Open Window

Open Window

Creative Juicing Continues

Welcome to the third installment of Creative Juicing, sinkhole’s creative contest blog. As a reminder, the previous prompt asked readers to create a flash piece using the Wilhelm scream as inspiration. We received responses that compelled us to lock our doors and windows, to keep wooden bats by the bed, to invest in large guard dogs, to do anything and everything we could to not hear that terrifying scream ourselves. In the end, however, it was the foreboding simplicity of “Open Window” by Simone Sanders that won the day. See the winning piece below, and don’t forget to scroll down for this month’s new prompt (which promises to set your mind afire and inspire brilliant masterpieces for sinkhole to publish). Enjoy!

Winning Flash Fiction: “Open Window” by Simone Sanders

Dana was home alone, tapping the glass of her rat tank when she heard a scream through her window. The scream was short, surprised, and nearby. Autumn had finally turned cold, and she kept her windows open to let the outside in. Which Sammy, the rat, did not like—he burrowed beneath the confetti hump of shredded newspaper, and was refusing to even acknowledge Dana, when the scream—

There it was again—

A scream almost like a cough, curt, unserious, even closer than before.

Dana scooped Sammy up and crept toward the window. It was a new moon that night, and very little could be deciphered in the darkness. Sammy nuzzled into the crook of her neck, using her thick, long hair to shield against the chill. His sleek fur, soft against her skin, comforted Dana. She was a recent transplant to Foster, Rhode Island, and the ash trees outside her window, like her distant neighbors, still seemed unfamiliar and unfriendly.

Another scream. Dana jumped, and Sammy, scared, dug his nails into her neck and burst through the window.

Guidelines and Selection for December Contest Submissions

Respond to the prompt below in the genre (poetry or prose) indicated. Send an email with your submission attached to In the subject line, include “PROMPT, Last Name, Submission Title.” One submission per person, and standard sub requirements apply (double-spaced, Word doc or PDF only). There is no cost. Deadline for response is January 3rd, 2019.

Our creative editors will read all the submissions and choose a winner. We reserve the right to choose multiple or no winners.

The winner will be featured in the following Creative Juicing post, and will likely get a shout out over social media.


This month’s poetry prompt pays homage to one of the most well-known breeds of poem—the sonnet! The Shakespearean sonnet, to be exact. You can adhere to the traditional form requirements as loosely or strictly as you like, but the poem must be 14 lines and, in honor of the holidays, be titled “Why Santa Got Stuck in the Chimney.”


header image: “Christmas graphic for dinner menu by Royal Hawaiian Hotel at Honolulu Hawaiian Islands (1891),” Rawpixel Ltd / flickr is a labor of love both for its editors and its contributors. We hope you’ll consider supporting their hard work by pledging a dollar or two a month on Patreon. Those who pledge two or more dollars get a little extra perk: access to our private Facebook group, where you can interact with editors and writers as they share story ideas and previews of their work.