Flash Fiction Challenge: Another Three Sentences

The Numbers Game” — last week’s challenge — demands your eyeballs and appreciation.

At some point this week, I crossed 6000 followers on Twitter.

Which means: I’m going to send out some more terribleminds postcards, each with a piece of writing advice just for you. Penned by me. In the heartsblood of a magical white bull.

Okay, maybe not that last part.

Here’s the deal: I’m going to send out three postcards.

I will send them anywhere in the world.

In addition, the three winners will also receive one of my e-books in PDF format. (Winner’s choice.)

But you gotta work for it.

Last week’s challenge was brief — 100 words! — and this week’s is going to continue down Ole Brevity Lane and ask you to write a piece of flash fiction that is, drum roll please:

Three sentences long.

This can be in any genre. Any subject. No limitations beyond size.

Three. Sentences. Long.

Post directly in the comments below.

You have until Monday — yes, Monday, as in September 26that noon EST.

Then I shall pick.


I HAVE CHOSEN THE FIVE. I know, I said three. I’m saying five, because again you did way too many good ones.

I will send five postcards. One to:

Matthew McBride

Thomas Pluck


Julian Finn

Amy Tupper

Folks: I need your addresses. Email me at terribleminds at gmail dot com. (I’ll also need to know what e-book you want.)



  • When she took off her shoes, the world changed. The grey sky turned to polished nickel, water ran clear and honest through gutters, asphalt gleamed like oiled onyx. Most importantly, though, when she took off her shoes – those lethal four-inch spikes of sexuality – she shrank, just enough to meet him eye to eye.

  • The day he brought her home his heart swelled with love and fear, for he knew that all too soon he would have to say goodbye. He kissed her brow that day, and every day after for thirteen years, all in preparation for this final, most important, kiss. He pressed his lips to her for the last time, his heart rent asunder, and as the light faded from her eyes, he whispered the hardest words he would ever utter, “Goodbye, my love.”

  • Short and sweet it is. (Although possibly not as short as Jim Franklin’s!)

    Pinky the Pig wished he was a superhero. One Saturday morning, Charlie tied a red cape around Pinky’s neck. That afternoon, Charlie’s Mum left her abusive husband, taking her son and his pet pig with her.

  • ~Three Sentences~

    ‘The first was forever, when you took her away from me.
    The second was the law’s, empty and bitter.
    Stop struggling, the third will end soon.’

  • The liquid life that I pull up through my roots has nourished me for decades, allowing me to spread my boughs wide. When the wind rustles through my leaves, I am filled with so much love for all the life that surrounds and suffuses me. But if that little shit climbs me one more time, I swear I’m going let him fall to his death.

  • Compared to me, Indiana Jones was a pussy. He fought Nazis and priests; my adversaries weigh in just under Cthulhu or Nyarlathotep on the cosmic horror scale. (I am, however, a bit envious of this theme music.)

  • ‘Happy 25th Anniversary!’ my husband (Mr. Scumbag) called from downstairs as he slammed the door. No one ever told me it would be this hard: watching him whore his way through quarter of a century.

  • The middle-aged man was given a challenge to write a story in three sentences. He struggled for all of five minutes before hitting on an earthshatteringly simple idea. He pecked away on his dirty keyboard and hit the send button.

  • Afternoon. A little something:

    “Did you know that autopsy is the only way to understand anything? The only way to assure the studied remains unchanged by study is to have it killed.”

    “Bollocks,” I said, “There’s only one fucking story.”

  • Whispers

    The shadows and whispers are back again, and I can’t take it anymore. I pick up the gun, place it in my mouth, and pull the trigger. The gun goes off–I know it does, I feel the bullet pass through me–but nothing changes except now the whispers are shouting, “I swear I heard a gunshot, Bill; this house is haunted, I tell you.”

  • Gamera awoke, feeling confused, discarded and her head throbbed, effects of a dark, forgotten dream. She shook her head, locks of blonde hair swaying side to side, breaking her out of her funk. Then, she felt as if she was finally out of her shell and looked forward to a new and uncertain future.

  • She was a little, brittle woman, surrounded by vagueness and filled with secrets. Never seen even when visible, and having a history like a drawn curtain, she moved through the world as mist through a flock of sheep. A wasp of hate enticed by the sweetness of revenge was all that kept her company.

  • Kallie sensed that Nas was nearby, but before she could find him, he found her, with a sharp prick to her neck. He caught her in an embrace as she faltered from the neurotoxin.
    “Your secret is safe with me,” she whispered.

  • “And they lived happily ever after,” she said, closing the book.

    “Mommy, that’s a lie.”

    “I know, baby, but it’s the only thing that keeps me going.”

  • A few months ago I became president of the United States of America, and today is my birthday. How should a president celebrate? Getting my secret service opperatives drunk may have been a bad idea, we already have one dead hooker.

  • I Love You Period

    He laughed after he’d put a perfect crimson period in the forehead of my wife with his comically small pistol, beat me with it before fleeing with her purse.
    I hunted the man who stole my heart, my life, for so long I thought the second bullet hole, in his neck, would be the final punctuation mark in one long run on sentence of justice crossing rivers, borders and highways.
    The sentence has only begun, with twenty years of rape and beatings inside this animal prison making me wish I’d put one final bloody red dot in my own temple, and found closure with an ellipsis.

