Monday, October 14, 2013


I'm TOTALLY breaking the rules today! I couldn't help it. I'm making an exception. I created this to be a first sentence prompt flash fiction contest, and you only get a dependent clause today. It still has to be in the beginning, but it's not a complete sentence. You really are finishing the thought today! I can't wait to read what you come up with! 

If you need to read the full version of the rules, go here. Otherwise, here's the short version:

1. Up to 500 words, any genre
2. Keep it clean (nothing rated R or above)
3. Start with the given first sentence. (or, you know, dependent clause...)
4. Optional Special Challenge
5. Include Twitter/email, word count, Special Challenge accepted
6. The challenge is open for 24 hours on Tuesday EST

Oh, and feel free to change pronouns, punctuation, tense, and anything in brackets to fit the story/pov/tone. I'm not going to be TOO picky... Our judge however...

Our Judge today is Neil Solanki, also known as @NeilJSolanki. Go check out his blog here. Read his winning tale from last week here!

Your first sentence(ish) for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #15 is:

When the moon exploded...

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Integrate a window washer from a large metropolitan area.



  1. When the moon exploded, I kind of had a bad feeling things weren’t right. Kind of like when the sun went out last month.

    Nobody said my job was easy. Planetary technicians often did the grunt work for the empyreal engineers. And our boss was not going be pleased with our progress, especially considering the walk-through was scheduled for next week.

    The folks over in Andromeda weren’t having any luck either, but no one really gave a rip about Andromeda. It was all about the Earth. And the moon.

    “Did you at least get the oceans right?”

    “Uh, yeah, I think so. You wanted ‘em all over, right? I dug out some trenches like you said, and topped it off with some volcanoes for variety.”

    I was particularly proud of the volcanoes. We used to do mock-ups in school, but to finally have them full-size and functional was quite something.

    “Well, we’ve gotta get that moon straightened out.”

    We quickly collected the debris and put it all into the big dipper.

    “Are you sure we HAVE to have a moon? Why can’t we just pull Mars in a little closer?”

    “Boss-man wants to add another planet and use Mars for its moon, so no. We can’t use Mars, idiot.”

    “Fine. We’ll fix the damn moon then. I don’t understand the big deal, anyway. This would work so much easier if we just used a couple smaller moons instead of one big one. The physics involved would be far simpler.”

    “You were supposed to be the best planetary technician in your class. This moon should be an easy challenge for you.”

    Yeah, but the moons I’m used to dealing with weren’t quite this big, proportionally anyway. This one was like, one-fourth the size of the planet.

    Well, I helped the engineer piece it all back together, and then came up with an idea.

    “Why don’t we smack it down with some asteroids? Cratering will help stabilize it and keep it more intact.”

    The engineer considered this for a moment, studying the contours of the lunar surface with his hands.

    “Okay, go grab some asteroids. While you’re doing that, I need to check on some of your mountain ranges. I think you got a little carried away on some of them.”

    I’d forgotten how much fun it could be, smashing the moon with space debris. The explosions and intermittent shockwaves were brilliant! Once I was finished, I polished it off by sticking it in the sun for a few minutes, and it was ready to go! No way it was going to blow this time around!

    A week later the walk-through went on schedule, and we got pretty good marks for our work. Nothing perfect, but as they say, it was good enough for now. I mean, it was for the humans, after all. How perfect did it have to be?

    479 words

  2. “When the moon exploded…”

    “No!” I screamed. “Not another apocalypse tale!” I shook my head, and slammed my fists on my desk. “We’re done!”

    The writer laughed. “It’s not an apocalypse tale.”

    “Then how does the moon explode?”

    “As I was saying. When the moon exploded with colors, everyone knew Graphsans had pulled off the most impressive, audacious, and artistic graffiti stunt of all time.”

    I stared at him, “Graffiti?”

    “Yes. The moon explodes with color. Yellow, red, orange and pink. In a tie-dyed pattern,”


    “Yes”, he grinned. “It’s the story of the greatest graffiti artist in history performing his greatest work. Painting the moon, so everyone can see it. A work of art that lasts for centuries, slowly fading as the solar wind erodes the paints.”

    I shook my head, “But, how would you explain the paint? The artwork?”

    “A private rocket, launched at the moon.”

    I wrote a few quick notes in my notebook. “Thank you.” I nodded at him, “Your idea is certainly different.” I stood, and held out my hand. “We’ll make our decision in the next couple of week, and we’ll be in touch.”

    After he left, I sat there, “A graffiti artist paints the moon?” I shook my head. “Really?” I wrote a few notes to put into a more detailed review to present to the board. Then I used push-to-talk to have the next writer sent in.

    After he introduced himself, I asked what his proposal was.

    “When the moon exploded…”

    What was it with these people? Did everyone want something with the moon exploding in some way? I interrupted him, “Not another story about the moon exploding.”

    The writer sighed, “When the moon exploded, its surface covered with mushroom clouds, destroying the invading robot armada's solar system base, everyone rejoices. It is a turning point in the war, when we take the war to the aliens.”

    Once more, I took a few quick notes, thanked the writer for his time, said we’d be in touch, and had the next writer sent in. As I waited for her to enter, I wondered I my mother was right, and I should have picked a sensible career, like explosives technician, or underwater safety inspector.

    But like any son, I’d ignored my mother’s advice, and entered show business.

    I shook my head. “Gods, but I’m such an idiot sometimes.” And I wondered what other insane ideas for a science fiction movie I’d have to wade through before it was quitting time.

    415 words

  3. Gaffer Hero

    When the Moon exploded, I wanted to scream. My fingers were coated in off-white powder with chunks of my hard work crumbling to the floor. I was the worst mother ever. How was I going to fix this before my son's presentation was due?

