#MenageMonday Challenge – Week 35

Three prompts living under one challenge roof?

Welcome to #MenageMonday!

Week 35


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.
  • Generally speaking, the winner will be revealed Tuesday evening, 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 35:

Bartender, reader, occasional writer, and full-time fiancé…


Joe Carey


Challenge Time!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

The Photo: 

The Phrase: “a family affair” (this can appear anywhere in the story)

The Judge’s Prompt: a fight to the death


And we’re off. The clock is ticking. Good writing and good luck!

26 thoughts on “#MenageMonday Challenge – Week 35

  1. The exit sign said, “Bloody Basin Rd”. Curious, I asked Jim, “How’d it get that name?”

    Jim shook his head. “Sad story, that.” And then he explained.

    It all happened on June 11th. 1957. At all 10 houses on the road. Back then, the road was named “Beautiful Affair”. The houses were beautiful, two story homes. Two car garages. Perfect lawns. Flower gardens blooming all year.

    On that day, at 3 AM, all 10 wives all got up, went to their kitchens, and got their kitchen basins. They hauled them to the bedrooms, and bashed their husbands on the heads. 3 of the husbands that woke up. They fought back. All 3 were fights to the death. The other 7 died on the first whack. Blood and brains everywhere.

    The wives all said the same thing. “The bastard got what he deserved. He was having an affair with my sister.” They renamed the road to “Bloody Basin Road”. Most people jokingly say, “It’s a family affair thing.”

    169 Words

  2. It was a fight to the death inside the car. Each word was a war. Each pointed silence was an attack. Finally, Lucy said, “Where can we drop the body?” Her voice was like gravel.

    Hunter debated whether to answer, but before he had a chance to decide, Lucy spoke again. “Jesus, just forget it. I’ll call The Nose. He’ll have a suggestion.”

    He batted away the phone in her hand, only swerving a little. “This is a family affair. Leave him out of it.”

    Her eyes knifed into him. “Touch me again, and I’ll kill you.”

    “Nice attitude. Isn’t that what got us into this mess to begin with?” Hunter said. His head jerked toward the windshield. “I vote for Bloody Basin Road. Poetic, no? And the exit’s right here.”

    Lucy slammed her back against the seat and crossed her arms over a thin chest.

    Hunter rolled his eyes and flicked on the turn signal. Not that there’d been another car on the road for miles. At the end of the turn-off, he guided the car to the shoulder and stared at Lucy. She heaved an aggravated sigh and glanced at the backseat.

    “This is your stop, grandpa.”

    199 words

  3. My steps were slow on the lonesome highway. No cars had passed me for a very long time. The heat was becoming unbearable rather quickly since the sun had risen. I could hear his steps faintly behind me, softly tapping on the asphalt as he moved steadily along. Mountains, appearing misty blue and cool, rose on the horizon, but I knew I wouldn’t reach them. Long before I could ever hope to walk on them, he would reach me, and it would be a fight to the death. I refused to go quietly. I had worked too hard and struggled too long to simply give up and let him take me.

    An exit appeared to my right. I laughed to myself at the name. Bloody Basin Road. How appropriate. Abruptly, I decided it was time to take my last stand. I turned and faced him just before the exit. He made his way methodically toward me and stopped. The dark eyes studied me for long moments, before his deep voice rumbled.

    “Why did you have to meddle in a family affair, that was none of your concern?”

    I stared at the Reaper and made no reply.

    196 Words

  4. “There it is! See? I told you!”

    “No way! You really didn’t make it up?” Brandon’s voice is full of awe, face pressed against the glass.

    “What is that?” Marissa nervously eyes the sign racing by.

    “Bloody Basin Road!” Mark cackles.

    “What happened there?” Marissa lip quivers, eyes widening.

    “It’s where annoying little sisters get dropped off when they act like babies.”

    “Boys.” The warning comes from the driver’s seat, low and ominous.

    “Fine!” Mark huffs, watching the exit fly past.

    Brandon grins. “What do you think really happened there?”

    “We got ya open, now ya floatin’,” Alicia’s head moves to the beat, earbuds firmly in her ears. “So you gots to dance for me.”

    “Alicia, do not sing that!” Sally barks over the racket of the boys’ stories and the beginning of Marissa’s tears. She turns to David for support, but he keeps his eyes on the road.

    “It’s Mary J. Blige, Mom. A Family Affair is a good song.”

