#MenageMonday Challenge – Week 43

Three prompts living under one challenge roof?

Welcome to #MenageMonday!

Week 43

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. The phrase prompt (and anything else in quotations) MUST be used exactly as given.
  • 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 10 P.M. Eastern Time.
  • Generally speaking, the winners 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 Guest Photographer for Week 43:

Jeff Tsuruoka | @JTsuruoka


Our Judge for Week 43:

Hey, folks. I’m Joe, and I’m a vampire – not by choice, mind you, but by accident…a fate-twisting, fang-creating, blood lust-inducing misunderstanding…

Joe Vampire 2 is in the works...
Read more about Joe on Amazon

Joe Vampire | @joevampireblog

It started with a group date, a case of mistaken identity and far too many sake bombers, and ended with a ridiculous set of circumstances that I just can’t seem to wrap my head around…

Challenge Time!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

The Photo:

The Phrase: “got a [ ] feeling” (include a descriptor of choice, and this can appear anywhere in the story)

 The Judge’s Prompt: It wasn’t the first time I’ve found one of those in there. WRITER’S CHOICE – Use exactly OR as the guiding theme for your story.


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


46 thoughts on “#MenageMonday Challenge – Week 43


    The house was unnaturally cold when I woke up, which even in this corner of southern Britain is unusual in July. I padded over to the window because I got a suspicious feeling that I knew what was going on. Looking out over the paddock to the land that Grampa gave away I swore under my breath.

    I’d seen one or two of them before, but there were dozens of the buggers.

    Once dressed I stumped downstairs, pulled on my wellies and marched over to the fence.

    “Oi! You buggers, get back in your plots! I won’t tell you again! Go on, back to sleep, NOW!”

    I wish that Granddad, in a fit of gratitude to our Yankee allies hadn’t allowed them to build a war-cemetery back in ’45 but he did, so there isn’t a lot I can do about it.

    I turned back.

    “I said NOW soldier!” I shouted to one who was still drifting around looking defiant. “I don’t give a hoot about the 4th of July – you’re not having a party, now scoot!”

    Being the village witch helps, but it’s still a responsibility keeping them in line.

    Word Count 195

  2. They walked for weeks, through wind and snow, and finally they made it to the small town on the outskirts of the forest.

    They’d only seen one deer on the way, but it had boils covering its body, and was foaming at the mouth.

    “Jesus,” the young soldier said, as they stared at all the new graves.

    “He’s probably the only one who can save us now,” another answered, his face an ashen color and his lips shut in a grim line.

    “I’ve got a sick feeling about all this,” a third chimed in, and opened the door of the utility shack.

    A body fell out, covered in boils with his face frozen in a twisted expression of pain.

    “What the hell is going on here, Sergeant?” the first asked and took a step towards him.

    The sergeant was looking at the body, his eyes filled with tears. The right side of his face had boils forming, and all he could see was food. Walking, talking food.

    He raised his gun and pointed it at the young corporal, all the others froze.

    “Leave this place,” he said, and swiftly turned the gun to his own temple and pulled the trigger.

    Word count: 200

  3. The moon was the color of blood, the sky was ashen gray, and the air was cold. It was the kind of cold that penetrates even the thickest of clothing, chilling a person deep into his bones, freezing him from the inside out. The Demon’s Night, Lex called it. A night like this wasn’t new to him. He had experienced one about eight hundred years ago.

    The demons weren’t new as well. Back then, during Lex’s first encounter with them, they were all clad in steel with longswords in their hands. Lex was a knight back then—a simple man who dedicated his life into serving the kingdom of Malta. A kingdom the demons had ravaged. Lex thought he was able to seal them away for good. He was wrong.

    The demons were wearing military gear, rifles in their hands in place of swords. Their eyes burned with hate. They hissed and spat curses.

    “I got a bad feeling you guys were back,” Lex stood up from the bench.

    The demons pointed their guns at him. Lex unsheathed his sword. He took a deep breath then whispered: “For Malta.”

    The demons screamed. The guns were fired. Lex charged.

    Word Count: 198


    We peeked over the hill.
    It was like a creepy X-Files episode.
    Men- with guns- ready to do something- but looked like a scene out of a history book.
    They were standing on conductive material- were they prepping to be sent into a battle in another time and place to shock the enemy into submission?
    Or did we slip in Time again?
    The storm last night and huge lightening strikes- that had to be it.

    Suddenly my partner exclaimed, “I gotta prickly feeling of a thousand spiders scurrying up my back to my neck! It’s freaking me out!”

