Write Your Worst Tag

I have been tagged by Saraina. Thanks!

Before we begin, I would like to clarify things:

  1. I have no idea if Chattanooga has a zoo. Frankly, I don’t care. I just used it because I think it’s a fun word to say.
  2. I have no clue if penguins could survive that long in such heat and humidity. For the sake of the story, I don’t care.
  3. I despise New York. I am not promoting travel there, and I will never again have an idea take place there.
  4. I don’t usually write contemporary. In fact, I’m not fond at all of most contemporaries. So I have no idea why this ended up as contemporary.
  5. K.R. Mattson can be blamed for this piece of flash fiction. She was the one who gave the penguin prompt.
  6. I didn’t edit it a lick. So sorry for any errors there may be (although I do suppose that is part of the challenge).
  7. Admittedly, the worst thing I ever wrote was the first story I attempted. But I’m not subjecting you to that. So you get the second-worst thing I’ve ever written.

The Rules

  1. Link back to the creator of the tag, Saraina Whitney
  2. Include the tag graphic in your post
  3. Thank the blogger who tagged you and link back to their blog
  4. Display the rules in your post
  5. In a thousand words or less, do your best to create the most poorly-written story you can. Indulge in cheesiness, stiff or overly flowery prose, poor grammar, and cliche premises to your heart’s content.
  6. Break all the writing rules you want
  7. Keep it clean, of course; do not take “worst” to mean morally so
  8. Though you can make fun of cliches you hate, do stay respectful of other’s opinions
  9. Tag any bloggers you’re dying to see try this, or leave an open nomination!
  10. You can repeat the challenge however many times you want

Of Penguins, Bullets, and Agents

“911. What’s your emergency?”

Jack stared at the multiple black-and-white fowl toddling about the lush green grass. He groaned and rubbed his forehead. He hated this job. Hated Matt for getting him involved. Hated NYC. Hated all of this.


“I don’t know that it’s an emergency exactly, but there’s, like,  800 penguins running around in Central Park. Just thought someone should know.”

The operator spluttered her disbelief. “Sir, it is highly immature and inappropriate to prank call this line.”

“Ma’am, I’m not pranking. This is real. I’m, uh, a driver for the Chattanooga Zoo. Was haulin’ a bunch of penguins when something happened and they all escaped.”

The lie tasted bitter. It shouldn’t, not after all his missions, but it did. He’d been raised to know lying was a sin, and here he was, speaking one as smoothly as his brother charmed and flattered girls.

Jack never had been a ladies’ man. Wasn’t even a people’s man, really.

I digress.

The operator fumbled for a sentence. “I’ll contact the local dog catcher.”

“Please do.” Although one man with a puny net wouldn’t do much good.

Eight hundred penguins. Jack would drink ten gallons of coffee in one sitting if it meant he never had to see another stupid penguin again.

Darn you, Matt.

He grumbled and called the zoo, reporting the incident. Then he called Matt, listing his extensive complaints against his captain and his less-than-stellar idea.

Matt laughed. “Hang tight, Jack. Backup will be there in a few.”

“A dog catcher is not backup.”

“Not the backup I spoke of. Looks like Antony Covolo is making his way toward your location, so you may get a chance to bring him in sooner than we thought.”

That or a chance to die sooner than Jack planned. “Sounds great. You know what I want my epitaph to say.”

“Shut up, you big baby, and get to work.”

Jack scowled at the phone after Matt hung up. Cowardly boss.


The feminine voice drew him from his musings. A woman of average features, with dark hair and gray eyes, stared at him.

A groan welled in his throat. Not again. “Kiersta”.

She nodded then moseyed to his side. In a low voice, she murmured, “Another mission?”

“I forgot how nosy you are.”

“Smile, Jack. The media is catching this. Can’t have the Chatanooga Penguin Chauffeur looking like he wants to murder his passengers.”

Jack knew exactly who he wanted to murder. And when he was through with Matt, the dimwit wouldn’t be laughing.

“Let me guess. A.C. is your target?”

“Why don’t you broadcast it to the world?”

“You’ll need help.”

“Not the type you can provide.”

“That’s true. I don’t work in a mental institution.”

Jack scowled at her syrupy smile. “Not what I meant.”

Kiersta shrugged.  “You need ice cream to improve your mood.”

“Remind me how you became an agent?”

“My charm, my good looks, and my stellar aim.”

“You have one out of those three.”


“You have the charm of a rat who just sat on a cactus and your aim is worse than a blindfolded toddler’s.”

Kiersta batted her lashes. “Why, Jack, I never knew you had a crush on me.”

“You’re delusional.” And there he went again, lyin’ through his teeth.

With a pft, Kiersta waved her hand before facing the melee. A throng of people gathered, most laughing while others held up their stupid cellular devices. “You’ll need help.”

“So you said.”

Growling, Jack clambered from the truck and glowered at the obnoxious beasties. “Might as well be helpful. Let’s get these monsters rounded up.”

Kiersta chuckled as she jogged toward the nearest penguin. “This isn’t the Wild West, and these adorable little cuties are certainly not monsters.”

