#MenageMonday Challenge – Week 49

It’s the countdown to the end of…

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Three prompts living under one challenge roof?

Welcome to #MenageMonday!

Week 49

*NOTE* – PLEASE READ THE RULES – If you miss a prompt, your entry will be disqualified.


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 Judge for Week 49: Me

I spent some quality time with the fam this week and didn’t line up a judge, so you’re stuck with me. Le sigh. I know.


Challenge Time!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

The Photo:

The Phrase: “what can [ ] do” (this can appear anywhere in the story)

The Judge’s Prompt: theme – about last night…


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

23 thoughts on “#MenageMonday Challenge – Week 49


    I shift quietly so I don’t wake the hairy giant asleep next to me. I got what I wanted last night and now I just need to slip away without being noticed.

    “No, wait!” I think. “He’ll remember! What can I do? When he remembers he’ll come after me and…” The thought makes me shiver.

    Poor Ivar, he was a big lump of muscle-bound putty in my hands when I started paying court to him and pretended to be getting shit-faced on that Viking ale. He didn’t stand a chance. He’d have told me anything I wanted to hear. Well, he did actually. He gave me the recipe that my dad, the brewer, would kill for.

    Kill for? Good idea. One look tells me that Ivar’s stonking great battle axe is propped up by the door. Shame, really but needs must.

    One blow cleaves his head in two and I creep out, the list of ingredients clutched in my hand.

    We’ll call it something in his honour, poor Ivar. How about “Skull Splitter”?

    Word Count 177

  2. Slowly, Cara opened her eyes. Looking over, she smiled.

    When she has seen him first, he had just returned from Broch beach, all windswept, one arm around her friend Roger and swinging a camera with the other. She immediately noticed him because of the Viking costume he was wearing, filling the tiny pub with his laugh and height.

    She had served them their beer in the darkest corner and their eyes had met for just a second too long. His dimples had made her want to reach out and stroke over his soft lips.

    When he had come to the bar to order another, his tongue was loose and his eyes fiery. ‘What can I do to make you wear this?’ he had asked, nodding to his costume. She had poked her tongue out just that naughty little bit.

    He had waited for her, whispering naughty words into her ear next to the pub entrance, capturing her mouth with his. In the end, it had turned out that getting her into the costume was not important to him after all.
    She could see it on the floor now.

    Drawing closer, she softly stroked the stubble of her very own Viking.

    200 words

  3. When I found the body with three fresh swords sticking out of it, what was I going to do? I mean, it’s not like there was any shortage of suspects in this part of town.

    I was on patrol last night, same as always. Loop down around the industrial district, keep an eye out for looters, skulkers, the occasional trick. Nothing much. Horseback gives you a lot better sense of the atmosphere of the place at night; you can hear, and smell, and even taste the mood of the town. Spilled beer, spilled blood, broken windows – you’d be amazed what you can sense when you’re not rolling around in a box.

    So, there I was, fresh victim, no leads.

    And then the reggae kicked in.

    “Bad dwarves, bad dwarves, whatcha gonna do?
    Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?”


  4. About Last Night…

    My head was pounding when I awakened. I groaned, rolling over in bed, to find myself face to face with a snoring…what was that thing? What the hell had I done last night? I tried to rise, but found that the room didn’t want to stay still. Glancing over at the nightstand, I noticed a dark green bottle sitting on it. Warily I picked it up, and my eyes widened at the label. Dwarven ale? ‘Skull Splitter’? By the gods, I know better than to drink when I’m on duty.

    Dimly I remembered asking for a glass of water last night, and then everything was blank. I looked back at my sleeping companion, and realized with a jolt that I knew who he was. The shape-shifter I’d been sent to kill. Stealthily, I rolled out of bed and onto the floor. My head screamed at me, but I ignored it for now. Grabbing the silver sword that leaned against the wall, I moved quickly, raising it to plunge it into his heart. His eyes opened.

    “Is that any way to greet your husband, darling?”

    I saw the band on my left hand and swore. What can I do about this?!

