Friday, February 24, 2012

Flash Fiction: Inspired by Callie Leuck

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Shadows crept across the wall--sinuous tendrils elongating, pursuing each other.  One grows darker, more ominous, its black maw gapes open and devours the other, briefly burning an amorphous image into the matte paint.  It seems to gag and a small lump crawls its way from the depths and emerges...a bunny rabbit.  Mary giggles at her older sister’s antics.  Lyssa puts a finger to her lips, a reminder they were supposed to be asleep. 

They take turns, Lyssa shaping her sister’s hands--helping her form dogs and ducks against their makeshift storyboard.  Together, they weave a silly shadow play, which Mary narrates in a lisping whisper.  Eyes gleaming, she wends a tale about a swan princess vanquishing a vain dragon. 

The tiny swan timidly tiptoes into the dragon’s lair.  Inching closer, she distracts him by complimenting his scales.  When close enough, she stuffs ice in his open mouth.  The dragon splutters and immediately keels over, fainting from an ice-cream headache!

Their silent laughter jars the flashlight, which clatters under the bed.  Wide-eyed and somber-faced,  Lyssa scrambles up the bunk beds.  The girls dive under covers, feigning sleep. The door opens, orange light from the hallway washes the walls, and everything faded.  


Rules of this flash fiction challenge: Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format. Begin the story with the words, “Shadows crept across the wall”. These five words are 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 like it! It took longer than I thought it would, but it is the first piece of fictional writing I have done in a loooooong time. It was hard to get started, and I thought I would never get to 200 words...then by the end I was at 400 and had to pare it down! What a challenge! Thanks Callie, this is a great step forward for me to have written something just for the challenge of writing again. It feels good great to stretch my writer's brain and strive for something interesting, while wrestling with lots of boundaries that keep me from including superfluous flowers in my sentences.

What About You? Have you/do you write fiction in any form? What is your favorite genre of fiction to read?

1 comment:

  1. This is cute -- it made me :)

    Everything you just said is why I love flash fiction and almost always participate when I see a challenge floating around the writer blogs. The boundaries are oddly helpful.

    Here's where I saw this one -- Rachael Harrie hosts a "Writer's Platform-building Campaign" several times a year, and she'll have fun "blog hop" challenges throughout the campaign like flash fiction.

    This one is already running and I missed the deadline, but it's fun to follow along and see what people are doing, and of course you can always participate in the challenges, you just can't win prizes if you're not a Campaigner. People are very supportive and encouraging.