Monday, November 23, 2015


Welcome! Thanks for joining us! I'm attempting to finish the first draft of the novel I'm working on for NaNo and I may be able to do it. I won't hit 50K, but I love how NaNo pushes me and the community encourages me. I may never "win" NaNo, but I'm a winner - every year. Plus, I still have a week. Go check out the prompt, and keep writing!

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.
9. Winner judges next round.

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 Geoff Holme. Read his tale from last week here! Geoff is semi-retired, insofar as he does not have any paid employment. So he spends far too much time writing flash fiction which he discovered in September 2014. He lives in West Sussex, UK and is reachable on Twitter (@GeoffHolme)

 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #3-21 is:

It was all in [the timing]; something like this was bound to [come out] sooner or later.

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Include the names of two or more winners of Academy Award for Best Picture. 



  1. Not Ordinary People

    It was all in the timing. Bound to come out sooner or later.
    It happened one night. I heard a crash then the sound of music. That’s how Annie came into my life. She’d fallen over just as her phone rang. I helped her up and asked if she was going my way. She told me she had a condition I wouldn’t have heard of. Six months to live, she said. We walked together and I told her about the zoo my grandfather opened just after the war. She laughed at my tales of the kleptomaniac parrots and how Marty the gorilla nearly bit my hand off.
    I worked at the Grand Hotel on the front and she was a guest, staying a week with her parents. It was my last week there. I was going up the coast to be a Butlin’s red coat. She told me she was bound for university in October. I heard myself say I was doing the same. Oxford she said. Me too I said. Brasnose College, she said. Me too, I said, thinking what a daft name that was. English Literature, she said. Me too, I said.
    I’ve always been a liar. I trace it back to my parent’s rocky patch. I was fifteen and escaped their incessant arguing by making stuff up. Stuff I started to believe. I’d sit in the hall while they argued and I don’t think they even noticed.
    Then along came Annie. After university, she’d travel the world, she said. Her parents were wealthy she said. They were going to set her up in business, she said.
    And it did come out. It may seem mad to you but this works for us. We’re not ordinary people and we wouldn’t want to be. These days we’re working up a magic act for our Butlin’s audiences. Not really magic. Just more lies.

    313 words
    Special Challenge Accepted – There’s NINE Academy Award winning films here. One is two words split. It’s my favourite so I had to get it in.

  2. Elixir of Youth

    492 words

    Special Challenge Accepted


    It was all in the timing, something like this was bound to leak out sooner or later. Rebecca had warned Marty to keep quiet, but as usual he had opened his mouth and so the leak became a trickle and the trickle became a flood.

    “We can’t release it yet,” she insisted. “It’s not been tested on humans. And you’ve seen what it’s done to the mice.”

    Marty wandered over to the cage and watched Rocky sprint across the sawdust. He had grown an extra tail and two tiny horns. It could’ve been worse.

    “Yes but look at him go,” he said. “It’s really boosted his energy levels. And out there … well, it’s no country for old men any more, the cult of youth is everything. We can make a killing.”

    “It needs to be tested on ordinary people first,” repeated Rebecca. “We need to know it’s safe.”

    “Then I’ll do it,” said Marty. “I’ll be the guinea pig. We need this stuff to hit the market as soon as possible.”

    Rebecca understood his desperation, since the stock market crash, the company’s finances had been in a terrible state. The Sunrise Elixir looked like being the answer to their prayers.

    “Okay,” she said, reluctantly. “But we’ll stay in the apartment. You need to be observed properly.

    Marty pulled a face, but he had been 12 years a slave to this project and it was about time he reaped some reward.

    They slipped out of the laboratory, avoiding the crowds, and made their way to the company flat. There, Rebecca checked Marty’s vital signs and, once satisfied, she administered the first dose of the elixir.

    “No rashes, flushes or other changes to appearance,” she noted. “No change to pulse or blood pressure. A slight brightness to the eyes.”

    Marty winked at her. “You know you have a beautiful … mind,” he leered.

    She ignored him. Half-hour later she examined him again. Still no change apart from the eyes; they were now taking on a reddish tinge. She slapped away a hand that had begun to take liberties with her dress.

    An hour passed. Rebecca started to make dinner but stopped when she heard the sound of music drift in from the lounge.

    She stuck her head out the door, noted the low lights, the candles but was too slow to avoid the arms that suddenly led her across the carpet in a bizarre tango.

    Marty swung her round and dipped her to the floor, fortunately catching his newly-sprouted horns in the weave of the rug. It gave Rebecca the chance she needed to escape his clutches. And then she saw his tail.

    “Oh my God! Marty, we’ve got to stop this. We need to get you to a doctor!”

    But Marty merely grinned at her. “On the contrary, my American beauty. I feel fantastic. And how about this for an advertising slogan: Sunrise Elixir. Guaranteed to bring out the devil in you.”


  3. @stellakateT
    259 words
    special challenge accepted

    Special Delivery

    It was all in the timing; something like this was bound to come out sooner or later. Tina just leapt up in the Black Swan and announced she was pregnant. Jason and I nearly choked on our beer. Good ale wasted was not on our to do list neither was staying around to find out who was the father. Not that is was going to be either of us but fall out was going to be epic. When Ron her father finds out it’s going to be some poor sod’s demise. I’ve got my money on Robin and he’ll be gone with the wind straight to Chicago when he hears. Tina looked really pleased for herself and I heard myself saying “Congrats babe” Jason dug me in the ribs and I lost another inch of beer. Jenny was telling Tina no more alcohol for you and arranging a baby shower! Rebecca was yelling “how far gone are you?” I really wished I was at home watching Star Wars I felt anymore of this and I’d be the colour purple.

