Tuesday, August 27, 2013


WooHoo! We're back for another round! I'm sure you will take this sentence and roll with it, as usual! If you need to read the full version of the rules, go here. Otherwise, here's the short version:

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 Eric Martell also known as @drmagoo. Go check out his blog here. Read his winning tale from last week here!

Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #8 is:

It was [his] first day at [his] new [school], and [he] was determined to make this time different.

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Include the words:



  1. penname24@gmail.com; 498 words


    It was Oscar Scarecrow's first day at his new school and he was determined to make this time different. Snatching up his texts from the green haired maid; he scrambled out the door and made his way to the brick-laid road, picking a fresh lunch pail from one of the trees in his father's massive garden.

    There was much to be hopeful for this school year. Being a scarecrow was, of course, a major drawback, socially speaking. When he was originally assembled, the farmer had not taken much care with his appearance. His coat was shabby, pants worn and burlap sack head was lumpy and misshapen. Since his main function had been to scare away crows, the farmer had none-too-kindly painted a teeth-grating grimace on the poor lad and angled his eyebrows sharply downward in a menacing glare.

    We cannot overly blame the farmer, as he was given no indication in advance that his practical creation was to ever roam Oz of its own will. Yet, all these things added up to an unfortunate time of it for Oscar. Kids can be cruel and his first ever classmates found no end of fun in his crude make-up.

    “Feed-sack head!” the Winkies would taunt. “Why are you cowering? Afraid of this little match? Surprised you even know to be afraid, all you have up there is hay.”

    Then named just Scarecrow, he had a difficult year. He repeatedly had the stuffing literally beat out of him, and once his hand had been singed and he surely would have been burnt entirely had not there been a fortuitous water glass nearby.

    As Oscar walked the yellow-brick toward H. M. Wogglebug, T. E.'s Royal College of Art and Athletic Perfection, he marveled at his good fortune in meeting THE Scarecrow.

    His Highness was in Winkie Country visiting his most excellent friend, the Tin Woodman, Emperor of the West. This particular day had been especially trying for our young hero and he was sitting alone along the main road. He wanted to cry, but as his scowl was painted on his face, he could only hang his head. As the Scarecrow, only recently declared King of the Emerald City by the departed Wizard of Oz, journeyed along the road, he happened upon the curious figure of a young boy that looked very much like himself. Overjoyed at finding a long-lost “relative,” the Scarecrow unilaterally declared the boy his son and carried him off amid great pomp to the Emerald City.

    Today was the newly christened Oscar's first day at his new school and as heir the the throne, no less. He could hear the possible taunts, “Goody, goody smarty. Brains like your daddy,” and was worried.

    As he nervously approached the schoolyard, an emerald coach rumbled up. “Quickly, young Oscar,” commanded his Father's green whiskered general in front of all the children. “An army of impertinent talking voles have taken your father captive. He needs your help!”

    School would have to wait.

    1. Do you mind a quick suggestion? I would suggest posting the first sentence a little earlier than exactly at 12. I find it really helps to get my creative juices flowing if I sleep on the sentence, but with young kids, I can't stay up until 12. Just a thought.

    2. Oh, no, sentence in 2nd paragraph should be " His coat was shabby, pants worn and burlap sack head lumpy and misshapen."

    3. I really like how this perspective on the land of Oz. You have some great descriptions in this story.

    4. I wouldn't be against posting a bit early... I know how you feel. Would 10pm be early enough?

    5. Yes, that would be wonderful!

  2. Searching

    It was her first day at her new job, and she was determined to make this time different. Every few years a new state, a new school, a new class and she was fed up moving, fed up searching. Standing in the car park looking up at the ornate gargoyles atop the school roof, Samantha couldn't help but notice a skylight. Such a shame the building had to be defaced with modern architecture, with a sigh she made her way to the top of the stairs.

    The head teacher greeted her with a smile and a weak handshake, "Welcome my dear, I do hope your journey was a pleasant one." Without waiting for a response the head teacher strode down the corridor forcing Samantha to almost jog to keep up. "The staff room is there, toilets, canteen, the other rooms are all classrooms but I'm sure you'll get the hang of things." They came to an abrupt halt, "This is my office, so I'll leave you here. You class is down the corridor on the right. Primary 6B. They will arrive in 10 minutes, I suggest you hurry."

