Monday, January 13, 2014


Welcome back! We've got a fun prompt for you today and I'm looking forward to seeing what you all come up with! Dream big and happy writing! :)

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 Rachelle Wood. Read her winning tale from last week here!

 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #28 is:

Nothing good ever happens after midnight.

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Incorporate at least three small, furry animals (Please don't kill them)



  1. “Nothing good ever happens after midnight,” Rabbit whispered, “nothing. My aunt got eaten by a barn owl one night when she thought she’d gotten a late-night craving for Farmer Meadow’s carrots.”

    “Oh, quit your worrying, floppy-ears. There’s nothing out here that we can’t get away from. And the best bugs don’t come out until dark.”

    “You and your superior sonic hearing again. You wouldn’t be acting all high and mighty if there were humans around. They think I’m cute. You, they hit with tennis racquets. And stop flitting about when I’m trying to talk to you!”

    Bat settled on an overhanging branch and munched a particularly large insect of indeterminate species. “Fine.” She chewed for a bit. “He’s almost here, by the way.”

    Rabbit squeaked. “He is? Give me some notice, next time!”

    “Oh, sure – one moment, you’re berating me for my sonar, the next you want me to use it more. And they call birds flighty.”

    “You know I could never live without you. I’m just nervous.”

    “Try to be less nervous. Here he comes.”

    A rustling in the hedges confirmed Bat’s statement, and out popped Mouse. He involuntarily recoiled when he saw Bat hanging overhead, then skittered over to Rabbit’s side. “I don’t know that I’ll ever get used to hanging out with her like that.”

    “You do look awfully tasty tonight.”

    Rabbit glared at Bat. “Oh, stop it. You’re not going to eat him, and he knows it. Mouse, did you get it?”

    This time it was Mouse’s turn to glare. “Of course I did. Have I ever not gotten it?”

    “You’re the best, little guy. I love ya. If I wasn’t genetically programmed to eat you, I’d invite you over for a look at my etchings.” Bat flew down from the branch and landed next to Mouse. “Can we see it?”

    “I hid it – do you think I’m that dense?”

    “Well, where is it then?”

    Mouse looked down at the grass and mumbled something that Rabbit couldn’t quite hear, but Bat caught on right away.

    “What! You what? He ate it!”

    “Ate it?” Rabbit screeched. “I’ll eat you!”

    “Hey, that’s my line!”

    “It wasn’t my fault!” Mouse cried. “They put it in the cheese. The cheese! How was I supposed to know?”

    “What are we going to do now? We needed that potion to become human again!”

    Mouse smiled. “You mean you needed the potion.” He started to glow, swelling in size until he was much larger than Rabbit. Mouse’s large, pink hands reached out to grab his friends, holding Rabbit by the scruff of his neck and ignoring Bat’s furious bites.

    “Stop it! I promise that I’ll take care of you until we can find more.”

    “I told you nothing good happens after midnight.”

    459 words
    Special Challenge Accepted (if you find bats small and furry)

  2. Title: 2 AM Travel Time

    Nothing good ever happens after midnight, but all the fun things do, assuming of course that what you consider fun is transporting through space and time. A walk in the park became much more late one night when my life forever.

    Just sitting there in the grass at my feet was a small, glossy black sphere. The size and shape reminded me of those decorative spheres that people use in their landscaping. Thinking it was nothing different, I reached down to pick it up.

    My body surged and my vision went as black as the sphere. When I opened my eyes, it was clear I was somewhere else. Everything looked the same, but wasn’t. The grass was green, the air was crisp, the sky was blue, and twin suns shone down from that azure sky. Startled, I did a double check and yet the twin suns remained. It was not a figment of my imagination.

    Neither was the same black sphere that landed me in this strange but similar place. It sat there in the grass as it had before. A seemingly impossible combination of scared, excited, curious, and terrified churned through my body. I stood there frozen for an immeasurable amount of time, staring at the sphere, at my new environment, then back to the sphere.

    Curiosity got the best of me, and I touched the sphere again to see what would happen. The same blackness overcame me, my body feeling like it was moving despite my legs and arms remaining still.

    When I opened my eyes again, I was back where it all started. A clock tower nearby rang three times, making me jump over the sudden noise. I was gone for an hour? It felt like five minutes. I looked down where the sphere sat, and as the seconds ticked by, it slowly disappeared until it was gone. Even the grass remained unbent, as if the sphere never existed.

