Monday, September 9, 2013


We've reached TEN! WooHoo! Ten weeks! We have ten fingers and ten toes and now ten weeks of #FTT! Let's make this week the best yet! 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 Penname also known as Aaron White. Go check out his blog here. Read his winning tale from last week here!

Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #10 is:

[He] was uncertain, though there was plenty to be certain about.

Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Include the words:



  1. I was uncertain, though there was plenty to be certain about.

    I looked around the kitchen, and pondered if its appearance resembled a room where a series of live hand grenades exploded in a redecorating effort. Or if it more resembled a painting by Salvador Dali, or Pablo Picasso.

    I was certain the wife was gonna be pissed off. Hell, I was certain pissed off wasn’t nearly descriptive enough. Incensed? Outraged? Nope. I couldn’t think of anything descriptive enough.

    I looked at the remains of the range, wondering what I’d done wrong. I’d followed the instructions in the cookbook. I even made a copy of the steps, and checked them off as I’d gone down the list. I’d read each step three times before I’d implemented it.

    I stared at the bits of chicken stuck to the remaining bits of ceiling and walls, as I considered how well-engineered the house was. I’d never have expected drywall, fiberglass insulation, little bits of wire, and a bunch of two by fours to hold up to that kind of destructive force.

    The firemen had all patted me on the shoulder as they left. Some laughed hysterically. Some just shook their heads. “You married?” I’d answered yes.

    I was uncertain where I’d be sleeping that night. I was certain it would not be in my bed, or even in the house. She might let me sleep in the car. If I was lucky. I wondered if I should take my tent, and sleeping bag, and flee.

    I was certain I’d tried. She’d asked me to try. “Cook something special for dinner.” That’s what she said. “There’s chicken breasts in the ‘fridge.” I’d found the recipe on the ‘Net. How to cook chicken and rice in the pressure cooker.

    I was certain I’d followed the instructions.

    I was clueless why the damn thing said, “BOOM!”, shook the entire house, and decided to redesign the kitchen. Although it was interesting to see the shards of pressure cooker embedded in the refrigerator. They looked like a word of abstract art, like you see on city streets these days. Where you wonder what drugs the artist was taking.

    The firemen said it wasn’t my fault. The pressure release valve on the cooker had failed, and the unit had over-pressurized. They said the homeowners insurance would cover it. They wished me luck dealing with her when she got home.

    I told them, “No pressure cooker is ever getting within 100 yards of my home again.”

    After they left, I stood in the remains of the kitchen, staring at my cell phone. I was certain I should call her.

    I was certain I didn’t want to.

    446 Words

    1. Oh, Mark! I loved this! I wanted to laugh with the firemen and give him a hug at the same time. Poor guy! I really related to the idea of trying to impress someone and doing your level best, but it turning out horribly and completely wrong somehow, with no real idea HOW. Thanks for writing!! :)

  2. I was uncertain, though there was plenty to be certain about. I was certain about my existence. I was certain about the existence of the person next to me. I certain I was going to die along with that other person.

    The day had started as any other. We checked our gear, loaded the shuttle, and headed into space. We knew we were close to the edge. The edge of space. The edge of time. The edge of everything. The conclusion of a journey 20,000 years in the making. For us, anyway. According to our guide, the world we left behind was all but a memory, billions of years into the distance.

    The plasma drive had worked beyond our wildest imaginings. We could travel through space and time with impunity. We were masters of the empyrean. And now we explored the very limits of our peculiar nature.

    We had it all planned out. Our calculations and maps pinpointed the moment when we should experience the Wall. All bets were off, though, as to what exactly the Wall was. Or what would happen if we attempted to cross.

    Moment by moment, we inched closer and closer. Our instruments started to fail. We lost trajectory, lost control. We worked feverishly to right the ship, but it was hopeless. We removed our helmets, breathed deeply, and gave each other a momentary glance. We both understood. We were about to die.

    “Oh. My. God!”

    “What is THAT??”

    We were stunned. Nothing prepared us for what we witnessed. No words could describe. I felt myself stretched and pulled and unable to hear my own thoughts. A burst of light blinded my eyes and burned through my cortex. I felt every molecule and fiber of my being, the very fabric of my soul, pulled into the cosmos. I could hear the susurrations of my mind dissolve into a vast diffusion of matter and consciousness.

    Moments seemed to pass in an instant. Time neither moved nor occurred to me any longer. I could see without seeing. Feel without feeling. Swept along a luminous stream somewhere between what we know and what is uncertain. I was not alone. Proto-matter surrounded me, conscious souls intertwined in streams of light beyond the distance and back around the vast reaches of outer space. Limitless. Unafraid. And certain. About EVERYTHING.

    388 words

    1. Thanks, Terry, for participating this week! I'm glad you found the time to join us! I really enjoyed this scifi piece (which lent itself well to the empyrean word). I loved the strange disconnect the characters had with their origin. A trip to the edge of the universe would leave earth FAR behind and take so long as to wonder what the point was. I loved the play on the first sentence, how they were certain they would die, but uncertain what that would mean. I loved the picture of Limitless, Unafraid, and Certain. However, my favorite part HAS to be when one of them said "Oh. My. God!" So telling. (btw, how did they SURVIVE this trip???? just wondering!)

