This is my second year attempting the Flash Fiction challenge. The premise is simple; They give us (the entrants) 48 hours to write a story of no more than 1000 words. We are forced to write in a specific genre, featuring an item and in a specific location.
My first round assignment:
Item: Breath Spray
Location: University Dorm Room
Kerry met her brother Jerry outside of her dorm. As he got out of the car, he lowered his
Ray-Bans and growled, “Hello, sweet-heart”.
“UGH!” Kerry groaned and turned. The glamour vanished and Jerry was just an awkward
13 year old running after his sister as she stormed upstairs, his gym bag bouncing behind him.
“Hey, don’t get all snippy. You asked me to come here because of your creepy notes. I’m
doing you a favor,” Jerry called after her as she stalked down the hall. “I’m hoping you can repay
the favor by introducing me to your friends.”
Kerry whirled and glared at her brother. He was grinning insolently, the acne at the sides
of his face threatening to pop with the strain.
She flung open the room door and pointed inside. “Get. In. The. Room. And don’t say,
touch, or do anything.”
Jerry gave her a quick peck on the cheek as he passed. Kerry hated that he was taller than
her, and he knew it. She was definitely the more “ethnic” one, with wild, kinky hair that refused
any attempt to tame it. Jerry was tall, dark, and threatened to eventually become handsome.
Jerry looked around the small room. A bed and desk set occupied each of the opposite
walls. Kerry’s roommate Amy was clearly into New Wave music. Posters of David Byrne and Men at Work covered the walls.
“This weekend I’m gonna go ‘Down Under’,” Jerry promised the posters. He pulled his
breath spray out and gave himself a minty squirt. “Always ready.”
Kerry came into the room with her arms full of vending machine loot. “When can I meet
your friends?” Jerry asked her.
“Never. The notes are on the table. Get to work, Sherlock.”
Jerry sat down at his sister’s desk and read a wrinkled paper on top of her books. “I love
the way your hair can’t be controlled.” He picked up the next one, “I wonder if your skin is
so perfect all over. I want to find out some day.” Jerry looked at his sister. “Dude is ‘Psycho-
Killer’! Also definitely White. Obsessed with your skin and hair.”
“I know. They’re just slipped under the door about once a week. No one has ever seen
anyone around, so we have no clues, except they can get in the building. I don’t want to get the
police involved if I don’t have to. It might just be a prank,” Kerry sounded anxious and Jerry
looked up sharply.
Until he saw the fear in his sister’s eyes, he had just been excited to be in the middle
of a genuine intrigue. He suddenly felt like a jerk. He ground his teeth and stared at the floor,
ashamed and angry. Whoever this jackass is, I’m going to bust his skull.
The next morning, Kerry checked the shower and made sure it was empty before sending
Jerry in. Nearly an hour later, Jerry came bursting in the door. “I know who wrote the notes!” he
said, excited. Kerry and Amy stared at him in disbelief.
“I was in the shower and two girls came in and went to the stalls on either side of me.
They were talking. One of them is missing her earrings and she left a note saying to return them
to the RA.” With a flourish, Jerry handed the bathroom note to his sister and snatched one of the
older notes off the desk. Kerry compared the notes and gaped. The handwriting was identical.
“That would explain how they got under the door and how they know about your work
habits,” said Amy, waving the note that said “You work too late. I want to rub your shoulders
and help you sleep.”
“We need to find out what’s up here. I have an idea.” Jerry explained how the girls could
disguise him and take him around to the common areas. With enough work, he was sure they
could make him look like a short-haired girl. Jerry was convinced he would recognize the voices
of the girls if he heard them again.
Thirty minutes later, Kerry, Amy and “Mary” were strolling around the building. They
trailed through the study room and walked down the halls to the cafeteria. Three girls were
sitting at a table. A gorgeous girl with hazel eyes smiled at Kerry, and Jerry saw the girl blush.
Another girl beckoned them over and they started chatting about a Chemistry final.
“Hi, I’m Angela,” the girl shyly held out her hand to Jerry.
“Uh, this is Mary. She lives off campus. We’re just, uh, studying,” Kerry jumped in.
“We actually have to grab some food and run,” said Amy, grabbing Jerry’s arm.
The three hurried back to the room.
“Angela is one of the girls. I’m sure,” said Jerry.
“That doesn’t make any sense. She’s going out with what’s-his-name from the baseball
“Maybe Angela is looking for a pinch-hitter closer to home,” quipped Jerry.
Kerry scowled. ”Dad’s coming soon,” she said and grabbed his bag. Jerry followed her
out of the room, laughing.
As they stood out front waiting for their dad, Jerry asked Kerry what she was going to do.
“I need to figure that part out.” Kerry felt sick. “I’m positive this is a bad joke.”
Their dad pulled up “Kerry, get your brother!” Jerry laughed and opened the door. “It’s
Their dad laughed. “Looks like you got into some girls’ pants after all!”
“Don’t tell him!” Kerry whispered frantically. “I don’t want him to think… “
“That you might be gay? Sister, that has never been a mystery.” Jerry gave her a quick
hug and jumped in the car. Kerry watched them drive away, panic rising.
“Did your friend leave?” Turning around, Kerry saw Angela, looking radiant in the
afternoon sun. Kerry stammered, unsure what to say. “Want to help me study for that Chem
final?” Angela asked. Kerry nodded, and Angela linked their arms, steering her towards the
campus and certain turmoil.