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Winner of Flash Fiction Contest #5

9×11 Twitterflash

By C. Jai. Ferry

In Challenge 5 of the Carrot Ranch Rodeo, writers were tasked with writing a complete 99-word story using Twitter. Of course, we couldn’t make it that simple. Every #Twitterflash story also had to be 11 sentences with exactly 9 words each. We included a ridiculously long set of rules, but everyone #rosetothechallenge and the results were amazing. In fact, the judges’ scoring sheets all had multiple sets of high-scoring ties. So without further ado…

Winner: D. Avery @daveryshiftn

On his fourth birthday his dad went to prison.

Shortly before his eighth birthday his dad was paroled.

His mom and dad partied together until she od’d.

The man called dad left her, left him, again.

He searched the house in vain for hidden presents.

He found needles, empty bottles and some uneaten oreos.

He ate in silence, imagining that she only slept.

Twisting each oreo apart, licking the filling, he knew.

This wasn’t birthday cake and his mom wasn’t asleep.

On TV, 911 calls bring action, help, and noise.

He would call but after the oreos were gone.

Our #Twitterguru judge Mardra Sikora (@MardraSikora) summed up this Twitterflash quite succinctly:

“This story rang innocent, true, and cynical all at once. Like many good flash stories, the emotions twisted and revealed in a quick, short space.”

Judges’ Picks

Wallace Peach @Dwallacepeach

A mermaid’s sequined tail lures me to the sea

Gulls shrill a warning, I’m headed to a drowning

Lulled by a sirens song, footprints forsake the sand

Wash away my castles when love sings me home

She is my nixie, nymph of an airless death

Bare toes sink, swallowed by the sea’s lapping tongue

Fingers caress my ankles, beckoning me farther from shore

Entangled am I in floating whorls of unbound hair

Her silver arms are the surge embracing my surrender

A life forlorn abandoned for her wild blue beauty

Yielding to the tides, breathless in my seamaid’s kiss

Judge Lisa Kovanda (@lisa_kovanda) explained:

“This story made use of lyrical sentences and commas to create poetic lines that have rhythm. This use of poetic pacing made each line tweetworthy. If I read one tweet out of the middle, I would be intrigued to read more. Overall, it has a wild beauty, even though the overall tone is dark, which made for a nice juxtaposition.”

Murder, My Tweet by Bill Engleson @billmelaterplea

As the night choked me, my bowels cut loose.

Taking the case, trusting the blonde, was a mistake.

I made a baker’s dozen of mistakes back then.

My cheating husband owns Dolly’s Delicious Do-Nuts, she said.

Every little hole-in-the-wall tramp has been licking his icing.

So, I said, you want a photograph incriminating him?

She says, screw incriminating, I want to incinerate him.

I followed him 24/7 though a thousand do-nut joints.

Every franchise told a story of cholesterol and infidelity.

My pathetic yearning for sweet, greasy fat overwhelmed me.

I lost my soul going down the donut hole.

According to Mardra Sikora (@MardraSikora):

“I loved the title and it captured a balance of twisted humor, which is particularly difficult in flash. As tweetable lines go, this one particularly amused me: ‘Every little hole-in-the-wall tramp has been licking his icing.’ #Clever”

Michael @AfterwardsBlog

Is anyone else seeing what I’m seeing out there?

If this is how things end I’m getting drunk!

Apparently they come in peace, but my mate Jed’s disappeared!

How drunk am I because I think Im #insideaspaceship

I’ve managed to evade them, is anyone reading this?

Ive found Jed, watching him from an air vent.

Sweet Jesus, they seem to be probing him now!

How the dickens did they fit that in there!?!?.

I think the bloody things are laughing you know.

Oh bloody hell they’ve spotted me, PLEASE SEND HELP!

The visitors are our friends and come in peace.

C. Jai Ferry (@CJaiFerry) commented:

“#PickALineAnyLine! If I had seen any of these lines on Twitter, I would have immediately clicked to read more. Each line is a story in itself, and I had to read faster and faster to see how it all worked out.”

Thanks for coming out to play with us and congratulations to everyone for embracing the challenge and writing superb #Twitterflash stories (seriously, the scores were #superclose).


Congratulations to all the writers who entered! You dared to stretch your writing and braved the first Rodeo at Carrot Ranch. Each participant has earned the following badge, which you may copy and post on your blog, social media or print out and frame. It’s a badge of honor. And now you can say, you have had your first rodeo! You wrote well. And you braved twitter!

We want to share all the contest entries in a collection. We’ll be contacting each of our contestants and challengers to seek interest and permission to publish a digital collection in January. Writers retain all copyrights to their work.

We’d appreciate your feedback! We want to make this an annual event that is fun, engaging and supportive of literary art. Please take a few minutes for a brief 5 question survey. Thank you!

