Monday, October 28, 2013


So...our last contest before NaNoWriMo begins... Let's get those fingers warmed up and those brains chugging! 

First, I need some help deciding what would be best for you all. I need to know how NaNo will affect each of you in November in terms of this flash contest. The two options I'm considering are:
1) Business as usual - including winners judging the following week.
2) Writing Prompts minus the judging - giving you the option of adding the sentence into your WIP or writing a separate flash piece for freshness. (This option would give this weeks winner judging duty the first week of December)

Please leave me a comment so I know how to proceed next week...maybe I'm the only one of us doing NaNo this year??? :)

 Anyway, we all know NaNo will be all rainbows and puppies and cupcakes with I'm ready to read about something that may not be as sweet as expected. ;) GO WRITE!

If you need to read the full version of the rules, go here. Otherwise, here's the short version:

1. Up to 500 words
2. Keep it clean (nothing rated R or above)
3. Start with the given first sentence.
4. Optional Special Challenge
5. Include Twitter/email, word count, Special Challenge accepted
6. The challenge is open for 24 hours on Tuesday EST

Oh, and feel free to change pronouns, punctuation, tense, 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 also known as @weylyn42. Read her winning tale from last week here!

Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #17 is:

"What, did you think it was going to be all rainbows and puppies?"

Note: the punctuation can ABSOLUTELY change as long as all the words are in the right order.

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Include a mythical creature and a holiday.



  1. Taking Wing
    487 words, special challenge - REJECTED! No, I just got writing and forgot about it.

    “What?” she chirped, “Did you think it was going to be all rainbows and puppies?”

    The kids said nothing back; but then, they were still too young.

    “Well, maybe not puppies, I get that. But rainbows are nice, even if you can never really find your way to them, they're pretty. So, yeah. Rainbows are a nice break. I'll sing for a rainbow. And I'm blabbering on, I know I am. But really, that's okay. It's just you guys. All the best advice says to talk to your babies, it's how you learn to communicate. So, I'm being a great mom to you guys. I've got nothing else to do, you needy screamers are a full-time job.”

    Doris sighed and gazed lovingly down at her brood. They were cute. Even when they were going at full-tilt volume, she adored them.

    “I do love you guys. You are the best thing that's happened all this annoying year. I know I've got nothing to complain about. Dear old Mrs. Morris up the way a bit just lost her husband in a tragic car accident earlier this spring.” Doris looked out toward the street. “I saw the body in the road with my very own two eyes. What a tragedy! That truck came flying past with no respect for his age. He just didn't have a chance. And now, Madeline is all by herself. Granted, she's been an empty-nester for a while now, but do you think her children are going to come back and make sure she has everything she needs. No, they're all gone for good now.”

    She shook her head slowly at the sadness of it all.

    “And!,” she reproved her progeny, “don't think I don't know you all aren't going to be just the same. Your father and I will feed you, care for you, teach you the ropes and how to survive on your own. And will we see you the next year? No, you'll all be off and busy with your own families. Which is how it is meant to be, I know it is, but I just can't help pining for the seeming futility of it all. What is the point to it? Living, breeding, scrounging, struggling to not die, then dieing anyway. Who really cares in the end. Would it have made any difference if I had died when I was young?”

    “Really, I should just be in this for my own enjoyment. You little ones take up too much of my time, time I could be out there, doing whatever I want, soaring to new heights...”

    'And alone,” she didn't admit. All this philosophizing didn't really make any difference, Doris knew this. She would raise these kids. And she would do it again, next year in fact. And with the same man no less, sparrows mated for life. And for all her complaining, Doris was soaring.

    1. I really enjoyed this! The chirped in the beginning tipped me off, but then I kept reading and forgot about it. By the time you got to the kids having families 'next year' I thought there must be some confusion... perhaps it was her perception of time passing...oh, no, bird, yeah... hehehehehe. It worked well for me. And the car accident... :) You totally kept me thinking people even though all the clues were there. Thanks. That doesn't happen for me very often. :)

      Since you're not doing NaNo, I assume November is still good for you to judge if you win?

  2. Daydream Believer
    500 words (exactly!) Special challenge accepted

    “What, did you think it was going to be all rainbows and puppies?” My supervisor settled back in his chair. “Daydreams are serious work, Marci.” He leaned forward and poked at the paperwork on his desk. “Let’s see. Two complaints that you diverted Class-Three daydreams along Class-Eight paths. One accusation of swapping out elements. And one count of complete daydream interruption.” He shook his head. “In your first month.”

