Thursday 360 Challenge

Thursday 365 pic 3Welcome to Thursday 360!

Are you a Christian writer? Think you can write a mind-blowing short story in 360 words or less? Let’s see what you’ve got!

Here’s How it Works

New posts will publish here on Thursdays. Write a 360-word (or less) flash fiction story based on the photo prompt (featured near the bottom of this post) and enter it in the comments section below. The results will be posted the following Thursday along with the new prompt. Winner will get the opportunity to display the Champion’s Badge on their website.

Rules and What-not

The rules are pretty simple. All entries for the current challenge must be posted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday, February 16th. They must be original, unpublished stories inspired by the photo prompt and they must have no more than 360 words (title doesn’t count). Stories don’t have to be Christian in subject matter, but cannot contain foul language, erotic, anti-Christian content, etc… (Let’s try to keep it G-rated, folks.) By posting, you attest that your entry conforms to these rules; I am in no way liable if it doesn’t. I reserve the right to reject/delete anything that does not follow the rules.

All entries remain the property of their authors.

Results for Last Week’s Challenge

Crosshairs by Jeremy Bullard: The story starts out making me think one thing and then, as it nears the end, I have the enjoyable realization of discovering that the “snipers” are all really part of a flash-mob engagement plot. One thing I might suggest is typing the story first in Microsoft Word and then copy-and-pasting it into the comment to avoid some of the orthographic issues that popped up in the story. Other than that, good work, Jeremy, on creating an interesting story with an entertaining twist.

The Backpack by Daleen Cowgar: A story of a girl who risks her life to serve the Lord. The story does a good job of grabbing your interest within the first three sentences. Since you had fifty-nine words left to work with, you could have added some description to help the story come alive a little bit more, but it’s still a good story that does a nice job of holding your interest. Good job, Daleen. I’m glad to have you joining the Thursday 360 community.

Let God by Anna Johnson: The description and sensory details that start off the story are great. The subtext adds interest. I wish the blonde had been given a name and there’s one instance where Mike’s name is Mark, but those are really just minor details. It was a good, well-written story. Great work, Anna.

Now for the results…

Champion: Anna Johnson

Here’s your e-badge Anna. Congratulations on another win!

updated thursday 360 e-badge

 

The Prompt

Here’s the prompt for this week’s challenge in honor of Valentine’s Day.

Remember the deadline is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday, February 16th.

Photo Credit, David Niblack, Imagebase.net

 

Also, remember to become a follower so you can get email notifications of results and new posts.

 

Check out Christian Flash Weekly after you’re done for another great contest to help you hone your short fiction skills.

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17 thoughts on “Thursday 360 Challenge

  1. “Perfect”

    Small ripples lapped softly against the concrete wall of the lake as Ian and Michelle walked down the carved steps toward the fence. In her right hand, fingers trembling, Michelle clutched a brown envelope, embossed with the logo of Johnson and Paige, OBGYN.

    Reaching the last step, Ian sat, pulling Michelle down with him. He wrapped his arm around her back. “No matter what, remember? We have so much love to give and we will love him or her so much. No matter what.” Ian whispered these words to his wife while he hugged her close to his side. Michelle looked up into her husband’s eyes and felt the quivering in her belly multiply tenfold. With tears pooling on her lashes, she gasped out, “Cystic fibrosis runs in my family, Ian. I am scared to even look!” “Hey,” he replied gently, “everything happens for a reason. If it is meant to be, it might be hard, but we can handle it! I never would have even wanted to try if I did not have faith in us and faith that our God will take care of us!”

    Michelle drew a breath and wiped away the tears that had slipped down her cheeks. He was right. That’s what she loved most about Ian, his steadfastness and his belief that they would be fine. One day, she hoped to have faith as strong as his. He had brought her to know God, but doubt still sometimes crept its way into her heart. Silently, she prayed, God, please, let your will be done!

    Ian held his breath as Michelle pulled the papers out and scanned the first page. “Oh!,” Michelle exclaimed, covering her mouth with her hand. “What, let me see!” Ian took the paper and read the first lines of results from the amniocentesis. “Yes!” Ian shouted, “Yes!” He looked back at Michelle and saw she now held the ultrasound picture. Leaning over, he gazed at it with her, shoulder to shoulder, his head resting against hers. In bold letters to the right of the picture was captioned “It’s a girl!”

