Monday, September 28, 2015


Are you ready for a challenge today? Because our judge has thrown down the gauntlet! I am super-duper excited to read what you all create because this is going to be fun (And hard. Did I mention hard?)! Let's finish out September with a bang! 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.
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 Richard Edenfield. Read his winning tale from last week here! Follow him on Twitter @RichardEdenfie1. Here's what he has to say about himself: I live on a very small planet with a single rose under a glass. I am an Aquarius. Besides that, I like lemonade.

 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #3-13 is:

First line from Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky:

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Write at least 300 words without a period. Write as if no one will ever read it.

Bonus points: End your story with the word, "Mayonnaise."

Extra Bonus Challenge for Super Stars:
Lewis Carroll has a famous riddle that no one (scholars, academics, Einstein...) has ever been able to figure out: Why is a raven like a writing desk? Work an answer into your story and you can knock 100 words off of the special challenge and still qualify (only a 200 word sentence).

(I mentioned hard, right? Go! Go! Go!)


  1. Quills
    263 words
    Special challenges accepted!

    Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe
    The mome raths are gone and now
    The slithy tothes entwine
    Pennysmiths and whirly gigs
    And matters all a-shine, such as,
    This raven-thing with feathers black
    N’aught but writing foul,
    One made of wood, one doth perch,
    Atop the twiddly goro-growl,
    If you plucked the quills from both
    And dipped them both in ink
    You could write a novel
    Or a bad poem, I should think,
    A writing desk is not a raven
    But a raven is a bird
    Whirly gigs will agree, forsooth
    As will the stomping-herd,
    Careful now, comparison-wise,
    Contray to belief,
    Dipping quill in ink to parchment
    Causes mome raths much grief,
    And if you anger mome raths
    Then you shall find out why
    The raven and the writing desk
    Which only one can fly,
    Are so similar and not the same
    First, one, unlike the other
    Hasn’t got an uncle
    Or a sister or a brother,
    The desk has got its family
    Amongst the twirly flerps
    But the raven hasn’t got one
    Because ravens are total twerps,
    Who go to their parents’ house
    And eat all their leftovers,
    Then pick roadkill of the ground
    Amongst the flippity bum-clovers,
    So the desk contains a feather quill
    For writing to your lover,
    And ravens’ backs contain many quills
    To attract its lover, and
    If you wonder which tastes better,
    Let me tempt you with this phrase;
    My dear, each one would be delish,
    With a heap of mayonnaise.

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  3. Dear Diary
    451 Words
    Both Special Challenges Accepted

    Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    The sentence dint make since to me
    My dad red it to me the nite fore last
    After he red the sentence he went
    Where to the slithy toves maybe
    But Carol said the toves were lizards
    And you caint go to lizards
    You can go to the library maybe
    But weve never been fore
    I dint even know where the book came from
    But Carol said it was portant cause the author
    Thats the person who wrote the book had the last
    Name Carroll and thats her name so that must mean

    Dad dint come back for three days
    Carol did her best but shes only seventeen
    She dint go to school but she sent me
    Cause she said I could get a hot meal
    There and at least a hot meal is somethin

    When Dad came back I asked him what
    A wabe was but he shrugged his shoulders
    And said he dint know then shooed me away
    With his hand

    I guessed he dint member readin the sentence to me
    He never members the portant things

    Like one year he forgot my birthday
    I dint even get a cake or a present
    Momma always gave me presents
    Fore she ran away
    Maybe she went to a wabe
    A wabe seems like a place

    Carol said Carroll had a riddle
    That no one could solve
    Why is a raven like a writing desk
    And I said cause they both have quills
    On their back

    She said I was smarted than I acted
    I should tell Mrs Parker that
    She thinks Im dum as doornails
    Whatever that means and she
    Even told me that one day

    Carol said I shouldve told Dad
    But I knew he wount do nuffin
    Bout it

    Hed say the teacher was right
    And maybe she was
    I mostly got failin grades
    Couldnt figure out punctuasion
    To save my life and dont even
    Get me started on math