    “But sir.” I laid my hands on his desk. “Maybe it shouldn’t be all rainbows but yes I thought that Suzie last week could use a little daydream about unicorns. Her mom’s boyfriend yells at her all the time, she needs a chance to escape and her daydreams weren’t helping.” I shuddered. The worst thing about working for Daydream Believers, where we supervise the daydreams of adolescents, harvesting their distracted emotional energies, was that I had to see into the imaginations of so many kids. Surely I hadn’t been so cynical as a kid? I remembered daydreaming about climbing towers to free imprisoned princes. These days, most girls daydreamed about starting a Facebook rumor about their rival.

    “And the class-three diversions?”

    “Sir, can’t we promote healthy daydreams?” I shuddered at the memory. So many girls these days had eating disorders, and even the ones who weren’t bulimic yet wondered what it would be like.


    I straightened up and put my hands behind my back. “Yes, sir?”

    “If I get one more complaint you’ll get transferred to the Mid-Teen Adolescent Male Department.”

    I swallowed. “Yes, sir.” Everyone knew what teenage boys’ daydreams were like.

    “Now. Get out there and I want to see your quota met by close of day.”

    I picked up my kit and left his office.


    Mrs. Johnson’s fifth-grade class, after-lunch period. Perfect time to harvest a few daydreams. I made my way between students. There: Sally had that distant look in her eyes. I set up my scope and onirometer, focusing on Sally. The meter twitched promisingly and I checked the scope. Looked like… yes. She was thinking about Christmas and how she was going to get to see her big brother home from college. Seemed nice. Just as I set up for a good long collection, Mrs. Johnson spun around. “Sally!” she said. “Come up to the board.” Sally’s dream popped. I sighed as she went forward and looked for someone else.

    Becky’s eyes had gone distant. Now she narrowed her eyes, looked right at me. I froze. They couldn’t see us. It was impossible.

    Becky winked. She opened her pencil box, tapping one of the flying fairies on the cover. My mouth was dry. She could see me. I had to —

    Becky’s hand darted out. She grabbed me, knocking the onirometer flying. I squirmed, but no good. She dumped me into the box and shut the lid.

    “What’ve you got there?” Sally whispered as she sat down.

    “I’ll show you after school,” Becky said. “Just you wait and see.”

    1. I L O V E this one. This is definitely a story I would love to have written. I love the mix of the fantastic and magical elements with a real world setting we can all relate to. Brilliant and awesome. Have you been reading Jasper Fford? If not, you should...

    2. I loved this, Kate! So fun! Let's promote healthy daydreams! Such an activist! :)

      I know you're doing NaNo...are you up for judging in November if you win? Will you be doing any flash writing, or just your novel?

    3. I'd be up for judging, no problem. Not sure about whether I'll write any flash, probably depends on if I get inspired or not! This is only my second try at flash after all.

    4. I just adore this! Wonderful story.

  3. A Muse Thing
    498 words – Challenge accepted.

    "What, did you think it was going to be all rainbows and puppies?" Gran asked fist perched on her hips.
    "No. I just thought… well, I… oh, never mind." Minni slumped in her chair.
    "Oh I know, dear. I used to once be in your slippers. We go and whisper grand thoughts in their ears. We are the masters of bright ideas, impossible possibilities, delectable dreams. Yes, yes, I truly do know."
    Minni's wings trembled with her contained sobs threatening to burst from her beaten heart. "He was so excited at first, Gran. I whispered the ideas and he wrote them down as if his lift depended on it. Right there in the middle of the night, with no more than the Christmas tree lights helping him to see his garbled words."
    Gran returned to dusting the globes lined along her shelves. So many possibilities. Gran no longer gave her inspired ideas out as freely as she used to. "I'm sure he was just as amiable with your next one, as well. Perhaps even the one after that."
    "Yes. Until…."
    Gran nodded in her sagely way. Lips pressed tight. Eyes sympathetic, yet stern. Hands clasped around the duster. "They are human, after all dear. What did you really expect? An award? A pat on the wings? Silly child."
    "But he did, Gran. He'd brag to his friends about what a fantastic muse he had. How the ideas flowed like sweet honey. How wonderful the ideas were. How they'd surely make him a million… of something. I don't know what."
    The dust filled the air like wispy clouds and floated out the window of Gran's dwelling.
    "Oh my poor, poor dear. They say these things, but…"
    "But he really did mean them, I'm sure of it. Gran," Minni's voice dropped as she looked around, hoping nobody overheard her next statement or they'd think she'd completely lost it. "He spoke to me. On occasion."
    When Gran's wizened eyes widened, Minni quickly added, "And I never, ever revealed myself. I swear it. But he would often talk to me. Especially when he was in need of more ideas."
    "Pshaw. Foolish child. Was there a cat around? They often believe their pets inspire them before they believe in the likes of us."
    Tears welled in Minni's eyes. "It wasn't the cat. Or the dog. It was…" She gulped in a deep breath, "It was…."
    Gran grew sympathetic again. "Yes, dear. Best to get it out so you can deal with it. Tell ol' Gran what happened."
    Minni pulled out a leather bound book and opened to the dedication page. "He… he wrote this." The wails came out loud like a squawking goose now.
    Gran squinted her sharp eyes and read out loud, "To my loving wife, the beautiful Muse who is the inspiration for all I've accomplished and will ever accomplish." Gran gave a nod, "Yep, that's generally how it goes, dear. Shall I clear one of my shelves for you now?"

