Monday, March 31, 2014


We're back! Welcome to April! I hope you had a spectacular week! Spring is in the air and we may - please, please, please! - be finished with the long, cold winter weather. I have dreams of sitting outside to write rather than in my office... Soon! :) I hope everyone gets to enjoy warmer weather finally. Okay, enough rambling. Go write! I wanna know what's falling from the sky! :)

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

1. Up to 500 words
2. Keep it clean (nothing rated R or above)
3. Start with the given first sentence.
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 Rebekah Postupak also known as 
@postupak and @FlashFridayFic. Check out her blog here. Read her winning tale from last week here!

 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #39 is:

It wasn't the first time [she] had seen [fire] fall from the sky.

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Include a really spectacular twist at the end.



  1. It wasn't the first time she saw fire falling from the sky, but what had her standing there with her mouth gaping was the color. Villagers, who normally watched every month as the heavens rained flame, rushed into their homes at the sight of deep blue droplets that glowed with amethyst auras.
    Estrella rushed through her village to check the collection barrels stationed at the door of each hut. None of them were damaged. The azure droplets didn't harm her either. Though a different color, the rain appeared to be the same in every other aspect as the usual crimson and ombre fire.
    A wry thought twisted through her mind, This would happen on my first month as rain caller. My dance would be the one to bring an unusual rain. It was fine, really, as long as the discolored flames were still sufficient to feed her people.
    Estrella stood at the great fountain in the center of her village and held her hands over the pool collected within. Closing her eyes, she called forth elemental magic passed down to her from untold generations. She warmed the fiery waters until she felt the heat of lava rise to greet her.
    When she opened her eyes, however, she found that the unruly rain had turned to mercury instead! What would her people think? What would they do for the next month until the nourishing rains came again? What if the same thing happened then?
    Estrella could not summon the strength or courage to call her people from their homes. At least, not until she knew that the mercury was safe for consumption. It may kill her to drink of this strange substance, but she had to know. So she drank her portion of the mercury, the same as she would have the lava.
    Instead of a comforting warmth, she felt a soothing cool sensation as the liquid trailed down her throat. Her heart pumped the mercury into her limbs and throughout her body. A hard, slightly uncomfortable lump formed in her back, between her shoulder blades. Discomfort turned to sharp pain as the bones solidified and grew forth, elongating and sprouting feathers.
    Estrella knew instinctively what was happening. Her people, agents of fire, guardians of renewal, had been created and were sustained by fiery rain. Now, they were agents of change, bringers of evolution.

    1. Oh my gosh, I was so excited I forgot to add a few minor details, such as my Twitter handle, the word count and the title. My apologies, ladies.

      Reign of Change
      393 words

    2. Jessica, I enjoyed your positive and uplifting take on the prompt.Your narrative flows so easily.


    It wasn't the first time he had seen fire fall from the sky. The last time he'd been a twelve-year old on a camping trip with his family. A red-hot asteroid had landed in the trees not far from their tents. There had been a drought that year and the woods were tinder dry. The resulting forest fire changed his life forever. He lost his parents and younger sister to the rampaging flames. Only his frantic dive into the cool waters of a nearby pond saved his own life. He gained a burn scarred back, a hatred of fire, and something else, something he never spoke of, not to anyone, lest they lock him away.

    Hugh was a fireman. He stood six-and-a-half feet tall, had a buff body, fiery red hair, and green eyes. Eighteen years later he watched as fire fell again. Instead of a single asteroid, there were hundreds and they were aimed at the city. He gathered his gear and headed for the station, every hand would be needed for this battle.

    It was a nightmare. Asteroids bursting on impact , sending sprays of molten, hot rock everywhere. The city and its inhabitants were blasted, burned, and choked by smoke. Hugh raced in time and again, extinguishing the burning and rescuing the trapped. It wasn't enough, there were so many he couldn't reach in time. The entire fire department was stretched to its limits.

    "Take a break MacRae." Chief O'Grady ordered several hours later. Soot stained, sweaty, weary, and heartsick, Hugh was forced to obey. He sat down heavily, gulping water from a bottle and breathing deeply.

    "Oh my God!" Someone screamed. "Look! There's another wave of them coming!"

    Blearily Hugh peered up at the smoke-laden sky. Sure enough, a second barrage of asteroids streaked trails of fire downwards. Something woke deep within him. *Enemies come."* A cold hard voice said inside his head.

