Friday, November 04, 2011

The Amazing Something You'll Want to See Contest!

No better way to show you Something Amazing than having a contest to celebrate the announcement!

Bonus points if you guess what the Something Amazing is!

Usual rules: Write a story using 100 words or fewer. Post in the comment column of this blog.  One entry per person. If you need a mulligan, delete and reenter.

Use these words in the story:

Contest opens at 10am Saturday 11/5 and closes 10am Sunday 11/6. All times are Eastern Shark time.


Wait till the contest opens!



SwiftScribbler said...

She marks the calendar. The countdown to the end, though no one knows it but her. She finally learned her lesson.

She was lobotomized for predicting the Great Depression, burned for suggesting the plague. When she warned the crew of the Argo that Apollo…she lets that thought die. Just his name makes her shudder. It’s his fault she’s lived dozen lifetimes, all of them wasted on the fringes as a mad woman.

But not this time. This time, as Rens unloads her truck of apocalyptic supplies, Cassandra keeps her mouth shut.

Well, almost. She offers to pay him double.


Charley said...

Interesting word assortment. Is the “something amazing” a full-size reproduction of the original Argo? Or tickets to the Harlem Globetrotters (since the Rens aren’t around anymore)? Or, ok, getting serious, perhaps your critique of our stunningly good (or maybe quite the opposite) query letter? Anyway, here’s my entry, at exactly 100 words:

“But it’s the Argo!”
“Sorry, Jason. Too many shark bites.”
“It’s history! The Golden Fleece. The Silken Shawl with Silver Fringe. The Really Nice Cotton Jeans of Levi the Reckless.”
“Can’t trade it for a yacht. Ain’t worth it.”
“A car, then. A Bentley—”
“I’ll give you a truck.”
“A Mack?”
“A pickup. There.”
“What?! That’s older than the New York Rens!”
“Take it or leave it.”
“No way. Give me—”
“Look, it’s Argo! It’s amazing!”
“You’re kidding. A countdown?”
“Gas is extra. Still got that Fleece?”
“I been fleeced enough. I’m outa here.”

Harriet Parke said...

She stood on the edge of the forest where sunlight and shadow mingle. Behind her were tall dark trees. Birds, oddly silent, fluttered back and forth. Ahead a dusty red-clay lane with a battered Rens model truck stalled dead in the ruts. Beside her, Argo, a golden Labrador, thorns and thistles caught in the fringe of his tail.
“Well,” she said. “We’re in a bit of a fix.”
Argo looked up at her then lay down with his head on his paws.
She did a countdown of things that didn’t work: cellphone, GPS, truck, luck.
The birds remained oddly silently.

Mark Koopmans said...

Aloha, and hi from HI :)

Here is my entry at one hundred words:


“Well then, argo, it must be true,” Rens whined.

“Stop being such a huffster, you’re going to see something amazing,” I said, the damn fly buzzing me to the fringe of anger. “And, it’s ‘ergo,’ not ‘argo.’”

“Hey now Liam, ‘argo,’ ‘ergo,’ I go where you go, you know that.”

“Rens, you surely are numb nuts, but great. You won’t be disappointed, brother,” I said, lowering the truck windows and watching my fly fly.

“That dead intercom on my bed, the one I been telling you about? They talked to me again. They’re coming. The countdown is on, man: 11/11/11.”


Mahalo and good luck to all who participate!

Patrick DiOrio said...

Argo Plugged In.

Waited through the countdown for the Rens-drive to interface. Static, white noise. The jump. Connection.

Argo had no truck with the Fringe, but now he was deep into it. The banger exploded his mind. Instant euphoria. He took the shot and staggered from the Sim bar onto the Giza strip.

Kaleidoscope world populated by meta-heads asleep and dreaming.

Shit. Where the hell was she?

“Right here, Argo, my love.”

As always, she took his breath away. Absolute perfection.

Sudden disconnection.

Timed out.

A final exhalation.

Plugged In had become his drug, his life. But starvation trumped everything.

Kregger said...

I pulled into Moose-Jaw the Cree-Argo headquarters in Deer Tick, Manitoba. I’m a geocaching fanatic on a mission to find something amazing. This was it, the final countdown. In front of me, two men were offloading a truck filled with books.

One of the men appears to be Gary Corby, but why was he pushing Ionia Sanction in Canada?

Fringe-writers, I thought, God knows what motivates those types.

I texted my cohort, I’m here. It’s snowing in Canada.

He tweeted in character, Kree Rargo, Frorida, you moron! Crean your rens, I-rene.

“It’s Ilene, Takahiro, and I’m not missing a foot.”

My guess:

Gary Corby’s imminent release of Ionia Sanction and please do not call me Shirley.

Kitty said...

“I got’cher c-c-ARGO, ma’am,” said the driver and opened the TRUCK for the librarian.

The librarian’s smile slid off her face when she opened the carton.

“These aren’t childREN’S books. This is a shipment of ‘The Ionia Sanction.’ Where’s my order?”

“Dunno. The man t-t-old me to deliver this here b-b-ox.”

“What man?”

“Mr. C-c-orby.”

She brushed the FRINGE of hair from her eyes, inhaled deeply, and began to COUNT DOWN. “10, 9, 8…”

She removed one book, then another, closed the carton and told the driver, “Please return these and tell Mr. Corby mischievous deeds do not prosper.”

Anonymous said...

