We only had a few entries this week, but they were good ones.  Thank you again to our judge Stevie McCoy

This week's stories
Lucky Guy By Wakefield Mahon
Untitled by Ryan Strohman
I Called Him Dad by Sheilagh Lee
Heavenly Business by Robin Abess
Untitled by David A Ludwig
Untitled by Rebekah Postupak
Untitled by Bob Mahone
The Wetcleaner's Dream by Jeffrey Hollar

Best Dialogue

Untitled by Bob Mahone (@Computilizer)

I couldn't resist adding a comment on this one, the dialogue was super good and definitely showed some characters I wouldn't mind knowing more about.

Winner

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It was a tough decision but I kept coming back to this story. It was engaging and descriptive but also makes me wonder why only that apartment made people want to jump? The interwebs may never know.


Untitled
by Ryan Strohman

He finally moved to that deluxe apartment in the sky after working all of his life to get there. He’d been on several lists, just waiting for the opportunity to arise. Months had passed before he’d gotten the call, and while the rent was a tad higher than he’d expected, that was the price to pay for luxury, and he couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

As he was in the middle of unpacking his knick knacks, he heard a knock on the door. He sat the box down and sprung to his feet, eager to meet his new neighbor. Would he be a business executive? Or would she be a twenty-something heiress? When he peered out the security hole though, nobody was there. Puzzled, he undid the security chain, opened the door, and was greeted by a pudgy, yellow-skinned woman in her late eighties who stood about four foot nine inches tall.

“Hello ma’am,” he offered, but she just kept squinting at him through her thick glasses, her eyes appearing much larger than they actually were. With those glasses and the sleeves of her sweater tied around her neck and hanging loosely against her chest, she resembled an ochre-skinned octopus. She said nothing, inspecting him up and down, and finally he could not stifle his laugh at the awkwardness of this encounter.

“I’m Kevin Ramsey,” he said, extending his hand to her, but she refused to take it. What a strange little woman?

“Is there something I can help you with?” he asked.

Several moments passed before she replied, “It’s a shame. You are a good-looking young man.”

He snickered. Crazy old lady. “What’s a shame?” he inquired.

“A shame you will die so soon.”

The conversation had suddenly become much less comical to him, and he folded his arms across his chest. “What? Why are you threatening your new neighbor, old lady?”

“Me? Oh, boy, I’m not threatening you. You must not know about this place though. Every year this apartment opens up, and every year a new tenant moves in, thinking he’s landed some wonderful prize. Then, after eight or ten months, he throws himself out the window and plunges to his death. Surely you knew about this before renting it.”

Kevin scoffed at her tale, and he hastily replied. “No, I haven’t heard this. So tell me, how many tenants have jumped to their deaths? Two? Three?” He didn’t believe her story one iota.

“Nineteen,” she replied, glaring at him through those thick glasses. “And I’m afraid you will be twenty, boy. Better live the next few months to the fullest, because that’s all you have left.”

 
Last week, Broadway and television veteran Sherman Hemsley joined his television wife Isabel Sanford on the other side of the Twilight Zone. 

Sherman was best known for  his role as the crotchety middle-aged dry-cleaner, George Jefferson, trying to make his way in a predominately white business world.

The comedic duo made a cameo in the movie Mafia! as "The Jefferson's who moved up from the east-side to get a piece of the pie"

This week's theme was chosen in their honor.


Shameless Promotions

  • The charity anthology "The Spirit of Poe" is now available for the Kindle.
  • The Red Empire Collection is now available in Spanish.

The Judge

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Stevie McCoy is a paranormal romance writer and hostess of the #TuesdayTales flash fiction challenge.  Let's give her a warm welcome and show her the best quality stories we have.

And now a message from our judge:

"Great things happen when you least expect it and I am honored to be this week's judge-master. It's that time again. To brew some strong coffee, to dust off your keyboards, and to embrace your inner crazy. That's right let the muse speak to you without fear of being shackled, bound and thrown into a padded room. On with the TALES!"

