First campaigner challenge: shadows crept…

As part of her fourth campaign, Rach has issued her first challenge. Exciting!

I'm a platform-building campaigner badgeHere’s the challenge in Rach’s words:

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!

My entry is below. It meets all the criteria above except it’s not quite my normal genre. I had fun writing it, and I hope you have just as much fun reading it. Let me know what you think. 🙂

The last flame

Shadows crept across the wall of the cave as the sun set on the last day of my life. My heart began to pound beneath the satin fabric of my tattered party dress as I watched the last hints of orange disappear from the horizon.

Six hours to go. Six hours until I’d take my last breath. My vision blurred as tears formed in my eyes. Dammit. I promised myself I wouldn’t cry.

Beside me, my campfire flickered. I warmed my hands over the flames and examined my fingernails. Only one was still perfectly coated in red polish, the rest were chipped and torn.

To think the party was only two nights ago. To think I’d been worried about whether my shoes matched my dress. I glanced at my feet, covered in bruises and cuts, dirt and blood. My toenails had fared better than my fingernails though – only three were chipped.

I sat down beside the fire and breathed in the smoke. All I could do now was wait. As the hours passed, each flame dwindled to nothing. The night became deathly cold. I hugged my legs to my chest and shivered.

Finally, the last flame died. Everything faded.

***

Make sure you check out the other entries!

24 Comments

Filed under Competitions, Just for fun, Writers Crusade

24 Responses to First campaigner challenge: shadows crept…

  1. This was a great read – I really want to know *why* it’s all ending, but I guess there wasn’t enough room for that. 😉 Really nice, vivid description here!

  2. J D

    I like the contrast with a party and the differing priorities then and now. But I have to echo Trisha: Why?? What happened?

  3. I really wish you’d written more of the story!! I want to know more!! Great job! I really liked it 🙂

    I’m entry #19

  4. There’s enough ambiguity here to make me want to know more. Nice job.

  5. I’m curious to know more about this character. Why she’s sitting in a cave still in a torn party dress two days after the party. Did someone force her here? Did she come of her own free will? Questions!

  6. Oh I’m so intrigued to find what brought this young woman into such despair and disarray! Well written and great depth – but I’m dying to know more! 🙂

  7. Great entry, Cally! Of course I’m dying to know why she’s dying and how she knows the exact amount of time she has. I hope you will be following this up so we don’t all have to be left hanging 🙂

  8. I liked this a lot. Nice one!

  9. This story left me a little confused. I think even in a flash story, there should be some sort of conclusion or roundness to it. For me, there were too many open questions at the end. Maybe if you cut the a lotted time it’d be less confusing. The descriptions are great and the emotions well captured, I just think it should be either longer or much shorter.

  10. Thanks for your comments everyone! For those who asked for more information… I’m sorry, there isn’t any – yet! But I’m just as interested as what has got this girl into this situation so maybe it will become a short story in the future… Time will tell! 🙂

  11. Enjoyed your entry! It manages to be haunting and real in a very short space. Good luck!

  12. This was very nice, evocative in a short space.

  13. I wish there was more!! I really liked your take on the challenge! Good job! 🙂

    I’m #37

  14. This story was very haunting and evocative, but I too wish I could know what led up to it.

    I’m #123.

  15. This was really interesting and had me wondering how she went from a party to sitting in cave-some kind of apocalypse scenario? Also why does she only have six hours to live? The piece made me very curious and if that was an opening to a novel I would definately read on.

  16. Oh yes, the perfect opening to a longer piece 🙂

  17. Oh man, I want to know what was going on before and after! Very well written. I really liked this character, too.

  18. Libby Brain

    Great work Cally! Like your other readers, I’m intrigued and want to know more. Great descriptions which paint a vivid picture. Hopefully the perplexing situation will be revealed by you in the future… or is that part of the intrigue? Hope you are having a lovely day!

  19. What a wonderful entry! Keep up the great work!

  20. Wow, this left me wanting to know so much more. What happened to her before, why is she dying? Soooo many questions. Great stuff, I really enjoyed it.

  21. Enjoyed this entry. Very nice work in of info.

    Melissa Maygrove #149.

  22. Wow, what happens next? What happened to make her end up here? Great story.

  23. I would also like to know the background to your story. How did she end up there?

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