Risky Business – 115 Word Flash Fiction

Cheryl screamed and threw her dead cellular phone. It hit the dirt floor and then skittered under the wooden table.

How long will I last out here with no water?

After a couple of shots of tequila, signing up seemed like such a great idea. She wanted everyone to recognize her name and now it would only be seen in the obituaries.

She was roused by a rumble from above. Cheryl stumbled out from the deserted house into the afternoon sun which hung like a hot coal in the cloudless sky.

A man with a megaphone shouted from a helicopter, “Cheryl Sharpe. You are the winner of “Surviving Death Valley! Congratulations!”

Cheryl collapsed and passed out.


Would you like to be on a reality TV show? Which one?

For more flash fiction check out the Fictioneers!

Feel free to leave your “flash” in my comment section!

Photo by Amanda Gray

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Filed under Fiction, Humor

118 responses to “Risky Business – 115 Word Flash Fiction

  1. This story is entirely believable. And that’s what makes it so scary.

  2. Good one! I would like to be on a reality show that requires no physical effort, no intelligence, no fashion sense and the tv crew would have to come here. Hahaha!

  3. Noooo way would I want to be a part of a reality show. Real life is scary enough!

    Great flash fiction – excellent!

  4. lynnkelleyauthor

    I love your flash fiction, Susie! Nope, I don’t want to be on a reality show. Too crazy! Although yesterday we had some pretty crazy discussions at my writers meeting and I told them we’d sure make a great realty show. One of our members wrote a short story parody on Fifty Shades of Gray. Funny as heck, and you can imagine what we had to say about it. Most of us haven’t read Fifty Shades of Gray but the parody was still hilarious.

    You’d be perfect for The Amazing Race, Susie, like you mentioned in another comment. I say Go For It!

    • I will humiliate myself within the first 5 minutes when I would run the wrong way later realizing my map was upside down! My son and husband would make a better team since they are not tightly wound like me!
      That 50 Shades of Gray parody must have been hysterical! I read a funny post about the poor grammar yesterday. Poor lady. She probably didn’t even hire an editor before she self-published and now it’s too late!
      Thanks so much Lynn! I am hosting another Use Me and Abuse Me day on Wed. if you are around…. :)

  5. Great Flash as usual! I want to be on the Mayberry Reality show…that would be a challenge for most. Eating bugs is nothing compared to being nice all of the time.

  6. Ahh yes, tequila is a trouble starter. I’ve never ended up in a reality show as a result of partaking, though. Hmmm, if I could be on any reality show? Does “Chopped” on the Food Network count? Working with crazy ingredients on the fly would be good times for me.

  7. Oh man. That would suck! I’m not a fan of reality television. They do some horrible things to their victims.

    • Victim is right! They do manipulate and edit to make the “reality” more interesting. I would never be on one, The closest I come is blogging and I have full control over how humiliated I am! Hahaha!

  8. I would only want to be on a reality TV show to be a calm voice of reason. Obviously, I would lose very badly.

    • I don’t think I would have the ability to be calm or reasonable! I would be worried that I would go out on the first round, so my cheeks would hurt from smiling and sucking up to everyone.
      Thanks for coming by to read!

  9. great imagination. love it.

  10. Very cool, Susie!
    And no Tom Cruise… Even cooler!

  11. Hey Susie! Don’t know how you do it with so few words :) If I were to be in a reality show…I’d probably choose ‘Worlds Apart’. There have been a few like that one – where families from developed countries spend time in a remote culture. Probably the most enjoyable reality TV watching I’ve done :)

    • I have never seen that show. It sounds great!
      I do remember a MTV show that my daughter watched that took super spoiled rotten brat girls and dropped them into 3rd world countries where they lived and worked for at least a week.
      Thanks so much Alarna! I did have to go 15 over! Hahaha!

  12. Nice little slice of flash, Susie! My mind was going in another direction when the helicopter appeared… well done!

    I miss doing 100 word flash, but I have so much on my plate right now, it’s an indulgence I have to pass on for the time being. I seriously need to learn to say ‘no’ when someone asks me to write a story for an anthology they are putting together. The thing is, they are for charity… how do you say ‘no’ to that?

    Anyway, great piece of writing. I could see this as a much larger story… it is a great concept.

    • I was wondering where you were! I just assume when people aren’t around in the summer that they are taking time off or working on their own projects. Sounds like a good one!
      Thank you so much! I have thought of expanding on some of these and writing a short story book…First I have to finish my paranormal fiction book. I’m still wrestling with a few scenes. I….am….waiting….for….them….to….say….UNCLE!
      Thank you so very much. That means a lot!

      • You’re welcome. Hope your summer is going well.

        You definitely should do that… I would love to read them..

        I have a few flash pieces that people have commented to me could definitely be bigger. I have loved doing flash… it is a great discipline… but sometimes we get an idea that really can’t be told in 100 or even 1,000 words.

  13. Death Valley, or quoting Sly and the Family Stone, Hot Fun In The Summertime.

    Good short!

