Lean and Mean Challenge- 02/03/20 "Valentine's Day"

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Thread: Lean and Mean Challenge- 02/03/20 "Valentine's Day"

  1. #1

    Lean and Mean Challenge- 02/03/20 "Valentine's Day"

    *Please read this post entirely before submitting a story to the challenge*

    This week’s contest opens as soon as the clock turns to Monday, US Central Standard Time (12:01 a.m.)

    It closes at the very end of the next Sunday, US Central Standard Time (11:59 p.m.)

    This week’s prompt: "Valentine’s Day."


    Each week’s winner will receive a $5 Amazon gift voucher, upon providing their email address to Ma'am by (PM) Private Message.

    Prizes are not transferable and can only be awarded in locations that are served by Amazon.

    *** (New) Also, the editors of Flashes of Brilliance may extend an offer of publication to the authors of any stories they especially like.***


    Contests will run weekly for one year, providing there’s enough interest to keep them going.

    Stories can be up to 1,000 words, not including the title. Any that go over that may be disqualified.


    One entry per person.

    In the interests of fairness, this is an anonymous challenge.

    Your entry must be submitted anonymously and therefore should be PMed to me, Ma'am, so that I may post it for you. Please be sure to indicate in your PM on which board you prefer your work posted, PUBLIC or SECURE. I am responsible for linking all entries posted on the secure board to public board.

    ***VERY IMPORTANT*** Kindly make sure your entry is properly formatted and error free before you PM it to me as you will be unable to edit your work once I have posted it. If your work requires a disclaimer, please inform me in your submission PM.


    Do not post comments in this thread

    If you would like to retain your first publication rights remember to request your entry be posted on the dedicated secure challenge board “Lean and Mean' Prize Flash Fiction.” (However, please also be aware that having your story posted in the secure area of the thread may result in non-members not being able to see it or vote for it).

    Likes and comments are not allowed on the contest threads until the challenge has closed. However, comments, chit-chat and general banter IS allowed in the Challenge Café. Please include the appropriate “warnings” with your story title, if appropriate, for language, sex, violence, etc. Erotica, sexually explicit stories (pornography), or fanfic is not allowed.

    Administrator's word in any and all matters is final.

    As per WF rules:

    Plagiarism: All work entered in the challenge must be your own.

    Obscene Material and Gratuitous Violence: Such material is not allowed. What is considered overtly pornographic or otherwise obscene is decided by the staff and is not open to debate. It will be removed immediately. Any description or depiction of child sexual abuse is not only considered obscene, it is a reportable crime in many jurisdictions. Repeat offenders will be permanently banned.

    Strong or explicit language, Mature themes Disclaimers: Infrequent and context-appropriate strong language and mature themes are allowed and a warning must be included with the entry.

    Post Titles: Post titles must be G rated, which means strong language or descriptions of violence or sexual activities are not permitted.Stories must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. US Central Time on the Sunday night that the week’s contest ends. Entries submitted after this time will disqualified.


    As soon as a weekly contest closes to entries, a poll will be posted and voting begins.

    Voting is open to anyone who cares to help us out by voting for their favorite story.

    Voting for your own story is NOT allowed. Doing so will result in disqualification.

    In the event of a tie, a second vote will be held to determine the winner.


    Please refer to the prompt thread for the full list of prompts.
    Last edited by Ma'am; February 3rd, 2020 at 07:22 AM.

  2. #2

    The Meaning of Valentine Day (890 words, adult content)

    (A story by my old buddy, Oscar Rat, a famouse rodent writer).

    I was going through old papers on a back shelf of the Rat Archives, where I work as a staff writer. As I shifted boxes around, looking for something, anything, about Valentine's day in Wayback Times, a flash of white caught my attention. It was a small volume, somehow caught between shelf and stone wall.

    Handwriting on the cover in ancient rat said, "Ye olde berry firs Valentin." Below, handwritten in modern script, was another line, "The battle of Naissus, 268. Saint Valentine." I snatched the envelope up, turned my eyes to the sky and bellowed, "Hey! Thanks, Supreme Rat."

