Monday, September 8, 2014


Happy September! Hope you've had a great first week of it. Thanks for coming back to join us. I've been an editing fiend recently, so I haven't been taking a lot of time to be online. ...I really love making progress again. So while I'm marking up my manuscript, you all go write something amazing. Make me smile. :) (And have fun!) HAVE AT YOU!

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 Rasha Tayaket. Read her winning tale from last week here! Check out her blog here. Here's what she has to say about herself: I like reading and I like writing. I write what I like to read and I read what I aspire to write. Sometimes it works, sometimes not, but either way I enjoy the ride!

 Your first sentence for FINISH THAT THOUGHT #2-10 is:

The day [Anna dyed her hair purple] was the day the news broke that notorious mass murderer [John "The Chef" Baxter] had escaped from police custody.

 Your SPECIAL CHALLENGE from the judge is:

Incorporate some type of life lesson or moral.



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  2. A Tasty Lesson Never Learned

    The day Anna dyed her hair purple was the day the news broke that notorious mass murderer Dianne “The Baker” had escaped from police custody. Not that Anna heard the news. She was too busy going to the mall for nail polish, the Joint for pizza and her BFF’s for the latest gossip.

    The setting sun cast shadows across the porch when Anna arrived home. The Rents, aka Mom and dad, would have been home for hours, their cars were in the drive. She waited for the customary accusations that she was late, had forgotten something somewhere and would thus be grounded until, fifteen minutes and another drink when they forgot she existed. The sounds of dinner cooking and dad yelling at Dodger to take the garbage out before dinner, were absent. Even their pet parrot pete was silent, Rover wasn’t licking an impolite spot only dogs can reach, and the grandfather clock had ceased its infernal ticking.

    Anna missed the dusting of flour in the foyer, and probably the eggshell near the fish tank on her way passed. What she didn’t miss was the smell of death as she entered the kitchen, putrid copper odor that lingered like boys outside the girl’s locker room, or the piled high plate of double chocolate turtle brownies steaming on the counter. The Rents sat hunched over the table seemingly engaged in the newspaper and she’d taken two bites of the deadly delectables before she noticed her brother lying on the floor, a brown speck still clinging to his lips.

    262 words

  3. The Not So Great Escape

    The day that Nana dyed her hair neon-green was the day the news broke that notorious mass murderer John "The Chef" Baxter had escaped from police custody. The entire family saw the whole thing. My brother came rushing into the house, yelling. "Quick, turn on the news, our grandmother has just been kidnapped by that nasty killer the police finally caught!"

    You see, it just so happened that Nana's favorite beauty salon was located next door to the police station and on that particular day there was a news crew there doing a special about cutting edge styles for senior citizens. For some unfathomable reason Baxter ignored all of the new, speedy vehicles and instead decided that Nana's antique lipstick-red Cadillac convertible would make the perfect getaway car. He leapt in through the open roof, pointing his stolen pistol in her face. "Get out bitch!" He screamed. The bored cameraman and reporter were quick to focus on the action, sensing a breaking story.

    She tsked at him. "Language young man, language. I won't budge an inch until you apologize."

    A torrent of policemen poured out of the station. "God damn it lady! All right, already, I'm sorry for calling you that name. Now will you get out of the car?"

    "Apology accepted, but you forgot to say please." She scolded. "And I most certainly will not get out, this is my vehicle and I go where it goes." Nana being Nana, haughtily refused.

    "Then drive woman, drive! Put the petal to the metal!" His finger tightening on the trigger, he screamed in seething frustration.

    Nana complied. She put the car into gear, carefully backed out and drove off down the road. The cameraman darted after them catching every moment.

    The only problem was that Nana's top speed was only forty miles per hour. "Can't get this heap to go any faster?" He fretted.

    "I'm afraid not." Thus the policemen racing after them in hot pursuit caught them a mere three blocks later.

    They pulled him fighting and swearing from the caddy, cuffed him, and hauled him away, capturing it all on film.

