21 October, 2011

Third Campaigner Challenge: Show Not Tell

A long, trembling scream made me sit up and open my eyes. I’d been lying there, arms spread out, trying in vain to find something to occupy my mind.
   Cool, soft air blew a piece of hair across my face, and I looked around, eyes traveling from the gray and distant mountains to the water sliding and rushing along the black sand in front of me.
   A delicate tinge of yellow and orange showed above the mountain ridge, and I sighed, the exhalation sharp and hard enough to startle a nearby bird. It emitted another scream and launched itself into the air, wings beating in a rhythmic whump, whump, whump.
   I rubbed water off my face with the back of my hand, salt and dirt hitting my tongue. Then I started to stand, the breeze growing stronger—and suddenly my throat constricted, lungs refusing to take in any more air. I fell back and gagged, wondering what on this planet could smell so awful.
   I reached out and drew a finger through the sand. The pattern I left glowed for just second, leaving a pale afterimage when I closed my eyes.
   The smell receded, thanks to the charm, and I breathed again. I turned, and saw a brown lump on the ground a few meters away.
   It looked like a synbatec egg.
   I knew this was their home planet, and I knew they bred on the sand. But I’d only heard of them in hidden files my mentor didn’t know I could access, watched one hatching in a vid—the dark creature inside had been ugly and fascinating.
   I turned, and saw my mentor storming toward me.
   “Did you touch it?”
   “No, why—“
   He grabs my arm. “Because synbatecs kill the nearest living thing when they hatch.”

(299 words)


About this challenge:

Write a blog post in 300 words or less, excluding the title. The post can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should show:

  • that it’s morning (check)
  • that a man or a woman (or both) is at the beach (check)
  • that the MC (main character) is bored (check)
  • that something stinks behind where he/she is sitting (check)
  • that something surprising happens (check)

Just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: "synbatec," "wastopaneer," and "tacise." (NB. these words are completely made up and are not intended to have any meaning other than the one you give them).

I didn't use "wastopaneer" . . . I couldn't really think of a way to get it in there and still sound natural.


What do you think? How'd I do on the "show not tell"?

And if you enjoyed my entry, you can vote for it HERE: I'm #95 in the Linky List, under The Eagle's Aerial Perspective. Just click the "like" button below my link.

-----The Golden Eagle


Jenny S. Morris said...

Oh, this is awesome. Really one of the best I've read. I remember your 1st challenge one, and it seems like it might be from the same story? Either way, I want to know more about the world you've created.

David P. King said...

I know I can always count on an excellent piece of science fiction whenever I come to look at your entries. And you did not disappoint!

Once again, great job! :)

MISH said...

This is such a refreshingly different take on the prompt. You've done a great job!
(My entry at no.#47)

Old Kitty said...

Oooops!! LOL! Awww great story - loved the ending - loved how you lulled me into this false sense of security only to hit me with that last line! Yay!!

Well done you! take care

Krispy said...

Loved your descriptions, so vivid! I think you also did a great job with working in the fake words. I couldn't manage it in mine. :P (We're not on the linky because we're not Campaigners, but we wanted to give this challenge a go anyway.)

Also, congrats on finishing your WIP yesterday!

Sheri L. Swift, Author said...

Wow, I really like this one! Great use of the words & I def want to read more! ; )

asdfasdfasdf said...

Oooh how interesting! Makes me want to know more about those creatures haha.

Angela Cothran said...

Great job! I'm worried about what is coming next.

Southpaw said...

I absolutely love the ending!

Anonymous said...

Nicely done. It flowed well and the words worked. Mine is #56

Shelly said...

Very cool! Is this finished yet?

dolorah said...

Very well done. I was able to follow every bit of her waking. A loved your take on the synbatec word. I like new creatures :)

I'm not in the challenge; but I've been enjoying reading the excerpts as I click around the blogs. This was a fascinating challenge, and you really rocked it.


Jess said...

