Monday, September 15, 2014


Welcome back for another round! I'm not gonna chit chat today because I'm reading a book and I want to get back to it. :) So go check out the prompt and write something awesome - I'll be done with this and looking for something else to read soon. Have fun!

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 Emily Karn. Read her winning tale from last week here! Check out her blog here. Here's what she has to say about herself: I am a fifty-year old woman living in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of New York State, I love reading, writing, cooking, and assorted crafts. I am the person of a cat.

 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-11 is:

Little did we realize that the peace and quiet of our country afternoon picnic was soon to be rudely shattered.

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Include a pie fight in all its gory detail!



  1. Little did we realize that the peace and quiet of our country afternoon picnic was soon to be rudely shattered. We’d spread a tablecloth on the ground, set our basket down, and made ourselves comfortable. Elizabeth took out our drinks, a Sprite for me, a Diet Lime Coke for her.

    “It’s beautiful here,” she smiled.

    The lakeside field was a popular picnic ground. Thomas and his wife were next to the old oak. Sally and her two daughters were beside the lake, feeding the ducks. Young Bobby and his girl friend, Mary, were off to the side, excitedly learning how to kiss.

    Everything was good. Until that moment, when a strange man walked into the field. I’d never seen him. He wore a trench coat, which struck me as strange. He didn’t speak to anyone. Looked like he had earphones in his ears, and was listening to music. He was talking to himself, but too far away for me to hear him.

    The strange man stopped in the middle of the field. He looked around like he was making sure he knew where we all were. He pulled out a silver cross, kissed it, and opened his trench coat.

    I saw guns. I saw him pulling them out. I saw him point the guns at people. I saw him shoot. Sally fell face first into the lake. The ducks scattered, flapping their wings. I knew they were noisey, but somehow, my ears weren’t working. Instead, I studied the details of their flapping wings as they moved in slow motion.

    Sally’s two daughters fell, in slow motion, joining their mother in the water at the edge of the lake.

    Bobby stood up, Mary’s mouth opened in a scream I couldn’t hear, and Bobby’s chest started changing color, as he collapsed to his knees, and fell backwards. Mary’s face changed, and she fell, the back of her head an ugly mess.

    Thomas threw himself at his wife, knocking her to the ground. The strange man stepped toward them as the gun he held made several sharp, sudden motions. Thomas and his wife stopped moving.

    Elizabeth had found her feet, and started running toward the trees, as something struck her back, causing her to move with a jerk, and she pitched face forward into the grass.

    I never heard a thing, as I wondered why I was standing next to myself, looking at my blood leak from my body, discolor the ground.

    The man stopped shooting. He put his guns back, knelt, bowed his head, and prayed, of all things, to God, then kissed his silver cross once more, and walked away, as if he’d done nothing.

    That’s when I saw the demon in the man’s shadow. I watched the demon whisper in the man’s ear. “You’ve done well, child of God. Now, you must carry on the work I’ve given you. Cleanse the evil from the world.”

    The man whispered, “In God’s name.”

    Then everything was gone.

    495 Words

  2. The Date

    “Little did we realize that the peace and quiet of our country afternoon picnic was soon to be rudely shattered. We had no idea whatsoever that our painstaking, thoughtful plans of the past weeks would, in a single moment, plummet to the ground in a terrifying display of—”

    “Shut up,” I said. “It’s just an ant.”

    “JUST an ant, she says. JUST death and mayhem. JUST tragedy and despair.”

    I rolled my eyes. “I’m fairly certain the integrity of your sandwich is still intact.”

    “We must read different medical journals. Do you have NO idea what sorts of diseases those things tromp around with their tiny little buggy feet?”

    “There’s disease, then there’s disease. Ant germs are not a threat I find concerning.”

    “Remind me to forward you the article. You’ll change your mind fast.”
    “I don’t consider blog posts from Paranoia Panoply ‘articles.’”

    Daily Disease Digest.

    “Whatever. Same thing. Alarmist. Hyperemotionalism, not facts. Show me a peer-reviewed journal, vetted by scientists with degrees in actual science, or published by the Higher Learning Commission, and then we can talk.”

    “You say ‘whatever’; I say the picnic’s spoiled.”

    “Something’s spoiled, all right.”

    “Heeeey now. That wasn’t nice.”

    “Sorry,” I said, not sorry.

    He stared unhappily at his sandwich. “I just can’t eat it now.”

