Monday, February 16, 2015


Welcome back for another week of exciting word journeys! Remind yourself of the rules, read the prompt, and show us your awesomeness! Have at it! :)

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 Lauren Greene also known as @laurenegreene. Read her winning tale from last week here!  Check out her website here. Lauren Greene spends her time chasing after three kids, working a day job, and trying to make it as a writer. She's been writing since she was seven years old, and when she's not writing flash fiction and novels, she enjoys reading, working out, and drinking wine.

 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-33 is:

He hustled her away from the scene, even as more people were arriving to scope out the damage.

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Use THREE of the following words:

Teddy Bear, President, heart, mastermind, cupcake, nightgown



  1. Love Knows No Time,

    I hustle her away from the scene, even as more people arrive to scope out the damage. The fires rage, Romans rampage, and we have to flee.

    I’ve loved her since I was a child. I obsessed with her as a teen. As an adult, I spent my life learning about her.

    Three Legionaries block our path. I shoot them before they can charge. I don’t care about what type of paradoxes I’m creating. How could I watch her die? Not after spending the last five years hopping in and out of her era just to catch glimpses of her.

    “Where are you taking me, my hero?” she asks. Her Latin is amazing. She’s pretty, despite what historians say. It’s easy to see why leaders fall for her. And now she is holding my hand.

    The President signed an executive order nationalizing the time hoppers. What was I supposed to do? I shoot two Egyptian soldiers who moved our way. They may have been coming to help, but I can’t take the risk.

    I’ve arranged a villa in Pyrenees in a time period that no one will look for us. She speaks Latin so learning Gascon won’t be beyond her remarkable intellect. We’ll be happy there.

    “I’m taking you where your reign will continue.”

    We reach the mud-brick house where KyKy let’s me have a room in exchange for trinkets from my time. Whose to say that Chanel didn’t exist back then?

    KyKy’s husband is waiting as I enter the house. He’s approved our arrangement. But today he’s waiting with a khopesh.

    He raises the weapon and starts toward me so I splatter his brains across the house. KyKy screams, but doesn’t move to stop us as I pass with her Queen’s hand in mine. We enter the room I keep there. I secure the iron door.

    I start the transport preparation. Egyptian voices are screaming in the house. Is this the usurper’s forces arriving?

    “My queen, forgive my forwardness.” I embrace her, and initiates listening mode on my bracelet. Then I say the value of pi to fifty digits in Latin. As I say the last zero we are whisked through the floor into a vortex. It’s like taking a bath in melting crayons.

    We appear in the courtyard of the snow-covered villa. Travel is hard on people the first few times. I hold her curly hair as she empties her lunch.

    “Where have you taken me?”

    “When is more important than where. I am the mastermind of escape.”

    I keep my arms wrapped around her waist as I lead her through into the villa.

    “I do not like it here. My feet are cold.”

    “Don’t worry, we’ll be happy here.” My hand slides her to rear.

    A needle jabs into my heart. Oh no, I was too forward with her.

    Cleopatra takes the bracelet off my arm. As I fade, she whispers, “I know the numbers you spoke. Your sacrifice is appreciated.”

    496 Words
    Challenge accepted

    1. Never trust a beautiful woman ;) Brilliant mix of history, sci-fi, and passion, Michael!

  2. Faded Flower

    He hustled her away from the scene, even as more people were arriving to scope out the damage. She had a hooded cape in the back seat and he put it on her to hide her identity. The crowd of Minardians would have likely ripped her apart if they knew who she was. Before she would leave though she picked up a teddy bear and clutched it close to her, like a child.

    He took her to a coffee shop about two blocks away. Then called emergency services. Minardians, have created their own emergency services when the human’s policy became to make them second priority, often not treating their injuries or responding to their emergencies.

    “Emergency Services, what is the nature of your emergency?”

    “Accident. A vehicle slammed into my home.”

    “Is anyone injured?”

    “No, Thank God.”

    “What is the address of the accident?”

    “Sector Gamma, Block 23, Entry 8.”

    There was too long of a pause, and he could guess why.

    “Why didn’t you call your own emergency services.”

    “The driver is human and a VIP.”

    “Who was the driver?”

    This time it was his turn to pause. He made sure she was staying hidden in her hood, checking anxiously around the room to see if anyone noticed.

    “I’m not going to tell you. Can you connect me to the Political Protection Service?”

    “That request is highly unusual. Are you holding someone hostage?”

    “Just connect me to the PPS!”

    “Please hold.”

    He nervously ordered two coffees and two slices of pie. He had his half eaten before the line was picked up again.