    When I think of mome raths
    I think of big ugly rats with
    Ginormous teeth

    Carol said ginormous is not a word
    But she dont know what a mome rath
    Is nohow

    And Borogoves make me think of Florida
    I saw a book once at school with pitures
    Of these trees growin plumb out of water
    Magine that

    Mrs Parker is comin round now so I guess
    Its time to put my diary away
    Thats what Carol calls this book anyhow

    She wants to know if wed like the sweet and sour chicken
    For lunch or the turkey and cheese
    I hope theres mayonnaise

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. @GeoffHolme
    Word Count: 500
    Special Challenge Accepted

    Ground Rules

    Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    "This opening sentence should be right up your street, Geoff!"

    "Why do you say that, Richard? Is this a less than subtle way of telling me that you think that I talk or write gibberish? That I might be able to understand the ravings of a madman?"

    “Charles Lutwidge Dodgson wasn’t a madman! He was a mathematician!”

    “So was John Nash, but he wasn’t exactly Mr Sane of Sane Boulevard, Saneville, was he?”

    “Getting back to the question in hand, you do have a less than conventional way of looking at this crazy world we live in, don't you?"

    "If, for argument's sake, we take that statement as fact, just where are you going with this?"

    “Can you find an answer to the unsolved riddle posed by The Mad Hatter to Alice?”

    “Which is?”

    Why is a raven like a writing desk?

    "Is there some sort of pecuniary reward for coming up with a solution?"

    "Are you solely motivated by money?"

    “I was just asking! Give me a moment, OK? Why is a raven like a writing desk? Because Edgar Allen Poe wrote on both? Because they both come with inky quills?”

    “You got those off the internet, didn't you?”

    “Is that a problem? You didn’t say it had to be original, did you?”

    “You always have to bend the rules!”

    “Why not? And you want us to write as if no one will ever read it? If I was happy to do that, I'd have bought a diary!”

    “**I’m beginning to wish you had!**”

    “What was that?”


    “Also, what’s the deal with this writing 300 words without a period? That’s just encouraging people to ramble on and on and on, filling up the story with repetitive drivel - the exact opposite of flash fiction! And another thing! What do you mean by period? I looked it up in various dictionaries and they all seem to agree that it’s a punctuation mark or point, a small dot, equivalent to a UK full stop; so does that mean question marks and exclamation marks are valid punctuation in our stories?”

    “Well, that wasn’t really what I…”

    “And ellipses, when direct speech is interrupted! Have you, by any chance, heard of something called an interrobang?”

    “Some sort of weird punctuation mark, isn't it? A cross between a question mark and an exclamation mark?”

    “That could be used too - if I had ever seen one on a computer keyboard!”

    “Have you looked at the character map of the font you’re using?”

    “Think I’ve got time for that?! Now that would have been the ideal place for an interrobang, right?”

    “Would you like to continue discussing this over lunch?”

    “Thought you’d never ask!”


    “Nah, it tastes too sour! I’m more of a water man.”

    "Egg sandwich?"

    “Great! By the way, what’s the word count?”

    “...Almost 500!”

    "WOW! Do you have mayonnaise?"

    1. Rats! Another gremlin!

      RICHARD: please read "I'm more of a water man." as "I'm more of a water man!"

  6. Fair is Foul

    Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    Professor Zinger droned on as his zany words dribbled on the ears of his half-asleep students, some sprawled out on the back seats -- heads occasionally twitching and jerking, some leaning on the desks pretending to jot down the words of their wacky professor and failing miserably, some staring in the vacuum behind the professor’s head, some exchanging furtive looks with the girls – hoping to score with them, some calculating the number of lectures they have to attend till the summer break, some die-hard studious ones actually paying attention and desperately trying to decipher every word – applying all their cognitive might, but none of this registered with the professor because he was so wrought up trying to solve the riddle about the raven and the desk – the riddle that had haunted him from the first day he read the book, the riddle that in spite of the author’s own notes, had unnerved him day and night, the riddle that he need to solve desperately, not because he wanted to be famous, but because he was convinced that his life depended on it, because he was sure that his own wife was plotting to use the raven to kill him, a belief had no basis in reality, only in his fertile imagination.

