in a miniature tuxedo? The penguin kept picking at his lapels, no matter what I did, and he’d managed to half-undo the bow tie.  I shot him a glare – the double-crossing spheniscid!

But I knew I couldn’t blame the penguin for everything. She was a woman who liked things at full-tilt topsy-turvy, and I was just the bumbling doofus who usually, but not always, remembered to lock the door before I left for work in the morning. Since we’d gotten drunk together at the office party five months ago, I’d been running in a race that I pretty much knew I’d never win, but I kept running anyway.  

At that thought I realized I was exhausted. The song and dance number I’d just performed for her had put me at the edges of my physical fitness, and I needed to sit down. I pushed aside a heap of thorny blossoms. The roses had left the mattress soggy and reeking of chlorophyll.

She was still looking around, possibly in shock. My stylish little brother had helped me with my choreography, so I knew my moves had been on point. As she pinched a rose petal between her fingertips a sharp twinge flickered through my muscles in sudden sympathy.

“Yes,” she said.

I knew it was a mistake the moment it was over.

Visit M. Lopes da Silva’s website and follow her on Twitter at @spasticsnap.

Thanks to all who sent their flash fiction pieces into the contest.

Stay tuned as we post the rest of the top five stories,

including the grand prize winner who will receive $100!

About shondabrock

I'm a southern in my heart and a northern in my soul. I've had a few bad wines, but for the most part I've enjoyed enough good wines that it makes up for the few bad bottles. I enjoy writing, but more than writing itself, I love telling a good story, taking my reader off on an adventure starting with "What If"…. I'm a sucker for the Paranormal Romance genre. To me, its nice to be released from "What Is Expected" and believe for 250 pages in "What If's". Its like a vacation with out passports, waiting in line and an expensive credit card bill when you return home. An additional note: I've started another blog page for Home Care. I know the two are unrelated, but in my world they are. My paying job is 100% dedicated to Home Care and educating families on their new journey. One of my favorite quotes, I leave with all of my clients. "One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things." - by Henry Miller Please Enjoy, but more importantly Stay Inspired…
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