Monday, October 27, 2014


And we're back for another round! So glad you could join us again (or for the first time)! With NaNo ( looming for many of you, I just thought I'd mention some of the benefits of flash fiction that I've experienced. 

1) It provides a much needed creative break from a longer piece that feels like it's going nowhere. 
2) It gives a sense of completion and success at finishing something when a longer piece takes, well, longer. 
3) It allows you to experiment with things that are not 'your genre' or 'your style'. 
4) It teaches you to make every word count - mechanics, structure, and word choice are so important.

That said, I need to know about judging availability during November. Are you doing Nano? If you are, would you still be willing to judge if you win? So after your twitter/email and Special Challenge lines, could you put a Nano line in for me? THANKS! :)

Special Challenge: accepted
Nano: yes [doing nano], yes [able to judge]

Now, on to the prompts!!!

If you haven't read the full version of the rules, go here. Otherwise, here's the short version:

1. Start with the given first sentence.
2. Up to 500 words
3. Keep it clean (nothing rated R or above)
4. Optional Special Challenge
5. Stories submitted must be your own work, using characters and worlds that you have created. Sorry, no fanfiction.
6. Include: Twitter/email, word count, Special Challenge accepted
7. The challenge is open for 24 hours on Tuesday EST

Oh, and feel free to change pronounspunctuationtense, 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 Michael Seese. Read his winning tale from last week hereMichael Seese has published three books, not to mention a lot of short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. He currently is shilling his latest work, a long short story / short novella titled Rebecca’s Fall From.... Other than that, he spends his spare time rasslin' with three young'uns. Visit or follow @MSeeseTweets to laugh with him or at him. 

 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-17 is:

There's one thing they really should teach you [should have taught me] in skydiving school.

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Include TWO of the following:
an Isuzu Trooper, a Shetland sheepdog, a plate of spaghetti, Carmen Electra 



  1. Chasing Cars

    There's one thing they really should teach you in skydiving school. Which is what to do when your tandem partner, who is in control of the parachute, misjudges your landing zone, coming down hard in the middle of a busy six-lane highway, knocking the wind out of you, almost getting you creamed by an Isuzu Trooper and winding up looking like a plate of squished spaghetti! It missed me by inches, I felt its body brushing against my hair! There is some truth in the clichés about your life flashing in front of your eyes, it happened to me, and it was much, much too short!

    My name is Bob, my partner Frank and I have been together for over seven years, we went everywhere and did everything together, until that is, that fateful day. Frank panicked and froze in the face of the danger. He hit the harness release and ran for it, leaving me trembling and helpless, alone in the middle of the street! The only reason that I didn't get turned into roadkill is that a gorgeous transvestite dressed up as Carmen Electra stopped to help me. He slammed on his brakes, skidded to a stop, lunged out of a fire-engine red Ferrari, scooped me up securely in his strong manly arms and carried me away to safety on the shoulder. He also yelled at Frank about forgetting to grab me.

    I broke up with Frank because of the incident, I just can't trust him anymore. I moved in with Carmen/Carl and have been living with him for the last six months and we're very happy together. I have complete faith in him.

    There is one drawback, however, because of the trauma I suffered I've had to start seeing a shrink. I'm having anxiety attacks, experiencing nightmares, and am feeling depressed because I'm completely unable to perform one of my favorite activities. How would you feel about not doing something you really enjoyed and were good at? I used to love chasing cars, but now in my sleep, they chase after me! The image of that silver behemoth of an SUV barreling down on me will haunt me to the end of my days, which is ironic really, considering that I'm a Shetland Sheepdog.

    370 Words
    Special Challenge Accepted

    1. SO funny. What a great voice, so colorful and bitter and biting, all at once. Very enjoyable read (and really wonderful use of all the judge's challenge words).

    2. Hahaha i love it. For some reason i thought it was a guy talking about his tandem partner. It's so perfect that it was Frank's best friend that he left and indeed ironic that the car was chasing the dog. .. or seemed to. Very well done!

  2. The Lesson

    “There’s one thing they really should have taught me in skydiving school. There are three or four things they should have taught me in parachuting school—maybe even five, if you include the repercussions from the Incident. And there’s another two things they should have taught me in mountain climbing/spelunking school, depending on if you count those individually.”

    The analyst looked up from her notes and raised an eyebrow. “Is that all?”