    Samantha watched in disbelief as the office door was slammed in her face and she was left alone in the corridor. Gathering herself together she made her way to what she hoped was her class. Right on cue the bell rang and 15 children entered the classroom, a smaller number than she was used to but then the parents were paying for small classes. Standing at the front of the class Samantha cleared her throat. "Good Morning class, my name is Ms Peterson, your new teacher."

    "Good Morning, Ms Peterson." The class echoed back to her.

    She studied each pupil carefully, watching for the comedian, the swot, the mummy's boy, wondering if the one she sought was amongst them.

    "I want to check your abilities this morning, so if you would all pick up your tablets and open KKB Maths and work through the problems. I'll be round to get your names and see how your doing. Begin, please." All the pupils picked up their tablets and began. Turning to the desk Samantha picked up the register, cursing under her breath as a small papercut nicked her hand. Sucking the small drop of blood off her finger, she started walking through the rows glancing at the children. All were busy, fingers flying over the keyboards apart from one child who was just staring into space, a dreamy look on her face.

    Samantha smiled at the name in the register, "Sunbeam. Such a lovely name."

    The girl looked up. "I knew you were coming Miss. Are you going to take me away now?"

    "Yes child I am. Does that worry you?"

    "No Miss. I'm ready." Sunbeam picked up her backpack and put it onto her shoulders, "Will I have to wear the purple gown?"

    "I'm afraid so, that way the people will know you're our queen."

    Word count 494
    Special challenge accepted

    1. Nice approach looking at it from a teacher's point of view. I like how you made it into a quest story.

  3. The Last New School

    It was Graham’s first day at his new school and he was determined to make this time different. It wasn’t just because he liked the new campus, which featured peaceful courtyards, classrooms with skylights, and a historical mural that decorated the entry hall from the main office all the way to the cafeteria. Even if this hadn’t been a place he wanted to stay, the truth was that he was tired.

    Living up to expectations was too much work. He had to figure out a way to do just enough to qualify for staying here without excelling enough for his mother to be able to move him to a more “challenging” school. Since he excelled without intending to do so, this was going to be the most difficult project he had tackled, and he didn’t want to cheat. How does one manage to be above average without being so spectacular that nothing seems beyond his abilities? Graham wasn’t sure, but he was going to try to find out.

    He had a plan, of course. On the first day, he would just observe. He wouldn’t talk or volunteer or even look too interested. Looking interested encouraged teachers to ask questions, and answering questions is where Graham always sabotaged himself. Even when he was trying to be dull, he accidentally bungled into being profound. Words he thought were just a papercut observation on the surface of the topic made his teachers stare at him in awe. So today, he would be silent.

    Graham knew there was an easy way to do this. He could completely screw up, go silent and uncooperative like his sister Drew had done. But going silent and uncooperative hadn’t gotten Drew the life she had wanted. She hadn’t been allowed to study what she wanted where she wanted at the pace she wanted. No, she had been turned over to experimental psychologists who plied her with drugs, read her diaries(until she stopped writing them), and videotaped her every move in order to crack the mystery of her intellectual demise. Now she spent all of her time in a hospital gown just because she had longed to attend a school that had a prom.

    Graham wasn’t as ambitious as Drew. He only wanted to slow down and stop being his mother’s pet monkey. He didn’t care if he couldn’t be “normal”, but he wanted to stop feeling abnormal. He found it so ironic that adults hung on his every word, but somehow never managed to hear what he was actually saying to him. It made him feel like he was losing his mind. Yes, it was definitely going to be a challenge to figure out how to fail while still succeeding, but there was no other choice.

    Word count: 462 words
    Special Challenge Accepted

  4. "Finn's First Day"
    by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
    [114 words]

    It was Finn's first day at his new school, and he was determined to make this time different. Ok, so he was from a large family, but most here were. It was all about procreation in this neighbourhood, and the males spread their seed quite widely.

