Monday, April 13, 2015


Welcome back for another round! I hope your April has been fantastic so far, and that it keeps getting better. Go check out the prompt and write something amazing. I know you can.

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 Christy Shorey. Read her winning tale from last week here! Christy Shorey is a writer in Florida, where she lives with her husband and two cats. A librarian by day, she loves stories, and loves to learn how to craft them better, including the class she is currently in about Diversity and Narrative. Once class is done, she will return to any of three novels that are in various stages of their life. A 7-time NaNo WriMo winner, she tends towards novel length works, but loves flash fiction as both a challenge and respite from longer pieces.

She can be found on twitter (@weylyn42), on her blog (, and at a joint website, presenting stories and webcomics by her and her sister (

 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-41 is:

It is not uncommon to get melancholy when it rains.

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Include all five senses, OR all seven colors of the rainbow (ROYGBIV).



  1. Passing Storm
    446 words
    Special Challenge Accepted (BOTH!)

    “It is not uncommon to get melancholy when it rains,” the therapist said, drumming his pencil against his pad.

    "Yellow, legal pad," Laurel thought to herself. She could almost taste yellow, like a burst of sunshine in her mouth.

    “I get so blue. You know, when I walk outside, and I can smell the ozone—that’s what it’s called, right? I can feel the drops on my skin, the tiny hair follicles rising to greet the rain.”

    “It’s called SAD,” the therapist said.

    “And I used to read. Now I listen to the characters in my favorite books. I hear their voices trickling from my boom box—I still have one of those—but the problem is, they don’t sound like how I’d imagine them.”

    The therapist cleared his throat. She heard the tinkle of ice cubes against his glass, and she imagined him picking up the glass, pressing it to his dry lips, and taking a sip. She imagined the glare of the newborn sun, born of the rain, and scattering rainbow spots over his white walls: green, orange, indigo, violet, and red. She was forgetting a few, but couldn’t figure out which ones.

    “Are you ready to talk about the accident, yet?”

    She heard the thunder, and she knew she was premature in her thoughts of the storm’s end. She settled into the couch, rubbing her fingers along the edge of the leather fabric: smooth and soft. She always thought about the accident, but had yet to speak about it. Every day, she woke up in a black world and opened her eyes to a sightless world. In her dreams, she could see. Colors were vivid, dripping their peaceful hues, like a childhood book she had once read.

    “I know it’s stupid and part of denial, but one day I think I’m going to wake up and be able to see.”

    “It’s very common to have these thoughts, even when you know they’re unrealistic.”

    “The sun will come out, and I’ll feel it on my skin. I’ll look up into the sky, and I’ll be able to see birds flying. I’ll see all the colors of the rainbow instead of just imagining them. The blue of the sky. The world is full of colors that I can’t see anymore.”

    “Talking about it helps, Laurel.”

    “Will talking about it help me get my vision back? I don’t think so. I escaped, that’s all that matters. It was just a passing storm,” Laurel said, running her fingers over the couch until she found her purse.

    She stood up to leave the room.

    “See you next week?” the therapist asked.

    “Not likely,” she said, with a laugh.