    2. Thank you for the kind words. I had fun participating. Look forward to doing more in the future!

  3. Peculiar Moods
    252 Words
    Special Challenge accepted.

    She was uncertain, though there was plenty to be certain about. Evangeline was a nice person, everyone had always said so. However, a most peculiar thing happened to her at the coffee shop this morning. She'd contemplated murdering the barista. In her defense, the girl had been a total shit. That attitude at seven am was inexcusable.

    Arriving at Dr. Patrick's vet clinic, where she volunteered three days a week in his animal shelter, she thought, Surely my benevolence toward animals will allow some impunity for my soul in Empyrean eyes. Oh, but Dr. Patrick's snot nosed nephew was whining excessively today. Normally, the child was no bother to her. He had been riding the bus from school to his uncle's vet clinic every day for the past few weeks. Today, he was trying to piss her off.

    She was home now, though, and looking forward to a nice hot bath. Naturally, her pants zipper would not cooperate. Finally down to her underwear, she reached for her lavender bath salts. The bottle was empty. Of course it was. Nothing was going to go right today. Fighting back tears, she sank into the clear, hot water.

    Out of the bath, Evangeline wrapped her white terry cloth robe around her, and padded to the laptop in her room to check her e-mails. A calendar alert in her in box informed her that tomorrow was the twenty eighth day of her monthly cycle. That certainly explained why the whole universe had conspired against her today.

    1. Jessica! We can ALL relate to this on so many levels! Your details were really nice. It was a little chaotic for me (although perhaps that added to my understanding of her frazzled-ness!). I don't know if the first sentence really helped the story at all...other than to give it a mood of sorts? Perhaps a unifying theme would've helped. (She was certain she wouldn't have murderous thoughts, she was uncertain how she could have made a different choice, she was baffled at her responses...). Those types of things may have tied the jumble of her day into a cohesive thought and added more punch to the reason. :) Just some ideas. Thanks for sharing! I did want to give poor Evangeline a hug!

    2. Thanks, lissajean! I was having an off day yesterday,(as you can see, it crept into my writing) but as I told my husband, I made a promise to myself. I am going to write everyday, no matter what. The advice I got from you and Penname from this week's challenge will undoubtedly help me throughout my journey into writing. Thanks again, for the advice and for hosting.


  4. He was uncertain, though there was plenty to be certain about. Breakfast, that was certain. Three eggs, fried hard, and a slab of thick bread burnt on one side, every day since he’d married Morian. A jug of cold water and a strip of oversalted dried beef brought to him out in the fields mid-morning: that was certain too. And a grin, one that spoke impossibly of mischief and soul-deep kindness at the same time, followed by a kiss.

    He sat on the bed and pulled on his boots. They smelled rich, like the earth, part manure and part man sweat, with the lighter, sweet fragrances of spring grass and crushed pine needles floating on top. That smell was certain, certain as the tongue-lashing he got every night he tracked mud in, certain as her red-faced, whispered apologies after he wordlessly swept it up and handed her a bouquet of yellow-and-blue wildflowers. This, too, was always certainly followed by a kiss, or two, or many, and neither of them ever acknowledged his tendency to trail mud in even on dry days.

    Standing, he shrugged into his coat, its left arm longer than the right. Morian’s mother had been certain no one would marry her maim-handed daughter, with nubs in place of fingers, no good at sewing, no good at cooking, no good to anyone; but that had been wrong. From the day they’d met, he’d been certain he would never love anyone else. Why the laughing, raven-haired Morian loved him back—now, that was a peculiar uncertainty, but he in the end he decided knowing might be too great a burden for his simple mind; maybe, if he grasped it fully, it would translate into a sin of some sort, and he would not be able to enter the great empyrean without impunity.

    He cast a final glance about the room. The windows were shut and the breakfast dishes put away. Their rough quilt, rippled with sea greens and pieced together by the village women, had been folded neatly at the foot of the bed. Even Morian would approve, he felt certain.

    Only one thing left, then.

    He opened the wood chest and drew out his sword from beneath their clothes. He did not have to look out the east window to see what lay at the foot of her favorite peach tree, but its weeping shadow burned the backs of his eyes all the same, and it took him longer than it should have to fasten the sword into its place on his belt. The sword hung there, awkward and heavy from disuse, but its edges were sharp and he was certain it would still obey his bidding.

    Into the bright morning he went, shutting the door firmly behind him, and strode northward, where all the world could see tendrils of black smoke against the gentle blue of the sky. He gripped the sword tighter as the miles rushed past. Today, Death too was certain.

    496 words
    Judge's challenge accepted

    1. You have a gift for pulling a reader into a world and keeping them there. I want to grow up to be just like you.

    2. As always, Rebekah, your ability to paint a picture is mind-boggling! I cannot tell you how much I LOVE (LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!) this love story. It is beautiful and poignant and so very REAL to the littlest details... That said, the end confused me a bit. The 'certainty' of what was going to happen this day vs. the certainty of what had happened to make what he was certain about wrong... well, perhaps that first line constricted you a bit. I still loved it, and still understood it, but the moment of confusion pulled me out just a bit. :)