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”
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.
All my life people have told me, “You can do anything, be whatever you want to be,” I want to be God.
From the WIP: The Gods, They Feast. On Men.
I laughed so hard at my stepfathers wake, my cup of tea came out my nose.
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.
“For your crimes against humanity you have been sentenced to live out the remainder of your life at New Sado Para-Max Prison.”
”As Danny flipped around on the concrete like a landed trout, it occurred to me that the dance cannon in my hand was not a toy.”
I was scrubbing in for a routine C-section the first time The Voices came to me.
Ben strode into the alley, willing to sacrifice his last shred of grace to keep the woman from suffering again.
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.
The video footage was damning and would likely cost her fairy-book marriage, but how could he convince her it wasn’t his fault?
Give me the death of an old monster – blunt teeth that wobble and groan in their sockets as they grind, a broken claw with ragged edges.
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.
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.
In my experience, the way to any man’s heart is to know how to suck his dick just right.
“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?”
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.
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.
In the beginning, God created the heavens, the earth, and the greatest triple martini ever made.
Testicles don’t taste of sex or hormones or horniness, just blood really.
Metatron had just rendered himself useless—his God slid from his sword, dead and smoking.
Eddie’s boyfriend was straight but that wasn’t the problem.
During school, Grammar Nazi had only been a nickname.
For once, the cops were very nice.
His charcoal eyes flipped open with a nearly audible click, and all I could think was, “I thought they’d be blue.”
Ever feel like you dodged a bullet by deciding not to send naked pictures of yourself to a future ex?
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?
Unperturbed by the teeming throngs of people the yak slowly chewed its cud while I puzzled over the map of the London Underground.
I was already dialing the police when the first bomb exploded.
It was the truth, the world was ending tomorrow and she didn’t have any pants.
Occasionally, Hallbera thought she’d kill to get a murder-case.
This world is a mysterious and terrible place, Shadow thought, standing in the darkness of his past mistakes.
The positives appeared in the tiny window, while the negatives impregnated her mind.
Eleven o’clock: electronic chimes marked the passage of another hour of my life that I would never get back.
Holly removed yet another article of clothing.
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.
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.
Araj clucthed his side – the week-old knife wound still hurt like hell.
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.
“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.
The world slipped and screeched in its orbit; Enoch had forgotten to grease the Mechanism again.
I need more time, fucker.
The missive fell across Samuel’s desk in what would have been early in the day.
He looked at her, she paused.
“If I were a religious man, I might ask God ‘Why fore hast thou forsaken me?’ or something equally strange right about now.”
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.
Armpit hair was the least of my worries, but #42 just wouldn’t shut his mouth.
A hundred years ago, I was too old for this.
My calendar read August 30th, the date circled repeatedly in red sharpie as if it held some greater significance than the empty, white boxes surrounding it.
You think you know the story of your life but you only know the beginning; for a nominal fee I can tell you what you really want to know: how it ends.
Every religion has its martyrs, its saints that die for the greater cause. I never thought I’d be one of them.