    Finn's mother had been explicit: In school do NOT stick out; go with the flow; follow the majority. It would be safer that way!" she had said that morning. He had promised her he wouldn't be baited. That he wouldn't get out of his depth.

    However, on this occasion, he decided to break the rules, to swim his own course. And that was when the shark ate him.

  5. words-245

    It was Jennifer’s first day at her new school and she was determined to make this time different. This was her family’s third move, to a new state and town. Jennifer’s parents promised her this would be their last move. She was a little doubtful but hopeful that this would really be their last. Her father had gotten yet another promotion that required him to transfer to another office in New York City. He was a corporate business man for a mega health food company, then promoted to Vice President.

    Jennifer got out of her mom’s green Traverse, but not before receiving a good luck kiss from her mom. “Oh mom” she thought as she gave her customary eye roll.
    She walked up the path to the front door, opened the door and was over come with hundreds of kids and noise. She walked through the crowed halls, found room 201, home room, an empty room for now and chose a chair in the middle of the rows of desks.

    The bright morning sun shown through the classroom windows making the room even warmer than it already was. There were two fans in the room but where useless against the heat. She sat at her desk and drifted mindlessly into dreaming about having friends, being able to have sleepovers, talk about boys, and plans for the weekend at the lunch table. Suddenly! The red bell sang its annoying tune and jolted her back to reality.

  6. The List

    It was Eva’s first day in her new marriage, and she was determined to make this time different.

    3) No nagging.
    4) No spying.
    5) No throwing of heirlooms.
    6) No taking money out of his wallet without asking first.
    7) No burying of his memorabilia in the backyard.
    8) No reworking his expensive tuxedo into a gown, no matter how clever/fashion forward.
    9) No cutting holes in the bedroom ceiling for a skylight.
    10) In fact, no power tools at all.

    Rereading the list, Eva sighed loudly. She’d only started it today, but already it hung heavily over her like one of those cornucopia hats people used to wear before they learned about ergonomics. So many things to remember! The morning had gone so swimmingly, too.

    “Have fun today, Mrs. Martin!” Antoine had said, kissing her head in a way that was cute now but would probably be horribly annoying later. “I’ll be home at supper.”

    Then he had lingered at the door looking pathetic, and Eva eventually realized she was supposed to respond.

    “Have fun yourself, husband,” she said, tossing a pillow at him. Tossing pillows, she had discovered some years ago, made her come across as light-hearted and playful.

    “You know this board meeting is mandatory,” he said. His voice reminded her of a puppy mewing at the door when it has to go potty.

    “Of course I understand. You could lose your job if you don’t go.”

    “We’ll leave tomorrow instead, I promise. As soon as I get to work, I’m having Jessica change the tickets.”


    “Right—my assistant. You remember her from the wedding?”

    “I remember lots of women at our wedding.”

    “Yes. So many people came! They all loved you. –But I really have to go now. You’ll be all right?”

    “Yes. Don’t be silly. It’s not like I’m going to light a fire in the living room to test if the carpet is flammable, and accidentally burn the house down and barely escape with my life.”

    Antoine had laughed at that, kissed her again (annoying) and left.

    She really had been wondering about the carpet, though, which was hay-colored and reminded her vaguely of those blazes they always seemed to be having out west.

    “No setting fire to the carpet” she wrote emphatically as # 2 on the rapidly lengthening list.

    The hours slunk past.

    “I’m supposed to make dinner!” Eva remembered in sudden panic at five o’clock (by now the list stretched to an impossible 327). She only knew how to make cheesesteak sandwiches, but she made them well; she was very good at doing things with knives and never, not once in all her life, had given herself a steak knife papercut.

    Antoine was halfway through his sandwich (“These onions are seriously good”) when he collapsed. Eva wondered belatedly if she had unthinkingly seasoned with arsenic instead of pepper.

    She stared at the list in despair. And to think she’d started the day so hopeful!

    1) No killing of husbands.


    500 words, Special challenge accepted

  7. Hahahahaha! Thanks for the tutorial! Making mental notes as I type.