    “No, a few more. There’s two things they should have taught me in kayaking, and another two in cross-country skiing. Oh. And another two in deep sea diving. And one in archery.”

    “That’s it?” A grin teased the corner of her lips.

    “Eight in bowling.”


    “Yes, I think eight. If I didn’t miscount.”

    “In bowling!”

    “You’d be surprised.”

    The analyst laughed outright. “I don’t know whether to take you seriously—”

    “You’re required to, aren’t you? You’re my therapist, after all.”



    “That’s not a nuance!”

    “Add it to my list: that’s one thing they should have taught me in psychology.”

    “You’re rather cavalier about all this.”

    “That’s the number one thing they should have taught me,” he said, grinning back and running a bandaged hand along his chemo-bald head, “how to be afraid.”

    208 words
    Yes NaNo, and always happy to judge

    1. The ending kind of catches the laughter in our throats. I have however found that i tend to laugh and make jokes that seem inspired to me at the time when I'm in the hospital. Even when I'm still awaiting drugs. It's the "gotta laugh to keep from crying" because at that point what really matters anymore? Nice scene. It's not cavalier. It's everything.

  3. Capabilities:

    There’s one thing they really should have taught me in skydiving school—what to do if a goose knocks out your tandem partner. We are going so fast I didn’t hear the impact, but the feathers. My instructor’s arms flap in the wind as we spin toward the ground. Her ring, which cost me five month’s salary taunts me each time we hit the angle right for the sun.

    Aliyah is limp against my back as we plummet to our deaths. Mother was right about not dating one of them. She warned that God doesn’t approve of such things. It was bad enough that her parents were sad by her choice of “That no swag pasty kid”, but my mother was horrified.

    “If God wanted people skydiving she would have given us wings.”

    Why did I have to fall in love with a skydiving instructor? And how was it that Aliyah talked me into tandem jumping on the day she gets wrecked by a goose? Bloody feathers and entrails looking like a plate of spaghetti splattered me as we started a nauseating spin.

    I stop the spin and lay flat. At least I’ll live for a few more minutes this way. My hand finds the ripcord and I yank. The cord comes out in my hand. It’s just a plastic tube with no cord attached. I roar as tremors start.

    Why didn’t I take yoga? If I did maybe I could reach the cord on Aliyah. As it is, my arms barely can reach my own back. I try to loosen the straps so I can spin. They are locked solid. I’m sure it’s to stop idiots like me from trying to unbuckle—but how often are their instructors unconscious.

    A beep goes off from Aliyah and the cute deploys. My back feels like every vertebrae just separated. We have a chute! We’ll live so long as I can avoid power lines, highways, or bee hives. Steering.

    I can’t reach the controls. Now we only have luck to try to land. I’ll have to take the impact to keep from crushing Aliyah—if she’s still alive.

    The thought of her father’s disapproval conjures bile into my mouth. Tears for Aliyah, but more for me, flow.

    I feel movement behind me. Aliyah is moving. She changes the controls.

    “You’re alive!”

    No answer.

    We drift to a field. There is Aliyah’s friends, and my buddy Jake’s Cyan Isuzu Trooper. They unfurl a banner that reads, “Punked.”

    Aliyah lands us right on it.

    “What did you do?” I whisper when we land.

    “You love scare videos. So you’ve been pranked.”

    We unbuckle and I walk straight to Jake.

    “Dude, get me out of here right now.”

    He knows me well enough not to argue. We get in and drive away.

    I never look back.

    “You’re not taking this well.”

    “If Aliyah does that because she knows I watch prank videos then imagine what she’s capable of when she learns I love horror flicks.”

    500 words
    Challenge Accepted
    Yes Nano, and willing to judge (after hitting wordcount)

    1. Absolutely brilliant. THAT VOICE. Right out of the starting gate, a fantastic, engaging first sentence, which balances the perfect tone between terror, outrage, and humor (how'd you do that?!). And the punchline? Hilarious. Also, clearly, the right decision by the protag...

    2. Hee hee hee. Yeah. She would keep you on adrenalin all the time. Good luckluckescaping that addiction! Maybe it's your next detective character. . . And aliyah is the ex who waltzes in and out of his life and he just can't stop seeing her but he can't keep it up either. It's a madness! 5 months' salary? Someone forgot to tell him to stop at 1.