Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Welcome back to FINISH THAT THOUGHT! - where we give you a first sentence prompt and you take it from there! Show us 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 Grand Champion and one Special Challenge Champion (they may be the same person). The judge may also award one (and only one) runner up in each category. The Grand Champion will be the judge the next week . If that person is unable to fulfill that role, it will go to the Special Challenge Champion. The Champions 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 (or email if you don't have Twitter) 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).

Let me sum up:
1. Up to 500 words
2. Keep it clean (nothing rated R or above)
3. Start with the given first sentence.
4. Optional Special Challenge
5. Include Twitter/email, word count, Special Challenge accepted

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... Our judge however...

Our Judge today is Christy also known as @weylyn42. Read her winning tale from last week here!

And now for the part you've all been waiting for (and crossing your arms and tapping your feet...) *ahem* HERE'S YOUR PROMPT!

Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #3 is:

One minute remained on the timer.

Your Special Challenge from the judge is:

Include the words:

What are you waiting for??? Go write! :)


  1. "The Last Minute"

    One minute remained on the timer.

    The others had left courteously some time earlier, offering their customary polite thanks to the host. But this last one lingered, to the point that the rest of the minutes began to feel uncomfortable.

    “People will talk!” said one minute (the first minute, in point of fact), nudging his neighbor. “This sort of thing isn’t done. Or it shouldn’t be, anyway.”

    “Was never done in my day,” sniffed the neighbor in agreement. “We minutes knew when our turn was up, and we left on schedule. Never any trouble.”

    “What is she doing up there, anyway?!” said a third minute, emphasizing his disapproval with a low growl. “Not like she could magically get sixty-one seconds, no matter how she panders.”

    “Hear, hear,” murmured the first two. “Sixty seconds. No more, no less.”

    Still the last minute lingered.

    “I hope she doesn’t think being last makes her special,” said a minute from somewhere in the middle. “All minutes are the same, last, middle, or first.”

    “Some minutes might be a *little* more special,” said the first, not liking how the conversation was starting to go. “You know, depending on what’s going on.”

    “I don’t see how,” said the middle minute. “We’ve all got sixty seconds, you the same as me.”

    “Yes,” said the first, “but—pulling an example out of a hat—the first minute is *first*, see? Nothing came before it. It’s brand new. It’s a new experience, a new flavor, a first kiss, a first plunge off the high dive. Later minutes are just mimickers. That’s a little more special, wouldn’t you agree?”

    “Unique is not the same as special,” said the third minute. “First mugging. First speeding ticket. First paper cut.”

    “First verbal faux pas,” the middle minute chimed in with a snort, looking very hard at the first minute.

    “All right, all right,” said the first, glaring at the group. “That’s all very well, but none of it answers why Miss Not-In-A-Hurry up there hasn’t joined us yet.”

    “Maybe she forgot the way,” suggested someone.

    This was shouted down vehemently.

    “Minutes can’t forget the way! Not possible! Take that back!”

    The third minute raised a brow in the first minute’s general direction. “It would seem, my friend, that’s impossible. Any other genius ideas?”

    “She…” The minute faltered. “Distracted, maybe?”

    “Maybe she’s being kept there by force!” someone else cried out. “We should mount a rescue operation!”

    “Don’t be ridiculous. Minutes can’t go *back*. We couldn’t, no matter how enthusiastically we tried,” said the third.

    The second minute added softly, “And we’ve tried, you know that. We’ve all tried, so many times.”

    “Then I give up,” said the first. “I don’t know what could be keeping her.”

    “Me neither,” said the second, and the third, and the fourth, and the fifth, and the middle, not understanding why this made them feel like weeping.

    480 words

  2. "Something Borrowed, Something.... Late"

    One minute remained on the timer.

    “Are you ready? One minute left!” said Sophie.

    “You said five!” Rachel said, grabbing her bouquet.

    “I never said five! And I should know, because I’m the one who didn’t say it!” Sophie said, pushing Rachel to the door.

    “And I know that I told *you* to get my veil!!!” Rachel turned around in time to see Sophie squeak and scurry out the door.

    She glanced at the timer again, then screamed in her head. The timer was counting down from 13… 12…. 11… “Three, two, one, GO!” Rachel said aloud and pushed the doors open.

    To her surprise, no one was there! She whirled around in panic, only to bump right into—

    “Sophie! You found my veil!”

