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January 2008 Flashers

Flash Fiction written by members and friends of the MuseItUp Club. Submissions are invited for this page.*




Granny Dancer


by Nick Tyler


Bea grabbed the hands of the first person she saw that morning.

"What are you doing?" the man in the dark suit asked, attempting to pull away.

"Relax. It's okay."

She swung his hands into the air and stepped from side to side on the battered sidewalk. Dozens of people passed by, not paying much attention.

"What's the matter?" she asked, focusing on his sullen face.

"Nothing." He looked back at her with confusion, most likely irritated, yet not wanting to offend an elderly woman. "I'm just trying to get to work."

"Work, shmirk. We have more important things to talk about."

"I don't even know you."

They moved in a circle, her left arm and feet leading the way.

"You cheated on your wife, didn't you?"

"No." His head cocked back faster than a pinball spring.

"It's okay. You can let it out."

"But I didn't cheat on my wife." He shook their clenched hands. "Let go of me!"

"Fine." Bea released her firm grip on his hands and placed her hands on his waist. "But you should also let go. I think our little morning talk will have helped your day."

"Psycho," he sneered as he rushed by her, tidying his suit.

Three blocks north, she found another one. Before approaching, she ran her hand through her thin, gray hair, and adjusted her dentures.

"Dance with me," she said, as she grabbed his hands, this time doing the salsa.

"Sorry, lady, but I've got a lover at home," the tall, astute-looking man said with a grin.

"Oh, I love a man with a good smile. Take me home with you." She moved her feet faster than if bullets had been fired at her toes from the rooftops.

"You've certainly got spunk, but I'm a one-woman kind of guy." He kept pace, making it obvious he'd danced the salsa before.

"She'll never know."

"But I will."

"So you're a moral man?"

"I try to be."

"In that case, I have to let you go." She released his hands and stopped moving before placing her hand on his chest. "But I'll be saddened to see you go."

"Okay, hot mama. Keep dancing." He walked onward, letting her hand slide off his body.

She traveled five blocks north and two blocks west. She spotted a man wearing tan slacks, a green turtleneck and white sweater. She approached, grabbed his hands, and began to waltz.

"Would you please let go of my hands?" he asked with a polite, arrogant tone as he stumbled. "I have a breakfast to go to."

"Why do you feel you're better than others?" She brought herself closer to him, making sure he wouldn't bolt because of the question.

"Who said such a thing?" He looked down at her pretentiously. "You know nothing about

"Sure I do. I see how you dress, act, and speak. I know more about you than you think. You don't do a very good job of hiding your personality."

"Why should I?" He lifted his chin, but kept his eyes trained on her. "Actually, forget I asked. This is utter nonsense. I'm not into dancing or talking with strange old women on the streets."

"That's exactly what I'm talking about!" She let go of his hands and stopped moving. "I came over here to help you, and that's how you speak to me? Go to your stupid little meeting, and be sure you don't forget ours."

"Will do." He huffed and went on his way.

Bea took the next set of stairs to the subway. Once on the train, she found an empty car toward the back. Alone, she began to think about that morning's meetings. Then, she reached into her right pocket and took out three wallets. That day's earnings: $464 in cash and six credit cards.



Nick Tyler has written three books: Rawson’s Fun House, Rawson’s Revenge and Mind Bomb.  He is currently working on The Locals and Short Shorts. He has won several short story contests, although hasn’t yet broken into the traditional publishing world. He trades stocks for a living.


*Send Flash Fiction submissions to .

Please include the words “Muse Marquee Flash Submission” in the subject line.


The Flashers page is edited by Lea Schizas and Les Stephenson.





Here's your chance to win US$25.00 (payable through PayPal) and have your story published in the April edition of The Muse Marquee.


The challenge, if you should accept, is to write a complete story where each word is essential. The maxim for flash fiction is: MINIMUM WORDS, MAXIMUM EFFECT.


Write a flash fiction story starting with the sentence: Throughout the night, I heard their screams of pain.


Don't add to the contest sentence or lengthen it in any way. However, you may place it within quotation marks if you wish to make it dialogue.


Minimum words: 500.

Maximum words: 700.

Submissions that fall outside the nominated range will be rejected.


The contest deadline is 1 March, 2008.


Submit entries by email to:  All entries must use the subject line:  Muse Marquee Flash Fiction Contest. Emails not showing the correct subject line may be deleted.


Stories should be ATTACHMENTS in Arial or Times New Roman font, as doc or rtf files. Include your name, contact details and word count in a header above the story's title.