    “I don’t care. Stop singing or you’ll lose your iPod for the rest of the trip.”

    “Who needs Bloody Basin Road?” David grumbles. “We’re about to have a fight to the death right here in the car.”

    198 words

  5. AAAAH! I have such a hard time with your security codes. So a few times ago, I had my twitter handle and word count in, but then I had to close out and re-paste to try again. So, now its not there. LOL! If you want to delete that comment, here’s my entry again:

    “Oh hell no. I’m not peeing anywhere on a road that has the word bloody in the title. No way.”

    “Oh Ava, relax! It’s just a name. What do you think could possibly happen?”

    “Ha. Famous last words from just about, like, every horror film ever. What’s next, Shell? You gonna tell me to run UP the stairs?”

    “Oh geez, you’re silly, you know that? I’m stopping. I have to pee too, and if we don’t find food soon it’s going to be a fight to the death over that last bag of M&M’s.”

    “Yeah,” Ava grumbles, “Like I really want to buy food from some toothless serial killer off of Bloody Basin Road.” A shiver runs down her spine.

    Michelle just rolls her eyes. “Look! A mini mart! See?”


    Toothless Joe behind the counter is just as Ava had pictured him. His crazy-eyed wife, however, she’s a bit unexpected. But their son? That little psychopath is the scariest one of all.

    One hand holds a melting ice cream bar, and the other holds a bloody knife. He gets those crazy eyes from his mom.

    “Effing super. It’s a family affair,” Ava whispers as the blade swings towards her.

    200 words exactly

  6. Tanya checked the gun, locking in a fresh clip of bullets before sliding it into the shoulder holster. Knives were slid into her steel toed boots as well as her waistband of the jeans she wore. A Kevlar vest was hidden underneath her jacket, despite the heat of the sun.

    “You don’t have to do this.” The low voice rumbled from the front and she glanced at the dark eyes staring back at her.

    Her partner tried to talk her out of this but there wasn’t anything that could be done. She was tired of the calls, the threats. “This is the way we settle things in my clan. It’s a family affair. And keep your eyes on the road. The exit is coming up.”

    There was a snort. “Bloody Basin Road? Can’t say I’m surprised.”

    She smirked, looking out over the hills. Her brother had issued the challenge and she was answering it. It was going to be a fight to the death. He would fight dirty. That was okay though, she would too. The snakes on her head hissed and curled around her shoulders, the diamond patterns flaring in response to her emotions.

    195 words

  7. “Where are you taking me?” Cassie Tucker eyed the exit sign to ‘Bloody Basin Rd’ with trepidation.

    Jack “Blood Hound” Pierce laughed as he slowed the jeep. “Bloody Basin is named for the color of the rocks when the sun hits them at sunset.”


    “Cheer up, Cas. This is supposed to be relaxing and fun. Arizona is great for camping this time of year.”

    “Where are we going, exactly?” They rumbled across a cattle guard and onto a dusty gravel road.

    “The campground is about four miles up this road in a little oasis. It’s one of the best places to camp. Not many folks know about it so it’s really private.”

    Cassie raised an eyebrow. “And you’re taking me there to be alone?”

    Jack’s jaw clenched. “We won’t be alone. I’m taking you to meet someone.”

    “So this is going to be a family affair?”

    “Not exactly.”

    As they bounced along the uneven road, Cassie wondered if this meeting would be more like an encounter between a Tarantual Hawk and the spider of the same name than a friendly campout. Would it be a fight to the death? She checked the side arm under her jacket and waited.

    200 #WIP500 words

  8. Raina pulled her car over to the opposite side of the highway and stared at the sign that read Bloody Basin Road. She took a deep breath and made her way to the trunk, retrieving her two Walther pistols. She holstered them, pulled Ravun-Dei, her birthright, the sword presented to her when she turned 10. With the sword firmly in hand she crossed the interstate and made her way down the slope of dirt and shrubs. When it leveled out, she could see him off in the distance. Her brother stood proud and tall, dressed in war attire from their world. The armor shined brightly in the sun. She approached him cautiously. Her brother was cunning and he was just as deadly as she was, if not more so. They stared at one another, both sharing the same green eyes, and the same grimace.

    “Nice to see you again, brother,” she started.

    He said nothing.

    Their mother appeared from nowhere, walking out of the air as if she had just walked from behind a veil. “A family affair…this shall be nice.” She held her hands up. “A throne hangs in the balance.” And then she lowered them. “To the death.”

