The First Campaign Challenge

The first campaign challenge has been issued, and below is the entry I’ve submitted.  You’ll find the remit underneath the short story.  Happy reading!

Slipping Away

Shadows crept across the wall.  I know what they are; know only I can see them.  They’re echoes, remnants of memories, of things, of people.  My memories.

I’m not sure how or why it happens, this bizarre puppet show that appears to me at night, talking right into my soul.  Perhaps I’m mad, perhaps I’m special – I don’t know and to be honest it doesn’t matter anyway.  But when the orange sunset leads way to the inky darkness of night they come.  I welcome them with open arms, able to talk to those I’ve missed for so long, how many people have that opportunity?  To say the things they really wanted to say but couldn’t for whatever reason.

But as I lay here tonight I know it’s time, time to let go and leave them behind.  You can’t live in the past forever, it’s finally time to move on.  I can feel myself being drawn towards the wall, towards the shadows and they’re welcoming me with open arms, a cacophony of voices saying my name.

I look back at myself lying so still and silent on the bed and reach forward, becoming one with the shadows, behind me everything faded.

(200 Words)

The remit from Rachael Harrie at Rach Writes was

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!

At first 200 words seemed quite a bit.  Until you realise just how short 200 words actually is :-).  I have to admit though I quite enjoyed writing it and taking up the challenge, and it’s turned out nothing like I initially envisaged.  I think that’s a good thing 🙂

You can find the other entrants on Rachael’s page, mine is number 94 if you want to vote.


40 comments on “The First Campaign Challenge

  1. 200 words sure doesn’t seem like a lot when you’re used to writing novels, even short stories, but everyone has done a great job with the limit – you included!

    I love the notion that we will eventually reunite with those who have gone before us, that the shadows are remnants of them.

    Your story also brought back a memory of my mother, who was terminally ill at the time. I remember the dream I’d had of her. In the dream, I went to her bedside to see how she was doing and she opened her eyes (something she hadn’t done it two days). She asked me a question about my brother and then said she felt like going for a walk. I helped her get dressed and we started walking down the street together. I woke up with a start, got myself ready and went over to my parents’ house. Dad met me at the door to tell me she had passed away – about the time I’d had my dream of her. I think it was her way of saying goodbye.

    So, for me, the dreams speak instead of the shadows, but I really like the concept of your story and the imagery was wonderful! Well done!

    • Thank you for the kind comments. I agree, everyone has done something different and varied and I can’t believe how much variation stems from the initial words and to get such a standard from 200 words is phenomenal

    • Thank you, it’s been left slightly ambiguous, partly because I quite liked it that way and partly because I think it’s good to fire people’s imagination sometimes and allow them to interpret it. Although in 200 words it was tricky anyway without losing any of the other substance 🙂

  2. Hello! My name is Sam and I am one of the judges for the first campaign challenge. I just read your flash fiction and thought it was really good. You managed to achieve three of the four challenges that I could see right off the bat, and this left me wanting to know more, especially how the character got to this point.
    I am here to happily inform you that you have been shortlisted to head to round two.

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