So said the woman who didn’t have to work undercover in a zoo.

For as awkward as the penguins were, they waddled exceptionally fast. Jack pressed a hand to his side as he dodged after the thirtieth nuisance. Was he just out of shape, or did penguin-chasing need to become a training activity for his crew?

Kiersta’s laugh drew his attention to where she chased a baby penguin. Her hair, haywire in the humidity, bounced about and made her look like a clown had styled it, but she’d never been cuter.

Mind in the game, Jack. No distractions.

She laughed again. The woman was definitely a distraction.

Burning pain accompanied his next step just before the resounding report of a rifle filled the air.


Grunting against the agony, Jack dove toward Kiersta, looped his arm around her waist, and hauled her to the truck. A bullet pinged off the back door, adding to the ringing in his ears.

Warm hands framed his face before a frown covered Kiersta’s. “You’re shot.”

“Yep. I’m gonna kill Matt.”

Drawing his Barretta, Jack scooted to the edge. A sniper had to have taken that shot—he’d stake his job on it.

You won’t even have a life if you don’t do somethin’ soon.

Three mags of ammo, one Barretta, and however many penguins. Not exactly a recipe for success.

Yep. Matt was gonna die.

“Get back here, you big fool.”

You stay back. I don’t want you hurt.” Before Jack could say another word, he was hauled back.

Kiersta shook his shoulders. “Be quiet and listen. Matt just contacted me. They’re on their way.”

“Great. And what does he want me to do while we wait? Be bullet bait?”

“No, he wants you to be ready, whatever that means.”

Oh, Jack knew what that meant. Your life is on the line, Matt. Just you wait.

More bullets peppered the truck’s sides. At Kiersta’s wince, Jack gently took her hand. Gritting his teeth against the pain and the sensation of blood exuberantly exiting the wound, he traced his thumb over hers. “We’ll be okay.”

“I know. You’re here.”

Whether or not she was joking, he couldn’t tell. But the words did boost his confidence.

A smidgen.

Shouts, followed by more gunfire, rang through the air.

Blocking Kiersta with his body, Jack held the Barretta to his chest and waited.

Silence fell.

Then a shadowed figure appeared. “Oh, good. You’re still alive. It’s so much trouble to train new operatives.”

Clicking on the safety, Jack shoved the Barretta into his holster. “You’re a dead man, Matthew.”

“I’m more alive than you, if that wound is any indication. How is he, K?”

“As ornery as ever.”

Matt snorted and waved his hand. “Area’s secure. Get out. Luke will take you to the hospital.”

Grumbling, Jack obeyed. The ground did spin a little, and his thoughts took longer to reorient themselves, but he wouldn’t tell Matt that. Not with Kiersta in hearing range.

He paused when she called his name.

She flashed him a saucy grin. “You owe me a date.”

“Yeah, right.”

“That little bakery on the corner of Fifth and Lewis at five tomorrow.”

Jack grumbled but acquiesced with a wave before stumbling to where Luke’s massive Chevy awaited its weary passenger.

And where said driver was laughing uncontrollably. “Does someone have a date?”

“Someone’s gonna kill you if you don’t shut yer yap and drive.”

A child in a man’s body, Luke continued teasing Jack all the way to the hospital.

And Jack withheld a grin. Not the way he foresaw his first date with Kiersta coming about, but who was he to argue?

Nominations: Open. Have fun. Write your heart out. Be as wacky and wild as you can. Doing flash fiction, with no thought behind it, can help break writer’s block and get that inspiration flowing.

What did you think? Many thanks to Saraina for tagging me. Have you ever chased a penguin? Made your character(s) chase one? What other adventures would you like to see Jack, Matt, and Luke get in? (Can’t guarantee it’d ever happen, but there’s a possibility.)


15 thoughts on “Write Your Worst Tag

  1. K.R.Mattson

    MADISYN. You cannot blame me for this. It was your own fault you liked the prompt.
    Brilliant choice on the name. 😉
    I thought this adventure was a perfect example of how much rest you need and someone should make you get it. On the other hand, it is much much much better than I could ever do for my worst writing. Congratulations!
    As for continuing their adventure…Don’t forget about BETRAYED. O:)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Anna Lane

    Wow. That was… that was interesting LOL. When you said penguins in the beginning, all I could envision was Mr. Popper’s Penguins. This was quite an interesting story 🙂 😉 But I love penguins. So much. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kayti

    Lol…that was so much fun! Haha…and yeah, Chattanooga has a zoo…but only 2 penguins…haha…the aquarium has more though…we live 2 hours Chattanooga…hehe…that was sooo much fun to read!!! I’d keep reading if there was more to the story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Saraina Whitney

    Oh my, I laughed so hard tears came to my eyes! I don’t know if I was supposed to have loved this, but I did, especially that banter! 😂 (*thanks K.R. Mattson for providing that penguin prompt…which I’m sure no one else would have ever picked* :P) Thank you so much for doing the tag, Madi!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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