The Prompt

He finally moved to that deluxe apartment in the sky

The Rules

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  1. The story must start from the prompt.  This means the prompt must be the
    first words in the story.
  2. No more than 500 words (not including the
    prompt).  No less than 100 words.
  3. Any genre (in fact an
    unexpected genre will get you more points.)
  4. Entries must be submitted
    by Tuesday Noon EST
  5. The winner of each week's competition will be
    invited to judge the following week and post the winner's badge similar to the
    one on the right.
  6. Have fun!

Example Story

Lucky Guy
By Wakefield Mahon

He finally moved to that deluxe apartment in the sky. Gary Alan Jackson had hit the big time and his old co-workers were greener than pine tree with envy when he called them.

“Chip, I’ve got some great news!”

“I know I heard.  Gary, dude, you are so lucky!”

“Yeah, Chip, you are right about that much.  I am the luckiest man alive.”

“You moved from this dump to top job with FarTech Industries, got you an apartment in the sky…”

“It’s not in the sky it’s on the ground.”

“It’s on the ground on MARS, which relative to us puny earthlings is in the sky.”

“Fine, your point is taken, Chip.  But that’s not…”

“I heard from Jay that you’re banging a hot stewardess.”

“I just started dating Maria, yes she’s a flight attendant but I’m not ‘banging’ anybody.  I called to…”

“Dude, why are you always trying to play everything down?  Do you know how much I wish I were you?  You should be ecstatic!”

“I am ecstatic, but I would give all of that fluff away in a heartbeat.”

“Why?  What are you talking about?  You’ve lost it bro.”

“Actually, I’ve finally found it.  The only reason any of that matters is because I get to see my daughter’s first dance recital.  When her mother moved to Mars, I never thought I’d see Tommy or Lizzy again.  Now I can and THAT is what makes me the luckiest guy in the solar system!”

@WakefieldMahon
246 ineligible words
 
Another phenomenal week.  Thanks this this week's judge Rebekah Postupak and all of our contributors. 

Untitled by Rafe B
The Priest and the Werewolf by J M Filipowicz
Untitled by Charles W Jones
Untitled by Stevie McCoy
Untitled by Chessny Silth
Untitled by Cara Michaels
Untitled by David A Ludwig
Untitled by Sheilagh Lee
Untitled by Ruth Long
Untitled by Alissa Leonard
Untitled by Nellie
Read, Spot, Read by Wakefield Mahon

Without further ado, here are your results!

Judge's Notes

Thanks, everybody, for your tails this week. Our “no howling” sign brought out the shaggy dogs, of course; but what a kick to also see dragons (MWAH!) and myriad otherworldly critters too (heartfelt apologies to our friends in Veden if “critters” offends). 

Bonus Points

Rafe @etcet
Although the story didn’t technically follow the contest rules, this was a fantastic mangling of the opening prompt. Lots of bonus points for thinking outside the box!

Champ of Ineligible Awesomeness

Wakefield Mahon @WakefieldMahon. This story and its shape-shifting, jewelry-gnawing business owner and the imprudent dog rocked my dragon world. Loved the tone, loved the sarcasm, loved the twist. Dislike the ineligibility.

Honorable Mentions

Cara Michaels @caramichaels.
Without question, top honors here for the opening paragraph. I keep coming back to reread it, and STILL it has me in stitches. Wonderfully done.  

Ruth Long @bullishink.
Love the concept of “ink fever” and the dragon cure. It felt very Asian mob, so the dragon made a fitting and very, very cool complexity.

Winner

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Stevie McCoy @theglitterlady.
Just a morsel of a tale, but what a hilarious twist on the language faux pas. I love how in a very compact amount of space you conveyed an entire world and story. That’s finesse at its finest. Congratulations!

Untitled
By Stevie McCoy

The sign read, "No howling." Yet it seemed to act more like an invitation. Those who read it took no heed to follow the warning.
And it was a warning. They obviously didn’t understand what inflection they’re using when belting out in the moonlight.
They could’ve been saying anything. And it would be in their best interest not to say something rude.
I heard the howls in the distance and shook my head.
It wasn’t rude, this time, but it always lifted his spirits when he thought there’s someone else out there like him. He won’t be happy when he finds that the howls were merely trespassers ignoring the sign.
I shrugged.
I didn’t like cooking anyways.
At least my husband wouldn’t go hungry.

