Monday, November 11, 2013


Welcome back for week 19 of Finish That Thought! This is a special day...seriously...11/12/13? That's just cool. :) (unless you write your date the other way...then you have to wait for the 11th of December...) (And yes, this goes live at 10pm on Monday, so you'll just have to wait for tomorrow if you're reading this then...) Sorry for the ramble. Wow. NaNo is messing with my brain! Go write!

NaNoers: By the end of this flash contest, you should have 20,000 words on your NaNoWriMo Novel to be 'on track'. (as of writing this, I don' judging coming from me!) No matter where you are in relation to that number, KEEP GOING! Every word written is a word you didn't have before! Feel free to use this prompt in your WIP, or take a break and jot off a quick flash piece to rest your brain from the story...whatever will help most. Write on!

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
6. The challenge is open for 24 hours on Tuesday EST

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. Check out his blog here. Read his winning tale from last week here!

 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #19 is:

[She] awoke in the grass, freshly mowed except for a ring around [her] body.

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

An ending and an answer.



  1. Jessica awoke in the grass, freshly mowed except for a ring around her body. It was the first time a lawn got cut and she didn’t get ill. She’d always gotten ill when her father had cut the lawn. But Uncle Tim had cut his yard, and she was fine. She’d fallen asleep on her blanket, in the backyard, and Uncle Tim had mowed around her.

    She’d never even heard him.

    Aunt April’s voice interrupted her thoughts, “How’s my tired niece doing?”

    Jessica laughed. “I took a nap in the sunshine!” She didn’t mention how she always got ill when her father mowed the lawn.

    “Yes, you did.” April chuckled. “I thought you’d certainly wake up with Tim mowing.” She shook her head. “But you slept right through that noisy mower of his as he carved a circle around you.”

    Jessica couldn’t believe it. She’d slept right through the noise the motor on the mower made. And she knew lawn mowers were anything but quiet. “I’m sorry I was in the way.” She looked at the circle of grass surrounding her. It was easily an inch higher than the rest of the lawn.

    “Oh, don’t worry about it, dear,” April wave a hand, “Tim will just cut it next week anyway.”

    “But it’s not a perfect lawn.”

    “Jess. With Tim mowing it, it never is.” She winked at Jessica, as if sharing a secret with her.

    And Jessica laughed.

    She liked her Aunt and Uncle very much. They had taken such good care of her. Aunt April took her to school each morning. And picked her up at school each afternoon. They always talked about what she’d learned in school that day.

    And Aunt April could cook! Wow! Could she ever. She loved those frittatas her aunt made for breakfast. She’d never asked Jessica if she ate meat, or dairy. She just made them vegan from the start, using an egg substitute, and soy cheese.

    Jessica asked her aunt, “How did you know I’m vegan?”

    “Well, dear. We asked your mother several years ago.”

    Aunt April actually took Jessica with her when she went grocery shopping. “I know you don’t approve of meat or dairy, Jess,” she’d explained, “But Tim and I aren’t vegan, so I do have to buy them.”

    “It’s OK, Aunt April. I understand. Mom isn’t vegan either.”

    But April made sure she bought the vegetables, grains and fruits Jessica wanted, and she bought plenty of them. Jessica hadn’t eaten so well at home, or in the center. “You’re a growing girl, dear,” was all her aunt said. And to be honest, Jessica felt better than she could remember ever feeling. She wasn’t hungry anymore.

    Instead, she was happy. That was all. For the first time in forever. She was happy.

    464 Words

  2. Bedtime Stories
    500 words
    Special Challenge

    "He awoke in the grass, freshly mowed except for a ring around his body. It took him a moment to realize he was in his backyard and that Mom was ringing the supper bell. Brushing the bits of loose grass from his trousers, he leapt to his feet, and ran towards the house.

    'Coming, Mom!'

    As he slipped into his seat at the table, surrounded by his family once more, he wondered for a moment if it had been just a dream. But he soon dismissed the thought, for everyone knows that the Pixie Dreamers were just another story. The end."

    Grandpa closed the old leather book and set it on the nightstand beside the rocker. He glanced down at his granddaughter snuggled on his lap and was surprised to find her blue eyes brightened by the bedtime story.