    "What the hell?" He mumbled bewildered. The presence that had been with him from that fateful day stirred and made itself known.

    *ENEMIES COME!* The voice was loud and insistent.

    *What can I do about it?* Hugh asked.



    *TURN THE FLAMES AGAINST THEM!* Instructions flashed into existence within his brain. It was so simple really. All he had to do was gather the heat and energy generated by the fires and focus it, just so.

    Hugh manipulated the molecules and atoms, gathering the elements he needed. First it reaveled itself as a shimmering ball of heat hovering several feet in the air. He pulled in more material. The globe ignited. He spun it, swirling it higher and hotter. The Firestorm manifested, a twisting, turning tornado of flaming fury. the funnel spouted skywards, engulfing the lowest asteroid. With a gout of flame, it melted into streamers of smoke. The Firestorm grew, ravaging each asteroid, dooming them to nothingness. Hugh's eyes gleamed brightly with Pryokinesis. He and the Alien Other screamed victoriously as one. "WE ARE THE FIRE LORD!,"

    495 Words
    Special Challenge Accepted

    1. The thing I love about this story the most is that it's a surprise sci-fi. One of those times where, instead of setting the tone from the start, the writer sneaks up behind you and breaks a rule over your head. I like the idea of an Alien Other influencing events on an astronomical scale by manipulating a single man with an extraordinary ability. I also like that I'm given just enough information to be left wondering if that same Alien Other has ultimately good intentions, because really, it could go either way. Fantastic premise, Emily, and well done on the special challenge. There was just enough hinting to make the end plausible without giving it away. Specifically, "He gained a burn scarred back, a hatred of fire, and something else, something he never spoke of, not to anyone, lest they lock him away." It's amazing how different writers respond to the same prompt in such a variety of ways, as well as what different readers will get out of the same story. I hope to hear Rebekah's thoughts on this one. Good luck!

  3. Apollonian Fire

    It wasn't the first time she had seen fire fall from the sky. She had lost count of those sudden orange downpours. Fiery dragon eyes with red lava spewing out, the flapping tail whipping around! The first time she saw it, it almost consumed her. It was so sudden, one minute she was outdoors playing with daffodils and dandelions and daisies, swept away in their yellow bliss, when she noticed a flash of orange. She shut her eyes for a second thinking that she has stared at the sun. Then she felt the hot scalding flash on her back, and before she could turn, she was engulfed in the flames. Just before her heart was giving out, her prayers were answered and she escaped. She ran fast, faster and faster until she found a shelter cove. The coolness of the quiet cave was what nurtured her and brought the color back to her face. Soon, she forgot about the fire falling from the sky.

    Then she saw it again. She couldn’t believe it that it was happening again. She was certain it was a divine intervention. After all, she has been warned about the dangers of daffodils and dandelions and daisies. The yellow was intoxicating. The town was abuzz with the stories of the souls lost to the sea of yellow. Yet no one has been brave enough to publicly denounce the yellow invasion. The stories circled around the neighborhoods in hushed tones, whispers. No one knew exactly how the yellow flowerbeds swallowed the unsuspecting souls. No one knew of anyone actually being lost, but they knew the stories being passed around from generations, and they did not dare to question them. Here she was now, with the yellow flowers enticing her and the fire falling from the sky. Rock and a hard place! She ran to the shelter cove.

    The next time, she was nowhere close to the yellow flowers when the fire fell from the sky. It kept falling every now and then. Every time, she would run to the cove, heal her burns, and nourish herself back to life under the blue sky. The pull of yellow was still strong. Although, now she was wary. The sky would not spray her with fire for no reason. She looked up to the sky and the power it held over her.

    The years passed and she was exhausted. Fighting off fires had left her scarred. Apparently, the yellow sea of flowers had not swallowed her yet. One day, after a fierce fire fall, sitting in her shelter cove, she decided to jump into the ocean of yellow. She would rather be lost than be scalded every other day.

    The plunge was soothing. She did not drown, but swam easily. “Dad, I am not coming back!” She said gleefully. The fire falling from her father’s eyes couldn’t scald her now.

    word count: 480

    1. Ooh, a real thinking man's entry, this one. It's one of those tales that makes you want to go back and read it a second time because you're sure there's a double meaning that you missed with the first pass. It's like a game and a story all rolled into one. Find the symbolism in the imagery, win transcendence. All wrapped up nicely in the elegant, graceful style that I've come to know and love of Pratibha.

