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