Tuesday, July 9, 2013


NOTE: This contest is now CLOSED to submissions. Feel free to read and comment though! :)

Welcome to the first-ever installment of FINISH THAT THOUGHT! A brand new weekly flash fiction contest! Every Tuesday you will receive the start of your story right here on this blog in the form of a first sentence. You must use this sentence as the first sentence in your story and take it from there! Show me action, adventure, romance, mystery, scifi, and all things fantastical (pretty much anything except erotica. Actually, if it'd be rated R in a movie, please don't put it up. Thanks!).  

Each week there will also be a special challenge, issued by the judge, that is purely optional in addition to the first sentence (this can include, but is not limited to, specific words, themes, actions, pictures, or objects to include in your story).

There will be two winners named each week: One Overall winner and one Special Challenge winner (they may be the same person). The judge may also award one (and only one) runner up in each category. The Overall winner will be the judge the next week . If that person is unable to fulfill that role, it will go to the winner of the Special Challenge. The winner will receive world-wide acclaim...er...mmm...at least a shoutout on twitter from everyone about how awesome they are! (And I'm working on a badge!)

You will have up to 500 words to play with, don't go over or you will be disqualified. Most of all, have fun! Try something different! Get out of your comfort zone!

Post your story in the comments section with your twitter handle and word count and be sure to mention if you've completed the requirements for the Special Challenge - we wouldn't want to accidentally miss anyone! The judging will be posted by Thursday (hopefully Wednesday afternoon).

Oh, and feel free to change pronouns, punctuation, tense, and anything in brackets to fit the story/pov/tone. I'm not going to be TOO picky...


Your beginning sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #1 is:

[Well], that was the stupidest thing I've ever done.

And your SPECIAL CHALLENGE this week is:

Four things to include anywhere in the story:
1. goosebumps
2. duct tape
3. the word "shimmer[ing][ed][s]"
4. the word "goo"


  1. @weylyn42, 470 words, Special Challenge completed; Untitled

    Well, that was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. My head throbs as I pull the gray strip from my mouth. The yellowish light from the hotel lamp feels too bright, and I work with my eyes half shut, wondering vaguely what drug is running through my veins, and how soon it will burn off.

    My face stings, but I manage to get my teeth on the flap of duct tape at my wrists – Sharon was kind enough to tear it a bit before she took off.

    I wipe my mouth, trying to clear the goo born of saliva and tape, and look around the room. Sharon also took my keys, cell phone and wallet.

    Not to mention the ransom money.

    My legs are stiff, stinging with lack of circulation that feels like brambles in the blood. I manage to get to the room phone, knock the receiver off the hook. My hand is heavy on the buttons, and my exertion forces the drugs through my system, and I pass out again.

    A pair of cops follows the desk clerk into my room. I manage to prop myself up against edge of the bed, and the stouter of the two crouches down to me. His flashlight crosses my eyes, and I squint at the brightness.

    “Can you tell me what happened, miss?” he asks while his partner is surveying the room.

    I swallow. My mouth feels full of thistledown. “Kidnapped,” I manage on the third try.

    He nods, and pulls out a notepad. “Probably drugged,” he says more to himself than me, but I nod anyway, which makes me dizzy. I manage to keep upright, barely.

    By the time they finish processing the room, I’m wearing a robe from one of the luxury suites, and sitting with a cup of joe, overly sweetened by the well-meaning clerk, growing cold in my hands.

    My brain has cleared, mostly, and when I am asked to give my statement, my voice shakes in all the right places. I’m sure the cops attribute my goosebumps and the shimmer in my eyes to fear, not anger.

    I’d agreed to this because I was the better actor than Sharon.

    And because I was worth more.

    The clerk wakes me when Devon arrives, and the cops tell me they may need a follow-up statement, and recommend I stop by the hospital, just in case.

    I thank them with a smile, and tell Devon to take me home.

    I don’t implicate Sharon – how can I without turning on myself? I’d thought I was the brains behind this, but I guess I know now I was just the rich girl with gullible parents.

    And next time I’ll know, when you’re going to orchestrate your own kidnapping, the last person you should trust to help you is your boyfriend’s ex.

  2. Yes, that was the stupidest thing I've ever done. Frankly, it might be the stupidest thing anyone has ever done that didn’t involve reality television. Ow, my shoulders hurt like crazy. Can you go look in the cabinet under the sink and see if there’s any Goo Gone?

    Sorry. That childproof lock is a pain in the butt to open, I know. But this could have been a lot worse if they could have gotten into the chemicals under there. Safe parenting, you know?

    I really should have put a better lock on the door to my lab, but I wanted to be able to hear the kids. Summer vacation has been a bear this year. Too hot to go outside. Always too hot nowadays, not like when we were kids. But heat indices of 135 are nothing to play around with.

