Did you like the prompt sentence? It’s the first line of the short in When the Hero Comes Home, “One and Twenty Summers”, written by today’s judge, Brian Cortijo, @briancortijo. It’s a great story. You should read it.

But look what y’all did with it! All over the place, as usual. So many good ones to choose from. But Brian picked only these five finalists:

TheGlitterlady, @theglitterlady

Jen DeSantis, @jend_author

Sharon Wachsler, @aftergadget

Eric Hamilton, @pyritedreamer

Miranda Gammella, @MLGammella

Congrats everyone! Here are their entries, folks. Read them, vote for your favorite, send your friends to do the same, and then be back tomorrow when I announce the winner. Don’t forget, this week Brian has graciously offered a copy of When the Hero Comes Home to the winner and as part of my effort to get everyone in the world to read it, I’m giving away a Kindle version of When the Hero Comes Home, to one participant chosen at random! So tomorrow morning, come ’round to find out if you’re a winner too!

TheGlitterlady, @theglitterlady

Finally, the digging was over, there are only so many lies you can tell before your face starts telling the truth. How many lies did I need to puke from my throat before the lieing was over? Too many to count I believe that if anyone dug deeper they would see my inconsistancies… or my lack there of. Too planned, too reheased, too scared of the consequences of being found out.
It’s not every day that you try to suprise your wife with rose pedals and wine on ice.
But I was too good.
Too good at lieing that as I stand here staring over my unconscious body I know I shouldn’t have crept up behind her with my man at attention.
“George! How could you? You know I hate suprises!” She drags my body down the hall and notices the rose pedals on the ground, “Don’t you remember when you gave me the stun gun last anniversary?”
I’ll never try to suprise her again.

Jen DeSantis, @jend_author

Finally, the digging was over.

I wiped my brow and looked up at the man I used to love. He was fidgeting with something in the pocket of his jacket and looking everywhere but toward me. I understood. There’s nothing sexy about a woman covered in mud from digging a shallow grave.

“Let’s get him in,” I said.

He jumped, but then nodded. We were in this together, right up until the time we laid the last of the dirt on the grave. Then I was going to forget him faster than he could say “goodbye.” There’d be no looking back or plaintive sighs. This little pickle he’d gotten me into had pretty much sealed our fate.

I was appalled at how weak he was. He groaned and strained as we moved the body. “Oh, come on, Dusty. He’s just not that heavy. Put some oomph into it.”

He muttered under his breath and groaned a little louder. At this rate, the whole town would hear us. I nearly broke my back getting the stiff’s torso into the grave. The rest of him sort of flopped in and I heaved a sigh of relief. Until I saw that he was sideways. There was no way the dirt would lay flat like that.

“Oh, for fuck’s sake. Really?” I slapped the side of my thigh in aggravation. This night would never be over.

I hopped into the grave and started trying to maneuver the body into a flat position. All I could manage was twisting him from one side to the other, never getting him fully flat.

“You could help,” I said through gritted teeth.

He shook his head silently, backing up. “I’m not getting in there. With him. And you.”

I put my hands on my hips, my finger brushing the butt of my concealed gun, and smiled up at my partner in crime.

“What’s a matter, Dusty? You frightened of little old me?”

Sharon Wachsler, @aftergadget

Finally, the digging was over. I wiped the sweat from my brow and chugged from my water bottle, spilling it down my chin and onto my my thin, white tight tank top, which — without a bra — exposed the shape of my breasts. My nipples were visible, thanks to all the water.

“They’ll never find the aliens in here,” I turned to my hunky counterpart. “You bring the corpses while I radio to mission command.” I tottered in my high-heeled space boots to the truck.

“Cut!” The director shouted. “Okay, Sandra, that was great, but I’d like to go again. I need you to spill more water on your top.”

He paused, looking around.

“Makeup! And she needs a dry top. Someone towel her off — she’s a mess!”

I sighed and sat down on the truck’s tailgate while the minions hurried over to make me more presentable again. Julliard, NYU, the Actor’s Studio, and I was reduced to this. Well, I had made this choice. Nobody was forcing me to take these parts.

“Sandra, we’re ready for you.”

I teetered over to the pit and grabbed my shovel, trying not to dislodge any of my long, red press-on nails.

“Tarantula Alien Sexpots from Outer Space, take seven! Action!”

I thrust the shovel into the dirt. “They’ll never find the aliens in here,” I turned to Brett. “You–”

Clunk! My spade had struck something. I hit it again. It clunked again. I jumped into the pit.

“Cut! Cut!” the director shrieked. “What are you doing? Get out of there!”

Was that a giant, hairy leg I saw, waving from within the metal box we’d just unearthed? Oh. My. God.

“Do you like it?” The FX guide sauntered over and asked.

“We made it look really realistic, don’t you think?”

I sighed. I wished everyone would stop staring at my nipples.

Eric Hamilton, @pyritedreamer

Finally, the digging was over. Thirty-three graves in one night. It was a new record.

“What’s the haul for this evening, gentlemen?” Cigar embers gave Mason’s face a demonic red glow.

“Twenty-seven wedding rings, thirty fillings, two gold teeth, five watches, twenty-two slightly used tuxedos in various sizes . . .” Geraldo monotonously rattled off the list.

Mason grinned, chewing slightly on his almost nonexistent cigar. “Excellent.”

“Sure doesn’t seem like it’s worth all the effort of digging up graves,” Malarkey, one of the new guys, grumbled as he wiped the sweat off his brow.

A large meaty hand latched onto Malarkey’s throat. Mason’s eye’s twitched, “Do you know how much they get you on tuxedo rentals nowadays? It’s highway robbery!”

“Okay, okay,” Malarkey gasped, “Sorry I said anything.”

“I detest robbery,” Mason continued, “It’s disgusting what people will do nowadays for just a few more bucks.”

Miranda Gammella, @MLGammella

Finally, the digging was over. The damn dog just wouldn’t stop digging holes. My beautiful yard that I had spent so much time and money on could now pose as the surface of the moon.

The dog was mental, he really was. I wish I understood why my husband wanted this particular dog when there were several others at the APL that needed homes. He thought this digging was cute.

We’ll see how cute he thinks of it when he has to fill the holes in tonight.

Damn dog.

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