  14. Oh this is such a perfect story here :) reality tv meets fiction. Well done. Mine is here http://boomiebol.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/the-houses-secret-friday-fictioneers-76/

    • “Reality meets fiction.” Well said! Thanks so much Boomiebol!
      I will stop by for a peek!

    • I gotta ask. Do you follow a lot of people to have over a 1000 followers? A lot of my friends have gotten followers that way and I was just wondering. I wouldn’t know how to handle my inbox with all the email alerts! LOL!

      • You know, i don’t know why WP has my followers at that many lol. I have about 400. But my blog is directly linked to my facebook page, and i have some email subsribers so i am thinking maybe it just added them all up. I follow about 400 blogs and its hard to keep up but i try.
        Thankfully not everyone posts daily :).

        • That is a lot to follow! :)
          How do you link it? Do you mean that you have your blog set up to share the link on FB when you blog or something else? Curiouser and curiouser… :)

          • I know :).
            Yes, my personal facebook page was added via one of the buttons on the dashboard…sharing button i think. I figured if i can send birthday messages to someone on facebook everyday, the least they can do is read my blog lol. But i know not everyone does.
            So everytime i post a blog, it shares it on facebook as well.

            • Ohhhh!! I used to have it linked up, but I wanted to write a little somethin’ on Facebook so I pulled it! Thanks for letting me know.
              I do have a friend who follows everyone he reads and when they comment on his blog. When I asked him how he keeps up with the email alerts, he said he blocks them! :( That seemed to defeat the purpose of building a real following since you would never get to know them!
              Thanks again for the info!

              • My pleasure. yea that defeats it. I try not to follow everyone who follows me, because i want to be able to read this blogs and keep up.
                But very often i go back from time to time and visit bloggers that have stopped by before.

                You have a great blog Susie. I will be back this weekend to read with pleasure :)

  15. What people are willing to do! Nice take on the propmpt

  16. Very creative. I think I’d pass on Death Valley, LOL
    In reality, there is little reality in so called reality shows, :D

  17. Nice, very nice, though I’d never want to be on a reality show (unless it was my own version of the Amazing Race and I could stay in each place for a month or two haha). I enjoyed this!

    Here’s mine: http://pinionpost.com/2012/07/06/kyawe/

  18. Nice job and unique story line!

  19. The story rocked. You’ve got a great thing going with flash fiction. I look forward to more.

  20. Uhg, our lives are reality shows each day! Hope your still a long way from those fires.

    • I would sometimes like to turn off the ongoing reality TV show that is my life! Hahaha!
      Yep we are across the valley from them. The foothills are susceptible to the fires.
      Ironically, I got a reverse 911 call warning about flash floods so my rain dancing is working! LOL! (there wasn’t any that I know of in the foothills) We have actually gotten more rain in the 1st 5 days of July than all of June!
      Thanks so much John and have a great weekend!

  21. ha ha great!
    however, just the first few lines make a great story as well :) ….
    “Cheryl screamed and threw her dead cellular phone. It hit the dirt floor and then skittered under the wooden table.

    How long will I last out here with no water?”

    in less 30 words ;)


    • I am glad you liked it Jimmy! I love these flashes as an exercise in concise writing and I think it is helping me in the book I am rewriting.
      I will check out your blog!
      Thank you so much!

  22. I enjoy watching reality shows, but do not care to be in one. Too much drama and bickering and just not into that. Great Read – Have a Wonderful Weekend:)

  23. Would love to be on my own reality tv show. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  24. To each his own. I’m for fun, but not into reality tv, as I live my own. I want fantasy or dreamland. Now absolutely incredible people, sure as those are few. Bye.

    • I wonder who I would really like to follow around for a day….No one really pops into my mind.
      I love fantasy and great comedy. I’m really sick of all the cop/CSI/lawyer shows too.
      Have a great weekend!

  25. Russell

    Great jab at reality TV. It’s ridiculous to pretend that people are acting normal when cameras & mics are everywhere. I loved the line about “hot coal in a cloudless sky” Unfortunately, we’ve seen a lot of that here lately.


    • I know what you mean and I especially love when they say, “She told me not to tell anyone but, …” Now the secret is out to millions of people! Hahaha!
      Thanks so much Russell!

  26. Nice flash, but I’m not a flasher yet. I hope that wasn’t an iPhone that was flung under that table. Aside from An American Family, the second season of Survivor and Meet the Osbornes, I’ve had my lifetime fill of reality TV. But now that Federer beat Djokovic, the reality of Wimbledon has become much more exciting for me.

  27. Ooh cool, and great question! These flash fiction pieces of yours always leave me wanting more. This remind’s me of Deb’s significant other (Deb from Monster in Your Closet) – he was on Survivor! I don’t think I could ever be on ANY reality show, especially not one that relied on survival skills. Maybe one that involved vodka and puppies.