    "Read it again, Grandpa!" Suzy implored. "Please! I want to hear about the pixies again!" Chuckling, Grandpa picked her up and tucked her into her little bed.

    "Not tonight. It's bedtime for you." With a huff, Suzy settled her head on her pillow and watched reluctantly as Grandpa smoothed her sheets around her. He switched on her fairy nightlight and bent over to turn off her bedside lamp. "Good night, Suzy. See you in the morning!"

    "G'night, Grandpa," she replied as he closed her door softly behind him. As soon as the latch clicked, Suzy scrambled to the side of her bed and reached over to turn on her lamp again. Carefully picking up the book, she reverently placed it on the bed and opened it to the first page. The colourful drawings of the pixies intrigued her, as well as the story of the little boy who discovered them hiding in his backyard. Flipping page after page, she ooooh'ed and ahhhhh'ed over each chiseled face with the pointy ears.

    "But what if we get caught!"

    "Silly imp, she can't see us. Come now, quickly!"

    Suzy's head jerked up as the hushed voices came from her window. Two little creatures scurried across the ledge. Pixies! They were pixies!

    "Hello?" she whispered hesitantly as she put the book down. They froze for a second and dove for cover behind the curtains.

    "I told you she would see us!" the distinctly female voice spoke.

    "What do we do now?" hissed the male voice.

    "Maybe if we stay quiet, she'll ignore us."

    Crawling out of the covers, Suzy jumped down from her bed and held her breath as she crept over to the window. Her heart was thumping so loudly, she hoped her parents couldn't hear it all the way out in the living room.

    "She's coming this way!"

    "Be quiet!"

    Suzy pulled the curtain up and smiled down at the visibly shaking pixies. "Don't be scared, I won't hurt you. My name's Suzy, what's yours?"

    The female stepped forward timidly. "Azamuthel, and this is Kilren," she replied. "I don't get it, how can you see us?"

    "Because she believes," Kilren answered in awe.

  3. End of Innocence
    Words: 429
    Challenge accepted
    Twitter: @MissieK

    She awoke in the grass, freshly mowed except for a ring around her body. She sat up and rubbed her eyes as water from the sprinkler hit her on the head. Vague memories from last night started to come back.

    The party, Jason’s 18th, had been the most anticipated event of the year, even more than year 12 graduation. His parents were loaded and had booked out the local yacht club and invited the entire year 12 class.

    The evening had started out great: dancing, food, drink. Jason’s parents had supplied champagne for toasts and someone spiked the punch.

    Now, here she was, lying in the grass, under a sprinkler, inside a ring of unmown grass.

    Looking around, she spotted her bag near her feet with one of her shoes beside it. The other shoe was still on her foot and there was a rip in her leggings. She didn’t think too much of it, her head felt as though it was full of cotton wool with a drummer going crazy inside it.

    She struggled to her feet and stumbled toward the yacht club. The doors were open and there was evidence of a party inside. Streamers were all over the floor and there was furniture all over the place. There were enough decorations to show that it had started as an elegant party. The only people there were staff members who had come in early to clean up and get it ready for the next function.

    “Can I help you?” a kind voice asked. She looked at the woman blankly.

    “Ummm, I need to get home.” She stammered. Her mouth felt dry.

    “Come with me, I’ll call you a taxi.” She followed the woman to an office and struggled to remember everything that went on. Steve had given her a drink. She thought it was punch but she couldn’t be sure. They had gone outside, and that was where her memories ended.

    “The taxi will be here in a few minutes. You can wait here.” The woman said before going back to keep cleaning up.

    “Thank you.” She mumbled in reply, her hand reaching up to play with her necklace, a nervous habit. She touched the collar of her cardigan and felt the seam. Something was wrong, it took a minute to work out what it was. Her cardigan was inside out.

    Suddenly more memories came flooding back. She put her head in her hands and let tears fall. She had her answer, and she also knew last night was the end of life as she knew it.

  4. Fifth Fairway
    396 words
    Special challenge, it’s in there somewhere

    Kathleen awoke in the grass, freshly mowed except for a ring around her body. She thought how strange it was she hadn’t woken up as the mower went around her.