    1. So fun! I love the line about him surely making a million of something. That was great. Oh, and the wails coming out like a squawking goose...hehehehe! I could hear that!

      Are you doing NaNo? Would you be able to judge in November if you won?

    2. Plan to do Nano. This was my first attempt at doing this here. Give me a couple of weeks to get the feel of how things work here, then I'll let you know about judging.
      This was fun. I'm becoming a fan of these flash fiction sites. =)

  4. Escaped from the Labyrinth
    247 words
    Challenge Accepted

    "What, did you think it was going to be all rainbows and puppies? Look around you, soldier. You’re in a war zone.” Sergeant Hutchison drove his rifle butt into my ribs.

    I leered at sarge’s bloodshot eyes. “No, sir, but them?” I jabbed a finger at the crest of the next hill. Dozens of minotaurs, each large enough to topple one of our tanks—I saw one do it before—tore down the slope. “Lord,” I whispered. “Don’t let my rifle jam again.”

    A snowflake hit my shoulder, probably one of the first of the year here in the Lefka Ori. It’s Christmas back home, I thought. I almost forgot. The image of my wife, tears streaming down her face as she waved me goodbye, burned in my mind. Did she even bother to put up a tree without me?

    “Get to your positions,” screamed Sergeant Hutchison. “And for the Lord’s sake, kill something.” He dropped to his knees, put his rifle to his shoulder, and fired.

    I tried to copy him: hit the dirt, mounted my weapon, placed my finger inside the trigger guard, and froze. One of the minotaurs bent down to pick up a boulder. I saw his biceps ripple despite the distance. “Lord, please,” I muttered, then squeezed the trigger.

    The minotaur stumbled. It lurched as if to toss the boulder aloft, but instead collapsed beneath its weight.

    I smiled in spite of things. One down, God knows how many more to go.

    1. I liked your take on the prompt, rainbows and puppies to war zone worked well for me. The minotaurs came a little out of nowhere for me, but I liked your descriptions of them - quite scary. So many more questions!

      Are you doing NaNo this year? Would you be able to judge in November if you won?

    2. I am not doing NaNo this year. Yeah, I could judge.

    3. Great work Patrick! This is cool :)

    4. Thanks, Bonnee. And thank you Ms. Leonard, I forgot to say.

  5. Holiday of a Lifetime
    494 Words
    Challenge Accepted

    "What, did you think it was going to be all rainbows and puppies?" He sneered as he left me alone with my thoughts.
    To be honest, I thought it was, or at least it wasn’t going to be this. This was to be the trip of a lifetime, a holiday I had been saving up for the last year. But it was so different than what I had expected.

    The brochure caught my eye one winter day as I walked past the travel agent on my way home from work. The picture showed an idyllic destination with clear white sands and blue sea. The sun shone and it was a wonderful escape. The logo of the resort had a unicorn dancing on a rainbow – that had to be a good sign, right?

    I scrimped and saved, often going without that slice of cake over coffee and even using the cheap teabags at home so I could get the money together. I was determined to escape the cold grey of winter, even if it was only for two weeks.

    The disappointment started from the moment I stepped off the plane. The weather was worse than at home! Although instead of cold and wet, it was hot and wet. The resort was nothing like the brochure, and even their website, had promised. The floorboards were cracked and the bed was lumpy. The fan worked intermittently at best. It was when I plucked up the courage to complain to the manager that things really started to get bad.

