#MenageMonday Challenge – Week Eight


Three prompts living under one challenge roof?

Welcome to #MenageMonday!

Week Eight

Rules Recap

  • This is a Flash Fiction challenge. Your story must be a minimum of 100 words, maximum of 200 words.
  • Incorporate each of the three prompts into your story.
  • Post your story into the comments of this post.
  • Include your word count (or be excluded from judging).
  • Please include your Twitter handle or email.
  • The contest opens at 7 A.M. and closes at 8 P.M. Eastern Time.
  • The winner will be revealed Tuesday morning, huzzah!

So what do you get for all your time and effort, you ask? Badges, of course. (What, you thought this was a funded operation?) #MenageMonday awards THREE (squeeee!) badges each week:

  • There is the undisputed CHAMP. Rather self explanatory.
  • There is the JUDGE’S PET, for best use of the Judge’s prompt.
  • Last but not least, the JUDGE gets a badge, because Judges need love, too.


Our Judge for Week Eight:

Reviewer, flash fictioneer, and all around awesomesauce…


Maureen Hovermale (blog)

When Maureen isn’t testing the improbability that she makes a better door than a window, she has been known to coauthor a few books, the latest being Paradox, The Curious Life and Mysterious Death of Mr. Joseph Wheeler, the first crowd-sourced novel on the planet and perhaps the longest title she’s ever seen. She is currently a NaNoWriMo participant and occasionally dusts off the finishing touches of her new series Rogue, The Aleiva Trilogy.


Challenge Time!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

The Photo:

The Phrase: “say what you want” (blame it on the Seether CD next to me when I was contemplating this prompt)

The Judge’s Prompt: “risible” (use the exact word)


Adjective: Such as to provoke laughter: “a risible scene of lovemaking in a tent.”


Don’t forget we’re back to normal rules this week. Max entry is 200 words. DON’T FORGET YOUR WORD COUNT!!

The clock is ticking. Good writing and good luck!


24 thoughts on “#MenageMonday Challenge – Week Eight

  1. “Say what you want about the shoes, I don’t really care. They look great, and I saved a fortune on them.” She fluttered her eyes at him as she drew in another deep breath from her cigarette and exhaled a slow stream of smoke from her ruby lips.

    He shook his head and sighed as he looked at his wallet. It was open in his hands as a single dollar bill hung from the top of the seam. “I understand your need to do shopping and all, but I can’t afford your habits anymore.”

    She took another drag and sighed as her shoulders slumped. She laughed to herself as the smoke poured from her nose, as though she were a dragon waiting for her hero to stop yapping. “You are far too risible when it comes to money. You need to relax and understand that women need their fix.”

    He sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. “If you’re going to fix anything, you need to fix our budget. I hope you like black and gold heels; it’s the only thing we’ll be able to eat for a week.”

    190 Words

  2. She was dressed conservatively for work, and waiting for the bus. Her dress flowed and flirted with her calves, hugging her body in all the right ways. Her hair was swept up, with a few loose tendrils curling up to frame her face.

    Normally he would dismiss a woman who looked like her, they were a dime a dozen on the bustling streets of Chicago, but when she crossed her legs, he noticed her tattoo.

    He vaguely remembered some Spanish from high school, and he was pretty sure that Vive Libre meant live free, or something along those lines. Intriguing…

    She glanced up from her paper and noticed the man to the left of her. He was tall and lean with dark brown hair was curling around his neck. He was dressed for running and she could hear the strains of music coming from his earbuds.

    He was staring at her legs.

    She followed his gaze and saw that, more specifically, he was staring at her tattoo.

    He must have sensed her looking at him, because his eyes flickered up, and the look on his face was risible.

    He realized he was busted and grinned sheepishly; she returned his grin.

  3. She sat in the cramped examination room, anxious and excited. She was making changes in her life. Changes for the better. Too many years of living hard, running wild, call it whatever you like. She was reformed now, active in her church, making a positive difference in the lives of others. She’d lost twenty-five pounds.