The truck was an extension of himself. He slept in it, ate in it, killed in it.
It wasn’t his fault that they were stupid enough to get in, to sit beside him.
One was sitting beside him right now.
He glanced over.
Ren’s face gave him a look from her t-shirt. Was she a dancer, or did she just like Footloose?
She looked like a dancer.
She brushed her fringe off her tacky forehead. Freckles mapped out Agro on the back of her hand.
Did she know the countdown to her end had begun?

Jamie said...

Wind blasting through the window of her speeding truck kicked up the fringe on Rens' purple suede coat, making it dance like fingers of a spastic sea anemone. Her hair, too, was alive and wild. Holding it away from her eyes, she squinted at the gas gauge -- a countdown clock well into the red. "Can we make it on fumes?" she said to Argo. But the pup was oblivious, his head out the passenger window, it's tongue splattering a trail of spit on the highway.

Michael said...

Marcus hopped off the truck, joining the queue snaking into the terminal. He bit back his impatience. There was enough room on the ship for everyone.
He craned his neck, gazing at the towering letters on its hull.
If they were lucky, their Argo would enjoy the same divine favor as Jason’s. They’d need all the luck they could get if they were going to make it to the colony on Rens II.
The line advanced. He pulled back his sleeve, offering his barcode. The door opened.
With a last look at Earth, he stepped across the fringe.

Sarah W said...

Gramps says the game’s gone to hell since the 1939 New York Rens slammed the Celtics in the countdown. Since five black men in a Harlem ballroom with gold fringe on the drapes first showed the world how to put a ball through a hoop.

I tell him Franklin Argo could be the best since Tarzan Cooper -- maybe even Fats Jenkins.

But Gramps don’t truck with the players today. “They tall,” he says. “Some of ‘em fast. They want respect for being loud ‘n proud, but can they earn it for playing the damn game?”

I’m sure gonna try.

Adrienne said...

"Rens! Argo! Stand down!"
Smoke curled from my barrel with an approving grin as my C.O. muttered something about the countdown til the Feds showed up, gave me and my partner the evil eye.
"You had to shoot the gray bastard," Argo said. "F.B.I. wanted 'em alive, remember?"
I shrugged, kicked through the silver wreckage, helped load the body in the truck.
Sheriff waddled over, fringed leather swinging with each bow-legged step. "It wanted help."
I shoved him in the black sedan, wished I could show him the intelligence.
And they said Roswell would be boring.

David S. said...

I parked us in a field recently denuded of corn.  We lay in my truck bed, idly chatting about the comforting scents of winter.  The sky darkened to ink.  I pointed at the fringe of stars that formed Vela, the “sails" of the Argo constellation.

“Do you see what’s on top?”

“A cluster of light?” Rens replied.

I took her gloved hand in mine.  “Here:  Start in the middle, go up, and countdown from seven.”

“What’s so special about that star?”

“It’s yours.”  I pulled a certificate and a small velvet box from my unzipped jacket. 

Rens began to cry.

JK said...

2074 AD: He was living on the fringe of a reclusive Appalachian community when he was captured by R.E.N.S. Today, day 6,939 marked the end of the countdown to his execution, nearly 2 decades after the truck full of dead bodies was found on his property.

This morning, he distracted himself with books: today, Astronomy, and the constellation Argo. Argo, he smiled. It reminded him of Margo. She was really something amazing. And how she set him up? Genius. Little did she know, he would see her in just days. He closed the book. It was time to get working.

Tara Tyler said...

Raising the Argo

Discovery of a broken ship
          Grasping fringe of treasure

Couple parts as one dives deep,
          Trucks down fathoms, snags on

Countdown ends above, she worries
          For his breath. Can he

Eyes are faint, searching upward.
          Is this the end?

Truth of Ren proves its worth. She
                    Appears. He is not a-

Feaky Snucker said...

RENS' eyes are bleak beneath her FRINGE. There's a COUNTDOWN in her heart leading to a freedom she's not yet ready for.

She thinks, 'In another world I'm with someone whose eyes, when cast in my direction sparkle more than all the stars in ARGO. Someone who makes me more than I am.

I know the difference between being lonely and alone. And yet I TRUCK on with the emptiness beside me that is you...

We could do this dance forever with the patience of two saints, but this halo's really starting to weigh me down.'

Colin Smith said...

The 48 hours were almost up. Landon had minutes with the suspect. He felt his pulse count down the seconds.

"You drove that truck, you toothless idiot. Admit it!" he shouted, on the fringe of despair.

"Ah dint!" the shabby man cried. "Ah says to tha' man 'ah won' go.' So 'e says 'Okay, then, argo.' An' he rens to the truck an 'e's gawn!"

Landon was close to tears. His career depended on him closing this case. But in his gut, he knew toothless wasn’t lying.

"Get out of here," he sighed.

GirlReworked said...

The truck rumbled toward us, kicking up dust in its wake.
“Bug!” yelled Uncle Argo, “Bug!” I dropped the bud I was pruning, and bolted. Fuck, man.
Last time I was here the phone company was crawling all over his fucking phone lines with some story about too many rens on the line.
I ran for the forest. When I got to the fringe of the property, I stopped to tie my boot lace; that’s when Mr. Authority appeared. “You have the right to remain silent. . . .”
I countdown the days until I get out of this joint.

gregkshipman said...

“Why people linin’ the curbs at midnight, Smokey— some kinda countdown?”

“Waitin’ for somethin’ amazing, Blue.”

“Say again?”

“Word is somethin’ amazing comin’ so everybody truck down to see.”

“Why here? We the fringe. No Confucius Rens dude gonna go benevolent and show us amazin’.”

“Smokin’ crack, Blue?”

“I educate myself on Far Eastern shit, partner.”