    200 words

  9. I had totalled our van in the desert and needed to go for help. Leaving my wife and children in the van, I a stepped one foot down; a giant lizard like creature not unlike Godzilla, appeared beside me, out of nowhere.
    “Well are you going make me sing for my supper?” the creature asked.
    “Please spare our lives.” I pleaded
    “Did I ask you to come?” the creature asked.
    “Well the sign did.” I muttered.
    “Ooh you liked my sign? Bloody Basin Road it’s rather clever isn’t it? And you’ve made it a family affair how charming. I am Kobal patron demon of all comedians.”
    “We are all comedians. We are on our way to a gig in Vegas.” I lied
    “Are you? Damn again!”
    Kobol blinked his eyes and when I looked around we were all in Las Vegas.
    “So the Venetian, Mirage? Which hotel?” Kobol asked now appearing like man.
    “The Venetian.” I answered
    I managed to convince the management to let us go on and we pulled it off. Kobol conceded that we were comedians and he would spare us this time; but cautioned us never to go down Bloody Basin road again.
    197 words

  10. The desert rippled in the heat as we cruised up the interstate. Exit 250. I sighed, we were getting closer.

    “Come on, Peepaw, why don’t we go to the movies or the beach, or something? We don’t have to do this,” I implored as we passed another exit.

    The old man we kept upstairs cracked his neck and with a toothless grin ran his gnarly hand over his antique pistol, “Boy, this is a family affair. It’s time for old Capulet an’ me to settle things in Bloody Basin.”

    There was no getting out of it. Peepaw was going to have his good old fashioned fight to the death the same as last year and God knows how many years before that. Peepaw and old Capulet had both gone senile over the centuries. They didn’t remember their first duel in the New World, or dragging themselves to drink from the fountain which had made them immortal.

    Slamming the door behind me I wondered how Peepaw roped me into this. We trudged across the sand down into the basin. It looked like old Capulet had a driver today too.

    Hey, she’s actually kinda cute.

    193 words

  11. Killing Time
    By Wakefield Mahon
    We were driving up Interstate 17 and I asked Joe where we were going.
    “Killing time, man.”
    I shook my head. Joe has this laidback way about him. I noticed the exit for Bloody Basin Road a mile up ahead. “Didn’t they make a movie about that road?”
    “Yeah a bunch of yahoos desecrating the ancient burial ground.”
    “Do they get what’s coming to them?”
    “No clue. I never watch that horror movie crap.”
    “So, do you think people ever get ideas from movies like that?”
    Joe grimaced. “You’d think they’d be scared, but sometimes they just get drunk or high and have to show just how brave they are.”
    “We’re talking in the hypothetical right?”
    Joe drove turned off on the exit in chilling silence.
    We pulled up on a group of rowdy young men, obviously drunk out of their minds. Joe jumped out of the truck with grandfather’s tomahawk in hand.
    “Hey look here come the ghosts!”The loudest guy had just relieved himself on Gentle Bear’s grave.
    She was my grandmother. I guess that makes this a family affair, a fight to the death if necessary. I think I understand what Joe was saying now. “It’s killing time.”
    200 Words

  12. “Meet Hank, my Void”

    “You keep your little pet out of this,” Jakari hissed. “This is a family affair.”

    “But he is a part of my family,” Hectate purred, running her fingernails, all five spiky inches, through her human’s hair. “So, this is me declining your wish.”

    Her vicious husband’s lip curled. “So be it.” He drew his shoulders back and she knew what was coming. He had a tell for every spell. It was boring, really.

    When an explosion of wind hurled from his mouth, she called for the Bloody Basin Rd. exit sign behind her to block it, heels sliding into the dirt with the force. She dragged her feet free. “I loved those shoes,” she pouted, sign afloat as she pushed ahead, Hank the human behind her.

    She shoved the sign at her husband and clapped her hands above her head, a thunderous boom resulting. Water poured from the sky, turning the dirt to mud, the mud to a dark torrent that swam at her lover.

    He was drowning when she stopped the elements.

    “Don’t,” he sputtered, just as Hank stepped forward and touched him, absolving his magic. Ending his life.

    Because Hank was a special human: he was a Void.


  13. @lissajean7
    Word count: 178

    Stupid name. We’re coming up on the exit and if he sees the name he won’t buy the house. He has to see the house first. Maybe if I distract him, he won’t even notice the sign. “Beautiful mountain view.” I flick my turn signal.

