Monday, April 28, 2014


April is almost over (how is that even possible???),  and spring is officially in bloom here! I just planted my garden this weekend! I can't wait to eat all the yummy veggies... But you're not here to hear about my garden (although, if you want to use it as inspiration, you certainly may!). So go read the prompt and write! (And if you want an added challenge, put in something garden-related - veggies, flowers, tools, pots, watering cans, etc.)

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 Mary MacFarlane
. Check out her blog here. Read her winning tale from last week here!

 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #43 is:

Adventure was always [my] favorite word, followed closely by [diametrically].

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Add alliterating adverbs and adjectives to your adventure... One sentence must be fully alliterated.



  1. "Danger" Dixon: Dtective

    Adventure was always my favorite word, followed closely by avoidance.

    "Danger" Deirdre Dixon: Dodgy Detective"

    That's what my business cards say, catchy slogan, huh? I'm experienced in all kinds of mayhem. If it's a fight you want, I say. "Bring it on!" Bare knuckles, Marquess of Queensberry Rules, kung fu, jujitsu, karate, kickboxing, judo, down-and-dirty street, or whatever, I'm your girl. I''ve tried all kinds of extreme sports: base jumping, wave jumping, white water rafting, snowboarding, rock climbing, cave diving, skeleton, and wingsuit flying. I loved all of them, the riskier they are the better I like them.

    Just don't try to romance me, uh uh, nope, no way no how! That is so... not me. I do not do relationships, period, end of sentence, exclamation point. That's where I draw the line, I avoid them like the black plague! I need to be the one in charge at all times and that's what causes... problems. I've perfected the act of breaking up to a fine art. A case in point, my last boyfriend. I drove him miles into the desert one night and dumped him out wearing only his underwear. I tossed his cellphone onto the ground a mile down the road. What was his crime you ask? He bought me a card, flowers and candy for Valentine's Day after I specifically told him that I didn't want any of that stuff. I know, I know, I'm sick and twisted, but that's the way I roll. I broke up with the one before him when I caught him cheating on me with another man. My one unbreakable rule is, "If you're with me, you're with me! I don't share with other people, ever! I punished that one by locking him out of my house and donating all of his things to the Salvation Army.

    So it's extremely ironic that for my latest case I needed a partner, a male partner. I had to infiltrate a "spiritual enclave" to retrieve the runaway daughter of my clients. The problem was that they only accepted couples. Thus my dilemma, where, oh where to find a trustworthy male to work with? I needed someone experienced, yet willing to follow orders and that kind of guy is in short supply.

    I turned to my friend Mel who runs the Backroom Bar. She has her ear to the ground and knows everything about everybody. She knew a guy who knew some guys. The next day I examined three candidates and found the perfect male. We earned our pay and rescued the girl. He worked out so well that he's my permanent partner now. He's well-trained, intelligent, obedient, quite, and loyal. I named him King, he's the best dog ever!

    452 Words
    Special Challenge Accepted

  2. "Ten Shillings If It's Fresh"
    500 words
    Special Challenge Accepted

    “Adventure” was always James’ favorite word, followed closely by “railroad.” The former was his job, the latter his employer, from the day he turned sixteen to the the day it landed him in the Gearstone Penitentiary.
    James turned down a cobblestone alley, a thin rod of flaming holly wood in his hand. At the end of its short arc of ghostly illumination, gray shadows quivered, rising to melt into the star-mottled ink of the night sky.

    Some fleshy object resisted James’ treading, sending him tumbling to the garbage-strewn ground. His head hit hardest. Tiny orbs of blue light seemed to float above him, yet he could make out little else around him. He heard a gruff groan somewhere near his feet.

    “Are you a man?” James asked the sound.

    “I was once, lad.” There came a haggard cough. “Now I’m just a dog.”

    James knit his brows a moment and nodded. “An old ruffian, not a real canine, right?”

    Chortling echoed through the alley. “It’s hard to tell some days.”

    A spark leapt from a thin stream of smoke at James’ left side. He reached out a hand and snatched up his dying torch. It took three matches to light the oiled rod anew.

    “That’s a splendid wand you’re burning there.” The man pointed a short finger stub, shaking. “Expensive wood, aye? You wouldn’t happen to have a spare shilling, would you lad?”

    “No,” said James. He reached for the scabbard at his belt.

    “A shame. Ever since they started on that blasted railroad I’ve been out of work—they stole my farm when they extended the rails north of London.”

    James slid out his dagger, but kept it behind his back as he rose from the cobbles. “I work for the railroad,” he said.

    The old man’s expression soured. “Why would such a nice lad as you work for those blood-mongers?” He spit through a wide space in his teeth.

    “They pay very well.” James took a step toward the vagrant.

    “What are you, a corpse collector?” The old man broke into a fit of coughing. “They paying you six shillings a pint for the blood to power their trains?”

    James shook his head. “I make ten shillings a pint.”

    “Ten shillings? I’d sell my own for that.”

    “I’m sure you would,” said James, grinning. “It’s the going rate for fresh blood. The railroad recently discovered the vapor has stronger magical properties when it comes from a live body.”

