23 February, 2012

The First Campaigner Challenge of the Fourth Campaign

From the host Rachael Harrie's blog:

Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “Shadows crept across the wall”. These five words will be included in the word count. 
If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), do one or more of these:
  • end the story with the words: "everything faded." (also included in the word count)
  • include the word "orange" in the story
  • write in the same genre you normally write
  • make your story 200 words exactly!

Shadows crept across the wall.
   Terren, sitting on the chill marble floor, tried to ignore the shadows creeping across his shoulders as well. He knew he should focus on the orange object in his hands, the hot smoldering thing he’d been told to steal, but the dragging sensation of the spirits hidden within those shadows kept his eyes and body shifting every few moments.
   “You shouldn’t have taken it.”
   Terren nearly dropped the object in his hands as he shoved off the floor, his feet skidding along its smooth dark surface.
   “Who’s there?” he almost shouted, overcompensating for the fear he felt, the nervousness that was born from guilt and shame deep in his heart.
   A girl stepped out from behind a stone column, her slippers barely making a sound as she walked toward him. The moonlight shafting in through the windows above hit her face at hard, harsh angles and Terren shifted backwards as she held up a pale hand.
   “Sorceress,” he murmured, as the shadows moved away from his shoulders to seep across the floor and twirl around her skirts, pooling into a gray squirming mass above her palm.
   “They’re hungry, Terren,” she said. “So hungry.”

Included the word "orange"
200 words exactly
Fantasy is a genre I commonly write in (though SF is the most common)


What do you think of my entry? (#175 on the Linky List of Campaign Challenge participants.)

-----The Golden Eagle


MISH said...

Wow Golden Eagle... this is really interesting! I love the "other-worldly" atmosphere you've created.
... and such great attention to detail.

Christine Rains said...

Great detail and tension. I really wonder what's going on! Well done.

Belle said...

Whoa. I thought this was great.

Old Kitty said...

Ooooh creepy!! Great story - such tension and darkness!! Take care

Peggy Eddleman said...

Oh, my goodness. I. LOVED. THIS. So very good!

Cherie Reich said...

Great piece! I loved the tension in this. Excellent job!

Joshua said...

Well...Terren's boned.

Rusty Webb said...

Nice answer to the challenge. I'd definitely want to read more of that.

Jayne said...

I like it! And do you know, you have a very recognisable style. I've read a piece of fiction on your blog before and this really reminded me of it - something about the tone of your writing voice - even though the subject was different. I think it was about a girl being chased? And a sort of futuristic setting? It's fab to have a recognisable writing style - and even better to create memorable stories! :)

Nancy Thompson said...

I like it! Exactly what I expected from you. Great job! I'm #96.

David P. King said...

I almost expected another amazing Sci Fi piece from you. Instead, you went epic fantasy on us. And I like it! Nice one! :)

Margo Benson said...

So gripping and tantalising - excellent piece and well done ticking off all the requirements! I loved it.

Lynda R Young said...

oh, this is great! Loved it.

J. A. Bennett said...

What a creepy ending! I LOVED it!

Susan Kane said...

"Gray squirming mass" never means anything good. Great anticipation.

S.P. Bowers said...

Love the last line!

Wendy aka Quillfeather said...

Nice! Well done, you :)

Deniz Bevan said...

Ooh, love that last line. I want more!

Lydia Kang said...

Ooh! Creepy but awesome. :)

Jess said...

Ooh very good job!! I want to know more!!! You should seriously (if you haven't already) turn this into a story! I would SO read this book! Great job! Heading over to vote :)

I'm entry #19

KSCollier said...

I truly liked this piece. Loved the descriptions. They played so vividly across the stage of my mind. Great job.
I love the description of the sorceress.

Medeia Sharif said...

Amazing job, Golden Eagle. I love how the shadows gather toward her.

Misha Gericke said...

This gave me chills. :-)

Paul Tobin said...

Great story, very economical yet you get the full effect across.

JeffO said...