    200 words

  5. My head was splitting. Long blonde hair was in my face, and my hair was brown. Lying beside me his eyes wide open was a real life Viking his helmet on the table beside the bed. Why did I drink Skull Splitter ale last night?
    “About last night lass…” the Scottish brogue started.
    “Don’t fret; you made a mistake now you want to leave.” I filled in.
    “Nae Aimil.”
    “Where did you come from? A Viking Scot?”
    “Dinnae you mind th’ bottle? You saved me frae the bottle.”
    “Are you telling me you were a Scottish Viking genie in a bottle? Preposterous.”
    “Is it lass? What kin ah do tae make ye believe me?”
    “Can you make me rich with someone who I can love and will love me forever?”
    “Ah did that last nicht.” He said showing me a wedding ring on his finger and one on my mine then kissed me so passionately I could feel it down to my toes .
    I was in a nightmare or was it a dream come true. Surely I had one more wish?
    “I wish you’d never leave me.”
    Spending endless days and nights with my genie, life is magical.
    200 words

  6. Skull Splitter. That’s what last night’s beer had been called and it seemed an apt title. Blinking his eyes open, Jimmy Hannover wondered what the hell had been in that beer anyway. The last thing he remembered was finishing his drink, then heading out to meet his savoir.

    “You up?”

    Frowning, Jimmy wondered if his plan had worked. If he was dead and he did get into the afterlife, God sounded kind of irritated. Turning his head slowly, he squinted as the sun came in a window, regarding a tall figure by his bed, dressed in black. Maybe the Reaper had come for him after all.

    “What can I do?” the Reaper asked. “Water?”

    Nodding, he accepted a few sips of ice cold water. It did nothing for his confusion.

    “I’m Jacoby. You nearly died of an overdose.”

    A flood of memories came back and Jimmy closed his mouth. He didn’t trust anyone.

    “I should’ve died last night.”

    “Well, you didn’t. And ‘last night’ was six and a half weeks ago.”

    “I’m supposed to be dead. Let me die.”

    “Sorry, kid, can’t do that.”

    His soul, it seemed, could not rest. And that made him angry.

    196 words

  7. “You okay?”

    Meredith lowers herself onto the cheap velour hotel blanket. Her thighs ache with the unfamiliar sensation of overuse, her skin tender and raw. She begins to brush the hair off Rick’s forehead, but snaps her hand away when he lurches to the side.

    “They weren’t kidding when they called that shit Skull Splitter.” He searches clumsily for his glasses on the nightstand, knocking over several empty bottles of cheap ale. “My head is killing me.”

    “What can I do?”

    “You got any aspirin?”

    She nods and stands, retrieving her purse from the dresser.

    “Listen, about what I said last night…” Rick trails off. She doesn’t need him to repeat the words. She hasn’t stopped hearing them since he kissed them into her flesh.

    I love you. Leave him. Be with me.

    “I didn’t really mean it.”

    Meredith can’t meet his eyes when she hands him the little while pills.

    “Let’s get this place cleaned up,” she says. “We have to check out by eleven.”

    She turns away, hoping Rick doesn’t see the tears that slip down her face as she gathers the lonely bottles and dumps them in the trash.

    192 words

  8. “Chuck, explain this.”

    “I knew you’d call. Which part?”

    “Start with what I found when I opened today. What the hell happened on your shift last night?”

    “Steve, these freaks dressed as Vikings showed up in drive-thru and wouldn’t leave! Twenty of them! Big scary beards, leather clothes, those horn hats—riding motorcycles!”

    “Vikings? In the suburbs, for God’s sake? ”


    “Charles, I don’t believe you. In twenty years as GM, I’ve never heard a story THIS stupid from a closing manager.”

    “But it’s true! Steve, what can I do to convince you? They ordered thirty-five triple baconburgers. When I told them there’d be a wait, they got mean. Five or six of them pulled up and threw bottles at the window. We locked ourselves in the office!”

    “And the side of the building? Also Vikings?”

    “When they ran out of bottles, they got out spray paint!”

    “It says ‘Fuck you, burger bitches.’”

    “I know, right?!”

    “And the dead squirrels out front?”

    “Ritual sacrifice. Oh, God, Steve, the squealing was blood-curdling!”

    “Do I want to know who overturned the grease barrel?”


    “I thought they were Vikings.”

    “They had midgets with them. On the bikes.”

    “Chuck, you’re fired.”