    “And they send you to the…the prisons to…to harvest from the hanged men,” the old man stammered.

    “They normally do.” James moved his dagger out in front of him. “But since I happened to find you here, starving, I figure I ought to grant you your peace.”

    The vagrant forced himself to his feet. “You would…would kill an old farmer for a…a pouch of shillings?”

    “It wouldn’t be the first time,” said James. He pulled a cruet from a bandolier beneath his shirt. Then he proceeded to fill it.

  3. Adventures In Food
    Posted on Tuesday, 29 April 2014
    Adventure was always my favorite word, followed closely by food. Which left me wondering why it had taken so many years for me to learn a simple way to blend both of them. The adventure of something new and untried, and food.

    It started simply (doesn’t everything?) in an International Foods grocery store, on the cookies and snacks aisle. There they were. Sugar Wafer cookies. Not the ones you find in American grocery stores. Not the chocolate, vanilla and pink ones. The pink ones say they’re Strawberry flavored, but I’ve never noticed any difference between them and the vanilla ones. Except they’re pink. Well, on that cookie row I found chocolate, and vanilla. But I also found Mango, Guava, Caramel, and Pineapple.

    I added one of each to my basket, and went on an adventure suitable to a gourmand. I pigged out on sugar wafers. Oh, the joy, the taste, the excitement of new flavors! It took me three days to walk off the cookies. Three days! And I never once regretted them. Instead, I planned another adventure to the same store.

    That second adventure I purchased more sugar wafers, and I grew my food adventure. I raided the soda aisle. I felt young again, like I did when I discovered my first toy store. I found sodas I never knew existed, in sizes I never knew existed. Coconut, Mango, Guava, Peach, and Pear. I found soda brands I’d never known of, Jamaican, Jarritos, Goya, and others. It was a soda heaven! I bought a dozen single cans and bottles, all in different flavors and brands.

    I discovered, over the following days, I liked coconut water, and Tamarind and Apple sodas. Of course, I discovered I did not like Cola Champagne, or Lychee drinks. But, that was the point of the adventure. To find new things to eat.

    I hit the jackpot in the produce department, when I discovered Kiwi Fruit, Mangoes, Papayas, Yellow Honeydew, and Galia melons. I discovered there were more than two kinds of plums. I discovered Star Fruit, Dragon Fruit, and Rambutan. Asian pears looked just like apples, but with pear skins.

    I ate fruit three times a day for a week, before I ran out.

    I visit different grocery stores all the time these days. Because two of my favorite words have always been adventure and food. And what could be better than having them both at one time.

    I can’t wait to try Salmonberry. Bring on the adventure, and the food!

    417 words

  4. Adventure was always my favorite word, followed closely by clinomania.

    What is clinomania, you ask? It is simply a very excessive desire to not get up; away from the soft, cozy retreat of quilts and down, and to stay completely surrounded by the sweet embrace of rest and relaxation.

    Of course this is not a word I would have chosen myself, but one of my elder governesses – a very well educated woman, I might add, especially in curious diction – bestowed such a mania upon me when she could no longer tolerate my stubborn dedication to having a full night’s rest and late morning’s in.

    Countless mornings she devoted her time to uncover new plots and devices that would awaken me at hours that I consider inhumane in order to teach me how to be a proper lady. “All in the name of womanhood,” she’d tell me after all ten of my toes were covered in puppy slobber with a wide grin on her face. Many times do I remember the constant occasion where she would – after pulling yet another creative awakening plot – stand at my window with my pink lace curtains pulled widely apart to force the beaming rays of the sun into my sleeping eyes. She would stand right in the middle of the bright light as for me to only visualize her silhouette distorted by the stark blindness of my vision.

    “Singing sirens snuff soft sleepers still savoring sandman’s scintillant schemes,” she’d repeat every day to my dismay. My hair still sloppy from the night before would spiral in different directions depending on how suddenly I was stimulated.

    The crystal clear memory of riding a unicorn through a valley of crystal flowers and butterflies made of chocolate was crushed by a giant boot smashing into the scene. Rainbow rabbits scattered in every direction and there was chaos about the tiny leprechaun kingdom with this very gigantic boot demolishing everything into unhappy pieces. A sweet melody could be heard in the wind of destruction softly enveloped with terror.

    Times were dark in the kingdom though there was no way to calm the fierce fire ablaze in the valley fed by the powerful rays of the menacing sun. A more vigorous song of perish erupted with the deadly fire. The distress of my mount was to be blamed by the fiery furnace in the sky and I was determined to put it out. And as I turned to fight the holocaust titan, a strong thump and loud coloratura soprano scream met my noble visage and instantly crippled my steed.

    I felt the sting of pain to my face when my eyes opened to the painfully bright morning and my governess kicking a very sturdy wooden box with her heavy cow skin boots.

    “Singing sirens, Adara,” she reminded as the puppy clambered to lick my face amongst my refuge of pillows and sheets.
    482 words
    Special Challenge Accepted

  5. Rooftop Romance

    “Adventure was always my favorite word, followed closely by diametrically.”