    “Yes! And shouldn’t you be out there?” Sophie said, running back towards the doors.

    “Stop! No one is out there!” Rachel said, watching Sophie freeze in confusion.

    “What did you say?”

    “Look for yourself! No one is out there!” Rachel pushed the door open again… and saw a crowd of people all turning around to look at her. Everyone was there, even Cousin Bob, who was never on time to anything.

    And what about the timer? Well, it had been set one hour earlier.

    But one question still remains: what happened afterwards?

    Well, it’s on top of a shelf in Rachel’s new living room, remembered as the Early Timer.

    --233 words, written by Crystal Alden, Age 8
    Posted on her behalf by her friend Rebekah Postupak @postupak

  3. One minute remained on the timer. I couldn't wait any longer, so I pressed the relief valve on the pressure cooker and watched the steam billow out. I stuck my fork in and...ah, tender. Perfect. Dragon meat was notoriously tough to cook, normally taking days, so this was indeed a gamble. But I wanted that prize.

    Dragon wasn't the theme ingredient, but it went well with fairy dust. I'd had some when I visited the Otherlands, and I just knew that if I could pull it off here, I'd win my weight in mithril, and I'd finally be able to get that bounty ogre off my back.

    The judges this time were the meanest I'd ever run across. The Goblin Lord's eyes luminesced from under his helm as he tasted my dish. I didn't know if that was good or bad, and we didn't have any languages in common to find out. The Valkyries were beautiful, of course, and being twins, they were that much more intimidating. "Needs salt," one said. "Too salty," said the other. Apparently, they didn't get along with each other any more than they did the rest of the 'verse, because when they were done arguing about the salt, there wasn't enough left of either for the doctor to do much with.

    However, the worst experience by far was having her judge my food. She'd broken my heart for the first time when i was just an elfling. And then again when i tried to rescue her from the mines, and discovered that she wasn't being held hostage by those dwarves. at least not how I'd pictured it. And then again. And again. And again.

    I was her fool, and she was my sun - too hot to reach, but just try not to stare once you see her.

    See smiled as she tasted my dish, and in that moment, if the ogres had eaten me, I would have died happy. But they didn't, and the judging ended, and I won.

    The bounty ogre grinned as I paid him. "Didn't want to kill ya, not if I didn't have to. Wanted the money. And I had a secret weapon. C'mere, honey."

    The smile she gave me was brighter than before, but I knew what it really meant. I was her fool, and the ogre had my fortune.

    But, oh, that dragon. Tender. A depth of flavor no mortal could endure. And just the right amount of salt.

    411 words

  4. Doomsday... Check!
    by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy) [272 words]

    One minute remained on the timer.

    "Bishop to Queen's Knight Four. Check."

    The US President gently switched the ticking to the other side of the table. The left hand clock still had four, maybe five minutes before the minute hand would let the metal flag fall. Under the dim lights, the twin luminescent dials glowed ominously, as the Soviet Premier's doctor fussed over him.

    "Nyet, nyet!" the most powerful man in the World said, with an impatient wave. "Queen takes Bishop. I am surprised at you." He started the right hand clock again.

    "I like living close to the edge, Comrade. Knight to King's Bishop Three. Check."

    Still time. Still a tiny sliver of the hand holding up the red flag.

    "Ahh... Bishop takes knight. You are being kind to me, I think." The second hand started its slow sweep again, like Death's Scythe reaping.

    "Rook to King eight. Check." Only mere seconds must remain. With every tick of the Premier's clock, the President's flag bounced a little. The most powerful man of the Free World willed it to stay up just a little longer.

    The Premier laid his hand on the chess clock, pausing both clocks. "I see now the game you are playing. Each sacrifice. Each attack. Each loss. All meaningless. All done just to..." he searched for the right words.

    "...to keep the Red Flag flying!"

    The Premier slapped the table, spilling both his vodka and the President's Jack Daniels.

    "And so... we talk disarmament, yes?"

    The President looked at both clocks, then smiled. His opponent had not noticed the red flag had fallen.

    "I think we have time."

    1. Wonderful, Dr. Mike! Thanks for entering! I loved that you managed to put the judges challenge all in one sentence! Great job! (Sorry you were too late for the contest, but thanks for sharing your story anyway!)

  5. Special Challenge IN ONE SENTENCE!!!

  6. And yes, I know it is too late. I just wanted to write one anyway.

  7. Wonderful story, Mike. And total props to you for entering anyway!