“Whatever, Blood.”

“It could be the Argo, Smokey.”

“The Jason and the Argonaughts’ ship?”

“Right on.”

“That’s movie shit, Blue.”

“Still be somethin’ amazin’ cruisin’ down this avenue.”

“Be more amazin’ if it made it through without gettin’ jacked.”

“True dat, Smoke-man, true dat!”

Deirdre Verne said...

Argo maneuvered the truck along side the Model T. 125th Street was lined with automobiles, a rare sight in Harlem. He tossed a vegetable crate and reached for the sack.

"Game starting." Jimmy "the jumper" lifted one slender brown leg onto the flatbed. "What do you call these?"

"Sneakers. My good man Chuck says the Harlem Rens gonna be all stars."

Jimmy fingered the flexible rubber sole. "Converse?"

"I told Chuck to name them after me. Argo, a real star." He laughed and grabbed the fraying fringe on JImmy's shoe. "Two minutes to countdown. Try 'em."

Unknown said...

Europe’s “The Final Countdown” played over the speakers in the mall parking lot as Daniel loaded up the Ren’s moving truck. Much like the Argo carried Jason towards the golden fleece, their truck would take them to great riches. Daniel stopped loading the truck to fix his disheveled shirt and check his hair. At some point in his life, someone lied and made him believe that he was on the fringe of hipster fashion.
“What,” Brad’s voice broke the primping time, “are you doing?”
Daniel stopped and quickly went back to loading the boxes.
“Hurry, or we’ll get caught.”

Calorie Bombshell said...

We are misfits and freaks who exist on the fringe. Huddled together in dark steel caverns, we claw at nylon chains that enslave us and gasp for any remaining vestige of fresh air. We are nomads on life’s never-ending highway, always trucking from place to place – waiting for the countdown to our destination. We exist as acronyms -our true identities lost in the exhaust of time. We are RENS, who Rarely Ever Never Smiles, Argo who is Always Ready to Go On time, and EBTM who Eats Burritos Too Much. We are the underbelly. We are carpoolers.

Bonus: "Something Amazing" - Marine scientists have discovered a new breed of shark off of New York's coastline and have named it Reid shark.

Alex said...

For a while I really wanted to do a reference to the song The Final Countdown. All I could think of when I read that was Gob from Arrested Development on stage with his flowing white shirt and flamboyant hand gestures with The Final Countdown playing.

Quick Gob quote - "I've had an erection before I think I know what love is Michael"


“Argo, the man in the rabbit suite stole the truck and the rubies,” Blustered detective Tugman.

“Your illiteracy never ceases to amaze me detective. But you lurk upon the fringe of fact, even if you are still a thread from the truth,” Calmly explained Damian Rens the greatest investigator in the world.

With a theatrical flourish Rens donned the rabbit mask. Tugman gasped.

“Indeed,” acknowledged Rens. “Having tracked the wheelman to the pub, I drugged and persuaded from him the thieve’s password.”

“Whatever was it?” Exclaimed the constable.

“Countdown,” replied Rens flipping Detective Tugman the keys to the truck.

AngiNicole said...

“Let me finish filling the tank.” Steven told Rob, who was sitting in the truck.
“Hurry, it’s almost time for The Countdown!” he yelled.
As they were pulling out, Rob slammed on the brakes where a VW bus blocked the road. Jason leaned against the side.
Steven sneered. “Well, if it isn’t Team Argo. No matter what, you’re still second.”
“You think The Rens will earn the prize?” Jason laughed.
Steven frowned. “Yes, my drag queens are better than yours. Better costumes.”
With maniacal laughter, Jason said. “Yes, but you can’t win without your…fringe!”
Steven dropped to his knees. “NO!!!!”

The Sleepy One said...

“It’s the final countdown,” Ren sang as he drove two of his friends to a party the night before graduation.

“Your fringe in your eyes,” Nigel told Lisa.


“I think that’s British for bangs,” Ren chimed in.

“Ren’s all-knowing about British slang.”
“Argo, I--”

“Don’t you mean Ergo? Argo was the ship Jason and the Golden Fleece sailed on.”

“Glad to see that classics degree is serving you well.”

“Watch out!” Lisa pointed to a truck Ren in danger of rear-ending.

Ren slammed on the brakes and continued on, despite heading the wrong direction on the freeway.

Anonymous said...

Anything to do with the new 'Argo' movie directed by Ben Affleck and written by George Clooney?

''Ergo,'' you stupid boy. '' I said Ergo. Not Argo''

Levi Rens peered at the Professor through his fringe and thought there could be little doubt that the man was stark raving mad.

''Hey Prof, just chill man. The truck will be coming this way in about twenty minutes and therefore we don't need to start no countdown yet.''

The Professor coughed and peered in to the barrel of the gun Levi was holding.

''No need for sarcasm Rens and I do wish you would refrain from calling me Prof.''

''Her she comes now. Start counting Prof.''

Can you delete the previous one... so sorry..

The Outsider said...

Jason dropped out of the truck and stretched. Nights on the Argo were worse, but being a scholar had softened him. It wasn’t a soft world though; when the cuts came round he was out on his ear. Still, he liked his Mercedes-Rens, or whatever you called this thing.

His back itched; hair got everywhere. His didn’t grow much (another side-effect of immortality) but fashion was a doomsday clock. It seemed like every few seconds the countdown ended and everything changed. Fringes, streaks, Mohawks... he was tempted to shave himself bald and have done with it.

Steve Forti said...