 
This week's judge has also suggested the prompt for this week.  As it happens, the prompt coincides with my recent experiences, besides I thought it sounded fun, so here we go!

Shameless Promotion

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The Spirit of Poe
"From childhood's hour..." that phrase, to Poe fans, finishes itself: "I have
  not been as others were." Who was that man? Who was that the poet who had not
  been as others were? So much has been fabricated about Poe's life, and remains
a  mystery. We have little to go by: no diaries, no notebooks, only a few
  daguerreotypes, and his letters, so carefully re-edited by Burton Pollin and
  Jeffrey Savoye. But we do have something else: his home in Baltimore at 203 (3)
  Amity Street. This collection, introduced by Dr. Barbara Cantalupo, offers a
  range of stories from dark to light, from playful to pensive, and from hopeful
  to horrific, a breadth of themes befitting the man best known for his
pioneering  work to literature in ways unmatched by any since. The Spirit of
Poe, edited by  WJ Rosser and Karen Rigley, includes two of the Master's works,
along with  dozens of stories and poems from new and established authors. All
profits from  its sale will be donated to the Poe House.

The Judge

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From the moment she hit the Flash Fiction circuit, Rebekah Postupak has been making a name for herself, not just as a winner and judge here at Motivation Monday.  She racked up wins and Honorable Mentions at most of the competitions within her first two weeks.

And now a message from our judge:

"What a pleasure to take the judging reins this  week,
and not just because it means a breather from Motivation Monday's  fierce
competition. I'm terribly excited to read what you come up with; I am certain
you will take the prompt places I'd never have imagined  (like you always do).
Now pick up those sharpened #2 pencils and get to  work!"

The Prompt

The sign read, "No howling."

The Rules

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  1. The story must start from the prompt.  This means the prompt must be the
    first words in the story.
  2. No more than 500 words (not including the
    prompt).  No less than 100 words.
  3. Any genre (in fact an
    unexpected genre will get you more points.)
  4. Entries must be submitted
    by Tuesday Noon EST
  5. The winner of each week's competition will be
    invited to judge the following week and post the winner's badge similar to the
    one on the right.
  6. Have fun!


Example Story

Read, Spot, Read
By Wakefield Mahon

The sign read “No Howling”.  

Remind me to add literacy to the list of talents to teach the puppy.  My  wife brought home a two-year old Rottweiler/ Doberman this weekend.  He has  the brawn of a Rottie, the bravery of a Dobie and all the brains of a Labrador  retriever. 

I’m not sure which was more embarrassing, the fact that DJ  was howling at the moon like a werewolf in heat, or that the “moon” he was  serenading was on the marquee of the newest strip club in town, Full Moon (now  there’s an original name for you).

When a tall lanky woman stalked out the  door and towards us, I tried to yank on his harness but DJ set stubbornly in  place.  It was hard to tell in the dark, but I had the feeling his hackles  were raised.

“Excuse me, can’t you read the sign?”

Lack of sleep  exacerbated my naturally snide nature - DJ had kept me up the previous night  pacing.  I gave an exasperated sigh.  “Sure, I can read just  fine.  But little DJ here is still having trouble with his ‘N’s.”

The  woman’s hard expression gave a slight upward tick.  “A man should never  have a dog he can’t control.  It’s very unsexy.  Tell your ‘little DJ’  this is a place of business.  He’s disturbing my  customers.”

Unintentionally, I glanced over her.  Her face looked as if  she’d lost more than one knife fight.  And her body?  Well, let’s just
say she made aeon flux look positively plump.

Her grim smile turned up into a  snarl.  “Yes, genius, I’m the manager.  But I assure you I get plenty  of play.  Now, why don’t you and your pup run along before I lose my  patience?”

I pulled on the lead but DJ started growling. 

Heat  rolled off the woman as she growled back and lunged forward with teeth that were  anything but human.

Full Moon, feral expression, anxious dog… werewolf?   I yanked my silver cross from my neck and held it in front of DJ.

Faster than  I could blink she grabbed the necklace and tossed it down her throat.  “I  prefer gold, but I’ll forgive your insolence since you offered me a gift.”

