Friday, April 22, 2011

Flash Fiction Fridays/Last Crusader Challenge: "S is for Showing Shadows"

Rachael Harrie at Rach Writes is hosting her final Crusader Challenge today. It's all about showing instead of telling. The rules are:

Show Not Tell Crusader Challenge: In 300 words or less, write a passage (it can be an excerpt from your WIP, flash fiction, a poem, or any other writing) that shows (rather than tells) the following:
  • you're scared and hungry
  • it's dusk
  • you think someone is following you
  • and just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: shimmer, saccadic (jerky movement, often associated with eyes), substance, and salt. 
And to answer this challenge, here my flash fiction piece.

"S is for Showing Shadows"

Every muscle tensed in my crouched stance. Spoiled milk tainted the air, coating my tongue like a wool sweater. Brick rubbed against my back. A cramp clenched in my calf and I hissed.

Did he hear me?

No, he couldn't have.



The noise broke my frozen state with a saccadic movement. My mouth lost moisture while my heartbeat quickened.

The man shuffled and tossed the garbage bag into the dumpster.

The scent of grease and salt struck me as if it had substance. I tumbled backward. Saliva flooded my mouth and my stomach rumbled in protest. I recognized the smell.

French fries.

A heavenly delight.

I staggered up while the door clicked shut. Shadows lengthened, reaching darkened fingers toward me, but I sprinted to the dumpster and leaned over the bin. My fingers dug into the slick bag, attempting to poke a hole in its flexible surface. A finger broke through and I yanked it open.

I snatched handfuls of half-eaten food and shoved them into my mouth. My eyes darted toward the door, the alley's entrance, the shadows, but my hands didn't stop until tears prickled my eyes. I coughed and collapsed.

My chest shuddered in staggering breaths. I clutched at my throat, tearing into the tender flesh. I wanted to scream, but couldn't.

I was choking.

No, not quite.



Footsteps slapped upon concrete. My heart throbbed under its frantic pace. Dirt poked under my bloody fingernails while I clawed to flee into the shadows. The man's low chuckling sliced through me and Death's clammy hand seized me.

My chest rose once.


"I told you not to come back."

A streetlight burst to life. Its shimmer didn't caress the dark as the shadows descended.

*If you like writing flash fiction or want to try your hand at it, don't forget about my Flash Fiction Blogfest on May 6th. For more information, click here.*


Cherie Reich said...

Fun side note: There are over 30 "S" words in this.

Unknown said...

Interesting entry! And bravo for working in so many 's' words :))

Unknown said...

Great job fitting all of the requirements in! Very dark. It honestly had me holding my breath as I read it.

Alison Pearce Stevens said...

Wow. That was awesome. :)

Christine Rains said...

That was a lot of fun! ^_^

Sierra Gardner said...

The part where she tears through for the french fries was amazing! I completely felt her desperation. Great job!

Michelle Merrill said...

Interesting. I love that she digs into the bag to get the food. That is hunger for sure!

Kerri Cuev said...

Great job and holy amount of S words!

J.C. Martin said...

Oh dear. Eating old french freis from the bin smacks of desperation. And they were poisoned! How cruel!

Zan Marie said...

Shiver and chills! Wow! Just what sort of fellow poisons french fries?

Wellington Artist said...

Great use of S! Just stopped by to say hello from the A-Z Challenge.

Lisa Potts said...

A murdered MC? Great entry. Loved the imagery.

Nelson said...

The blog is very good!

Trisha said...

Meh, I think I'm going to have to skip this Crusader challenge. WAY too overwhelmed as it is ;)

Nofretiri said...

That was an interesting style of writing! I wondered what has happened to the poor creature?!!? ... And isn't it intriguing, how different every one deals with the same specifications? :-)

Karin @ Nofretiris Dream Of Writing

Rachael Harrie said...

Ooh, I love how you've made hunger the main focus of your piece. And to be poisoned - nasty! :) Great showing, you had me riveted all the way through!



Anonymous said...

Deliciously creepy! Nice job!

Dark Passenger said...

Great story concept. I loved the macabre characterization of the murderer at the end:

...the man's low chuckling...
"I told you not to come back."

Grant @ Grant's Big Blog

Deniz Bevan said...

I could feel her panic all the way through! Great entry.

Anonymous said...

I loved this! I especially loved the ending, it left me wondering. It was cool how you interpreted the challenge.