Janet Reid ran her flash fiction contest again this past weekend. It is always so much fun to enter, and amazing to read the gems submitted by others. Out of 82 entries, my story made the long list this time, which is very exciting!
In honor of attending Thrillerfest 16, Janet gave us these five prompt words: THRILL, GRAND, GIN, PITCH, and 16. From these words I put together this little story:
A Dog’s Life, submitted 7/9/16
I can hear Andy and his friends talking in his room: “I roll 16 with my mithril longsword.”
I understand them. How can I understand? It hurts.
“Jesus, that whining. Stop it, Champ!”
I try to stop. Andy is boss.
“What’s wrong with him?”
“Month ago he went missing, ran down something, got bit up. Stupid mutt.”
I feel my face flattening. My nose is almost gone, smells vanish. My legs bend backward, claws lengthen to fingers. I don’t howl at the moon. I sing.
I stand on two feet. Tall. Apex predator.
I’ll show Andy who’s boss.
This time I managed to come up with a story – there’s an arc, something happening, so things are different at the end than at the beginning. It’s got a twist to it, since it’s a reverse werewolf story. Poor Champ is a dog, loyal to his master Andy, but a month ago he got bitten by “something” and now he’s standing on two feet, with a flat face, no sense of smell, fingers, singing instead of howling. He’s a were-human, and in his human form he feels no more loyalty. We humans are, indeed, apex predators.
i am, of course, content with my place on the long list. It means I did a good job meeting the goals of the contest. Other entries were better, though, some a LOT better, and deserved to be winners or finalists (you can read the contest results here).