5 Prompts: The second challenge of the 4th campaign

The blessed Rachael Harrie has announced a more challenging flash-fiction challenge this time around: there are five prompts. Of course, Rachael gave us choice: we can use as few or as many of the prompts as we wish.

Check out her blog for the full criteria. I'll just say here that I incorporated all the prompts in the following 200-word story:
  • two people are sitting together under the remains of a concrete bridge. Their backs are against a rusted bridge support. One person’s leg is cut. The other person has wet hair (okay, he's completely wet, but that includes his hair)
The other four prompts are all visual:
I decided to take on several of the challenges, combining them into two parts:
  • a pitch/logline for a book based on the prompts (less than 100 words)
  • write a short story/flash fiction piece of less than 200 words based on the prompts
  • write a poem/flash fiction piece (in less than 200 words) about the water pear *without* using the words “pear”, “spoon”, or “droplet”.
What follows is a short story, under 200 words, about all five prompts, including a very short (if bad) poem about the water pear that does not use the prohibited words. To be fair, the poem is supposed to be bad, because the character in the book who wrote it is not a poet.

Let me know what you think:

The Story: Under the crumbling concrete bridge
"Your leg is bleeding," he said.
"You're soaked," she retorted.

He pushed wet hair out of his eyes and slumped against the rusted bridge support beside his sister. "The only reason you could pull me out is because you're three years older. Just sayin'."

"Why did you come here, under this old bridge? Mom would kill you if she knew."

He pulled a tattered slip of paper from his jeans. She recognized the verse:

A kitchen tool
To feed the world.
Rain to fruit—
World hunger, cured.

"When we find the coins, we'll be able to help the scavenger kids in Calcutta," he said.

"That guy's a phony. That pear made of raindrops? CGI."

"Yeah?" He brushed flakes of rust off the bridge support."Then what's this?" Stamped into the metal was the same pattern on the paper: a star-burst of intersecting golden arcs.

A squeal brought her eyes up to a child in a red coat chasing a ball along the new bridge across the bay.

But his eyes were caught by something shining in the water. He fished out a large gold coin, embossed with the same starburst.

"Still think he's a phony?" he asked.


The pitch:
Teenagers change the world every day—so 13-year-old Liam wants to believe. His big sister, Nathalie, tells him he's too young.

Children of diplomats, Liam and Nathalie have seen the world’s poorest people. They want to help, but their Mom says, "You can change the world after you graduate from university."

Liam meets a mysterious scientist with a technology that can feed the world—at no cost. He vanishes, leaving a trail of increasingly dangerous clues.

Liam is determined to find the mysterious man and unlock the secret to solving poverty, but can Nathalie keep him from getting killed?


  1. This is creative and I love that it is kids who may change the world. Good job. (#30)

  2. Great pitch! And I know you said the poem was supposed to be bad, but I liked it ^_^


  3. Anonymous10:07 PM

    Very nicely done. Just "liked" it. :)

  4. Clever.

    You definitely know your stuff. Great pitch & enjoyed your pose! ;)

    "liked" :D

  5. Nicely done! Very creative!

  6. I love the idea of teenagers saving the world. All too often they are blamed for destroying it. :-) Nice job!

  7. Scott, I like the way you used the prompts. The idea of kids searching for a treasure for the benefit of helping others is a great premise for a story.

  8. Wonderfully written! Liked your ideas. Great pitch! Wish I'd had the time to do the pitch too. I need the practice.