Write an opening paragraph that includes the following:

  • a guillotine,
  • a ray gun
  • a pink feather boa
  • at least one stiletto heel
  • a gnome
  • and a flea

The person who makes it the most engaging and who makes us want to read the story will get a copy of Sarah’s book of his choice (including DOITD) and a copy of Dave’s book, Dragon Ring.

Remember, one paragraph only. Grab us and make us beg for more. The winner will be announced next Saturday. Good luck and get writing!

34 thoughts on “>Beginnings

  1. >Just enough strangeness to make this interesting. Submissions as comments or is there some other method that I missed in the challenge's paramaters?

  2. >The pub was called The Stiletto and while it was supposed to evoke pink feather boas and nights on the town most people thought of the blade when it's name was mentioned.  It was run by a gnomish little man as sharp as a guillotine blade that people called The Flea.  But they didn't do it to his face because, as with those who ask for credit, a ray-gun in the face often offends.

  3. >Charlotte wrapped the pink feather boa around her neck, and shoved her toes into the stiletto heeled shoes. Mother's chest of stage costumes looked like a good home for a flea, so she closed it and looked around the attic. A chipped garden gnome sat atop a stack of boxes. The second box from the top bore a skull and cross bones. Her brother, even though he was packing up half his toys had threatened to try his new French Revolution model guillotine on her fingers if they ever touched his old stuff. She climbed carefully up onto the chest and reached for the box. It was sure to have violent toys and boy's secret books. Maybe ray guns and spaceships . . . she teetered in the stilettos and fell toward the stack of boxes . . .

  4. >Um… one paragraph per person, or can we enter as many times as we like? And should we comment/critique?

  5. >The guillotine was big enough to chop off all the heads of the culpripts of the current crisis;and the gnome grabbed the chord,the beautiful woman with the pink feather boa tried to draw her ray gun to stop the execution but that flea bit her foot causing her stiletto heel to flip her backwards,as the crowd smiled.

  6. >Tyree nestled the ray gun in the pink feathers of the gnome hooker's boa. With a jerk of his head, he motioned his compatriot to monitor the door. The flea-like kryllian stuck a proboscis through the latch to monitor the hall. Tyree raised one stiletto heel to rest on the control panel next to the gnome and leaned against his fishnetted knee. "Every item in this outfit is pinching me. Hurry up and tell me what your boss has planned before I get cranky, Sweetums."

  7. >Gnorman stared down the barrel of the ray gun. He scratched at his armpit and ate the flea he found under his fingernail. "Am I supposed to be afraid?" the gnome asked as he sized up his assailant. A cross dressing pixie assassin in sequined stilettos and a pink feather boa would be hard to take seriously anytime– a name like 'The Guillotine' just push Gnorman to the edge of hilarity.Scott

  8. >The heretic lay on the guillotine, breathing heavily. I did not know if she was scared, or relishing her last few chances to breathe before the blade comes down. Nor did I care. It showed off more of her skin, which was all I cared about. I thought the producers' decision to have her wear her feather boa, her stiletto heels, and nothing else was inspired. If nothing else, lust will keep the viewers glued to their screens. Some believers may balk at murder, but without this kind of political theater we'll have a civil war that will make one murder look puny. Suddenly, I felt a sting, like a flea bite, on my shin. Involuntarily, I looked down. A small grim gnome held a ray gun in my general direction. "This was the lowest setting, I have reset it to the about 10%. You really don't want to push that lever. Not if you enjoy walking, anyway."

  9. >Matapam, now that you've proven it can be done, give us another that's totally different…yes, I'm an evil mother. Just ask my son. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

  10. >Durl shifted, trying to get comfortable on the steel railing above the sandy roadway. Who would have thought that sand fleas were a universal nuisance and not just a planetary one he wondered. His contact was half an hour late, and the alliance of the New France Gnome's was depending on this shipment of ray guns to gain an edge over the Naturals in the upcoming conflict. Without some kind of equalizer, the power-lances and the guillotine's of the Naturals made a recurrence of the bloodshed from the French Revolution back on Prima-Terra or Old Earth almost unavoidable. As he mused on this frightening prospect a black stiletto heel clanged loudly off the railing beside the gnome, while the other narrowly missed his head. His contact had clambered up beside him on the railing, also trying to avoid getting bitten by the sand fleas. She dropped her tattered and flea infested pink feather boa and commented, “Nice planet, why are you guys fighting over it?”