    199 words

  9. Outta this World

    He stares at his wrist, opposite palm smacking his head. It does nothing for the headache and isn’t effective in jogging his memory either.

    “Think. What does this mean?”

    “Hey, Tyler,” Rob says, passing his open door. The sounds of percolating coffee accompany the first whiff, waking Tyler further. When he doesn’t emerge to claim a cup, Rob returns to his open door, sipping from his mug. “What’s up?”

    “What did I do last night?” he asks, looking at the odd symbols. He’s used to finding a girl’s number on his wrist in the morning, but this isn’t lipstick and they aren’t any numbers he’s familiar with.

    “Call Sarah,” Rob says, his voice moving down the hall with him.

    “What can she do?” Tyler asks, but his roommate is too far away to answer. Sarah hadn’t even been at the party. Still, she was asian. Maybe these symbols meant something to her, Chinese or something. Worth a shot.

    “Hey Sarah. What are you doing?”

    “TYLER?! Oh my God! Are you okay?”

    “Uh, yeah, a bit hung over.” He knocks over one of several empty bottles in hisroom. “Do you know what happened last night?”

    “You mean, you don’t remember?”

    Sighing, he sits back on the bed. “Would I be asking if I did.”

    She snorts. “Yeah, I guess not. You better sit down. You aren’t going to believe this.”

    “Already there.”

    “You remember a girl with greenish skin?”

    “You’re kidding, right?”

    “Nope. She gave you her address.”

    247 words

  10. “So long, farewell, alveterzane, goodbye…”

    Melody raised her beer in homage to the culmination of a long term endeavor and took a swig.

    “Ease up, Mel. You’re gonna hurt tomorrow.” Derek tried to snag the bottle but she yanked it out of his reach, sloshing golden liquid over her hand.

    “Aw, now you made me spill my Skull Splitter. This stuff ain’t cheap. I only have five left.”

    “Definitely too many.”

    “Are you still mad about last night? I couldn’t stay with you because I had to get up early this morning.”

    “Yeah, so you could have time to drink? Impressive.”

    “Hey, it’s important to have a big send off for something like this. You can’t just say ‘see ya’ and walk away.”

    “But it’s just flashfiction.”

    “That I’ve been writing for over a year!” Melody took another big swig. “Plus, there were no other challenges like this. You had to get the prompts right. It took effort.” She hiccupped and burped at the same time. “Eww.”

    “Okay, I’m cutting you off.” He pulled the bottle out of her hand. “Only coffee for you from now on.”

    “You wanna do a ménage, Derek? It’s real easy. Just three little prompts…”

    200 words

  11. When the sun rose, my room lit up like someone had lined all the walls with 500 watt halogen bulbs. Damn, but my eyes hurt. And so did my head. I groaned. “Jesus,” and realized I shouldn’t have, the way it echoed in my head, bouncing my brain from side to side of my skull.

    That’s when she started laughing. Each “ha” causing me to wince from the pain in my head. “I see the Vikings had mercy on your soul, and let you live.”

    Having no clue what she was talking about, I whispered, “Vikings? Didn’t they die out centuries ago?”

    She held up a bottle of Skull Splitter ale. It had a Viking on the label. “Remember this?”

    I groaned.

    “By the fifth one, you gave each bottle a different name. Leif, Bjorn, Fenrir, Loki, Odin and Thor.” She laughed. “Thor finished you off.” She put the bottle down. “What can I do to get your eyeballs connected back to your brain cells?” she asked. That’s when I noticed she didn’t have a stitch on. And neither did I.

    She smiled and kissed me. “I’m betting you’re wondering about last night, aren’t you?”

    195 Words

  12. “So long, farewell, alveterzane, goodbye…”

    Melody raised her beer in homage to the culmination of a long term endeavor and took a swig.

    “Ease up, Mel. You’re gonna hurt tomorrow.” Derek tried to snag the bottle but she yanked it out of his reach, sloshing golden liquid over her hand.

    “Aw, now you made me spill my Skull Splitter. This stuff ain’t cheap. I only have five left.”

    “What can I do to make you stop?”

    “Are you still mad about last night? I couldn’t stay with you because I had to get up early.”

    “Just in time to drink? Impressive.”

