Free Flash Fiction: Pool Punch

From “I Actually Dreamed This”

Okay, guys, I’m off doing Thanksgiving-y things, and the last few blogs posts have been very REAL. Let’s lighten things up with a short silly one.

I simply wish to preface this by saying yes, I really dreamed every detail of this crazy nonsense…right down to the puffy peach sleeves. (Dream date: August 2009)

…And a rousing game of Pool Punch was about to begin!

Game requirements: The game of Pool Punch is to be held in a rectangular in-ground pool, back-yard style. The depth of the pool shall be a minimum of seven (7) feet at the deep end, and a maximum of three (3) feet at the shallow end. There must be a wall at the deep end of the pool rising seven (7) feet above the surface of the water, and it shall be affixed with two ladders (one for each team). Grassy yard optional; bleachers recommended for spectator seating.

Teams requirements: Teams must have no fewer than five (5) but no more than seven (7) players. Team names and themed attire must be agreed upon in advance by team members; a team not in “uniform” shall not be permitted to play.

Primary objective: Punch the other team.

Rule: Punch the other team.

Winner determined by winning.


The Flannels vs. The Prom Dates

Pool Punch Teams

My team was The Flannels. We donned various styles of long-sleeved flannel shirts tucked into faded cut-off jeans with white socks and tan work boots. Our opponents were The Prom Dates. They outnumbered us by one, and were wearing 80s-style prom dresses with dyed-to-match satin slippers.

We all piled onto our team ladders to await the starting gun, where jovial ribbing quickly yielded to silent anticipation. And…BANG! Both teams immediately leapt into the water and made to engage. The fists began to fly! (After all, that’s the sole object of the game…punch.)Pool - Eli's drawingI took on a scraggly youth in an emerald green strapless number and socked him one right in the eye. He reeled for a moment, but then hoisted his bodice and popped me in the chin…following quickly with another blow to the right cheek. Did he just one-two me? That satin-clad fiend!

Out of my star-spangled periphery, I could see The Flannels quickly losing their ground. One of my teammates was crawling feebly along the edge of the pool; another was holding a hand over her nose and bleeding profusely. I decided to make my way to the shallower water, propelling myself through swirls of pink in an attempt to gain some footing. But before I was completely stable I caught another blow to temple, issued this time by an athletic fellow with puffy peach sleeves. I didn’t recall going underwater but I must have done, considering I found myself being pulled back out of it and plunked onto the edge of the pool. As I sat there swaying and nauseated, the fight bell rang out loudly. Ding ding ding ding ding!

[I love that this began with a starting gun and ended with a fight bell.]

We had lost. The Prom Dates rejoiced wildly! They splashed about in the blood-tinged water, hit-hugging and high-fiving. Jeers and cackles were aimed at the crestfallen Flannels as the Prom Dates exited the pool and catered to the crowd…

Welp, there’s one for the “stupid” file. 

 Thanks for reading. And to my fellow countrymen, Happy Thanksgiving.

Deidre sig, transp bg

This week’s guests artists:
Caleb, age 9; Kylie, age 7; and Eli, age 5.

Find this story and more in the Mannison Minibook collection I Actually Dreamed This Crazy Nonsense (2019 from Mannison Press).

Available in 4×8 paperback and ebook.

Find it here.

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