    So they’re inside. All day. Every day. And going completely insane.

    The idea came to me while I was cleaning Cheetos out of the fish filter and wondering how I would ever get all of the laundry done. There were too many of them, and just one of me. No matter how much they deserved it – especially you, you little brat – there wasn’t a good way to have fewer of them, so I decided that maybe there should be more of me.

    Yeah, ‘that’s what she said.’ You’re a riot.
    I probably should have stopped when the air started shimmering. Or when the cat started barking. That’s a sound that will give you goosebumps.

    And I sure as heck should have realized that the little scamps had snuck into my lab when I wasn’t looking.

    On the plus side, the machine worked. If I survive this, I might be able to sell it for enough money to feed the horde.

    Is horde the wrong word? Flock? Murder?

    Murder. Hmmm.


    Horde it is.

    Once I realized what was going on, I tried to stop it. Of course, by that time, I was outnumbered like twenty to one.

    Twenty five to one?

    I lost count at some point. If the power hadn’t gone out sometime around midnight, the whole city would be overrun with the little buggers.

    Thank you so much for calming them down. I’d forgotten that we had that many episodes of Dinosaur Train on the DVR.

    Now, if only I hadn’t left the duct tape where they could get to it. It’s going to take hours to get me down from the ceiling.

    417 words
    Special Challenge entry

  3. I do not have a twitter account, sorry. can you please just share the winner on FB too? thanks

    Well, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. I can’t believe I could be such an idiot. I mean, what was I thinking mouthing off about my boss in the break room to Julie, a co-worker. Yes he is an anal retentive jerk but that’s beside the point. I try so hard to please him and do a good job but nothing I do seems to do the trick. I even get his dumb non fat mocha latte in the morning. I just want a “thank you” ounce in a while. I think I have earned it.

    I have worked for six years for a fashion editor in New York City. I love my job and writing my monthly column on how to do just about everything from organizing your closet to getting out of a ticket. Though I love writing my monthly column, I have found myself always wanting to write about more important things, like the environment and World events. Now, to get to the point of why I am in Mr. Stine’s office, I was telling Julie that while I was do researching on my current column “How to get out of a Ticket” I had told the cop that had pulled me over for speeding how my huge jerk of a boss wanted me to pick up accessories for a photo shoot for our big fashion spread in our magazine this month, I was already late to work, and that my “ass hole of a boss had called me and distracted me from my driving. I did not however put in my article the part about him being a “huge jerk” and the fact that I called him a name.

    Some how my boss found out about what I had said to the cop. He is currently lecturing me on how unprofessional I was and how could I think he “was a jerk and an ass hole”. I listened to his rant, because if I don’t Mr. Stine gets pissed that I just interrupted him. I apologize way too many times and say “it will never happen again”. I grabbed my bag and high tailed it out of there, fast. “What was I thinking”? GOD, what an idiot!! The thing is I wasn’t thinking.

  4. 378 words for rockchicks entry

  5. Yep, that was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. But I’d do it again, in a heartbeat. Because it was the right thing to do. Let me explain.

    Five years ago, Becky sat in the cube next to mine at work. Her laugh always made me smile, and I wanted so much to just stare into her blue eyes. I’d asked her to lunch once, but she’d refused. “My boyfriend wouldn’t like it.”

    I settled for the usual, safe office small talk. “How was your weekend?” and “How did you celebrate the holiday?” Meaningless, safe stuff. Stuff everyone knows they can talk about. Like asking, “How was your vacation?” when she came back after a trip, or “Hope you’re feeling better now,” when she’d been out sick. Small talk. Nothing nosey.

    But I noticed those mornings she came in with a little extra makeup on. Those days she winced when she reached for the phone. Those days she wore long sleeves in the spring or summer.

    I noticed those days she called in sick, and came in a day or two later, walking a little carefully and slowly. I noticed how she always wore mascara on those days, and long sleeves.

    I knew the story the details covered up.

    On Becky’s birthday, the office bunch went took her to lunch. Her boyfriend showed up. Becky was really quiet, and didn’t talk like she normally did. I knew why. She was scared of him, the loud, arrogant person that made sure everyone knew Becky was his. Like she was a possession of some kind.

    Lunch was eventful as everyone tiptoed around the topic of Becky’s long sleeves, and extra makeup. “Nice to meet you,” and “So you’re the guy she’s told us about,” and “You’re a lucky guy, having a girl like her.”

    Everything was small talk, until he was ready to leave. That’s when things went bad. Really bad. Becky didn’t want to go with him. “I have to go back to work,” she’d said.

    The guy yanked her to her feet, “No one will mind if you spend the afternoon with me.”

    That’s when Becky looked at me, with her eyes screaming, “Help me!”, and she whispered to me, “Please.”

