Saturday, July 22, 2017

Cracked Flash: Year 2, Week 48

Happy Saturday! And to make Saturday even happier, welcome to another round of Cracked Flash Fiction Competition.

Judge this week: Kelly

Word count: 300 max

How: Submit your stories as a comment to this post, along with your name, word count, and title (and Twitter handle or blog if you've got 'em!). One entry per person.

Midnight tonight, PDT.

Results announced: Next 
Wednesday afternoon.

Remember: Your entry must begin with the prompt! The prompt can be mutilated, but not beyond recognition. (Pictures do not need to be incorporated into your stories: they're for inspiration (and amusement).)

"My flesh is clothed with worms and a crust of dirt."


  1. A Heart-Worming Story

    My flesh is clothed with worms and a crust of dirt.

    The dirt is essential. The worms absolutely insist. I don’t mind. They are unusually polite, not a characteristic you would normally expect from worms.

    I had once considered cremation. It seemed a nice tidy way to exit.

    But I dawdled with my will and no specific changes made it into the final draft.

    Sam Salter, my lawyer, kept at me, of course. “Spell it out, Walt. If you have a preference, state it.”

    I suppose it was the smoke, the flame, the fire, the blast of heat that caused me to hesitate. In the end, I went for the traditional funeral, the box, the lowering into the ground, the eternal wait.

    After a goodly number of months of interminable rest, the cold, the heat, the changing seasons up above, the voices of other new members of our cemetery community, my consciousness began to stir. It was all quite remarkable.

    Cecile came often. I could almost hear her. “Oh Walt, I hope you don’t think me disloyal. Sam has been very helpful with the estate. We have become closer than I ever imagined possible.”

    As I heard her confession, I thought, well, at least I know him. He was a pretty fair lawyer. He might make a suitable lover.”

    The worms thought otherwise. Surprisingly, they could not curb their tongues. “Lawyers. Squirming sleazy lawyers,” they would say. “We can barely find the courage to slither into their corpses. We let the other creatures of the soil slip under their skin. Beetles! Ants! Oh, the ants love to crawl into the orifices of dead lawyers.”

    Eventually, the concept of the walking dead arose in discussion.

    The worms heartily endorsed the activity.

    Sam and Cecile can expect a visit any night now.

    300 words decomposing


    My flesh was clothed with worms and a crust of dirt, but finally I was home.
    The walk from the cemetery had hurt my wasted, grave-cramped muscles and my fingertips were stripped to the bone, shaved of meat by the splinters of my broken casket and the clawing ascent through six feet of soil, but there I was, home, standing once more in my study.
    The room was just as I had last seen it, that last autumn morning when I’d found my imagination, or rather the words needed to give it form, dead in the creative water. Someone, probably Kiera, had emptied and washed the dregs from my favourite coffee cup, but once cleaned it had been returned to its assigned place at the corner of my desk. In the summer, that spot got most of the sunlight, keeping my caffeinated writing elixir warm a little longer. The last sheet of paper I’d ever slid into my antique typewriter was still coiled around the platen roller, still blank, but coated now with a thin layer of dust. The ten pages of my last, unfinished, story were still stacked neatly next to my pencil jar. Unread, I thought.
    Kiera never read my works in progress. She said it would be like breaking the spell, reading a story before the end was in place.
    I sat at my desk and closed what was left of my eyelids, trying to summon the inspiration that had finally come to me lying beneath the wrong side of a coffin lid. Soon the words returned, and I knew that when she awoke in the morning, Kiera would finally have her ending, the spell unbroken.
    The bony tips of my fingers made tiny clicking sounds against the keys as I started to type.

    Roger Jackson
    297 Words
    Twitter: jabe842

  3. What Comes Out of the Ground
    By Sara Codair (237)

    "My flesh is clothed with worms and a crust of dirt,” I said, shuddering on the doorstep. The open door loomed over me, black and peeling, like the mouth of an ancient monster waiting to swallow me whole.

