05 December, 2011

The Cool As Cucumber Blogfest

Madeleine at Scribble and Edit is hosting a blogfest today, based on the idea of using something writers are often told to avoid: cliches. I thought it was an intriguing idea, so I signed up.


Liberally sprinkle your entries with well placed clichés or make them the twist to your tale.

Make it the twist on the punch line to your story. Or make it a witty observation: e.g. Rachel's Holiday by Marion Keyes (1997) He kept touching his hair, which, as well as being dyed to within an inch of its life, was blow dried flicked and rigid with spray.

You may choose whichever idiom you like, such as 'The cat that got the cream'; 'As cool as a cucumber'; 'As good as gold', 'Kick the bucket'. Max 400 words for Flash Fiction.


I decided to go with "sprinkling" my entry with cliches instead of making mine the punch line.

Here it is:

“This ain’t worth the paper it’s written on.”
   The Lieutenant tossed the sheets at my feet. I just looked at him, fury and embarrassment turning my face red and hot.
   “Why’re you staring at me, girl? Get out. You’re useless,” he said.
   I bit down the snarl in my throat and snatched up the papers, clenching my hand and crumpling the smooth cream-colored sheets. The heading CLASSIFIED seemed to taunt me, a bold and black statement that embodied the stupid move I’d made.
   “Anyone ever told you not to look a gift horse in the mouth?” the man called, as my boots tapped on the floor of his office, carrying me away as fast as they could go without running. I didn’t reply as the steel doors to his office slammed shut behind me.
   “Well?” my buddy Roger asked, catching up as I charged away.
   “I was an idiot. The Lieutenant threw it in my face, and he’s right,” I said.
   I’d been wrong attempting to scare up evidence that the Captain of the ship—the only man the Empress trusted—was a traitor, a defector to the invaders at our borders.
   He’d been the one to take me on as crew aboard the starship, and I had him to thank for my position in the ranks. That’s what the Lieutenant had meant by “gift horse”.
   Did that mean the Captain was innocent? I hadn’t thought so. But the evidence—I couldn’t believe I’d been so naïve to judge a man like the Captain—was a desperate stringing together of events that would have been random. Unless you were someone like me, of course, searching for a conspiracy.
   I tossed away the paper.
   Roger shrugged. “Seemed pretty solid evidence to me.”
   “I was wrong.”
   “How do you know?”
   “I just do. Look, Roger, right now I don’t give a damn. I’ll be lucky if the Captain—”
   “What was that about me?”
   Roger and I froze.
   The Captain himself stood in the hallway, smiling strangely. He held up the paper I’d discarded and my stomach plummeted through the floor.
   “My my, Georgie,” he said, flipping through the sheets, “this is critical.”
   He met my gaze, his expression hard. I imagined it must be the look he gave his enemies in battle.
   “But let’s not beat around the bush, shall we? You are correct. I am a traitor to the Empire.”

(400 words)


What do you think?

The winner of this blogfest will be determined by vote, so don't forget to head over to Madeleine's blog and vote for your favorite entry!

-----The Golden Eagle


Pearson Report said...


Need I say more...(okay, cat's got my tongue)


Madeleine said...

Oh fabulous! Yourf punchline made me smile. Loved the liberal sprinkling of cliched phrases too.
Thanks for taking part.

Jess said...

Oh I love it!! Great job, and I loved the cliche's too :) Awesome!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's an Oh Crap moment!!!

Old Kitty said...

Oh noes!! Don't end it on a gorgeous cliffhanger! I want to know more!

Brilliant!!! Take care

David P. King said...

I'm afraid I'm blog-hopped out for the res of the year. Amazing that you're still going strong. Awesome story! :)

Michael Offutt, Expert Critic said...

It's clever. But your stories usually are :)

Jennifer Hillier said...

This was fun! Great job sprinkling the cliches throughout the story!

Mohamed Mughal said...

A series of cliches that actually kept my interest. Good work!

C D Meetens said...

I really enjoyed that, and had fun spotting the cliches too. Great ending! How can you end it on a cliffhanger like that? ;)

Jules said...

You have a real knack for leaving us wanting more! Great entry Eagle. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Stephen Tremp said...

These are all cliches????? I need an editor!

Belle said...

I really enjoyed that, it was exciting even with the cliches.

Sarah Pearson said...

Your writing just proves to me that if you write well enough, and interestingly enough, you can get away with cliches :-)

Donna Hole said...

Yep, I have to agree that was quite clever Golden :)

And the twist at the end was very well done.


the writing pad said...

Brilliant stuff - great that you used the cliches in a 'thriller' rather than as a comic piece - and it stayed believeable inspite of them :-)
Really enjoyed it!
All best

Susan Fields said...

Great job! And what a fun idea for a blogfest!

Connie Keller said...

Great story! Good luck.

Charles Gramlich said...

Recycling is the "in" thing. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Very fun!

Talli Roland said...

Haha! That's brilliant! I'd love to keep reading...

Nisa said...

Fantastic! What a moment!

J. A. Bennett said...

I got chills at the end! Great use of cliches!

N. R. Williams said...

Well done.

The Golden Eagle said...

Jenny: Thank you!

LOL. Great use of a cliche. :)

Madeleine: I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Thank YOU for hosting this blogfest!

Jess: Thanks. :D

Alex: Yup. LOL.

Old Kitty: Thanks!

Sorry about the cliffhanger--I had written/planned on more material, but the word limit stopped me. :P

David: And there's still one more to go for the year . . . but that will be the last one. I promise.

Thank you!

Michael: Aw, thanks. :) Glad you think so!

Jennifer: Thanks! Glad you liked it.

Mohamed: Thank you!

C D: I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

Well, I suppose I could always write more of it . . . maybe another blogfest will crop up where I can continue the story.

Jules: Thank you!

It's good to see you back in the blogosphere. :)

Stephen: According to what I hear they are . . . LOL.

Belle: Good to hear--I wanted to keep the cliches without detracting from the story. :)

Sarah: Thanks!

I agree; and I haven't read all the other entries yet, but I'm sure there are some great examples of cliches in there.

Donna: Thank you. :)

Karla: I wanted to try my had at something serious with cliches; I thought about doing something comical, but couldn't think of anything good enough. :P

I'm glad you liked my entry!

Susan: Thanks!

Definitely. Madeleine had a great idea there!

Connie: Thank you! :)

Charles: Which is good for both writers and the environment.

Tyrean: Glad you enjoyed it!

Talli: Thanks!

Might just continue this story sometime . . . I'd like to know what happens aboard that starship myself. :)

Nisa: Thank you!

J. A.: Chills are great to hear coming from a reader!

Nancy: Thanks. :)

Simon Kewin said...

Such a good idea. I'm sick as a parrot that I missed it!

The Golden Eagle said...

Simon: Aw, it is too bad you didn't get the chance to participate!

Great use of a cliche there, though. :)