    “Sorry,” I said, even more not sorry.

    “You shouldn’t eat yours either. It’s too great a risk.”

    “Don’t worry,” I said. “I’ve lost my appetite anyway.”

    “This isn’t how this was supposed to go. I’ve been planning for ages. I mean, look at this place.” He made a sweeping gesture. “Perfect vista. Perfect time of day. Perfect menu. And you couldn’t be more perfect. Your eyes! Your--”

    “—You’re spot on with the view and day. I’m glad to be introduced to this place. What’s the name of the mountain?”


    “Well, it’s nice and I’m grateful.”

    “See? Here I am, destroying blind date clichés left and right.”

    I looked across the bonfire at him, paunch bellied, whisker-chinned, vinegar breath, pale, wrinkled wings, misshapen spine, grey smoke limping fearfully in circles around his head. His sandwich lay miserably at his feet; the knight or maiden or whatever it had been didn’t even look thoroughly cooked. Nausea curled in my belly.

    “Yeah,” I said, mentally packing my lair and applying for a new one leagues away from Firetop the first chance I could. “Destroying clichés left and right.”

    402 words

  3. A Good Hostess
    Challenge Accepted
    500 Words

    Little did we realize that the peace and quiet of our country afternoon picnic was soon to be rudely shattered.
    We sat on a blue and white check blanket, each of us on one of the sides, all facing each other. It was lovely. Lord Chesterton did slump over on to his side at one point and I pushed him back up with my dainty white gloves fingers and we all pretended that nothing had happened.
    Lady Abigail complimented me on my fetching hat and I made a point of telling her how I admired the ribbons on her dress. Lady Popper admired the fine selection of desserts. I thanked her and offered her another cookie.
    The soft sea of green beneath felt as heavenly as a cloud. As heavenly as deep plush carpet. I was so very proud that everything was just so. I stuck out my pinky finger as I began to bring my teacup to my lips when there was a sudden bang.

    A disheveled ninja had kicked my bedroom door open, bouncing the inside handle hard against the wall.
    "Give me all your Oreos!" He screeched at us.
    "You are interrupting tea time! Get out," I declared in my most serious voice, standing and defending my guests.
    The ninja squared himself and shot out his arm in a chopping motion.
    I ran over to try and push him out of the room, as I approached he looked over my shoulder and down at the picnic blanket. His eyes widened and his jaw dropped.
    "Where did you get a pie?" He asked.
    "Mom made it just for me, for my party. MY PARTY. Now get out of here you, you...ruffian!"
    "You can't eat that pie by yourself, Mom would be mad you had so much dessert. And your dumb animals can't eat it," the ninja said.
    I gasped.
    "They're not dumb animals! Just because Lady Popper has wings doesn't mean she can't have pie."
    I glanced back at the picnic before resuming pushing the ninja away and saw that Lord Chesterton had fallen over once more, such as it happens with bears who wear hats too heavy for their stuffed bodies.
    The ninja darted around me, too quick for my gloved hands to snatch him back before he picked up my pie.
    Gloved fingers curled into fists. I hit the the ninja.
    "Stop ruining my tea party! Put down my pie," I screamed.
    I shoved him again and the pie dropped from his hands and landed in the middle of the blanket. Syrupy cherry juice and some of the cherries themselves erupted from the pie and splattered my guests.
    Fury took over as I sunk my white gloves into the depths of the ruined red pie, grabbed a handful and flung it into my brother's face.
    Ruin had never felt so satisfying.
    As I watched filling slide down his chin and hair he paused in his retribution as we heard our mother's footsteps on the stairs.

  4. Preeminent Turpitude

    Little did we realize that the peace and quiet of our country afternoon picnic was soon to be rudely shattered. The oncoming malady, of which we had hardly an inkling, though in after thought, had we any forethought, we certainly should have seen it coming as it was the preeminent turpitude of…


    “What? what?”

    “What the hell is that? That’s what.”

    “Which preeminent for turpitude?”

    “Either of them. Both of them. You cannot just incoherently string words together and call it fiction.”

    “I’m not.”

    “You most certainly are. You are simply selecting words that sound a bit complex, at least to you, and laying them down in row until you feel it time for a period. I doubt you know what those words even mean.”

    “Which preeminent for turpitude?”

    “Either of them. Both of them.”

    “You did it again.”

    “Did what?”

