Flash Jab Fiction is written by fans of pulp and speculative fiction. It is a no pay, no fee, writing-for-the-sake-of-writing type of gig. The stories are usually tough and raw and come from some of the bloodiest knuckles of the hardest punching crime fiction writers around today.

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Sunday, October 12, 2014


photo courtesy of Catherine Bertrand

I asked.
You wrote.
Now read.


~ by Absolutely*Kate

Came a time one night light flickered faster than sleet. White light. Easy to tell Good Guys from Bad Guys light. So I thought. So she thought.
We thought wrong. It’s a pisser when illumination screws with shadow-vision. Illusions? They’re more cracked up to be what they flicker to be. But when light beams its pompous prevail? Bloody hell. Get outta there!
Good thing we did. Why I’m tellin’ this tale. Vern Volt was an electrician with a spark to grind. Rumour was he crossed currents in 2-B so roomers were not to be. We pulled the plug on him.

~by John Clark

“Boy I could use some of that polar whatsit crap, but there's no way in hell I'll score any. Not a chance. Serves me right for hanging with a bunch of stoners all day. Knew it was a dumb idea. After the first hit, I kinda lost sight of the time. The gang blew town before this freezing crap hit. Can't blame them. Temperature's gotta be close to freezing and that damn wind is gonna knock me on my ass.”
Sadly not a soul was watching as sleet knocked the dazed Luna Moth from the lamp post and into oblivion.

~by Lance Zarimba

The light glowed from his apartment window.  She could see it from across the street.
She knew he was home. The night's mist chilled her, and she pulled the trench coat tighter.
He told her she was his only one.
His silhouette filled the window, and then there were two. They embraced and kissed.
“My Mother is coming to visit. I can't see you tonight.”
Your Mother, my ass.
She headed to the front door of his building.
He would see her tonight.
Her hand clenched around the handle of the knife in her pocket.
He would see her now!

~by Kaye George

He was drawn to the lone streetlamp like a moth to a flame. Most of the street lay in inky darkness. The rain had soaked through his hoodie and his jeans.

He turned his head to the windows overhead, the only ones that were lighted. The small head in the corner of the left one disappeared. Then reappeared.

The whiskey had addled his brain, or maybe it was the crack. He knocked on the door to see if she would let him in. Then he remembered. He had strangled her. How could she be looking out the window at him?

~by Carole Sojka

Crossing the square, I kept my head down, the sleet slashing me viciously. When I got near the house, lighted by the street lamp, something attracted my attention.   
A woman, dressed in black, leaned out of the open window on the third floor. If she jumped or fell, I knew she would die.
“Help me,” I heard. Then something dragged her back from the window.  I ran to the door and rang the bell. No response.
“Help,” I heard again, and something hurtled through the air and crashed at my feet. It was the body of the woman in black.

– by Lucy Cameron

They said standing under the lamppost was a mistake, I’d be seen.
They missed the point.
I smile at his peeking shadow. The sleet dissolves on my skin. His brain whirls, racks through the past, searches for a younger version of my face.
From his slumber I’ll whisper, ‘Shhhh, don’t make a sound. You know you love it really.’
My nails will scratch his cheek, my breath burn his face. I’ll revel at my reflection in his black eyes as he did to me all those years ago. As he finished. And plunged in the knife. Not quite deep enough.

- by Al P

Harry, barely five years old, fled from his mum's flat when she fetched the switch yet again. After a  breathless run in a pelting rain, he stopped and saw a blinding street lamp outside an apartment building. Squinting, he saw a huge helmeted English Bobbie standing watch. Harry thought the corner unit looked empty even though a light shone through it's window. But it was the next unit which confused him. That apartment showed a shadow sitting by the window. Harry couldn't decide if the shadow posed a threat or not. He was soaking wet. He stood there shivering, wishing he had brought a jacket and an umbrella.

About the Authors

Absolute Kate is just--- well--- absolute energy. Frantic comes to mind and that’s a bit of okay, okay?

John Clark is a librarian with an extensive mental health background. He lives in the 'other Maine', the one tourists never see, or avoid like the plague. When not writing or running a library, he reads, gardens and sells stuff for way too much money online.

Lance Zarimba lives in a haunted house that the man who invented Old Dutch potato chips built.  He wrote, Vacation Therapy, and three children's books: Oh No, Our Best Friend is a Zombie, Oh No, Our Best Friend is a Vampire, and Oh No, My Brother is Frankenstein’s Monster, and has over 100 short stories in print.