    “Hey, it’s important to have a big send off for something like this. You can’t just say ‘see ya’ and walk away.”

    “But it’s just flashfiction.”

    “That I’ve been writing for over a year!” Melody took another big swig. “Plus, there were no other challenges like this. You had to get the prompts right. It took effort.” She hiccupped and burped at the same time. “Eww.”

    “Okay, I’m cutting you off.” He pulled the bottle out of her hand. “Only coffee for you from now on.”

    “You wanna do a ménage, Derek? It’s real easy. Just three little prompts…”

    200 words

  13. The Feast of St. Tormund was a raucous one, but this year’s festivities had been especially lively. The queen had just given birth to a son, and the king was celebrating as all men do, boasting of the conquests he would make in the name of the new prince. He and his men had been more than a little drunk when his boat had set off, however, and the only conquests he’d made before returning to home were a collection of tiny sculls the massive warship had run through while leaving port.

    Surrounding the ship, the men pointed at the royal crest, a gargantuan skull cleaved in two by a bloody axe, which was now surrounded by bits of sail and wood from the craft which had, until recently, been training vessels for the kingdom. A lesser king would have taken out his embarrassment on others, but as the smirks turned to guffaws, and the guffaws to belly laughs, he joined in. Years later, belly full of ale, he was the one to tell the story of how he became King Scull Splitter. “What can I do,” he was heard to say, “let my greatest triumph go untold?”

    198 words

  14. All For Love

    Derek looked up, dizzily, into a mop of mousy brown hair and thick eyeglass.

    “Wow! You’ve been unconscious a really long time. I sure didn’t mean to hit you so hard with that third bottle but you kept getting back up and well…” Her voice trailed off in a nervous giggle.

    “Glenda? What? You hit me with a…wait…you hit me with multiple bottles? What the hell?” He eyed an, apparently aptly named, Skull Splitter ale bottle on the floor nearby.

    “Well…see…you were all upset ‘cause that bitch Tiffany dumped you so I brought beer and some penne over to cheer you up. But when you ran outta beer and wanted to call her, I couldn’t let you do that…so…I’m thinking ‘what can I do to stop him ruining our evening?’ and…the bottles were everywhere…and…”

    “Glenda! Stop! We were not having “an evening”. I was pissed off and you had beer. That’s it. Now, you’re going to go away and I’m gonna get a shower and some aspirin and go see Tiffany.”

    Derek never knew what hit him as Glenda dropped him with another precise shot to the head. The silly man just didn’t know when to leave well enough alone.

    200 words @klingorengi


    All the light gave the tavern the ambience of a cathedral. Each surface was polished to the shine of a prized possession, and strange panels in the ceiling provided illumination of similar brilliance to midday sun. It had taken all day to navigate the maze of towering structures with great glass windows, but at last they returned to the scene where they last saw their friend.

    “At least it’s still a tavern,” The raven-haired one offered.

    “Yes,” mused the red-head, “And similar to our bodies, our currency seems to have changed to a form appropriate to this world.”

    “You make a cute human!” The first grinned.

    “I do not understand ‘cute’,” the second frowned. “However, I do now understand ‘naked’—and I do not like it.”

    “Here are your ales, ladies.”

    After giving thanks for the ales, the dark one leaned across the table, “I really thought he’d still be here, what can we do?”

    “It seems, the dwarf’s form has also adapted to this new world,” the stern one stared at the bottle in her hand.

    “What do you mean?”

    The red-head turned the label to face her friend, “I also conclude that considerable time has passed over night.”

    200 words

  16. I didn’t remember much from last night, but waking up on the lab floor in a pile of broken glass and smelling like meat was not a good sign. I knew the glass was from the beakers I drunkenly groped when I tried to drink beer out of them, but I didn’t remember eating meat.

    “Hey, you’re alive,” Karen said, poking her head into the lab. Immediately, I remembered those beakers weren’t the only things I drunkenly groped.

    “Oh God, Karen, about last night, I was drunk and excited about the project. I’m so sorry. What can I do to…”

    “It’s ok,” she interrupted.

    “No, I feel horrible,” I persisted. “I’m going to tell HR and forfeit my research grant. I can’t…”

    “No, really, it’s ok. I made sure to slap you.”