“What do you want to watch?” Felicia asked, grabbing the remote. “How about Countdown with Keith Olberman?”

“Nah,” replied Jeff. “Not in the mood for politics.”

She scanned the guide. “Ice Road Truckers?”

“I’ve had enough reality TV for the day.”

“Hmm… Fringe is on in a few minutes.”

“I heard that’s good, but I’d be lost to start in on it now.”

Felicia sighed and kept clicking. “SyFy is showing that Jason and the Argonauts remake.”

“Wait, go back! It’s Ren & Stimpy! The one with Ren’s toothache! Amazing episode.”

Really? she thought. My husband is forty years old?

cj said...

Is the something the amazing Q or Suzie?
Genevieve Rens had the exhilarator peddle pressed to the floor of her old Dodge truck, destination Argo. The tiny community set at the fringe of the Hopi Reservation.

The countdown had begun at a quarter of midnight. An hour hence the spirit of the ancient Hopi shaman had awakened her with his urgent request. Gen had not meant for things to go this far. Without taking her eyes off the potholed gravel road she touched the thunder-stick that lay across the vinyl bench seat. Though not frightened, Gen knew, if she survived this night her life would be changed irrevocably.

Alii Silverwing said...

“Argo, the silly french direct our mad decimals, um, manic ululations.”

Canting toward his seatmate, chin indicating the presenter. “Accent translation: Ergo, the cilia fringe detects our medicinal manipulations.”

“I don’t hold truck with this research. Unethical torture. Rens won’t miraculously shed their psychosis with ‘just one more dose’” Lips pursed in disapproval, “He could just say ‘eyelash samples reveal absorption rates.”

“He’s translating on the fly. Have a heart.” Sitting back, alert as they brought a patient onstage, “Countdown ‘til the Renfield snaps her restraints.”

Playing along, watching the Rens struggle against drug and straightjacket, “Three. Two...”

RMizaki said...

One night, a truck at the fringe of the city stopped when a spaceship landed right in its path. The driver immediately got out and ran into the darkness leaving his terrified friend behind.

The driver hid and watched as a little old lady stepped out, handed his friend something, commenced her countdown and left.

The driver returned and asked his friend what happened. The lady told him it was not wise to keep company with a fellow who would desert his friend in a moment of danger and gave him a coupon for Mrs. Argo’s Rump N Rens Pies.

Anonymous said...

This is a fun contest -- thank you, Janet! I'm guessing Argo tickets or a signed copy of the Pericles Commission. :) Following is my 100-word story:

Michelle Mills

Sophie turns from the altar, the countdown mere second’s until she says ‘I do’. Mascara fringes her damp eyes as they rest on Jack Ren’s handsome but anguished face. I ...remember you.”

She dares one last glance at her bewildered groom. “I’m so sorry, Gerald.”

Gathering her skirts, she rushes into Jack’s embrace. Clinging to one another, he possessively runs his fingers through her hair; their eyes speaking silently but unmistakeably of their love. His lips find hers as astonished guests look on.

“Sophie. Sophie!” Gerald shouts.

Hand-in-hand, Sophie and Jack flee the chapel and into a waiting Argo truck.

Anonymous said...

I think the Something Amazing in an excerpt from "The Ionia Sanction".


Crisp night air whips around my face. I glance at the sky to get my bearings and find Argo, trace over and spot the star Rens. I’m exhausted, but I truck on a bit further to a dark cave and hunker down among the dead leaves and twigs. The gun doesn’t make a sound as I slide it out of the sheath on my back. Something moves on the fringe of the woods. I suck in my breath and start the countdown. Three...a shadow moves into the turns. I squeeze the trigger. The shadow falls. Another job complete.

Android Astronomer said...

Major Hicks’ truck skidded to a stop outside the uplink facility. The Lucifer probe had reported indications of intelligent life near Carina, on the fringe of the Argo constellation.

Hicks nodded to the technician to start the countdown. On his mark, the FTL beacon reached across the galaxy and brought Lucifer home with a flash.

Hicks checked his tab. “Just one picture?” He could make out one word in the center. “’Rens.’ What the heck?”

The technician shrugged.

“Enhance.” The photo sharpened, and Hicks read the rest. “’Lather, rens, repeat.’” He forwarded the photo to his CO. “Eh, close enough.”

Anonymous said...

“You look worse than a gravity truck grunt!” the old queen chided, ticking a countdown, blue argon laser held steady.
Sour smoke rose from the severed fringe of hair.
“Or maybe playing spin the comet on Rens’ third moon?” Madam Betelgeuse stroked her jeweled nails over Lally’s scalp.
“Oooh, honey! You got yourself a man!” the hairdresser crowed. “One of those asteroid boys?”
She reached for pomade, as the girl in the barber’s chair squirmed under her scrutiny in the mirror. “Hold still. I’m making a woman out of you.”
“That’s what he said,” Lally quipped, blushing like a venusfish.

Anonymous said...

Everyone was searching for the rens, me included. You wouldn't believe the places I looked -- truck beds drowning in swamps, flying ships on the fringes of space, sunken ships (the freaking Argo, I swear) at the bottom of the ocean. And now here I am, holding the damn thing, and what's it doing? Ticking. Ten seconds left on the countdown and then -- there goes Johnny.

I hate my job.

Kerry said...

"Don’t have truck with your ilk anymore,” Kesi told the bedraggled white kitten on her threshold.

She’d read the rens in her youth, selected by the gods themselves. After her sister died, she left that life behind. The kitten stalked in and stretched out by the hearth. Kesi shut the door and then settled in her rocking chair, fringed shawl across her lap.

