Monday, June 29, 2015


I cannot believe that Finish That Thought has reached two full years of flash fiction madness! Thank you to everyone who visits, writes, and reads the amazing stories each week. Since next week starts year three, this is something like New Years Eve, right? So let's celebrate!!!! This prompt is just begging for a party!! Go check it out and write something!

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 Audrey Weinberg. Read her winning tale from last week here! Find her on twitter here. Audrey (Gran) Weinberg was born in Los Angeles just a few months before JFK was shot, but she swears she didn't do it. After years of living in different countries, and having experienced both much love and great loss, Audrey is now gratefully leading a "pretty mundane existence" with her sweet boyfriend and 2 pretty amazing teenage children just outside of Amsterdam. 
Audrey has published 2 short stories and is currently figuring out how to edit her first novel. She co-authors the Studyleaks blog ( together with a group of her students under the pen name 'Study Leaks Amsterdam.'

 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-52 is:

The [wedding reception] was going exceptionally [well] until [all the lights went off].

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Include a juicy family drama.



  1. A Tale By Torchlight

    The wedding reception was going exceptionally well until all the lights went off. With a sigh, Angus MacDermid placed his pint on the bar and waited for the emergency lamps to activate. When several seconds passed and it was still as black as the Earl of Hell’s waistcoat, he growled. While it had been a trifle…unwise to host such a large gathering in an unfamiliar venue, he’d assumed his lads would have checked the place out to insure such amenities as the electricity were stable.

    If he survived the darkness and the Deaders it would inevitably draw out, he’d have strong words for Billy and Donald. Well, time for recriminations later. Now was a time for swift and decisive action if his family and guests were to see another sunrise.

    Reaching into his sporran, he drew out a clip and slapped it into the Browning Hi-Power from his thigh holster. Grinning, he reflected that what a Scotsman had beneath his kilt these days was likely to be a sight more than just his bollocks.

    Before he could shout down the growing clamor, his eyes were struck by the beam of first one and then more electric torches. By the reflected light he saw Billy handing out more of the same. Mayhap the boy wasn’t a complete sod after all, Angus thought, as muffled automatic rifle fire erupted from outside. Deaders…far sooner than expected.

    Pushing through the crowd he both saw and heard more weapons readied in the hands of his guests. He continued toward the front of the hall and the dais where Jimmy and Caitlin had been seated. If nary another soul survived this night, he’d see his only offspring safely away. He’d only just navigated the steps when he saw her, switchblade in hand, cutting the last of her long gown away to knee-height and stowing the blade back in her decolletage. She was one to be prepared for the worst, he mused. She stomped towards him, green eyes flashing.

    “Before ye say sumpin’ fool, I’ll not be gaein awa, Da. Deaders or nae, this is ma day. So, oan yer trolley and see tae yer guests!” Brandishing a heavy revolver he’d rather not imagine how she’d stowed on her person, she snarled at him again. “Ye mak a better door than a windae, Da!” She lowered the weapon and scanned the darkness for targets.

    He’d always known she was a braw one but he was in no mood to argue tonight. “Here now, Caitin. Ye need tae –“

    She rounded on him, “Yer getting’ skelped if ye say one more word. I’ll nae hae my wee one thinkin’ her ma wasnae one to fight when fightin’ were needed.” She placed a protective hand on her belly, rubbing gently.

    Angus wasn’t sure whether his or Jimmie’s eyes snapped open wider that night, but he nodded curtly and turned away. Over his shoulder he snapped, “I swear ya numpty lass, if we survive this night, we need tae talk!”

    500 words

  2. @fs_iver
    WC: 498

    Family Ridiculousness’s

    The wedding ceremony was going exceptionally well until Mr. Beardsley took to eating his hat. If it were anyone else in the party, Elvira Jones could’ve overlooked this slight kabump but the old goat was a different matter. He had an irascible stomach and swore that the only solution was to feed it whatever was closest. Thankfully, that was his hat.

    Elvira slipped her B.R.A.I.N. out of her apron pocket (Back-up RAM for Allocated Ideas Node), and held it to her lips.

    “Get Mr. Beardsley h'orderves before he finishes that Trilby.”

    As the Wedding Planner, Photographer, Florist, Caterer, and Officiate, her brain was split five ways – six if you count ordinary Elvira Jones – and had no time for family ridiculousness’s. The situation with Beardsley could wait 8 minutes; he was only a quarter of the way through the bill.

