This year, at the Crime Bake conference, my writing bud Dianne and I embraced, what was for me, a new challenge. We entered the Flashwords competition. The challenge was to write a compelling crime story in 150 words or less, using at least ten of twenty title words from stories and novels by our Guest of Honor, Joseph Finder.
Out of 29 entries, Dianne and I both wound up in the top three.
Dianne Herlihy, Ruth McCarty, Margo Carey
If you think this sounds easy, I urge you to try it yourself. The words given to us were: buried, club, company, copper, crimes, extraordinary, high, hour, instinct killer, man, Moscow, neighbors, paranoia, plan, play, power, secrets, vanished, zero. It’s fun. Send me your story and I’ll publish it here.
Billy's Fifth Birthday
At the party, neighbors showed no surprise that Billy had an imaginary friend. Since he'd moved here three months ago, they'd seen him talking to himself and then tilting his head as if to listen.
Today, Billy's mother was relieved as she watched him play with the other childresn, showing them the secret place he called his magic forest. Minutes later, however, her maternal instinct kicked in as a little boy came running over to his mother, crying.
"Mommy, Billy said his friend, Neddie, is dead and buried in the forest."
Gasps followed this announcement. a young boy named Neddie had vanished from here twenty years ago.
Teary eyes looked up to an old man who had grabbed his chest. "Grandpa, Neddie says you hit him with a golf club. you're not a killer, are you?"
The extraordinary thing was that Grandpa still had the golf club.