    All she needed now was some minor cosmetic surgery—some Botox in her forehead and laser removal of the awful tattoo she’d gotten when she was eighteen.

    The dermatologist entered, greeted her, and bent down to look at her tattoo. He was cute, and she smiled as he turned her leg to examine the embarrassing ink on her flesh.

    “Say what you want about the tattoo, Doctor. I was young and dumb. That’s why I’m here. I’ve grown up.”

    She was hoping to have a risible reaction from the good-looking young man, but instead he simply frowned.

    “Ma’am. We can address the tattoo in due time, but I’m more concerned with this blotch here on your ankle. I don’t know quite how to say this other than that this discoloration here appears to be Stage II melanoma.”

    192 words

  4. “Say what you want, Gray,” I said as I pulled the Jeep into the church parking lot. “But this woman saved my teenaged punk hide. If anyone can help me now, it’s Pastor Sophia.”

    “You as a punk,” he grinned. “Risible idea.”

    “Yeah, I’m a laugh a minute. Wait here, okay?”

    I climbed out and headed for the courtyard. Sophia loved sunny afternoons, so I knew I’d find her there, bible in hand.

    The black and white floral of her skirt spread over the marble bench. Trickling waterfalls of red marred the fabric. Tracing the lines upward with my eyes, I stopped myself.

    No. Don’t look.

    “Sophia?” I whispered.

    I dropped my gaze, staring at the black patent pumps with faux wood heels, my breath coming hard and fast. Crossed at the ankles, her feet looked genteel. Feminine. The milk chocolate color of her skin still looked warm. If I didn’t look up I could keep the screaming inside me leashed.

    Just don’t look, Kelly.

    The tattoo on her ankle caught my attention and a helpless sound escaped me.

    Vivre Libre. Born Free.

    I looked up.

    No eyes. Oh God, they tore out her eyes.

    The scream broke free. “Gray!”

    200 words

    *Edited because I had a total brain meltdown and forgot the judge’s prompt. Clearly, I’m not as awake as I believed. 😉

  5. Live Free
    by Lisa McCourt Hollar

    Bethany always was a pain in the ass. The fact that she was my sister sure as hell didn’t make my life any easier.

    The zombies trying to turn us into steak tartare didn’t help either. Bethany, being blond and brainless was a natural attraction to them. I think they sensed a kinship with her.

    You ever watch a horror movie and see some dumb bitch running from the axe wielding murderer, all while wearing 3 inch heels? That’s Bethany. Only she would pull out a tube of lipstick and smear it on her lips whilst running, all so she would look perfect for Prince Charming when he rescued her.

    Turns out Prince Charming doesn’t exist…at least not for Bethany. I always told her those pumps would do her in. We were running from one of the undead hoard that’s been popping up all over Manhattan. Bethany twisted her ankle in some gore, left behind by one of the recently not so deceased. Fell and hit her head on the cement. Her feet, hanging over the side of the curb showed her tattoo as I ran by. Vivre Libre…live free.

    Say what you want, but that is risible.

    Word Count: 200

  6. The woman was beautiful, the kind of beautiful that takes your breath away, until you looked at her not so dainty ankles and feet. Say what you want the woman had big feet and a size twelve wasn’t small. Maybe a simple guy like me Robert Bates would be interesting to her? Practicing a few lines in my head I gathered the courage to speak to such a goddess

    “Hello” I said tentatively.

    “Oh hello “She answered in a not unlike Marilyn Monroe whom she resembled

    I struggled to string two words together and just sputtered.

    “I’m Lola.” She continued despite my sputtering.

    I smiled in what I thought was a flirtatious smile.

    She blushed smiling back and began talking to me. I’d finally met a woman who was easy to talk to.

    “Hey Robert did you wait long?” asked my friend Andrew “Oh did you meet my brother Paul? He has a job as Lola at Showgirls.”

    This was risible I’d thought I’d found the perfect woman and she was a man. But when she smiled at me again my heart turned over. Love knew no bounds, maybe I’d been looking in the wrong places until now.

