Monday, July 28, 2014


Welcome back! 

*Pause for shameless plug* If you're reading this and it's still considered Monday night Eastern time (you have two hours tops from when this goes live), PLEASE go vote for me in the Dog Days of Summer Contest HERE. (It'll take less than 10 seconds. Seriously. Scroll down to the poll and click my name (Alissa Leonard) and then the vote button. That's it.) Thanks a million! *Returns to business at hand*

AHEM! Where were we? Ah, yes, our flash fiction writing contest! It's gonna be another amazing week of writing. So get to it! (I've already taken up enough of your time with the shameless plug that most of you won't even read in time to vote, so no more words from me this week!) ;)

If you haven't read the full version of the rules, go here. Otherwise, here's the short version:

1. Start with the given first sentence.
2. Up to 500 words
3. Keep it clean (nothing rated R or above)
4. Optional Special Challenge
5. Stories submitted must be your own work, using characters and worlds that you have created. Sorry, no fanfiction.
6. Include: Twitter/email, word count, Special Challenge accepted
7. The challenge is open for 24 hours on Tuesday EST

Oh, and feel free to change pronounspunctuationtense, 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 Billie Jauss
. Also known as @billiejauss. Read her winning tale from last week here! Billi is in the process of writing her first novel. She typically writes Christian Women's Literature. Check out her blog here.

 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-4 is:

[The mother and her son] ran hand-in-hand through the drenching rain, seeking refuge [in an abandoned fishing shack] hidden just beyond the [dunes].

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Include a medical emergency.



  1. Erica321@hotmail.comJuly 29, 2014 at 5:26 PM


    The mother and her son ran hand-in-hand through the drenching rain, seeking refuge in an abandoned fishing shack hidden just beyond the dunes…

    “Hurry.” Linda pulled Jake through the door, barring it behind him by jamming the doorknob with a discarded anchor.

    Jake threw his rucksack onto the ground in front of him and began to rummage through it. The moonlight shone through the frosted windows causing the freckles to stand out starkly on his face and making his mother realize how young he still was. He stood, the medical case in his hand, the shock and adrenaline causing his hand to shake slightly. She took this as a sign of maturity. It proved he understood the stakes. He had handed the pistol she had given him back as soon as they had cleared the lab’s heavily guarded perimeter. Bullets were only useful against humans, and those were all in quarantine facilities on the east coast now. The only people left were guarding the CDC outposts where the vaccine was being simulated. And the only people who knew about the vaccine were a select group of renowned hematologists like Peter.

    Her husband had called her a week ago from his sequestered location in the Caribbean. He had been at the lab, but before he had a chance to smuggle out doses for her and their son, he had been evacuated.

    She took the case from Jake, opening the case and ripping the protective plastic off the first syringe with her teeth. She produced a penlight from her pocket, along with some alcohol swabs. She held the syringe up, the liquid was cloudy, not clear - exactly what she was looking for. She flicked it three times, calling her son to her. He hesitated only slightly, he had always hated shots.

    “It’s just like when you were little,” she soothed, “Just a pinch.” She began talking, a tactic she’d used on him as a kid. “Your father messaged. He’s on his way. They’ll be here in five minutes. We just have to hold on a little longer, then we’re going to be safe forever. He told me that the colony is in the tropics, so it’s always nice and warm. It’s a military base, so there’s basketball courts, tennis courts, even talk of a movie theatre…”

    “Thanks,” Jake said, rubbing his arm. “Now you.”

    The doors rattled at the exact moment the needle sank into her skin. The infected had found them. She had known it wouldn’t be long. God, she hoped Peter would be fast, she didn’t know how long the door would hold. She grabbed her son, holding him to her.

    “When we hear the helicopter,” she told him, “I’m going out the back to distract them. You run to your dad.”

    “What about you?” Jake clutched her, his color draining.

    “I’m not going.” She said. “I can’t go. I’m not safe. There was only one dose in the lab. The other was a placebo.”