  4. Pure

    It wasn’t the first time she had seen fire fall from the sky. The miniature flames soared through the air and crashed into the village below the mountain. She couldn’t hear them but she knew the villagers’ were cursing the heavens for the blistering rain puncturing holes into their homes.

    Moira walked over and sat beside Enya on the ledge. Enya’s gaze stayed on the village even after Moira nudged her with a shoulder.

    “Will you tell me what’s wrong?”

    “There is nothing to tell sister,” Enya said.

    Huts were ablaze lighting up the village like the midday sun.

    “This is a harsh punishment for nothing.”

    When a tear escaped Enya’s eye, Moira knew. Her magic resided over water. Every raindrop, teardrop, and body of water was hers. That tear spoke volumes more than anything Enya could say.

    “He left, didn’t he?”

    Enya sucked air through her teeth and her spine straightened.

    “He said his heart felt no love for me.”

    “Burning down his village is a tough punishment for denying you.”

    “It is a terrible crime to commit.”

    “Why didn’t you kill him?”

    Enya’s tears flowed freely as Moira waited for an answer. She counted each one, as her sister did with the fire droplets escaping the sky.

    “I did a spell over his heart. It was pure. I could not kill a man who was honest with his feelings even though he knew his outcome would not be a positive one.”

    Moira nodded, her heart ached for Enya. She did not let her guard down easily. Nor did she extend her love to just anyone. Enya’s breath sputtered as she sobbed.

    “Oh sister.” Moira scooted closer and wrapped her arms around Enya, pulling her into a deep embrace. “I am so sorry. It will be all right. You must be strong.”

    Enya continued to cry in Moira’s arms. But as her sobs softened Enya caught something strange about Moira. Her tears stopped instantaneously and she stiffened. The energy waving off Enya caused Moira to also stiffen.

    Enya sat up and the tears that had decorated her cheeks were replaced with evaporating steam. Her fire magic ate away at what water was left.

    “Sister, why do you smell of him?”

    Moira’s eyes widened as panic swept through her.

    “Are you who his heart was pure for?” The fire intensified where it assaulted the village. “I thought it was because he felt nothing for me. But he felt everything for you.”

    “Enya, please listen to me.”

    Enya grabbed Moira’s upper arms. Where her hands touched fire erupted on Moira’s clothing. Her grip intensified as she brought Moira to the ledge’s edge. Moira clawed at Enya’s hands, tears now flowing out of her eyes.

    “Not this time sister. I have forgiven you too many times.”

    Enya released her hands and let her sister fall. Moira’s scream echoed against the mountain face. Flames engulfed Moira until she looked like the fiery rain in the distance.

    493 Words
    Special Challenge Accepted

  5. Fire Within

    It wasn't the first time she had seen fire fall from the sky.

    The first time she had been barefoot in the uncut grass of the backyard. The earth was damp and cool beneath the blades, otherworldly after a day of hot sun.
    The sky was clear, and stole away the day's heat. She wondered if some of it had come back to visit, creeping out of sun soaked stones. Or maybe something had sheared the stars, raining little bits around her.
    The fire wasn't falling though, not as she originally had thought. It was dancing. And more green than the golden yellow of flame tips.

    She held out a small chubby hand and a piece of the stars landed on her hand.
    It was a bug of some kind.
    She stood staring at it, nightgown rippling in the light breeze until her mother found her standing in the yard. There were angry words and Mother picked her up abruptly and carried her into the house. She tried to explain to Mother that she had needed to see the fire bits.
    "Those are just fireflies. They're just stupid bugs," and with a sharp crack of her hand against three-year-old flesh, Mother ended the conversation.

    She often thought about the fireflies as grew older. The fire they carried inside themselves. They carried something light inside.
    She knew what it was to carry fire inside but what she carried had a darkness. Two sides to every coin. As fire can be a beacon to guide you and a source of warmth, it also melts and destroys.

    She carried a tally of hurts- visible on her skin and in way she flinched at a raised hand, invisible in the embers of hatred and revenge deep in the core.
    As the embers grew and her form toughened she found the fire she carried inside was very real indeed.
    Hands that had once reached out to catch a firefly made fire all its own. Flames rolled along her palms and licked out to taste the walls of her prison.

