I love contests! So often, they are the key to meeting other authors and occasionally, even publication. This one found me via Facebook, and I couldn’t resist. I apologize in advance for the decidedly unholidaylike theme, but I was on a deadline, and try as I might I couldn’t fit Christmas into the Horror category that I had decided to write under. Well, you’ll see – I’m including the links as well as the story. My contribution fits under number seven in the Horror section - not really horror at all, but lots of fun. Hope you enjoy!
Nicola’s affinity with frogs had long been established, even before she found The Whopper in the fire station on the day of the drowning - her childhood summers spent largely on the shores of Blue Goose Lake with spotlight and gig in hand, blonde curls caught back with haphazard butterfly clips. Bikinis Tap paid a flat ten dollars per pound for the unfortunate’s hindquarters, and Nicola had purchased books with the proceeds – Steinbeck and Burke and later Sookie Stackhouse.
But she had never seen a frog the size of The Whopper. He emerged from beneath the gear rack while she was removing her helmet - nudged her boots crosswise and leaped past her, enormous legs trailing.
“Good Lord.” Burwell passed a gloved hand over his bald head and left a sooty smear just above his eyebrows. “There’s a whopper, kiddo.”
Nicola had already captured her prey - gray-green and greasy-wet, its warble more like death rales than anything else.
“Look at that mouth,” Burwell bent close to peer into the pop-eyed visage. “Opens a little wider, he’ll eat you right up.”
“I’ll put him in my car for now,” Nic twisted away from her coworker with the monstrosity clutched to her chest. “Take him home and turn him loose in the lake.”
Nicola’s half-sister Benny called at lunchtime, when the EMS crew was still hashing the details of the drowning – her voice so agitated, Nic could practically see her finger- combing her cornrows and rolling her eyes.
“That thing I did last night, remember? With the frog eggs and the poppet?”
Nonsensical magic, Benny’s forte; Nicola closed her eyes against a wash of real fear. She would not reply....