Very nicely done.

Traci Kenworth said...


Stuart Nager said...

She came off as someone not to make an enemy of: powerful and in control. Nicely developed in such a short amount of space.

Patricia Marques said...

Oh yes, bloody fantastic. Loved this.

Emily Rose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily Rose said...

This is fantastic! I love your writing style.

Charles Gramlich said...

This looks like a fun one.

Jai Joshi said...

Owww, this gave me chills!


Sangu Mandanna said...

Oooh I love the ethereal, otherworldly feel here!

Stephen Tremp said...

Great that you attributed physical characteristics like hungry to spirit shadows. I think this intensifies the moment. Nicely done!

Tony Benson said...

I loved your story. You've managed to tell a lot in 200 words, and that's an art. You get a great balance between telling the story and letting the reader's mind imagine the rest.

DWei said...

Dang, was hoping you'd have him pass out or something thus enabling you to use the phrase "and everything faded".

Stacey said...

Ooh I like it. I want to read more!

Ciara said...

Great tension. I really enjoyed this. Great job!

Jamie Dement (LadyJai) said...

Poetic Justice, huh! Good piece.

Hope you like mine #189

nutschell said...

Okay you've hooked me. Now where's the rest of it? :P

catherinemjohnson said...

Brilliant! The shadows must have been right in his face by the end, great tension.

tinadchayes said...

Good luck in the challenge with your dark fantasy story. And you even snuck in the dreaded orange! It took me a while to work that into mine (#199). :)

Connie Keller said...

Love it!

mshatch said...

loved the last line. and yes, creepy is a good word.

Carol Kilgore said...

Cool flash :)
Happy Weekend!

Emily R. King said...

Creepy! Is it weird that now I'm hungry? : )
Nice job!

Sarah Pearson said...

I want more! I really loved this.

Rebekah Loper said...

Oh,very nice! I liked the tension and the creepiness :).

I'm dropping in from the Fantasy group at the Campaign, good luck with your challenge entry!

laughingwolf said...

overall a good, wee tale, though it feels overwritten in places, lacking in others... i blame the rules

excellent, slam ending...

love it when things are hinted at, then left to individual interpretations

Nick Hight said...

Wow, wow, wow. I absolutely loved this is every way. And the last line was creepy! So, you've been shortlisted to move into round two of judging! Nice one :)

I'm entry number 207.

Rachel Morgan said...

I love the atmosphere you've evoked in this scene. Off to give it a thumbs up :-)

Helen Ginger said...

I definitely like it. Totally loved the last line.

Josh Hoyt said...

Great job the description was right on.

The Golden Eagle said...

MISH: Thank you! :)

Christine: Thanks. And I'm not really sure what's going on, either, beyond the scene . . . LOL.

Belle: Glad you liked it!

Old Kitty: It was interesting for me to write, since I don't usually aim for dark writing.

Thank you!

Peggy: I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

Cherie: Thank you.

Joshua: Pretty much. :P

Rusty: Thanks. :)

Jayne: Wow. I'm surprised you remember that story; it was a while ago that I posted it! And yes, it was about a girl in a futuristic setting. I actually expanded it into a novel which I finished last October. :)

Thank you so much!

Nancy: Aw, thanks!

David: I thought about trying for SF, but then decided I was more in a mood for Fantasy.


Margo: I'm glad you enjoyed this piece!

Lynda: Thank you. :)

J. A.: I had been aiming for creepy with the ending. ;) Thanks!

Susan: Not for Tennen, at any rate.

Thank you.

S.P.: Glad you like it!

Wendy: Thanks! :)

Deniz: Nothing more to this flash fiction right now; I just came up with it off the top of my head. But there is story potential . . .

Lydia: Thank you!

Jess: Nope, I havne't turned it into a story--yet. :D


KSCollier: Thank you--I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I had a clear picture of her in my mind while I was writing her.

Medeia: Thanks. :)

Misha: It wasn't my original intention, when I started writing, to give anyone chills . . . it sort of morphed into something darker. All the better for it, I suppose!

