Thursday 360 Challenge

Welcome 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, March 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 They must be original, unpublished stories inspired by the photo prompt and they must have no more than 360 words (title doesn’t count).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

Champion: Daleen Cowgar for her story My heart feels heavy, a conversation between a Christian and God, displaying the dichotomy between doubt and a longing for faith.

Here’s your e-badge, Daleen, and also a special award for your consistent entries.

updated thursday 360 e-badge

The Prompt

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

Also, for this challenge there will be a special bonus badge given to the entrant that displays the best characterization within their story.

Good luck!

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

Photo “Irish Independent” taken 9/27/13 by Thomas Leuthard. Made available at Flickr.com under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

 

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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15 thoughts on “Thursday 360 Challenge

  1. Not Quite Done

    Chicago. March 17th, 1960

    Mrs. O’Toole set the newspaper down on the table beside his steaming mug of coffee and Doran glanced at the headlines. Something about three women from Riverside being murdered and Eisenhower endorsing Nixon. He turned away from the paper with a sigh.

    He’d made the vow at his retirement party. He wouldn’t follow the crime reports. There could be all manner of crime throughout the city, but he absolutely would not care.

    He’d been on the force for over fifty years—started as a flatfoot walking the beat on Michigan Avenue and worked his way up to chief of police. But times were changing and so was the department. Now that Mayor Daley had appointed Wilson as the new PC, the progression was moving forward at full-steam. Doran knew it was time to step down, but he’d still lingered in the doorway, taking one last glance around his office on the second floor. The leather chair sat behind the desk, a tear on the right arm and a patch on the seat to keep the stuffing in. The mahogany desk, which in its glory days wore a fresh coat of lacquer and a mess of paperwork, now stood empty, the top dull and scratched.

    A sigh escaped Doran’s lips now at the memory. The office reminded him of himself—once young and useful, strong and full of vigor, now old and worn. Doran had been a cop’s cop in his day, hard-as-nails and sharp as a tack. The one everyone went to for solutions. Now he was about as useless as an old hunting dog left to stay warm on the hearth rug and pick up crumbs from the table.
    A knock sounded at the door. Mrs. O’Toole went to answer it and Doran proceeded to eat his scrambled eggs.

    He glanced up when a man entered—a young detective named Gordon.

    “Chief, I…I was hoping you could help me with something.”

    “What’s that?”

    “Um…the Riverside murders.”

    Doran smiled.

    Perhaps he wasn’t quite done playing the game yet.

    As a matter of fact, private investigator had always held a nice ring to it.

    Approx. Word Count: 359

    Host entry—Not eligible to win.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Whitney. Not sure why I missed all these weeks that you had your own Christian Flash Challenge, but now that I noticed I will come back soon and write a story about Granddaddy Short. Well maybe not, but he does look just like Granddaddy Short.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Being Old

    WC: 307

    I hated being old. Every bone in my old body protested. Literally. I was your normal guy. I liked the newspaper, had severe arthritis, and had a daughter that lived an hour away. I hated having to depend on her.

    Like I said. I hated being old.

    Until I met Bobby.

    I met him one night, shoveling out my driveway.

    “Hey Kid!”

    “Yes sir?” He didn’t stop shoveling.

    “What’cha doin?”

    “I’m trying not to go home.”

    I called him in, cuz my bones were starting to hurt.

    “Why wouldn’t you want to go home?”

    “Dad’s gonna be drunk so if I’m late because I was working, maybe he won’t be so mad at me.”

    “I’ll tell you what, let’s eat some supper and then it’ll take you longer.”

    He smiled and I served diner.

    After that, every Friday night, he was at my house. I’d give him a job or two to do and we’d eat supper and talk late into the night.

    One day, in the newspaper, I read about a teenager who started on drugs to escape from his drunken father and was killed when he robbed a store to get money for his addictions.

    And I started wondering. Would that be Bobby if he wasn’t over here? Would Bobby be laying in casket because I wasn’t old and didn’t have time to hang out with him? Would Bobby be doing something worse?

    Suddenly, being old didn’t sound so bad. I had a time to be young, but there is a time to be old too. Not to work and have time for other things that come up.

    The phone rang. “Can I come over??”

    “You don’t even have to ask, Bobby.” I answered.

    “I’ll be over in five minutes.” Bobby clunked the phone down and I smiled.

    It’s not that bad to be old.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Grandpa’s Trip to MacDonalds

    “Hey, Grandpa.”

    “Jefferson, look at you, all dressed up. Came straight from church?”

    “Yes sir.”

    “What was the message today?”

    “Coexist, grandpa.”

    Grandpa stopped studying the newspaper and studied Jefferson instead.

    “What do you mean, coexist?”

    “You know, all religions being equal and God not caring what we call Him as long as we’re sincere.”

    “I’m quite sure Pastor Rogers did not preach that sermon.”

    “No sir, I went to a different church today.”

    “Who is she?”

    “Who is who?”

    “The girl that’s got you so googly-eyed you can’t see what a load of hooey that is.”

    Jefferson shaded pink, and suddenly became very interested in his shoes.

    “Grandpa it’s not fair acting like our way of seeing things is all superior.”

    “I agree.”

    “You do?” Jefferson asked with a hopeful lilt.

    “Yep, it’s not our opinion that matters. It’s God’s. And God the Son said, ‘I am the way, the truth and life. No man comes unto the Father except by Me.’”

    “Do you really think Jesus cares what name we call Him?”

    “Yea, Jackson, I do.”

    Jefferson bristled at hearing his brother’s name.

    “Grandpa, I’m Jefferson.”

    “Yes, Jefferson, I think God is allowed to be offended when we call Him by any old name that strikes our fancy. So what’s her name?”

    “Grandpa, this doesn’t have to be about a girl.”

    “Her name?”

    “Briley. But I don’t want to talk about this anymore.”

    They settled back their chairs a bit.

    “Fine, let me tell you about my trip to McDonalds the other day.”

    “Okay.” Jefferson sat up anxious for one of Grandpa’s stories.

    “I pulled into the drive through and up to the window. They asked me what I wanted so I said I wanted a burger, fries and a chocolate shake. Then they said they couldn’t help me on account of I was at the bank. I asked them, what difference does that make? And they said they weren’t a restaurant. And I said their identity wasn’t the point, my hunger was.”

    “Grandpa, I said I didn’t want to talk about it anymore.”

    “About what?” grandpa asked with a wry smile.

    354 words

    Liked by 2 people

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