Monday, March 30, 2015


Welcome back! I can't believe March is almost over. I feel like the year just started. I'd really love to stop time so I can get a few things done. (Of course, I'd have to stop it when I wasn't at work and after the kids had gone to sleep for the night...) Anyway, hopefully you can find/make the time to check out the prompt and write us a story! 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. (Allowable alterations listed below)
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 DB Foy. Read her winning tale from last week hereFoy S. Iver is an aspiring author, poet, and flash fictioneer. She enjoys reading the dark and twisted but every vulture needs gliding in sunlight so feel free to express unremitting joy. This very moment (as far as you know) she’s pounding away on the keyboard trying to get 4 stories and a novel to cooperate. She lives in the Shenandoah Valley but in her dreams, she’s climbing the Blue Ridge Mountains. Follow her on Twitter (@fs_iver) and keep up with her journey on the website (

 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-39 is:

This was neither the [time] nor the [place] for his [antics].

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Sneak an emotion-noun combo into the story (example: "angry waffles"). Bonus points if you give me more than one.



  1. The Last Straw
    450 words
    Special Challenge Accepted

    This was neither the time nor the place for his antics. Lines were being practiced on the stage. Kids flitted around like anxious butterflies. My daughter sat in the glum corner.

    “Where’s your father?”

    “He took the happy juice, again,” she said, without looking up at me. “He
    forgot my costume.”

    I sighed. My tired feet weighed a thousand pounds from a double shift. He had one job, to bring Caroline’s costume to school, and he’d failed like he had a dozen times before.

    “Is he here?”

    “Outside, with Victor. Mom, how can I be Juliet without my costume?”

    “Go talk to Ms. Harrison.”

    I knew I didn’t have thirty minutes to get up the mountain and back. Caroline’s eyes were stained red from too many tears as she went to track Ms. Harrison down. A seething bull settled inside me, ready to gore Darnel. I’d given him so many chances, and he kept disappointing me —a record constantly on repeat. And now, he’d shattered his daughter’s dream like he had the cracked window in our lonely bedroom.

    Darnel was out on the school’s quad with Victor. He was dancing around, a raving lunatic, and I knew he’d taken more than just happy juice.

    “What’s he on?” I asked Victor, as Darnel tried to kick up his heels and belly flopped onto the firm green lawn.

    “I’m not sure,” Victor said. “Honestly I’m surprised he even made it here without running off the side of the mountain. Caroline was something else. Mad as a tick. She yelled at him in front of everyone. Told him she wished he was dead. Didn’t faze him one bit either.”

    Bones ached, and I shifted my legs trying to find a comfortable position, having stood all day at the diner. Low on tips too, and I needed to pay for Caroline’s senior trip still. I was bone tired of coming home to find Darnel having spent the money on booze and drugs. And the lying. That was the worst of it. He wove tales with a dishonest thread. I couldn’t even catch a glimpse of who he used to be. The man I fell in love with all those years ago—he didn’t exist anymore.

    I reached into my pink apron, and I pulled out fifty dollars, a good chunk of the day’s tips. I settled the money into Victor’s hand and caught his eye.

    “Take him down to Bradford. I don’t want to see him again.”

    “What’ll you tell Caroline?”

    “Leave it up to me.”

    I turned my back on Darnell, and walked away from the man I had once known. Caroline wore the color of hope when the curtain rose.

  2. Not Ready Yet
    Word Count: 500
    Special Challenge Accepted.

    This was neither the day nor the time for her craziness. Mia needed this to go well but she was nervous that her thoughts were going to ruin everything.

    "Come on," she told herself, "just stop worrying. It's going to be OK."

    She took a deep breath. Jordan was walking up to her door, looking amazing as usual. Mia quickly ran out before she could change her mind.

    "Hi," she said timidly, fighting the urge to run back into the house.

    "Hi," his face beamed with an excited smile.

    Her heart sank a little. She could already see he had high expectations for this date. She feared she could not live up.

    "Are you ready to go, or do you need a minute?"

    "I think I'm good," she said, surprised he thought to ask.

    As he walked her to his car she counted her steps, mouthing the numbers, but quickly stopped when she noticed him looking at her. She made a mental note to count in her head next time. When he opened the door for her she was taken aback by what she saw. His seat had a new plastic cover on it and there was a bottle of hand sanitizer in the cup holder. She got in and situated herself. He smiled when she used the sanitizer.