    The manager was an imposing man who looked kind of slimy, a bit like a used car salesman in some of those old ‘80s movies. When I said I’d like to talk with him, he took me to his office. After I had laid out my complaints, he just sneered, telling me there was nothing else available and to put up with it. Instead of taking me out the door we had come in, he directed me through another door, practically pushing me through.
    I landed on the floor. It was rough, bare boards, and I got a splinter in my hand. The room was completely bare, with only a dirty skylight preventing it from being in complete darkness. I turned to face him, wondering what on earth was going on.

    He stood in the doorway, blocking my escape, and looked down on me. His face was contorted like nothing I had seen before. I was terrified and couldn’t move.

    "What, did you think it was going to be all rainbows and puppies?" He slammed the door behind him and I could hear a key turn in the lock. I pulled my knees up under my chin and picked at the splinter, trying not to cry. This was supposed to be the holiday of a lifetime, and now I was locked in an empty room with no idea what I’d done or how I was going to get home.

    1. This story asked WAY more questions than it answered!!! What happened?!?!?!?! Such a nightmare! Lesson Learned: Never go on a vacation to a remote location alone unless it's in all the tour books and whatnot.... sheesh.

      Are you doing NaNo? Would you be able to judge in November if you win?

    2. I'm not doing NaNo & would be able to judge if I win :) I'm writing a non fiction book instead & looking after 2 sick kids!

      This story went in a different direction than I was expecting... and I can see it being the start of a novel!

  6. Seeking Shelter
    476 words
    Sorry special challenge not accepted this time.

    “What, did you think it was going to be all rainbows and puppies?”

    Jason looked at her and knew that she wanted an answer. She wanted a fight of some kind. But all he really saw was how pretty she was.

    “No, actually, I was expecting puppies and kittens.”

    Her eyes burned with fire, but Jason thought it made her even more beautiful.

    “This is no laughing matter. We have a responsibility to these animals.” Her tone was sharp, it was intended as a rebuke, but Jason knew her well enough to know she was stifling a giggle.

    The truth was he wasn’t emotionally invested in running a no kill shelter. He was only invested in her. He would give her anything she wanted, including this crazy animal shelter, which had no puppies, kittens, or rainbows. All it had was old cats and dogs nobody wanted.

    “I’ll go to the pet store and buy the food.”

    “What will you pay for it with, a smile?”

    “No, this time of the evening, Harold will be the checker. If we are paying with smiles you had better go.”

    She was not going to be put off the fight. “You can’t keep putting expenses on your personal credit card. We either need less animals or better fundraisers.”

    “We won’t raise any more money in this town. Everyone is tapped out.”

    “Then what are we going to do?”

    Jason realized she was about to burst into tears and he wasn’t sure he could take that. Only thing he could do was to look away. Finally he said, “Go back to basics. Remember why you wanted to open the shelter. The motive has to be strong enough to carry you through the hard times.”

    The silence went too long. Jason wanted to man up and check on her, but he knew there would be tears hiding in the silence. “I didn’t want to start this shelter.” She said it very quietly, like it was a shameful admission.

    The confession shocked Jason. He spun around and said, “Then why did you?”

    “I did it for you.”

    “What do you mean you did it for me?”

    “You said you hated shelters that put animals to sleep.”

    Jason blushed, remembering the day they met. “I only said that as an excuse to meet you.”

    “Then why did you start this shelter?”

    “I did it for you. You suggested it and I needed an excuse to be near you.”

    “You did?”

    “Yes, I love you.” Jason shocked them both with his own confession.

    “I love you too.” Her stare softened considerably and now she wasn’t the only one crying.

    Jason finally broke the silence. “So will you let me go put some more food on my credit card?”

    “Yes, if you will let me put up a sign saying we won’t accept any more animals.”

    1. :) No need to apologize! The Special Challenge is optional. :) And your story is very sweet...I may have had a tear or two...ahem...but wanting to be near someone is not a very smart reason to start a business. :) Perhaps they will be a bit more intentional on their next venture.

      Are you doing NaNo this year? Will you be able to participate in November and judge if you win?

    2. Thanks for reading it. And commenting. Regarding NaNo I am not doing it. Whether to go next week or wait December, either way is fine with me. Whatever the majority wants.