    So, I stood up, and stepped in front of him. “She doesn’t want to go. And I’m not letting you hurt her any more.”

    I got the beating of my life that day. A broken jaw, cracked ribs, bruises everywhere. But I stood up to the bad guy. And the restaurant staff called the cops, and an ambulance. Becky rode to the hospital with me. The cops arrested her boyfriend. And that’s when the domestic violence and assault charges got filed.

    It took weeks for me to breath without wincing. My ribs hurt for months. I had 27 stitches in my lips and chin. It was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done, standing up to that guy. But, I’d do it again. See.

    I got Becky too.

    498 Words

  6. @SmileyRoseKat

    The Haunted House - WC 500 - includes special challenge words

    Well, that was the stupidest thing I've ever done.

    People who've known me for a long time would challenge that. They know how many stupid things I've done. There was the time I tried to create a slinky dress using duct tape. I even bought the designer blue. Hey, it was a thing on the Internet. To be honest, it wasn't totally stupid until I wore it to a club one night. Who knew one small tear in just the right place could wreak so much havoc? At least I met the cop... Joe ... mmmmm I have goosebumps.

    This time, however, I think I've eclipsed my previous follies.

    Last night I couldn't sleep. I tossed and I turned. Finally, I stumbled out of my bed and plodded into the kitchen. As I stood at the sink and gazed out the window into the dark, a faint light, shimmering beyond the trees, caught my eye.

    I'm not sure what possessed me, but I pulled on my belated father's old wool hunting jacket and headed outside. The crisp night's air carried a promise of snow, but I didn't bother returning for shoes. My feet sunk into grass, goo sluicing up between my toes, yet I continued. The waning moon played with the fall breezes, the trees joining with them, creating nature's symphony, casting shadow dancers past the forest's edge.

    Everyone in these parts knows the forest is haunted. It even says so on the local maps - "The Haunted Forest". But I didn't let that stop me. Perhaps it's more accurate to say I didn't care. The light was growing brighter. I could not stop.

    With my next step, though, an eerie silence descended. Trees stilled, crickets quieted. My mind registered only my harsh breathing, although I couldn't say whether it was ragged because I was hiking or because I was scared. Another step and a huge owl swooped down, the tip of its wing fluttering not more than three inches from my eyes. My cry seemed to wake the forest. A cacophony ensued, so loud and discordant I covered my ears. Moving forward, the forest answered with a trio of raccoons, grunting and scurrying across the branches above my head. I shuddered and approached a glade I'd never seen.

    There, in the middle of the woods, which I tried to remind myself were in my own back yard, stood six, no nine, perhaps even twelve creatures, surrounding a flickering fire. Even now I hesitate to call them elves, despite their pointed ears and decidedly greenish skin. Whether it was my gasp that alerted them to my presence, or the clumsy way I'd tripped over a branch to sprawl into their midst, I cannot say.

    I will tell you this. No matter what books tell you, elves are scary, especially when firelight reflects from their too large eyes and their lips draw up to show you pointy teeth. Probably the guttural noises coming from their mouths didn't help either.

    I ran.

  7. @NormanTriGirl

    Title: Hybrid Sighted, Words: 500, Special Challenge: Included

    'Well, that was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done' Thought Sera as she struggled to come up with something to negate what she had just said. Cagan blinked and stared back at her. The look in his golden eyes said that he hadn't fully comprehended the words that had just come out of her mouth, but he was working on it and would come to the wrong, or worse the right, conclusion very soon.

    She quickly looked back across the field to Lourdas as he continued to dance for the ever growing audience of girls around him. The band was now playing a faster tune and he had to work harder to maintain the rhythm necessary to keep the weighted stick with blubs at the end (he called it a Kantaras and swore that dancing with one was a sophisticated art form among the Elites, she and Cagan called it a twirling baton and told him he looked very pretty with it) spinning on his skin as he arched and waved his muscular body to keep it in motion. The extra effort was causing a light sheen of sweat to appear on his skin, much to the delight of his adoring fans.

    How had they gone from making fun of their friend to Sera admitting that she found Cagan more attractive than the man making the crowd of females around him melt into puddles of goo? Furthermore, why was she even thinking like that? In another time and another place MAYBE she could have indulged in such luxuries as attraction. But they were in the middle of a war! She, Cagan, and Lourdas had become an unofficial team and between the three of them they had more kills under their belts then the rest of the battalion combined. Throwing emotions into the mix would disrupt the battle rhythm they had acquired over a year of fighting together.

