Monday, June 1, 2015


WOOHOO!!! Welcome back for another round! It's so hard to believe that we're a month away from the end of our second year of FTT. Where did the time go? How is that even possible? Well, they say time flies when you're having fun... I guess we've been having a blast! Go check out the prompt and write something awesome. :)

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. (Allowable alterations listed below)
2. Up to 500 words (exclusive of title)
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
8. Only one entry judged per round. If you write/post more than one story, you need to indicate which you would like judged. If you fail to indicate, it will be the first one posted.

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 Steph Ellis. Read her winning tale from last week hereSteph writes flash, short stories (usually horror), poetry and has a novel lurking in the background.  She has had some stories published in various anthologies and magazines and a few more a scheduled for release this year.  She loves being part of the flash community and is proud to have been included in the upcoming Flash Dogs charity anthology, due out in the summer.  She can be found at The Darkness is My Playground ... and on twitter @el_Stevie.  The Flash Dogs can be found at  Check them out.

 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-48 is:

Flames curled round the letter's edge, its message vanishing in the fire.

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Include an umbrella(only because it rained today on the way to the dentist and I got absolutely soaked!)



  1. Last Words
    Word Count: 500
    Special Challenge: Forgotten

    Flames curled round the letter's edge, its message vanishing in the fire. Lea sat down on the floor. Her boyfriend Joshua stared into the flames. It was warm by the hearth, but the silence made Lea shiver.

    Joshua fell to his knees. “Forgive me, Father,” he said. The fire’s glow illuminated the tears that rolled past the heels of his hands.

    Lea’s eyebrows crinkled. “What? He was my father, not yours.”

    “Not ‘Father’ as in ‘Papa.’” He choked. “The dear Heavenly Father.”

    “You don’t have to come to God over some dumb letter, even if it was from my crumby, deadbeat, dead father.”

    Joshua laughed. “I guess I never told you what the last words of my father were.”

    “I thought you didn’t know your father?” Lea scooted toward Joshua a little on the floor.

    “I didn’t. Not until after he had already died.”

    Lea moved so that her crisscrossed knees almost touched Joshua’s. “Did he write you a letter too?”

    “No.” Joshua moved his hands from his face and shook his head. “He was a television preacher. He died of a stroke immediately after filming a service a few months ago.”

    “And you saw a recording of it?”

    “They quoted him in the paper. I never watched the service. Never felt the need before.”

    Lea moved a strand of damp hair away from Joshua’s face. “What did he say?”

    Joshua smiled, coughing, breathing hard. “‘I have a son out there, somewhere. His name is Joshua and I love him very much. But you see, I did some things in my younger days that only Christ can forgive me for. Things I would tremble to mention. My wife took him and ran, as was right. It took a while, but God finally found me. He transformed me. And my only hope is that my son Joshua, wherever he is now, will hear my message. You will stumble and you will fall. You will sin and you will spit in the face of God more times than once. But there is one who always forgives when we ask Him to. Do not make the mistakes I made. Love God with your whole heart, soul, and mind. Love your neighbor as yourself. Better than yourself.’ And the paper said he looked dead forward at the congregation and said, ‘There is nothing more for me to tell all of you. Love God. Love your neighbor. God loves. God forgives. Have a blessed Sunday, goodbye.’”

    “I don’t think that letter said anything like that,” said Lea.

    “We’ll never know now. Maybe it would’ve changed your life.” Joshua wiped away a river of tears. “Like my father’s words did, just now.”

    Lea put one finger to her lips. “I think they changed me too.” She looked away and began to tremble. “I think I would have liked to have met a father who truly loved his child like yours did.”

    “You can,” said Joshua. “His name is God. I think we should meet him together.”

  2. Burning in the crucible of love
    @geofflepard 450 words

    Flames curled round the letter's edge, its message vanishing in the fire. To Betty the ashes seemed to push up, as if the paper was fighting the fire, wrestling with it, determined its message would not be lost. But fire trumped paper and when, at last the flames retreated, their work done, Betty bent close to the defeated ash and obliterated the residue in one indifferent breath.
    Betty rocked on her heels, imagining the sequence of events she had just put in train. Doris waiting on the RSVP. Doris pressing Clive to check with the postman. Doris pressing Clive to check with the delivery office. Doris pressing Clive once too many and him shouting at her. Betty knew the words he would use by heart. Doris begging Clive to ask Betty if she had received the invitation and Clive refusing. Doris’s tears. Clive’s fists.
    Betty gave it two weeks before Doris called her, wanting a chat, wanting to bare all about her mistake, her guilt, her regret. Doris wanting guidance, suggesting Clive was looking at someone else.
    Betty would be that ‘someone else’. Betty would call Clive, say she’d heard about Doris having second thoughts. Clive, sceptical, given the circumstances but given Doris’s withdrawal easy to convince.
    She would have them both precisely where she wanted them and then…
    Betty looked at the grey ashy-smear. The silhouette of a bride and groom that had been embossed on the top of the invitation had been transferred, ghost like, onto the stone surface. Betty reached out a foot and twisted her heel on the slab. The image remained. The harder she tried to remove it, the deeper the image seemed to go. And with each turn the generic bride became more clearly Doris and the ubiquitous groom morphed into Clive.
    When Betty stopped the picture had become a part of the hard surface, seared into the stone as if it had been branded.
    The phone rang. ‘Yes?’
    ‘It’s Estelle. Doris’s mother?’
    ‘Yes, Estelle.’
    ‘I’m ringing wedding guests…’
    ‘I’ve not been invited.’
    ‘Oh silly, of course you have. Maybe the invitation has been held up. The thing is, the lovebirds were so excited they shot off to the registry office and are already man and wife. Isn’t that romantic?’
    ‘But… I don’t understand.’
    ‘I know, it was all a bit sudden. They were committed to the full Church thingy but then the Church burnt down – apparently a bible caught light in a ray of sunlight through the south window – a freak they said and they decided it was an omen. You’ve been so good, Betty, so understanding after that unpleasantness last year. I knew you’d want to be the first to congratulate them.’