    198 words

  7. “Say what you want Doctor, this woman is not fit to be a mother.”

    “You cannot do this, who authorized you to sterilize that child?”

    “Relax, we are authorized by the state of North Carolina Eugenics board, we have a very thorough process where we review a patient’s history, medical and school records and we only do this in cases where truly irresponsible and simple people would burden our welfare system with multiple bastard children.”

    “What is your evidence this woman is unfit to be a mother?”

    “Look at that tattoo on her ankle.”

    “That is risible, as an excuse.”

    “Heavens no, she has a history of poor grades, below average moral behavior according to her principal.”

    “You mean the Principal who brought her in for the procedure? The one who she was kicking and screaming and claimed was the father of her baby?”

    “She is a hysterical child, whose birth mother was of low moral character, Principal Anderson and his wife took this child in and provided her a good Christian home. Despite his and Mrs. Anderson’s repeated attempts to help this child, she obviously has taken liberty with her virtue, and now the state has intervened.”

    198 words

  8. “What have you got?” The security chief asked.

    “Polynesian female, age mid-forties, Name: Angela deHoft,” the tech reported. “ID says she’s a member of the press corps. No indication of ordinance or weapons. Distinguishing characteristics: Slight discoloration on one leg shows she used to have some kind of tatoo. Cause of death: electric shock from defense perimeter.”

    The med-tech held the data pad out to the Chief. “Not sure what she was doing down here to set off the defensive perimeter, say what you want, but it got her dead.”

    The Southern Cross was the latest low Earth orbit habitat to go online and was considered the crown jewel of the Global Economic Union. Since the G40 Summit was on board, the station was on high alert. The reaction from the political fringe of Earth was risible but deadly.

    Angela deHoft tickled the chief’s thoughts.

    “Apply some color filters to that discolored area and see if you get anything.” He watched as the tech went to work. After only a few seconds an image like a photo negative appeared.

    Vivre Libre.

    Realization sizzled the Chief’s brain.

    Anagram. Angel of Death.

    As he hailed the bridge, men around him began choking.

    200 Words

  9. “Diana” sat at a little wrought iron table, tapping away at her laptop. Evening sunshine burnished the ornate buildings around the square, suffusing the café in shadow. She was grateful for the cut in heat.

    “Your target is Consuela Aragon, daughter of the Spanish Ambassador,” she typed, knowing her voice would sound smooth, elegant and faintly British to the assassin on the other end. “The client wants her death to be embarrassing to the ambassador as a message to curb his vices. The client wishes for the body to be found in a public place and had some suggestions: a disco, strip club, or brothel. Can you comply?”

    She raised her coffee cup to her lips, savoring the lightly sweetened libation as it rolled over her tongue. Say what you want about the Italians, they made a damn good cuppa. She tucked one patent leather heeled foot behind the other under her chair as the words “I can comply” appeared on her screen. She typed, “Confirmed. Transmitting data”, then closed the laptop.

    “Hello, Diana. I’ve missed you.”

    The visage before her wasn’t risible. “Hello, 47. I trust you’ve been well?”

    Her bald companion smiled and sat, adjusting his red tie.

    200 words

  10. I crossed my legs at the ankles, tucking them as close to the booth as possible. The tattoo would still be visible to my contact.

    “S’cuse me.” The man next to me leaned awkwardly across the divide between our tables. “That hurt much?”

    He pointed at my fading ink, Live Freely in Latin. It wasn’t the exact question my contact was supposed to use, but when I looked up, he winked smoothly. I nodded and smiled.

    “Say what you want about tattoos,” I said, holding his eyes as I recited the planned response. “They mark you forever.”

    I held out my hand and he took it, looking puzzled.

    “So, it hurt there? Or … it was ok?”

    I held his sweaty palm, my expression falling in the face of his guileless question. How could I have been so stupid? This wasn’t my contact, just a nosy seat mate.