    Professor was afraid of ravens ever since one had snatched his sandwich right from his hands. Professor, Jimmy as he was called then, was shaken at the injustice and violence of the act. At six, he was unable to distinguish the evil from the natural instincts of an animal. Raven became his nemesis.

    Laura, the fair, petite brunette, one of his students fell in love with him. She was a good wife to him, but lately, he was beginning to wonder about her.

    He arrived home one evening and called out Laura’s name, but she didn’t come running as she always did. She had left dinner for him though, his favorite Hero sandwich. He examined it and decided he needed to add something. He got up and went to the refrigerator and took out a jar of…. just then, a sudden flutter. A dark raven flew inside and grabbed his sandwich and flew out. Shaken and disappointed, professor collapsed in his chair, just watching the raven feast on his sandwich. Then he watched the raven fall from his perch and become dead-still. Dead! Imagine that, Professor broke out in sweat when he realized that the sandwich was meant for him.

    In that moment, he knew that he was wrong to fear the raven all those years. The raven had actually saved him, just like the sanctuary of his school desk had saved him from the bullies. The riddle was solved finally, and he needed to get rid of his wife. But for now he needed a sandwich. He reached for the jar of mayonnaise.

    498 words
    Special challenge(s) (all of them) accepted. (I think.)

  7. This Dreck Has No Title, Just Words and a Tune
    Dave @ParkInkSpot Blathering
    389 words, (304 in the Monster)
    Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    The jabberwocky stared down at Dale and drooled, drooled at the thought of the tasty tidbit that slathered his jaws and mimsied his borogrove, drooled at the sprinkling of spices and salt and pepper which would raise the delicious morsel beyond the sublime and into the etheric reaches of purest joy unrestrained, and drooled for the capers and condiments and Asian fish or curry sauces that would provide the perfect accents and his tummy growled, it growled with a deep thunder like a storm over the mountaintops and far away, and it growled like a starving troll watching a vapid elf dancing inches away from the claws that catch, and it growled like the contented lion who had chased off the last of his rivals and enjoyed his well-earned reward by mounting his favorite lioness in the shade of the cool oasis or the dunes on the river’s edge or under the leopard’s favorite tree to demonstrate the leopard’s complete inferiority—three of the lion’s favorite locations for enjoying a bit of the old in out in out while his droogs could only look on in barely suppressed jealousy, for they were not the alpha male, the apex predator, the hunter of hunters in the African veldt where the zebras and the antelope and the ibex and water buffalo all flee for their very lives, lives cut short and ending abruptly at the lion’s discretion and for the lion’s pleasure in much the same manner that I eyeball this cracker and contemplate the addition of a processed cheese spread or something equally unhealthy yet somehow devilishly delicious, and in the same way that the Jabberwocky is contemplating Dale’s future tongue-tempting tenderness passing over his palate and into his turgid belly with capers and Dijon mustard and perhaps just the tiniest bit of fatty mayonnaise.

    Feeling mimsy? It’s the processed cheese spread. I warned you that might happen, sorry Dale. I think it might be a result of this assignment, too. Do you want a Tums? In theory, you can keep right on expanding a sentence to the right indefinitely. Not sure how that works out in practice—except that the poor Jabberwock never gets to eat.

  8. @GeoffHolme
    Word Count: 360
    Special Challenge Accepted

    [ Richard: If my other posting contravenes the rules you set down, please accept this one as my entry ]