    He grunts, “Bloody Basin? What’s the story on that?”

    Unfortunate. “Lots of stories.”

    “Which one’s true?”

    “I don’t know if any of them are.”

    He glares at me. “Try me.”

    “Cowboys, Indians, a fight to the death, that sort of thing.”

    “Anyone important?”

    “I’m sure they were to somebody.” Time to change the subject. “Do you have family? The schools-”

    “This isn’t a family affair. Just me.”

    “There’s a lot of square footage, are you looking to entertain?”

    “No. I don’t like people.”

    Right. “They just laid fiber last year, so you should be able to get fast internet. And the basement could easily be converted to a home theater.”

    “Bloody Basin sounds ominous.” He’s not even going to look at the house.

    “It’s just a name.” I wish they would change it.

  14. As I drove past the sign to the turn off, she started to struggle – her eyes growing wider as she saw it. She knew what this was about now – and so she should, he’d been my brother after all and that made it a family affair.

    I’d made myself clear when I went and fetched her; all glammed up she was, ready to go out for the night and do it again to some other poor unsuspecting arsehole. She’d tried that smile of hers on me, but I’d wiped it off; one punch and she went down.

    Now she was working her bound hands; her grunts leaking out through the duck tape. I’d give her a chance. I wanted to know how she’d done it; there’d been barely a drop of blood on the ground. It might mean risking a fight to the death, but I was prepared for that; I was twice the size of my brother.

    When we reached the basin the moon was up, shining like daylight. I stopped the car and ripped the duck tape off her mouth. But that was my first mistake and my last, as she sank her teeth into my throat.

    200 Words

  15. Victorious Sisterhood

    Veering onto Bloody Basin Road, Trina grinned at the delicious irony. Blood would be spilt today and the abandoned quarry would make a fitting basin.

    Beside her, Kat fidgeted. “You don’t HAVE to go through with this. We can get Thai food and watch re-runs of Grayson’s Pond, maybe?”

    “I didn’t spend half the night pounding nails into a baseball bat to back out now. This ends just one way.”

    “But…she’s your own sister! Can’t you work things out?”

    “No, we can’t. Look, she IS my sister which makes this a family matter. As my second, all you gotta do is make sure this stays a fair fight.”

    Pulling up, she caught sight of Tori stetching out. She wasn’t surprised she’d chosen that bitch, Jade, to back her up. Despite appearances otherwise, she’d always suspected the two had some sick lesbo thing going on.

    Hefting her bat, Trina got out. Kat grabbed her, sobbing, “This is ridiculous! You can’t fight a death match over some stupid dress!”

    “This was NOT ‘some stupid dress’, dammit. Nobody wears the exact same gown as me to prom and gets away with it, NOBODY! Well? Let’s go. You got me hungry for Thai now.”

    200 words @klingorengi

  16. Warning: rape

    Laying flat on her back, she studied the ceiling. Why had her parents died? Why did she have to move here and live with her uncle and cousins. Her view of the ceiling was blocked as another head appeared above her. He held her arms down although she hadn’t bothered to try fighting him. It would be a fight to the death, most likely her own.

    “Yeah, Janey, that’s it. Be a good girl,” the oldest of the boys taunted, further defiling her already torn and bloody body. A good name for this place, Bloody Basin. She was the basin for all their filth and it was only washed away with blood.

    “Hurry up, Thom. I want a turn. Fuck, I’m horny.”

    “Shut up, Brad. I’ll finish when I’m finished.”

    Jane closed her eyes and tried not to feel, not to think.

    “Don’t worry,” her uncle had told her when he was arranging the funeral as well as to move her in with him. “We’ll keep it small a family affair.”

    She hadn’t dreamed this was the family affair he had in mind.

    183 words

  17. It was originally billed as a family affair. Given my usual 92% acceptance rate, I projected a party of 67 and booked the Bloody Basin Inn and Conference Center accordingly. I even wrangled a DJ into the package. YES, with my own arms. Be nice.

    But then Galino called.

    “Swindler!” he hissed, pointed ears blazing orange. (No, picky reader, of course I couldn’t SEE him, but I know Galino. Rather, I know Galino’s ears. Shut up.)

    “At your service, Galino,” I said smoothly. MY ears are never anything but iridescent cornflower. Ask anyone. (Wait. Don’t.)

