Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Campaign Challenge #2 -- The Imago

So here goes for the 2nd Campaign Challenge Rachael Harrie gave us at Rach Writes. The challenge was to write a blog post in 200 words or less, excluding the title, that includes the word "imago" in the title and in the body of the post includes the following 4 random words: "miasma," "lacuna," "oscitate," "synchronicity". For an added challenge make reference to a mirror in the post. For an even greater challenge, make the post 200 words exactly. All criteria are met (after much gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair.)

The Imago  (Picture courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)


                                                     The Imago

Arms folded, Nyla stares through the beveled glass door into the galería. Somehow, the glass is both mirror and window. Superimposed on the polished floors of the sunlit galeria beyond, her reflection stares back, as if bemused. 
When Nyla was younger, in the miasma of grief that pervaded her home, she sometimes caught mental glimpses of who she might become away from her family’s confused dynamics. These glimpses led her on, in hopes of escaping the pain that oscitated inside her, as one family member after another went down dubious roads to disaster. Now, through some synchronicity, her decision to teach English in Spain has allowed her to catch up the person she hoped to be. 
Or has it? When Nyla raises a hand to brush a wisp of hair back from her face, her reflection remains motionless, arms folded. How can that be? 
Uneasily, Nyla forces a smile—a smile that isn’t returned. Is the woman in the glass not a reflection after all? Is the beveled glass in the door some lacuna opening into another dimension? Nyla’s thoughts whirl and scatter, reaching for an explanation.
The imago beckons, then reaches a hand through the glass, and Nyla screams.


This is linky entry # 128.



35 comments:

Richard said...

Wow, what a good scene. It definitely makes me think and wonder what's going on. Great writing.

brookerousseau said...

Wow, Elizabeth! That's awesome!

Jess said...

Oh my gosh I loved it! Wonderful job!! I'm a new follower by the way :) Nice to meet you!

(I'm entry #112)

K.T. Hanna said...

Oh this is great. I love the tension you build with the 'reflection'. Great way to use the mirror from the prompt.

F.E. Sewell said...

Such a beautifully written piece! Well done!

Susie Medwell said...

Great piece of writing - made me want to read more.

J. A. Bennett said...

Scary and intriguing! I want to keep reading :)

David Powers King said...

Loved the way you introduced your character and ended it with an unexpectedly chilling conclusion. Not an easy feat. And those words! You used them expertly.

Great job, Elizabeth! :)

Sheri L. Swift said...

Wow, very interesting, is she a twin or another dimension of herself? You have me wanting more! ; )

Claire said...

Wonderful piece of writing. I loved how you used some of the words, especially "the pain that oscitated inside her". Very good. Such difficult words, sigh.
(I am #133)

Claire said...

Oooh and you are a fellow Californian, I've just noticed :)

The Golden Eagle said...

I love your entry! What an interesting idea--if our reflections turned out to be independent.

Jen said...

Very creepy! What is it about mirrors that can be so unsettling?
Mine is #3.

Sonia Lal said...

wow, good scene and pretty creepy, too.

elizabethanne said...

Great use of the words, and you built the suspense so well. I want to know more!

Catherine Stine said...

I like the sort of emotional intensity in this piece. I'm over from the campaign (#142).

Michele Helene (Verilion) said...

I wasn't expecting that ending at all, I got carried away with all the details. I'm 153 BTW

Angela Orlowski-Peart said...

Great build-up leading to an unexpected twist at the end! Love how easily you incorporated all the required words into this story.

I'm # 157

bridgetstraub.com said...

I want an explination too! Nicely done. Mine is #29

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Thanks everyone. While we are in Spain, we don't get to the wifi cafes as often as we'd like, so I'm not able to respond so often. But I certainly appreciate your nice comments, and I'm reading as many of the stories as possible. It's just amazing (and fun) to see how different all the stories are!

Doctor FTSE said...

I was impressed by the theme of your story and the way you compressed it into 200 words. Surely worth working up into something longer, to develop the creepiness and the tension? And with the Imago Challenge behind you, you can forget about those arcane 'challenge' words. Does anyone ever use them in their fiction/poetry/general conversation?

Thanks too for your comment on my Imago.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Great Job, Elizabeth. Pretty impressive.

raelynbarclay said...

Love this. It reads as a scene from a longer piece. I'm left with questions and want more :)

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Back again in a wifi cafe. Thanks Raelyn, Rachna, and Doctor FTSE. These challenges are great for getting the creativity in action.

Cheryl Reif said...

Wow, very creepy and intense. Makes me want to read more...the only trouble with these challenges is that I feel like I'm reading a hundred book openings without being able to read on! Great entry--I'm off to like it :)

ali cross said...

Ooh! Awesome and surprising!

Christy Farmer said...

It's scary Elizabeth! (Great job!)

Randy said...

Excellent use of the challenge words. And the story is great too.

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Cheryl, I agree, these challenges make you feel you've started all these stories and never know the end! :-)

Ali, Christy, and Randy, thanks for the kind support. Oddly, I was trying NOT to write a scary story, and then the ending just popped up—and it was the right word count. :-)

Ali, thanks for following me, and Cheryl, thanks for the "like".

Ron Smith said...

Very nice work. You have a great voice.

Jessica Therrien said...

What a great entry! I loved it. So creative and such a perfect use of the words :) Now off to follow your blog...

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Ron and Jessica, thanks for the kind comments!

Karen deBlieck said...

Riveting and a little unnerving. You did a great job!

#189

Cat said...

Very well done. Sorry I'm so late commenting. The kids kept me busy more than usual. This snippet reads like a piece of a longer story. If ever you write it, let me know. I want to read it.

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Thanks, Cat. I don't normally write Sci Fi or horror, so I don't if this will develop into anything or not. I see it as a beginning, too, and not a complete story.