Monday, November 30, 2015


Welcome back as we jump into December with both feet! If you've just completed NaNo: CONGRATULATIONS!!!! YOU ARE FINISHED!!! Whether you're a 'WINNER' or you just wrote a few words: I'm proud of you! Words toward a goal are to be celebrated. My personal goal for the month was somewhere around 30K or when I've finished the novel. Right now I'm just under 25K for the month with a day to go and a scene and a half to write (I think...). (I've passed 50K for the novel.) So my goal is certainly within the realm of possibility. Anyway, let's keep the good writing vibes going through the month of December! Go check out today's prompt 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.
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 Catherine Custard. Read her winning tale from last week here! Find her on Twitter @cat_custardCatherine is a mother of three teenagers who teaches English riding lessons and leads fourth graders on Civil War/Civil Rights tours in downtown Montgomery, Alabama. She’s just discovered flash fiction which is a welcome distraction from the mystery novel she’s dangerously close to finishing!

 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #3-22 is:

Officer [desperate plea], I can explain!
Desperate plea is optional; you may fill the bracket or leave it out as you see fit.

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Reference 3 human body parts AND include at least 3 of the following words:

blue smoke
winding staircase
fog horn
hot chocolate



  1. Trapped
    Dave @ParkInkSpot
    490 words, special challenge accepted.
    “Officer, I can explain.”

    The county mounty leaned against the side of my car, tapping his pen on his ticket pad and giving me the standard “tough cop” act. The flashlight lingered on me and then passed along to my sister, Emily. She squinted, crossed her eyes, and stuck out her tongue when the beam lit her tangled hair.

    “Ya’ll know how fast you were goin’, son?”

    His cruiser’s headlights shined directly into the cab through our Chevy’s back window. Blue smoke from the exhaust crept over the asphalt of the state highway between the vehicles, adding a surrealistic B-movie vibe.

    “Yessir officer, ah’m sorry sir.” I handed over my license. Honestly, I wasn’t going more than five miles over; business must be slow at the speed trap this week.

    “Jackson. Ya’ll are Louise Jackson’s kids?”

    “Yessir. Sam, and this here’s my sister Emily.”

    “Had Miz Jackson for sixth grade. She’s a good teacher, always liked her. Well, ya’ll are locals, no booze or drugs or nothin. So I’m not gonna ring you up this time, just slow down and drive more careful, Sam, all right? An tell yo momma Billy Joe Ladeau said hey.”

    “Surely will. Thank you.”

    He waved one hand out the window as his cruiser passed us a few minutes later.

    “Why didn’t you tell me, Emily?”

    “I knew he weren’t gonna do nothin’. That one’s got a good vibe to him. A slap on the wrist wuz all you wuz ever gonna get.”

    “But when those red and blue lights come on, I just about wet my britches every time that happens.”

    Emily just grinned. She can be such a brat.

    “Where to?”

    “It’ll be comin’ up on the right in bout half mile. Gonna be a blue pickup pulled off to tha side, some guy fixin a flat, right before the turn.”

    A few seconds of silence before the pickup came into view and I turned onto the dirt track.

    “Ah been here before. Ain’t this the old Steadman farm?”

    “Yep, couple miles up this way,” she said.

    “Spooky old place, why we goin’ way out here?”

    “You’ll see.”

    She gave me one of her patented “I’ve got a secret” smarmy smirks. She has the smug superiority of any eight-year-old, only ten times worse because of what she can do.

    There wasn’t much left of the Steadman farm, abandoned for at least eighty years. It’s just a collapsing barn and a couple of topless grain silos.

    Emily led me by the hand into the rickety old barn.

    “Is this ol barn safe?”

    “Relax. It done stood for all this time. It’s good for a few more minutes.”

    In the far corner she pulled away a dusty pile of straw, revealing six mewling kittens.

    “Momma cat dun went and got herself et by a coyote. In my dream ah saw her kittens wuz left all alone and starvin this mornin. So here we come runnin.”

  2. Revenge

    495 words

    Special challenge accepted

    “Officer, that wasn’t intended for you, I can explain!” Liz stood at the top of the winding staircase peering through the blue smoke; occasionally the fog dispersed enough to yield a glimpse of the prone policeman.

    He shouldn’t have been there, she thought as she made her way down. It wasn’t her fault he’d entered uninvited. Now all her plans, all that delicious revenge, had been ruined by this idiot copper. A groan reached her ears.

    “Come on now officer, that was only a little tumble,” she said.

    The downed policeman growled his disagreement as he pulled himself upright, gingerly testing his weight on each leg.