    “Turn away- quick!!” I shouted.

    We heard a low rumble and a red light reflected in front of us, then dead silence. No birds, wind, or rustling.
    When we looked back- all the men were gone.
    Running back to the house, I grabbed a WWII book off the shelf, and flipped through the pictures- there was the scene we had just witnessed. It wasn’t the first time I’ve found one of those in there. Random new scenes from WWII, and the history of the war seemed to change with ever new picture I witnessed…

    Word Count: 192

  5. Ambush
    By Lisa McCourt Hollar

    “I’ve got a prickly feeling,” Joe said, reaching out and stopping me.

    “It’s called being horny. Adjust your dick so it doesn’t rub against your zipper and it will go away.”

    “Jeanie, I’m serious, something’s not right.”

    “What’s not right is that you insisted we leave Haven to look for other survivors and now, when we are almost to Fairview, you want to turn back.”

    “I didn’t say we should turn back, but would it hurt to show a little caution before marching straight into a town we know nothing about?”

    I sighed. He was right. We’d left Haven because the dead were beginning to organize. No longer the mindless creatures we had come to fear, they were cunning, building traps to capture survivors. Reports from neighboring camps all claimed the same thing; Walkers disguised as human. The war between the living and dead had taken a dangerous turn.

    Following Joe off the side of the road, we continued through the brush. Rounding the bend we discovered men dressed in army fatigue and holding guns blocking the road. Except they weren’t men… they were zombies and from the looks of it, they were waiting for us.

    “Look familiar,” Joe asked.

    Word Count: 200

  6. Operation Undead

    Sergeant Jake Abernathy was three days and a wake-up away from the States and the last thing he needed was a green replacement screwing up his last patrol.

    “Just stay close and keep your eyes peeled. I got a ‘hairs up on the back of my neck feelin’ and that’s never good.”

    The goggle-eyed private whispered, “I don’t get it, Sarge. These weird outfits and the padre flingin’ Holy Water everywhere and…and…seriously, Sarge? They got us huntin’ vampires! Who the hell believes in vampires?”

    “There’s plenty of weird stuff in these old villages, kid. HQ doesn’t send us out here for the fresh air and exercise. Now, pipe down.”

    Off to the left, they heard snarling and screams and then Kowalski cutting loose with the B.A.R. The unmistakable ripsaw of Tommy guns joined in seconds later. Before Abernathy could get there, the muffled crump of a grenade ended the whole affair nicely.

    The private was shaking and moaning as he helped hack the body to pieces. He looked to the old NCO for reassurance.

    Abernathy spat tobacco juice and grunted, “It wasn’t the first time I’ve found one of those in there, kid. Now, hurry up. Almost time for chow.”

    200 words @klingorengi

      1. Yeah, I see that now. I don’t always get to read them through, so I do a ‘find’ to make sure the phrase is there. Feeling and feelin’… didn’t work out in the find. Messaged the judge to let him know two entries were back in play.

        We’re going to need to revisit the definition of ‘exactly’ it seems, lol.

  7. “I’ve got a feeling!”

    Corporal Howard tensed under her slicker at the private’s singing. She turned to face him, rain drawing wet lines down her neck under her helmet. “Is there a reason you find that appropriate, Kent?”

    The plastic whispered beneath the pit-pat of falling rain, and Howard felt her squad’s unease. They’d lost people in Iran. Kent hadn’t.

    The flat, polished markers spread out around her as if poured from one central location.

    “Come on, Corporal. Gotta stay cheery.” Kent hummed a few more bars.

    “Corporal.” Lieutenant Armstrong broke formation. “This grave. It’s open.”

    “Looks imploded.”

    The ground sank into a depression, puddled with murky water.

    “There’s more of them.” Armstrong gestured. “Eight o’clock. In a straight line from here.”

    Howard’s throat tickled. She swallowed. Straight line.

    Kent still sang. Howard shook her head, turning back to Armstrong.

    A splash spun her around.


    A leg protruded from one of the collapsed graves. Kent’s boot, vanishing into the muck.

    “Go. Go now!” Howard barked.

    The lines of rain froze to her skin.

    She ran, the image of Kent’s boot in front of her eyes. Wasn’t the first time she’d found one of those in there.

    197 words

  8. Memorial Park

    “It wasn’t the first time I’ve found one of those in there.” Grandpa lit his pipe, preparing to tell us another one of his stories. We settled in eagerly, for we always loved Grandpa Joe’s tales.

