Monday, October 19, 2015


Welcome! I'm glad you're here today. Go check out the prompts and write something amazing!

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 Holly Geely. Read her winning tale from last week here! Check out her website at Follow her on twitter @hollygeely. Holly Geely's fiction pops up now and again in online magazines and she's a proud FlashDog. She recently added a fourth furbaby to the family, and the puppy is an adorable terror.

Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #3-16 is:

[Jared] could not outrun the echo of the bone-chilling laughter.  

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Include at least two traditional Halloween monsters.



  1. @fs_iver
    WC: 357
    *Challenge accepted


    Jared could not outrun the echo of the bone-chilling laughter.

    - Well, yeah, what do you expect of me? I’m just a kid.

    He could, however, hide in his mother’s broom closet, which is what he did.

    - Hey!

    As Carrie-covered-in-blood ran through the corridor, the boy held his breath. The shoes smelled especially sour.

    - Really?

    When he was certain his tormentor had continued on to the garden, Jared cast about for a weapon. He armed himself with a mop –

    - I don’t get Father’s BB?

    And his mother’s Moo Moo.

    - I hate you.

    With this disguise, he would be unrecognizable. Jared poked his head out of the closet and remembered to breathe again. He could hear Carrie tipping over his mother’s prize gnomes. Good. He hated those creepy bastards.


    “Sorry, Mom.”

    Gripping the mop handle close to his chest, Jared turned. He stopped, frozen.

    - What do I see? What do I see?!

    Him. He sees him –

    - Oh, I could take him.

    dressed in that devil-red tutu, a sword pinched in his lobster hands. Jared couldn’t move. His black beard curled tighter than a scorpion’s tail dropped as the demon opened his mouth to speak.

    - I should hit him! While he doesn’t expect it!

    Have you seen your little boy, Ma’am? He asks. I’d like to disembowel him if you don’t object.

    - Ewwwwww…

    Jared, Moo Moo wearing, mop holding Jared, used his squeakiest voice and said, why I do believe he’s in the garden. Why don’t you go have a looksee? He thanked her, and then left, stabbing Mom-Jared’s hardwood floor with thigh high stilettos.

    - He’ll pay for that. A villain like him has to have at least one credit card.

    Jared bolted the doors and waited. It wasn’t long before their indignant screams tore into the night sky. Another Halloween and they’d been fooled.

    - That’s it?! I coulda written something better than that.

    “Well, what do you know?”

    “Who are you talking to, Hon?”

    “No one, Mom. Just reading.”

    - Okay, here’s how I woulda told it. I could not outrun the echo of the bone-chilling laughter.

  2. The Good Old Bad Days
    (50 words

    Teenagers could not outrun the echo of bone-chilling laughter.

    Whether Jason or Mike Myers, the blond always fell down and the hunk bought it in the end.

    Scary movies aren’t what they used to be. No matter what they say. Give me a Frankenstein, Werewolf or Invisible Man any day.

  3. Homegrown Horror
    335 words
    *Challenge accepted

    You cannot outrun the echo of bone-chilling laughter, the same laughter that has pursued you through childhood nightmares through adolescent hallucinations right into adult waking. Outside it’s louder. Darkness gives it more penetrating power. If you want frost-bitten bones, try going outside at night. No thanks.

    Home is hardly a haven either: it snickers from the corners like cobwebs the vacuum nozzle can’t reach. Shadows pull in from outside no matter how many fluorescents scour the room. Hiding from it is just as impossible as running.

    That doesn’t keep you from trying to stuff a wool sock in its mouth.

    You attack the chilling part with cable-knit sweaters, double-thick long johns, looped scarves. When that does’t do the trick, fireplace fires, steaming bubble baths. (Spot heaters? No way. Every time a fuse blows, there’s the plunge into the darkness that mocks in the basement. You’ve blown too many fuses clustering heaters around the couch) Hot tea becomes hot chocolate becomes hot toddy. And another. Another.

    Getting warm enough inside and out reduces it to a shivery giggle.

    Then it’s time to queue up Net-flicks. Replace the reality with the kitsch. Black and white vampires who can’t get their lips around the pointy plastic inserts, werewolves with zippered pelts and furry gloves, headless horse-mannequins tied onto bored horses. You can imagine the sinister derision aimed at the screen rather than at you.

