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Weekly Short Story Contests > Week 383 (October 12-18) Stories Topic: Plastic Spoon

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message 1: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4214 comments You have until the 18th of October to post a story and from the 19th to around the 23rd of October, we’ll vote for which one we thought was best!

Please post directly into the topic and not a link. Please don’t use a story previously used in this group. Only one submission per person is allowed.

Your story should be between 300 and 3,500 words long.

REMEMBER! A short story is not merely a scene. It must have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

This week’s topic is: Plastic Spoon

Thanks goes to Leslie for suggesting the topic!

The rules are pretty loose. You could write a story about anything that has to do with the subject/photo but it must relate to the topic somehow.

Most of all have fun!


message 2: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9064 comments It's 2:00 in the morning and I should be in bed right now. But instead I'll post my synopsis for a story called "He's Only Thirteen". It goes like this:

CHARACTERS:

1. Danny Killian, Child Brawler
2. Saijin Lector, Demon Gangster
3. Gloria Summers, Church Choir Girl

PROMPT CONFORMITY: Danny eats a bowl of soup with a plastic spoon once he’s taken in.

SYNOPSIS: Gloria practices her singing alone in the church when there’s a loud banging at her doors. When she answers, Danny, who’s covered in bruises and cuts, collapses into her arms and allows her to bring him to safety. When asked about his wounds, Danny reveals that he’s a child prize fighter and he’s trying to get out of the business. The only thing stopping him is his overbearing taskmaster Saijin Lector, who has spent years training him to become a moneymaking machine with his fighting skills. Feeling ripped off, Saijin bolts into the church looking for his “prospect”. Gloria and Danny must now try to sneak out of the church and get to higher ground. Fighting isn’t an option since Saijin is a seven-foot tall beast with a chain whip as his favorite weapon. Even with all of Danny’s championship accolades, he’s too frightened to take on his former boss.


message 3: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9064 comments AUTHOR: Garrison Kelly
TITLE: He's Only Thirteen
GENRE: Dark Fantasy
WORD COUNT: 2,117
RATING: PG-13 for swearing and violence



Gloria Summers’ heavenly soprano voice resonated throughout the empty church as she practiced her hymns. Standing at the altar with a purple choir robe flowing from her petite figure, she sang her heart out as though the church was packed for her performance. She closed her beautiful brown eyes and imagined applause and tears of happiness from the makeshift crowd. But when she opened them again, she didn’t see a single soul sitting in the pews. She wiped a tear from her eye as she remembered how this city had fallen on hard economic times. People would do absolutely anything for money, even if it meant endangering their health and forfeiting their position at the pews.

And then her concentration was broken as easily as church glass when a pounding at the doors boomed throughout the House of God. Gloria nearly jumped out of her dark skin and clutched a hand to her heart at the raucous sound, which continued to grow louder with desperation. She lifted her choir robe and hurried down the church aisle to answer the door. “Who could be knocking at this hour?” she asked herself.

When she opened the doors, a heavy presence spilled over her lap, almost knocking her on her ass. She managed to circle her arms around what appeared to be a dark-skinned teenage boy in a white karate gi passed out and shivering from the rain outside. Gloria dragged the young man inside and slammed the door behind her to prevent the cold from rushing into her church.

“You poor thing,” said Gloria while rolling the little boy over. Cuts and bruises covered his face and his tongue dangled slightly out of his mouth with a speck of drool hanging down. “Come on, little guy, let’s get you all warm and toasty.” The lone choir girl cradled the child in her arms and carried him to the back of the church, where a soft and warm bed just happened to be.

Gloria smiled sadly at the unconscious boy while stroking his damp black locks. “I’ll have some soup ready for you when you’re awake,” she said. It took her little more than three minutes to heat up a cup of noodle soup and present it to him with a plastic spoon nestled inside. Steam rose from the broth while triggering the child’s sense of smell. A few whiffs later and his swollen purple eyes slowly opened.