    The chief of police himself took Nana's statement. "Weren't you afraid ma'am?" He asked with some concern, Nana being a little bit of a thing, standing just over five feet tall and weighing a scant one hundred and ten pounds.

    Nana sniffed in disapproval. "Certainly not, it was just a childish prank!"

    "Um, ma'am that was the infamous mass murderer John "The Chef" Baxter."

    "I don't care how famous or infamous he was. That still doesn't change the fact that that young man has a lot of growing up to do yet. He would not have been caught if only he had asked me to please drive faster. There's simply no excuse for bad manners." The ecstatic reporter caught every word, within minutes the video had gone viral and Nana had become a household name. She's even been offered her own cable tv reality show!

    493 Words
    Special Challenge Accepted

  4. Plums
    458 words
    Not sure challenge accepted :)

    The day Anna dyed her hair purple was the day the news broke that notorious mass murderer John “The Chef” Baxter had escaped from police custody. It was a perfectly normal day she’d dropped her husband off at work and bought the hair dye on a whim. She meant to pick up radiant blonde and when she unpacked it at home realised it was perfect plum. She’d hummed and harred over whether to take it back or just go for it. She’d been on a course of mindfulness; he husband had found this so amusing he laughed long and hard when she mentioned habit releasers and living in the moment. Meditating over this quandary for a few minutes she happily started squirting the dye over her wet hair.

    “Oh for God’s sake” she exclaimed loudly to herself as the door bell rang constantly.
    Taking one of her best towels she wound it around her dyed hair and made for the door hoping nothing would drip on to the parquet floor that her husband held so dear to his heart. Sometimes she felt he loved this house more than her.

    “Oh my God” exclaimed the man on the doorstep.

    Anna laughed, she hadn’t realised the dye had dripped over her face leaving a trail of crimson, half an hour later it would be deep purple.

    “Have you hurt yourself?”

    “No, have you?”

    The man was wearing a boiler suit and down his left shin was a wet, bloody patch. He smiled.

    “Occupational hazard but if you have a large plaster and a cup of hot tea I’d be grateful”

    Anna found herself seated at the kitchen table. She’d bathed and dressed the leg wound of the man she now knew as Johnny and was eating one of the best omelettes she’d ever had. He’d just opened her fridge and conjured up this meal out of nothing. It was so special she’d completely forgotten about the dye on her hair. He told her he was working in the area and caught his leg on barbed wire in a neighbour’s garden. She told him about trying to live in the moment then he told her about the girls.

    Anna listened carefully, she tried to remember each girls name, there were so many. She asked him questions, he replied honestly. She thought she should be repulsed but she felt exhilarated.

    “Am I next?

    He laughed out loud.

    “I’ve always liked plums”

    She took that to be a no and started to rinse the dye out of her hair.

    Watching television that night with her husband the news programmes were full of the mass murderer.

    “He looks quite nice” said Anna

    “What have you done to your hair?”

    “Thankfully some people like plums”