    The next night a few minutes before 2am, I returned to the same park. As soon as the clock tower struck the hour, the sphere materialized at my feet. Curious, I reached for the sphere. The surge was expected and didn’t scare me as much as before.

    I opened my eyes when it felt like I had stopped. Instead of the world with twin suns, I was in a room.

    And, I wasn’t alone.

    I was surrounded with what appeared to be tribbles. It was like I had been transported into an episode of Star Trek. I half-expected Captain Kirk to come striding in the room. I laughed, and sat down in the middle of the pile of little, fuzzy creatures. They chirped with happiness as I touched the ones nearest to me. If I was going to be transported to another place, there were much worse places to be.

    The sphere waited off to one side of the room, a tribble resting on top of it, until I was ready to go home again.

    497 Words
    Special Challenge accepted

  3. See How They Run

    Nothing good ever happens after midnight. While that may not have been actually taught to the soldiers of the Rodent Confederation’s Clandestine Operations Group (RCCOG), it was nonetheless true.

    In concept, Operation Stockpile was an audacious and, admittedly, risky gambit. With the temperatures growing colder every night and rations become ever more sparse, the need for audacity was clear. Without additional food to supplement the moldering scraps the quartermasters provided, many of the soldiers would likely not survive the coming winter unscathed.

    From the cover provided by the tall grass, Major Nigel P. Twitchwhisker surveyed the darkened farmhouse with guarded caution. If there was anything he’d grown to hate in his years with RCCOG, it was going into an op with insufficient intelligence. When he’d complained of such, following the initial mission briefing, he’d been chastised by his superiors most harshly. The lads in Intel were, he was told in no uncertain terms, doing their level best. It was not seemly for the line soldiers to cast aspersions on their work.

    A fortnight later, cold and tired and hunkered down in a muddy ditch, Twitchwhisker was no less disgruntled. There were just too many variables in this for him to not feel so. He checked his chronometer and frowned. The three men he’d sent ahead as a diversionary tactic were overdue. He was beginning to sorely regret having sent them into the unknown essentially blind.

    With no forewarning of anything amiss, the silence of the night was broken by screams and uproar. Moments later, Corporal Liam Cheddarbreath and his companions, Privates Ray Gorgonzola and Bucky Crumbsnatch, burst out the door of the house. From his hidden vantage point, Twitchwhisker could see they were being pursued by an immense, hulking form. From the way his troops were moving, it was clear they had sustained significant injuries and might not be able to successfully extract to the rally point. He could spare no concern for them as the remainder of his force deployed. The best he could do for his men’s sacrifice was to ensure it had not been in vain.

    He was back at base for nearly three days before the major could bring himself to visit his wounded trio of scouts in the base infirmary. While Operation Stockpile had achieved its objective and the specter of hunger put to rest, it had come at a heavy cost. No one had anticipated the wife of the landholder would defend against their intrusion so vehemently. While his men were seasoned fighters all, they had little experience of facing a wild-eyed opponent wielding a knife with such ferocity. They would bear the scars of that battle not only within their hearts but for all the world to see in the terrible disfigurement they had suffered at the hands of their foe.

    Entering the intensive care ward, he could scarcely imagine how traumatic it would be for those poor souls to face going through the rest of their lives…without tails. It just wasn’t right

    500 words @klingorengi Special Challenge accepted

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Nothing good ever happens after midnight. Only a few seconds after the cuckoo clock sang out 12 times, Lucy heard the scratching on the kitchen window. She cursed the previous homeowner who had taught the creature to expect food. It was unnerving to hear it trying to pry the window up. Before she had moved into the house, she hadn’t realized that raccoons actually had hands. She also hadn’t realized how persistent they were. This raccoon simply would not accept that his buddy didn’t live here anymore.

    Her nearest neighbor had suggested several remedies for the problem, but none of them involved polite ways of communicating to Obstreperous Olly that he was no longer welcome in this backyard. Most of them involved maiming or outright slaughter, and Lucy didn’t hate the raccoon that much. She simply didn’t want to hear him rattling the windowpane or trying to pry the sill up. Why couldn’t he just raid the garbage can the way the rest of the raccoons in the neighborhood did?

    He wouldn’t stop even if she went to the window to shoo him away. In fact, this usually made him hopeful. The truth was that she mainly hated his visits because every night he came, she worried that it wasn’t the raccoon at the window. It sometimes took her an hour to steel herself up to confirming that it was just Olly and not something else trying to get in.