With a lisp that probably had to do with the karate gi he was wearing, he said, “Where am I? What the fuck is this?”

“I’ll let that dirty language slide for now, sugar,” said Gloria with a smile as warm as the soup. “You’re in the House of God, little man. It’s the safest place you can be right now. Whoever gave you those nasty bumps ain’t coming for you now. Here, have some soup. You’ll need your strength.”

The child snapped when Gloria handed him the soup, knocking the nutritious meal out of her hands and spilling broth and noodles all over the floor. The traumatized kid continued to thrash and wail about while the choir girl held him still. “Get away from me! I have to fight him!” shouted the kid. “Sensei Lector will kill me if I don’t fight him! Let me go, damn it!”

“Calm yourself, child!” belted Gloria while struggling to maintain a tight grip on the rambunctious kid. He nearly slipped out of her grasp when she mounted him and pinned his wrists down on the bed. The kid thrashed some more, but he clearly lost this battle. He could do nothing but shed tears hot enough to trigger the pain in his bruised eyes. “It’s no use,” he sobbed. “I’m dead! I’m never going to get out of that tournament!”

Gloria petted the child’s hair and gently said, “There, there, little guy. Like I said before, this is a safe place where you don’t have to worry about such things. No more fighting. No more bruises. No more blood. Just you, me, and the man upstairs. Now why don’t you tell me what’s going on between you and this Sensei Lector of yours.”

“You can’t do shit about it, lady,” snapped the child. “Saijin Lector is my master. He’s the one who trained me how to fight. I’ve been making a lot of money for the both of us beating the shit out of everyone in that ring. If he finds out I’ve dashed on him…he’s going to kill me!” Tears burned his black eyes once again.

Gloria lovingly rested her head on the child’s chest and said, “It’s alright, kid. You came here for a reason and that reason is to rest up. You know you can’t do this fighting business no more. You’re only a kid. Kids should be out playing and having fun, not beating people up in some dingy arena. Whoever this Saijin Lector is, there’s no chance I’m going to let him mess with you.”

“You don’t understand,” wept the child. “He’s a monster!”

“Of course he’s a monster, son,” said Gloria. “Anybody who puts a child through this much torture for a couple of bucks has got to be some kind of sicko.”

The child pushed Gloria off the bed and shouted, “He’s a real fucking monster!” A moment of tense silence hung between them and then Gloria shivered in fear while crab walking backwards. “I can’t stay here much longer! He’ll find me and beat me to death! You just don’t get it! He’s not just a monster! He has a whole gang backing him up! He can do whatever he wants to this city!”

“Not on my watch!” snapped Gloria as she stood back up and towered over the bruised child. “I don’t give up on those who come here for help and I’m damn sure not giving up on you! I don’t care what kind of monster you’re running from, because he ain’t getting nowhere near you! I’ve seen too much bad nonsense go on in this city! People getting shot dead in the streets, people losing their homes, people getting beaten by the police, it has to end somewhere! I say we bring it to an end one step at a time and that means getting you to higher ground!”

Another moment of tense silence hung in the air between them. The child snuggled further in his sheets after being the recipient of Gloria’s tough love, emphasis on love. He softly said, “My name is Danny. Danny Killian. What’s yours?”

“Gloria Summers. Nice to meet you, Danny. You’re a handsome young man despite all of the bruises.” She pulled the blanket over him further and gently said, “Get some rest, little guy. We’ve got a long day ahead of us tomorrow…”

The cracking sound of the church doors breaking down accompanied by deep demonic breathing caused Danny to cover his head with the blankets even tighter. “Stay here,” warned Gloria as she ventured out in the chapel to see what was up. Danny was right: there were monsters out there and one of them invaded her church with a whip in one hand and a tight fist in the other. “Holy-moly!” she whispered as she looked up at the seven-foot tall red fleshed demon, who came bearing fangs, horns, and sharp claws.

