Monday, May 18, 2015


Welcome back! We've got a versatile prompt today that gives you a lot of freedom. I can't wait to see what you make of it! Have at it!

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 (exclusive of title)
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
8. Only one entry judged per round. If you write/post more than one story, you need to indicate which you would like judged. If you fail to indicate, it will be the first one posted.

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 Dave Park. Read his winning tale from last week hereDave (D. E. Park) spends his spare time writing flash and micro fiction, and just attempting to get enough sleep. He’s a first-generation computer nerd (older than the internet), a lifetime devourer of SF&F (loser geek), even a comic book fan (three strikes!). He actually hasn’t been actively writing for very long (you can't tell?) He lives in Chicagoland with his wife Annie. Follow him @parkinkspot and check out his writing blog at

 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-46 is:

[Crimes] are usually [more shocking] because of [unusual settings] and [the previous behavior] of [the criminal].

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Include at least one character who is not an adult.



  1. Heels and Taboos
    Word Count: 465
    Special Challenge Accepted

    “Sexual acts are usually more shocking because of taboos and have nothing to do with the experience of the person.” I’m sick of her voice, the know-it-all tone that won’t accept criticism or contradiction. She will only wait, for a moment, for my agreeing nod.

    I’m not sure what will happen if the nod never comes, but I’m sure I won’t like it.

    She made me leave my shoes on the side of the road, my red penny loafers Nan had bought me for my sixteenth birthday. She told me only children wore heels that short and she didn’t associate with children. She forced me to leave them next to the shoe store and blow three months allowance on uncomfortable tall heels instead.

    My heels click along the cobblestone carefully now. I balance listening to her with not catching the heels in a crack of the sidewalk. It’s difficult.

    She, on the other hand, floats along, continuing her comments like they are gospel. “So it doesn’t really matter if you’re a virgin as long as you do something daring.”

    My ankle curls, soft skin scrapes the cobblestone. I wince but barely pause in my stride to adjust the heel. She wouldn't wait for me anyway, probably. “What do you mean daring?”

    She looks back at me then and I cheer inwardly that she did not witness my near fall; I am floating now too, just as cool and calm. But her eyebrows rise at my question and I feel like I’m sinking below them, a shame rides up my spine that I cannot explain.

    My face must be as red as my abandoned penny loafers.

    “You know,” she manages to make the whisper ring along the street. “Mouth and butt stuff.”

    I have no idea what she was talking about but an image of Jimmy Chen holding a stick and poking my backside comes to mind. “Right…”

    According to her dramatic sigh, my uncertainty must be transparent. “Oh come on, Jamie. You’re so…. bawdy.”

    That word does not mean what she thinks it means. Words are my thing, and if anything, she’s the vulgar one, talking about butts and mouths right outside the shops.

    Her hair whips around like a shampoo commercial as she turns away from me to continue down the sidewalk. She was wrong about something and it thrills me. I almost call her out on it but then I notice the boy inside one of the shops rubberneck her as we walk by.

    I want to be rubbernecked. I want to be a cool sixteen year old that knows what taboos are and how they relate to Jimmy Chen, I want to be bawdy and have hair like a shampoo commercial; so, I nod and continue to follow her along, heels clicking.

    1. Depressing... but extremely well written, asgardana.

    Word Count: 213
    Special Challenge Accepted

    “Movies are usually X-rated because of sex and violence.”

    “Of course, Luke," said Matt, wrinkling his nose, wondering where his twin brother was going with this. "Ain’t nobody don't know that."

    “But make ‘em cartoons… animations… Cute, fluffy animals gets away wid mayhem ‘n’ moider!”


    “OK… So here's wad I got in mind... A remake of Billy the Kid… only this time he really is a young goat!"

    No response.

    "Or The Hound of the Baskervilles: The Early Years, yeah? When he's a ickle wickle puppy?"

    A blank stare from Matt.

    "OK, OK... Howz about dis one? A chick flick... but with real baby chickens! Uh? Uh? Whaddya say?"

    “I think you’s losin’ da plot, Luke!”

    “Hey! I’m jus’ pitchin’ an idea here. I ain’t got round to thinkin’ about no plot yet.”


    “So, whaddya think?”

    “Honestly, bro? Ain’t gonna woik.”


    “Uh-uh. No way.”

    Luke’s lower lip began to tremble.

    “Woah!” said Matt, “don’t go throwin’ your toys outta da buggy!”


    "No, Luke! No,no,no! Don't you go layin' no 'Bully' card on me!"


    Approaching footsteps. Matt knew he had to take action.

