The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

Five Flash Fiction Pieces
by Barry Ergang


Dennis Toomey has the mechanical aptitude of a platypus, Steckler thought, wondering why he didn't drink more. He saw Toomey's type every semester: the nerd who couldn't tell a piston from a knitting needle, who took Automotive Shop only because the school district required it.

Bent over the engine he and the class were rebuilding, Steckler said to him, "Hand me the wrench."

"Uh...which kind?"

Steckler strove mightily to avoid grinding his teeth. "Socket, Toomey!"

Published at Flashshot May 5, 2005 



Exiled from his birth country for many years, the vampire spared one of the young women his servants captured--a woman from his homeland--and demanded she tell him of it. Nightly released from her cell, a terrified Scheherazade, employing dilatory embellishments she enchanted him with descriptions of cities, villages, and people that evoked his distant youth.

On the fifth night, her store of information and creativity exhausted, she tremblingly awaited her fate.

"You've given me great pleasure," the vampire said. "I must show my gratitude."

Hope flared in her breast. "Freedom?"

His gaze impaling her soul, he bent toward her with a wide grin. "Fangs for the memories."

Published in Mystery Island's e-book Ghosts Inside the Machine, 2005



Seated behind his capacious desk, cigar clamped in the corner of his mouth, the producer said, "This'd better be an improvement over your last script."

The writer cleared his throat. "It's a romantic comedy. Gerald's a...well, not a slob, but haphazard about his appearance. He goes to a clothing store to outfit himself for an interview and meets Ella, a fastidious young woman who works there. An attraction develops when she helps put together his wardrobe, and they start to date. Their relationship is rocky for a while, but eventually they realize they're perfect for each other."

"Gotta name for it?"

"The working title is 'Ella Fits Gerald.'"

Published at Flashshot November 12, 2005



"Sinning is in our souls, our nature," said Ottrah, the cult's leader. "Rejoice in your imperfections. Sin honestly, openly, that all may know, and I shall grant absolution for each transgression. Sin deceitfully, and you shall be eternally tainted by that sin."

Three days later, the choirmaster confessed that he had slept with five different women in the choir.

"Do they know you have been with all of them?" asked Ottrah. "Do their husbands know?"


"Did you intend to tell them?"

"I'm not sure--"

"Uncertainty betrays you. You are damned for your dishonest sin."

"No, no! I swear--it was a frank sin, Ottrah!"

Published at Flashshot February 10, 2006



The infamous bandit known only as Padré Chico kidnapped the Italian ambassador Signor Parmesano and his daughter Mozzarella during their journey across the Sierras.

"You are a queso grande*," Chico told Parmesano. "Your government will pay well for your safe return."

A United States cavalry troop, accompanied by an Indian scout, set out to rescue the dignitary and his daughter. The elusive Padré Chico had clearly striven to cover his tracks, but on the troop's fifth day out, the scout knelt on the dusty plain and pointed to telltale depressions in the dirt.

"We're on the right trail," he said. "Those are definitely Chico marks."

Published at Flashshot July 25, 2005

*Big cheese