    Humming “Canon in D,” Elvira rushed to widow Griggs. She’d fallen on her face again and was splotchy with backyard mud. With seconds before the bride made her entrance, Elvira only had two apron wipes to spare. She cleaned the right side of Griggs’ face, and propped her back in the chair. The left would simply have to stay hidden behind her crow-nose.

    Four minutes remaining.

    “All rise!”

    Officiate Elvira shouted it so Mr. Leggots would stop drifting to sleep in the front row.

    Photographer Elvira rushed along the grassy aisle, snapping pictures until the flash bulb caused Cousin Harry to hide under his chair.

    “Imbecile,” Wedding Planner Elvira muttered. “I’ll pull this off despite them, so help me.”

    Two minutes remaining.

    Somewhere behind the arbor, the bride had lost her veil. Not good. Her teeth, long and paper-cut sharp, gleamed in the summer sun, and already the groom’s legs were twitching, ready to tear off into the safety of the shrubbery. Elvira had to intervene.

    One minute remaining.

    Snatching off Mrs. Elderberry’s gossamer gown, she draped it over the bride then hurried to the altar. The groom’s eyes were glazed once more. Good. He’s forgotten.

    “Dearly Beloved,” Officiate Elvira said, “We are gather here toda–”

    A scream ripped up the aisle, sending the groom careening into the bushes, and the bride salivating after him. Elvira groaned. Mr. Beardsley was finishing the last of widow Griggs’ hair, while baby Louisa sobbed in mortal fear for her own wheat-colored locks.




    “DISMISS!” Elvira shouted and jammed a plate of huckleberry and sweet grass in front of Mr. Beardsley.

    It was too late.

    Widow Griggs was eating mud; Cousin Harry had tipped his chair and took to the woods; Mr. Leggot was catching flies in the front row; the bride and groom were gone, clothes torn and hanging from the bushes.

    Elvira plopped onto the lawn, tears making channels on her smudged cheeks. If she couldn’t even marry her animal friends, how could she get mum and dad back together?

  3. @ShebaAJ
    WC - 493

    The wedding ceremony was going exceptionally smoothly, until suddenly he realized he had forgotten his bride’s name. Try as he might, as he gazed into her happy hazel eyes, her hair curling just so, he could not for the life of him remember. Acutely aware of the priest droning on, he desperately searched his mind for the memory, when the tilt of her head suddenly reminded him of the perfume his mother used to wear. Only on special occasions, and mostly when his dad was not home. She would hum softly, rubbing her wrists together, tilting her head staring at herself just as his wife-to-be was staring at him right now. He could smell the roses and feel her softness as she lifted him to bring him to his room, where the TV was already on. He barely heard the turn of the key in the lock behind him.

    Except for that one time when she forgot. When the TV got boring, and he got hungry, he opened the door softly and called for her. When only silence answered him, he ventured out and negotiated the stairs down to the kitchen, even though he knew he was not supposed to do that on his own. The noises were innocuous at first, like a leaky faucet or the hum of the fridge. He was almost at the kitchen door, when his mother came out of the basement door. Her hair was disheveled and her eyes were hard, but the smile never left her face. She still smelt like roses, but roses that were past their hour of bloom, cloying and sickly sweet.

    “My goodness! What are you doing out? Are you hungry, my darling?”

    His mother. The soft, sometimes rose lady, until that one day when she all but disappeared. He had woken up to find his father slumped over next to his bed, telling him that Mother had left them. He didn’t understand. Mother loves me, where would she go without me?

    The hazel eyes were beginning to harden now, and the smile was faltering. In his daze, he saw the beads of sweat beginning to form on her upper lip. It was way too hot in the church and he was suffocating on the memory of blooming roses of the past. He still could not remember the one thing he was supposed to. As he fell deeper and deeper into the abyss, he saw again his mother’s face, as she laughed while her husband tried to calm her down. Who screamed at him while using her nails on his face, all softness and comfort lost in her screeching voice. He remembered the coldness of the steel in his hands, which exploded like one of the Wile E. Coyote’s misconceived, harebrained schemes, the smell of burning roses. And as he fell, he saw Cynthia’s face, ugly now, screaming, distorted with a mouth like an endless black hole, just as his mother’s had been.

  4. Alien Wedding
    (350 words)
    Special Challenge

    The Yalglitzen/Kradenkshank wedding was going exceptionally well until all the lights in the galaxy flickered out. So much for their starlit reception in the magnificent Walgreden gardens, which they’d booked eons in advance.

