Feb 21, 2012

200 Word Challenge

The challenge from Rach Writes was to:
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!
I needed this exercise, I've been busy formatting, compiling and converting MY ZOMBIE DOG into a Kindle book this week. It's been very educational for me, but my brain was techno-fried. In my next post I'll share what I learned and some links for formatting ebooks.

Here is my flash fiction and I'm proud to say I met every one of the challenges above - Are you going to give it a go?


Just the Wind?

Shadows crept across the wall. Hector sucked in his breath.
Just moonlight flickering through trees. Nothing more.
Creak, creak, creak. What was that? His eyes bulged. The covers were pulled tightly to his chin despite the humid night.
It’s just an old house. Old houses creak. Hector wasn’t scared. He was thirteen now, not a little kid.
Scratch, scratch.
Maybe his parents were home early? But they wouldn’t be. He was big enough to be left alone, they would not be home until well after midnight. Downstairs, the grandfather clock chimed twelve times.
Midnight.
He was a big kid, too old to be scared. He leaned to his beside table and grabbed his torch. The light glowed a soft orange. Great, batteries going flat.
Rattle, clink, clink.
Just the wind blowing chimes. Wait… did they have chimes?
Squeak, clang.
The front door? No. Just his imagination.
Thump, thump… up the stairs!
Hector leapt up, but tangled in bedclothes he tripped. Sprawled on the floor he gasped as the handle to his door turned. He scrambled to stand, thrusting the torch out as a weapon.
“Hector? We’re home early.”
“I was fine alone.” 
The torch light flickered once, then everything faded.

46 comments:

  1. Loved this! Reminded me of when I was a kid, and I would totally psych myself out….great job!

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  2. That was cute. The runaway imagination of a kid trying to act all grown up--I'm sure we can all relate to that! Loved it!

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  3. That was awesome. That's just what I would do, too! LOL I try to act so brave, but deep down I'd be really scared to be home alone. Great entry!!

    I'm entry #19

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  4. This is great. Love the sound effects! It made me feel young and scared again!

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  5. I enjoy your writing! It's tight, to the point. Very nice. Great work here! :D

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  6. Well done! Nice pacing and tone - very much enjoyed :)

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  7. This was beyond awesome! So much for that manly toughness!

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  8. Very fun read great job on this. I wonder though as everything faded if it might not have been his parents hmmm... :)

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  9. Captured the essence of a scared child. I know I did things like that with my flashlight. Nice one! :)

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  10. Great job on this!! You had a really good hook at the beginning that kept me wanting to keep reading more and more! Nice job! :)

    I'm #37

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  11. Like Amber Cities said, this did remind me of myself as a child frightening myself! Evocative job, Roland

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  12. What a fun read! So typical of a young boy, trying to act all big and bad when in reality, he's shaking in his skin. Loved it.

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  13. Thanks for all the comments and encouragement! I struggle with writing short stories and never attempt Flash, so having all the prompts and rules actually helped me.
    I'm working my way through every story that participated - got started last night, but after a big day I fell asleep with my iPad on my chest :)

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  14. Really cute and enjoyable to read!

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  15. Great tension...the ending though...has me wondering if he was dreaming or maybe the boogie-man really got him.

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  16. Like others have said, really evocative of childhood when we would all freak ourselves out. I could almost feel the sweaty palms! Well done :)

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  17. Too funny! Trying to be so brave, but he's still just a boy. Very cute and well done.

    #96

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  18. Ha! I love it. It was suspenseful and then cute and funny at the end with the parents. awesome!

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  19. What a great kid! Love that line "I was fine alone".

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  20. I used to live in an old house that creaked constantly! But I'd always say that it was fine, I'm not scared. Great entry!

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  21. I loved the story and the suspense you built up...plucky kid.

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  22. Wanting to be grown up but not quite there - you captured that perfectly, well done.

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  23. Great job capturing what all of us went through when we were younger. I loved it.

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  24. That was cute. I loved how the voice of a young scared kid comes across just through description.

    I'm #36.

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  25. Reminded me of when I was younger and I was okay as long as the covers were over my head. Good job. :)

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  26. Great job! One of my favorites so far!

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  27. home alone can bring scary feelings at any age! nice job!

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  28. Loved this! "I was fine alone" Ha!

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  29. Thanks so much for all the comments - I'm still working my way through all the short stories. I will read every one (although sometimes I have trouble commenting if that blasted word verification is turned on, I can never get it right). I'm in the 40s now, and there's over 120 already!
    There are some brilliant pieces posted.

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  30. Very cute...and loved that the torch lost it's light at the end. Hmm..ominous. ;)

    I'm #58, Tale Spinning

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  31. lol. This is how I am at home along and I'm 21. Great job!

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  32. You captured the voice of that age well. Nice job.

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  33. I'm glad it's not the middle of the night while I was reading that! Glad it didn't have a scary ending, though :-)

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  34. Wonderful job. That was me as a kid...my imagination was always taking off.

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  35. I love the bravodo at the end. So real.

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  36. Love the active imagination! Good job! I'm #61.

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  37. Fun and entertaining. Thanks for sharing!

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  38. Awesome! I did this as a kid. Well who am I kidding? I still do this :D

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!!

    Samantha

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  39. Loved the panic in the boy only to find out his parents were home early. Great job!!

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  40. Very cute! Love that you did a narrative poem! Really enjoyed it!

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  42. Great use of sounds and inner dialogue to build tension. And I really enjoyed the voice, too.

    I'm shortlisting this piece to move onto the next round of judging. Congrats and good luck in the next round. :)

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  43. Cute story! I really felt for the boy. You described exactly how the situation feels for a child, alone for the first time! Good job!

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