    “It was a cold, stormy night and we weren’t expectin’ any trouble at the Memorial Park. Mitch and me had been playin’ poker for hours, just tryin’ to stay warm and dry in our little shack. We didn’t even bother tryin’ to talk, ‘cause it was too noisy. There came a lull after awhile and I heard somethin’ out in the park. I was afraid they were back, and I was right.”

    Grandpa paused for a moment, remembering.

    “We got up and peered out into the park, and we could see men standing around at every row of memorial plaques. They were pale, wearin’ odd looking slickers, helmets and carryin’ guns. A flash of lightenin’ lit up the sky, and I locked eyes with the one nearest us. Mitch says ‘Got a bad feeling about this Joe’. They all started moanin’ and that’s when I had my heart attack. “

    He paused again, smiling. “They’re not bad fellows, when you get to know ‘em.”

    200 words {without title}

  9. Rise of the Fourth Reich
    “They keep coming, Deborah!”
    “Hold your ground, Rick. We’ll send those bastards back to Hell where they came from.”
    Hell or a lab, semantics wasn’t really important. Some sycophantic skinhead found a way to raise Hitler as a vampire. I’d kill the idiot myself if I could, but he was the Fuhrer’s first meal.
    The pallid faced soldiers in their tattered SS uniforms swarmed toward us. Even with magic and silver bullets on our side, they were too much.
    “Alright Rick, fall back to your seven.”
    Rick glanced back. “Into a cemetery, are you nuts?”
    “Just trust me.” The statues loomed over the headstones in a solemn yet somehow heroic display of remembrance. Finally, good luck. It wasn’t the first time I’ve found one of those in here, but seeing them massed together could only mean one thing.
    “I’ve got a peaceful feeling about this Rick.”
    Are you crazy? We’re being changed by Nazi vampires into a graveyard of creepy looking statues. How can you be at peace?
    Because, my friend, those aren’t ordinary graves. Those are the graves of fallen Jewish soldiers. Those statues you’re afraid of are…” How long I had waited to say the word again “Golem.”
    200 Words

  10. We touched the beaches. Wanted a feel for what it was like for all those soldiers back then, how they must’ve felt when they turned up in their little boats at dawn and waited to be shot down on the sand. There was a hum in the air, like they were all around us. Afterwards, I was flicking through the pages of the atlas, deciding where to head to next, when a black and white photograph fell out. I felt the goose bumps; got an eerie feeling. Thing was, it wasn’t the first time I’d found one of those in there. I peered at the grainy image of the gravestones, looked at the name of the cemetery. It wasn’t on the map, but something told me I already knew where it was. It was growing dark by the time we made it along the old dirt track, and when we got there it was calm, still; until the trees started to whisper. We climbed out of the jeep and walked onto the hallowed ground. They rose to meet us. Dusty grey capes and guns in hands, faces filled with fear. Neither of us spoke. We didn’t have to.

    198 words

    1. You read my mind – that was exactly the feeling I had visiting war graves in Picardie – like they were all still there. Ended up sitting on the ground in the rain in floods of tears. Great writing

  11. The air over the memorial changed changed color, becoming a blizzard that quickly faded away. It left soldiers standing in the memorial. The lead soldier turned to one of the other soldiers, and sighed. The other responded, “Sorry sir. Wrong coordinates.”

    The lead soldier looked around. Saw us. Waved. “Hi, Joe. Who’s your friend.”

    “Tommy, my neighbor.” Joe shook hands with the soldier.

    “Got any soda, Joe?”

    “Yep. Coke. One can for each of ya.”

    The soldier looked at me, “Tommy, is it?” He smiled. “Nice to meet you. The corporal screwed up the coordinates again. We have to and report in and get the new coordinates. Takes about an hour.”

    We gave each soldier a Coke. When they were done drinking, they formed back into a group. The lead soldier handed a deck of cards to Joe. “See you around.” The blizzard reappeard. When if faded, the soldiers were gone.

    Joe held up the deck of cards. “Yep. It wasn’t the first time I’ve found one of those in there.” He laughed. “They’ll be back. The corporal always screws up the coordinates.” He laughed. “Maybe they’ll bring a deck for you next time?”

    199 words.

    HOST NOTE: Phrase prompt missing

  12. The Piper

    “Why’re we sittin’ here, Loot?” the young private whined. “I got a bad feelin’ about this place.”

    “Because we’re on guard,” I replied.

    “It’s rainin’. There’s water in my underbritches.”

    “Suck it up, soldier.”

