Flash Fiction Campaigner Challenge

Well, I think I lived up to the challenge Rachel gave us Writer’s Platform-Building Campaigners. The rules she set up are:

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!

I decided to make this piece of flash fiction something I could add into my next story, so here it is:

Shadows crept across the wall, wavering strangely, not flickering across the straight flat edge of my bedroom wall, but the sloped whitened skin of a tepee painted with the orange design of a bison. It took a moment for my brain to grasp the significance of that. Then I remembered the withershins, the ritual that had landed me here in 1869.

A familiar snore roared from the man on the other side of the fire. I glanced over at him – the man with my father’s face, the man whose spirit had been reborn into the man my mother loved in the future. Bear stirred but did not awaken.

The various-sized mounds of his children slept around me. One of them would be my great-great-great-great-whatever grandmother or grandfather. I tried hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I had travelled over a hundred and forty years back in time. Why was I here?  When Mom came back, she’d had a destiny. I wondered what mine was.

It was too much.

I yawned, still weary from the long horseback ride from Fort Garry to Bear’s village near what would be Netley Creek. As I drifted back to sleep, everything faded.

Check out Rachel’s site here, where there is a list of other participants and their stories. I’ve already read some of them and they are very good. It’s fun to see how everyone has a different take on those first five words – Shadows crept across the wall…


98 comments on “Flash Fiction Campaigner Challenge

    • Thanks, Traci! I’m working on it but still have a lot of research to do before it is complete. I’m glad I got the opportunity to do this piece. It’s spurred me on to get back to work on it! 🙂

    • Thanks, Kathy! If you want to know more about ‘Withershins’, check out my Published Work section of my blog, if you have time. There are excerpts from the first two books and more information on what the word ‘withershins’ means. 🙂

    • Thanks! I’ll get right on it! 🙂 Maybe later this week, after I’ve had a chance to read everyone else’s flash fiction, I’ll post the first few chapters that I’ve finished from ‘Revolution’ (working title) of which I will include this short bit.

  1. This really has my interest! I’ve thought about doing research to write about the Creek or Cherokee side of me. It would be so interesting to put that into a story!

    • Her Mom was the main character in my first 2 books. In the 3rd, the daughter is given the talisman on her 16th b’day and tries the withershins as a joke, because she doesn’t believe her mom’s stories about her time in the past.

  2. Pingback: Short Story/Flash Fiction Challenge « Speaking from the Heart

  3. Ooooh. Time travel! Great premise and I definitely wanted to know more about what her mother’s destiny was and what the ‘future’ holds for this character.

    • Thanks! If you’re interested in learning a little more about her mother, she’s the lead character in my first 2 books. There’s a bit of a blurb about them on my page, My Published Work. As for the daughter, that’s still a work in progress. Glad you dropped by!

  4. Who can resist time travel? Loved this and wanted to read more.

    Your entry has been shortlisted and will move on to round 2 of the competition. 🙂 There will be a semi-final (round 3) and a final (round 4).

  5. I like this! Not only was the Native American angle cool, and the shadow on the teepee instead of a house wall, I have a soft spot for good Time Travel stories. 🙂 (I have one in my FINISH ME, DAMN IT pile) This make me want to find out all about the time traveller and her family. Great Job and Good luck in the Challenge! 🙂

    • Thanks, Tina! I have just added the first few chapters of ‘Revolution’, the WIP into which I want to add this flash fiction piece, if you would like to read the back story for it. You can find it on ‘My Unfinished Work’ page. 🙂

    • If you want to read a little of the back story, there are snippets of it on My Published Work page and there’s a blurb from my latest WIP that is like a sequel to the first two books.

    • If you’re looking for more of this tale, check out ‘My Unfinished Work’ page for the first few chapters of ‘Revolution’, which is kind of a continuation of my first two novels. There are bits of it under ‘My Published Work’.

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