    No, it was not the first time she had seen fire fall from the sky. But it was the first time she had caused it.

    371 Words
    Special challenge accepted

  6. Blood thicker than Water

    It wasn’t the first time she seen fire fall from the sky. Think she was about eleven when she saw the bombs falling, hitting the ground with deafening force, her world turning upside down. Buildings rearranged into terrifying shapes, huge craters that looked like you’d end up in Australia if you fell in. Dust everywhere, filling your lungs, your nasal passages, choking the breath out of you. It was one of the best days of her life.

    She remembered how she told her first lie when the kind woman asked where she lived. She pointed to the nearest demolished block of flats and said “On the top floor”
    She lived several streets away where the houses stood untouched. The woman tearfully hugged her when she was handed over to the emergency services. At that moment she officially became an orphan and chose a new name. For Rose Potts became Evelyn Bates. Mrs Potts searched for months, she never accepted her auburn haired, green eyed first born was lost for ever. The new Evelyn Bates never gave her mother a thought, nor her drunken father and five younger siblings. She went to live in a children’s home and surprisingly thrived. She lied, cheated and used her angelic looks to get what she wanted. She broke hearts, aborted babies and cursed morality.

    Fifty years later nothing much had changed. She still told lies. Her only son, born because pregnant girls couldn’t be conscripted was adopted at five years old. When the war ended his usefulness was over. He’d tracked her down using the internet, found her married to a wealthy Arab living in Knightsbridge. She told him he was mistaken. She’d never had a child being unable to conceive but wished she’d been blessed with a handsome son like himself.

    Standing in the shadows it was the first time he’d seen fire fall from the sky. It was spectacular, he felt aroused and it terrified him. If only she’d accepted him as her son. He’d had the DNA results back from the hair he’d taken from the brush in the luxurious bathroom. She was his mother. Her blood coursed through his body like a fast flowing river. It was easy setting the fire. Once they’d recovered her body he’d come forward and say he thought they were related then get her fortune.

    Emerging from the flames like a phoenix rising she walked towards him with her arms outstretched. She embraced him with a steel grip. The flames engulfed them, Madonna and child together for ever.

    423 words
    challenge accepted

  7. Fire in the Sky

    It wasn't the first time she had seen fire fall from the sky. I'd like to say it wasn't all that common an occurrence, but you know what they say: every time an angel falls...

    I'd seen them before: fireballs on a meteoric arch; impacting with such force that the Earth around them shook. I knew all too well what they'd meant, but I'd never seen one from the inside.

    Man, let me tell you that's definite 'E' Ticket stuff right there: if they could simulate it, and figure out a way to stick the landing without well... all that force... people would line up for miles to know how it felt.

    Without that one little adjustment... well... I can tell you: it felt like hell.

    Lying in the twisted wreckage-- flames all around me: I felt like Michael himself had cast me from the heavens into the fiery pits below. I hurt in places I didn't even know I had until that moment, and as the flames crept closer, I saw her and her squad, like a band of angels comin' for to carry me home...

    She said I was delirious, but I thought she and her squad of smoke jumpers were fighting that blaze just to rescue me. Kinda funny considering the fact that not five minutes earlier, I was the one rescuing them-- right until a burning pine tree got sucked into the intakes.

    One minute I'm rescuing them, dropping water and flame retardant so they'll have a place to regroup-- next minute they're doing the rescuing and all I can do is smile like an idiot.

    We got out of there that time- it was like the fire opened up and let us out-- guess hell didn't want us, at least not yet. There was too much left to do.

    They got me out, but there was work to do and a fire to fight. I got out-- but my Angel fell. It wasn't the first time she had see fire fall from the sky-- but it was the last.

    348 Words

  8. Defiance Chosen

    It wasn’t the first time Chelik had seen fire fall from the sky. It bid fair, however, to be the last time he saw it. The alien insectoid Cholgachi overlords had come to exact their tribute from his people. The tribute was always the same…twenty of the clan’s strongest and most healthy young adults.

    In anticipation of their arrival, Chelik had known better than to journey too far away. As one of his peoples’ most-skilled hunters, it was not unusual for him to spend days, if not longer, away from his home. Not all of that time was spent satisfying the need for game. Instead, he spent considerable time in the Tainted Lands…there where his clan had, most unsuccessfully, risen in resistance so very long ago. Though legends held the land was so virulently-poisoned as to spell certain death to anyone, experience had shown him this was no longer true.

