2nd Campaigner Challenge

This second challenge was, in my humble opinion (the same humble opinion that no one listens to anyway), a tad harder than the first. We were given five different prompts and tasked with doing one or all of the following:

  • Write a pitch/logline for a book based on the prompts (less than 100 words)
  • Write a short story/flash fiction piece of less than 200 words based on the prompts
  • Write a poem with a twist using the prompts as inspiration (in less than 200 words)
  • Write a story/poem in five sentences, each sentence based on one of the prompts
  • Write a poem/flash fiction piece (in less than 200 words) about the water pear *without* using the words “pear”, “spoon”, or “droplet”.
  • I chose to write a piece of short fiction (under 200 words) on the following prompt:

    Two people are sitting together under the remains of a concrete bridge. Their backs are against a rusted bridge support. One person’s leg is cut. The other person has wet hair.

    We were also given the opportunity to invite critiques from our fellow campaigners, which I am formally doing now. This is the first piece of short fiction I’ve written–at least for public consumption–which is just a not-so-subtle way of saying, be kind to me…I’m just a poor, lowly (and menopausal, therefore over-emotional and ultra-sensitive) blogger.

    Oh, and honesty is very much appreciated, since I can use all the help I can get.

    In the meantime, I’ll be cowering under the coffee table.

    ***********************************

    Jack dropped to the ground next to Dougie, his breath coming in quick, short bursts. His shirt clung to his back like a soggy blanket as he slithered out of his knapsack. His fair hair, normally neat and tidy, was wet and standing on end; he looked like a startled hedgehog.

    “Well, I don’t think we were followed,” he said, sucking in air. He had doubled back in the dark after settling Dougie under the remains of the concrete bridge that used to link the island with the rest of civilization.

    “How’s your leg?”

    Dougie let out a low grunt as he shifted position against the rusted metal bridge support.

    “Hurts like hell! One of Fowler’s goons got me. Where’d they come from anyway? I thought the area was supposed to be deserted!”

    “It was. Somebody clearly knew we were coming.” He leaned over to inspect the ragged gash running up the length of Dougie’s calf. Good. Not too deep, then. Jack got to his feet.

    “Can you walk?”

    “Guess I’ll have to,” Dougie said. “Unless you can find me a taxi off this god-forsaken a-toll.”

    Jack grinned, reaching down for Dougie’s arm. “I’ll see what I can do.”

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    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 March 8, 2012, in Mulligan Stew and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

    1. Nice job for your first piece of flash fiction. (Not that I’m a good judge, I’ve only written two. 🙂 ) It makes me curious about their circumstances and want to read more. I also love the humor at the end.

    2. WOW, Cindy – for your first go at public-fiction, this is great. I really like the dialogue.

    3. Ooh, I like the build up – would love to know what happens next.
      Hmm, critique… if I had to nitpick, I’d maybe take out all but one of the exclamation points…

    4. Okay lady – I’m older than you – way past menapause – and you’re joshing me right? This is perfectly written – prompt intact – and humour into the mix. Perfect. come out from under the couch now, if you do I’ll give you some chocolate….
      I’m 48 – on the list I mean – if you wish to visit

    5. I liked it alot..I too, was drawn into to your scenario and wanted to know more. One thing though……menopausal? As in the process of menopause? You?

    6. OK…I had to do a double take: read the ending wrong the first time, and thought he couldn’t get a taxi off of a TROLL. Sigh…well, it did make me laugh.

      Mine is #85 The Roaring Cascade

    7. I liked this! Good flow, strong voice. You did a great job. (#30)

    8. Nicely executed. Just “liked” it. 🙂

    9. There were just a couple of things that pulled me out of the story:

      1. Point of View … I thought it was going to be a tight third person POV from Jack, but he wouldn’t know that he looked like a startled hedgehog unless he was looking in a mirror.

      2. The name Dougie … this made me think he was younger … like a preteen or teenager, but then his dialogue later sounds older.

      But I liked the imagery you used, and I enjoyed the piece. Good job.

      I’m one of the judges, and I’m advancing you to stage two of the judging process.

      CONGRATULATIONS!!

      • Margo – THANKS much for the feedback! Is 3rd person not omnipotent? What is 3rd person POV from one of the characters?

        And Dougie…yeah, you’re right there, but that’s just what Jack calls him. They grew up together,

    10. “he looked like a startled hedgehog.” <— so cute! Love that!

    11. Well done! I enjoyed the imagery, too! What made you use the name Dougie?

      • Thanks for asking…that’s just what Jack calls him. They’ve been best friends since grade school. I just haven’t decided on the exact nature of their relationship. But, they’re close.

    12. Hi Cindy, Great work..you can stop cowering under the table now you have been shortlisted to the next round of judging!!

    13. That’s really good! I wouldn’t change a thing. It was engaging and descriptive and I would have kept reading:)

    14. Your strong use of dialogue really brings your characters to life. I may not be totally aware of their circumstances and how they got there, but I feel like I know them. Great job!

    15. No more hiding your fiction! I really liked the way you used humor to lighten such suspenseful scene.

    16. I agree with other comments – you are strong with the use of dialog and bring your characters to life. I really want to read on and know them more. Great writing! Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comments as well! #103

      I also love the design of your blog. The color elements and use of white space are unique. Love it!

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