Write a 300 to 500 word count flash fiction or scene that used the following four phrases as dialog, text, theme, metaphor, action, etc. in the work.
A windmill full of corpses
Passive-Aggressive Post-it notes
Getting drunk on mouthwash
Licking things to claim them
First up, G...
by J. G. Walker
Three men entered the hotel dining room. As the door shut behind them, Tom--the middle-manager, the one with the most seniority, and the man in charge--spotted a book on a table.
He pointed. “There!”
No sooner had Tom uttered this than his teammates, Pete and Stig, scrambled away in a blur of khaki and denim. Pete, benefitting from longer legs and an elbow deployed to Stig’s chest, reached the table first.
While Stig sulked, wheezing, Pete picked up the hardbound book, and Tom stepped closer to look at it: An aged, bedraggled knight wielded an enormous sword, leaning back against the door of a rustic windmill. Around the door’s edges, various bloody arms protruded, some with hands, some without. A few hung limp, but others still appeared intent on strangling the knight.
The title: Don Quixote: Zombie Exterminator.
Pete sat on the table, dropped the duffle he’d been carrying, and began to scan the book. He eventually stopped, unpeeling a purple sticky note from one of the pages, reading aloud: “Are you doing your best for the company? Answer: You can always do better. Spread the word.”
He smiled at Tom. “Mark the dining room off the list.” He folded the note and shoved it into his shirt pocket with the other gems of company propaganda they’d collected.
Then he lifted the book to his face and ran his tongue across its dusty cover. Twice.
Stig recoiled. Tom was too stunned to move.
“Why’d you do that?” he said.
Pete held the book out to Stig. “Do you want it?”
“No,” Stig said, clearly horrified. “Not with all your slobber on it.”
Pete looked at Tom again, grinning. “That’s why.” He placed the book on the table and reached into his jacket, producing a bottle, a blue one with a familiar label.
“Is that what I think it is?” Tom said.
Pete unscrewed the lid. “Probably.”
Stig shook his head. Apparently, he knew something Tom didn’t.
“Here’s to me,” Pete said.
Tom watched, amazed, as Pete upended the bottle of Listerine.
All things considered, mouthwash was probably a good idea for Pete. Even on a good day, he could stand it, but especially after licking that book.
He did seem to be drinking a lot of it, though.
Finally, Pete finished, but instead of spitting the mouthwash, he swallowed.
“Gah!” Tom said. “That stuff’ll kill you.”
“Common misconception.” Pete smacked his lips. “Gives quite the buzz, actually. And kills germs.”
“You’re crazy,” Stig said.
Actually, Tom realized, considering Pete’s daily office behavior, the Listerine explained a lot. An question occurred to him.
“Have you licked everything we’ve found this morning?”
“Yup,” Pete replied, then belched. “Which room’s next?”
Tom passed the list to Stig, who consulted it.
“Scullery.” Stig pointed. “That way.”
Tom sighed. “Okay,” he said. “Let’s go.”
Team building exercises, he thought.
A scavenger hunt.
With these two idiots.
Ten more items.
Next up, M....
By Michelle Ladner
Nick knew instantly the post-break-up agreement had been broken. He stood at the door of the apartment he’d shared with Kay and stared at the bright yellow square stuck to the faded green paint. On the note, a scrawl of purple marker read:
TOOK WHAT I FELT WAS MINE. HOPE YOU DON’T MIND. JACK HELPED MOVE ME OUT. BE BACK TONIGHT FOR THE REST.
Let’s keep things civil, Kay had said to him. There’s no need to get your family involved. You know how your dad can be.
Nick teeth ground together. Jack sure had moved her out, hadn’t he? He plucked the note off the door and crumpled it, stuffing it deep in his pocket.
He turned the key in the knob and flung the door wide. All the furniture he’d charged to his credit card last year with her urging was gone. Worse than that, the artwork his gran painted him last Christmas was gone too. A few odds and ends were still scattered about the studio apartment. He saw more yellow squares with ridiculous purple script stuck to what Kay deemed her remaining things.
The space smelled mustier than he remembered. He paced around, cataloging all the things she’d already taken, their things.
In the middle of the kitchen counter sat a cardboard box. Stuck to the front of it, another angry yellow square with purple script stared back.
He shook his head and rifled through the heaped box, chewing on his bottom lip. He realized these weren’t his things, but instead an odd collection of trash and random incidentals retrieved from under the bathroom sink.
Heat rose to his forehead. He decided to grab a beer from the fridge. She didn’t drink beer.
All his beer was gone. As well as the milk he’d just bought on Monday. Only half a wrapped sandwich stared back. On it, another Post-it…
DONT EAT THIS. IT’S JACKS. COMING BACK FOR THE REST OF MY STUFF TONIGHT AT 6.
Nick slammed the fridge door.
He plucked a full bottle of mouthwash from the heart-gouging box of his stuff. Imagining her skinny, slutty body pinned to a windmill full of corpses. He wrenched off the top and gulped down half the blue minty liquid.
After a moment, staring at the mouthwash bottle on the kitchen counter and experiencing a strangely fresh and warm feeling overcoming him, Nick opened the fridge. He unwrapped Jack’s sandwich, peeled it apart, and licked both halves. Carefully, he placed the halves back together, rewrapped the sandwich, and laid it back on the fridge shelf.
He packed everything in the apartment with a Post-it on it into his car. Sitting on the curb, sipping on the mouthwash, he dialed his father’s office.
“Markham and Markham and Whitley,” the secretary answered.
“Hi, Carol. This is Nick. Can you ask Dad to meet me at the apartment at six tonight after all?”
“Sure thing, Nick.”
Nick smiled, hanging up the phone, and downing the rest of his mouthwash.