The demon brushed the wooden splinters from the door off of his brown trench coat and adjusted his fedora before saying, “Good evening, sweet cheeks! You wouldn’t happen to have a child about yay-high running around here, would you? He needs to come home with his daddy!”

“Some daddy you turned out to be!” shouted Gloria while she stood terra firma with her fists by her side. “You must be Saijin. Actually, I don’t give a hoot who you are! You’re in the House of God now and you’d better move your biscuit butt on out of here!”

“Or else what?!” bellowed Saijin, knocking Gloria down with the impact of his voice alone. “Is the man upstairs going to zap me to death? Oh, I’m so scared! I don’t know if you’re aware of this or not, but I’ve got a fucking whip and I’ve ripped a lot of flesh with this motherfucker! So if you don’t want to be the next one to be turned into human jerky, you’ll point me in the direction of that little brat!”

“I’m right here, dumb-ass!” belted Danny, who appeared at the altar shaking in either anger or fear (Gloria couldn’t tell). The child prizefighter’s fists were balled tightly as he entered his karate stance, feet apart, hips distributed. The more Saijin stared at him with those fiery eyes, the harder Danny shook.

“So, you’ve finally grown a pair of balls, little Danny. It’s about damn time! Tell me, little dip-shit: is that a urine stain on your pants or are you just happy to see me?” mocked Saijin with a yellow-fanged grin on his face. Sure enough, Danny tucked his chin and saw that his karate pants were dripping with stale golden fluids. His eyes were also pouring with sorrow and fear while Saijin laughed at him some more. “Holy shit, kid! How did you ever become a champion again? This whole time, I’ve been training a little chicken shit instead of a goddamn warrior!”

The combination of Danny’s tears and urine and Saijin’s mocking laughter caused Gloria Summers’ blood to boil. Her insides reminded her of what the church’s version of hell looked like: fire, agony, venom, and death. Her teeth clenched so tightly that her jaw ached worse than Danny’s. Her heart thudded in her chest like a hip-hop beat echoing from somebody’s car stereo. “Enough!” she roared before nipping up and elbowing Saijin right in the groin.

The demon doubled over in pain, but not without giving Gloria a devilish smile in return. Danny attempted a running strike of his own, but was quickly cut off by the choir girl, who cradled the protesting kid in her arms and dashed out of the church like a bolt of lighting. She looked back and saw that Saijin was upright once more and his whip was on fire.

He blasted, “You’d better keep running, you little harlot! It won’t do you any fucking good, but you can try anyways!” Saijin lashed his flaming whip around at various pews and set them ablaze. He even managed to pop Gloria in the back and send her crumpling into a bloody heap. Danny groaned in fury and tried once again to engage his former boss only to have Gloria use the last of her energy to hold him back and vacate the burning church.

The two of them stumbled down the stairs together while the church’s flames and Saijin Lector’s laughter rose sky high. Despite Danny’s raging protests, Gloria continued to hold him back and push the two of them down the streets until they were able to turn a corner into an alleyway. Even with the glowing flames producing hell on earth behind them, Gloria Summers and Danny Killian had found temporary safety.

“How could you let him get away with that shit?!” Danny sobbed. “I could have taken him! I swear I could have!”

Gloria hugged Danny’s head tightly and whispered, “Your fighting days are over, son. You’ve got to know when to run away. There’s no shame in being scared. It’s a natural part of life. You can’t just keep on going like this. If you didn’t die at Saijin’s hands, you would have died in that ring.”

“But it’s not fair!” Danny whined. “I need the money! I need to beat people up! I need to be tough!”

“There are other ways of making money that don’t involve that macho garbage!” yelled Gloria as she shook Danny. She hugged him once again and whispered gently, “I’m not going to leave your side. The church can be rebuilt, but you can’t be replaced, Danny Killian. I’ll make this right for you, son. Just trust me. You’ve trusted Saijin long enough and look where it got you.”

“But…but it’s not fair!” whined Danny again.

