Monday, September 5, 2011
First Campaign Challenge
So the first campaign challenge is to write a 200 word or less flash fiction piece or short story. It has to start with: "The door swung open". I tend to be incredibly long-winded so asking me to write a full, cohesive story in 200 words or less is like asking me to figure out how to levitate. I have seen many brilliant examples of this in the blogosphere though. Libby Heily pulls this off wonderfully--she does Flash Fiction Fridays if you want to check it out. Although I have been studying her flash fiction, I am not yet there in terms of creating a whole story in 200 words or less.
But in the spirit of the campaign, here is a small piece and it's just over 200 words (it's from a longer work that is as yet uncompleted):
The door swung open and Talia stepped outside. Above her, the sky was a deep purple. Stars glowed and blinked above her head. She rooted her sandaled feet and tipped her head back, breathing slowly and deeply. Talia loved the nights in the mountains—even more since her return. There was something peaceful and untouched about the cool air and vast domed ceiling of stars.
It made her feel free and unrestrained in a way she hadn’t felt for years. The sensation was so strong she could physically feel it—as if she’d been in a strait jacket for years and now her limbs were finally free to move. The world felt so big it gave her vertigo. She realized that her job had produced in her a kind of inner claustrophobia. The things in her mind made her feel closed in—like she was living her life in a phone booth.
Her eyes were closed when she sensed someone approaching behind her, stealthy and silent. A voice in her head called her name in warning. It was quick and fleeting, like the last vestige of a dream darting away from her. Instinctively she reached under her arm for her weapon and gasped to find it missing. She didn’t carry it anymore. No gun. No shoulder holster. She didn’t need it. She was done with all of that.
“Shit,” she muttered.
She sensed the interloper pull up short and seconds later, she heard low laughter.
(Also I would like to shamelessly plug the upcoming Hook for Your Book Contests coming up on my blog! The first one is for Fantasy writers and it runs October 10 through October 17. See this post for more details.)