    “This is Officer Shockley of the PPS. I understand you are holding a human politician hostage?”

    “No.” He spoke quietly because of a couple who took up a nearby booth. “A limousine slammed into my house about 20 minutes ago. When I checked on it, President Calloway was the only person in it.”

    He could hear a flurry of muffled activity in the background, before the man came back on the line.

    “We don’t believe you. Do you think the President just drives around Minardian neighborhoods alone at night?”

    “You need to believe me, if you are really PPS you probably already know she is missing. I bet she snuck out. So far I have been able to keep her hidden, but if she pulls off her hood, I don’t think she will survive very long.”

    “What are you proposing to do?”

    “I propose you come and get her. We are in the all night diner called Powderkeg, block 25, commercial entry.”

    Again the hesitation was too long.

    “You are just going to give her back? No questions asked? Why would you do that?”

    “It broke my heart when I realized she had Alzheimers. But I do have a question, how long has she been sick and who really has been instituting the anti-Minardian political agenda?”

    480 words

    1. Forgot to mention the special challenge is met, President, Teddy Bear and Heart are all included.

    2. Liked it. Good use of the prompts and the ending was excellent.

    3. I really enjoyed the dialog here. I could feel their fear. Wonderful world-building!

  3. Bedtime Story – 499 words

    “He hustled her away from the scene, even as more people were arriving to scope out the damage.”

    “What happened then Granpa?” Edie peeked out from under the top of her My Little Pony nightgown.

    Granpa tucked the covers around her tiny body. “Well, they ran down the back stairs and out into the alley behind the hotel. TB……….”

    “You mean Teddy Bear, right Granpa?”

    “Yeah right child, I mean Teddy Bear, now hush and listen. …….. Uh, let’s see …. Running down the stairs tuckered them right out. So they stood in that alley, hearts pounding and chests heaving. They didn’t know what to do.

    “The President said, ‘Okay mastermind, now what?’ ”

    “Teddy Bear looked at her. ‘Madam President, I do not know. Let me check it out.’ Ever so slowly and super quietly, TB sneaked up the alley to the street. …”

    Granpa looked at his granddaughter. Her eyes were barely open. She couldn’t last much longer. He better wrap it up.

    He smiled. “So Teddy Bear looked out onto the street. He signaled the President to come ahead. Both of them peaked out. There were Officer Barneys everywhere. Some were running crime tape, while most were holding the gathering mob back. One Barney was taking pictures and another was stretching on some crime scene latex gloves.”

    Edie struggled to open her eyes wider. “Just like CSI huh? ……… ”

    Granpa looked down on his beautiful grandchild. “Yes Edie, just like CSI. …… Anyway, what the Barneys were checking out horrified both of them. There lay Cupcake frosting side down. Its cherry smashed and cracked open, oozing red cherry juice into the sewer drain. ……. After a few moments, they decided it was best to beat feet the other way.”

    Edie mumbled, “What then?” She had just about had it.

    “Well, the Barney taking pictures asked, ‘So Sarge, what do we call this one? Need something for the report.’ ”

    “ Sarge looked at him and said, ‘Hmm, … we found the poor slob near the sewer drain. Let’s write it up as Suicide.’ “

    Edie looked up at her grandfather and grinned. “Granpa, you are so silly.” Then she passed out.

    Granpa eased himself to his feet. As he left her room, he closed the door leaving it cracked open a tad, just like she liked it. Downstairs he found his wife in the living room with a book in her hands. She dropped the book to her lap and looked at him over her glasses. “You didn’t tell the cupcake story again, did you?”

    “Yeah, sure did. Worked like a charm. Don’t worry, I didn’t tell her you were the one who threw Cupcake to his death.

    Miss Piggy glared at her husband. ” Hey now, he was trying to steal my girlish figure. …….. If I was still president, I’d…………”

    “Yeah Yeah, you’d have the stuffing beat out of me. ……. blah blah blah.” Teddy Bear headed into the kitchen for a beer.