    “Loot, something just crawled into my pocket!”

    I reached into my own pocket. My fingers closed around the cold brass casing of a “dum-dum” bullet. It wasn’t the first time I’ve found one of those in there. It meant that I knew exactly what was going on.

    “Nothing crawled in there, soldier,” I said calmly. “It was placed there.”

    The private looked up at me. “By who?”

    I pointed. “Them.”

    For the first time since I’d pulled duty with this little shit, he was speechless. A long line was walking past us. Soldiers. Soldiers in Army fatigues and ponchos against the rain, soldiers in khaki, soldiers in blue and grey and red. Young boys, some not more ‘n kids, and older men, old soldiers who had spent their lives in uniform. At the head of the line was a piper, playing a weird tune I could just hear.

    “Wh-what are they?” the private whispered.

    I watched the line, seeking a particular face. “They are the dead.”

    WC: 200 {without title}

  13. I felt the cold brass of the .30-06 Springfield round in my pocket. It wasn’t the first time I’d found one of those in there. My brothers were always hiding them in my gear, because I was always running out. I was, after all, the best shot in the troop.

    I traced the contours of the bullet as we trudged along through the rain and over a meticulously manicured graveyard. The flat headstones were identifiers of French royalty. The Germans had left the cemetery alone up until now, but we could see them approaching just fifty yards ahead.

    One of the enemy soldiers shouted, and Warner translated, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this, Lieutenant.” That was it? We were standing in plain view, and again they did not see us. The mystery continued.

    “Fire!” our captain screamed. I went through three clips and finally grabbed that lone bullet in my pocket and fired it right between the last German’s eyes. All twenty-two of the enemy soldiers were instantly extinguished.

    “Why don’t they ever fire back?” asked Potter, and suddenly I felt squeamish. Were we invisible? It had been this way for two weeks, ever since that Luftwaffe air raid.

    200 words

  14. I got a strange feeling when my parka filled with air. It wasn’t a good feeling either. We reverently scanned the cemetery. I heard the almost inaudible pop and froze. Lucky me, I found another trigger. It wasn’t the first time I’ve found one of those in there; I felt the others turn their eyes on me. We had no idea how long the booby-traps had been there or if they were still active. I had a choice to make.

    “Everyone back away,” I yelled behind me. “This plot is too dangerous.”

    I heard their murmurs and whispers rise then quiet behind me. I assumed they were away as I no longer heard their breath or the muffled tramping of their boots. It was now or never. I lifted my foot slowly, expecting a great explosion but there wasn’t one. I smiled—another dud.

    I faced my men, who had not retreated from the cemetery as I had ordered. Their parkas flapped gently in the breeze that ended the silence. My men stood still like statues. I approached one. His flesh was now marble and his eyes no longer saw me. The others were the same.

    196 Words

  15. “Crazy thing Sarge”, Dane started, breaking the eerie silence, “I don’t even know how a hermaphrodite is even possible?”

    “And that one, of the many things you don’t know, is why this particular graveyard.”

    Sarge did not bother to look back at him.

    “Yeah, and why is that Sarge?”

    “Sensitivity cannot be taught, it must be learned. We must stand guard over these brave fallen until you and your mocking buddies confront the reality of your homophobia.”

    Sarge continued to scan the perimeter, almost expectantly.

    “I’m not afraid of being around dead gay soldiers? But I got an uneasy feeling. There’s something precarious about this place. What’re we suppose to learn here?”

    “You’ll learn plenty, once the hirudineans come. This won’t be the first time I’ve found one of those in here. In fact, yours isn’t the first platoon I’ve brought to this place.”

    “What’s a hirudinean?”

    Unfortunately, the Sargent’s smile was not visible to Dane.

    “Some say two-headed worms, others call ‘em bloodsuckers. But, they’re really hermaphroditic vampires.”

    Several arrived, swift and thirsty, rushing past Sarge to their blood fest.

    Sarge walked away smiling, “Don’t ask, don’t tell, and don’t even speak of what you don’t know or understand.”

    200 Words


    Heading over the pass toward the old frontier puts you on winding roads through some of the world’s last wild places. I head out that way sometimes, when civilization starts getting me down. The land isn’t subtle out there. When skeletal trees rake the sky with funerary despair you can bet you’re near a place of death. Death doesn’t frighten me, usually I check it out. That’s how I wound up in that particular cemetery.