    “Stop being dramatic,” muttered my mother. “Just make sure you wipe your feet before you go inside. I don’t want my floor ‘clothed’ in that shit.”

    I brushed the flecks of brown off my clothing, pulled a wriggling worm out my hair, and rubbed the soles of my sneakers on the emoji floormat. I stepped inside, staring at immaculate white tile and paint, so clean it glowed. The floor creaked behind me. The door slammed shut.

    “Please shower before you touch anything.” She shuffled past me, putting more weight on her cane than I remembered during my last visit.

    Taking baby steps, I made my way to the powder room where I washed my hands, stripped out of my muddy clothing, put it in a trash bag, and got in the shower. I covered myself in a lather of soap and let the water rush over my skin until it looked like it belonged to a living human, not a zombie.

    I got dressed, brought my soiled clothing to my car, and found my mother sitting on her front porch.

    “Thank you for helping out,” she said. “We got good harvest. Those potatoes should last until the spring.”


    1. The last line should say "had a good harvest"

  4. Title - The Equalizer
    Prompts - "My flesh is clothed with worms and a crust of dirt.
    Word Count - 283
    Twitter - @nancymbeach

    My flesh is clothed with worms and a crust of dirt. Last week, worms were the farthest thing from my mind. I was sitting in Al’s Diner minding my own business when Donnie walked in.

    “Hey Brother, look what came in the mail.” Donnie plopped down and pushed the papers across the booth to me.

    “What-what’s this?” My mind was catching up with the words my eyes were reading. Xeonia Publishing wanted to publish my book. A check fell out onto the table. This was the break I needed. No more Ramen Noodles for lunch. I could get the car fixed, and buy some new clothes.

    I remember thinking, “If those fancy guys in tailored suits at the publishing company knew what kind of dump I lived in, disgust would have kept them from reading a word I’d written.” But that’s the beauty of words; the playing field is level. Rich people and poor people use the same alphabet.

    Turns out that’s not the only playing field that’s level. Yesterday the Corvette spun out of control and crossed left of center. I glanced down at my check, thinking about the new suit I was going to buy. I never saw him coming.

    Fancy suit is buried a few rows down and to the right. You can’t miss him. Look for the hundreds of slightly wilting sprays of flowers. He got the elite casket, the one with the air-tight seal. He and I are the same now. It isn’t the insects on the outside you need to worry about. Both our bodies are teeming with life. The bacteria that once lived in our guts helping us digest dinner are now eating us.

  5. Patrick Stahl
    300 words

    "Total Win"

    My flesh is clothed with worms and a crust of dirt. Deal with it.

    First you’re all lovey dovey, and you say you want us to get married. Then I say “I guess I should mention that I’m a zombie,” and you decide to freak out on me. What? I can’t help it if I’m dead. I didn’t choose to be dead. I was run over by a motorcycle, and I only stayed animate because of the weird medallion my grandmother always told me to wear. I’m pretty sure I’ll die now if I take it off, but I have no designs to try that out. No way. I’m perfectly happy being a member of the living dead.

    I don’t wish to confuse this dismissal with that of any other kind. I know that if I had a different sort of surprise, like that I was born a male or that my three children were safely stowed with my mother in Kansas, you’d understand. You’re really sweet like that. But this just threw you, I guess. So, I’m dead. Yep.

    I guess I can understand your frustrations a teensy bit. For one, we’ll never grow old together and die in each other’s’ weak, flabby arms. I’m sorry for the missed opportunity too. I could always take off the medallion and succumb to the natural laws of the universe at the right moment, but it wouldn’t be the same. The only cool things about being dead are that you can’t die and you can’t age. I’ll always look prim and twenty-four under thick makeup and full skin coverage below the neck. It’s a total win for you if you can just look past the worms and dirt that can’t be scrubbed from my body.

    So, what do you say? April wedding?