    I used all Special Challenge words

    1. I think this is my favorite use of the challenge words. Well done. :)

  4. A Lover's Sweet Sacrifice
    Special challenge accepted. 479 words.

    He hustled her away from the scene, even as more people were arriving to scope out the damage. The morning sun had revealed her shameful sins of the night. The bystanders gazed astounded at Michelle as Sean attempted in vain to usher her out discreetly, still in her nightgown, eyes wide, hair wild, a satisfied smile on her stained lips. Their eyes scanned over the crumbling entrails and torn, half-devoured wrappings, marveling at the evidence of the massacre. Though they feigned terror at her capacity for consumption of what was not hers to take, they were hypocrites--for there was not one among them who had not lusted after the same in their own heart. Still, Michelle was the only one vicious enough--or brave enough--to act on her unspoken desires.
    As Sean finally succeeded in shepherding Michelle into the back of his sedan, he began the short journey home, although it felt like ages. Everywhere he went he felt their eyes: accusatory, horrified, how could they all possibly know? Was it her disheveled appearance, the calculating insanity lurking in her eyes, the telling marks on her face and hands? It was not important now, all that mattered was that he get her home and cleaned up, and prepare his defense. There was no way she could possibly defend her own actions; he could tell that well enough by her devilish grin. He held tightly to the last glimmer of hope that her crimes would go unnoticed, but then he remembered the evidence strewn across the bakery floor and smeared on the walls. There was no hope. She had already been found out.

    He arrived at home and led her to the bathroom where he began to fill the bathtub with scalding water. He always knew this day would come. There were too many moments when she would began to ramble incoherently things too vulgar to be repeated, her eyes in a faraway place of her own imagined fantastical horror where she was free to execute all the plans devised by her mastermind. He had hidden her away from the world, torn her incriminating drawings from the wall, burned the clothing from her previous escapes. It was too late now. His years of protecting her had been of no use.

    He imagined the next day's headlines as police sirens sounded in the distance, growing closer with each passing moment. The bathtub was only half full, and Michelle still sat covered in the evidence of her crimes in the corner, not saying a word, only smiling. Their minutes were numbered now. Sean lost his calm composure and leaped from the tub to Michelle, embracing her in a desperate kiss. A thundering bang, the door had been broken in. Sean recoiled in fear and despair. Michelle laughed, and with her finger delicately wiped something from Sean's lips. Raspberry icing from her last cupcake.

    1. Just found a typo: she would began = she would begin

    2. Lauren, the furtive desperation of this is beautiful! I've never had a cupcake with raspberry icing but now I want one. :)

  5. Foy
    word count: 482


    He hustled Mara away from the scene, even as more people were arriving to scope out the damage. They would only have seconds before Jamie, mother-of-his-child and psycho-bitch, realized he had their daughter and came after him.

    He’d woken up to find them gone, their clothes undisturbed. She’d taken her still wrapped in that blue and yellow Dory nightgown. Six months he’d tracked them from Baton Rouge to Pasadena, from Corpus Christi to here: Guadalupe in Nuevo Leon. He’d spent his days flashing the only photo he had in the faces of strangers–“Have you seen this woman? Or the little girl?”–his nights, sleeping on west-bound trains, no tickets ever purchased. With all the practiced patience of a predator stalking its prey, he’d pursued. Mara was his angel and no amount of miles would keep him from rescuing her.

    “Daddy, where are we going? Where’s mommy?” She was twisting in his arms so he gripped her shoulders firmly. She was only five, she wouldn’t understand and he didn’t want her to witness the accident. It was evil but a necessary one. Causing the bus driver to swerve had given him the precious distraction he needed to pull Mara from her warden’s grasp. Bystanders were pressing in, suffocating their progress. They had to move faster. Roughly, he scooped her up, the weight heavier than he remembered, and cursed Jamie for the time and memories she’d stolen from him.
    “My teddy bear!” Mara cried out and then the tears came like a monsoon. The bear, a worn-beige shadow of its chestnut glory, lay fallen under uncaring feet behind them. He kept going.
    “Daddy’ll buy you a new bear, Baby.”
    “No! I want mine. I don’t wanna leave.”
    Her squalling was attracting dangerous attention. Coffee-colored faces nodded their direction–wondering–while tongues curled around unfamiliar words–accusing. His hand cupped the back of her head, forcing it onto his shoulder, failing to bring comfort through his embrace.
    “Listen, Baby, Daddy’s here for you but–”
    “I want mommy!”
    “–but I need you to shut the hell up right now.”


    Jamie lay broken on the asphalt, half-pinned beneath the aquamarine camiĆ³n. Moments after she’d seen his face and felt that familiar terror flood her veins, he’d reached out, shoved her backwards into the street. Mara’s fingers, so tiny, were wrenched from hers.

    Then the impact.


    Light and foreign speech, slipping around the edges of understanding.
    Mara. Where’s Mara?
    His face, that mastermind of manipulation and dread, filled her mind’s vision. Rubber tire pressed into her side but all she could feel was her heart straining against the prison of her ribs, pleading with her body to stand, to stop him.
    Blue sky disappeared behind unknown mouths and eyes. They wanted to help her, to know if she was alright but all she could say was, “My baby! Please, someone get my baby!”

