Flash Fiction Challenge: Choose Your Opening Line

So, last week’s challenge was for you to write a kick-ass opening line.

And the post got over 400 entries.

*blink blink*

Holy crap.

And tons of really great stuff, too.

(Though, some less-than-good ones, too. People: it’s like ten, twenty words. Spellcheck!)

Curiously, three motifs showed up with… perhaps alarming frequency:

Blood.

A gun.

Someone about to die / someone already dead (future corpse / current corpse).

Y’all are some twisted little word-wranglers.

Anywho!

I’ve posted below a handful of the ones I really liked. Fourteen(15?)  of them, as a matter of fact. These are not all “winners” in terms of the contest — I still have to whittle this bunch down:

Once James accepted that he had no choice but to burn the books, the question became which to burn first. — Valerie Valdes

Prima donnas aren’t born.
 — Mari Bayo

The ghost of a sparrow flitted through one wall and out the other.
 — CJ Eggett

I was born beneath a black veil of mourning, a dark bud blooming deep in its shadow. — 
Gina Herron

It’s always midnight somewhere.  — Andrew Jack

My brother’s birth was preceded by three distinct and inexplicable phenomena. — Jason Heitkamper

Max sat amongst the dead, whistling to himself.  — Brad

For the second time in a week, I come over Shatter Hill at midnight and see fire at the crossroad below.  — Bill Cameron

I never trusted that statue in the garden behind the house.
 — Cat York

Larry was on the toilet, shitting his brains out, while cleaning his gat.
  — The Philosophunculist

The problem with the ringing phone wasn’t how loud it was, or that it hadn’t stopped ringing for an hour, but that Tom didn’t have a phone. — Jake Bible

When the last cherry blossom falls, so will my axe.
  — Delilah

“You must walk three paces behind me,” she said. “And never raise your eyes to mine.” — Nathan Long

Tommy beat him with a kiss, and the crowd hated him for it. — Hector Acosta

Which will be our final three?

Here we go:

The ghost of a sparrow flitted through one wall and out the other.
 — CJ Eggett

“You must walk three paces behind me,” she said. “And never raise your eyes to mine.” — Nathan Long 

When the last cherry blossom falls, so will my axe.
  — Delilah

So, there we go.

You three: email me at terribleminds at gmail dot com.

I’ll make sure to get you set up with a pre-order of Blue Blazes slinging your way upon release.

For the rest of you:

Your goal is simple:

To write a story using one of the opening lines above. You can choose from the whole lot — not just the three “winners.” Any of the opening lines you find on this page (again, I think I’ve listed 14 of ’em) are open game. Choose your opening line and write a piece of flash fiction (up to 1000 words) with that line as the opener. Post it at your online space, link back here.

I’ll choose one person’s story — just one! — to win autographed copies of my books Blackbirds, Mockingbird, and Gods & Monsters. This is open only to US residents (international are welcome to play, but the best prize I can offer you is e-copies of my writing books).

You have one week.

Due Friday the 19th by noon EST (firm deadline).

It’ll take me a week to choose. At which point I’ll email the winner and announce here on this post both in the comments and in the post itself.

Go forth and write!