    “It’s a girl,” he whispered joyfully, “and she will be perfect.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I Need To Return This

    WC: 46

    The turn. Her voice rising into a shriek. The look of drunken terror from the other driver. Screaming her name as they rolled down the bank. The funeral. The closed casket. Her family’s angry glares. 

    “I need to return this engagement ring. It’s never been worn.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Worth Fighting For

    She felt his presence as he sat down beside her on the concrete step. He didn’t speak, and neither did she.

    The susurrus sound of rippling waves washing in upon the shore mingled with the laughter of happy couples in rowboats. A sanderling twittered by the dock. An old woman by the parking lot was handing out roses for Valentine’s Day.

    Mia took a deep breath as a cool Florida breeze caressed her face and blew a lock of hair back from her face. She stared down at the diamond ring on her finger. Brody had slipped it on her finger six years ago today.

    How things had changed since then.

    “I’m sorry,” he murmured. “I didn’t mean what I said yesterday.”

    “It sure sounded like you did.

    He shook his head. “No. I love you, Mia…more than anything else in this world. I know things haven’t been good between us for a long time, but…our marriage is worth fighting for…you’re worth fighting for.”

    Mia blinked back the salty wetness that stung at her eyes, and turned to meet his gaze. “I love you too…but I can’t save our marriage on my own.”

    “I know…I’ve been a lazy jerk and all kinds of a fool…but, I swear, things are going to be different. I can’t imagine my life without you, Mia. I guess I just started taking our love for granted…but, when you walked out yesterday…I knew one thing for sure…you mean everything to me and I’ll fight for you, I’ll fight for our marriage. I’ll do whatever it takes.”

    A solitary tear trickled down Mia’s face and left a wet path down her cheek.

    Brody got down on his knees and took her hand in his. “Mia Turner, will you marry me…again?”

    She laughed and nodded, tears running down her face in mascara-tinted rivulets. “Yes. I’ll marry you…again.”

    Brody smiled even as tears escaped from his own eyes, and he took her in his arms. He kissed her passionately, entwining his fingers in her soft auburn hair and savoring her nearness.

    This love was worth fighting for.

    Approx. Word Count: 360

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ~Love, Actually~

    Jack leaned back on the steps, soaking in the scenery and the late afternoon sun. Allison wasn’t off until six, so he was in no hurry to get home. Besides, this wasn’t loafing — this was research. She was always after him to be more romantic. What better place and time to study romance than in the park near sunset?

    Truth be told, he had no problem with romance. It was the stereotype that he rejected, not romance itself, but its commercialization. Its normalization. Flowers, candy, poetry… bah. It had all been done before. He wanted to see something new.

    So he came to the park. It was the most remarkable observatory — a place where romance spontaneously erupted on a daily basis, where he could see the experiment of courtship play out in all its diversity.

    As he reclined on the concrete steps, he let his eyes wander, skipping from couple to couple, encounter to encounter. A couple gentlemen had rented those silly blue plastic skiffs, rowing their respective lovers out onto the water, as if to demonstrate their mastery over the waves — what waves there could be in a pond that size. An older couple walked, arm in arm, through the wizened autumn leaves on the far side of the concrete lagoon. Now they were an example of what he was looking for — no active courtship to be seen, and yet she was as enthralled by his presence as any newfound love might be. That was romance.

    His eyes fell to a couple seated a little further down the steps from him. The guy leaned in close, arm around his lady love, as she shook and bobbed her head. Laughter? Tears? Both? It was hard to say, but his love for her was apparent, as was her acceptance of that love.

    Jack’s attention piqued as they pulled apart, hoping to gain some insight as to the moment they were sha—

    “C’mon, Beth. It’s my turn,” the man said, laughing, holding his hand out for the game system that Beth playfully held just outside his reach.

    Jack chuckled, shaking his head. Romance came in all flavors… some more unique than others.

    Liked by 1 person

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