“What are you?”

She burped and burst of flame erupted from her  mouth.  “Silver always gives me indigestion.”  Her skin began to turn
red and scaly and her took on a catlike shape.

DJ yelped and finally took off  down the road.  I gladly let him drag me.  What are dragons doing in a  place like this?

426 ineligible words
@WakefieldMahon
 
Fantasy, inspirational and dark, sci-fi horror, romance, crime and true to life fiction  blended to make this week’s Motivation Monday anthology one of the best ever.  As always a huge thank you to our judge (this week was: Alissa Leonard )

Robin Abess: Reunion – General Fiction
Sheilagh Lee: Untitled - Inspirational Fantasy
Mark Ethridge:  Untitled – Dark Science Fiction
Afsaneh K: Worth a Wager? - Romance
Miranda Kate Boers: Untitled - General Fiction
David A Ludwig: Untitled - Dark Fantasy
Siobhan Muir: Untitled - Dark Fantasy/Crime Fiction
MLGammella: Commitment - Crime Fiction
Cara Michaels: Untitled - Crime Fiction
Nellie: Untitled - Dark Fantasy
Rebekah Postupak:  Untitled - General Fiction

Honorable Mentions

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Mark Ethridge
What I really loved about this one was the honest confusion of the wife as she tried to process what she couldn't believe. He tied the fantastical to the mundane in such a real way. Very believable.

Robin Abess
for her beautiful descriptions

Cara Michaels
for completely creeping me out...that was just...just...wrong (but, of course, very well done). :)

Runner Up

Runner Up is David A Ludwig. I loved the depth of character and relationship he was able to portray. The tension was so well done and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Winner

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 Rebekah Postupak is my winner!  The sweetness of their relationship was endearing. The ending brought tears to my eyes. It was so good, and such a beautiful picture of love and faithfulness. It was beautiful. Thanks for letting me read it - Although the blue wedding dress was a little odd... :)

Untitled
by Rebekah Postupak

“I never thought I’d see you again.”

“I’m sorry about that.”

He studied her hungrily. “You look good.”

Even blushing, she looked good. “Thank you,” she said softly. “This is just my everyday dress, you know. Nothing special.”

“You always say that. It’s not true, though.”

Her face split into a grin. “I might have saved up for it a while, now that you mention it.”

“You worked a second job for six months!”

She relaxed into a laugh and looked across the table at him. “Eight months, actually. And it was worth it. This blue dress was the prettiest thing I ever saw.”

“You look like an angel in it. No; a queen. Always have.”

“Still awfully free with compliments, I see. You probably hand them out to all the girls, with your phone number scribbled on the back.”

It was his turn to laugh. “What other girls? There was never anybody for me but you. Not since I saw you, not since that first day.”

“True,” she agreed. “But that’s because nobody else would have you.”

“Nobody else could have put up with me for so long.”

“You’ve been a burden, all right,” she said, smiling. Her hand gripped his. “Why I come here every day, I’ll never know.”

“Every day?” He stared at her in sudden confusion. “I haven’t seen you since the divorce.”

“I—I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.”

He pushed himself painfully to his feet, reaching for his walker. “Why did you come here? Were you trying to mock me? Do you think it’s fun?”

“No! No, never. Please—sit back down. It’ll be all right.”

“I won’t sit down!” he said wildly. “You can’t make me! Go away! Go! Leave me alone!”

“It’s going to be okay. Please, I beg you. Sit back down. Let’s talk about the old days. Our honeymoon in Topeka, do you remember? That funny, broken-down motel?”

But he was already stumbling away from her, his feet scuffing marks of panic and grief across the sterile black-and-white tiles. “I never want to see you again! You’re mean. You’re mean to me, and I don’t even know who you are!”

As he vanished into the darkness of the hallway, an attendant in a bright yellow sweater appeared at her side apologetically. “I’m sorry about that, Mrs. Jackson. Not a good day, I guess.”

“Some days are better than others. But today wasn’t too bad.” She stroked the skirt of her dress fondly.

“May I ask a personal question?”

Mrs. Jackson was standing now, turning to go, but she paused. “Of course, Lily.”