    "Off we go," he said, as if he was giving her a warning. She felt very relaxed with him. He seemed to have put a lot of thought into this date.

    When they arrived at the restaurant he held the door for her, being very cautious to always leave a wide gap between them. Mia looked around and immediately knew that this was a huge mistake. The restaurant was packed and very loud. She started to panic, fists clenched at her side. She didn't know if she could do this. The hostess brought them to their table. She was relieved that they were in a back corner away from most of the crowd. Jordan gave her a nervous look as a large group was moving towards them. They sat down at the tables right beside them, the children sitting closest to her.

    Mia tried to calm herself. "It's OK. No need to freak." Then, to her horror, the littlest child sneezed in her direction. She immediately closed her mouth, the urge to vomit strong. Panicked thoughts of death and disease filled her mind. She was going to lose it. Jordan seemed to pick up on her distress right away.

    "Let's go," he said as he reached for her hand but then pulled back.

    "Just get me out now." She was having trouble breathing. She put out her hand, he grabbed it and pulled her out of the crowd. Finally outside, she took a deep breath.

    "Are you alright?"

    "I need to get home."

    Jordan nodded and drove her back.

    He walked her to the door, she quickly said goodbye and hurried inside closing the dangerous world out.

    She wasn't ready yet.

  3. ‘For Everything there is a Season’

    496 words - special challenge accepted

    This was neither the time nor the place for his antics, so Siobhán slapped his leg.
    “Stop it, Paul,” she said, in an angry whisper.
    Paul rubbed his thigh, lowered his head a little and looked at her through long dark lashes.
    “Are you a grumpy pumpkin?” he asked.
    Siobhán clamped her lip between her teeth to prevent a smile forming.
    “I see you trying to smile,” Paul said.
    She kept her mouth tightly shut and glared at him. He tickled her side, and her giggle escaped. It was a small sound, nearly contained, but audible to the row in front of them. A woman in dark grey tweed twisted round, pointedly placed a finger to lips, and then turned back. The rustle of movement made someone else turn round and a small wave of disturbance flowed down the pews, like ripples in a dark pond.
    Paul watched it, his shoulders rocking from suppressed chortles. He placed a hand on Siobhán’s thigh and rubbed it affectionately. Without looking she placed her hand on his, and squeezed gently.
    They stood for the hymn and Siobhán wiped a tear away. Paul put an arm around her and she rested her head on his shoulder. He kissed her head. The curtain drew round the coffin and there was a moment of silence for reflection or prayer.
    The strains of a Pink Floyd song fell from the speakers bolted to the walls and a few half laughs from the mourners recognised the deceased’s favorite band. Paul smiled, and dropped his arm from Siobhán’s shoulder to her hip. She didn’t move, he slid it further and squeezed her backside.
    “For pities sake, stop it.”
    “I can’t help it,” Paul said. “I saw what you put on under your dress. And you know I always like you in a little black dress.” He squeezed again.
    “Well, you’ll just have to control yourself. This is a funeral, if you hadn’t forgotten.”
    Paul left his hand in place. The family were filing out as the mournful singing of Clare Torry reached its climax. Faintly a line of spoken dialogue echoed in the hall, and a daughter of the deceased broke into loud sobs just at the exit. The sound of her crying faded amid a hubbub of voices as the other mourners filed out. Siobhán and Paul were in the back row, not quite the last to arrive, but they would be the last out.
    “You know, Gordon never was afraid of dying,” Siobhán said.
    “Yeh,” Paul agreed. “And he was a randy git. Bet he’d approve of us making use of the toilet cubicle before the next funeral comes in.”
    Siobhán dug an elbow into his ribs. “The answer to that was no the first time you asked me. In forty-eight years it hasn’t changed.” She discreetly placed her hand against his crotch. “Your happy soldier will just have to wait until we get home. If your blue tab lasts that long.”


  4. What Maisie said next...

    @geofflepard. 494 words special challenge accepted.

