This is where you’ll find the growing collection of short fiction that I’ve written. The list is small right now, but stay tuned for more of Sharky’s Shorts in the near future.
Sharkbait Writes Flash Fiction
I wrote “Dead in Pink” for the #MenageMonday challenge on July 9, 2012. The rules stated that the story had to be between 100 and 200 words and utilize three prompts: A photo (a pink limousine), a phrase “not normal”, and a judge’s prompt (brought to you by the author of Billy Purgatory, and fellow Forsaken Horror Hooligan, Jesse James Freeman) “Tell about the time you beat the Devil at his own game.”
When I’m not writing, I occasionally moonlight as a limousine chauffeur or work as an independent contractor for a local funeral home to bring home a few extra coins. That’s what inspired me to write “Dead in Pink” for the #MenageMonday challenge.
Billy Purgatory (a.k.a. brainchild of Jesse James Freeman) awarded this story one of three honorable mentions for Week 38 of #MenageMonday. Here’s what he had to say about “Dead in Pink”:
Robert’s story reminds me of an updated version of a Lovecraft that I read years ago called In the Vault. It’s not that story, but it made me remember it. I like how he took the Devil and twisted him into the nickname for the less than ethical undertaker. The closing line is like, “Hey jerk-off, you wanted to be the Devil so bad, hope you have fun trading notes with him.” For the quick word count on these flash fictions I really don’t know how you all do it – I can’t update my Google Calendar in that few words.
“Dead in Pink”
Copyright © 2012
All Rights Reserved
“You’re kidding me right?” the funeral assistant asked after I handed him the keys to a hot pink stretched limousine.
“I know it’s not normal,” I laughed as I pointed to a hot pink hearse in the garage, “but we have a matching coach for the funeral procession.”
Dan “Lucifer” Greenwich had a reputation for cutting corners, being understaffed, overworking his employees, and being an outright asshole. He liked to play manipulative mind games with families so they would overspend and often pissed them off with his uncaring and cold demeanor. In a town this small, folks didn’t have much of a choice when it came to shopping for someone to bury their loved ones. Every time Lucifer managed to anger the families he suddenly disappeared out of town on one of his hunting or fishing trips, leaving me and the staff to fix his mess.
Lucifer returned from his last hunting trip in a body bag, apparently the result of a misfortunate accident. As the casket lowered into the ground I whispered, “I guess I beat the devil at his own game.” I smiled and added, “May hell welcome you home with open flames, you son of a bitch.”
* * *
Here’s the badge I received for participating in my first #MenageMonday flash fiction challenge in November of 2011. Cara Michaels’ photo prompt was probably the most difficult part of coming up with a story.
Participating in #MenageMonday was a lot of fun. Writing flash fiction shorts that are between 100 and 200 word is one heck of a challenge, but it’s worth it. If you’re a writer, I recommend trying it out sometime. You’ll be surprised by what you come up with. It’s not only fun, but it also helps get those creative juices flowing in the old noggin. I admit, it’s not my best work, but here’s what I came up with for my first attempt at flash fiction:
Copyright © 2011
All Rights Reserved
David woke up with a throbbing headache. He lifted himself off the cold floor he was lying on, looked around, and realized he was in a holding cell at the Sheriff’s Department.
“You okay, bud?” a cellmate asked, noticing the bruises, black eye and abrasions on David’s face.
“I’ve had better days,” David responded as he slowly sat next to his cellmate.
His cellmate gave him a slight shove. “So, whatcha’ in for?”
The last thing David remembered was the tattoo. What did it say? Vivre Libre? “To tell the truth, I don’t remember getting arrested.”
“Damn! You must have been wasted! Or judging by your face, you really got the shit kicked out of you.”
Now David remembered. The woman. The legs. The tattoo. The diamond necklace.
David explained, “I tried to mug a woman coming out of a club and…” He saw the same woman walk by the cell. He recognized the tattoo on her ankle… and then glanced at the badge that she wore on a lanyard hanging from her neck. “Turns out she was a cop.”
David’s cellmate laughed at the risible turn of events, “Say what you want, dude. You got your ass kicked by a woman!”
Shark in banner: By Designer Candles used by permission via Canva.com one-time use license.
Pink limousine: By Dezidor (Own work (own photo)) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
Robert “Sharky” Pruneda is a native Texan, video game “enthusiast” [addict], and fan of all things horror. He left a career in the newspaper industry in 2011 to pursue the life of a nocturnal author, brainstorming new and creative ways to creep out his readers. He doesn’t only write horror though. He also pens the occasional family-oriented tale just to keep from going completely nuts with all those creatures of the night whispering in his ears. When he’s not pulling ideas out of his twisted brain, you’ll likely find him on social media or fighting alongside his fellow gaming buddies where they all get shot up into Swiss cheese (or turned into little bite-sized chunks because of “Sharky’s” obsession with explosives). Medic!
Pursue your dreams . . . and never look back.
Twitter: Follow @SharkbaitWrites