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2022 February Flash Fiction Challenge: Day 19

Write a piece of flash fiction each day of February with the February Flash Fiction Challenge, led by editor Moriah Richard. Each day, receive a prompt, example story, and write your own. Today's prompt is to play with a horror trope.
Flash Fiction Challenge

For today’s prompt, let's take a popular horror trope and come at it from a different angle.

Remember: As mentioned yesterday, these prompts are just starting points; you have the freedom to go wherever your flash of inspiration takes you.

(Note: If you happen to run into any issues posting, please just send me an e-mail at mrichard@aimmedia.com with the subject line: Flash Fiction Challenge Commenting Issue.)

Here’s my attempt at playing with a horror trope:

Pack

Evan reaches into the bag and aims the most unimpressed expression across the table. It’s met with raucous laughter.

“Very funny,” he huffs, pulling the soft mouse toy out of the bag and squeezing it, releasing the scent of catnip. “You guys are jerks.”

“Welcome to the team, brother.” Narvaez leans back in his chair, his smile slow and smooth.

“Some team,” Evan grumbles. But his mouth quirks as Carter offers her knuckles for him to bump his hand against.

“Look, we don’t get many cats through the academy,” Captain Miller says. “Same old B.S. about loner personalities. And you’re the first cat we’ve had at this station ever. It’s a big deal, no matter how the pack wants to celebrate.”

Evan might be a kid compared to the rest of them, but he knows what they’re not saying. In another firehouse, they would have taken one look at his record—no living family, no established territory, job-hopping for the last seven years since he graduated high school—and thrown his application in the garbage. But not here, with this crew of misfits.

“And we actually got you a cake,” Narvaez says. “Though I am gonna miss calling you probie.”

Evan opens his mouth to say something (exactly what, he’s not sure), but then the bell goes off. Captain knocks his fist against the table gently and shoots Evan a smile. “Ready for your first call as a firefighter, Wilson?”

“Firefighter Wilson!” Carter hoots as she thumps down the stairs.

Evan grins. “Let’s get it.”


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