Friday, February 24, 2012

4th Campaign's first flash fiction hallenge: "Shadows crept"

The first challenge in Rachel Harrie's 4th Writers' Platform Building Campaign is to write a story of 200 words or fewer, starting with "Shadows crept across the wall."

Rachel is adding points for ending with "everything faded," writing in your usual genre, including the word "orange" and making it exactly 200 words.

Challenge accepted. The following is exactly 200 words, not including the title but including the entry words; it includes "orange" and the challenge close; and not only is it in my "usual" genre (whatever that is), it actually continues the story I began in "Dark Clouds" and continued in "What Made Me Love You?"


Helen's prison

Shadows crept across the wall, then slithered across the floor. Their teeth reflected the orange sunlight that slanted through the dirty, narrow window.

Slumped on the floor, back against the wall, Matt watched it slide onto his thigh. It grinned at him. Its fangs tore wide rents through his jeans.

The shadow laughed, a sickening hiss. Its fellows joined it in shredding Matt's pants.
The lead shadow laughed again and sank its teeth into his skin.

Matt sighed and shook his head. Won't she ever learn?

The shadow teeth did nothing to him. How could they? They're just shadows.

All the shadows hissed, frustrated. They merged and faded into the gloom of the doorless cell. A new shadow appeared on the floor. It grew into Helen.

"So you are immune," she said.

"Hello, Mom. Do you have anything to drink?"

"Wipe that smirk off your face...you're no good to me here. And you are my son." A door appeared in the concrete-block wall and swung open slowly.

"You're letting me go?"

It was Helen's turn to smirk as she faded back into shadow.

The last of the sunlight disappeared. Matt crawled out the door just as everything faded.

Check out some other flash fiction challenges in Rach Writes.

24 comments:

  1. Great job with the challenge. You had me a bit worried for Matt at first. Interesting twist toward the end. Good luck!

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  2. Very cool entry!! Love it! Following along :)

    I'm entry #19

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  3. wow that is a great take on the shadows!

    Also Tag, you're it!

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    1. Oh no. No tagging the butcher back?

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  4. Very cool! Had me thinking, what waits outside? Why was Mom smirking? Enjoyed it!
    laura thomas

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  5. I was surprised to find Helen was his MOM and what a strange way to treat her son. There's definitely more going on here than meets the eye. Well done!

    (Hi! I'm Susan from My Withershins. Sorry I have to use my alter-ego, but some sites do not seem to like it when we Wordpress folks want to leave a comment!)

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    1. Thanks for dropping in, Susan. I know about the frustration - there's definitely some rivalry going on between Google/Blogger and Wordpress. I'll look into the settings again.

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  6. Immune to shadows. But did the jeans actually tear? Thanks for sharing your entry.

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    1. Yes, the jeans tore, because they're just regular jeans. Only Matt is immune to magic.

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  7. I was suspicious of the open door ;-)

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  8. Hi there, I'm making my way through the Fantasy group at the Campaign, and knocking out a good portion of the challenge entries too, hehe. It's good to meet you!

    I'm confused by the line "And you are my son." Is it supposed to be "You are not my son."?

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    1. Guess it needs work. Try a little more emphasis (not enough for italics) on "are." The idea was, "You ARE my son. Therefore, I must have some mercy and let you go, rather than leave you here to starve to death."

      For more on the relationship between Matt and Helen, see the previous entries in the story of the Witch's Son, "Dark Clouds" and "What Made Me Love You?" in the tabs at the top of the page.

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  9. Yeah, that's an interesting little flash scene. What happens next? Why was she keeping him locked up? Thanks for joining in the challenge.

    You've been tagged at the Kelworth Files! Check it out and see my questions for you to answer - http://kelworthfiles.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/the-joy-of-being-tagged-and-tagging/

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    1. Thanks.

      Okay, here's the Big Reveal.

      I have an overall story arc for The Witch's Son, book 1: The Mandrake Ruse.

      But I'm going to write chapters in response to various prompts from holidays, special occasions and flash fiction and similar challenges, where they make sense.

      Why did Helen lock up Matt? For their relationship, read Dark Clouds and What Made Me Love You?, available FREE at the tabs above.

      Why did Helen lock Matt up, specifically? You'll have to keep watching to find out. Same bat-channel, but varying bat-times.

      (Yes, I am that old.)

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  10. Intriguing story and great imagery too. I would definitely read more!

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  11. This is lots of fun! I hope there's more where it comes from--I want to read on!

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    1. I was intrigued by your entry, too - but did you know there is no Comments section on your blog?

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  12. What a great idea. I would love to know more about the shadows and about why you MC is in prison. Very nice!

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  13. I like this and want to know more. Mine is #71

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  14. Yay, another story about shadow-creatures! I love them.

    (I'm #59)

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  15. Nice entry. Very original. = )

    I'm #149
    melissamaygrove.blogspot.com

    PS: Consider turning off your Captcha. ; )

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  16. Interesting. I'd like to see where your story takes you.

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  17. I don't understand how the mum was a shadow creature who was called Helen? Was she scaring him, or torturing him - he was locked in a dark room? I would like to know more!

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    1. Well, what I intended to show was that Helen teleported herself magically into the room; I guess I'm still thinking subconsciously of Star Trek: instead of starting to appear as sparkles, though, Helen starts to appear as a shadow that gradually becomes her body. Once she could see that she could not magically hurt her son, she let him go.

      But actually, she is just releasing him as the next step in her plan. What's her plan? Well, watch for more installments of The Witch's Son: The Mandrake Ruse

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