    It wasn’t the first time I’ve found one of those in there. The hills are full of them; so many battles were waged on that thirsty ground. This time I got a tight feeling in my stomach staring into the bronzed eyes of the monuments. Their likenesses were imprecise, if even attempted, but the effect was undeniable. It wasn’t like I’d gotten a very good look at them the first time. I still knew who they were.

    True immortals do not experience regret. They forget and forgive easily and that makes eternity comfortable. Creatures of hunger, such as myself, do not have those luxuries. I both remember and regret what I’ve done.

    187 words


    I nodded towards a statue. “I’ve got an eerie feeling we’re not alone.”

    Luxor scowled. “Damn huntsmen are encroaching on our territory.”

    I knelt, put my hand up into the bronze raincoat and pulled out a child.
    It wasn’t the first time I’d found one of those in there but this was the first living one.

    “Mmmm. Luncheon looks delicious,” Luxor said, fangs descending.

    “Stop licking your chops, Lux. He isn’t much of a meal. Besides, don’t I always say ‘live and let live.’”

    “No, Luna. You always say live and let die another day.”

    “Just think of it! He’s a mere appetizer right now but in a couple decades, he’ll be a gorgeous hunk of prime rib.”

    I put the child down but a scarlet rose blossomed on his forehead and he crumpled at my feet.

    “That’s why I hate humans,” Lux snarled. “They’ve no appreciation for life! The bastards missed your heart and struck his head. Another meal ruined!”

    “Patience, my savage. Luncheon shall be served shortly. Hot, juicy hunter haunches and a vintage ’52 cabernet sauvignon, pleasingly presented in fine boneware.”

    Lux nipped me. “Be quick. I’m going to work up quite an appetite burying the child.”

    200 words / @bullishink

  18. Title: So We Meet Again

    Val had told me the best time to view the monuments on the Mall was at night. Initially, I agreed, despite my misgivings about being around monuments after dark. The sunset over the Potomac was gorgeous and as the lights around the Mall lit up, I saw a completely different version of the nation’s treasures. It was breathtaking.

    As I walked past the Korean War Memorial, I got an eerie feeling I was being watched. This is why I hated being places like this. There were always lingering spirits, some at peace, others not, and they always seemed interested in me.

    I turned suddenly to my left, a fleeting shadow of something flickering on the periphery of my vision. With a sigh of resignation, I walked into the Korean Memorial so the spirits my presence had agitated could have their say.

    This is why I hated going to memorials. The spirits always found me. It wasn’t the first time I’ve found one of those in there, and I’m sure it wouldn’t be my last. There was never a dull day –or night– for a speaker of the dead.

    189 Words

  19. “The memorial was one of the few things bring tourists to the village. Some rich resident decided to throw some money at the town to make it seem like he was a good guy. ”

    “They’re creepy.” Jenna stared at the statues of the soldiers in their different poses. “I know it’s supposed to be in honor of those who have died but they’re – creepy. “

    “But all those names on the plaques.” Tom frowned. “One of which is my brother.”

    “I know, I know. I’m sorry. I can’t walk by it at night.”

    “They aren’t going to come alive. If they do, we have other issues.”

    “Would they want to actually take over. Things are sucky right now. Plus, I got a feeling that they are watching us. Judging us.”

    “Now who is being creepy.” Tom quirked a brow at her.

    She punched him in the arm. “There were times when they were in different posts. It wasn’t the first time I found one of those in there.” She pointed towards a closed family mausoleum. “There isn’t a way in there but I’ve swear they’re watching it.”

    “What? Like they are protecting us?”


    195 words

  20. “It Begins”

    “Stop! Do you see that?” The world just turned black and white.

    “See what?” Okay, so it was just me, “It’s not, you know, that again, is it?” I nodded. “Celia, you haven’t Seen anything in years! I thought it was over.”

    I sighed, “Me too. Now where’s the nearest statue?”

    “We’re in DC, there are statues everywhere.” He had a huff in his voice.

    “There.” I pointed at the Korean War Memorial and moved that direction. The statues which I just admired as beautiful and aching were now eerie and haunting in monochromatic starkness.

    “I’ve got a horrible feeling about this.” Corbin was whining now and he started pulling on my sleeve.

    “Then just stay here. I’m sure it’ll be quick. It always has been.”
    It always unnerved me when a statue uncoiled and started talking. No matter how many times I’ve seen it, I think it will always send a shiver down my back and butterflies in my stomach. It just wasn’t right. It was worse that I was the only one who saw it. Was I seriously messed up in the brain, or was this real somehow? I wished I knew.

    “Celia. It is time.” It began.

    200 Words

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