Monday, December 22, 2014


Welcome back! We are running the contest like normal this week, but the judging may take a bit longer (or not, depending on what Christmas Eve looks like for me and the judge). So we're going to try for results by Saturday at the latest (and Wednesday if we're lucky). :) Join the fun and write us a story! On Dasher! On Dancer!... er, um... Go forth and wow us once again. :)

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 Holly Geely also known as @hollygeely. Read her winning tale from last week here!  Check out her website here. Holly has been under the influence of fantasy and science fiction since she was young. She is a fan of bad puns and bright colours. If she's not cackling her way through a ridiculous story, she might be found playing video games or saving the world from evil (probably the first one).

 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-25 is:

In the beginning, there was only [explosions], [chaos], and a bottle of whiskey.

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Include at least ONE of the following:
A juggling bear
A zombie taco/burrito
An emu



  1. “A true learning experience” by Mark Driskill
    500 words, without bylines
    Challenge accepted

    In the beginning there was only an explosion, chaos, and a bottle of whiskey. My little brother, Juggling Bear, and I stood speechless. Mr. Kramer, our dorm dean, thundered down the hall like a Rhinoceros on fire. “What have you done this time?” Ever since we came to this boarding school from the reservation we’d found ourselves stumbling into situations like this one.
    We tried not to laugh at “The Kramer” standing there in his fluorescent yellow pajamas, groping for consciousness like a zombie, taco in hand, trying to keep the red gooey sauce from running down his elbow. It’s challenging for a retired U.S. Marine to maintain any semblance of dignity in this situation. We all stood there watching the empty whiskey bottle stop spinning while sulfuric green and yellow smoke slithered out into oblivion. Another successful experiment. Or was it?
    Soon the Kramer finally returned to himself. Every hair on his crew cut standing at attention, with taco held at ease behind his stiffened backbone, while his belly went on maneuvers out from under his shirt, he barked at the two of us, jowls shaking in the night air. “Boys, you get this mess cleaned up, double time, and file your trouble making selves into my office, ASAP! Got it?”
    Later that morning, we stood at attention in the Kramer’s office. Having cleaned up and put on his camo’s and Army Surplus helmet with Baton in hand, he looked significantly more intimidating.
    For a few dead moments he paced militantly back and forth, swatting his leg with his baton. Then he spoke. “Boys, how long have you been with us here at E.M.U.?”
    (It stands for Edgewater Military University. It’s a place for troubled boys to “Learn how to live responsibly.” It must have worked because we were pretty much held responsible for whatever catastrophes occurred here.)
    “Four months, Sir!” I stammered.
    “That’s right! And in those months, what have you learned?”
    I groaned as Juggling Bear piped up.
    “Whiskey bottles make great cannons, if you know what you’re doing!”
    Do you know how hard it is to frown and grin at the same time? I do. It’s almost impossible to do without hurting yourself.
    The Kramer’s face glowed blood red, while basketball sized sweat beaded on his porcine head. Juggling Bear continued. “I've learned that…..
    ….skunks can’t survive in the deep freeze.”
    ….cooked cat poop is hard to get out of a microwave.”
    ….vans can’t run on Kerosene.”
    “That’s enough young man!” Kramer’s Baton cracked across his cherry wood desk. “Are you telling me that after four months, you have learned nothing of any substance?”
    Quickly I spoke up. “Sir, we’re trying to learn more important things here, I promise.”
    Kramer wearily, but hopefully, asked, “What are you trying to learn here son?”
    “I’m, uh…well, I’m working on the effects of …uh well…”
    “Speak up boy I don’t have all day!”
    “I’m experimenting with uh, well, t-tacos sir. I expect my results to be in very soon.”

  2. A Study of Everything

    500 words
    special challenge accepted

    ‘In the beginning there was only chaos, explosions and a bottle of whiskey.’

    Dave blinked. Quite a way to begin an essay. Then again, the student who had penned this particular paper had also once bought a live emu into class just to illustrate a point. What the point was, nobody knew, as the bird took it upon itself to wreak havoc with Dave’s laptop and the class descended into hysteria. The things a teacher had to put up with.

    Dave shook himself and went on reading.

    ‘After considerable research into the matter, I have come to the conclusion that only a juggling bear can have been responsible for the placement of the planets and galaxies we are currently aware of. Nothing else can explain why things are so damn far apart.”

    Okay. Different. There had to be a point. Best to keep reading.

    ‘The universe is a random, random thing full of random, random shit. The freak popularity of the Kardashians being case in point. Entropy is rife, rhyme and reason have taken a holiday and logical thought died out centuries ago.’

    Give it a chance, give it a chance. Keep reading, Dave, you’re a good teacher, keep reading.

    “I believe — again through extensive research* — that mankind is destined for a sticky end within the next two millennia. It cannot be a coincidence that so many zombie movies came out all at the same time. Hollywood clearly has the inside track on something and is trying to warn us. Personally I think tacos are the next threat. Whether possessed or zombified, I am currently unsure but mark my words, they’re out there. Waiting for us to slip up. They have patience and time is on their side. They’ll overwhelm us in weeks. Whether anyone apart from myself has noticed this is doubtful.’

    Dave glanced at the notation at the end of the page.

    ‘*I have watched so many zombie films that I can’t possibly list them all here. Refer to my Netflix history for further details.’

    He snorted. That was new. Never before had a student cited Netflix as a research portal. Skipping and speed reading, Dave made it to the last page.

    ‘In conclusion I am confident in stating that there is no explanation for anything. Shit happens and humans tend to be in the middle of it when it does. Life just kind of goes on.* Please accept this as a true and heartfelt analysis of life, the universe and everything.’

