Submitted by Cody_Fox23 t3_11clxsy in WritingPrompts

#Welcome back to Smash ‘Em Up Sunday!




On Sunday morning at 9:30 AM Eastern in our Discord server’s voice chat, come hang out and listen to the stories that have been submitted be read. I’d love to have you there! You can be a reader and/or a listener. Plus if you wrote we can offer crit in-chat if you like!


##Last Week


####Community Choice


  1. /u/Pyronar - “Station Surfing

  2. /u/dewa1195 - “To Have and to Hate

  3. /u/QuiscoverFontaine - “Gran’s Garden” -


####Cody’s Choice



##This Week’s Challenge


It is February and the shortened month means we are bringing back the first running theme in my time with SEUS: limbo month. Each week I’ll be cutting the wordcount down more and more. We’ll be putting your word economy to the test! Especially since I will be dictating more and more of a percentage of your stories as the weeks go by. So get creative. Get frugal. Get clever. Let’s lower that wordcount!


Oh look, week four is here. How low can you go? Can you go to the lowest and most exact wordcount I can give you? Let’s just push that limbo bar allllll the way down. 100 words should be a real challenge. It may feel like a stranglehold, but Hemmingway is said to have written the saddest story in six words with “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” Imagine what he could do wit 94 more words! I’d argue he could write an actual story, because without the pretext of it being “the saddest story” it is just an advert. Knowing the premise forces the reader to consider it in the context of being sad and so they make the entire story: a miscarriage a murder, a stillbirth, a kidnapping, or even if they ended up having to give the baby away for adoption. They are all heartwrenching because we want to understand why it is sad. In reality it could, and more likely is, that they never fit the child or they had too many and need to recover some money because babies are expensive.


breathe, Cody, breathe


Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Since I’m pretty sure most people don’t read this section anyhow, so I decided to shout into the void. Anyhow, this week. Your inspiration word is Fanfaronade. It is a noun meaning arrogant or boastful talk. Do with that what you will! I look forward to seeing what all is submitted and how many stories hit that precise 100 word count. Reminder: titles don’t count toward the 100 words, but if you go all japanese light novel title on me I’ll not count the 100 word constraint met. No cheating!


###How to Contribute


Write a story or poem, no more than 800 words in the comments using at least two things from the three categories below. The more you use, the more points you get. Because yes! There are points! You have until 11:59 PM EDT 04 Mar 2023 to submit a response.

After you are done writing please be sure to take some time to read through the stories before the next SEUS is posted and tell me which stories you liked the best. You can give me just a number one, or a top 5 and I’ll enter them in with appropriate weighting. Feel free to DM me on Reddit or Discord!


Category Points
Word List 1 Point
Sentence Block 2 Points
Defining Features 3 Points


####Word List

  • Fervor

  • Freight

  • Flounder

  • Fluent


####Sentence Block

  • Feed the fire!

  • [Only one sentence this week. It is worth 4 points.]


####Defining Features

  • Wordcount: 100 words

  • [Only one defining feature this week. It is worth 6 points.]


##What’s happening at /r/WritingPrompts?


  • Nominate your favourite WP authors or commenters for Spotlight and Hall of Fame! We count on your nominations to make our selections.

  • Come hang out at The Writing Prompts Discord! I apologize in advance if I kinda fanboy when you join. I love my SEUS participants <3 Heck you might influence a future month’s choices!

  • Want to help the community run smoothly? Try applying for a mod position. Everytime you ban someone, the number tattoo on your arm increases by one!


###I hope to see you all again next week!



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dewa1195 t1_ja3xgrg wrote

"You thought you could call me after all that fanfaronade--"

"--ooh, you're busting out the five-dollar-word--"

"--Your one instruction was to not feed the fire. Instead, you do this? You crash a freight train, flounder through the most basic French--something you're supposed to be fluent in--and nearly get yourself killed."

The office was silent. And then--

"He also completely blew up his cover," the assistant said, uncaring, unrepentant.

"Ride the desk until you learn better." He slammed the phone's receiver down with fervor.

The Commander sat down and sighed. "They get stupider and stupider every year. I need a break."

wc:100( wrote it in Seemed to be the best way to get to those 100 words. Just a little blurb.)


atcroft t1_ja4k9mx wrote

Chewing his cigar stub, a grizzled old man paced the engine room like a caged tiger.

Before him dozens of stokers moved in a fluent dance as they threw shovelful after shoveful of coal into the fireboxes. Sweat reflected on skin made leathery from years facing furnace fervor. "Put ye'r backs into it, lads! Feed the fire!"

He turned, retracing his steps. A smile cracked the barest corners of his mouth as he examined steam gauge after steam gauge. "That's it, lads. Keep it up. We can't let 'er flounder--our freight must get through. Lives are depending on ye' lads!"

(Word count: 100. Please let me know what you like/dislike about the post. Thank you in advance for your time and attention. Other works can also be found linked in r/atcroft_wordcraft.)


Alex_gold123 t1_ja8p8lh wrote

I had no fervor in life. Life seemed to me a way to flounder around from place to place. I was a freight, and I carried life around with me.

Someone once told me, to feed the fire! But I have hardly any embers left in me, the life burning the fire away.