    “Those are incomplete sentences. Had you written those down they would have been clauses. Not complete sentences.”

    “I’m speaking not writing. Besides the rules are changing in that regard. Now the point I’m making is…”

    “I suppose you object to malady as well.”

    “I don’t know it depends.”

    “Depends on what?”

    “On whether or not the thing that is coming is, in fact, a malady. Is it?”

    “Is it what?”

    “Is the coming thing a malady?”

    “I don’t know.”

    “What do you mean you don’t know? Is it or isn’t it?”

    “I haven’t written that far. I won’t know what’s coming until I’ve written it.”

    “What? You’re insane. I swear you haven’t the slightest idea how to write a piece of flash fiction.”

    “Oh, is that so?”

    “Yes, I’m afraid it is.”

    “Well fine you finish the damn thing. I’ll fetch the pie from the boot. I know let’s go to the country we can have a go at some flash fiction, make a picnic of it says he. Oh. yes says I. That’ll be good fun, I says.”

    “Fine, I will. And stop mumbling to yourself. It’s that sort of daftness that’s gotten into your writing. Now, let me see. How can I give it a fix? Ah, this is good.”

    … it was only in the vain light of our transcendent succor that…

    367 Words

  5. A Tall Order

    Little did I realize that the peace and quiet of our country afternoon picnic was soon to be rudely shattered. It was naïve of me to believe in peace and quiet, but I didn’t know then what I know now. Knowledge is a tricky thing. You are born not knowing anything, and then you learn about the world through your senses. You learn not to touch the fire, but how do you learn to protect yourself when an accidental inferno surrounds you? What if the fire was always there and you just happen to step in it? Is there any school that teaches not to step in the forest of invisible fire?

    So there I was, in the serene surroundings, the sun-drenched lake with soft shimmering ripples, the towering redwoods wrapping me in their breezy shade. I surrendered my cares to the nature that I trusted completely.

    “Would you please take out the propane stove from the van?” I asked Jerry as politely as I could, measuring, carefully balancing the weight of every word on my tongue. After all, the burden of the last night still loomed over my conscious, and I vowed to make the afternoon peaceful. All I had to do was to stay calm, forget about the last night, and work diligently to make the scrumptious picnic meal that the group, and above all Jerry, would enjoy. Focus was all I needed, and that was my forte. Focus and patience, those were my assets. All I had to do was to invest them wisely, and all will be wonderful.

    “Why do you want to carry a propane stove to the picnic? Not like you are camping for a week.” Jill had asked me yesterday afternoon at the grocery store. “Can’t you just pack a few nibbles and sandwiches, and call it a day?” Yes, that would have been easier and sensible, but I did not want to explain it to her. I just nodded and went about my shopping.

    I chopped fresh carrots and celery and dropped them in the bean pot that was simmering over the stove. Aroma of basil spread around and was carried by the breeze to the lake. “Are there any bears in this area?” I bit my lips and didn’t ask Jerry. No questions, no words, no ire.

    I had almost finished, and there was still enough time before the others arrived.

    “What’s this?” Jerry picked the ladle and peered at the pot. His nostrils flared. His eyes twitched a little. I panicked, “You don’t like it, do you?” The moment I said it, I regretted it. Panic can make you forget the most important survival instincts. I had forgotten my “shut-lip” resolve. The words dropped on Jerry’s ears like kindling. The full-fledged fire roared from his eye and spilled over my shaking arm. Soon the entire woods were aflame in his ire.

    I was so wrong to believe in the peace and quiet. So wrong!