    Tonight Olly seemed especially frantic. He even climbed up the trellis and rattled the windchimes. Apparently the previous homeowner had tried to make Olly earn his supper with music. Whether Olly had ever played a real melody for him was beyond Lucy’s knowledge. For her, Olly mainly clanged the chimes together like an insane clown. Someday she was going to remember to get a ladder and take the chimes down.

    Lucy slowly counted to fifty, promising herself that she would definitely get up and confirm this was Olly when she reached fifty. At twenty-five, the tension grew too great, and she jumped up and ran to the window. This time, she did not find what she expected. Instead of Olly grimacing and slapping his small clawed palms against the window pane, there were two tiny raccoons staring up at her while Olly hung from the trellis and tried to open the window from the top.

    Lucy shook her head and gave in. She opened a tin of tuna, eased the window open two inches, and gently slid the can through the crack onto the windowsill. Olly gave her a cocky look before he lowered himself to the sill and joined his children in their midnight snack. She silently felt a moment of gratitude for her refusal to accept her neighbor’s offer to take care of Olly for good. When Olly demanded more food after the tin was finished, she didn’t hesitate to give him more. For the first time in weeks, Lucy went to sleep loving her new house.

    1. I'm having trouble following rules tonight. My word count is 499 words @violetgrendel and I accepted the challenge.

  6. "Family Pack"
    Jeremy Milburn
    Word Count: 497
    Special Challenge: accepted

    *Nothing good ever happens after midnight,* Mel thought as she huddled under the blankets. She whimpered at a scratching sound against her window, but peeked out to see what caused it. The neighbor's tabby peered back at her, and she sighed in relief. She clicked on her lamp, threw back the covers, and padded over to the window, navigating around the stuffed animals strewn about the floor. "Mr. Mittens, what are you doing out here at this time of night?"

    She opened the pane, but Mr. Mittens didn't jump into her room. He just stared at her, ears flicking. "What is it, sweetie?" Mel reached out to pet the orange fur, but the cat hissed at her, hair standing on end. "Fine! Be that way."

    She reached up to close the window, but a gloved hand filled with a soaked rag snaked around her mouth and nose, pulling her back. She struggled until darkness overtook her.


    Tiny feet pattering on her chest stirred Mel to wakefulness. She opened her eyes to see a gray-furred mouse skittering on top of her body. She screamed, the mind-fog burned away by her fear and disgust. She bolted up, slapping at the violated area and hopping around as shudders racked her body.

    When she calmed, she started looking at her surroundings. Her arms wrapped around her thin torso as she took in the slime-stained stone walls, the rough granite broken only by a small opening covered by thick, rusted bars. "Mommy? Daddy?" she whispered.

    She shivered, her nightgown scant protection against the cold. A thin sliver of moonlight shone on a barred wooden door, and panic overtook her. She rushed over and pounded against the wood, screaming, "LET ME OUT! PLEASE!"

    A small opening in the door squeaked open, familiar eyes peeking in, before disappearing again. "Mom? Mom! What's going on?"


    Mel's head swung around, searching for the source of her father's voice. "Dad? What does that mean?"

    Silence answered her. She trudged into a corner, wet tracks on her cheeks. She slid down the wall and buried her face in her drawn-up knees. Sleep overcame her as confusion and grief ran their course.

    A red-hot stab of pain slapped her out of sleep. She flopped to the floor, writhing as her bones cracked and popped. She bit back a scream and blood poured down her chin from shredded lips. Fingernails shredded as she scratched the walls, crimson streaks marking her efforts.

    She gagged as the smell of dirty fur assaulted her nostrils. A tiny mouse scurried across the floor. Mel howled and pounced, just missing the creature as another iron-hot burst shot through her chest. The door swung open and two bipedal wolf-like creatures panted in anticipation.

    Mel growled and the larger wolf-creature barked at her. She lowered her head at the sound. The pair grinned and loped down the hallway. Mel, the brand-new werewolf pup, trotted after her parents.

  7. Title: Bloodthirsty Fuzzballs Strike Again!!!

    Nothing good ever happens after midnight.

    She really should have known better. She did know better - Mr. Patton had told her not to go near the carnivores’ enclosures, but did she listen? Of course not. And now look at her. Smack dab in the middle of a violent pack of fuzzballs.

    So maybe this situation requires a little bit of explanation.

    (Not too much, though. The fuzzballs are getting closer by the minute.)