    White Rabbit

    ’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    the visible spectrum contracts condenses to monochrome and the pale infinitesimal grains in the sleek slender sandglass that chronologically limits my every single move slip and slide cascading and crashing angrily into its lower bulb as the regimented ranks and files of the chequered board skew and swiftly expand to fill the empty plain to a vanishing point at all four points of the compass defying the proportion the symbolism the logic of this world writ small but leaving the men in miniature to chase albino rabbits endlessly from square to square trying to stay upright and evade a certain one who drains the last of the tequila from its bottle and peers one-eyed down its neck at the hookah-smoking cat and (surrealist) pillow at its base and thus the tight knight for it is he is walking backwards and colliding with his opposite number magically melding into a melange of white and black light and shade good and evil that the lowly dispensable peons studiously ignore and surreptitiously slink and slither gyre and gimble around not noticing that he lifts his head and rises RISES R-I-S-E-S towards me the ash white bone white skeletal features beneath his crumpled raven black top hat looming scarily before my face as he lifts his ebony staff in his two-toned gloved hand and gesticulates wildly with it while he instructs me how to make my next move but in a controlled whisper avoiding the unwelcome minatory attention of the well-read queen who in her role as literary arbiter pores over pages and pages and pages of painstakingly produced flash fiction occasionally sighing or tut-tutting or cackling dementedly and pausing only when disturbed to command anyone and everyone in earshot to remember what the Dormouse said meaning of course nothing and thus eliciting complete silen-

    "Oh my God! She’s gone completely silent... Grace... Grace! Can you hear me? Are you OK? Oh, man! I think maybe ingesting the magic mushrooms after dropping that tab of acid was a really bad move."

  9. The Picnic

    Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    The speechlike sounds of a summer breeze floated lightly over Rose, who had settled on the opposite side of the picnic blanket and was calculating the problematic girl-to-sandwich ratio (four girls, six sandwiches: two chicken, two ham-and-mayonnaise, two watercress) with a great deal of consternation, even after Daisy commanded,

    Stop that annoying counting!”

    But Rose could not be coaxed away from her task, no matter how ardently Daisy tried:

    “You’re impossible, Rose! Stop counting the sandwiches!”

    (Rose continued without pausing: “Daisy, Ella, Alice, me, that’s four; and two chicken, two ham-and-mayonnaise, two watercress, that’s six; which means six for four—”)

    “Leave her be, Daisy!” said Ella at last, adding with a laugh, “Can’t you see she’s in one of her moods?”

    “I am not,” returned Rose, though she threw Daisy a dirty look and muttered, “I’m counting!

    “She’s wasting a perfectly lovely afternoon! Isn’t she, Ella?”

    “I said to leave her be, Daisy! Whether she wants to count sandwiches or mushrooms is her affair!”

    Alice, who had been ignoring the bickering in honor of a ladylike catnap against the trunk of a rather large oak, suddenly cocked her head to one side and said, “Did anyone else see that white rabbit in a waistcoat rush by just now?”

    “Oh!” said Ella, clapping her hands, “are we playing at riddles? I have one! ‘Why is a raven like a writing desk?’”

    “For the same reason a hippo is like an ottoman, obviously,” said Daisy, grinning so widely her teeth sparkled in the sun, “but I have a better one: why is your head like a hot air balloon?”

    “Watercress for Ella, chicken for Alice, ham-and-mayonnaise for me, watercress for Daisy,” persisted Rose, “which leaves two sandwiches—”

    “--The rabbit was looking at his pocket watch! Didn’t any of you see that? Aren’t you the tiniest bit curious?”

    Daisy said, “Better that he looked at his pocket watch instead of at me: I’ve a blemish on my forehead that won’t come out, no matter how much lemon juice I—”

    “—In a waistcoat,” said Alice, who had already clambered to her feet, “and don’t you think we should follow him to make sure he’s all right? Such a sweet-looking rabbit, in such a dreadful hurry!”

    “Alice! Come back! Where are you going? If you go, you’ll spoil our picnic even worse than stupid Rose has!”

    Ella said, “Leave Rose be, Daisy! And leave Alice be—people have better things to do than listen to you all day!”

    “What could be better than listening to me?” said Daisy, genuinely mystified; though this did not prevent her from feeling, somehow, that she’d missed out on something important as Alice vanished into the golden afternoon shadows, leaving the breeze chattering to itself, dancing in and out of the borogoves, toves, and ham-and-mayonnaise.

    493 words
    All the challenges accepted, I think