The Salamander-ish Sully Competition

22 Mar

Despite the fact that “salamander” reminds me of slander, and that the definition of “sully” falls in line with slander, I am entering the Sully Competition because I—well, who can resist entering a competition where one of the prizes is an official Sully certificate from the fabulous Mike Allegra, children’s book author, playwright, freelance writer and editor, etc, etc, etc, etc? The rules: 200 words max, ANY genre (including picture books) except poetry, plays or screenplays. And only one entry. Deadline is March 28. You, too, could win. 

Here is my flash fiction entry:

Fairy Tale

By Jilanne Hoffmann

 

The truth lies beyond her knowledge, somewhere silent, dry, and hostile. A desert where life just mummifies.

Toenail clippings lie scattered on a table near her worn recliner. Does she still have toes?

“Peter!” she yells, although he stands behind her. “You been sitting in my chair?”

“No, Mother,” Peter says, then tries a joke. “And I haven’t been eating your porridge, either.”

“Laid these toenails here like breadcrumbs just to tease me? You gonna put me in the oven?”

“No Mother,” Peter whispers, then looks square at her face. He lifts her hand and squeezes. Tries to bring her back. “Think now, you wouldn’t fit inside the oven.”

Peter smiles.

She peers into his eyes, searching for understanding, for forgiveness, for a memory. Comes up empty.

He stoops to kiss her forehead.

“How can that be?” she says, voice narrow and suspicious. She wipes a hand across her brow to shoo away his scratch of beard.

“What about the big bad wolf?”

Peter takes a breath, prepares to lie, and falters. “The wolf? I’m scared, too, Mother. We all are.”

The doorbell rings.

“Peter?”

“Here Mother, hold my hand. We’ll pretend that we’re not here.”

 

 

23 Responses to “The Salamander-ish Sully Competition”

  1. heylookawriterfellow March 22, 2017 at 12:37 pm #

    Nope! No doodle this time! But big prizes nonetheless!

  2. Sheila March 22, 2017 at 12:53 pm #

    I love the mixture of fairy tale and reality with this. I really love the beginning too – very haunting (and that goes well with that photo at the end)!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 22, 2017 at 1:07 pm #

      Thank you, Sheila! We’re all a little afraid of the metaphor at the door, don’t you think?

      • Sheila March 23, 2017 at 10:59 am #

        Yes, you never know what might appear there!

  3. Margarita March 22, 2017 at 1:15 pm #

    Felt the hairs rise on the back of my neck, Jilanne. Wonderful! 😉 xoxoM

  4. m lewis redford March 23, 2017 at 1:01 am #

    like one of those little Transformer cars … that, fold. Open … to make a; … robot: and, then foldback – into acaragain; but this one fits back perfectly with a neat ‘click’

    this was beautifully realised – the unfolding characters, their situation, their relationship with each other, the meaning of it all; (very) nice one!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 23, 2017 at 12:02 pm #

      Thank you! I am quite pleased with your analogy and thrilled by your response. Cheers!

  5. robert okaji March 23, 2017 at 4:00 am #

    Don’t open the door!

  6. Lady Fancifull March 26, 2017 at 3:24 am #

    Tugged my heart

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 26, 2017 at 2:02 pm #

      Yes! Metaphor understood as intended. Thank you! I never know just what a reader will find in a story.

  7. dkatiepowellart March 27, 2017 at 1:42 pm #

    Very creepy… haunting.

  8. Catherine Johnson March 27, 2017 at 4:56 pm #

    So dramatic. Love the tension. Great story, Jilanne!

  9. Ste J March 30, 2017 at 8:20 am #

    The primal fear of the unknown behind the door and the other more emotioanl aspect are both wonderfully evoked.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann March 30, 2017 at 1:02 pm #

      Thanks! I’m thinking we don’t want to acknowledge what’s behind that door…

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