Very scary!! Hope the Synbatec doesn't get her! Great job :)

I'm entry #5

Melanie Fowler said...

You did an excellent job at showing your story. Great entry!

Jen said...

I love the bit about synbatecs killing the nearest living thing when they hatch. Very creepy!

Mine is #25.

Stuart Nager said...

hi GE great flash fic. I wasn't sure where it was heading, and I am very glad you didn't go with the tired "the one who touches it first bonds with it." Quite the opposite. Good...now..what next?

Glad you did not use the "word"(?) wastopaneer.

Tale Spinning

Joanna said...

Love your different take, very original!

Sarah Tokeley said...

Yep, an intriguing world. I can always count on you to leave me wanting more :-)

Author Joshua Hoyt said...

Nice story. You did a great job on showing and not telling!

Charles Gramlich said...

Well done. I have to admit the "synbetic" threw me off at first. I think I read it as synthetic"

Golden Eagle said...

Jenny: Thank you so much! :)

I hadn't thought of that connection--though I could see the two characters meeting somewhere.

David: Thanks! :D Though I had been thinking of this as Fantasy, since she used magic.

MISH: Thank you! :)

Old Kitty: Major oops, if she stays there long enough. :P

I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Krispy: Thank you!

Your entry was awesome. :)


Sheri: I'm glad you like it!

That 20 Something Virgin: What might want to kill you intrigues, doesn't it? :P

Angela: Thanks!

Might just have to write some more sometime to find out . . .

Southpaw: Glad you enjoyed it. :)

Bridget: Thank you!

Shelly: It's just flash fiction; there isn't much of a story attached to it, other than what's written here. I might expand on it sometime, though. :)

Donna: Thank you so much!

Me, too. Mostly why I introduced the synbatecs. :)

Jess: I hope it doesn't, too. LOL.


Mel: Thank you!

Jen: I guess I was in a creepy mood when I wrote it. :P

Stuart: Thanks. :)

Rachael really threw the Campaigners a wild card with those words . . . though it was fun to try to use them!

Joanna: I'm glad you liked it!

Sarah: Thanks! :D

Josh: Thank you! :)

Charles: Thanks! I did the same thing with the words Rachael set for the challenge; they're so random.

Christine Rains said...

That was fabulous! I love the strangeness and the tension. The surprise at the ending was great. Bravo!

Tara Tyler said...

great job, i like beaches on other planets! far out =)

Carrie Butler said...

Nice work, Eagle! It's a good thing the mentor showed up. :D

Michelle Merrill said...

Oh, I love the charm and the twist with the egg hatching. Good job!

Golden Eagle said...

Christine: Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

Tara: LOL. Thanks!

Carrie: I guess so. :P Might have ended badly otherwise . . .

Michelle: Thank you. :)

Poewin said...

Great imagery! This feels like it was plucked right out of a finished novel.

Anonymous said...

Wow! very cool, love the twist at the end. Thanks for stopping by.

julie fedderson said...

Great entry! Love the way you worked those made-up words in--they completely sounded plausible. And Tacise is actually a pretty cool name. Great job!

mooderino said...

Nicely done, a fine bit of writing. Voted.


K.T. Hanna said...

Great approach to the challenge. Well written as always, and I love that you didn't try to force wastopaneer into the piece.

Golden Eagle said...

Poewin: Thank you!

Thepatientdreamer: I'm glad you enjoyed it!

I really enjoyed reading your entry. :)

Julie: Thanks!

I wasn't quite sure how the name would come across--glad you liked it.

Mooderino: Thank you! :)

K.T.: Thanks! I'm glad you liked my entry.

I didn't think it would work very well with the world I created. :P

Annalise Green said...

I love how you turned this into a powerful fantasy piece. It's extremely well structured for something so short - feels like it tells a complete story. Definitely one of my favorites. Just wanted to let you know that you've moved on to the second phase of judging!

Golden Eagle said...

Annalise: Thank you!

That's completely made my day. :)