    This was neither the time nor the place for his antics.
    'How old?'
    'Dad's forty two, mum.'
    'And when do forty two year olds stuff fries up their noses.'
    'Hungry nose needs feeding.'
    'We have a plane to catch. Sorry I'm late.'
    As they headed for the security, Maisie pushed her wheeled bag. Each step it skewed left or right.
    Her mother groaned. 'It would be easier if you pulled it.'
    'But it's a sad bag, mum. I need to watch it for warning signs.'
    Martha looked at her husband who was trying to ease the last piece of potato from his nostril. 'Warning signs?'
    'Those bully bags keep bumping her. She's been self-harming.'
    Maisie looked up as her mother put a restraining hand in her daughter's shoulder. 'And how does your bag self-harm?'
    Maisie looked at her mother, a world-weary expression on her face. 'That's what I'm watching out for.' She began to push the bag again, narrowly avoiding another passenger.
    'Did you know the school was been teaching self-harm?'
    'Dad told me.'
    'You did?'
    'When the angry knife cut his finger.'
    'The angry knife? Am I going to regret asking why the knife was angry?'
    'It was being used for an inappropriate purpose.'
    'Thank you, Maisie but I think it's your father's turn.'
    'He used the f-word...'
    'Yes, Maisie I expect he did.'
    'He didn't want to tell you. It was all because of the stubborn string...'
    'Maisie, would you like some chocolate?'
    'Please mum.'
    'Well, let your father tell me what was going on between these surprisingly emotional inanimate objects and I will buy you some.'
    'I couldn't find the scissors.'
    'So you used a knife and what?'
    Duncan held up a bandaged finger. 'I wondered when you'd ask. It's been like this for three days.'
    'I've been very busy at work.'
    'You've been nowhere else except work. When did you last come home?'
    'Don't turn this onto me. I'm not the one teaching our daughter things she doesn't need to know about for ten years.'
    'You're not the one teaching our daughter anything except perhaps that chocolate bribery is acceptable as a tactical strategy.'
    'What's a tactical strategy, dad?'
    'It's something that you'll develop during puberty, Maisie. Like spots and an overactive sigh gene.'
    'That’s not helping Duncan. Can we go back to self-harm?'
    'I sliced open my finger and needed stitches. Maisie said Penny's elder sister cut herself deliberately so I explained.'
    'Show her what was in the package, dad.'
    Duncan looked up at his wife. She titled her head as he pulled a small box from his pocket. 'I was saving this for dinner...'
    She opened it carefully and gasped. An emerald and sapphire encrusted ring glinted back at her. 'Happy tenth anniversary, darling.'
    Maisie applauded as they kissed. Over the tannoy their names were called, demanding they go immediately to gate 17.
    Martha looked at her watch. 'Fuck, is that the time?'
    'Mummy, you said....'
    'NOT NOW.'

  5. When someone asks if you are a god, you say-

    This was neither the dimension nor the planet for his preaching. But there he was, telling the Fae about how they must repent their wicked ways and embrace him as the embodiment of God.

    How did I get assigned such an idiot for a partner? We're supposed to cataloging the culinary methods of these people; instead I get the jerk who thinks just because we come back from the dead that we're deities.

    Things I've learned from Experience: If you keep telling people you're a god, sooner or later they demand proof. That evidence often involves a horrific demise. Sure, the times they take you at face value are wicked fun, but being tortured to death gets old. I still can’t eat s’mores since being burned at the stake by the tranquil inquisition. And I still have trouble believing my left arm is back after it was put through that optimistic meat grinder.

    But there's Ehtisham, trying his slight of hand techniques to prove he's immortal. The Fae are gathered around him trying to figure out how he got their card out of the remorseful deck. These creatures can do real magic, yet he’s trying to trick them.

    Worse, it’s working. Soon he’s being lifted above their heads and celebrated. And oh goody, the nymphs like me too. Things always take a turn for the worst when the naked cuties favor you.

    And now I’m being tied up with shame vine. Great, that’s what I need. Naturally, the nymphs work for someone who objects to Ehtisham claiming to be a god.

    “Ladies. I made no such claims, so how about you let me go?”

    A gorgeous woman with enthrallment eyes and rage hair leans so close I can tell what she’s smelled in the past few minutes. She stares in my eyes, we share a connection, then I feel the passion dagger enter my kidney.

    Oh man, not again.

    She pulls the dagger out and snacks on my vital to see what reaction I give. I go for broke and to kiss her.

    In retrospect, that is likely the wrong action. My mind is already wandering when I hear my legs being broken.

    Then she appears. The lady Morgan Le Fay herself. I try to bow, but that’s not happening at the moment. Her gaze rips my skin, but then she turns it against my partner.

    “The visitors from the bureau.” Her violet hair enchants what’s left of me. “Those who believe being resurrected allow them to behave poorly.”

