Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: You’d Have to Pay Me

This is the first time I had ever had to sign for a letter addressed to Occupent.The letter was nothing special, only a neighbour complaining about the billboard this company pays me to have on my lawn. The company mails me a cheque for $500 a month to leave their horrid billboard painting alone. I try not think about it or look at it much. 

If Gary in the Condo next to me doesn’t like it, too bad for him. I put his most recent letter in the garbage. Clever of him to have it sent to me as ‘occupant;’ he knows my name well.

As I am leaving my house for work, I glance at the billboard. The lady on it looks like some nightmarish clown. At least, my niece thought so when she visited with my sister. Sara hated to sleepover because outside the spare bedroom window is the billboard. I love Sara but the billboard stays, it pays part of my mortgage. I don’t mind switching rooms with Sara for the night she comes to visit me once a month.

On my way to the car, I see my neighbour Gary. I wave and run over to my billboard smiling and giving the billboard a thumbs up. Gary, an elderly man in his seventies, scowls at me. I wave to him again and drive off squeeling my tires and honking at Gary who shakes his fist and swears at me loudly as I pass him in my car.

I don’t care. If Gary paid me $500 a month to not have the ugly billboard on my lawn, well that would be the only reason I would be getting rid of the billboard. Until then, the hideous monument remains on my lawn.



Thanks to Roger Shipp for hosting FFftPP.


©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

The Circus Comes To Town at The Hallow

Prompt: Three people walk into a bar . . .

Three people walk into a bar called The Hallow. The entire bar turns towards them curiously as they enter. The Hallow is not the type of place where strangers come to haphazardly. It is a little hole in the wall with old wooden tables and chairs and a lovingly worn bar top where people order drinks. The patrons all know each other and are friends whether they come everyday or once a month. But these new people have never been here before.

The first inside the old wooden door of The Hallow is a young woman in a pink cheerleader outfit. She is beautiful with long golden brown hair and deep-set hazel eyes. Angus the bartender, ID’s her immediately surprised to find out that the young-looking woman is 28-years-old and well past high school age.

Following the cheerleader is a cowboy. He is in his thirties with matted golden blond hair under his hat which he removes as he steps in the doorway. He is wearing a leather vest, red checkered shirt, jeans, and cowboy boots. He hums some country western song to himself which Mavis ( a local patron) hears and identifies as Garth Brooks to anyone who will listen to her.

Stepping on the cowboy’s heels is a clown, his face painted white with red diamond eyes, a ruby nose, blue diamonds on his cheeks and a big red fake smile. The clown reeks of alcohol and his diaphanous clown outfit is dirty and old. He goes up to the bar and tells Angus the bartender he’ll have two shots of whiskey, then settles down with a beer beside the cowboy and the cheerleader. The cowboy and the cheerleader take one look at the clown and immediately try to move so the clown won’t notice, to another table, but fail miserably when he tells them to “take a seat.”

Mavis wonders if she missed Halloween as she and the other patrons stare transfixed by the three costumed customers drinking at the wobbly table. The cheerleader, Malinda, flicks her thick ponytail and asks the cowboy Jared for a gin and cranberry to drink. Jared buys it and another beer and it’s clear to all watching that something is going on between Malinda and Jared. They stare at each other and talk caught up in their own world, the cheerleader primping and fluttering her lashes at the cowboy, while he leans into her space, his hand on her knee. The clown looks at them in disgust.

In an instant, the clown pulls a huge riffle out of the front of his costume. He points it at the patrons of several tables, then at Angus the bartender, before aiming directly at Malinda and Jared holding hands. “What freak show did you two come from?” he asks in a loud sneering voice.

” Highschool, it was are ten-year reunion. It was a costume party,” Jared explains quietly. He can feel Malinda shaking under his hand on her leg.

” What do you want from us?” says Malinda gripping Jared even closer.

The clown sneers at them and shoots at the wall above their heads to frighten them. He yells at Jared to gather all the money from the cash register and bar patrons in the room.

It was later in the night so customers were mostly depleted of cash but the bar and tip jars were full. The clown glares at Jared as the cowboy hands him a bag full of cash and demands more beer from Angus with the tip of his gun. He rants and he raves as he puts back several more beers and then takes his money to leave. He shoots Jared in the arm for good measure.

Malinda leans over Jared who is in great pain and stops the bleeding of the bullet wound with her beloved cheerleading sweater. “Well honey” Malinda says at least we’ve still got each other.” Jared nods and smiles before grimacing again at the pain in his shoulder. At the high school reunion he got back together with the girl of his dreams, Malinda. She smiles at him while gently helping him forget about the pain, telling Jared about her life since she last saw him.

The police are called to the scene and statements are given about the clown and robbery. It’s 6 am before everyone is able to leave and go home. The cheerleader and the cowboy go together hand in hand and this makes Mavis smile lost in memory as she leaves to go home to her little two-bedroom apartment.

Eerily another man in a clown costume wanders by, in the daylight. The patrons from the bar can see the circus tent being set up not to far down the road. ” I guess the Circus is in town” Angus the bartender says shaking his head.

The new clown who is in the middle of all the bar’s customers going home pulls out yet another gun and yells for everyone to get back inside. Nobody listens to him. So, he shoots up into the air. People continue going to their cars like nothing is happening. The new clown becomes outrageously mad and starts yelling and screaming. The police who are just around the corner literally, come back and arrest the new clown. “Why didn’t anybody listen to me” whines the second clown.

“It’s been done.” says a police officer matter of factly.

Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers – Part III Our House – Flasback to the Clown and a House all Their Own. 

Theo the house . . . where did you find it it’s magnificent! I mean it’s not our blue house but look at that back porch and the view. It has so much potential!

I knew you’d love it Vanessa. That’s why I bought it!

You bought it, you mean this is ours? Well I haven’t been so happy since we escaped those kidnappers 10 years ago . . .

It turns out, Theo had had a knife in his back pocket and pulling a James bond, had cut his ropes in the distorted mirrors room and found Vanessa and cut her ropes too. They had ran madly from the clown with the knife when they realized the clown wasn’t chasing them but the kidnappers. It had been a bloody time when the the clown slashed and stabbed the kidnappers to death. Theo and Vanessa had found there way out of the funhouse and taken their car back to town in shock.

What’s that? 

That’s when Theo saw the clown coming towards them a big grin on his plastic face. The clown waved and went on his way.

Word Count: 180 aprox.

Theo's and Vanessa's back porch.
Theo’s and Vanessa’s back porch.

Thanks to Priceless Joy for organizing FFfAW. Want to participate?