    Until well after midnight, you chain watch to exhaustion. With the final roll of credits, the snickering gnaws its way back through your flesh to bite at your marrow.

    You save your shield for bedtime, where it’s most needed. A heavy rag-time blanket quilted by your favorite aunt, the one who came to recitals and soccer games and parent-teacher meetings when she could manage the bus fare. The aunt whose laughter never came at your expense.

    It’s silly panoply of squares insulates you against the cold jeering. You huddle into its warm flannel silence and sleep.

    1. Oh, FTT mistress, I need an edit on that last paragraph: "It's" should (obviously) be "its". Do you work for chocolate?

    2. Sorry, Nancy, Blogger doesn't let me edit other people's posts like wordpress does. Either that or the dragon queen over there has magical abilities that she hasn't shared with me... Probably both. :) My judges typically read the comments. But chocolate is always welcome anyway!

  4. Untitled Vignette
    500 Words
    (Challenge Accepted)

    Kimberly could not outrun the echo of the bone-chilling laughter. She could barely walk at this point, but she still pushed on, one foot before the other as she moved towards the inevitable challenge ahead. She had survived two challenges thus far, though living was the only criteria of survival that made this statement true. The Kimberly who had been thrown down a cellar door into this labyrinth… She hadn’t made it nearly this far.

    First was the vampire. He did not sparkle, nor did he loom behind a Transylvanian cape - eyes alight with death’s seduction. He was only seven, or near enough, and he had been down here for so long with nothing to satisfy his hunger that he could do little but look at her with sad eyes that plead for anything to change (a reprieve, an escape) while he lay sprawled against the wall. The key to the door was in his heart – he had told her as much – and to get it… He had lunged at her in a final attempt at survival (and she had nearly lost a wrist as he did) but a minute later, she stepped through the door alone.

    As she wept and sprinted from the room and down a hallway fit for a tribute to perspective, she heard the laughter for the first time – a thick, wet rasp. Her feet flew faster and her blood ran cold, but still it lingered as if just behind her. After several hours, her breath turned ragged and her lungs turned to ice and she stopped. Bloody hands braced on bare knees as she tried to regain her composure, but she threw up when she saw the mess on her hands. As Kimberly struggled to create enough friction to burn the offending stain from her skin, she heard a wet thud on the other side of the wall.

    Hesitating, she softly slapped her hand against the cement block, and heard a tap a moment later – directly mirroring her own. Then another. And a thud. The thudding grew to a pounding as the blocks began to shift and mortar crumbled into the hallway. In an explosion of cement, a grayed and withered hand slammed through the wall followed by the stink of decay long unchecked. The zombie grabbed her shoulder and pulled her against the wall, trying to bring her warm flesh to its ravenous mouth, dumb to the cinder blocks that interfered. She pulled back from her attacker, bracing a leg against the wall and pulling hard and fast. Kimberly was rewarded with a sickening thwap that was accompanied by the slackening of the zombie’s grip as it collapsed, unlifeless, to the ground of the hidden chamber.

    Kimberly heard the laughter again and she fled, blood-stained fingers trailing against the dimly lit cinder blocks. The boy vampire, the zombie, and the laughter, she tried to outrun everything. But she could not outrun the echo of the bone-chilling laughter, because the laughter was her own.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. @GeoffHolme
    Word Count: 135
    Special Challenge accepted


    "Jared could not outrun the echo of the bone-chilling laughter–

    "Woah! What? 'Bone-chilling laughter'? How can laughter be bone-chilling? Cackling, like a hook-nosed, hairy-chinned, warty witch, maybe.Howling, like a ravening, razor-toothed werewolf, under a full moon, perhaps. Shrieking, like a baleful banshee, before someone in the house dies a hideous death, possibly. But not laughter, chuckling or tittering, for goodness sake!

    "I mean, this is supposed to be a blood-curdling, scary tale for Hallowe'en - the night when ghosts and ghouls are abroad, when vampires and zombies lurk in every shadow."

    "Yes, OK! Obviously that should be 'bone-chilling slaughter'. I just wanted you to give me some constructive feedback on my story, not nitpick over typos. I may as well have invited you in to bite my head off!"