Posted: May 22, 2013 in dark, fiction, Outdoors, writing
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

FlashFictionFridayPrompt PAY PHONE danny-bowman

Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for all her work and organization. You can visit her site and read through the other Flash Fiction Friday postings at:


For those who are new, Rochelle shares a photo prompt to which several #FridayFictioneers compose a 100-word flash of fiction. Come, run a game with me. Just, don’t ask questions.

Here’s my contribution:

Scavenger Hunt

Is this the place?” Martin smoothed the soggy napkin, stained by a brown ring, with a hand-drawn map. The ink had stretched and bled.

Should be.” Simpson’s brow pinched. “Is that MLK Ave or Street?”

Wait. It’s over there.” Martin jogged toward an old phone booth recess beside a convenience store; the graffitied wall advertised escorts and cash advances. “I don’t see anything.”

Check the coin return.”

Martin poked his finger inside the metal slot. Like some sick carnival prank, out tumbled not a gumball but Charlie’s gold-ringed pinky.

And, another strip of paper.


  1. Carrie says:

    Ewww. That is gross! Not the kind of prize I’d be looking for!

  2. Honie Briggs says:

    creepy geocashing! 😉

  3. Helena Hann-Basquiat says:

    Brilliant. Deliciously dark, and you really captured the seedy neighbourhood, darling.

  4. […] Here’s a darkly brilliant tale by JK Bradley called Scavenger Hunt. […]

  5. Gross. But well written, as always!

  6. Dear JK,
    I can always count on you to shock me with some dark detail and amaze me with your concise writing style. Deliciously creepy…a little like the movie Seven only with a finger instead of a head.

    • JKBradley says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed, Rochelle. The thought of murdering Adam Levine while he sang his Payphone song had occured to me, but I couldn’t make it fit the 100 word limit!

      Have a great weekend!

  7. Chiming in on the above comments. It’s amazing how many dark stories are coming from this seemingly innocent photo! As always, well-done.


  8. Sarah Ann says:

    Oh yum. Loved the description of the map. Would love to know where that new piece of paper is going to send them.

  9. Kir Piccini says:

    the description of the map was great, i love when ink bleeds.

    I also loved the end, the plot thickens and takes us along for the ride, we as readers are anticipating that clue. 🙂

  10. high five and raspberries says:

    Deliciously creepy.They might as well enjoy the ring, Charlie obviously has no further use for it.

  11. oh I love scavenger hunts
    and this one seems to be just starting

  12. Penny L Howe says:

    In a word, brilliant! 🙂

  13. dreaminofobx says:

    I can’t believe how much story you crammed into just 100 words…I felt like I’d just finished a whole chapter in a suspenseful novel. Now I’m longing to turn to the next chapter to see where the hunt leads them next!

    • JKBradley says:

      Thank you my friend. If you like, feel free to look around the website. There are some 40 other flashes of fiction as well access to some of my short stories in the Book Store section.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Maybe I’ll see you at the OBX.

  14. Dani Karns says:

    sorry Charlie….. so do they follow the note or the blood trail?

    On Wed, May 22, 2013 at 8:27 PM, The Bradley Chronicles wrote:

    > ** > JKBradley posted: ” Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for all her > work and organization. You can visit her site and read through the other > Flash Fiction Friday postings at: > http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/24-may-2013/ For > those who are new, “

  15. unspywriter says:

    Oh, why do I think this scavenger hunt is going to end badly? Nice and creepy.

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/priorities/

    • JKBradley says:

      Why? Badly? Maybe Charlie is saved! Maybe his wife and children remain safe!

      Or maybe that snowball continues to tummble down the mountainside?

      I’m thinking Charlie is on the wrong side of something?

      Thank you for stopping by!

  16. There’s the opening of a really good and macabre short story, or an episode of Tales from the Crypt. It’s one I’d like to read (or see!)

  17. […] (elmowrites) Upgraded Service–Friday Fictioneers (Björn Rudbergs Writings) Flash Fiction Friday–Scavenger Hunt (The Bradley Chronicles)  new blog of the […]

  18. writeondude says:

    Wonderfully macabre. Wonder what they find next? Well done.

    • JKBradley says:

      Thanks for visiting.

      I too wonder what that next note said. I do think Charlie screwed up. Maybe his friends can save him, maybe not. The city is a hungry place, and not forgiving.

  19. EmmaMc says:

    I knew you would deliver something a bit ‘ew’ at the end. God knows what else they will find. As always, a great read.

  20. Pretty creepy – but it fits the creepy looking old telephone box. NIce one.

  21. Kent Bonham says:

    I give it five gold rings, JK. Hopefully with no fingers attached!

  22. That’s a pretty grisly game. Do they have to collect all of him in pieces?

  23. Very well written and great punch line.

  24. I remember when we were kids we were told that people had put hypodermic needles in some coin return slots of some pay phones. I would have never stuck my finger in there, I would have peeked first. 😉

  25. […] FLASH FICTION FRIDAY ~Scavenger Hunt~ (thebradleychronicles.wordpress.com) […]

  26. Linda Vernon says:

    I can’t really put my finger on why this is so good. Well I could, but I’m afraid to now! Nicely crafted! 😀

  27. Joe Owens says:

    I wonder how many pieces of anatomy Charlie has shed in this ghoulish game? I like the tone of this!

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