  5. Just a little prick
    @geofflepard 496 words
    The day Anna decided on her first tattoo was the day the news broke that notorious mass murderer John ‘Tatts’ Baxter had escaped from police custody. It was her first tattoo, but special circumstances called for special measures.
    She was nervous as she approached the store; the general noise and kerfuffle were not helping any. Lots of shouting and inconsiderate running. One man had told her to ‘get your arse off the street lady’. This was less offensive for at least acknowledging she had a bottom, which was more than Gregory had ever done.
    She tutted to herself as she thought of Gregory. Silly man, making all those snide remarks about her appearance. Nothing pleased him. ‘Get some work done, why don’t you? You earn enough at that stupid bank. Get a new face for starters.’ He’d even gone so far as to bring home a brochure for a plastic surgeon. Well, that proved more useful than he ever imagined.
    The door to the tattoo parlour swung open. Empty.
    Silence. Now this is trusting, she thought as she surveyed the empty shop, with the till open and a bundle of notes clearly visible.
    ‘I say. Anyone here?’
    Nothing. Anna felt worry bead her brow. She didn’t need to be getting anxious; it was difficult enough having such a major procedure as a tattoo – she’d heard about dirty needles. Opposite the counter and high in the wall a TV, with the sound off, showed lots of police. Anna frowned. Were they nearby?
    Her attention was drawn to the back room by creaking furniture. She peered through the bead curtain. Two men. One was standing, admiring his back. It looked to Anna like every inch was covered in tattoos. He said, ‘Good job Jimmy. It’s complete.’ The other man nodded a fraction, his hands shaking.
    The first man spotted her. ‘Hello?’
    ‘Oh sorry. I didn’t mean to disturb you. I’ll wait…’
    ‘Nah. I’m done. Come in.’
    While the tattooed man began to pull on his shirt Anna said to Jimmy, ‘I want a small tattoo. Here.’ She pointed at her forearm. ‘Just a few words. Ten letters in total. How much is that?’
    Jimmy appeared incapable of speech. The tattooed man said, ‘He’ll do it as a special, today. Favour to me for being his best customer. What is it you want?’
    ‘I thought ‘Greg is dead’. When I wash my hands I’ll be forever reminded he has gone.’
    The tattooed man murmured, ‘I’m sorry lady, for your loss.’
    Anna smiled. ‘Oh don’t be. I’ve been meaning to kill him for years. I used his silly brochure to make papier-mâché mask and suffocated him with it. Plastic surgery. At my age. Shall I sit there?’
    The two men stared at Anna. Anna kept on smiling. ‘Thank you, er..?’
    The tattooed man pointed at the TV. It was showing a police photo, captioned: ‘Most wanted: John ‘Tatts’ Baxter’.
    She giggled. ‘And I thought the police were after me!’

  6. The Tragedy of Mrs. Chibbles: A Tale from Persimmon Hallow

    The day Mrs. Chibbles dyed her fur purple was the day the news broke that notorious mass murderer Evil-Eye Kinevil had escaped from police custody. Of course the former news out-rivaled the latter news by far in Persimmon Hallow. Kinevil had a habit of eluding Sheriff Hopsalot’s brute squad on a daily basis. Well, eluding or eating them as the case more often was. This unfortunate fact of life was one of the main factors in our continually electing the rabbits as our police force against the nefarious hawks. It didn’t matter how many brave, young lads the birds carted away, there were always 10 or 12 more bright-eyed, eager bunnies to take their places. Rapid breeding and all.

    Now, where was I going with this? Oh yes! Mrs. Chibbles, the newest bride of Harry Chibbles the hedgehog, went into Selma Salamander’s Salon on Tuesday as usual to get her fur trimmed. This was a weekly habit of hers as the paparazzi hardly ever left the poor chinchilla alone. She didn’t mind the attention much, fame and food were two of the reasons she consented to the inter-specie marriage after all. She came from the city, where she had her own human servant to wait on her hand and foot. What brought her to our little community? I’m not sure exactly, though I think the “leaked” story, if you pardon that phrase, is that she grew tired of the glamour and decided to travel the world. Personally, I believe she fell out of a car on the way to somewhere and the human didn’t bother to retrieve her.

    Ah, here I am digressing again. Anyway, Mrs. Chibbles went into that salon grey and came out purple. It was the most beautiful shade of purple I’d ever laid eyes on, a deep purple, like an eggplant. The horrors! The sacrilege! Never before had such a colour been seen in Persimmon Hallow. Beautiful though the colour was, we townsfolk found it extremely offensive. Well, those pesky mosquitoes swarmed on her in an instant with their microphones shoved against her snout and the fireflies stood by with their cameras flashing away. Mrs. Chibbles was in raptures. She preened her fur and strutted down Main Lane in all her rebellious glory.