  • Herbert invented a time machine.

    He used it to go back in time and tell himself how to build a time machine.

    Herbert invented a time machine.

    (I oughta get EXTRA credit for this, as the final sentence isn’t a new one. 😉 )

  • It started off simply, with a few missing bits, here and there.

    Soon, bandwidth was maximized, data conglomerated and a single ethereal point of intelligence formed.

    At that point, those of us who were simple flesh and blood became just a Darwinian side-show of random upgrades and nominal storage.

  • It was the monkeys that killed us.

    We never stopped to ask ourselves, “Hey, whatever happened to those monkeys we shot into space?

    The tides will crush us now, because the monkeys are stealing the moon.

  • As he stood, staring down into the primordial darkness of the abyss, he felt a twinge of fear and terror well up inside of his body.

    In the darkness, it could be well imagined that movement was shuffling and writhing it’s way up the unimaginably long tunnel that fed into the dark, unknowable heart of the planet.

    Even with his staring into the inky blackness, he had no warning as the monster surged forth; a roiling mass of flesh and teeth as his screams faded into the echoes of obscurity.

  • He said he would never leave me, “as long as we both shall live”.

    I said I knew how to live off the land, so we went hiking with no food supplies.

    We both told the truth, and his funeral is tomorrow.

  • He looked up and admired the little bright star shining just above the rooftop. It reminded him of his muse; so bright and beautiful, illuminating brilliance and guiding him through the darkness but just out of reach. He sighed, went back inside and continued to write.

  • As the knife slid through her flesh like butter, he couldn’t help but wish that she hadn’t bitten her tongue off earlier. Screams gurgled through a froth of blood aren’t quite the same as unhindered ones. Ah well, there were still three more hitchhikers to go… although he might have to sharpen the blade between them, it already seemed to be getting quite dull.

  • Since that day, she’s taken exactly the same number of steps each day, not one more or one less.

    Sometimes that meant she’d have to circle her room two times before getting into bed or skip brushing her teeth because the bathroom was three too many steps away.

    When she woke up that morning and saw that he hadn’t quietly tiptoed out of her apartment during the night, she decided it might be ok, just this once, to spend the day in bed and take no steps at all.

  • Jim stared at me over his eggs benedict and raised his voice in excitement, “…then once we had her purse we all started kicking her and there was blood everywhere, it was so fucking awesome even before we started fucking her…”

    From the corner of my eye, I saw the old lady in the booth beside oursstand up quickly , grab her handbag, and hurry out the door.

    “That’ll teach her to eavesdrop,” he said before returning to our conversation about his new job at Disneyland.

  • Tell Dom you are going to sleep in the guest room with the baby tonight. Don’t be surprised when he says, “The hell you are.” Say a Novena tonight after Dom rolls off of you, in hopes that you can love this baby because even though she is not yours she is all you have.

  • The pungent scent of gasoline hit him in the face as he hastily made his way through the auditorium. The cigarette nearly to filter hung from his lips, mocking the world as a time bomb. With one last puff, he closed his eyes tightly as if saying a prayer to the gods of theatre, stretching his arms outward , and grinned.

  • I have a TON of these at my blog odiouscoif.wordpress.com. (Not all are 3 sentences exactly, but anyway…) But I shall write a fresh one for this challenge! In the meantime, enjoy the old ones

  • The lights blink blue and yellow and green. The red one lights up and you reach for the silver switch, but where your arms once were, you have two fat sausage links, greasy and immobile. You wake up, and there it is staring at you; red and steady as a hornet’s nest.

  • This is unsolicited feedback, but I like yours Todd because it’s sort of funny and simple, and I think simple takes guts.
    and yours Marian because my, I would like to hear more backstory.
    and yours Michelle because my that is poignant and sad and tells so much more than its 3 sentences contain. There’s much more story lurking back there. This challenge reminded me of Hemingway’s story in six words: “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.” And your submission came closest to that same result.
    Those are my votes. 🙂 Thanks y’all, it’s been fun sitting in on this one. (I don’t usually find the time to read all the 1,000 word ones.)

  • The dragon drew its last, gasping breath, and died. Jason wiped the blood off with the edge of his cloak, turned to the others, and said, “I knew that if we all banded together one last time, we could defeat it.” The others didn’t answer, of course, because they were the dragon’s last crispy offering to the darkness.

  • I sat across the table from her, pushing my steak around my plate.
    As she spoke she radiated a confidence and poise which intimidated me into silence.
    Will I ever be able to tell her how beautiful she is?

  • “Are you sure blowing up a planet with sentient life on it is a good idea,” asked Bob.
    “Doesn’t matter,” replied Tim, Bob’s manager and arsehole extraodinaire, “they illegally set up a planet here and had plenty of time to leave if they wanted.”
    As the blue planet exploded into billions of bits, Bob scratched his mandible and decided that it was time for him to leave Galactic Bailiffs Incorporated and try to make it as a writer instead.

  • As I said on the day we wed, I plan to spend the rest of my life with you. But the love is gone as you lie there in bed all day without a word or a sideways glance. I fear its time to part ways, especially because your corpse is starting to smell.

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