    She turned her gaze back to Cagan and goose bumps rose on her skin. There was another reason why she wished someone had duct taped her mouth shut moments earlier. Cagan, being a Hybrid, didn’t think like normal people did. The animal DNA that scientists injected into Hybrids as embryos didn’t just result in enhanced senses, reflexes, and strength, it also affected their emotions by making them mostly complacent unless strongly provoked. This was helpful in a battle scenario, where the emotional outburst could be channeled toward an enemy, but the rest of the time it proved problematic. Thus soldiers in a battalion with a Hybrid member were trained to limit emotional stimuli around them. Looking at him, she realized how horribly she had failed at that duty.

    His eyes shimmered with a feral, borderline predatory, gaze. She’d seen that look before when he had sighted onto an enemy, locking on like a wolf to prey, but she had never been on the receiving end of it. This was not good. Gods above, how was she going to fix this without hurting him?

  8. “Well, that was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.”
    Jake raised an eyebrow as his younger brother crashed into the mudroom . “Really?” he called from the kitchen, feet perched on the kitchen counter, a plate of pizza rolls in his lap. “Worse than duct tape in your hair?”
    “This is totally different” Ted’s lazy blond hair appeared around the corner.
    “More like two years of bubble gum gooing up the underside of Gramie’s antique chair?” His brother offered before tossing a steaming pizza roll into his mouth.
    “Like using the oil can for the lawn mower to try and catch all the oil from the truck.” Ted’s anguished face was grotesque, probably like the garage floor.
    Swallowing Jake sucked in one cheek considering the situation. “Well, it was nice knowing you…”
    Ted’s boot collided with the door jam, his fist against the drywall.
    “Dude relax! Just get the hose and spray it down.” Jake shouted at him.
    “What else would you use? Its not like that garage floor is ever going to ‘shimmer like diamonds.’” he mimicked the voice from the dishwashing soap commercial.
    “Thanks Bro” Ted called over his shoulder heading back through the garage door.
    Jake smirked, reaching for another pizza roll until a deep “Ahem” sent goosebumps spreading across his skin.
    “Dad! When did you get home?” He asked not daring to look towards the family room behind him.
    “Well Jake, that was the stupidest thing you’ve ever done.”
    244, Special Challenge

  9. “Well, that was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done,” I said.

    The Prince pulled back, blinking, his lips frozen in a confused sort of kiss shape. “Er, pardon?”

    “Sorry. It’s not you; it’s me,” I said, shoving aside shimmering pink bedclothes and sitting up. My head felt woozy and my stomach raw with hunger; a mug of hot chocolate would cure both of those. But I could feel the empty darkness I’d gone to sleep with still pressing on my heart like a gaping wound. I’d been a fool to think this would work.

    He stood unmoving, a goo-covered sword plastered to one hand. “But didn’t I break the spell?”

    “Obviously,” I said flatly. “You are a credit to the princely species.”

    “Doesn’t that mean—”

    “I’m sorry, truly. Go back and tell them an invincible dragon guarded the entrance. Or that you couldn’t find me.” I swung my legs over and touched my feet tentatively to the floor. What would standing be like after a one hundred-year sleep? Would I need to relearn, like a baby? Fool.

    Dark eyes met mine unflinchingly. “But I did find you.”

    “You weren’t supposed to.”

    “I very nearly didn’t. Things have… changed, I imagine, from when you went to sleep.”

    “Sure. A hundred years? The weeds must be enormous. Doubtless you did quite a bit of whacking to reach me. Thank you. Still, I’m sure you’ll want to get back on the road, and no doubt my family is anxious to see me. You see? Nothing’s really changed.”

    Still he didn’t move. “There were no weeds.”

    This made me pause. “No weeds? That’s surprising. She promised there would be a forest of briars—”


    “My... my helper. A fearsome dragon, she said. And briars deeper than a day’s walk, separating me from the waking world.”

    “I saw no briars.”

    “But your sword’s a mess.”

    “I did not claim the way was abandoned.”

    “So, what then?” I said, lumbering to my feet in irritation. “Surely a hundred years can’t have made the way in *easier*. At the very least my labyrinth should still be there. It was already two feet tall when I… fell asleep.”

    “You seem to harbor some mistaken assumptions,” said the Prince at last. “Princess, I spent three years digging in libraries before I even began to guess you existed. Record-keeping is... difficult... now, but as near as I can tell, a thousand years have passed.”

    I sat back down hard. A thousand??? Darkness threatened to consume me.

    The Prince tossed something at me. “This is called duct tape; these are electrical cords. We’ll need both. Apologies, princess; we really must hurry. Please. Because, despite your beautiful weirdness, you got one thing right.”

    His arms, I noticed belatedly, were badly burned, and his face scarred. (But his eyes….!) “Yes?”

    He lifted me in his bruised arms (so gently!) and strode toward the door.



    A single word.

    But there it was, what I’d been aching for.





    500 words
    Special Challenge--you bet!