    With a quick peck on his bride’s leathery feather encased forehead, the groom squigjumped from her side. Duty called.

    He joined his squadron on the far side of their world, Gjuanjen, as they raced out of spacedock. Equipment check showed his laser fully powered. He’d need all the juice he could squeeze from it. The lights hadn’t gone out, they’d been blotted out by an invading horde from another galaxy. Not their first attempt at annexing Gjuanjen to exploit its rich crandencrock supply.

    The invaders fought hard, but Guanjen’s protectors fought harder. Hours later they sent their foes running home with their long tails tucked between their legs, literally. At the last minute the squadron’s ace, a mysterious fighter that no one had ever seen, showed up and laid waste to the enemy’s front lines.

    No sooner than his ship docked, Yalglitzen returned to his wedding. His bride was nowhere in sight.

    The Lady Kradenkshank strode into the wedding complex annex and confronted her father.

    “You have to let me tell him!”

    “No! You’re secret is still safe so what would be the point?”

    “I’d have made it to the fight sooner. We lost lives while I waited for him to leave.”

    “You’re our best weapon. We lose you, we lose battles.”

    “I can’t live forever. Maybe the gift will be passed on to our children. That’s why I wanted this marriage. A single person with the gift can do great things, but a lot of people can effect lasting change for our world. Even usher in eternal peace. I’m going to tell him.”

    Yalglitzen smiled when his bride returned to his side. The nuptials continued without a hitch. The stars outdid themselves at their reception.

    Later that evening, the Lady Yalglitzen leaned close to her new husband and whispered in his lobe. She pounded his back hard when he choked on a piece of wedding quashen.

  5. @GeoffHolme
    Word Count: 500
    Special Challenge Accepted
    ( I extended the opening sentence to be the whole story - is that allowed? I did relocate the replaced words in square brackets elsewhere… :-D )

    Die Nasty

    THE latest woman to pledge her undying love in matrimonial vows was now telling me that it wouldn't work out and that she WAS GOING.

    EXCEPTIONALLY, although these or similar words had ended my five previous marriages, Gloria was delivering them during our [wedding reception]. The brief candle of wedded bliss fizzled and died after less than four hours - a new record.

    The ballroom of Gloria’s palatial home had been plunged into darkness. Blundering round, I‘d found the main staircase and managed to reach her bedroom where she had retreated, complaining of a headache. I gingerly opened the door and heard the unmistakable sounds of passion, just as the lights were restored. Writhing on the bed were my wife and my best man.

    The good news was that, after being stung for alimony five times, I'd finally seen the light and asked my lawyer to draw up a prenuptial agreement.The bad news was that my brother Caleb, as [well] as being my lawyer, was also my latest best man.

    Doubtless he’d devised some ingenious way for Gloria to breach the seemingly watertight contract. I thought the ill-feeling that Caleb had held towards me when I’d inherited Dad's oil empire had dissipated after he’d built up his own law firm. Clearly not.

    [All the lights went off] because Gloria’s father, the multimillionaire media mogul, Antosh Hertzig, had fallen prey once again to his predilection for pretty young males. He’d spotted the teenager, hired as a waiter at the reception, and had lured the blonde dreamboat down into the basement of his villa to a room where he kept his “toys”.

    Hertzig had suffered a massive heart attack when about to climax and had fallen lifeless to the floor. The young boy had panicked and fled, while pulling up his pants. Trying to save himself from tripping, he’d pulled an electric cable from the wall which had blown the fuse box.

    I stood on the drive of the villa with bewildered guests, watching Gloria get into Caleb’s open-topped Maserati, a vehicle I’d probably paid for in legal fees. With a wry smile on his face, he flipped me the bird and gunned the engine. But he failed to slow at the tight right-hand bend and plowed into the fireworks display, set up on the immaculate lawn.

    The resulting pyrotechnics engulfed Gloria, Caleb and the Maserati in a spectacular explosion before dying back to a dazzling blaze. I turned away from the horror.

    Gloria’s younger sister Stella came running towards me. The flames danced in her eyes as she extended her arms and held me by the shoulders.

    “Poor Seth, you deserve better than Gloria. You’ll find your true life-partner.”

    My head fell in desolation and I caught a glimpse of a dark stain on the skirt of her bridesmaid’s dress.

    “No, Stella,” I choked. “That’s it. No more marriages.”

    I caught a whiff of brake fluid as she leaned in close to me, whispering in my ear, “UNTIL the next time.”