See if you can come in at no more than a Word Count of 500.

Using the prompt of ‘You meet a professor, WRITE. What age is that professor anyway, and what does the professor profess about? You can make this one a hilarious alien scifi spoof, a world saving discovery, or a chance meeting in the dark that leads to wherever. Enjoy! (REQUIRED)


“You’re what?” I asked, tilting my head as if the motion might cut the chatter in the room, channel his words direct from his mouth to my ear. I thought he’d said he was Professor Emeritus Magerica Universidad de Creta en Zakynthos. I’d totally spaced on his name, thought I’m fairly sure he’d given it to me in the jumble.

“You can call me Theon.”

Well. okay. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Theon.”

He laughed, a pleasant enough sound. “Just Theon.”

“Nice to meet you, Theon. I’m Justin, Unemployed at.. ah…. Amherst.” Since it seemed we were being formal.

“Yes, I’ve been waiting for you to arrive.”

I raised an eyebrow, a trick I’d learned from my brother, the drunk of Amherst. I’d also learned early to distrust any conversation beginning with such a presumptuous statement. “Why?”

“You are the hero for whom we’ve been searching.”

I sprayed a mouthful of coke, most of it landing on the back of Ms. College President’s tan suit. “What?”

“The Hellhound escaped and needs to be shut back into Hades.”


“Are you deaf?”

“No” I shot back, suspicion bubbling to my surface. “Who put you up to this?” Some ass-friend no doubt, knowing how much this job meant to my future. It was almost impossible to get an assistant professorship at an exclusive private colleges like Freemont, much less a full professorship.

“No,” Theon decided after a moment studying my face. “You are correct. You have Jason’s eyes.”

“Jason? The Argonaut?”


I held out my hands as if to pacify him, or hold back the craziness. “Look, the joke is funny, ha, ha, but really….” My voice lowered. “I don’t need this. I’m this close to getting the job.” Fingers held a splinter’s width apart. “And I will not let your sick little joke ruin this for me!”

Turning on my heels, I forced myself to take deep breaths, walk calmly across the President’s living room, making nice with words of farewell, before heading out the front door.

And stopped dead in my tracks. On the steps leading up to the front porch stood a ginormous dog. A black dog. A black dog with three heads. Three heads dripping drool like waterfalls. Red eyes. Sparking red eyes. I took all this in as six red eyes focused on me, Justin Tibbs, just looking to be an assistant professor, nothing more, thank you.

I took a step backward, fumbling for the door knob.  “Ah…. Theon?  Could we possibly… talk…. over coffee?”










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