KIERAN SHEA’s fiction has appeared in dozens of venues including Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Thuglit, Dogmatika, Word Riot, Plots with Guns, Beat to a Pulp, Crimefactory, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir well as in some beefy-looking anthologies most of which will make you question the tether of his shiny, red balloon. To his self-deprecating astonishment he's also been nominated for the Story South’s Million Writers Award twice without sending the judges so much as a thank you note. He co-edited the satiric transgressive fiction collection D*CKED: DARK FICTION INSPIRED BY DICK CHENEY and his debut novel KOKO TAKES A HOLIDAY is out now from Titan Books. Kieran divides his time between 38°58′22.6″N- 76°30′4.17″W and 39.2775° N, 74.5750° W.


Flash Fiction Challenge #5

Ok, hopefully this will work. Below is my flash vignette for challenge #5.

Executive Action

“I mean, how many absolutely pure opportunities to fuck with someone’s head present themselves in this life, chief? She was asking for it.”

“Asking for it, huh?”


“The girl you speak of is all of twenty-two.”

“Your point being?”

“My point being you’re fifteen years her senior, dickhead. Whatever happened to being decent? Whatever happened to doing the right thing?”

“Oh, please. The right thing. Stop being such a pussy.”

“People have feelings, you know. She’s a sweet kid.”

“Listen to yourself.”

“I am.”

“Sound like Dr. Phil. Like Oprah. When the bartender comes around again remind me to order you a white wiiiiiiine.”

“Fuck you.”

“Man, think about it. That girl should be thanking me. I gave her experience, insight, world wariness. The universe can sense this. The universe is on my side. I’m an educator. ”

“No, you’re heartless dickhead is what you are.”

“Okay, I’m a heartless educating dickhead then. But girls like that? They should know better. Hothouse flowers the lot of them, never had a hard lesson cross their pretty little paths, not once. All sunshine and lollipops.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

“You want evil, my friend? Real cruelty? How about mommy and daddy sending girls like that unprepared into the world with meat eaters like us stalking the perimeter?”

“Speak for yourself.”

“Parents crippling them with indulgence, coddling. The named her Sydney for Christsakes. Sydney!”

“What’s wrong with Sydney?”

“Might as well hang a sign around her neck saying—please eat my soul.”

“So what happened? You dumped her. How’d you do it?”

“OK, OK. Get this. I did dreams.”



“You broke up with your smoking, hot twenty-two year old girlfriend doing dreams?”

“Let me explain. She’s been sleeping over my place fairly regular, right? Which is, like, the only option since she lives in a pathetic group house that’s like sleeping over at a sorority from hell. That is, like, over for me like a decade ago, all right?”

“Yeah. So your place, ye ol’ thunderdome of bachelorhood.”

“That’s right, you know it, fuck-o. Right ambiance, right view of the city, and put the young talent through their paces.”

“Remind me to kill you.”

“You’re just jealous. Truth was she wasn’t half bad on that front. Pretty much up for anything. Athletic but not scary athletic. Varisty tennis, some shit in college. Anyway, you’d think for an ordained minister and college president’s daughter she’d show some restraint. But, no.”

“Spare me.”

“I knew I couldn’t stand her anymore. That simpering dreamy look teetering right there on the edge of the three most God-awful words in the English language, knowing she was probably going to ask for a goddamn key one of these days or for me to go to her folks place for Thanksgiving or some shit. So she’s dead asleep and I bolt out of bed and start crying.”


“Yeah. Crying like a little baby. Fake crying, but she can’t see that I’m faking because it’s all dark. She asks me what’s wrong—and I start freaking out like a total mental case. Jumping around, smashing things. I tell her this horrible dream I just had where we were burying a baby.”

“You told her what?”

“Burying a baby. You know… funeral, mourners, tiny casket, the whole nine yards. I said it was her baby.”

“That’s sick!”

“Isn’t it though? But, brilliant, my man. True classic. I kept working myself into a froth. Academy-award winning performance straight up, like Matt Damon Good Will Hunting crazy. Stormed into the bathroom and started whipping these prescription bottles across the bedroom, pills flying everywhere.”

“Wait, you’re on medication? You didn’t tell me that.”

“Dude! Hell, no! Just props. Scripts were full of breath mints. Altoids. She never even looked at the labels. I kept yelling out the names like I was chanting out the starting lineup. Batting first from Kansas City Archiballllllld Zoloft! Batting second from the University of Las Vegas Daaaaaviiiiid Cymbalta! But then I go real crazy. I pulled a gun.”

“You didn’t just say that.”

“Dude, it was totally fake! Another prop. Just a novelty piece of plastic Taiwanese I bought at a mall but in the darkness of a dimly lit bedroom, Venetian blinds slicing across my pecs like bars on the flag? I’m telling you, I was looking all serious gangsta. She was so scared I think she tinkled in the bed a bit.”

“Jesus….why did you do that?”

“What do you mean fucking why? I told you. She needed to stop being so gullible. Get some jade on her. I told her to leave and never-ever call or come near me again. Took off like a scared deer.”


“Wow, you should’ve seen her face, man. Priceless. Like her wedding cake was in the middle of the road and I just mowed it down with a supercharged El Camino. Want another?”


“Wait-- where’re you going?”

“I’ve got to go.”

“Go? Got to go? We just got here, dog. Where do you got to be that’s so important?”

“Someplace else.”