    Anyway, he’d counted—COUNTED!—and Petrov’s list, including 8 sets of parents, came to 43, whereas Galino only had his 24 brothers. I explained that Petrov’s party was mostly baby trolls barely old enough to burp, let alone pelt him with rocks, but to no avail.

    So began my nightmare.

    Galino insisted on adding his girlfriends (Fool. I made notes to poison their tea). Then Petrov added 12 bridgekeepers. And Galino 9 barcrushers. Petrov, 13 humans (revolting!).

    Event’s tomorrow, and I’ve no idea who’s coming.

    “To the death,” says the invitation.

    For the first time in my career, I almost hope it’ll be mine.


    200 stinking words

  18. “A fight to the death!” Robert shouted, leaping on his brother, his fist catching him under the chin and snapping his neck back. The four-armed mass crashed to the scrubby desert ground and the boys began to pummel each other.

    Randall grunted and rolled, but being smaller and lighter, couldn’t flip his brother off. He did, however, get his arm free enough to swing an elbow into Robert’s nose, and the blood bloomed bright, pouring down into his mouth.

    “Ha, first blood,” he cried, triumphant.

    “All right, boys, that’s enough,” their father said, pulling a red neckerchief out of the back pocket of his jeans and tossing it to Robert. “Get back in the car. We’ve got another two hours to drive.”

    “I’ll never understand you, Howard,” his wife said from the front seat as the menfolk piled back into the minivan. “Can’t you teach the boys to settle their differences in a peaceful manner instead of encouraging them to pound on each other?”

    “It’s a family affair,” Howard told her, putting the vehicle in gear and pulling back onto the highway.

    She looked at the exit sign and just shook her head.

    193 words

  19. Every year on the way to Grandma’s house we drive by Bloody Basin Rd. To pass the hour between here and our destination we make up stories on how it came by its name.

    This year my girlfriend’s with us. She knows all about it, but I still worry how she’ll handle our oddities.

    “Me first,” she says, shocking me.

    Her eyes twinkle. “Okay, so here goes. Two hikers went to the basin looking for water. They ran into a pack of wolves and just knew it would be a fight to the death. There they were, a standoff between man and beast, sweat rolling down their backs, and Big Harry pissing his pants. As they prepared for battle a loud rolling laughter came from behind them, they turned slowly to see who was there.

    ‘Surely you two city slickers ain’t fraid of my huskies. Damn, it’s a family affair out here! Me, my dogs, and this here keg.’ He pointed at Little Skinny, ‘get outta here an’ get yer friend some clean draws.’

    “Now, because the guy was so outdone by the ‘city slickers’ he renamed the basin to keep them out once and for all…True story.”

    198 words

  20. “Please tell me that is not the exit.” Micaela stared at the sign
    “Sure ‘nuf is.” Tex eased the pickup and horse trailer alongside the corral. “This rodeo been a family affair for as long as anyone can remember.”
    She had unlatched the trailer door when six muscled cowboys joined them. The apparent leader, walked passed Tex and stood before Micaela. He held his hand out.
    “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss. I hear you’re quite talented for a teenager. Shame this is a fight to the death.” He chuckled at what she guessed was a joke. The other men laughed, too.
    She took his hand. Images flashed before her eyes of wolves with bloody muzzles over human remains. “The pleasure is mine. Let’s talk later, after we’ve seen to the horses.”
    As the men walked away, she grabbed Tex by the arm. “He wasn’t joking. We have to leave now. ”
    “But we’ve come this far. And they are my brothers.” His eyes had changed.
    Hours later, an exhausted Micaela and her horse wandered into the local Reservation. A young man grabbed the reins and looked at her.
    He spoke three words “Bloody Basin Road”

    197 words

    A prequel scene for Micaela O’Brien

  21. Title: Blood Rites

    Foreboding filled Tony as he approached the turn off to the Agua Fria National Monument area Nothing good ever came out of being in such a desolate area. Sure there was some shrubbery and animal life, but people didn’t live here for a reason. They tended to die out here.

    Marco said it was a family affair. Of which, Tony could only imagine this was Marco’s way of thinking out of the box for a sit down. Tony’s Capo liked to be different. He still held to the rules of the family, but in his own unique way.

    Way out in the middle of no where Arizona, no one would hear anything … and any bodies left laying around would be picked over and desiccated before anyone was reported missing. Although, any smart person wouldn’t bother doing a missing person’s report. They would’ve known it was a fight to the death.

    151 Words

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