    The door to my office opened and my secretary entered. A crunch echoed across the room. Ted lifted his foot to inspect the damage.

    "What did I just step on?"

    I sighed. "Part of Olympus Mons, based on the path of destruction." I gestured toward the rest of the crumbled Moon pieces that covered the small table and the floor.

    "Olympus Mons? Isn't that on the Moon?"


    "Okay, why did I just step on part of the moon?"

    Sometimes, having a secretary was more work than they were worth.

    "You don't have children, do you Ted?" I asked, already knowing the answer.

    "No, ma'am."

    "Then you wouldn't understand why the Moon imploded in my office."

    "Was there something you needed, Ted?"

    "Um, just to tell you that I am leaving shortly for the day, and to see if you needed anything before I left."

    "Unless you have a model of the Moon made out of plaster of Paris, then no, I don't need anything." I looked up from the mess in front of me. Ted looked bewildered. Lord help him if he ever had children. "But thank you for asking. Have a good night."

    Ted quickly made his way out of my office, before he could be sucked into the vortex of destruction in my office.

    There was no way I could put the Moon back together. "Sorry, Humpty Dumpty, we are going to have to try Plan B." I gathered up everything I could into an empty box and shoved it in with the rest of the diorama.

    Frank, the window washer for the building, was just finishing up on the outside of the building when I walked by with my box of destruction. He had worked for the building's management company for years, and was one of the first people to welcome me to the building when I started.

    "Hey, Frank, how was your day?"

    "Not bad, Cecilia. Can't beat working outdoors on a beautiful day like today."

    "It is rather nice out, isn't it?"

    "Yes ma'am." He glanced at my box. "What happened in there?"

    I sighed. "My son's science presentation. I shattered the Moon as I was trying to mount it to his display."

    "Ah, my son had to do one of those last year."

    "How did he do?"

    "Great, actually."

    "That's great. Any tips on how to fix a shattered Moon?"

    "Duct tape."

    "Excuse me?"

    "Duct tape," Frank repeated. "It fixes everything. In all my years of building maintenance in this great metropolis, duct tape has been the most useful tool in my arsenal. It also saved my son's presentation. It will save yours."

    Maybe I wouldn't crush my son's heart after all.

    "Thanks, Frank. You're a life saver."

    499 Words

  4. When the moon exploded, I was sitting in my backyard, popping the cork on a bottle of champagne. The debris would rain down on the world over the next few hours, causing tsunamis, fireballs in the sky, and crushing humanity from above. In the meantime, it was my anniversary, and I was going to celebrate. I drained my glass in a single swallow and tossed the glass out into the yard. The glass shattered on a rock, just like my life. I lifted the bottle to my lips and began drinking in earnest.

    The first fireballs streaked across the sky by the time I’d switched to whiskey. Marie had hated the smell of whiskey, but she was thousands of miles away with Stephen, sunning topless on a beach in the French Riviera. That she scheduled her honeymoon to overlap with our anniversary didn’t surprise me. She was vindictive, always had been. She wanted me to suffer, to miss her and the love I’d thought we shared. But she was the one who would suffer.

    The explosion wouldn’t be visible from where she was. I’d planned it that way. All she’d know was that her new marriage would last until the end of the world.

    204 words

  5. Moonless Nights

    When the moon exploded, Tombo knew it had been an ambush. He watched as the shock wave hit the wormhole. It was destroyed.

    Two other fighters made it through in front of him, his fighter was the last one. The majority of the fleet was still inside the wormhole and would be destroyed. This included several mega carriers which had thousands of souls on board. One of the carriers was his mother ship.

    The colonial forces had sent their defense fleet to this God forsaken galaxy to secure the second planet. It held enough resources to allow them to win the war. But it was a trap.

    He thought about the loss of life, but it was incomprehensible. He expected to see enemy ships, but none were in sight. Then it occurred to him, they had no reason to come and clean up the stragglers. Tombo and the other two pilots were harmless and stranded without the wormhole back. There were two other wormholes, both lead to enemy galaxies.

    “Red leader to red squadron.”

    Tombo stared at the radio, surprised red leader was still functioning with military protocol. He answered, “Red Two”

    A moment later he heard red three answer. It was obvious the man was sobbing uncontrollably.

    “Red three, this is no time to break down. We need you at your best soldier.”

    The delay was a lot longer than it should have been but eventually he answered. “Yes ma’am.”

    “Very good. So what are our options?”

    There was a long pause while Tombo considered the choices. Going through either wormhole would be suicide. They could try to fly the long way home, would take about three hundred years. The craft were capable, but not the pilots.

    “Sorry ma’am, no suggestions.”

    Red three chimed in. “Before I was drafted, I was a window washer in the city. Do you know what a window washer does in an extreme emergency? They break the window and go inside.”

    Tombo didn’t get it. “So?”

    “I think we should go to the target planet and set up camp. If the report was true it’s a garden planet.”

    Red leader responded, “I don’t like the idea of spending the rest of my life hiding from enemy patrols down there.”

    “So let’s destroy the other two wormholes.” Red three’s suggestion sat on dead air for a while. But soon they agreed it was the best option. It would prevent the enemy using the resources of the galaxy, and it would keep them safe.

    They took the necessary action and then explored the planet. Upon landing they set up camp and found they had an abundance of food, both from edible vegetation and from wildlife to be hunted.

    It was a virtual paradise, until the first night. Packs of hunters came out at night.

    468 words
    Special challenge included

    1. I just noticed the time stamp was after midnight. This probably means I am disqualified. My apologies for posting late.

  6. When Life Gives You Lemons...

    When the moon exploded, I did what any reasonable person would do: I collected enough pieces, went to the department store for a few more items, put my favorite apron, and did what I do best: I made cheesecake.

    39 words

    (Late post: Wouldn't upload last night)