    Liz shrieked as he stood up. “Tinker, oh my poor … oh look what you’ve done, you … you …”

    The officer looked down, saw the squashed remains of a cat he vaguely recalled tripping over as he fell. He winced. His evening had not gone well. “Your door was open, Mrs er …”

    “Mrs Brightwell, officer,” said Liz. “And it was open for a reason.”
    The sound of a foghorn blared in the distance. That meant the liner was making its way out on the Solent. Daniel would’ve seen the ship off and should have been back by now.

    “Can I ask why?”

    “That pathetic putrid lily-livered specimen who calls himself my husband has been allowing his hands to wander. This evening he was getting his come-uppance. And now you’ve gone and ruined it all.” She brushed a stray hair from her face, watched the officer’s eyes travel to the hose coiled at the kitchen door, its metal snout gleaming ominously.

    He raised an eyebrow. She ignored him. The door was still open but there was no sign of Daniel.

    “What time are you expecting your husband home?”

    “He should be here by now,” she said with a frown. “He promised. Unless …”

    She picked up the morning’s paper from the hall table, flicked to the racing pages. He had marked three horses in the 12:30 at Newbury.

    “Going for a trifecta, eh?” said the officer peering over her shoulder. “Not easily done.”

    Liz hated Daniel’s betting as much as his women and his drink. “You’re a gambling man?”

    “Not me, my dad,” he said. “And it was as much his downfall, as it would’ve been,” here he paused and looked up the flight of stairs, “your husband’s.”

    “I’m sorry about that,” she said as she made her way to the kitchen, ignoring the policeman hobbling behind her. She fired up the laptop on the table and scanned the day’s race results. He’d only gone and won.

    The silence in the kitchen became too much. Liz turned on the radio. The velvety tones of Hot Chocolate’s Errol Brown rang out, ‘so you win again, you win again’. The anger rose once more.

    “I think I’ll be going now,” said the officer, noticing the change.

    Liz didn’t hear him, she was too busy planning her next act of revenge.

  3. @GeoffHolme
    Word Count: 316
    Special Challenge Accepted

    Police Procedural

    “Officer, I can explain!” Sweat glistened on Billy Chisholm’s brow.

    DC Benson had known the petty criminal since he had been a beat constable; even though he was now a detective, Billy still referred to him as ‘officer’.

    “I’m all ears, Billy.”

    The weather guy with the lazy eye on Channel 4 had predicted that alliterative summertime trifecta: hazy, humid, hot. Chocolate wouldn’t last five minutes in this heat: Billy had melted after two…


    “Where did you get this information, Benson?” DS Chapman asked his Detective Constable.

    “A CHIS of mine, sir.”

    “A what?”

    “Covert Human Intelligence Source.”

    “Still not with you, son.”

    “What the old-school rozzers used to call a snitch, a grass, a mole, a snout... All terms that are no longer PC for a PC to use.’’

    'If snout was good enough for DI Regan in ‘The Sweeney’, it's good enough for me. He's the reason I became a flat-foot.”

    “I used to be a big fan of ‘NYPD Blue’. Smoke?”

    DS Chapman sucked his teeth. “Any idea what those things’ll do to you? I seen a forty a day bloke’s lungs in a forensic bowl once… black and putrid. Made me quit straight away.”

    "Information duly noted, sir. But getting back to my informant… he put the finger on Joey ”The Hose” Mitchell.”

    “ How reliable do you reckon your… CHIS, er, is?”

    “The boy was as nervous as a canary at a cat show.” Mitchell got a lot of his patter from watching Foghorn Leghorn cartoons. “The hair on the back of his neck was standing on end. I reckon someone put the squeeze on him to keep schtum.”

    “We’ve got four detectives pursuing lines of inquiry… and five suspects! We’re running up a winding staircase here - just going round and round… How’s about we head over to The Bird I’th Hand for a liquid lunch?”


    It’s quite a bit late - I fell asleep! Submitted anyway, to keep up the quorum.

    All ten required “words” included, plus ten body parts.

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    3. Aargh! I can never keep track of the names of characters...
      It should be 'BENSON got a lot of his patter from watching Foghorn Leghorn cartoons.'

      And, to add another three body parts, I could change the last two sentences to:

      We’re running up a winding staircase here - just going round and round…" said Chapman, his shoulders slumping.

      "Chin up, Guv'nor!" said Benson, slapping his boss on the back. "How’s about we head over to The Bird I’th Hand for a liquid lunch?”

      Making the new Word Count: 324