An Apple a Day

Issue #94
Blog #7-2019
Section: Joe’s Writings
Blogger: Joseph Clay

I mentioned in the blog From the Desk of Joseph Clay -Author: 2018 Year End Report that I had entered the Mysterious Photograph Contest in the Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.

At the time of that publication I had not heard back from the fine folks at
Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. I checked the next issue of the magazine that was delivered to my mail mail box. ‘An Apple a Day’ was not featured, it was a previous contest.

The next issue, March/April 2019 arrived. On Page 189 was the winning entry of the Flash Fiction piece titled ‘An Apple a Day’. To my disappointment the tag line under the title was not my name. I checked the Honorable Mentions, still no sight of my name. I had been defeated.

Congratulations are in order for Roger Ewing Taylor of San Pedro, California, the winner of the Mysterious Photograph Contest ‘An Apple a Day’.

An Apple a Day

Before I get to the story that I entered I thought I would share with you the rules of the contest.

To left is a picture of the actual page (41) from the November/December 2018 publication of the
Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.

Under the picture were the following rules.

We will give a prize of $25 to the person who invents the best mystery story (in 250 words or less, and be sure to include a crime) based on the above photograph. The story will be printed in a future issue and will appear on our website. Mail …

Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine

The remainder of the text contained the address and deadline for submission.

Below you will find my submission which came in around 240 words. Since it was not published I will add to the flash fiction piece making a short story that will be packed full of mystery. That short story, under the same name. will be published in The Tales of Joe. That title is subject to change.

“An Apple A Day” was submitted in the Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine 2018 November/December Mysterious Photograph contest on 11-3-2018. Maximum word count 250.”


An Apple a Day

Joseph Clay

Miss Duncan leaned against the door-frame in the hall, peering into the kitchen as Emma pulled saline from a vial into a syringe. She watched as Emma’s eyes locked on to the apple in her left hand. With the concentration of a skilled brain surgeon and steady hands, she pierced the skin of the fruit. As she pressed the plunger and pushed the liquid into the apple, a smile spread across her face. She repeated the process until the syringe was dry. Emma was admiring her work as her mom headed toward the kitchen.

“Excellent, Emma, you got it! I see you’ve been practicing,” Miss Duncan said.

“Between you and Margie helping me, I’m sure I’ll ace my clinical,” Emma said as she smiled.

Miss Duncan sat down at the counter with a cup of coffee, cupping it with her hands. “Emma, people are saying nasty things about what happened to your dad and Margie’s husband. Some say it was murder.”

“Mom, we’ve talked about this. They accidentally ingested Roundup and antifreeze. You know they always used unmarked jugs for their landscaping business — they must have mistaken one for water or something.”

Her mother sighed. “You’re probably right.”

“Does it really matter? He’s dead and can’t hurt us anymore.” Emma turned her attention back to the needle. “An apple a day didn’t keep the grim reaper away,” she said with a grin.

There you have, my piece of flash fiction that was one of the many losing submissions.

I have not entered any contest so far this year. However I am working a Novella (Between 15,000 – 20,000 words) to enter in the 13th Annual Black Orchid Novella Award Contest.

Till next time,


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