    Then, just like that, she was gone. Timothy Fieldmouse claims he saw old Evil-Eye glide off into the trees with a mass of purple fur clutched in his talons. As for me, I believe the Maker snatched her disgraceful hide from the earth. After all, chinchillas have no business being purple.

    Word Count: 428
    Special Challenge alluded to

  7. Judgement

    The day Chloe decided to dye her hair was the day the news broke that the notorious mass murderer Joan “The Maid of” Orleans had escaped from police custody. The escape was worrisome to most in a college town full of immoral sinners. The Maid had spent her life chasing down the wicked and delivering her own version of justice. She killed women with clean reputations. Their sins would come out after their deaths: greed, lust, and sloth.

    The presence of a dark avenger didn’t threaten Chloe. Chloe would imagine The Maid punishing her tormentors, but then would apologize for the thought. With tens of thousands of miscreants in town, how could someone like Chloe be in danger? If anything, she is safer than when the streets are full of slovenliness and debauchery. The walk to the market was quiet, without the constant risk of influence from the unsaved.

    The overwhelming fear for Chloe was mortality. This morning her maiden-looks were invaded by the presence of not one — but six — gray hairs. As distinguishing as the silver locks are on married women, for someone who is still awaiting God’s choice of mate the discovery was mortifying.

    That morning Chloe resolved that it was God’s plan. She would accept it with reverence.

    That was before Mary the lesser saw fit to point out to the entire evening ladies’ auxiliary that Chloe “Miss Holy” Miller was prematurely aging. The chorus of whispers predicting Chloe to be an old maid was enough to make a Godly woman decide to improve her odds.

    Standing in the hair treatment aisle of WT Gresher’s grocery Chloe had uttered the words she regretted: “Please God, allow me to be pretty so I may find the man to make me whole.”

    A pretty brunette with a tear drop tattoo next to her left eye had the audacity to ask if Joan thought that God should concern himself with someone like her. Her East Coast accent grated on Chloe’s nerves. Joan knew any woman with that tattoo, or any, is a sinner.

    “Of course God cares for me. He loves me more than Mary, more than the bitter hags who judge me, and he certainly loves me more than someone who would deface their body with the devil’s ink.”

    The righteousness made her feel better — it always did. Others may be popular, may have the man of their dreams, but they are going to burn for their ways.

    Chloe chose the hair dye that promised to restore a woman’s natural hair color. It is not proper to try to change ourselves — this is just restoring what should have always been.

    On the walk Chloe embraced the silence. Few cars on the road and fewer pedestrians. Something brushed her shoulder. She turned to scream. Instead something hit her stomach cause an inhale. Almonds and warmth flooded her brain.

    As Chloe faded she heard a Boston accent say, “Envy and Pride. The religious are often the worst. Forgive me father.”

    Word Count: 500
    Special Challenge Accepted

  8. Perdido

    The day I got my braces off was the day the news broke that notorious mass murderer Ted Bundy had escaped from police custody.

    It was August 26, 1979. Three weeks before Hurricane Freddy tore everything to shreds, emptying the homes on Perdido Key, burying highways and creating new islands. It had been this way since pirates sailed into Perdido Bay to hide things that remained lost forever, hence the name Perdido: it meant lost. Even pirates couldn’t find it again.

    That’s where I was after my braces came off—out on the bay fishing with Skeeter and Junie. Junie was lying in her bikini tanning, listening to the radio.

    “Oh my God! Did you hear that? We gotta go in now!” Her voice pitched a cry on the last word so, to be honest, I don’t think Skeeter and I had a chance of saying no.

    “Ya’ll know he’s gonna come right down here,” she argued as we puttered around toward shore and put the boat into high gear.

    “Why’s that?”

    “’Cause Highway 98 is the quickest way outa town if you’re headed west and don’t want to be on the interstate, doofus!” Highway 98 cut across Perdido Bay.

    “Be on the lookout for a dude in a cast,” Skeeter handed her a pair of binoculars.

    “You don’t think we’ll see him, do you? I wanna go home.” She put the binoculars to her eyes.