    “What?” Charlie shifted on the roof, a scratching noise accenting the motion; like the sound of tearing jeans.

    “It means -”

    “I don’t give a rip what it means.” His words came with a wave of laughter. “Chasidy, you’re so weird.”

    The party down below was hitting its apex. Kids were jumping into the pool with clothes on while others did kegstands. You’d never guess they were all participating in the National Academic Bowl. I had snuck up onto the roof an hour into the party when I was bored to tears watching everyone else have a good time. Charlie had joined soon after. I was unsure if he knew I was up here or if he was as surprised to see me as I was to see him.

    “Okay smartass, what’s your favorite word?”

    “It sure as hell isn’t diametrically.”



    I braced my red converses against the roof. “I’m waiting.”

    “I like words that alliterate with my name.”

    I stopped laughing when Charlie didn’t join in. He was staring at me with an eyebrow raised. Oh, he was serious. For two years now we had been on the same quiz bowl team and this was our first real conversation.

    After careful word considerations I said, “Cheery Chasidy and charmless Charlie cherished the challenge of channeled chats.”

    “Channeled chats?”

    “It worked, didn’t it?”

    “That was awful.” His crooked grin told me otherwise.

    The dimple that appeared on his right cheek distracted me momentarily. “Your turn then. Impress me.”

    “Charming Charlie chummed with chirpy Chasidy, chittering about chilidogs, chocolate, and chipmunks.”

    “How’s that better?”

    “It just is.”

    “I don’t think so.”

    “We’ll take it up with the panel later.”

    “I’ll win,” I said.

    Charlie stood and stared down at the party below us. I came to my feet so I could avoid being at eye level with his kneecaps. Without a word he grabbed my hand and we walked up, slumped forward to fight the angle, to the peak of the house. When we reached the top Charlie sat, pulling me back down with him.

    We sat side by side, not speaking now out of view from the party-goers. The music broke the silence of the night air, the bass played along with my heartbeat.

    “I think you’re pretty.”

    “Excuse me?” My turn for an eyebrow raise.

    “We would make a great couple.”

    “No, we wouldn’t.”

    “We may have diametric personalities but we’d make an adventurous couple.”

    “I see what you did there.”


    “And I think you’re a big alliteration.”

    “What? That doesn’t work.”

    “Sure it does.”

    He ignored my comment. “So, what do you think? About us?”

    “Change the channel.”

    “Choose this chiseled chap.”

    “Good grief.” I rolled my eyes.

    “Chicken?” He asked mischievously.

    “Cheep cheep.”

    “Can I kiss you?”

    “You didn’t alliterate.”

    “I know.”

    478 Words
    Challenge Championed

  6. Adventure was always my favorite word, followed closely by diametrically. Because adventure is diametrically different than the boredom in which I soak. There’s a book on my pillow about great quests in faraway lands, a future I hope to surpass. But these days reading it makes me nauseous. There is fresh air outside, but nowhere to go. The view never changes. The wind always blows. The fresh sweet smell of rain is scarce. But I’d rather be outside getting a sunburn than indoors mopping the wooden floor again. I can always climb into some nook and eat an apple. Apples don’t taste as good as they used to though, nor do any of the fruits the same tired old man can offer.

    I miss my classmates and the adventures we had out in the woods. We could change the most ordinary things into stories worth bragging about. Every time I remember what happened I can still feel the warm place in my chest growing and trying to burst out and I know we did something worth telling.

    Once, the Dobsons snuck a snake into the Andrews’ water pail and scared MayBeth so good she couldn’t stop crying even when the snake had been thrown out into the gully. The boys laughed so hard they couldn’t get away from Mr. Andrews and had their own cry after the whipping he gave them.

    Then there was the time three of us hiked beyond the edge of what any of us knew and set up camp like explorers. Until Mr. Nelson walked out his back door, saw smoke from our fire and chased us off his land like we were vagabonds or gypsies going to harm his squash. Well we snuck back the next night and out of spite did start smashing. Afterward our fathers made us help weed Mr. Nelson’s field every afternoon for two weeks.

    But in all of Strant Bay, I was the luckiest kid. The one chosen to be a cabin boy and have a real adventure.

    Now I know why sailors tell tall tales; because so little is worth reporting. Nothing changes, not the scenery, not the chores, not the sailors.

    Last night one of the crew cheated at cards and got punched so hard in one eye it turned black and swelled shut, so he is back to wearing a patch. I called him “Black Eyed Ben” out loud once and received a shiner of my own.

    Joe used to tell me stories about mermaids, until it started reminding me of Mrs. Mcarthy telling how many eggs her chickens laid the previous night (as if It had some bearing on my day of hunting frogs.) Joe swears he saw a mermaid today, and yesterday and the day before that, and every day since Katon’s Landing.

    But I wouldn’t tell it like that to the boys back in Strant Bay. Never.
    My favorite word is adventure. My second favorite word is diametrically. The irony still makes me laugh.
    500 Words