"Your countdown began yesterday. Tomorrow you sail on the Argo to the afterlife."

“Finally,” she said.

His tail twitched like a metronome while he stared at her with blue eyes.

"You’ll be forgotten.”

She expected no less.

Unknown said...

The highway stretched out, disappearing into blackness. I attempted in vain three times to restart my truck, which decided that after years of abuse, it was done. My phone, laying on the bumper, lighting up the dusty “Ren’s Ride” license plate, taunted me with its lack of signal. The countdown to panic began immediately after I realized that besides a glowing show of Argo tonight above me, I was completely alone. Sitting in the back, waiting for a sign of humanity, I played with the dirty fringe on my faded gas station blanket and hummed quietly to myself.

BookishQua said...

Chiara groaned as the light streamed through the purple fringe that adorned her window. Her father’s truck grumbled in the driveway, shaking a gnarled fist at the bitter chill of the Maine morning. Dad swore viciously as he shaved the snow from the automobile.

Her mother rapped sharply on her bedroom door and cheerily announced, “Good morning sweetheart. I’m beginning the countdown. Time to get up.”

Chiara tore her eyes away from her father’s fight with the elements as she felt her Mom place a warm kiss on her forehead.

“Rens, Argo, shoo!” The kittens fled the room in umbrage.

Brittany said...

“Ladies and Rens, let the countdown begin!” The announcer booms over the loudspeaker.

The crowd begins to chant, “Ten, Nine, Eight…”

“Hurry it up. It’s gotta be here. Check inside the truck” Wanda urges.

Harvey digs through the mountain of marshmallows in the bed of the truck.

“I’m on the fringe of a nervous breakdown. Not in the bed, in the-“

“ARGO! I found the golden nugget!” cheers Harvey.

“Team Shammalamma-dingdong finds the golden nugget! They win!”

The crowd goes wild! The buzzer roars. Wanda leaps into Harvey’s arms, kissing him.

“We’re moving onto the BONUS round, Harvey!”

Anonymous said...

Countdown to the Athen's Annual Fringe Festival; yet again, Socrates hadn't booked the truck to take us there.
'Don't get your knickers in a twist,' he said, 'I'm sure I can borrow the Argo off old Jason.'
Plato ripped a piece of his toga off and stamped on it.
'I haven't got the rens for you today, Socrates,' he shouted.
'Ooh, get you,' said Socrates, 'Turning to Confucianism are we, dear?'
A very nasty cat fight ensued.
I hid in my barrel.


M.A. Leslie said...

Argos ATVs were buzzing around the perimeter and distancing me from earning that one picture, the one that would land the cover. Instead of doing anything, I watched as soldiers pulled men from the truck.
My hidden lens captured several, looking like they would have played for the Rens basketball team. They stood proud, but on the fringe of starvation, and waited with death and defeat sewn in their eyes.
Surely, they had fought for freedom, their families, their Africa. But, as the countdown began, guns were raised, genocide was executed, and at a high price, I captured my cover.

Katherine Tomlinson said...

“Time,” the professor called when his countdown clock buzzed.

Sybil wished she’d bought a coffee from the food truck before class but there hadn’t been time. Now her hangover was blurring her eyes.

“Please put your pencils down.”

Rushing to answer the essay questions, Sybil had kept misspelling words—argo for ergo; rens for reins—and hadn’t stopped to correct them. She hoped she wouldn’t get marked down for that. She was on the fringe of failing the class, and if she did, she’d lose her scholarship.

And that would be John’s fault for getting her drunk.

John would pay.

Unknown said...

Danny Falcone (
100 words exactly.

The countdown continued, three two one. The engines caught and sonic boomed the little space ship right out of the atmosphere into orbit.

“Yeah” Job exclaimed “we’re out of here. Next stop Rens, through the Argo galaxy and into Rens.”

Jesse clapped his hands together. “Yes, we’re home free.”

“You’re not home free yet” Doctor Taylor replied. “You think they won’t come after you. Kidnapping me is a galaxy crime you have no safe haven on Rens. The fringe of the universe isn’t far enough. This is a joke flying in this beat up truck.”

“Justice is no joke doctor.”

jesse said...

I met her last fall, on Renren.  She was cute, into astronomy, and a total fringer.  In other words, perfect.  We kept it light, not wanting details to fuck things up, until she decided it was time to meet proper.
   She arrived at terminal one this afternoon; she's been pressed into my truck's passenger window, pretending to sleep, ever since.
   While she sleeps, I throw down a blanket, set up our twin
Skywatchers, and countdown to Argo, alone.  I wonder if I'll find those words that came so easily before, or if she still wants to hear them.

Mr. D said...

No one knew the end was near except a small group of eggheads. Having walked out on the Lick Observatory, I was relegated to sitting in my truck staring at the stars. It was the constellation Argo, and three extra twinkles mattered not to anyone but scientists with telescopes. When the first one struck the RENs limit multiplied and all phone lines were useless. But what did it matter? The countdown had begun. Living on the fringe of the Milky Way had been a blessing, but the blessing had run out. Time was up.

adelaida said...

The Guess: Aussie author and his agent will celebrate on November 8.
And my 100:

He turns off the truck in an expanse of pampas grass. The hits countdown goes silent. “Where are we?” Sarah asks. Rens has already trampled out into the night.
She opens the door and hops off the cabin onto the soft dirt. No lights, buildings or people, the fringe of the Southern hemisphere. Sarah follows him.
“Look!” He points at the dome of the sky, flipping blonde lank hair off his eyes. “Argo used to be one constellation.”
Sarah takes his hand, steeling herself. Dutch, my bum, Mom will say. He is a goy.
There will be a family fight.