    “Good. I deserved it, but I just can’t sit here like nothing…”

    “It worked,” she said.

    “It worked? The portal worked? Did anyone go in? What did you find? Did…”

    “No one went in, but someone came out and he’s been waiting five thousand years for a beer.”

    The smell of meat hit me as the seven foot shaggy haired, shaggy bearded man walked into the room.

    199 words – @hlpauff

  17. “I said I was sorry, what more do you want from me? What can I do to help temper the anger?” The plaintive tone rumbled in the smoky baritone.

    “You’re lucky that I didn’t punch you right in the balls, Rict. Do it again and I will have them. And use them as a coin purse. Do I understand?”

    The large man licked his lips before giving a bow, picking up the bottle and looking over the label. “My apologize again. It has been a long time since I’ve been among the masses. I had forgotten that things had changed. I am so sorry about what happened last night.”

    Moira glowered at him, moving the papers around. “Just, go back to where you were for the moment. I have work to catch up on and I don’t need you being a distraction.”

    “Of course. I await your call.” Rict gave a bow before his form blurred and became more clear on the bottle of Skull Splitter.

    Moira pinched her nose. She had wanted a genie to help with things but didn’t think that a Viking Genie with roaming hands would be it.

    190 words

  18. I hate him.

    He stares daggers at me from across the room, burly arms crossed, the heat of his rage thick in the air.

    “Go ahead; leave me.” His voice is deep, almost a growl. “I won’t stop you.”

    We both know this for a joke, though neither of us laughs. I tried leaving him last night (ohh, last night), the night before that, the week before that, the month before that. I left him a thousand times, him whole and mocking, and me in pieces and wretched, or him dashed in pieces on the floor, and me unbruised and triumphant.

    But I always come back.


    He waits for me, that’s the agony of it, the hilarity of it. He waits for me, patiently, violently, such that even when I’m at work filing invoices, I still feel the cool fire of his breath on my tongue.

    Friends used to call, concerned. Acquaintances called, concern barely masking lurid curiosity.

    “Quit,” they all said. “Get help.”

    Nobody calls anymore.

    I cross the room and take the bottle in my scarred hands, weeping, giggling. He glowers and threatens, but of course he doesn’t mean it.

    What can I do? I love him.

    200 words

  19. Title: Party Hard

    “Last Friday night, Yeah I think we broke the law-” The radio cut off abruptly as it smashed against the wall. It was entirely too early for Katy Perry. The sound of it dropping to the floor was the only music I wanted to here.

    When I woke again, the sun was starting to set and my head no longer felt like it was going to be split in half by an army of Vikings trying to summon Odin. Instead, it only felt a gang of bagpipers in a St. Patrick’s Day parade. There was a difference, however slight, but it mattered.

    What the hell happened last night?

    With a shuffling gait only know by others “the day after,” I walked into my living room and immediately turned around and went back to my room. There was an entire squad of bagpipers sprawled out in my living room, sound asleep.

    I had no idea how they got there. Although, I had a suspicion it had something to do with the seven empty cases of beer that were stacked up in my kitchen. I’d figure it out later. The sweet bliss of sleep was calling my name.

    196 Words

  20. Recipe for Disaster

    Sulking, that’s typical of him. He hasn’t spoken to me properly all day. It’s not fair. What can I do? How’s it me? It’s her fault.


    Yesterday, after strutting back from ‘surveying his domain’ or whatever he does every day, he started whining. ‘Where’s my food?’ and ‘Are we really having that again?’

    Well, he may think it’s idyllic here, but for home-making, it’s pretty primitive.

    But I said I had a surprise for him, something new. Oh, he was eager enough to try it. He finished it too. All of it – none for me, then just fell fast asleep. Not a word of thanks. He snored too.

    This morning he staggered off immediately, mumbling about a summons. He returned in a foul mood, moaning about his head, cussing about being evicted, then sat there groaning, head in his hands, while I packed.

    So here we are, wandering aimlessly, looking for another place to stay and him blaming me. I said to him, it’s her. The other woman. Your ex wife. She said you liked the fermented juice of the fruit of that tree.

    I can tell you, that’s the last time I take Lilith’s advice.

    199 Words

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