  7. “What, did you think it was going to be all rainbows and puppies?” Melissa whispered, a smile on her face. Her daughter Amanda was fast asleep in her arms, her mouth agape, sleeping without a care, sleeping the sleep only a child can. I was helping her mother put her to bed – carrying a blanket and a stuffed rabbit, its left ear worn from tiny fingers. Melissa was referring to the decoration in her daughter’s room, all purples and blacks and magic wands.

    “I grew up in a family of all boys – I didn’t see the room of a girl until I was out of college, and then that was a little different.” I hoped my blush didn’t show too obviously in the dim light. “Uh, what got her interested in all of this?”

    Melissa tucked her daughter in and gave her a kiss on the cheek, resting her hand on her forehead just for a moment. Taking my hand, she guided me out to the hallway and closed the door behind her before wrapping her arms around me. “You did know her mother was a witch, didn’t you?”

    189 words

    1. I was extremely confused about who your pov character was until the end. I think the end would have worked better if that had been clear from the beginning somehow...I assumed a female helper during the first paragraph, so I was still adjusting to a male perspective when it finished. Thanks for sharing!

      Are you doing NaNo? Would you be able to judge if you won in November? I'm trying to decide what to do with the contest for the next month. :)

    2. Yeah, I rushed to get that story in around too many other things last night, and it shows. I'm all good with November - no way I can do NaNo. :)

  8. Muse Abuse
    500 Words
    Special Challenge accepted

    What, did you think it was going to be all rainbows and puppies? Writing a story is hard work. You have to have a plot. A theme. Characters developed. Where are they going? Why? How? What are they hoping to accomplish? What’s the problem and how will it resolve?

    Did you seriously think you could sit down with paper and pen and “just write” a story? Of course you started out well. We all do. The idea is fresh and I’m motivated. But after a few paragraphs, maybe a few chapters since you seem to be so gifted, it gets wishy-washy and becomes mumbo-jumbo. Look at what you just wrote. It doesn’t make any sense! Who is this Jaed who waltzed in on page seven and why is the dragon suddenly bi-polar?

    I don’t care that you’ve finished a novel. That doesn’t make you worth reading. What, you think you can force me to cooperate now that you’ve made a complete mess of this one? More coffee isn’t going to help. Staring at what you just wrote isn’t going to magically finish that sentence. It’s been 19 hours since you’ve slept and you’re only on day four.

    Sure, go back and edit. Re-edit your re-editing for all I care. You can make that fifth chapter as pretty as you want, but it isn’t going to do you much good if you can’t get chapter six to flow right. I told you to jot down your ideas in an outline, but did you listen to me? No. Now you can’t remember if he was supposed to propose on Christmas or Valentine’s Day. Honestly, I hope he doesn’t propose at all. He started out okay, but man what a conflicted, love-sick puppy he’s become! I can’t stand him or comprehend how you can still think he’s a catch. You’ve broken that backbone he was supposed to have (yeah, I remember you describing him like that and wish you’d hold him to it) and he’s done so many out-of-character things by now that you should just reinvent the guy.

    One week left to finish this rotten novel. No, I’m not going to come back from tea yet. I still have a cookie to eat. And perhaps pour myself another cup of tea. You need me to help with the epic battle? No dice, I can’t stand the smell of blood. Good luck, though. Don’t accidentally kill off your main character. If I get you a cup of cocoa, will you stop glaring at me like that?

    Oh, hello. Is it time already? Let me put down my newspaper and we can discuss strategy. Two hours until the deadline? Piece of cake. Now to put all these pieces together that you’ve conveniently thrown all over the place. Roll up your sleeves and get off Facebook, for pete’s sake. No one cares about your pathetic NaNoWriMo complaints. You’re the bright one who wanted to do it in the first place.

    By the way, congratulations.

    1. I am not doing NaNoWriMo so whatever other people want is fine by me. (As long as these prompts continue!) :)

    2. HAHAHA! My favorite line: "Roll up your sleeves and get off Facebook, for pete's sake." Loved it! That is one snarky muse! :) (btw, I'm 0 for 2 in my NaNo attempts...maybe the third time's a charm???) Thanks for answering my question! You should get bonus points for that...alas, I'm not the judge! They'll definitely keep coming, but I was wondering if anyone would have the time to judge! Apparently you will! I will have to ask everyone else again.

    3. Third time is always the charm! Good luck on your writings and I hope your muse doesn't get nearly as snarky as mine does. =)