  11. >Sasha sagged back onto the pile of dirty pink feather boas, catching the heel of one silver stiletto in the rusted iron headboard. “I gotta get a better job… and soon,” she thinks, shaking her shoe free from the ornamental metal. Her john, a tiny, gnomish man with grey hair and unfortunate matching teeth, peeks up at her over the edge of the once-plush mattress. “Can I come up now?” he asks, naked, excited, flecks of spittle in the corners of his teeny mouth like white fleas. Sasha sighs. “Yes, baby, come on up.” He climbs, panting, his little pink ray gun of a penis erect, bouncing, ridiculous. His climb continues, up her belly, down her smooth thighs… and her mind zooms automatically to her work happy place: a high platform, an emerald-hooded executioner lining up the turgid member of her john in a polished wood and gleaming steel guillotine… the crowd roars… and WHAM!

  12. >I know this is neither a paragraph or a beginning but I couldn't resist the opening line(and appologies to Emily Dickinson)I felt a flea bite when I diedThe mob was loud with none forlornThe buzz of a party's loud refrainWith kettle-drums sounding like a stormAll eyes were turned to the dias highFrom where I stood and gazed uponThose who had come full of joy to see,And be sure of the very end of me.I willed my keepsakes, given awayPink feather boas and stiletto heelsHad given away my ray-gun-and thenThere first bit the flea.On my knees, head on the blockI tried to keep the stoic's faceThe gnome released the guillotineBut was the flea bite that made me scream

  13. >The gnome was waving his ray gun at me. Like he thought I was afraid he'd use it. I knew his number–the naiad whose pool I'd bathed in, we'd talked about his kind just that morning. Little guys, they're all alike. I gave him my number three haughty look, swung my pink feather boa around my neck, and lifted my foot over his head, setting my stiletto heel on the next flagstone. I knew what was at the end of this walk, the guillotine was always thirsty; but revenge would be mine first. Of course, that flea on the gnome's hand, that was going to itch any second now–on the hand holding the ray gun.

  14. >What? No entries since yesterday? Here's one of the other one's I rambled off. Not sure if I like the scattered nature of the multiple-reality storyline, but it could be fun to write.

  15. >As I settled my neck across the block, the guillotine's wicked blade gleaming in the morning sun, I thought back on last night. It was inevitable really, I was so happy to have reincarnated in a human form, having been a flea for the last couple of weeks before getting fried by that ray gun. I guess I just got carried away, a strong body in a new reality. Naturally the first pretty girl that I saw would be an issue, I just had no idea just how much of an issue; her stiletto's just made the whole thing worse. How could I have known that feather boas were the mark of status? Or that the colors denoted anything? Her wearing the pink, showing her as the virgin princess. Ah well, better luck next life, unless… What's that? A wee gnome, green breaches, red pointy had and all? Great, he's talking to me… now what's he saying?

  16. >For his graduation gift he got a pink feather boa. Embarrassing for the third son in a family of assassins. There really wasn’t any other way to look at it. His sister had gotten a guillotine and was practicing on the neighborhood’s Chihuahua population and his brother had gotten a ray gun even if he only used it to zap fleas. “How am supposed to make my first assassination with this?” he asked his mother who was peeling potatoes in the garden. A few of them had threads hanging out of their ends.“Be creative,” she said. “That’s part of the challenge.” She stuck a match and lit the end of one potato. “Even a stiletto heel would have been better,” he muttered. “At least I could stab someone that way.” She leaned back and threw a potato across the garden. It smacked against a garden gnome and the Molotov cocktail she’d snuck inside exploded, blasting the gnome into smithereens.“Like that,” she said. “Good luck with your first assignment.”

  17. >If I'm not too late.Marney had the middle position, as always, making up the belly portion of Madam Chrystal Sunshine. He also had the blaster which he now thrust from between her robes in preparation to disintegrate anyone who might discover our unit of the Gnome Commandos standing in this hallway with our disguise askew. I pushed the pink feather boa away from my face, tucking it in Madam Chrystal's unlikely cleavage in hopes that it would stay there long enough for me to jimmy the door. Bart, currently playing the part of Madam's legs and feet stood ready to wedge the track of the guillotine trap with the heel of one jewel encrusted stiletto. We had one chance, and one chance only, to get past the trap and plant the flea.

  18. >(Unfortunately not one paragraph.)It was a real boa, flesh and blood. A gene job accounted for the feathers while dye accounted for the pink. I'd never seen the point. Give a snake feathers and you might as well have a cat, fleas and all. My partner, Jane, had it pinned behind its fluffy head with one stiletto heal while she wrestled with its suspiciously lumpy middle. “You're doing fine, babe,” I told her. She looked daggers at me while I took out a cigar, pulled the guillotine from the opposite pocket and neatly trimmed the end. Let her fume. A slow blaster burn to the back of the snake's head did the thing in and the glowing blaster coil had enough heat left in it to give me a light.Jane uncoiled the now dead snake from her limbs and pushed it to the floor. Her attempts to get enough air into her lungs lifted her small breasts to make them almost note-worthy. I nodded at the lumpy middle.Jane stopped glaring long enough to gasp, “the gnome, but we'll have to open it up to be sure.”