    I looked around frantically and caught sight of an attractively dressed man, my contact, diverting from his course toward my table. He adjusted his hat and looked back at me ironically, shaking his head at this risible situation. I’d have to find another way to meet him, away from this gregarious stranger.

    200 words

  11. Luke came upon the dead woman in the morning. His dog looked up at him, expectantly, but he stayed the wolf breed with a look.

    Luke stepped closer and could tell the woman had been dead less than 24 hours. His mind tried to work itself around this fact, but was having a hard time. She shouldn’t be here! The dog whimpered behind him.

    The tattoo on her right ankle and risible high heels should have invoked a different response from him, but “Vivre Libre'” only brought visions of horror to his mind. She was one of them.

    Say what you want, but there was no denying the phrase was what drove the apocalypse. The portal cracking open had mocked their cries.

    Luke knelt and prodded her calf. Stiff. He signaled the dog as he pulled his knife and began slicing at her thigh. The dog tore at her flesh with undeniable hunger, growling at him though he knew he was in no danger.

    He hadn’t expected her here. He thought he was alone. The last one. He had been wrong.

    Luke gagged as he took the first bite. His hunger was a religion. She, a blessing.

    197 words

  12. I awoke to the visage of a bare leg extended from below my sheets. The tattoo on her ankle said “Vivre Libre”. Judging by last night, “Live Free” was more than a motto or a bumper sticker. “You know I don’t even know your name. I swear I’ve never in my left met a woman more easily arousable.”

    “Arousable isn’t a word you know. “ The ankle withdrew and I felt her lips on my toe. Slowly she snaked her way up my leg stopping to pay special attention to her favorite new toy.

    As much as I enjoyed the night before I couldn’t stay long. “I’ve got to get to work pretty soon,”

    “I know, “she growled her voice still husky with sleep. “I just wanted to see if the little man was still riseable.”

    “That’s not a word either.”

    She slid all the way up to kiss me and I finally noticed the stubble on her cheek and looked to see her Adam’s apple. Say what you want but a tequila hangover is seldom risible. In fact, I wish it were erasable.

    184 Words

  13. How does one live in the dull gray world we inherited. Live, that’s risible. One big joke, only everyone forgot to laugh.

    I’m looking out the window over the city drowned in gray. Pulling my legs up next to me, for warmth. My hand covers the small tattoo. Vivre Libre, maybe it meant born free, or live free, I didn’t know, they didn’t teach me any foreign languages in that dreary finishing school. Now it was simply a brand. An ironic reminder that no matter where I went, I would never be free.

    He walks out of the bedroom wearing nothing, it seems like his usual state. I kick off my black pumps, their pseudo-wooden soles clattering across the floor. Maybe he didn’t notice.

    “Now, Sussane… What did I tell you about putting your shoes on the furniture?” He smiled, but I retreated, curling into an even tighter ball.

    “Not… Not to do it.” I choke out.

    He slides an almost gentle hand over my shoulders. “Say what you will, our arrangement is only to your benefit, Sussane. But you know you have to follow the rules. I can’t be held responsible if you get punished.”

    Yes you can.

    200 words.

    Sorry my entry isn’t very risible, I’ve been in a strange mood lately.

  14. David woke up with a throbbing headache. He lifted himself off the cold floor he was laying 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.

    “So, whatcha’ in for?” The cellmate asked with a slight shove.

    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…” Then he saw the woman walk by the cell. He saw the tattoo on her ankle… and the badge that she wore on a lanyard hanging from her neck. “Turns out she was a cop.”

    David’s cell mate laughed at the risible turn of events, “Say what you want, dude. You got your ass kicked by a woman!”

    200 words

  15. Prompt: Soft Shoe

    “Say what you want about the shoes, but my husband certainly likes them,” Marianne said as she showed off her patent leather heels.

    “Oh, my John likes the shoes too,” Leilana agreed. “However, what he likes about the shoes is a bit disconcerting.”

    Marianne arched an eyebrow. “Do tell.”

    “Hmm, how do I say this?” Leilana hesitated before continuing. “He likes to … wear them.”