“I know it isn’t, son. There’s nothing fair about any of this. But we can make it fair. You just have to have some hope. Do you trust me?” asked Gloria with a reassuring smile.

Danny wiped away his tears and smiled as much as his swollen cheeks would allow before saying, “Yeah…I trust you, Gloria.” The two of them hugged each other and watched the church burn to its final ashes. Saijin would get his someday, just not tonight and not at the hands of a frightened child fighter.


message 4: by Ronan (new)

Ronan Hayes (ronan_hayes) TITLE: A Death too Slow
AUTHOR: Ronan Hayes
WORD COUNT: 580 (including this header)
NOTE: There is a companion sonnet in "Weekly Poetry Stuffage / Week 383" thread.

Pick me, pick me! she screamed silently.

The gorgeous lifeguard didn't. She sighed. The way he licked his lips lustily while waiting in the line! It promised full appreciation of her curvy outlines. But no, he didn't fall for her. Instead, he bought french fries and grabbed one of those impish fork tarts.

She was patient, though. She knew her time would come. It was a busy day, people kept queuing even now when the sun was almost down. She kept waiting.

Just before closing time, a big family came and started to buy pretty much all there was for sale. The rowdy kids took a dozen of plastic cutlery each. She was smart and tiptoed to the front of the box, side-stepping hundreds of her kin. No way she would stay behind this time.

Her move was perfectly orchestrated. She ended up among the chosen ones and soon they flew her over to a nearby wooden table. It was happening, the time was near!She lay trembling on a pile of napkins, excited and fearful in equal measure. She observed the family as they gorged themselves on all sorts of greasy grubs, washing it down by liters of melted sugar. Any minute now!

She lay and watched, waiting for them to grab her and dip into something. But her hopes were futile; she was utterly forgotten, another thing they had to have but never really needed.

Then they were gone and the night was falling. Fresh breeze started to blow from land and lifted her off the table. She was dragged down the beach, bruising her delicate white skin on the coarse sand. Sadly enough, she was about to die a virgin.

Is there a life after this misery? she wondered. Am I going to a better place? Will there be anyone who will ever care for me?

With these thoughts, she was swept into the ocean.

And there, it was a different world entirely. If that was death already, she was sure she never wants to live again. The swell caressed her in ways no hand or tongue could ever match. There was a heavenly glow all around whenever she stirred. It was so easy to forget about all she knew and used to be during her rather long shelf life.

She wasn't alone for long. Soon she was spotted by a pack of dolphins that surfed waves breaking on an outer reef. They spent hours by taking her for exhilarating nose rides through barrels lit by the rising moon.

The dolphins got bored eventually, but she never lacked company after they'd left. Fish nibbled on her curiously and algae made her a new veil. When she'd learned all she could about the coastal waters, she set to sail the seas broad and far, riding on currents full of other lost souls like her.

She saw wonders beyond all count, but the adventurous afterlife took its toll at last. She was dead tired and frail. The currents were wise, however, and brought her to a resting place just then.

Now she floats round and round, and slowly becomes one with the ocean. But don't you worry, she'll still be out there for many years to come. She's waiting for the whole world to rot and join her in the plastic paradise.


message 5: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Title : The Spooning
Author : Edward Davies
Word Count : 1117
Rating : PG

People have some strange irrational fears; spiders, clowns, even dirt, but as far as James knew, he was the only person ever to have a fear of plastic spoons.

And of course, he didn’t think the fear was irrational, it was just everyone else who thought that. For him, it was perfectly rational, especially after what had happened to him.

It had been a day like any other, and James had decided to get some takeout on the way home. He liked to show off, even when nobody else was around, so when he got Chinese he always got chopsticks instead of a spork or a spoon. Just because he knew how to use them. To be honest he wasn’t able to use them perfectly, but he never dropped any food and always managed to get everything in his mouth without leaving sauce or residue on his face.