  2. A Storm in Collar Gap
    492 words - Special Challenge accepted (5 senses)

    It’s not uncommon to get melancholy when it rains. Pitter patter slaps of water on the verandah awning sounded a small tattoo in honor of all the sorrow Jenna Morgan had. The sky flashed brightly from lightning somewhere close behind the house, because the thunder followed within a second. It sounded like the air was ripped open and a mountain fell through the tear.
    Jenna sat on the swing and rocked, hugging Freddie’s favorite blanket to her belly. She should be inside, properly inside, not behind the flimsy screen. A gust of wind whipped rain towards her. The fine mesh broke the fat droplets apart, turning them into a light misting which settled on her face like morning dew. She licked her lips and the taste was oily. The storm was cleaning the sky, taking out residues from the Collar Gap pipeline explosion. She wondered if the rain would wash the contaminants out of the soil as easily, or if the cloying smell of dead and rotting animals and vegetation would continue to drift up from the creek.
    There was a storm the day they got engaged. It blew straight down the valley, catching them as they scurried back to Freddie’s station wagon, well, his Ma’s. They were soaked by the time they got to the car; neither of them cared. Nor did their families who, of course, had known Freddie’s plan, and were waiting back at home to celebrate with them.
    The tear Jenna licked from her lip was salty.
    She’d watched the weather reports from yesterday, when the first warnings of a storm appeared. The weather was so cloying, and the stench from the creek so nauseating, that she had hardly moved outside in the last week. Not since the funeral. Well, the memorial service.
    She’d known Freddie was involved. Before she heard there had been an explosion, before the police arrived at her door, before they told him he was gone. She knew in the way she’d known he was going to propose. The world was complete with Freddie in it, and his departure had fractured everything.
    Some had thought her reaction cold. She’d heard one whispered conversation suggesting the marriage a sham. That wasn’t the case. She was numb. How do you cry when the tears are frozen inside you, when your whole body feels like a block of ice and the warmest sunshine is torchlight long way off on a dark night.
    Thankfully things were being reassembled. She stroked her stomach. Would it be a little Freddie, or an Angela. It was too early to tell. Freddie had wanted at least two of each. That’s why they were in this big old house past the edge of town. Space to build and work and play, with the woods and the creek and the fine view. It was where he’d proposed, said this would be her home, their home.
    Lightning flashed, thunder roared, Jenna wept for her loss.


  3. Word Count 341
    Special challenge accepted


    It is not uncommon to get melancholy when it rains. Easier for me now because of my aches and pains, I’m forty seven but feel ninety. Psoriatic Arthritis has taken me over I’m no longer rolling in clover.

    Every step I take hurts, my bad temper I’m trying not to court. My friends think I’ve gone all haughty since I got married. Oh I wish that were true. My lowest point was when I couldn’t get up the stairs to use the loo, out the back had to do. Thankfully it was just a wee, woe is me.

    I have an appointment at hospital on the twenty first sad but with excitement I think I’ll burst. I’m pinning all my hopes on this Doctor that he or she is going to give me my life back or at least make it better get me back on track.

    I’m working hard to keep my stress levels low apparently it has a big effect on this illness and maybe the reason I got stress at nineteen in the first place. It was not a good time in my life so I can understand this theory or at least relate.

    I seem to be getting a wee bit deaf apparently this is down to my whole body being inflamed. I’m only married two and a half years I feel so sorry for him I’m full of fears. I was well except for psoriasis then no sign of this bad Arthritis. I hope if was him my love light wouldn’t dim.

    My eyes are dry and itchy so now my sight is also a worry. My new love of writing may go into hiding as my hands are sore I’m becoming such a bore. I now try and stop and smell the roses touching their petals, avoiding their thorns my green fingers mourn.

    Wish me luck that I’ll have better days because right now I’m walking around in a painkiller daze. In my mouth a horrible taste I feel like I’m starting to waste.

  4. An act of kindness

    @geofflepard special challenge (see if you can spot them all, tee hee) accepted.