My First Flash Fiction Rodeo Carrot Ranch @Charli_Mills


  1. Charli Mills says:

    A huge round of applause for everyone involved on this one! It was no easy feat to take to the platform of Twitter to host or enter a literary contest. Many of you weren’t even on Twitter prior to this Rodeo. I know it stretched me in many ways, and that’s always good for growth. Congratulations to all who caught the judges attention. They said it was a close contest with high scores.

  2. […] via Winner of Flash Fiction Contest #5 […]

  3. Congratulations D.Avery – Wow. In fact I am in awe of all those featured here. They are all great examples of what elements a twitterflash should have. Thank you to the leader and judges for the hard task of judging and also for taking me, at least, outside my comfort zone.

  4. Reblogged this on Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist) and commented:
    So this is how twitterflashes are done. Congratulations D.Avery, a well deserved win.

  5. The first story is astonishing.

  6. Reena Saxena says:

    Congratulations to all winners!

  7. Annecdotist says:

    What a fabulous collection, but the winner took my breath away. Congratulations all.

  8. Juliet Nubel says:

    Well done all! Fabulous winning story. Great runners up. Bravo 👏

  9. Congrats to Dave and the judge’s favorites. Great stories. This was a unique and delightful challenge. <3

  10. […] To read D. Avery’s winning Twitterflash, click here: Carrot Ranch […]

  11. Liz H says:

    Congratulations to D. Avery and runners up!

    Fascinating to see how the platform/structural demands for Twitter and this task resulted in work that fit as tight and satisfyingly as a set of Russian dolls. Awestruck!!

  12. Congratulations to all the winners, this was a difficult challenge, but they all made it look so easy 🙂

  13. […] via Winner of Flash Fiction Contest #5 […]

  14. denmaniacs4 says:

    Whew…well done D. Avery…We can only hope the Donald takes up twitter flash. What stories he could tell…

  15. This one was definitely new to me. These winning entries make it look SO much easier! LOL Congratulations to D. Avery and to all the rest!

  16. floridaborne says:

    D. Avery’s piece drew me in like no other. Excellent choice!

  17. “Hey Kid, ya ever twitter flashed?”
    “Kinda personal Pal, askin’ if’n I ever flashed my twitters.”
    “No, Kid, ya ever tweeted?”
    “Ever’one tweets, Pal, but some of us try’n be discreet about it.”
    “No, Kid, I mean like all that hashtag business.”
    “What’re ya sayin’, Pal? Did ya slip a tweet an’ acciden’ly leave a hashtag? No wunder ya sit tall in the saddle.”
    “Jeez Kid. I mean Twitter, ya know that so-shall media thing that folks ‘r doin’. An’ now some a the hands been writin’ flash on it, even D. Avery. Where she at?”
    “She-at, she’s dumbfounded.”
    “Hey, Kid, be nice. Anyhow, I don’t find her soo dumb.”
    “Pal, she’s jist not sure what ta say ‘bout all this.”
    “Well ya’d think she’d thank the judges fer their great idea fer a contest and fer their time an’ all sortin’ through all them fine entries.”
    “Yeah, ya’d think she’d thank ‘em, an’ take her hat off ta ever’one that tooted.”
    “Tweeted, Kid, tweeted.”
    “Right. #thanks ever’one. Yer very tweet.”

  18. […] Apparently this piece was chosen as the winner in the FFR Twitterflash Fiction Contest. See the other winners at Carrot Ranch. […]

  19. I love all these twitter flashes, so wish I could have had a go just to give it a shot if not for embroiled in a house move. Fantastic winners, many congratluations to all and especially D Avery for her winning entry which blew me away… and thanks C Jai for a wonderfully intriguing and creative contest, particulary for this barley-knows-how-to-use-twitterer!

  20. Some great little stories here, Charli. Congratulations to the winners.

  21. Oh my goodness! These were so good! Diana’s was haunting and beautiful but the other stories were stark and hit you right in the gut! Congratulations to the winner and honorable mentions. I am so impressed. <3

  22. Norah says:

    Reblogged this on Norah Colvin and commented:
    Congratulations to everyone who entered Contest #5 Twitter Flash Fiction, but huge congratulations to D. Avery winner! What a challenge! Check out her entry and others over at the Carrot Ranch.

  23. Norah says:

    Congratulations D. Avery, D. Wallace Peach, Bill Engleson and Michael. What fantastic stories – and a new genre to learn. Well done! 🙂

  24. Congratulations, D! Nice one! And congrats to all the winners here (and everyone who entered). A lot of writers stepped out of their comfort zone for this one. Well done, all.

  25. I thought this was a particularly hard contest, so congratulations to everyone that entered it. I had great fun with it and loved the idea. Well done to all the winners and everyone that had a go.

  26. […] Winner of Flash Fiction Contest #5 […]

  27. […] Rodeo #5: TwitterFlash (Winning Tweets by D. Avery) […]

  28. […] Rodeo #5: TwitterFlash (Winning Tweets by D. Avery) […]

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