Monday, October 12, 2015


Welcome back! We're almost halfway through October, so if you NaNo I hope you've picked a project. If you're a planner, I hope you have a pretty solid outline (if not, no worries! There's still time!) If you're a pantser, I hope you have a spark (if not, no worries! Start bashing things together and you'll come up with something amazing!). If you have no idea what NaNo is... Well, it's community, encouragement, inspiration, and challenge all rolled into a reason to finally write that novel you've been meaning to - someday. That day is now. Go check out their website: There's still plenty of time to sign up. :) Go check out the prompt for today and get that brain in gear. Have fun!

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 Ashley Gardana. Read her winning tale from last week hereAshley Gardana (@agardana09) is a DC based writer who spends her time working on flash fiction, poems, and short stories. When not writing, she is enjoying her pup Marvel and this wonderful fall weather! You can find her work at

Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #3-15 is:

I want to introduce you to someone.

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Include math. 



  1. Simple Math
    464 words
    Special challenge accepted!

    “I want to introduce you to someone. This,” and here Jenna gestures to the general disorderliness of the home, “Can’t go on.”

    “How is a blind date going to help?” Kara doesn’t know why her twin is so obsessed with “fixing” her life. Jenna’s a rich engineer, married with two kids and that’s what makes her happy; Kara’s happy lounging in her sweats surrounded by dirty underwear.

    “Yesterday you left your house with no pants on.”

    “I was just going to the corner store. I do it all the time.” Jenna picked a bad time to show up. Kara’s ears are still ringing from the lecture. “Anyway, it’s not like I was naked. I was wearing my pjs.”

    “Put on something nice and meet her at the restaurant at seven.”

    Kara knows there’s no point arguing with Jenna in this mood. Kara’s been working from home for so long that yes, she’s gotten sloppy, but she can still clean up pretty well. She’s not a fan of blind dates, but she’ll make an impression. She’s not sure if it’ll be a good impression, but it’ll be an impression.

    “Don’t screw this up,” Jenna says. “I’m tired of seeing you single.”

    As if it’s any of her business.


    Early the next morning, Jenna’s phone rings.

    “Hey, sis. Just wanted to tell you the date went well.”

    Kara’s tone of voice, and the fact that she’s up before eight, are both alarming wake-up calls. The sleep fog lifts and Jenna sits up.

    “It did?”

    “Yeah. At first I was worried a mathematician and a graphic artist wouldn’t have much in common, but we’ve got a lot of the same hobbies. She really likes video games. Isn’t that something? You can’t tell me a mathematician isn’t intelligent, so now you have to stop going on about how video games are for idiots.”

    That does sound like something Jenna would say.

    “Are you seeing her again?”

    “Yep. There’s plenty more besides video games that will keep us together. Did you know that she also likes peanut butter and pickle sandwiches?”

    Jenna’s heart is starting to sink.

    “I’m glad you like her. Now you’ll be more motivated to get your life together.”

    “Oh, I don’t know about that. I’m making decent money and life’s okay as it is. Lila doesn’t seem to mind the mess, do you Lila?”

    Jenna hears Lila laughing.

    “Bet you’re regretting hiring this mathematician at the firm, huh?” Kara says.

    Jenna does have a few regrets.

    “I’ve got to go, Lila and I want some chips and dip so we’re going to head to the store, sans pants. Bye, sis. Thanks for introducing us!”

    Jenna doesn’t need to hire another mathematician to know that in this case one plus one equals an enormous headache.

  2. Modern Day Duel
    Special Challenge Accepted
    394 words

    “I want to introduce you to someone,” Aida said.

    James and I stared each other down, both remembering the day in The Library of Congress. I now knew it couldn’t have been a coincidence that he’d shown up there. James blinked taking on the blank expression of someone who has no memory or expectations of the person in front of them. I froze up, and I swore Aida would be able to see my muscles tense up inside of me, like little soldiers on a battlefield. I tried my best to relax.

    “James Diamond. This is Eli Thomas. Eli, James.”

    “A pleasure to meet you,” James said, his voice gruffer than I remembered.

    “If two people run into each other in D.C. then what are the chances of them being introduced later on?” I asked. “Like one in a million?”

    “You two know each other?” Aida asked.

    “I have no idea what he’s talking about,” James said, his hands parked in his pants’ pockets.

    I sighed and slunk down on the steps in front of Aida’s brownstone. A stomachache churned away, wooziness overtook me, and I felt like I might be sick all over her blue shoes--or at least that's what I told myself.

    “Are you okay?”

    Concern sat in her voice, and I looked at James, catching his eyes and winking. I rubbed my head and put it down between my knees, taking deep breaths and muttering a math problem under my breath: 5 + 5 = 10.

    “What are you saying?” Aida asked, draping her arms around my shoulders and squeezing.

    “It’s just something my mom always did.” I mumbled the words to the red bricks below my feet. “She would do simple arithmetic when she felt sick. It helped calm her down.” A smile grew on my face, because I knew neither of them could see it.

    I raised my head slightly and glanced up at James again. He was edging away, to his Mercedes at the curb. I pushed my head further down and moaned in pretend pain.

    “I’m just going to go, Aida.” I heard James say.

    I heaved a deep breath and Aida slid her body closer to mine, until our hips were touching and squeezed my shoulders tighter.

    “Let’s get you upstairs. You need a cool rag. Do you think you can walk?”

    Victory was mine.

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  5. Of course I missed the deadline, so included solely for your enjoyment: Not an Entry
    Durn Gummint Men
    Durned Gummint Men