  28. Back in my acting days, I passed on a few reality show opportunities. It was quite the experience even hearing the details. Participants often have to sign contracts that say things like “may be filmed naked.” I also have friends who’ve worked on the crew, usually for a short time period. ;) There are some good ones, I think, but for the most part, CREEPY. Not sure I want anyone editing my life and twisting then showing the worst. lol

    • I would never do it! A friend of mine was on Wife Swap and she and her husband never recovered. They are still together, but I think they were in hiding for a year! :)

      Contracts and waivers and nakedness oh my!

      Thanks August!

  29. Hi Susie,
    I can’t get the image of Tom Cruise dancing around in his briefs in the desert out of my mind. Wonder why? Amazing what a couple of shots of tequila will get a person to do. I’m going to steal the phrase “hot coal in a cloudless sky” and use it in my writing. One picky point. Wouldn’t she pass out and then collapse? Thanks for reading and commenting on my story.

    • The Tom Cruise image is a funny one!
      Shots of tequila will do it every time.
      I thought hard about that last line, but I think you see your face hit the floor and passed out. I have almost done that when really light headed so I guess I went by my own experience and NO, it wasn’t tequila induced. Hahaha! Thanks for reading Ron1

  30. Reality shows are not really real (Does that make sense?). The Housewives have too many arguments to be real housewives. And “Keeping up with the Kardashians”, Don’t they have enough money? Do they need to make up stories so we will watch and they can make more? But “Dog the Bounty Hunter”?? Yes, that’s a real show… NOT! (I could go on and on… HA HA )

    • The biggest shock to me recently was that House Hunters (HGTV) was completely rigged! I was surprised that even the hoedeedoh shows have been sucked in and contrived.
      Thanks for reading Glenn!

  31. I think some people feel like they’re living through this “reality” right now! I hope cooler weather heads there way and some warmer heads ours:)

    • So true with the heat and the fires! I had a tennis match yesterday and thought it was supposed to be cooler and wore a dark top. I think it hit 98 degrees! whoa….
      I would love to trade temps and I think I read that it will be in the high 70’s this weekend! Hooray! Blowing some your way….WoooOoooOOoooOoooOOooo…..
      Thanks Smidge!

  32. No, I wouldn’t, but I love to watch. :-) Great piece.

  33. That’s hilarious, nice one Susie!

  34. omg definitely not this one…i would not survive
    what a brilliant story,…Sussie you are such a fab fiction/thriller writer…wow

  35. Hello Susie – it would have to be “Scientologists Have Got Talent”

  36. Nope, not me, “I don’t need no stinkin’ reality shows”.
    I don’t watch them; they just don’t interest me. You couldn’t do a true reality show because it would involve filming people when you can’t be around them. Also, there would be medical catastrophes! Leave someone in upper Minnesota in February and have them make it back to civilization somewhere. No way to film and the person truly feel alone. Just my take.
    Good piece to read.

    • I know what you mean Scott. I remember watching one of those guys in the wild. Is it Bear Grylls that gets dropped out of a plane and has to find food and water? He makes it seem like he never find civilization and yet it is filmed by several camera angles. Right….
      Thanks so much Scott and for weighing in!

  37. rochellewisoff

    I agree with Linda. I detest reality shows for the most part. But good take on the prompt, Susie. You had me to the end.

    • Thanks Rochelle! I think most of them are garbage, but I like Amazing Race since it has a great premise and there always seems to be that underdog team that I find myself rooting for! I used to watch The Apprentice, but that show has gotten ridiculous!

  38. Dear Susie,

    Wonderful take on the prompt and great skewering of reality TV and the people who frequent it.




    • Thanks Doug! Glad you liked my slant on reality TV. I am amazed that people survive a lot of the challenges. There was some crazy show a year ago where people would be latched onto an airplane’s wing or the top of a train and if they lost the challenge they would be catapulted off in some way. It was so crazy and I am sure no one really got hurt, but the insurance must have been so high that they pulled it!

  39. Poor Cheryl. Fame ain’t what it’s cracked up to be.

    The only reality sow I have any interest in being on is the 63 season “El Guapo spends 3.2 Billion Dollars!”

    • It sure isn’t! Hahaha! Cheryl didn’t know what she was getting into. She took a lot of risk, but it paid off!
      I love the 63rd season of “El Guapo spends 3.2 Billion Dollars!” That is my favorite one!

  40. Isn’t that the truth – people will do anything for 15 minutes of fame on the reality TV shows. Nice comment on the current ‘state of the TV nation’ Cheryl. :-)

    I’m on the list but for those who happen across, my offering is also here: http://womanontheedgeofreality.com/2012/07/06/reality-brought-forth/

    • I am glad you “got” that Linda! I can’t believe the amount of suffering (Survivor) and humiliation (The Bachelor -ette etc) people put themselves through. But I have to admit that I would love to be on the Amazing Race!
      Glad you left your link. I will be by to read!

      • Personally I can’t bear to watch any of the reality TV shows we have here in the UK, it makes me wonder if we aren’t descending into chaos as we feed ‘mush’ into people’s minds to keep them quiet – rather as the Roman stadia did as the empire was falling … but hey that’s the serial conspiracy theorist in me coming out :-)

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