Thursday, May 27, 2021

Penultimate Fries

Today, the fourth installment of the first iteration of “The Pete Wood Challenge.” This week we are presenting ten, count ’em, ten microflash stories, all of which sprang from a simple challenge: to write a 100-word story that revolved around the question:

“Would you like fries with that?”

Two Monday, two Tuesday, two Wednesday, two today, and tomorrow, the Big Bang Burger Wrap-Up. Enjoy!



“The Dying Pool,” by Melissa Mead

“Do you want fries with that?”

The spirit of the dying pool pleads, beseeches, but the parched, delirious travelers only see it offering what looks like a cup of their favorite beverage, frosty with ice. In reality, they gulp down the pool’s tainted water and die in minutes.

Each time, the spirit weeps. The antidote would save their lives and end the curse. The spirit would be freed. The pool would be renewed. If only someone, just once, would ask for the fries!


Melissa Mead
lives in upstate New York with the imaginary people in her head. Her web site is here:

“High School Drama,” by Paul Celmer

Norm, the new kid at Riverdale High, studied the menu at McDonalds. Two cheerleaders sipped milkshakes in the back.

“Here’s some advice,” I said. “Talking physics all the time is weird.”

“Parallel universes aren’t weird,” Norm said.


“What you guys having?” the cashier said.

“Cheeseburgers.” Norm seemed pissed at my disbelief. “Want to see a parallel universe?”

“Sure,” I laughed.

Norm twirled something on the counter.

My eyes fuzzed.

“You want fries with that?” a purple reptile with red fangs croaked to the thing that had been Norm.

And all one thousand of its wriggling tentacles pointed at me.


When not traveling to parallel universes, Paul Celmer is a technical writer in Durham, North Carolina. His recently published flash science fiction includes “Spooky Action At a Distance” in Daily Science Fiction and “The Last Rosy-Fingered Dawn” in Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores.







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