He sat the brown bag on his kitchen counter once he got home, taking off his jacket before opening the bag and taking out the contents. His face fell in something approaching anger once the bag was empty.

There were no chopsticks.

Instead someone had decided to put a single plastic spoon in the bottom of the bag. Not a spork, no, nothing quite so useful, just a solitary plastic spoon. James tutted, picking up the spoon and crossing the kitchen.

“I won’t be needing this,” he mumbled, opening the bin and dropping the spoon into it. Once he’d disposed of the spoon, he went to his utensil drawer and found some leftover chopsticks from a previous meal when he’d mistakenly been given two sets. He snapped them apart, sitting down at his kitchen counter and began to eat his food.

As he ate, James heard something making a noise across the room. Putting his chopsticks back in the container of Chinese food, he edged himself off of his stool, slowly moving across the room. He’d had this problem before – cats getting in through the broken cat flap that had been leftover from a previous tenant – and he knew exactly what to do. James picked up a water sprayer he kept next to the sink, slowly walking towards the door, training the nozzle on the ground.

But there was nothing there. No cat, no sign of forced entry by intruding feline. Nothing.

James put the sprayer back down on the kitchen counter, walking back to his container of Chinese food. But something was wrong.

The chopsticks he’d left poking out of the container were lying on the floor, and in their place was the plastic spoon.

The spoon he’d thrown in the bin.

“What the…” James looked around the room, trying to see if someone was there, “who did this?” he said loudly, “This isn’t funny.”

There was no reply.

Shrugging, James told himself that he must have been imagining things. Maybe he had used the spoon for some reason, but it didn’t really explain why there were used chop sticks lying on the ground.

Bending down, James retrieved the chopsticks from the ground, wiped them off on a napkin, then he started to eat again, taking the spoon out of the food and laying it on the table next to him. As he took a mouthful of noodles, he heard a scraping noise.

“What the…” James mouthed, looking over his shoulder to try and see if the scraping was something outside, like a bird tapping at the window. But there was nothing there.

Turning back to his food, he was shocked to see that somehow the chopsticks were back on the floor and the spoon was back in the container. He angrily picked up the spoon, preparing to snap it in half when he heard a growl and the spoon leapt from his hand and started to attack his face.

James screamed, falling backwards off his stool and landing on his back on the ground. His head struck the floor and, dazed, he watched in disbelief as the spoon flung itself at his eyes, trying to gouge one of them out.

James flailed madly, desperately trying to grip the handle of the possessed spoon and prevent it from disfiguring him. The spoon almost seemed to lunge at him, bending impossibly and seeming to snap at his face, like it was trying to bite him with non-existent teeth. James rolled left, then right, then tried to sit up while holding onto the deadly spoon and, finally, he managed to throw the spoon across the room where it landed harmlessly on the floor.

James clambered to his feet, breathing heavily as he wiped sweat from his brow. He stared across the room at the spoon…

…but it had vanished!

Panicking, James edged towards the kitchen, backing up against the sink as his eyes darted back and forth, searching for the malicious spoon. It wasn’t until he was about to get to his feet that he heard that scraping sound again, and the spoon appeared as if from nowhere and threw itself into his face.

James grabbed the spoon, thrusting it this way and that as he clambered to his feet unaided bu his hands, then he turned, facing the sink.

“Why don’t you try spooning your way out of this?” James said, rather unwittily, as he took the spoon and threw it into the sink. The spoon clattered towards the drain and stuck, half in and half out of the opening. James smiled, flicking the switch to the disposal, watching the spoon spin and scream for a few seconds before it disappeared in a cloud of plastic splinters.

James dusted himself down, looking into the sink briefly to be sure the possessed spoon was gone. After a minute of careful watching, he decided it was safe to go back to his dinner. Walking round the kitchen counter, he bent to pick up his chopsticks and motioned to start eating again…

…Which was when he noticed the plastic knife and fork sat in his takeaway container…


message 6: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4214 comments Polls will be coming soon!


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