  19. >(And now, though I realize no one is looking, I'm just having too much fun and a whole world has simply taken over.)The jeweled stiletto shoe sitting on the work bench was a good indication I was at the right place. I slid my blaster from its holster and tiptoed up behind the gnome bent over a microscope. Just before I got close enough to press it to his neck he waved an impatient hand at me. “Not now, not now,” he squeaked. I looked at the various vials and contraptions and chose caution. Gnomes were forever blowing themselves up. “Why not now? What are you doing?”“Trying to glue a pink feather boa to a flea.”I found my voice. “Why?”“The shoe,” he crowed. “I found that lovely shoe. It just begs to be the backdrop of a flea circus.”I noticed now that a magnifying glass was suspended over the the shoe. Without letting my aim waver from the gnome's little head I took a look. Small, twitching strong men sported microscopic dumbbells or rode a tiny ferris wheel or surrounded a tiny tableau involving a condemned flea and a guillotine. My heart fell. Another dead end. I'd never find the Gnome Commandos.

  20. >One long…Hesper blinked inside the blindfold and swung the stick wildly overhead. His wheelchair moved slightly as the stick swished through the air. Then the people he had seen before they blindfolded him called out. Some booed, some cheered. He reached down with one hand and turned the wheelchair a bit. Then he got a good grip on the stick and swung again. The stick swooshed. The crowd called again. One loud voice said, "Hesper! Just a half turn forward. You've almost got it." He cocked his head, then laid the stick across the armrests and reached down with both hands. He rolled the wheels gently, a quarter turn, there, that's a half turn, stop. Then he lifted the stick and held it behind his head with both hands. He swung it forward in a great arc over his head. He heard the loud crack as it hit what must be the brightly colored piñata in the shape of a rocket ship that had been hanging from the overhead. He heard the split, and the clatter of the toys inside falling on him and the deck. He dropped the stick and yanked off the blindfold. He looked at the toys in his lap. He flipped over a gnome doll, complete with frizzy red hair, pink feather boa, black corset, violent green miniskirt, purple fishnet stockings, and stilleto heels. The rhinestone eyes seemed to glitter at him. Then he fingered a fat stuffed flea, enormous hold bulging over metallic legs, complete with intricate ray gun and space sheriff's emblem on the side. As Hesper reached for another toy that had fallen between his leg and the side of the wheelchair, the guillotine fell. In the dark, he heard the ship's voice say, "Sorry to interrupt, but we've got an emergency and I need your advice, Captain."

  21. >Or how about…When they tossed Hershel out of the car, he rolled and scraped across the road in a flurry of arms and legs. He could feel skin tearing and painful impacts as he flopped and skidded, but he was still too dazed to control his sliding fall. He crashed to a stop in a gutter, where his nose was assaulted by the stink of rotting crab. When his eyes focused, he saw the toes. Improbably roughly carved out of stone for some gnome, perhaps, but they poised in all their hairy lack of beauty just beyond his nose. His gaze traveled back over the open toed sandals with unfortunately tall stiletto heels, up the legs where black fishnet stockings fought unsuccessfully to disguise thick unshaved hairs, past the ridiculous black poof of a miniskirt, across the fire engine red T-shirt with protruding turrets, slipped across the pink feather boa, and stopped at the face. His dazed mind thought that someone had taken John Wayne's face, added lipstick — too bright and inexpertly applied — put rouge on the cheeks for that clown look, applied eyeliner in a phosphorescent green zombie appeal, and then topped it off with feathered fake eyelashes. He blinked, and noticed that the pierced earrings were tiny rayguns, complete with little jags of lightning. Then the fake eyelashes winked down at him, and the lips quirked. "Well, what am I going to do with you, my little flea? Will you hop again?"

  22. >And…Walter strolled on the blue sands by the side of the lake, wondering if he had finally escaped it for good. He glanced at the nearby house where Sandra waited, pink feather boa, tiara, sleek white dress, and all, ready for the evening ball in the nearby city. What did she see in a gnome like him, anyway? Then he looked down and saw the tracks in the sand. He frowned, knelt, and looked closely at them. Just someone in stiletto heels running though the sand, surely? He remembered his raygun burning into the tunnel ceiling, and the ton of rock falling like a guillotine… that damned monstrous flea couldn't have escaped, could it? But these tracks… He looked and saw that the trail pointed right at the house. Then Sandra screamed.

  23. >I've got more — it was like potato chips, you can't just eat one! But I'm about to go to Kyoto to guide 30 interns around, so I have to choose… Maybe I'll write another one or two in between temples?Thanks! Great fun. Although it might be amusing to tell us to pick five of the six, and see what happens…

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