Mysterious Photograph

Each issue features a Mysterious Photograph. Readers are invited to submit a 250-word (or less) flash fiction story based on the photo. The person who invents the best mystery story receives a prize of $25, and the story is published in a future issue.

The Story That Won the January/February contest:


© Diane C. Macdonald/


by Rudy Uribe, Jr.

Omar looked his opponent in the eye. “Checkmate.”

Geoff placed his finger atop the king in resignation. The deadly poison in the king’s crown took immediate effect. Geoff succumbed to the toxin and fell dead to the floor.

“Are you kidding me? That’s how you’re going to end your story?” Emily was always critical.

“What’s wrong with it? The end game turned out to be the real end game for Geoff. It’s poetic justice.”

“It’s stupid. What possible reason does Omar have for killing Geoff? You never gave us a motive.”

Jeremy took a deep breath. “Geoff was critical of Omar his entire life. He criticized everything he did. Omar couldn’t take it anymore so he devised a way to kill Geoff by beating him at the only game he knew he could win.”

Emily was relentless. “If Geoff knew he couldn’t beat Omar why would he even agree to play? It’s a stupid ending.”

“I’m sorry I asked you to read it. I keep looking for your approval, for some form of love, but I guess I’m never going to get that from you.”

“When you do something worthy of praise,” Emily told her husband, “I’ll give it to you. Besides, how does just touching the king get the poison into Geoff’s bloodstream?” Emily reached over to a chessboard and placed her finger on the king’s crown to demonstrate. “Ouch, what was that?”

“Nothing to worry about,” Jeremy smiled, “It’s just a pinprick.”


For information and to enter The Mysterious Photograph contest,
see our current issue on sale now!