    "WAA... WAA... WAAAAHH!"


    "WAA... WAAAAHH!"

    "Hey, hey, hey! Calm down, Luke! Hush now, Matt! Jeez! I'll be so-oo glad when youse two quits teethin'!"

  3. Drat! I knew I would forget to change the word count to 214.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Emily Clayton
      321 words
      Special Challenge Accepted

      The Colour of Love

      Love letters are usually intriguing because of unusual settings and the mysterious behaviour of the writer. I came to that conclusion after a fruitful discovery one Sunday night last month.

      It was dark, almost full night, and the rich shadows danced their way across my brow. My younger brother flashed a moon-splashed grin and tiptoed beside me. He shared my curiosity, my passion for adventure. There was only so much one could do on a countryside sheep farm.

      We were in stealth mode, and we watched a stranger open the door to the shed and slip inside. A familiar nightly action, one I'd detected a fortnight earlier when scuff marks, caked in red coastal mud, appeared on the floor. We were nowhere near the ocean.

      The stranger, in a long black cloak and tattered boots, headed straight for the scrolled oak writing desk in the corner. A pause. A rip of paper. The snap of a soft hanging light. Most unusual. My strange guest had never done that before, typically pausing only to drop off a stack of letters and pick up a stack tied with light blue ribbon.

      I saw the hood snap back, long honey-hued hair spilling across the folds. I watched her bring a black glove to her milk-bathed face, watched anguish morph her features. Grief and horror, that's what I saw. The top letter, tied with pale red ribbon, fell from her trembling hands. Tears blurred the ink, the dusty wood, splashing like rain onto a desiccated desert land.

      She stumbled back, fled headlong into Robert. Opened her mouth to emit an eerie, bone-shattering howl, "Aaaahhhhhhoooooooooo!" I'll never forget that sound. Like a wolf, only scarier. Bloodcurdling. She disappeared around the corner, the flap of her woolen black cloak echoing long afterwards in my tender, startled ears.

      We shared a glance. Descended upon the letter.

      A single handwritten line. "Your life or Adam's: you can't have both."

  5. Placement Opportunities
    Amberlee Dawn
    497 words

    “Human trafficking crimes are usually easier for people to ignore because they happen in “other places” and by the perverted preferences of “those kind of men!”

    Anat’s hand crept to her forehead and began slow circular movements as her husband’s volume began rising. Third time this week. People were going to stop inviting them for dinner if he kept this up.

    “Paul,” she murmured.

    “That’s the problem, isn’t it? You think it doesn’t actually matter!” Red began creeping up his face and little flecks of spit began to fly.

    “Paul.” A little louder this time.

    “It’s been eradicated on Earth, yes. But how can we possibly call this a free world when we know that there are children your daughter’s age being sold into slavery every day on Second Tehran?”

    Anat’s eyes whipped over to the nine year old in question. Her little body trembled as she tried desperately to meld her body with the chair.

    “Little girls. Full-term pregnancies. Going back to their brothels and playing with dolls because they’re still children!” His voice was rasping and sweat was sprouting from his temple.


    “What!” His eyes were like the toy soldiers he kept hidden in the back of the closet.

    “The flowers are wilting.” A pointed look.

    Their hosts, who could have been carved from marble until this point, snapped quizzical looks her direction. A gentle smile for the pair, and the pointed look returned to its original destination.

    One deep breath, and two.

    A sigh and a nod. The red slowly drifted away from his face.

    He opened his mouth. “So, Machel. How was the ball game last week?”

    Eager to change the course of the evening, Machel jumped into an intricate discussion of what he deemed the best game so far this year.

    Anat drew in some air, smiled, and asked the 4th year student what she liked best about her schooling this year. Her mother, also ready to move forward, offered some exciting topics for the little girl to expound on. Color returned to the child and Anat closed her eyes briefly.

    Crisis averted for the moment. There’d be long, heated debates into the night about the best way influence people. There always were. Paul simply couldn't understand why no one would take action. Frankly, neither could she.

    However, she did know that screaming at people rarely brought desirable change. So, she gratefully accepted the spiced Tehran Broma offered by her hostess. She deeply inhaled its rich scent and reveled, as she always did, at its soothing properties. Smart choice.

    As the conversation continued, Anat glanced at her husband’s face, thankful for the code they’d developed over the years. Yes, they’d have long discussions later. And they’d visit the House of Prayer tomorrow. And they’d try to convince every family in any way possible.

    But for now, they’d play the game. They’d play it because they would need every placement they could get if next month’s Tehran operation were to be successful.