    Lanie has always loved animals, so naturally she leaped at the opportunity to work at the InterGalactic Wildlife Zoo, on planet 1367-XB in the outer ring. Endangered Frichakas, (or as she referred to them, fat green antelopes), Martian Psyros, (creepy spider things), and the exotic Slitherns (snakes with fur)… It was a dream come true! Unfortunately, it turns out that there’s not much for a high-school dropout to do at the Zoo other than shovel dung, and maybe man the SnoCone stands every now and then. Not exactly what she had in mind when she signed up, that’s for sure.

    Anyway. This is all backstory. What you need to know is that Lanie had big dreams, and she was not gonna shovel dung for the rest of her life.

    (Though right now that’s not looking like such a bad fate, all things considered. Certainly better than being ripped to shreds by a pack of fluffy little marshmallows.)

    So fast-forward to about an hour ago. It was a typical night at the Zoo, shoveling dung in the herbivores’ enclosures. She was scheduled for the night shift when she first started, and hasn’t managed to escape it since. Her boss had left a half hour ago, tossing the usual warnings over his shoulder. Stay away from the electrified fences, for the love of god don’t go near the fuzzballs, blah, blah, blah.

    Any normal girl would have listened, but Lanie has never been burdened with an over-developed sense of self-preservation.

    They always seemed so stupid, nestled between the bigger, scarier carnivores. They were just fuzzy little balls of fluff. How bad could they be?

    So, imagine you’re a young woman who’s unhappy with her job, and sees a chance to advance by sneaking into a cage with highly aggressive carnivores to dispose of their dung.

    Alright, so maybe you wouldn’t take that chance. Most people wouldn’t.

    But Lanie is not most people.

    How the hell did she forget they were nocturnal?

    She hadn't taken three steps before they surrounded her. Now there are three of them in front of her, with about three hundred teeth among them.

    “Nice fuzzballs. Good fuzzballs.”

    Lanie is backed up against the rocky wall at the end of the enclosure, but she’s got nowhere to escape to. The realization that she is about to be torn apart by brightly colored balls of fluff is not as amusing as she thinks it should be.

    It certainly makes for an lighthearted headline in the Spacefarers’ Herald the next morning, though.

    1. Whoops, reading failure : 499 words, Special Challenge accepted

  8. The curious case of the midnight troubles:

    Nothing good ever happens midnight. Society would fall apart each time midnight struck. Buildings torched, nuns kicked and ghost-hunter show ratings rose inexplicably. The government didn’t care because they were still collecting their taxes. After years of torched buildings businesses cared enough to purchase the government’s attention.

    Our government realized it had a monumental decision to make. In times like this, the powerful leaders sought the wisdom of the kind and gentle first human inhabitants. They summoned Jake, not the State Farm agent, though he is well respected. Instead, they summoned Jake, the greatest native healer. After the success of marijuana legalization, and the lack of societal collapse, several native tribes sued gain the privilege to sell peyote. During the last budget impasse a junior legislator suggested a native healer be brought in.

    Government decided the fairest way to decide which healer would be to summon the native healer who had paid the greatest amount of taxes. (The natives do not have to pay taxes, but any sales to non-natives are taxable). Jake from Jersey, a pale ginger, turned out to be the top native healer.

    “What you guys need?”

    “Inspiration. We must protect our nation against the disruption that comes every midnight.”

    “Return here tonight. I will bring what is needed.”

    Legislature resumed that evening.

    “Shut the doors, and open your minds,” Jake said. His associates, also in trendy Hammer pants and tank tops plug in an electric fireplace in the middle of the chamber. The one associate has a dream catcher tattooed on his shoulder — he is very spiritual.

    Each legislator, and each aide, is issued peyote.

    “This is a native spiritual experience?” a junior aide asks.

    An associate grabbed the aide and led him away.

    To a group of shocked staffers Jake says, “karma matters. We can not have any negative energy. Now, relax and breathe deep.”

    Two hours later congress had their solution…

    Any that was when the last midnight was help. From that day forth, each day lasted for eight hours. The first eight-hour period is Manx, followed by Ocicat and then Angora.

    When asked by a grateful populous how this decision was reached, Representative Leonard explained, “we were asked to focus on what matters to us most. And so I thought of my children, and husbands, but then it came to me. I must focus on the most important thing in life.

    What is better than cute kittens?”

    Led by the crazy cat lady and the native healer, society solved their midnight issue by eliminating it.

    No word on how to solve the issues at the end of Angora.

    twitter: @michaelsimko1
    Special Challenge: Accepted… and implemented… poorly
    Word Count: 438

    Not edited -- deal with it

  9. Nothing good after happens after midnight, was what her mom always said. Yea right, Amber thought to herself as she crept down the stairs, all of the best things always happen after midnight! This teenage logic fueled her on as she tried to silently skip the third stair from the bottom. This squeaky stair had gotten her caught two weeks ago.