“You come see him every day.”

“Yes.”

“If I may ask—you’ve been coming here so long—just how long ago was your divorce?”

Mrs. Jackson laughed. “Never,” she said. “We never divorced.”

She laughed until the tears fell, raining in dark blue streaks along the frayed edges of her wedding dress.




 
Meeting an old acquaintance can bring all manner of emotions to the fore.  You might rekindle an old flame or rehash an old grudge or maybe just reminisce with an old friend.  This week’s challenge is about old memories made new

The Judge

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This week's wilnner Alissa Leonard won her first challenge with an introduction to a classroom in a very unique enviroment.

About herself, she says "I am a wife, mother of three, and a writer."


The Prompt

I never thought I'd see you again

The Rules

Picture
  1. The story must start from the prompt.  This means the prompt must be the first words in the story.
  2. No more than 500 words (not including the prompt).  No less than 100 words.
  3. Any genre (in fact an unexpected genre will get you more points.)
  4. Entries must be submitted by Tuesday Noon EST
  5. The winner of each week's competition will be invited to judge the following week and post the winner's badge similar to the one on the right.
  6. Have fun!

Example

Dear Henry
By Wakefield Mahon

I never thought I’d see you again.   Though I can’t say I’m really surprised, you were always the one friend I could depend on when the missus went on a rampage.  Well she’s good and mad now.  Liza’s done run off and left me for good this time, I know it.

See it all started this morning when I went to fetch a bucket of water from the stream so I could lubricate the whestone.  Wouldn’t you know it?  There was a big old hole in the bucket.  So I says to my dear Liza, “There’s a hole in the bucket.”

Well she rolls her eyes but says real patient-like, “Then fix it my dear Henry.”

Now I don’t know ‘bout you but when I get someone who talks to me like I ain’t got a lick o’ sense, I kinda get testy.  But I tried my best to mind my tone.  “What am I supposed to fix it with, dear Liza?”

“Um, with straw, dear henry.”  That time I knew she was being smart.

So I gave it right back to her.  “The straw is too short, dear Liza.”

Then her feathers got all ruffled up.  “Then CUT it dear henry.”

“And what do you figure I’m a-gonna cut it with, dear Liza?

“Well, dear Henry, I suppose you might cut it with an AXE.”

“Yeah, I got that, dear Liza, but the axe is too dull.”

“Confound it, dear Henry, why don’t you go sharpen it then?”

“’Cause I ain’t got nothing to sharpen it with, obviously, dear Liza.”

“What about the WHETSTONE out by the barn, DEAR Henry?

“I might use that if it weren’t too DRY, dear Liza.”

“Are you puttin’ me on?  My dear Henry if it’s too dry, then wet the dadgum thing!”

Now I was getting to my point so I lowered my voice smiled real wide-like. “And how do you suppose I wet it?”

She lowered her voice too, but that usually means she awfully sore.  “Most folks would do it with water, dear Henry.”

“And how in tarnation do you expect me to fetch the water, dear Liza?”

I knew she was fuming now cause she still didn’t get it. “With a bucket, DEAR HENRY!”

“There’s a hole in the bucket, DEAR LIZA!”

“For goodness sake, Henry why didn’t you just say so in the first place?”

I was going to tell her I did say so but she stormed out of here without saying another word.  She took her money bag with her, like the time she stayed at her momma’s.

So like I said, it’s just you and me, old friend.

“Oh for crying out loud, Henry, put the bottle down!  I just went to the market to buy another bucket.  Did you know they make them out of plastic or metal now ? I bought two, just in case.

500 silly ineligible words
 
Another week of blazing hot stories.  We had everything from birthday parties to arcade shoot-outs with real life aliens.  Whether it's fantasy, horror, science fiction, or something else entirely, the Motivation Monday entries get better every week.  A huge thanks to Judge Robin Abess (@Angelique_Rider)  I don't know if I could have selected a winner out of this talented pool:

Lisa McCourt Hollar ~ @jezri1
Charles W Jones ~ @ChuckWesJ
Stevie McCoy ~ @theglitterlady
David A Ludwig ~ @DavidALudwig
Mark Ethridge ~ @LurchMunster
Jeffrey Hollar ~ @klingorengi
Cara Michaels ~@caramichaels
Ruth Long ~ @bullishink
Nellie ~ @solimond
Ryan Strohman ~ @rastrohman
M L Gammella ~ @MLGammella
Alissa Leonard ~ @lissajean7
Rebekah Postupak ~ @postupak
Jalisa Blackman ~ @J_M_Blackman

Judge Robin agreed that the entries were all fantastic, but somehow made the choice

Honorable Mentions

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@DavidALudwig
Great story. Well done & well told. Especially loved the last line.