    My heart pops into my throat. She shouldn’t know about that.

    “Take them to the torment factory.”

    We are whisked through the air to a rocky area of her realm where we are thrown into a pit.

    “I really hate you,” I say to Ehtisham.

    “I know.”

    The Fae pour sand around us to where only our necks stick out.

    Then they leave.

    Then the ants come.

    “They’re inventive,” I say respectfully before the bites start.

    495 Words

  6. Coup Detente

    This was neither the time nor the place for his dragons. Two summers at the White House, and we were finally invited into the Oval Office. Granted, I was smushed up against the wall behind forty other high school volunteers, behind a hundred journalists and VIPs; but it was the OVAL OFFICE. They wanted us to witness the signing of some treaty or other, which was a big deal, and Asher needed to leave those dragons at home.

    “Antoinette wore her rabbit’s foot,” said Asher, going all grumpy toast.

    “A rabbit’s foot isn’t even on the same planet as dragons,” I said. I whumped my left elbow into his side and hoped it hurt.

    But Asher just burst into his really loud, utterly humiliating, half-howling, half-snorting laugh. I imagined digging a giant hole in the blue carpet and shoving him in. And then maybe jumping in after him and pulling the carpet over top of us, so no one would ever see him (or his dragons), and no one, especially not the President, who was only thirty-six years old and had Bradley Cooper’s eyes, not that I’d noticed, would ever think to tie my name to Asher’s.

    A terrible thought hit. “You didn’t bring the dragons anyway, did you?”

    “You don’t see them, do you?” he countered, avoiding my eyes.

    My own eyes were small and kind of squinty, like Taylor Swift’s might be if she bought her makeup at CVS. Despite their unfortunate size, though, my eyes were unlikely to miss Asher’s blazing trio, and, panicking, I scanned the room.

    “Gotcha!” And back came Asher’s awful laugh. I dug my toes into the carpet because, who knows, maybe my combat boots could make that deep hole happen.

    Meanwhile the President was droning on about something or other. I couldn’t really hear anything, except a random word now and then. “Our hopeful steeples,” it sounded like (might have been “noble peoples”? I guess that would make more sense), and “historic moment,” and, I think, “all humankind.” Asher’s cringeworthy laugh drowned out the rest.

    Then the actual signing must have happened, because everybody started clapping, and the room practically caught fire with all the camera flashes. Asher and I clapped too; I tried to look proud and intelligent, just in case a photographer needed a pic of a regular, small-eyed girl in the throes of history.

    Except then the room caught actual fire in waves of green and blue and a massive explosion that flung all the people in front of us to the floor. Asher and I, shoved further against the wall but still standing, stared in horror at our President, who was frozen in a handshake with a ten-foot-tall green alien-type creature, with what was clearly a laser gun pointed at his (beautiful) eyes.

    “Asher!” I said in a fierce whisper.

    “Duh,” he said.

    Turns out this was both the time and the place for my new boyfriend’s dragons. And this time, we both laughed.

    496 words
    Challenge: yes, TWICE!

  7. Served Cold
    Special challenge accepted
    Word Count 299
    (apologies inspiration evaded me but wanted to write something this is it)

    This was neither the time or the place for his antics. Verbal emotional acrobatics ensue as he ducks and dives in full histrionic drama queen mode. He didn’t, she did, and wait till I tell you jumping through hoops like no-ones business. It would be comical if it didn’t happen on a week in week out basis.

    I don’t know how he manages working on such a high level of stress constantly. As Fashion Advisor to the stars I suppose his column requires a certain amount of urgency to get in before everyone else with the latest style. He has often told me as a humble typist of his much admired work and lacking in all sense of personal style I would not have an understanding of such matters. I didn’t remind him that in a poll of people who’s fashion advice you should and must follow he has come last three years in a row, I’m not stooping to his snivelling diatribe.

    I bow and pander to his ever growing needs smugly content in the knowledge that when I find my much coveted job as a serious journalist which is in the pipeline, I have photographs of the most unforgiving outfits of his that he thinks have been destroyed. They somehow will accidentally find a way into my last column a printing error or such like.

    Ah my naughtiness and happiness gauge will reach a new high that day. My angel on my good side is sighing and despairing but as per usual the little devil wins. I feel no shame I am after all part of the fashion industry which is a notoriously bitchy arena. I can hear him now asking to speak to the organ grinder not the monkey, his comeuppance is nigh. I can’t wait.