Monday, February 20, 2012

The Fourth Platform-Building Campaign: The First Challenge: Cornered



Cornered (modified from a WiP) 

Shadows crept across the wall—different from the ones I’d seen before. Taller. Bulkier—like silhouettes before the orange flashing of left-on machinery. And unlike the others, I couldn’t hear their desperate moanings or the shuffling of undead feet. Whatever these things were, they're nothing like the skinny, lifeless drones that I’m familiar with. My back is pressed against a hard wall behind me. Reinforced concrete. That's my guess.

There's no easy way out of this one. Not this time.

Kaylynn and Jewel saw them next, their weapons drawn as fast as mine. An odor waved toward us, a stench more pungent than the sun-baked cattle carcasses we drove past, on our way into trapping ourselves inside another dead-end.

Maybe that lunatic doctor wasn’t lying. They were changing.

“What do we do, Jeremy?” Jewel cried.

I’d never seen her rifle shake so bad. “It doesn’t matter how big they are—the rules are the same for all of them.” I take my .45 and aim high with both hands. “Aim for the head!”

"Wait!"

I should have, but Kaylynn's warning came too late. I fired. Something sparked in the air. An explosion?

Flames engulfed my senses before everything faded.

(200 words)
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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!

For more awesome entries, come check out this list!

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Something cool must be happening since I have a new list of awesome members to share! Click them out (if your name is not linked, I could not find your blog)!

The Capillary
Rachel Schieffelbein
S P
Iain
Celesta
and

You guys are awesome! Thanks for joining this corner of the blogoverse. Good karma is coming your way!

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I'm David, and I so totally did NOT watch The Walking Dead before I decided on this flash-fiction entry ... 

114 comments:

  1. Looooooved... nice work, David! Really solid writing. Annnnd I spotted the word "orange" there! Loved it. :D

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  2. Whoa! Great work, David! You've got me all nervous (and wanting to know what happens) now! :)

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  3. Man!!!

    That was a story!! 200 words neat simple yet quite effective!!

    It was quite thrilling in itself!! Awesome!!

    wishing you all success Another Author

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  4. Ooh, if this was modified from a WiP, that is one intriguing WiP! :)

    One small thing I noted is that the Challenge sentences are in past tense, and your story is in the present tense. Nearly caught me out, too, as I wanted to write in the present until I noticed it!

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  5. Great post, David! Thanks for the kudos, too! You rock! :)

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  6. Like a scene from a movie - nice!
    Let the campaign challenges begin.

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  7. Wow, I always did like what I have read of yours in the ren 3...this one no exception.

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  8. Well done! I'm glad I'm one of your new followers. :)
    Just so you know, you are already following my blog, too. :)
    -Rachel Schieffelbein

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  9. "a stench more pungent than the sun-baked cattle carcasses we drove past" - Eeeeuuuww! Such a great comparison, though. It has me wrinkling my nose in disgust!

    xx Rachel

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  10. Oh, I really liked this. Very nice imagery and the build-up of tension is spot on. Well done!

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  11. Ooh that was awesome!! Very scary, too! Great job! Voting for you :)

    I'm #19

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  12. sweet scene, as usual! intense =)

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  13. Yay! Great job! :D I should have signed up this time, but didn't. Too busy. :P I will check out all the fun entries though!

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  14. Hehe, isn't that called ceating? I though we were supposed to write something brand new.
    But I liked it a lot.

    My story is Nr. 23 if you feel like it.

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    1. While I took the scene from my WiP, it's completely different from the actual version I wrote (had to, in order to make the prompts work). Glad you liked! :)

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  15. Goodness gracious. Twist ending. Zombies. Guns. Dead cows. This story has everything.

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  16. Love it! Decidedly creepy, and the setting really sparks to life (pun intended!).

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  17. David, thank you so much for the shout out!

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  18. That was really great, David. Nice work!

    Thanks so much for the shout out! Super nice of you!

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  19. You got a lot in there for such a short piece. Nice!

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  20. Love the description of the odor! Great entry.

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  21. I loved it! Also, The Walking Dead is just awesome on so many levels.

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  22. Woot, woot! So cool that you give a shout out to new members! Great idea! I confess... I might steal it... bahahahahaha!

    Great flash fiction piece, by the way! Wish I had time to spare to write my own. Unfortunately... I have a writing goal for my WIP that I'm struggling to make. Next time, maybe!!

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  23. That was really good and creepy! Nice job! :)

    I'n #39

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  24. Nice job. You managed to get all the challenges in there. I applaud you.