    How far could I be wrong? The next day there’s Robin like a gladiator with his American beauty, well Tina looked like Marilyn Munroe on a good day and Rocky on a bad one. He looked like the cat that had got the cream. They walked down the aisle within three weeks of the announcement. Ron happily gave Tina away to Robin. I’m off to Casablanca soon with Jason. I’d give anything to change places with Robin. Tina looks stunning.

  4. Just Friends
    417 words

    It was all in the timing; something like this was bound to come out sooner or later. It was like something out of Fatal Attraction, although Jane insisted it was more like When Harry Met Sally. What did Harry know anyway? There were lots of guys in my life who were just friends…

    We’d been sitting on the couch watching The Graduate. Frank couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it.

    “It won an Academy Award for best picture.”

    “I just don’t get the hype. I mean it’s about a December-February relationship. And the lady—she’s an alcoholic, right?”

    “I think you mean May-December,” Frank said with a lilting laugh.

    I shrugged. He turned on the movie. We’d been talking about my breakup earlier. Frank had always been a good sounding board when it came to dramatic breakups. And he’d always been there to pick up the pieces. I should have known. He smelled of cologne—the kind you put on before you go to a fancy restaurant with a hot date—not the kind you wear when you’re schlepping on your friend’s couch watching an old movie.

    He reached around me to pick up the well-placed popcorn, like in that commercial where the kid yawns, and you know the arm is going to drape around the girl’s neck. Yeah—classic movie move. The weight of his arm felt nice on my shoulder like a warm blanket after being outside on a frigid winter’s day.

    My mind raced as the opening credits to The Graduate filled the scene. I wanted to say something, but the words wouldn’t come. And suddenly the pit of my stomach swam with anticipation. I looked at Frank to find him staring lustfully at me.

    “What? Do I have something on my face?” I asked, rubbing an invisible stain on my cheek.

    He shook his head, leaned in, and kissed me. He tasted of the Pinot Noir we’d been drinking, more than half the bottle gone. I’d thought of him that way a few times, but not recently, and having his tongue in my mouth felt like Close Encounters of the Third Kind instead of Moonstruck.

    “I don’t even know what’s going on,” I said, breaking from his embrace.

    “I kissed you.”

    “Is he in a swimming pool?”

    After Frank left, king of awkward goodbyes, I dialed Jane’s number.

    “How was The Graduate?” she asked.

    “Frank stuck his tongue in my mouth.”

    “I always knew Harry was right. Men and women can’t be just friends.”

    1. I meant to change the first line to: It was all in the timing; something like this was bound to happen sooner or later. Thanks! Lauren

  5. Social Media

    493 words
    Special Challenge Accepted

    “It was all in the timing; something like this was bound to happen sooner or later,” Zach said, trying to keep the laughter out of his voice. “It’s all about posting videos these days. The kids didn’t mean to embarrass you. Anyway, I thought you were great!”

    “GREAT,” she fumed. “There’s nothing great about a grown woman doing the ‘stanky leg!’’’

    Struggling not to giggle, Zach squelched the snickers of his three kids at the breakfast table. “You’re overreacting, Kat. Their friends will see it and get a good laugh but another clip will pop up and your fifteen minutes of fame will end. This is not a big deal” He added to lessen the sting.

    “OMG, Mom, you already have over 20,000 views!” Susie shouted. “You’ve gone viral!”

    “VIRAL!” Kat yelled. She snatched the phone out of her oldest daughters hands and flung it at the wall. The crash was impressive.

    “MOM, you killed my phone!” Susie wailed, “I’m not the one who posted it!”

    Kat jumped up and snatched the iPhone from her youngest daughter and gave it to Susie. “Here, you can have the offender’s.”

    The house phone rang. She dashed across the kitchen to catch it, “Hello!” She snapped into the receiver. “Yes. It’s me.”…”Of course I didn’t know they were filming!”…”They were playing that horrible song while I was making breakfast; I got caught up.”… “No, I don’t know how to whip or nae nae!”…”I know!”…”I told Zach not to buy those monsters phones.”…”UNFORGIVEN!” …”Ok, I’ve got to go!”

    She sat down and glared at her son. “Oliver, take that video OFF your snap chat story THIS INSTANT!”

    “Mom,” he said. “I don’t know why you’re so puffed up. You embarrass us all the time. And anyway, remember the ‘social media lecture’ you gave us last week.”

    “I remember!” Lydia snipped. “You said, ‘Kids, everything you do or say could potentially land on the internet. If you have to pick your nose you’d better lock yourself in a bathroom stall and check under the doors first.’ Really, Mom, this is your fault, not mine. You should have locked yourself up in a bathroom stall and checked under the door before busting your geriatric moves in your bathrobe.”

    The snickers turned into full blown belly laughs. She pushed away from the table. “I’ve got to get ready for work.”

    Walking down the hall to the back of the apartment, she heard Oliver. “Over 40,000 views!”

    In her bathroom she pulled out her iPad. She typed in “middle aged woman doing ‘stanky leg’ in bathrobe.” A link popped up. She clicked the link. She stood with her back to the camera. Her messy ponytail bobbed as her right leg bounced like a galloping pony, and her bottom, magnified by the enormous bathrobe, rose and fell with each beat of Silento’s ‘Watch Me’.
    It was ridiculous. She couldn’t stop herself; she laughed out loud.