  3. Amberlee Dawn
    500 words
    Challenge: Accepted

    A Tea-Stained Good-bye

    Flames curled round the letter’s edge, its message vanishing in the fire.

    “Damn it!” Rosa muttered, trying not to wake her family as she raced to the sink. Water from the faucet mingled with her tears. She needed to get this right. For Lynee.

    Leaving the ruined letter, she turned to get more paper and toppled over the still-drying umbrella from the day's deluge. Figures, she thought. She and Lynee had a running joke about her klutziness.

    After ensuring she’d not awakened the sleeping household, she returned to her task.

    As teenagers, they used tea-staining and paper-smoldering to antique things. It lent a mysterious aura, like the words had been through a great battle and had been victorious. That was years ago, but it was the only way Rosa could think of to express herself. So, picked up a tea-stained page and re-started her letter.


    I already miss you. I have no idea how I’m going to do this long-term.

    I’m feeling sappy, so you’ll just have to deal with it.

    Remember how crazy we were as kids? Stealing snacks from the kitchen to “roast” them over our lamps. Managed to singe a few things. Not sure how we didn’t start any fires. Or, when we took the closet doors off and used them as slides? We probably shouldn’t have been left alone so much…

    We had that rough patch in high school. I was always the geeky one. The dusty reference book only approached by those who loved that sort of thing. You were the hyacinth everyone hovered by to catch your scent. It was like we had nothing in common.

    A switch flipped during college. Suddenly, we were best friends. Coffee, long car rides, and shopping. Remember the gold sequined mini-skirt? We definitely improved that mannequin.

    I was there when your marriage was in trouble, and you were there when we lost our babies.

    And now, you’re on to your next big adventure. I almost wish you could take me with you. Not sure how I’ll make it without you around.

    I love you. I hope you’re enjoying yourself.


    She held the paper over the candle, a watery smile ribboning her face. Last time she’d forgotten that the trick was to let it char without actually burning. The air filled with tiny curling tendrils, their scent luring her into reverie. Fortunately, she caught herself this time.

    Picking up some rose petals, she glued them on. Lynee loved roses. She fiddled with it some more, then dragged herself to bed.

    The next day, Rosa held her completed work one last time. It would have to be good enough, she thought as she bent and placed the letter in Lynee’s hands. “I love you little sister,” she whispered as drops of liquid pain fell onto the satin sheets of her sister’s final earthly bed. A touch of dark brown locks and she turned into her mother’s arms as they closed the casket and prepared to carry it out.

  4. D. E. (Dave) Park
    285 words, challenge accepted.
    Halo of Flies

    Flames curled round the letter’s edge, its message vanishing in the fire. I felt like skipping as I made my way to the dock, but that would be breaking character. There will surely be time for celebration later. I need to be over the horizon before sunrise.


    “Vladimir, your orders are to pick up Doctor Furnier at the docks and escort him to the Ambassador’s office. He’s the American V.I.P. we’ve been expecting, the strategic submarine expert. Make sure you verify his papers, provide any refreshment he might need. Take an umbrella, looks like inclement weather is blowing in tonight.”

    “It will be my pleasure, Boris. Is this doctor to be a part of the Vnezapno Grom project?”

    “Careful comrade, the politburo has ears everywhere. Just between us, I understand he’s some sort of expert on magnetohydrodynamic drives. He’s supposed to be trading engine plans for gold, new blueprints that will advance Vnezapno by years.”


    I motored along the keel of the massive submarine, towed by a noiseless electric bladefish motor. Finding the intake ports, I planted the time bomb on the keel exactly between them. A sizable explosion, under pressure conditions, and the sub would fold up and sink almost instantly. I set the timer for twelve hours and headed up the dock.


    “Dr. Furnier, your gold is in this briefcase.”

    “My pleasure doing business with you, Ambassador.”


    Packing for Monaco, I thumbed through “Dr. Furnier’s” passport and travel documents. They were superb, some of my best forgeries. Like the schematics and MHD blueprints I sold the Ambassador, they were entirely counterfeit.

    I hefted the heavy briefcase and tossed the good doctor’s papers into the fireplace.