Monday, July 20, 2015


WOOHOO!!! First I want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my oldest. She's nine years old today! How did she get so big??? It happens so fast (though I'm the first to admit to the eternity some of those days took to pass...) ;) Hug your dear ones close in honor of another birthday! Then go check out this week's prompt and write something fantastic! :)

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 Dylyce Clarke. Read her tale from last week here! Dylyce is a retired lover of rain on the roof, waves on a Florida beach and writing flash fiction. She's had two stories accepted by Splickety Publishing Group this year. Dylyce can often be found doing cross-stitch alphabet samplers because she just loves letters. Connect with her on facebook here.

 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #3-3 is:

The [lonely] woman stood staring at [the sea] before kicking [off her shoes] and running [toward her destiny].

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Include a deadly creature of the deep that DOESN'T arrive to the sound of ta-dump, ta-dump, tadumptadumptadump. :-)



  1. Beginning of the End

    The battle-weary woman stood staring at the sea of destruction before kicking the groaning soldier in front of her and running toward her destiny.

    24 words (28 with title)

  2. The Siren’s Song
    By Audrey Gran Weinberg
    word count 487

    I stood staring at the receding beach before kicking my father in the shins and diving into the sea. His grip had loosened just enough to let me escape, but the angle was wrong for a dive. I fell flat onto the water, the surface slapping me hard in the chest. I couldn’t breathe and the salty spray was blowing into my mouth and eyes.

    Although it had only been a week, I had fallen head over heels with a smooth cheeked, brown skinned, wavy haired island boy, who could dance, play the ukulele, and kiss like an angel.

    The night before, I couldn’t sleep, still feeling his soft lips on mine, and I turned on my side, looking over at my sister in the opposite bunk.
    “Hey Margot, Margot, you sleeping?”
    “Hmmm, uh huh, No, what…?”
    “I can’t leave him.”
    “You can’t stay, though,” she said, “We’re going tomorrow.”
    “It’s not fair!” I said.
    “So not fair,” she said.
    “Why can’t we stay here longer? What’s the rush?”
    “I dunno. Ask them.” She said.

    I lay back, looking up through the open hatch at the starry night, the Southern Cross, Orian’s belt and all. Dad had told me all about the stars, but had no patience for my stories and dreams.

    Once, in the days before we set sail, I’d been invited to the movies with a boy.
    “Nope, you’re not going,” he said. And one glaring stare from his hazel eyes made me realize it was futile to argue. That, and the belt, hung up by the door to their room, which had quickly discouraged any arguments from an early age.

    This time, though, I had to rebel. My body ached for this boy’s embrace, my soul to be set free from my father’s stern control.

    That morning, I told them I wasn’t going to go with them. My mother, ashen faced, glanced from my dad to me, and began to cry. “I knew it,” she said, her voice hardly more than a whisper.

    “Goddamit, woman, get a grip!” he’d said, and without another word, clambered up the steps out into the cockpit.

    A minute later we heard his voice shouting, “C’mon guys, where are you all? All hands on deck, we’re going!”
    “And you,” and with this, his stabbed his finger towards me, “You will stay right next to me!” He grabbed my wrist and pulled me with him to lift up the anchor, set the sails and tie up the dingy to the back of the boat.

    My eyes were tearing and my heart breaking. I could see the villagers in their outriggers, just outside the breaking waves, playing music and waving goodbye.

    In one boat was Rober, and he, like me, was still and silent. Over the distance, his eyes met mine and I felt his pull.

    Margot, suddenly behind me, whispered, “Go!”

    I took my chance and broke free.

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  4. The Release

    The distraught woman stood staring at the Arabian Sea before kicking off her sandals and running toward the waiting arms of the water hugging the sandy beach. She had waited for this moment for the last ten years.

    She had carved the beautiful urn with her own tireless hands. The same hands that had brushed and braided the long shiny hairs of Shanti every night. Those long, humid nights when they sat on the balcony and talked about new appliances, unruly students, and her children. The children, a boy and a girl, who blessed her home after everyone, including her own husband, was convinced that she was barren. The lucky children, growing strong and wise under the loving shield of two mothers, for Shanti was nothing short of a mother to her children. Shanti, who had devoted her life to her students and her aging mother shunning all the marriage proposals, Shanti, who never forgot her one true love, dead and gone. She, herself, just as alone, married to the overbearing and unfeeling husband. Shanti, a confidant and a true friend. The islands floating in the turbulent sea, staying afloat, trying not to drift.

    A few hours every night was all they had to escape from the dreariness of life. But they fed on each other’s trusting and supporting eyes. The kindness sustained each through the next day’s tribulations. Until that night.

    The night shone with the milky light of the harvest moon. The shadows of palm trees danced under the opal sky. A faint smell of gardenias spread through air intoxicating the frail senses of the friends. The children curled up in the warm embrace of the starry night. The friends eased their worries under the pale blanket of the moonlight. The world felt blissful -- just before the discord shot out. Looking up at her husband’s angry face, she mumbled a few incoherent words that fell short. The smell of his anger filled her lungs, and hot tears rolled down her eyes. Shanti left town soon after that, and he was satisfied.