    “I ain’t never seen a mass murderer. I reckon this is my only chance.”

    “He’s a serial killer, Skeeter.”

    “Even better then. He’s got cunning and skills. He ain’t no dummy with a gun.”

    “Are you nuts, Skeeter?”

    “Heck, no, June-bug. He won’t go after a couple of bad-ass dudes like me and Thomas. You’re safe with us.” He took the binoculars from her. “Go on up there, Tommy-boy,” waving his hand toward an inlet near the boat ramp, one that led back into the cattails. “He’s probably gonna come looking for a boat, and we’ve got one right here!”

    “Junie, you get out and walk around looking helpless, and when he shows up, tell him your boyfriend has a boat and needs help getting it up to the boat ramp but you sprang your wrist. He won’t know the difference and then when he comes over here to help me, Tommy-boy will jump out from the bushes and take him down!”

    I slid the boat between some cattails, gliding into a spot where Junie could jump out. A heavy thump, and the boat rocked, knocking Junie into the sand as she jumped.

    “Help! The cops are chasing me.”

    Junie says I was real smart, falling off the boat, knocking Ted into the water and Skeeter on top, but truth is he startled me and I sorta took a step back and hit the gunwale. Skeeter got the credit with landing a murderer and putting him back in jail.

    That’s his picture up there on the wall. Yep, that’s mass murderer Ted Bundy.

    Word Count: 500
    Special Challenge - No

  9. End Game

    The day Jerry “Stitches” Macoy gave up killing was the day the news broke that notorious mass murderer John "The Chef" Baxter had escaped from police custody. Jerry hadn’t yet finished watching the special report when the phone rang.

    “Hello,” Jerry answered.

    “Three years in the slammer and not a single call from my good ol’ pal, Mr. Stitches.”

    “Why are you calling? How did you get my number?”

    “What, a friend can’t call up an old friend to see how he’s doing? How the hell are you Mr. Stitches?”

    “You better hang up Chef, I don’t want no trouble.”

    “Me? Trouble?” A malicious laugh poured from the receiver and filled the dingy 3rd-story studio apartment. “So have you caught up?

    “What are you talking about?” Jerry replied, his voice lacking conviction. He switched the receiver to the other side of his face and wiped the rapidly accumulating sweat off his forehead.

    “Come on, buddy. Who you trying to kid? You don’t have to lie to me; after all, what could you have done that I haven’t done already, and in a more gruesome fashion, might I add.”

    Jerry sat in his leather chair listening to Chef’s heavy breathing for a long while. “You have always been a sick bastard,” Jerry said. Both men roared with laughter. When they regained their composure Jerry answered, “I’m up. Just last week too.”

    “Well look at you—big, bad Mr. Stitches. Come on buddy tell me about it.”

    “When you checked out, I was down five. I had to lay low a couple months, but I couldn’t let you win. Soon as the scene cooled off I started the rounds again.”

    “You still hunting at the usual spot?”

    “No, you ruined that place. Squad car passes every few hours. I’m up on the north side, by 38th.”

    “Shame. That was a nice spot. So you have any prospects you’re scouting?”

    “Believe it or not Chef, I gave it up. Just today as a matter-of-fact.”

    “No way? So what does that leave you at eighty-three?”


    “Eighty-four.” Chef said the words as if he were trying to savor every vowel. “And all of them the usual way?”

    “Yup, managed to reupholster that old lazy boy I had. I’m sitting in her as we speak.” Jerry rubbed his hand back and forth over the armrest. “So Chef now that you’re out, when can I expect some of that special stew.”

    Some muffled voices were the only response Jerry received. Minutes later police sirens and a dizzying pattern of red and blue filled the street below. Jerry realized he’d been double-crossed. The breakout was just a ploy to get Jerry to confess.

    “That’s what I get for showing off,” he said to himself, then made his way to the fire escape.

    465 Words
    Special Challenge: Accepted