First Campaigner Challenge

This first challenge was, well, challenging. The assignment was to write a short story (or flash fiction) of 200 words or less, beginning with the words, “Shadows crept across the wall.” To make it more interesting, we were to try to (a) make it 200 words exactly; (b) use the word “orange” in there somewhere; and (c) end with the words, “everything faded.”

I’m pretty sure my feeble attempt below doesn’t qualify as “fiction.” It does, however, qualify as “short,” coming in at exactly 200 words, which should make up for the lack of a title, which I don’t have because my brain is fuzzed.


“Shadows crept across the wall…”

I hear naught (naught?) but my fingers drumming on the mouse pad. My muse must have drifted off.

“Shadows crept across the wall…tippy-toeing like little cartoon burglars…”

Cartoon burglars? Really?

“…stealing what little light remained within the…” Within the what? Within the courtyard? Gymnasium? Bathroom?

I know! A prison cell! A bunch of prisoners in orange jumpsuits… but not all of them in a prison cell, packed in like a bunch of college students in a phone booth. No….a prison exercise yard. It has walls, it’s outside, so there could, believably (maybe?) be shadows creeping across some walls. Without doing any extensive research, though, I can’t think why those shadows would be creeping across those particular walls…surely there are other, more important things for shadows to be creeping on.

Like, in a forest, dusk approaching, the air cooling, getting heavy with dew, settling silently on the forest floor as shadows creep in slowly, malevolently muffling the sound of footsteps…

Again, really?? Where’s the conflict? The subtext? The plot?

The point?

“…malevolently muffling the sound of footsteps behind me. I turn and come face-to-face with a prisoner in an orange jumpsuit.”

And, then…YES!

“…everything faded.”


About Cindy Thrasher

What about me? Good question. As soon as I figure it out, I'll let you know. In the meantime, let's just say I exist. In Texas. With a husband. In a house. With two dogs.

Posted on February 22, 2012, in Thinking it Through and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. I think that sounds very much like my thought process.

  2. love it! I’m impressed with the exactly 200 words! Great insight on a writers mind too!

  3. This was fun. I like the insight into the writer’s brain! Sounds so much like mine, lol!! 😀

  4. What a brilliant idea to tackle this challenge! 🙂

    I’m #59, if you’d like to pay mine a visit.

  5. Very creative and a fun entry! 🙂 I’m #61.

  6. Haha I loved it!! That was just about my thought process while writing for this challenge, LOL 🙂 Great job!

    I’m entry #19

  7. Great job!! I’m still working on my challenge – should be up by Friday (SHOULD being the operative word…)

  8. Clever and creative! Well done 🙂

  9. LOL. This was very fun to read, and so clever! Definitely a very good use of all of our challenges! Great read!

  10. Great language use and congratulations on meeting the challenge!

  11. She is so “scatterlogical” I love her!

    Hi again Cindy! So good to see you! ^_^

  12. Haha, this was really creative! I like your take on the challenge! Nice job! 🙂

    I’m #37

  13. What a great way to do the challenge! This is exactly how I feel while editing…

  14. Totally unexpected, refreshing approach to the challenge. Wonderful!

  15. Totally brilliant! I loved it!

  16. Wonderful! This is the most unique spin on the challenge I’ve read yet, and the best written. Congratulations on a great piece. Fantastic! (#112)

  17. This is rather a lively stream of consciousness. Fun. Sounds like you had fun.

  18. This definitely made me smile 🙂

  19. Doesn’t sound like any assignment Mrs. Floyd ever gave us and I wonder what she would think? Probably rolling in her grave but it is so much more creative than anything I’m sure she ever read. Loved your train of thought or lack thereof.

  20. Very humourous take on the prompt, I like it!

    And yes, I want to know what happened next with that prisoner.

  21. This cracked me up. This is my entire writing process all rolled up in a neat little writing package. It makes me feel as though I’m not so nuts after all (most writers are like me–YES).

    Thanks for the chuckle.

    Your entry has been shortlisted as one of the top five to move onto the next round of judging. Best of luck to you.

  22. You’ve been shortlisted as one of the top two to move on to the semi-finals=) Congratulations and good luck!

  23. Wow! I’ve never been shortlisted before!

  24. Congratulations Cindy, I am a bit late getting to the bottom half of the very long list of entries, but I am determined to read everyone’s entry and leave a comment! Well done, it is nice to meet you!

  25. I laughed – you might want to see my first challenge – our thought followed a similar line

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