    494 words


  6. Little did we realize that the peace and quiet of our country afternoon picnic was soon to be rudely shattered. We moved into the countryside, two townies recharging our batteries. We found this cottage and were all moved in with a beautiful afternoon in front of us. What better than a quiet picnic.
    I dug out an old blanket and the wicker basket. Rosalind made some lunch from the abundant garden produce.
    We set off for the woods and tromped for what seemed like miles. Finally we pushed our way through the brambles and the gorse and stumbled into this little glade.
    It was picture perfect, like a drawing in a book.
    ‘I’ve made some mushroom and tomato pasta.’ Rosalind opened the basket while I laid out the blanket. ‘And I found some organic ginger beer.’
    ‘Ginger beer?’ I giggled. ‘Bit old school, isn’t it?’
    I took a bite of the pasta. The mushrooms were gritty but ok. She smiled. ‘They looked so fresh, I couldn’t resist.’ I watched her look around. ‘This is beautiful. Like a fairy-tale. You half expect to see a white rabbit appear.’
    I gawped at the bushes behind her head. ‘Or Red Riding Hood.’
    She followed my gaze and I saw her jaw drop.
    The young girl bounced over and took the ginger beer bottle. It was like she hadn’t seen us. Moments later she skipped into the trees.
    Rosalind looked at me, fear crossing her face. ‘The wolf?’
    Instantly the bushes thrashed and the bough of a tree cracked as a gangly and oddly dressed wolf struggled into our clearing. ‘Bloody hell,’ he growled, ‘you got anything to drink?’
    Dumbly I shook my head. Rosalind said, ‘She took it?’
    ‘That wretched girl? Just wait till I get my teeth into her.’ He bounded over to the small gap previously used by Red Riding Hood and disappeared.
    Rosalind looked at me. ‘Should we do something?’
    ‘Like what? Call the police? You tell me how you explain this?’
    Before she could respond, an old lady, weighed down with lace, staggered into the open. ‘You wouldn’t believe how hot this lot is. Anything to drink?’
    We both shook our heads.
    ‘The girl or the wolf?’
    I managed, ‘Girl.’
    She pursed her lips. ‘He know?’
    We both nodded.
    She widened her eyes. ‘Oh dear. There will be blood. At least this stuff,’ she hitched up the lace, ‘is absorbent. Cheerio.’
    ‘Had we better follow?’
    I shook my head. ‘I think we should go home. Has the sky turned purple?’
    She nodded. ‘And the trees? A sort of aquamarine-violet stripe?’
    We picked everything up and headed for the cottage, locking ourselves inside.
    It took us weeks to confess to our new neighbour what we had witnessed and only after we had scoured the press and found no reports of murder and mayhem. He didn’t laugh. Instead he asked, ‘What did you eat?’
    When we told him he nodded. ‘Didn’t they warn you about the magic mushrooms? Stronger than LSD.’
    500 words

  7. The Last Piece of Pi

    Little did they realize that the peace and quiet of their country afternoon picnic was soon to be rudely shattered. We felt bad for them, really. They had their checkered blanket all laid out and large, whicker basket propped in the grass. Whole-wheat sandwiches sat on brilliantly white paper plates and an opened bag of red grapes spilled across the sheet. But unfortunately for them, there wasn’t a cloud in the never-ending blue sky.

    We strolled past the parked car on the edge of the field where the family of merry picnickers gathered and snickered at the B.C. license plate. Yup, they were clueless. Chester jabbed a thumb in their direction. “Should we warn ‘em?”

    I shrugged. “Nah, let ‘em experience Alberta in all its glory.”

    We snickered again and walked on by.

    Fifteen minutes later we trekked to the field again, curious how our picnickers were making out. The sandwiches had vanished and when I squinted, I could just make out a slice of lemon meringue all by its lonesome. Around it hovered two teenage boys about our own ages, a younger girl, and what we presumed to be their dad. They were red-faced about something, and it wasn’t from the sun. Shooting curious glances at each other, Chester and I slipped our hands into the pockets of our overalls and slinked on over to get into hearing distance.

    “3.14159265358979!” shouted the older of the two boys.

    “3.141592653589793238!” countered the girl.

    The father said something we couldn’t quite catch.

    “3.14159265358979...323846264!” yelled the younger boy in triumph.

    Chester and I took the momentary silence as an opportunity to blink at each other. Were they seriously fighting for the pie... with pi?



    Round and round they went, tacking more and more numbers onto the end.

    “Hey, Josh...”

    I turned to my buddy, “Yeah, Chester?”

    “There’s a cloud on the horizon.”

    I looked where he pointed. Sure enough, a fluffy white cloud broke up the blue sky.

    “Five minutes?” Chester asked.

    “I’d say more like three. We better run to your house or we’ll get soaked.”

    The rain came pouring down just as we jogged into Chester’s garage, soaking us as if we’d been standing out in a downpour for hours. We stood under the edge of the roof line, peering out at the dark clouds booming overhead.

    I ran a hand through my wet locks. “Wonder how the pie went.”

    Word Count: 400
    Special Challenge: Does a pi fight in all its geeky detail count?

  8. The Art of Persuasion

    Little did we realize that the peace and quiet of our country afternoon picnic was soon to be rudely shattered. It was supposed to be a reward for my family, a chance to relax together before I was sworn in as Chancellor of the Umbrian Alliance of Planets.