    It is not uncommon to get melancholy when it rains. Richard exited the tube, lifting up his lapels in a feeble attempt to keep dry.
    'Brolly, sir. Keeps the blues away.'
    Richard glowered at the seller, smugly canopied by one of her own products.
    'A fiver.'
    He noticed the grin, the twinkle, the dimpled cheeks and stopped. 'Alright. I... Damn and buggery.' His hand came out empty, 'Some yellow-belied toad has swiped my wallet.' He looked around but only hunched humanity flowed past. No obvious crook. 'If I lay my hands...'
    He started. His fist had clenched round a brolly handle. 'Take it. My old dad always said if you see red when you're blue you know what'll happen?'
    Richard shook his head, making the seller blink from the involuntary shower.
    She sniggered. 'Purple rain.'
    Richard matched her grin. 'Thank you, er..?'
    'I'll bring the money tomorrow, Di. Really.'
    She did a little jig. 'You'd better hope for more rain.'
    The next day was bright sun. For weeks as London sweltered Richard wondered about the brolly girl. Occasionally, when a sharp shower splashed his office window, his heart would beat faster. Those days he'd grab something off the concessions by the Tube station by his office. A bag of oranges, a bowl of violets, some chocolate. The women there teased him. 'They for your girl, Dickie?' 'Stupid, generous sod.' 'Making me green with envy, you are.'
    When a thunder storm broke the searing heat, the city moped. All but Richard. He hurried to exit the sweaty tube, jammed with reluctant pedestrians.
    He almost ran for the corner, his throat tight as he saw a brolly bent against the teeming rain. 'Di. I've been...'
    A man looked up, his face anything but cheery. 'Who?'
    Richard stared. 'There was a girl. She sold me a brolly. Actually she gave it to me....'
    'Yeah. Stupid cow got the sack for that. Nah, I've not seen her in ages.'
    Richard turned away. Opposite the homeless woman to whom he’d given the other treats sat, back against the wall. Her begging cup was half full of water. Richard bent down. 'Here.' He gave her his brolly. As she took it, he tipped out the water, replacing it with a twenty. 'Go well.'
    She woman smiled a gap-filled smile. 'Someone wants you mister.'
    Standing by a door to a shop, a smartly dressed young woman waved him over.
    'You're soaked. You'd better come in.'
    'Go on, get inside.'
    Richard was once again soaked. Di wiped the water from his face. 'I've watched you come past for the last three months. Stopping, asking, and giving that women gifts. I did wonder...'
    He nodded. 'You got the sack for helping me.'
    'Yeah but the lady who runs this shop liked my style and set me up here. Wouldn't have happened without you.'
    'I owe you a fiver.'
    She put a finger to his lips. 'I can think of a better kind of payment.'

  5. Heavy Cloud
    500 words
    by Alicia VanNoy Call

    "It is not uncommon to get melancholy when it rains."

    He says it like they do, with that infuriating patience. Like if he just says it enough, it will finally sink in. Like I'll suddenly realize, Hey, I'm not crazy! It's just the weather!

    Like I'm normal. Like anything about this is normal.

    Except it's not. And we all know it.

    I want to smack that sanctimonious look off his face. Feel those jowls jiggle under the impact of my palm. I want to take the bowl of green apple candy, the sweet-sour fragments that bite my cheeks when I suck them, and smash it through the glass-topped coffee table. I want to take his cravat that smells of cloves and patchouli and wind it so tight around his neck that his watery blue eyes bug out.

    Instead, I just stand up and say, "Sure. Okay. I'll keep that in mind."

    "Next week?" he says.

    And I say sure even though I mean never again and I walk out into the rain.

    The rain. The taptaptapping rain. An endless rhythm on every surface. Taptaptaptaptap... A suicide soundtrack that would pair perfectly with slit wrists, a lonely gunshot, a handful of green pills washed down with a bottle of vodka.

    The mind-numbing, soul-sucking, never-finished rain.

    I turn up my hood, but I'm already wet. I'm always wet. Drowned-rat wet. With my hair plastered, clinging to my neck. My clothes perpetually damp.

    The ride back to the flat is bumpy, swerving. The man next to me leans against the window, asleep. His head has fallen back, steaming the glass with snores from his open mouth.

    I elbow him once, hard, in the ribs, and look the other way when he starts upward, coughing.

    Then I'm standing on the porch, glaring at the horizon smudged by smog and clouds. I look up into the lowering overcast and I open my mouth to scream. But the rain gets in and I can't breathe and all I see is an expanse of falling droplets and I run, stumbling, up the spiral staircase because the lift is broken and I slam my way into the cold flat and fall on the floor and it will
    and I don't remember what the sun feels like.

    They lied about this.

    The advert was all excitement, adventure, we need colonists like you, regular people, salt of the earth. Come be a part of new world, second chance, what could be better than starting over with a clean slate.

    Except the slate is always clean isn't it? Washed by a million on a million on a million drops of rain that never stop.

    They didn't mention rain.

    I pull myself up, my coat puddled on the floor, and crawl over to the sun lamp. I flick the switch and peel my clothing off. Curled -- goose fleshed and white -- thawing under the yellow light, I think:

    Today. Today I'll do it.

    Today the rain will finally stop.

  6. Oh, special challenge accepted.... Senses.

    Sorry I didn't include it.

