Thursday, February 23, 2012

First Campaigner Challenge

I know I left this a little late, but the prompt had me intrigued, so I decided to write something for the First Campaigner Challenge.

This is the challenge:

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!

So, since I hardly ever go for the easy way, I:

  • Started and ended the piece as suggested.
  • included the word orange
  • actually wrote a scene that will be a variation of what happens in Book 3 of the Doorways series.
  • made my piece exactly 200 words long.
Hope you enjoy it!

Shadows crept across the wall, but Ward didn’t move to welcome them or fend them off. How could he, when an infernal fire licked his body? 
“Ward,” Rhiannon whispered as her small weight settled on his mattress. “You need to eat.” 

Eat? No. He wanted to die. 

“Don’t close your eyes, Ward,” the cat-sized dragon commanded, nudging the spot on his cheek that didn’t burn. 

“Leave me alone.” He lifted his hand to push her away, shooting lava through his veins. An agonized scream fled out of him. 

Water rushed through his throat and he choked. He turned his head aside and found Rhiannon with a glass in her mouth. Her big orange eyes blinked slowly, as if she was surprised at his reaction.  

“Sorry,” she mumbled past the obstruction and crept closer. “Drink.”

 Damn it. Why couldn’t she understand?


“Drink!” The glass tipped precariously above him as Rhiannon loomed near. How much would the water scald if it fell on his ravaged face?

 “I’ll drink!” He took a deep breath. “I’ll drink.”

It took every ounce of his willpower to lift his head. Agony coiled out, threatening to choke him. Still he drank.

He drank until everything faded.


  1. Aww! Poor Ward! I wonder what happened to him. Great piece!

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  3. Misha, So many possibilities I'm exploring here- is the attentive dragon Rhiannon also a human? How did Ward get in this predicament? I want to read more. Thanks for sharing!!


  4. I really wonder what happened to Ward. Great tension! Well done.

  5. Excellent piece. I feel for him!

  6. Awe, Ward. Poor boy. :( And this makes me want to read the other boooks~ I can't wait for them~

  7. Poor boy! He didn't have much of a choice but to drink...
    You sustained the tension throughout the piece... great job!

  8. I left my entry until today, too. :P

    Very intriguing piece! I want to know more about the story now.

  9. Nice! I like it. Especially the little dragon. =)

  10. This sounds so muck like part of a larger story. A cat-size dragon? Can I have one? Nice one! :)

  11. A cat-sized dragon! Lovely! Can I have one?

    (I'm #59)

  12. Love the creativity you used with the given parameters. Excellent! Develop into a full blown story?

  13. Fabulous entry for the challenge. I loved it, but then I love anything with dragons...especially cute dragons! ;)

  14. Oh no! Did it help him or hurt him? Love the cat-sized dragon.

  15. Did the water put out the fire inside. I'm dying to know more. Good job.

  16. Love the name Rhiannon (and everything else about her). Nice job.

  17. Evocative and ever-so-slightly dangerous.



  18. Aww poor guy!! I felt bad for him. I want to know what got him to the point of wanting to die! Great job!

    I'm entry #19

  19. Eek, why does the water burn? Poor guy . . . I've been nursing a sick husband with strep all week (and hoping that I'm not catching it >_<), so I can relate to this piece a little, lol.

    By the way, I'm stopping by from the Fantasy group at the Campaign! Great job with your challenge piece :). I'm entry #161 if you want to read.

  20.'re a great storyteller/writer.

  21. Great voice and tension throughout - well done!

  22. Hello friend. I'm so glad you decided to write this. I feel like there could have been so much more with this scene without the word limit. It might entice me to read the book that the scene is going in to!

  23. Excellent! This makes me want to read the entire story - well done!

  24. Kinda haunting. I feel sorry for Ward! As for Rhiannon, she sounds like the greatest thing ever, especially since she's a cat-sized dragon :) Nice work.

    I'm entry #207.

  25. Intense, haunting and well written...Love the cat dragon.
    Early bird at #15

  26. You've certainly left us with lots of questions! Was the cat-sized dragon responsible for his 'infernal fire'? What happens to him now? Great job!

    (Hi! I'm Susan from My Withershins. Don't let the Humpty Dumpty persona fool you. I often have trouble commenting using my Wordpress ID, so I'm using an old one.)

  27. Hey all! Thanks for reading my challenge entry. I'm glad you liked it. :-)

  28. Thanks for sharing this! I'm wondering if Ward got dragon blood mixed into his veins or something, and is struggling to fight off an infection of elemental fire from it.

  29. Misha, this is great! Poor Ward, what is going to happen to him?


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