@bullshink
Loved the concept of the teenage superhero getting teased. Very well done.

The Winner

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"Just absolutely loved this. Makes me want to read more."

Krisilloc
by Alissa Leonard

“You’re on fire!” Colaxil whispered behind me. I looked down. Sure enough, my lower leg had ignited. I reached for my personal fire extinguisher and sprayed a couple one second bursts. I checked the gauge, I’d used over half the coolant already this morning. Ugh, professor Utleg was so frustrating! I stashed the extinguisher beside my chair and tried to focus.

“The warrior clans have the most difficult time learning the techniques, but crossbreeds, for some reason, have even more. Even a crossing of the most peaceful clans, sibvenner and congitslat, produce offspring with an excessive lack of control.” My upper right arm burst into flame. I sighed, and reached for the extinguisher with my lower left. It was like he was trying to prove his point, and I was helping him. I sprayed the coolant and decided to keep the extinguisher in my hand while I took notes. If this was his topic today, I’d be better off not putting the thing down.

“However, if we breed within clans the reverse is true.” Professor Utleg paused when a student’s hand went up. “Yes, Brieont?”

“Professor, do the warrior clans still have difficulty with control when they breed within?”

“That’s hard to say, Brieont, because they don’t often do that. They actually pride themselves on finding mates from other warrior clans.” Utleg continued in that vein for a while. It annoyed me watching him. He didn’t even carry an extinguisher, like he was so controlled he didn’t need one. Maybe he didn’t. Maybe his ‘pure sibvenner for nine generations’ really did give him excessive control. I’d never even seen him spark!

I raised my upper left hand, indicating a desire to speak.

Utleg sighed, “Yes, Krisilloc?” I guess he was anticipating not liking my question, he usually didn’t.

“But, professor, why do we have the spark at all? The fires don’t even hurt—”

“You would know.” Maritax said under her breath just loud enough for me to hear, but not Utleg.

I turned to glare at her, but continued, “They don’t, so why are they a problem?”

Utleg crossed both sets of arms over his torso. I almost wanted to take the question back, but it seemed like he might actually answer it, so I kept my mouth shut. “Krisilloc, your exoskeleton will burn eventually. And when it does, it will make your body hot enough to do damage.”

“But isn’t there a reason we have the spark other than impetus to learn to control our tempers? It doesn’t make sense! –”

“Of course it doesn’t to you. You want to be special. You want your curse to be a blessing. Well it’s not.” My shoulder ignited. I sprayed a five second burst. “Your parents made you an abomination. You must live with it.” My hip ignited, then my upper left elbow. My coolant ran out.

Colaxil reached his extinguisher forward, “Here, use mine.”

I looked at it. What would happen if I just let myself burn?


 
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After a wimpy winter, it's been a scorcher of a summer.  This week's prompt is inspired by the recent wave of three digit temperature days.  Even when the power was on, we lost our A/C last week.  I've also just finished the Hunger Games trilogy which I can recommend highly to anyone who loves YA science fiction.

Every week you folks bring it so I'm looking for cool stories that set our imaginations on fire.  Let the games begin!

The Judge

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Two week's after her first win, Robin came back with a vengeance.  Last week's winner and this week's judge is Robin Abess.  You can follow her on Twitter @Angelique_Rider:

"Writer, nature lover, singer, GEEK, eccentric, NaNoWriMo Nut...you name it! I love being in a roomful of people who are singing along to 'Dr. Horrible'!"

The Prompt

You're on fire!