    496 Words
    Challenge Accepted

  2. Hiding
    480 words

    The mother and her son ran hand-in-hand through the drenching rain, seeking refuge in an abandoned fishing shack hidden just beyond the dunes.
    "The fairies can't get us here, Jackie," the mother told her son as she slammed the door shut behind her. Jack stood in the middle of the dark shack, a humid blanket of stink settling over him. Gone was the clean smell of rain and the tang of the churning ocean. Here it was full of ghost fish and wood rot.
    Jack turned to look at his mother as she scrambled around wedging anything of good size against the door as though to keep out intruders.
    She panted and murmured to herself. Her hair clung to her face and neck in long wet strings and her soaked clothes clung to her sharp shoulder blades and knobby spine.
    Jack associated these prominent bones with the elderly, but his mother had been twenty-three when he was born but nine years later she looked worlds older than the mothers of the other boys his age.
    A mother's word was supposed to be the law of the land so Jack hadn't yet puzzled out whether his mother was ahead of the curve, aware of dangers everyone else missed or if...something else.
    "Mom, I want to go home," Jack said evenly.
    She turned on him eyes wide and sunken.
    "No, Jackie. We're safe here. Hard for the fairies to fly in such hard rain. Harder to follow."
    She twisted her fingers as she looked at him. She went back to murmuring to herself.
    Jack didn't know how to help her. He never knew how to help her.
    He found a relatively clean spot against one wall and he slid down to the floor ready to wait it out.
    He awoke some time later, neck stiff, and the shack silent, no more rainfall on the tin roof
    His mother was curled up on the floor, tense angles even in sleep.
    He itched to be away from the damp smells and a mother he couldn't stand to look at right now.
    Jack stepped around his mother and carefully pulled items away from the door and stepped outside.
    He walked a short distance from the shack and took a deep breath.
    The air was cool and briny. He felt free. Calm. For now. His mother would only be asleep for so long and once she was awake Jack's freedom, of the outdoors and from his perpetual gut pain about what might be wrong with her, would be squelched.
    Small winks of light, something floating, reflecting the distant street lamp. Faint hisses and hums and a sudden cut against his cheek.
    Jack reached up and touched his cheek. Blood on his fingers.
    Miniature faces with sharp teeth, more buzzing hums.
    As a new panic surged he thought, "Mom's not crazy after all."

  3. The Caves:

    My cousin and I run hand-in-hand through the drenching rain, seeking refuge in the Cave of Sorrows hidden just beyond the dune. Malak’s hand is clammy against mine. We race as the thunder cracks above. Being caught in the desert is a death trap when lightning arrives. Though being with Malak overnight is the same for most. I am fortunate that Malak loves me. We are the same — yet different.
    The caves beyond the last of the desert mirror Malak and I. Enter the Cave of Sorrows and you will be healed. Enter the Cave of Dreams and you will never be whole again. Every child of the desert grew up hearing the parables of the two sides of life. The joy and happiness followed by the inevitable suffering of death.
    There is another racing in the night. From the gait and scimitar it has to be a man. Malak leads me closer to him. Despite the danger, Malak wants to know if the stranger is cute. Malak has little fear for herself.
    A flash of blue illuminates everything in sight. From his dress we know the stranger is from the deep desert. One shows the tribesmen respect less they cut it from you. We race harder for the caves. It takes several seconds for the concussion wave and crack of thunder to make the ground roar and my ears hurt. The stranger screams in pain from the sound but continues.
    “Come on Malak,” I say through heavy breaths, “We can beat the stranger to the caves and barricade ourselves in the mundane caves.”
    Malak does not answer. Malak only speaks when she has something to say.
    A second flash of light illuminates us. The stranger carries his scimitar with a peace wrap on it. He means us no harm. If only Malak shared that sentiment.
    The thunder attacks us as we reach the rock-strewn desert beneath the cliffs. We do not slow as we reach the wall. Malak and I jump and scramble up the cliff. I ignore the rough rocks as I climb the five horses height to a cliff. We reach the ledge that leads to the Cave of Sorrow, the Cave of Dreams, and two ordinary caves.
    Malak leads me into the second from the left. I hope she chose wisely. We clamber in the darkness to find a place to hide. A minute later the stranger appears in the door. He hesitates in the entryway. The flash of light reaches us at the same time as the sound. The stranger collapses unconscious. We drag him to the Cave of Dreams and then start a fire.
    The unconscious stranger is beautiful. His lips are full, and cheekbones high. We bind him before sleeping to wait out the storm.
    The stranger’s moans wake me.
    I see the scimitar entering the stranger. It looks good in my hands.
    Malak asks inside my head, “Why kill him?”
    I shrug. “Who are you to judge my dreams?”

    500 Words,
    Special Challenge Accepted