Judith Gonda said...

The ransom note led us to an office on the fringe of downtown, on Rens Street.
I sat in the truck for a couple of minutes figuring out our next move.
Ted broke the silence.
“Maybe we should show the note to the cops, let them deal.”
“Too late,” I said. “The countdown has started, I’m going in.”
We walked into the office, no one was around, but the computer was on.
I reread the note.
“It says to press the ESC key and then enter Argo.”
“ESC Argo? I thought that was an appetizer, not an entrée.”
"Stop wasting time, Snail Male, just do it."

Keisha Martin Romance Writer said...

District Attorney Colin Reyes body lay on the floor of the truck covered with a brown tattered sheet.
“Fringe, get your ass in here.” The tall thin man with shoulder length gray hair, entered the truck.
“I’m going to tell you the same answer, Argo said we can’t go until he gives us the word.” Few seconds later Rens entered the truck.
“I’ve always wondered why they call you the shark.”
“What’s your point?” Janet snapped.
“There can’t be two sharks, there’s other things a sweet girl like you should be doing…”
Janet jabbed him where the sun didn’t shine.

Margaret Telsch-Williams said...

I made it right at 100 words. Thanks for the challenge.

We dangle wet legs over the edge of the wooden bridge and lie back. The Argo is easy to spot above us, always resting between Canis Major and the Southern Cross. As each star smolders and darkens, I feel we’re on the fringe of a future we can’t stop. The countdown is on. In two days I’ll be trucking back to my country and a dorm room in Rens Hall with U2 posters sticky-tacked to the walls. I say, “We’ll keep in touch,” but these are the lies we hang in dark places when we don’t expect to see morning.

ReadRunWrite said...

“I know the countdown says three more days, but I’ll just go check that it’s not in stores yet….”

“Why don’t you just order it off Amazon?”

“You’re falling prey to great discounts and free shipping! Don’t you know you’re killing bookstores? Don’t come crying to me when Amazon takes over-”

“Aren’t you overreacting?”

“-and YOU thought rejections were bad on your pitiful story about Argo and some lame Greek goddess and her fringe hairdo and how she wished the boat was a truck. WELL, JUST YOU WAIT.”

“Obviously you haven’t heard my new theory- RENS. Rejections Elicit Nicer Stories.”

Anonymous said...

The back of the jacket was caked with blood, and stuck to the kid’s skin, the Harlem Rens lettering barely visible. It was a worthy jacket, first worn by his great-grandfather. Harlem Rens would go in an evidence bag, the body would go to county morgue.

The countdown started when his mom decided what she’d do for another fix. Sixteen years later, it ended in the alley behind 18th St., as rats foraged bags readied for garbage trucks, their work unfettered by that scene of life as a fringe element.

He’d gone by Argo, because of his preference for powder. Now, he was just gone.

Katrina Robinson said...

After Mona’s countdown from ten, she tried to truck through another error-ridden sentence. Within seconds Mona jumped up, rushed to Billy’s desk and slammed down the paper.

“Billy, this is trash! By ‘argo’ do you mean Jason’s ship or a disagreement? Is ‘rens’ supposed to be the French city, Rennes? Fix this now!”

“Aw, Mona, I’m enjoying a riposte.”

“You mean repast and I don’t care. Fix it!” Mona had reached the outer fringe of patience.

“Look sis, I won’t argo with you. We’re family.”

“Aaaaah!” screamed Mona. She lunged after Billy with her red editor’s pen.

Nepotism kills.

Deborah Boileau said...

Showtime. The countdown until I officially certify myself as agoraphobic. Bad enough I'm on the social fringe at school, but missing our beloved Argo's homecoming is a definite BFF deal-breaker. No self-respecting sports fan would miss this milestone. Every truck in town will be tailgating it and every freakin fan will be there with bells on. I've already bagged off every social event this year and I'm fresh out of excuses. I flip my phone.

"Hey, Rens... about tonight..." I start.

"Don't bother." Lauren answers, pissed. The line goes dead.

New school. New roomie. Same old letting friends down crap.

Marie Rearden said...

Did you make an amazing sale? Is that the Something Amazing? Possibly a new client? :)


Title: Countdown

Three minutes.

I traced the stars from bow to mast to crow’s nest. Sammy twined our fingers to stop mine from shaking.

“It’s Argo, Nat. Sailing the fringe of the galaxy.”

Two minutes.

I choked on my tears as they dissolved into the hospital’s rooftop, amazed my nine-year-old sister remembered that story.

Sammy grinned and nudged me with her sunken shoulder. “Should’ve rented a truck instead.”

One minute.

She was comforting me. Me?! Sammy had rens in high supply. I dared my sobs to ruin our last moment.

“More like a plane. Right?”

No answer.


The countdown was done.


Always love your contests!

Anonymous said...

I submitted this piece early this morning, but have not seen it posted. Hope this is not a duplicate.

Bulbous fingers gripped the belt dangling at his side. "Stupid. Stupid kid. Get out. Can't believe you're even my child."

At the fringe of the property, she opened the door of the truck he drove to the community college where he headed the department. Seated, she found the list. There they were--the words and their meanings. Knowing she would shout them, she memorized those she had not known during the countdown quiz that had ended in the beating: argo and rens.

Leaning forward, coolly, she felt beneath the seat and found his revolver. She opened the door.

Ali Trotta said...