Kaye George, national bestselling and multiple-award-winning mystery writer, writes several series: Imogene Duckworthy, Cressa Carraway (Barking Rain Press), People of the Wind (Untreed Reads), and, as Janet Cantrell, Fat Cat (Berkley Prime Crime cozies). Her short stories appear in anthologies and magazines as well as her own collection, A Patchwork of Stories. Her reviews run in Suspense Magazine. She lives in Knoxville, TN.

Carole Sojka was a law office administrator before she started writing mysteries, the first of which is now available on Amazon.

Lucy Cameron lives in Scotland, enjoys writing, red wine and cheese - in any order. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


photo courtesy of Catherine Bertrand


1) Pieces must be 100 words exactly (not including title) and are to be based on the above picture.
2) Submit it to me at jacktheauthor@gmail.com by 11:59:59 pm October 15.
3) Selected drabbles will appear here

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Summer Drabbles 2014

Below are the responses to Flash Jabs summer Drabble challenge. A drabble is a story that is exactly 100 words (not including the title.) Each drabble was based on the same photograph.


Birthday Afternoon Dilemma

Colin’s shadow mirrored his movement as he passed the decaying wall.
It reminded him of another, seven hundred miles away. His cousin and best friend's
names were etched in its shiny black granite. What was it about walls anyhow?
Did they keep you in or keep the world out?
He shrugged; it was too complicated for him to figure out. 
This was his daughter's birthday and if he was late, Norma would squeeze him for extra support as usual.

No way did he want to disappoint a three year old. He waved goodbye to his shadow and hurried on.

-John Clark

Senior Games

We sat on the porch of Harmony House rocking, and drinking iced tea. Bertram
pointed to a shadow on the wall across the street and said, "Like clouds,
you can see different things in shadows.

 "Let's try the shadow behind that man at the bus stop."

I said okay; the others thought it was silly.

Bertram said. "It's a man carrying a box with an arrow through his neck."

Before I could go the man fell over and I could see someone had shot an
arrow through his neck.

"Good guess," Bertram said, backing into the home with a bow.

-Paul Beckman

Hot Summer Nights

I had a wife named Maria.  Our red sedan entered the intersection on green.  Robert Green was drunk.  His blue pickup entered the intersection on red.  Maria died that hot summer night.  Robert Green went to prison.  I went to a different kind of prison.  Robert Green educated himself.  I intoxicated myself.  Robert Green was paroled and found a wife named Sarah.  I had a wife named Maria.  On a hot summer night, Robert Green left his window unlocked.  The shades were drawn and my silhouette materialized among the shadows of branches.  Now Robert Green has no wife named Sarah.

- Morgan Boyd


Raymond Brown's friends had disappeared and he was walking alone now with his head down, dragging his heavy sack behind him. Raising his eyes, he peered at a sudden gigantic shadow which stretched across the street and climbed half-way up the back of a house. How menacing that dark figure looked. He grabbed his phone and snapped a picture. Checking the photo, a big smile spread across his face. How menacing that dark figure looked. Wait until everybody saw all his candy, and the awesome shadow which made his Batman costume look ten feet tall. This was going to be the best Halloween ever!   

-Al Parrot

The Colour of Shadows 
The boy wonders what it would be like if shadows had colour. Would angry shadows be red? Happy shadows yellow? Would a shadow cast in spring be fresh and green? He forgets himself for a moment and smiles.
His father’s shadow looms up the wall, crisper in sunlight. The boy does not need to see the restraints to know they are there. 
‘Come out come out wherever you are, I can see you.’ Father’s voice echoes off the brickwork. The boy’s smile dries, sticks his upper lip to his teeth.

If shadows had colour his father’s would still be black. 

-Lucy Cameron

Monday, May 5, 2014



Summer is almost here?
All that time on your hands.
What to do? What to do...
How about writing a Drabble?

The rules for the challenge are simple:
 1)100 words exactly (not including title)
2) Use this picture as the inspiration for you piece
3) Submit to me at jacktheauthor@gmail.com before 11:59:59 pm on June 1
4) There's no money involved. 
5) Drabbles chosen will be posted on or around June 2
6) You keep all rights and allow me to post your piece for the world to read.
7) If you later find another market, I will remove your story

Friday, February 28, 2014

February Drabbles

I asked. You answered. Here the responses to the first Drabble challenge of 2014. The 100 word stories were based on a photo from my friend, Sarah Bevan.

