Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Third Campaigner Challenge


First of all, I'd like to draw your attention to my first ever interview with Jess from Jest Kept Secret as part of her Before They Were Published interview series with (obviously) unpublished writers. Eeek! Excting! Anyway, it was really fun answering the questions, and hopefully I said some stuff that made sense. So go check it out, if you feel so inclined. Thank you kindly.

Now, what this post is actually about. I didn't think I'd be doing another one so soon, but the Writer's Campaign threw that out the window and told me to think otherwise. So, without further ado, here are the rules for this challenge:

Write a blog post in 300 words or less, excluding the title. The post can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should show:
  • that it’s morning,
  • that a man or a woman (or both) is at the beach
  • that the MC (main character) is bored
  • that something stinks behind where he/she is sitting
  • that something surprising happens.


So, I wrote a flash-fiction piece. I've taken the liberty to use the point about something stinking behind them as a metaphor - as in, their pasts (which are behind them) were dark and generally unpleasant. Here it is. Enjoy!

(And, by the way, I wrote this listening to My Name Is Lincoln from The Island's soundtrack, which is probably why it turned out like this.)
 
*     *     *     *     *

The wind howls through the night, bringing the Arctic cold from the north. I hear the sound of waves crashing upon the shore and feel the sand between my toes. Next to me is Katherine, sound asleep, but I see that she is shivering, so I take off my jacket and cover her with it. Then I hug my knees tighter as my mind wanders.

It’s hard to be patient when you’re anticipating happiness. We’ve been waiting for hours, hoping to see a boat sail into view. A boat that will take us across the sea into a new land. But it hasn’t come.

Sighing, I rub my eyes, and consider drawing a picture in the sand of what I think a flower would look like to pass time. But, with further thought, I realise I can’t imagine one, so I just sit there. Katherine fills my mind.

My eyes close at the thought of her, and I smile. My mind … drifts … under.

Suddenly, hours pass in a second, and I wake to the sun rising over the horizon, casting a golden light upon the beach. My eyes flash open.

When they finally adjust, a gasp escapes me. The sea is stunning: the waves are calm now, and they sparkle as they wash the sandy shore with purity; the water beyond the breakers glows with brilliance in the morning light.

It’s the second most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

It’s hard to imagine such wonder when you’ve lived your entire life in darkness. I look past Katherine, still asleep, to the shattered world from which we came: the darkened sky and black clouds, the ruined buildings.

I turn back to the blazing sunlight and the sea. My heat jumps. There is a black speck on the horizon.

44 comments:

  1. Wonderful job!! Love the imagery in this! New follower BTW :)

    (I'm entry #5)

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  2. The imagery is wonderful! Hope they are saved.

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  3. Indeed. The imagery was to die for.

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  4. Thanks all :) Thank you for following, Jess :) I'll go have a look at your entry :)

    And Sonia, I hope so too. I suppose we'll never know ...

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  5. That was fantastic, Nick! Great job! :)

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  6. This is fantastic imagery, Nick! Great job.
    Mine is #25.

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  7. Great job, Nick! I really liked the feelings that invoked :) I'm #14

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  8. This is a really good piece. You convey the hope well towards the end. Fitting title.

    Well done.

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  9. Beautiful imagery of the the sun rising on a new day. Great entry! I set mine in Antarctica! :)

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  10. Love the descriptions, very visual. The story feels very uplifting in a way. Great job!

    (I'm #28) :)

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  11. "It’s the second most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen."

    Excellent! Nice way to end this story. A black speck of doom? Now I worry for these two! :)

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  12. Aw, you captured such a hopeful moment. I especially love the line about how the scenery was the second most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. *wipes a tear away*

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  13. Very nicely written! Love the descriptive! : )

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  14. Thanks everyone, and welcome to a couple new followers :) I'm off to go and have a look at some other entries :D

    @David: A black speck of doom, or a black speck of hope? Another dark cloud or the boat they've been waiting for? Take your pick :P

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  15. Very vivid imagery, so easy to visualise. :) Nice!