He was what you’d call a mistake so fancy that it had fringe. Only, I didn’t know it at the time – that there was a countdown for our relationship.

Relationship. If you can call it that. That man was like a truck without headlights, barreling down the road at three hundred miles an hour. And me? I was standing in the middle of the road with my eyes closed. A damned idiot.

Rens, that was his name. Yeah, I’m sorry I met him. I’m sorry…

Look, Mrs. Argo, I said I was sorry. I didn’t know that he was married.

Kristen Smith said...

“C’mon, baby…what is this amazing thing? Just gimmee a hint.”

Tara laughed, the fringe around her décolletage shimmying. Pauly was instantly transfixed.

She raised an eyebrow. “What, did we start the countdown to your birthday already?”

“Nah, I just wanna know.” He pulled Tara closer, biting her earlobe. “You get me that Wee Willie Smith jersey?”

“Will Smith?”

“Nah you wackadoo, the old New York Rens guy.” Pauly stared into her eyes. They twinkled like Argo on a cloudless night. “Okay here’s something amazing. How ‘bout you truck on downstairs and make me a sandwich if you’re gonna tease me.”

* Something I would find amazing and would love to see is a photo of you cuddling The Rental Cat like a baby and handfeeding him kibble.

Curtis Edmonds said...

My wife and I were cleaning out her dead Uncle Lyndon’s house. He’d spent years building a quarter-scale replica of the sailing ship HMS ARGO. It took us three hours to load it on the truck.
“He must have been a little weird,” I said.
“On the fringe, maybe. He did spend all that time running that Resident Evil Network Server.”
“The RENS? That was him?”
“Yeah.” She poked at a pile of trash. “Hey, look, it’s a cassingle.” It was a Europe song, The Final Countdown.
“Just keep looking,” she said. “That falcon is here somewhere. I’m sure.”

Dora Dee said...

Aaargh! Just realized I forgot to include the word "countdown." Sorry. Afraid my computer would die so rushed to enter it. Can I resubmit?

“What’s an Argo?”

“Lord I don’t know," she lied.

"Why did you leave the truck? Don't you know we are on the fringe of the Rens’ territory? Get back in. I’ll tell you when it’s safe to come out.”

Her daughter hadn’t believed a word but she knew enough not to argue with her. Their lives hadn’t been the same since the explosion. It left them homeless. They might even have become infected.

The Rens and Argo worked together now and the countdown had begun.

She gazed ahead. She was smarter this time. She’d win.

Terri Lynn Coop said...

I waited at the Flatiron Argo Tea as instructed. I wondered which tea swilling yuppie was my contact. Turns out she was sexy with fanatical eyes under a fringe of bangs.

“I like Ten Ren’s Jasmine,” she said, and we did the delicate verbal dance of verification.

Satisfied, she gave me an envelope. After a peek at the smiling Benjamins, I surrendered the portfolio.

Her smile vanished. “You’re under arrest.” Outside I saw NYPD exiting a bakery truck.

“Officer, my assignment was to find the infiltrator. Good meeting you,” I said, clicking the cellphone button that started the ten-second countdown.

Mia K Rose said...

You stand at the fringe of the border between light and dark. You're not the type of person to live on the edge, but you know the countdown to your final moments has started.

A turn of your head shows that he is still standing beside the rusted red truck. Rens smiles at you, and takes another slow drag of his cigarette.

Chasing the myths of Greece marks your final wish. He understands that and now in the south you gaze up to view the four constellations that once was Argo.

Kate Higgins said...

My story in 99 words:

The chrono-countdown continued but the Argo had yet to appear on her Acme TimeViewer. And Elin’s thesis on Sirens of ancient Greece was due tomorrow. These ‘Rens were proving to be even more elusive than the Cyclops had been.
She adjusted the temporal diffraction fringe and zoomed in. A man tied under the truck of a ship’s mast finally came into focus. Ah…Jason at last. The Siren’s deadly aria began to float through her transceiver. She scrolled left to locate the sound source. Was that a fin? Yes!
NO! The safety warning pinged and the screen went black. Again.

I guess that 'something amazing' is a trip to see Greece with Gary Corby. Hey, I can dream...
Or it might be an arc ot the sctual book:"The Iona Sanction".

Shaunna said...

Detective Reynolds was on the final countdown to the weekend when the S.W.A.T. truck brought in a suspect.

"The guy's on the fringe," the arresting officer said, handing him the file.

Reynolds glanced it over.

"What the hell is SIAT?" he said.

"Stress Induced Aquatic Turrets."


"Yeah, he's fine until you ask him a question, and then he starts yelling about orca."

Reynolds stared at the chart and chewed off his thumbnail."

"By the way, what's an Argo?"

"It's a ship?"

"And rens?"

Reynolds shook his head. "You think he knows something?"

"He's an idiot. But he knows alright."

Sarah McCanless said...

Basketball’s a beautiful game, it is, but nobody plays forever. Mr. Aspa, he’s the real deal. Truckload of gold if I do this right. Gonna eat avocados in California.

Crowd’s shouting now, Rens, Rens… they ain’t real. The players what’s real.

Pass it, Argo. His knee’s aching, I told Mr. Aspa. We’ll lose this one ‘cause of Argo. Big as a boat, but too slow.


Everybody waitin’ on me to take us into overtime. Aspa right there on the fringe, mean eyes under a fancy hat.

“You got it, man,” says Argo, real quiet.

Yeah, I got it.


Note: The only connection I could find between rens and argo was Aspa Gold Corp, stock name RENS, which owns the Argo mine in California. I have no clue what the Something Amazing is.