    "S'okay," came the reply. "You owe me a beer, Oscar."

    You see, unlike more modern gods, SR subscribes to the old conventions, often appearing on Earth among his subjects. He and I have often bent elbows together over a pint of sauce.

    Of course, the next thing I did was cruise among old manuscripts and scrolls. In order not to miss anything, I started at the oldest, those written in Old Rat on cured dinosaur skin. Seeing my error, that it would take more than one rat's lifetime to get all the way up to human involvement, I skipped to the newest one-percent of our written history, when you big oafs first dropped out of trees and were too stupid to climb back up.

    First came a section of stone tablets containing crushed fleas. The first instances of human counting was when you crushed a flea for every time you took a crap.
    I found the section describing the Battle of Naissus, which was a war where the Romans were fighting to drive Gothic invaders out of what is now Serbia.

    See, the Roman army was lead by a guy named Gallienus. In that army was an officer named Claudius. In those days, only military veterans could become Roman citizens. Maybe we should go back to that, uh? Imagine Hillary, Sanders, and Trump going at it with clubs and pointy sticks. Heeeyaaa!

    Just before the big battle, the one that drove the Goths across the Danube where they stayed for a hundred years, hooting, hollering, and throwing rocks at the Romans -- this Gallienus decided he had to go back to Rome for a while.

    So, with Gallienus gone, Claudius took over the army. Standing out in front, he waved his sword, ran around like a sick turkey, and chased the Goths across the river.

    Then, seeing that Gallienus got himself killed by terrorists back in Rome, Claudius grabbed his suitcase and ran back home. Being a war hero, he was made Emperor and cleaned the place up a little. He was considered a good ruler, though a warlike one.

    That's mostly background when it comes to the first Valentine. What happened was that Claudius II -- never you mind number one, since he's not pertinent anymore -- wanted a strong army. So he made a law that soldiers couldn't marry. He felt that an army made up of single men would be better fighters. He thought that when he sent them to a war they wouldn't waste time worrying about wives and kids.

    There were two Christian priests named Valentine in Rome about that time. Jeez, figure the odds?

    On one occasion, old Claudius II called one of the Valentines in for a few drinks. Emperors did that sometimes. While the two were drinking, they argued. Claudius tried to convert Valentine to Roman Paganism, while Valentine argued to convert Claudius to Christianity.

    An Emperor being used to getting his own way, the priest either converted or, "Squissh," off came his head. Valentine was sent to jail and did lose his head.

    Christianity eventually won over the Emperor and he regretted the act of killing that first Valentine guy. I think, on reading that long scroll, that Claudius was surprised when nobody wanted to drink with him after that occasion. The Christian church didn’t like it, either, and made the dead Valentine a Saint.

    The second priest named Valentine also got himself executed, without even meeting the Emperor, I don't think. He was a marriage junkie. Even though knowing the new rules, he thumbed his nose at Claudius and kept on giving those vows to young soldiers and their squeezes.

    As the story goes, Claudius found out and had a shit fit. He imprisoned that second Valentine too, and then killed him.

    Now on to the first Valentine note. It's said that on the eve of his execution, that Valentine wrote a letter to his honey, closing with the words, "From your Valentine". When Valentine was sainted, the idea of writing similar notes was thought of by an industrious rat named Glasios, who made a fortune by scribbling hearts bearing that closing phrase on paper and selling them to lovesick Romans. Many other enterprising businessmen and rats have carried on the traditions, even to this day.

    Like with many Christian holidays, the day itself was planned to coincide with an ancient Pagan ritual -- that of sacrificing turkeys and maidens to the fires of huge ovens. Later, maidens were left alive to simply cook the turkeys. There it is, the true meaning of Valentine’s day, direct from the Rat Archives.

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    This challenge is now closed.

    Vote for your favorite here.
    Last edited by Ma'am; February 10th, 2020 at 07:24 AM.


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