3 more great story endings from the September finalists

I wanted to share 3 more story endings from the September Contest. These excellent writers came up with their own fascinating and fun endings.

Image: Large white farmhouse in a field. Text: Almost Home--Win a prize if you write the best finish to my story--Matthew Cross Flash Fiction Collaboration Contest. matthewcrosswrites.com

But first, the October Contest has just begun. The deadline is October 15, 2020, so you have plenty of time to read the story and write your own ending in 500 words or less. It’s lots of fun and if you enter, you may win a prize!

Also, in honor of Halloween, I wrote a story beginning that’s a little bit scary, in a very Sci Fi way. Hope it gives you spooky chills and Sci Fi thrills!

In the meantime, let’s get back to the September Contest finalists.

If you have not read the original story beginning, read it here first!

If you have already read the story beginning or the winning version of the story with a beginning and ending, then you’re ready to read these 3 different endings by different writers. Remember, here’s where we left Jess:

So it was merely by luck that he was sitting on the back deck after graduation, drinking a beer and peering up into the sky, that he saw it.

by Emae Church

At first, he thought it was a firefly, glowing in the dark above him.

But this burning object was growing.

As if on cue, the crickets hushed and the wind held its breath.

Jess’s eyes filled with a burning glow, reflecting the pending doom racing towards him.

He should have scrambled for cover, screaming for his life; his safety.

But he didn’t.

The scorching rock arrested any thoughts to flee. You won’t escape me, it taunted through Jess’s mind.

Even as the heat evaporated the tears and sweat from his face, Jess had a final thought…

Graduate killed by comet…

This is sure to hit global press…

Everyone will remember me.

by Ava Chisling

A light blinked back at him. Jess froze. He closed his eyes tight and then opened them slowly. He wasn’t a big beer drinker–or any kind of drinker, really–and so he wondered if he was imagining things.

The lights blinked again. Three short bursts. Jess leaped out of his chair to find his phone. Where is it? He had to record this.

He pushed everything off the patio table. Nothing. Patted his pockets. Empty. The lights blink again.

He panicked. He wanted to ask his roommate for help but couldn’t. He was already considered a bit of an outcast on campus, and blinking alien lights wasn’t going to help.

Jess gave up on his phone, grabbed a pen from his backpack, and held it above a soiled beer coaster. He leaned all the way forward, so as not to miss the order of the lights–or the coaster.

He waited. Nothing. He waited some more. Nothing. The pen shook in his hand. He bent over further, his nose practically touching the screen.

“WTF?” he exclaimed out loud. “Come ON!”



After 15 minutes that felt like 94, Jess threw the pen so it slid off the table and he sat up.

“EFF!” he said. “Just EFF.”

Jess was just about to close the screen when the lights flashed again. This time three long blinks.


Just what IS this? Jess thought to himself.

He knew first hand that hacking was a thing in college. And while intercepting laser light communications may not be the most popular activity for students–finding sexy selfies wins that prize, obviously–the fact was, he was in a science program and perhaps someone was having a laugh at his expense. Maybe he was being live-streamed right then and people were crushing him with comments.

Or worse. He was a meme. And he’d gone viral.

Or maybe it was nothing. A reflection. Or a nerd like him in another country, on another continent, also trying to “reach out.”

It all sounded so stupid. Maybe it was.

He sighed and turned off his screen. Dejected, Jess headed back into his flat, sipping his half-empty warm beer. He entered the living room and said goodnight to his flatmate who didn’t look up from his ipad. Jess headed down the hall into his room and closed the door quietly behind him.

He slipped into bed fully dressed, wondering what in the world happened, if anything at all.

On the patio, the lights blinked again. Three. Short. Spurts.

by Jim Hamilton

A pale white dot in the blackness that turned out to be much closer than it initially appeared. A moment later, it hovered right in front of him, a glowing sphere about the size of a softball.

Jess dropped his beer in surprise as the ball orbited around him, turning his head to follow its trajectory.

“Hold still while we scan you!” commanded a voice in his head.

Instinctively, he froze and held still as the orb circled his body several times.

“Now think a happy thought!”

Jess remembered the smell and taste of the warm apple pies that his Mom used to bake.

“Now think a sad thought!”

In spite of himself, his Mom’s passing and her funeral caused tears to well up in his eyes. He tried to ask a question, but discovered that he couldn’t move his lips.

“What do you fear most?”

He pictured himself dying—his biggest fear of all, of course. The glowing ball shot upwards and receded from sight, leaving Jess alone on the deck again.

He shook his head, thinking that he must have dozed off. He leaned down to pick up his fallen beer and went into the house to get another one.

After clearing the atmosphere, the probe jumped home to Tau Ceti, where the scans it had collected were analyzed.

“Looks like we have a winner here,” said Krexx.

Jaylee nodded. “Their needs are simple and their primitive brains are easily controlled.”

Krexx opened a comlink to their sector chief and her holographic image appeared before them.

“We’ve got nearly eight billion air breathers, Mum. They’re a ninety-eight percent match to our optimum profile.”

“Ninety-eight percent? That’s some prime stock, you know.” She grinned. “At a thousand credits a head, I don’t need to tell you what that means for us.”

Krexx returned the grin. “Just remember whose idea it was to check out the source of those light bursts.”

“Don’t worry, Krexx, you’ll get your usual bounty.” With a final wave, she cut the connection.

Jaylee opened a link to their Chief of Collections. “Hi there, Jemal. We’ve got a new job for your team. I’m sending you the coordinates now.” He smiled. “There’s nearly eight billion of them, so make sure that you take enough arks.”

“Got it!” replied Jemal. “I’ll let you know when we’ve finished collecting them.” He dropped the call.

“Pay up, Krexx,” said Jaylee. “I told you that those laser bursts meant something.”

“That you did,” said Krexx, as he handed over a ten-credit note. “That you did.”

Please post your comments below. I’m sure these excellent writers would love to hear some kind words.

Be stellar!

Matthew Cross

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *