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Drabble Lab Round Seven: Frenzy

Hello Drabble-writers! This week’s theme is late because I was sitting in front of a microscope all morning. And we got a lot of entries right after I picked a winner; I’ll be picking something during the day on Wednesday so to be safe write yours by Tuesday night! But I think the two week schedule will work swimmingly from here on out.

And oh my goodness, there were a lot of good drabbles this round!

This one by shadoe89 made me cry, and very nearly won:

“I miss him, too. I miss him so much.”
She cried.
“If I could be beside you two today I would, but I can’t watch that. I can’t be a part of it. I have to do what I believe is right.”

“Thank you.”

“I love you too, Mom.”
She hung up the phone and went to the bathroom. She dried her face and clipped her brother’s favorite necklace on, squeezing the Saturn pendant tightly. Then Emily grabbed her keys and walked to the front door, picking up her sign with ‘Death Penalty’ crossed out as she left.

This one, by scurvygirl, is just oh-so-adorable:

When Simone saw the red pen marks covering the page, she was certain she had been handed the wrong test. But no, her name was on top of the paper, in her handwriting. A lump rose in her throat as she realized her mistake. She hadn’t used her school issued textbook for the answers; she had referenced her father’s bedtime stories about dinosaurs and carbon dating. And those were not just stories. After all, he taught big kids at the college about evolutionary biology. She cleared her throat, stood up on her desk and shouted, “This test is a lie!”

I loved the pacing in this one, by Brian G:

I gaze into the middle distance – my eyes on the target. Stealth is the key here. I tamp down my fear. After all, my enemy can’t see me from this angle… can they? Slow steps. Quiet steps. Closer. Everything will be over before they ever notice. Even closer. Push down the fear. I raise my weapon to my shoulder. Another step. Just one more.
My enemy shifts – I react.
Direct hit.
I breathe a sigh of relief, walk to the kitchen and throw the rolled up newspaper in the trash – six legs twitching as the lid slams shut.

And this round’s winner is Coelecanth, for a story which (it turns out) was inspired by truth:

The old detective stood back as the beat cop took my statement.

“….and you hit him in the *arm*? “

The implication of his emphasis was clear: why didn’t you hit him in the head?

I refrained from saying that even if it had occurred to me I probably wouldn’t have done it. The money wasn’t mine.

Later the detective laid an avuncular arm over my shoulders and asked: “Have you ever been stabbed?”


“You don’t want to be!”, giving me a little shake. “You think about that next time.”

Why did they both assume I had time to think?

The illustration, by Brian!
The illustration, by Brian!

The theme for this week is frenzy.

Elizabeth Finn

Elizabeth is a geneticist working for a shady government agency and therefore obliged to inform you that all of the views presented in her posts are her own, and not official statements in any capacity. In her free time, she is an aerialist, a dancer, a clothing designer, and an author. You can find her on tumblr at, on twitter at @lysine_rich, and also on facebook or google+.

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  1. I love the picture Brian, thanks!

    My first thought was “Noice!”
    My second was: “He didn’t have a hat.”
    And my third was: “He should have had a hat. Fuck it, I don’t remember what he was wearing so that’s how I’m going to remember him.” 🙂

    It still feels a little like cheating to write something so close to actual events. Not very creative. Mind you, if the theme is ever “Terrorism” or “Cats” I have another story about that same detective that I’ll attempt to squash down into 100 words.

  2. Stop, just stop, deep breaths and go through it.

    Food and water for a couple of days.
    Radio and batteries.
    Phone chargers.
    Change of clothes. “Huh.” She packed my wedding tie, nice.
    Wool blankets. We are so fucked if we have to hide under those. Don’t think about it.
    Box of documents. Passports? Yes.
    “Dammit!” The photos! Where are they?

    In those frenzied fifteen minutes of packing the cancerous orange glow from the burning forest had spread to cover half the sky.

    Fuck it, it can all burn.

    “Honey! Get Em in the car, we’re out of time…”

  3. @coelecanth: I’m glad you like it! All detectives should have a hat like that. At all times.
    And I disagree with your assessment that your story was not creative. Turning an event
    from your life into a piece of prose (and one that is extremely constrained) is quite creative.
    It’s all in the execution, not the source.

  4. Forgetting that other cars would be a factor in his ability to navigate a day of interviews, Jason had slept late. It was easy to forget how the daytime world worked when you were used to a leisurely third shift schedule. On third shift there was work to be done, and you did it; slow and steady to get through the night. Now he sat in his car, looking left and right, back and forth, and cursing his luck and foolish planning as his brain churned on all the mistakes but his car sat still in the rush hour traffic.

  5. The meat was running away from us. It would soon tire and we would devour exhausted, defeated meat. We would gobble it down to bones. And we knew it would not last. But there would be other planets, other feasts. In the midst of the feeding, we couldn’t stop to plan the next event. We weren’t planners; we were doers. We paused in a disgruntled ball of buzzing anger as the meat disappeared into a stone box. We could sense its false sense of security. We buzzed louder, flew inside the hidden gap, the meat surrounded by stone and us.

  6. Squirming tadpoles, darting to shadows. Tiny minnows, flashing their sides. Crayfish, shooting backwards, away. A tiny water snake, slipping from her sunning perch, taking refuge among the reeds.

    The arrival of the summer campers always set off a rush of motion in the creek, of animals fleeing perceived predators. For that, I always felt a bit sad. But the motion of the animals was nothing compared to the motion of the kids’ brains, as the creek’s inhabitants found places in their neurons, the crayfish settling in among dendrites, the minnows darting through axons, the snake sunning herself between their ears.

  7. I have chosen a winner! The results + illustration will be posted next week; if you have a drabble in the interim feel free to put it up here and I’ll probably share some of them in the post, but you won’t win an illustration.

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