2nd crusader challenge: the goldfish bowl teetered…

The awesome Rachael Harrie, crusade organiser and Rach Writes blogger, has issued the second challenge for those of us participating in the authors’ platform-building crusade. The challenge is to:

Write a flash fiction story (in any format) in 100 words or less, excluding the title. Begin the story with the words, “The goldfish bowl teetered” These four words will be included in the word count.

Here’s my response. (Note: I have no idea where this came from.)

My turn

The goldfish bowl teetered in my boyfriend’s hands as he leant towards me, his eyes glassy.

‘Your turn.’ He winked.

Heart pounding, I took the bowl and stared down at the collection of keys, then glanced at the seedy, ogling collection of men lining the room. Suddenly, I could barely breathe. What the hell was I thinking when I agreed to this?

All I wanted to do was leave. But that wish would only be granted when I chose a key. And even then, I wouldn’t be leaving alone. One of those men would be coming with me.

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Filed under Competitions, Flash fiction, Writers Crusade, Writing

88 responses to “2nd crusader challenge: the goldfish bowl teetered…

  1. I remember ages ago there was a challenge kicking round to do a 35-word story. I thought it would be easy, then I decided it should have characters, and some semblance of a story, and maybe even some growth, and that wasnt so easy 🙂

    “I was determined to search the world until I found her, so it was quite fortuitous that she was in the first bar I tried. I took one look, and walked out. That was enough.”

  2. whooooot!!

    lol, that is so funny. *grin*

    well done,
    kudos a-plenty for originality and class. Well done!

    so – what happens next?


  3. Creepy. I only know what you’re refering to because of a Family Jewels episode. How do you know about Key Parties?

  4. Wow, nicely done and perfectly creepy. I never want my girls to have a boyfriend like hers. Jerk.

  5. Ooo..nicely done. Key parties remind me of that episode from That 70s Show.

  6. Very well done! She’s in a real predicament, that’s for sure (I kinda want to know how this turns out! LOL). Great job.

  7. Fantastic – I was totally with her (and kind of freaking out) when I read it!

  8. I love, love, LOVE this! Great job. You did this beautifully! One of my favorites so far!


  9. thingy

    Eew, I wonder if this really happened back in the day?

    Your poem made me feel icky, and that’s good.

  10. What a fantasic little surprize this story is! I think it’s the first I’ve read without an actual fish in the bowl and I love the originality of it.

  11. Yikes! Great take on the story. I certainly didn’t see that one coming–very clever! 🙂

  12. Holy smokes! That was a creative approach. I have led a sheltered life and not heard of key parties (although The Google filled me in). Yikes!

  13. Jennifer Elliott

    Creative! Never thought about a key party. Very very very interesting.

  14. Ew, CREEPY! I really wonder what will happen next.

  15. Ooh saucy! Great fun! :O)

  16. Regina Linton

    What a really great story for the challenge. Very daring and interesting storyline.

  17. Vicki Tremper

    Very nicely done! But, um, ew. I definitely felt for your MC.

  18. …If the keys are in the bowl, is anyone else worried about where the fish is? 🙂

  19. Eee, creepy nasty! I hope she ends up with a good guy and switches boyfriends!

  20. Oh very nice indeed- Who does she go home with…so many questions!

  21. Very creepy. What a lech!! I can’t imagine anything good coming out of that but I want to know what happens next! And why did she agree to go in the first place? Maybe she was hoping to pick up a better man? 😀 So many questions!

    Fantastic story!

    • Thanks, Anne-Mhairi. Maybe I’ll develop it into a short story and you’ll get your answers! 🙂

      But in the meantime, where do YOU think the story should go from here?

  22. Aaaah! Great story – an unusual take on the theme, and very original. Nicely written.

  23. I really hope she dumped his a**!! Lol! *shudders* Creepy guys:P Haha, good job! ☺

  24. alberta ross

    oh dear you all make me feel so old – yes they did happen – not everywhere of course like the swingin sixties most of us didn’t – but certain sets of people entertained themselves so, – good story

  25. Yikes. Don’t know if this is a nightmare or just uncomfortable, but I love the conflict.

  26. Ooh, what a perfectly eerie premise! Like a creepy round of Grown-ups’ Spin the Bottle. Great job with so few words!

  27. Great job! I have not idea what is coming, nor can I even hazard a guess but it piqued my interest. Great word choices.

  28. Pretty spicy! I don’t think I’d enjoy being in her spot much… just a key between her and the ugliest guy in the room!

  29. *ugh* What has she gotten herself into? What a great take on the starting line!

  30. Oh my GOSH, what??! I never saw THAT story coming from that prompt! Hahahaha, brilliant 🙂

  31. Mary Mary

    Oooo! Nothing like a key party to make for an interesting evening (and read!). It kind of reminds me of that scene from the movie ” The Ice Storm” with Kevin Kline and Joan Allen. Best of luck to you!

  32. Ooh. Horrible what happens when people get talked into doing something, isn’t it? Great entry!

  33. I wanna go to that party. Can I pull out two keys?

  34. Ooh, and where would they be going?? Nice way to leave us hanging…. Great job!

  35. Woo! A swinger’s party ~ 🙂 Very cool twist on the prompt. Your’s is the first fish bowl I’ve read about with no fish!

  36. Ahhh! The idea of key parties have always skeeved me out! But that’s probably because of the guys I’m friends with. Great job creating a whole story with the word count. I know it was really tough for all of us.

  37. Such a great twist to lose the goldfish – creepy flash. It really works. Well done.

  38. Joy

    I like the intrigue you’ve written so well.
    Of course, I want to know more!

  39. ali


    And I mean that in the nicest way possible! 😉

  40. Oooh – this is so realistic. And I love that it’s her boyfriend getting her to do this. I hate the glassy-eyed jerk already. Awesome!

  41. Wow, you really pulled us into the moment, and let us share the protagonist’s discomfort. A very different take on the four words. Great job!

  42. That is so original and awesome! ❤ it!

  43. Hello. I’m helping Rachael Harrie judge this contest. I’m posting to let you know that your entry has been shortlisted as one of the top 5 in the judging round. Great job!

  44. Follow-up post to let you know that your entry is in the final round. Rachael will be announcing the winner next week.

  45. Pingback: Thanks to Rach and her crusaders! | Cally Jackson Writes

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