Flash Fiction Challenge: The Gallows Girls

This week’s challenge was to take a three word title from a list of 10 and write a story. I made it my own goal to incorporate as many of the titles into my story as possible. I couldn’t get them all in due to space, but I think it turned out well. Just a silly little story. Hope you like it.

“Okay, what should we do now?” asked Sophie. She pushed aside the pizza boxes and the bowl of half-eaten popcorn. The girls—Sophie, Dakota, Brooklyn and Stacia—were all sitting on the floor of Sophie’s living room in their pajamas.

“Let’s play Truth or Dare,” replied Dakota.

“Ugh that’s so boring. Besides, Brooklyn never does anything we dare her to,” said Stacia, rolling her eyes. Brooklyn’s face flushed.

“Whatever Stash. Just because I didn’t run around the entire block naked—”

“No, Stash is right. Truth or dare is boring without any boys around. And we’ve already watched two movies.” Sophie flicked off the wide-screen television.

“I brought something, but maybe you guys are too chicken.” Stacia stood up on her knees, crawling around the sea of sleeping bags to her duffle bag. She pulled out a box and crawled back.

“A Ouija board? Seriously? We’re not little kids, Stash. Besides, they don’t really work.” Now it was Brooklyn’s turn to roll her eyes.

“Yes, they do! My sister’s friend swears she used one and it told her that Aiden was going to ask her to the Valentine’s dance, and then he did.” Stacia’s voice dropped to a dramatic whisper on the last two words.

“Ooh! Maybe I can find out if Logan likes me!” squealed Dakota.

“I’ve always wanted to try one,” said Sophie. “And since it’s my birthday, I get to decide.”

“Fine, but can we ask about more than just which boy likes who? I mean, we have a gateway to the unknown here,” Brooklyn said, sarcastically.

“Agreed. Now everyone needs to put a hand on the planchette. And no cheating.” Stacia placed her hand first, followed by Sophie and Dakota. Brooklyn sighed loudly, but placed her hand on it as well.

“Okay, I get to ask the first question.” Sophie closed her eyes. “Does Logan like Dakota?”

“I thought we said no questions about boys,” Stacia protested.

“Oh well, too late now. Let’s see what it says.” The girls stared at the planchette, but it didn’t move. At first. Then it slowly crept up, the clear plastic resting briefly on the letter G, then U, then P, P, Y and then it paused. The planchette continued to move, spelling out the word ‘must’ and then ‘die’ before coming to a rest at the bottom of the board.

“‘Guppy must die?’ What the hell does that mean?” asked Brooklyn.

“Maybe it means your pet fish is in for it,” replied Stacia, sticking out her tongue.

“Very mature. Besides, I don’t even have a fish.”

“And it has nothing to do with my question,” said Sophie. “This thing is dumb.”

“Maybe it just doesn’t like answering dumb questions about boys. Let’s try a different one,” said Brooklyn.

“Fine. You ask then.”

“Fine, then, I will. What will I be when I grow up?” The planchette remained still for a moment, and then began to move slowly around the board, spelling out its reply.

“‘Discount skin ticket?’ That’s not a profession!”

“Maybe it’s telling you you’re going to be a stripper. Or a hooker.” Stacia burst into a fit of giggles after she said this, followed by Dakota, then Sophie. They were laughing so hard they took their hands off the board.

“Whatever,” said Brooklyn, crossing her arms across her chest. “This is stupid. One of you idiots probably spelled that out.” The other three girls laughed even harder.

“Or you’re just in denial about your destined profession,” sputtered Dakota between giggles.

“Oh yeah? Let’s see what it tells you then.” Brooklyn put her hand back. The other girls’ laughter receded and they placed their hands back, also. Dakota struggled to calm herself long enough to speak.

“Oh Great Ouija Board, what is my destiny?” She let out another stream of giggles. It didn’t move for several seconds.

“Hmm, maybe you have no destiny,” snorted Stacia. But then it started to move.

“Okay, this thing must be broken. It says, ‘all flags fall’. That doesn’t even make any sense,” said Sophie. As soon as she stopped speaking, the planchette began to move again, spelling more words. “‘The last American?’ But we’re all Canadian.” The board spelled out more words.

“‘One fell swoop.’ Maybe it’s talking about Donald Trump,” said Brooklyn. “Maybe, Dakota, you’re going to be the one to take him out.”

“Maybe Dakota’s destiny is to become a terrorist.” Stacia said, laughing. Brooklyn and Sophie joined in.

“Very funny,” Dakota said, taking her hand off the board. “Nobody even cares about American politics but Brooklyn.”

“I like to be informed about—”

“Okay, it’s my turn to ask,” declared Stacia, cutting off Brooklyn. “Are you some sort of spirit?” she asked, addressing the board. Dakota just managed to place her hand back as the planchette moved quickly, stopping at the place marked ‘yes’. “Are you a demon?” she asked. It circled the board, landing again on the ‘yes’ space. Dakota gasped.

“Are you going to possess us?” Sophie’s voice was barely a whisper, her eyes widening. It moved around the board until it spelled out, ‘not, tonight honey’.

“Oh come on,” said Brooklyn, taking her hand off. It was shaking. “Whichever one of you is trying to creep us out, just stop it.”

“Yeah, stop it,” echoed Dakota, as she took her hand off as well.

“You guys, maybe we should do something else.” Sophie sounded nervous as she removed her hand. Stacia nodded and reached for the box when the planchette began to move on its own. All four girls watched in horror as it began to spell out another message.

‘The gallows girls.’

“Is that…us?” Stacia breathed. The planchette moved. ‘Yes.’

“Oh my God!” Dakota screeched, jumping up and away from the board. “What do we do? I don’t want to die!” Stacia and Sophie joined her and they all huddled together as they stared at the board. Brooklyn reached over, grabbed the board, rested half on the coffee table, and then stomped on the other half, snapping the board in two.

“Guess Truth or Dare is looking pretty good now, huh?”




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