The Rules

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Spiders and brothers, supernatural and science fiction.  This week the writers brought it all.  A huge thanks to all who participated.  Our judge: Chris Pearson (@ChrisP922) and our authors:

Mark Ethridge ~ @LurchMunster
Robin Abess ~ @Angelique_Rider
Siobhan Muir ~ @SiobhanMuir
Rebekah Postupak ~ @postupak
David A Ludwig ~ @DavidALudwig
Lisa McCourt Hollar ~ @jezri1
Ruth Long ~ @bullishink
Nellie ~ @solimond
Alissa ~ @lissajean7

Runner Up

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@bullishink
Here’s a interesting take on the prompt. Yet another strong ending.

Winner

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This story is the winner because of it’s genuine creepiness. There are many ways to wrap a story around the phrase “I’m going to kill you,” but what Robin does here goes one step further than a couple of people in a life threatening situation, she makes it about the struggle of brotherhood and fate, and the ending was very well done.

Tattletale
By Robin Abess
“I’m going to kill you!”

The words followed Tommy down the hallway, as he scampered out the door with his little brother’s allowance in hand once more. He paused, feeling slightly guilty, when he heard Bobby start to sob, but the guilt quickly was replaced by anger when he heard his younger brother screeching off to find their mother.

“Tattletale,” he muttered darkly, quietly slipping out the front door with his booty.

This scene had repeated itself time and time again. Tommy would offer some bet that his younger brother couldn’t refuse, and when he lost, Bobby would run and tell their mom. Tommy would then have to endure another lecture on being kind to his younger sibling, he would promise to do so, and the next week, the whole thing started over again. Bobby hadn’t had any allowance in weeks, thanks to his older brother’s scheming ways.

Tommy made his way downtown to his favorite store, Ye Olde Junque Shoppe. Mr. Mathers had all kinds of wonderful things to root through. The shopkeeper never minded children coming into his store, even if they didn’t end up buying anything. Tommy was one of his best customers, so he was always especially pleased to see him.

“Hey Tommy,” Mr. Mathers greeted him. “Got something new to show you today.”

The boy eagerly hurried over to where the old man stood, holding a wooden box in his gnarled hands.

“What is it?”

“It’s a ‘Futurerometer’.”

The boy frowned slightly. “What’s it do?”

“Shows your future, from what I understand. Give it a try,” Mr. Mathers offered.

Shrugging, the boy opened the box and took out a contraption made of wires and gears. It had eyepieces on the back, similar to a pair of binoculars. Hesitantly, he held the Futurerometer up to his eyes, and peered through the glass.

Fog rolled in front of his eyes, then everything cleared and he could see his house. By twisting a knob on the side of the machine, he was able to move forward as if he were walking toward the house and then inside. He could see the staircase ahead of him. An old man was tiptoeing down the stairs. Before he could even react, he heard a raspy voice from upstairs.

“I’m going to kill you, Tommy. I mean it this time!”

An older version of Bobby stood at the top of the stairs, and as young Tommy watched, his brother moved to where his older self had stopped his journey. Old Bobby reached out and pushed the other old man as hard as he could, resulting in Old Tommy falling down the stairs. He landed with a hard thump and never moved again.
Blinking and pale, Tommy pulled the Futurerometer away from his eyes, and handed it silently back to Mr. Mathers. Without another word, he rushed home and as soon as he was able, Tommy pushed his brother down the stairs that very night, breaking his neck.

Tattletales never win.

498 words
@Angelique_Rider

 
One of the creepiest twilight zone episodes also contains one of the most loosely used phrases in the American idiom.  Let's see how many different ways you can think of someone might use this phrase!

The Judge

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Aftermath by Chris Pearson
The world ends in Santa Rosa on September 22 2015… It comes in the form of an earthquake, tearing and destroying one corner of California to the next. When the earth stops shaking and the trees stop swaying all that remains for the survivors of the disaster are the clothes on their backs and what little supply and shelter they can pull from the wrecked heaps of the city. This is the aftermath of the earthquake, a time when all of those still living must ask themselves what their own life is worth, and what’s worth losing their humanity for.

I'm Chris Pearson, a young writer from Northern California. My interests include eating Doritos and watching old Romero movies. That is all.

The Prompt

I'm going to kill you!

The Rules

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