    Next year, she carved Shanti’s funeral urn with great care. The ashes kept her company.

    The long ten years, she waited. Waited for a reprieve. But she was sentenced to life without parole. Her husband saw to that.

    The children flew away on their strong wings; the wind of Shanti’s love propelled them. The youngest left yesterday. She is free now, almost. All she needed now -- a quiet shore and a raging sea. She clutched the urn and stood staring at the Arabian Sea before kicking off her sandals and running toward the waiting arms of the water hugging the sandy beach. The stingrays were also very helpful.

    She and her love for Shanti and the children flowed freely under the blue sky the next morning.

    471 words
    Special Challenge accepted.

  5. Father of the Deep
    500 words
    Challenge accepted

    The furious woman stood staring at the groveling sea god before kicking him in the face and running out of retaliation range. Her heart was a tempest in her chest. Gods, that felt good! Far better than the decades-long permutations of vengeful fantasies. She slowed at the high-tide line and turned back.

    Poseidon flailed in wet sand. A scaled limb probed the point of contact between the toe of her purple combat boot and his tendril-crowned head. The ruler of the depths looked more haggard than she’s imagined, but as Halia knew well, looks were deceiving.

    "That’s what you get for being a sea cucumber of a father!" she spat. Come to think of it, he was looking a lot more sea-cucumber-like than brawny earth-shaker. Mom copulated with that?

    As a child, she’d been in awe of him. Her first dance recital, she was sure he’d come. This one event meant far more than silly birthday parties or sports days. He would surely sense the importance of a dance performance and rise from his watery abode to attend. Her mother had tried her diplomatic best to dissolve such hopes to no avail. When he didn’t show, Halia had undauntedly marched down to the seaside and danced the routine for him, sand sliding into slippers, sea mist catching in the tulle of her tutu. She imagined the spray prickling her cheeks as his approving touch. She heard his thunderous applause in the surf.

    A wave rolled his mighty form, and he gurgled what Halia assumed was an apology. Well, too little to late. She hefted a rock at his back. It missed and landed in a mess of tentacles. Halia couldn’t tell if his nether regions included squid-like appendages or if he’d ridden in on an octopus.

    As a teen, she’d gone back to the beach. Her hopes had long been drowned beneath the surge of missed recitals. She crashed through the shallows, shrieking until indifferent waves knocked her down and foam filled her mouth. A cruel current dragged her along the seabed. She emerged, bleeding and panting, knees shell-sharded and shoulders barnacle-abraded. But not so much as a ripple of fatherly attention.
    Meanwhile, the surf continued its roar. A roar that echoed every time she saw her own aquamarine gaze reflected back at her in the faces of classmates. Half-siblings were everywhere.

    Poseidon hauled his bulk from the breakers. Bigger than she expected, but then, being the god, he’d be able to assume multiple forms—every one of them narcissistic lechers. She hefted another rock. A beer bottle. Anything damaging. He halted his advance and seemed to sink into himself. Ichor swirled purple with the tide.

    Halia snapped a picture and sent it to Mom with the text: "Dad finally emerging to apologize." Then the line, "Apology not accepted."

    Ourea’s text came back: "Give your mother enough credit to stick to a humanoid pantheon."

    Wait. The octopoid appendages, the arcane patterns of scales, the sea-cucumber complexion. What had she just battered into submission?

  6. The Perils of Poor Éliane

    The long-haired young woman stood staring at the blue, inviting waters of Cape Tribulation beach before kicking off her sandals and running out into the rolling waves.

    The French passport that was later found in her belongings on the deserted beach was in the name of Éliane Lapotaire, a teenager from Toulouse, who was using her gap year to backpack with her friend, Pascale, up the eastern coast of Australia.

    They had found casual work in pubs and bars as they travelled. When Pascale had met a boy in Cairns, Éliane decided to carry on alone to northern Queensland.

    The local people knew better than to swim in the summer months, but Éliane's limited English meant that she had failed to grasp the implications of the yellow warning sign she had passed at the entrance to the beach.

    The species of box jellyfish known as the sea wasp is responsible for more human deaths on the continent of Australia than sea snakes, sharks, and saltwater crocodiles put together. They are virtually transparent in the sea and their sting goes unnoticed until the venom is injected.

    Éliane felt an excruciating pain in her right calf, followed by an intense burning sensation, as if she were being attacked with a branding iron. Desperate to find some relief, Éliane grasped the jellyfish tendrils in her left hand and pulled, but she only succeeded in exacerbating her suffering by wrapping them around her arm.

    She died before she could reach the shore.Her body was swept out to sea, her long, blonde hair trailing like the tendrils of the jellyfish.

    Word Count: 266