Sep 11, 2013

The Game

So, I occasionally play a game with a buddy of mine. We give each other a sentence, quote, or topic and the other person has to write a short story (no more than 500ish words) including/about the given sentence, quote, or topic.

Below is the first story I wrote for him. Highlighted is the quote he gave me. 

The Dutch Colony (For a mature audience...or at least one that doesn't mind cursing)

“Your guards think I’m a masseuse,” Nadia said as she entered the room and shut the door behind her. She tore off her gloves and jacket and threw them into the nearest chair without looking up. The television mounted to the wall to her far left whispered news regarding one of the presidential candidates but Nadia made it her goal not to get sucked into the seeming chaos surrounding the election. “but I guess there is some truth in it because I’m always giving you a happy ending.” Nadia looked up at her boyfriend sitting at the end of the bed sipping bourbon and utterly engulfed in whatever garbage was being spewed on FOX news.

“It’s ten in the morning and you already cracked open a bottle. That’s unbecoming of the President.”

President Nathan Filgrim ended his staring contest with the television and looked over a Nadia. She bent over to pull off her heels, giving him a little peek at the supple bronze breasts tucked inside her blouse.

“It’s celebratory.” The President said taking another swig.

Nadia walked over to the bed and climbed into Nathan’s lap. She coyly grabbed the glass from his hand, toasted silently, and tossed the contents back. She hated the taste of bourbon but once her boyfriend started drinking, it was hard for him to stop. And she couldn’t send him off to his Thursday morning Cabinet meeting intoxicated.

“Ahh. So what have we just celebrated?” She threw the empty glass towards the middle of the bed.

“Three things,” he replied, giving her thigh a suggestive rub. “You, my dear, will soon be the First Lady; Senator Hyrtle is no longer in the running for President thanks to a slightly racist remark; and I just secured the Black vote ensuring a second term.”

Nadia didn’t hear anything after First Lady. Her mouth fell agape as she stared into the eyes of her beloved, searching for some sign or hint of a lie. But he was being sincere. She was to be his wife. She was to be the First Lady of the United States of America.


“You did well Senator.” Yuri said in a deep Russian drawl as he stood over the hyperventilating man.

“I…just willingly…threw…the Presidential election.” Senator Hyrtle gasped. He was drenched in sweat, making him look sickly and pale. Every now and again the senator thick bulbous tongue would slither out and wet the corners of his mouth before snaking its way back in. Yuri was tempted to put a bullet in Jack Hyrtle’s head just so he wouldn’t have to see the disgusting display again but the Dutch Colony would flay him alive. Yuri was fond of staying alive.

“President, what is being President of America when you can own him?”

Angry, Jack stood quickly and threw his mug of coffee at the wall. “I would have been the most powerful man in the world. God, what the fuck was I thinking?”

Yuri took a step back, not out of fear, but because Hyrtle smelled lightly of the salmon he had for lunch. Yuri hated fish.

“Ruling people is not power. Why rule the people when you can rule government? That is what the Dutch Colony offers. You made wise decision in this, Hyrtle. I promise you that.”

The senator calmed down quickly before reclaiming his seat. “So what do we do now?” he asked softly.

“We do nothing. I must finish my part and you must wait.”

The senator’s tongue shot out again. Yuri looked away but couldn’t get the image out of his head. He felt the corner of his mouth curl in repulsion. It took everything he had to wipe the look of disgust off his face.

“What’s your part in all this?”

My part is simple: I get the parts, wire the money, and let Sergei handle the rest. Then I go back to Mother Russia a very rich man.”

“Sergei, Sergei. Who the fuck is Sergei anyway? Why hasn’t either of us met him?”

“I was told you will meet him when you get a seat in the Colony. They are very secretive,” Yuri said. Honestly, he wasn’t sure if the senator would meet him or not. He just wanted the conversation to end so he could do his part and get the hell out of America. He hated the people, he hated the way English tasted on his tongue, and he hated American food.

“Will you have a seat as well?” Hyrtle asked. It was clear he hoped Yuri would say yes so he saw at least one familiar face in the Colony. He had no such luck.

“In my country, we worship God, power, or money. I am a godless man and I don’t need power, Hyrtle. I worship money and fuck beautiful women. I need nothing else to make me happy.”


Senators and Congressmen were already congratulating the president on a two-term office as he and Nadia meandered through the White Ball arm in arm. Their relationship was ‘leaked’ to the press two weeks after Senator Hyrtle’s racist remark went viral. Most headlines harped on their relationship being the White House’s first interracial relationship but some, mostly smaller media sources, thought it was a ploy to secure the unclaimed black vote. Nathan called it killing two birds with one stone. Nadia didn’t particularly like constantly being followed around by Secret Service and her life story being continuously looped on the news, but if it was the price she had to pay to be with Nathan she would pay it gladly.

“Everyone’s congratulating you on your second term already,” Jack Hyrtle said. “I would be a sore loser not to do so as well.” The Senator and President shook hands.

“The media is brutal. You were giving me a run for my money,” Nathan said cordially. “I won’t say I’m not relieved because we both know that would be a lie. I will say however, you would have made a fine President.”

“You are too kind Mr. President,” Jack glanced at Nadia for the first time. “And who is the lovely lady accompanying you?”

“Oh, my apologies, this is my fiance, Nadia. Nadia, meet Senator Jack Hyrtle.”

“Ah, so you were the Senator keeping Nathan away from me. Your campaign was all he would talk about for hours at a time.” Nadia leaned in a little. “He won’t admit it but you had him against the ropes.”

The Senator laughed. “I’m sorry, Nadia. If I had known he had such a lovely lady like you at his arm, I wouldn’t have run such a hard campaign.”

Nadia playfully slapped Nathan on his arm. “See, if you didn’t try to keep our relationship a secret you wouldn’t have gotten so many gray hairs.” The senator laughed again.

“Well, Senator Hyrtle, if you’d excuse us. I promised I'd introduce Nadia to a lot of wives.”

“Oh, sure. Good luck with your second term, Mr. President.” Hyrtle watched as Nadia and the President walked away. “You’re going to need it,” he muttered to himself.

Considering my hand is in a cast for the next six five weeks (and because we have a query contest coming up), I figured I could have a mini contest for a spot in the Nightmare on Query Street contest (and the winner's story will get posted on my blog so I don't have to write anything...YAY!!!)

Win-win, right?

So if you haven't guess by now, in order to win a walk on spot in the contest, you must write a short story (500 words or less) containing the phrase below and email it to me using the nightmareonquerystreet (at) yahoo (dot) com address. Put 'The Game' in the subject bar (no quotations) so I know it's a mini contest entry.

 I will pick my favorite, post it to my blog, and the writer will celebrate. 

Here's the phrase:

"They've been watching us this whole time."

This contest will close on September 25th. I will pick my winner on or by the 28th. 

Good luck.

Note: Winner gains a free pass into the 100 submissions we will be accepting, not my top ten. That being said, if you win, you definitely have my undivided attention.


  1. Hey Mike, any idea of when the agents for Nightmare on Query Street will be announced?

    1. No official date set yet. We're waiting for a few more agents to respond. I hope we can get it posted by Monday.

  2. Awesome! One question. Is the title included in the word count?

  3. Replies
    1. Oh, it will be! I'm so eager to see what you all come up with!

    2. I just sent mine in! Thanks for having this contest, I love writing flash fiction :)