Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rachael's Third Challenge

Rachael's third challenge for the campaign has come round, and once again it's quite a challenge. Here are the rules:
             Write a blog post in 300 words or less, excluding the title. The post can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should show:
  • that it’s morning, 
  • that a man or a woman (or both) is at the beach
  • that the MC (main character) is bored
  • that something stinks behind where he/she is sitting
  • that something surprising happens.
Just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: "synbatec," "wastopaneer," and "tacise."   (NB. these words are completely made up and are not intended to have any meaning other than the one you give them).

So here goes: It's a flash fiction, exactly 300 words, using all 5 senses, all 3 made-up words, showing instead of telling. Whew!






Cry of the Synbatec  

Opal finger-combs her straggly gray hair, wriggling her toes in the sand. She stares at the rose and golden clouds, trying to imagine faces in them the way she did as a girl. No luck. She turns her head and watches Ralph wading in the dawn-flecked waves. A scene meant to recapture earlier days, along with last night’s bonfire and roasted hotdogs, along with sleeping under the star-powdered sky. 
“Opal!” Ralph waves a flabby arm. Opal sighs and looks farther up the shore, where a young couple in tank suits and flippers stride toward the waves. The salt in the air has a sulfurous undertone, probably from seaweed strewn along the sand, although it seems behind her as well. Behind her, too, a shrill cry cuts through the rumbling surf and lapping waves. 
Damn seagulls. Last night they kept pacing around their hot-dog roast, and Ralph would throw pieces of bun! 
Frankly, Opal would like to go home and shower off all the sand. She swallows, thinking of buckwheat pancakes drenched with sweet, viscous honey, topped with foamy Cool Whip. Then she’d stretch out on the sofa and watch re-runs of Tacise. Morning after morning, criminals prove no match for Tacise. No thief is wily enough. No drug lord’s hideaway secure. The actor who plays Tacise is a Republican, too. Opal nods to herself. She has read his biography on Wikipedia.
“Opal!” Ralph calls, louder this time, hands cupped around his mouth. His face crinkles with worry. A breeze swallows his next word. It sounds like wastopaneer! Or maybe, what’s it near? But that makes no sense.
“Watch out! It’s nearer!” he almost screams. 
The shrill cry behind her comes again. Opal turns in time to see the Synbatec’s wings billow wide before enfolding her.

If you like this, it's #35 on the linky list.


32 comments:

Richard said...

I like it. I haven't the foggiest notion what I'm going to write. After yours, I probably don't have a chance anyway.

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Oh, don't say that! You always come up with something really original. Go immediately to your computer and write (said Mrs. Seraphina). :-)

Jen said...

I like this a lot! It's beautiful!
Great job!

K.T. Hanna said...

This is really good. I'm so glad I checked my feed. For some reason I couldn't click on you from Rachel's list. It tells me: Your current account does not have access to view this page.

Which is odd because that's the account I'm using now...

Anyway love this and the world you managed to create in 300 short words! Fantastic!

glitterword said...

I was a bit confused as to what enfolding her entails in the story but I guess that's part of the point for me to infer what happens next. I just cant seem to make up my mind whether its wings just knocked her over or if Opal was picked up and whisked away or if she ended up dying from a heart attack. lol, but I enjoyed the story. It was fun, Great job.

J. A. Bennett said...

Scary! I would freak out if wings touched me. Great job!

Shallee said...

Ha ha! Love it! Lots of character in this. Thanks for sharing!

Ann Best said...

I like this very much, Elizabeth! It's very visual. Incredible well-written. I'm impressed!

And thanks for leaving a comment the other day about my excerpt #5 of my WIP. Appreciate your stopping by!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Jen and K.T., thanks so much. K.T., I don't know what is happening, there.. Technology is still a mystery to me.

Glitterword, the wings wrapped around her, and I really shudder to think what happened next.

J. A., I would freak out too. You write these prompts an then you think . . . "Do I really want to go to the beach again?" :-)

Shallee and Ann, thanks for the kind words.

Lesann Berry said...

I've been selected as a judge for the final challenge in the Third Platform Building Campaign - and I'm happy to announce that your entry has been chosen to advance to the next phase of judging as a quarter-finalist.

Well done and congratulations!

Doctor FTSE said...

I liked the way you got "Tacise" into your story.

tgayer said...

Very nice Elizabeth! And congratulation! xx Tee

Eve.E said...

HEY THERE,
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW I HAVE GIVEN YOU AN AWARD. IF YOU WANT TO STOP BY AND GET IT WHEN YOU HAVE TIME.
HUGS EVE.X
Ps thank you for giving me this award.x

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Lesann, wow, that's exciting! I'm thrilled.

tgayer, thanks for your support.

Doctor, I'm glad you liked the Tacise serial. It just popped into my head -- what would this woman watch. . . .?

Hey, Eve, thanks for passing it back!

elizabethanne said...

Well done, Elizabeth -- and congratulations on going on to the next round of judging! Very well deserved.

Chipper Muse said...

Great piece! I love the sensory details, and the sense of character you provided in such limited words. And I want to see reruns of Tacise now too, :)

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Chipper, the reruns of Tacise are from 9:00-10:00 a.m., Mon-Fri on Fox 40. Ha-ha, just kidding!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Its very nice, Elizabeth. Its written beautifully.

Mary said...

Hi Elizabeth
Thank you for the lovely award ... it made my day!
So enjoyed your seaside tale .. very clever weaver of words.

Carol Riggs said...

That's great! I really enjoyed your entry, Elizabeth. :) What a fun read, and you incorporated those tough words in there very creatively!

Abby said...

Great job! This is awesome!

MG Higgins said...

Very nice! You really kept my attention and I love the ending.

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Rachna, Mary, Carol, Abby, & MG, thanks so much. I really appreciate your kind words.

thepatientdreamer.com said...

Lovely post. Congratulations on getting through to the next round. I am #101

thepatientdreamer.com said...

Lovely post. Congratulations on getting through to the next round. I am #101

Angela Ackerman said...

Neat--this wasn't going where I was expecting. Great sensory detail as well!

Angela@ The Bookshelf Muse

Mayra Calvani said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog today, Elizabeth! Wow, you get a lot of comments--great!

Mayra

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Angela, thanks for the feedback.

Mayra, yes, I've appreciated all the feedback. Very helpful!

Jayne said...

Oh Elizabeth! This is fantastic! I really enjoyed it - love the little details you have included that make it so real - straggly gray hair, flabby arms, the actor who is a Republican. I love their names too, and the way you got those words in. Very well done indeed. :)

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Thanks, Jayne, I'm glad you liked it. E.

Jen said...

I really enjoyed this! As one of the judges for this round, I wanted to let you know I'm voting for you to go onto the next one!

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Thanks, Jen! I really appreciated that!