Read. Enjoy. Leave some support in the comments.

(c) 2014 Sarah Bevan

Lot’s wife turned to salt when she looked back on Sodom. Once, Ellie thought the farm was Sodom, or some other unimaginable place where all that was good and just fell to evil men. John was the devil encased in overalls and farmer charm. Blood streaked overalls; the neighbors thought chicken or pig, never wife, scarred beneath the dress.

Two angels descended last night with ski-masks, their swords pump action. They didn’t come to rescue her, but the rescue of Lot’s wife wasn’t the point. They told her not to look back.

She looked back. She didn’t turn to salt.

-Liam McSweeny
Liam Sweeny is an author and disaster relief volunteer from Upstate NY.

 Jennifer prayed this was the right farm.  They all looked alike. Three hours of walking already and more hours to return home.  She had to see Frank, but didn't realize his farm was so distant. She was hungry and already getting tired. Her feet ached. The trip was more arduous and colder than expected, and she was wearing thin flats, a long dress and light sweater. Drawing closer, she recognized Frank's battered pickup truck. Striding to the farm house and removing her sweater to show him his unborn daughter, Jennifer removed her gun from her shoulder bag and rang the bell.

-Al Parrot
Al Parrott is a retired phys. ed. teacher whose first goal is to have a short story published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

From a distance, the farm looked perfect. Waving grass glittered in the sunlight. She watched a meadowlark take flight, a silhouette against the sky. The beat of its wings matched the beat of her racing heart. She followed its flight until it reached the trees. “Freedom,” she whispered. That was what she wanted. The wind carried the smell of cows and manure to her nostrils. She looked down to the milking barn and saw her mother and father slogging buckets through the mud. “No turning back,” she said, “I’ve got to go now.” And she turned back toward her car.

-Jennifer Beatty
Jennifer Beatty lives in the mountains of North Carolina with her husband and three kids.

Halfway down the hill she took her shoes off. The hurt in her heart made the blisters pale in comparison. She sat on a weather-beaten log and stared down at the farm, not really seeing anything. She was too busy reliving their last conversation. It had been so brief, confusing and unexpected she wondered whether she'd been hallucinating. 1500 miles lay between this terrible pain and home where she could hide until the ache faded to numbness. Getting here had seemed so full of anticipation, but now, she was faced with reality. The magic was gone, and so was he.

-John Clark
John R. Clark is a Maine librarian, book reviewer and author of YA fiction and short crime stories.

Belinda paused to stare at the distant farm buildings, a refuge she hoped. The ad requested a nanny to take care of three young children. His wife a victim of cancer, he couldn’t run the farm and raise the kids alone.

The sounds of laughter put a smile on Belinda’s face. The smell of dormant fields and the bleats of sheep greeted her from afar. It seemed the perfect place to hide, to escape her own father. She inhaled a deep breath, let it out, and continued toward her new home, the gun in her purse adding to her confidence.

-Jim  Harrington
Jim is a father who never required the services of a nanny—thank goodness. Read more of his stories at http://jpharrington.blogspot.com/

She’d been working on her G.E.D. in prison before they let her out. It was
just a way to pass the time. That’s how she’d learned about Zeno’s
Paradox, though, the one that said you could never get to your destination
because how could you cross the infinitude of points that came before it?
Later mathematicians came up with their own solutions to the problem. But
as she finally crossed that last short distance to the house where she’d
killed her stepfather (though pleading self-defense), Janna hoped that
somehow the old Greek philosopher had been right about it all along.

­­-Seana Graham
Seana Graham lives in Santa Cruz, California, where she writes blogs,

book reviews and, just occasionally, a short story or two.

"Looking Forward"
by John Weagly

She dyed her hair the color of wheat before she returned to the farm.
The homestead looked so small from the hill, smaller than when she'd disappeared.
Would they remember her?  Was five years too long?  Did they think she was dead?  The golden hair might help, they'd called her their "golden-haired girl" when they looked at photos from when she was born.
She hadn't understood them, and they couldn't comprehend her.  At that chaotic teenage time it's a common tale.  Running away to the city had seemed the only release.

Now returning home seemed the only salvation.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Drabble Challenge #1


The rules for the challenge are simple:
 1)100 words exactly
2) Use this picture as the inspiration for you piece
3) Submit to me at jacktheauthor@gmail.com before 11:59:59 pm on February 28.

There's no money involved. Stories chosen will be posted here.