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  16. Great story. The ending makes me want to know what happened and what's going to happen.

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  17. Lovely visuals!
    I also liked the sense of time being interrupted... as if it's been suspended...
    The 'black speck' introduces a sense of unease into this otherwise trouble-free setting. Great way of ending the piece, Nick.
    Great writing style for a teenager!
    (I'm no.#47)

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  18. You've got some really great imagery here - and well done on working the criteria of the challenge in so well!

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  19. I sense danger with that black spec in the distance. Mine is #56

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  20. very beautiful. I nearly thought he froze and woke to his afterlife. Then I thought, maybe the ship came in :) Or, something ominous is about to happen. So many possibilities.

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  21. Congratulations you have been chosen to move on to the second round of judging! Good luck. :)

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  22. Beautiful writing :) Are you sure you are really a teenager? Maybe you should check. Great job!

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  23. I appreciate your passion for writing as in your blog description, and I relate to it entirely. You can tell from this piece that it is very well thought out and I enjoyed the suggestive aspect of the expositional points. This sentence though: - A boat that will take us across the sea into a new land.' seems superfluous to me, a tad obvious; the preceding sentence saying it all really. It's and ideal place for an expositional comment though, perhaps like 'Hope, new tomorrows or beginnings, or whatever. Just a suggestion. Also did you mean to say heat in the last sentence, or heart?) Very well done, and thank you for having found mine.

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  24. Thanks all you kind people! It's fun hearing speculations about the black dot :)

    @kmckendry: Awesome! Thanks so much! :)

    @Angela: Thank you :) Ummmm ... I think I'm a teenager. I think. Wait, let me go find my birth certificate :P

    @SP Mount: Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I'm glad you read the About Me page (I wasn't sure that anyone actually does that!) and could relate to it :) As for your suggestion: that's probably a valid point. I think I'll have to pay closer attention to getting rid of the excess in the future :) And yea, that was supposed to be heart, not heat.

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  25. You've described it very well. The first line really sets the change in weather.

    I love the hopeful ending!

    Thank you for your wonderful comment on mine, Nick (about the Jellyfish)!

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  26. Gosh I just LOVED that! You completely won me over...I'm following you now. Excellent story :) Congrats on your interview. I'm sure you'll be published soon!

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  27. good job! I was immediately invested in the story!

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  28. Nice job! Love the visuals. Great entry.

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  29. I totally pictured this in my head and I'd like to read more.

    I voted. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  30. Fabulous entry, Nick. Black spot in the distance...definitely ominous. Reading this, I had the same sense as if watching an old scary movie. Everything is beautiful, sweet lullaby music playing--violin maybe--your readers are thinking the worst is over, until...

    Great entry, one of my favs so far. :))

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  31. Great imagery and the black speck really has me wondering! Nice work.

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  32. Oh...I want to know what the black speck it in the distance! Good job.

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  33. Great visuals. Enjoyed this. I'm #88.

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  34. I totally felt the excitement! I thought Katherine would be gone when he woke up! Very nice job. I'm #65.

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  35. Good job, and nice to end on a note of optimism.

    mood (now following)
    Moody Writing
    @mooderino

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  36. I like the way you portrayed the whole past and future thing. Good job in this challenge!

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  37. Thanks everyone. I'm pretty encouraged by your comments :)

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  38. Really well written...and very rich, both physically and emotionally. Kudos!

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  39. I love the idea you had about what they were escaping from. Imagine, living your whole life in darkness!

    I instantly thought it was the boat, now, reading everyone else's comments I'm not so sure... Yeah, gonna go with it's a boat.

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    Replies
    1. Yea, it's a kind of metaphorical escape. I saw their world as dystopian, or post-apocalyptic.

      (Secretly, between you, me, and the rest of the world, I intended it to be a boat. But it's open to interpretation, of course.)

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