    Dave’s breath caught in his chest as he read the final notation.

    ‘*Life goes on for everyone. But not for me. I know I’ll never pass this class and I’ve given up trying. Hopefully this will at least make you smile, Professor. If I can do that then maybe I’ll have achieved something in my life after all. Thanks for trying with me. Goodbye.’

    The paper slipped from Dave’s fingers as he reached for his phone, praying he wasn’t too late to avert a tragedy.

    (Sorry if this is posted twice - computer troubles)

  3. Foy, d.b.

    Word Count: 475
    Special Challenge Accepted

    “How Uncle Vern Found Work”

    “In the beginning, there was only me, your aunt Sulkie, and a bottle of whiskey.”

    “Vern!” The needle and yarn drop to Aunt Sulkie’s lap, and she pegs her eye round as an egg on Uncle Vernon. He sits in the rocking chair and all of us, we’re huddled on the floor by his feet like rabbits in a hutch. Even Bub, who’s big enough to help Papa pick off the cougars, pretends he’s only whittlin' arrows while he listens. Uncle Vernon lifts his hands to his chest. They’re meaty and scarred from all the times his chickens been mean spirited.

    “Well, that’s the ugly truth, Dearest.”

    “Little pitchers.” Her mouth – it looks like the crack in the log by my end of the mattress - speaks icy words. She jabs her forehead toward Nida and me, as we’re the youngest of the nieces and nephews listening – Baby doesn’t count cuz he’s eatin’ scraps we left on the floor for Bones and he don’t care anyway. I squeeze Nida’s hand and we grow smaller; “little pitchers” usually get banished to bed and the dark corner out of earshot and warmth.

    “They’re fine,” Uncle winks his blue marbles at us. “Where was I?”

    “You needed work,” our voices say in unison.

    “Right, so not even a piss pot to the Baumgartner name and no work to speak of. I’d been lookin’ for nigh on a month after we was hitched with no luck and that’s about when the circus come into the valley. Henson Brothers’ Freak Show, they called themselves an they hardly had an opening act. A bear jugglin’ oranges and a midget what rode an emu – biggest bird you e’er seen – and that was it.”

    “Vern, you gotta tell ‘em what a proper circus is.” Aunt Sulkie says, her
    needles clickclickclicking.

    His fingers draw elephants, emus, and contortionists out of the firelight and dance them before our eyes. In my eternal soul, I know a “proper circus” must be the most fantastic thing in the known world.

    “An there was an ad up at the post sayin’ Henson Brothers was lookin’ for freaks for hire. They’d pay good too. A course, I signed me up an told your aunt ta come watch me perform. Now I didn’t say in what...”

    One of Aunt Sulkie’s eye brows arches like Bones when he’s seen a stray and that makes Uncle’s smile beam all the brighter.

    “So she sets an watches the show, strainin’ her neck tryina find me and can’t. Afterward, she says, ‘Vern, I couldn’t for the life of me find you in all that mess. Which one was you?’”

    “An I says to her…”

    He leans down and we huddle close, eyes wide as mountaintop sky. “‘Didn’t you see no bearded lady with a nice bosom and long black skirt?”

  4. Christmas Joy

    In the beginning, there was only christmas, children, and a bottle of whiskey. The spilled fifth set us free.

    The farmers hide in their barn. They fire rifles at our number -- like that will stop us.

    Together we are strong. Our rage grows as the leader makes us wait for reinforcements.

    It drives me insane. I must rip my antlers into the enemy. The thought of their tangled bodies fills me with joy.

    An emu cuts to the front of the line. Rage fills me. No pampered zoo exhibit will beat me to revenge. Our herd suffered too long on this tree farm.

    I move to pass the emu but the red nose orders me back. He is leader, so I submit.

    When the charge is called we race to the fortress. My hoofs dig into the soil as we close the distance. A flash of pain. My hind leg dangles from a bi-pedal’s shot — that won’t stop us.

    160 Words
    Challenge Accepted

  5. Thank You
    By Anna Elizabeth
    wc - 330
    Challenge Accepted

    "'In the beginning, there was only explosions, chaos, and a bottle of whiskey.'

    That was how my dad saw it anyway, as you know every year he'd get all the children, cousins, and eventually the grandchildren together to go camping, and tell stories round the camp fire. Something about getting back to nature, escaping the normalities and routine of life. Dad was always in his element there, his first year acting classes at Tafe really shining through. When I was younger I loved those cool spring nights, I'd invite friends, and listen intently to stories I'd heard many times before.

    It was just that one line, about the beginning of everything, and that one bottle of whisky, which told us all it was soon time for bed. I remember one year though, I must have been fourteen, I broke the silence which had settled after he'd finished that first line with:

    'Why a bottle of whisky?'

    Then he said something to me which I've never forgotten, 'Why whisky you say? All the crazy, deadly and just down right wacko which call Australia home needed to have come from somewhere. I came into this world because of a soon to be empty bottle of whisky and two glasses, look what that did to me. I'm perfectly normal but I know I'm part crazy and that's half the fun.'

    That's how I want to remember him, always excited about something, thinking up impossible inventions which would never have made it in the real world, but to him they made sense. So eventually, we would too. His wild hair giving him the air of a mad scientist.

    He really liked Emus, they were in the weird category he'd filed himself into. A large bird who can't fly, but makes it work in this strange place. I loved him for that."

    I looked up at the hall of people, my eyes now damp with tears.

    "Goodbye Dad. And thank you. Thank you for everything!"