    Tiffany, a 9th grader, had said there may even be alcohol at the party tonight! Amber, an 8th grader, had never tried it before, but all of the older kids did it.

    She tiptoed to the back door, trying not to think that her two bunnies were judging her from the corner. She eased to the backdoor and found that it was unlocked. Once outside, she sighed with relief and headed around the side of the house.

    Suddenly, she saw that her parents had left a hose dripping in the side yard and there was a puddle of mud blocking her way. Cursing, she waded across. As she came around the front, she could see Tiffany’s car parked at the end of her driveway with it’s lights off.

    Amber had started across the front yard when she heard a quick clicking noise. Knowing what was about to happen, she dived behind a bush. Sprinklers popped out of the grass and started spraying in wide, even arcs. Weird, she thought, my parents usually have them timed for 6pm.

    Observing the timing of the sprinklers, she paused, then ran. She came to rest behind a tree in the middle of the yard. Hearing a rustling above her, she looked up. Suddenly a bat swooped down close to her face.

    Choking down a scream, she ran to the driveway, ignoring the jets of water in her panic. Wiping water off her face, she hoped it hadn’t ruined her makeup. Her previously perfect hairdo was a mess and the bottom half of her top had gotten hit. Her feet were muddy and she had a maroon smudge on her skirt where it had brushed against the brick wall.

    She headed down the driveway, hoping that the dark would cover most of the damage.

    “What the HELL happened to you?” Tiffany asked upon seeing her, as the two other older girls stood behind her. Amber tried to brush it off.

    “It’s nothing. Let’s go to this party!” She pleaded.

    “Seriously? Like I’m going to let you show up with me at this party looking like that? I was already taking a chance bringing a CHILD.” With her nose in the air, she signaled to her friends to climb back into the car and took off.

    Amber dejectedly went back inside her house and up the stairs. With her hand on her bedroom door handle, she saw a note stuck to the door.

    “Amber- Nice try. There’s a towel on your bed. Please lock the back door if you haven’t already. We told you nothing good happens after midnight. You are grounded. Love, your parents”

    Word Count- 500
    Challenge Accepted
    Twitter: @anonwriterindy

  10. No Title
    381 Words
    Special Challenge

    “Nothing good ever happens after midnight,” Professor Puffly stated while tapping the chalkboard with his pointer. “Remember that when you prepare your spells.” He waddled to the other side of his desk and leaned against it, crossing his paws. “Who wants to give me an example?”

    Hetty peeked across the classroom and made eye contact with her best friend, Pearlie. They shared a private giggle. Would anyone dare mention the professor’s calamity that turned him into a hamster?

    “Cinderella,” one of the students piped up. “Midnight is when she lost everything.”

    “But without midnight, she would never have piqued the prince’s interest!” Pearlie blurted. “I’d say that’s gaining something. I mean, the wedding happened after midnight, right?” She was the smartest pixie in class. Hetty was sometimes jealous of how well she could debate anybody--- including the professors!

    “That is a point, Miss Pearlina,” Professor Puffly nodded. “But that has to do more with how they handled things, not the spell itself. Anyone else?”

    “Sleeping beauty? Didn’t her spinning wheel have something to do with midnight?”

    “Scrooge was visited by three spirits after midnight,” another student volunteered. “He was doomed to an afterlife of chains!”

    “But he changed for the better because of that visit!” Pearlie retorted.

    Professor Puffly’s nose twitched. Clearly this lesson wasn’t going as planned. The students whispered among themselves as they tried to think of examples. Hetty wracked her brain for another spell that involved midnight. There had to be lots! It was cliché after all. It couldn’t be cliché unless it was overused. Nothing came to mind, however. None except...

    In the back of the room, William raised his paw tentatively, “Pardon me, Professor, but I can think of one.”

    The room hushed and Professor Puffly called on him in surprise. William hardly ever paid attention in class, but that was to be expected. He was the only woodchuck in the pixie-only course God-mothering 101 and administration had yet to look at his transfer request.

    William glanced nervously back and forth and gulped. “You and Principal Fennysticks put spells on each other that changed you both into animals. You couldn’t reverse it before it became midnight.”

    Even Pearlie couldn’t refute that one. It was a lot worse being a chubby hamster than an adorable chinchilla.