  7. Emily Clayton
    490 words
    Special Challenge Accepted

    Coffee and Donut

    "It is not uncommon to get melancholy when it rains. As it trickles--" The book hit the wall. "What kind of drivel is this?" I asked my partner-in-crime, Donut. "I requested one of those bookits that would knock the steam from my antennae."

    Donut looked up from the shredded pile of clothes and snorted. "It's called a book, Coffee. You know, I like the names you chose for us: Coffee and Donut. I love how these humans promote their names on large panels. We'll blend in for sure."

    He rooted around, pulling out a shirt with letters on the front. "Look! I found another one. I wonder how much brain juice this has: O-L-D-N-A-V-Y. Old Navy. Oooh, I wonder if it's a secret code. Sounds intriguing." His star-shaped nose wriggled in excitement as he licked the rubbery print, the thick hairy feelers on the tip probing for power. His three eyes clicked in disappointment. "Nothing."

    I slid over to the row of books, inhaling the rich aroma. "Stop licking everything you see, Donut. You're supposed to taste words with your nose."

    "Where'd you learn a silly thing like that?"

    "The girl human in the room down the hall." I pointed past my second hump. "She's got a book stuffed right up to her facial segment. She's using her eye-orbs to learn and her nose to taste the words."

    Donut rotated. "You didn't tell me there was a human here! Absorbing word power, too. Quick! Let's observe her tactics."

    We rolled up our tentacles and used the slime layer to move in stealth. A hissing, like the noise we make in greeting, crept up from behind.

    I squealed. "A darling cat-creature! Doesn't it look just like our pet, Gharttik? It's even arching its body in the welcoming manner." I reached down, stroking the cat's head, and received a razor-sharp scratch in return. "Oh, Donut," I said in dismay, "I don't much care for this creature. Gharttik never does that."

    In the bedroom, we found the girl leaning against the window, legs tucked to her chest. A thick book rested in her taut arms, but her face was nowhere to be seen.

    "You see?" I whispered to Donut. "She's using her nose."

    "But what does a book taste like?" Donut asked.

    I huffed in frustration. "I don't know. When I tried, all I got was a musty stench, the wails of dying trees, and a tickle on the nose from a tiny mite."

    Donut peered around the corner. "What's her secret?"

    Just then the girl uncurled her legs and placed the book on the window seat. She stared out the window, a faint smile flickering across her youthful face. Her thick red spectacles winked at us in the sunlight.

    "That's it!" A twittering gurgle escaped my tubes.

    We stared at one another as the knowledge spread from one silky horn to the other. Where could we find a pair of spectacles?

  8. Fred Yost
    374 words
    Special Challenge Accepted

    Take Out

    It is not uncommon to get melancholy when it rains.” Murphy read aloud as Jade savored the sweet but slightly stale taste of her fortune cookie. “In bed.”
    “Uh huh.” Jade responded distractedly.
    Murphy looked at her with concern. “What’s the matter, Jade? You still worried about that thing with the cops?”
    She turned her attention to her driver. “Yes. No. I don’t know. It’s the job tonight. Something doesn’t feel right.”
    “That’s because it’s raining. You’re melancholy and that’s perfectly normal.” The young man nodded solemnly. “The cookie said so.”
    Jade stood up to start pacing. “Tonight’s the last gig. We split the money and we walk away.”
    Murphy laughed. “You always say that.”
    “I mean it. No more. I think the mob lieutenants are starting to talk amongst themselves, and we’re running out of syndicates to go under cover in.” She turned her back to him. She didn’t want to see his reaction. “You’re staying here tonight. I don’t want none of that ‘killed the last day on the job’ B.S..”
    Murphy grabbed her shoulder, turning her to face him. “I’m not leaving you alone. You could get hurt.”
    Jade smiled sadly as she pointed to the half mended shirt lying on the table, riddled with bullet holes. “No. I can’t.”
    “That’s not the p…” Murphy blinked. “What… what was I saying?” A look of despair crossed his face as he slumped into his chair. “What did you do?”
    Jade picked up his styrofoam cup, inhaling deeply. The sharp smell of his soda covered up the faint odor of the powder. “Hush up, Murph. Just lay down and take a nap.”
    “But you’re…” He trailed off, blinking heavily.
    “This is how it goes. You’ll wake up and I’ll be gone. Your half of the money will be here. You’ll go back to the real world, get a real job, meet real people.” She kissed his forehead, knowing the touch of her lips would be his last waking memory of her.
    She ignored the faint sound of snoring as she walked out the door, one errant tear fighting its way down her cheek. “Maybe someday, when it rains, you’ll think of me. You might even get melancholy. I hear that’s not uncommon.”

