Flash Fiction Challenge: Just The Opening Line

Behold last week’s challenge: “A Terrible Lie.”

(Alternate name for this challenge: “Just The Tip.”)

Normally, this challenge is about utilizing brevity — be it with a 1000 words, 100 words, or three sentences — to tell a complete story. Well, not today, my little red balloons.

Today, I just want a single sentence.

I want to read the opening line to a story.

One you’re just making up now.

One whose opening line will drag me kicking and screaming and shove my face into wanting more.

One whose opening line is sharp, enticing, potent.

So. You’ve got a single sentence to promise a killer story.

I’ll keep the challenge open for a week.

Winner gets a postcard in the mail from yours truly.

This postcard shall contain a piece of writing advice on it for you and you alone.

You’ve got one sentence and one week. Enter by 4/13/12 at noon EST.

Enter below in the comments — normally I’d have you post elsewhere, but these will be brief.


To clarify, please enter only once.

229 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: Just The Opening Line”

  1. When his host pulled out a tray with a huge pile of white powder- powder so white that it would make a Klansman feel awkward- Casey knew a night with filled with fraught was likely.

  2. And so the staring contest continued between the little boy and the Rotweiller, for what seemed like an eternity, both just inches apart until, without warning, the massive dog ripped into the side of the boy’s face with its powerful jaws.

  3. The force of the impact was loud enough to hear the bone crack like those eerie sounds that you only hear in bad horror movies.

  4. Several hours late, like a self-fulfilling prophecy made flesh, she strode into the living room, all five foot nine and a buck twenty five in skin-tight jeans with assets full on display, shedding designer accessories as she went, a litany of complaints following in her wake and the sweet sound of glass meeting bottle punctuating her sentences like little bells.

  5. While hearing heavy footsteps storming up the attic stairs, Cassidy reached out in the darkness, her dirty fingertips touching the familiar embossed leather of her quiver realizing the remaining humans depended on her survival-life had seemed so simple only days before.

  6. “The roses are bleeding, sweetheart,” my mother said as she poured a very large mug of coffee. “And your grandmother is in the butter dish again. Do you want eggs or toast?”

  7. It was a normal day and that scared the shit out of me, because, just yesterday, everything was aflame, city filled with screams and explosions, life itself on the brink of extinction, and now everything was normal and I had no fucking idea what was going on.

  8. Now he’s free to go to the same miserable job, to mind the wisdoms of the same overbearing father, to continue chasing impudent skirts of blonde waitresses or hotel clerks or interns.

  9. I can hear what you’re thinking you know. Clear as day. ‘I can’t believe she killed that nice man. And here she is bold as brass in our neighbourhood, she got away with it didn’t she?’
    And you know what the answer is?
    And no.

  10. He had followed it up from the street, each step clarifying the scent, and though he tried to quash his rising anticipation, when he pushed open the door to the apartment above the tavern in the Temple Bar District he’d almost walked right by, Darius could not stop himself from cursing every undying god in the ancient tongue.

  11. If what these folks told me was the truth, I was a condemned criminal, and I was about to be launched into space on a one-way trip along with a thousand other joes and janes who had finally run out of chances.

  12. If there are more than ten chimes of a clock between when she was supposed to meet you and when she calls to say she can’t you are entirely justified in leaving a cranky, stingy tip.

  13. “The first thing he noticed was the cold, wafting down across his face; the second thing was the steel drawer around him. He was laid out on a slab naked, thank god his feet still stuck out of the mortuary refrigerator door.

  14. Some mornings, I wake up feeling like the day is filled with so much potential for greatness, but the piss-soaked mattress and Desert Eagle I was using for a pillow reassured me that this would not be one of those mornings.

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