    While he did suffer headaches and nausea for days after departing the Tainted Lands, he was obviously still alive. He considered it an acceptable trade for what he found there. The shards of metal, he surmised, could only be of alien origin as his own people had no such skill in metalworking. Regardless, they provided him arrowheads of such surpassing strength and quality they might well serve his needs.

    With every step closer to home, dread was replaced by resolve and an unwavering sense of purpose. He would not…could not allow himself to submit to the will of such beings as held his future….his very life in their unfeeling claws. Consequences and doubt must be set aside. No other option remained to him.

    Crouched in the brush on a promontory overlooking the village, Chelik knew he was at long albeit effective range for his bow. His consciousness faded as he devolved into hunter mode. The villagers…the aliens…all else mattered not a whit. His target became all as he nocked his first special arrow and aimed…not at the invaders but at their ship.

    Certainly, that which flamed when it came down from the sky could obviously be made to burn by other means. His star-metal arrow hissed downward, piercing the shell of the craft and a slow but steady stream of greenish fluid flowed from the breach. Dipping his second arrow into the coals he had kindled at his side, he set the shaft aflame and sent it after the first only seconds later.

    He had no more than tossed himself face down when an explosion shook the ground violently. Burning debris rained down narrowly missing the young man. Without rising, he already knew he had destroyed not only the ship but its crew. With two arrows, he had possibly sealed the fate of his entire planet but he could not find it within him to regret his decision.
    If he and his kind were to die, was it not best to do so with backs straight, heads up and eyes wide open? No man should ever die upon his knees…ever.

    500 words @klingorengi

  9. Supers, and Llamas, and Trains, Oh My!

    It wasn't the first time he had seen llamas fall from the sky. It actually happened frequently around his partner and she’d been his companion for years.

    “Cut it out, will you?” PeeKay hissed from behind a crate.

    “How was I supposed to know they were transporting llamas on this train?” Llamaphilist retorted from her barrel. The two supers watched as llama after llama leaped from the roof of the train and sprawled down the banks on either side of the tracks before running back up to slam their bodies against the car.

    “Make them stop before someone notices!” PeeKay squeaked.

    Llamaphilist cautiously raised her head and looked both ways to make sure she wouldn’t be seen before crawling out. She tiptoed to the nearest window and hoisted it open.

    “Here now, stop that!” she commanded the herd. Immediately the thumping and thudding stopped and all llama eyes focused on her. “Go find some grass to munch. Be normal.” The llamas immediately dispersed.

    “Next time I ask for a distraction, I don’t mean llamas, ok?” Peekay stood up from behind the crate and dusted himself off. “We almost got flattened to death!”

    Llamaphilist pouted and shoved her mask back in place. “Well excuse me, Mr. Loud-Mouth, you know I can’t stop them from hearing my thoughts when they’re that close.”

    PeeKay and Llamaphilist crawled over the crates and boxes in the storage car to the door for the second time that day. In the next car over was their target, a big-time crime-lord by the name of Rutherford. PeeKay sneaked across the couplings to the next car and peeked through the tainted glass.

    He waved Llamaphilist over and she followed suit.

    “All right, he’s in there. We have about five minutes before the train takes off-”

    “More if they discover the llamas are missing,” Llamaphilist commented, casting a glance at the couple of llamas still milling about on the roof of the train.

    “Right,” PeeKay grinned. “Maybe that wasn’t such a bad idea after all.”
    He grew more serious and surveyed their target again. “Let’s sneak around the side of the car and go through the window on the far end. It’s open and there aren’t as many cronies.”

    “Lead on!” Llamaphilist whispered. They were soon shuffling their feet along the thin ledge around the side of the car and pulling themselves along by the window sills to the opened window on the end. PeeKay dove in first. Llamaphilist followed and squatted beside him in the first row of seats.

    “Okay, this is where it gets tricky,” PeeKay whispered.
    “Why’s that?”
    “It’s a trap.”

    Before Llamaphilist could register his words, PeeKay breathed deeply and belted a loud, clear note that shook the train car from the rails. Hands reached out and caught her by the wrists and head, forcing her to the ground. She could just make out Rutherford’s shoes standing in front of her and PeeKay’s voice saying, “Here’s your delivery, where’s my money?” before her world went black.

    Word Count: 500
    Special Challenge included