  9. The cross to the left.
    by Mark Driskill
    w.c. 500 without title.
    Challenge accepted.
    It is not uncommon to get melancholy when it rains. But today’s events made Mara want to fade into oblivion and disappear forever, like the rain clouds above.
    The splintering wood of the cross that clutched her son’s lifeless body, wore deep grooves into her already furrowed brow. The stench of his rotting flesh mixed with rainwater filled her throat with a sick poisonous taste. Her only son Josiah, had lived as a common thief for nine years, before the Roman authorities captured him sneaking into the Governors palace. She stared incredulously into his ghastly hollow stare. “You stupid boy! I told you they’d find you!” She whispered through the deep raspy fragments of her fading voice.
    Pulling her weary frame up onto her numbing legs Mara glared at the other two bodies. A crowd of women lingered at the foot of the cross at the center, weeping. But for her son and the thief on the right no one stood. A cold wind tore into her throbbing ears, deepening the sense of waste and loss. Was there no one to weep for her only son? Was his life not worth mourning to anyone else?
    All through the execution it seemed that Galilean in the center was the focal point of everyone’s grief and rage. But for her son, wasting away in the mysteriously darkening sky, there was not so much as a tear shed, from anyone except her. Even the soldiers seemed oblivious to his convulsions. The sound of his choking in his own fluids pounded mercilessly on her subconscious. The final dip of her baby's head kept replayed itself over and over. She pressed her weary hand against his cold feet and mumbled about the unfairness of it all.
    Her precious son had adopted a life of crime because he saw no other way to provide for his mother. He wasn't a bad man, just desperate. In a sense he had given his life for her. He was the innocent victim of an evil system that preys on the weak and helpless. For her he had been a savior, a rescuer.
    Looking over at the crowd of women weeping over that Galilean, she felt alone and confused. Her precious son had given himself to save her from a life of poverty and even death. "They should be grieving for My son!" she muttered bitterly, "not some misguided teacher from Nazareth! What good could he have possibly done with his life?"
    Trudging a dark path homeward she remembered something curious that had happened before her son died. He had leaned over toward the Galilean and spoken to him. "My precious son, so unconcerned for himself, must have been trying to console the Galilean." She couldn't make out the words between them. But it seemed after they spoke both of them seemed at peace.
    Upon arriving home, Mara sat staring into nowhere for an hour, wondering if she would ever see her son again. And what about that poor Galilean?

  10. Moments lost, like tears for rain

    It is not uncommon to get melancholy when it rains. Of all the experiences there was something about it that made it hard to recapture, and it always came across flat, whether they tried to recreate it in holo or by sense-chip. Big ticket things like as earthquakes or losing a limb were right on the money - distressingly so - as was boring every day things such as the monotony of waiting in a doctors office listening to a droning patient... to say nothing of exotic sexual acts (but to be fair, that's where the technology had been developed).

    But rain, rain simulated on a planet with its whispering hammer blows, drops that caressed intimately yet were reviled, and the petrichor - oh lord, the petrichor that was an entity and force in and of itself - none of this would be hers again. Her lot was to be stuck here in low orbit terraforming a world she could never walk. The scene playing out below her was too heady with nostalgia and longing, even if the clouds were made of methane and hydrocarbons, so she obscured the veiwports. At times like this, even small victories such as vat-grown and recombined food - such as pangolin and triceratops, two of her favourites - was of little consolation. The thick, succulent steaks were as ash in her mouth, longing for sweet rain to wash them away.

    236 words
    special sensate challenge accepted
    (not sure on what timezone you're in, but I think I made it in on time?)