  6. The Fire

    He hustled Her away from the scene, even as more people were arriving to scope out the damage. “Seriously, Ma’am you need to back up,” Harvey said while doing his best to be firm and solemn. Inside he was about to burst from laughter. “Maybe Clint can escort you to your quarters?” he suggested kindly while continuing to nudge Her from the room. The acrid stench of burnt plastics and wiring still hung heavy in the air.

    “Yes, yes I think that will be a good idea,” She replied still somewhat dazed. It was the wee hours of the morning, and She didn’t understand where everyone was coming from. She knew Harvey could tell She was embarrassed. Hell, She knew everyone who came to gawk knew She was embarrassed. She felt their judgmental eyes take in the extensive damage. She heard the whispers about the teddy bear nightgown She was wearing. She dreaded how this was going to play out. Unable to look anyone in the eye, She simply stared at the floor. “A good idea,” She repeated hollowly.

    Harvey shrugged off his jacked and wrapped it around Her shoulders. He turned Her away from the room and led Her down the hidden corridor. “Clint!” he bellowed at the top of his lungs. The exclamation made Her jump, but She trudged forward on shuffling feet, staring at the cool tile beneath Her naked feet.

    Clint appeared as if by magic. He and Harvey could communicate with mere facial expressions after working together for nearly 8 years. *What was it this time?* he asked.

    *Cupcakes again,* replied Harvey.

    “Clint, please escort The Lady to her quarters. Make sure She’s okay before you leave Her. Understood?”

    “Yes, sir,” Clint replied with all the politeness of an English butler.

    She trusted Clint with all of Her heart. She was sure he would be able to mastermind some kind of damage control for Her. She looked up with fearful eyes and whispered, “How bad is it?”

    He smiled softly, his brain already working overtime on a plan to contain the rabid press. “I’m pretty sure they will never let you near the kitchens again, Madam President.”


    362 words
    Challenge Accepted - all words used

  7. Ashes
    @geofflepard 488 words. Special challenge accepted

    He hustled her away from the scene, even as more people were arriving to scope out the damage. “Come on love, you can’t stay.”
    Martin had seen many distressed people in his years as a fireman, broken people, shocked people, angry people who could but stare at what remained of their lives. But this one, this granite faced nonagenarian, clutching her nightdress to her sparse frame seemed to dissolve in front of him. The transformation for stoicism to sobbing was seemingly instantaneous.
    “We got everyone out, love.” For a moment Martin wondered whether there might be a pet they had missed though he knew Cammie made a big thing of sensing pets and colleting them as they swept through a building. He waved at his colleague and mouthed ‘any pets?’ at her. Cammie broke from her conversation with another resident and shook her head.
    “Was there a pet?”
    The old woman shook and loosened his hold on her elbow; she slipped to her knees. Before Martin moved she reached out, scooping up some ash that had accumulated like a sombre snow drift.
    “There now. Let’s brush you down.” He bent to help her up but she resisted. As he did so he saw, amongst the ash a dirty teddy bear. “Is this what you’re after?” Carefully he picked up the toy and wiped away the crust of desolation with slow sad fingers. “What he yours? Your child’s?”
    The old lady shuddered and moaned. Martin bent towards her, “I’m sorry. What did you say?”
    “I want cupcake? Where’s my cupcake?”
    Two rheumy pleading eyes met Martin’s. He smiled. ”We’ll get you a cupcake.”
    He put his hands under her arms. As quickly as she had broken down, she burst into life, raining stiff limbed mockeries of punches on his thighs and stomach, guttural wails slicing through already fractured nerves.
    Embarrassed and unsure, Martin increased his grip. “We have to move. I’ll carry you…”
    She flopped forward, spreading her arms in the dirt, her voice rising in pitch. “Cupcake!”
    Martin felt his colleague look across. “We need to go. It really isn’t safe.”
    As he began to ease the now inert woman into his arms, Cammie approached with the other resident, a woman in her mid-thirties wearing paint splattered dungarees and a look of determination.
    “Marty, that lady is Mrs Abalon. Mitsy here tells me Cupcake is her daughter.”
    Martin almost dropped the old woman. He twisted to look at the still smouldering apartment block. “She not in there, is she?”
    “Yes.” “No.”
    Cammie held up a hand to stop Mitsy interruption. “Her daughter died many years ago. Mrs Abalon takes her ashes with her everywhere. The casket is…” They all looked at the gutted interior rendered ash by the many hundred degrees of heat. “… somewhere in there.”
    Martin turned his head to Mrs Abalon who peered at him through grime- streaked tears “You will find her, won’t you?”

    1. Wow, I love this, Geoff! That last line, despair inducing...