    “No!” The expression of shock on Marianne’s face was practically risible.

    “Yes!” Leilana assured. “He goes nuts for them. I’ve been married to the man for over ten years and never knew he had such a shoe fetish!” She took a sip of her mojito as she gathered her thoughts. “You know those red platforms I bought last month that I just couldn’t want to wear out?”

    Marianne nodded.

    “He stole them! I never even got a chance to wear them before he had them all stretched out! The worst part is that he … he … masturbated on them! They’re ruined!”

    Marianne choked on her sip of her drink. “Seriously?”

    “Yes! I’m so embarrassed, shocked … gah, I don’t know what to feel, except I need a shoe locker with a strong lock.”

    199 Words

  16. You can say what you want, but Tara loved Josh no matter what. He could do nothing to cause her to stop loving him and believe me he’s tried. Was she a fool? Maybe, but when it comes to love…I rest my case.

    They sat on the short concrete wall drinking lattes. People walked by blindly to their strife. Sharon curled her ankles together; the heel of her patent leather pumps clicked the ground with her agitation. Now they sat in hard silence, because she dared speak the truth about him.

    Maybe Sharon should not have confessed to sleeping with him. However, she felt her sister should know the truth. Still Tara would blame her and not Josh for the affair–if you want to call it that, more like a roll in the backs-eat of his car–and be back in his arms by dinner time.

    Tara rubbed the back of her calf, doing a peepshow of her Vivre Libre tattoo. She could not believe what a slut her sister was, sleeping with Josh. She knew he was hot. Where is the sisterly loyalty? The unwritten law of not touching the other’s man. Then blaming him, come on, really?

    200 words


  17. He Was Nobody: The Hunt

    He was nobody. He was an unremarkable man worthy of little notice. He did not exist for all intents and purposes. Tonight, say what you want, that was decidedly to his advantage. Camoflague was an essential element of success when hunting.

    He wore his charcoal suit. It was his most stylish, yet least memorable. He drank sparingly and obscurely. He tipped acceptably but not lavishly. He sat and drank and waited for HER. She would be young, vapid and hopelessly self-absorbed. She would crave affirmation to feed her ego. She would be a nobody who dreamed of being somebody. Tonight he would grant her wish.

    It was two hours before she approached him. His nonchalance ensnared her. She could not tolerate being snubbed. Knowing this would be so, he reeled her in until she was helpless to resist leaving with him. Her pride demanded it.

    He dumped her lifeless body out the back of his van and onto the sidewalk…her legs dangling off. He found the irony of her tattoo risible. Vive Libre…Live Free. She may have lived free but she died securely bound and screaming. Tonight she was nobody, but tomorrow she would be somebody…The Butcher’s tenth victim.

    199 words @klingorengi

  18. “Say what you want, Bud, but there are no visible signs of struggle here.”

    “What’s that, Al? There were no RISIBLE signs of struggle?” Bud had his ever-present notebook and golf pencil in his hands, scribbling away to get down every word Al was saying.

    “VIS-ible, Bud. I said VISible. As in ‘there are no visible signs of struggle.’”

    “Well, of COURSE there is no risible signs of struggle, Al. Murder is no laughing matter.”

    Al sighed and pushed his hat back, feeling like he was in the middle of a comedy routine. He’d had about enough of this geeky tagalong grunt.

    “Of course it’s not a laughing matter, Bud. I was just…never mind. There are no visible–V-I-S-I-B-L-E signs of struggle.”

    Bud studiously jotted the spelling down. “So what does this mean, Al?”

    Al stepped back and surveyed the scene before him. “MAYBE whoever did this knew our vic.”

    Dorian stepped back from the window to look at her sister. “I think these kids watch too much Castle and Law and Order. “

    Rachel took a sip out of her giant wineglass. “Hey. They got off easy. At least THEY weren’t named after soap vixens.”

    Dorian sighed, picking her up own glass. “At least there’s science involved.”

    Samantha Jane
    208 words

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