For I search for things to be fluent in, to pass the time. All the time wondering if this was all there was.

But something in me tells me to carry on. For if life won't let me live, then I'll live in spite of life.

(Wc: 99 words)


Susceptive t1_ja3sdp5 wrote


Eight hundred miles of road, and now this.

The wards were floundering, or down entirely. Electricity off. Water disconnected. Dusty trails on everything. But it was home, even if Gladys had to force the door open against an entire freight of mail. At least feeding the fireplace would be easy.

But one package caught her eye. Small, palm-sized. Brown. No addresses, just a curious symbol and a signature: "Fanfaronade".

Gladys didn't like that symbol. It had fervor. Excitement and fluent magic, in all the bad ways. But it was midnight and her bed called.

She left it downstairs.



WC: 99

« Back | 9 | Next »


PolarisStorm t1_ja3vrpt wrote


You said not to, so I fled anyway.

You birthed me but you never knew me. When I floundered, you blamed my dreams of adventure. The one thing I have fervor for.

You know what that did? Feed the fire!

When you were working, I ran to the tracks and hopped a freight train. Who knows where I'll go? Maybe to a new country, where they speak a language I'm not fluent in…

Or somewhere other than here.

I never cared that I'm fifteen. You never cared to take me on adventures.

So fuck you, I'm going on my own.

WC: 100

Thanks for reading! Felt like writing a drabble, and it turns out that I immediately got an idea for this. I hope you all like it!


ruraljurorlibrarian t1_ja65uir wrote

Reward Poster, 1928

Rachel the duck had a very boastful quack though she did nothing but lounge in her plastic kiddie pool. Lysander knew this because he was fluent in duck.

Rachel had been born with club feet and Rockwell High School had created new ones. She was in a picture there that said she was "Our Hero".

This was a lie. That felonious fowl was a flower killer.

When he took her, he only meant to frighten.

Feed the fire! He did not intend to cook the duck. Still, she stiffened and floundered, falling over dead.

Lysander buried her near the petunias.


Charlie_Romeo_Writes t1_ja69r4z wrote

My War


How many roads have these boots walked? How many shores have these eyes seen? I've walked, I've ran, I've fought, and I've lost - for nothing at all.

Younger men thought it adventure. Feed the fire! Heed the call! For anything we'll fight, for nothing we'd fall.

At the end of things, love I've found. Not for glory, or fighting, or younger ambitions set abound.

I've found quiet - the peace of my small town.

The roads I've walked fade to dreams - in them I'll always be bound.

I cherish this peace. I cherish the end that I've found.


[WC: 97]


galdu t1_jaal4tx wrote

John balanced himself on the track, with his arms out wide and his mind in the clouds. “I think maybe I’ll tell people my mom’s a lawyer.”

“Y’know lies catch fire, right?” I told him.

“Feed the fire!” he commanded.


“What’s that?”


He paused. “My mom’s a paralegal,” he said, looking back towards home. “Does that sound true?”

“Yes, you’re fluent in bullshit,” I said, “Should we stop doing this?”

“Not until I’m not here and not poor." He hurried along the rail.

The ground trembled.

“You'll never make it,” I said.

“Why? We’re almost there!”

“Freight train.”


AstroRide t1_ja4m6kz wrote


The four cult members chant with fervor in Koine Greek around their victim. I’m not fluent in it, but I understand one phrase.

“Feed the fire!”

The ritual is on a freight train which makes my job easier. I open the door to the car and shoot them. After tossing them off the rails, they land in the snow leaving flounder shaped blood patterns.

Before leaving I check the sacrificial victim. Still alive, but no doubt going to die soon. I snap the neck. It’s the only mercy I know how to give.



Tomorrow_Is_Today1 t1_ja9orir wrote

Fareeha attacked language learning with fervor. With charts, flash cards, and daily practice, she'd surely be fluent in French in no time. But after three months, she was more confused than ever. Fareeha was supposed to be chatting with ease, but she was just floundering about.

One day, she lost an hour to confusion after misreading "fright" as "freight" and had enough. Fareeha brought her notes to a s'mores night with her friend Fabian. They'd feed the fire now.

Fareeha charred a marshmallow black over the blazing papers, grinning at the flames.

Then Fabian turned to her. "How's French going?"


Miaukeru t1_jacdhdk wrote

On the fishing boat The Flounder Pounder, the enthusiasm in the crew was boiling over. They were getting ready to pull out another full net.

- Just be careful this time! - shouted Captain Samatar over the radio in fluent Mandarin.

He turned in his bridge chair to Officer Farax.

- If we'll lose one more freight like that and we can say goodbye to the boat. - He muttered. - Cheap labour was supposed to help us bounce back. With each passing day, I'm becoming more convinced that chasing these freeloaders off and working on our own would work out for the better! - he almost shouted, banging on the table.

The pompous tirade was interrupted by a stone that shattered the glass in front of the helm. The two officers looked out onto the deck.

- Captain, I don't think you've switched off your microphone... - whispered Farax.

Somewhere from the crew a loud "Feed the fire!" rang out in an Eastern accent and all hell broke loose.

WC: 162


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