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  25. New follower here. Great scene. I want to know more.

    ~Sabrina #14

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  26. Wow, intense! I love the description in the first paragraph. I wanna say it's 'punchy' (I'm not sure if that's the word I'm looking for...) Good job.

    The story switches a couple times between past and present tense, though, which is a little jarring.

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  27. Good job on your flash fiction and thanks for the shout out!

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  28. Very well done. You create beautiful and exciting scenes. Brilliant.

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  29. Excellent, as usual David! I love it. Great description and imagery. :)

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  30. I really enjoyed this one! The changes in verb tense threw me a bit, but otherwise it was great!

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    1. I thought I fixed that. Doesn't help that the WiP is first person - not my strong suit, but that's the whole point of this. Thanks! I appreciate your feedback. :)

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  31. Great job! I loved the imagery and the sense of suspense!

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  32. Very nice! I'm in your group for Rachael's 4th campaign! Glad to meet you! ~Theresa Sneed, author of No Angel and its forthcoming prequel, From Heaven to Earth

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  33. Nice job David. Although the "sun-baked cattle carcasses" line kind of had me gaging. :)

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  34. I was on the edge of my seat! Very intense. And I'm wondering what happened because he didn't wait......Great job, David, I really enjoyed it.

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  35. Dang David.. once again you give a glimpse of some serious talent. I really like it, and of course now I need to read the rest. :)

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  36. Excellent - great flow, vivid imagery, and a natural storytelling voice. Well done! :)

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  37. High tension in this - I'll be looking out for the finished book! Nice one David!

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  38. That was very good, and you tied in all the optional challenges so smoothly it felt natural, not stuck in. Thanks for stopping by my blog:)

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  39. "...sun-baked cattle carcasses..." Yum, lol. It's tense and graphic and action-packed. I loved it! Can't wait to read more, David :)

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  40. This is an interesting angle and impressive that you got to it so fast. Mine is #71

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  41. Zombies.Gotta love them...from a distance preferably. Great entry!

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  42. I think you did a great job with this. It has voice and intensity and, of course, the undead. It doesn't get much better than that.

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  43. I agree with Margo - well done even though there were several tense shifts.
    I really like that surprise ending and could picture the scene clearly. Nicely done!

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  44. Great descriptions! I was right there, smelling the cow carcass *ew* Way to go!

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  45. I absolutely loved this! My only wish is that is was longer!

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  46. Love this one - want it to be part of a novel! Love the blog too - I also have a soft spot for zombie, especially little festering fluffy ones :)
    #83

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  47. Dead impressed with your story, so concise not a spare word. Here's one for you:
    Shadows crept across the wall. The day was a spent match and he smelled of smoke, accelerant and something he did not want to name. He did not know how long he had stood there in a fugue state, and where was there? Then it all came back, like a straight to video movie. They never tell you about the splatter pattern, the shadow a provocative Roscharch against the orange sky. That old man was not supposed to be there, but he was. It all was too fast for reason, with them amped up on the torch job. Sweet as a nut, they had been told, now Billy was dead. Billy the fire freak who took him along on one last torch job, gave him the gun cause he was straight and calm and would never use it. Billy wired and gabbling words like he had to say at least one hundred every single minute. So wired he was incapable of stealth, the old man, the gun, the noise and his unthinking anger. The heavy piece in his hand and aimed and fired before he could think. Then the job was a Viking funeral for his friend. And now what?

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  48. I really enjoyed it! Your description was great and I like your writing style.

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  49. Great! What an awesome use of the senses! Your descriptions are wonderful.

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  50. Wow, can you paint an intense, action-packed picture. You have to get that published so we can read the whole thing.

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  51. Phenom job, David. I hope they make it out! :)

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  52. Nothing worse then Zombies that change their tactics and mutate. Damn those Zombies!!

    Tale Spinning: Wednesday's Child

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  53. Such an imagination you have. Great writing. The descriptions and the tight writing capture the tension of the situation.

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  54. Great flow and wonderful imagery. Would love to read more, anything zombie and you got me sold.

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  55. Love the intensity. Good entry!
    And LOL on "not" watching Walking Dead :)

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  56. I loved all the details you put in there, and really, really want more. Ah, flash fiction, you're too short for me.

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  57. Awesome job. I was very impressed with your writing. I found it very visual.

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  58. Awesome! Love this line "a stench more pungent than the sun-baked cattle carcasses". Well done.

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  59. "aim for the head" YEAH :)
    You packed a lot of action into those 200 words! I like it.