    With difficulty she raised to her feet and found she was on a golf course. The man mowing probably assumed she was drunk or doped up. Drugged, she thought, that must be it.

    Slowly she put together a few disjoint memories. She had been in the living room of General Cosocoff’s posh hotel room. Had he drugged her? Had she been raped? Kathleen was pretty sure no harm had come to her. She had been there to interview him about his political aspirations. It was a strain to remember but she was pretty sure she saw him collapse before she did.

    She set off walking and shortly had gathered the attention of a foursome of golfers. They alerted police who promptly arrested her for murder. Cosocoff was found dead in the hotel room. A single gunshot wound through the heart. That would be the end of his political career, she thought.

    They handcuffed her and put her in the back of a police car. Despite the cuffs, and a very uncomfortable position, she fell asleep in the car. The police couldn’t wake her up. When she finally did come round she was in the ICU and another week had passed.

    Someone had intended for her to die of the drug overdose. Her waking up for a short period of time was a strange miracle. It had saved her life. The police had stopped looking at her as a suspect and were now treating her like a victim. Good, she thought, because I can’t explain anything about that night.

    The police surmised she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were looking for answers. She asked what had happened in Sumazikstan since the general’s death. Turns out a Major Kalizikoff commanding the fifth division had risen up and taken control of the country. After a few minor challenges he became the new general and took command.

    Kathleen let it go. She knew it was the way of Sumazikstan commanders. The individual divisions competed with each other for prestige. But then she remembered it had been the fifth fairway that she was left to die upon. She was pretty sure she had her answer.

  5. The Mow

    Lief awoke in the grass, freshly mowed except for a ring around her body. I knew it, she thought, rubbing her eyes so furiously that bits of grass went flying. I’m going to kill Saralya.

    “He’s the best,” her neighbor had promised. “He’ll give you the most perfect mow. You won’t regret it.”

    “But he’s human,” Lief had said. “What could a human know about mowing a woodland dryad’s hair?”

    The protest was only mechanical. Lief idolized Saralya and would have lit her nose on fire if she’d recommended it. More to the point, she idolized Saralya’s perfect coif: the way her dark, narrow vines, interspersed with delicate tendrils of wild grasses, wrapped so elegantly around her head and fell in gentle green waves to the ground. Even when Saralya stood still, breezes fingered her flawless vines until watchers could not tell where the dryad stopped and the forest began. Saralya was the sort of dryad humans liked writing poetry about.

    No one wrote about Lief.

    Lief was more grass than vines. Big, splotchy patches of grass, too, the short, stubby kind that cuts humans’ feet and is too short for whistling. She’d gone to the local forest barber, of course, who only snorted when she’d asked for a mow.

    “Child, you don’t need a mow; you need a backhoe,” he said, laughing so hard that he choked on his own leaves and had to be resuscitated by a passing faun.

    In vain Lief traveled the valley from one end to the other, begging for help from anyone who would listen. Stylists all nodded sympathetically, and yet time after time Lief found herself at the barren side of a shut door.

    “Why won’t they help? It’s not like they could make me look worse,” Lief wept to Saralya. They weren’t friends—dryads like Saralya did not have friends like Lief—but as a neighbor, Saralya was required by the Laws of Forest Decency to at least feign interest. And offer advice, when possible.

    Lief pulled herself to her feet. Whatever friendship she’d had with Saralya was definitely over. And the mow itself wasn’t the worst part, even though it reminded her of her mother’s well-meaning attempt ages ago which had taken two painfully embarrassing seasons to grow back out.

    It was that ring.

    That blasted, corona-like ring, suffocating her like she were the center of a dead, ugly sunflower.

    How could the human with his clumsy machine have missed such a crucial part? Was he blind as well as stupid?

    Yes; she’d have to kill Saralya. (After five or six seasons in hiding, obviously.)

    Leaves drooping, Lief turned to go. But—

    “You’re coming back, right?”

    Lief’s pale eyes located the source: the human standing by the clumsy, now silent, machine. He looked nervous. And… something else.

    “Please,” he said. “Please come back.”

    The something else stirred deep within Lief’s withered heart. She tried smiling.

    The joy exploding on the bald human’s face was the most beautiful thing in the world.

    500 words, Judge's challenge accepted

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