    Of course, we had a security detail assigned to the outing, but I had requested they keep a low profile. When we arrived at the Moon Park we walked away from the Limousine Shuttle, and became a normal family for the next hour or so. It felt so good to be normal, and then suddenly it felt better to have my family under the protection of the best trained and equipped security force that has ever existed.

    It started when the sky turned gray. That meant the emergency shield was activated. Two impacts hit the shield, the noise was deafening, mind-numbing. I saw my wife and kids sink into a shell shock that would require a doctor’s care. Then I saw, security personnel scoop them up and practically dive, into a hole that had opened up in the ground.

    I followed unassisted, I was all too familiar with combat situations. I half smiled to myself with the realization that I had given them orders to protect my family first, and they had actually followed these impractical orders. I also smiled that they had created and hidden an escape plan, right beside where our blanket would be put.

    They were whisked into a transport tube. The loose moon soil, allowed for fast installation of these facilities. They would be safe. I hoped they would be safe. The picnic had been a risk. I knew that, but also believed my family deserved the chance to continue living as normally as possible.

    The security team obviously had an escape plan in case of attack. They had not shared this information with me. I didn’t expect them to, because the more people that know a plan, the more likely it will become known by any attackers.

    I wondered how many people were involved in installing this transport tube. I hoped for my kid’s sake they had all been accurately vetted.

    The transport jerked to a stop underneath of a freighter about to depart from the moon to deliver grain to the military storehouses on Fatworld. We were tucked into a capsule the size of a small mansion hidden inside the oats. We were offloaded four hours later without the crew ever knowing they had transported the future first family.

    From there we were returned to base and the full security team necessary for protecting the most powerful man in this sector of space. The experience taught me to trust my security. It caused me to adjust my policies to spend more on the Department of War. It was a life changing event.

    Until I found out the Commodores had designed the whole charade to bring about that exact reaction.

    493 Words.
    No pie fights here

  9. Love and Picnics

    Little did we realize that the peace and quiet of our country afternoon picnic was soon to be rudely shattered. It was John that noticed the stumbling man approach us. By the time the man reached the top of the small hill we were situated on, he was doubled over dry heaving, chest clutched in pain.

    "You’re drunk again, aren't you Greg?" John said. His face reddened to match the picnic blanket we had spread our lunch on.

    “John, give Greg some water,” I said to him hoping to ease the tension. But John rose to his feet and walked toward Greg, blinded by malice.

    “I’ll give him some water all right,” John replied. He violently took Greg by the back of his skinny neck and rolled him down the hill.

    An agonizing moan escaped the tall, thin man as he cascaded down the hill. I raced toward John to stop the assault, but with a skillful revolution of his shoulder, he disposed of me. I looked at Greg attempting to stand, but the tumble mixed with the alcohol made that task impossible.

    Greg looked back in my direction and managed three slurred words, “I still love…” But John didn’t let him finish and unloaded a fist into Greg’s midsection. A small squeal of pain and quick gasps of air were Greg’s only replies.

    I rushed back to the picnic and grabbed the first thing I saw: a banana cream pie. I reached the two men as Greg was getting to his knees. Again he tried to tell me his message, but again he was stopped after the word love, this time by a loud crack produced by a fist to Greg’s cheek.

    “Stop it! Stop it now John,” I screamed.

    John’s big frame hovered over Greg lying disoriented on the grass. Tears welled in John’s eyes.

    “It’s not his fault he still loves you,” I told John.

    “But Sandra I want you. That was my past. I’m not like that anymore.” John’s tears flowed freely and his sobs escaped. I couldn’t bear the idea of him hurting someone on my behalf, especially not someone I loved. In a furious rancor I flung the pie as hard as I could at him. An explosion of cream, walnuts, and pie crust flew everywhere. John fell to his back gripping his throat. Pieces of pie had become lodged in his esophagus.

    I walked over to Greg. “Are you all right Greg?” I said placing a hand on his shoulder as he got to his knees.

    Greg looked at me, then at John, then back at me with horror. “Sandra, what have you done,” he said. “He has a nut allergy.” His eyes filled with rage.

    “I didn’t know. I’m sorry. I was just trying to protect you. I love y—” Greg’s hands shot to my throat and his fingers began to apply pressure.

    Words: 482
    Special challenge:Maybe???