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 30th. They must be original, unpublished stories inspired by the photo prompt and they must have no more than 360 words (title doesn’t count).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 Mom’s Garden

Here’s your e-badge, Daleen.

updated thursday 360 e-badge

 

The Prompt

And here’s the prompt for this week’s challenge.

Remember the deadline is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday, March 30th.

Photo “seattle rain.” taken 12/12/10 by Ryan Heaney. Made available at Flickr.com under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 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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33 thoughts on “Thursday 360 Challenge

  1. Finding the Sun

    The city lights gleamed upon the wet concrete, streams of luster among a hard sea of darkness. Raindrops continued falling from the black night sky, rippling in puddles and slipping down the window panes of the café in glassy rivulets.

    April took a sip of coffee and watched through the window as a woman with a black umbrella slipped an envelope into the blue USPS drop box along the sidewalk. What words were contained within the paper shell of the envelope? Did it take a little piece of her heart with it as it tumbled down into anonymity and fell lost among the mass of envelopes sheltered in the darkness? The memory of the last envelope she mailed radiated vividly in April’s mind. A night like this with the cold Seattle rains falling upon the city in cold, spattering drops.

    What was she doing here? She never should have agreed. But she had and now she saw Jeff’s car pulling up along the side of the road. He slipped a coin in the parking meter and hurried in out of the rain.

    Jeff brushed the raindrops from his dark hair and scanned the room. He spotted her at the booth and came to sit down across from her.

    For a moment they just stared at each other.

    Then he spoke. “I got the divorce papers yesterday.”

    April inhaled a deep breath and nodded. “Good. We should get it over with as soon as—”

    “I don’t want a divorce.”

    What? You’re the one who wanted one in the first place?”

    “I know. I’m the whole reason for all of this. But I was a fool. I love you, April. Our love is worth too much to throw away. Our marriage is worth too much not to fight for. I’ve done a little growing up in the past couple months and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make this work.”

    April stared at him dumbfounded even as tears welled up in her eyes. “So am I.”

    He took her hands in his and April knew that somehow…together they would fight through the rainclouds and find the sun again.

    Host Entry–Not Eligible to Win
    Approx. Word Count: 360

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “Everyone Has a Story”
    John Mark Miller – 360 words
    @JohnMark_Miller

    Several long hours had passed since I had first huddled down onto the slick sidewalk, shivering as the melancholy rain slowly drenched my clothes. Many thoughts tried to force their way into my mind, but I pushed them back. These days it simply hurt to think.

    My heart lifted as a dark sedan slowed to a stop at my street corner. The window rolled down lazily, and a young teen waved a bill of some kind. Swallowing my pride, I felt a tear slide down my cheek as I stood painfully and hobbled over to the car. I reached out my hand…and with a burst of teenage laughter, the driver stepped on the gas and lurched back onto the street, spraying my face with filthy street water.

    I stood, dazed, as the sound of raucous laughter drifted into the midnight breeze. Limping back to the sidewalk, I collapsed into a heap on the ground. I sat there for a long while, allowing the icy rain to wash the salted tears from my cheeks. The sound of young voices broke me from my reverie. A few yards away, a young couple strolled down the sidewalk, arms entwined.

    “There’s a man on the street,” the young lady observed loudly. “Maybe we should see if he needs help.”

    Her boyfriend steered her toward the street. “How insane are you?” he asked, incredulously. “The guy might be a mass murderer. You can’t just stop and hang out with homeless people!”

    “But everyone has a story…” the girl attempted, to no avail.

    They tried not to make eye contact as they scurried past, and my soul was plunged into a sea of loneliness.

    “Stop!” I wanted to shout after them. “Just let me talk to you for a second or two, so I can feel… human again.” I desperately wanted to tell someone – anyone – my story. How I had been a successful investment banker, until an electrical fire had robbed me of my home, my family, and the use of my leg.

    But no one was listening. My cries of despair echoed down the empty street, answered only by the pelting raindrops – cold and unfeeling.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am….

    WC: 180

    People call me strange… unbelievable…undoable… But I’m not. I just can’t seem to not notice the wonderful things around me: the sparkling rain, the flashing city lights, the wind that is cold now but is bringing warm weather, and the reminders from my daughter that she has to be at Wednesday church by eight o’clock.

    Who am I?

    I am Joy.

    People call me heroic… passionate…undoable… But I’m not. I just can’t seem not to notice the hurting people around me: the rejected beggar, cold and wet; the single mother, overwhelmed and exhausted; the widower, lonely and lost.

