Saturday, February 25, 2012

Campaign: The Candle



Shadows crept across the wall, dancing in the firelight.
     James tugged against his chains and screamed through his gag. No, not yet! I need more time!
     The darkness wrapped itself around the wall, twisting, writhing. It approached the candle on the floor in the center of the small room and was motionless for a time, an unnatural shadow in the light.
     Then, the shadow began to transform and grow up out of the stone floor. It twisted until it was in the form of a human, then it took on colour so that it resembled a handsome young man with flowing gold hair and a stern face.
     The man pulled the gag from James's mouth. “Where is it?”
     James turned his head away, shaking. “I don't know,” he gasped. “No-one ever told me.”
     The man grabbed James by the chin and looked deep into his eyes. “Where?” His grip tightened.
     “I don't know!” James cried through barred teeth. Pain exploded in his jaw.
     “Then die.”The man stepped backwards and was absorbed by a swirling shadow. The room fell into darkness, leaving nothing but a dead man and a snuffed out candle.

*     *     *     *     *

This is not the first time I've submitted an entry for a challenge in one of Rachael Harrie's campaigns with only fifteen minutes to go. Procrastination for the win. Anyway, here were the rules:

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!

I think mine came in at 199 words.

And if you'd like to vote for me, I'm entry 207!

32 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for that! Yay for campaign games, sounds fun!

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  2. Waiting until the end can sometimes pay off. Well done and good luck with the contest.

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  3. Glad you made the deadline with your perfectly crafted piece that leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Always leave them wanting more, I say! :)

    (Hi! I'm Susan from My Withershins. Sorry I have to use my alter-ego, but Blogspot does not seem to like it when we Wordpress folks want to comment on their sites!)

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    1. For sure! Thanks very much. And I really think that blogger and wordpress need to become a little more compatible with eachother.

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  4. Love the last line. Powerful stuff.

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    1. Thanks :) I see the candle as kind of symbolic or metaphorical.

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  5. So how did he die? Seriously?? That was the most interesting part how a person can die after being commanded to. How?!?!

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    1. It's fantasy, so really anything can happen as long as it's consistent with the rules of nature within that world. This piece is pretty open ended and there's a lot of room for interpretation. For example, you could interpret that the man or shadow is a personification of Death, in which case he could have the power to kill with a thought.

      It's really up to you on how he died!

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  6. I wonder what it is that James didn't know--and was killed for. Chilling story!

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    Replies
    1. Me too, actually! McGuffins for the win :) Thanks :)

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  7. What a nasty villain! Great job, especially for getting it done in fifteen minutes!

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  8. Whoa. That was awesome! I love the mystery in this! I want to know why he was in the dark with a gag in his mouth! Great job!! Definitely voting for you :)

    I'm entry #19

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  9. This is great. Very menacing. I'll head on over to vote for you!

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  10. Nice writing style; crisp and to the point with just enough visuals to paint a picture. I wish I was writing like this when I was a teenager.

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  11. Wow, a lot happens in a short space here.

    I am so fond of teen writers, teen bloggers, and teen blogging writers. You are taking great advantage of opportunities to grow and learn already. Way to go.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks :) I really don't like the idea of having no long-term goal, even as young as I am. So I'm incredibly glad I found writing, and a big dream I can shoot for.

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  12. This is extremely well-written, and it's so nice to see a teenager with literary ambitions. :) I totally enjoyed your story, with the eerie fantasy feel. Good luck with the Challenge! (I'm #199)

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  13. Very horrorisk. Terror griped me the whole way through.
    Well done. :)

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  14. Congrats! As a judge for this part of the fourth campaign, I've selected your entry to advance to round two. Good job, writer!

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  15. lol I was right behind you in my lateness, but I guess you already knew that since you commented and everything...

    I want to know what "it" is and how James was expected to find it when he was tied up. I also want to know how the man is going to find "it" now that he killed James. This is both what I love and hate about flash fiction pieces. No one really knows, not even the author.

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  16. Awesome entry! Love the images you conjure :)

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  17. Very nice. I'm not going to lie, I'm sad your MC died.

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  18. This is great. You are definitly a writer, there is no doubt about it! Mine is #71

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  19. Nice entry. And awesome writing for someone so young. = )

    I'm #149
    melissamaygrove.blogspot.com

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  20. Nick, sorry I am a bit late checking out what you entered! Please forgive, this is really great! So much detail, leaving unanswered questions to ponder!

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