Not-so-White Castle

I have to confess, I’ve have not read “Fifty Shades of Grey,” but I did win flash fiction contest based on the title “Fifty Sheds of Grey.” The story was set in a one-hole outhouse and the poor tenant was bemoaning the fact that he’d eaten too many jalapenos the night before. It wasn’t the kind of story that would garner a Pulitzer Prize, but it did earn $25 and twelve months of braggin’ rights.

Most of us know from personal experience that not everything in life is Black or White, Good or Evil, and last but certainly not least, Sweet or Sour.  Somethings fall into that sinkhole beneath the middle of the bell-shaped curve under the category of bland, boring, and downright forgettable. Such is the case with today’s delicacy.

If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, the tour guide for our weekly excursion into the mystic is the famous trapeze artist who ran away from the circus to become a writer, Florenda Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF “Hollywood Squares” author seating chart click here.

Copyright - Claire Fuller
Copyright – Claire Fuller

“This is where it all began.” The tour guide’s voice flat and cold as the stone walls surrounding them.

Alice squeezed Marvin’s hand and ducked cobwebs as they navigated the dimly lit passageway leading deep into the bowels of the castle.

“I can’t believe you wanted to come here.”

“Relax, the brochure said they’ve only lost three guests in twenty years.”

Filing into a large room filled with boiling cauldrons, the group covered their noses to ward off the rising effluvia.

A man wearing a chef’s hat held up a small hamburger.

Somehow the Grey Castle ‘Spyder’ sandwich never caught on.


Feel free to offer constructive criticism

Feel free to offer constructive criticism.

27 Comments on “Not-so-White Castle

  1. Hi Russell,
    Don’t know why people didn’t loved the spider sandwich. They’re delicious. They taste just like Tyson chicken. Maybe they’re not cooking them right. You need to deep fry them in hog fat. Congrats on your big win in the flash fiction contest. I haven’t read it either, but from what I hear, your story was a lot more wholesome than the novel. Ron


  2. *Shudder* I love old castles and churches, but I think I’m in the “why the hell are we here” camp with your character. It’s all very cleverly depicted, as usual.


  3. Dear Russell,

    I love your chainsaw picture. It is a definite case of 100-upmanship over the scalpel. Trouble with your work is….nothing. Another wild excursion into the dark, twisted and hilarious cavern between your ears. The sinkhole beneath the beel jar curve was a shiny little gem. Loving it.




  4. I like the chainsaw, too! Congratulations on the prize and bragging rights! In your second paragraph, above the photo, “somethings” should be two words. Enjoyed your creepy trip into the bowels of the castle…I’m seeing a pattern here from the outhouse to the bowels of the castle. 🙂


  5. Dear Russell,

    Ack, I didn’t think about the competition in this year’s Flash contest. Oh well. To the victor go the spoils. (I’m still hopeful.) I’ll pass on the Spyder burger thankyouverymuch. Stellar and funny as always.


    Florenda, Queen of Trees and not so white Castles


    • That contest was last October at Ozark Creative Writer’s conference in Eureka Springs. Deadline for this year’s contest is August 31st. so you’ve still got time.


      • I was actually thinking OWL, which I’ve entered this year. Wasn’t aware of OWC. Do you have to go to the conference? Right now I’m good to make OWL.


      • No, you do not have to be present to win. It’s a rather small conference, but only 35 miles from my house.


  6. Tthe chainsaw is a bit of a worry. Weird guides…boiling caldrons…hamburgers… I think I’ll settle for a BTL and cappuccino at my favourite cafe thanks. Another tale of strange wackiness, based on and inspiring photo, which, as you say is thanks to Florenda the ex-trapeze artist 😀


  7. Never caught on? I wonder why not. Good story Russell. Someone bought me a book called ‘fifty sheds of grey’, I never read it but I did look at a few of the pictures. 🙂


  8. You never fail to amuse me, even if I’m puzzled. We don’t have White Castle in my part of the world, but I hear tell they make some great little burgers. Without the spiders.


    • They call their little mini-burgers Sliders, so the Grey Castle version had to be similar in name. Glad you enjoyed it, Erin.


      • Well, I’m thoroughly disgusted, especially since I eat there three times a week but don’t get the spyderburger. Faked me out for sure, Russell, had no idea we were in a fast food place. How could it be if they’d only lost three people?


  9. ick.your character’s got some balls.i’d never go to such places.well done.and wow,congratulations!:-)


  10. So hilarious! Great set up and ghastly, surprise ending! I always look forward to Rochelle’s new identity every week, too. Look, now she was a circus performer!


    • Yeah, it takes a lot of courage to run AWAY from the circus to become a WRITER (of all things). Their loss is our gain.


  11. hahah! I’m still laughing about 50 sheds of gray! Did you really write that story? HA! Any story that makes me look up effluvia is . . . is . . . a miracle!


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