Paul: Thank you!

JeffO: Thanks. :)

Traci: Glad you liked it!

Stuart: Thanks--I had hoped she'd come across that way. I love villains who know what they're doing and aren't crazy/blinded by anything.

Patricia: Thank you! :D

The Golden Eagle said...

Emily: I'm so glad you like it. :)

Charles: Rachael Harrie always comes up with great writing challenges.

Jai: Cool. ;)

Sangu: Thanks!

Stephen: Thank you!

Tony: I wanted to elaborate further on what happened, actually, but the word limit stopped me. I like leaving the rest to the imagination, though. :)

Thank you!

DWei: I wanted to use it, but decided that the last line I had was more effective and I couldn't make it longer due to the 200 word limit. :P

Stacey: Glad you like it. :)

Ciara: Thanks!

Jamie: Well, maybe; I'm not sure if being fed to spirits isn't overkill for stealing. :P

Nustchell: Um . . . unwritten?

I'm glad you liked it enough to want to read more! :)

Catherine: Ah, I hadn't thought of that image; now I feel really bad for Tennen. LOL.

Thank you! :)

Tinda: Thanks. And I had trouble figuring out where to use the word "orange" as well; it's a bit of an awkward word! LOL.

Connie: Thanks. :)

Mshatch: Perhaps I should migrate to the Horror genre . . . okay, just kidding. :P

Thank you!

Carol: Thanks!

Emily: I don't think that's weird; the idea of things like hunger sometimes make me hungry, too. :P

Thank you.

Sarah: I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

Rebekah: Thanks!

Welcome to The Eagle's Aerial Perspective! It's nice to meet you. :)

Laughingwolf: Yeah--I tried to use a lot of description to get as much detail as possible in 200 words.

Thank you!

It can be a lot more interesting when the reader comes up with the rest of the story.

Nick: Really?! Oh, wow. Thank you so much! :)

Rachel: Thanks!

Helen: Glad you like it.

Josh: Thank you.

Jack said...

Chilling, atmospheric and creepy. Nice job!

tfwalsh said...

Ohhh that is so aweome... loved the creepiness in it... very nice entry.

Rek said...

Enjoyed this immensely...want to know more.

Angela Ackerman said...

Really good tension and great job with using the setting to help feed into the character's fear!

cestlavie22 said...

I love this post :) Your attention to detail is perfect!

Carol Riggs said...

Good job, great start! And 200 words exactly! :D Sets up an intriguing conflict right away.

Susan Roebuck said...

Very dark - love the way you build up the atmosphere with the shafts of sunlight. Wonder what that orange thing is? Nice :-)
btw - you're tagged (by me!) in the Campaign Platform (sorry)

Madeleine Maddocks said...

Awesome! I loved it. x

The Golden Eagle said...

Jack: Glad you liked it. :)

Tfwalsh: Thank you so much!

Rek: I'm glad you enjoyed my entry.

Angela: Thanks! :)

Cestlavie22: Thank you--small detail aren't usually something I focus on; I tried to bring it out in this flash fiction.

Carol: Thank you! :)

Susan: I'm not sure, either. LOL.

Glad you liked it. :)

I'm off to check it out!

Madeleine: Thanks!

Erin Kane Spock said...

Great imagery. I would keep reading, definitely.
One critique, the first line had crept, the next included creeping. Just bugged me. :)

The Golden Eagle said...

Erin: Thanks!

I actually did that on purpose, just so that it was clearer the shadows on the wall were the same on his shoulders, but I see what you mean. Thank you for the critique. :)

kelworthfiles said...

Very fun. Thanks for sharing!

The Golden Eagle said...

Kelworthfiles: You're very welcome! :)

C.M.Brown said...

Great story! Full of tension!

The Golden Eagle said...

C.M.: Thank you! :)

KSCollier said...

Great work. You've been shortlisted to move on as a SEMI-FINALIST.