    Who am I?

    I am Compassion.

    People call me unwavering…gentle…undoable… But I’m not. I just can’t seem not to notice that which the Lord and others have given to me: the Bible, the flowers, the rainbow, the hamburger shared with friends.

    Who am I?

    I am Gratefulness.

    People call me blessed…honest… Julie. I can’t seem to not follow my Savior. Joy….giving my life to enrich others. Compassion…sharing my hamburger with the homeless man on the street. Gratefulness…thanking Jesus for every day I have with my daughter, sharing His love.

    Who am I?

    I am Christian.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rover, The Faithful

    I am Rover, servant of the Most High God. Born a mutt, on the orchards of Eastern Washington, but transformed by the grace of God’s call to be an agent of His majestic, magnificent and mysterious will.

    I feel a certain kinsmanship with Balaam’s donkey, a camaraderie with Jonah’s whale. My Lord said, if the people keep silent, the rocks would cry out. If you can accept this truth, then accept another, when people refuse to do God’s work, He uses His critters.

    God’s call came into my life when I was beyond a pup. My mind cleared of the things of dogs, chasing rabbits and such, and suddenly I knew I had to go East. I trotted for three days, living off the gracious provisions of God, A fallen squirrel here, a patch of fruit there. I came across a tractor in a hay field, and discovered an old farmer was pinned beneath. I barked at it. I bit it. Finally I climbed up into the seat and pawed at something until it started backward, releasing him.

    He praised my Lord, and then I understood it was God who had called me. I stayed with the man for a couple weeks, and then I felt the call again. I rescued a boy about to be abducted. I stopped a young woman from killing herself. All the while pressing East.

    Now I am on the streets of Seattle. They are seldom dry and never kind. Yet God calls me onward, through grime and noise.

    He led me to Tad, living in an alley, scared and alone. He told me his story, not knowing I could understand him. He was being raised by his grandfather, but he had become lost in the city. Finding him food was easy, with the guidance of our gracious God. My faithfulness coaxed out his trust, so that I will be able to lead him to safety.

    Tomorrow, we will travel. Tonight he needs his rest, and my Lord has I assigned me to protect him. So I stand guard against all enemies, during his last night on the streets of Seattle.

    356 words
    @CharlesWShort
    http://www.charleswshort.com
    http://www.christianflashweekly.wordpress.com

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah. My last entry for CFW is not my best work, but I wrote it and worked with it a bit and submitted it anyway. At least it’s something. Sometimes the inspiration manifests itself into something great, sometimes it just lingers on the platform waiting for a missed train, all dressed up with no place to go.

        Like

  5. “Bad Weather” Christian
    Word count: 356

    It was barely 4:00am. George was still at work, anxious about going home. This was the fourth late night he’d pulled this week and he knew his wife would not be happy. She just didn’t understand the pressure he was under. His boss was breathing down his neck about the reports due for the Bradston account. If he didn’t have them done by Sunday he’d be fired for sure. He knew she would not be pleased that he would be missing church again either. George sighed as he thought about that sad, disappointed look he was sure to see on her face.

    “Well, she will just have to deal”, he thought to himself. “I’m doing this for her, for the baby.”

    George turned off his computer and grabbed his briefcase, knocking a pile of papers and books onto the floor. He let out another sigh. He was far too tired to pick up this mess. Reluctantly, he bent down and grabbed an armful of papers revealing an old, tattered bible. He had forgotten he had brought it to the office.

    How long ago was that? He hadn’t the faintest idea. He tried to remember the last time he had even read it. He walked across the room and placed it on the bookshelf. He just didn’t have time for it anymore. Feeling defeated, he finally left his office closing the door behind him.

    Heading down the hall his phone rang.

    “Hello?”

    “George? It’s Tina. I am driving Silvia to the hospital.”

    “What? Why?” A cold sweat beaded on his brow.

    “Something’s wrong. She thinks she’s going into labor. George, she needs you now.”

    “She’s only 22 weeks!”

    “I know. Just hurry.”

    George hung up and ran out the door into the cold, rainy night. Hailing a taxi, his mind raced as he thought about all the possibilities.

    When the taxi pulled up, he got in and told the driver where to go, “Please hurry, my wife is in labor!”

    George ran his hands through his wet hair.

    “Please God”, he prayed. “Please, if you save my wife and baby I promise to never fall away again.”

    Liked by 2 people

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