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  60. Awesome! And you said you never read/watch something like that(paranormal genre)before, and you can write like that, that's way cool!Whoa...

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  61. Excellent! Love me a good zombie story! (and explosions)

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  62. You've got to like zombies. Great action scene.

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  63. Hula Burgers! Hopefully I can breathe again shortly...

    Laurie Buchanan (entry #92)

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  64. Good job! I love the stories that can manage to get so much action in, despite the word limit.

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  65. Nice! You definitely upped the anty (is that how you spell that?) and even did all the extra challenge stuff.

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  66. Wow! I really like this - so clean and simple, yet so much action and imagery in just 200 words. I bet that is one amazing WIP. Good job!

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  67. Thanks for the shout out! That was pretty awesome :D Love the action!

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  68. Nice one! I'm so impressed when I feel like I'm reading an entire story in just a few words and yours totally accomplishes that! Good job. :)

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  69. Excellent! So much more I wanted to know. 200 words cannot contain this story.


    Lee (#126 on the Campaign Challenge List)
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge

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  70. I was right there in your story, the writing and intensity was soooo good!!!

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  71. Solid writing, David! Loved the cliffhanger ending! Off to vote for you :-)

    BTW...You do an awesome job with your blog :-)

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  72. Great setting. I felt like I was right there with the characters! Very curious to know what happens next.

    Cynthia #124 on the Linky Links

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  73. Coolness! I like it. Great job. This is my favorite part of the Campaign :)

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  74. I love how you engage so many senses in this piece! Thanks!

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  75. David, that was awesome! Such a great vision of what was happening. I really enjoyed it.

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  76. Very tense and great writing, David. I wouldn't want to be in their shoes!

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  77. Loved this! Great tension and imagery, especially the 'pungent odor from the sun-baked cattle carcasses' Fantastic writing, David!

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  78. Awesome job! I knew the assignments would be challenging (which is why I didn't sign up). I don't think any of my mss discuss shadows, so I couldn't even cheat. lol

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  79. Sounds like a perfect trailer for your WIP when it's finished. I know I already want to read it. Nice job! I "liked" it.

    I'm #88. Comments welcome.
    Richard

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  80. Mutating zombies. Can't be beaten. :)

    Like other commenters, I'm awfully impressed with the stench of the sun-baked carcasses. And how COULD he/she miss the smell of fuel?? This certainly looks like the prelude of a movie, the pre-casting scene.

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  81. Nice. I really enjoyed reading this.
    Melissa Maygrove
    #149 on the Campaign Challenge list

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  82. very interesting and amazing narration! so many talented people around.. i'm so glad i stumbled on this campaign! :D

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  83. You had me at "sunbaked cattle carcasses". Action packed 200 words for sure! Enjoyed it.
    #160.

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  84. That was intense! I hate it when I fire my .45 too soon. Ouch!

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  85. Wish this is just a part of a book and there's more to go but no. Loved it :)

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  86. Awesome flash piece! Great tension throughout. I'd read more. :)

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  87. I loved it, and excited to know it's part of your WIP. Must be a great read!

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  88. This was an excellent little snapshot. Brilliant.

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  89. Hi David! Good news! You made it to the next round with your flash fiction piece! You've been short-listed to move on to stage two :)

    Stay tuned for more info on Rachael's blog.

    Congrats!
    Gina

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  90. What I liked was how you worked in just enough context to hint at some back story that's intriguing without getting in the way.

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  91. I'd want to read more of this. Great job!

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  92. Great descriptions and suspense! Well done!

    (Hi! I'm Susan from My Withershins. I tried commenting earlier in the week with my Wordpress ID, but Blogspot didn't like that too much. I have since figured out I have to use this old bog site in order to post comments on Blogpost sites.)

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  93. Wonderfully written. Wish I knew what happened before and after!

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  94. Wonderfully written! :) thanks for sharing!

    I'm #189. Hope you like it too!

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  95. Yes!!! Finally a zombie one. I started on a zombie novle for the nanoryhmo event but fell behind. This makes me want to return to it.

    I loved the explosion in the end. Was that an explosion?

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  96. I can't believe I missed this first time round. Excellent job, very creepy :-)

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  97. Wow, great job. Who doesn't love zombies? Look forward to reading more.

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  98. Congrats on a great job placing in the challenge finals!!

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  99. Congrats on the win! I'm looking forward to providing a critique of your piece! Feel free to send whenever you're ready. Happy Campaigning!

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