Saturday, June 1, 2013


For this month’s invitational post, I challenged writers to send me stories that began or ended with the sentence: “Take your hand off my knee,” said the Duchess.
Only three writers took the challenge, which disappointed me a bit, but I’m happy with the stories that came in.
Here they are:

by Augie Hicks
The Queen of Spades threw down her card, while the Jack of Diamonds looked on. She looked upon his burly chest and plucked a hair or two.
“Why do you do such mean things?” He covered his chest.
She smiled into his eyes and spat.
“You chose her in place of me, and now you are to die.”
“I never once looked upon her face.” He smiled as though peas wouldn’t spread across his teeth.
 “You cad!” The Queen of Spades glared down from her throne when the Duchess stirred.
 “Take your hand off my knee,” said the Duchess.


By Jerry Giammatteo

“Take your hand off my knee,” said the Duchess to Jonathan.
She was called “The Duchess” because she carried herself through high school like royalty, was pretty, and was the biggest snob in school. If anyone who was beneath her standing (in her eyes) dared to woo her, she put him down.
Like Jonathan.
Tyler entered. The Duchess liked Tyler. Captain of the football team, he definitely qualified in standing. He was nicknamed “The Duke” because he was cool.
The Duchess walked over and put her hand on Tyler’s shoulder.
“Take your hand off my shoulder,” said the Duke.


by Christine Viscuso

“Take your hand off my knee,” the Duchess said.
“You had no complaint last night, Catherine. In fact you wanted my hand on places other than your knee. I wish to marry you and make you the Duchess of Fife.”
“Barrington Middleton, are you not aware that I am already the Duchess of Westminster?”
“You led me to believe that you were free. You are a flirt, Catherine. I didn’t know you were married to Lachlan Aldan. You can divorce him.”
“No, I will not. You, Barrington, are merely a Vice Duke. Lachlan is the Arch Duke of Westminster.”


What about next month’s story challenge? Well, July is a month we celebrate independence, so:
Write a story about how you once stood up to authority. If you didn’t actually stand up to authority, but wish you had, write the story as if you had.
Here are the rules:

1. Your story must be 99 words long, exactly.
2. One story per writer, per month.
3. The story must be a story. That means it needs plot, and conflict.
4. The deadline: the first of the month.
5. Email me your story (in the body of your email, or as a Word attachment) to:


  1. Great stories from Augie, Jerry, and Chris, the latter two being my students from Suffolk Community College. I'm so proud. I'm copying the rules for July and spread around your challenge. Thanks for opening up your blog to other writers like this!

    1. Thank you so much for sending writers this way, Eileen.

  2. It's amazing what a writer can do with only 99 words. Great stories!

  3. This was fun John, thanks. Augie