Kate Outhwaite said...

Argo! (The Musical)” was destined to be the hit of the 1985 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Christopher (Jason, An Argonaut), James (other males), Rens (auteur) and I (women) knew it as we rattled north in James’s VW Beetle, our countdown to fortune clicking past with every mile.

Sandwiched in the back between rucksacks and Christopher, I yearned to touch Rens. Rens was mature (23!), exotic (Dutch parents!) and, as I found out as we waited for the breakdown truck, madly in love (with Christopher).

The show flopped but James and I have been married 23 years now. (He had a car.)

Leigh Ann Wallace said...

“Nuclear what?”

“Bomb, Jim. Nuclear bomb. In the truck.”

“Who the hell put it there?”

“Who always puts it there? Some idiot from the fringe. Someone who apparently doesn’t care that if they blow the rest of us up, they get to blow up, too.

“What do they want, money?”

“Nah, these particular idiots have principles.”

“Time’s getting short, man,what do they want?”

“It’s the fi-nal countdown!”

“Eddie! Stop singing and tell me what they want!”

“Hell if I know. Here. It’s a list of their demands.”

“Huh. What does argo mean?”

“I dunno. What the hell is rens?”

Just Jan said...

"Stupid book," I said, slamming my dictionary closed. "How am I supposed to know what 'rens' means?"

"Janet Reid having another contest?" my husband asked.

"The countdown began yesterday. Only a couple of hours left." My eyes flicked over the word list. "Argo's a noble gas, isn't it?"

"You're thinking of argon."

"Right." I pulled out Tom Sawyer. "Maybe I can use 'truck' like Aunt Polly did in Chapter One."

"Twain's definitely on the fringe there. I wouldn't recommend mimicking him."

"But he's a genius!"

"Ninety-nine percent perspiration, remember? Keep trying, dear. Something amazing is bound to happen."

Gman said...

Rens told his wife “I won’t be here in the fall. Countdown starts now." His truck was gone in September. He'd left for the woman. She was a drug. Such an old story, but ever new to him. His ex-wife and kids moved to the fringe of Las Vegas; she remarried secretly so she could still get child support. The woman cheated on him; it was her way. He was drunk when he shot her but sober when he caught up with the man. He got a barbed wire tattoo in the joint. Beneath it was the word Argo.

joshingstern said...

It's unfortunate that the phrase ‘urine soaked’ is never associated with anything positive...I had that Jason/Argo/Golden fleece 'wet dream' once again-of course, not the good kind…

To avoid being an easy statistic for an East Barrio drive-by, I wear clashing clothes and walk in serpentines; trucking on down for some 99 cent store detergent. Hunched over, passing the brightly-hued ‘Hoes’, in their chicken-feathered cropped jackets, I hear “nice neck tat, what’s 'Rens" mean Sugar?”

No worries, it’s the countdown to a new episode of 'Fringe' – I’ll watch face down on the Laundromat floor….

H. L. Banks said...

“Rens it going to be ready, I’m hungry?”

“Another five minutes, go wash up?”

“But I’m not dirty.”


The four year old parked his Tonka truck by the kitchen chair, stomped off, blond fringe bouncing on his brow.

The mother stirred the sauce into the hamburger and switched off the burner, slight tremor of the right hand as she dished the food onto three plates, adding something extra to Papa’s plate.

She smiled. Last time I have to listen to him rant on and on about those stupid, boring Argo games.’

Sheila JG said...

“Twelve Rens,” the trader said.

I frowned. Were there ten rens to an argo? Or ten argos to a ren? Keeping track of currencies on these fringe planets was squirking my brain.

The boy was chained, shivering, and weak. And human. But his eyes were alive, desperate. I couldn’t leave him.

“Eight,” I said. It was all I had.

“Twelve. A Swarki wants him. Coming soon.”

And now the countdown. Next he’ll tell me he’s losing money at this price.

“Put him in my truck.” I said.

I’d give him eight, and hope he was as slow as he looked.

InterfaceLeader said...

She pushed her fringe out of her eyes, peering through the salt-spray towards Rens, the small island ahead. Argo was a good ship, but the curse sat on the wooden frame like a shroud, a countdown towards death for all aboard. Could they reach the island in time?

Beside her elbow, the fairy winked into existence, her little face twisted into a grin, and pointed to the flagpole.

Lightening bolted from the sky and shattered the truck at the top of the flagpole. The flag burst into flame. She closed her eyes. Too far from land. They were doomed.

Jessica Schley said...

When Mr. Carter starts his little countdown, Tanneth is doing her girl thing. The one where she flips her hair, exposing all that smoothness behind her ear. I stare while Carter drones: Odyssey, Aneid, Illiad. Eleventh grade is bullshit. In American History I stayed on the fringe, did a project on the Rens, got an A and still wrote about basketball.

Tanneth's smooth arm claims the Lysistrata, and it's the whole her writing about sex thing that makes it all hit me like a truck.

I raise my hand to claim the Argo.

After all, I've already got my siren.

Unknown said...

Untrained eyes would see lawn chair cushions in front of a couch. I know better.

“Permission to board?”

Her head pops through the pile. She shovels the fringe of bangs out of her eyes. I really need to trim those.

“The countdown’s starting and the Argo waits for no one. You’re just in time!”

“Thank goodness! Where are we going today?”



She sighs heavily. “Denmark.” Where does she learn these things? “And we’re gonna have to truck if we’re gonna stop the evil Lord Latimer from stealing all the Danishes.”

“Pastries or people?”

There’s a short pause. “Both.”